Ozzu Focus & Category Reorganization

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Over the past 10 years Ozzu has grown from a small webmaster based forum into a much larger forum covering a variety of technology topics. The problem is that Ozzu's structure has not changed much, and sometimes it is hard to figure out where to post topics on Ozzu. In other major areas we are completely missing any sort of forum that would cover such discussions including mobile devices, tablets, social media including Facebook and Google+, non-web based programming from APPs, Windows Software, to Game Programming, and much more.

I feel that Ozzu may need to change it's focus to be broader, and have the category organization updated.

Today I changed the:

Macintosh Forum

to the:

Apple Forum

and opened up the description so that members can talk about more topics. Ideally I think we need to re-organize the board because really there should be at least a sub forum for the Android and other handheld devices. The problem is many of these categories kind of fit under bigger categories. For instance here is my dilemma:

Currently we have a big Google Forum that has many things broken down which I like including:

Google SEO (for search engines)
Google Adsense (for advertising)
Google Adwords (for advertisers)
Google Analytics (for tracking)
Google APIs, Tools, and Apps
Other Google Information and Resources

This structure sort of makes sense because Google seems to have their hands into everything. I could easily make another sub category called:

Google Android

With this structure then the same thing should happen with the Microsoft forum. Things should be broken into sub categories under this such as the Bing Search Engine, the actual operating systems, as well as devices they have made such as the Windows Phone and Windows Tablet. Everything Microsoft related.

There are other forums like this too that can have more expansion to make sure people have a place to post everything they need to.

One of the problems I am facing is that we have major categories that these main forums fit under like:

Website Design & Development
Graphics
Operating Systems & Hardware
Internet Marketing

I do like having major categories like that to group forums together (we may need to work on that too), the problem is that sometimes a forum or sub-forum can fit into more than one of these with the Google Forum being a prime example. For instance we really should have some sort of developer forum in the Website Design & Developement section for any help creating APPs for the Android, iPhone, etc -- these also fit under the main forum categories as well for Google and Apple -- the problem is that those forums are under another general area such as Internet Marketing or Operating Systems. In my opinion development for the Android should not be under the Internet Marketing Section.

So with that said, this is the problem I am trying to work out. I am thinking a good solution might be to have the same forums, or sub-forums be listed in multiple areas. However, I do not think phpBB supports that, but in the next version of Ozzu I create I can make sure it does. The next version of Ozzu will be redone completely from the ground up and will not be using phpBB. So with this new structure we could then have a main Google forum, with every possible sub forum related to Google under that. Then in the Programming or Developer forum we would also list some of the same Google forums under that, but only the ones that would interest developers. That way the same sub forums could be found multiple ways, as people think differently for where they should belong. Ideally they really would belong in both places because they fit into both. Having it restricted to only being in one place in my opinion can make things confusing as some users might not think they would be in other areas.

With that said I would love any feedback and thoughts on this. I would also love it if anybody could come up with ideas of a good detailed structure for Ozzu. I feel Ozzu has many topics covered but we are missing forums for many areas. I think we need to open Ozzu up to the entire IT world as well, not just webmasters. Some of the topics here are not just for webmasters, we get users posting all the time who need help with hardware or software, and they are not webmasters. By changing the scope we could also open up many new IT related forums that include Game Development, Software Development (non web based), and anything else to cover the full spectrum that relates to technology.

So if we re-classify Ozzu to be a "Technology" based website instead of a "Webmaster" based website, I think we open the doors to many more people participating. The webmaster part of the Ozzu would still exist, but it would be a subset of Ozzu instead of its main scope.

Thoughts? Ideas? Ideal structure thoughts?

Thanks guys!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • OrganizedFellow
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SO why the drastic change from 'Webmaster' to 'Everything'?
I personally enjoy the site as it is. I know you want to create a bigger more social environment and cover a wide range of topics. But there is such as thing as being too big.


sitepoint . com/forums/forum.php
They've covered all topics in Web Design and Development for a very long time.
I rarely post there, just as I rarely post here. I usually search the forums and 99% of the time, someone already asked what I am searching for.
They have a great structure of topics.

If I need webmaster help, I search here, there or any one of many blogs I enjoy.
If I have PC hardware issues, again, I visit tomshardware . com/forum/
For Android™ related help, I head over to XDA.

