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What I still dislike about the new forum software

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

1) Same issue I brought up on day one -- limited fixed content width results in wasted space.  The forums should emphasize readability and usability.  I constantly find myself wishing I could scale the content width larger on large screens.  This is a viewing issue, in contrast to....

 

2) Limited real estate in editor windows.  Even the full page editor is a joke, as the actual working space is a fraction of what it could be on my screen.  Toss a couple images into the post, and it becomes a frustrating exercise of scrolling mega-content within a mini view.  Shoot, the iPhone web browser is more user friendly than this -- at least they built in special features to facilitate panning a small viewport over larger content.

 

3) Issues #1 and #2 are even worse when viewing/editing private messages, for whatever reason.

 

4) We need a preview post function because of #2

 

5) Search is still primitive and a major step back from VB.

 

6) The popup editor is always in the way.  If I move it and then attempt to scroll the underlying thread (to refer back to other posts), the editor snaps back to center and obscures what I want to see.  Basically, I have to position the content above or below the editor popup and scroll around it to read.  Frustrating.

 

7) Universal smilie codes are not recognized :)

 

8) Spell check still doesn't use built-in correction in Safari (don't know about other browsers)

 

9) Editor traps some system default key combos.  For instance, if I want to open a new window while editing a post, command-N (or ctrl-N on PCs) has no effect.  I first have to get out of the editor before the key combos work.

 

10) Still appears that non-boot-fitters can post in "Ask a Boot Fitter", etc... (I keep doing this by accident), and non-supporters can post "for sale" items in gear swap.  How hard is it to correct something like this?  I think this is especially important in the gear swap forums, as that rule was implemented for a good reason (people were getting ripped off).  If this can't be fixed in software, that forum needs to be patrolled better, and non-compliant posts need to be removed.  Being able to sell in gear swap is one reason I justify paying supporter fees, so this needs to be protected.

 

11) Unique image names -- I keep running into cases where I upload an image to the forum and have to change the name because it was already taken.  Never mind that it's a standard digital camera file name.  We could at least auto-prefix the Epic username to file names to make them unique.  I have taken to mashing the keyboard to insert random characters in the name, which is a poor solution to a dumb problem I shouldn't have to think about.

 

I don't even see the point to the image storage approach, as I have no easy way to view or choose from my uploaded images (that I can determine).  When inserting an image, I have the option to type in the name of the stored image, which means I would need to keep my own catalog of image names or remember them.  Any perceived benefit to this system is not being realized in the current implementation.

 

12) Some of the ads are irrelevant and/or scams and/or embarassing to see on Epic.  Somebody needs to screen or approve these ahead of time.  Going forward, I would love to see an ad-free option for supporters -- it would help justify the increased supporter fee.

 

==

 

In case anyone's wondering, what prompted this diatribe was a visit to another forum I read, which uses VB.  It was an unexpected pleasure to use that forum software.  It's not perfect either, but it works well and, as a whole, is a lot more usable and readable.  I know it's been said time and time again that VB was holding Epic back from realizing some new and improved features, but IMHO, VB is a much more effective tool for forum-based communication.  I'm sure it has it's drawbacks, but you can tell right away it's been honed by years of evolution to be user-centric forum software that gets the job done.

 

post #2 of 24

Skier219,

 

Your laundry list reads a lot like our laundry list, which we have prioritized according to our measure of the greatest good for the greatest number.

 

I understand that you are a fan of vBulletin. It is indeed the ubiquitous forum software in the land. I am a member of a few other forums and they all use vBulletin software. They all look alike, work alike, and perform the same basic message board functions. There's no learning curve to use them. These sites are kept by a small core group of volunteers and costs are offset slightly by Google ads and banner ads, with the remainder of financial support donated by users and the core volunteers. They are what I would call hobby sites, fan sites, niche groups.

 

The volunteers that make EpicSki go believe that we can still be a great place to chat while also being a great place to learn things that are of importance to skiers. We spent over a year investigating alternatives, and came to the conclusion that the only way to grow was to venture beyond vBulletin. The choice came down to: stay with vB and become a parody of ourselves (stagnate) or move beyond vB, invent, and grow.

