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TOPIC: Forum Template question

Forum Template question 6 years 4 weeks ago #4525

  • CraziestOzzy
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This post is basically relevant to the administrators of the Townsville Astronomy Group.
General members may find it of interest.
I am not a nasty bloke, so don't take my thoughts as an attack against anyone or the group.
I hope my thoughts may create something constructive.

It has come to my attention, that this current forum template was created with the intent of providing the group with a very basic working template. Maintenance and further enhancements to the layout was to be the group's responsibility.
Just enough to give the group a forum that is up and running.
I also believe that this current template was provided to the group at no monetary cost, hence its very basic "raw" nature.
Most of you involved with the workings of the group, know my standing with respect to this group's current focus on using Facebook at the expense of this forum. I think you also know my standing regards this current forum and its current unprofessional presentation.
I did pose a question previously to a few, that with respect to raising money and status within the community for the observatory, using Facebook as a primary landing page, having no working logo that defines the group and the lack of a professional presentation to the groups (supposed) main website - this forum/website- will hardly attract legitimate or serious filling of the group's coffers.

In this day and age, any business entity requires a professionally presented web presence...and a logo that defines it.
Taking a gratuitous side track, we all know the logo for McDonald's. Just by looking at the logo, we know it is McDonald's...that logo defines McDonald's...this group has no similar logo that is the selling point for its service.
Some of you may know my current thoughts on the observatory logo and also the current "logo" on the header of this forum of Castle Hill.
Anyway, back on track....

I have recently been made aware from one of my fellow photography peers, that a NEW forum template has been created for the group.
This new forum has yet to be used by the group, replacing this current one.
I also understand that the group paid for the service of having this template constructed.
I have seen this new forum template, it is professionally presented, working and is light years ahead of this current pro bono one that was initially created "on the fly" to give the group something to start with.
As with this current forum, it (this new unpublished website) will be the responsibility of the group to refine, add to and maintain.

I see no reason why this new template is not being used.
This new template is designed to be social and interactive in real time and it is professionally presented and easy to navigate.
It also is easy to maintain, enhance and add new features after only a five minute rundown on its inner workings.
On an aside, I notice some issues that I raised some time ago about some "bugs" within this currently published website have yet to be resolved. One cannot afford to have such lack-luster "webmaster" activity with a web presence designed to sell your product.
I still see no reason why the group's website/forum is not the core of activity with any activity on social media used primarily to recruit new members and redirect them to this group's website/forum where information will not be lost in infinite scroll "news feeds" and copious advertising.
By all means, promote the group on Twitter, Facebook etc etc but use good business sense and have all activity created by group members (photos, articles, events etc) hosted HERE on the forum/website with social media merely providing links (and the thumbnail preview) to this forum for any website hosted content. Promote Townsville Astronomy Group and not for example, Facebook.
I just used my wife's Facebook account and can confirm the point I am making with respect to photos hosted on Facebook directing traffic to Facebook and not this group's website.
Also, social media destroys the quality of any image by using their own resize algorithm, which is why photos submitted to Facebook for example, always look like the proverbial dog balls. Astronomy is a visual activity and requires quality images to further sell its product. Hosting images from the server of this group and not elsewhere will address at least this quality issue.
I see no reason why any activity on social media is not linking to and pointing to and consequently promoting this forum.

Now I have no friends :D

EDIT: I interchange "forum" and "website" and to clear up any confusion, the main landing page (typically known as "home") and all content (forum, observatory, activity etc) is the website and the "forum" is a sub-link that navigates to the forum aspect from the website proper.
Last Edit: 6 years 4 weeks ago by CraziestOzzy.
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Forum Template question 6 years 3 weeks ago #4527

  • Dave
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Hi and thanks for your input - an interesting view of the group I think.
Historically the website has been maintained by just a few folks and while those few may not be as savvy in this internet age as others, what has been done was (is) always with best intent ( lacklustre or not) and I believe we have improved it a lot over time. Yes we have opted for further improvement of the website but have yet to finalise it however it will be in place when we get to it. The group has grown considerably over the past year mainly due to the efforts of that few again and sometimes the real life events of those few takes precedence over this pursuit.
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