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  1. ShocKWavE's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2010, 9:46 PM - TDH - Ready to grow? #1

    I know that this board has done what it does well, and has for a long time. Hats off for sure to The Dent for everything.

    We've seen a lot of members grow from it. That fact is both good and bad, because we learn so much but also lose valuable friends when they move on into new projects. Star Wars and Boba Fett himself have taught us all a lot, and because of that it is hard not to get interested in continuous projects.

    The community sticks around, but a lot of the seasoned vets have completed their Fett quests (well, 99% complete at least if you know how that goes). Many of the founding members of these boards are involved in other projects that are interesting but get crammed into a general forum or don't show up at all. Our community has grown in scope but are unfortunately at the same time not as active as possible. I think that there is a direct relationship between the activity and focus.

    From experience, I understand that these boards take a lot of personal investment to keep running smooth. I realize that this is far from my decision and I respect that. TDH is great as it is, very focused and full of knowledge. I just want to throw it out there that I think it would be a good time for this board to consider expanding it's coverage. There are just so many great talents in our group. There may be other similar sites, but not similar communities. Maybe it would even be inspirational to The Dent himself?

    If not, I understand. Again, just a thought as I come strolling by.
  2. TJDFett's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2010, 9:57 PM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #2

    I'm not sure exactly as to what you're advocating. How do you suggest we go about expanding our coverage?
  3. High Speed Low Drag Fett 4 Real's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2010, 10:01 PM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #3

    TJDFett said: View Post
    I'm not sure exactly as to what you're advocating. How do you suggest we go about expanding our coverage?
    Yeh I think you left out your actual idea bud...
  4. Feb 25, 2010, 10:09 PM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #4

    Great observation though I will say personally my commitment level with the hobby itself has been very thin the last months. Like all of us, I am affected by this sluggish economy. Not only I am working twice as much, but the money is below the mark. I'm simply in a holding pattern until things shakeout, which will be sooner than later at this point. I am 110% confident once things start really turning around and the economy picks up, this board will definitely pick up. I am itchin' to get my Super Trooper off the books so I can get started my ESB. I will be here a long time at this rate.
  5. Kwally89's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2010, 10:24 PM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #5

    Yeah...what Replicant Shadow said.
  6. ShocKWavE's Avatar
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    Feb 25, 2010, 10:31 PM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #6

    The majority of post are currently in "The Sarlaac Pit", which shows a great interest here for things related to costumes/props but often outside of Fett. That forum also gets filled, however, with random off topic posts which could use better seperation.

    Then, there is a "Prop Building Workshop", which is a great section, but also suggests techniques and interests outside of Fett. Optimus Prime, Cobra, Iron Man, Captain America, and so many others all work their way in there.

    Then, of course, there are separate Fett and Star Wars sections, again suggesting more than just TheDentedHelmet himself. The Fett sections are of course the most focused and concentrated with great content.

    I think what I am trying to say is that the forum seems to have already outgrow it's shoes, but is still wearing them. It's a tough call where to draw the line. There has been a great increase in diversity, but it is not fully let to develop at this point. I didn't get too specific with how to grow, if at all, because that is not really my decision to make. This is really an observation more than anything. There are multiple possibilities of scope. The great quality and history of this board is a reflection of the passion of its owner. I only brought this up because I have seen the expansion of interests even from the top. I hope that the people who run these boards, who I consider good friends, will understand the point I am trying to make even if they do not agree.
    Last edited by ShocKWavE; Feb 25, 2010 at 10:53 PM.
  7. DP74's Avatar
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    Feb 26, 2010, 3:22 AM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #7

    I've jumped into other projects and ideas and all that, but I still make this place the forums I frequent the most (well second to my guild forums lol) and that's for 2 very solid reasons....
    1. Fett is never ever done no matter how done you think you are.
    2. I enjoy this community alot and the reading and conversations here are SO much fun for me and there's always something interesting going on here.

    I think, only in my personal opinion, covering what the site covers now is good enough. Lurking or not, super busy or not, there's enough here in what we have to keep it just right. I've ran community sites for the past decade, and my experience teaches me that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I honestly don't think the site needs to grow to cover more than it does, because as stated, there are sections to cover anything outside of the scope of Fett and the biggest and best part of this site (for me at least) is the focus on one of, if not my absolute, favorite fictional character of all time. I would hate to see it change to cover more than what it does, because it wouldn't be The Dented Helmet to me anymore because we're all here primarily for that mysterious, fantastic and ever so cool dented helmet.

    Buuuut that's just my opinion.

