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 Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond

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M
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PostSubject: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:38 pm

We need a re-branding. Other forums may be content with a drop in custom whenever their focal point slides from public view, but we pride ourselves on being an active and essential den of cultural commentary, camaraderie and class. We refuse the possibility of stagnation. I know that some here are opposed to change but, to put it bluntly, the choice has become one of "change or stagnate", or even possibly "change or die". We've no further avenues left to pursue in recruiting people here through James Bond, a situation which only has ANY chance of changing in 18 months time when a new Bond film turns up. At best, this forum will be on it's arse for over a year until a strong Bond 24 news chain wakes up whatever members we still have left by then.

Imagine this forum as a restaurant on TV's Kitchen Nightmares, if you will. The food is stale and old, the decor and the brand name no longer inspire customer confidence, we've lost a slew of once-regular customers and aren't attracting new ones. In this instance, I need to assume the Gordon Ramsay role and reverse all of this before it's too late. The time for making futile attempts and suggestions to save our Bond forum is now long passed. We need to take action quickly but smartly to attract new customers whilst keeping the ones we still have.

I'm aiming to have a re-branding set in place by the end of the month, accompanied by a masses-friendly front page layout where fans of any aspects of culture will be far more tempted to jump straight in. This forum has masses of potential to attract fans of music, news, sport, cinema, filmmaking, and of course niche markets such as Bond, Trek, Marvel etc. In short, we need to maximise our reach by focusing our "point of sale" (the name, the banner, the forum layout) on EVERYTHING we have to offer.

And I really hope that everybody here can contribute ideas and solid submissions towards our rebranding, because the members here are still and always will be the driving force behind these forums.

And, don't worry, Bond will still be as big a part of this place as he's ever been, those topics/sections are going nowhere and our Bond emphasis can always be re-emphasised in the run-in to Bond 24.

In this section, you will find topics relating to each and every aspect of our re-designing. Please use those great imaginations of yours and contribute any ideas you may have in order to keep us positioned as the definitive go-to forum for cultural commentary.

Regards,


M
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:50 pm

OK, these are a few of my ideas for the re-branding of the banner and the tag-line:

Pastel colours attract young people. I have been told this by a sales rep for a tobacco company. Look at the colours in this new Golden Virginia Smooth roiling tobacco:



This pastel colour or something approaching it would set us apart from all of the other main James Bond forums - CBn, AJB, MI6 Community and Universal Exports. It would also attract more young people - especially much-needed women members.

The new tag-line, Moonraker inspired:

Bond and Beyond - Where all other James Bond forums end...this one begins!


What do other BaB members think of this as a possible way forward?

I was on MI6 Community yesterday and when I mentioned BaB some of the members said "BaB? What's that?". That's how serious things have become. As M says above, we change or we die. Just look how few members have signed in over the last 99 hours - about 29! We can do a lot better than that, surely.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:15 pm

We need a new name. Our recruitment via the Bond angle has gone as far as it can. Sure, the title can remain something BondIAN, but not something which pigeonholes us out of recruiting members who may hate James Bond.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:50 pm

Can we also please refrain from adding polls to any of the questions in this section, because first of all we barely have a day's worth of suggestions by barely half a dozen members and secondly the onus should remain on the question and not a poll, to hopefully encourage ideas and suggestions. We can always poll stuff in a few weeks' time if necessary, and at least once everybody's had a chance to submit ideas. Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:06 pm

This quote is what we should all be focusing on:

M wrote:
a masses-friendly front page layout where fans of any aspects of culture will be far more tempted to jump straight in. This forum has masses of potential to attract fans of music, news, sport, cinema, filmmaking, and of course niche markets such as Bond, Trek, Marvel etc. In short, we need to maximise our reach by focusing our "point of sale" (the name, the banner, the forum layout) on EVERYTHING we have to offer

After the "rebooting", we may not get another shot at it, and a badly-done reboot could kill the forum here for good.

Suggesting restrictive, "exclusive" or "elitist" forum names at this point in time strikes me as beyond ridiculous. Bond And Beyond has become restrictive enough in that it has failed to attract members from outside of Bond circles, so to go with another Bond reference or anything else which sounds exclusive or limiting would just be another nail in our coffin. We need a forum name and front page which any of us could recommend to any of our friends, and for those friends to have at least one thing on that front page to hook them in enough to bother registering. If one of us were using a music forum elsewhere or a Star Wars, World Cinema or football forum, there should be enough variety on our front page and variety implied through our name for us to be able to offer members of those other forums an invite they would accept.

