Ozzu slowing down

  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Seems like there's less and less activity around here every time I log in... either everyone is moving on to something or it's just not Ozzu's season :P


Not sure why I felt like there was a need to make this kind of a thread but I decided to make one anyway...
  • zhaojany
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Post 3+ Months Ago

feeling the same too
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah, many of the regulars must be on vacation. Wish I could tell you some reasons, but I am open to ideas on getting users more engaged. Traffic to the website is about the same as it has always been in the last few years.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I also don't provide 4 - 5k posts a year like I used to lol.

Hope everyone had a good holiday! I sure did!
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Peoples circumstances have changed alot over the last year or so i'm sure. I am doing less and less online and more and more away, and as it is paying off for me on the job front i really can't fault the lifestyle.

That's not to say i don't still visit Ozzu, but most of the time i do it's to either moderate or contribute to any topics in the General Discussion forum and as there are less being posted in here there is less coming from me.

As the site is a community, and others view it as more than just a web design website, i reckon if we see more topics in the General Discussion forum and other forums like that then we'd see more activity. It may have a knock on effect in the other forums as well. As annoying as they seem, but posting games were fun but seem to be almost hidden on this site now so having them in a place where people can take part also encourages people to contribute.

Facebook at the moment are focusing on encouraging people to spend more time on their website, this is to effectively make their unique social adverts more valuable and to, i'm sure, one day take over the world. I don't know what sort of commercial interest Ozzu could gain from creating this kind of website but i do think more needs to be done to encourage people to spend more time on the site.

I remember when we had GTKY threads, they were incredibly popular and always took alot of interest from alot of members on the site... it was a good way of finding out about the person behind the avatar/alias. I'd be interested in seeing more topics like that again to encourage a bit more activity from those of us that do want to spend more time here.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I read an article awhile back (I do not have the source), but it talked a great deal about Facebook and the effect it has had on forums throughout the Internet. Way back in the day before Facebook was as popular as it is now, many people would goto forums to speak their minds usually on a forum where they had general interests. The problem today is that when people post generic posts they tend to do it on Facebook instead because people they actually know from the real life might read it and because of that they might get better response from people they care about.

I do believe all of the social media in a way has affected forums in general, but I also believe there are probably things I can do to help fix this problem. I think one thing I need to work on is simplifying the registration process and making it more clear on how to participate on Ozzu. I would also like to allow any users with a Facebook account or Twitter account to easily be authenticated on Ozzu so that that pretty much anybody can post. To me it doesn't really matter how they are authenticated, we just need a way to disallow malicious users from posting. As long as they are not random guests, that is easily possible since they have some sort of accessible identity.

It is obvious that what Facebook has done is successful, so by tapping into their technology that may help keep communication open to users via Facebook, as well as participating on Ozzu since anybody with a Facebook account could potentially already be logged in on Ozzu.
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I completely agree with you. It's something you'll find most companies are doing at the moment probably for the same reasons you mention. In a way Facebook is making registering to websites seem like more of a chore. If you can just click a "sign in using Facebook" button then the vast majority of the registration process is done, all you need to do is pick a username.

This has it's disadvantages though because i don't think Facebook will be seen in the way that it currently is in the not so distant future. I know that having been a very active Facebook user over the last few years that i am starting to get fed up with the way the site is constantly pushing the privacy boundaries and not immediately notifying it's many users that it is going to do this. There are a couple of things i've noticed they have done a week or so before the media writes some sort of article claiming other people are angry with the changes. Facebook know that if they keep pushing the boundaries then they can always introduce new features because eventually people accept the way it is and adapt to the new settings.

If people do decide to leave Facebook then there needs to be an alternative way for people to log into Ozzu if Facebook is no longer active. As far as i am aware, any of the other sites i've used Facebook as my log in to don't have an alternative way to log in... so if i have things saved on that account and i was to remove my facebook account then i'd lose everything that this website would have stored. This is one of two main reasons i've not removed my account on FB yet... and believe me, i really do want to get rid of it.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think the way I plan to setup the Facebook / Twitter integration is that silently in the background an Ozzu account is still created and associated with the Facebook ID of the user. The only thing like you mentioned is they would need to pick a username. I am going to also try to find a way so that the Facebook account is still not a requirement, a user could easily "unlink" the Facebook account from their Ozzu account, or for users already registered "link" to their Facebook. It will be able to go both ways. Facebook would just be used to help make things easier, as once a users allows Ozzu access, Ozzu can pull data from Facebook to setup much of their account on Ozzu. So that just makes things super easy, but still would be done in a way that they can unlink later.

I haven't decided yet if I will create an addon for Ozzu for that sort of things, or if it will be in the next version of Ozzu which may no longer use phpBB.
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There's already a mod in development for alternate login available in Community Forums. I think you can use that mod, or modify it to fit your needs. I worked with it a bit for a client of mine a while back and it works good. It lets the registered users to link/unlink their facebook account (if they are already registered) and it registers with the Facebook information.

It also registers/logs you in with more ways then just Facebook.



