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BPL Improvements
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Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
BPL Improvements on 01/14/2010 01:33:19 MST Print View

Just thought I would throw out a couple things I'd like to see here at BPL. They shouldn't be too hard to integrate. Share your ideas... perhaps Ryan will incorporate a few of our ideas on the next site revamp.

1. Online indicators below the users name in threads. That way we know who is online at present and who is not.

2. Dedicated internal chat function where quicker discussions can take place.

3. Improved search functions.

4. "Tacked" feedback thread for sellers and buyers here on BPL. That way we can see who is worth doing business with and who isn't.


That's just a few ideas I had on the top of my head. Please share your own. I really appreciate this site Ryan. It's great. I hope we can help make it even better in the future.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: BPL Improvements on 01/14/2010 04:27:52 MST Print View

www.chatzy.com for a pretty good chat room site.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
BPL Improvements on 01/14/2010 06:37:37 MST Print View

Granted the search function could be better, but I'll pass on the others. I like the anonymity, and don't want everyone to know if I am on or not. No signature tags either. Lame.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
BPL Improvements on 01/14/2010 07:30:51 MST Print View

No Chat and no ranking on the sales - sounds like an Ebay to me. Better search function. That would be it for me.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 01/14/2010 07:33:46 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"BPL Improvements" on 01/14/2010 07:58:19 MST Print View

Wow, the layout is great, aesthetic, etc., BPL runs a fine vessel! I cannot think of much that needs improvement from a user standpoint. +1 on the search I suppose. I've had trouble navigating info in the past due to the constant state of motion that UL discourse is in here at BPL.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: "BPL Improvements" on 01/14/2010 08:01:45 MST Print View

I think the search page drop down menu is backwards. The first forum rooms that pop up are administrative, so you have to scroll to the bottom to find the gear forums.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
BPL Improvements on 01/14/2010 08:03:35 MST Print View

Yes to better search
Yes to better private message system
No feedback
No chat
No online status indicators

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re :"BPL Improvements" on 01/14/2010 08:56:06 MST Print View

Yes to better search.
Yes to better PM system.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re :"BPL Improvements" on 01/14/2010 10:32:31 MST Print View

"Yes to better search.
Yes to better PM system."

+whatever. But what makes a better PM system? To me, the ability to PM more than one person at a time, especially the ability to CC: myself on any PM, so I don't forget what I've told someone! (Hey, I'm old. They call me the Momento Man at work!).

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re :"BPL Improvements" on 01/14/2010 10:35:25 MST Print View

A better PM system would include a feature where you can store posts sent and received (within reasonable limits). Right now, we have nothing.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Better PM system on 01/14/2010 10:42:36 MST Print View

The ones I've seen save all the messages online in a threaded format much like an email program. That way you can go back and see the context of the conversation and respond.

Speaking of threaded I would like to see the option of threaded forums. It's easier to understand the many conversations going on in a thread when I can see who is replying to whom.

Both of the above along with better search are standard in all current (often free) forum software packages.

I'm continually disappointed that a paid site like BPL is be so far behind in this area compared to both the free and commercial sites like whiteblaze, bplite, sixmoondesigns, Jason Klass's new site backpackflyfishing and the thousands of other online forums.

Edited by nschmald on 01/14/2010 10:43:29 MST.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re :"BPL Improvements" on 01/14/2010 10:46:17 MST Print View

I dunno, I think the search function works pretty well. Tons better than before! The only thing that drives me nuts is the PM system. A bit clunky (sometimes I have to login again, although I'm already logged in, for example). But more so, not seeing the message that I'm typing a response to and not having a copy of what I sent. Some of it is good info that could see further use, or be posted, or whatever.

Otherwise I wouldn't change much. I wouldn't want a chat function (which would negate the "online now" thing). We could all stand to take a breath and get over the need for instantaneous gratification. I also like the more public form of communication here; keeps more people in the loop, gets info out there that otherwise wouldn't, probably keeps things more civil.