 

Call me crazy, but I think it's cool that EpicSki doesn't come from a can. Instead, the site is a creative collaboration between users, developers, moderators, and background workers like myself who are busy knitting together "related content" so that each day the site makes more sense to those who are looking for information and ease of search becomes a natural byproduct of the system.

 

The new site also has the potential to interest ski-related companies from resorts to cars to take an interest in having a relationship with us, which we intend to convert to Deals & Discounts as a tangible benefit of membership. Natural Search, Reviews, and Related Content on one page are site features that interest companies, and we are designing a program to enable companies to be Supporters of our community.

 

Perhaps the new platform hasn't slipped on like a glove--more like a mitten, with the same basic functions but less fit. However, it functions better today than it did last week, though nothing like it will next month. The credit for these improvements goes substantially to members like yourself who have the fortitude to make posts such as this and tell us what you still dislike about the new site. Maybe the next contest should reward the best site trouble shots. I wonder if Sierra would donate some skis!

 

I hope this response explains why we inconvenienced our users with the site conversion to a new platform. In the end, we believe you will benefit greatly from the change, and those who work behind the scenes are no longer volunteers.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to present the case for a change.

 

*The search engine on the old site bogged down badly when we got around a million posts. We had to install the Google search as a work-around.

 

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 24


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

Skier219,

 

Your laundry list reads a lot like our laundry list, which we have prioritized according to our measure of the greatest good for the greatest number.

 

I understand that you are a fan of vBulletin. It is indeed the ubiquitous forum software in the land. I am a member of a few other forums and they all use vBulletin software. They all look alike, work alike, and perform the same basic message board functions. There's no learning curve to use them. These sites are kept by a small core group of volunteers and costs are offset slightly by Google ads and banner ads, with the remainder of financial support donated by users and the core volunteers. They are what I would call hobby sites, fan sites, niche groups.

 

The volunteers that make EpicSki go believe that we can still be a great place to chat while also being a great place to learn things that are of importance to skiers. We spent over a year investigating alternatives, and came to the conclusion that the only way to grow was to venture beyond vBulletin. The choice came down to: stay with vB and become a parody of ourselves (stagnate) or move beyond vB, invent, and grow.

 

Call me crazy, but I think it's cool that EpicSki doesn't come from a can. Instead, the site is a creative collaboration between users, developers, moderators, and background workers like myself who are busy knitting together "related content" so that each day the site makes more sense to those who are looking for information and ease of search becomes a natural byproduct of the system.

 

The new site also has the potential to interest ski-related companies from resorts to cars to take an interest in having a relationship with us, which we intend to convert to Deals & Discounts as a tangible benefit of membership. Natural Search, Reviews, and Related Content on one page are site features that interest companies, and we are designing a program to enable companies to be Supporters of our community.

 

Perhaps the new platform hasn't slipped on like a glove--more like a mitten, with the same basic functions but less fit. However, it functions better today than it did last week, though nothing like it will next month. The credit for these improvements goes substantially to members like yourself who have the fortitude to make posts such as this and tell us what you still dislike about the new site. Maybe the next contest should reward the best site trouble shots. I wonder if Sierra would donate some skis!

 

I hope this response explains why we inconvenienced our users with the site conversion to a new platform. In the end, we believe you will benefit greatly from the change, and those who work behind the scenes are no longer volunteers.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to present the case for a change.

 

*The search engine on the old site bogged down badly when we got around a million posts. We had to install the Google search as a work-around.

 

 

 

 

 

This looks like a bunch of reasons trying to find some credibility.
 

 

Getting close to two months into the switch-over and it's still a pathetic attempt to wring out solutions that should have been in place on day one. I've yet to see a legitimate reason for this switch other than the potential for more advertising placement.

