Current Forums Structures (12/2019)


  • Premium Member

    Heya everyone. I am well aware that as one of your latest fellow members here, my opinion might not have much value. Yet I like J-Novel Club much enough, that I like to give some feedback at least, while still pondering if I change my membership subscription to a one year one, or let it run out by the end of January to resubscribe once the novels I am highly interested in are back in translation with prepubs available...

    Anyroads, long story short - I am writing this mainly since I am feeling unhappy with the forums structures. This much as my feedback, while I am longing if there is an explanation like the one I have gotten for the outdated information on the homepage.

    I have been working with forums since the beginnings of internet bulletin boards, and I am accustomed to most forums softwares. My favourite - still lasting one - so far is without doubt vBulletin. Aside of that I have seen and experimented myself with plenty of structures and handling. The last forums I moderated was for an independent game studio with 6000 registered users, and 200 active ones. So much about my experiences...

    When joining the JNC forums, I naturally explored as much as I could - mainly the memberbase to determine the atmosphere. There are plenty of points I am curious why they are the way they are. But for the major point in my unhappiness:

    The topics in the "Members Only" area. Please do not panic - I explain myself.
    A lot of topics are accessible only to members. While it makes totally sense to me with prepubs stuff, to have them member-exclusive as part of the membership, I am not understanding why the topics are laid to rest there.

    Taking for example Welcome to Japan, Ms. Elf! Volume 2 https://forums.j-novel.club/topic/2226/welcome-to-japan-ms-elf-volume-2/3

    I am still fairly new here, so this is my assumption so far: all those kind of topics about upcoming novel volumes are posted there, so the prepubs can be discussed among members first. A privilege as well as a need to prevent non-members seeing unfinished products aka spoilers etc. pp.

    What bugs me: why is the topic still inaccessible laying dormant in the "Members Only" section? I would have loved to join several discussions right away when I registered with the forums, but only to find the forums software keeping annoying me that almost every activity is for members only. Or from a blunt perspective: kept behind a pay-wall.

    In my opinion the forums could be different, if e.g. those topics of released stuff are moved to the general sections as well - available to everyone. It would even make the whole membership much more attractive for a stranger visitor, to see what members can enjoy early. And the forums itself could gain from more possible users who join in discussions, despite they are not members for reasons. To be fair: 10 USD is still an amount which can be considered high for a monthly expenditure.

    I was even wondering why you cannot buy ebooks to an higher price without being a premium member, but that is a different story...

    So is there a bigger reason I am not seeing why the forums are treated the way they are? I am certain the mods cannot be to blame, seeing how active and helpful they are. But I am curious from an admin point of perspective...



  • Unfortunately all I can say is that there are reasons we haven't started moving posts to a more public location after the e-book is release.

    It will not be like this forever but there are things that need to be done behind the scenes at J-Novel Club before I can start restructuring, and moving things around that much.

    Your input is noted.


  • Premium Member

    I am glad to read that changes are taken into consideration. I wish to know more about the plans behind it, but I understand if you cannot share confidential stuff.

    Another tip/suggestion I like to share is about the older/dead topics. Not knowing your policy, I would suggest an archive section - welcoming people to make new fresh threads of the old topics, instead of reviving the older ones. That would attract more people to join in new/young discussions.

    To clarify: I myself am very hesitant and reluctant to go through an old thread which has probably several pages aka hundreds of posts already - unless it is rather new. I mean, it would feel weird if you add a new comment to a discussion which lies dormant for half a year or much longer, would it not?

    That should not apply to every thread/topic though - but rather to stuff which were concluded and finished at the time the discussion mattered.


  • Premium Member

    @serah said in Current Forums Structures (12/2019):

    I am glad to read that changes are taken into consideration. I wish to know more about the plans behind it, but I understand if you cannot share confidential stuff.

    Another tip/suggestion I like to share is about the older/dead topics. Not knowing your policy, I would suggest an archive section - welcoming people to make new fresh threads of the old topics, instead of reviving the older ones. That would attract more people to join in new/young discussions.

