Scrap the forums and restart the game pages here where there is so much more offered.
A step for that would be an easy access rating system that includes useful data like solitare, Pbem capability, complexity, CDG, Area movement and series affiliation. By all means, a separate family/euro rating page to divide the subjects.
All that is needed is an easy set of buttons to manage subs.
If this site were offered as a permanent substitute for the forum, I would regretfully write it all off. The "so much more offered" is mostly stuff I don't care about, and the interface is much more awkward.
Dav, its not like it would be long before a similar format to the forum would be in place here with links to the game pages for archive checking, FAQ and designer comments. I mean who checks the archives on the political folders and such? Topics like these remain current for the most part and would continue here as before with a slight delay as people come over.
The positive part of a switchover would allow a more visual portrayal of a game, replays and make an actual rating system by wargamers for wargamers possible without the munchkin input skewing the results all to hades like on BGG.
The old format is becoming dated IMO and this is a suggestion box idea to modernize some.
I'm interested in doing what I can to find a solution or roadmap for the forum and/or newsdesk so more information can be consolidated re: specific game titles. This is a big challenge and no set vision is currently in place. Also, there is the danger/concern this overlaps with what BGG already provides, so we want to avoid recreating the wheel.
There should be a group setting, or perhaps it's at a higher/account preferences level in which you can be emailed postings made within groups. I will try to verify this. As far as other things go, I'm not a fan of political type posts because regardless of their intent, they will only serve to split/divide membership here and cause tempers/tensions to rise, so these type of discussions, while important, are best left for other political-focused blogs/discussion forums. We do have this topic already at ConsimWorld Forum, so I think they are best left there so we can focus more on gaming-related stuff here.
There is no plan to integrate forum/news/social network into one -- the next step is to upgrade forum services and then consider a design re-haul and refresh of the news/blog site that is CSW News. My bandwidth is limited as you know given this is all done on the side, but I have active tasks ongoing in support of ConsimWorld.
If I'm reading it right, Whitmans suggestion is to not have the blog updates visible on the main page unless you opt for it in preferences.
Myself, I'd like to see the latest game forum posts first, then the news, photos, videos and music following in succession.
The group updates and blog subs can be accessed on your own page as it is done now, so more room for news, game company ads $$$, and anything game related like a button to reach a uniquely wargamish rating section unlike BGG because we don't care about the same exact things. We care that the game works as advertised, has a solitare rating, PBEM rating, amount of errata, scenarios, living rules, great to look at, area move, hex and counter or CDG base. Complexity rating in comparison to other wargames, Historical value, popularity/ sales would also be valuable.
The last time we tried this it failed due to low turn out, so a little more greasing the wheels might help including prizes of some sort. Rating more games should increase your chance of a random game prize given out monthly or whatever.