New Beta Forum - Help us test!
Are you also going to implement the "new" items so we can see what articles are new / have new comments since our last log in?
I like the cleanliness of the new format.
It would be nice to have a "preview feature" before posting a new item or reply.
I did notice however that you can edit your own posting after the fact so that isn't a real problem/issue.
A wysiwyg would be nice, particularly for highlighting code.
Also, I hope you do NOT implement a user reply/post counter.
From my experience in forums there are far to many useless unrelated replies/posts to user questions.
eg. "Why do you want to do this or that...."
Who gives a rats ass why the guy asking the question wants to do anything.
In a lot of forums the status of the user changes from newbie to novice to pro etc based on the number of post the user has made.
Thus a "counter" encourages a user to post to almost anything just to see his status upgraded.
These useless types of posts are a waste of research and reading time and certainly don't make the user an expert.
With out a counter, maybe (hopefully) there would be less of these useless replies/posts.
Granted, some are asking to get a better handle on the problem.
It's the quality of a user's response that's important, not how many posts he's made.
At any rate, I would like to see you keep it clean and simple.
Well done as is all the work done by you fellows.
ITI Internetworking Technologies Inc.
I'm on Chrome / Mac and I'm not seeing any TinyMCE option (I don't know if I need to see it, but I'm not).
Also, I was looking yesterday for the advance search option and I was not able to find it, I don't know if you've plans to include it, as its a good option.
Any features for social media integration on the new forums?
Any ideas on if this will be fixed?
I was away for a few weeks and I came back to see that there’s an interesting new format for the forum.
There are a few things that could use some help to find.
Where have the search parameters for all words, complete phrase, etc.gone?
Is there a way to re-enable the indicator that showed messages that were new since our last visit?
Can a message no longer be previewed before posting?
Where has the cheat sheet for formatting of links, emails, code, urls, etc.gone?
I personally liked the choice of returning to the posting list or to my post after posting. Is that an option somewhere?
Is there no more who's online tally?
Are there any neat features to the new forum format that caused you to do this makeover that might not be evident without documentation?
BTW, Could you make this thread stick to the top of the list so it won't get lost?
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Responses below. There's some quirks with where you get redirected after login, etc, we're working on those. We've also mostly got redirects working so your old bookmarked links should work. If they don't just post an example and I'll take a look.
Toledoh: We're working on the styling/CSS and adding a wysiwyg. Do you think we need a preview still if we have WYSIWYG? We don't have any plans for showing or tracking "NEW" posts yet, but was thinking about that with CSS (a:visited vs a:link) to avoid database overhead for those on virtual servers. It's on the future ideas list.
KCMedia: Thanks the help testing and pre-order, your forum is on the way. :)
sidcam: Agreed, WYSIWYG is on the way, good idea. We've had a 3rd party forum for years and years so it's so nice to have it now integrated seamlessly with CMSB. Also opens the door for us to do a lot more customizations as easily as we can with other CMSB viewer pages.
Maurice: The only thing you dislike is the design? Where's the Maurice I know? ;) We have some design improvements in mind. Just wanted to get the framework out as early as possible to start getting feedback. And also get off our old Perl/CGI forum... The MySQL database for it alone was taking up 1gig in our backups! Let us make a few more improvements and you can let me know what you think.
Djulia: Can you email me and let me know which email you want to use? I can merge your accounts for you.
ITI/Glen: Thanks for your feedback. When you say you don't want to see a "user reply/counter" do you mean a specifically user titles (Newbie, Regular, Expert) based on post counts? Or showing post counts at all? Right now we don't have any plans for user titles (I don't get them either). We want to keep the base release simple, but make the aggregate data available for developers to do whatever they want with, basically creating a really solid framework that can be built on. So in theory people could add it if they really like it. If we do something like that in the future I'd be curious to check out how stackoverflow.com, slashdot, and others do it, I think there's some much more modern approaches than just post counts for titles.
Jesus: TinyMCE/WYSIWYG is in the works. There's no advanced search but you can do google style queries: +cat -dog "Search for a phrase". We're updating out own site to support social media login via twitter and facebook, but nothing else planned - did you have any specific in mind re: social media?
weblm/Kevin: We added the forum user database to the add-on store database. You can login or reset your password on any username or email you have. So feel free to just change your old username, or email me a list of any usernames or emails you want merged and I'll take care of it (just let me know what you want your main email to be).
gkornbluth: Good ideas, I've made this post sticky so it's at the top. Search is currently google style: +cat -dog "Phrase here", let me know if that's enough or if you find it lacking. No preview yet but we're switching to a wysiwyg editor (let me know if you still want a preview after that), and no "new post" indicators but we're researching some ideas on that. Also no who's online. This is a new plugin for CMSB so we're going to release a v1.00 as soon as possible and then build on it from there. Re: returning to the posting list or to my post after posting, what's your preference and why?
