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Expansion and Growth: A Critique of Sections - by Dragonair

Expansion and Growth: A Critique of Sections

It cannot be denied that as of September 2005 (the time of my writing this), Starmen.Net has been slowing up somewhat, if you know what I mean. Staffers (including me) have only been updating once a week at the most. The only major events in the past year have been Halloween Funfest 04, the new site design, and EBFGP 05. This may seem significant to the average bystander, but how many of us remember the days when there were three funfests a year? Why, I sure do. Why don't we do so much anymore? Is it because we've grown too big for our current shell? Has everybody lost interest? Are there just not enough new Mother games being released? Eh, who knows. I don't really know where I'm going with this, so, in an attempt to anger as many people as possible, I'll just launch into a section-by-section explanation of what I feel is the issue keeping that section from expanding.

Mother/EB0: The game is old- little remains to be discovered, really. Pretty much all that could be done is accomodating it in the same ways we do Mother 2/EarthBound. Like say, an EB0 PK Hack, an EB0DB, an EB0FGP. Well, you get the idea.

Mother 2/EB: Even less new things to be found here. All the expansion is really in fan-made content, especially the desktop stuff. More Winamp skins, more buddy icons. Also, more theories and AoE. Another also: nobody submits their screenshots and savestates and such things, which is terrible since those mediums mean that anybody can submit content.

EarthBound 64: Cancelled. Nothing can be done, really, unless we get ahold of the Spaceworld demo or something.

Mother 1+2: Nothing to put in here that can't be done in the EB0/EB and Merchandise sections. (Unless Nintendo releases it in the US, but that looks less likely with every passing day.)

Mother 3: Again, no room for growth until news happens. That'll be the day.

SSB: Lots of room for growth, but little interest. We're an EarthBound site, not an SSB site. Also, the analogy between SSB and SSBM is very similar to the one between EB0 and EB, so look at my EB0 rant.

SSBM: Bring back Fan Melee. 'Nuff said.

SSB Rev: Just like Mother 3: nothing can be done until Nintendo releases news. Sadly, this game is much more likely to happen.

Fan Art: This section is one of those that I feel is doing pretty well. Good for it.

Fan Fiction: Not too bad. It could be better if more people wrote them, but the only thing the site can do about that is either promote the IF board or hold some sort of fan fiction contest.

Poems and Songs: Many people, me included, have no poetic or songwriting talent. It's somewhat hard to do that for something as abstract as poetry, so I don't really have a suggestion.

Fan Music: Most people have no clue how to make this stuff. Again, tutorials and other informatory methods are the answer.

Fan Comics: Again, many people suck at drawing these. More leniency on sprite comics is the only answer I can think of.

Flukes: The problem most people have with these is that so many aren't funny. Perhaps it could be turned into a serious art form, though I have no clue how that would happen.

Fan Programs: The major shortage behind these is due to the lack of people who have programming ability. And generally, when people use RPG Maker and its ilk to make games, critics on the Fan Forum whine and complain about how sucky RPG Maker is and how much better all games are when they're made with actual programming languages. To those people I say: be more lenient. Not all of us have the know-how to create our own engine from scratch, y'know.

Fanimations: This section has nothing in it. I assume it takes the position Fun Stuff used to: a repository for EarthBound Flash movies and possibly also animated gifs. At any rate, it's hard to improve something that doesn't exist.

Articles/Mailbag/Forums: These sections are my favorites, heh. But I place them together because they're all very similar. The only difference is in how others respond to whatever you write. In the forums, you write whatever you want on pretty much any topic, and anybody can respond with their thoughts. In articles, you write whatever you want related to the Mother series/the SSB series/this site and for the most part, you get no response. In mailbag, you respond to whatever the mailbag staffer asks and get a response from only one person: the mailbag staffer. Note how similar all of these are. In fact, both Articles and Mailbag could be implemented through the forums- in an Articles board, members can make new topics, but not post replies. A mailbag board could work as: only the mailbag staffer can make topics, but anybody can post replies. This format would make life much easier on the mailbag and articles staffers. Speaking of mailbag staffers, it would certainly help if SimonBob updated every once in a while.

Polls: Also sort of a glorified forum, you will note. Except nobody knows who voted for what. Good as a general survey tool, I suppose, but not too much else.

Chat: Somewhat of a totally informal forum. Its problem is that people don't really talk about EarthBound in there. Also, it's kinda slow. Perhaps if regular events happened in channel #earthbound.

Radio: Get more volunteer DJs. The issue of content can be stemmed with some scheduled shows focusing on genres other than EB music.

Trivia: Not updated enough, though it's not really important other than as a fun distraction. (Sorry, Anthadd.)

Hard Trivia: This trivia actually has a point, since badges are at stake. I mostly blame Plo for never updating, though I realize he probably doesn't have time enough to update more than once a year.

Newsletter: No news ever happens anymore- Newsletter is dependent on the other sections updating. I wish it would still happen, though.

Links: Since this is the section I staff, I get to criticize it as much as possible. Really the reason that Links doesn't get submitted to is that Starmen.Net has established itself as the center of the EarthBound world on the web, so there's no real reason to start another EarthBound website. Except for a small sattelite community at EBIPM, all of the EarthBound-y action happens here at this site. The EarthBound community isn't exactly the Zelda community, where plenty of content goes around dozens of major sites, or the Wario Ware community, which sadly doesn't even really exist other than a few miniscule sites. Bah.

Merchandise: Not really a fan-generated section- no room for improvement until more things get licensed by Nintendo.

Auctions: Also not particularly fan-generated, though it is one of my favorite bits of the site.

Buyables: The site should get more deals like this. Though I suppose that would mean more Mother games need to be released first.

SM.Net Store: Yay, we love Jonk. The store does need to be more extensively promoted- wouldn't you say it belongs in the topbar more than SSB? Also, new swag would be nice, but Jonk's only one guy, who can't really do new stuff that fast.

PK Hack: I understand that lots of cool things are underway here. (Like, say, a PK Hack wiki.) Already growing at a decent rate. Cooool.

Credits: Nothing more can get done until more Mother games are released.

EBDB: I love this area. Again, no new content is being added to EarthBound, so not too much room for expansion here.

Stonehenge: Another cool section. The problem really seems to be that nobody has any idea what should be going in here, so nobody is putting anything into it.

Events: We need more events, as they really do help the site grow. The problem is that we don't really have enough prizes for contests (badges and avatars only get you so far) and that noncontests are harder to get people interested in. Otherwise, no clue.

In conclusion, there you have it- that's what I think. I hope you're either enraged or deep in thought by now, especially if you're a staffer or somebody else with power. I also hope that this site will improve in the months to come.


Other Submissions by Dragonair

Author Sort Ascending Sort Descending Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Description Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending Rank Sort Ascending Sort Descending
Dragonair Enemy View of Battle 800x600
Mother 2: Desktop: Wallpaper: Enemy View of Battle 800x600
10/10/04 0.00
Dragonair Expansion and Growth: A Critique of Sections
10047
7/31/06 0.00
Dragonair No Good Fly for a Bad Guy
Another stupid song parody. To the tune of "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" by Offspring or whoever.
11/27/05 0.00
Dragonair Putting the "U" in Improvement and Other Suspicious Mumbo Jumbo
10092
7/31/06 0.00
Dragonair xfis Got Back
One time in #earthbound... a sleep-deprived impromptu rap about xfisjmg1's wheelchair badge begun. To the tune of "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-lot.
10/8/05 10.00

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