Any ideas...

Discussion in 'HouseRepairTalk Website Help' started by inspectorD, Dec 29, 2007.

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  1. Dec 29, 2007 #1

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    Housebroken Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I am really surprised that no one has any ideas or comments on how to get folks to post more questions or become involved with the forum.
    Are to many folks on the forum afraid to be lashed out at, look silly, get their feelings hurt or just do not want to be social. I see that a few folks stop buy a lot but only to see what was talked about. I like to be engaged in discussions..maybe that is just me, but I would love to hear from others who do not post much. You could be holding onto an idea that could help a lot of people. We do not know it all ...but together we know much. And by sharing your experience it costs nothing except the minute or two it takes to type it in comment or suggestion.( I feel like I am running a commercial)

    I have said this many times before, once you start...it gets to be like riding a bike. You will get more comfortable as time goes on and a feeling of helping out you you cannot put a price tag on.

    And did I mention some things in life are free...like good advice. You just can't get enough.:D

    So jump on a thread and start right in...with anything but spam, some of us are allergic.

    I hope you all will accept this as a Welcome Inn sign and see that the light is on.:D
     
  2. Dec 29, 2007 #2

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    no comment
     
  3. Dec 29, 2007 #3

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    hehe... Just kidding.

    I don't know any actual statistics but I'm guessing that 90% of visitors to any forum never sign up, another 8% post once and just check the replies... maybe. And another 1% only reply to comment's on their particular topic. Remember, that most of the visitors here are looking for advice because they don't know as much as the regulars, so they feel they don't have as much to offer, which is probably true. That's why they sought out this forum in the first place.

    Then there are the oddballs, such as myself, who you just can't get rid of. Go ahead, try me. I won't go away! :D

    Sometimes I stop by just to see what's been going on, but I don't post anything. I think it's just the nature of online forums. I started on topic about getting more traffic here, and upping the Google page rank, but it just sort of fell to the wayside. But I think the secret to a successful forum is traffic, traffic and more traffic.
     
  4. Dec 31, 2007 #4

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Don't you ever...ever threaten us like that again....:rolleyes:
    I understand the reasoning for those who just stop by...but what needs to change to get the regular parusers to get involved and stay there. We used to have a bunch of other folks with very interesting ideas and comments that others learned from. I remember Papa dan coming by with those free offers and getting a bunch of free stuff because of it. I have not seen him around in a year, ...and there are others that just drop off. I was just wondering why they loose interest?
    Is there not enough goofing around going on?:D

    Maybe a survey will help. Now we all know I am an opinionated blabbermouth, but I am just curios what all those others feel they would like to see a little more of. That is mostly the reasoning for these questions. TX builder has done a great job with this site and I am sure he already has enough to do.
    I just want to help out a little on our end to see what folks think and need for more interaction.

    This is how it starts.:)
     
  5. Dec 31, 2007 #5

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

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    I think one of the most important things we can do is increase the greeting posts. How often have any of us just passed on a greeting and yet that's whats going to bring them back. More smilies would sure be nice to.
    Life in general can have a impact on how much time we spend here.
    I know myself things get rather hectic and don't have time to post to much so the more users we have will keep the postings going.
    I also find it's nice to have threads on things other than just questions like work we are presently doing, in the workshop, so on and so on. :D :D
     
  6. Dec 31, 2007 #6

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    Everything Daryl said and...

    There could definately be a larger selection of smilies. The 11 we have are good, but we need about 50 more.

    The upolading of images is way too limited. I think a lot of visitors would like to show photos of what they are talking about, but it's not easy. The only realistic option is .jpg format, at 97.7 kb and no width or height limitations. All the others are limited to 19.5 kb and some are limited to 620 x 280 pixels. How many photos do you have that meet those dimentions?

    Users should be able to upload .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, and .tiff of up to 3.5 MB, with Image Magick or GD2 resizing them and automatically creating thumbnails. vBulletin has that option built in, so I don't know why it's not being used. But as soon as most people see this or that format and it has to be resized to such and such dimentions, they just skip it and stick with typing.

    Also, .doc, .jpe, .pdf, .psd .txt and especially .zip shouldn't even be there as an opton cuz it's just plain confusing. (.zip, by the way, could be a security issue! :eek: )

    Movin' along...

