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#1 gav240z

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:07 AM

Hi Guys,
In an effort to tidy things up here is what I'm thinking....

1. Consolidate all state event boards into a single EVENTS board. Each new topic can prefix the subject with, VIC, QLD, NCT, ACT, NSW, WA etc..
  - This is mostly based on the fact that the most active board is Victoria and boards like NT have 5 posts in the last 2 years.
2. Consolidate Links and Recommended Businesses boards into a single Business Directory and Links board.
3. Remove the Free Classifieds section. It's a good idea but if something is free you can mention it in the subject heading of the relevant classified section.
4. Move Event Board - Under general forums
5. Move Racing your Zed - Under general forums

The goal is to simplify the categories, based on usage data of each respective board I've seen so far and make it easier to find what you're looking for. Less categories should make it easier to scan the board.

Thoughts / opinions and objections are welcome. Let me know what you think?

#2 Gordo

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:05 AM

Yer, what he said?

#3 sexual_sushi

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:13 AM

Sounds good Gav, I agree that less is more.

I was visiting a wood working forum and they must have had at least 50 different boards, good content but trying to find it was ridiculous! :S http://www.woodworkf...s.com/forum.php

#4 d3c0y

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:28 AM

Yup i second that motion.

#5 dat2kman

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:20 AM

I reckon all above suggestion is pretty good, except for the race the z section, its pretty specific, and to have it swallowed under general may lose its specialness, considering the efforts that the racers/sprinters/hillclimbers/tarmacers/dirters etc go to, to show what the cars are apable of.

Dunno, but thats the racer in me.

One other thing, it comes up a bit, the ease that a newby on here can post up stuff that is objectionable or considered not relevant, or can jst sign up to offload stuff, never to be heard of again, ie a single contribution, or a vocal wade in to a discussion.
Maybe, new sign ups have to post an introduction, and then make a minimum of five posts in other threads, but not sycophant posts like "+1" or "yeh i agree" ie it has to be a pist reply of some content, and then after say the five thread replies they can then sell us stolen 48 dcoe carbs, or American Football Jumpers! Or random spam stuff from smart bots on the W's.

#6 Gordo

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:17 PM

That is a very good point Jason, would be good if Gav could set something like that up. I for one get annoyed when you see first time posters ask a direct question or try to sell something straight up. It's like who the £€#¥ are you.

#7 gav240z

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:20 PM

I reckon all above suggestion is pretty good, except for the race the z section, its pretty specific, and to have it swallowed under general may lose its specialness, considering the efforts that the racers/sprinters/hillclimbers/tarmacers/dirters etc go to, to show what the cars are apable of.

Dunno, but thats the racer in me.


Regarding this, I should have been more clear. There will still be a racing board it will just move into the General Forums container i.e where you see

- Introductions
- General
- Off Topic
> Racing will be somewhere here.

With regard to the other issue on first time users, I'll respond back later when I have more time. There is quite a few details to be aware of here.

#8 saxon

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:31 PM

I agree with all of Gav's points, this will clean it up well, not that it is messy now, not by a long shot, but good to see that there is thought about simplification and I think it would be a positive.

I don't agree about manditory post limits at all. This is why....

Everyone here want's something, whether that is triples, or a car, or particular piece of trim, or a paticular engine, or whatever. And if a first time poster put up a classified for that piece you really want and for a really good price, would you msg him asking to buy, or would you tell him to go to the introduction section first? Be serious!

#9 sexual_sushi

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

Yeah I think this obsession with knowing people and introductions is OTT, I'm smart enough to think twice about a new member and put a little more trust in someone like Lurch (ok maybe not that smart then :P ). Although it is good etiquette to introduce yourself this is not the norm anywhere on the internet. You are not going to be hurt by a new unknown member, the only way you get hurt is if you act stupidly, like sending $1000 to their rich African uncle.

Minimum post counts mean people post bs comments just to get their post count up. The minimum post count on Hybrid actually stopped me from doing something useful on hybridz (although now I can't think what that was).