I feel that this site and forum should maintain its structure.


Perhaps with the upcoming big upgrade/update, just switching FROM phpBB to something more powerful would be a great change in itself.

Perhaps my only big visual gripe here.
I'd like to see more white space.
Bigger fonts.
Maybe do away with the dull grey and bring in more colors?
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I appreciate your feedback, and glad Ozzu has been helpful for you with regards to webmaster based help.

The webmaster category Ozzu currently focuses on is basically a subset of the IT field, which is a subset of the Technology field. I have two reasons for a change. The first is that user participation lately is very poor and unless people see others participating other communities look more attractive. Maybe broadening things up could increase participation. Another reason for considering a change is due to the fact our most popular forums here at Ozzu are:

Website Design
Programming
Windows
Hardware

While the first two forums are definitely webmaster related, the Windows and Hardware forum could potentially be if they are around Webmaster related topics. In reality though the members who post in the Windows and Hardware forum include many types of visitors, many of who are not "webmasters" and usually they do not post webmaster related topics.

We are also missing all sorts of webmaster related discussion with mobile devices, tablets, and more. Secondly our programming areas while they fit in with webmasters, they easily spread over into other fields that have nothing to do with websites. For me personally besides all of the webmaster type programming I do, I also like to dab into C/C++ and Game Development. Those fields are hardly discussed here and even though I am a webmaster I find it relevant to my interests. Those can even be considered webmaster related as I do plan to make a web based game website down the road which topics related to that could easily fit into Game Development, Website Design, and Programming.

What I would love with Ozzu is to have it more of a platform that people find easy and fun to use, and yet it can cover a variety of IT related topics. I realize a major set back with Ozzu's current website is the ease of use, and that is a major goal with the site redesign to fix that problem.

Maybe it can be broken down in a way to have major sections that include:

Webmasters
IT Techs
Programmers
Designers

and depending on the type of person you are, when you visit that area you will see all the categories and topics that would interest that field. I am not sure entirely, I also like Stack Overflow's approach and how instead of even creating categories, they just use tags with the most popular tags showing first which in a way functions as a "category", but allows the users themselves to shape the type of topics that are the most important for the website. This also prevents confusing on where you should post, which more than once has caused issues for members here. You get too many categories and people aren't sure where they should post. Instead if you just have a generic "POST" button on every page, you could start a topic anytime you want and then just list tags you think it would fall under. This would still be an easy conversion for Ozzu, as every topic would simply be tagged with the category they currently fall in, and then for any new topics being made a user could tag them into multiple areas which goes along with what I was saying at the very start -- sometimes topics do belong in multiple places.

I do agree with you on bring more white to Ozzu in its next design change.
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Bringing more white is ok if you are into the lighter themes. I am glad that the dark theme still exists and i would be very disappointed if it was removed.

As for forum layout, i think there are far too many subforums. I like the sections idea. From my own personal area of interest, i do feel the design area and photography part needs to be expanded and grown with the range of topics expanding. For example, i'd love to see people chatting more about Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop packages while also getting into the Premier Pro and other video editing softwares. People may not think these are important for a webmaster but i would beg to differ. I know if i was to develop a website i'd like to know how to have well edited videos and photographs/graphics on a website just as much as i would like to know about the PHP/Ajax/HTML codes.

At the moment if you were to visit the design forums there is a very limited area of conversation and it mostly revolves around Photoshop or Flash.

It would also be pretty nifty if you had Ajax built in some of the code for the new look forum.

Changing the Macintosh forum to the Apple forum was a good idea.
  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

A forum section that I've missed in nearly every webmaster forum I've visited is one which focuses on the business side of being a freelancer. Rates, marketing, resources, contracts, proposals, etc. are hard to find meaningful discussion on outside of a blog post with a few comments. No real conversation to be had except reading said blog posts and comments.

