It's time to revamp the forum and we need input!!! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-07-2018, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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It's time to revamp the forum and we need input!!!

Hey Y'all,

This forum has been structured as it currently is since dirt was new. Well, at least since the forum was conceived back in September, 2006.

We've been talking to the owners and they are ready, willing, and able to make some changes to update the forum to a more inviting look.

The owners are Motorcycle.com and they own a bunch of forums. They have a 'corporate brand' going on where all of the forums, at the home page, look the same. There are some things we can change there and some things we won't be able to change. Kind of like asking Ford to drop the Blue Oval, ya know? Have a look here to get the idea: BMW Luxury Touring Community - Powered by vBulletin, Honda Goldwing Forums : Goldwing Owners Forum

Deeper into the forum, though, there are plenty of changes we can make. Right off the top of my head are some ideas that I shared with the admin staff when they asked "Sure, but whaddya mean, 'change the forum'?":

The 'Active Topics' algorithm isn't working for our low-traffic situation and perhaps needs tweaking.
The problem with the 'Active Topics' is that it often shows really old posts with just a few postings. It has to be something in the algorithm. What we need, I think, is for 'Active Posts' to either go away or for it to be tweaked so that it shows our most active posts in descending order of activity, post count, and recent. In short, they should be what a new visitor would find "Most Interesting".

I can't help but wonder if the current forum structure is optimal, either. I think is pretty much the way the forum was set up more than 10 years ago.
The forum layout goes back to the original owner, I think. I've been here 10 years and it seems it has never changed. Could be wrong on that, but the point remains. It would be nice to simplify it some so that it looks less cluttered. For example, we have a Ladies Lounge. That's nice and all, but the Ladies Lounge hasn't been used in years. At best we'd probably have one lady around, if any, and sh'e be lost and alone in the LL. Besides, we're equal. Get rid of it. Get rid of all of the under-utilized sub-forums for clean and uncluttered look.

It might be better if, instead of sticking posts at the top of sub-forums, we could have a sub-forum for what we have stuck in other forums.
We have, for a long time, 'stuck' stuff that we consider important at the top of sub-forums. Here's and example: 2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum . It's gotten to the point where all you see is stickies, so it looks like the forum is dead. We could take all of the stickies and move them to a sub forum that is only for stickies and call it "Important Stuff" or somesuch.

I wonder if there is a way to have the default entry screen be more functional and inviting.


Thing is, we want your input because it's your forum. We want your ideas on what would make it better because you're the folks that use the forum.

Please, chime in here with your ideas on what would make the forum better, more inviting, more functional. We'll put together a list and forward it to the site admin staff and get them working on it.

Big Thanks!

Tom [email protected]

“The kid poured him another straight rye and I think he doctored it with water down behind the bar because when he came up with it he looked as guilty as if he'd kicked his grandmother.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 02-07-2018 at 09:36 PM.
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 10:28 AM
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I like it as it is. Please don't change the white background with clean fonts, it makes it easier on the eyes to read compared to some other forums that go for a black background.

I really don't have a suggestion other than don't change it for the sake of changing it
brian

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post #3 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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No, we're not after making visual changes. We're more after streamlining the forum and making it easier to use and navigate, making it more user-friendly.

Tom [email protected]

“The kid poured him another straight rye and I think he doctored it with water down behind the bar because when he came up with it he looked as guilty as if he'd kicked his grandmother.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem
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post #4 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 11:03 AM
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Tom,

While I'm sure some tweeking could be good (agreed on the LL for eg.), I think this is one of the better forums. The Active Topic is one of my favorite things so I hope it doesn't change, honestly; I use it as a quick view to see what has been discussed since I last logged on......if it was to change to a complex formula of total posts, vs. recent, etc. it may loose some utility for me. OTOH, There is some overlap between the "recent discussions" window and the Active Topics so maybe one could be adjusted.

I could see some revamping of the vast resource material in an easy-to-find format to be a good thing.

2 cents,

Dave

Last edited by DPelletier; 02-08-2018 at 11:07 AM.
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Dave,

It seems to come down to how you use the forum to get to the information you want, eh?

We have, depending upon if you are logged in or not, "Today's Posts", "Active Topics", "Most Popular Discussions" and "New Posts". And, of course, browsing the index.

I don't use "Today's Posts" ,"Active Topics" or "Most Popular Discussions", only "New Posts". I seldom browse the index. I think that I miss some posts from time to time by only using "New Posts", but is seems to work pretty well for me because I don't visit the forum without logging in. I realize others use the forum without being logged in, so that must be considered.

Because I don't use them I really don't know them or understand their algorithms. Perhaps We can ask the admin staff for an explanation of those algorithms.

By the way, I think "Most Popular Discussions" falls under the 'corporate branding' category and wouldn't be changed. Making changes to that category is asking for management by exception, which is not a good business practice.

We'll probably need to have some polls on things like this.

Thanks, appreciate your input!
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Tom [email protected]

“The kid poured him another straight rye and I think he doctored it with water down behind the bar because when he came up with it he looked as guilty as if he'd kicked his grandmother.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 12:37 PM
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I’ve browsed all over this forum and read what I found interesting, and have settled in on using active topics to read new posts each time I visit.

1. On threads that have new posts since my last visit, I have to click on the tiny icon to go to the last unread. Not easy on a phone which I use A LOT, almost exclusively. If the topic title could do what that icon does, it would be MUCH easier.

2. Unless I’m missing how to do it, I cannot upload an attachment from my iPhone when on the posting page. I find only a “drag and drop” option which you can’t do on iPhone.

3. I haven’t checked specifically, but I think there’s a limit on number of attachments can be uploaded. There should be a compression algorithm in place to make attachments small file sizes so limits can be increased or eliminated. Ability to easily upload pics encourages posting.
In reality server space for compressed images is not an issue but the limits do look imposed to encourage paid subscriptions.

Otherwise I think the software flows okay but it would be nice to have a simpler way to mark all forums read without having to go thru a drop down menu.

My point oh two sense.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1

Last edited by dan filipi; 02-08-2018 at 12:47 PM.
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 12:44 PM
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And you can ditch the “enhanced mobile view” for all I care. Hate it, never use it.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 02:32 PM
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Hi - I also could do without the enhanced mobile view, but really appreciate the ability to see what's been recently posted.
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Just curious, why don't you use the "New Posts"? It shows you the threads with unread posts since our last visit. When you click on a thread it takes you to the first unread post in that thread.

When I use my i-phone I view it with the equivalent of the desk-top mode. I couldn't figure out the other mode. I made posts and they didn't show up. To quote Lewis Black, "I became confuuused."

Tom [email protected]

“The kid poured him another straight rye and I think he doctored it with water down behind the bar because when he came up with it he looked as guilty as if he'd kicked his grandmother.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-08-2018, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Just curious, why don't you use the "New Posts"? It shows you the threads with unread posts since our last visit. When you click on a thread it takes you to the first unread post in that thread.

When I use my i-phone I view it with the equivalent of the desk-top mode. I couldn't figure out the other mode. I made posts and they didn't show up. To quote Lewis Black, "I became confuuused."
When I click on the post title of any thread, including those I've read the first bunch of posts in, it goes to the first post in that thread. Only when I click on the little chevron looking arrow does it go to the last unread post.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1

Last edited by dan filipi; 02-09-2018 at 08:16 AM.
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