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Forums General Chit-Chat Would you join a new classic Avatar Website?

Voltie Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/8 17:05:29 )
I was just wondering, do you think avatar community websites such as this one still have a place on this modern age 2024?
I remember when they were big bosses like Solia Online, Ernya, PiiTown to name a few.
Now they are so rare.

Your thoughs? What would need to be done so they make a comeback? Any tips?

Donator — she/they/him Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/9 01:44:51 )

idk how but always love trying new avi/forum or pet sites :3


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Donator — Cat Mama Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/9 17:06:41 )
November 2017 - February 2018
I'm not sure how to help them make a comeback either but I would 10/10 join another one as long as I liked the art style (probably most important to be tbh), the items, and the community.


Donator — AAAAAAAAAA Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/10 03:03:53 )

    atp it would just be a good nostalgia trip for me and i would personally enjoy it, but it wouldn't be fun without a big userbase and modern internet is too centralized on social media so these sites are so dead in comparison ahhhh but i do love the pace of forum chats


Donator — Medical Biller Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/10 07:59:24 )
Hi @electric: , I think avatar community websites such as this one and others still have a place in this modern age 2024 for more nostalgia, than anything else. For them to make a comeback, they might need a semi-social media likeness, like having a photo uploading options for those who want to save their avis or artwork done for other users avi

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Donator — Pomepome Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/11 18:10:55 )
Just aktive staff and regular releases of items would be fine. Also a cute style though. Else a nice community, but it dont think thats somethething you can influence
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Donator — she/her Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/16 17:27:05 )

I think with the rise in nostalgia there's a chance that people will come back to avatar sites for a short while, but I don't think they'd be as booming or active as before. As long as there's some sort of a community and regular updates, then I think those sites will be fine with whatever userbase they accrue. Although, lively communities are a bit more fun. I'm on a few other sites that have smaller communities, and I really enjoy the tightknit-ness of them, but it'd be nice for there to be more user activity sometimes.

I feel like TikTok would have to revive these sites, assuming someone makes a popular enough video that goes viral. It seems that's where most people tend to be, so it'll probably be easiest to catch their attention there. Or avatar sites could be shared by word of mouth in anime communities or at conventions and such. I've been volunteering at a few anime conventions lately and sometimes I think about advertising them lol.

I also really miss Solia. I'd been checking on the admin's Twitter account since it closed, and it seems like they're still working on the site when they can but there's no concrete answer of when Solia will be back up. After updating their URL and homepage, it looks like they're planning on going the NFT route. I'm interested in seeing how their progress continues to develop.


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Donator — #Roy4Mayor Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/16 18:16:43 )
I still love avi sites, but I'm sad that they all seem to be dying and quieting down because of social media. I'd far rather be on an avi site than on social media any day.

I love dressing up avatars, but the art style is important to me too.
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Donator Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/27 03:17:21 )
I enjoy forum avatar sites, but I have a hard time picturing myself joining a new modernized one. :T
I gave Voltra a shot a few years ago, I joined at a perfect time where they had consistent events and event games n' stuff. Really, Really hit the spot. XD
However, due to the uprising and deaths of so many forum sites- this will be my last one.


Donator — He/They Posted 6 months ago ( 2024/01/27 05:40:44 )

Sadly, I think the age of forums in general--including sites like these--pretty much ended a long time ago. New avatar sites have been popping up here and there over the past few years, only to die out quickly or never really get off the ground.

There's not enough money going around among the usual demographic of these sites to keep them running, and every similar site tends to attract the same handful of users (who are increasingly outgrowing them/not having time for them). They always seem to end in either a lack of funding/resources to keep them maintained, staffing/ethics issues behind the scenes, or a combination thereof. Even the bigger, older ones run into the same problems. Some just hang on longer than others, but most people joining avi sites nowadays aren't holding their breath for it to last.

Some try to take a more modern approach, implementing social media elements or a different type of format altogether, but the whole avatar site concept doesn't mesh as well with current social media styles. You either end up losing out on the social aspect or the avatar aspect, or both.

That's not to say I wouldn't be curious if a new site popped up. I'd join if I liked the art style and it didn't look too dead, but I wouldn't have the highest of hopes.

For avatar sites to make a comeback, I think you'd first have to find a way to popularize forums again. Maybe people will eventually just get tired of the brief, fast-paced style of social media interactions and want a return to longer-lasting discussions with less instant gratification... who knows? Then of course you'd also have to figure out who your target audience is and how to draw them in, and how to keep such a site staffed, running, and paid for. Who it's aimed at would make a pretty big difference in what you'd do to get (and keep) their attention. The people who've been using these sites since they were new tend to have different sensibilities and expectations from the people who are growing up with more current social media.


Donator Posted 5 months ago ( 2024/02/17 01:21:01 )

I'm trying to slow down my consumption of social media and re-train my brain's attention span and desire for instant dopamine hit. Like even as I'm typing this I'm itching to switch tabs to FB, TikTok etc. Avatar websites are were I grew up because there wasn't really much else going on and really love the post for gold and spend it on an avatar aspect so I could express myself. I feel like I've lost a lot of the self expression since moving away from avatar websites as social media.

