Author Topic: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball  (Read 2530 times)

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Offline Admin

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The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« on: May 04, 2013, 02:11:19 PM »
Time for some member input guys!

The Admins have started to hear some talk about the forum, it's present direction, and how it has strayed from it's origins.
While change is important for growth, growth can also bring with it a loss of focus on the fundamentals.
We originally created this forum because there was (and is) no other real place in Australia for people with genuine passion for the history of the game to swap information, restoration and technical help.
Over recent years, the forum has grown both in numbers, and in the areas in which we have sections. Unfortunately, this seems to have alienated many of the original members who are not interested in the current direction and we have seen a decrease in activity in the restoration and technical areas.
As administrators, we personally would rather see one good restoration thread than ten opinions on the latest and greatest.
The difficulty is of course maintaining a forum that is the best it can be, to the best people it can have as members, balanced against honouring its grass roots.
We find ourselves at a crossroad.

As part of the impending software upgrade, we thought it timely to seek some guidance from members - and we really hope to hear from those respected people who have started to lurk rather than post. With the thoughts of members we can help shape the future of the forum. If members are not interested in change, then that may be the path forward. But please let us have your comments.
There is just one rule - members are asked as an Administrator direction not to argue against the suggestions of others. Members are free to offer support/agreement to comments that are posted, but we do not want to hear counter-arguments against the thoughts of members prepared to post. While this might seem incongruous, we want a situation where members are able to have their say freely - if there is no support for comments or common themes, the Admins will take the lack of support into consideration.

Think of it pretty much as a poll - vote your thoughts without worrying about opinionated members attacking them.

We are not wanting anyone "shot down" by members posting negatives or wanting to argue points, or reply against the thoughts of others. If you do not like or agree with a comment, then ignore it. If you are in support of a comment, post your support.
So let's hear your thoughts!!!

Offline Homepin

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 02:32:10 PM »
I agree that restoration threads (pin & arcade) are far more interesting and educational than a rant or report on the latest machine from XXXX.

I personally get great satisfaction from seeing someone assist another member to track down a fault or hard to get part - sometimes I'm pleased to say it's me but most times other members far more knowlegable than I am.

I think the current mix on the forum is fine - but that's just me. I don't have a problem with all of the threads, if I don't like one, I don't bother looking at it.

Sometimes the best threads can be the "gripe" ones if only for entertainment value but often they also offer an insight into topics etc that I had little or no knowledge of.

I often put up a new thread when I have a new board available or I am developing something - that interests ME but may not appeal to others, they can simply ignore my posts (as I'm sure many do  <.>)

People come and go from this hobby as they do from all others.
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Offline Freiherr

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 03:05:11 PM »
As the heading says, Australia's #1 Pinball Forum.
It should have everything related to pinball: news, events, collections, projects, technical, suggestions, restorations, reviews, etc. Members choose what they want or do not want to read or contribute.
If only for restorations, then rename to Aussie Pinball Restorers Forum.
A forum is only as good as the member contributions so if the membership is growing then ods are that so is member input. The content is probably grown to the point where it needs to be organised and well layed out. I mean, if you had 9 Nip Its to restore, you wouldn't do a separate restore thread for each one.
Whatever the outcome, I stress one point, pinball popularity has grown through sites like AP and the internet. Just think how quickly news, opinions, questions and answers travel around the world thanks to forums, facebook, twitter and emails. Back in the old days it was just what you talked or heard about at the local milk bar and that was it.
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If you remember playing pinball in the 70s you were having a good time.
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Offline Caveoftreasures

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 03:27:13 PM »
Forgot to mention, this is a breakdown of the stats page. (My last post on this-don't
It will/may give an idea about what people are looking for when visiting Aussie Pinball > ( * posts)

General Pinball Discussion  42455 *
Restorations  14872
Pinball Repairs / Problems & Assistance  12558
Non Pinball/coin-opp Discussion  8560
eBay sales  7194
Introduce Yourself  5787
Pinballs for sale  4892
Parts wanted  3953
News & Announcements  2890
Meets & Gatherings  2875

Behind every garage door could be a pinball collectors
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Into  Stern -JJP - Cars , Road Bikes- Jet Skis - Star Trek n Sci-Fi & Electronics    
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Online Pop Bumper Pete

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 04:39:09 PM »
Looks like I have stirred the pot  !*!

