Jan 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm #1233612
.Jan 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm #1473572
Nice work Dave.
– I kinda like name "the GSpot"
– I would condense things further. Get rid of the Family/Scouts entry and put it under General. Get rid of reader tips completely (they will appear in either MYOG or technique or in the wiki!!). The General forum area would then become:
Technique and Philosophy
Food, Hydration, and Nutrition
Backpacking with Family
Backpacking with Scouts
– I would call "On the water" simply Packrafting/Fishing
– You could probably get rid of "on the web"
– All your other suggestions are great. Fewer sub-forums are a must!Jan 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm #1473579
One further suggestion:
It would be great to see a "Recent Threads" page (in addition to the current "Recent Posts" page).
The first thing I want to know when I visit BPL is: what new topics are being discussed, across all the forums. Currently I either have to visit every sub-forum to check what's happening, or click on "Recent posts" and scroll through a couple of pages of recent posts — many of which are posts about the same topic.
Instead, I'd like to see at a glance what new threads have been started since the last time I logged in. That would be awesome!
Once I've read through the new threads that interest me, I can just click on "recent posts" to get the latest updates to the threads I've already read.Jan 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm #1473584
> Also, the current front page for the forums is a full SEVEN pages long on my computer screen – much too much!
Yeah, a good point Dave.
It should be possible to get it all on one screen, condensed.
CheersJan 28, 2009 at 3:12 pm #1473585
> It would be great to see a "Recent Threads" page (in addition to the current "Recent Posts" page).
Another very good idea!
cheersJan 28, 2009 at 4:03 pm #1473606
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
I like the "recent threads" page idea and Ashley's further condensing of Dave's work.
My thoughts on "G-Spot"; the name is eye catching, arousing and tantalizing for some or might even add excitement to others, but I must say that even though I been on this site for a year now I’m still not use to the Name. Maybe its my up bringing or naivety but I still have to overlook/look over the title, it just doesn’t sit right with me, I’m not bothered by it but something inside says “its just not right”. I guess I look at it this way- If my grandma was looking over my shoulder while I was on this forum (I’m 51 yrs old), would I be even slightly embarrassed? My answer would be, probably. Than why does it need to be on a backpacking site? I wouldn’t be embarrassed if she was there when I was reading about not using or using TP (great article and thread) and reading the women’s responses to that issue (they even got a little graphic). I have a wife and daughters that could/did benefit from that kind of information.
I understand that when Ryan and the others were putting this website together they were a little younger and that sort of name was kind of “funny”, and eye catching and maybe harmless for college age kids, but now that it has expanded to all age groups it might be appropriate to upgrade. This site might not want to copy a place like REI, but I don’t think I will ever see a “G-Spot” department in their stores or on their website, I think we all know the reason why.
If you are making changes, now would be a good time to change that one.Jan 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm #1473625
@blister-freeLocale: Puertecito ruins
The 'recent threads' approach might also encourage a more topical discussion within a specific thread, or else the creation of a new thread as a particular topic runs adrift. Improved cross-referencing of threads could include easier linking from within the message compose box.Jan 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm #1473634
@dsmontgomeryLocale: one snowball away from big trouble
>I understand that when Ryan and the others were putting this website together they were a little younger and that sort of name was kind of “funny”
I have to start out by saying that I think "G-Spot" is a wickedly clever name for the gear forum, given the way we lust over and seem to receive almost erotic pleasure from a slick piece of gear. I'm 26, just married, no kids, Christian but socially liberal, so my sensibilities may skew towards the less-prudish.
Even given that, I wouldn't miss the name were it to be changed. I was actually a bit surprised to see it remain after the Philmont section was added to the forums. Changing the name would be a relatively innocuous way to family-friendly-up one of the most prominent and unavoidable sections of the site.
What I would have a problem with would be if the content of forum posts themselves were restricted to PG themes. Most of the people on here are adults, and that level of censorship would make the forums less attractive. I don't mind the word filter, but if certain "adult" themes were excluded – like smoking, drinking, or phrases like "we lust over and seem to receive almost erotic pleasure from a slick piece of gear" – that would be bad.Jan 28, 2009 at 6:40 pm #1473660
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
How about cleaning up the Outdoor Retailer section. Do we really need to see 2005 gear?Jan 29, 2009 at 5:04 am #1473743
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
I agree in most part with these suggestions to condense. I think the biggest win for me personally, as others have wisely suggest, would be a simple link to "Recent Threads".
I'm not sure how useful the "Latest Post" column on the index page is for everyone else, but I usually ignore it. That space could be re-assigned in other ways: maybe a two-column forum index? Maybe one-column index + recent trip report photos on the right?
-MarkJan 29, 2009 at 9:36 am #1473785
For me, the "New Posts Since Last Visit" link is quite simply the one single way I view all the forums I frequent on the Internet. I visit my favorite forum, click "view new posts" and then glance over every new post that was made since I last visited to see what I do or don't want to comment on.Jan 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm #1473839
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I like the reorganization suggestions so far. I agree that the index page is far too long and that the most-used sections (gear) should come first. And retaining "Outdoor Retailer" info for more than a year seems a total waste of space.