 

Truly - what's the point of the Users who have and who want section? dumb, dumb, dumb. I've seen reviews on skis by people who barely ski 10 days a year, only on groomers, only on the least coast, and take magazine ads for destination choices - and I should get something from their reviews? How pathetic.

 

Ads all over the place, things that follow you around so they're always in the way, searches that are shallow replacements of what used to be (if they work at all), lots of self-congratulations about something that appears to be universally panned by users, many - "it'll be better next month statements (why wasn't it that way before).

 

If you bought a product this poorly though-out and developed you'd take it back in a heartbeat. Now it's been foisted on your users, and the poor on-line stats are no doubt a reflection of the badly institutued change. Two months in, and I find myself still wishing for a return to the old site - there doesn't appear to be anything useful here, other than the chance to place more ads all over the place. What next - make it look like loserzone and put ads in between posts?

 

Putting such a poorly developed and instituted platform into use suggests either that you were sold a bill-of-goods, or didn't understand how badly your developer couldn't deal with the situation. Hopefully you have some influence over them to get this mess resolved sooner rather than later.

post #4 of 24

Thanks for your input, snofun3. It reminds me of a cute poster I saw the other day:

 

post #5 of 24

I don't really see this as a situation where evil, greedy EpicSki management is trying to make a fortune advertising to the population of avid skiers they have successfully lured in to this site.  I think that it is simply the fact that it takes a lot of time, work, and other resources to manage this environment that thousands of us love to collaborate within.  As for the problems, folks have bent over backwards to rectify issues I have had and that includes a lot of personal contact and effort.  It was the content, product reviews, and knowledge base about gear from all different eras that first drew me to the sight.  It was the fellowship that keeps me here.  I see this move as being a necessary evil to break even using ads to offset costs with the added benefit of the wiki platform to better organize the content.  I,too, am sorry that it hasn't been smooth and it seems we have lost some folks because of it.  I hope they return.

post #6 of 24

The issue is not the motivation. It's the unpleasent end result.

 

2 months into the switch over, the "new" forum is still wowfully behind the old one in functionality and usability, with no end in sight any time soon. With winter season coming to an end for the majority of skiers, whatever audiance the marketers are after will be gone. Some of them for good.

 

I, for one, fail to see what "new" advertizing opportunity the older board can't already support. If this change is to harness future "potential", I wish you luck. You've driven away a lot of the potential customer by the transition itself.

 

Unfortunately, the "management" is treating anyone who voice their displeasure about the shortcoming of new forums as an attack to the "motivation" of the transition and get into a defensive position by claiming this being a "success". ;-) Well, why don't we let them work it all out by themselves? We don't have to hang around here now that snow has about the melt away? So will our wish to help out, which had so far not been appreciated. It's about time to say good-bye...

post #7 of 24

I don't believe that we're woefully behind the old site functionality, although there are functions of the old site that I tend to miss.

Part of what Huddler offered with the new platform were items that the community as a whole had been asking for, for quite some time.

 

I am thrilled to see the activity of the reviews, wikis and personal pages that have been received by the community as a whole.  

 

IMO when this site is fine tuned, which may take some considerable time, it will be among the best on the interwebz.

 

BTW, like you all, I do miss some of my old tools, but I also know that the huddler team is working hard to get many of those tools back.

 

post #8 of 24

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

Thanks for your input, snofun3. It reminds me of a cute poster I saw the other day:

 


 

 

See the on-line figures? Hyperbole? try to sell all your new advertsiing "opportunities" to advertisers giving those numbers and let's see whose talking hyperbole.

 

Quote:
 

Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 

I don't believe that we're woefully behind the old site functionality, although there are functions of the old site that I tend to miss.

Part of what Huddler offered with the new platform were items that the community as a whole had been asking for, for quite some time.

 

I am thrilled to see the activity of the reviews, wikis and personal pages that have been received by the community as a whole.  

 

IMO when this site is fine tuned, which may take some considerable time, it will be among the best on the interwebz.

 

BTW, like you all, I do miss some of my old tools, but I also know that the huddler team is working hard to get many of those tools back.