All: You can login with either your username or email, so to access an old account just use your username or email and reset your password if necessary. And if you need to accounts merged just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll take care of it for you. Merging these two databases was a monster job and there's still some cleanup for us to do!
Thanks everybody! We should hopefully be rolling out some more updates in the next few days. Let me know any feedback or issues you find. Cheers! :)
- It would be nice if users could resize the fieldbox beyond 12 lines.
- Is there a login with Facebook option? Saw a stat that says it increases the odds of someone signing up by 50%.
- A responsive design for mobile/small screen devices would also be nice.
- Oh, and spell check!
Beyond the simple stuff, I have to ask...
Isn't creating an add-on that mimics your old third-party forum kind of an antiquated solution right out of the box? Heck, look at your old third-party forum's latest beta software- even it looks nothing like what you had!
The trend seems to be to replace the standalone forum which sits in it's own "/forum" directory with something that uses a lot more social networking features and is better integrated with the overall site.
That means having user profiles that tells us a lot more about the user and their activity. Internally I could see you integrate your showcase and user add-ons into a profile. It also means having the ability to track/follow/friend users, track trending topics, private message/email other users, chat/instant message, etc.
With that said, I'm not suggesting you make a "Facebook-clone" add-on instead.
There's a store site I've been impressed with in how they've integrated social networking features right on product pages (Google "wholelattelove"). Every product has a tab (called The Buzz) which shows a social feed of user conversations about that product. From there you can see a user's profile, friend/follow them, engage in a conversation, etc. There's also a tab for customer reviews. If the product has been blogged about by a staff member or had a product evaluation video made there will be a tab for those as well.
Bottom line, I've ran two different forums over the years trying to generate interaction with potential customers. Neither ever came close to the interaction I see these guys having on their site. As such, I've spent a lot of time looking at social networking platforms to see how I can duplicate these features on my CMSB real estate website. If there's any potential you'll be moving in this direction, I'd love to know about it.
I agree that a "forum" is a bit antiquated - but I think the framework works well and all that you mention, both in utising member profiles as well as integrating more social media components is quite achievable.
I can also imagine some of your suggestions being implemented within this forum and think it would be fantastic. And, I love seeing sites like wholelattelove being referred to because it gives me ideas on how to grow my customer sites.
With the new Facebook login, we are experimenting with a number of things - like communicating with members via email / sms / facebook, and communicating to their friends etc. We're already capturing facebook user data and checking if a members "friends" also join the site, capturing and trending data to identify potential marketing areas outside of the site, as well as delivering content differently based on these relationships.
We have profiles being developed over a number of sessions rather than a whole form at once. The idea being a single touch (facebook login) is all that's required to join - once we have that we progressively enhance our relationship without hitting them over the head with a large form.
I guess what I'm saying is that all these modules that come out a fairly basic in themselves, they are just building blocks. We can (and I do often) simply take these blocks and drop them on a site... they do what they do very well. However, I'm really keen to hear and see what others are doing, and wishing to do with them, that extend those core functions.
How about a simple RSS feed rather than "NEW" items? Or even better, the ability to subscribe to an RSS feed based on a search query?
I didn’t get an email including me in this post or I would have responded earlier.
BTW, I also never got an email notification for post 2218796 when Greg answered a question of mine.
Also, it took me a while to figure out that post 2218796 was no longer posted under my user name but under my email address, which doesn’t seem to be searchable. (If I search for my username or email address, I don’t seem to be able to pull up posts that I authored, only those that I replied to.)
In the old forum my posts were listed with my username “gkornbluth”, which seemed to offer a bit of anonymity. I found that the username in my profile has changed to my email address. When I try to change it back, it says that username is already in use.
Hope that makes some sense.
I also didn’t realize that you were integrating the forum with CMSB and incuding WYSIWYG editing.
At least on the CMSB Forums, how about including the Website Saved Searches plugin so that we can create audit trails when we’re finding posts that relate to a project.
There seems to be an awful lot of debate about including a preview function. I’m an old fashioned measure twice and cut onece kind of guy, and I definitely liked the last chance to look over things and check links before the public gets a crack at my errors and omissions. I don’t really understand how in this situation less is more. The preview was always optional and I assume it would be here as well.
My vote. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
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