A PM Feature?(41 posts)
You asked for simple - you get simple. There are some advantages to it. But you get a different 'customer set' than with the big forums.
Five years ago we had a big discussion with the Geek on the layout of the forum. At this time it was decided to keep it simple because on other forums people are often scared away by the sheer complexity of the forum navigation.
whs, you are absolutely correct.
HTG forum layout is excellent and the navigation straightforward.
The needless orientation on most forums are quite difficult to navigate, plagued with advertising, click here for kudos, click here for a 'free system scan'.....the list is really endless.
We did have a PM system here but it was underused.
I think the 'customer set' here is best left as it is.
If you want to contact another member on a personal basis, contact one of the mods. We can get you connected if the other party agrees.
Mike, I have been on this forum practically since day1 and long before most of you guys (except LH and Scott). I know the whole history. But the world is evolving and a few creature features would be nice to have. On my short list would be easy quote boxes, bolding of text to make commands stand out and a facility to directly upload pictures to the HTG server (a lot of people scare away when you ask them to e.g. post a picture of Disk Management).
Btw - on the good forums you are not being plagued with advertising if you are a member - only non-members see those.
@ whs. While I agree that being able to upload pictures directly to HTG would be nice, the amount of additional storage that would be needed would be expensive (and I'm sure this site isn't rolling in loot). That is why most forums use links to photos stored on other sites, such as photo sharing sites.
This is the easiest to navigate and read forum I have ever looked at. There is a multitude of information and it is easily found. The other forums combine the OP question with each of the the answers, have coloring and gingerbread that are not needed. Direct upload of pictures would be nice. But the clutter on the other sites is not found here. So, if you have to use Dropbox so what? It is explained how to use it in tutorials and it is so far free. Just my two pence worth.
There is always an excuse for everything. And it is not so obvious for the uninitiated to establish an account at Photobucket, upload the pictures and find the IMG code.
I used to provide a lot of pictures with my postings because that usually explained it a lot better than a million words. But now my Photobucket is overflowing and they want me to go pro. And at Image Shack I have to logon every time because they don't seem to keep the logon. So instead of inconveniencing myself I just don't post a lot of times.
And don't tell me that quote boxes and bolding costs any money. As I said, it's a bunch of excuses.
LF :" I'm sure this site isn't rolling in loot "" -- I think you are dead wrong.
whs, twice you were asked if you wanted to be a moderator here, and twice you refused. If you had accepted, then you might have understood the inner workings of the site (at least to some extent)
LF, it is not a question of winning. These forums are a business. And on most other forums, members are always asked to make suggestions on how to improve. After all, a business wants best customer satisfaction. For HTG I have made a number of suggestions in recent years for very small features that would make the lives of the OPs and helpers easier - and I am not asking for a full fledged migration to a modern engine. But up to now there has not been any change in 5 years. And I think that is too bad. A little evolution (not revolution) would go a long way.
LH, Yeah I know. The main reason I did not want to be a mod was because I like the technical work helping people a lot more than any admin work - and I know that there is a lot of that for the mods (who btw I applaud for doing it). Maybe you can send me an email and explain why those small changes cannot be made. I would appreciate. Maybe I am really clueless.
@whs - You had your last discussion five years ago, and A LOT CHANGES IN 5 YEARS! Things like bolding of text, italics, underlining,etc. come to be expected when authoring a post. And the simplicity doesn't have to go - with a little more effort, a link for PMs can be added just where the links for all the other PM tools like "Create New Topic",etc. are present and people won't notice it unless they need it. And stuff like quoting people and bolding of text,etc. can be added in a similar way - still keeping it simple. It won't add to any amount of confusion or clutter, it'll only make the simplicity more enriching. Removing useful(and much needed) features is obviously not an excuse to making the forum simple. And quoting other posts to reply to them is a must - even right now, I'm trying to reply to many of your different posts with different contexts in a single reply, and it's harder without quoting you.
I agree with your suggestions on implementing an integrated image hosting service, cloud storage is cheap nowadays and it isn't like HTG is at debt. BTW, if you are having trouble finding good personal image(or file) hosting services, I suggest you take a look at CloudApp(Mac)/FluffyApp(Windows). Some other nice ones are localhostr and imgur.
Now that was a stupid comment, use of bbcode is not allowed - how does that matter? Are you telling me that that's the excuse you have for having an outdated forum with many missing features? Or is it that this forum is only for retired people?
alvasrawuther, as a new member you seem to have no respect for us.
If the forum seems to be outdated or too primitive for your needs, your membership can be rescinded fairly quickly.
@Lighthouse - Are you saying that the (much needed)features and improvements I suggested will make the forums look like a circus? If implemented well, they'll only make the forum better, not degrade it.
@vistamike - How did respect get into the equation? I have a fair amount of respect for each and everyone of you guys and am very grateful for the kind of help I've received here - that's just not the problem here. The problem is that when I try to suggest and voice my opinions in this forum for it's betterment, you guys are supposed to listen and think and give your opinions and a discussion should happen to reach a conclusion which will be best for this community as a whole. I started this topic so that we can discuss and hopefully implement features which will give us a better forum. Instead, what Lighthouse is repeatedly doing is invoking history and saying irrelevant things like - "Then you don't know enough to be here." and replying whs(who was actually making a fair point) with things like - "I had asked you to be moderator" and then when whs replies with another good point Lighthouse just simply changes the topic itself by adding a completely off-topic remark by saying - "whs. How much to hire a top programmer for even just one hour ?".