    J
  8. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2010, 1:11 AM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #8

    Rodney,

    Since I have a pretty direct impact on what happens here on the site, I thought I would chime in and tell you where I am at with things which should tell you 1) why things are the way they are and 2) where they might be going in the future.

    I built TDH always knowing that there would be a shelf-life. The growth and success TDH has enjoyed has been amazing and far exceeded any of my expectations. It started as a couple dozen enthusiasts and has growth to incredible popularity and notoriety. With that being said, this hobby thrives on the thrill of the hunt. Always has and always will as it is a deep human need to attain... whether that attainment is knowledge or a physical item, we are driven by the chase. For many of us who started over 8 years ago, the height of that chase is essentially over. Is there still perfection that has been unobtained? Absolutely... in virtually every area. Are there still found parts that have not been found? Yes indeed. However, the truth is, those who care about such things were never a large group to begin with and have dwindled over the years as life comes up and gets in the way.

    For most people, the level of accuracy and "perfection" that is readily available on this site is more than they ever dreamed and they are satisfied so the push for continued accuracy is carried on by only the smallest minority.

    And with that in mind, coupled with the rise of social media (just as I predicted) and the continued downward spiral of the economy, we have seen the site lose a bit of steam. Granted it is still head and shoulders above virtually every other site like it that is out there (check the alexa rank if you don't believe me) but to some degree, the heyday of Fett has passed.

    While there is no correlation, only coincidence, I too have somewhat moved on. I succeeded in my mission at TDH was always this: to ensure that there were quality Boba Fett costumes at conventions... might sound silly, but it is true. That was my reason for creating this site... I wanted YOU to look good. And you guys do! You rock! In the past few years I have had some pretty dramatic changes in my life that resulted in a change of career and a move all the way across the country. My focus has been diverted and JUST when I was beginning to get settled and refocus on TDH... bombshell... I was given and unprecedented opportunity to take the reigns of the RPF. I knew it would be a challenge but after running TDh for 7 years, I thought I would be up to it... Well, let me tell you; you guys are cake compared to the RPF. Since last Sept my time has been absolutely CONSUMED from morning to night trying to whip the RPF into shape and to bring them up to the level we enjoy here at TDH. It is very challenging but also rewarding and in a lot of ways quite different than this site.... some better and some worse. My point is, I probably haven't spend 8 hours at TDH in the past 6 months...

    With all that being said... I am not TDH, you, the members are. But, I do tend to be the one to enact change and push the site forward from a marketing and infrastructure standpoint. Since taking on the RPF I haven't had a minute to spare to do that... and I have sadly watched as TDH has languished a bit.

    Rodney, going back to your thoughts about expanding TDH... before I took on the RPF, I had the same thoughts and we even took a stab at it with the Clone forum. The problem is, when you expand something you need a champion... someone to really take the reigns and charge forward. I thought Sci-Fire would be able to be that champion for the clone forum. Unfortunately that didn't work out as planned and the clone forum is not doing well...

    Without me here to push a new forum and without another person or group to champion it, I am not sure how we can or would grow. I am open to thoughts and suggestions, as always, but with everything the way it is right now, I just don't know how we could successfully make it work.
  9. mrbungle's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2010, 9:49 AM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #9

    i feel the same , once you have a fett you are happy with most folks move on to other projects. i did because i do not build fett props, they are plenty of guys here already doing a fine job of it already, so why try to reinevent the wheel?? i am currently doing ( dare i say) a non starwars project and i have not posted the progress here because this is a starwars focused site. kinda like showing up to a civil war reinactment dressed in TK armor.


    well as for organization , i think the TDH has got it covered. we are mainly a fett site. we have a starwars cossie section,jango section, zam section, clone section. the only thing i would think is a non sw costume section and a non sw prop section. the prop building section is just too crowded. but that is if you want to turn this into a RPF where it is hard to follow anything becuase of the different number of interest there. the other problem is there are other costume focus sites. if you are really into bikerscouts, you are going to BSN.

    the main thing is, you are never going to make everyone happy with anything you do. i would stay a fett focused site.
  10. Mullreel's Avatar
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    Mar 9, 2010, 10:59 AM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #10

    "The main thing is to make the main thing the main thing."

    I recently found this place and I am starting a Jango. I think that this place caters to the right clientel as it is. New people will consistently come in and others will drop off.

