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Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Sun May 22, 2011 9:30 pm
by RJ
Welcome to the Forums. This is, I believe, the third message board connected to my website. Maybe even the fourth. None of the others really caught on and frankly I'm doubtful this one will either. But I'm willing to give it a shot. Rather than try to put together a list of rules and regulations on my own, however, I've decided to leave it up to the community and take a very hands-off approach.

I'll certainly be here to moderate and administrate as needed, but otherwise the community sets the tone. If the atmosphere that develops is a strict one, then this will be a strictly regulated place. On the other hand, if everyone wants to be very relaxed and laid back, then that's how it will be. Take a look at other forums and message boards and go from there.

I don't know all the ins and outs of phpBB and there are certainly a lot of interesting features to be stumbled upon. But it seems just about everything can be adjusted or altered to fit the needs of the community. Some examples: username minimum/maximum length (currently 3 characters minimum, 20 characters maximum); avatar minimum/maximum size (currently 20x20 pixel minimum, 90x90 pixel maximum), signature length (currently 255 characters), images in signatures (currently allowed) and new user restrictions (currently, new users have to make three posts before they can use most features -- like having signatures, attaching files, changing avatars and other things of that nature.

If these forums really takes off and a true community develops, perhaps moderators can be elected via polling. Or perhaps there will be no real need for moderation. It all depends. And if there simply are not enough interested users to create a community, I'll probably eventually shut these forums down.

Feel free to use this topic as a starting point for discussions about the community and start new topics as needed.

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 11:13 am
by Big Daddy O'Reilly
How so totally awesome!

I honestly wish I could be of help RJ, I have forum experience: I've maintained a Sudden Launch (sort of an off-shoot of ProBoards) forum, and I've been a moderator of an InvisionFree forum, though I don't have any experience with phpBB, but they're supposedly one of the tops of internet forum services, so this is probably a good idea.

But anyway, I do hope this forum will work out.

Incidentally, years ago, for fun I made a set of M*A*S*H smileys, if you're interested in adding them to the forum, I think people might enjoy them...

B.J. (Without mustache)
B.J. (With mustache)
Colonel Potter
Klinger (In drag)
Klinger (In uniform)
Father Mulcahy

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:53 pm
by RJ
Those are really awesome, BDO. I will try to figure out how to integrate them into the forums.

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Sun May 29, 2011 10:00 pm
by Mash4Ever
This Board Is Great RJ! :D

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:18 am
by Jeeter
Thanks for starting this RJ! I'm hoping it will catch on too.

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:31 pm
by Garbage Officer
This place looks promising.

Can I share a few suggestions? Just I notice that in some ways it's really quite a lot like the message board at BCA and I always thing that it's kinda messy (for lack of a better word). I have a few ideas that might make the place stand out, be better organised, might make you get a few more people posting.

Anyway, if you want to, let me know and I'll message you.

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:20 pm
by RJ
Feel free to post your suggestions here.

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:30 am
by Garbage Officer
Okay then, here I go. |
Of course these are just suggestions so feel free to ignore anything & everything. :)

First of all, the boards: 'Administration, General Discussion, Discuss anything'
I'm not sure how php boards work without going and setting one up myself but on SMF you create a Catergory and then out boards into it. So, for example, if I had a M*A*S*H forum I would probably have it set out like this (Bolded is the Catergory, Italics are the boards):
General Catergory> General Discussion> Entertainment
I'd also use General Discussion to house an Admin updates. They probably don't need their own section.
That's just an example of what you can do. Again, I don't know if it's possible to do.

I'm not going to go on and on about it because it's your board and you might like it this way. It's just a (hopefully) helpful suggestion and what you do with it is entirely up to you.

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:15 pm
by Big Daddy O'Reilly
I think you can do that with pretty much any forum type... for example, here's a screencap of my old Kathy Greenwood forum (won't link it, because due to the server's manager being MIA for over two years now, I've closed the forum since the entire service is slowly, yet steadily going downhill).


My entire Kathy site went through a lot of problems when I first launched it over six years ago, mainly because I was trying too hard to make the site look vibrant and exciting, after a couple of years of trial and error, I got it all to where it looks good all around, and there's no problems with the layouts; the problem with the forum was that there were too many boards for too many separate topics, so as you can see, the forum was simplified down to three major categories: a category strictly for discussion and related material for Kathy, a category for fun and off-topic discussion, and a category that serves as a help desk for both the main site and forum.

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:13 am
by Garbage Officer
I think you can definately have too many different Catergories, but the layout there is really simple and it's easy to find stuff. I mean, some people may join and just want to find pictures, for example, but currently would have to search through all the threads to find some.

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:52 pm
by Big Daddy O'Reilly
Usually, threads are created for those specific purposes... and yes, we actually had a thread specifically for sharing pics and such (but then again, the main site had photo galleries as well).

And you're right, that can cause a problem when forums become TOO specific with several different category and boards and such... now take Muppet Central for example, where I've been a member for eight years, that place is HUGE, and there's like nearly 20 or so different boards in like 6 different categories and such. At the same time, it's also an "organized chaos", because there are moderators there who are quick to merge multiple threads with similar topics together, or move threads from one board to another where it's more suited and such...

But overall, I believe that those three categories I have are the right amount, basically an on-topic category, an off-topic category, and a feedback category...

Just for fun, have you ever used the Wayback Machine? Not Mr. Peabody's, but the Wayback Machine of the internet? It shows you what certain websites looked like in the past, and here you can an example of just how chaotic my old KG forum was over the years before it got to where it is now (and since some of the graphics files are no longer in existence, you may see a lot of red Xs)...

From Mid 2006 to Early 2007 And this was the first major layout overhaul
Early to Mid 2007 Not much of an improvement.
Mid 2007 to Mid 2009 It worked, before I decided I wanted the forum's layout to match the main site's layout as well

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:04 pm
by Garbage Officer
Fair enough. :)

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:33 pm
by Garbage Officer
Quick question, does the forum have the ability to let user's upload their own avatars, and would it ever be allowed?
I made one earlier before I realised there's a set to choose from, lol!

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:10 pm
by RJ
I am sure there is a way to allow users to upload their own avatars. Is that something people would want? Would there need to be width/height restrictions to keep things from getting out of hand?

Re: Welcome to the Forums

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:15 pm
by Big Daddy O'Reilly
I wouldn't mind having custom avatars... matter of fact, I tried to upload one of my own before I saw that we could only use the default ones to choose from.

And large avatars are rather popular these days, but I've seen some avatars that are so large, they're like the size of a screencap, which is indeed getting out of hand... if we're given the choice to have custom avatars, I'd suggest maybe a 200x200px maximum limit.