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 Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?

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Peter
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PostSubject: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 11:50

Curious what anyone thinks of the current layout of the site with the column of widgets. It looks a bit cluttered but goes along with the "Info Group" tag, IMO. Everything is still in the formative state and I am trying a variety of styles. There is some good and bad with this but I would like some other opinions.

Animated avatars and smilies can be distracting but can be stopped with use of the "esc" key, though my warning is to not use that key when you are halfway down a page of writing a post or you will lose what has been written - I know this. The scrolling topic preview cannot be stopped in this manner but to me it is not so distracting, but that is where I would like to get another opinion.

Anyway, this is a work in progress making this site look functional and friendly. There are a lot of options I can try, but if you have any suggestions I would like to hear about them. Unfortunately, some things I would like are not available but there might be a way to obtain them online and install them. This is the most versatile of the BBS programs I could find which means there is a lot to play with before find the right formula.

Also, the "news" columns can only draw their material from one forum and I anticipate La Comida to be the largest of these and hopefully inclusive enough so as to be not only a food forum but for hotels and just about anything one desires for home or home-away-from-home. That could even be furniture shopping or buying clothes out in Moroleón perhaps.

Please tell me what you think. Thanks.
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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 12:27

Distracting, but not too horrendous. If there were just a non-animated list of recent topics, off to the side, or one which lists recent topics in which I'd participated, that would be better. (See Lonely Planet Thorn Tree for an example. But you have to register and post to see it.)

I have a browser add-on called Readability, which eliminates all animations, Flash, and other eye clutter, and it made that page more readable. However, due to the high degree of whiz-bang widgets on this site, Readability took longer than usual to convert it.

Vote: nix.
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 13:06

That's the good and the bad. I agree and like it less cluttered. There is the option to go to the portal where all this gadgetry is displayed and I can even scale it up. The problem I have to face at the moment are a number of people who are not used to these kinds of BBS sites and prefer their familiar yahoogroups. They come here and see just a menu page and think there is nothing here. This is an attempt to give them something.

When I brought the yahoogroup site to our ex-pat club it gave a new comm channel and spiked interest in the Club which had been dwindling in recent months. I would like to make our Ygroup site a premier place for events calendar and club activity and would like to link it to some of the travel guide magazines. So far some visitors to Morelia have found us through the site and are delighted to have been able to connect with us.

There are still those who would like to use the Ygroup site for gab and chatter. You realize how much garbage the sites produce with its unsophisticated software and single forum design. I hate that it stacks messages up back to the original post and e-mails it out each time. Being site owner it is not my luxury to just visit the web site or have the daily digest sent but have to receive the individual e-mails. Seems there is always a question, several comments, an answer or two, then a "Thanks" followed by a "You're welcome, any time." each with a chain 6 feet long if you printed them out. I want to avoid that and put that sort of traffic onto this board instead as it can handle the traffic without creating the cyber mess.

The widgets displayed here are to get their attention, let them see something of interest, then perhaps learn how to use a more sophisticated multi-layer board. To dream an impossible dream, no?

Hopefully then I can put these widgets back into only the portal where they really are a nice tool for reviewing the contents. Even though I am creator and owner of the Ysite I put it together for the Club and now seek approval to use it in a more appropriate manner.

I have already put a short blurb on the home page in the intro asking for events and activity info and stuff of general interest and re-directed chatter back to here. Not sure anyone has read that but the Ysite has been quiet. If and when I can do as I would like then all posts to the Club Yboard will be moderated and only informative messages will appear there.

We'll see. I'm not sure what finally got people to drive other cars than their Model T's. If only this BBS came with automatic transmission then it would be easy to get them to switch. This board is so much more sophisticated but the Ygroup board OK for the Club. I may have to let it get very trashy before anyone will want to use the better board. I am taking myself off janitorial service there and will quit taking out the trash.
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Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 13:16

Maybe this is better now. I moved the scroll and calendar down and the food news up.
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 14:59

Personally, I find it refreshing to find a forum that has a few new twists and challenges. Maybe it is similar to the recent report that came out about learning a second language helps stave off Alzheimer's. All the grumpy old Gringos fear learning something new but having to think may just increase their quality of life and lifespan. How many times have we all seen people whine when evry forum doesn't have exactly the same format and features? They should all probably be still driving black Model T's.

Keep up the great work and keep tweaking!
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 15:48

cheenagringo wrote:
Personally, I find it refreshing... Keep up the great work and keep tweaking!

Tweaking?? You heard about my all-niters working on this thing? Wait! Oh, you mean keep tweaking the site. OK, cool. Thanx for the comments. Just for that I activated the Gracias button, except my web-hosts are French so it comes out "Merci" por tres puntos mas Distinguido.

I also turned on the point system for incentive to try to get some of our FWB Club members on here and posting. Everyone earns a premio each day for every day registered, another premio for each post, and three for each thread authored. I wish it has something more to give for each response on a hot thread. I post a lot to ATS that has all that. I personally like their incentive systems. This board will allow me to do a few more things that way, but for now... That's all folks!
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Don Cuevas
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PostSubject: ¿Premios?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 16:39

And when we get 100 Premios each, we get a free seafood dinner or just a michelada? Razz
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Peter
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 16:46

Don Cuevas wrote:
And when we get 100 Premios each, we get a free seafood dinner or just a michelada? Razz

I would vote for the mariscos but maybe settle for the michelada. It's the mas Distinguido that has to pay.
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CanuckBob
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 19:19

I think it's looking a bit cluttered. Remember the KISS rule......
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cheenagringo
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 19:32

KISS rule or Dumb and Dumber?

Come on Bob - if you make it a bit of a challenge, maybe you can limit those with limitations? You know who I am talking about!
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CanuckBob
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PostSubject: Re: Scrolling Widgets and a Cluttered Look. Good or Bad?   Mon 28 Feb 2011, 21:38

cheenagringo wrote:
KISS rule or Dumb and Dumber?

Come on Bob - if you make it a bit of a challenge, maybe you can limit those with limitations? You know who I am talking about!

Very good point CG. See that is why you are the older and wiser one (not much older though...jeje).
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