    To clarify: I myself am very hesitant and reluctant to go through an old thread which has probably several pages aka hundreds of posts already - unless it is rather new. I mean, it would feel weird if you add a new comment to a discussion which lies dormant for half a year or much longer, would it not?

    That should not apply to every thread/topic though - but rather to stuff which were concluded and finished at the time the discussion mattered.

    This topic itself is something I would seen archived like six months after a restructuring has been made e.g.



  • It is Noted


  • Premium Member

    @serah said in Current Forums Structures (12/2019):

    I was even wondering why you cannot buy ebooks to an higher price without being a premium member, but that is a different story...

    I believe normal (paid) members can buy premium credits for premium ebooks, just for 1 extra dollar over the price a premium member would pay.


  • Premium Member

    @hatguy12 Ah, yeah that is correct.

    What I meant to say is that non-members cannot buy them at a higher price.

    I imagine somewhat like a 8-10 USD Dollar price tag per ebook for non-members would be acceptable.


  • Member

    @serah said in Current Forums Structures (12/2019):

    To clarify: I myself am very hesitant and reluctant to go through an old thread which has probably several pages aka hundreds of posts already - unless it is rather new. I mean, it would feel weird if you add a new comment to a discussion which lies dormant for half a year or much longer, would it not?

    That is handled rather gracefully that when you try to comment to a thread which was dormant for a few months, it will prompt you if you want to create a new thread with the same name and have a pointer to the old thread. You still have choice to comment to the old thread but at least it gives you this convenience


  • Premium Member

    @hiroto Unfortunately I have not seen such a feature before. After exploring the possibilities with NodeBB, I came pretty quick to the limits what can be done easily and quickly to improve the comfort.

    Another point, which makes such a pleasant feature questionable is the nature of threads and topics handled with forums. You have often pinned topics, where usually only the first post and a few reserved post after are really important and still matters over the years.

    Plus, if you leave the choice open, whether a poster uses an old thread or a new thread, it will lead to a bigger spread - which means more moderation needs and more confusion. That is why most forums software implemented a timer, which says that certain topics are limited to XX months, before they close themselves up.

    With the JNC forums most things seems to be in need to be handled manually. I honestly cannot tell if the pricing of nodeBB is fair at all. Aside from the live engine it has a lot of downsides, unless you are going to use it for an environment where the chat function matters. But then JNC is using discord, and it gets even more confusing why having it setup as it is...


  • Premium Member

    @serah Just wanted to say, JNC is not paying for NodeBB. Like much "open source" software today, they obscure the fact that you can host it yourself so they can try to make money by hosting it for you. The forum was set up in 2016 (the copyright at the bottom page shows that that's the year of the version that this forum is running) and hasn't really been updated since.


  • Premium Member

    @chocolatkey said in Current Forums Structures (12/2019):

    @serah Just wanted to say, JNC is not paying for NodeBB. Like much "open source" software today, they obscure the fact that you can host it yourself so they can try to make money by hosting it for you. The forum was set up in 2016 (the copyright at the bottom page shows that that's the year of the version that this forum is running) and hasn't really been updated since.

    I had suspected that - but that does not really makes sense to me. Most likely due the fact I am working with forums softwares myself. If JNC is using it for free, then - after these many years - you would expect customisations and improvements. Especially if it is part (framed) into the homepage's CMS.

    The version as it is used now is lacking even basic stuff, which made me expect it must be hosted and managed by a third party...


  • Premium Member

    @serah said in Current Forums Structures (12/2019):

    The version as it is used now is lacking even basic stuff, which made me expect it must be hosted and managed by a third party...

    As someone who also has experience running and customising forums I agree it is pretty basic. However, hiven that they don't even have a reliable and their main website UI hasn't been redisigned to properly accommodate how many series there are I think customising a perfectly reliable and accessible forum and is pretty low on JNC's priority list. I think they should hire a dedicated developer as soon as possible to start sorting stuff out.


  • Premium Member

    @shiny I do not even mind the pretty basic design of the front page. But seeing outdated information and incorrect set content despite it is running on a CMS is really hard - especially since those kind of issues are very easy to mend.