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Forum UPGRADE Input!

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  • Forum UPGRADE Input!

    We are in the planning stages of a required upgrade to the Forums’ software that will take place in the next couple of months. As part of this upgrade, we’re taking a gander at the features the site offers and are looking for your input.

    First off, we want to assure you that we’re not planning any monumental changes in terms of appearance, though there is some discussion regarding widening the entire site, particularly to give us some more layout flexibility on the main site in terms of articles, etc. The main style changes anticipated will be a function of new features added (adding a new button for a new feature, for example.)

    There shouldn’t be a vastly different style and design to absorb like last time, and we want to do a better job of getting more users’ input at all stages of the operation so it goes as smoothly as possible.

    A lot of the main changes will be behind-the-scenes stuff that you won’t even see, but while we’re addressing those technical issues, we also want to take the opportunity to offer some new goodies!

    Sooooo…let’s hear your thoughts.

    Let’s please try to avoid turning the thread into a rehashing of what you didn’t like about the last site revamping. You’re welcome to comment on things from that redesign that you’d like us to reconsider, now that everyone has had a lot of time to work within the “new” site. Again, this isn’t slated to be a big change in terms of layout or design; it’ll be more focused on tweaking the features we offer.

    We have some ideas of new things we’re thinking of implementing already, which we think will be nice additions that will work within our existing framework, with the resources we have available and within the overall plan for the magazine and company. I’ll run some of them past you later on in this post.

    We promise that we’ll read every post here, but can’t promise how much we’ll be posting here in response to individual suggestions. We want to be sure we’re addressing as many of your wants/needs as we can within our constraints, and have been listening to suggestions as they come in throughout the year(s), but here’s another opportunity to provide feedback/input.

    The following are a few of the ideas we’ve been considering; there are some other things we’re contemplating, but this will give you a sense of what's rattling around our heads. They’re not guaranteed to show up, but feel free to rank them by your interest level and/or provide your thoughts on any or all of them.

    Also, please don’t hesitate to share any other features or improvements you’d like to see, whether based on your user experience here, or from other discussion forums you may use. Again, various ideas may not work for us due to the particular characteristics of our company, resources or community, but we’re happy to hear them! Once we get a better handle on things folks are interested in seeing, we can work some more on the feasibility and implementation issues related to them.

    Potential new features for all users:
    • COTH mobile app
    • New smilies
    • “Like” button for posts
    • Reining/Western forum
    • Universal log-in system for all Chronicle sites (this will be implemented after initial upgrade is complete)


    Potential new features for Premium users:
    • New forum allowing discussion of business-related questions, brags, market research, employment opportunities and some other “borderline” topics previously restricted due to advertising policies.
    • Permanent Off Topic forum (also open to rest of community on occasion as we do currently)
    • Photo Albums
    • Embedded video in posts


    We appreciate your input and ongoing interest in the site—you make it what it is!
    Mod 1

  • #2
    well I'm for all of it but the Western Forum

    This board is too English to grasp a lot of Western stuff.Even with the trail/ endurance forum the focus and riding done there is English (in western saddles).

    I think it would be as big a mistake as having a Gaited Forum.

    Just saying

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Moderator 1 View Post
      Potential new features for Premium users:
      • New forum allowing discussion of business-related questions, brags, market research, employment opportunities and some other “borderline” topics previously restricted due to advertising policies.
      • Permanent Off Topic forum (also open to rest of community on occasion as we do currently)
      It would be great if these two forums could be read by everyone, even if only premium members are allowed to post.
      RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm thrilled to hear you're considering widening the layout

        I'd also love to see inline IMG tags enabled, even if only for premium members. I dislike having to download images and opening them in my default image handler.

        I've seen "reputation" on other boards (like slickdeals.net) and think it could be an interesting feature here, too--essentially a "like" button, but tied to the user, not the post.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would like to see images inline also, rather than having to click and download them. I don't want them cluttering my computer and it makes it hard to see them. I never click those links now.

          I have used COTH successfully via iPhone - thus, a mobile app would not be a priority for me. If you do implement a mobile app, please do not take away functionality in the guise of "helping" me. If it can't post as well as read, then don't bother, and if you do bother, please give me the option of choosing the regular website.

          An area that could probably use some attention is a better search result display. Try for yourself doing a search for a particular comment in some old thread, and you'll find it's pretty challenging to find the right one, especially if it was in a long thread. A tighter layout and more text displayed per result would help.