With the sectioning of the topics as you discussed, it'd be nice to see a bit more of a categorical approach to the web development section by splitting it up into various languages. I.e.
  • PHP
  • Database
  • HTML & CSS
  • Javascript/jQuery/Ajax
  • .NET
  • actionscript
  • Java

It'd also be nice to see some consistent and fresh content dedicated to the user every so often. Maybe a once-a-week/month article that is specifically there just to give insight and open up conversation about the IT/web world. Could be topics such as photography, webdesign, inspiration, tips and tricks, tutorials, SEO, etc. The big point here is consistency. We aren't lacking any of the articles I just mentioned, but they are few and far between. Something that would be reliably posted once a month would give users an incentive to come back and read the post, more than likely hanging around for a bit to post a comment on the topic and then answer/ask a few questions on the forum. - just a thought.
  • elieobeid7
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Post 3+ Months Ago

convert the forum into a Q&A website a la stackoverflow, and stop forbidding users from posting links and change the colors, i hate black, bring some life into it. Black sux, especially if you want users to be so active here
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think given the last reply, as suggested before an option to toggle light and dark themes easier. I don't think many know there is an alternative.

Elieobeid7, there is an option where you can change your theme to a light theme which may interest you more.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What are some of your thoughts on certain sections existing in numerous places throughout the website. That is one of my hardest problems so far is placing a category in the correct spot, since sometimes there are gray areas.

How do you tackle the problem of including all the areas that people want without having too many sub forums? Maybe the use of more generic categories with more sub forums inside of those areas? Right now we have basically the main Ozzu forums area with probably around 30 categories. If we were to break the main forums page down to 5-10 very broad categories, it might be easier to break down sub forums in those to get people to the right spots. Still the issue will arise with the grey area of some sub forums that can belong in more than one area.

With the colors, and actual look -- I would rather this thread be focused on the actual structure of data and organization. The white vs dark debate will never be agreed on, I think the only solution to that one is to always have two themes available.
  • elieobeid7
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Post 3+ Months Ago

NOTE: I HATE SUB FORUMS, so my plan is to remove as much as possible from the sub forums

you could have 1 forum for internet marketing without sub forums

remove Test Forum
Suggestions / Comments to become 1 with general discussion

remove the extra

make an independent forum for posting games

and one forum for marketplace

and one forum for competitions

------------------------------------------------

one big forum for all os & hardware

combine Multimedia Forum and Digital Art and Drawing Forum into one forum, or you could just remove the multimedia, so because half of it belongs to Digital Art and Drawing Forum and the other half of the topics is related to web design

photography one forum

web design and web reviews and Flash and ActionScript Forum and all the forums that are related to scripting languages used to create websites (php, html, js etc) into 1 forum, called web design and development

website security should be removed

all the topics related to the client side security should be discussed in the web development forum

1 forum for programming (c++ python etc..), all the topics related to the backend security should be discussed there

the hosting forum should include everything about servers and server side security topics, maybe renamed to servers room forum :)
  • camperjohn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What would be REALLY cool, is if you could integrate OZZU with Facebook, such that topics appear on my facebook feed. Yeah I know you didn't want to hear that, but it would get me coming back to OZZU more often and interacting with OZZU a lot more.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

To be honest if Ozzu could have less sub-forums then that's better. I sort of agree with elieobeid7. I also dislike subforums. I understand the need to de-clutter and be forum specific but when you've got 10 forums and each forum has 4-5 sub forums you're sort of making the site more confusing, especially to newcomers.

Most of the subforums are to Tutorials which is understandable, but if you were a new webmaster and you wanted to learn about new techniques it would be a bit difficult to find these tutorial forums. I wonder how many people actually visit Ozzu and look for a forum that says "tutorials" which has a list of subforums with all the kinds of tutorials that Ozzu has?

It may seem silly, but by having a forum with all the tutorials in it you are effectively decluttering the vast majority of the forums on Ozzu and making it easier for users to get stuck in. If people want to learn something new they know where to do that. It may also encourage people to contribute more in terms of Tutorials if there was one place for it all.

My suggestion to move all "gallery" posts in Photography forum into a subforum was an example of the only time i reckon you would ever need one. If there is consistently a type of topic appearing that is effectively clogging up the forum then it warrants a place of its own.

If you are trying to cut down on the amount of forums then i'd recommend merging the Digital Art and Media forums together like they once were. Get rid of the Test Forum ( :lol: ) as nobody uses it. Bin the posting game forum as it serves very little purpose and seems to get very little interest nowadays.

In the future you may wish to add a colour coding system which identifies what topic is what and have some sort of key at the top of each forum. I've quickly knocked together an example of what i mean...

