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Changes on OI

Discussion in 'Website Support & Feedback' started by xmpraedicta, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    Thanks for taking charge and implementing all these changes, Enrique. Thought I'd just share a few thoughts and open up some discussion. Hopefully I don't come across as too critical.

    I like some of the changes that have happened, but I hope that there won't be too many more. I enjoyed the simplicity of OI because it wasn't bogged down by overflowing features. I left OrchidBoard precisely for that reason. I was tired of going to the vanda forum to look for angraecoid posts, and then having to hop over to the cattleya forum for catt pics. I really hope OI does not take that route. I just want to see simple posts with text and photos, and have a place to ask questions. To be honest, I don't care much for the bells and whistles - flags, photo albums, social networking, etc...does not offer me anything that I can't find on flickr, or facebook.

    One might argue that I don't need to use these features if I don't like them, which is true.

    However, I feel that it is precisely the no-frills information sharing environment of OI that has allowed for this forum to develop such a high level of growing and photography, which is better than any other forum online I've seen (in my humble 7 years of participating in the virtual orchid-sphere). I fear that the more gimmicky we get, the more 'should I cut the spike off my phal' type posts we'll receive. I say that with absolutely no judgement - many of us were once at that point...but there are many, many, other places online for these types of questions.

    These are just thoughts, and if I get burned for saying these things, then so be it. I understand that this site needs funding, and more hits = more money from advertisers. If this is the reason behind these changes, I will keep my mouth shut, because I certainly can't afford to run this site. Either way, thanks for keeping this site up and in order - that is something I'm sure all of us appreciate!
     
  2. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I agree most of what you said...

    The photo album feature has been here since the first day of OI and I like it as I said about it on the other thread... I don't do flickr...

    To begin with, those albums don't pop up on the screen, so they should have not bothered anyone.
     
  3. ZWUM

    ZWUM Bulbophiliac Staff Member

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    Similar thoughts have crossed my mind while some of the changes have been implemented. I'm hoping that the changes attract more users to the forum, however are those users going to be asking "Do I cut the spike off my phal?". And like you've said Calvin, there are plenty of other places on the web to ask those questions. I've always liked that OI employed a simple layout not cluttered with additional fluff that makes it look like every other forum out there. I applaud the initiative taken to improve the site, and I understand we need to attract more members, however I hope that this forum doesn't turn into another orchid forum cluttered with ads and unnecessary filler which detracts from the spectacular pics and informative post so many of the users provide.
     
  4. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I can handle newbies, love the honest ones but I can't stand those "newbies"(ex: those with less than five years of growing experience) pretend to be experts.
     
  5. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    I must admit I'm having a hard time getting used to the new look. I miss the simple, clean, sophisticated colors of the original forum.
     
  6. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    "simple", "sophisticated"

    Huh?
     
  7. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Before I comment on this topic, I just want to say that I appreciate Enrique's taking on the responsibility of running the forum; he has already helped me with a problem I had and did so with speed and kindness.

    I must say I agree with the majority of the comments above. My personal aesthetic is that is the cleaner and simpler something is the more beautiful and useful it is. I joined OI motivated equally for two reasons: the quality of the content and the simplicity of the interface and layout. I hope this forum can hold on to both.

    As much as I love bright colour, I think that the colour scheme for the forum should be muted so that it doesn't steal the spotlight from the photos posted by members. For the record I vote no on the mustard component of the new layout scheme and I think the flags are distracting; after all we can read the location without needing to see a flag. The more accoutrements that are added, the more cluttered each entry becomes, weighing down and unnecessarily elongating discussion threads. While OrchidBoard may have some useful posts, the user experience even for a visitor to that sight is greatly hindered by the huge adverts, insane colours and superfluous graphics. Orchids interactive should be the anti-OrchidBoard, aesthetically speaking.

    As for new members, I think the more the merrier! My favourite type of newbie is the sort that spends time researching previous posts on their topic of interest or inquiry before asking questions, and then builds on that with more detailed, new questions. Thankfully the opposite doesn't happen too often here, when a newbie comes on and tediously asks questions that OI members have already taken time to answer in other discussion threads.