    We need some pizzazz. Joking around and off topic forums are good and all, but I would think some how-to articles and home improvement tips (besides here in the forums) would go a long way in getting more visitors, especially from search engines.

    Just some thoughts. :)
     
  7. Jan 1, 2008 #7

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    As far as the technical terms go....I get lost. Maybe that is why I cannot get my pictures to post....hmmm....Ima guessin I need more smarts in that arena.

    It's like Pauly boy said along time ago...we don't need answers from the non professionals so that someone ends up hurt from the wrong answer. I agree but...sometimes we need that so someone gets the idea of how it is done wrong and not to make those mistakes. Then again some need to learn from their own experiences....the hard way. The point is for everyone to try an answer and be involved, this is how you actually learn is by learning the why's.....and not the because I said so answers.:D

    When I teach the new inspectors there is always a "why" dialogue going on, just like my kids they want to know how that reasoning came to be. We get plenty of opinions here with good answers, I was just hoping for some non professional answers so the non technical people can understand the answers easier.
    Boy I hope this makes some sense.
    I guess what I am really trying to ask is, are you non DIY folks who are trying to learn...actually understanding most of what we folks who do this for a living and such are saying. Because I know folks do not always speak up. But this is a computer forum where no one knows if you ask a silly question around your local piers. So you can still look em in the eye.:cool:
    Another thing I learned from being a teacher is that some folks never speak up. Then you get to far along and they are not up to speed.

    So basically this is a question to all you folks who don't say much, I'm callin you out, are there any comments or suggestions you would like to talk about. I just find it hard to believe there have not been any questions in this area for so long.
    P.S.
    And what toolguy said.:)

    WOW...what a yapper on that guy.:rolleyes:
     
  8. Jan 1, 2008 #8

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

    Daryl in Nanoose

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    I totally agree with the picture sizes, I often forget to turn my pixels down on my camera and have to spend more time resizing them just to have them turn out with poor quality.
    One other thing that just drives me nuts is the abbreviations used all the time. Not everyone knows what they mean and then having to search for what they mean. Maybe theres a way to have a link on the page that a person can click where they show up with there meaning.
     
  9. Jan 1, 2008 #9

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Using proper terminology and defining it in posts would help; no initals or accronyms. A person who is entirely new to the trade needs a little more detail. I also try to keep my mouth shut when its something I know nothing about; it just saves confusion.
    Glenn
     
  10. Jan 1, 2008 #10

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    I'm not sure, haven't messed with vBulletin in a couple of years, but I think it can be set up so most people don't need to know the extension. Since 95% of digital images are in a certain range of formats (jpg, jpeg, jpg, tiff and a couple others), there is no need for them to see the list of extensions, and I believe that list can be turned off either through the back end (administrator) or by hacking the code a little.

    Resizing can be an issue, since a lot of people have their cameras set to the highest resolution. Depending on the camera that can be from 1 to 10 mb.

    The image tools I mentioned for resizing during upload, Image Magick and GD2, work very well, but at a cost of bandwidth. The larger the image the more bandwidth it takes to resize them. I don't know the exact math but allowing up to 3 mb to be uploaded, and resizing to say 100 kb, is not too much strain on most hosing accounts. And the disk space used is the resulting 100 kb

    I believe most people have their cameras set to 3 mb, as that's the limit for some cameras and those with higher limits are often set lower so they can take more photos. But I'm just guessing.

    Also, thumnails can be automatically created. That way we don't end up with giant photos in the posts, stretching the forums wider than the screen.

    There is also the issue with adding an image hosted from an outside source. Most people don't know about image hosting services, like PhotoBucket.com, nor do they have or know how to use free hosting services. What's more, if the images disappear from wherever they're hosted, the forum ends up with a lot of blank spaces where the images should be. That hasn't happend yet, that I know of, but it could and eventually will. (actually, some of mine dissapeared while I was switching servers :eek: )
     
  11. Jan 1, 2008 #11

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    Hey all you new folks, and I know you're readin' this :p ...

    What do you think? What can we and/or the web meistro do to make this forum more lively. What will most likely grab your attention and make you feel more a part of the cummunity? And be honest, we can handle it. ;)
     
  12. Jan 2, 2008 #12

    phreaq

    phreaq

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    I think this is a great forum and have been lurking in the background reading the various posts, learning a lot from those that reply frequently.

