First of all thanks to everyone who participated in the poll!. I have to do these more often!
And the results? Well the results surprised me but also point in a clear direction.
First of all, only a bit over 20% of people wanted no social or content features on Seventh Sanctum – but the rest was near-evenly split over “yes” or “not sure” with a slight lean to yes. What was amazingly clear from the comments was that people were worried social media, forums, blogs, and so on would take over the site.
That at first surprised me, because the focus of the site is on generators – until I thought about it and agree, yes, social media and features can change sites and not always for the better. Buttons for social media end up everywhere. Forums can consume a site. A blog can become a giant mess of irrelevant articles.
So your voices were heard. Don’t worry I never intended the site to get like that anyway, but I now understand how people feel even better.
Now when it came to what people wanted to see content and feature-wise, it was very big on two things – tips and info, and user contributions. Message boards came in behind that and other features were more distant, with mailing lists losing out – but more on that later.
So people want information and useful stuff, and maybe some things about what’s going on with the users.
On top of this some people had other generator suggestions, so I may need to run polls like this regularly to get new ideas. Two things to get out of the way:
- Those of you wanting a way to subscribe to generators by email or RSS feed, I’ve actually experimented with it . . . no promises, but there’s a few fun things I’ve done lately that point at interesting directions.
- It seems people want the number options back on the generators. I’m considering some ideas (like having the HIGHEST be the default then you can choose less). The biggest challenge ironically is putting them in the new layout.
Now, this all gives me a direction. The site is fine, but more content would be great as long as it’s part of the site and doesn’t predominate, and social tools and interactions are good only in limited ways or when they don’t take over.
So here’s my plan.
- The site pretty much stays as is. That’s a given, though obviously I’ll tweak things and add stuff, and of course occasionally redesign it.
- I’ll add a subdomain like “zine.seventhsanctum.com” or “stuff.seventhsanctum.com” or something that will be sort of The Library. This will be part of the site that contains archives, information, and so forth. To do this I can probably wrap the Sanctum Bootstrap template around a blog or CMS system and make an ez-to-post archive (if I can’t then we’re back to square one – and my first goal is to keep the site stable).
- The “Library” (or whatever I call it) will be where updates, advice, regular columns (like Way With Worlds), and so on are posted. It will allow discussion (via Disqus of course). The feed will display on the front page where the old blog is now.
- The “Library” will be specifically for advice, updates, and discussing creativity in the comments. I will also invite other people to contribute so all of you can share your ideas and help each other out. We may also have “open discussions” for people to share sanctum-based works, and so on – so you can see what people are up to.
- I may actually implement a mailing list at some point for tighter social discussion – in a nice, unbounded, but not-on-the-site manner. The mailing list was the least popular idea, but I think it’s bounded nature may be worth it for people who want to get social, but I don’t want to radically change the sites.
So I think this fills all requests. The site stays the same. There’s a subdomain for posting advice and guides and discussing creativity – and you out there can get involved. We may have a mailing list for socializing, for people who know each other and want to chat.
What do you think? Go take the poll!
– Steven Savage