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Andy Freeland
03-27-2013, 03:04 PM
As I've said before, the world is made up of forum people and non-forum people. If you are reading this, you are a forum person. Someone who is capable of and willing to drill down into the back pages of FP to follow and participate in conversations. Seems simple enough to me, but for some reason non-forum people either don't get it or aren't interested. That's fine except for one small problem, our founder is a non-forum person. I need to make this site more accessible to the guy whose name is above the title. Our mission today is to make FP more Cris-friendly.

The one phrase that he keeps bringing up is 'bring the forum to the front page'. He knows that there's a lot of fun stuff happening in the back room but he doesn't know how to get to it. As strange as it sounds, he feels a little left out on his own site. His latest idea is an interesting one, I'm just not sure how to format it. He wants the front page formatted more like a pseudo chat room. One or more on-going threads that he can get to from the front page, read the most recent posts and type a quick reply.

Here is my current semi-idea in the usual vague format (keep in mind, this is just for the front page. the forum would remain unchanged): The new page would be ajax based. For non-geeks, that means that it would update automatically while your on the page, you wouldn't have to refresh. Someone posts a news item ("Dolphins sign Mike Wallace") or a general topic ("New RB H2H Rule"), just a headline and 1 fairly brief paragraph. The last 5-10 comments show up on the front page instead of just a comments link. The comments are really the main focus of the article (since that's what we do better than any other site). As I said, the comments update in real time as you are looking at the site. If Cris (or anyone else) is on the site you can have a real-time conversation. The comments would be brief, more like a chat room. I wouldn't further limit the number of characters, but it would only display ~200 characters then give [more] so the page wouldn't be dominated by a single rant.

Thoughts?

tubbs1518
03-27-2013, 03:12 PM
I like the idea. I know it seems strange to us, but I've had friends get on who aren't forum people and they say that it's just so complicated to find out what people are talking about, to find topics they want to discuss, to find what others are talking about so he can have a conversation. I think this makes it a little easier on people who just aren't used to forums and how they work.

Bengals1181
03-27-2013, 03:23 PM
I say its worth a shot. Even as a "forum person" I find the front page of FP very un-user friendly. I don't even go to it anymore. I bookmark straight to the forum view of it: http://footballpros.com/forumdisplay.php/3-vBCms-Comments

For someone just coming to the site for the first time I could see the front page confusing them. It's cluttered, and sadly the "contributors" section could probably go as most of the pros have left us.


Might be better to move things around, instead of having 3 columns (recent article comments, articles, recent forum comments), move them to more of a 3 row layout, while also making each article section smaller (largely accomplished by making the pictures smaller).

Rich Gapinski
03-27-2013, 03:24 PM
Like Kellen Davis in college, I go both ways (TE/DE, sicko). How do you imagine the front page format to look? Would it be something someone could type in right away below each article, or would the comments stream in a sidebar? I'm trying to think of a site that does something like this and the best I think of is that SI has something going on where comments for an article will pop up in the lower right hand side of the page while you are reading. Just trying to imagine things here and help in any way (though my "help" may induce responses such as "that's impossible," "you don't understand what I mean" and "you're Polish, right?")

KabaModernFan
03-27-2013, 03:27 PM
I like the idea. I don't have any experience in web design or anything of the sort, but it sounds good to me.

Andy Freeland
03-27-2013, 03:46 PM
I say its worth a shot. Even as a "forum person" I find the front page of FP very un-user friendly. I don't even go to it anymore. I bookmark straight to the forum view of it: http://footballpros.com/forumdisplay.php/3-vBCms-Comments

For someone just coming to the site for the first time I could see the front page confusing them. It's cluttered, and sadly the "contributors" section could probably go as most of the pros have left us.


Might be better to move things around, instead of having 3 columns (recent article comments, articles, recent forum comments), move them to more of a 3 row layout, while also making each article section smaller (largely accomplished by making the pictures smaller).

Yes, the contributors section would go (long overdue I agree). I would redesign the header to say Cris Collinsworth's FootballPros.com. Get rid of the left column completely. a large articles column (probably split into 2 columns as it is now) and a small right column.

Andy Freeland
03-27-2013, 03:47 PM
Like Kellen Davis in college, I go both ways (TE/DE, sicko). How do you imagine the front page format to look? Would it be something someone could type in right away below each article, or would the comments stream in a sidebar? I'm trying to think of a site that does something like this and the best I think of is that SI has something going on where comments for an article will pop up in the lower right hand side of the page while you are reading. Just trying to imagine things here and help in any way (though my "help" may induce responses such as "that's impossible," "you don't understand what I mean" and "you're Polish, right?")

Comments under each article. I'll try to do a mock up in the next couple of days.

Andy Freeland
03-27-2013, 03:49 PM
I don't have any experience in web design or anything of the sort

That's a problem because you're going to be the lead programmer. I need the finished code on my desk by close of business today.

Rich Gapinski
03-27-2013, 03:53 PM
Kaba, if you need help cracking this code, you can borrow my secret Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. I drink a lot of Ovaltine.

Rich Gapinski
03-27-2013, 03:55 PM
Comments under each article. I'll try to do a mock up in the next couple of days.

Sweet. Be sure there is a translator in it so German Raiders Fans can tell me I suck in proper English.

darvon
03-27-2013, 04:19 PM
OK. There are 7 areas on the current Front Page.

First is the top Banner and Buttons sections. That may be redesigned, but the functionality is essentially to remain.

Then there is theRecent article comments section (#2), the Articles section (#3), the Recent Forum Posts section (#4) and the Contributors section (#5), and Team Pages (#6) and Blog Comments(#7)

#5 is going away.
#2 is going to go away.
#6 I personally never use Team Pages, but others might. Perhaps you should pole the proles. Or throw it away.
#7 Also find out how we use this. I rarely do.


#3 is to remain. Is it going to be unchanged? If not, I have a suggestion. How about a Headline and first X characters of an article, a button to go to READ MORE page, a count of the comments to date, and 2 of the last comments, in a short excerpt of the first XXX characters. Currently you have the first X active Articles. Keep or modify your selection method, as per your wont.

#4 is to be radically altered.

For the way I use the forum, here is what I would bring to the front page.
All of the active threads of the last 24 hours. Each thread would be represented by the first XXX characters of the OP, and the last 2 comments, represented as the first XXX characters. Also have a comments Count display and a Read More button. Essentially treat each active thread as an article.

ALSO put in the #1 area HOT buttons that would bring you to one of 3 areas.

One that would bring you to a page of ONLY the forum threads owned by NFL, treated in the same manner as section #4 will be, but going back a week. Same with NFL Draft and College Football. Also change the CHAT button to show if a CHAT is ONGOING or needs to be CREATEd. When ONGOING should be in different color.


Also, the articles have issues with photos and formatting. Please fix before infecting the forum treatment.

I am taking off early today, so no need to have it done by tonight, take your time and get it to me by 8:00Am tomorrow.

Thanks,
D

Andy Freeland
03-27-2013, 04:33 PM
I am taking off early today, so no need to have it done by tonight, take your time and get it to me by 8:00Am tomorrow.


I'm not sure what you mean. I'm familiar with 8:00pm, but I've never heard of 8:00am. Is it new?

ScottDCP
03-27-2013, 06:05 PM
Here is my current semi-idea in the usual vague format (keep in mind, this is just for the front page. the forum would remain unchanged): The new page would be ajax based. For non-geeks, that means that it would update automatically while your on the page, you wouldn't have to refresh. Someone posts a news item ("Dolphins sign Mike Wallace") or a general topic ("New RB H2H Rule"), just a headline and 1 fairly brief paragraph. The last 5-10 comments show up on the front page instead of just a comments link. The comments are really the main focus of the article (since that's what we do better than any other site). As I said, the comments update in real time as you are looking at the site. If Cris (or anyone else) is on the site you can have a real-time conversation. The comments would be brief, more like a chat room. I wouldn't further limit the number of characters, but it would only display ~200 characters then give [more] so the page wouldn't be dominated by a single rant.

Thoughts?

Does this mean it there would be a section like the current activity feed on the bookface? All new posts (or references to them) anywhere will show up, except trumpet's, and we could go to them straightaway from there?

Trumpetbdw
03-27-2013, 07:11 PM
Does this mean it there would be a section like the current activity feed on the bookface? All new posts (or references to them) anywhere will show up, except trumpet's, and we could go to them straightaway from there?

Wait, did I miss something? Am I now on everyone's permanent ignore list? Was I banned again? Is this thing on?

