Achtung! Everyone read about OUR re-launch!

OK, it's not really a re-launch. I just said that to get you to read this. Did it work?


Anyway, a few months back I asked for suggestions for how to improve the site. A great many excellent suggestions were made, especially by Lumbering Jack, but only one really requires a lot of prep time. And that is: DEATH TO ALL GROUPS!


Well, not all of them. But the consensus was that Groups were superfluous, and split conversations into more than one place, and were confusing for newbies, and caused genital warts.


Now, not all Groups were unnecessary. Here are the ones I intend to keep:


WILD CARDS: This singular interest with almost zero overlap with comics really needs a "room" where Wild Carders can gather and do their thing. This is the one place I think Groups functions the way it's supposed to.


COMICS NEWS: Because otherwise all the press releases that I ... um, I mean, Newsboy posts would sorta overwhelm the front page teases.


THE TIMELINE GROUP: This Group was created by the Baron as a home for all of his Earth-44 stuff, which is so huge I would not dream of asking him to move it all. If I can, I'll rename it "Earth-44 Timeline Group" (but I'm not sure I can).


MODERATORS: Don't look over here. There's nothing over here. This is not the Group you're looking for. (Seriously, this is a private "room" for the Mods to discuss problems freely without worrying about hurt feelings. We need the room, because e-mail has proved too clumsy.)


And I propose to add a Group at some point, that will be ARCHIVES or FAQ or somesuch as a place where we can park things we will reference in future: Board rules, columns with lots of good information, FAQs, Moderator contacts, boilerplate legalese, stuff like that. If anyone can suggest a name to cover all that, I'm all ears!


Anyway, I intend to delete all the rest. Which means:


1) If there's a group you think has a compelling reason to exist that you want to convince me to keep, you'd better get to convincing, and


2) If there's a thread or a post in any group that you want to save, get to saving it. Cut and paste to another thread somewhere, or start a thread and paste it, or whatever. Because when I delete a given Group, I doubt I can resurrect anything.


And when will I delete this Groups? You fools! Why would I explain my master plan and give you time to stop it? I did it 20 minutes ago! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


Just kidding -- I couldn't resist the Watchmen reference. Anyway, I thought a month would be enough time, so how about Aug. 1 for The Big Delete?


As ever, spout off, Legionnaires. This is your site, and I'm doing this to make it better. If I'm NOT gonna make it better, then let me know!


Views: 171

Comment by Philip Portelli on July 11, 2011 at 5:13pm
I don't really care for the "Videos" at the top of the main page. ;-)
Comment by Don Collett on July 12, 2011 at 4:24pm

I don't care for the main page. :-P

Seriously, folks (and that's hard for a guy my age), I've never used the groups, so I won't mind if they're gone.  Heck, I hardly use the forums any more.  I'm just content to sit here in a back corner of the Comics Cave, planning my overthrow of the world's governments, starting with Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin (hey, I'm one guy, I can't do it all at once!).

Comment by Captain Comics on July 12, 2011 at 11:55pm
What do y'all think of this arrangement? I've put the blogs under the blog banners, so they're not side by side. Moves the Forum up higher, too. Also killed the activity area, like Lumbering Jack suggested. Like it? Hate it? Have another suggestion?
Comment by Figserello on July 13, 2011 at 2:26am

I kind of liked the feed on the left that told you who had posted last and the first lines of what they'd said.  BUT the only thing about it is that if you get the gist of what they are saying (and don't find it interesting), it de-motivates you from reading that thread in full.


We should try this new 'mystery' format for a while and see how it works.


I supppose I may move my Aztek and Animal Man threads from the groups section.  They are the sound of one hand clapping.

Comment by Captain Comics on July 13, 2011 at 2:00pm
Probably because no one knew they were there. I certainly didn't!
Comment by Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) on July 13, 2011 at 7:03pm
There are certainly some threads in the Vertigo group I'll want to move. Some of them were historical--lengthy discussions from the previous board--and I'm uncertain what to do with those. I suppose I'll have to move them if I don't want them to disappear.
Comment by Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) on July 13, 2011 at 7:39pm
So how are threads moved, anyhow? Is there a way to switch the category they're in without actually doing a bunch of copy/paste. I suppose the Vertigo ones would mostly be going into "In-Depth Comic Discussions."
Comment by PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod on July 13, 2011 at 7:44pm
I've been looking, Mark, but I haven't seen a way to do so yet.
Comment by Figserello on July 13, 2011 at 7:51pm

It looks like copy and paste to me.  You can move threads from one forum to another, but you can't move Discussion Group threads in the same way.  I moved my first one yesterday.  A few more to do over the next few days.  It's a chance to get rid of typos and bad phrasing, if nothing else. 


Might throw in a few scans too... 


And rebrand some of them...


I have to say, not having the feed telling you who wrote what recently is a pretty big drawback.  I only knew you had posted in this thread, Mark because I'd noted that there were 15 replies earlier and then happened to see that there were suddenly 16 replies.


In a board with lots of posting traffic, the feed of recent posts is pretty irrelevant as they would cycle through stuff very quickly, but on a slower board like this, it's handy to have. 

Comment by Lumbering Jack (M'odd-R8-Tr) on July 13, 2011 at 8:00pm

Rats, I missed the photos at the top of the page. Over the last few months, I have been frequently feeding the photo feed with press release photos, So I was curious how it would look.

Oh well! It probably used a lot of space anyway. Alternatively, is there any way to use a smaller gallery for them? That might make them more palatable.

The videos are interesting up there, I'm not entirely sure they work. But they are OK. Cap, I would advise you to keep them up there for a while -- just to see whether it gets used more. Everyone who reads this should try adding a comics-related video or two over the next week. That will help to keep it changing, and an added focal point for the site.

Regarding the blogs on the side: The columnists need to keep their headlines shorter -- you don't want them to get truncated as the Deck Log headline did. Can you let each blog have an intro blurb while they are this position?  That would make them look more feature-like.

Forum posts: I love that these have a more prominent position. This is the best part of the site after all! Should they go above the videos?

Logos: Thanks for axing the "Legion" logo.  You give yourself a little more room now.

Site Masthead: You might be able to thin out the Masthead by redesigning the words so they sit next to one another, rather than on top of one another. You would then bring everything else up higher so it's visible without much scrolling. You could probably even do some "image mapping" links from the masthead to spice it up.

For example -- In a large font, you have the words CAPTAIN COMICS at the extreme left. Next to that you have smaller speech balloons with the words "Cap's blog", "sign up", "forum" and "more blogs."  These balloons all link to the ppropriate areas on the site. This would look a little more current.

Columns: If you look at the layout of the site, you have three "columns" of information. The first now shows blog posts and events, the second shows videos, forum posts and photos. The third shows groups (which will disappear soon) birthdays, and user information.

Could you switch this layout to being just two columns? You could then widen out the first column to provide more space for blog entry headlines. Then put the User Info at the very top, the rest of the current first column and then anything else that's needed from the old third column. (This might not be possible in the Ning set up though.)

By the way, I saw that Don C. just graduated with a Web design course. Maybe he can help you on the programming.

And once again, it's okay to ignore any of this advice you think is off the wall. Just offering my 2-cents. you're the boss, but thanks for trying my earlier suggestions!



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