Just throwing an option on the table... It worked for me about half-year ago (or so)... it has more features now then it had then, but I don't think that's a problem :lol:



You're not using phpBB for the next version of Ozzu? :shock:
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have seen that mod before, and probably would use something like that if I decide to patch this version.

The next version of Ozzu I may decide to code everything from the ground up so that I do not have to go through the painful and time consuming phpBB upgrades all the time. Also it will provide me more freedom to get better features integrated on Ozzu. I will most likely use CodeIgniter as the web application framework which provides a nice set of core features that pretty much every website would need. Things such as sessions, e-mail, forms, cache management, etc. The beauty of using something like this is that currently I build everything on top of phpBB which is built to be primarily to be a forum. With CodeIgniter it provides a good base that allows you to easily build on top of it for anything you want from forums, to blogs, to tools, or any other feature I could then later develop for Ozzu. Also the fact that I won't have to deal with phpBB upgrades will save tons of time that I can use to develop Ozzu further.

CodeIgniter is also nice in the fact that you can separate the "application" from the system so that upgrades are painless. I think will make things better and allow me to build Ozzu exactly the way I envision.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Wow, that sounds pretty awesome. You could do moderator blogs, lol.
  • WritingBadCode
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think facebook, twitter etc may be one of the reasons. People are basically flooding to such sites, not only ozzu but I've seen other sites (usually forums) getting less attention from visitors. I guess ozzu compete with other sites about visitor engagment and I suspect competition about peoples time online is only about to get worse over time with all people fighting over the same cake (with the big players taking the most of it). And personally I think there is a limit to how much time people has and want to put online. :o

I don't see how people can manage maybe being active on more then lets say 4-6 pages. I myself find it quite nice to just some days not use the computer all togheter and just focus on my relationship to my girlfriend.

I hasn't been posting here that much. But I hasn't posted anywhere else either. :lol: This mainly becuse I'm doing a one man project that is taking up a lot of my time.

Anyway I still come here and read and some new things added to this site could prove intressting. :o Why not add a AJAX chatroom or something (to allow better member interaction and fast communication)? :D
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's funny you should say that, i am one of those people that has been pretty much hooked on Facebook since it's introduction many years ago. I would log on daily and frequently check the "news feeds" and other random bits that came with it. The site has been great for keeping in touch with a load of people from overseas.

It's only recently that my interest in the site has really hit a low. I never really caught onto the privacy settings bit much although i was always interested in keeping certain parts of my profile hidden from people that don't know me for some reason. I viewed this as a right and not a privilege. Everything was pretty good until very recently i discovered that my profile was no longer hidden from strangers, despite picking the option ages ago and i could no longer find out how to make it hidden. They also introduced "apps" which meant that anything like my Spotify playlist would be shown on FB regardless of whether i wanted this... something that i never opted to do.

I have nothing to hide with regards to my choice of music, if someone doesn't like it then that is not my problem. The problem i had with this though was the fact that FB decided that they were just going to do it and assume that it would be ok. Afterall it's not as if me or another few thousand people complaining would really mean much especially when the current registered users on the site is allegedly hitting the 1 billion mark.

The problem i had was trying to decide whether or not i just wanted to get rid of my account. It means that i wouldn't be able to keep in touch with some of the people that i currently do at present in the way that i can. It meant that i'd lose the Bejeweled Blitz link which i find is a good way to stay competitive with some people (with that said, BB is actually starting to bore me now). It also meant that i wouldn't be able to see current photos of family from Canada or Australia, something that we don't do via Email because FB exists. I actually wish people would remember about emailing more so removing FB would be a much more appealing option.

I'm rambling on a bit now.

Rather than removing FB i've decided now to completely remove myself from the site altogether. My profile will be there, but it will just lay dorment only to be used for when i want to keep in touch with friends. I may seem logged in, but all private information will be removed and so will the vast majority of the photographs i added all those years ago. In effect, it will play the same role as my current Hotmail email account or even my Gmail account (i'm registered to G+...but that's about it).

I am looking for somewhere to spend more of my time and i'd like it to be Ozzu. I'd like to get back into web design a bit more again, so i see this as the ideal stopping place. Don't be too surprised if i leave a few more topics here about random stuff. If you want Ozzu to liven up a bit then please contribute when you can to keep the conversation going. Ozzu doesn't need to be affected by the FB Bug.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That is one reason why I think making it easy for Facebook users to participate on Ozzu would get more interaction here. Ozzu gets probably around 20-50 people a day logging in, yet the site gets around 30-35 thousand visits a day. That means about 99.9% of the visitors are just reading and not participating. I do know that many users probably find Ozzu because they have some sort of problem, and once they find the answer that is all they wanted so they move on. To even participate in the discussion that they find on Ozzu would require them to go through the lengthy and probably confusing registration process. Too much work for a little reply that could potential contribute to a thread if they knew of a resolution or further feedback which could help others down the road. Many of the people visiting Ozzu aren't actively looking for a forum to be a member of, they are just trying to find answers to their problems.

