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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 9:28 am    Post subject: myArmoury.com focus         Reply with quote

Split from another topic

Russ Ellis wrote:
It's interesting to me that Western Arms and Armor seem to predominate in this forum where the katana seems to dominate elsewhere... I wonder why that is... Any thoughts?


The current focus is certainly not due to a lack of trying to expand into other areas. Happy We've put out a general call for articles and we're still hoping to see more people volunteer to help us diversify our offerings. I don't know if we need articles on other topics in order to get forum participants interested in the same topics or if we need to get forum participants in order to get articles.... (chicken-egg)

The focus and interests of our current author base has led to the focus we currently have. People tend to write about what they're interested in. Our team and our other authors have tended to have the same focus up to this point. An expansion of the author base would likely lead to an expansion on topics. Our little team and some of our other authors have been pretty prolific (especially of late), but we'd love to add to our efforts with other authors and hopefully other topics.

We'd put up good reviews of Eastern and Middle-Eastern weapons if we had them. Ditto with articles on those topics. Several people have mentioned in passing on the forums that they'd like to contribute articles on other topics, but much of that talk hasn't panned out. We'd love it if it did.

I think expanding the breadth of topics in our articles and reviews would help attract forum participants interested in those topics. Right now, we may have many JSA practitioners (for instance) who find the site but don't register and stick around because they don't see articles and discussions that pique their interest. I'd love to change that, as many of us would.

Happy

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Chad has pointed out, we've tried from day one to increase our diversity. We welcome discussions and content submissions from just about any culture and era.

Our reviews and articles are eurocentric because that's what the people who generate that content are interested in. I won't write an article on the katana or the shamshir becuase I know very little about them. However, we certainly encourage and desire content and discussion in these other areas.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I understand you guys points about the articles, but do you see this site as being mostly article driven? For me it isn't certainly. I check the forums here multiple times a day, in comparison I spend a much smaller amount of time reading the articles.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
I understand you guys points about the articles, but do you see this site as being mostly article driven? For me it isn't certainly. I check the forums here multiple times a day, in comparison I spend a much smaller amount of time reading the articles.


That's only because you don't see the numbers.

This site is accessed every day by a huge number of people who never log onto the forums much less participate in them. We're being accessed by a lot of schools and universities, as well as being linked as an informational resource on a lot of search engines. You don't reach this level of success by just being a chat room. While the discussion forums are an enjoyable part of this website, they've never been our primary focus.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 3:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
I understand you guys points about the articles, but do you see this site as being mostly article driven?


I can't speak for everyone on the team or for Nathan, but I see the site as content-driven. The forum is an important part of that, but is just one part of the overall content. Forum content and article content feed each other in a cycle. The forums, articles, albums, and collections all draw visitors to the site.

I see articles as very important and a big part of the site (otherwise I wouldn't have spent so much time writing them Happy ). Discussion boards can be a dime a dozen, as they say, but not many feature the amount of articles and reviews that we do. The many different types of content we offer makes this place unique.

Edit: Patrick, get your own brain! We posted at the same time, and we totally agree on this point.

Happy

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 3:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chadmeister wrote:
Patrick, get your own brain! We posted at the same time, and we totally agree on this point


Jedi mind trick young padawan.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 4:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
I understand you guys points about the articles, but do you see this site as being mostly article driven? For me it isn't certainly. I check the forums here multiple times a day, in comparison I spend a much smaller amount of time reading the articles.


I don't know if it's all that important how I see the site, but rather, what the site actually is. Currently there are 11 users browsing our forum and 78 on the other parts of the site. It's a particularly slow moment, but the ratio is consistent with what it normally is. If that doesn't show how the site's focus is weighted, I don't know what does. I've said it before: anybody can throw up a forum and call it a Web site. It takes real talent and dedication to build a content-driven site with consistent updates that generates the traffic that we do.

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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The content part of myArmoury (articles, reviews, etc.) is in particular why I started visiting this site as often as I do and eventually registered into the forums. When there is consistently new content offered and something fresh on the home page (at least in my opinion) more people start clicking around which leads to more discussion in the forums, which in turn through various means generates more content. . .

People generally like to hang out where there is something going on. This is in comparison to another fairly popular sword-related web site (for use as a clear example only and which shall remain nameless). The "site which shall remain nameless" has a very long-standing, large, and heavily frequented system of forums. What makes it little more to me than a place to browse for good deals is that I haven't seen any new content (the daily traffic of the forums excluded) for months (if not a year or more, my memory failing me). Further, although informative and well-written, the subject matter of the last "new" content was a bit of a niche attraction (and that's saying a lot considering this hobby), repetitive (the same subject was the focus of multiple articles as if one author did not realize the other had written/published an article. To clarify, it felt to me like the site's administrators didn't really have a sense of purpose, as if the articles weren't published together or in series as a focus topic but rather as "whatever happened to be written for us to publish at the time"), and I stress again the content hasn't changed since I started visiting THIS web site. No matter how much is happening in the forums, no matter what good discussions and information wait just beyond the front page of the site, to me the whole thing seems "dead" and that it is survived solely by the weight and longevity of the forums.