Andy Freeland
03-27-2013, 07:26 PM
Does this mean it there would be a section like the current activity feed on the bookface? All new posts (or references to them) anywhere will show up, except trumpet's, and we could go to them straightaway from there?

not a single feed for all articles, each article would have the latest comments under it (rather than having to go the article's page to see the comments).
I do like the idea of excluding trumpet's posts.

Trumpetbdw
03-27-2013, 07:35 PM
"Bring the forum to the front page" is a great catch phrase. I wish I was a bit more... what's the word?... less dumber, so I could figure out how to make this concept work. But my creativity was shot the second I came home from work today, only to realize that I have 10 days of Spring Break ahead of me.

Andy, what you need is an unpaid intern to do all of this for you. I hear that Darin of Kramerica Industries may be available. Teachers get away with this scam all the time by requesting student teachers on a yearly basis. The main objective of a student teacher is to work hard enough so that one day, they'll too be able to get a student teacher of their own to do all of their work for them.

Rich Gapinski
03-27-2013, 07:36 PM
Trumpet can be the internet version of the "if a tree falls in the forest and no one's around" riddle. Boy, I'd be embarrassed if I knew that he could see me saying this about him, but I'm not sure since his posts don't exist.

Trumpetbdw
03-27-2013, 07:58 PM
Trumpet can be the internet version of the "if a tree falls in the forest and no one's around" riddle. Boy, I'd be embarrassed if I knew that he could see me saying this about him, but I'm not sure since his posts don't exist.

Testing... 1.... 2...

edave
03-27-2013, 09:38 PM
I'm not sure how deep you want to dive into PHP, but it seems to me the issue long term is going to be the stratified view system.

Right now, you have an article view, associated templates and tables, and a forum view, associated templates and tables. Somewhere in the belly of the beast, these two meet to allow the comments on an article to be attached to a front page story but my guess is that it's an inelegant hack where just the two sets of templates and data models collide (mostly from tweaking and playing with showthread.php and content.php).

I'm sure there are a bunch of other views, all based on the same general pattern with a bunch more repeating template goo. Such is the way of most (all??) CMS (content management systems).

What you really seem to want is a front page that can be a random collection of things, where those things are articles, forum posts and any comment.

You also need a better way to see what's new and interesting, without blowing your entire visual real estate budget so it needs a bit of intelligence (a page rank if you will). Ideally, a small duration based view would take into consideration the items that were newest and those with the highest amount of traffic (both views and posts) and build a reasonable composite. For a full view, less guesswork is needed, but you'd still want to follow the same general pattern. You'll probably have to sacrifice on the font size to cram more data into the view and once you start tweaking it one place...

You'd also want to stick other dynamically generated data on the front page and perhaps the most actively trafficked 'forum' areas.

Does that pretty much cover it or am I forgetting something?

mikesteelnation1
03-28-2013, 01:15 AM
I agree the front page needs a facelift. Andy's ideas sound solid, as do Darvons (although a flow chart would have been much appreciated :) )

Dave got a little too technical for me , although I get his premise.

I'll sit in the corner with the polish kid (drinking ovaltine and FURIOUSLY trying to decode Dave's post (with his decoder ring on the con of a sub with a screen door), the "band" mute, and kaba (who's ignoring everyone, especially the mute, watching NCAA game tape and concocting a mock, all the while staging a grass roots effort to open the season at home), all awaiting pictures of the changes and thinking the same thing.:

Any change to the site that gets more involved is a great thing.. get new people to post. Do what the boss needs to be involved..the site hummed when he was.

Andy Freeland
03-28-2013, 01:55 AM
Good stuff.


I'm not sure how deep you want to dive into PHP, but it seems to me the issue long term is going to be the stratified view system.

Right now, you have an article view, associated templates and tables, and a forum view, associated templates and tables. Somewhere in the belly of the beast, these two meet to allow the comments on an article to be attached to a front page story but my guess is that it's an inelegant hack where just the two sets of templates and data models collide (mostly from tweaking and playing with showthread.php and content.php).

I'm sure there are a bunch of other views, all based on the same general pattern with a bunch more repeating template goo. Such is the way of most (all??) CMS (content management systems).



The basic nuts and bolts won't change, the DB stays exactly like it is. Everything is forum based, even when it looks like an article. Article->Comments (but really a forum as you can tell when you go to recent posts).



What you really seem to want is a front page that can be a random collection of things, where those things are articles, forum posts and any comment.

You also need a better way to see what's new and interesting, without blowing your entire visual real estate budget so it needs a bit of intelligence (a page rank if you will). Ideally, a small duration based view would take into consideration the items that were newest and those with the highest amount of traffic (both views and posts) and build a reasonable composite. For a full view, less guesswork is needed, but you'd still want to follow the same general pattern. You'll probably have to sacrifice on the font size to cram more data into the view and once you start tweaking it one place...

You'd also want to stick other dynamically generated data on the front page and perhaps the most actively trafficked 'forum' areas.

Does that pretty much cover it or am I forgetting something?

I think I'm looking to do the opposite, less not more. Focus the front page almost entirely on a couple of articles with the only hint of the forum is a recent posts widget on the right and of course the forum link in the top menu. I think I'm sticking to a time-based order of the front page. I considered ranking by most views (short duration as you said) or more simply the last commented but since I'm (hopefully) going to ajax that would get messy.

Page space is the major issue. I'm fine with only 2 articles above the fold, that's really what we have now. But the design I'm thinking about (5-10 comments below the article) would push the next 2 articles way down the page.

Trumpetbdw
03-28-2013, 07:31 AM
Not to toot my own horn, but nobody has a higher article to comment ratio than me. It's got to be somewhere around 2 3000+ word articles for every 1 comment generated. A 6000/1 (estimated) word to comment ratio is rather impressive, if I do say so myself.

So anything that could potentially cause even more people to ignore me is a good thing. I'm in favor.

Rich Gapinski
03-28-2013, 08:15 AM
Does anyone hear something that kind of sounds like a bird pecking at a window? Weird. I hear it ALL the time.

Ragar
03-28-2013, 03:20 PM
Just going to sit back on my porch swing, sipping my whiskey, and watch the tide roll on in.

Andy Freeland
03-28-2013, 03:40 PM
Just going to sit back on my porch swing, sipping my whiskey, and watch the tide roll on in.

Watchin' the ships roll in.
And then I watch 'em roll away again.

Ragar
03-28-2013, 07:36 PM
Watchin' the ships roll in.
And then I watch 'em roll away again.

FYI: First song to reach #1 with the recording artist deceased.

mikesteelnation1
03-29-2013, 01:40 AM
Does anyone hear something that kind of sounds like a bird pecking at a window? Weird. I hear it ALL the time.

It's almost like there's a cricket trapped in the thread. It's there, but it ISN'T. Not sure how to fix that, or get rid of the cricket..

Birds tapping is easy rich.. use some Windex on all your windows. They'll take care of themselves. Nothingbetter than watching ravens fly full speed into sliding glass doors. :p

wxwax
03-29-2013, 03:13 AM
Sounds great.

This place has had a schizophrenic presentation from the start. A weird meld of front page and buried forums. Never understood it.

I'm all for a straight forum. The cleaner, the easier to access, the better. For me, the more barriers you put between the viewer and the forum content, the more you're asking them to leave.

Personally, I think a simple forum presentation is something most people are familiar with. It's been around forever. Will people comment? That's a personal thing. Either they're comfortable commenting or they're not. 70-80% of traffic is lurkers on any forum, right? That's life. Not gonna change. To drive participation, raise the overall number of visitors. Get more eyeballs by making the damn thing more accessible.

I say lose the front page. Ditch 2/3rds or more of the confusing and redundant forum categories. Really strip it down. I have a hard time believing that Cris or anyone else wouldn't understand a simple forum layout.

I understand the appeal of that Ajax thing. See it, respond to it, all right there on a front page. Cool. But really, it's just another barrier between the reader and the forums, isn't it? We already have one of those, and it's a pain in the butt.

That's my 2 cents. I know, same old, same old every time this comes up. I'm certain that by the End of Days, you'll see I'm right. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-cool18.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Which reminds me, good time to beef up the smileys too. Here's what a smiley page should look like. (http://www.advrider.com/forums/misc.php?do=getsmilies&editorid=vB_Editor_001) http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-score010.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

packa7x
03-29-2013, 07:39 AM
I usually post using an original iPad on 3G...how would this affect me?

msclemons
03-29-2013, 11:26 AM
I need to consult with Colts01 on how best to abuse these possible new features.