          For y'all behind the scenes, you obviously need some better spammer deterrents and possibly a way that we as the users can blow a spammy comment away for you so you don't have to be patrolling at midnight for crazy deals on iPads. Like perhaps if n of us mark something as spam it goes away without your direct intervention.
          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by poltroon View Post
            I have used COTH successfully via iPhone - thus, a mobile app would not be a priority for me. If you do implement a mobile app, please do not take away functionality in the guise of "helping" me. If it can't post as well as read, then don't bother, and if you do bother, please give me the option of choosing the regular website.
            Good point, Poltroon. I can access the forums fine via the web browser via my android phone. If COTH decides to develop a mobile version of the forum, please don't cripple it or make it worthless. Please allow me to access the regular version if I so choose.

            And if you do develop an app (versus a mobile version of the site) please develop it for android as well as iOS! It floors me how much is only developed for iOS when Android has blown away iOS as a smartphone platform. Also, please either develop a separate tablet app for both operating systems, or make sure the smart phone apps scale to tablets well. Better to skip making an app all together than to release a BAD one...

            Comment


            • #7
              Simkie, Android is extremely unpleasant to develop for because there are so many flavors of devices and OS versions that it's not really possible to test all the possibilities. Even when Android OS is updated, the device manufacturers usually need to do a patch afterward. Some (even relatively new) phones cannot be updated to the latest OS, which makes them a real PITA for app developers.

              I totally sympathize with your request of course, just explaining why you see the end results that you see.
              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

              Comment


              • #8
                Poltroon, I understand--I work with an IT department that develops for both platforms--but as a user, I don't care. Plenty of devs make it work for Android. Leave out Android, leave out a HUGE portion of your users.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by BigHorseLittleHorse View Post
                  It would be great if these two forums could be read by everyone, even if only premium members are allowed to post.
                  That's what we're currently thinking...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Moderator 1 View Post
                    We are in the planning stages of a required upgrade to the Forums’ software that will take place in the next couple of months. As part of this upgrade, we’re taking a gander at the features the site offers and are looking for your input.

                    First off, we want to assure you that we’re not planning any monumental changes in terms of appearance, though there is some discussion regarding widening the entire site, particularly to give us some more layout flexibility on the main site in terms of articles, etc. The main style changes anticipated will be a function of new features added (adding a new button for a new feature, for example.)

                    There shouldn’t be a vastly different style and design to absorb like last time, and we want to do a better job of getting more users’ input at all stages of the operation so it goes as smoothly as possible.

                    A lot of the main changes will be behind-the-scenes stuff that you won’t even see, but while we’re addressing those technical issues, we also want to take the opportunity to offer some new goodies!

                    Sooooo…let’s hear your thoughts.

                    Let’s please try to avoid turning the thread into a rehashing of what you didn’t like about the last site revamping. You’re welcome to comment on things from that redesign that you’d like us to reconsider, now that everyone has had a lot of time to work within the “new” site. Again, this isn’t slated to be a big change in terms of layout or design; it’ll be more focused on tweaking the features we offer.

                    We have some ideas of new things we’re thinking of implementing already, which we think will be nice additions that will work within our existing framework, with the resources we have available and within the overall plan for the magazine and company. I’ll run some of them past you later on in this post.

                    We promise that we’ll read every post here, but can’t promise how much we’ll be posting here in response to individual suggestions. We want to be sure we’re addressing as many of your wants/needs as we can within our constraints, and have been listening to suggestions as they come in throughout the year(s), but here’s another opportunity to provide feedback/input.

                    The following are a few of the ideas we’ve been considering; there are some other things we’re contemplating, but this will give you a sense of what's rattling around our heads. They’re not guaranteed to show up, but feel free to rank them by your interest level and/or provide your thoughts on any or all of them.

                    Also, please don’t hesitate to share any other features or improvements you’d like to see, whether based on your user experience here, or from other discussion forums you may use. Again, various ideas may not work for us due to the particular characteristics of our company, resources or community, but we’re happy to hear them! Once we get a better handle on things folks are interested in seeing, we can work some more on the feasibility and implementation issues related to them.

                    Potential new features for all users:
                    • COTH mobile app
                    • New smilies
                    • “Like” button for posts
                    • Reining/Western forum
                    • Universal log-in system for all Chronicle sites (this will be implemented after initial upgrade is complete)


                    Potential new features for Premium users:
                    • New forum allowing discussion of business-related questions, brags, market research, employment opportunities and some other “borderline” topics previously restricted due to advertising policies.
                    • Permanent Off Topic forum (also open to rest of community on occasion as we do currently)
                    • Photo Albums
                    • Embedded video in posts


                    We appreciate your input and ongoing interest in the site—you make it what it is!
                    Mod 1

                    I love all the ideas.. the western forum would be awesome.. and LIKE buttons!!!

