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Suggestion: Please add a poll option to a thread
Some might vote in a poll who wouldn't post a text answer
stlouislouis




msg:505336
 5:37 pm on Aug 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I suggest adding a poll option to the thread creation screen.

Based on my experiences, many folks will answer a poll who wouldn't
post a text answer that's tied to their UserID. This allows folks
to share -- and others to benefit from their sharing -- without folks
having to reveal what they *personally* think in text tied to their name.

It's especially useful when one can list up to a dozen or so choices
for people to vote on, covering a range of possible answers.

For instance: "How many unique visitors does your average "Type A" site average in a day?

1) less than 100
2) 100-200
3) 200-500
4) 501-700
5) 700-999
6) 1000+

Many may consider the above to be a trade secret, and would not share
if it could be traced to *their* sites, but would share the info by
voting in an anonymous poll...and enjoy the accompanying normal thread to dicuss the results.

Thanks,

Louis

 

Brett_Tabke




msg:505337
 5:56 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

You want to know the secret of WebmasterWorld's success? Here it is:

Focus on the members - focus on their messages - focus on their contributions.

Make that the most important thing on the page. Everything else on the page is noise - it's counter productive. It just clutters the page.

Information is what you came here for, it's what you stay for. Features and gimmicks? I've got dozens upon dozens of features built into the software that have not been (and won't be) turned on. Signatures, karma system, Upload Files, html posts, Images in posts, Polls, Ignore/twit lists, ThreadRank (shh-top secret) moding system, calendar system, who's online, chat, threaded/unthreaded, plugins, ad system in 3 flavors - etc etc...on and on.

I put them in there for a potential commercial system and some folks want that stuff on their forum. I don't want them here because it's just noise - it's just noise. Your messages are what we are here for, and that's what we focus on.

stlouislouis




msg:505338
 8:30 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Brett,

FWIW, based on your reply above, thought I should clarify my point on polls.

Of course, the informational content at webmasterworld is indeed marvelous and
the reason the community is so worthwhile and growing. To me, polls
would not constitute a gimmick. Rather they would provide a way for
community members to share information without tying the information
they share to them personally. In several post, folks have posted that
an answer to a question is not likely to be forthcoming since members
wouldn't want to personally divulge the data. However, some might be
willing to do so if their answers, i.e. votes, were anonymous.

To me this would provide an avenue to increased "signal", not "noise".

However, a poll is a tool in the toolbox. Each will have their own
opinions as to the value of polls...and a lot depends on the poll's creator and their purpose and skill
in crafting the questions and answers to vote on as we all know.

Moreover, I'm just a visitor here offering a suggestion for consideration;
nothing more. It's no big deal to me if the suggestion is not deemed
to be worthy of further consideration by those who make the decisions here.

Hope this thread didn't rub you the wrong way or upset you. I for one
feel very fortunate to have found webmasterworld. I also thank you and
others here for making it such a great place.

Take care and absolute best wishes,

Louis

Brett_Tabke




msg:505339
 1:26 am on Aug 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting this discussion popped up. There's an opportunity here to talk about some things that have went on this week and have been also building for months. The following is in general terms only.

This business of seo and site ownership is laced full of half truths, unsupported here say, and out right lies from weekend experts who learned it on some other site saying the same thing.
There is an entire legion of site owners who go to forums, usenet, and other online places in honest attempts to learn the secrets of the wizards. How can I build a successful site? How can I get more traffic? Most often in other forums those are answered by people just repeating what they read on some other site that was previously repeated from some other site.

I wouldn't put myself in the class of a webmaster wizard, but my previous post was based on years of experience doing this. That's not one you'll find in an internet book of the month club. Even when you draw back the curtain and expose what is behind, some people just don't or can't believe their eyes. Yes, there are occasions when the emperor isn't naked and a cigar is more than just a cigar - this is one of those occasions.

Specifically, I don't think there is a more informative or valuable message about community building on this system than the previous one I left above. Reread it - that's it - it's all I got - all cards on table.

Polls? Sure they are gimmicks. We aren't about polls here, we are about webmaster education and help with specific problems. We are "News and Discussion". We are not "polls and surveys". They are a distracting gimmick.