SpartaChris
04-03-2013, 10:06 PM
I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but check out the layout over at http://www.packerforum.com/. Articles people can comment on if they want, but below it are links to the latest forum headlines. They also have a shoutbox on their forums page, which is essentially a simplified chatroom: http://www.packerforum.com/forum/

Trumpetbdw
04-05-2013, 04:04 PM
I posted this in the writer's thread as well, but it also seemed appropriate here.



Is this place hardcore, or is it more mainstream? Is there a way to allow for mainstream (more comfortable/less controversial network-like) analysis and opinions, while also allowing for hardcore (sports talk) thoughts and ideas on the same topic? Can those that desire an in-depth conversation revolving around hours of research coexist with those that just want to enjoy their football on a much more general scale?

Hardcore fans generally enjoy a local feel to their sports, gravitating to hometown announcers and analysis. Mainstream fans generally gravitate to the more well-rounded views of a national broadcast, and basic national highlight shows.

What is the FP identity? Can we be hardcore, while not dismissing the mainstream? Can we bring a more local feel into the mainstream, which seemed to be the initial goal of this site?

We are past the crossroads on this one. What is the best fix?

I think if we change the word "hardcore" to "forum user", and "mainstream" to "front page user", it can further apply to the future of this site. No matter what it looks like, can Cris add his contributions, please the mainstream, and yet not turn off the hardcore users? Can the look of the front page make this easier to accomplish?

vancemeek
04-05-2013, 05:58 PM
I guess this should be the place for suggestions since that what Andy started it for. Trumpet is right, those of us who are regulars and comfortable with each other (mostly) need to be able to keep our voice, but it needs to be inviting for new people. I use the recent comments when I come in. If the entire recent comments table is an ongoing argument, I might take a quick peek, but generally just close the site and go somewhere else. Each ongoing thread, article, post, or however it looks should only show the most recent comment. A good informational thread, say a thread discussing draft picks, should't get bumped off in favor of 9 recent comments in which two people call each other stupid. It's off-putting.

If Cris is going to be regularly involved, obviously it will help. I'd love to see the occasional guest appearance by other pros, even if not regular contributors. It will draw people here. If Cris isn't going to be a regular visitor, then I don't see the point of overhauling the whole board.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 07:51 AM
this will sound silly, but one thing that needs to change is long, detailed posts.

Don't get me wrong, they're great and usually always insightful, but they aren't appealing to the drive-by viewers the site needs to attract into posters, and if a person decides to skim over the long posts, they are likely going to check out for most of the remainder of the thread. Just something to consider.



As others have said, the key to sustained success is getting actual "Pros" back involved. I'm sure its why most of us came here in the first place, and its going to be why new people come in the future. For a brief period, there was great Pro interaction, but alas they were Pros who were still highly active in their professional lives. Cris we all know is super busy. Lapham calls color commentary for 3 different football games during an in-season week (usually in 3 different cities), plus he does 3 weekly radio shows. Turk got back in to coaching with the UFL, and the other Pros seemed to just disappear.

Perhaps Cris could target Pro's who have a lot to share, but also are more "retired" in their professional life. Then Cris, Lapham, and Turk can chime in when they can.

ScottDCP
04-08-2013, 10:26 AM
I guess this should be the place for suggestions since that what Andy started it for. Trumpet is right, those of us who are regulars and comfortable with each other (mostly) need to be able to keep our voice, but it needs to be inviting for new people. I use the recent comments when I come in. If the entire recent comments table is an ongoing argument, I might take a quick peek, but generally just close the site and go somewhere else. Each ongoing thread, article, post, or however it looks should only show the most recent comment. A good informational thread, say a thread discussing draft picks, should't get bumped off in favor of 9 recent comments in which two people call each other stupid. It's off-putting.


Second.

packa7x
04-08-2013, 10:33 AM
Bengals, I totally see where you're coming from. I joined a new forum the other day (non football, don't worry! :P ) and I tended to skip over huge posts because I came into the convo late. The thing is, we also shouldn't focus this on simply making it 100% accessible to new posters. We also need an identity. That being said, posters like myself should try and paraphrase a little more simply because we can communicate better if we use clearer language in more concise paragraphs.

I simply came here because I saw a link for it on NFP. NFP was starting to die and I wanted to join a new forum. My mentality wasn't to go window shopping, it was "im joining a forum and ill figure out the culture later" so I'm sure we just need to get the name out again. People just may not know where to find us. We definitely need pro interaction OR like NFP we need to figure out some things we all know really well and do periodic articles.

tubbs1518
04-08-2013, 10:59 AM
I'll second cutting down the long posts. Even in a discussion I'm keeping track of, at times if it's an extremely long post I read a couple sentences and move on or skip it all together and come back to it if I need to reference it.

I also don't think the pros HAVE to be involved for this place to work. Plenty of forums thrive without any pros ever having been on there. However, I'd love for Cris and more pros to be involved. It would make growth a lot easier.

My thought was, what about putting in a specific forum more geared towards hardcore conversations? Maybe not even post it on the front page so we don't drive new posters away, but still have that forum specifically meant for topics we think will get intense?

Trumpetbdw
04-08-2013, 11:11 AM
Even with the site being free, is there a way to divide content in a way that guests can only view some of the threads, while others are specifically designated for "members only"? Perhaps a feeling of exclusivity, without the cost of exclusivity would tease some of the guests who sign in to become members, especially since it's free?

Trumpetbdw
04-08-2013, 11:16 AM
Also, I'm not sure that the long posts in and of themselves are the issue. As someone who both posts, and reads long posts, I think the issue is more that the posts give the appearance of rambling. But sometimes there's a lot to say about a given topic. Perhaps we just need to do a better job of bulleting our main points, or at least better organizing our thoughts so it doesn't appear to be just another ramble.

Unless our specific intent is to ramble. In that case, perhaps one gigantic run-on sentence would do the trick.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 11:22 AM
Even with the site being free, is there a way to divide content in a way that guests can only view some of the threads, while others are specifically designated for "members only"? Perhaps a feeling of exclusivity, without the cost of exclusivity would tease some of the guests who sign in to become members, especially since it's free?


I think we should utilize the OG forum for those topics.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 11:24 AM
Also, I'm not sure that the long posts in and of themselves are the issue. As someone who both posts, and reads long posts, I think the issue is more that the posts give the appearance of rambling. But sometimes there's a lot to say about a given topic. Perhaps we just need to do a better job of bulleting our main points, or at least better organizing our thoughts so it doesn't appear to be just another ramble.

Unless our specific intent is to ramble. In that case, perhaps one gigantic run-on sentence would do the trick.


I don't think of them as rambling, but during the day most of us are are working and I imagine like to just do a quick check of the site and maybe make a couple quick posts. People may not have time to read the 6-7 paragraph posts and respond.

tubbs1518
04-08-2013, 11:31 AM
I read A long post today that I read, looked at and was like that could have been said just as well in 1 paragraph instead of 6-7. Those are the types of posts that people don't want to read.

packa7x
04-08-2013, 12:10 PM
Also, I'm not sure that the long posts in and of themselves are the issue. As someone who both posts, and reads long posts, I think the issue is more that the posts give the appearance of rambling. But sometimes there's a lot to say about a given topic. Perhaps we just need to do a better job of bulleting our main points, or at least better organizing our thoughts so it doesn't appear to be just another ramble.

Unless our specific intent is to ramble. In that case, perhaps one gigantic run-on sentence would do the trick.

I agree. Breaking down a player contract or a legal discussion requires wayyyyy more explanation than simply saying so and so is better

packa7x
04-08-2013, 12:11 PM
I don't think of them as rambling, but during the day most of us are are working and I imagine like to just do a quick check of the site and maybe make a couple quick posts. People may not have time to read the 6-7 paragraph posts and respond.

This is simply fixed by posting when you do have a chance to respond.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 12:18 PM
This is simply fixed by posting when you do have a chance to respond.

that is counter-productive. All that would do is increase the lack of activity on the site during work hours. The goal is to increase activity.



You'll understand when you graduate and get a full-time job. :p

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 12:21 PM
also, may I add a carryover from my home site:


The ninja :woot: is the universal sign for sarcasm. Should help curtail some unintended arguments due to misinterpreting tone.

Curtis
04-08-2013, 12:28 PM
I'm a recent post kinda guy. I like to stay with the current flow of the threads rather than mine the forums for older topics. I tend to skip the articles mostly because I don't like how it opens more tabs and I don't like the way the comments work in them.

My only suggestion woould be something similar to what PFT has on their site. A small window on the front page that shows the threads with the most comments. That way people can easily jump right into an active thread.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 12:32 PM
I'm a recent post kinda guy. I like to stay with the current flow of the threads rather than mine the forums for older topics. I tend to skip the articles mostly because I don't like how it opens more tabs and I don't like the way the comments work in them.

