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  Post #1 (permalink)   03-27-2009, 06:03 PM
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Be careful what you wish for.

We are always working on new various services, projects and promotions that benefit and add value to members of HostingDiscussion.com, so we would like to start this discussion on what YOU want to see happen. If you have any grand ideas on what we can do to make you absolutely happy with this forum, this is a good time to speak up!

FAQ

What kind of ideas/wishes are you looking for?
Any. It can be an unique feature that might need to be developed, it can be content you are looking for or it can be a large-scale project that can leave our members breathless - all will be considered. We prefer a focus on new content/service ideas rather than small tweaks here and there, with an overall goal to expand the site with new valuable information/applications/features.

I want a million dollars!
You might be on a wrong forum...

My idea is great, but I would like to communicate it privately.
I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to PM me.

What's in it for me?
You will be improving the community you enjoy, benefiting yourself and thousands of other members and of course taking the credit for it.
 
 
 


Old
  Post #2 (permalink)   03-27-2009, 06:30 PM
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Let's see...

1) I'd like to see a bigger font size on posts and on the images within them (the smaller rectangular boxes).

2) The "Unread Posts" number in the right-hand column has about 50% accuracy, but I don't know if that's a problem with my end.

3) The report a post icon is so small.

4) The green color scheme could be replaced with a dark gray (more like the old HD theme -- absence makes the heart grow fonder kind of thing). I actually really like the "Forum Information" color scheme at right on forumhome or the gray bar at the bottom.

5) Some sort of reputation system would be nice.

6) Fewer forums?

7) Perhaps a latest blog post link on the homepage and broader blog topic coverage?

8) The large banner ad could be between the header and the start of the list of categories. It seems sort of weird where it is right now.

9) Most Valuable Member of the Month should be emphasized more and the winner should get some cool stuff to put on their profile and on their posts -- like a badge or something.

10) A bar with a colored background that contains the "Home / Profile / Search" stuff.

11) I miss the Quick Links feature that vBulletin has in the top navigation.

12) HD should be less harsh in advertising posting requirements or requirements for custom titles or the like. (Maybe even use a vB store for members to buy such things.) I think it should be laddered so that after every 25 or so posts some new feature or badge or title or permission or whatever unlocks. Something really special for 1,000+ post members would be cool.

13) For some members who are also hosts, perhaps an intermediate level between regular member and community advisor. There are great contributions being made now by some host-members that deserve recognition while not being quite at the post count/reliability level of community advisors.

Actually, now that I think about it, how about community advisor for the intermediate level and Community Web Hosting Guru for the top level?

Last edited by webfreak08 : 03-27-2009 at 06:59 PM.
 
 
 


Old
  Post #3 (permalink)   03-27-2009, 11:00 PM
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Hi Marc, it makes my day every time I see you around.

I thank you for your constructive feedback (and so super fast), so let's go over it together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
1) I'd like to see a bigger font size on posts and on the images within them (the smaller rectangular boxes).

3) The report a post icon is so small.

4) The green color scheme could be replaced with a dark gray (more like the old HD theme -- absence makes the heart grow fonder kind of thing). I actually really like the "Forum Information" color scheme at right on forumhome or the gray bar at the bottom.

10) A bar with a colored background that contains the "Home / Profile / Search" stuff.
I wanted to start with this. I categorized them into one because essentially these comment on our design elements. I know I didn't build the design, but I did approve it. It was a year-long effort and it cost me dearly, but after trying a few different things we thought the color scheme and the elements that we have now (some proved to be very complex during the coding process) best communicate "the message" we wanted delivered to the world.

I do agree on the small font though - we tried hacking it behind the scenes. Unfortunately every time we touched it it messed up a lot of different other headers and made things look ugly. I hope to try again in future.

At this time I prefer we work on expansion of the community and its growth rather than design elements that are already heavily implemented in other applications and new services we are working on. Changing these things meaning changing all relevant elements everywhere. In other words, that would be a real pain in one place...