We can't take chances with this. People have walked away from this place, and people are still walking. Khan and Timmer, two of our most outspoken members, have just chosen to have their opinions neutered/silenced and walk the warning tightrope at MI6 Community rather than post freely as trusted MODS here. If that's not a bloody wake up call for us, then God help this place.

Everybody needs to help M here, but in doing so we need to respect the parameters he set out in his opening post in this section. If we don't aim broadly with this reboot, then at best we'll stagnate and at worst we'll die, I 100% agree with M on that. The facts are there in black and white in the forum statistics. So get real, guys. This place is worth saving.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:26 am

Hello

This will be my only post here. It's well meant but I accept it might be a hard read.

All the name changes and pastel colours (seriously?) in the world aren't changing the reputation this place has, which is basically as a bin for embittered ex-members of other Bond sites that persist without you.

It may have gratified to have somewhere to vent about the perceived/actual injustice of being dumped by, or storming out of, other Bond sites but writing as an ex-mod on MI6, all this place was was a kind service to those sites for housing the bitter or banned and very funny to watch you slowly realise that even given a totally blank slate to start with, however much you whined about MI6, you couldn't actually work together to produce anything very much.

That was telling - you may have had very little to contribute to the other sites after all, if this was what you could do. Therefore no loss to them and no injustice.

More constructively...

You're probably right to ditch the public connection to Bond. It hasn't served you well and only encourages your more demented members to stir old grudges uselessly rather that devise anything new for you.

Bond is a pretty limited interest when in downtime between films.

How about just calling yourself FilmForum or something equally bland? At least that might get some passing traffic.

How about producing some original work about Bond to provoke discussion, not just being an embittered whining board? MI6 has articles. CBn has fewer articles and they seem a bit hit and miss but they have them. AJB doesn't seem to have articles but makes a play of being a collector forum, which helps it stand out. This place just... Moans. The member who pushes his own blog pieces, if they ever get written - if he's keen on this place, why not publish here instead? That might be an article of faith.

You might not change that much as it's still the same angry people on here - would you want to meet you, whining on about how dreadful the other sites are yet having actually done nothing constructive?

You're better off not concentrating on Bond and dropping any immediate connection to it; it hasn't been a success for you. In a pretty overcrowded / well-catered for small Bond sector, the forum is a bit of a freakshow and amounts to little else. The other sites can watch some fairly notorious names fighting it out and moaning and screaming at passing cars like drunken tramps.

Sorry. You have had a grand opportunity but couldn't get over yourselves. The danger in any relaunch is that it's still you lot behind it all.

I'm out of Bond fandom now. I suspect I'm banned. I know that could have been more friendly but - if only do this - do take it as honest.

Bye.

A Watcher.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:20 am

A Watcher wrote:
You might not change that much as it's still the same angry people on here - would you want to meet you, whining on about how dreadful the other sites are yet having actually done nothing constructive?

Is that supposed to be a question? Reread the second half of that sentence, make the necessary corrections and it might make some sense.

That said, while somewhat snide and bitter in tone, your post is helpful. I'll respond in full later.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:24 am

I think you get the drift absolutely fine. The only creativity on display is splenetic ways to moan about others. I appreciate my tone is exactly that. That's the point - not fun to read.

The rest is tumbleweed.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:26 am

Largo's Shark wrote:
A Watcher wrote:
You might not change that much as it's still the same angry people on here - would you want to meet you, whining on about how dreadful the other sites are yet having actually done nothing constructive?

Is that supposed to be a question? Reread the second half of that sentence, make the necessary corrections and it might make some sense.

That said, while somewhat snide and bitter in tone, your post is helpful. I'll respond in full later.

Yes, we need to attract these sort of members who make constructive criticisms as an outsider. We either learn from these criticisms from an outsider, adapt in accordance with them, or we die. It really has come to that here on BaB. The perceived snideness or bitterness of A Watcher's post is a side issue - a red herring, if you will.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:32 am

A Watcher wrote:
I think you get the drift absolutely fine. The only creativity on display is splenetic ways to moan about others. I appreciate my tone is exactly that. That's the point - not fun to read.