My only suggestion woould be something similar to what PFT has on their site. A small window on the front page that shows the threads with the most comments. That way people can easily jump right into an active thread.



I'm an activity stream guy. I check the entire site in the morning for new posts/topics, and then I go off the activity stream for the rest of the day.


And yea, the way articles open in forum view is kind of a pain, but still better than going to the actual front page.

Trumpetbdw
04-08-2013, 12:39 PM
I think we should utilize the OG forum for those topics.

Except that I, and many other of the frequent contributors, are not OGs. I'm not sure of the forum that you're referencing.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 12:41 PM
Except that I, and many other of the frequent contributors, are not OGs. I'm not sure of the forum that you're referencing.

Andy could remedy that. It's a section of the forum only accessibly by the first 1000 posters to join the site. "Original Grand"

Trumpetbdw
04-08-2013, 12:44 PM
also, may I add a carryover from my home site:


The ninja :woot: is the universal sign for sarcasm. Should help curtail some unintended arguments due to misinterpreting tone.

Most are employing my idea of { } for sarcasm. It allows for an exact interpretation of each word, and is my baby, so therefore {everyone should use it, always}. :woot:

Plus, it's a part of the official FP dictionary, so getting people to understand the use of brackets is an important step. Otherwise, {they have no need to become a member of this snobby-nosed club in the first place}

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 12:49 PM
true about the brackets. Was just offering an alternative.


back to the OG idea, some sites also allow you to set up sections where you have to have a certain amount of posts before you can access it.

Trumpetbdw
04-08-2013, 12:49 PM
Andy could remedy that. It's a section of the forum only accessibly by the first 1000 posters to join the site. "Original Grand"

Except that would defeat the purpose of the point. By hiding certain articles from a number of potential users that they can never access, nor never know exist, how would that bring them into a more serious discussion if a more serious discussion is what they want? By letting them see the topic, and giving them a chance to participate, or merely read it simply by "signing up", it gives an exclusive feel to the site without any actual exclusivity. Plus, they'd still have the front page, and perhaps other topics that they'd still potentially be able to see in full, depending on how Andy would want to handle that.

At least that's how I'm perceiving it in my head. It is just a thought.

Trumpetbdw
04-08-2013, 12:51 PM
true about the brackets. Was just offering an alternative.


back to the OG idea, some sites also allow you to set up sections where you have to have a certain amount of posts before you can access it.

I think this is a better idea, and more similar to what I'm trying to say. At least then there's something to work toward, and everyone would have the ability to earn access if they choose.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 12:52 PM
Except that would defeat the purpose of the point. By hiding certain articles from a number of potential users that they can never access, nor never know exist, how would that bring them into a more serious discussion if a more serious discussion is what they want? By letting them see the topic, and giving them a chance to participate, or merely read it simply by "signing up", it gives an exclusive feel to the site without any actual exclusivity. Plus, they'd still have the front page, and perhaps other topics that they'd still potentially be able to see in full, depending on how Andy would want to handle that.

At least that's how I'm perceiving it in my head. It is just a thought.


I guess I'm envisioning two separate threads on the same discussion. One in the public area that's broad and PC, and one in the backroom that's more hardcore, indepth and heated. Still civil conversations, but ones that may not necessarily be visually appealing in helping sell the site to new viewers.

Not every topic mind you, just when someone chooses to start one up.

tubbs1518
04-08-2013, 01:06 PM
I think this is a better idea, and more similar to what I'm trying to say. At least then there's something to work toward, and everyone would have the ability to earn access if they choose.

I agree, I think that having a forum that say you have to have 100 posts to get in makes a lot of sense. Gives them time to get used to how everyone is and gives us time to see how to take them.

wxwax
04-08-2013, 01:36 PM
true about the brackets. Was just offering an alternative.


back to the OG idea, some sites also allow you to set up sections where you have to have a certain amount of posts before you can access it.

Given that the fundamental problem with this site is that not enough people use it, I can't really see how adding more obstacles and excluding people, is going to solve the problem. Am I missing something?

I've been trying to remember what brought me here in the first place. Not sure I can. I think the contributions of Cris and Phil and Turk were part of it. But really, I was just looking for a place to casually BS about football. I have places for soccer, never had a place for football.

At first, everything was really friendly. I liked it. I stayed. I became invested in trying to keep the place going, so I posted a lot to help generate traffic.

Now? Not so friendly. A couple of guys are flat out aggressive and hostile, whom I have on ignore. The pros are gone. All that's left is some BS'ing about football. And on that topic, an elitism is creeping in that is a turn-off for a more causal fan like me.

I stay because there are some nice, really well-informed folks here. If not for them, I might drift away as others have done.

tubbs1518
04-08-2013, 01:38 PM
Given that the fundamental problem with this site is that not enough people use it, I can't really see how adding more obstacles and excluding people, is going to solve the problem. Am I missing something?

I've been trying to remember what brought me here in the first place. Not sure I can. I think the contributions of Cris and Phil and Turk were part of it. But really, I was just looking for a place to casually BS about football. I have places for soccer, never had a place for football.

At first, everything was really friendly. I liked it. I stayed. I became invested in trying to keep the place going, so I posted a lot to help generate traffic.

Now? Not so friendly. A couple of guys are flat out aggressive and hostile, whom I have on ignore. The pros are gone. All that's left is some BS'ing about football. And on that topic, an elitism is creeping in that is a turn-off for a more causal fan like me.

I stay because there are some nice, really well-informed folks here. If not for them, I might drift away as others have done.

The majority of forums have it where you have to have a certain post count for certain actions. Certain forums, PM's, editing your profile, etc. It's a good idea to have one forum that is far more intense away from the general public so it doesn't scare them off until they see what we all are really about.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 01:52 PM
Given that the fundamental problem with this site is that not enough people use it, I can't really see how adding more obstacles and excluding people, is going to solve the problem. Am I missing something?

I've been trying to remember what brought me here in the first place. Not sure I can. I think the contributions of Cris and Phil and Turk were part of it. But really, I was just looking for a place to casually BS about football. I have places for soccer, never had a place for football.

At first, everything was really friendly. I liked it. I stayed. I became invested in trying to keep the place going, so I posted a lot to help generate traffic.

Now? Not so friendly. A couple of guys are flat out aggressive and hostile, whom I have on ignore. The pros are gone. All that's left is some BS'ing about football. And on that topic, an elitism is creeping in that is a turn-off for a more causal fan like me.

I stay because there are some nice, really well-informed folks here. If not for them, I might drift away as others have done.



there would still be an entire forum for posters to interact and new visitors to view. There would just be a "backroom" so to speak where more indepth and intense conversations could go on. Conversations that are worthwhile, but may not come off as appealing to someone visiting the site for the first time.


Accessible to the longtime vets, or as suggested to anyone who hits a certain amount of posts.



It would be similar to how things are now in a sense. The front page article discussions are far more civil than the forum discussions. This would just take some of the heated discussions to a "members only" area, keeping the public forums attractive to new members.

wxwax
04-08-2013, 02:09 PM
The majority of forums have it where you have to have a certain post count for certain actions. Certain forums, PM's, editing your profile, etc. It's a good idea to have one forum that is far more intense away from the general public so it doesn't scare them off until they see what we all are really about.

None that I belong to. I know what you're talking about, I've seen it. But that sort of thing is a minor detail.

As I understand it, the proposal on the table here is to create a new sub-forum with exclusive access.

I've seen that too, and belong to one. But it was created to deal with an entirely different problem: an excess of members and an excess of trolling. This forum suffers from neither problem.

Seems to me that making it harder to participate here is like trying to get more people into your stadium by raising the ticket prices. Seems to me it would have the opposite effect to the intended one.

tubbs1518
04-08-2013, 02:13 PM
None that I belong to. I know what you're talking about, I've seen it. But that sort of thing is a minor detail.

As I understand it, the proposal on the table here is to create a new sub-forum with exclusive access.

I've seen that too, and belong to one. But it was created to deal with an entirely different problem: an excess of members and an excess of trolling. This forum suffers from neither problem.

Seems to me that making it harder to participate here is like trying to get more people into your stadium by raising the ticket prices. Seems to me it would have the opposite effect to the intended one.

But it wouldn't. Most probably wouldn't even notice it until they figured out they could post there. It keeps the intense debates and the long posts that intimidate new people off the front page and away from new viewers eyes.

wxwax
04-08-2013, 02:17 PM
But it wouldn't. Most probably wouldn't even notice it until they figured out they could post there. It keeps the intense debates and the long posts that intimidate new people off the front page and away from new viewers eyes.