When I am trying to suggest new changes and features to make the forum a better place, what I get in reply is stuff like this - "Then you don't know enough to be here." How else should I have replied to that? And you say I'm disrespecting. Is it just that you guys don't want change at all? And are too much ingrained into what you already know and believe that you don't even try to hear other people's opinions and new ideas? And aren't open to contradictions to your own way of thinking?
And is this how you treat a new member? Threatening him with membership-bans?
Mike, why is it that every time someone makes a suggsestion to improve the forum, you guys are getting out the big guns. Any other forum I know would pick these suggestions up and try to do something about it.
I won't quote another Windows forum because I know it will upset you guys. But have a look at this Android Forum and you get an idea of what I would call a 'modern forum'.
whs, I appreciate your comments but at the end of the day, it is Lowell who designed the site as we see it today.
On the other hand, if we were to take on every 'suggestion' then we would be in a pear-shaped situation.
I looked at your link....yikes, a jumble.
alvasrawuther, pleased to hear you found the site useful and helpful, let's keep it that way.
You are also very welcome here and your input is useful for the commonwealth but please understand the way we work.
Edit; to add, the forum is here for straightforward help and not for discussion regarding the layout.
@vistamike, I checked that link too, it doesn't look too good and clean to me either but it has a great community with a willingness to be open to new suggestions and implement them as required. If you want to have a look at a forum which has both a good amount of features and a clean interface - then have a look at Microsoft Answers.
And you don't have to take every suggestion, but you sure can promote and support the good ones.
alvasrawuther, this has been discussed so many times. I guess you haven't seen those.
I did not change the subject with whs btw. When things need changing on the site, and The Geek is maybe too busy, he has to hire in a programmer to assist. Simple as that. I could call on that programmer for a quick fix, but never liked to because of the expense involved.
Alright, you guys, behave yourselves or I'm going to turn this forum around and go back home. All seriousness aside:
@ alvasrawuther. Going up against established forum members, especially mods, is rarely a good idea (been there, done that, have the scars). It may be you aren't intending to, but, from where I sit, you are coming across antagonistic.
@ whs. You've forgotten more about computers in one day than I will ever know so I'm surprised I'm having to write this. Forums cost money to set up and operate. Bandwidth and storage isn't free. Cloud storage spaces may say they are free, but you are paying for it in some way, such as tracking, email harvesting, advertising, etc. One insidious revenue maker I've seen are photo sharing and storage sites that claim a right to use whatever is put on the site (ever carefully read the fine print?). You put a picture of your spouse on one and they can sell it to some porn site. Trust me, free is never free; someone is picking up the tab.
I'll be the first to admit that, featurewise, the HTG forums are overly simplistic. The Geek and I have privately tangled over some issues and I do not have a particularly high opinion of him but the fact is this is his website and he can do whatever he cottonpickin' feels like with it, whether we like it or not. If he wants to keep the forums simple (and low maintenance), it's his choice. If I was paying for the site, it would be a different story and there would be quite a few changes made. But I'm not paying for the site. And the simplistic design of the site in no way detracts from its usefulness (albeit it being a bit inconvenient).
If it's just a matter of having to do the coding for some of the improvements you would like to see, mayhap you could volunteer to do it for HTG. That doesn't mean that it will be accepted. It does mean, however, a long term commitment. I have a friend who recently went back to school to learn website design (including the coding). It took her a couple years to get her degree (on top of the library sciences degree she already had) and now works as an independent contractor for a web design company. We've had quite a few discussions about website design (mostly me carping about the piddle poor error trapping most website have) and I've learned enough to know how complex and time consuming it can be. That's why LH asked about the cost of of hiring a programmer (he tends to have an oblique way of making a point). Even if the Geek did the coding himself, he has to justify the time spent doing it when he could have been making money elsewhere. After all, he has to put food on the table.
The coding required to keep this forum 'simple' is anything but simple. Every feature, or lack thereof, you see is a direct result of custom coding. Want an out of box experience like other forums? Now that's simple.
Repeat, and this is the point both newcomers and vets need to remember, *every* single piece of form and function this forum has is a direct result of The Geek's vision. Have we tweaked things through the years? Yes. Are we open to further changes? Yes. Want to antagonize a mod? Bring up this subject repeatedly when you already have this information.
What we could have is a sticky to refer new members to, that might save us all a little drama :)
@Lighthouse - I don't really think that you'd have to hire a developer who'd cost as much as $500/hr for coding stuff like these.
@LadyFitzgerald - I know, I know. But changing my stance or opinion about something just because I might get banned off a forum isn't something that I'd do. Besides, it's not like I'm downright hurling abuses at them with no fair reason. All I'm doing is that I'm making my point.
A lot of services use a freemium model with no advertising whatsoever.
Sure, we the users, aren't directly paying him for his content. Yet we are. With a website as popular as HTG, he's probably making ad money in thousands of dollars. That along with cloud storage coming pretty cheap nowadays is not an excuse.
@Lighthouse - You just overblow the situation and turn hyperbolic sometimes. This isn't about running the whole website 24x7, this is about a small tweak(or improvement) to the already present code. And are you saying that will cost $500/hr? ...Anyone on this?
@Scott - I appreciate that. That's a good thing and is what seperates HTG from many other forums. What I'm saying is that the coding can be improved to add a feature or two while keeping the UI of the forum as simple as it was.
Also if by using, a third-party forum software with just a little tweaking, can get you a better(and still intuitive) forum experience, there's no point in still having the custom made forum when going third-party can get you a better experience.
@LF, I appreciate your comments and I understand what you are saying. But as I said, I will not persue the subject any further. Maybe we can pick up on it in a couple of years - as we have a couple of years ago. In the meantime we'll have to do with what we got. There are still many people that need our help. And as you know, we can always have fun in other places.
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