Some ideas - feedback needed


Becky

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Since the forum software upgrade, we've been thinking about other things that can be done to make Garden Pond Forums an even better resource for pond and fish enthusiasts. We've come up with a shortlist, and it would be really useful for us to hear what you think.
  • Articles - This would hopefully include a wide range of topics, including things like a beginners guide to their first pond, how to fix common problems, etc. We would be looking for people to write high-quality articles, so if you have some ideas and are interested in getting involved please let us know.
  • Database - The forums are a fantastic resource, but there is so much there that we thought it would be a good idea to introduce a separate database of useful information related to garden ponds. The categories could include different types of fish and plants, together with care advice, illness prevention & cures etc. We will be looking for experts to make ongoing contributions to this, so if there is something you know a lot about we would love to hear from you.
  • Project blogs - Currently members are able to start their own 'Pond showcase', which is a topic which only that member can contribute to. We thought it would perhaps be a better idea to introduce a Blog section - this would allow all members to start their own blog, which could include anything pond related. If members wanted to have their own 'pond showcase' blog or project story, other members would be able to make comments on the entries without ruining the 'flow' of the story.
Are these things that you would be interested in seeing? Is there anything that you want to get involved in?

After we have some content, we would then introduce a new front page which will feature the latest articles, forum topics, news and photos.

We have also added a 'Photo of the Month' section. I see so many excellent photos on here, we thought it would be a great idea to have a regular competition to showcase them! Anyone can contribute a photo (no more than one photo per member each month), and a winner will be selected from the submissions, as decided by the other members. In the long run we may suggest a theme for the photos, but currently you can submit a photo of whatever you like.

Here is how it will work for the October Photo of the Month: The deadline for submissions will be 20th September. After that there will be a poll in the forums so that members can pick their favourites. On the October 1st the winner will be announced, and the photo will be on the forum main page for the whole month. On 1st October members will be allowed to make submissions for the November Photo of the Month, and so on. In each case the deadline for submissions will be the 20th.

The topic for October's Photo of the Month will be posted shortly.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on any of the above! :)
 

addy1

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I like it all, articles would be great. There are some very knowledgeable people here, that have spent a lot of time writing answers to issues, detailed comments on how to xxxx It would be great to have that information in one spot for people with issues to go look, read and then of course post a thread for help if needed.

I assume the mods, admin would be the ones to post the writes ups in the article section

Like the database also, like the photo of the month .............like it all
 

j.w

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Sounds good to me too! Easy access for newbies to find answers to their questions on first time stuff would be a real time saver for everyone. Blog is cool also in that if we are doing a project we can put it all down just exactly how we are doing it and pics included. I like all your idea's. Contest sounds fun!
 

Becky

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Excellent, I'm really pleased you like the ideas.

Addy - yes it will be either be me or one of the moderators who will upload the articles, but anyone who is interested in contributing can submit one to us.

The database will be very quick to get up and running, but it will take more time to get it up to date with information. It will be an ongoing project - should keep us all busy though! :)
 

addy1

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Maybe take some of the stickies and ask the author to clean them up i.e. if they need to make some changes then you all could put the article in. One place for people to look for how to build, how to fix, ph issues etc.

How would we write the article and submit it? word? a thread?

database and articles seem to be similar in structure.........ie helpful information for new and old ponders, so not sure of the division there.
 

Becky

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How would we write the article and submit it? word? a thread?

database and articles seem to be similar in structure.........ie helpful information for new and old ponders, so not sure of the division there.
I think the easiest way to submit an article would be to email it to me - either in the body of the email or as an attached document.

I see what you mean about the distinction between articles and a database. I think a database would be more useful, but will take some time to complete. It might be best if we start off with just an articles section, which could be organised into a database at a later date. Does this sound good to you?
 

addy1

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I think the easiest way to submit an article would be to email it to me - either in the body of the email or as an attached document.

I see what you mean about the distinction between articles and a database. I think a database would be more useful, but will take some time to complete. It might be best if we start off with just an articles section, which could be organised into a database at a later date. Does this sound good to you?
Yep sounds good.
An attached document might be the best, email sometimes really messes with formatting esp if someone puts pictures into the doc.

You might want to post a forum use email in your signature so we can find it easily............
 

Becky

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I'll PM you my email address :)

If anyone else would like it please let me know.
 
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yes some great ideas there, think ime gona go enter the photo of the month, all sounds brill thanks, !
regarding the photo of the month i see you already have in the rules that they have to be photo you have taken yourself but ime assuming they are to be natural photos and not photoshoped ??
 
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This is already an impressive site software wise and it's cool you're thinking of doing even more.

Sorting through such a large database is an interesting and difficult problem. Maybe a predefined list of tags for each post might help. Including a tag like "conversation" for posts like "Wow, that is cool". Those kinds of posts are great from the social aspect, but get in the way when looking for info.

I ran into the showcase thing where only the author could post. That was very interesting to me because I've used these types of forums as my personal journal before to track project. I looked for a forum with just a few people so I wouldn't get many questions. Unfortunately, the last forum I used was taken down for lack of use and I lost all my notes. So maybe the blog software could also be used in our profile area too? Maybe we could limit members who could leave comments but anyone could read.

