Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 08, 2016, 11:57:11 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?  (Read 9881 times)

cyberdiva

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 983
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2015, 12:42:11 PM »
....Right now we have a slightly schizophrenic situation where we have a true community forum that is fairly diverse in its interests, and an old school static website (that is much harder to update) with more narrowly focused software.
In many ways these two aspects of the site complement one another -- but in some ways they don't and create friction and confusion.
I'm a software enthusiast but not a coder. I find DC an invaluable source of information and discussion, with an unusually welcoming atmosphere.  The site is also amazingly easy to navigate; even though the forum is very active, I am often astonished at how quickly and efficiently I can find the threads that interest me.  I'm mentioning these things because I hope that any changes to the site will not come at the expense of the features I most value. 

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,406
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2015, 01:07:48 PM »
Test if the format needs to be more adapted to smart-phones.

There is a mobile version of the site.  It's all text, however- not sure if SMF has mobile forum themes.
Where can I find the mobile version?  I'd like to compare it with the "normal" version of the site that I see on my Android tablet and my Android phone using the Pale Moon for Android browser.  It shows me the site just as I would see it on my desktop computer, but smaller.  I see the same layout, the same graphics, etc.

this is built into smf.

for example this thread in dif mobile modes:

samples of more pages in wap mode:


mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,421
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2015, 01:12:49 PM »
Should we put a link to the mobile pages at the bottom of each forum page?
To elaborate on what wraith says, you can visit the main forum in mobile mode like:

Gwen7

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2009
  • *
  • Posts: 134
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2015, 03:57:00 PM »
i have to agree with cyberdiva. the donationcoder forum functions more as an educational social network than anything else for many dc members. i hope nothing is done to change that.

i used to love a website that had a similarly great open-ended forum. but a few months ago its operators got tired of it being used that way. so they instituted unwelcome restrictions to provide more 'focus.' most of us migrated over to mewe.com to keep the social circle we had created there intact. mewe is similar to facebook, but without the privacy problems fb has. groups and users on mewe can be completely private. and even hidden if you want. it also has very granular controls to easily control exactly who gets to see what.

rjbull

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,927
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2015, 05:00:12 PM »
I'm a software enthusiast but not a coder. I find DC an invaluable source of information and discussion, with an unusually welcoming atmosphere.  The site is also amazingly easy to navigate; even though the forum is very active, I am often astonished at how quickly and efficiently I can find the threads that interest me.
That's my position, too.  One of the things I routinely check is Show latest topics.

I'm mentioning these things because I hope that any changes to the site will not come at the expense of the features I most value. 
This worries me too.  The BBC changed the nature of some of its classical music programs years ago now, perhaps some suit's idea of making them more friendly to youth /newbies, and I no longer listen to those programs.

I wonder about the "newbie experience" on DC.  Are there any real newbies?  In the sense that, people will only come here if they're already interested in software anyway.

cyberdiva

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 983
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2015, 07:17:59 PM »
Thanks, wraith and mouser, for the sample links to the mobile pages.  It may be that these still serve a useful purpose, but at least on my tablet and phone, the Pale Moon browser for Android offers what seems to me a much more satisfying mobile version, one I can navigate the same way I do on my desktop computer.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,421
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2015, 09:43:50 PM »
One thing I want as a present for the anniversary is for all of the long-time hundred+ post members, who we haven't heard from in a long time, to stop by and make a hello post.  doesn't have to be a big long post, just a simple hello would make my heart swell.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2015, 10:34:17 PM »
One thing I want as a present for the anniversary is for all of the long-time hundred+ post members, who we haven't heard from in a long time, to stop by and make a hello post.  doesn't have to be a big long post, just a simple hello would make my heart swell.

This sounds like a whole spin-off thread, because the rough nature of it will be lighter/different from most of the site.

I think overall these 10th anniversary topics will need a good bunch of threads to keep the topics organized. A giant 200 post musical chairs thread will cause some of its own damage!


TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2015, 10:39:38 PM »
I wonder about the "newbie experience" on DC.  Are there any real newbies?  In the sense that, people will only come here if they're already interested in software anyway.

This is almost nothing short than the trend of the modern internet as a whole. The "newbie" experience here is about as good as it ever gets. Newbie should just spend five hours reading up a little on basic sample threads, and then off we go. And before people say that's work, nothing is any easier IRL.

What we really are facing is that Google, Twitter, and Facebook really succeeded in "locking in" their markets. That just makes anything else part of the not-them metagame.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,421
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2015, 10:41:40 PM »
Quote
This sounds like a whole spin-off thread

yes, i have created the thread:
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=40373
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 10:50:07 PM by mouser »

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,421
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2015, 01:33:36 PM »
Just a reminder, the DonationCoder 10th Anniversary fundraiser will start on monday (mar 23)!
I'll put up a banner and thermometer.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2015, 02:33:01 PM »
Looks like I missed the main activity period of this thread, but in my opinion DC is great in concept and general spirit. It just needs better tools/implementation.

