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 Post subject: Few suggestions about the forums.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:46 am
Posts: 13
Hello there - just having a look around I'm noticing a few things about the forums and so forth...

  1. The first thing is that it seems you've got far too much going on in places, and I can count at least three different off-topic forums that could be merged as one. In the Buck Rogers section you have 'General Chat', in the PVT side you have 'Chat' and 'Community' which practically are the same thing. I'm guessing the idea was to separate the Buck Rogers community from the PVT one - but that over-complicates things. You can merge the off-topic areas into it's own seperate category so that PVT and Buck Rogers communities both post in the same place for off-topic posts.
  2. The PVT section has boards for several of it's shows like Andromeda, Seaquest but there's been no posts at all. I can't see why they can't be placed as sub-boards if they're weekly, syndicated e.t.c. It shortens the main board and condenses everything easily.
  3. The Star-Port and the RobotBuck all have nice functionality but their placement on the page looks nasty and is quite jarring on the first look. It would probably have been better to put the star-port on a page on it's own and place a redirect forum link to that page to save loading time and to keep the front page looking nice. I have no idea what the use of the Robot Buck is; and there's been no posts in the forum since October of last year it feels redundant.
  4. The PVT forums have their own skin - again to seperate it from the Buck Rogers side but it's not very usable on the eye. I'm not a fan of the theme that I'm forced to use and it's quite striking when I go into one of the PVT forums and the theme I chose for the rest of the forum. The casual lurker may and some will get confused and believe they are on another site.

Those are just a few observations, because the amount of forums that are showing with 'no posts' is striking, and the more forums that are on show the more lurkers are going to think that the community isn't active. So you need to be hiding that to attract more people into making the community more active.

I hope those suggestions help. [hamster]


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 Post subject: Re: Few suggestions about the forums.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:44 am
Posts: 1263
Location: Houston
Before I post on this subject I'd like to answer a post you made in another subject since they're greatly connected to one another.

The first PVT forum went down for two reasons although I think one was bigger than the other. It got flooded by spammers, most of which were very dirty, some even posted. Out of all the members in that first PVT forum only 5% were real members with an interest in the virtual series community. Second reason which was given by the person who gave Mike ownership of the board. That he had not logged in for some time. That was because Mike is a very busy person and could not get to it. I'm still very sure it was the issue with spammers.

When the first PVT forum was locked down by the people who had provided it they also flooded it with their own adds making things worse. These adds actually were interrupting the topics every few posts. Because things had gone to hell I volunteered to Mike that PVT get it's own section in the Buck Rogers in the 26th Century forum. I made him an Admin. here, copied 99% of the first PVT forum over here and he setup the rest.

matt wrote:
Hello there - just having a look around I'm noticing a few things about the forums and so forth...

  1. The first thing is that it seems you've got far too much going on in places, and I can count at least three different off-topic forums that could be merged as one. In the Buck Rogers section you have 'General Chat', in the PVT side you have 'Chat' and 'Community' which practically are the same thing. I'm guessing the idea was to separate the Buck Rogers community from the PVT one - but that over-complicates things. You can merge the off-topic areas into it's own seperate category so that PVT and Buck Rogers communities both post in the same place for off-topic posts.
  2. The PVT section has boards for several of it's shows like Andromeda, Seaquest but there's been no posts at all. I can't see why they can't be placed as sub-boards if they're weekly, syndicated e.t.c. It shortens the main board and condenses everything easily.
  3. The Star-Port and the RobotBuck all have nice functionality but their placement on the page looks nasty and is quite jarring on the first look. It would probably have been better to put the star-port on a page on it's own and place a redirect forum link to that page to save loading time and to keep the front page looking nice. I have no idea what the use of the Robot Buck is; and there's been no posts in the forum since October of last year it feels redundant.
  4. The PVT forums have their own skin - again to seperate it from the Buck Rogers side but it's not very usable on the eye. I'm not a fan of the theme that I'm forced to use and it's quite striking when I go into one of the PVT forums and the theme I chose for the rest of the forum. The casual lurker may and some will get confused and believe they are on another site.

Those are just a few observations, because the amount of forums that are showing with 'no posts' is striking, and the more forums that are on show the more lurkers are going to think that the community isn't active. So you need to be hiding that to attract more people into making the community more active.

I hope those suggestions help. [hamster]



. Buck Rogers in the 26th Century should be considered a separate board even though it shares the same forum with PVT. I understand the comment about different chat areas although I've only noticed two ( Please take no notice of when Rodimus_2316 and I went very off-topic in the 'Help Wanted' section ). The 26th Century area has been in here for much longer and it's my virtual series.

. The sections for each virtual series. I can see your view point and Mike's so that's some thing he'll have to decide if he wants to change.

. The Star-Port and Robot Buck. The Star-Port has been a part of the 26th Century forum for a long time even though it's changed some since the beginning due to an issue connecting into other forums badly. Countless conversations have taken place in it, announcements, requests, complaints if some thing is wrong, shout-outs. People enjoy it, and I'd prefer it not to be a link to be directed into another site. As for the second, I thought Robot Buck would be a neat idea and many have told me since it is. I helps clear up confusion although I understand it doesn't bend in with the forum's look well. This forum ran using phpbb 2.0 for a long time and had a very different look to it then. It was gray in theme color so hence the look for the background of Robot Buck. I just have yet to find a new background for it under the new look of the forum running under phpbb 3.0.

. About this forum's skin, the PVT section. I'm sure when Mike reads your post he'll think about the look for the people who frequent this section. There are over 100 themes that can be used here ;).

Thank you for giving your suggestions 8).



Erin :cat:


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 Post subject: Re: Few suggestions about the forums.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:27 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Greeley, CO
Thanks for the suggestions.

I agree, the forum has WAY too many sections right now. I'll probably kill off over half of them when I get around to an update. I gave each series hosted on the site its own forum for the fans of those shows, but since no one uses them, they'll probably all just be pulled off. Gave it a shot, didn't pan out, so I'm willing to roll with it. It's just the matter of taking that link off EVERY page in EVERY series listed. The coding I used requires me to update hundreds upon hundreds of pages for an update like that, so they might be around for a while. I have to get pretty bored to spend that much time altering code. And lately, free time to do anything with the site has been at a premium.

As for the look of the PVT side of the forum, personally I like it, but I'll surf through the others (again, when time permits) and see if I can find something a little more user friendly. I'm open to any suggestions if anyone has them.

Thanks again and I'll talk to you soon.


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