Alla caused this to themselves by lagging on implementing these systems (wiki database, free search. etc), while other sites were innovating.
I was shocked when Alla was not interested in paying a discounted rate for me to produce high quality happy friday comics, which would have given them a huge viewership edge over the other Ffxi sites and therefore profits. They were also not interested in doing this for the then-upcoming FFXIV site, which would have given them an instant user-grab out of the gate. But this meshes with the realization that Zam has no interest in competing whatsoever, which to be frank dooms them to eventual failure in the face of innovative competition. It is apparent that Zam operates on "minimal investment/no innovation" type operation.
The fact that people are using other sites as their information source, where this site used to be THE place for that, is just another symptom of this. To expect users to revive your horribly outdated database, which you have neglected, is not the answer. Lack of investment by the owners of Zam, and no interest in innovation, is what needs to change, not a database update.
Fact is even if you update everything yourselves, nobody bothers to look here for that info anymore anyway so it will again fall into disrepair from lack of user input. You've lost the FFXI-info battle forever to FFXIclopedia. What else you lose is up to your management. You are now purely a forum discussion site, focus on improving that.
While on that very topic, here's another piece of innovation I suggest. Let's see if you listen this time. Change the karma system :
Allow only a rate-up option, the rate-down replacement being "report a violation" button in which the clicker has to select from a short list of what rule was violated before proceeding. This would then act as a rate-down and be recorded for admin viewing. If a complaint is filed that someone is getting rated down for no reason, it will be easy to look at the reasons people selected for the rate-down and see if they were in the right or abusing the system. Also the more steps a rate-down takes, the less people will spam it just as the "I disagree" button. Posts that become 'excellent would get a small highlight border around them; rewarding good contributions with improved visibility and making them easier to find.
-Users that contribute positively to your site are rewarded with appropriate status.
-Users that just kick around chit-chatting suffer no ill effects and are motivated to start contributing to discussion instead of hide from rate-downs.
-Rate-down abusers are now forced to provide a valid TOS reason for their down-ratings, 90% will stop abusing it.
Do you see that? It's innovation. Rather than have a system that's more likely to abuse a user, you end up with a system which rewards good contribution with improved visibility. Instead of highlighting the bad by making sub-d collapsed posts which actually stand out.
Want to thank me for this? Guru me. If it wasn't for the years of rate-down haters I would be guru'd years ago. God knows I logged enough contributory keystrokes to earn it.
I used to use alla.com for everything. When I learned of the wiki for FFXI it allowed me access to real time editing/distribution of information that made other sources a stagnant place for outdated information.
I think it really comes down to the fact that FFXIclopedia was the first to set up a proper wiki and once it took off, it snowballed. Just like others have said, they go to FFXIclopedia because it's more accurate and complete than the info here.
Originally, zam was one of the places to go but ffxiclopedia made editing and having real time information available.
Trying to catch zam up just doesn't even make sense.
I don't use ZAM's wiki simply because it was slow to arrive
Case in point: This very post has already gotten rate-downs, i guarentee for "i disagree". Kindly tell me what part of the TOS validates rating down this contributory post that took over 15 minutes of my day to write and edit to help out? This is exactly why people have and will continue to leave even your discussion forums. Defend this last reason for your site to exist, or face obscurity, failure, and loss of what small pay Zam gives you. Edited, Nov 30th 2010 1:24pm by RattyBatty