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FYI Tony - TC.com Message Board Improvement Suggestions

 
#1 FYI Tony - TC.com Message Board Improvement Suggestions
02/06/2006 18:59

Futureboy 2000

Hi Tony et al @ Top Consultant,

Congrats on creating and hosting a vibrant consulting community.

In response to a thread below about the functionality / design of the TC message board, have you considered upgrading to one of the 'forum in a box' solutions out there>? These are low-cost (or free) and simple to setup, and all afford site owners good administration options, moderation etc. Admins can set user privaleges, determine whether registration is required (my preference is not to have to register) and 'skin' the forum to fit a brand.

I, for one, would appreciate the opportunity to subscribe to threads I'm interested in, and a better search facility would also help when researching career moves and firms - both of these areas would be addressed by an upgraded forum.

You're onto a winner with the content of this site, but it really is limited in terms of functionality. BTW I'm not affiliated to any webdesign company or vendor of solutions - so have no interest in your improving this board other than wanting a better user experience.

Some common forum software I've used elsewhere:

http://www.vbulletin.com/

http://www.phpbb.com/ (free, I believe)

Anyone else know any others out there? Might be good to get a 'wishlist' thread going...

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#2 Re: FYI Tony - TC.com Message Board Improvement Suggestions
05/06/2006 12:49

New Forum

I've been thinking about creating a more laid-back forum, a la RollOnFriday.com, for consultants -- I wondered if there's any appetite for such a forum. Running modern, proper, threaded forum software...

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#3 Re: FYI Tony - TC.com Message Board Improvement Suggestions
06/06/2006 07:41

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com)

Thanks for this input and suggested method for upgrading the forum. We've looked at this in the past and discounted "buying in" a solution, simply because of the huge knowledge that's built up in the 5 years of forum threads on this site. Although the functionality here isn't as advanced as on other solutions, losing hundreds of threads on each major topic that people have commented on in the past would be a great loss.

As regards subscribing to threads, we did offer this for a while and found almost everyone unsubscribed - since an interesting thread typically generates 6-12 responses within 72 hours, the service was resulting in readers getting bombarded with emails...

If there were a "My T-C forum" tab, where you could view the threads you had marked that you wanted to follow, would that achieve a lot of the ends that you're aiming for?

Tony

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#4 Re: FYI Tony - TC.com Message Board Improvement Suggestions
06/06/2006 11:46

Anon

Tony, would it be a better solution to set up a new forum and have this page locked as an archive ??

This way contributers could get access to a superior service, and none of the old threads would be lost

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#5 Re: FYI Tony - TC.com Message Board Improvement Suggestions
06/06/2006 12:36

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com)

Thanks for the suggestion Anon. We're working right now on an improved version of the forum that runs off the same database of forum threads so that none are lost. I've seen a couple of examples where a forum has been replaced by a new version and the old one left as an archive. Not having the results integrated with the new look forum simply trashes all the knowledge built up previously - since very few people go beyond looking at the main forum area. Hence our reluctance to go down this route. Rest assured we have taken the comments on board and are working on this though. Tony

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#6 Re: FYI Tony - TC.com Message Board Improvement Suggestions
06/06/2006 19:12

Futureboy 2000

Tony - the 'My T-C forum' tab would be a start and certainly help, however as a further comment the look and feel of the message board should be addressed, as it does feel somewhat rustic. Tacking on new functionality to the current forum wouldn't fix this.

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#7 Re: FYI Tony - TC.com Message Board Improvement Suggestions
08/06/2006 21:52

Small Town

Tony

I take your point qabout the accumulated data but frankly I never look at any threads before 6 months ago as I think things will have possibly moved on since. Having long managged a community board, I find that within 30 days of an upgrade the new board has built up a mass of content.

As far as emails overloading people who subscribe to threads, that only happens if you ask for the emails. All modern forums allow you to log on and check all the threads you are interested in from your profile page. In all ways, modern forum systems like Invision, vBulletin and phpBB are light years ahead in usability.

I won't bore you with the features, but suffice it to say that it really isn't worth the time effort and money to add features this site (no offence implied). The search functionality alone justifies an upgrade.

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