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Topic of the Day (2020 Edition)

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--- Quote from: Khushrenada on June 29, 2020, 03:32:03 PM ---As long as you haven't posted a topic yet for today and started your week then it is still my week and I can finish it!

--- End quote ---
In that case, today's Topic of the Day is the recent FGC controversies. As they say, what goes around, comes around. :D

Today's Topic of the Day is the end of Topic of the Day.

When I was thinking about this idea, I'd had it in my mind to set July as a possible end date to give it a good shot and test. If I found it became a regular habit for my forum usage than I was willing to maybe extend it another 6 months and go a full year. And, at first, it was working out pretty well and it seemed like it could be a regular part of my forum rhythm / usage. However, things charged in March in two ways. First, is the obvious in that March is when the world basically went into lockdown. That really limited the news and topics to highlight. However, like I have done in the Funhouse from time to time of bumping and stickying an old thread, I was open to the idea of highlighting an older / forgotten topic if I felt there could be some interest in revisting it. The idea was always about trying to foster a bit more discussion here and find different subjects that users either cared about enough post or they might be want to follow the discussion happening on it which might later lead to them joining in.

However, the second change in March was in regards to my job. I've kind of avoided talking about my situation much in the Covid thread or in other topics where people have talked about lockdown because I seem to have been one of the few to sort of thrive during this time. I had accepted the new job and duties back in mid-January but it wasn't until March that the change suddenly came into effect. It actually happened the Monday I was supposed to originally launch my Metroid Mafia game so I was glad I put it off a week to get more players. I can't believe I pulled off doing that while also starting to learn the duties and tasks of this new position. In addition, since the place I'm working fell under the essential service side of things, it never closed so I still had to travel into work every day. That was some mixed emotion since I know many people were worried about their economic future and many still are or are trying to cope with the financial repercussions of lockdown. Yet, when you are one of the few vehicles on the road early morning and so much is closed and empty around you, it's hard not think about how nice it would be to quarantine at home for a few weeks. I had food in my pantry and my expenses are low. I'd be able to survive a month with $2000. Moreover, I'm pretty much a homebody anyways. I don't really get cabin fever and I'd have no problem staying indoors. It's pretty much what I was doing anyways. Going to work and coming home where I'd stay the rest of the night unless I decided to go get a few more groceries, get some gas or grab some takeout. Yet, since so many people would come into our business and say how lucky we were to still be working, it just seemed wrong to complain about not working so I've never spoken much about it until now. I suppose it could be a case of the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence but I'd say there was just a general mood throughout the world of being demoralized by so much shutting down in that time.

There was a point at first in the start of April where business was pretty slow and there was talk of possibly doing a shortened work week. Instead, the business laid a bunch of different people off. I was kind of worried at first that maybe there would be a rethink of needing me in this new position but nothing was ever said about it. Ironically, a couple days after the layoffs, we started getting more and more busy. In a couple weeks, they basically rehired most of the people they had just let go. It's a weird thing but I thought it might be a slower year yet work has gotten very exhausting the past few months. I'm surprised at some of the expensive items people are buying as well. I don't understand it since the expectation is that people would be tightening their wallets and sales could be slow. Maybe people are suddenly finding extra money by not being able to eat out at restaurants? There are some other factors with other businesses in the same line of work as mine which may have made poor decisions during the major lockdown period which has caused more people coming to us for product. We've had weird staff issues also. One person just up and quit a few weeks ago and moved across the country. Others have had medical issues with a couple needing surgery and time to heal and others have had days off or limited hours as well. This has led to us being short-staffed at times during our busy season plus you still have people booking off time for vacation. Not sure why. Not like you can really fly off somewhere or do much but its their right to get that time off. As such, I found myself not only having to my job but also the duties of two or three people in the same day. And let me just say, it has gotten to be pretty exhausting of late.

The end result is that it is I hardly have spare time in the day to check in and catch up on the forums or the NWR Discord, let alone think about posting topics or getting into much discussion with others. Topic of the Day then went from a fun little extra to do on these forums to an extra task that I just didn't need. I mainly come home from work and just lay out on the couch to decompress a bit by watching a show or two or playing a game. As such, it just became easier to find some new thread in Talkback or thread getting a few posts that day and just highlight that to get Topic of the Day done with. Even then, there were still days I struggled to find something that seemed worthwhile as highlighting. It basically just seemed to turn the idea of Topic of the Day into an echo chamber pointing out things that people were probably already aware of and discussing or, at worse, a redundant news bulletin.

There were a lot of things I thought would be happening in this time like sports playoffs / championships, new movie releases, E3 which would probably be supplemented by other ideas and topics from users. When those ideas suddenly dried up, it made this a much harder task when I just wanted an easy evening at home. I thank pokepal148 a lot for liking the initial idea and goal of this thread that he was willing to help out by doing it for a week here and there until we decided on a rotating schedule because we were both busy. Even then, it was still hard to keep this as regular as when it first began. I send some thanks to Insanolord who was able to also help a bit in the earlier period of the thread. He sent me a message that he also really liked this idea for the forums and that simple message actually had a big impact in motivating me to trying to keep pushing forward with this thread and keep pushing to this July goal.

I'm not sure what the impact of this thread ended up being or how much it helped in keeping NWR a regular part of a user's online activity. I wondered if the lockdown might see a rise in activity and posting here but it really didn't seem to cause much effect. At the same time, there wasn't that much to post or talk about either since the news was pretty much the same for so long. I suppose it's probably the biggest sign that we'll probably never see the activity this place once had in the double 0 decade. Nintendo Switch is the dominant market force right now with a large amount of people who should have had extra time in their day to post here and yet neither of those factors seems to have made much change here. I get it though. When we were young and posting on here, we did it because we'd see an instant or very quick response to a thought we'd made and could have a rapid conversation. Now, people are going to get that instant reaction on something like Reddit or Twitter. These forums aren't going to provide that instant gratification anymore. In some ways, it's more like letter writing. We make a post and mail our letter and maybe check back in a day or two for a reply letter or post. It's not necessarily always that slow but it's definitely been outpaced by other social media like the NWR Discord where a discussion on a topic of interest can suddenly take off.

And, at this point, I'm ok with that. Posting here may take more of an effort but that's usually because a post here nowadays often seems to be made with some thought behind it. Just posting yes or no or an emoji to a post doesn't seem worth making unlike perhaps Discord where it's a much quicker and easier process. Although, maybe if the software had been changed sometime ago to incorporate new technology and broaden resources so that video imbedding, YouTube linking and a large variety of emojis and images were available then there's a chance that could have seen more engagement. I know there are times I post on here and am disappointed at the lack of emoji options to add some spice and flavor to a post. After all, some forums out there are still flourishing and getting new members. Yet, with the older user base here and the usually more balanced and well-reasoned posts that come from more life experience, it may be harder for that to attract new users who could be intimidated at matching that level (or word count of at least one certain user here who just seems to be addicted to posting walls of text :-X ). Still, many of these thoughts have come up over the past decade and this probably hasn't added anything new to that. The main takeaway from this might just be more that I'm admitting and realizing that it's highly likely even I can no longer keep up the amount of posting and time spent here as I've done for so long. It's probably going to be sporadic activity from me now as well although I may have reached that point sometime ago and thought I was still staying pretty active here.


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