Rearranged NWOGEO website?

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GizmoGuy411
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Rearranged NWOGEO website?

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Thu 2005-11-10, 23:46:53

Did anyone notice that our website is slightly rearranged, or did you just think your eyes were fooling you, or did you just figure that the resident geeks were messing with Good Dog?

I recently reaarranged some of the information blocks on the right and left sides of the home page after giving their positions some thought.

Today I also combined the small "Calendar" and the scrolling "Coming Events" blocks into a new single combined "Calendar/Events" block.

Of course the final disposition of these blocks is in the hands of our resident head geek and the SC.

Comments welcome!
Last edited by GizmoGuy411 on Sat 2007-02-17, 17:40:17, edited 2 times in total.
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yogi57
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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby yogi57 » Fri 2005-11-11, 01:11:34

I didn't notice anything but I don't check the homepage very much just the forum.
Also check the Findlay Courior tomorrow.
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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Fri 2005-11-11, 01:56:26

Yogi57 wrote:I didn't notice anything but I don't check the homepage very much just the forum.


Well see what you are missing then? :)

Yogi57 wrote:Also check the Findlay Courior tomorrow.


Can you get permission for us to put this on our site?

Findlay Courier link: http://www.thecourier.com/
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yogi57
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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby yogi57 » Fri 2005-11-11, 03:42:26

Yes I did, it's OK as long you us their name
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GoodDog
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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GoodDog » Thu 2005-11-17, 13:12:22

We I'm able to find things now if I've had enough morning coffee, so it must work great!

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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GoodDog » Mon 2006-01-16, 15:53:02

Getting too much stuff on the main page (new events for Indiana, old events for everyone) and also the forums need to be culled. Unless something is active, it maybe should self destruct after 90 days.

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GizmoGuy411
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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Tue 2006-01-17, 16:28:49

GoodDog wrote:Getting too much stuff on the main page (new events for Indiana, old events for everyone) and also the forums need to be culled. Unless something is active, it maybe should self destruct after 90 days.


Yep... this is on my list for tech discussion.

There are a couple of current possibities. If you go to:
http://www.nwogeo.org/Your_Account/op=edithome.html there is a setting to control how many stories you see on the front page. The system default is set to 5. That was one reason why I combined the three Indiana news articles into one, so that less stories would fall off the bottom.

While there is a "timed" way to present a "Message", it does not work the same as an "Article" which has no timed option.

What I would like to see is a way for the system to automatically archive things based on a time parameter so that they would be segregated into a distinctly seperate archive.

You normally do not want to actually delete things, as they are often used for reference later. It just would be nice to get them a little further out our your face. At least the setting mentioned above will limit what is in your face on the home page.

As far as forums, that is a whole different issue. If you notice I set the "Shout-Outs" to purge themselves after so long. I suppose we could do that in some other topic areas too. However the same argument arises for many topic areas, that they should not be deleted for archival reference reasons.

While we were planning the 2005 Holiday Shindig, I took the liberty of manually pruning out a number of off topic postings, and combined the multiple topic threads into one, to help concentrate our focus. It was far from being automatic.

Maybe we need a "moderator" committee to come up with a plan, and then maintain the site accordingly. I sure hate to delete someone's message solely because I thought it was time.

Everyone on the steering committee currently has moderator permissions, and can do almost anything an administrator as far as forums go.

Nevertheless, you bring up a good point, and more discussion on this is needed.

Now even this posting is probably in the wrong place, and should be moved to the SC Tech area! :)
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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby jimbobwe » Tue 2006-01-17, 23:22:40

The whole site needs cleaning up.There is way too much old news on the main screen!!
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?A=451190:13md21ta][img:13md21ta]http://img.groundspeak.com/stats/img.aspx?txt=LAST+of+the+Old+Skewl+Painters!&uid=dd47e1d9-c2c1-4f37-aa81-7de8c491521a&bg=1[/img:13md21ta][/url:13md21ta]

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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GCMarauder » Wed 2006-01-18, 05:27:03

I agree with JR... The site needs a good cleanup since there are so many old stories on the main page. I think the pizza place survey is even still up there from the holiday shindig. :-)

If there's an opportunity, I would probably be interested in joining the tech committee and/or becoming a moderator to help maintain the site. I've been a computer engineer for 16+ years, and also spent the last year on a web solutions team responsible for administering a pretty large company portal.

Dave
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?A=448606:1l80clbe][img:1l80clbe]http://img.groundspeak.com/stats/img.aspx?txt=Coming+to+a+Cache+Near+You!&uid=121905ea-04dd-4a66-9640-0f09607bb0a1&bg=1[/img:1l80clbe][/url:1l80clbe]

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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Wed 2006-01-18, 06:43:29

Take a look at articles on the Home page now.

I just found a feature that I had previsously ignored that will be useful in helping keep the older stuff off the Home page.

For those with Admin access. You simply edit the article, and turn "OFF" the Publish on Home page.