Attachments:
example.jpg

Pretty naff and probably not practical.



I may elaborate more when i've got time.

You may also want to rename the "Microsoft Windows Forum" to the "Windows Forum" as well.
  • urekait
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The effort is nice and need at this time. Because everything is going to be changed, Ozzu should also be changed positively. A am a beginner in the field of web design. What H have realized that Ozzu may include more effective video tutorial in different language.

However, thanks and best regards for such an effort.
  • MarPlo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi
A thing that I dislike on this forum it is the rel="nofollow" in the links from Personal Web Site and Signature.
This thing makes me to not like to visit the form and answer to questions.
A forum is made by the users, for the users, not for SEO and other greedy things.
  • Rabid Dog
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok well I hope you can all bear with me while I explain this.

With BigWebs post regarding writing Ozzu from the ground up I would like to do a brief analysis on the site.

First thing we need to do is understand what Ozzu is. I believe it is a few things
A solutions gateway service
By this I mean that Ozzu allows people with questions to post them in the public domain and receive feedback and possible answers from other people. This poses a few challenges in that solutions and questions can quiet often be replicated in different forms.

Discussion Platform
In the past I have seen general banter being past backwards and forwards regarding news articles or general opinions.

[b]Education platform[/p]
What I mean by education platform is a significant amount of effort has been placed in developing a section of the site that contains tutorials to common patterns or starting points for different forms of development. Again the drawback here is that data can be replicated. Tutorials might be slightly different but cover the same concept. They might answer certain questions but are stored in a different area of the site making it counter intuitive to find.

The above being said, I feel that the forum software only really caters for the one platform and that is the discussion platform. With Ozzu having reached what I would perceive to be a critical mass now, I think it is time for a long hard look and perhaps innovative implementation of the above mentioned platforms.

A few suggestions I have regarding the rewrite are
1) Perhaps look at some form of tagging mechanism to allow users to file questions under certain sections.
2) Allow users to create their own categorisations based on tags and other fields you might include. This will address the major issue of "how do I structure things for people". Inevitably everyone has a different filing mechanism. Personaly I don't mind sub forums, another used mentioned they can't stand sub forms but if we look at it, how much time do we spend navigating through the structure? Probably little to none. Unless you are an admin :) Generally people find a section and stick to it.
3) Make data retrieval more intituve. The search on the site could do with an overhaul.
4) Using the concept of a blog might be an easier way of creating your tutorials section.

The primary point I am trying to make here is to not impose structure on the user, rather let the user define their own structure. Most of the times pages from Ozzu are hit via google which means that the structure is useless anyway. A more natural navigation process is required as opposed to a a computer filing environment

If you would like to discuss this further let me know, gotta dash off to a meeting

Cheers
  • this213
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Ozzu.com used to be a great place for people to come learn how to be webmasters, developers and designers. I'm not sure why, but all that changed when the light theme was introduced - and note, the light theme isn't just lighter, it changed the whole layout of the site, which the dark theme now follows. You have to scroll almost a whole screen just to see the navigation pane because of all of the ads at the top. Yes, I know you have to make money to keep things going, but I always thought that was a bit overkill. Also, when you finally get down to them, your on-site navigation is practically indistinguishable from your off-site links just below them. Everything also got bigger and, me being a code nazi, I liked the tightness of the old layout.

A big reason I stopped spending so much time on here was, as MarPlo pointed out, the rel="nofollow" being attached to signature links. By having this, you essentially kill any rating points I might get from search engines for linking back to my own site. Meanwhile, I'm giving people free advice and getting absolutely nothing in return except maybe a good feeling bc I helped someone, but there are lots of sites I can go help people on that don't do this to me. I'm also pretty sure that by allowing the bots to go through your site to get to multitudes of others, you're only helping your own SEO.

A lot of attention is given to design and photography. That's all well and good, but when was the last time you had a japh competition or a data mangling competition, or any kind of competition geared to developers? I tell my clients all the time that while I may be one heck of a developer, I'm certainly no professional designer. This is why I hire people who are.