Due to the many-possible-editors nature of the main non-discussion content pages, I think some form of Wiki makes tremendous amounts of sense. I don't see a WordPress or other such site being as effective as a straightforward Wiki. A Wiki meets all the needs I can really think of, aside from possibly marketing/aesthetic, for which you could perhaps just have a few still static pages, or a Wordpress-powered collection of pages, but even that seems unnecessary if you spend a little time prettying up your Wiki and theming it nicely. Wiki can be edited by anyone, if edits go awry it can be reverted, they can be multimedia-rich (including video, with plugins), have table of contents, glossary functionality, indexes and lists (e.g. list of all software by a particular contributor, list of all software in a particular category), and allow more focused discussion around a given page which could allow e.g. simple bug tracking and app-specific conversation that is more directly tied to the app's page (this makes most sense after a coding snack or other app is developed and made available, i.e. for long-term, ongoing bug discussion, feature requests, etc.

The forums as a community engagement tool are nice, but those and perhaps also the donation/user support system that is tied to them, need some new features which might suggest a new system entirely. I could call out some specific features like user mentions (e.g. @javajones, which improves engagement/stickiness), threaded conversations, easier topic splitting and referencing, better mobile support, better quoting functionality, better notifications, and more. Some of these are possible to implement with SMF, either with plugins or custom coding. A more radical but likely more effective solution would be to consider something like Discourse, which I've been very impressed with thus far (to be clear I am not running my own implementation at this time, this is just what I've seen from its feature set and testing it in its own discussion areas). http://www.discourse.org/ There are other more SMF-like forums that have some of this capability built-in and might be less of a shock to the existing users, e.g. Burning Board https://www.woltlab.com/wbb/ but I think ios a major software change is going to be made at all, it's worth considering something more forward-thinking like Discourse.

As for donations, my first question would be whether donations are really intended for (and at this time really do go toward) not just the site but also individual users. Do people toss a dollar or a 25 cents toward someone for a good, informative post? Do software authors, coding snack writers, etc. actually get many contributions? And if so are they coming from a variety of people, both old and new users, or is it more of a small-ish group of people who support *each other* and the money just kind of circles around? In other words is it more of a token gesture (no pun intended), or an actual, functional, useful part of the site? If the donations largely support the site itself, practically speaking, then perhaps it's best to make that clear or optimize better for that (although if it's working now as-is and there is a reasonable balance, perhaps it's already fairly optimal). If there is a desire to encourage more contribution to individual members, perhaps the site overhaul could help address that with plugins/add-ons to e.g. Discourse and the Wiki, and a better-branded, better-promoted (more "surfaced") donation/support system, something like Patreon/Subbable for example but oriented toward how things work here...

That's my 2 cents for now. Big change is scary and risky, but if you don't want DC to continue to just coast along as it has done for the past few years, then such change is worth strongly considering.

- Oshyan

BGM

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 190
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2015, 04:04:42 PM »
What about a page of ongoing freeware links related to category,
but JUST the list with a hyperlink - no descriptions, no clutter - maybe some stars for a rating - but that's ALL.
Maybe something like the "Alternative To" site.  
There are lots of top ten lists, and there are lots of freeware sites, but there isn't any singe BIG simple list anywhere.
The freeware sites are never all-inclusive.
Just an idea.

Browsers
-bgmCoder
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 04:07:07 PM by BGM, Reason: added links »

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,130
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2015, 05:41:04 PM »
My 2cents:

1. The ;wap, ;wap2 etc, are bloody HORRIFIC to the point I personally would rather sprain my eyes trying to read DC in a tiny font...or not read it at all via mobile.  I rarely visit DC on my mobile BECAUSE of how horrible it looks via the "mobile" versions and how much it hurts my eyes to try read using the standard one.

2. Software on DC is a primary focus of the site, but also one of the most frustrating things about it.  Go ahead and try browse for something random...I dare you...you will be lost in a sea of threads...never really knowing much about it...that's if you can even be bothered filtering through tens of thousands of posts to do so...With this in mind, DC IMHO REALLY needs a Repository of sorts.  It has always been known that DC is about the Donationware...but unless you know the site inside and out...or know exactly what you want and where to find it...you have no chance in hell of getting anywhere.


3.  There needs to be an incentive for people to register and actually stay here...for the moment, most people come here for one reason, and one reason only....to get a license key for one of mousers creations...I don't have the statistic, but I am willing to bet that over 90% of the users registered on DC have <5 posts, and again, 90% of those I reckon will be people who have never posted...so yes, DC has big numbers in theory...but what use are registered users if they never post or participate...they need something to make them want to participate...I have no idea what this is at this moment, but if it opens up a discussion then fantastic.

4. Things like the "News Ticker" at the top of the site, make DC look like it is never updated...right now I have the following "News"...

The N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2010! Download 24 custom programs!

How is that news?  That is 5 years ago.....that is NOT news :/ ...  Oh wait...I refresh the page...and I get this:

Check out and download the GOE 2007 Freeware Challenge productivity tools.

8 YEARS OLD!

...Refreshed the page and now got...

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /forum/index.php on this server.


I think the DC site knows I am scrutinizing it and has kicked me off lmao...it's back now though :)

I'm going to bed now but will post more in the morning :)

~Stephen

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,421
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: DonationCoder 10th Anniversary plans, ideas, changes, fundraiser?
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2015, 10:38:19 PM »
I'm cogitating on the suggestions -- I wish my brain didn't process these things so slowly..

Meanwhile: 1.5 hours until the opening of the 2015 fundraiser!  :up:

Fundraiser has begun!

Discussion continues: here.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 06:23:39 PM by mouser »