The rest is tumbleweed.

I want to put it on public record that I am more than willing to contribute an article or articles on James Bond here on BaB if a Main Page a la CBn, MI6 and BaB is created.

I think that A Watcher raises many valid points. I want to help BaB out in any way that I physically can.

We do need to get rid of the moaning image as it's off-putting to potential new members. It needs to stop. We as a forum community need to move on past old grievances between us and MI6 or CBn or wherever.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:35 am

A Watcher wrote:
The only creativity on display is splenetic ways to moan about others.

Isn't that true for most forums? In all their forms, most amount to little more than sounding boards for armchair criticism.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:43 am

Largo's Shark wrote:
A Watcher wrote:
The only creativity on display is splenetic ways to moan about others.

Isn't that true for most forums? In all their forms, most amount to little more than sounding boards for armchair criticism.

I don't want to put words in his/her mouth, but I think A Watcher means BaB has a reputation, deserved or otherwise, for being partly a collection point for embittered ex-members of other Bond forums or sites. This negative moaning drives away other members and stops us from potentially getting new ones while this continues. I take that as what A Watcher means and I think he/she does have a point.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:07 am

You expressed it more lucidly than I did. That is what I meant.

I think all I am trying to say is that the other sites - they have their weaknesses - came out of a positive emotion, a love of Bond. This one was created as a splinter or at least in angry reaction, and it does have an aura / pall of negativity about it (I appreciate I am not helping much there).

My suggestion is that you look at the positive reasons why you like Bond, then assess whether you truly add anything to the existing sites, other than trying to convince yourselves you do. They seem comprehensive to me, but I might be wrong - but if there are few distinctive positive Bond reasons to keep this noticed, then perhaps it is time to be positive wider, with Bond a part. If you take yourselves out of the probably over full Bond pool and go wider, it might release you from all the anger and allow you to find a positive purpose.

If you don't, you might just remain a splinter or protest group but it's a pretty limiting protest with a narrow reach. If it's not shared widely enough, which it probably isn't.

Time to feed the baby. Night.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:19 am

A Watcher wrote:
You expressed it more lucidly than I did. That is what I meant.

I think all I am trying to say is that the other sites - they have their weaknesses - came out of a positive emotion, a love of Bond. This one was created as a splinter or at least in angry reaction, and it does have an aura / pall of negativity about it (I appreciate I am not helping much there).

My suggestion is that you look at the positive reasons why you like Bond, then assess whether you truly add anything to the existing sites, other than trying to convince yourselves you do. They seem comprehensive to me, but I might be wrong - but if there are few distinctive positive Bond reasons to keep this noticed, then perhaps it is time to be positive wider, with Bond a part. If you take yourselves out of the probably over full Bond pool and go wider, it might release you from all the anger and allow you to find a positive purpose.

If you don't, you might just remain a splinter or protest group but it's a pretty limiting protest with a narrow reach. If it's not shared widely enough, which it probably isn't.

Time to feed the baby. Night.

Well, thank you. You very much bring something to the table, A Watcher.

Do stick around. You may be pleasantly surprised by what will happen here on BaB. I and plenty of others think that this place has bags of potential - it just needs a little gentle prodding in the right direction.

And yet, I do not think that the last chapter on BaB can be written. It can surely still hold onto its winning hand if meaningful reform comes before its too late...

I think that it will.

We need to believe in that as a forum.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:15 am

Are you Andrew Lucas by any chance, A Watcher? I can't speak for everyone here, but I'm well past any petty grudges towards MI6's staff (or ex-staff). Not that it matters much, just curous.

Your advice is the most honest and helpful we've had since Ambler was last here. Since we're always looking from the inside out, we have no clue how we appear to other Bond forums, let alone the wider internet (if there's any interest at all - probably not). It brings us down to earth.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:28 am

Largo's Shark wrote:
Are you Andrew Lucas by any chance, A Watcher? I can't speak for everyone here, but I'm well past any petty grudges towards MI6's staff (or ex-staff). Not that it matters much, just curous.

