Forum Suggestion / Proposal

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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby hoadie72 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:25 pm

Derek wrote:
Does everyone realise that the membership of this forum also shares the same database as a dating site, hence the high number of members yet small number of contributors.

Can you elaborate? Are you saying that my membership on this forum is also linked to a dating site and vice versa?
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby Derek Bullock » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:34 pm

hoadie72 wrote:
Derek wrote:
Does everyone realise that the membership of this forum also shares the same database as a dating site, hence the high number of members yet small number of contributors.

Can you elaborate? Are you saying that my membership on this forum is also linked to a dating site and vice versa?


Have a read of this thread, it explains it viewtopic.php?f=47&t=159&start=0&hilit=dating+site
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby Lin » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:08 pm

I'm just ignoring the discussion on how to attract/keep members completely and giving my feedback on the new lay-out, based on my experience with the current site.

It seems to me that lots of people are currently having trouble finding campsite reviews. The search works pretty well if you know exactly where you're going, but for those who come for information on a specific route, it all looks a bit chaotic. I actually don't know what we could improve on that, but I think it's good to keep them seperated by state.

I also often have trouble deciding where to post things as I find some forums overlap or their description is too broad or too vague. I find that in the new site too with:
- Park Locations & Recreations Area Reviews
Lets here what you think about your local parks and recreation areas.
- Events & Activities
Post your upcomng/past events, and trip reports/photos
- Your Campsite
Show us your campsite/setup. Get tips from others

If I wanted to report on a trip to a particular campsite, with my report on what the campsite is like, some photos and some general chit-chat about the experience, I would be slightly confused as to in which of those three I should post this.

For me and I think for most newcomers, the most valuable info on the site is first-hand reports on certain campsites or parks, reviews on specific camping gear and tips on how to set up camp, what gear you may need and related topics. The other stuff - camp holiday pics and info about meeting up, etc - is only interesting for those who take a personal interest in the other members, but that's not for everyone. Maybe those could just go in the General Chit-chat area? There aren't that many posts on these topics, it seems.

I hope that was helpful to start a discussion on how to organise the site. I worked for years in website "information architecture" but in the end this stuff is all very subjective!
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby stevo. » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:29 pm

Excellent feedback Lin, I made some changes to my "example" site, removed the "show us your campsite" section as that doesn't get many posts here anyway, so that could be just a thread in General Chat.

I added subforums for the states in the Park Reviews sections because i agree extra attention could be given to actual information about locations. The Park Reviews section would be for people to post what they thought of the park and would be taken as advice for people wanting to go there. But your threads could also contain general chat about the place. I'm not sure where else you would put that.

yeah thanks for the feedback Lin, I know this is not my site, but i do think it's broken and needs some fixing so i'm just trying to get peoples thoughts about it. I don't mind a bit of debate about this stuff anyway... even if nothing changes, i'll just keep annoying everyone about it :cheers
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:43 pm

stevo wrote: i'll just keep annoying everyone about it :cheers


Think the word you were looking for really is 'stirring' Steve and you know what......you are very good at it.
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby stevo. » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:57 pm

me stir? bah... can we call it motivating people? :cheers
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:58 pm

stevo wrote:can we call it motivating people?


NO
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby xmasbaby67 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:03 pm

I think that the show us your campsite should stay but other posts have been put in that section that don't belong there and a thread titled the same as the section doesn't help it either. That thread has a huge amount of attention.

I think it should still stay as its own section but that new threads should be put in with your usernames camp site ie: "XB's campsite". That way that section would get a lot of traffic and you should move the threads that don't belong there and put them in their correct sections, ie the cooking gear thread that is in the campsite thread.

I dont think it is "broke" as such just needs a clean up thats all.

Keep stirring Nigel!!!!! :*** :*** :***
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby bonger » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:06 pm

there are also 'bots' trolling the pages which is not good
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby hoadie72 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:09 pm

bonger wrote:there are also 'bots' trolling the pages which is not good

They're generally good as they help information from the forum appear in Google searches. It's how I found this place :)
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby Activity_Dept » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:30 pm

Hello folks,

Sorry I been on holidays :armsup

OK so a couple of points; firstly the dating site. Technically the forum was directly linked to the camping site camping.com.au which had 'meet an outdoor type' so it was sort of linking to a dating site but that was back in 05 so we dropped the dating thing back then so it is not currently linked to a dating site.