 

The pointis that these things should have been working on day 1. The fact that these guys told you how great everything was going to be then foisted this mess on you no doubt should have you hopping mad.
 

 

So when do signatures come back? Apparently after the chase-around-the-screen enhancement. .

 

Kike I said (hyperbole for sure), you guys got sold a bill-of-goods and are now trying to defend it. It's not working.

post #9 of 24

Moved thread to site suggestions (and compliments).

 

Signatures will be restored for Supporters soon.

 

The stats at the bottom of the page are accurate--that is, we are no longer counting webbots (a feature of vB) only unique users. We get our stats from Google Analytics and they show no change in traffic patterns over the past year's.

post #10 of 24

I have given myself ample time to get accustomed to the new site.  The improvements made after our many complaints have made it much better than when initially launched, but try as I might, I still like it far less than the original  Vbulletin site.  

 

I am spending considerably less time here since the change....which might be good for my personal life, not so good in general for Epic (not speaking about my own contributions but as a generic visitor).  Things just don't work all that well, the search is still weak, the limited amount of thread space allocated due to the huge advertising real estate to the right makes it so that I have to click through many more pages to see the most recent posts, as a result I usually just see what is on page 1 and leave Epic.   The still un-fixed link to off-site issue has taken me away from Epic too many times, and guess what, I didn't bother to come back since I lost my place and didn't feel like digging to find what I was originally reading. 

 

IMHO the attempts at increasing revenue have reduced the audience to which the advertising is supposedly directed to.

post #11 of 24
We have also recently moved to this platform and are experiencing similar complaints from our members.

However, it seems that Huddler has been addressing many of them. 
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonEpstein View Post

We have also recently moved to this platform and are experiencing similar complaints from our members.

However, it seems that Huddler has been addressing many of them. 

Welcome to EpicSki Ron.
I registered on your forum last week but have not posted yet.  Perhaps I should as I have some questions about Blue Ray.

One thing you're going to find out with the Huddler Team is that they listen and bring a lot to the table.  
Hopefully, the things they've learned while working with EpicSki will help with the amazing features for your site and EpicSki.

Ron, do you ski? 
post #13 of 24
"Delete post" function for morons like me?  Or am I missing something?  
post #14 of 24

I just stumbled onto this thread in the Recent Discussions area of the site.

I have experience with vBulletin as a user and an admin. I'd say that the look, feel and operability of the new epic site (wasn't here for the vB incarnation) is awesome and I've seen many of the complaints (especially the floating edit box, ugh ;o)) addressed. As a software developer, I tip my hats to those at huddler and Epic that have created, designed and improved this site.

It is a testament to huddler and Epic employees that the vitriol was handled in such a graceful and professional manner.

Thanks for the great content and software.

MR

post #15 of 24
Hey Bob,

Since there's no entry for deleting posts in the EpicSki Discussion Forum tutorial, but there is an entry for deleting posts in the Moderators' Manual, I presume that this function is reserved for Moderators. In another thread you asked to have a couple of your posts deleted, which I did. You can also send a PM to any of the Moderators at EpicSki:

Cirquerider
dchan
Trekchick
Nobody
Philpug
T-Square
BillA
TheRusty
WTFH
Tyrone Shoelaces
Bob Peters
Epic

*If you go to wikis and go to content under "E" you will find all sorts of helpful tutorials for using the new software.


MastersRacer--

Thank you. I will tell the others on the team to have a look at your post for a dose of good vibes. 
post #16 of 24
 Why can't we get a delete button for situations such as "duplicate post" or something?  I had that happen once and I'd only hit the submit button once.  
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

 Why can't we get a delete button for situations such as "duplicate post" or something?  I had that happen once and I'd only hit the submit button once.  

Ultimately, while there are occasionally duplicate posts, each post has a Report to Admin button (it's the exclamation point toward the bottom left hand side of the post).  If you get a duplication, flagging it allows mods and admins to handle it behind the scenes. 