Pinball is going through a new cycle
in the past, Stern released one good machine out of every four they produced, sure there was some excitement that maybe this would be the next LOTR, never was, and so we went back to talking about the Bally/Williams (or older) machines. but older games need love and attention to keep them going, so restore and maintenance threads are active

now Stern have started producing better games, and the technology is there that even a couple of guys in a shed can do a small run of brand new pinball machines.

As somebody posted in the 'the commentary has changed' thread, it is better that there is something new happening in pinball, rather reading pinball's eulogy

As for Aussie Pinball, the site is good. That it is active is a good thing

Offline delarge

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 04:55:13 PM »
I like this forum because it is purely pinball, it doesn't get bogged down in general discussion (my two legged dog Owen died) where people start nit-picking at each other and it doesn't have constant moderator intervention and threats of exclusion to its members that bring value (and traffic) to the forum.

As someone put it before, if you don't like a particular thread, don't go near it.

Love this forum and the people on it and personally, I don't think it needs changing. It's a great time for the pinball hobby and we're all here for the same reason. The love of pinball. Whether it be EM or DMD, they're all bashing a silver ball around a big wooden box.


Offline Homepin

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2013, 04:56:38 PM »
my two legged dog Owen died

Sorry to hear that  %.%
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Offline Retropin

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2013, 05:27:35 PM »
Not an easy thread to post on and i have thought out my reply before posting.. hopefully, ive thought it through enough.
I havent been around for a while and didnt log in for a few weeks as ive really had enough of threads and posts that really have no place on the forum. Ive taken a look at Pinside and had some small activity on there in the hope that it was different.. it isnt. So many threads about what people think will come next from Stern or JJP.. its all rubbish and just fills the forum with fluff.. this is how i see AP these days.. lots of posts.. very few of substance, many are just not remotely pinball or coin operated. Its fast becoming a place of gossip and fantasy.. plenty of posts but fewer posters and those few posters seem to post anything, no matter how trivial. Post after post about whos emailing who.. what would happen if this scenario ever became real.. no need to go on - weve all read them.
Ok.. so AP is a great forum and we need to keep it that way.. its a lot smaller than Pinside which is good but in all honesty, its just the same.
When AP started out, its agenda was to be a forum that placed itself above all others with quality over quantity.. that is what we wanted it to be.. those that sat here on day 1 trying to start a discussion will attest to that.
I know a forum evolves and i  said  to Nino right at the start that one day it will take on a life of its own and be bigger than the individual personalities.. this isnt quite true with AP as some members seem to post like a dog scenting a tree.
Needless to say, its not for me and rather than have a forum full of piffle to look at, like some before me, id rather walk away.

Offline GORGAR 1

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2013, 05:29:02 PM »
Leave AP as it is its an awesome forum, pinballs massive at the moment and with young guys getting into the hobby and new great titles coming out it'll only get better and more popular its a great time for the hobby. I enjoy the resto's and the story's from the older members about the old days about operating pinballs the most, my taste has changed and I'm now into the new sterns but I regularly go to meets around Melbourne and Victoria and love playing all the older games to :-)
Big thanks to the guys that run this site your hard work is much appreciated :-)


Offline swinks

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2013, 06:12:56 PM »
Where to start........

I saw Pete's post the other day and I can understand where he is coming from, and have noticed a decline in posting from some of the well liked knowledgeable posters (Gav, Mike, Nino, Nick and many more) - which personally I miss as many of the posts are of high quality.

Like a few of the guys have said AP is a great site and provides alot of information for all walks of life who are into pinballs - whether it be restoration, general, new, sales, modifications etc which I think it is a great thing. I think if it reverted to a restoration site only I think the member numbers would plummet and maybe the lurkers would rise (as a percentage of poster's to members).

I do have to take some responsibility for the site's change -  good in some people's eyes and bad in other people's eyes - SORRY. I say this because I pushed for the Mods section to start up as with a few other sections. I say SORRY because possibly making these sections more noticeable possibly changed the traffic through the site on a daily basic. Sorry to the guys that hate modifications and live for restorations.

On the flipside having a site that is quite varied grabs the newbies whether they are in it for the new Sterns or in it to restore a old classic but you can only hope the guys into the new style of pins say to themselves - I want one of those old classic pins one day. But for example for me in my particular time of life I have 2 young kids and so restoring is out of the question (time wise) but have 2 that I want to do a full restore so this site serves as a great source of information and the people are very happy to help and one day will frequent that section.

As for posts, many people have told me when crap has hit the fan to hang in there and they appreciate my style of posting - informative and helpful where I can with most posts being interesting. I was one of those kids that got bullied and bashed so I try never to dish it out to others and try to show respect at all times. There are always others that want to stir crap up or are frustrated with some and some obvious to how they say things could upset others. But if a thread name or the category does not interest me I just don't open it so I avoid the crap or the threads of non interest to me.

