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New Year, New LUG Plans

Discussion in 'Discuss The LUG Site' started by Orren Merton, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    I have posted a new blog, entitled New Year - New LUG Plans. It is a call for discussion about how you'd like to see the LUG develop over the new year. Let's use this thread to start the discussion:

    As we update our back-end software and work on the site, what would you like to see?

    Thanks! :band:

    Orren
     
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  3. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Nobody has any suggestions???
     
  4. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    It's hard to comment when we don't know specifically what these new social networking features are that the new version of the software has to offer.
     
  5. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    Forgetting about what the software might offer, I think the question of "what do you [meaning all members] want to see" is still worth answering. Remember, software works for us, not the other way around. If our community would like to see a given feature strongly enough, it doesn't matter if vBulletin 4 will do it or not, we can always add another piece of software on the back end to do it.

    So...any suggestions/requests?

    Orren
     
  6. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    BTW, if anyone will be at the NAMM show 1/14-1/17 and you run into me, I'm happy to talk about suggestions as well!

    Orren
     
  7. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Well, I don't know all the ins and outs of the new vB4, but here are a few features that I believe will be useful:

    In addition to the forum, there is an integrated blog and CMS. CMS means Content Management System and in layman's terms it is basically web pages that you can write as easily as posting on the forum. (In theory)

    Currently we have all of that here, but the blog and CMS are different software to the forum, so requires two different logins.

    If it is all in vBulletin, then it means that members of the forum will also be able to (easily) contribute blogs and pages/articles.

    One other feature I just discovered is that any posts on the forum can automatically be turned into articles, ie if a post is really useful, instead of getting buried in the mists of time as the forum gets older, it could become promoted to being a page on the site. We would thus create a useful (and importantly easily navigable) knowledge base and FAQ department.

    This is all speculative: currently vBulletin 4 is a bit too new and buggy (sound familiar) and we have not made an decisions. If there is plenty of enthusiasm from members to take a more interactive role in contributing to the site beyond just the forum, then it will be very much taken into account when we make a decision whether or not to implement all this.

    If we don't go this route and keep the current CMS, at some stage we will probably upgrade to the vB4 forum anyway (ie just the forum bit without blog and CMS). Even just the forum has plenty of new features, but I haven't really got to grips with those yet beyond the advantage of better Google indexing, so I can't comment.
     
  8. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    Hi Guys. I've been on holidays and just noticed this thread while poking around to see if there were any other alternatives to TapaTalk as an iPhone Client.

    Why I've decided to post in this thread is it does concern site functionality.

    Having been a semi regular poster since about 1995 I feel confident to say that the shift from mail list to web based forum is the single biggest change the community has undergone IMO.

    The website as it stands today is generally excellent and all the people involved in it should definitely stand up and take a bow for a job well done.

    In an effort to maintain the information value that the list represents there is a fundamental loss of functionality IMO that I have unsuccessfully struggled to foster new reading/ posting practises to get around.

    Simply put, the fact that the list info used to turn up in my mail client made a lot easier (many less keystrokes) to post replies and also start new threads.

    As a result of this the contribution I make to the list currently is way down compared to what it was prior to the web based forum. When mail comes to you it reminds you to read it. As a web based forum you have to remember to visit or you might not know someone has posted a reply to your question etc.

    So when the web forum change first took place I was involved in several threads trying to work out a way to be "reminded" that there was a new post within an existing thread - but alas I still don't understand why it's not possible for there to be some kind of "push" reminder system or even better - publish every message in a thread to RSS - not just the first in a new thread only.

    Being "reminded" a new thread has started is not enough because we all get deeply involved in some threads and ignore many others. And sometimes we have just enough time to dash off a reply to a thread we're "doing" without spending more time looking at anything else.

    If we have to spend more time (keystrokes/ browser pages) to make a reply - even if it is just a few seconds, we maybe don't bother - and this effect simply reduces the overall traffic/ value of the list as a resource - which is a big bummer as I too love this list.

    Anyway, thanks for reading this far and finally my number one request for the LUG would be (drum roll) ALL posts in a thread get sent to RSS - not just the first post of a new thread AND post the whole message to RSS, not just the first few lines.

    Kind regards
     
  9. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for posting!

    As another avid iPhone user/reader, I don't think there is. If you find one, or if another comes out, we'll definitely support it (Tapatalk requires some server-side additions, as I'm sure any other solutions would).

    BTW, we do have an iPhone/mobile theme, but it's still not as customized for the iPhone as Tapatalk.

    Thanks! :D

    Understood. You and I and most of us "old skool" LUG users are from the age in which we didn't "live" in the browser. We lived in email clients. That's changing for those who cut their teeth in the "Google age" in which everything is a web app. But I'm with you, that's why I too subscribe to RSS, and want the LUG functionality to offer both experiences, both web and email.

