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FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:39 pm

Hey Fate and Axiom! You guys are doing a great job of running this site, but I have one suggestion. I really think FOG would benefit from having a homepage other than the forum index. I was thinking a webpage styled similar to the forum. On this homepage FOG can showcase things such as "RP of the Month", "Member of the Month", any winners of contests. Additionally, Kalon's Art Studio, the FOG book club, Christoph's Writing Corner and other special threads could also be highlighted. I think this would be a great idea to show off the best FOG has to offer and possibly attract new members, and appeal to established members.

Let me know what you think, and whether this endeavor is even possible! I look forward to hearing from you.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by The Ghost Writer on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:47 am

It's definitely possible. Smile Fate and Axiom had an "entry" page in the past, but removed it for the theme upgrade. I think this decision was made because of a lack of use.

There are two plausible options we have of introducing a concept like yours, Artorius. We can create a "portal" page that Forumotion provides for us, customizing the widgets to our liking so we can display such content in your proposal; or Axiom can create a custom HTML page and set that as the homepage by default. I'm thinking that the custom page option would be best for FoG if we were to do this. But it's all up to Fate and Axiom.

If I recall correctly, Axiom's a wee bit busy at the moment IRL; so if this was approved, it would have to wait till later for it to be implemented (maybe until the end of the year?).
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:23 am

Sounds cool, I mean if it takes till the end of the year, so be it. I really think this is an idea people would like. Additionally, if we find anyone worthy we can have affiliates listed, as well as links to member's blogs and things of that nature! I really think there are a ton of possibilities for this project.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Fate Flyer on Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:52 am

Hey, thanks, Artorius.

We actually did away with the monthly features, since it wasn't something that seemed to be all that beneficial to FoG and it took a heck of a lot of time and dedication on our part (do read through every single role-play each month and determine the one we thought was the best, to review all the posts for all the active members to decide which seemed like the most likely candidate for member of the month, etc.). It, for the most part, went more unnoticed and wasn't really worth all the trouble.

I got enough feedback too about the main page and also did some reading up on title/front/entry pages, and they really got tons of horrible and negative feedback. It seemed like, judging by all the reviews I read, people hated being confronted by them when they got to a message board and found them too obtrusive and unnecessary and just a way for them to have to click on one more thing to enter the actual main page of the message board.

I have to say, after having dealt with it for awhile, I did have to agree, which was why I took it down. And oh-my-God how I hate the Portal pages. Those things are the biggest waste of space ever. They are just filled with a bunch of crap that no one cares about or reads or even looks at, so you either blow past it to clink on the link that will take you to the message board or you just end up favoriting the message board itself so you don't have to deal with Portal pages.

In the past, I was an Administrator of a message board that ended up utilizing a Portal page, and I found it to be quite irksome myself. All the information on it could already be found on the message board, so all it seemed to be trying to do was deter people from actually browsing around the message board at their own leisure.

I guess when it comes to message boards, having a main/title page before you actually get to the forums just seems to turn a lot of people away, including even myself. I'm sorry to have to shoot down your idea. It was something that we tried in the past, and admittedly I favorited the message board rather than the main page so I wouldn't have to see it every single time I visited FoG. I could understand how it might seem advantageous to highlight certain things around FoG, similar to what a Portal would do, but from my experience and from the feedback that I got, it only seemed to deter people away from FoG. All that stuff can already be found in the appropriate forums, so if people are interested in those types of topics, then they'll simply be able to find them by clicking on the related forum.

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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by The Ghost Writer on Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:14 am

I tend to agree with Fate on this one. I used to love portal pages simply because of the information that they could relay, but what good does that do if no one really cares to begin with? The biggest point I'd have to agree with, other than that, is the fact that it presents an obstacle of sorts in order to get to the main index.

We do, however, have a couple of ideas that we're kicking around in the staff forum, Artorius, that may be similarly beneficial to the entire forum. Can't give details yet, but judging by the amount of resources we'll be using on them, I can definitely assure you that the end results will make a portal page look like, pardon the French, shit in comparison. Wink

We the idea you present: providing information for quick access to our members; but it's the method of doing so that's a turn off. You always have our ears though if you have another idea.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Tartra on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:56 pm

Oh, you. Razz Shit isn't French.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by The Ghost Writer on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:31 pm

If there was "like" feature on this forum, I would totally use it on that post, Tartra. XD

Edit: Make that "merde", then. tongue
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:11 pm

Well thanks for listening, I had no idea the response to such a thing was overwhelmingly negative.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Fate Flyer on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:23 pm

Sorry if my response came across as harsh, Artorius. (It was the first thing I did this morning in the little time I had before driving for 3 hours to get to work.) I appreciate the suggestion and thinking about what could be good for FoG.

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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:43 pm

Wait, though. We could incorporate Artorius's idea into a kind of Features page. Very Happy Sort-of an at-a-glance What's Happening On FOG.
It might be more trouble than it's worth, but maybe not. Artorius had some cool-sounding stuff. Affiliates, for one thing.
If we put somewhere in the navigation bar a thing for Features or Affiliates or some other cool word, we could have it go to a page like that, or we could even have multiple ones.
The Affiliates page, for example, instead of being just a list, could be larger pictures of the places with FOG's brief overview/review of them on there.
The Features page could be similar, and could present artwork or icons to enhance whatever is said about whatever it is, along with links.
Or something like that.

