So, it’s official – The XboxEra team have taken our arguably small, but certainly passionate and dedicated team into a new world by expanding our ambitions even further.
Not content with being a solid platform for Xbox-centric reviews, news and reporting; we wanted to be the best place for the Xbox Community to discuss their hobby, the platform and their general interests. As such, we’re pleased to announce XboxEra will now host our very own forum for all things gaming, with a slant towards towards the Xbox Platform.
If you’re reading this, then welcome. We’re glad you’re here. You might be wondering who we are, why now and what you can expect going forward. We’ll try to cover these questions as best we can, but if we don’t answer something you want to know, you can head to the forums and ask – as a team, we’ll do our best to respond.
Why Create a Forum now?
When we created XboxEra a little over a year ago, there were a couple of things that pushed us to go all out. One, that conversation and reporting on the Xbox Platform in general was either lacking or uninformed, and two – that we felt we could bring something fresh and unique to the table. High quality, well made written and video content that doesn’t pursue the “negative algorithm” of YouTube and instead focuses on the positives of gaming. In addition, a solid, well informed and most importantly – balanced – Xbox focused Podcast.
We’ve seen some frankly insane success in our relatively short tenure – we smashed the 1K subscriber barrier in less than a year, formed great relationships with publishers and developers, and our podcast has been listened to in over 40 countries worldwide. We’re currently completely self-funded, with no ads on our site or our YouTube channel.
In the last few months, we’ve seen another conversation pop up – that Xbox fans in general felt that there wasn’t a great place to talk about the platform anymore – at least, not without constant concern trolling, and overly negative toxicity for something that really should be a fun and enjoyable pastime.
So we got to thinking – what would an XboxEra forum look like? What technology should we use? Can we risk the arguably gargantuan task of running a site, a forum and a YouTube channel remotely together, from all over the world?
Of course we can. We decided to give it a try and now you’re here to take a look and see what’s what.
Great Discourse, powered by Discourse.
To the shock of many old people (including myself) we decided not to build a forum powered by phpBB or VBulletin – we wanted to go for a more modern, mobile first platform with a bunch of great features – so we chose to utilise Discourse. If you’re used to other forum software, this is going to feel very different at first. My advice to you would be – embrace it. Change is good!
Discourse is a 100% free, open source forum software with a powerful feature set, and great customisation. You’ll see some unique features you won’t find on other forums like our great ‘Table of Contents‘ feature for those epic OTs. The whole premise is based on conversation, not pages. You won’t find a next page button – it’ll just keep loading as you scroll through. It’s a mobile native application – meaning you’ll find the experience on your mobile or tablet to be just as fleshed out as it is on your desktop.
We have dynamic notifications that will let you know when someone quotes you or mentions you via the @feature. You can even choose to get an email letting you know, as well as summaries of activity if you haven’t had a chance to get online and participate. There’s an official Discourse Hub app available on iOS and Android.
Links and content from other websites will automatically embed without having to jump through hoops to post so you can concentrate on being a part of the conversation. Indeed, the community can flag problem posts for moderation, and the system will suppress the post in question, allowing the community itself to moderate spam or dangerous content allowing us to amicably resolve any disputes.
We’ve made the decision to not limit members to non-free email accounts – we appreciate not everyone has a dedicated work email or domain to use, and we have no desire to limit or gatekeep our community from jumping in. We also have social logins, allowing you to link your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and Discord accounts with the forum. Don’t forget to turn on Two-Factor Authentication to protect you and your account from any malicious intent.
We also support emojis (overuse of these will be moderated!) and we’ve even imported some custom ones from our now infamous Discord server, including the always amusing “BatPhil”.
Lastly, our forum has in-built achievements – badges that can be earned by members by participating and contributing towards our growing community.
Well, after the cat was let out of the bag earlier this week by a certain ‘dog’, it seems folks are pretty keen to get involved. So I’m pleased to announce that the forum is now available to all as we move into open beta.
I’ve given this it’s own heading because I really want you to pay attention – this will be a real world test of our back-end, so expect downtime, wobbles and other problems as we work things out and see how it handles the extra influx of activity. We’ll do our best to make it all as smooth as possible.
We have a dedicated Forum and Site Feedback thread and we’d encourage all users to shout if they encounter odd behaviour – however, be sure to read through the User Guides section to make sure it’s not something that’s just by design.
What we expect from YOU
We have a set of posting guidelines along with some frequently asked questions we expect you to have a read through. But human beings being what they are, here is the bare minimum we expect from our community.
- No Console Warring – we’re not here to promote or fan the flames of ridiculous platform wars. The whole attitude of your average console warrior is outdated and childish. We’re fine with a good joke or a silly GIF, but personal attacks based on a users platform preference will not be tolerated and will be swiftly moderated.
- No Hate Speech – We will not allow any behaviour that we deem to discriminate or attack any user based on their race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability. There is no place for this kind of attitude on XboxEra.
- Offsite Drama – Want to wax lyrical about how awful or better another community is? Don’t. Members are asked to not derail or disrupt threads with ‘drama’ from other forums or communities, or posts on social media from other members in an effort to post a personal attack.
Don’t be a horrible human being.
- Be civil . Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
- Keep it clean . Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
- Respect each other . Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
- Respect our forum . Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.
Outside of that – just bear in mind some simple things:
- It’s okay to love something more than everyone else, it doesn’t make anyone’s opinion ‘wrong’.
- Gaming is a hobby. It’s fun, remember? If you’re getting upset over video games, go take a break.
- Put some effort in to your posts – be creative, make your content engaging and fun to read.
Lastly, we get new forum software is sometimes challenging to wrap your head around. Here’s a handy user guide!
Anyway – that’s enough from me. What are you still doing here? Go and introduce yourself!
Thank you. And welcome to XboxEra.