I keep going back to my first post which I think was trying to sell something and then asking about spark plugs. And look at everything I bring to the forum now ;) **removes tongue from cheek**

I do think a 'like' function would reduce some unnecessary comments and I have seen this implemented on other forums but not sure if it is available with this platform.

Anyway don't be affraid of it, it's just the internet!

#10 luvemfast

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:33 PM

I like the idea of some simple house keeping.
But not a fan of the minimum post count.
People value add to the forum in many ways. Experience, knowledge, skill, persistence, trades, facts or selling items. And in my case, verbal diorhea

#11 gav240z

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:48 PM

Well it seems there was no real objections to moving things around so I've now done that and everything has been moved.

With regard to members signing up / post counts etc.. will post again later on this.

#12 gav240z

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:20 PM

One other thing, it comes up a bit, the ease that a newby on here can post up stuff that is objectionable or considered not relevant, or can jst sign up to offload stuff, never to be heard of again, ie a single contribution, or a vocal wade in to a discussion.
Maybe, new sign ups have to post an introduction, and then make a minimum of five posts in other threads, but not sycophant posts like "+1" or "yeh i agree" ie it has to be a pist reply of some content, and then after say the five thread replies they can then sell us stolen 48 dcoe carbs, or American Football Jumpers! Or random spam stuff from smart bots on the W's.


I agree with all of Gav's points, this will clean it up well, not that it is messy now, not by a long shot, but good to see that there is thought about simplification and I think it would be a positive.

I don't agree about manditory post limits at all. This is why....

Everyone here want's something, whether that is triples, or a car, or particular piece of trim, or a paticular engine, or whatever. And if a first time poster put up a classified for that piece you really want and for a really good price, would you msg him asking to buy, or would you tell him to go to the introduction section first? Be serious!



That is a very good point Jason, would be good if Gav could set something like that up. I for one get annoyed when you see first time posters ask a direct question or try to sell something straight up. It's like who the £€#¥ are you.



So I haven't seen too much spam lately, but I have noticed a huge increase in spam signup's (0 posts) which is something I'm going to need to tackle. It's really frustrating because we already have several obstacles to user registration.

1. First of all we have this stupid agreement - which is inbuilt into the forum software and everyone says yes I'm 16 years old.
2. Next is the registration form itself, which is pretty poor on all accounts to be honest.
  a. I do request location
  b. We have an anti-spam captcha which let's face it everyone hates completing these and it seems it's not very effective at preventing spam sign up's anyway (which is it's whole purpose).
  c. Then I ask a simple Z-car related question - This seemed to prevent a lot of SPAM - until recently now the pricks (spammers) are either paying poor Nigerians to do all this manually or they have found some other loop hole around this.

3. The registration process then sends an email which the user has to receive and click on a link. Done they are registered.

The problem really is the software for several reasons.

1. The control of registration workflow is limited.
2. The messaging and design of registration process is probably able to be modified but it's a significant amount of work and the forum software resets everything each time you upgrade the software.

Can you tell I'm not a fan of the software yet?

The thing is we want to encourage new user registration (this month they are actually down on previous months). We need to continue to grow and attract new members - since people will always come and go so new registrations keeps the site alive and active. I've noticed that regular feature rides on the homepage helps fuel and attract people to the site, but it takes a lot of time to put those together unfortunately.

I'm not a fan of forcing people to introduce themselves, although I do get annoyed when people register and ask a very vague question which could be answered any number of ways. Ask a detailed question, get a detailed response. However you can't help this, this is just the way people use forums. How we can be different is in the way we handle these questions, don't jump down their throats but instead guide them and encourage them to ask the question in more detail and the best way we can encourage people to join is to set the example as community members.

Ideally the site should have a classifieds section that is not just another forum category and gives more options and requires certain info be posted. Again the limitation is the forum software itself whilst it can be extended I try to avoid adding too many 3rd party modules and bits of code.

I do think a 'like' function would reduce some unnecessary comments and I have seen this implemented on other forums but not sure if it is available with this platform.
Anyway don't be affraid of it, it's just the internet!


