"I've always wondered, if just one sandwich is enough for you? You seem to be packing enough nutrients... in the right places"'Clueless Hostman' IRyK

Marching forwards with confidence - plans now that we're self-hosted

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The Proctor

Manager Arc Unlocked?
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Joined:  Sep 9, 2022
Discuss anything related to this announcement here.

I've been hesitating to make this post because quite a large part of me has been patiently waiting for disaster to strike. It's been a week or two since we moved over to the self-hosted solution, and while there are still some teething pains, it seems as if the majority of issues encountered are fixable, and only affect a small number of users. The move will also take a huge burden off my finances, as hosting costs will plummet from around 200 euros a month to under 100. Self-hosting also opens up a world of possibilities for us, including in-depth customization of just about every aspect of the forum structure. I intend to take advantage of this in the coming months.

I'm also happy to have a good team of people working with me. This self-hosting process was complicated and annoying, and it was only through the efforts of extremely helpful individuals like @registered_user that it was accomplished at all. I am an amateur at these things, and I rely extensively on the support of more knowledgeable individuals to run this forum. Their efforts always deserve recognition and due credit.

Now that we are more-or-less in the clear in terms of self-sufficiency, it's time to start exploring our expansion options. TVA has a bright future ahead of it. Our reputation is steadily growing, and is overall quite positive. As time goes on, I intend to push this forum as a genuine alternative to wretched cesspools like /vt/ and reddit, even at the professional level if possible. I also see the possibility for TVA to fill various unfilled niches in the vtuber community, becoming a repository for information that any vtuber can use for their own benefit. We get nearly a million hits every month by now, and this number will likely only increase as time goes by. I remain committed to the idea of TVA having a positive impact on the vtuber industry as a whole, and we are closer to that goal than many might think.

My immediate goal now that we are self-hosted is to implement various add-ons and other small tweaks to the website in order to make it a more useful repository of information in general. I am looking at things like calendars, event timers, banners and chat integrations, all of which are intended to increase the interactivity of the website, and get eyes on as many different things as possible. Community isolation is something I intend to combat at every opportunity; I do not like it when people can simply burrow into a tiny corner of the forum and never so much as glance at other parts of it. Going forwards, I intend to focus heavily on non-intrusive methods of getting people's attention on a broad array of topics, while making it as easy as possible to find essential information.

I am also exploring ideas on how to cast our archiving nets as wide as possible. Every day, multiple little dramas break out across the vtuber sphere, and most of them are ignored or forgotten about in short order. The problem is that the perpetrators of these dramas are almost always serial offenders, who go on and start even more problems for innocent people. While we are not the vtuber secret police or vtuber Better Help, our efforts to collate and archive this information have proved genuinely helpful to a number of victimized parties. The fact is that the vtubing industry overwhelmingly consists of shy, vulnerable and emotionally unstable women, most of whom have zero professional experience and a high incidence-rate of mental illness. When these women come to me, the owner of a gossip forum and tell me that we were the only people in their entire social circle who expressed sincere concern for their wellbeing and offered unconditional help in a time of need, it underlines just how desperate the situation is.

Some of you may have heard the following quote; 'in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king'. When I first started TVA, I had no greater awareness of vtubing culture, or even streamer culture in general. I thought we were the bottom of the barrel; the shitposters, the PL-diggers, the irreverent assholes who had nowhere else to go. I thought vtubers would avoid us out of fear and contempt for our ways and our lack of 'standards' or commitment to the kayfabe. But experience has proven the exact opposite. Somehow, our community leans towards a level of emotional maturity that very few others have managed to accomplish. We have successfully excised parasocial lunatics like Spanner from our midst, and maintained a relatively objective attitude towards vtubing culture as a whole. We are not perfect, but we are the one-eyed kings of a sightless kingdom.

As a quick tl;dr; of the above rambling, here's a set of brief notes about what I plan to focus on in the immediate future;
  • More add-ons; banners, widgets, other things that improve the site's accessibility and readability.
  • A greater focus on archiving and catching 'repeat offenders'/grifters in the vtubing sphere.
  • More outreach; giving reasons for vtubers to contact us, interact with the site, etc.
  • Chat integration with Discord and/or Matrix.
  • More general vtubing info; structured activity calendars for major events, debuts, graduations.
  • User-friendly monetization; testing & analysing methods to allow vtubers to advertise things like merch drops, original songs, etc, in non-intrusive manners like sidebar ads.
  • Lists of useful information for vtubers, such as artists, riggers, technical support and how to not get scammed.
There's a lot more that's buzzing through my brain right now, but I'm going to cut things here before I hit autism critical mass. Thank you all for everything you've done for me so far. I'm proud to be an admin of a site like this. It has exceeded my expectations immensely, and I will forever be grateful to everyone who has helped make this dream come true.
 
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