    I have posted the odd question here and there, but it's not too often I begin tackling a new project and need advice, well, not as often as my wife would like :D

    and I rarely give advice, because it's not often I have advice to give.

    so I may not be an active member, but I'm still a member :D
     
  13. Jan 3, 2008 #13

    cranbrook2

    cranbrook2

    cranbrook2

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    I enjoy coming here as much as possible , The first thing i notice on this site is when someone comes on here and ask a question it gets answered pretty fast and they always get good answers. Anytime i have went to answer someones question it is always answered . We have some experts on here :D

    I think it would be nice to see more pictures of peoples projects , such as house Reno's , indoor or outdoor projects. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Jan 3, 2008 #14

    cheesefood

    cheesefood

    cheesefood

    Ask me bout homebrewtalk.

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    I'm pretty much a noob here and might not last long, but what I'd like to see is a list of quick and easy "House Tune-Ups" or maybe a bi-monthly checklist. Like last night, I saw a post on cleaning out the dryer vent. Not only is it simple but it's very useful in maintaining an efficient house and can prevent hazards. How about a blend of preventative maintenance, money/energy savings, commonly needed repairs or replacements, and vanity projects?

    1. Change furnace filters
    2. Replace smoke-detector batteries
    3. Clean dryer vent
    4. Hose out AC unit (summer)
    5. Check windows for leaks
    ...
     
  15. Jan 3, 2008 #15

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    Hi Neighbor! Hey, looking forward to a warm, snow melting weekend, eh?

    I like that idea. We have a topic called Woodworking Tips, but I think that's too specific. I'll start one now. Thanks for the tip. :)
     
  16. Jan 5, 2008 #16

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    Just thought it worth mentioning, a visitor wishes to post photos but this forum says they are too big.

    3rd post at...
    http://www.houserepairtalk.com/showthread.php?t=3315

    I'm guessing there are plenty more who run into this problem and just find a different forum. Hmmm.... ;)
     
  17. Jan 7, 2008 #17

    cheesefood

    cheesefood

    cheesefood

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    Another idea -

    How about "Project Upgrades"? What are some ways one can upgrade a standard project? Maybe add something modern to a kitchen or bathroom or a special wall treatment, etc. Things that can be done for a few dollars more, while you're already tearing up the place.
     
  18. Jan 16, 2008 #18

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    With the new year seems to have come a surge of new members. Way cool I say, except for one problem. There are no guide lines. I've recently reminded several unwitting new members to 'Not hijack someone elses thread', which to me seems like a no brainer. There is one thing missing from this forum which I see in just about any other forum - a locked, sticky topic outlining the basic rules for using this forum. I think this is much needed.
     
  19. Jan 16, 2008 #19

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    While we are at it we could get everyone to at least post a welcome as they come in.:D That way they are not bargin through the door like a bunch of &$#&& . The upsurge most likely has to do with folks not wanting to spend money lately. They do not go out as much as before and need a way to fix things while they sit around. Mabye this is a good thing, careful what you wish for....it might come true.:eek:
     
  20. Jan 16, 2008 #20

    ToolGuy

    ToolGuy

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    I don't have a problem with not introducing themselves. Heck, I don't think I did till well after my 10th post. I guess I'm one of those barging in like... well, like you said. Also, I don't think it has so much to do with not wanting to spend money. The holidays are over and I'm getting plenty of calls (more than I can handle, actually), so I think it's just that DIY season has begun.

    I don't want to put a negative spin on it. Fact is, I'm glad there's some excitement going on around here. And besides, I'm tired of knowing less than everybody else! :p

    I just think there has so be some basic guidelines, or rules of forum etiquette, placed so it is hard to miss. Rules like don't use foul language, don't use all caps (yelling), and don't hijack someone else's thread. I'm sure most of those jumping in an ongoing topic to post their own slightly related question really don't mean any harm. They just haven't found any guidelines about how to use the forum, cuz there aren't any. People need guidance, plain and simple. We should have one of them fancy newfangled "Sticky" topics, or a Read Me at the top of the page, that everyone can clearly see and abide.

    By the way, I'm noticing that the issue of attaching images has yet to be addressed, and wondering if it ever will be.
     
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