APS finally got a facelift

Discussion in 'Our Community' started by Stuart, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Finally after much playing around and tweaking, I have installed and setup the new look of the site. I understand the reluctance to change the logo as its been with the site since day dot so I tried to build on just having a cleaner and easier to use setup that was familiar in usage. I know this isn't to everyone's taste and that's why I have left the old look is still place in case its needed.

    As part of the new look I also spent some time adding some new functionality to the site which is


    • Facebook integration where you can publish your threads to Facebook, share threads to Facebook and teh like. Do do this you need to have Facebook linked with your profile however I have set it up so that no personally identifiable info is transferred
    • A Thanks for this post button that is next to the Like button
    • Changed all the forums to show all threads rather than hide threads after X amount of days. This means the content is easier to see.
    • Update to the Gallery which should make it easier to use
    • Links to the APS Twitter and Facebook pages
    • A Knowledge base forum where I have some FAQs and Video guides for those unfamiliar with forums.


    If you have any feedback please let me know.


    • And as always thanks again for all your support guys and gals, hopefully the little changes I can make to the site increase its usefulness for you all.
     
  2. vampstorso

    vampstorso Very Well-Known Member

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    Looks awesome so far! Excellent job, Stu!
     
  3. CrazyNut

    CrazyNut Well-Known Member

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    Whats different about the look? Lol I don't see anything different haha I must say though I really like the idea of sharing stuff to facebook. It might actully get some people off Facebook and back to the forums! Could I make a suggestion that we make it possible to send photos through PM system on mobile devices using the "from computer" upload option (one that allows direct upload from photo libary/take a picture)? I think it would make it a lot easier and faster then attaching files which I'm not even sure works haha
     
  4. Burgo89

    Burgo89 Active Member

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    Looks good mate, we all appreciate the hard work your putting in to make this forum what it is ??????

    Just throwing it out there, a lot more than just Aussie pythons and snakes is going on here, maybe a new logo and rename might not be a bad idea? Bit of food for thought. . .
     
  5. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Love the new look, Stuart. It was a bit bright on the eye at 6 AM this morning though, lol.
    Keep up the good work.
     
  6. Wallo

    Wallo Active Member

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    Love it - Great work mate
     
  7. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hey Bud, not sure what you mean. The way the site works is that you need to upload the files you want to share in order to pass them on. Unfortunately there is no way to actually change this sorry. I also had a look and a play and I see you are likely using the "Mobile" site style considering you are always accessing APS via the iPad. You can see the changes if you scroll down the page and click on the "Use Desktop Site" instead

    Thanks man, and I did have those thoughts too. The thing that came to mind, particularly after talking to a few folks via PM, is that the site would lose its identity and realistically it would start all over again. APS has been around for about 12 or 13 years now (I cant find the exact thread) and based on that, I wouldn't like to be the one to lose that history, good or bad. Best I can do at this stage is try and make these small changes in order to change the old experiences people may have had and encourage them back.

    Thanks again for the kind words.
     
  8. Herpo

    Herpo Well-Known Member

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    I really like the new look! And I agree with the logo thing. The forum now includes more than snakes, but there is history. Maybe we could keep the snake and add a lizard, frog etc with it?

    Overall, nice work Stuart, and thank you for looking after our community!

    Cheers,
    Herpo
     
  9. CrazyNut

    CrazyNut Well-Known Member

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    All goods! And yeh must be mobile, I checked on desktop version, looking awesome! Haha
     
  10. geckoman1985

    geckoman1985 Well-Known Member

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    this site had so much information on it years ago it be good if people started to use it again as fb sites are annoying to use
     
  11. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Looks fantastic
     
  12. CrazyNut

    CrazyNut Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, you can't find old posts on Facebook unless you share it to your wall even then it is no where near as effective as the search and advanced search functions of many forums have or at least had. The advantage of FB is it has the majority rather then the minority. I think we should focus some of our efforts on getting a lot more people back on the forums (I attempted this by creating a facebook forum extension group of my FB group "Varanus Lovers and Keepers" sadly no one joined). Perhaps now that we have share with FB capabilities we might see an increase in sign ups. Obviously we won't get to the same numbers as FB but we at least might get to the point where a lot more hobbiest (or otherwise) are on here rather than FB.
     