I don't get it. If the handful of active posters on this site mostly participate behind the veil, what's left for the casual visitor? A completely dead forum.

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 02:19 PM
I don't get it. If the handful of active posters on this site mostly participate behind the veil, what's left for the casual visitor? A completely dead forum.

they'd be posting in both.

tubbs1518
04-08-2013, 02:20 PM
I don't get it. If the handful of active posters on this site mostly participate behind the veil, what's left for the casual visitor? A completely dead forum.

That isn't the way it works though. It's not a full time posting forum and EVERYONE gets access after say 50 posts. Most of the discussion takes place on the regular forum. The only things you post in that forum are things that are going to be REALLY controversial. It's obvious things the way they are aren't working are they?

Bengals1181
04-08-2013, 02:25 PM
right, we're talking about 1-2 discussions max per week that get taken to this "backroom."

Bengals1181
05-17-2013, 03:23 PM
another thing I'm noticing, and should have noticed sooner, is that when you add a post to an article on the front page, we should have that article bump back up to the top of the page.

Trumpetbdw
05-18-2013, 08:25 AM
another thing I'm noticing, and should have noticed sooner, is that when you add a post to an article on the front page, we should have that article bump back up to the top of the page.

I thought of this about a month ago, but thought it had already been addressed, so I didn't say anything. But he's 100% correct. With the forum, the conversation remains current. On the front page, the conversation continues to get bumped to the bottom of the page. "Hot" Front Page Topics should be able to remain at the top of the page.

Bengals1181
05-18-2013, 10:45 AM
I thought of this about a month ago, but thought it had already been addressed, so I didn't say anything. But he's 100% correct. With the forum, the conversation remains current. On the front page, the conversation continues to get bumped to the bottom of the page. "Hot" Front Page Topics should be able to remain at the top of the page.



yea at this point the totally best way to follow FP is through the Activity Stream. It would be nice if the new front page could look something like that, but with a little more detail. A picture, maybe the first few lines of the article, etc....

This is the other page I use the most (the forum view of the front page): http://footballpros.com/forumdisplay.php/3-vBCms-Comments

That's what I bookmark. I check that in the morning first for new posts on the front page, then I check the forums I follow, then I use the activity stream the rest of the day.

I typically have the activity stream open all day. Obviously that's not going to be the case for new people we are trying to attract, but I think the activity stream view works well to catch up on the site, particularly when we haven't been getting a lot of posts (hopefully that changes of course).

Patrick Sullivan
08-18-2013, 09:05 PM
//facepalm

why has this never happened? IF THE BOSS FEELS LEFT OUT, WE ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

Andy Freeland
08-19-2013, 12:04 AM
//facepalm

why has this never happened? IF THE BOSS FEELS LEFT OUT, WE ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

upon further research it requires more time and programming skill than I possess. I'm sure that our format will change at some point, at least the front page the forum probably stays untouched, but I may need to bring in some technical folks to get that done.

wxwax
08-19-2013, 01:27 AM
upon further research it requires more time and programming skill than I possess. I'm sure that our format will change at some point, at least the front page the forum probably stays untouched, but I may need to bring in some technical folks to get that done.

I don't know if this is hard to do, and I know you're now enmeshed in the NFL... but it would be nice if, in the right hand box that shows our latest posts in the forum, the little icon at the end of a quote took us to the quote itself. Right it now it takes us to the beginning of the thread.

vancemeek
08-19-2013, 12:56 PM
We've had some good ideas here, and even though my time is severely limited, this site will always be a place I make room for. However, this site will only go as far as Cris wants it to. Without Cris, we're a bunch of smart guys who really are quality writers and good football guys. However, there are a ton of forums on the net, and it will be hard to get people to come here instead of wherever they're already visiting. With Cris, we have one of the (if not the) only site enabling regular people to interact with somebody like Cris. Also, with regular time from him, comes possible special guests. This is a great site, no matter what, but it could explode if Cris can get back here and we build around him.

Bengals1181
08-19-2013, 01:06 PM
We've had some good ideas here, and even though my time is severely limited, this site will always be a place I make room for. However, this site will only go as far as Cris wants it to. Without Cris, we're a bunch of smart guys who really are quality writers and good football guys. However, there are a ton of forums on the net, and it will be hard to get people to come here instead of wherever they're already visiting. With Cris, we have one of the (if not the) only site enabling regular people to interact with somebody like Cris. Also, with regular time from him, comes possible special guests. This is a great site, no matter what, but it could explode if Cris can get back here and we build around him.


I'd addend this to say the site needs pros, but not necessarily Cris. We all know Cris is super busy, and that's why he isn't around more. That won't change.


This site needs true blue retired pros who have the TIME AND WILLINGNESS to be a regular contributor. Another idea would be for Cris to maybe reach out to one or two current players who submit a one paragraph "diary entry" each week (or every other week). I've seen Geno Atkins and AJ Green do that for other (non-message board) sites.

vancemeek
08-19-2013, 01:13 PM
Agreed. I guess I just meant Cris needs to be involved, though not necessarily here a lot. Taking part of a day to interact would be cool, but as you said, getting other guests here is just as good.

tubbs1518
08-19-2013, 01:14 PM
I'd addend this to say the site needs pros, but not necessarily Cris. We all know Cris is super busy, and that's why he isn't around more. That won't change.


This site needs true blue retired pros who have the TIME AND WILLINGNESS to be a regular contributor. Another idea would be for Cris to maybe reach out to one or two current players who submit a one paragraph "diary entry" each week (or every other week). I've seen Geno Atkins and AJ Green do that for other (non-message board) sites.

Exactly, it doesn't have to be Cris. If we were able to get some former players, like we had with Caleb Miller for a while, it would help a lot.

Bengals1181
08-19-2013, 01:19 PM
Exactly, it doesn't have to be Cris. If we were able to get some former players, like we had with Caleb Miller for a while, it would help a lot.


except actually accomplished and not an ass. The likes of Caleb Miller aren't going to attract anyone to the site.

tubbs1518
08-19-2013, 01:24 PM
Have a problem with Miller?

Bengals1181
08-19-2013, 01:28 PM
Have a problem with Miller?

I quite liked him as a player. On FP and on TV appearances he's done though, I think he comes off like a jackass and anything but a "pro". He's also far less accomplished of a pro than this site needs right now.

tubbs1518
08-19-2013, 01:30 PM
When you have 0 pros.....any pro is a good place to start IMO.

wxwax
08-19-2013, 02:10 PM
I don't know if this is hard to do, and I know you're now enmeshed in the NFL... but it would be nice if, in the right hand box that shows our latest posts in the forum, the little icon at the end of a quote took us to the quote itself. Right it now it takes us to the beginning of the thread.

I didn't make it clear that I'm talking about the front page links to forum posts.

Patrick Sullivan
08-19-2013, 04:28 PM
upon further research it requires more time and programming skill than I possess. I'm sure that our format will change at some point, at least the front page the forum probably stays untouched, but I may need to bring in some technical folks to get that done.

I figured as much. I wish I could help, but this stuff a little outside my capabilities.

Trumpetbdw
09-12-2013, 12:59 PM
With football season in full swing, and a ton of good articles going up daily, I've been thinking about the look of the front page, since that's how many newcomers access us.

Is there any way to simplify the look? Currently, when I go straight to the front page, I see the forum to the right, recent comments to the left, and in the middle, taking up nearly all of my screen, is the most recent article. To find every other FP article, you must scroll. As we scroll, the pics are still in tact, and while smaller, the articles themselves are still taking up a lot of space.

Can we make the most recent article a bit smaller, perhaps by including a 1 sentence summary of the article as opposed to a few of the beginning sentences, then put the next 5 most recent articles underneath? Instead of keeping the pics attached to the article at that moment, we could simply have the titles listed and linked to the articles. Rotowire.com (http://www.rotowire.com) is the example I'm thinking of if you just want to click and check out their front page. I think it gives a simple/clean look, while not burying the most recent featured articles.

Just a thought...

wxwax
09-12-2013, 02:14 PM
Top of any list should be fixing the format errors. One glance at the current front page sends an instant message that the site is neglected. If we want more traffic, and if the traffic is driven to the front page, it needs to be fixed.

wxwax
09-14-2013, 01:21 AM
Would it be expensive to hire a freelancer to spend a day or two cleaning up the front page? And also making the Recent Posts button work properly again?