                    The permanent off topic forum could possibly tempt me into becoming a premium user
                    "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                      well I'm for all of it but the Western Forum

                      This board is too English to grasp a lot of Western stuff.Even with the trail/ endurance forum the focus and riding done there is English (in western saddles).

                      I think it would be as big a mistake as having a Gaited Forum.

                      Just saying

                      Tamara
                      I'm with Tamara.
                      ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I say no to the Western forum because this website is affiliated with COTH magazine, which does not cover anything Western.

                        LOVE the idea of a like button.
                        "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
                        ~George Morris

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                          I'm thrilled to hear you're considering widening the layout

                          I'd also love to see inline IMG tags enabled, even if only for premium members. I dislike having to download images and opening them in my default image handler.

                          I've seen "reputation" on other boards (like slickdeals.net) and think it could be an interesting feature here, too--essentially a "like" button, but tied to the user, not the post.
                          ^ My thoughts exactly.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                            For y'all behind the scenes, you obviously need some better spammer deterrents and possibly a way that we as the users can blow a spammy comment away for you so you don't have to be patrolling at midnight for crazy deals on iPads. Like perhaps if n of us mark something as spam it goes away without your direct intervention.
                            THIS!

                            Originally posted by BigHorseLittleHorse View Post
                            It would be great if these two forums could be read by everyone, even if only premium members are allowed to post.
                            THIS!

                            and...

                            Originally posted by Moderator 1 View Post
                            [*]“Like” button for posts
                            THIS!
                            Barn rat for life

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One request...

                              Just please don't make the print of posts smaller. Some BB's have really small print, too much eyestrain. Thank you.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Just remember that a lot of rural people are still stuck with dial up. So try to keep programming bloat down as much as possible. Please make videos a matter of choice.

                                The site already loads a lot slower than it did a year or so ago.
                                "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                Thread killer Extraordinaire

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                                  well I'm for all of it but the Western Forum

                                  Tamara
                                  yup yup yup

                                  and I'd like to learn how to become a premium member please Please PM me details.

                                  I'd love avatars, but I'm sure dial-up users would prefer they didn't exist. perhaps if there was a setting in the person's profile as to whether or not to load avatars?
                                  ...come to think of it, it would be nice to turn off the ad loading too for mobile usage
                                  www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                  chaque pas est fait ensemble

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by rivenoak View Post
                                    I'm with Tamara.
                                    I 100% agree.

                                    "COTH" is an Internet version of the Mag, and the forums are for people who are the targeted readers of the magazine. Since there is no Western section of the hard copy COTH (and the Western mags have their followers VERY well covered), it seems to me that adding a Western Forum is out of tune with the focus of COTH.

                                    Now, of course, if you can get more advertising $$ from retailers who think that they will be reaching both an English and Western audience, go for it.

                                    But, if not, it seems like a stretch -- why not put your efforts toward things that make the experience better for your loyal members?
                                    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                    Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Moderator 1 View Post
                                      We are in the planning stages of a required upgrade to the Forums’ software that will take place in the next couple of months. As part of this upgrade, we’re taking a gander at the features the site offers and are looking for your input.

                                      ...


                                      Potential new features for all users:
                                      • COTH mobile app
                                      • New smilies
                                      • “Like” button for posts
                                      • Reining/Western forum
                                      Don't really care one wa or the other. I would not use a Wetern forum, but it would not bother me that it was there.

                                      Universal log-in system for all Chronicle sites (this will be implemented after initial upgrade is complete)
                                      Good idea

                                      I'd also like to see a better search function.
                                      Also anything you can do to speed up the response time.

                                      Potential new features for Premium users:
                                      • New forum allowing discussion of business-related questions, brags, market research, employment opportunities and some other “borderline” topics previously restricted due to advertising policies.
                                      Would that be one forum or several?

                                      Permanent Off Topic forum (also open to rest of community on occasion as we do currently)
                                      • Photo Albums
                                      • Embedded video in posts
                                      Sounds good
                                      Janet

                                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Another vote (I voted for this about 6 - 8 years ago when we changed servers and lost this gizmo):

                                        for a large "NEXT" button at the bottom of each page so we don't have to fine tune our pointing skills (and strain our eyes) to see the tiny page numbers. Thank you.

                                        Also, spell check would be luvely, er, lovely.

                                        A nice clean page, without a lot of distracting, flashing ads is most important to me.
                                        "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                        Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                                        Comment

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