Ok one suggestion, and historically people don't like my suggestions for what ever reason but feel this may aid everyone so here goes and don't know if it is possible.

When you login to AP you choose a section to be diverted to, either

Old School - has the restorations, repairs, Nostalgic and the like in this section

New School - has the modifications, pin shows, general pinball chit chat, sales, trades, reviews, sited, new pins, custom pins etc

I believe most people will create a shortcut straight to the devision they like most and then there is less likely cross over of guys stirring others up with mindless crap in particular people's eyes. But say myself might visit New School 6 out of 7 days so the Old School guys don't have to see me post 10 posts of Metallica videos  ^.^ like I did today - Sorry, but when I have a problem or am curious of pin repairs or restorations I log into the Old School section. Also maybe for the old school section have a strict rule of no crap talk so the threads there are strictly informative and the mods have the right to keep it just informative. Also when you log in to which ever section you can only see say the 15 most recent posts of New School and likewise in the Old School section, but when in say Old School you don't see the recent post activity of the New School Section.

Also I believe if you have not logged in or not a member you should not be able to open threads maybe just see the index to sweeten a new member in that might want to contribute. Other sites don't allow you to see beyond the index and does not allow a thread to be viewed.

This is just an idea and maybe a way to have the best of both worlds. I don't know if it is possible or too much hassle but in the end Nino and Nick setup up this site with a goal / direction and we need to respect that if it is their wish to change it so be it.

Good luck with the new direction of the site and happy for what ever direction you choose.

Kind Regards

Offline Boots

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2013, 06:37:02 PM »
I don't think it really matters what posts are put up as long as it is about Pinball.
I chose to ignore the threads I am not interested in as I am sure most others do also.
My preference is mostly the restoration threads and the technical help threads, both getting help from others and providing help where possible.
It's always good to see what new toys Mike (HOMEPIN) is coming up with.

Offline Pintoxicated

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2013, 06:56:45 PM » 2 cents worth.

I will try to keep this short.  I totally understand where everyone is coming from but in this case dare I say, we need to look at the glass half full.

Pinball has and is undoubtedly evolving and I believe that we, as a forum, need to evolve with it or run the risk of becoming irrelevant.  There is absolutely no reason why we cant embrace both the old and the new, as others have done before us.  

For me, basically leave the forum as is.  There isnt anywhere near as much rubbish on AP as other forums such as a member whinging that his bonsai trees had been eaten by snails.  Yes, this was a thread on another pinball forum.  As others have mentioned, if we dont like a thread or post simply ignore it.

The mods do an excellent job in keeping the forum under control and I would like to throw my whole hearted support behind them.

It is great to see that the admin guys are actually taking this approach and putting it out there for everyone to have their say.  It would not happen else where that's for sure.  

So wrapping up, I believe we leave things as we are and perhaps review this topic again in 3 or 6 or 12 months time as the need arises.  AP must ensure it remains relevant to the entire pinball community.
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Offline pinball god

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2013, 07:59:24 PM »
I don't mind the way the forum is. Again you don't need to look at things that don't interest. I do find that a lot of threads turn nasty and some try to convert to the unconverted when in my case I don't mind a persons opinion but don't force me to agree or at the least make me feel I am lesser a person.

So leave its place as is but close a thread pronto if people great agro and hopefully they will learn that topics won't last if it goes in that direction.

Personally I'm finding a lot of tech threads are ignored for want of a better word and few and far between. I do want to see more restos too. Thanks
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Offline studley67

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2013, 08:13:45 PM »
i can't quite see the point of this excersize,unless you admin already have decided on a direction that you wish to enforce.I personally think it is fine as it is,balanced and informative.while being entertaining.

you will ultimately decide as "you" own the forum.

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you

Offline noj472

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Re: The Future Direction of Aussie Pinball
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2013, 08:27:48 PM »
As a newbie to the forum (5 months and counting) I wouldn't change a thing. I like the layout and design of the site which is what usually puts me off forums. When I was bitten by the pinball bug late last year I needed to find out more about this awesome invention. Aussie Pinball not only helped me learn and grow a passion for Pinball, it also helped me with my first ever purchase of a machine.

My two cents....
Thanks all for your info and I'm looking forward to reading future restoration, for sale and general pinball discussion threads.

« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 08:29:54 PM by noj472 »