Jan 14, 2010 at 12:33 am #1254100
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
Just thought I would throw out a couple things I'd like to see here at BPL. They shouldn't be too hard to integrate. Share your ideas… perhaps Ryan will incorporate a few of our ideas on the next site revamp.
1. Online indicators below the users name in threads. That way we know who is online at present and who is not.
2. Dedicated internal chat function where quicker discussions can take place.
3. Improved search functions.
4. "Tacked" feedback thread for sellers and buyers here on BPL. That way we can see who is worth doing business with and who isn't.
That's just a few ideas I had on the top of my head. Please share your own. I really appreciate this site Ryan. It's great. I hope we can help make it even better in the future.Jan 14, 2010 at 3:27 am #1562582Jan 14, 2010 at 5:37 am #1562600
Granted the search function could be better, but I'll pass on the others. I like the anonymity, and don't want everyone to know if I am on or not. No signature tags either. Lame.Jan 14, 2010 at 6:30 am #1562611
No Chat and no ranking on the sales – sounds like an Ebay to me. Better search function. That would be it for me.Jan 14, 2010 at 6:58 am #1562621
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Wow, the layout is great, aesthetic, etc., BPL runs a fine vessel! I cannot think of much that needs improvement from a user standpoint. +1 on the search I suppose. I've had trouble navigating info in the past due to the constant state of motion that UL discourse is in here at BPL.Jan 14, 2010 at 7:01 am #1562625
I think the search page drop down menu is backwards. The first forum rooms that pop up are administrative, so you have to scroll to the bottom to find the gear forums.Jan 14, 2010 at 7:03 am #1562627
Yes to better search
Yes to better private message system
No online status indicatorsJan 14, 2010 at 7:56 am #1562643
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
Yes to better search.
Yes to better PM system.Jan 14, 2010 at 9:32 am #1562678
"Yes to better search.
Yes to better PM system."
+whatever. But what makes a better PM system? To me, the ability to PM more than one person at a time, especially the ability to CC: myself on any PM, so I don't forget what I've told someone! (Hey, I'm old. They call me the Momento Man at work!).Jan 14, 2010 at 9:35 am #1562680
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
A better PM system would include a feature where you can store posts sent and received (within reasonable limits). Right now, we have nothing.Jan 14, 2010 at 9:42 am #1562682
The ones I've seen save all the messages online in a threaded format much like an email program. That way you can go back and see the context of the conversation and respond.
Speaking of threaded I would like to see the option of threaded forums. It's easier to understand the many conversations going on in a thread when I can see who is replying to whom.
Both of the above along with better search are standard in all current (often free) forum software packages.
I'm continually disappointed that a paid site like BPL is be so far behind in this area compared to both the free and commercial sites like whiteblaze, bplite, sixmoondesigns, Jason Klass's new site backpackflyfishing and the thousands of other online forums.Jan 14, 2010 at 9:46 am #1562684
I dunno, I think the search function works pretty well. Tons better than before! The only thing that drives me nuts is the PM system. A bit clunky (sometimes I have to login again, although I'm already logged in, for example). But more so, not seeing the message that I'm typing a response to and not having a copy of what I sent. Some of it is good info that could see further use, or be posted, or whatever.
Otherwise I wouldn't change much. I wouldn't want a chat function (which would negate the "online now" thing). We could all stand to take a breath and get over the need for instantaneous gratification. I also like the more public form of communication here; keeps more people in the loop, gets info out there that otherwise wouldn't, probably keeps things more civil.
EDIT: One thing that would be nice is a "watch" function, so you can tag and follow certain threads. And/or a "library" function, to permanently add a thread link to your profile's, um, library.
Cheers-Jan 14, 2010 at 9:54 am #1562688
Here is what I mean by a better forum search:
1) Restrict to a set of forums (not just one)
2) Restrict to a user or set of users
3) Restrict to a date range
4) Sort the results based on date, forum, user name, etc.Jan 14, 2010 at 9:56 am #1562690
"One thing that would be nice is a "watch" function, so you can tag and follow certain threads."
I believe you can do this now, but don't know if it's exactly what you mean. At the top of the thread there is a "Watch this thread" link.Jan 14, 2010 at 10:07 am #1562696
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Better search (something quite a few forums need).
A better PM system, although with limited storage (storage costs money!).