    A great request! Some of that isn't in our control—the current vBulletin software gives us the option to turn RSS support on or off; what shows up in various RSS readers is partly the reader (some readers show less than even the first few lines, titles only), and partly vBulletin (it only sends first posts).

    As we explore vBulletin 4.0, we'll definitely try and expand RSS and email support, either via it's own admin panel or if necessary add-ons (if available).

    Thanks for your comments—this is exactly the sort of feedback we need, to help us make the LUG better!

    Take care,
    Orren
     
  10. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    There is. In your User CP, choose instant email notifications.

    All threads you start or post in are automatically subscribed for this, any other threads you choose to subscribe using the thread tools at the top of each thread.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    Hi Orren. I can appreciate your point about users who came later to the net. That makes sense.

    Thanks for clearing up the TapaTalk question. I guess it doesn't offer any tangible benefits for me right now.

    Regarding RSS readers the best I've tried and use every day on my mac is NetNewsWire. I also use the iPhone NetNewsWire as well and this is probably where I do most of my Logic Users reading. The two programs sync seamlessly. I've probably got about 60 or more different RSS feeds I'm subscribed to and some display all the post and graphics as well (createdigitalmusic.com, wired.com) and others display little or no more than the subject line (rme-audio.de). SOme display every post in a thread and others don't I've long wondered why some offer such rich content on their RSS feeds while others so little. Bandwidth issues?

    Anyway if it is possible to add all posts in a thread to the RSS feed that would certainly solve all of my current issues.

    It's also worth mentioning that while I'm definitely an old school internet guy I can see benefits to the web based format as well.

    Kind regards
     
  12. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    Thanks for this Pete. It's better than nothing. I'm still hoping for a wholly RSS based solution to this issue.

    Kind regards
     
  13. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    I read this entire thread and what resonated with me is that the old-school email notification system was the best conduit for knowing exactly what has been posted during the day.
    It is true that I sometimes don't check the LUG Fora because I forget to or am too busy to explore every Discussion category.
    Having an email with each topic listed was the most ergonomic way to see what was going on in a bite-sized/user-friendly format.

    I guess I am echoing what has already been said above.
    I like the fora/Topics and the job everyone has been doing here but that never was an issue for me.
    What is a bit of a step backwards is ergonomics of this whole web-based system. It is up to me, the user to actively "look" through the entire LUG site.
    I feel that if I am not vigilant searching for posts of interests every day, I miss out.:eeek:
    (There have been times when I have stumbled across older threads that I would have loved to have been a part of had I been informed.) But the Web-Based Fora cannot send alerts ala the Yahoo Group.

    Having to exert more of my time (than I did in the LUG Yahoo years,) just to be informed is counter-intuitive.
    It's not the fault of the Admins, it is just the way this thing works.

    I look forward to a smarter interface that one day helps us get to the info we need, simpler and more direct.
    :)
     
  14. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Have you tried the subscription system?

    You can open each forum and subscribe to it:

    [​IMG]

    This brings you to your control panel where you can choose between two notification methods:

    [​IMG]

    I have never used it and do not know if this function sends just a message "there are new posts" or a list of all posts. But try yourself with one or two subforums, maybe it does what you want.
     
  15. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    Thanks Peter, I will give it a try and report back.
    :thmbup:
     
  16. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Definitely worth subscribing to any forum likely to have anything interesting for you. Also if you just check "New Posts" once a day or whenever you will see all the posts since you last looked.

    I also find the RSS feed useful, through Safari you can create a subscription to a direct feed to mail.app, where you get all the posts as they are made.

    For me this is so much better and versatile than the old list.
     
  17. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    I use the RSS subscription feed in Safari - to my OS X Mail program and it works great. Of course it only notifies you of new posts, not additional posts on threads that you aren't actively participating in; but it's still a pretty efficient way of keeping up.
     
  18. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    Now this is interesting. Thanks Peter Ostry for pointing out being able to subscribe to a whole forum.

    I took Pete Thomas' advice earlier in this thread and opted for "email notification" to just the threads I was subscribed and you know what? When I first posted to this thread last month I received an email notification shortly after that because someone had replied to the thread. But I just happened to look here tonight and there's been another 10 or so posts happen over the past weeks and I've received no further notifications?

    How does this email notification functionality actually work? How often is it meant to tell me there's more to read?

    Not as often as I would like for sure.

    Kind regards
     
  19. Ginger

    Ginger Member

    Maybe you didn't get any new notifications because/if you hadn't logged in to check the one you did get a notification about? I think that's how it's supposed to work.
     
  20. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    If you post, and select "email notification," the next time someone posts, you will be notified.

    If you then return to view the thread, you will be notified the next time after that someone posts. If you do not revisit the thread, vBulletin assumes that you have lost interest in the thread, and doesn't bother you with notifications anymore.

    It's not an ideal functionality, but it does mean that if people are posting to a thread a year after you loose interest, you won't continually get notifications.

    Orren
     

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