Swami
09-14-2013, 07:35 AM
Top of any list should be fixing the format errors. One glance at the current front page sends an instant message that the site is neglected. If we want more traffic, and if the traffic is driven to the front page, it needs to be fixed.

Totally in agreement. Hey, it's free and fun but if growth is desired, this is mandatory. If not, the current crowd will likely remain due to the high level of discourse.

Bengals1181
09-14-2013, 08:23 AM
Top of any list should be fixing the format errors. One glance at the current front page sends an instant message that the site is neglected. If we want more traffic, and if the traffic is driven to the front page, it needs to be fixed.



this exactly. I don't even go to the front page anymore because its so un-user friendly.


Is there a way to maybe incorporate pictures and a desirable look, but also incorporating the message board view of the front page articles you can find here: http://footballpros.com/forumdisplay.php/3-vBCms-Comments (which is the page I bookmark for the site rather than the actual front page).

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 09:57 AM
IMO, things which must be fixed:


No more dead guys on the front page. Sorry to be an insensitive bastard, but having JJ listed as a contributor is not good. Dude's been gone a long time now. And JoJo, Phil, Turk & Lap have a combined post count of <enter a small number here> since 2011.

86 all the team forum pages, Pros forum, Madden forum, Other Leagues forum, Ephraim, Moore, Mitchell, Dhani - long point made short; we got way too many places to post. Just kill all the dead junk. When I start thinking about this, I realize how much of a football supergeek Freeland is. This was the most beautiful site EVER for we the freaky geeky fans. Andy missed no details setting up this sucker. Kudos. Putting this baby together took some serious work (despite all your self proclaimed laziness.) An orderly yet creative mind can be a dangerous weapon.

Fix the issue with images on the front page. right now it looks like a three year old grabbed a stack of pictures and threw it on a table. it's awful. last summer, when the new look front page debuted, all the pics were auto-sized and the site looked clean and tidy. Right now, our bathrooms are dirty. As you all know, I have an extensive background in the food biz. Amazing as it is to some, the #1 complaint received by restaurants is not bad food, bad service or crummy parking. It's dirty bathrooms. This must be fixed. This should be a host issue, I think. Trumpet's 'Commish' articles still gets auto-sized, so the new host can indeed accommodate this function. Gotta get that done.

Seemingly minor tech issue:http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w489/GoBig2011/lastpost.jpg (http://s1078.photobucket.com/user/GoBig2011/media/lastpost.jpg.html)When we click on that button, we DO NOT GET SENT TO THE LAST POST. We get sent to the FIRST POST. Discourse here has taught me that our peeps hate that extra page click to get where they want.

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 10:33 AM
Guys, last season Andy lifted the curtain and shared with me some insight into his world at SNF. In his usual self deprecating manner, he calls himself 'lazy'. I assure you, this is not true. If a lazy guy could produce the kind of effort Freeland has to drop every week, then i would be happy to call myself lazy.

We all want him to just coast in and 'fix' all this ****. Just sayin' this is not asking him to roll in for a minute and empty his inbox. It's alittle more complicated than that.

Oh, and it would not hurt if we all stopped in and thanked the man for his work once in awhile.

Just sayin'.

Bengals1181
09-14-2013, 10:41 AM
Guys, last season Andy lifted the curtain and shared with me some insight into his world at SNF. In his usual self deprecating manner, he calls himself 'lazy'. I assure you, this is not true. If a lazy guy could produce the kind of effort Freeland has to drop every week, then i would be happy to call myself lazy.

We all want him to just coast in and 'fix' all this ****. Just sayin' this is not asking him to roll in for a minute and empty his inbox. It's alittle more complicated than that.

Oh, and it would not hurt if we all stopped in and thanked the man for his work once in awhile.

Just sayin'.



I don't think anyone thinks Andy is slacking (and we appreaciate his work).


I think the main issue, that at least I have, is that the two men at the top (Cris and Andy), simply don't have the time to commit to FP (and its completely understandable with their day jobs) to take it where we all want to see it go. That's why I'm hesitant about all the great ideas we have. All the people with the ideas, have no power to inact them. We can't even get a twitter handle/account settled, approved and up and running.


If FP is going to expand and succeed, I think it needs someone (Biggie? Rich? Someoe else?) with complete administrative/layout control who has the time to commit. And as I've always said, we need some Pros as draws, and ones who also have the time to commit.

Rich Gapinski
09-14-2013, 11:11 AM
I don't think anyone thinks Andy is slacking (and we appreaciate his work).


I think the main issue, that at least I have, is that the two men at the top (Cris and Andy), simply don't have the time to commit to FP (and its completely understandable with their day jobs) to take it where we all want to see it go. That's why I'm hesitant about all the great ideas we have. All the people with the ideas, have no power to inact them. We can't even get a twitter handle/account settled, approved and up and running.


If FP is going to expand and succeed, I think it needs someone (Biggie? Rich? Someoe else?) with complete administrative/layout control who has the time to commit. And as I've always said, we need some Pros as draws, and ones who also have the time to commit.

I'd love to help on the web site, but I am merely a "talent." I think our ideas are nice, but it will be hard to implement them during the season. We have come a long way in a few months, IMO. The picture thing is frustrating, but we needed to be a site that could support a larger audience. Good info and analysis with real writing is a key. I think after these last two weeks, I think we can say we have that. I agree that Step 1a would be cleaning up what isn't needed on the front page anymore.

As another person with insight into what the schedule for Cris and Andy is like at this time of year, it's impressive that he can find time to post at all during the football season.

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 12:28 PM
We can all sit on the sidelines and b*tch about the lack of participation from our pros.

I see it differently at this point. What have we done to entice them to return?

I'll answer that question in part by saying the following: Despite our layout issues and a lack of participation from the big names, front page traffic is up. With a layman's eye, I have gone back and looked at our posting habits from this time last year (this is just before the big site flameout of 2012) and now . This time last year, we were at roughly 90% forum to 10% front page frequency of comments. Right now, that ratio has nearly flipped. When I hit my activity stream and look at the last 20 posts, about 80% of them are in front page threads.

I'll bang this drum one more time. Front page content increases the likelihood that CC will come back. You guys who insist on burying yourselves in the forums while griping about CC's lack of participation are shooting yourselves in the foot.

Football posts >>>> FRONT ****ING PAGE

Beer, food, TV, Movies, tech >>>> Forums

Guys, I really want to throw a "Hey Collinsworth, Your Site looks Great In case You Have Not Noticed" article on the main page. But we can't do that until we get our ducks in a row.

- Post on the front page if you are talking football
- Those of you with article privilieges should use them. A year ago, I had no power to publish your stuff. I can do that now. (understand that our writing staff and our weekly stuff will get primacy of place) But if you guys want to put something on the front page, you have the option to do so.http://footballpros.com/forumdisplay.php/86-User-Contributors

wxwax
09-14-2013, 12:29 PM
IMO, things which must be fixed:


No more dead guys on the front page. Sorry to be an insensitive bastard, but having JJ listed as a contributor is not good. Dude's been gone a long time now. And JoJo, Phil, Turk & Lap have a combined post count of <enter a small number here> since 2011.

86 all the team forum pages, Pros forum, Madden forum, Other Leagues forum, Ephraim, Moore, Mitchell, Dhani - long point made short; we got way too many places to post. Just kill all the dead junk. When I start thinking about this, I realize how much of a football supergeek Freeland is. This was the most beautiful site EVER for we the freaky geeky fans. Andy missed no details setting up this sucker. Kudos. Putting this baby together took some serious work (despite all your self proclaimed laziness.) An orderly yet creative mind can be a dangerous weapon.

Fix the issue with images on the front page. right now it looks like a three year old grabbed a stack of pictures and threw it on a table. it's awful. last summer, when the new look front page debuted, all the pics were auto-sized and the site looked clean and tidy. Right now, our bathrooms are dirty. As you all know, I have an extensive background in the food biz. Amazing as it is to some, the #1 complaint received by restaurants is not bad food, bad service or crummy parking. It's dirty bathrooms. This must be fixed. This should be a host issue, I think. Trumpet's 'Commish' articles still gets auto-sized, so the new host can indeed accommodate this function. Gotta get that done.

Seemingly minor tech issue:http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w489/GoBig2011/lastpost.jpg (http://s1078.photobucket.com/user/GoBig2011/media/lastpost.jpg.html)When we click on that button, we DO NOT GET SENT TO THE LAST POST. We get sent to the FIRST POST. Discourse here has taught me that our peeps hate that extra page click to get where they want.



Plagiarist!