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
2) The "Unread Posts" number in the right-hand column has about 50% accuracy, but I don't know if that's a problem with my end.
It counts number of threads new posts were in. And when you visit a particular thread it would display the number of posts in that thread. It pretty much does the same function as when you hit on "New Posts".

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
5) Some sort of reputation system would be nice.
I like the idea, and I see it work well on other forums (SitePoint), but what will it rate? Our forum is built around information sharing and not commercial barter system, so there are few hands-to-hands transactions taking place. Unless you mean something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
6) Fewer forums?
Also a good idea. I was thinking the other day to merge these forums into one. The idea might be good but it has its disadvantages as well. Since we are using vBSEO plugin, currently it allows more people to find a particular subject, be it in billing or customer service. If we merge them, this diverse SEO option will be lost. However, from the usability standpoint I am still considering the merge. If most people will like it as feedback comes in, we might just do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
7) Perhaps a latest blog post link on the homepage and broader blog topic coverage?
Already in the works. We have a set of services in development (ANMMark is mastering them) and we'll include the feed of the latest headlines on the homepage of the forum as well.
Regarding blog subjects - what are your ideas for topics?
Also, if you have friends/colleagues that are interested in contributing, we are always on the looking for good writers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
8) The large banner ad could be between the header and the start of the list of categories. It seems sort of weird where it is right now.
It looked even more odd when we tried switching it - it broke the dynamic of the navigation panel with the rest of the content. And anything that damages content I am not a big fan of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
9) Most Valuable Member of the Month should be emphasized more and the winner should get some cool stuff to put on their profile and on their posts -- like a badge or something.
Very interesting idea. I do like it as well and we will consider implementing some kind of badge we can award and celebrate winners with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
13) For some members who are also hosts, perhaps an intermediate level between regular member and community advisor. There are great contributions being made now by some host-members that deserve recognition while not being quite at the post count/reliability level of community advisors.

Actually, now that I think about it, how about community advisor for the intermediate level and Community Web Hosting Guru for the top level?
Same as above, perhaps some kind of "Featured Member" or an "Honored Member" badge that will reflect members' activity and showcase those that represent a good example, and it will be reviewed on a regular basis to reflect on activity/posting history, etc.
Could be actually the answer to that "reputation" system idea... Oh I am getting excited about this one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
11) I miss the Quick Links feature that vBulletin has in the top navigation.
We'll see what it will take to bring it back, sir. So far all commands can be accessed with just one click after the "Profile" link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
12) HD should be less harsh in advertising posting requirements or requirements for custom titles or the like. (Maybe even use a vB store for members to buy such things.) I think it should be laddered so that after every 25 or so posts some new feature or badge or title or permission or whatever unlocks. Something really special for 1,000+ post members would be cool.
A "store" - that's too vague of a concept, Marc. And we had it about 3 years ago with no real hype from members. Perhaps they are not that type of crowd that would care about earning one tiny star icon under their username. The benefit/value of that was little.

Marketplace rules-wise, we've always said that advertising here is a privilege companies have to earn. Its also interesting that at least two of our competing hosting forums (including the big one) had discussions when they portrayed us as example to follow.

As a second point, if we were to allow even more ads being posted, this would push down the threads down the page much quicker and limit the exposure for all participants in the marketplace.

I do, however, want to review the user titles here, but haven't really come up with a cool structure yet. It definitely has to be cool and engaging. If you get any ideas - please post or send by PM.


Overall, a very good list, some good pointers and some things worthy to pursue (for example, the members' honor/rep system) or the forum merges. We'll wait to see how this thread progresses and we'll be making the decisions along the way. I am also curious to see if anyone would come up with a "global" project we can make the center of attention and use for a lot of members. The idea of a Wiki is an old one, but one being discussed, among many others.
 
 
 


Old
  Post #4 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 05:52 AM
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As far as the small font goes you can use the control/mouse forward combination to increase text size.
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Old
  Post #5 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
3) The report a post icon is so small.
I noticed that as well. It also blends in a little too well. It should "scream" a bit. I'd much rather go for a button that says what it does, even if in a small font.