However, there are so many people like myself out there who will continue to stick with social media due to the addiction or they genuinely just don't know that this format of media exists. The younger generations likely didn't grow up with avatar websites because their first experience with the internet is a lot of the instant forms of social media.

Avatar websites I think would work really well for a certain group of people, but not most these days. What would help avatar websites is advertising across new platforms eg. TikTok to bring more people in.


Voltie Posted 5 months ago ( 2024/02/20 16:59:03 )
@Kreatura: I'm new here and I agree with everything you said. I think people should be more aware of their dopamine and habits surrounding it. I've been craving a community exactly like this, but I still have barely explored everything around here.

I didn't even realize it, but I see how I lost my self expression on the current internet. You see it all over the place already, other people expressing themselves. You think - why would I add to this? What can I add to this?

This is a rare event for me, to post a comment this long and not even consider deleting it because I assume it will get lost in the void or no one will care.

See you around here! =D

To add to the above, I'm really excited about the long form comments and discussion here because I think it's a superior form of communication. I prefer people who prefer long form. Thankful for this community already =D

Donator — He Posted 2 months ago ( 2024/05/28 10:58:23 )

Looking for merlantis.
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November 2017 - February 2018
[color=#967BB6]I'm not sure how to help them make a comeback either but I would 10/10 join another one as long as I liked the art style (probably most important to be tbh), the items, and the community.

~Similar boat. Not sure how to help but if all the above is nice then I'm for it.~[/color]

Thanks Lunakiri
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Donator — she/her Posted 2 months ago ( 2024/05/28 23:51:12 )
I would love to join a new one.
I'm not sure they're popular with young people these days though. I think a lot of the audience is older now. I'm not sure if that means they need to change styles to fit a younger audience, or instead lean into the older theme.

I logged onto gaia to see if any old friends are still there, and noticed they have a lot of ads. And at first I was annoyed, but they haven't closed yet.. So I feel like if having ads helps a site stay open, I wouldn't mind them. If they had other ways to get revenue to stay open (aside from selling items) like video ads or whatever for site currency that would be good to help them hopefully stay alive and help get users who can't spend money on the site to make real money currency still. Stuff like that I think is good to engage younger people who don't have spending money.

I do think the style of the website has some affect on how popular it is. The good ones have a lot of lore/world building with npcs and a general theme. And I feel like some themes are more successful than others. Like Ernya was sort of soft/cute fantasy and did really well until the ownership fell apart. Syndrone was dark and cyber punk kinda themed, and again was really successful until ownership fell apart. Where as, Caedon was more futuristic/steampunk themed and kinda fizzled out over time. It needs to have a general theme that attracts people without narrowing the items down too much.

Having a solid set of item colors is pretty important too. Gaia is endlessly annoying because every item just makes up a new color or shade, so nothing really matches. And it's so frustrating! So a specific set of palettes for the artists is super important.

There was also at once point 3 sister sites that were technically all different owners and everything, but they agreed to promote each other and had a few events that crossed together. (I think they decided they were alternate realities of each other) as a way to get members onto all the sites. I really liked that because often avatar people are on multiple sites. I think overall it helps more than it hurts, even through you might have some people divide their budget between sites.

If anyone is actually considering starting an avatar forum, please make sure you write up legal documents!! For the owners and any staff, even volunteers. There are too many instances of the owners starting as friends and things fall apart and the site goes under. Put it in writing!! Also, if anyone is planning to start one and has more specific questions, I was staff here, Caedon, Syndrone and briefly at Virtual Popstar.. and I might be able to answer some things. (not coding tho) Best of luck!
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Donator Posted 2 months ago ( 2024/05/29 00:38:08 )
There's a lot of good stuff said here on the topic!

I do think forums are dying because people are generally more interested in social media. At the same time I'm seeing people around my age (I'm their 30s and 40s) starting to look at and analyze their social media consumption and this may lead to people looking for alternatives.

To my mind the biggest obstacles for an avatar site like this is user engagement and costs. If fewer people are posting, fewer people are likely to hang around unfortunately. And then the cost of running a site like this may be too much for limited use and limited donations from users.

At the same time ads on this kind of site are a pretty big turn off. Sites like Gaia stay going because they generate so much money from ads, I suspect, but those ads are very annoying and are a large reason why I can never bring myself to go back to Gaia.

I'm relatively active on FlightRising and they have ads but they're pretty in optrusive. I even opened the site just now to make sure there actually are ads because I don't often notice them.

So while advertising on your site is a double edged sword, I think it's probably required for running a forum or game site these days.

FlightRising also seems popular because of the dragon breeding and collecting aspect. I don't often post in the forums there, I just play with my little guys. I say this because maybe if you're looking to make an avatar site, maybe consider adding some form of pet game like that where people can breed pets and trade them, or have a team system with a friendly competition like FR. I suspect FR's "buy genes for real money" system also goes a long way in making profit/covering costs.

All that is to say I would be very interested in joining a new site if I knew it existed and I would try to be an active early user to help out.
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Donator — She, Her Posted 4 weeks ago ( 2024/06/22 18:05:46 )
I would absolutely love to join a new one! I remember being on Syndrone and Ernya all the time.
Sadly, they're dying out.

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