Yeah if it's not obvious by now I have developed a real pet hate for forum software in general. I'm not a huge fan of the way they work and I think if I was to write my own from scratch there is many things I would do differently. Unfortunately for me it's time, I simply don't have enough to fix all these issues.


#13 gav240z

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

I may need to install something like this to prevent spam.
http://custom.simple...ex.php?mod=2502

#14 benny

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:46 PM

Hi Gav,


What is the reasoning behind using SMF when it doesn't work how you want it too. There are many other platforms out there that may work better for us. One that comes to mind is http://www.invisionpower.com/


Cheers,


Ben

#15 gav240z

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:02 PM

Hi Gav,


What is the reasoning behind using SMF when it doesn't work how you want it too. There are many other platforms out there that may work better for us. One that comes to mind is http://www.invisionpower.com/


Cheers,


Ben


SMF is just what I used back in the day, I would be happy to move to Invision Power Board and did look into it a while ago, but I think the fact that it was paid put me off. Having said that if it means I can move to their hosting platform and do-away with our hosting company I'd be happy to do that also.

However didn't HybridZ move to IVP and a lot of people didn't like some of the changes? That was really my only concern of alienating members.

There is a lot of benefits of moving to such a platform though, mainly seamless login throughout the entire site and the ability to allow other people to update the home page etc..

I WILL look into this in more detail I think.

By the way Benny do you have any experience using this platform yourself?

#16 gav240z

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:09 PM

Just looked at HybridZ, I can't login anymore even though I was a member since 2000. Is this a common problem? It seems I don't have permission to do anything on HybridZ anymore?

This is what I want to avoid....

#17 benny

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:15 PM

The IP board has alot of great features, including responsive templates for all us folk on tablets and phones etc. People will get to used to it and i believe it is more user friendly then our current offering. There is the initial setup cost bit after that its quite reasonable, i hear what your saying with hosting... could be a good thing.


I dont have experience with IP but its definitely something i can be a part of, especially the theming side of things.


With HZ if i remember there was a time frame(during the swap) whereby you had to re authenticate your account and if you didn't your account was removed


Ben

#18 gav240z

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:45 AM

The IP board has alot of great features, including responsive templates for all us folk on tablets and phones etc. People will get to used to it and i believe it is more user friendly then our current offering. There is the initial setup cost bit after that its quite reasonable, i hear what your saying with hosting... could be a good thing.


Yeah I've been reading up on HTML5 lately, mobile usage of the forum has definitely increased and I'm worried if we don't adapt we'll get left behind so to speak. It would be great to optimise the mobile experience for the forum for all those on Iphone, Android, Tablets etc..

I dont have experience with IP but its definitely something i can be a part of, especially the theming side of things.


Yeah the screenshots seem to indicate the template is flexible theme wise. SMF templates are dreadful to work with (think phpBB2, but actually worse). May take you up on the offer to help out ;).

With HZ if i remember there was a time frame(during the swap) whereby you had to re authenticate your account and if you didn't your account was removed
Ben


I guess because passwords are MD5 encrypted they can't be easily converted but removing all old accounts? That's not a great user experience, there should be some kind of messaging that says users have to migrate or reset their passwords. Now I have to create a new account for HybridZ what a waste of time...Also I hate the fact that their community is totally locked down.

I will see if I can play with a demo version of Invision Power Board, migrating away from our current system has been on my mind for ages and I've always intended to port everything to Drupal but if Invision will do all we need this site to be able to do, then perhaps that's the next logical step and if we ever outgrow that platform I can look at something else like Drupal (at least by that stage everything will be in the same database - right now we have 3!).

I can also finally move the site to www.auszcar.com and get rid of a lot of legacy stuff that I feel is just holding together (kind of like the Millennium Falcon of websites haha).

I'm also thinking of axing the photo gallery because usage of it is really low, but that is something that can be discussed at a later date.

#19 saxon

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:47 AM

I prefer the way this board works over hybridz any day.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

#20 benny

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:16 AM

Drupal is my main Dev Platform so if we go down that path i can help alot. PM me either way when it comes time.




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