The problem was I had to turn off like 40 articles to accomplish it the first time. From now on it will be simpler to keep up with.

No articles were deleted in the process either. They can still be accessed via the menu. Just just will not appear on the Home page any longer.

A also turned the "Survey/Poll" block off for the Home pape, as there no current polls. All sureys are still available from the menu. We can just turn it back on the relocate it to the top when there is something new to poll.
Last edited by GizmoGuy411 on Sat 2006-01-21, 23:37:47, edited 1 time in total.
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GoodDog
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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GoodDog » Thu 2006-01-19, 00:17:03

GizmoGuy411 wrote:Take a look at articles on the Home page now.

I just found a feature that I had previsously ignored that will be useful in helping keep the older stuff off the Home page.

.


I see no difference. Still looks like the NEI home page. Can't we just put all this upcoming stuff in a link called "Upcoming Stuff"? Maybe a larger font or box than normal so it stands out?
I look at home pages as a sort of a Table of Content, or index. They contain links (info) on other stuff that you can go to , maybe the days (weeks, month) big story, a welcoming message, and a good picture of a dog, but that's it.

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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GCMarauder » Thu 2006-01-19, 02:27:06

I kinda like the idea of having two modules (content boxes) in the center pane at the top of the page... One for news headlines, and one for most recent forum posts. For news, each entry would just have a headline and very short blurb. You could then click the headline to see the whole story. The recent forum posts could just display the subject line, the date/time, and who posted it. That module should probably be a fixed height with a scroll bar if there are lots of new posts.

The current auto-scroll forum posts module can be a bit tricky at times. Depending on which way I come at it, I sometimes end up chasing a link up the screen as it tries to run away from my mouse. And waiting for all the recent posts to scroll by is sometimes a bit annoying if I'm in a hurry to see what's new.

The general idea would be to get all the most important stuff near the top of the screen which would give folks the ability to take it all in with a quick glance. Minimizing the length of the page (the amount of scrolling up and down) is always a good thing! :-)

Dave
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?A=448606:1l80clbe][img:1l80clbe]http://img.groundspeak.com/stats/img.aspx?txt=Coming+to+a+Cache+Near+You!&uid=121905ea-04dd-4a66-9640-0f09607bb0a1&bg=1[/img:1l80clbe][/url:1l80clbe]

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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Sat 2006-01-21, 22:51:49

We need to look at the options for our "HOME" page and see what works best for everyone.

We are limited of course by the software package. While some customization is possible, we do not want to create a nightmare for future upgrades, which would most likely break custom modifications.

Currently the module selected for our home page is the "NEWS" module. This is pretty standard as it is supposed inform visitors of the latest goings on. There is also has a "Message" feature which forces the message to be sticky at the top. We are currently using this feature for the "Cemetary warning". This feature however it has its own considerations to be aware of. One consideration is that once it is to be expired, then if the info is something that should be archived, then it needs to be converted to an "Article" with the home page visibility option turned off. This would allow the message to remain available as an archived article.

jslagle mentioned elsewhere that we should be careful to only put minimal content in the news visible on the home page. At the bottom of every article there is a link to expand the article to read the full content.

Currently there is a lot of news for North East Indiana. There used to be three news articles, which I combined into one to help minimize scrolling. This created another problem, in that as the older events in the one article pass, they remain in the one article, unless manually moved their own article and then archived. Today I shortened it even more by requiring a click to "READ MORE" infomation.

Although Good Dog may not have noticed the changes I made at the beginning of the week, over 40 articles on the home page were archived so that would not be in the home page scroll.

While by default only 5 articles are available for scrolling, as I archived the latest articles, the next oldest article became visible on the home page. That is why I had to archive ALL the articles back to the origin of the board.

The only articles visible on the home page were future events (NE Indiana) and 4 news media articles going back to only the fall of 2004.

Since the latest news article was from last November, I have archive all 4 of them today.

As a test I have also moved the scrolling "latest 10 posts" block from the right column to the bottom of the middle column. I'm afraid there is no setting to change the scroll speed. One disadvantage is that this will now appear only at the bottom of the home page and not in the right column or several pages. Not sure we want this.

This block should also not be a substitute for the "View posts since last visit" function available near the top right of the "Forums" function.

www.nwogeo.org/Forums/search/search_id=newposts.html

Let's see how this look appeals to everyone.
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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GoodDog » Mon 2006-01-23, 14:20:03

Looks much better.

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Re: Rearranged NWOGeo website?

Postby GCMarauder » Mon 2006-01-23, 18:22:02

Definitely looks a lot better! I still would like the latest forum posts better if it didn't auto-scroll. :-)
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?A=448606:1l80clbe][img:1l80clbe]http://img.groundspeak.com/stats/img.aspx?txt=Coming+to+a+Cache+Near+You!&uid=121905ea-04dd-4a66-9640-0f09607bb0a1&bg=1[/img:1l80clbe][/url:1l80clbe]


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