Internet marketing shouldn't focus on one specific search engine, there's more to internet marketing than getting top listings when someone searches for a given keyword. As far as SEO goes, common sense rules do apply that will give you ranking with all of them. You're missing out on tactics like link exchanges, direct marketing, leveraging social sites, HELPING PEOPLE ON FORUMS TO GET YOUR LINK OUT THERE and a list of other tactics so long it'd take days to write. I could see this perhaps combined with the hosting forum as well as those mentioned by mindfullsilence under the common heading of "Operations" or some such.

If you're going to have a programming forum that talks about application development, it probably shouldn't be under the Website Development category, I mean, unless you're talking about building servers (which most people don't really do). Then too, the topics in your hosting forum have little to do with development. I think you have to draw the line somewhere. If this is a site about webmaster topics, you can't say "well, C++ game development fits because at some point I'll make it internet accessible and/or run it from my web site". If you used this logic, then you may as well dump the whole "webmaster" thing and yes, convert the whole site over to "IT topics" because practically anything you do on your computer can, at some point, be exported in some way, shape or form to the web. But, I think that by doing so, you're diluting what Ozzu is (was?) and it becomes yet another IT site with no specific focus.

As mentioned, the OS & Hardware forum has already reached this point. People don't talk about setting up their VOIP cards and mail servers, they talk about getting keyloggers and microphones working. I'd do away completely with the hardware forum, let those topics go under the OS the person is using. I'd also split that out so you had Client OS and Server OS or some such.

Given everything mentioned, I could see a layout such as this
  • Community
    • General
    • Competitions
    • Posting Games
  • Development
    • Design
      • Applications
        • Macromedia
        • 3DMAX
        • Gimp
        • ...
      • Layout
      • Photography
    • Programming
      • General
      • Android
      • ASP
      • PHP
      • C++
      • ...
    • Reviews
  • OS Specific
    • Client OS
      • Apple
      • Linux, BSD, *nix
      • Microsoft
      • Mobile
    • Server OS
      • Apple
      • Linux, BSD, *nix
      • Microsoft
  • Operations
    • Freelancer Topics
    • Internet Marketing
    • Job Opportunities

I've seen the posts about hating subtopics and tbh I really don't understand this. What if you went to your local grocery store and they just put everything wherever they could find a spot? You could spend all day looking for a loaf of bread. I think with a layout such as this, you could attract more IT professionals - especially if you drop the nofollow directive.

Another thing that I wouldn't mind seeing here is reputation points and allow users to vote posts up or down, which would add or subtract from a person's total rep points. In addition to this, if you were able to reply directly to a given post, such that your reply is made part of that post, it would allow you to respond to something on page 2 of a 24 page thread and the origin and reply are right there in the same spot.

I'm sure I could come up with more, but this should be enough to chew on for a while
  • Landman
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think the only thing I would change is an update in the site's interface design.

I would give it a slightly fresher and modern look.

But that's just my opinion. ;)

Landman
  • Liu Yan
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't know if it needs to change, but for me this is an example for a really successful and good forum!
  • dotcompals
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I'd like to see a separate section just for wordpress.
  • ramone_johnny
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You're trying to do too many things at once.

Do one thing and do it well.

My suggestion would be to do away with half of the crap on here, and upgrade the appearance of the site. It looks dull, miserable and dated. You need to make it more visually appealing and contemporary.

Do those things and you might be moving in the right direction.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Oh and another thing...

Place clear and obvious, log in, register, log out buttons up the top. Where are they??????

So frustrating, and probably costing you memberships.
  • wpas
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Hi

As you no doubt have seen constantly the mobile web is the future for sales and marketing.
More people are using mobile devices than ever before and in some cases it surpasses the PC device.

What I would like to see is a section on the mobile web.

People need to know how to create mobile optimized websites, not just mobile friendly websits.
One needs to know how to detect mobile devices so you can transfer them to the mobile webpage suited for the device.

Many people think creating a mobile website is difficult and so do not attempt it. There are so many people who use mobiles and use them everywhere, even in the washroom. These are all potential customers. But if you do not have a mobile website, one is loosing the income of a giant potential market.

I believe if one can go for help to one location, they might be more willing to at least attempt to have a mobile friendly website which would benefit them in the long rum
  • SB
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this213 wrote:
A lot of attention is given to design and photography. That's all well and good, but when was the last time you had a japh competition or a data mangling competition, or any kind of competition geared to developers? I tell my clients all the time that while I may be one heck of a developer, I'm certainly no professional designer. This is why I hire people who are.