Your advice is the most honest and helpful we've had since Ambler was last here. Since we're always looking from the inside out, we have no clue how we appear to other Bond forums, let alone the wider internet (if there's any interest at all - probably not). It brings us down to earth.

Yes, indeed. I meant to make that point earlier in the thread. It's nice to get the views of an outsider on how exactly we are perceived as a forum on the Internet, warts and all, to quote Oliver Cromwell. This A Watcher has helpfully provided us with here with his well-written and thoughtful posts. I'm reminded of the final lines from Robbie Burns famous poem on conceitedness (namely 'To a Louse') that seem appropriate in summing up this theme of the intervention of the outsider:

'To a Louse'


"O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!"
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:31 am

While I agree with much of what "A Watcher" had to say (a lot of it echoing in a harsher way the points I was making in my initial rebranding posts and subsequent comments on the matter, also some of Laz's comments on the same), I disagree strongly at some members here being deemed as merely embittered MI6/CBners. Sure, many registered here out of discontent with other forums, but some of these members at their best have the kind of intelligence, resourcefulness, wit and sometimes flat-out brilliant writing skill I've yet to see on any other Bond forums. The problem, as "A Watcher", myself and others have already noted, is not only that we are limiting our talents as posters through an over-emphasis on Bond, but also we don't have a set-up here which allows some of our excellent members to flourish in the downtime between Bond films. Our rebranding will bring everything our members excel at discussing right to the front and centre of the forums here and will free us from any kind of perceived "competition" we were (wrongly, because of our limited financial resources and limited visibility) deemed to have had with the likes of MI6 or CBn. The forums will remain a great place to discuss Bond, but will become an equally great place to discuss everything else as an equal concern. There was always a reason for the "And Beyond" in our forum title, which is what was always intended to set us apart from the likes of MI6. We simply hadn't put enough firepower behind the "Beyond". But all of that is about to change. I know through my own interactions with several members here that there is genuine greatness within some of these people and this greatness, when properly unleashed and catered for by an appropriate forum set-up, will ensure that these forums flourish to their full potential. These forums wouldn't still actively exist and attract such intelligent posters three years after the creation of this place if all we amounted to was a bunch of people whining about MI6. But, like I said, much of "A Watcher"'s post made sense and will hopefully serve to further people's understanding of my intentions for our rebranding and the reasoning behind it.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:47 am

M wrote:
While I agree with much of what "A Watcher" had to say (a lot of it echoing in a harsher way the points I was making in my initial rebranding posts and subsequent comments on the matter, also some of Laz's comments on the same), I disagree strongly at some members here being deemed as merely embittered MI6/CBners. Sure, many registered here out of discontent with other forums, but some of these members at their best have the kind of intelligence, resourcefulness, wit and sometimes flat-out brilliant writing skill I've yet to see on any other Bond forums. The problem, as "A Watcher", myself and others have already noted, is not only that we are limiting our talents as posters through an over-emphasis on Bond, but also we don't have a set-up here which allows some of our excellent members to flourish in the downtime between Bond films. Our rebranding will bring everything our members excel at discussing right to the front and centre of the forums here and will free us from any kind of perceived "competition" we were (wrongly, because of our limited financial resources and limited visibility) deemed to have had with the likes of MI6 or CBn. The forums will remain a great place to discuss Bond, but will become an equally great place to discuss everything else as an equal concern. There was always a reason for the "And Beyond" in our forum title, which is what was always intended to set us apart from the likes of MI6. We simply hadn't put enough firepower behind the "Beyond". But all of that is about to change. I know through my own interactions with several members here that there is genuine greatness within some of these people and this greatness, when properly unleashed and catered for by an appropriate forum set-up, will ensure that these forums flourish to their full potential. These forums wouldn't still actively exist and attract such intelligent posters three years after the creation of this place if all we amounted to was a bunch of people whining about MI6. But, like I said, much of "A Watcher"'s post made sense and will hopefully serve to further people's understanding of my intentions for our rebranding and the reasoning behind it.

Indeed, well said M. You have this House's full support and confidence in your rebranding exercise. I'm speaking very much as a backbench member here on BaB. As you say, there is much talent still existing on these boards and we have now I think moved beyond CBn and MI6 bashing. I doubt that we would attract any new members here if that was all that we were in the first instance.