You could even say something like Portal or Extras in the animated nav bar drop down thingy that might be added to accommodate this whole extra-bits idea. Very Happy
If it's something like that, then it's up to the users to click on it themselves to see it, rather than being forced upon them before they get to the forum.
So we get all the cool stuff without the cons of Portal homepages. Very Happy

Cool?
Work?
Cool ways to make it work? Very Happy
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:36 pm

Fate Foretold wrote:Sorry if my response came across as harsh, Artorius. (It was the first thing I did this morning in the little time I had before driving for 3 hours to get to work.) I appreciate the suggestion and thinking about what could be good for FoG.

It wasn't harsh, I just never knew that such a homepage would come across as annoying and such. I was open to receiving criticism Fate, so don't worry about that.

Kalon Ordona II wrote:Wait, though. We could incorporate Artorius's idea into a kind of Features page. Sort-of an at-a-glance What's Happening On FOG.
It might be more trouble than it's worth, but maybe not. Artorius had some cool-sounding stuff. Affiliates, for one thing.
If we put somewhere in the navigation bar a thing for Features or Affiliates or some other cool word, we could have it go to a page like that, or we could even have multiple ones.

That seems like a much more reasonable/feasible way to implement what I had suggested, in some capacity, whether big or small.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Tartra on Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:40 pm

Except Fate already tried doing features. She stopped because it took too much energy. Unless someone's actually volunteering to stay on this and not just throwing the idea out for someone else to do the work (which is to go through every post and roleplay on a very regular schedule), then no, it's not worth it.


Last edited by Tartra on Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Blade Barrier on Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:41 pm

I think "main" pages work if the forum is taking a back seat to whatever other media the site provides. In FoG's case, the forum is the main attraction, and you really want people to see that instead of a list of stuff, news, etc. That's what the announcement section is for.

I don't think a lot of people on this forum would like the competitive atmosphere of having a "blank" of the month. Role playing is a social thing, everyone works together to make something great, and the reward is what they've created. A best of the month kind of takes that and turns it into something more competitive than cooperative. Sure, we have a Caligo writing contest going on, but people have to choose to participate in that.

Your idea about drawing interest to special topics on the site did interest me. But if they are deserving of extra attention, why not just sticky the topic?

I don't think the idea is flawed, I just don't think it's something that would work on a site based around a forum.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:19 pm

Tartra wrote:Except Fate already tried doing features. She stopped because it took too much energy. Unless someone's actually volunteering to stay on this and not just throwing the idea out for someone else to do the work (which is to go through every post and roleplay on a very regular schedule), then no, it's not worth it.

You conveniently forgot that I was just praising Kalon for his idea to include "Affiliates" in the overhead navigation. I'm completely aware of what Fate has already stated. If this were to be implemented, I'd also be the first to do the work. However, like I said, I am very much aware that my first suggestion is a hell of a lot of work. Saying that, I'm not going to continue to pursue this suggestion, just acknowledge Kalon had a great idea in his own right.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:31 pm

What do you guys mean by "affiliates"? Forgive me; I'm not sure exactly what you're all referring to when you say that.

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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:36 pm

Ten wrote:What do you guys mean by "affiliates"? Forgive me; I'm not sure exactly what you're all referring to when you say that.

Affiliates refers to forums, or other webpages that FOG chooses to be "affiliated" with. Therefore, affiliates most often have each other's links prominently displayed in some shape or form to encourage members to visit them.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:37 pm

Oh! I see! Smile Who is FoG affiliated with?

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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:43 pm

As far as I know, no one. Although I do know FOG is listed in RolePlayGateway's list of Role Playing sites.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:45 pm

I don't think anyone yet. Razz
But the idea can work for anything, really.
I wasn't so much proposing we have an Affiliates page as brainstorming ways we could have our cake and eat it, too. In other words, having some sort of portal-y page, but not make it the homepage and instead make it sort-of like Fog Information, something that's linked to in the animated nav bar. Very Happy
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:51 pm

Kalon Ordona II wrote:I don't think anyone yet. Razz
But the idea can work for anything, really.
I wasn't so much proposing we have an Affiliates page as brainstorming ways we could have our cake and eat it, too. In other words, having some sort of portal-y page, but not make it the homepage and instead make it sort-of like Fog Information, something that's linked to in the animated nav bar. Very Happy

Thanks for elaborating Kalon! I hope that clears some confusion present around this idea.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:55 pm

Isn't there already a bunch of "FoG information" already linked in tabs at the top of the main page, though? Sad I mean... what else do we need this for? What information did you want to add that isn't already provided?

I don't wanna shoot it down or anything, but short of a portal page(that is more cumbersome than helpful)...and volunteers for any monthly features... everything seems to be covered in a convenient way already.