I completely agree, and this is one area that i'm personally keen on sorting out. I don't like the competitions the way they are and i know there should be more in the way of coding and less to do with graphic design or photography.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Top cats based on language

PHP - CSS (ect....)

Parallel Sub-cats based on

standards comp - proprietary - impending releases
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback so far, I will be going through and commenting on different ideas once more come in. One thing I have noticed is that ideas can vary widely, there probably is no right or wrong way but all of this gives me lots to think about so hopefully I can make the best of it.

Keep the ideas coming. Again I am mainly focusing on needing feedback for the structure of the website with regards to how the data is organized. I already am well aware that the usability of the site needs vast improvement (such as the login button), but I am not looking for feedback there. I am looking to see if we should keep a similar structure as we have now with forums and sub forums, or if we should expand or simplify that concept, or try something completely new such as tagging and giving the users the control via popularity for what sort of areas actually get the main focus on Ozzu. I am looking for these ideas because Ozzu is going to be rewritten from the ground up and before it is even started we need to make sure the best approach is used, and your ideas can help influence that.

Thanks!
  • this213
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Personally, I think it should remain pretty close to what it is. However, I've never done a complete rewrite on something of my own without doing something completely different - and since you mention complete rewrite and tags in the same post....

I wrote a system some time ago that would read tags on items (it was an ecommerce site), then arrange those semi-intelligently into a navigation tree. More popular tags became parents of less popular ones. It's a fairly simple thing to work up (at first). Applying that here, let's say you have 3 posts with tags like
1. programming, asp, captcha
2. programming, php, captcha
3. programming, php, mysql

you might end up with a structure like
programming
--captcha
----asp
----php
------mysql
--php
----captcha
----mysql
--asp
----captcha

There's a lot of replication if just left to itself, but you add tag associations, such as php is always a child of programming, for example. Once you have associations in place, take those tags directly from thread contents, cut out meaningless words like "a" and "the" and whatnot, as well as any words not in your dictionary for the selected language (if you have multiple languages), and let the system build your tree. Popular terms would always filter to the top of the tree, but (there's always a "but") your tree is going to get *very* big *very* fast, so you're probably going to want to do some ajax drop down to mimic something like Windows Explorer's directory tree. I say ajax because I'm sure you won't want to load all that at once. I said "at first" above simply because this grows into a monster very fast because at some point, you're going to want to include associations, tag placement pinning, heuristics and whatever else you can dream up to keep that tree straight. Another option you could give users, once you have placement pinning in place, is the ability for them to drag tags around on the tree to put stuff where they want. This won't negate the need for you to manage the tree through other means though, as it's going to have to have some sort of default that makes sense for people who haven't moved anything. If you do implement tagging, topics should filter down. Meaning on the home page everything shows, the next level down, only posts that have those tags show and so on down the line.

Still, I have to revert to my previous post and ask if a complete rewrite is really necessary. IMO it just needs a few tweaks. All that said, it'll be interesting to see what you come up with in the end.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

One of the reasons for a major rewrite is it is tiring of having phpBB as the backend. With their release cycle it is a pain to keep things updated, with something developed from the ground up it will be much easier to just keep adding features, instead of always having to update phpBB with its painful ways to install customizations -- and Ozzu has alot of those! I would like to move to a more MVC model, currently its just a phpBB model or whatever you want to call it ;)

As far as if the structure gets changed much, that is what I am still trying to figure out. If I do end up doing something with tagging, your approach is something that will definitely have to be considered. I think another important part to tagging would be letting users "subscribe" or make certain tags their "favorites" -- those would then stand out and would be liking having their areas of the board right there for them to visit. Imagine everything that interests you with regards to programming, or web design -- you simply select the tags that interest you and then any and all posts that are tagged as such would be on your radar screen. With the current approach and having forums and sub forums, I feel it takes more effort from the user to figure out the threads that might actually truly interest them. This is one reason I like the tagging feature, the other is that tagging allows topics to be in multiple areas as some topics should.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I sorta figured dumping phpbb was a big part of things, there's a ton of worthless code in it too, so running your own platform will naturally be faster. I don't think I was truly happy until I started coding to my own platform either.