May I suggest that we get a Main Page onto which articles on James Bond could be posted by various different Guest Authors. This would play both MI6 and CBn at their own game. On CBn they are reduced to staff writers it seems as they have banned most contributing members under their new management. If these members come out and contribute here, we could really make this rebranding exercise more than just cosmetic - it will be a chance for real change and a resurgent and vibrant new forum.

As I've said elsewhere, I'd be more than happy to contribute Bond articles or an article here to help BaB relaunch. It would be my very great pleasure and honour. As A Watcher said, it would indeed be a true article of faith in BaB.

--Dragonpol.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:05 am

undefined wrote:
Indeed, well said M. You have this House's full support and confidence in your rebranding exercise. I'm speaking very much as a backbench member here on BaB. As you say, there is much talent still existing on these boards and we have now I think moved beyond CBn and MI6 bashing. I doubt that we would attract any new members here if that was all that we were in the first instance.

A resolve that lasted until the second sentence of the next paragraph, "This would play..." Etc. 

Inconsolable rage, as was once said.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:31 am

A Watcher wrote:
undefined wrote:
Indeed, well said M. You have this House's full support and confidence in your rebranding exercise. I'm speaking very much as a backbench member here on BaB. As you say, there is much talent still existing on these boards and we have now I think moved beyond CBn and MI6 bashing. I doubt that we would attract any new members here if that was all that we were in the first instance.







A resolve that lasted until the second sentence of the next paragraph, "This would play..." Etc. 

Inconsolable rage, as was once said.





Well, that's how you may read it, A Watcher, but it also happens to be the truth. All articles/updates are written by staff writers/mods Dustin and Jim. This is an indisputable fact. Go look it up if your IP address isn't blocked from there. If I had rage in my heart when I wrote those self-same words, I think it would have been much more apparent, let me tell you that.

Plus, gimme a break, mate. We all make mistakes. As I said, stick around and you may be pleasantly surprised!

--Dragonpol.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:19 am

I don't really know much about CBn but for MI6 it tended to be the preserve of those who they felt they could rely on to write things and spent time writing rather than just announcing they would. It may be the same for CBn, I don't know. Lot of irritation caused by people promising to deliver stuff that never then got itself produced. They probably just want to avoid that. A guess.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:49 am

A Watcher wrote:
I don't really know much about CBn but for MI6 it tended to be the preserve of those who they felt they could rely on to write things and spent time writing rather than just announcing they would. It may be the same for CBn, I don't know. Lot of irritation caused by people promising to deliver stuff that never then got itself produced. They probably just want to avoid that. A guess.



I take it the, Sir, you are here referring to me and my already behind-schedule The Bondologist Blog (you did after all refer to me in your first post here). I'm (clearly?) not a professional writer by trade so I write in my spare time as a labour of love. I have had about 13 articles published on the CBn  Main Page between 2007-2012, so I have form in this area.. I would be delighted to do the same for BaB if they are willing to trust me. But first of all, BaB needs a Main Page where said Bond etc. articles can be posted. I can assure you and the leadership of BaB that I have plenty of good ideas that should make for (I hope) interesting articles. All BaB needs to do is send me a PM with an idea of what they would like once the reformed BaB emerges at the end of June.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:32 am

Not sure what to make of the new font.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:04 pm

It doesn't work with the current theme, but I'm not opposed to it.

As to a new name, I thought of 'The Culture Club' but just realised that may run the risk of attracting embittered Boy George fans as well as embittered Bond fans?

Maybe it should it maybe be more generic? The new name has to be something that people could stumble upon while searching the web for something else. 

A brighter colour scheme actually sounds attractive to me. Provided the base (i.e. the background upon which posts are displayed) remains white or off-white.

If there's going to be a companion site, or content, I don't think it should be about Bond. At least not as a focus. I think most of us here have been writing about Bond for too long to have any interest in doing it a couple of hundred words at a time. But I do think it's a good idea. A main site with content that we produce can draw in web hits, which will dr aw in new members.
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PostSubject: Re: Announcing the re-designing of Bond And Beyond   Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:26 am

Just to remind everyone... today is June 30th - the original deadline of the forum re-branding/organising. Is this supposed to be the brave new Bond & Beyond?
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