Forum changes coming, opinions needed

Hi all!

We are happily working on a completely new website (Wordpress based, so no more Drupal :) )

The forums are something that I want to see upgraded from how they are now. Most of this is related to the SPAM accounts that are a constant thorn in my side. Well, they are Jerry Baker's nemesis and he has been tireless in helping me locate and delete them. A new forum will give him a break from emailing me, it will also provide an opportunity to make changes that the active members here would like to see.

Without making any promises I would like to know what features that either...

a) exist here and you can't live without them 

b) exist on other forums that you would like us to have.

and

c) allow for easier participation by new members

I will check back from time to time to read and respond to your feedback, The new site launch has been 'blighted' so it won't happen for at least a month when the all the files for the Blight books have been sent off.

Thanks,

Zach, Frog God Games

 

(Top of my list is no more forum captcha per post)!!!

Member Control Panel

  • Edit member profile
  • Private Messenger
  • Buddy List
  • File Manager for managing the member's file, image, and avatar uploads (uses Groups Permission system)
  • Email notification and subscriptions
  • Edit registration details
  • Forum preferences
  • Member FAQ/help files on how to use the forum

Member Profile

  • Community focused editable member profile
  • Member Avatar - Select from built in avatars, or upload or link to custom avatars
  • Member Information - DOB, Age, Location, Homepage, Occupation, Interests, etc.
  • Contact information - Email, Discord, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, Skype, etc.
  • Active Statistics - Online Status, Join Date, Last Visit, Number of Posts, etc.
  • Search for member's posts
  • Custom signature (Signatures can be disabled for Member Groups)
  • Admin and moderator comments within profile
  • Configuarble Registration and Profile items
  • Forum Badges

Private Messaging System

  • WYSIWYG Private Message Writing Editor
  • BBcode support - For adding extra formatting and functionality to Private Messages
  • System notification when new Private Message received or when your Inbox is full
  • Optional email confirmation when recipient reads Private Message
  • Inbox with Read/Unread message icon so you can see which Private Messages you have read
  • Outbox with Read/Unread message icon so you can see when the recipient has read the Private Message
  • Admin configurable Private Message store size
  • Bar graph to show how full the Private Message store is

Member Forum Preferences

  • WYSIWYG Post Writing Editor options
  • Time and Date format
  • Time can be set to the member's own time locale
  • Email notification and subscriptions
  • Show/hide email address
  • Automatic login preference
  • Signature Editor
  • Choose whether to attach signature to message
  • Ability to hide threads
  • Ability to follow threads
  • Spoiler Hide Text option
  • Forum Poll
  • Youtube and Flash option
  • Ability to Post images
  • Forum Titles
  • Ability to search individual forums, all forums, or particular topics
  • Ability to search posts using keywords and/or by members
  • Ability to upload documents/spreadsheets and remove said documents if needed for reuploading

As far as C. up there I think a more easy to read layout of forum thread something maybe like this….

Announcements (Only the Frogs can post actual topics but we can reply to the post you make just not make posts ourselves to avoid clutter) (Also replaces Press Releases, Special Offers, Kickstarters, and Errata into one place)

General Discussion

PF

D&D

S&W (I wouldn’t break it up by the 3 different versions not enough of us to that and cascading forums stuff gets buried)

Looking for Group

DM Corner (place where spoilers are plentiful also a place to toss around ideas amongst our fellow DMs house rules etc…)

Questions for the Frogs (Gives the fans/followers a platform to ask questions directly to you guys)

Feedback, Suggestions, & Ideas for the Frogs  (gives a platform for fans/followers to give you guys feedback, suggestions, & ideas of what we want)

User Created Content

That is a good list. The capcha requirement is top of my list as well. The rest are certainly doable because we will use an existing package or plug-in for the forums and customize what you want.

Z

Groovy!

Having the ability to flag a post  (spammer or inappropriate material) would allow the staff/moderator to deal with this more easily.

This too, poor Jerry emails me daily with posts and I get to them as often as I can but some days it takes me up to 30 mins to do this. Which I cannot always schedule in lieu of other Frog tasks.