Everything on a page of this site that isn't directly involved in discussion between community members, is clutter. Most of that clutter is a Gimmick.

E-a-friend? Gimmick.
StickyMail? Gimmick.
Printer Friendly? Gimmick.
Control Panel options? Gimmick.
Flags, Skins, My threads? Gimmick, Gimmick, and Gimmick again.
Profiles? Gimmick, but a gray area since it's still in direct and personal support of members and their messages.

Here's the full monte soapbox version:

- Content is still the king. What brings people to a site and keeps them coming back is content. Unique, original, and engaging content. Don't have that? No success.

Our content is provided by the members. Members and their content is what we are here for. It's what we are here to do - it's all that really matters.

- Gimmicks do not support that. They are actually counter productive to the sites mission. Chat, Polls, Surveys, and other "junk", are just gimmicks that clutter a site and obscure it's mission.

Look at Infoseek, Yahoo, Altavista. What happened to all them? They forgot what their users came for and instead went off on tangents that have turned out to be -- you guess it -- gimmicks. If you treat every user as a wet collar newbie in search of a portal and all your site will have is newbies. Speak to a higher audience and that's what you'll attract.

Everyone seems to think there is a magic golden goose out there laying millions of new internet users ever day. The big web expansion is over, and users are much more sophisticated today than they were just two years ago. They know how to find what they want. You can't be everything to everyone. Trust the Google Tom Peters (In search of excellence) model. Do one thing, and do it better than anyone else. The model works.

Content is what we are here for - it's all that really matters.

- Google proves that there is room for single task excellence. There are a million untried ideas out there and a million more that could have been successful. They were cast off with the portal one-site-fits-all madness of the late 90's. Do one thing, do it better than any one else.

Content is what we are here for - it's all that really matters.

- Again, striped down sites are retro cool. Google is not an accident. Users want brain dead obvious navigation systems and don't want to spend 10 mins figuring out some motor head groovy rolled over flashed out dom navigation system. Black text on a white background, done.

Design is just one minor aspect of the bigger picture. 60% Content, 35% Usability and 5% Design are what make a site.

Some of your content brings them, your navigation system helps them to find more, and the design stays out of their way so they aren't distracted. That brings em back for more.

Some talk about SEO and a few bad apples out there. SEO can't begin to compete with the web page graphic designer and some of the web page designers out there. An entire community has been sold on "graphics are everything to the success of a site". Now we are into an era where there are so many designers that do nothing but visit design sites and give each other awards, that they think they are successful. They are going around screaming, I got the data to prove graphics makes the difference. It has become a self fulfilling prophecy.

When you look at the people with real world independent success (Google again) or are doing the real world testing (Neilsen), they all say the same thing: graphics don't do anything but hurt a site. They only work when they are in support of content - a picture to go along with a story.

Content is what we are here for - it's all that really matters.

- A sites reputation is important in a world of instant communication. After you are successful, the challenge isn't to do something brilliant (you've already done that), it's to keep from doing something stupid. Continue to tweak, but if it aint broke, don't fix it.

Content is what we are here for - it's all that really matters.

- Don't be clone. Millions upon millions of sites out there are clones. You won't get noticed because of that latest "gimmick". You will get noticed and stay noticed because of your content. Guess what?

It's all that really matters.

</soapbox>

jatar_k




msg:505340
 1:40 am on Aug 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

and posts like the above are what keep us coming back.

Content is what we are here for - it's all that really matters.

thanks Brett

stlouislouis




msg:505341
 2:33 am on Aug 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Brett,

Thank you very much for sharing your heart felt and hard won feelings and insight. I've always been one to listen to those with much more experience than I. To me, life's too short not to try to learn from the experiences and insights of others.

Thanks again for sharing and absolute best wishes,

Louis

WebRookie




msg:505342
 2:43 am on Aug 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Excellent post Brett! The real deal...and what really works, the proof being Webmaster World.

shelleycat




msg:505343
 3:21 am on Aug 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

You will get noticed and stay noticed because of your content. Guess what?

It's all that really matters.

This is exactly why I wish I could drag some of my friends over here. They won't listen to me telling them, but surely they will listen to eloquent and informed posts such as this one.

Thanks Brett :)

(grr, typos)

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