More privacy! Ability to keep our real names private on the forum. I'd rather not broadcast mine to the whole world, especially the hackers/scammers out there. Our real names should be visible only to the owners of this forum, not to all and sundry. Yes, we can do that now (I do), but if we decide to order something from the BPL Store, our real names pop up on all our posts! It's enough to keep me from ordering from the store!
Why do we even bother setting up user names here if our real names are going to appear on the forum?Jan 14, 2010 at 10:28 am #1562709
Um… blushing a bit… ahh, why, yes, it is there, isn't it. How observant of me! Guess I'll try that out, see if it can pull off the "libary" kinda function. Thanks-Jan 14, 2010 at 10:30 am #1562710
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
I guess why I like the idea of online indicators, is so I know if I can expect a response in the near future or if i'm going to have to wait for a bit. Not a big deal either way I guess.
Some good ideas floating around.
@ Mary – I kinda wondered the same thing at first. What's the point if our names are gonna show anyways? After thinking about it, I believe it keeps some people in check.Jan 14, 2010 at 10:37 am #1562713
After making the purchase you can change back to an alias:
-Click on "My Account" at the very top of every BPL page (when logged in).
-On the right, under "My Account" click on "Change My Billing & Shipping Addresses"
-Under "Primary Address" change "First Name" and "Last Name" to your preferred alias. This is what will show up on all your posts.
Note that each time someone looks at your posts it pulls the current name. So if you change today from "Mary D." to "Gary Egglesmort", all your old posts will show up with Gary.
I don't know if using aliases goes against BPL policy or not. I use an alias just in case my boss (who also hikes) were to run across my name and start looking at post times- not a big deal because I'm salaried, not hourly but still…
If I need to search for something very specific I use Google with "site:backpackinglight.com" to restrict returns to things on this site. You can also include the user name.Jan 14, 2010 at 10:44 am #1562717
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
We do have a policy regarding the use of your real name in the forums that goes as such:
"If you choose to participate in our community forums, your first and last names will be associated with your post. We discourage anonymity and encourage integrity in your communications so that your identity fairly reflects your reputation for appropriate communications. "
We leave respecting this policy up to the discretion of the user however.
Also, keep the suggestions coming. This thread will help to provide direction for our Web development dollars in the coming months.Jan 14, 2010 at 11:49 pm #1562987
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Actually, I like BPL just as it is, except for one item. It is simple and easy to navigate. There are no pesky online adverstisng banners and the such.
One thing I would like to see in the "new post" window is a toolbar that you can click to change text formatting, insert a link, insert a picture, etc. I hate dealing with html formatting and can never remember the conventions.
Also a preview post capability would be nice so you could preview it prior to posting. This is especially helpful if you are posting pictures.Jan 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm #1566917
@adrianbLocale: Auckland, New Zealand
I've said it before, throw out the home grown forum package and replace it with an open source one (eg http://www.phpbb.com/). Only cost should be installing and migrating the data.
I'd use the forums here a lot more if they weren't so clunky (no offence to the authors, but a lot of work has gone into the open source packages).Jan 27, 2010 at 2:54 pm #1566929
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
I say yes to a room chat that you can create and yes to personal chat.
It would be nice to get together a hole group of BPL'ers heading to one of the trips and you set up a chat room and time for it so that everyone can check it out and get up to date.
For personal chat, it would be nice to have an option to be able to show if you are on-line or not on your avatar. Then if someone sees you are logged in they can send them a msg or chat about something.
I would not like this option though if there was not a choice to turn on and off the online status.Jan 30, 2010 at 7:42 pm #1568080
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
It would also be nice to see more than just 10 of peoples past posts in their profile.
It takes forever to find anything.
100 would be nice, or even an "all" option…Feb 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm #1571417
@anywayoutsideLocale: South East
The BPL rank is gone. Good. Thank you.Feb 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm #1571420
And +1 to what Nick said:
"One thing I would like to see in the "new post" window is a toolbar that you can click to change text formatting, insert a link, insert a picture, etc. I hate dealing with html formatting and can never remember the conventions.
Also a preview post capability would be nice so you could preview it prior to posting. This is especially helpful if you are posting pictures."
The only thing with chat is that it might cut down on the available information to other users. As it is, everyone benefits from the forums. If many of these conversations went to private chat, what information might we be missing out on?
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