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Topic: About future forum upgrades, Thoughts and opinions wanted!

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Doctacosa
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Posted on August 17, 2015 at 2:13:48 [Post link]
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As some of you know, this forum software, IOBoard, is nearly 10 years old. It's also been modeled after designs put in place way back in 2002. It has received several major updates along the way, and now has lots of features ranging from the obvious like private messaging to the more obscure like the dice roller for D&D players.

At the same time, a lot of time has passed, and the platform is aging. The structure of the Internet as a whole has changed a lot in the meantime, and I don't always feel like what we have right now can compete properly against other places. At the same time, this place is definitely underused compared to what it offers. As I'm preparing another round of upgrades, I'd like to get your feedback on several points.


Mobile-friendliness? The current appearance is definitely geared toward full browser use, while sitting at a computer. Many people nowadays use smartphones, tablets, or even game systems to browse the Internet instead. Should I make an effort to make it easier to browse and post on the forums through these platforms?

Tapatalk? Tapatalk is an app available on various mobile platforms that makes using forums easier as it offers a standard, easier-to-use interface to all of them. Is that something that people would be interested in, or would a mobile-friendly layout be enough? Tapatalk integration is definitely possible, but it'd be a major time investment that I don't want to commit to unless others really care about it.

Layout update? This is linked to the two points above. Is the current layout easy enough to use, or does it need a major makeover to properly look like it belongs to 2015? I've been trying to use a more visual style in newer sections, like the Minecraft player profiles and statistics. Maybe I should do a bigger push in that direction?

Private forum messages? The private forum messaging system works quite well, and I'm probably its biggest user. At the same time, do you feel like it could benefit from new features? If so, which? Being notified of new messages whenever you login on Minecraft is a start; surely you can think of something else you'd like to see added?

Better website integration? Maybe what this place needs is a tighter integration with various websites like the Creeper's Lab? Besides being able to view comment on news posts and run player lookups, there isn't a lot going on there. Any thoughts on this point?


There are probably other points that I'm overlooking. What I want to do here is start a discussion: what do you see that works, what could be improved, and what needs a total makeover? What would cause more people to be interested in interacting here? I'll be making some changes no matter what goes, but at the same time, having some external input would definitely be valuable.

Thanks for reading!


The admin formerly known as Dr. Cossack.

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Kingdaddytoad
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Posted on August 17, 2015 at 10:42:00 [Post link]
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Doc it might be nice to add the Mobile-friendliness but i don't have any smartphone so i don't care about that but Better website integration would be great ."This place needs is a tighter integration with various websites like the Creeper's Lab."as you said and I agree on that.I don't have much of an idea how to get more people interacting here but there could be a weekly question and if you answer right(the first answers wins) wins! and the prizes can be given in game like good tools or like lapise or good blocks you got me i guess...i am would be glad if help even tiny bit.

Masterlink
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Posted on August 17, 2015 at 10:58:25 [Post link]
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I, for one, have no problem using the forum on my phone, and I generally dislike mobile format on forums. They're often broken, don't support the wide variety of screen sizes,and are hard to navigate. Often opting for symbols for things, leaving users to figure it out on their own. Refresh can be broken to, sucks to lose a large post you typed on a phone.

As far as tapatalk goes, I get enough GRAB OUR FORUM APP!?!? As is. The current structure resizes well and have no issue posting. Am using my phone right now for this post.

Layout is nice and clean, too many overly geaphiced sites exist and all ad filled. Everything is fairly easy to find here without being clustered. Maybe an update, but no major overhaul.

Only thing I can think of for private messages is possibly sms integration. This could be done with special emails per user, as all carriers support email to sms and vice versa. Either notifying of a new message, or actually showing the message and allowing reply. I have an idea on how this would work if you want to talk about that.

As far as integration goes, we must keep in mind the forum IS a separate entity from the lab. While integration is nice, don't make it the focus. Maybe a notification in game if someone replies to a subscribed thread, or use of forum xp transfer to the game. Encouraging forum discussion as a way to gain experience, instead of the rpg stats just being near to look at. A reward for using the forums basically.

Just some thoughts.

Edited by Masterlink on August 17, 2015 at 5:59:18


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Coneva
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Posted on August 17, 2015 at 13:08:01 [Post link]
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I agree a lot with Skree .
The only problem I've had with the forums on my phone is I can't chat- I don't know if that's my phone, or if there can be some change there to make the chat more mobile-capable?
Seeing as how I'm pretty brand new to the whole forum, I guess I don't have too much else to suggest.

Masterlink
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Posted on August 17, 2015 at 13:50:36 [Post link]
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Quote from post #236662:
Originally posted by Coneva
I agree a lot with Skree .
The only problem I've had with the forums on my phone is I can't chat- I don't know if that's my phone, or if there can be some change there to make the chat more mobile-capable?
Seeing as how I'm pretty brand new to the whole forum, I guess I don't have too much else to suggest.


The problem on the phone is no flash. Ajax should work, but unwieldy. Nothing doc can do about either as they are separate platforms. You can see about an app for irc, like AndroIRC, it's free in the app store. If you are on iphone, colloquy, but it's not free. Just ask for help setting up.


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Doctacosa
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Posted on August 17, 2015 at 14:41:35 [Post link]
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As Skree said, if you want to chat from your phone, I highly recommend that you get an IRC app instead of using the web version. That will work much, much better!

Just to clear up something here, I'm not looking to merge the forums and the Creeper's Lab's website. The two are independant entities, and I like it that way, especially since the forums actually target more than just Minecraft. I'm just considering how to make traffic flow better between the two.


The admin formerly known as Dr. Cossack.

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"There are only three things certain in life: Death, taxes, and Teej's obsessions." ~ RisingDragon (still true in 2017!)

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Posted on August 19, 2015 at 0:49:20 [Post link]
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What could be improved:
Server-side vs client-side thread/msg status - i.e. When I view the forum from work, all the msgs/threads that I marked as read the night before from home reflect as unread :(


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