  13. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    One can only hope we can lure them from the dark side, CrazyNut. :D
     
  14. CrazyNut

    CrazyNut Well-Known Member

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    Its not the dark side. FB is full of extermely knowlegable and helpful people who use FB for a reason. I think a lot of people left the forums for Facebook because the Forums (esspecailly this one) were getting a bad rep for having obnoxious members, over moderation and over deletion of threads... To them forums were the dark side. We have now moved on from that era but sadly there are many still unaware that we have returned to our roots as being a fanatstic community (granted we still have a few obnoxious memebers but then again FB does as well). Another suggestion perhaps we can change the way a group system works on here? I don't think we are taking full advantage of it. Not sure what it is but it seems they aren't used that much..... Which is funny because there are reptile and animal related groups on FB which have thousnads of memebers.... Mine alone has 250... Perhaps we are missing something?
    Either way I mist congratulate [MENTION=27815]Stuart[/MENTION] you have done a fantastic job mate!
     
  15. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks Mate, I appreciate the sentiment.

    I agree with your thoughts on FB as it has also been one of the major reasons the majority of forums around the world that cater to various interests have closed or slowed down so much. It has its place though and its not something going away too soon but I am also starting to notice that in the various groups (that I am a part of), people are leaving and moving on because of teh attitude of some.

    Unfortunately we can't always stop people acting up and we are trying to stay on top of the personal attacks particularly while still trying to make sure people still feel comfortable saying what they want to. It may never get there a 100% but at least we are trying and will keep trying :)

    Thanks to you all for supporting the site, offering suggestions on how to boost the member base and also all your ideas as well, I appreciate it.
     
  16. longirostris

    longirostris Active Member

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    First time I have ever got onto a familiar site that I have grown used to and found that I immediately liked the changes. Generally when a site makes changes there is always a period of trying to adjust to it or in my case usually downright annoyance that the site was changed in the first place. This is a very pleasing upgrade that impresses immediately with none of the little gliches that seem to go with most site upgrades. So well done to Stuart.

    I think the main reason people started to drop off APS apart from the attraction of FB user groups, was that whenever there was a thread or topic that came up that involved differing viewpoints and the posts started to become robust if not in some cases quite pointed the mods would step in too quickly and play censor. Most if not virtually all of the very best threads I have ever seen or been involved in on APS in my early years on this site have ended up ruined because mods became involved and started to pass judgement on what was acceptable content and what was not, deleting peoples comments and issuing infractions to people for having a point of view the mods didn't like or deem appropriate.

    I have not been active on this site for the best part of the last 4-5 years because of this. There were a couple of really "over efficious" people in the role of moderator back then that just totally destroyed any prospect of robust discussion taking place surrounding divergent points of view. Sure, nobody wants name calling or flaming people because they may not be as smart as others or they may have made a comment that you do not agree with, so either ignore it or if you have to make a coment that you dont agree with what they have said, then do so respectfully. Hopefully if we follow this simply courtesy then we might get some threads come up every now and again like some of the ones we used to have a few years back that were thought provoking and were genuinely interesting threads where sometimes you could actually pick up a piece or two of useful information during the discussion.

    I think the one thing that people need to remember when they get involved in these types of threads is to ditch the I know everything attitude and the almost religious zeal that some people seem to have when they are trying to convince others that their point of view is the right point of view. In most of these discusssions it is only an opinion, thats why these types of threads can be and used to be so interesting, because people need to present rational arguements to qualify their view if they want to be taken serously.

    When Stuart first took over and asked users of the forum for comments on what we thought was wrong or could be improved with this site, I actually passed on these very concerns over the way the previous site managers became almost dictatorial in their fervour to control what was happening on the APS site. There is a need to allow threads to flow and find their own rythym so to speak rather than have over zealous mods jump in at the drop of a hat and start playing censor because something may or may not happen. So far I do not see too much moderator playing god happening which is a great thing and again well done to Stuart. If this site is ever to get back to what it was, then people being allowed to express points of view in robust but respectful discussion will definately be one of the main catalysts in driving the sites success.

    I look forward to the opportunity to engage with all of you on this site in robust discussion at some point in the future particularly those who do not agree with my point of view on what ever the topic at the time. This is a terrific forum that allows the exchange of ideas among people that would normally never come in contact with each other. It is run by a good operator who is doing a great job. I have no doubt APS will survive FB and will be a better place for us all to visit and share our ideas and experiences in the future.
     
  17. redline

    redline Very Well-Known Member

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    Looks so much better :)
     
  18. Wally

    Wally Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

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    Hi Stuart

    When I go into my profile and click on find latest posts/threads all I get is the last five posts I've made. Once upon a time you could find all of your posts in there. Is this something you've recently changed with the upgrade or is it something to do with the issues from awhile ago?

    Thanks.
     
  19. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Wally,

    It might be something to do with the search index so I'll get that rebuilt this weekend.
     
  20. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Should be all fixed now, I just checked your profile and there's a few more than 5 now :)
     

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