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New Format .......... Please Read!!!!

Posted by Brian Ewing on October 9th, 1998 08:54 AM
In reply to Bob has a new message board! by TJ on October 6th, 1998 01:25 PM [Go to top of thread]

Being a regular visitor here..........ok, a regular lurker ;^)........and someone who owns and runs his own BB, I would like to say a few things about the new format.

My own BB is split up into several catagories much as the new BB here is. I have found that most people do not like it. They have a hard time knowing where to post their questions. And they have to jump around within the BB to get all the info they are looking for. If someone has more then one question to post then it becomes a real headache to follow responses.

The regulars have a hard time with it also because most regulars are general contractors or people with significant experience in most trades in home improvement. They want something easy to follow and something that they can easily use without having to jump around from catagory to catagory.

Because of these issues I, personally, am revamping my BB to go to just one or two BBs to streamline things.

Now, about the new board you are going to be using. The Ultimate BB is a nice BB, however, it is way overpriced for what you get ($150.00). The BB is not thread based, therefore when someone opens a post they also open the entire thread. This causes a burden on the server, a (potentially) long wait for the visitor and helps the general congestion of the web as a whole.

The customer is also required to login to post. I have found that most people don't like to have to give out personal information to get help from a BB. (However, a notice giving the reason for it and a description of what the info will be used for will help calm these fears.)

There are better and less costly alternatives to UBB (you should look into WebBBS) .......I hope "the powers that be" here at Bob's place will look into them before heading full blown into UBB.

Oh yea 1 more thing.......

This Old House used to have a great BB. The "powers that be" there descided that they would give the whole BB a "new" look. They took it upon themselves to do this without input from the regulars. There were approximately 100 or so regulars that would be there to help with questions posted. They have all left TOH and went to greener pastuers. Now they have shut down the board entirely bacause of jerks taking over in the regulars place.

The biggest sin a web site admin can do to a BB is make great changes to their BB with out input from his regulars. Most people are loyal to their particular BB and when the admins change it will gladly move on to something else.

My advise here is.......don't change a thing without notifying the regulars and letting them have a chance to get involved in the descision making process. They are, after all, the backbone of the BB.

Brian Ewing

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