I agree with all of this and have said it all before.

wxwax
09-14-2013, 12:33 PM
Guys, last season Andy lifted the curtain and shared with me some insight into his world at SNF. In his usual self deprecating manner, he calls himself 'lazy'. I assure you, this is not true. If a lazy guy could produce the kind of effort Freeland has to drop every week, then i would be happy to call myself lazy.

We all want him to just coast in and 'fix' all this ****. Just sayin' this is not asking him to roll in for a minute and empty his inbox. It's alittle more complicated than that.

Oh, and it would not hurt if we all stopped in and thanked the man for his work once in awhile.

Just sayin'.


I know that, and I know that's why the issues linger. I also believe, based on what Andy has posted, that some of this is beyond his comfort level.

That's why I asked how expensive it would be to visit a doctor and see if he or she can fix some of this in short order. If the basics can be fixed in a day or two, then perhaps the bill would be tolerable?

I'll let Andy talk Cris into spending his money. D

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 01:07 PM
we need to stop griping about things we cannot control.

Great Universal Spirit, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 01:08 PM
this is a do or not do situation.

Rich Gapinski
09-14-2013, 01:11 PM
Well, we have the content and great interaction is back. We need to keep pushing. Word is getting out that the site is rolling along better. Names have returned. Clem is back to making fun of absolutely everything. Trumpet is getting banned more than once a month. I'm still a big, dumb, animal Polack. Well, I've got a couple racks of ribs to smoke before the Bucks game. If you ppl check out Wagers & Lagers tomorrow, you might get the recipe.

Curtis
09-14-2013, 01:31 PM
- Post on the front page if you are talking football
- Those of you with article privilieges should use them. A year ago, I had no power to publish your stuff. I can do that now. (understand that our writing staff and our weekly stuff will get primacy of place) But if you guys want to put something on the front page, you have the option to do so.

There are only a few people that can post articles. The rest of us cannot. This means we would have to write something, submit it and wait in queue for it to be posted on the front page. Where's the fun in that? It's much easier for to create a thread in the forums and get instant discussion while it's fresh.

Recently, there have been a few threads started in the forums, were moved to the front page, and ultimately buried and forgotten. This can and will cause a disconnect with people that aren't part of the "staff". I can honestly say that I have felt a disconnect. And the "front page or nothing" is less than compelling.

wxwax
09-14-2013, 02:04 PM
we need to stop griping about things we cannot control.

Great Universal Spirit, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Here we disagree. If something's wrong, the best thing for this site is to point it out, discuss it and see if it can be fixed. That's an uber healthy process.

Trumpetbdw
09-14-2013, 03:27 PM
The activity is clearly rising. We're mostly on the right track, although we need to find some sort of balance with the forums, in my opinion. My only thought that started this most recent wave of discussion was to find an (hopefully simple) answer to the front page mess, where articles quickly get buried. That's just my suggestion as a volunteer contributor. Beyond that, I'm no where near smart enough to figure out any answers.

wxwax
09-14-2013, 04:07 PM
My only thought that started this most recent wave of discussion was to find an (hopefully simple) answer to the front page mess, where articles quickly get buried.

Yes, that's a big issue for me as well. For example, I just now wanted to find those excellent college scouting threads, so I could post about the freshman QB at FSU. But honestly, digging through it all was too much trouble, so I just went to the college football thread instead.

One solution might be to replace the pros column on the left with our new writers, and when you click on their profile you get a list of every thread they have started. But even that requires you to remember who wrote the article you're looking for.

Also, the Recent Posts button is broken. It forgets threads after just a few hours. That, too, will kill participation in front page stuff which gets quickly buried under new material. Surfing through the Activity thingie is tiresome.

The symmetry that Not So Biggie is suggesting is very appealing. From a practical point of view, I think it present some issues. It limits our football talk to only the topics chosen by the site's editor for the front page. That's a bit constraining. There's a reason so much traffic is on the front page right now: a certain someone :D is making a concerted effort to steer all new material there. And it's worked! Successful website engineering! http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing002.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 04:15 PM
There are only a few people that can post articles. The rest of us cannot. This means we would have to write something, submit it and wait in queue for it to be posted on the front page. Where's the fun in that? It's much easier for to create a thread in the forums and get instant discussion while it's fresh.

Recently, there have been a few threads started in the forums, were moved to the front page, and ultimately buried and forgotten. This can and will cause a disconnect with people that aren't part of the "staff". I can honestly say that I have felt a disconnect. And the "front page or nothing" is less than compelling.


prove that.

ScottDCP
09-14-2013, 04:15 PM
The forum is necessary, down to the team level. I don't know that division and conference are, but the team forums definitely need to stay. There is no natural Front Page location for the kind of cranial drippings I throw up there, and I am at the front of the crowd that wouldn't want me to try to shoehorn it in. The front page is geared towards teams that can win. I don't follow one of those. Also, it is rarely article-quality writing but I still want to do it.

There are four regular to semi regular Bills-interested users. We engage enough to keep it interesting. If those of you who support any teams but the Jets, Steelers, Dolphins, Cowboys, and Patriots did the same on those team forums, I suspect the same would happen and it would begin to emulate a living forum (it might for those teams as well, but I wouldn't know about it unless Buffalo was playing them this Sunday. Ahem.) If you are interested in the team, go to the team forum, and there is something to do, kinda thing.

The forum would work better with more users who were inclined to use it. Right now, those numbers aren't here, but I still want to post my crap. I am thrilled when someone thinks enough of it to turn it into a conversation, but unhurt if nobody does. If there were five hundred or more active users it would be absolutely necessary to have that sort of breakdown. It may feel extraneous now, but it isn't in fact so.

wxwax
09-14-2013, 04:18 PM
I gotta say I support stripping out a ton of the forums categories. It's super complicated down there and most of it goes unused. Tooting my own horn, I brought this up last time Andy talked about a redesign. I'll be glad if it picks up some momentum.

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 04:50 PM
The forum is necessary, down to the team level. I don't know that division and conference are, but the team forums definitely need to stay. There is no natural Front Page location for the kind of cranial drippings I throw up there, and I am at the front of the crowd that wouldn't want me to try to shoehorn it in. The front page is geared towards teams that can win. I don't follow one of those. Also, it is rarely article-quality writing but I still want to do it.

There are four regular to semi regular Bills-interested users. We engage enough to keep it interesting. If those of you who support any teams but the Jets, Steelers, Dolphins, Cowboys, and Patriots did the same on those team forums, I suspect the same would happen and it would begin to emulate a living forum (it might for those teams as well, but I wouldn't know about it unless Buffalo was playing them this Sunday. Ahem.) If you are interested in the team, go to the team forum, and there is something to do, kinda thing.

The forum would work better with more users who were inclined to use it. Right now, those numbers aren't here, but I still want to post my crap. I am thrilled when someone thinks enough of it to turn it into a conversation, but unhurt if nobody does. If there were five hundred or more active users it would be absolutely necessary to have that sort of breakdown. It may feel extraneous now, but it isn't in fact so.

Bills & Patriots forums get grandfathered in? the other 30 team forums get precious little traffic and only serve to hide us from the world.

I imagine Pruitt & Swami would manage to find Your Bills stuff regardless of location.

ScottDCP
09-14-2013, 04:52 PM
Bills & Patriots forums get grandfathered in? the other 30 team forums get precious little traffic and only serve to hide us from the world.

I imagine Pruitt & Swami would manage to find Your Bills stuff regardless of location.

That's the problem with drpping the team forums. There is no other place for it.

ScottDCP
09-14-2013, 04:54 PM
Having the other team pages lay empty costs nothing, but if they aren't there in the utopian future of massive activity, they will need to come back.

wxwax
09-14-2013, 05:16 PM
Having the other team pages lay empty costs nothing, but if they aren't there in the utopian future of massive activity, they will need to come back.

The problem is that when you click on the forums page, you're confronted with a confusing number of sub-forums. It's not inviting to a newcomer, quite the opposite. It's overwhelming. The forums must be easy to use, which means as clean and as simple as is reasonable. FP's been around long enough to know which sub-forums go little or no traffic. Those are the ones which should go.

ScottDCP
09-14-2013, 05:17 PM
The problem is that when you click on the forums page, you're confronted with a confusing number of sub-forums. It's not inviting to a newcomer, quite the opposite. It's overwhelming. The forums must be easy to use, which means as clean and as simple as is reasonable. FP's been around long enough to know which sub-forums go little or no traffic. Those are the ones which should go.

No problem generally. Dropping the team forums is a bad idea for future use. Without the promise of those, it is just a less nasty version of PFT.