The rationale for not having a publicly available delete button is so that a user can't go in and remove all of their content if they wanted to.  This has the potential to a) embarrass other users in the thread who then look like a crazy person talking to themselves and b) disrupt the flow of the thread.  While in some cases, a delete button (available to all users) would be useful to help out the mods, it could also cause trouble if someone abused it. 
post #18 of 24
 Well, you allow us to edit things with apparently no time limit, so I can go in and put "deleted post" or entirely change it, so I don't see how this fixes the problem you refer to.  I would think that putting in a ten minute limit on edits or deletions OR either until a reply is posted would address concerns without involving moderators.
post #19 of 24
 ^ What sibhusky said.  Seems like the moderators would consider it a convenience.  

I'm not seeing where it would be a bad thing even in the case stins describes above.  What I mean is, what's the real issue/problem if someone deletes all their content?  The rationale behind reasons a) & b) above doesn't seem like a real problem - I think most people looking at threads later wouldn't consider responders 'crazy people.'  And anyway, as mentioned above, I can go change any post I want at this point (then I might look like a crazy person) but an available delete function would make for a cleaner look.

But hey, if the mods think they need that much control...
post #20 of 24
cant copy and paste TR with IMG tags is my only real complaint. yeah I can post images now its just takes minutes for a TR instead of copying and pasting my TR that I post on TGR, MTBR and my local stuff.

Every other forum I can use the same TR with out rewriting here I have to go though and manual click each picture to be added instead of jsut using IMG tags. This is really lame and has stopped me from posting TR here.

Yeah its different but its like a car not having steering wheel. Just like a car having a steering wheel over say a Joystick. Image posting is huge reason why sites like TGR get a great rep and its has become super time consuming to post stuff over here.
post #21 of 24
PM Functionality.

It's horrible. i want to click on a username in a thread, and have an option "Send PM" instead of going to their individual user page.


Links. Make them open in a new window, or give me the option at least. This is REALLY a pain in the ass when I preview a post and want to check that the link I included works.

Between the two of these I'm going to wear out the back button on my mouse...
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 ^ What sibhusky said.  Seems like the moderators would consider it a convenience.  

I'm not seeing where it would be a bad thing even in the case stins describes above.  What I mean is, what's the real issue/problem if someone deletes all their content?  The rationale behind reasons a) & b) above doesn't seem like a real problem - I think most people looking at threads later wouldn't consider responders 'crazy people.'  And anyway, as mentioned above, I can go change any post I want at this point (then I might look like a crazy person) but an available delete function would make for a cleaner look.

But hey, if the mods think they need that much control...
Bob, your thoughtful post is appreciated, as are everyones.
The history behind having a time limit on editing and deleting posts by the OP came about when people edited posts that someone else had responded to which made the entire thread lose its continuity, and in some cases made posts of the responders look kinda stoopid.

Its not a control thing but more of a respect thing for those who are participating in the exchange.

As for the current situation with the delete button not being available, it is a tool that I would like to see along side the edit button for the limited time, but since it doesn't happen to be there at this point, its relatively easy to nudge one of us to delete it.

 
post #23 of 24
This very coversation took place someting like 7 years ago after a thread got out of hand and one poster took all their comments out of the thread---rendering the thread unreadable---to say it kindly!.  The ultimate outcome was to  allow deleting and editing only for period of time and not allowing deleting if any posts were made later.    Unlimited Editing, IMO is not a good idea---- it can lead to the same results

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post



Bob, your thoughtful post is appreciated, as are everyones.
The history behind having a time limit on editing and deleting posts by the OP came about when people edited posts that someone else had responded to which made the entire thread lose its continuity, and in some cases made posts of the responders look kinda stoopid.

Its not a control thing but more of a respect thing for those who are participating in the exchange.

As for the current situation with the delete button not being available, it is a tool that I would like to see along side the edit button for the limited time, but since it doesn't happen to be there at this point, its relatively easy to nudge one of us to delete it.

 

 
post #24 of 24
The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
--Lao-tzu

Just a thought, not a position.
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