I do think a site like this is much more of a social site than an info site. Its just the nature of Water Gardening. It's for fun and it's a pretty easy hobby. As opposed to a serious Koi site where members are really serious about testing theories and discussing details. So I think as far as growing and keeping members the direction should be more toward Facebook than say a serious Koi forum.

I personally would like to be able to have an anonymous thread. No member profile attached. Still have to be a member to post and admins would know who posted what in order to keep control. Having a serious discussion and debate in a forum like this is pretty much impossible. People can be very defensive defending what they've said in the past to the exclusion of rational thought. Without knowing who posted what the text would have to stand on it's own merit. People might even say "maybe you have a point" which is almost unheard of in these forums. Maybe it could move the hobby forward. I realize this type of thing would be an absolute nightmare to monitor. To fix that these threads could be limited to being started by an admin. You could limit these threads to even one a month or whatever so it could be easier to monitor. There aren't really that many subjects which need to be covered. So this would be like the article idea but adding the Wikipedia type discussion done by editors behind the scene.

Good luck and thanks.
 
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Yeah, a way to have a more private discussion so a person wouldn't have to deal with snarky comments. It drives away anyone wanting to have an adult and serious discussion about Water Gardens. How could the site ever get serious content. Would these articles just be a copulation of the myths that have been floating around inside hobbyist forums for years? I wouldn't see the point.
 

Becky

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yes some great ideas there, think ime gona go enter the photo of the month, all sounds brill thanks, !
regarding the photo of the month i see you already have in the rules that they have to be photo you have taken yourself but ime assuming they are to be natural photos and not photoshoped ??
Thank you! Yes you are correct, the photos should be original and not edited :)

This is already an impressive site software wise and it's cool you're thinking of doing even more.

Sorting through such a large database is an interesting and difficult problem....
Hi Waterbug, thank you for your feedback.

Regarding the articles / database, they will be completely separate from the forums. The forums should be able to continue exactly as they are - as your say, a friendly and relaxed community.

If we introduce blogs, then any member will be able to start their own. A member who starts their own blog will have a tab for 'Blogs' on their profile, and people visiting their profile will be able to read their entries and make comments.

That is an interesting suggestion about the anonymous posting - I for one would not be keen, but if this is something that a lot of people want we could look into it.
 

taherrmann4

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I have to agree with Baeya on this one, anonymous posting could easily turn into members getting insulted. I don't believe it is hard to have a serious discussion in this forum, people have different opinions and we don't hesitate to share them. But some of us like to state our opinion or what has worked for us in the past and let it be rather than going back and forth.
 

digginponds

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Since the forum software upgrade, we've been thinking about other things that can be done to make Garden Pond Forums an even better resource for pond and fish enthusiasts. We've come up with a shortlist, and it would be really useful for us to hear what you think.
  • Articles - This would hopefully include a wide range of topics, including things like a beginners guide to their first pond, how to fix common problems, etc. We would be looking for people to write high-quality articles, so if you have some ideas and are interested in getting involved please let us know.
  • Database - The forums are a fantastic resource, but there is so much there that we thought it would be a good idea to introduce a separate database of useful information related to garden ponds. The categories could include different types of fish and plants, together with care advice, illness prevention & cures etc. We will be looking for experts to make ongoing contributions to this, so if there is something you know a lot about we would love to hear from you.
  • Project blogs - Currently members are able to start their own 'Pond showcase', which is a topic which only that member can contribute to. We thought it would perhaps be a better idea to introduce a Blog section - this would allow all members to start their own blog, which could include anything pond related. If members wanted to have their own 'pond showcase' blog or project story, other members would be able to make comments on the entries without ruining the 'flow' of the story.
Are these things that you would be interested in seeing? Is there anything that you want to get involved in?

After we have some content, we would then introduce a new front page which will feature the latest articles, forum topics, news and photos.

We have also added a 'Photo of the Month' section. I see so many excellent photos on here, we thought it would be a great idea to have a regular competition to showcase them! Anyone can contribute a photo (no more than one photo per member each month), and a winner will be selected from the submissions, as decided by the other members. In the long run we may suggest a theme for the photos, but currently you can submit a photo of whatever you like.

Here is how it will work for the October Photo of the Month: The deadline for submissions will be 20th September. After that there will be a poll in the forums so that members can pick their favourites. On the October 1st the winner will be announced, and the photo will be on the forum main page for the whole month. On 1st October members will be allowed to make submissions for the November Photo of the Month, and so on. In each case the deadline for submissions will be the 20th.

The topic for October's Photo of the Month will be posted shortly.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on any of the above! :)
some new idea's from across the pond...........sweet
 
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Hi,

Among other things, I do business analysis, database design and database administration in real life. I can help on the technical end if you need it.

John
 
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The website I run makes you join and be approved before you can post in the forums. I did, however put a guest page on it. I understand approving members on this site would be a bear. Mine is set up to where a current member of the gaming community has to invite you to join, which I confirm. The guest book and forced join site to post in forums would cut down on anonomous posters!
 

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