My suggestion is about software. This is the only forum I've ever visited where there is no built-in shortcut to post a link or an image. The result is that most people post URLs that don't link. Even if you know the html commands (and I've forgotten them since my local forum finally became Mac-friendly over a year ago), they are a PITA to use. Coping/pasting links is also a PITA.Jan 29, 2009 at 1:13 pm #1473849
> This is the only forum I've ever visited where there is no built-in shortcut to post a link or an image.
Not so: many of us use the button at the top right to post images. Definitely a short cut.
CheersJan 29, 2009 at 2:35 pm #1473868
Here is an attached screen shot image of me attaching an image ; )Jan 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm #1473871
Yes, there is a shortcut for posting images but that doesn't help w/ posting hyperlinks. It gets annoying having to copy and paste url's from a post into the address bar.Jan 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm #1473874
@blister-freeLocale: Puertecito ruins
Oh, never mind.Jan 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm #1473896
OK, here's another idea.
I'm thinking of an "Updated / new threads" page that looks something like this:
NEW OR UPDATED THREADS
lunar duo vs double rainbow…(3) > G Spot
*New* PCT gear list………….(7) > Gear Lists
do i need a wind shirt?………(13) > G Spor
*New* montbell inner jacket…(3) > Gear Swap
which camera should I get?….(2) > Photography
The number in brackets is the number of new posts. A brand new thread is highlighted in some way (I've written *New* but you could use a little symbol or a different colour or whatever). Whenever you click on one of these threads, it takes you to the first unread post in that thread (as opposed to taking you to the top of the thread).
This idea could be used instead of the "Recent threads" page that I suggested previously, since it incorporates the same idea but expands on it.
I'd find a page like that very useful when visiting the site after an absence of day or two (or even a week). Anyway, just another idea I thought I'd throw out there.Jan 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm #1473898
Actually, the coolest thing would be a page like that one described above but it contained all the older threads too. Then you have a drop-down box which lets you filter the threads you want to see (eg. Gear Swap or New threads or Updated threads). Might be tricky to implement with the current forum software though!Jan 29, 2009 at 6:39 pm #1473925
If that could be implemented, it would be fricken awesome. I spend more time on the BPL forum than on any other place on the web and this would make browsing much easier and more enjoyable. Though BPL may not be generating revenue directly from the forum, it is the core of this site and community. Without it, I'm sure this site would not be anywhere near as successful or profitable.Jan 29, 2009 at 10:03 pm #1473970
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
I counted 39 branches! Almost all of the branches have "branch descriptions" that take up multiple lines — some as long as seven! Taken together, this forces people to scroll or page up and down excessively — and many of the branches down at the bottom suffer from poor reader traffic as a result.
Three ways to prune the branches:
1. Archive old ones (e.g. Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2005).
2. Delete 'dead' branches — or merge them with others — or fold some into others as "sticky posts". For example, under Forum Support branch — make "User Testing" a sticky so folks who need to test can post there. User Testing need not be a branch all unto itself.
3. Limit branch description to one line. Example: G Spot – Gear Talk. No need for seven lines of descriptions!
Hope this helps.Jan 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm #1473974
May be you can have tabs. Only main headings can be shown on the forum front page and ones has to either click or point at it for more details.Feb 5, 2009 at 11:54 am #1475647
You have spoken and we have listened. Our changes are not complete yet but we are making progress in revamping the forums using some of the suggestions we heard in this thread.
1. Forums: The main forums page has been consolidated to shorten it up a bit and more changes are slated for it as well.
2. Last 50 Posts: Note when you click on the "Last 50 Posts" link there is now a drop-down menu with which you filter out the new posts pertaining to a specific area of the forum. Say you're only interested in looking for new used gear posted to "Gear Swap" you can now select Gear Swap from the drop down and the page will display the 50 most recent posts made to the Gear Swap forum.
What do y'all think thus far? Are we meeting your needs? Keep the suggestions coming. This is your community, Backpacking Light is your brand and we the staff are here to serve you.Feb 5, 2009 at 3:50 pm #1475711
Thanks Sam/BPL for responding. Obviously there's a lot of work in implementing some of the suggestions we've made.
The new drop down is a useful addition. I must admit though that I am more likely to use my bookmarked links to visit particular forums directly. The problem with the recent posts page is that it's only really good for catching up on the last hour or so of posts. After than there is too much duplication (from repeated posts in the same thread) and it takes too long to scan through several pages looking for new stuff. Easier to visit the sub-forum concerned.
On that note, is it going to be feasible to have an "updated threads" page? There's probably only 20-30 threads which are updated with new posts each day and it would be great to see them all in one place when I log back on in the morning. Might be tricky to implement depending on what forum software allows you to do though…Feb 5, 2009 at 7:11 pm #1475758
Updated Threads, instead of Recent Postings – I LIKE IT!
CheersFeb 6, 2009 at 10:45 am #1475873
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