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 Figserello on July 13, 2011 at 8:28pm

LJack - The groups list will still be there but will be a lot shorter, but I presume we can have a column divided into different sections?


How does everyone else feel about the feed of recent posts being misiing?


Comment by Captain Comics on July 13, 2011 at 10:46pm

Yeah, let's get some response on that ... I have mixed feelings.


Also, when the groups list gets shortened -- because there will be fewer of them -- we'll have more room in the right column. I'm toying with the idea of putting the videos there, and leading the top of the page with a Top Story of The Day feature -- the best press release, blog post, forum post, whatever, with a refer to where that stuff is. That's daily work for me, which may not be practicable, especially after I start teaching. But it would add an art element to the top that would routinely change.

Comment by PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod on July 13, 2011 at 10:52pm
I like those ideas, Cap.
Comment by ClarkKent_DC on July 14, 2011 at 4:37pm

I don't like the feed of recent post being missing. The way I look at the site is to see what's new. Under the current layout, the icon for comment -- a word balloon -- looks like a thumbs down next to the thumbs up that represents "like."



Comment by Figserello on July 14, 2011 at 6:19pm
Yeah, I wouldn't like to see the recent posts feed go for good....
Comment by Captain Comics on July 14, 2011 at 6:25pm
But if it comes back, then blog posts go back above Forum, pushing it back down. As we newspaper designers are always reminding newspaper editors, "Not everything can go above the fold." There's always a trade-off, and we need to decide what we want most at the top.
Comment by Figserello on July 14, 2011 at 7:49pm

Well, can't the feed go elsewhere? eg Where the Groups are now?


My vote is for LJ's scans to go at the top of the page btw.  They are more comic-focused than the videos.  Maybe we can have a rota where members can take a week each to populate the scans?  Or something like that?    Does it cycle through the most recent?  All of them?  How does it work?


I'm not sure you doing all that work would be fair Cap.  Anyway, I think you can add better value to the site by getting invovled in the discussions more rather than by taking on too much 'behind the scenes work'.  Just my ha'penny'orth.


What is this teachig of which you speak, Cap?  Something new for you?  What kind of teaching, if you are at liberty to tell?


"How to blow fanboys' socks off in 6 panels or less"  maybe?

Comment by Captain Comics on July 15, 2011 at 3:01pm

I'm teaching a couple of journalism courses as an adjunct this fall. Looking forward to it -- if nothing else, I'll be using some mental muscles that have no doubt atrophied.


Anyway, I restored the Activities log on the left, because without it, you can't tell that anyone has posted to a Blog or Group at all -- Blogs don't even move up to indicate activity. It's a space-eater, but I can't see any way around it.


Today or Monday I'm going to experiment with the Top Story idea and see how difficult and time-consuming it is, plus what the options are for that type of element (called "Text" in the administration area). So y'all don't freak out when you see it. Also, it's likely that any such daily update will be referencing a press release, because A) that's what I'm most familiar with, since I post them all, and B) that's the only "news" we have.


And when I do, I'll move the Videos somewhere else. They're at the top now for A) art, and B) to keep the Blog posts from bumping up against the Blog headers, which is kinda redundant.


Also, also, it occurs to me that that the Activity log doesn't discriminate between Groups and Forum, so wherever I post PR it's going to appear there. So it really doesn't matter where I put it from that perspective. And it occurs to me that keeping a separate News group continues to bifurcate discussions (witness the DCnU threads -- I kept having to post links to DC's press releases on the subject). I probably ought to drop the Comics News Group as well, and just post the PR on their own, or as part of ongoing threads on those subjects. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes.  What do y'all think?


Comment by James Grant Goldin on July 19, 2011 at 6:50pm
I hope this will make the site more dark and brooding.  NO, NO, I DON'T.  Actually, thumbs up from me.  Yay, team!
Comment by Lumbering Jack (M'odd-R8-Tr) on July 19, 2011 at 7:06pm
Hey, is there anyway you can remove the time limit on editing posts? I hate that. I often go back to read what I wrote and see errors. I need lots of time to edit my thoughts, which often come out as scattered on my first try.


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