The problem with dropping the team pages - and they don't have to be right up front - is that you lose anything like the fun I have with it, making it just less fun. Most people follow one or two teams. Nice to have aplace to do it. Think of it as a place to get away form the grandiose stuff and commiserate if you are me, or a place to get down to business if you are Mike.

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 05:18 PM
Having the other team pages lay empty costs nothing, but if they aren't there in the utopian future of massive activity, they will need to come back.

fair point

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 05:19 PM
No problem generally. Dropping the team forums is a bad idea for future use. Without the promise of those, it is just a less nasty version of PFT.

also a fair point

Docta
09-14-2013, 05:40 PM
You could drop the team forums and keep the division forums. The users that use them now should just create a thread specifically for their team. (ex. Chicago Bears Discussion Thread)

The HOF, Other Leagues, and Madden forums do need to go though.

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 05:52 PM
I can't do a damn thing. Just dropping suggestions.

Curtis
09-14-2013, 09:02 PM
prove that.

I made an error in the way I presented that. I have seen a few threads started and you posted that there was already an article about it or was going to be or whatever. Hard to say because you have many, many, many posts. Maybe game picks or season predictions, I don't recall the specific subjects and it really doesn't matter to me. Everything else I wrote is what mattered and you ignored that.

I'm not a writer. I don't even type very fast, or very well. I am certain I have no permissions to write an article, and I never expected to have any. I just don't believe that all the football discussions should be limited to the front page. One of the "writers" may not have written about something that I or someone else is interested in or want to talk about. Then what to we do? Write something and take a number? I may have to wait at the DMV, but I'm not going to wait in line at a gym to use the only treadmill on site, I'll go somewhere else that has 20 treadmills. Same thing here, I'd find another place to discuss.

There was nothing wrong with this site. It worked fine the way it was. The only thing that has changed is Cris no longer promotes it. I found it from a graphic under his name on SNF one night. I haven't seen it at all the last couple seasons. I think if Cris promoted it more, there will be more people signing on. I would suggest changing the name since there aren't any pros here.

I don't care if you want to ignore my opinions about the site which you and others have asked from us. However, I do care that you wrote some snarky, unnecessary comment in your edit. While I'm actually disappointed you didn't write another expletive-filled PM to make me smile, I expected you to at least act like you gave a flying funk about what we have to say.

Patrick Sullivan
09-14-2013, 09:55 PM
I made an error in the way I presented that. I have seen a few threads started and you posted that there was already an article about it or was going to be or whatever. Hard to say because you have many, many, many posts. Maybe game picks or season predictions, I don't recall the specific subjects and it really doesn't matter to me. Everything else I wrote is what mattered and you ignored that.

I'm not a writer. I don't even type very fast, or very well. I am certain I have no permissions to write an article, and I never expected to have any. I just don't believe that all the football discussions should be limited to the front page. One of the "writers" may not have written about something that I or someone else is interested in or want to talk about. Then what to we do? Write something and take a number? I may have to wait at the DMV, but I'm not going to wait in line at a gym to use the only treadmill on site, I'll go somewhere else that has 20 treadmills. Same thing here, I'd find another place to discuss.

There was nothing wrong with this site. It worked fine the way it was. The only thing that has changed is Cris no longer promotes it. I found it from a graphic under his name on SNF one night. I haven't seen it at all the last couple seasons. I think if Cris promoted it more, there will be more people signing on. I would suggest changing the name since there aren't any pros here.

I don't care if you want to ignore my opinions about the site which you and others have asked from us. However, I do care that you wrote some snarky, unnecessary comment in your edit. While I'm actually disappointed you didn't write another expletive-filled PM to make me smile, I expected you to at least act like you gave a flying funk about what we have to say.

That PM exchange - I was a monumental ass-h%le that night. No. I was not. I was the whole ass. The whole ass from his bunghole to his nosehairs. You have my apologies.

I have let that exchange color every interaction with you since then. That includes tonite.. The snarky line in the edit was a direct jab. And it was both unnecessary and foolish.

Again, I am sorry.

wxwax
09-14-2013, 10:24 PM
Someone pass the popcorn. This is getting good.

http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing002.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Bengals1181
10-18-2013, 06:31 PM
just met Lapham at one of his weekly radio on-site broadcasts. He didn't know FP was still up and running. That might be step one in getting the pros back. :)

SpartaChris
10-18-2013, 07:48 PM
just met Lapham at one of his weekly radio on-site broadcasts. He didn't know FP was still up and running. That might be step one in getting the pros back. :)

Heh, alritey. Now if someone could just let Turk know. And CC as well. ;-)

Wordsworth
10-30-2013, 03:11 PM
It may have been mentioned on a previous page, but could we consider closing up the contributor sections and shrinking down all the conference, division, and team areas into one NFL discussion? With a forum this big, it's hard not to feel empty with a smaller user base like we have.

Also, can we please expand the per-line character limit in the chat box? Whatever it's at now is less than half of what I'd estimate would be suitable. Just my $0.02 :)

Rich Gapinski
10-30-2013, 03:53 PM
Some good suggestions so far. Please be aware that suggestions are all we can give in the middle of the season. Biggie, Kaba and I do not have web site expertise nor do we have any of CC's money to throw into the site or have the power to hire someone. We are, as the monikers say, "writers." The best and easiest I have seen is to clean up the side which names people who obviously don't contribute if someone spends more than 5 minutes here. Parsing down the forum sections that have seen little action would be good. We should keep the team forums for those who want to use them and for the idea that the site gets another push at some point. Other than that, we basically need the College Football, Off Topic and .... um, I am not sure what else.

I think the front page and forums do need some balance, but the current move to have a lot of content on the front page has worked in the way that a front page of any site hoping to draw people does need front page activity. Biggie's return has helped in that I wrote plenty last year but did a poor job on continuing conversations in the forum. He has always been good at moving things along. However, a balance will be needed in that I have to admit that you see less writing from me in long form this season because many subjects are already being covered within the ongoing threads on the front page. Since I have a day job that never really stops and takes 55-60 hours out of my time from football writing, a conversation is often going on about something I could have written about. I am curious in what the balance should be, but I feel it can be obtained. Of course, if you hated my writing, this season is awesome for you.

It nice to see some passion around in that many of us enjoy it enough to continue to come up with ideas to make it work. It certainly has been nice to see some old names and to see some new ones, too.

Andy Freeland
10-30-2013, 04:21 PM
It may have been mentioned on a previous page, but could we consider closing up the contributor sections and shrinking down all the conference, division, and team areas into one NFL discussion? With a forum this big, it's hard not to feel empty with a smaller user base like we have.

Also, can we please expand the per-line character limit in the chat box? Whatever it's at now is less than half of what I'd estimate would be suitable. Just my $0.02 :)

I would love to expand the chat limit, it drives me nuts, but we're just embedding a tinychat room so I have no control over that. We'll just have to be less loquacious and more economical with our letters by using abbreviations, omitting pronouns and not trotting out pretentious words like loquacious for absolutely no reason.

Patrick Sullivan
10-30-2013, 04:33 PM
Did anyone else have trouble with the chatterbox kicking them out (Sunday and Monday for me) during recent gameday chats?

Wordsworth
10-30-2013, 04:54 PM
Some good suggestions so far. Please be aware that suggestions are all we can give in the middle of the season. Biggie, Kaba and I do not have web site expertise nor do we have any of CC's money to throw into the site or have the power to hire someone. We are, as the monikers say, "writers." The best and easiest I have seen is to clean up the side which names people who obviously don't contribute if someone spends more than 5 minutes here. Parsing down the forum sections that have seen little action would be good. We should keep the team forums for those who want to use them and for the idea that the site gets another push at some point. Other than that, we basically need the College Football, Off Topic and .... um, I am not sure what else.

I think the front page and forums do need some balance, but the current move to have a lot of content on the front page has worked in the way that a front page of any site hoping to draw people does need front page activity. Biggie's return has helped in that I wrote plenty last year but did a poor job on continuing conversations in the forum. He has always been good at moving things along. However, a balance will be needed in that I have to admit that you see less writing from me in long form this season because many subjects are already being covered within the ongoing threads on the front page. Since I have a day job that never really stops and takes 55-60 hours out of my time from football writing, a conversation is often going on about something I could have written about. I am curious in what the balance should be, but I feel it can be obtained. Of course, if you hated my writing, this season is awesome for you.

It nice to see some passion around in that many of us enjoy it enough to continue to come up with ideas to make it work. It certainly has been nice to see some old names and to see some new ones, too.

I have some experience with vBulletin and am happy to volunteer my assistance in cleaning up any sections deemed unnecessary, if it helps ease the burden in that regard.