Post subject: Splitboard.com Ã¢â‚¬â€œ State of the Union 06/07
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:36 pm
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 5104 Location: California
As many of you know (or may not know), I presently have a month or so of free time on my hands right now (changing day jobs). I really feel like I've ignored the splitboard.com website in terms of new features and content over the last year and have done the entire community and sport a disservice. So I'd like to use my free time right now to make some much needed changes and improvements to the site. I'd love to get any input you guys want to offer, after allÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the site is for you!
So what type of changes do you want to see?
Here's what I have so far.
1. Better homepage. Something more interactive and informative than the current welcome page. I'd like to have a center picture format (similar to our friends at telemarktips) so I can rotate various pictures from our member's trip reports. I'd also like to add more reasons to visit the homepage in the first place.
2. More content. One of the hurdles in the past for me has been the ability to add new content that I've written or that our members have written. I'm going to move to a content management system that will overcome this hurdle and let me add content within minutes. More reviews, more stories, more cool stuff.
3. New forum. I am seriously considering going from the free phpbb forum software to the better, more robust software called vBulletin. This will make the forum easier to use, more powerful for the user, and hopefully cut down on the spambots.
4. New look. The main site will get a facelift and be more current. This should make it more inviting and informative.
These are just a few of the things I plan to do and I'm eager to hear any of your suggestions. "What say you?!"
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm Posts: 1619 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
That would be my number one concern - make sure before doing any upgrades or switching the forum software that the existing data will get imported seamlessly (not like last time). There is too much good information available in the history here. I keep links to several trip reports and other interesting posts for future beta.
I personally don't really access most of the rest of the site, just the forum. (Of course, a makeover on the main site might make me more likely to visit it... ) One thing that might be nice is a built-in way to post pictures and videos here, rather than having to use an external hosting site and link to the pics/vids here. Of course that would mean needing extra server space and having to set up the software.
...and have done the entire community and sport a disservice...
Uhhhh... I don't think so! Without you, there is no community. Just a bunch of wankers wallowing around in snowshoes and bootpacking the skintracks. Nice to have you back, though.
It'll be fun to see the site evolve, although I may miss the good ol' phpbb interface. I can tell you that when I started researching splitboarding and backcountry snowboarding about a year and a half ago I definitely read splitboard 101 and all the gear reviews linked to the home page. But of course since then, the only new content has been in the forum.
I think it is a great idea to get a content management system together and to design simple page templates and design guidelines for things like gear reviews, featured trips, etc. It is so important to have low overhead for adding new content. Of course then the next step is to get all that new content created!
I'm sure you can find volunteers to help with new content. It would be great to give a more 'official' treatment to some of the topics that have been covered (sometimes ad naseum) in this forum. There is a huge amount content in here. The search button does work, but you have to know what you're looking for. I remember being totally overwhelmed at first, as a person new to the sport and the forum.
And I like the idea of rotating the homepage picture from trip reports, a la ttips. It's great incentive to bring the camera on trips.
So I don't know if I added anything new, except encouragement. And let us know if you need any help.
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm Posts: 467 Location: Meyers, CA
I really feel like I've ignored the splitboard.com website in terms of new features and content over the last year and have done the entire community and sport a disservice.
Easy there buddy. Don't be too hard on yourself. The forum is obviously the strong point of the site, but the main site ain't bad, it's just static.
In terms of content I think myspace is the way to go...seriously allowing the site users to generate and update content is the best. Isn't this why everyone digs the forum?
Summitpost.org does a decent job of this (even though the site is sorta weird to navigate). You could create say a Tallac page and then allow users to link their TRs to it. Or a binding mod page. Once a model is established users could duplicate it for Mt. Whateverisintheirbackyard.
Basically, the rest of the site would be sort of a well organized best of from the forum.
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:18 pm Posts: 270 Location: Bishop, Ca
Maybe a page devoted to modifications. As was already said, there is a lot of info buried in this forum but unless you know what you're looking for it is tough to find. A modification page might fill people's heads with ideas and could ultimately result in a professionally manufactured product if enough people are interested.
Also a page with more detailed instructions and tips on homemade splits.
In the trip report forum it might be useful to somehow attach a specific geographic area to each thread. The forum would still appear the same, with trip reports from all over. But when posting a new thread, maybe have a little drop down menu where you choose a state, mountain range, whatever. This would be cool for anyone planning a trip to another area. For example, typing the word Ã¢â‚¬Å“TetonÃ¢â‚¬Â
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2392 Location: California
Let the sport down? Come on, dude, your the most dedicated enthusiants working for free that I know of.
Great suggestions, BCD. Dishwasher's comments about the homepage being static is why most of us only go to the forum. I go to Lou Dawson's page almost everyday cause I know there's going to be something fresh. Not always something I'm necessarily interested in but always fresh so I check it out.
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:35 am Posts: 41 Location: Laguna Beach, CA USA
Others kind of touched on it, but the Search funciton is a little tricky to use. I am also used to it now, and I am finding it very useful for gear discussions.
My latest interests in terms of gear have been poles, crampons and ice axe related. I think these gear subsets deserve some dedicated specific product reveiws on the homepage. A wiki-type content production model might be conisdered for the various gear subsets as well.
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm Posts: 1619 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Re the video and picture posting ability. This is something we had for a little bit and I'd love to bring back but you need to remember that sever space and bandwidth aren't free. And we all know how much space you could eat up with your TRs!
I don't know what you're talking about.
If I did bring that feature back it would need to have some pretty specific limitations per user, like 20 or 50 photos max. That will give folks the opportunity to share photos without having to host them somewhere else. But for our heavy picture TR posters (like yourself) you could eat through that quota in one TR. I'll give it some more thought though and I welcome any more specific suggestions you guys have on the topic.
Well... I wouldn't be opposed to some sort of paid membership, which would give you access to more space for uploading your own photos/vids etc. Obviously there's only so much you can do for free, and it makes sense that the people making the most use of the bandwidth should pay for it. If you go this route, it might be a selling point for the paid membership, assuming it's way easy to post pictures and vids. How many times a season do people ask "how do I post pictures?". If you had a FAQ for that, and the description for the paid membership is like one line, vs. the multiple steps that it is currently for using external picture hosting like biglines etc., more people might be inclined to pay. There could be other benefits of paid membership, like maybe discounts on gear in the store or something.
On thing though, just make sure that all the forum content/features are available to everyone whether they pay or not. People can choose whether to pay or not based on how much they want the paid features, what their financial situation is, etc... but they can always access the info in the forums, and post pics (might be harder than with the paid membership, but still possible) etc.
[quote]Re getting volunteers to submit new content. I really want this to happen (many of you can provide some great stuff) and I want to figure out some sort of Ã¢â‚¬Å“rewards point systemÃ¢â‚¬Â