Moderation tools for available to those of you with a long and constructive history here (and the Necromancer boards before that) are something I have considered as well.

Z

I never expect an immediate reply nor do I expect the hacks to immediately disappear. That being said when they are still there after 2-3 days I begin to get concerned. I would do it myself if I wasn't such a computer illiterate. Zach is much higher up in the FGG hierarchy than I am. So he has many more duties and responsibilities than I do. I get to the point that I can recognize some of the regular posters and my alarm sense goes off when I see a name I don't recognize. So I'll click on the link and look at what they posted. If it references an essay site I know it's spam and if it mentions a TV show it is also spam.

Everything Pexxx said. Ditto all of it!

Chaotic_Blues's picture

I think Pexxx pretty much hit all of the points I'm in favor of as well.

A redesigned Forum will not stop me from watching for intruders that take up space needed for loyal followers of the Great Frog God. However, it does aggravate me when I see hackers make posts that have nothing to do with FGG or their products or the games being played. I believe Zach would love to stop getting emails from me about hacked posts. It might even lower the number of emails he gets in a day. So as he said send him your suggestions for the redesign.

Jerry R Baker
The Aggravated Frog

Sadly that would barely dent my emails but if it means anything I feel worse about not getting to these than I do about many others.

Z

One option you might want to look at for the forum is discourse http://www.discourse.org/ which has been getting a fair bit of use.  Hosted options are not free ,but the base product is Open source, so free to install/use.

I was just given some information on that and should get even more next week.An aggregated place for information would be nice so long as it was easy to sign up for and use. I determine that for Frog God by asking, "Can Bill use this?" or, more accurately, "Will Bill use this correctly?".

Which does narrow it down somewhat :)

Z

I don't think the forums are active enough to need automatic membership. If you required moderator approval for membership and posting permission I think you would be spending less time needing to moderate for spam. The endless captcha requirements make this an incredibly user unfreindly site and the spam still seems to get posted on a regular basis.

Yes. I thought of that and as well as community moderation.

Though it occured to me some of you guys might like the links to CHEAP, ONLINZ PHARM!!! XANEX ViAgRA!! Most of you are more than capable of flagging posts and, better yet hiding them, and maybe let you guys nominate a few willing candidates to with the delete button. That way rogue accounts are caught faster and the reading experience improves.

Zach

 

Some community moderation of spam sounds like a good idea to me, Zach. Note, I am not volunteering!

Lol, perhaps you did :)

Working on that tonight actually, I have been spending more time than I have to spare cleaning up spam posts and I finally crossed the line from annoyed to enraged :)

 

Zach

Zach, I have to shout out a big thank you for trying to keep the spam under control. The spam has made the forums really frustrating lately.

Hey thanks!

I added a mod to help and will be looking to add more as required. When the new website eventually goes live (this had been delayed until summer mostly because my time is stretched pretty thin. However things like the SPAM problem will be addressed in the interim.

Thanks for the shoutout though :)

 

Zach , Frog God Games

cycnet's picture

Don't have much to add - going to join the chorus noting the captchas are very aggravating. Also not sure what is up with the current forum but it won't let me type into the text box unless I press one of the buttons on the toolbar (like bold, underline, italic, etc) ... been that way for a month or so. 

So, I am definitely stoked at the idea of a new forum. 

My advice would be to have fewer forums generally. This place is pretty low traffic so I don't actually see a lot of need to have seperate edition forums, for example - but maybe that's just me - I check them all even though I mostly play pathfinder.

I think community moderation would be pretty ace. If abuse is something y'all are worried about I am sure there must be a way to set up community mods to have the power to "mute" posters and hide all their posts/suspend their posting privledges without being able to permanently delete their stuff without a staff member doing it?

I am not super familiar with what's actually possible... I am just positing that in case folks are worried about someone abusing the power and deleting legit posts...

Just checking in to see how the new forums are coming along?

Elodan's picture

The ability to mark a forum as read.