Now, please, don't anyone take the above statements the wrong way as slamming or insulting in any way the other site described. These are just my (I believe fairly critical) observations, opinions, and the examples used simply clarify and underscore my thoughts. To be perfectly honest, I would like very much to see the other site come as alive as this one - strong competition keeps everyone on their game and in the end, more good information and solid places to discuss and learn mean everyone wins.

I'd say this is my $.02, but I think you all got about a quarter Wink

Edited to clarify who was being spoken about when


Last edited by Jonathon Janusz on Fri 13 May, 2005 4:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonthan,

I can see some of the points you made to having some merit. Things have seemed a little lop sided as far as content of late. But, then with the amount of members this site has, I believe, it's should be an all-around, joint effort, on everyone's part to make this site stay fresh. I'll be the first to admit, that yeah, I could be doing more,but like everyone else, finding the time is a hard thing. That's where the part of everyone doing a little takes some of the burden off of the few.
On the same note, I must applaude the efforts of those that DO diligantly work hard to make this site what it is and what is has become for so many. This wonderful, addictive and sometimes insanely obsessive (words from me wife) hobby that we've been drawn into will only truly survive if others are stimulated not only by the shiny, sharp,pointy things that we so much admire and crave, but by ALL the aspects that encompass it as well.

So with that, guess I need to make the time to finish up some projects I've been try to do and hopefully add a little more color and texture to what is, by far, a grand web-site for the sword-a-holic,armour loving peoples of the world.

My 2 pence worth and I hope I didn't babble too badly, it's late for me......

Bill

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 12 May, 2005 9:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Goodwin wrote:
Things have seemed a little lop sided as far as content of late.


Care to clarify this a bit for us Bill? Just so we know were we may need to focus our attention.

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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 3:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK Patrick,

Just with the poll the Russ recently finished up, there seems to be a greater interest / influx of Knightly based discussions and sword reviews as of late. Not to say EVERYTHING has been geared toward that particular interest. But again, this was just my humble observation, not made to ruffle feathers.

I think it is fantastic that alot of people come not for the forums but for the information / research aspect of myArmoury. In the presentations that I've done for schools, churches and other groups, I've tried to make a point in put interested parties in contact, rather directly or indirectly, with the fine resources here. The post card / promo thingys Nathan gave me at Atlanta last year have been a great calling card, so to speak. I've given these to a number of history teachers for quick access to here for more information about not only period weapons,but just general info. as well.


Bill

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 6:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How interesting, I had no idea that the forums were such a small part of the traffic on the site! Shows my own personal proclivities I suppose. Happy Please don't misunderstand I have no problem with the focus of this site being (by default if not by design) on things Western was just trying to get some ideas of some of the root causes. Upon reflection on what you guys have written I think perhaps it IS something of a catch-22 situation. We don't have a lot of Easter/Mideastern/Ethnographic content therefore those who are most knowledgeable about such things don't visit often or write articles which means that we don't have Easter/Mideastern/Ethnographic content which means that...
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Goodwin wrote:
Just with the poll the Russ recently finished up, there seems to be a greater interest / influx of Knightly based discussions and sword reviews as of late. Not to say EVERYTHING has been geared toward that particular interest. But again, this was just my humble observation, not made to ruffle feathers.


The recent leaning toward those topics is simply due to the recent productivity of the people writing on those subjects. Happy If we had more people actively writing good articles on other topics, we'd publish them.

Nathan's call for articles was an effort for us to expand our offerings to the public. We'd love more responses to it.

Bill, I know you're a later-period guy, so if you want to see more of that stuff, please feel free to post forum topics to try to generate interest and discussion. If you have local buddies (or not local) that share your interests, invite them here. If you're interested in expanding into doing more article writing, get in touch with us about topics.

Happy

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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad,
I whole heartly agree with what you have said. There are some things I've been trying to work on,but finding/making the time to do so has been a real booger lately. And, once again, my hat off to those that DO contribute their time/effort to write articles & reviews. It's not as easy as it may seem once you get into it. That should be a decent part of the passion of this hobby, not just the collecting, ooo-ing & ahh-ing of nice pieces, but the passing on of the knowledge & experiences that we collectively share.

In doing the recent sword presentations locally, just in that respect of being able to share, inform, and excite others is most rewarding, almost as getting a new addition to one's collection.

I'll shut up now and leave the topic to others.

Bill

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Goodwin wrote:
But again, this was just my humble observation, not made to ruffle feathers.


No ruffling of feathers here Bill. I'd just like specifics like that so we know where we need to focus our efforts. Around here we're big into growth, and it's easier to do with feedback.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Thomas Jason




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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used to run a site called Shinsakuto.org that was made specifically to chronical the works of modern Japanese swordsmiths. I had to close the site down because the software that was put together for me by a friend became corrupted and I was unable to do further updates.

