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Why do you want to change this place, actually?

Yes, why are changes needed?

     
6:50 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Having looked at the Feedback Days forum I went again to this post: [webmasterworld.com...] and read it again.
What it lacks is the reason for changes.

So here are my questions: why do you want to make changes to the site?
Did the forum lose its pace lately?
Not enough new members coming?
People complaining that it is boring here?
Anything else?
Or is it the need of monetization?

If it is the last, why not just add some ads?

I think we need some explanation why you think the change is required.
7:45 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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rocknbil,

I'm sure you're a wonderful art person, but I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make.

I work with BFA's often in the graphic arts department of my company, and they also specialize in print. However, they're critically lacking in web application design skills. Their justifications are typically, "It looks good to me", or "It's usable" - and they are oblivious to user-centered design methodologies.

The argument (content presentation) has been raised hundreds of times? Would it make you feel better if it were thousands of times? The sheer volume of folks pushing for streamlined content presentation indicates there is a glaring problem others want to ignore.

The WebmasterWorld interface has many problems, is cluttered, and is in desperate need of modernization.

Let me ask you, do you want WW to be more successful and attract many more new users? New developers are looking for resources to further their skill sets and might stumble upon this site for a solution to their problems. Yet, the initial impression is that this site is schlock, b-grade, slack, and crusty...and it doesn't inspire confidence. They will click the back button.

They're looking for cutting-edge technology forums where discussion is about keeping abreast of modern information...and they see this laughable interface and cluttered presentation layer...geesh, no joy here. They will go elsewhere.

"This car is a beauty...I know, the body is nothing to look at, but the engine purrs like a kitten!"
Used car sales tactics won't work.

You have a lot to learn about marketing.
If you're serious about helping this forum stay afloat and leap over the financial problems they're having, you'll consider the face lift is long overdue.

You'll also have to consider why the WebmasterWorld site owners are planning to upgrade the interface.
Why? Are they just idiots with a sweet tooth for candy-like graphics, or are they wise enough to see this as a calculated marketing strategy?
1:51 am on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think some have forgotten that is this a handcoded, rolled his own, Brett Tabke software. Has operated with some changes for a decade, and new behind the scenes changes are happening AND at this time questions are allowed for the end game.

I'm just happy I was asked!
4:35 am on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's still about content, it's always been about content, and it's always going to be about content.


True. So why is there so little discussion, by comparison, on this forum about "content" .. especially written content?
2:51 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Kill the bloated old school code. JEEZ what a waste of bandwidth. How many font tags does this page have?


If you are doing a redesign you definitely should replace all html with css. It not only makes a difference for the bandwidth but many html tags are being deprecated anyway so if you don't do it soon the design for your site will simply stop working. CSS layouts also help screen readers as they have difficulty with tables so usability will improve.

For webmasterworld to be all about WEB MASTERY, this site's current state severely contradicts this!


I totally agree with this, it is important to have an appearance that matches your ability and in this case a forum for all things web should be all things. I understand the arguement of content over design and the actual threads of the forum are fine, you can only display text as text but in terms of the rest of the site you could:
  • add icons for links instead of text;
  • break the site into sections more obviously from the start so that it also addresses the usuability issue of finding the section you want
  • Adding skins for the redesign so that you can choose between classic (current design) or a new one to keep the grumps happy :p


While I understand that it's more important for the information on the site to be correct and helpful there is nothing wrong with looking nice at the same time.

Regarding layout for larger resolutions the fixed width idea would be good. Just because you have a large resolution so you can edit graphics/films or simply use your computer for games or any graphics heavy application that you want a really good resolutions for doesn't mean you want the tables in the forum to go full screen. Maybe smaller resolutions still need the ability to go to 100% width so could you offer two versions - full screen or fixed to let the user decide?
2:03 am on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's still about content, it's always been about content, and it's always going to be about content.


True. So why is there so little discussion, by comparison, on this forum about "content" .. especially written content?


I hope I'm not misreading what you meant to say, old_expat, but the lack of focus on content is what made me drift away, along with the over-moderation.

I run a website for an ENGO, which will never have Adsense on it, or try to make money just by being a website. It only exists to share information, and gain interest in our cause. In the early days, Webmasterworld was a real asset for me. I learnt how to present things so we would be found by all the SE's, and was constantly made aware of how important content was. It was a perfect fit, because content was the essence of what we do - reports, fieldnotes, maps, and many, many words of pertinent text. The website, as a result, has done incredibly well for many years, and just keeps doing better. Truly massive traffic for what we are, and many unsolicited inbound links from blogs, wikipedia, travel companies, you name it. I thank Brett's 26 steps for most of it.

After a while at WW, I started seeing a shift to all Adsense, all the time. It seemed to be the only reason most people joined. To me, that's the crap that pollutes the internet. I read less, and when I posted it was just to growl about it. Content was gone - it was all about how to scam Google with BS sites to make money. So, I found my comments over-moderated, and at the end, I just said to hell with it, other than checking the Apache forum at times, because JD is a true expert, and a terrific resource.

Even if the moderation changes here, I still don't know how much I would check in. Inevitably, I'll growl in response to some obvious MFA post again, and it will get deleted/edited. If the incredible happens, and someone wants to know how to make a successful site based on content, I could really help. But I think it unlikely.
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