In my view, back-end and front-end are church and state, you don't mix them ever. phpbb isn't too bad about it as open source software goes, have a look at zen cart once.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Glad you got what I was trying to say about tagging :) I think the ability to organise ones data in a way that make sense to ones self is always a winner. This also lends itself to creating feeds that users can view much like twitter.

Oh that was another thing I thought of. Why not allow the users to post the topic or question as a link on twitter? This would be great exposure for Ozzu and would add another channel that users can field their questions on? Not sure about a facebook app but I know that if I post a blog entry to twitter on completion I get a significant amount of views.

If you feeling really brave it might even be cool to look at writing it using RESTful services with Javascript MVC (Backbone.js comes to mind). Modernizes nicely, allows for focused module development and enhances the user experience quiet nicely.

In my travels I would highly recommend a TDD approach (I have started using PHPUnit and Jasmine). Cleans up code nicely, regression testing, quality increase and easier bug isolation. (Sorry I know that is slightly off topic - well way off - but I get excited)

Another idea might be to introduce a more social(?) aspect to the site. I know that stack over flow allows voting for answers to questions and the user can designate which answer was the best one for the problem. If you can get that type if feed back into your system then you can really start milking the data (users can also start milking the data better).

I have most definitely started leaning towards loosely coupled data structures and allowing users to manipulate the data views in a way that makes sense to them :) If you need more clarification let me know but I hope the out of the box ideas I am presenting might give you a different line of thinking in solving this problem.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Site is the most liked one, and Easy navigation to different section of the forum pointers will help people move freely around..
thanks for your all help..
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Yes, this is exactly the sort of feedback and ideas I am looking for. Really appreciate what you guys have to say so I can really try and look at this from all angles before investing a great deal of time into rewriting everything.

Quote:
I sorta figured dumping phpbb was a big part of things, there's a ton of worthless code in it too, so running your own platform will naturally be faster. I don't think I was truly happy until I started coding to my own platform either.


Completely agree, and then tons of things we are missing too. It was a great place to start ten years ago, but now its like having a Smart Fortwo and then trying to put much more into it then it really was meant for.

Quote:
Oh that was another thing I thought of. Why not allow the users to post the topic or question as a link on twitter? This would be great exposure for Ozzu and would add another channel that users can field their questions on? Not sure about a facebook app but I know that if I post a blog entry to twitter on completion I get a significant amount of views.


Are you just saying have some sort of social media twitter button on each thread that easily allows people to post the link? I think that is what you are saying, right? At the top of each thread I did have that for awhile but not many were using it. It is possible they did not see it though, might make more sense to have those links by the reply box.

In the last week I have actually really dove into Facebook Apps and how it all works. Really starting to understand everything now and I have already created an app for another site I run to allow members to register or login via Facebook. It uses oAuth which many platforms use including Twitter so I will be able to easily allow visitors to login via multiple platforms and create an account on the site in an instance. The nice thing about the Facebook APPs is that permissions can be requested to do all sorts of things on behalf of the user. So for instance if I wanted the APP to post on facebook everytime they posted on Ozzu I could have the app do that with their permission. Many other things I could do as well including placing things on timelines, but makes for interesting ideas on how to get the site more social and easier to participate in.

Quote:
Another idea might be to introduce a more social(?) aspect to the site. I know that stack over flow allows voting for answers to questions and the user can designate which answer was the best one for the problem. If you can get that type if feed back into your system then you can really start milking the data (users can also start milking the data better).


I do really like getting the site more social too. These are all just ideas and thoughts going through my head but with Stack Overflow they basically allow you to ask questions and the best answers are at the top. With Ozzu I would still like to encourage regular discussions as well, so I was thinking it might make sense to have two buttons for starting a new topic such as:

"Post a Question"
"Start a Discussion"

Or something along those lines. If post a question is selected the format of the thread will be that the question is at the top, and then the answers that are given can be voted on with the best answers staying at the top, and the worst at the bottom.

If a post is for starting a new discussion, then that sort of thread might have its default view where it is sort of like it is now from the oldest to the newest. I think each post should always allow votes still, and probably any thread whether it is a question threat or a discussion thread can have it's posts sorted by votes, or date/time depending on what the user wants. The main difference is just the default view.

Lots to think about!
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