I'm not a technical person, but I would love to be able to bring it back in some form. If folks are interested, and the myArmoury team is willing, I'd love to bring it back as a subsection of the site.

The skeleton of the site is here: http://www.lostdays.org/shinsakuto/articles.asp
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Daniel Parry




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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that focus-issues aside (that's driven by the readership and is a natural weighting towards medieval stuff by the readers and contributors) the real issue as discussed above in many forms is how we, as the readership, contribute, whatever the area of our interest.

I think the recent call for articles was very correct. I responded with a tentative suggestion for a small-sword article, which in responding to this thread I guess I am now honour-bound to submit and will work on in July when current work glut is over.

The forums on this site are great in that there are so many people with diverse knowledge willing to answer questions and talk about a range of issues. But given the vast breadth of knowledge and historical interest shown on the forums, we could all (the readership that is) do better in terms of submitting articles. I don't mean just reviews of recent antique or recreation additions to collections, but articles about the history of the pieces. Why were made the way they were, who used them, and how and why. Given the range of knowledge that appears on forums, I think we all should have 1 or 2 articles in us. Everyone knows something someone else doesn't in this field. Look at the recent forums on jousting (camels as an option), and heraldry. There's a few good articles in there. I'd read them at any rate.

So, whatever our particular area of interest, we're not going for a Pullitzer Prize. But if we spend a few hours of reading and online research and museum visits into an area which interests us, we can add to the stock of articles and information on the site and make it even more deserving of access by educational institutions and 'lay-men' rather than just us 'sword-oholics.

My two shillings. Damn - I guess I just completely committed myself to submitting an article.

Daniel
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This particular remark from Jonathon caught my eye:
Jonathon Janusz wrote:
...To be perfectly honest, I would like very much to see the other site come as alive as this one - strong competition keeps everyone on their game and in the end, more good information and solid places to discuss and learn mean everyone wins....

I found the reference to competition a little curious, since myArmoury.com is not a commercial venture. I tend to associate competition with athletic events and with commercial ventures. I had not really thought about this site having a competitive nature, since it is based entirely on the volunteer efforts of enthusiasts. However, I suppose my choice to spend 98% of my online time here was the result of a natural competition (conducted within my own brain) between myArmoury.com and 'the other site that will remain unnamed'. I think that what bothers me about the "competition" statement is that it implies, to me, that it is the responsibility of the core myArmoury Team to provide "competitive content" to keep the users coming back. (I am not, repeat not, saying that this is what Jonathon means!!) On the contrary, while the core myArmoury Team has stepped forward to provide us with an excellent platform, and probably does the majority of the 'heavy lifting' in interesting content, it is really the responsibility of the users to participate in providing that "competitive content" as much as they are able. Many of us, though, myself included, are still coming up on the very steep part of the learning curve, and getting much more out of the site that we can give back. We are fortunate at myArmoury.com in having so many knowledgeable contributors who are willing to give the rest of us the benefit of their time and effort.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: Comparison Tool         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
...I'd just like specifics like that so we know where we need to focus our efforts....

I've got one for ya. I really like the comparison tool, but, it seems to be out of date. For example, the last I checked, a few weeks ago, I don't recall seeing any of the Albion Next Gen swords in there. What would be involved in an update? I imagine this could be a lot of work.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2005 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
This particular remark from Jonathon caught my eye:
Jonathon Janusz wrote:
...To be perfectly honest, I would like very much to see the other site come as alive as this one - strong competition keeps everyone on their game and in the end, more good information and solid places to discuss and learn mean everyone wins....

I found the reference to competition a little curious, since myArmoury.com is not a commercial venture. I tend to associate competition with athletic events and with commercial ventures. I had not really thought about this site having a competitive nature, since it is based entirely on the volunteer efforts of enthusiasts. However, I suppose my choice to spend 98% of my online time here was the result of a natural competition (conducted within my own brain) between myArmoury.com and 'the other site that will remain unnamed'. I think that what bothers me about the "competition" statement is that it implies, to me, that it is the responsibility of the core myArmoury Team to provide "competitive content" to keep the users coming back. (I am not, repeat not, saying that this is what Jonathon means!!) On the contrary, while the core myArmoury Team has stepped forward to provide us with an excellent platform, and probably does the majority of the 'heavy lifting' in interesting content, it is really the responsibility of the users to participate in providing that "competitive content" as much as they are able. Many of us, though, myself included, are still coming up on the very steep part of the learning curve, and getting much more out of the site that we can give back. We are fortunate at myArmoury.com in having so many knowledgeable contributors who are willing to give the rest of us the benefit of their time and effort.


I believe what Jonathon is refering to is the natural sense of competition that comes from being involved in a similar venture. Whenever we get involved in anything we naturally want our work to be the best it can be, and to be "the best" in the field. This kind of competition is healthy since it drives everyone to continually improve. I don't think he's refering to competition in a monetary or business sense.

BTW, let's stop with the "other forum that shall remain nameless" crap. If you have the nerve to mention it step up and mention it by name. No games here folks.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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