A member mentioned that "quick reply" requires a click on the "quick" button to be able to type in the designated area. A good number of forums I go to don't require this. I you happen to be at the end of the page, you can just type the reply, without having to look for a "quick" button to click on first. It's just a slight annoyance, and only for those like me, who use the "reply" or "quote" buttons very rarely.

Both changes should be easy to implement and not cause any forum-wide design/alignment issue.

Last edited by ldcdc : 03-28-2009 at 09:50 AM.
 
 
 


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  Post #6 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue View Post
As far as the small font goes you can use the control/mouse forward combination to increase text size.
I've tried it, but that is not a practical solution. It changes the whole proportions of the site. I like the text box and postbit and forumhome and threaddisplay sizes, but the post font size is too small, IMO.
 
 
 


Old
  Post #7 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 10:01 AM
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I am making a list to self of things you guys mentioned, including the report post, quick reply and font size.
 
 
 


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  Post #8 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 10:28 AM
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Quick Reply box now open without clicking on the Quick Reply button.
Exclusively for you, Dan.
 
 
 


Old
  Post #9 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artashes View Post
I am making a list to self of things you guys mentioned, including the report post, quick reply and font size.
The signature font size works, if you wanted a suggestion.

Quote:
I like the idea, and I see it work well on other forums (SitePoint), but what will it rate? Our forum is built around information sharing and not commercial barter system, so there are few hands-to-hands transactions taking place. Unless you mean something else?
Something to rate the information sharing quality of a member, then. I think there is a reputation system built into vBullein. Just something interactive to differentiate member post quality instead of simply post count.
 
 
 


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  Post #10 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webfreak08 View Post
The signature font size works, if you wanted a suggestion.
As I said, be careful what you wish for. You like?
 
 
 


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  Post #11 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 12:34 PM
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Better. Would it be too much to ask to increase the font size of the quotes as well?

While I'm at suggestions... how about a featured thread on the homepage? Perhaps this one to start.

(I'm still having problems with the "Unread Posts" count in the right hand navigation, which I think may be related to the number of posts in the thread I'm viewing rather than total unread/new posts, in general).

Last edited by webfreak08 : 03-28-2009 at 12:40 PM.
 
 
 


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  Post #12 (permalink)   03-28-2009, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Exclusively for you, Dan.
Exclusive sounds good, as long as it includes me.
 
 
 


Old
  Post #13 (permalink)   04-06-2009, 06:02 PM
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We've enhanced User Profile with new information fields about your company (or the company you represent). This is a great way to let those interested in your postings learn more about you and your business.

Additionally, your legal company name (Company field), will also display under your username next to each post you make, allowing people to make better associations between you and the company you operate / work for.


ACCESS TO ADDITIONAL USER PROFILE FIELDS:
(Profile -> Edit Profile)
http://www.hostingdiscussion.com/pro...do=editprofile


*We'll watch how this goes to see if we keep the new information in place.
*Any content input might be moderated.
 
 
 


Old
  Post #14 (permalink)   04-06-2009, 07:07 PM
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All good suggestions. HD is definitely my favorite forum now. I love how everything is so community based. If there's anything you guys need help with I've had a lot of fun with VB, so I'm game to help(just for the warm fuzzy felling it gives me)..
I liked like to be able to give members "kudos", or "brownie points" if they contribute in such a way, going again with some previously suggested ideas.

Members with a certain rank/rep should definitely get some perks as mentioned(limited size images in sig would be cool, like 100x25)

Posts in the advertising forums shouldn't count IMO.
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  Post #15 (permalink)   04-06-2009, 08:16 PM
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I've got 1 other, not sure how you'd sort this out but here goes anyway..
I noticed Steve's got his banner running(5000 from winning MV I assume). Well honestly I've seen it quite a few times and I'd hate for him to waist 300+ on me over the next month.

So take from that whatever you'd like.
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