    I like the site.
  11. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 10, 2010, 8:29 AM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #11

    Well said, guys. MrBungle, I am tempted to make a non-Star Wars forum just to give people with non-Star Wars costumes a place to show them off... it is a tough choice because I absolutely do NOT want TDh to become an RPF. That was never our intent or goal and once the RPF has permanent open registration, people really should be going there for certain things. However, some people really dig the cozy community feel of TDH and maybe we should offer those people a single forum to show off their non-Star Wars pieces... Hmm...
  12. clonecollector's Avatar
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    Mar 10, 2010, 9:29 AM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #12

    [QUOTE=Art Andrews;492015]However, some people really dig the cozy community feel of TDH ... /QUOTE]

    This is why TDH is my preferred forum. It is "cozy"... There a a number of recognizeable propmakers and experts here that offer great products and input. There are even many recognizeable members here that are always willing to offer tips and share experiences.

    As far as the subject matter of this site... It deals with the one subject that I'm most focused on. (and have been the past three years) I'm registered with the major clone/ stormtrooper/ prop forums and they can get pretty intimidating I think. The various topics on places like the RPF are enjoyable but can be overwhelming. (it can be to me anyway...)

    It doesn't matter what I think, but I think TDH should stay the way it is. This site has a small section for off topic discussions so we can show off some other non-SW interests, and that's good enough. There are other forums out there for people to explore and other communities to become part of. Its part of the fun I think. You just have to search... or make up a new one.

    Thanks for creating this site and continuing to have an interest in it... It makes this a better site no matter how it grows in the future!
  13. Lucksy31's Avatar
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    Mar 10, 2010, 9:34 AM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #13

    Well put Art. You need to look no further than my before(TDH) and after(TDH) shots of my Fett, to see that your Goal of TDH was COMPLETELY accomplished. My guess is that most others would agree.
  14. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Mar 10, 2010, 1:03 PM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #14

    This is a topic that I've been interested in for a long time. I've had many an off-board chat about this very topic

    It's an interesting dilemma.

    TDH is a pretty unique community. There's a ton of talent here, relatively low drama, and a general sense of camaraderie.

    Could we take the same people, the same general rules, and apply that to other areas? Maybe.

    I think what would be missing is the core fanaticism that started TDH. People REALLY wanted to know Fett. Would Art be as motivated to build and grow an Iron Man board? Probably not.

    That motivation is, I think, what has made TDH great.

    Take the clone section... there are currently 4 places I know of for clones. Clonetroopers.net, Clone-Empire, Animated-Army and TDH.

    With so many choices, what would make one stand out over another? I don't think TDH has the passion for clones needed to keep that going.
  15. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Mar 10, 2010, 5:26 PM - Re: TDH - Ready to grow? #15

    Brian, I completely agree with you. I think a lot has to do with 1) passion (or as you less eloquently dubbed it, 'fanaticism' ) and 2) a community with a similar vision.

    You really nailed it that TDH began with people who had a similar vision who infected others with that vision and eventually a community grew from it.

    Could TDH's success be replicated? I think so. As much as some people like to hate on them, I think the Mandalorian Mercs are an example of people with a passion and similar vision who have done amazingly well for themselves where others have failed.

    Why do others fail and why might we fail in other areas? Unforunately, many times the "vision" that creates a particular group or site starts with envy, jealousy or anger at the group they came out of and the new group is one started out of a sense of rebellion. If you want to see examples, look at the myriad of failed sites that sprang from dissidents of the RPF who were angry with some trivial issue, fed their anger and eventually split off only to have the site wither and die... Why does this happen? There is no real vision.. only anger, resentment, distrust, and hostility... and most of the time those sites eat themselves alive because that is what they started with.

    Others start these kind of things becasue they they want to lead or they want it to be theirs... but in my time I have come to see no man is an island and it is often the people you surround yourself with that end up being more important than you. I can certainly say that has been the case with me and any success I have had goes to the dozens of friends and associates who have helped me. Again, going back to the beginnings of TDH, it wasn't just me, but a group of very passionate people who made it work.

    Going back to the clone thing... when we created the clone forum there was a major schism in the clone community and a lot of people who didn't feel that community was being served as it should be so we stepped up to the plate. Unfortunately, unlike when we stepped up to the plate for Fett, we 1) didn't have enough core people who had the vision and the passion and 2) those who did ended up being pulled in other directions so that we couldn't focus on clones, myself included. That is why the clone forum has more or less failed; we didn't follow the path that cause us to succeed with fett.

    I will tell everyone again, I keep a pretty close eye on dozens and dozens of prop and costume sites and while there are always outliers, as a whole, the hobby is hurting and it is hurting badly. I don't know if it is a matter of the overall memebrship getting older or the economic crisis or social media or a combination of all of those, but that fact will affect any up and comer who is trying to make his/her mark in the hobby.

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