EDIT: One thing that would be nice is a "watch" function, so you can tag and follow certain threads. And/or a "library" function, to permanently add a thread link to your profile's, um, library.

Cheers-

Edited by 4quietwoods on 01/14/2010 10:48:35 MST.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Improved search on 01/14/2010 10:54:39 MST Print View

Here is what I mean by a better forum search:

1) Restrict to a set of forums (not just one)
2) Restrict to a user or set of users
3) Restrict to a date range
4) Sort the results based on date, forum, user name, etc.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re :"BPL Improvements" on 01/14/2010 10:56:14 MST Print View

"One thing that would be nice is a "watch" function, so you can tag and follow certain threads."

Hi Brad,

I believe you can do this now, but don't know if it's exactly what you mean. At the top of the thread there is a "Watch this thread" link.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
BPL Improvements on 01/14/2010 11:07:14 MST Print View

Better search (something quite a few forums need).

A better PM system, although with limited storage (storage costs money!).

More privacy! Ability to keep our real names private on the forum. I'd rather not broadcast mine to the whole world, especially the hackers/scammers out there. Our real names should be visible only to the owners of this forum, not to all and sundry. Yes, we can do that now (I do), but if we decide to order something from the BPL Store, our real names pop up on all our posts! It's enough to keep me from ordering from the store!

Why do we even bother setting up user names here if our real names are going to appear on the forum?

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/14/2010 11:09:52 MST.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re :"BPL Improvements" on 01/14/2010 11:28:37 MST Print View

Um... blushing a bit... ahh, why, yes, it is there, isn't it. How observant of me! Guess I'll try that out, see if it can pull off the "libary" kinda function. Thanks-

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Online Indicators on 01/14/2010 11:30:36 MST Print View

I guess why I like the idea of online indicators, is so I know if I can expect a response in the near future or if i'm going to have to wait for a bit. Not a big deal either way I guess.

Some good ideas floating around.

@ Mary - I kinda wondered the same thing at first. What's the point if our names are gonna show anyways? After thinking about it, I believe it keeps some people in check.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Using Alias Re: BPL Improvements on 01/14/2010 11:37:11 MST Print View

Mary,

After making the purchase you can change back to an alias:
-Click on "My Account" at the very top of every BPL page (when logged in).
-On the right, under "My Account" click on "Change My Billing & Shipping Addresses"
-Under "Primary Address" change "First Name" and "Last Name" to your preferred alias. This is what will show up on all your posts.

Note that each time someone looks at your posts it pulls the current name. So if you change today from "Mary D." to "Gary Egglesmort", all your old posts will show up with Gary.

I don't know if using aliases goes against BPL policy or not. I use an alias just in case my boss (who also hikes) were to run across my name and start looking at post times- not a big deal because I'm salaried, not hourly but still...

If I need to search for something very specific I use Google with "site:backpackinglight.com" to restrict returns to things on this site. You can also include the user name.

Edited by jimqpublic on 01/14/2010 11:41:14 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
BPL Improvements on 01/14/2010 11:44:59 MST Print View

We do have a policy regarding the use of your real name in the forums that goes as such:

"If you choose to participate in our community forums, your first and last names will be associated with your post. We discourage anonymity and encourage integrity in your communications so that your identity fairly reflects your reputation for appropriate communications. "


We leave respecting this policy up to the discretion of the user however.

Also, keep the suggestions coming. This thread will help to provide direction for our Web development dollars in the coming months.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: BPL Improvements on 01/15/2010 00:49:58 MST Print View

Actually, I like BPL just as it is, except for one item. It is simple and easy to navigate. There are no pesky online adverstisng banners and the such.

One thing I would like to see in the "new post" window is a toolbar that you can click to change text formatting, insert a link, insert a picture, etc. I hate dealing with html formatting and can never remember the conventions.
Also a preview post capability would be nice so you could preview it prior to posting. This is especially helpful if you are posting pictures.