Playing around with Showcasing Topics -- Opinions?

I made a change to the format – in order to see this change you will likely need to Refresh your browser.
This is only a test. I have put this up here to see what people think about this. You should be able to reply if you are a Club Member and let me know.

This change allows the club to better promote key topics under Announcements, and beside this we would have a section for our Sponsors to post things.

I have to say I don’t like the blue title bar, but that could be changed.

The Blue is growing on me.

The Post and More buttons are big and ugly and need to be changed or maybe just removed.

The number of posts Showcased up top can be modified. I have set this at 2 to keep it small and not take up too much space.

1 Like

Not a fan of this.
I’m not against the concept per se, but I think it needs to be better styled and spaced. It clashes with the rest of the look and feel. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

I agree completely. It takes up too much space and the layout is not great and has unnecessary elements.

This code was a Theme Component and the only thing I have been able to find that allows for anything like this. Unfortunately it does not come with a lot of options. So, the only way to modify it is actually editing the CSS Code. Which is doable, but is not an instantaneous task.

If we like the concept, then it will be worthwhile looking at editing the code. I think it will. For our goals this idea works well, just looks bad.

I can take a stab at the css later. I already played around with tweaking the styles in my browser to make it fit in a bit more.

Take a look if you have time @tcauduro

My thoughts are:

  • The Blue clashes
  • The Titles are too big
  • The Post & More buttons are unnecessary ( More takes up too much space on the page for sure )
  • The spacing above and below could be tighter

The More is not necessary because we still have the separate Categories down at the bottom if people want to see older announcements. Post is also not necessary since both of these are limited access anyways, so we don’t need to make it easy to post.

I had pretty much the same thoughts.
I’d also add:

  • remove the odd-even background colouring
  • try to duplicate the colour bar on the left side of the category title, like the rest of the cats do.
  • Remove the sub category lines in each post row. They are redundant.
  • Tighten up spacing all round to match the rest of the theming.

I am off to work. Have at it!

And Thanks!

Took a quick peak. Looks much better @tcauduro Great Work!

Agreed. That is much better and looks great!

I don’t like the categories at the top of the page. I think the page should be clean and the categories grouped as they were originally. :slight_smile: I see it as noise, roughly the same as ads. Something to skip over while scrolling down to see the latest posts…

If you want to put up a banner I can dismiss, that’s fine.

As I’ve argued before, I don’t think we have to go to extra lengths to highlight sponsors at all. This forum is already going to be a huge win for them, far better than what they had previously. And I think the design of the forum will organically give them optimal exposure anyway.

What about club announcement though, Tim?
Or do you think they stand out enough if that category was the top of the category list?

1 Like

Hi Dan!

I think the site will handle those organically as well. And the club’s (meta) category should be the first one in the categories list - as you say.

If there’s something critical it could be made a dismissible banner.

(There’s also the club email list.)

The clubs Announcements category was at the top of the list, but if you don’t click on it or watch it you don’t actually see the posts in that category.

For example, my post asking for volunteers was in the Announcements category for days, but people did not see it until we made this change where actual Announcement topics were read. I agree it needs to be kept small, but having announcements there seems to work.

The Sponsors News also allows the sponsors to actually communicate with members and not just have a logo down at the bottom which everyone will ignore. Guidelines for what they post and how often may be required, but if a sponsor is having an event or doing something for the community I would like to hear about it. I am hoping it will be more then just advertising, but we will need to engage with our sponsors.

But that’s true for every post. The category should be at the top so that when people first land they can easily find the official club documents etc.

People not responding is not the same as people not seeing it. I’ve certainly been aware of both volunteer posts since they were posted, but didn’t have a response. The forum does a great job of showing you everything that’s new and what you haven’t read!

All agreed - the forum is going to be amazing for communication. I was just saying I don’t like the categories stuck at the top of the page :slight_smile:

After reading Alain’s fantastic post this morning, it might be nice if there was a way to highlight specific quality posts for a time. I’m guessing a lot of people wouldn’t venture into the bike packing section, so it would be nice to draw attention to a post that deserves a wider audience.

That said, if you have too much vying for attention, it just becomes clutter and people ignore it, so while the ideas of highlighting quality content is nice, I’m not sure it could be implemented in a way that would work on our forum. And that also assumes that there are plugins that accomplish that task.

Alternatively (and maybe/probably better) would be to have a “Best of WCC” thread that anyone can post on to highlight good posts, but also other exemplary people, things, etc.

@jeremyhaak I like this idea of promoting certain topics that people would not otherwise read, but it is something that should be used on a limited basis.

Now how to do it??? There are a few options.

I think the best choice is utilizing the Club Announcements section we created at the top. We don’t make announcements too often so that should work. This could be done in two different ways:

  • linking topics
  • moving topics
  • banner
  • advertising

Linking Topics : If you go to the Forum Committee sub-category you will see where I have linked both this topic and the Topic for ‘Sponsor discounts in sponsor areas’

Moving Topics: It would also be an option to Move a Topic we want to Showcase from its original location to the Announcements section and then move it back at some point. This would create more work and also permission issues though.

Banner: A banner could be created for promoting topics, and then everyone would see it and click to remove it. This is kind of annoying though.

Advertising: we could create an Ad promoting the topic and temporarily put it at the top of the page. This looks nicer and is less annoying then the Banners, but this requiers admin priviledges and some HTML knowledge and work.

The only option I really see that works well is the Linking Topics. There may be some plugins available that could help with this though.

There does appear to be another option:

Pin Topic Globally

I have never really used this before. I just tried this now and have Globally pinned the “Big Rubber” Adventuring topic

What this appears to do is make this topic pinned to the Top of the Latest Category. That could be useful. I have pinned it there till 8AM tomorrow morning. I think this is a pretty good option @jeremyhaak

edit: this does not appear to work as I expected. The Topic moved to the top of Latest because I pinned it, but did not stay there. I don’t really know how this Pin Topic Globally works. I will investigate more. Do you know @tcauduro ?