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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:02 pm

[quote="Ten"]Isn't there already a bunch of "FoG information" already linked in tabs at the top of the main page, though? Sad I mean... what else do we need this for? What information did you want to add that isn't already provided?

I don't wanna shoot it down or anything, but short of a portal page(that is more cumbersome than helpful)...and volunteers for any monthly features... everything seems to be covered in a convenient way already.[/quote

I think the monthly features are already out of the question, besides that, I think the idea was just to highlight useful/outstanding threads.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:24 pm

It wouldn't go _in_ the Fog Information. It would be its own drop-down menu, similar _to_ Fog Information. Smile

I'm just saying, if we ever want to do something like this, even if we don't right now, we could do it without obstructing the forums by putting it in a place like that, where it'll be easily accessible and be in an inconspicuous-yet-prominent location. Smile
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Tartra on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:36 pm

Sad I know I disagreed with you Atrocious, but your response really hurt my feelings. Why did you have to say I conveniently forgot?
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:12 pm

Tartra wrote:Sad I know I disagreed with you Atrocious, but your response really hurt my feelings. Why did you have to say I conveniently forgot?

Is this humor? You blasted me in your comment. I thought it was appropriate to note that you either didn't understand the above post or chose to disregard some of what was said. I apologize if you were offended, but I felt your whole comment was an attack on me personally.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Tartra on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:20 pm

I was explaining why the specific point you made about Features wouldn't work and you turned it into an attack. Your apology is not only mean and half-hearted, but completely insincere. You're extremely mean.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Artorius on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:36 pm

I'm sorry you feel that way. If you'd like to continue this discussion please PM me. Otherwise, I'd like to not clutter up this thread. Thank you for understanding.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Tartra on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:51 pm

There's nothing to continue. You've made your point.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Axiom Awaits on Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:06 pm

Let's try to keep this on topic and be polite to each other. I don't think anyone is intentionally trying to hurt feelings. While I think we've discussed it quite a bit and had some great ideas, I still wouldn't want to lock this thread.

---
I'm not a fan of portal pages as I think they're more of a distraction or obstacle for people. Fate already covered that pretty well. People usually just end up bookmarking the forum anyway. However, I'm not totally against the idea of having a page to highlight certain aspects of the forum. The issue with that is it can be hard to maintain on a regular basis. With the "Monthly Features" that we had before, it became difficult to keep up with it. Not only that, but we ran out of things to put in the spotlight every month and it became a little mundane.

Blade Barrier wrote:I think "main" pages work if the forum is taking a back seat to whatever other media the site provides. In FoG's case, the forum is the main attraction, and you really want people to see that instead of a list of stuff, news, etc. That's what the announcement section is for.

I don't think a lot of people on this forum would like the competitive atmosphere of having a "blank" of the month. Role playing is a social thing, everyone works together to make something great, and the reward is what they've created. A best of the month kind of takes that and turns it into something more competitive than cooperative. Sure, we have a Caligo writing contest going on, but people have to choose to participate in that.

Your idea about drawing interest to special topics on the site did interest me. But if they are deserving of extra attention, why not just sticky the topic?

I don't think the idea is flawed, I just don't think it's something that would work on a site based around a forum.
I also thought that Blade Barrier made some very good points here.
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Re: FOG Main Page

Post by Fate Flyer on Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:00 am

Excuse my short post. I really apologize for not being able to respond more yesterday. (It'll be awesome when I'm done with my job after this week, since getting home at around 10:00 PM and going to bed soon after leaves me with very little free time!) Razz

As far as I can see, no one meant to hurt anyone's feelings purposefully, so I hope that whatever happened can be resolved without hard feelings. It seems like there was some sort of misunderstanding and maybe accusatory words that ruffled some feathers. Let's keep cool, guys.


As far as the affiliates go, we actually used to have official FoG affiliates in the past. (For those staff members that can see this, here is the old thread). It ended up being more beneficial for our affiliates than it actually did for us, it seemed. More than that though, it managed to stir up some much unneeded drama between our board and one of our affiliates with some of their less mature members having misunderstood our affiliation and coming over here to cause minor problems (such as posting inappropriate things or drawing very obscene things on our public oekaki that we used to have until that got too out of control).

I'm afraid that opening up affiliations again will only lead to further forum drama and undesired competition, as those members from that other board in the past seemed to think it meant. I also found it rather -- what's the word? -- tacky, I guess, to have affiliates, since that's only something it seems a lot of smaller and less well-known message boards seem to do. RolePlayGateway is the only big one I'm aware of that still does that, though I do think it is kind of an eye sore.

Additionally, it can be very hard to judge who to be affiliated with and who not to. It's not as if you really know the people who ask to be your affiliates, and it's always awkward when some Administrator from a really unappealing message board that only has maybe a dozen members metaphorically comes up to you and asks to be your affiliate. While I did try to screen out all the millions of tiny message boards out there that only wanted to be affiliated with us so they could get more members (as it was only benefiting them) by having a member count minimum, there still were any number of other problems and unnecessary headaches that came with it.

In theory, it's not a bad idea, but I think we're doing okay without needing to revert to looking for affiliates right now.

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