Inworldz Forum – a sign of life

Since the start in 2009 of the virtual world Inworldz, there has been a forum for the community to use.
It has been the same forum software ( an older version of phpBB) all the time, and it has been working fine, in a technically way.

 

 

Now, the old forum has also been a place for merchants to advertise their products and shops, and for landbarons to advertize land for rent or sale in Inworldz, and there was a huge script-library with scripts for people to grap. There was also a hidden forum for all the volunteer mentors where they could discuss the challenges they encounter. Events could be advertised too and people could report bugs and other problems and get help with setiing their viewers up and so. Content-creation do sometimes act unexpected and you could always ask a question about a problem, where someone would step in with a more or less usable solution to the problem. All in all it shows a sign of life!

Lately, the last year or so, it has been infiltrated by spammers, that somehow managed to post in locked threads, bypass the moderation rule for first post and just spammed away to the nuisance for the community and the founder. So it is understandable that the founder on some point decided to find an alternative. The choice for a new community-forum has now landed on Zendesk, a Customer-service system provider, and it seems that Inworldz has chosen to use the Support-module that includes a community area and a ticket system. This also means that the old forum will close down soon with all its content to be pure deleted, unless someone find a way to import it to another forum, which is not Zendesk….

Zendesk Support is not supposed to be a forum like we know it, but it can be used as tool for communication between the founders and the residents when needed. According to Elenia, the founder of Inworldz, is it chosen to save time on moderation because the old forum has been very dramatic through times, and has demanded a lot of attention to make sure that WW3 didnt break out. Elenia has mentioned several times that she lost money on all that drama and spent way too much time on moderation. But what about all the content from the old forum then? Is it really worth to throw all that content and all the life out just to prevent spam and drama? Apparently we as residents are supposed to take care of our own posts and import it to another forum if we want to…but we dont have access to the system so it means that we have to manually copy and paste every single post that we find is important to places where no one will ever find it again because it will be spread out all over the internet by different people. It wont even matter if Elenia decide to keep a locked copy for people to look in, because the info in there cant be updated, and it will be outdated very soon.

Something that Elenia and the tech-helper Jim hasnt thought of is that no matter how much drama there is on that forum, then it is one of the forums in all opensim that is most active. Almost every day there are entertaining or interesting things to read, drama or not, and it is a sign of life. It shows the real world that in Inworldz there is life, and it is not just an empty, dull world, like the rest of opensim worlds is. It shows very clearly that there are residents that care about the world, and want to help to make Inworldz great (again…).

I wonder how many people that forum has lured into joining Inworldz as residents. I bet its many. No one just join a world without doing a little research first and the best place to find out about a world is their forum.
There are several virtual worlds out there that has a forum connected to their world and these forums are stone-dead. You are lucky if there has been a single post during the last 6 months. For me that is either a sign of lack of interest for the world or a sign of that there isnt many residents in the world. Both is needed to create a interesting world for new people to join.

Ok, there has been large groups that has left Inworldz over the reason “because of the forum”, probably because the issue escalated to the point of no return. There are also people that has left the forum, that was regular posters. But all this is just around the resident-to-resident communication. All the other stuff like the adverts, the script-library, the Q/A that so many has helped with and not to mention the events, is especially what shows the sign of life. The discussions is just pure extra entertainment.

 

Goodbye life!

Anyway! I think it is a shame that there, from the founders point of view, isnt a better solution to update/upgrade the Inworldz forum. It is all up to the residents now to create a community-page somewhere that can be found for all, both new and old residents, and we all know how that will go….

Inworldz marketplace, Yay!

icon-blue-d-marketplace-cartIt seems that Wolf Hartnell from Inworldz (http://inworldz.com/ ) finally has finished the long awaited marketplace for Inworldz’s residents. It has just opened for merchants and is expected to be open for customers soon.

Wolf’s blog: https://news.iniw.net/

This has been a loooong waiting for that marketplace. The problem is that Wolf is all alone in making of this, but it seems that he surely knows what he is doing. It has a complex architechture and a very simple user-interface, so we couldn’t wish for a better system than this I think.

 

It was last year that Wolf announced that he was working on the marketplace and I did try to convince the founders of Inworldz back then, to help Wolf, because its a huge job to make a good marketplce for a virtual world. It seemed that the founders was happy that Wolf took on the job on his shoulders, but yeah well I didnt see any specific help offered, except from just the “sure we will help wolf if he want it” offer.

That did only get Wolf to say that he wanted to do things himself and in his pace. That is also ok. It was just a good thing if that marketplace could have an official hand on it too, because what if Wolf gets tired of it, or if he can’t afford that probably expensive technical setup he has made, then Inwoldz is without a marketplace again….Ok, I am good at taking the trouble halfway, so let’s us just hope for the best.

Its the second marketplace that the Inworldz-residents can use now. The first, Inbiz, did suffer a silent dead, because of the lack of support and updating from the creator of that marketplace. Inworldz founders do not want to create a marketplace themselfes, and let it be up to the residents to do that, which means that if this resident decides to quit and go back to real life, then all the merchants and customers are left with a broken system that no one can do anything about. It is a huge job to put your products on to a marketplace and very time-consuming, plus customers have to deposit money to buy something, so if a marketplace suddenly stops working then those customers and the merchants too cant get to that money anymore. Its not good. Anyway I hope that Wolf can handle the support and doesnt get discouraged at some point, or maybe that Inworldz decide to buy the system from him, so they can take on the responsebility of running it to the end of Inworldz days.

There was also a third marketplace for a very short period of time. It just disappeared one day. Fortunately not many people had used it, because it was still in its early fase, and rumours said that the creators of that marketplace did have a butthead contest with the founders, so they decided to quit early on. Well, this is the nuisance in virtual worlds in general with things that comes and goes, and it was not the first time things just disappear, and it wont be the last time either.

Anyway, I will take on my positive hat and I am exited to put my stuff on the new marketplace. I will just give it a few weeks or so before I start the work….:)