Now in saying that we will (or so I keep threatening) be upgrading the 'camping.com.au' site and the forum in the coming weeks and this will mean that if you are a member of the forum you will also be a member of the camping club and the camping club will once again offer a lot of services one of which you guessed it will be a social site, so not quite a dating site but it does attract a singles crowd. We definitely will keep it a clean, fun social site and it is up to you to use it or not and provide us feedback on what you think but let’s get it online first and let me know what you think then.

On the forum, I am really happy to see that over the years we have built up a pretty solid membership of loyal users dare I say friends. It would be difficult to estimate how many but I would say there are well over 500 or so who login once a month anyway. I would love to see this 10 times that and to achieve that I believe we will have to expand the service we offer. We do get a number of people who belong to the camping website but not the forum. So we intend to combine these groups as well as offer this new range or feature/services. Yes we will keep the forum but we will also have a social service, a buy & sell service, a parks directory and a map service combined so more of a club feel to it I hope. It will take a while to work it out, many will likely just stick to the forum and won't bother with the rest and that is fine we are here to please with the ultimate goal being getting large enough to leverage the parks and the retailers to offer us a club discount.

Sorry long winded me... I really appreciate the support we have been getting from Ozzy, Gypsylady, Stevo, Xmasbaby, Amanda, Poodle ... and really so may others plus all the contributors. Stevo I do appreciate the initiative you are taking in improving the forum, so keep it up I think these are good changes and if they are supported we will adopt them. So we will do our best to keep it all very simular however we will look at cleaning it up based on the feedback from Stevo’s template, in addition we will change the login to allow .com's (currently they are blocked) which will open it up considerably however will also expose it to more spam so we will have to work this out with more moderators etc.

Further, I really hope to get some sponsors online so we can fund some real life activities, geo caching (treasure hunts) and fun family and/or just fun stuff. So I really am trying to get these improvements through and they will open the forum up to more people and yes likely more problems as well but I hope the end result will justify the effort and any temporary setbacks. Once again ultimately I would like to see a camping club with park and shop discounts, better resources and activities for its members as well as a voice in the camping industry.

Feel free to comment on this.

Sorry this was sooo long.

Regards,
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby Lin » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:47 pm

I was a member of a forum once that appeared to have 1000s of members and in the end I had to leave as I just couldn't keep up with what was happening and couldn't find the information I needed in the overwhelmingly large number of posts...

I don't follow every topic on this forum as some just don't have anything to do with me and don't interest me. But I can very easily keep up with what's going on and follow the replies to posts that do interest me. If it gets 10 times bigger, I don't know if I'd bother.

I also wonder if there would be many people here interested in organised activities? Most of us seem to already be avid campers and have our favourite spots and favourite camping buddies. If we want to meet up, we can organise it through the forum. Personally I don't like participating in any organised activiy. I go camping to get away from organised anything. :lol:

Discounts would be nice, but the cynic in me immediately asks: at what price?

This is of course all my personal opinion and others might like the idea you propose more.
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby GypsyLady » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:21 am

I agree with most of what Lin has posted. Whilst I do currently follow every topic I do believe if we get too big, it will
become too difficult.

I am also concerned that we will lose our 'family' friendliness. This is a great little forum with little or no bitching, quite unlike some of the others about. There are a lot of genuine people here so let's keep them please.

On this forum, I do not believe bigger is necessarily better.
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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby CampGrrlz » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:52 am

I'm also inclined to think that 'small is beautiful' and while I see the commercial benefits of larger and more complex, it's possible we might lose what is our strength: small enough to care, big enough for a range of views and geographical knowledge. A poll perhaps?

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Re: Forum Suggestion / Proposal

Postby xmasbaby67 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:03 pm

Yes I also think "small & perfectly formed" :***

I am also a member on two other camping/camper trailer sites but have trouble keeping up with it all. And Im not really interested in the sponsors side of it either, it will just get too big I think.

But just my opinion.
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