However, I am willing to bet a good number of the people visiting do have a Facebook account which they are logged into. What that means is if I were to at least work with that I could make it so that any visitor who finds Ozzu could simply reply to any topic without going through a complicated registration process. This could encourage user participation and possibly get some visitors to come back and hopefully hooked to be part of our community.

Of course all of this is just thoughts and ideas, but I do know user participation on Ozzu is down and I think making it easier for users to participate would be a good step in improving that.

I also think that providing tools that users could use over and over would be a way to get users coming back more often... that I am still working on too.

Lots of ideas, but not enough resources on my end to get this all done quickly. I have to balance my time between keeping a revenue flow, paying all the business bills, server maintenance, site upgrades, and participating with the community here. I really could use employees which would probably speed up development greatly, but unfortunately the business does not have enough resources at the time to be able to afford that.

Having the moderators helping maintain Ozzu does help greatly as it frees my time into allowing me to focus on further developing areas, so I will always be thankful for them and any users trying to make Ozzu a better place.
  • typhon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I rarely if ever use the 'login w/ facebook/twitter' option, but I guess Im weird. I have alas fallen off the face of Ozzu AGAIN, but I am hoping to fix that. I have missed the interaction and am about to have some questions due to my class load that I doubt I could get answers to anywhere else. Hope to be around soon and see all yall again
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Great to see you back here again Typhon.
  • WritingBadCode
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Post 3+ Months Ago

typhon wrote:
I rarely if ever use the 'login w/ facebook/twitter' option, but I guess Im weird.


Then there are 2 wierd people here: I don't use facebook/twitter signin option either (except like once when I did it to try it out mostly). :)
  • typhon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks SB. I was taking a python class last semester, but had to withdraw from school. This semester Im in an XML class, and next semester Ill be taking a PHP class using some Framework. Im pretty well versed in PHP but have never used a framework so I will actually learn something.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Any idea what framework you are going to be using typhon? As I mentioned earlier I am currently using CodeIgniter for projects and really like it. Another popular one I have heard of is Symfony.
  • Poly
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Check out Yii and Akelos as well. Heard of others using them, I was looking at either Yii or CodeIgnitor for one of my projects, haven't decided which yet.
  • typhon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have no idea what they will be teaching. I will be trying to find out BEFORE next semester so that I can maybe play around a little before I am in class.
  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:
Wow, that sounds pretty awesome. You could do moderator blogs, lol.


Actually this sounds like a really cool idea. Moderator blogs would be awesome. There are ways that I haven't really kept up on my end as a tutorial writer. I'm sure I could write a good tutorial or two, it's just a matter of finding the time. Have had 21 credits each semester for the past year.

As far as facebook / twitter - social marketing wouldn't be a bad idea. If someone uses the quick-authenticate facebook option, there's a way for them to allow ozzu facebook-posts to show up on their wall. You could set up a bot to automatically post to an ozzu facebook profile that maybe posts links to whatever hot topics there are. When a person authenticates through their facebook account - it also "likes" your ozzu facebook profile. Then your ozzu posts show up on their wall for them or their friends to "like". Could bring in some extra users and it fits within the target demographic.

Also, you could look into an authentication that's more decentralized. Like OAuth or OpenID. This keeps you from being restricted to facebook users only (even though facebook pretty much covers everyone...but it would work as another option).
What about stumbleupon? This is considered a social media platform, but has a huge benefit over other social medias. Stumbleupon users tend to stay on a stumbled page for more time - an avg. of 72 seconds. The bounce rate for stumbleupon visitors is on avg only 7%. Basically this means a higher chance of conversion. Take a look at the infographic for some more insight:
http://agbeat.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/stumble-upon-infographic.png

How can we improve on our foundation aside from social media? Hopefully I'm not putting BWM on the spot, but how well are ads working with conversion? Is it a viable option to increase the marketing ad campaign budget?

How about us, BWM. You asked if we had suggestions...but what would you like to see the users of this form doing to contribute to the forums conversion rates?
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sorry it took so long to respond, I have actually been working on another site using OAuth which facebook's API does use, as well as Twitter and other platforms. When I use it to authenticate a user I can specify the permissions I would like to request from the user. I was not aware of a way to send a command through the API to have the user like your page though, I could have easily overlooked that. If you know of a way please do let me know :)

I do think social media is a good way to keep users coming back to Ozzu, and I do plan to integrate that more into Ozzu on its next release. I feel it makes it easier for people to login, as well as to keep the coming back and staying engaged in the site.

As far as the users, I would love to see more tutorials posted. I would also love to see users post more "headline" worthy topics that other members would be interested in as those all get posted on the Facebook and Twitter feeds to keep people coming back.
  • tomihasa
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nothing extremely interesting has happened in the SEO scene. Also, it's difficult to find the login link on this site: go to forums, go to topic, go to bottom of the page, ...
  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

tomihasa wrote:
it's difficult to find the login link on this site: go to forums, go to topic, go to bottom of the page, ...

Actually you can click on the red "main menu" button at the top right of the site (just below the logo) and a pop-out menu will appear with the option to login.

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