    I love sharing information and I really appreciate how OI has become a significant international web hub for the exchange of cultural information related to growing species orchids. I also think it's fantastic how little attitude there is here even among the most talented growers, a breath of fresh air in the orchid world where all too often ego corrupts the free-flow of useful data. May it remain so!
     
  8. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Good statement! and we do need serious newbies in this hobby...OI is a good training camp but please do expect some dramas from time to time...If new growers can take some "beatings" from seasoned growers, they will become better growers and enjoy the hobby more.
     
  9. Enrique

    Enrique Big E

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    Thank you everyone for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns.

    OI deserves to have its own personality and style with a customized design/logo. The old design was, literally, the "out of the box" design for vBulletin (the forum software) and no longer supported the long-term vision for OI.

    For the comments about the color: I am more than open to suggestions. What colors would you like to see?

    New members are always welcome. At OI we are always looking to grow our family of Orchid lovers, regardless of the level of growing orchids.

    The "social networking tools" are essential for promoting and growing OI. For example, the “Like” button allows members and guests to conveniently share what they enjoy reading here on their Facebook wall where all their friends can see it.

    The “photo albums” is default feature of the software and it has always been there. I just made it more "accessible" based on your feedback: http://www.orchidsinteractive.com/showthread.php?274-albums

    As far as "bells and whistles" go, I suppose the “flags” might fall under this category. They have now been removed.

    This thread has been moved to the "Suggestions and Problems" forum.
     
  10. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Certainly others might not agree, but I am fine with the colors as they are now. And I especially appreciate Enrique's willingness to try out new things and also to listen without being defensive to those who don't like a particular change or don't want anything to change.

    I would like to see the number of participants increase and think that new members (experience or not) should be treated courteously. If you don't want to answer a newcomers question, it is certainly easy enough to direct them to a place where they will find the answer. I think it is good to keep in mine that the experienced growers on the forum didn't start out as experienced growers.

    I've learned a lot of things from a lot of wonderful people and not one of those people gave me a "beating". If we are rude to the members, you don't necessarily select for the serious grower, just those who are willing to accept abuse. I suspect this forum is very intimidating to new posters, whether they are experienced growers or not. If you cruise through the archives you will find quite a few hostile, rude, and totally out of line exchanges that have driven away fine people who had valuable contributions to make but weren't willing to be insulted in order to participate.

    Just because someone is new to orchids doesn't mean they can't or won't be good growers. And I have certainly met plenty of long time growers who have next to nothing to contribute to a conversation.

    I never quite understood the rating option but as far as I remember, it has been here since I joined. My concern would be that it becomes a popularity contest and won't refer to the content of the thread.

    I just noticed the "Report Post" and "Add Infraction" icons. Are these explained anywhere on the forum?
     
  11. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    I like the new color scheme and layout. It is relaxing to the eye and it is not distracting from reading the content.
    stefano
     
  12. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    I'd like to see us encourage diversity in the orchid species we see members specialize in. I really would love to increase the Cattleya species contributions to the board, I'm sure Alexis will agree.
     
  13. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Report post--this feature has been here since the first day of OI, you can report/direct the thread to the admins or mods because of violations of rules, "rude", "beating" the new members, spams...,something you think it is out of line.

    Infraction--New feature, I have seen it on Orchidboard. Basically it is a warning message from another member(s) because they don't like what you say to them or about them. Some of them are temporary against you but some may stay on your record. If you have enough of those, you may get "time-out" or you may be banned from the forum. Some of those infractions are not monitored by admins or mod and they are not free of bias. On OB, I got infractions from someone who stole my photos and another one(cancelled by mod later on) from someone who were openly trashing almost all popular species vendors in U.S for their service and plants that they sent him. I have heard "don't mess with me or I give you infraction!"
     
  14. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    As long as the feature is here, that is what will happen. The thread starter can even give his/her thread a five stars too.
     
  15. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    I can only vote once. That sucks.
     
  16. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    :evil: You can vote again now.
     
  17. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Hey, where is the "infraction" button? I can't find it. Is it gone?
     
  18. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    It's still there. Second icon from the left, at the bottom of each post.
     
  19. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Hmm, I only have the "report post" icon. Any idea why?
     
  20. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    It appears the "add infraction" option is not available on posts made by moderators & administrators. I see it on other users' posts, though.