FORUM MOVING on October 1st

Hi all,

It’s been over a year since I started this forum and folks moved over from Kanji Koohii. Sadly, the forum has languished. We averaged only 26 users/day over the past three months. Of those, only four are Patrons, which doesn’t come close to covering the monthly forum cost.

I had hoped that the benefit of attaching the forum as a comment engine to UnseenJapan.com would help offset the cost of running it. That hasn’t been the case. Perhaps if I had more time to devote to it, it could grow a little more. Unfortunately, it’s at the bottom of my priority list, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Unless anyone can provide some compelling reasons to the contrary, I intend to shut down the forum on October 1st. You are free to export any posts/data you have on this site until that time. After that time, all posts and all information collected from forum members will be permanently deleted.

FWIW, I’m actively engaged in UJ’s Discord forum. If anyone is a $3 Patron or up, they’re welcome to join the discussion there. I will be focusing my attention on Twitter and the Discord forum as my primary areas of social interaction for UJ.

Thanks for coming over from Koohii and for the time and attention you’ve devoted to the forum.

Regards,

Jay

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I’d like to keep this community going, such as it is, so I volunteer to migrate the Discourse instance from their hosted plan to a self-hosted instance on a low-cost VPS.

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I’m totally down for that. Thanks for being willing to take that on!

Thanks, forums tend to take a while to get going… hopefully it will get busier around here.

@Nandemonai I wonder if it would be worth the forum being part of/linked to from Tadoku?

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I wouldn’t mind moving the forum to be part of Tadoku, but only if people would like to see that happen. The server for Tadoku is quite underutilized. I think it should be able to support a forum of this size.

I would have time in September to make this happen.

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I’m sorry to hear that it’s not sustaining itself @unseenjapan, but I’m happy to hear that there are people willing to takeover the hosting burden.

@Nandemonai and @fkb9g, once y’all decide where this will be hosted, let me know a way to contribute funding.

As for linking it to Tadoku, I think that’s a good idea. Tadoku has a much greater reach than the forum, so I think it’d be good for getting new members. It’s an event rather than just being discussion.

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I hope you guys can work out a way of keeping it going. It’s a nice forum, even if so far it’s sadly nowhere near as active as the place most of us came from.

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I will move wherever it goes, thanks all

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I support moving the forum to Tadoku world.

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I have to agree with @HelenF, this has been a super friendly forum. Thanks Jay for keeping it running this time (especially given the cost of hosting on Discourse!)

Regarding the use of the forum as a comment section for UnseenJapan articles, I will say that I have personally found many of these articles really interesting and I wouldn’t have known about them were it not for the fact that they were interspersed between normal discussion threads. On the other hand, this integration is “probably” the reason why growth of the forum has waned.

To explain that hypothesis, analysing the number of comments on each thread, and noticing how many threads are posted in each category, you can spot a pattern which reveals that the very reason why people want to come to this forum is to have discussions. I guess it is obvious, but having the news integrated into the forum may have ended up getting perceived by many as a low signal to noise ratio, such that the very thing people came to the forum for was made harder to find (due to the perceived noise). It may be a case where two things that are excellent on their own don’t form a good synergy together.

A number of excellent options have been proposed here on how to keep the forum going, and I’d be happy to follow wherever the future takes us.

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I’ve already broken the connection to UnseenJapan.com and have replaced comments with on-site native WordPress comments. I didn’t actually see a lot of comments in the end that weren’t from forum members - I’m assuming, partly, because signing up for a forum just to leave a comment is a PITA. The new system supports inline comments w/o login as well as login with a social media account.

I think it’ll be best for the forum and UJ to be completely independent. That way, forum members can focus on growing the forum and realigning it to its original purpose of supporting Japanese language learning. I’ll be happy to promote it for that purpose as well on my social media channels.

Ryan, I apologize for not responding to your email, but I appreciate the note of thanks. And I look forward to continuing to participate as a member of the new forum :slight_smile:

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I always found that there were just too many links to articles I wasn’t interested in reading. A forum should be a forum, not an endless list of links to articles. That may have put people off.

I address in the FAQ how to hide these (see below).

That said - I probably wouldn’t couple the site and the forum together again if I did it over. The WP-Discourse integration is actually pretty slow; site load times sped up dramatically when I removed it. And you do have a point that it would be better for first time visitors to see a list of topics relevant to Japanese language learning.

I am sorry to see that happen.

While I liked the forum, I have been struggling to find a method of learning Japanese that works for me quite a few times. So often I was a little ashamed to come here, since I felt that I hadn’t really progressed enough to have any business coming here.

On a related note, I noticed that my Patreon pledge to you was still linked to a credit card of mine that was replaced a few months ago. Sorry about that. I fixed that today, so that at least the next one should go through properly. Will the pledge stay in place after October 1st, or will it simply stop afterwards?

The Patreon is for all of Unseen Japan and not just the forum. Forum users who wish to stop supporting UJ will need to cancel their Patreon pledges by the last day of September to avoid being charged in October.

Thanks for clearing that up. It’s good to know that the rest of Unseen Japan will continue.

I am fine with just supporting the rest of Unseen Japan as well. So I’ll leave the Patreon support as is.

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Maybe you can plan a transition timeline with @unseenjapan.

I was planning on getting things moving this weekend, mostly with figuring out how to go about the migration. The actual migration would take place during the second half of September, I’ve taken that time off work.

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Nandemonai, just let me know what you need in terms of a data export.