Homepage Forums Netcentric Website and Tech Support 2014 web and forum updates: what sort of features would people like to see?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  benf 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #1539

    zapkitty
    Member

    Both the Focus Fusion Society web site and the FFS forums need
    some reorganization, some maintenance and some upgrades.

    So an important question:

    What features would the public, the forum members and the members
    of the society like to see implemented during the upgrades?

    #13106
    Breakable
    Breakable
    Keymaster

    If really went for upgrade then I would like to see threads that span like a tree rather in linear fashion. Also up-votes and seeing the highest-voted comments. I guess Reddit is my ideal forum. Here is a sample:

    Has net energy gain (Q > 1) ever been demonstrated, even on a scale impractical for commercial development? I’m having trouble finding a definitive answer online from fusion

    #13111

    zapkitty
    Member

    Breakable wrote: I guess Reddit is my ideal forum. Here is a sample:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/fusion/comments/15wtyd/has_net_energy_gain_q_1_ever_been_demonstrated/

    … have you tried visiting that link with cookies
    disabled?

    As for the general concept, that of members rating
    what other members post?

    It’s alright for trying to stir up interest in posting and
    to enhance site traffic, and it can be used to bring
    relevant articles to members attention.

    But at a cost: it increases the site maintenance work
    load substantially and is also subject to abuse. Just a
    fact.

    There are a variety of ways such an idea could be
    implemented depending on how the site is set up to
    function. Member-written articles or “diaries” that can
    be recommended by other members is another
    popular version.

    And at this time most any forum post gets attention.
    When the main site is updated and cleaned up it
    should get more attention as well.

    Right now the site and forum serve primarily as a
    news forum, secondarily as an interest group forum
    and as a de facto knowledge base for aneutronic
    fusion and DPF technology… although the “knowledge
    base” part is not very well organized.

    And it could be helpful to have a general idea as to
    how the new LPP site is going to be organized, so the
    FFS can refer to them when appropriate.

    Would also be nice to have references to other
    aneutronic sites but EMC2 is basically a placeholder at
    them moment and Tri-Alpha still ain’t saying much on
    the net.

    #13116

    zapkitty
    Member

    Here’s a proposal for consideration along with the background
    reasoning.

    The primary FFS website: News related to Focus Fusion Society efforts,
    Focus Fusion news and LPP doings and fusion power news in general. Also
    basic fusion info with an emphasis on aneutronic fusion and its benefits
    as a power source.

    Background: A needed website upgrade. The CMS in the background will be
    a current version of one of the popular non-proprietary engines. Which
    one depends on FFS current and projected needs. In reality any such CMS
    could handle all FFS needs while being more flexible and easier to
    maintain, update and upgrade with our resources than the current EE
    installation.

    Upshot: Ignas life easier. My life easier.

    Built into the system will be a potentially community-enhancing option:
    Articles by FFS members. I’m thinking this should be for paid members
    (isn’t it about time for me to re-up?) Any paid member can author such
    articles and any FFS site member can comment on such. I’m thinking of a
    bit more formal take on the “diary” concept. Site members will be able
    to add comments to the articles just as they interact in the forums now.

    Upshot: Functionally not much more different than the way things are
    supposed to be now. That’s why paid members are labeled as Administrators
    in the current EE setup: they have publishing capabilities among other
    things but do not use it and at least in some cases do not fully
    understand their options. So the upgrade will improve things a lot in
    that aspect because people will be able to more easily understand and
    take advantage of the options made available to them.

    On the downside will be the minding of content and other editorial
    duties. It will be a bit more work… but it’ll be stuff we’d be doing
    anyway if more people were active at this time and we’ll have those same
    newly active members to help each other out.

    And the forums will still be needed. Needed for site members to have a
    platform of sorts and needed for news items, questions, comments or
    links that are too short for an article. And yes, needed for continuity.

    Upshot: An upgraded forum will be easier to maintain and yet add much
    more capability than the default EE forum we use now.

    Thoughts?

    #13117

    Francisl
    Participant

    zapkitty, I agree with your proposal.

    #13127

    Francisl
    Participant

    I would like the ability to post links that don’t break because the forum doesn’t understand some links from other websites.

    #13128

    zapkitty
    Member

    Francisl wrote: I would like the ability to post links that don’t break because the forum doesn’t understand some links from other websites.

    Can you provide an example or a more detailed description?

    #13130

    Francisl
    Participant

    zapkitty wrote:

    I would like the ability to post links that don’t break because the forum doesn’t understand some links from other websites.

    Can you provide an example or a more detailed description?

    Quoted from another post:

    Francisl wrote: I was looking at Wikipedia and saw a list called Category:Environmental organizations based in the United States. Some of those organizations may look favorably upon this fund raising campaign. There is a group called Ceres. One of its key accomplishments is that it Founded and directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a group of 100 leading institutional investors with collective assets of more than US$10 trillion. Its members include Deutsche Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors, and TIAA-CREF, as well as the pension funds of California, Florida, and New York.
    Some of the groups on this list may help with a Kickstarter campaign and some may oppose it. I don’t know enough about them to tell the difference.

    The above links aren’t working very well today so you can copy and past the following links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Environmental_organizations_based_in_the_United_States
    http://www.ceres.org/

    Edit by zapkitty: Links fixed.

    zapkitty, thank you for fixing the links.
    The link for Ceres should be “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_(organization)” . The forum software seems to change it to “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_organization” . The parentheses are getting dropped for some reason, resulting in a bad link.

    #13131

    zapkitty
    Member

    Francisl wrote: zapkitty, thank you for fixing the links.
    The link for Ceres should be “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_(organization)” . The forum software seems to change it to “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_organization” . The parentheses are getting dropped for some reason, resulting in a bad link.

    Yep, I missed that… sorry!

    It’s a known expressionengine drawback.

    And yet another reason to migrate to another CMS.

    #13216

    Francisl
    Participant

    Zapkitty,
    How would you like to handle longer articles than are normally posted on these forum pages? Longer articles with pictures or diagrams may become more common as some of the fusion projects make more progress. Should a short article be posted in the forum with the bulk of the article referenced by a link? Will this website have a repository for these longer articles? I think that most of the links that have been posted so far connect to websites that will be around for a while. This may change in the future and it would be nice to have a place where we can find that information.

    #13217

    zapkitty
    Member

    Francisl wrote: Zapkitty,
    How would you like to handle longer articles than are normally posted on these forum pages? Longer articles with pictures or diagrams may become more common as some of the fusion projects make more progress.

    Wouldn’t that be the same as what I proposed above?

    “…Articles by FFS members.”

    #13218

    Francisl
    Participant

    zapkitty wrote:

    Zapkitty,
    How would you like to handle longer articles than are normally posted on these forum pages? Longer articles with pictures or diagrams may become more common as some of the fusion projects make more progress.

    Wouldn’t that be the same as what I proposed above?

    “…Articles by FFS members.”

    Yes. I didn’t know what form it would take. Some websites show the first paragraph of an article and then a “more” button to click on the full article. This allows a viewer to read the first part of the article and then decide whether to read the rest of it or move on to the next article. Science Daily uses this technique.
    There may be some technical or educational material that would be good to post. Should that be listed as a topic in the forums or will that be listed separately to avoid getting lost?

    #13392

    zapkitty
    Member

    Starting on this now that the crowdfund drive is over.

    Any objections to a full conversion from expression engine to
    wordpress?

    The current goal is for a landing page, an “Intro to FF” page, a news
    page, the forums, and a page for aneutronic-related articles.

    My current plan for the landing page is for a header area that’s a
    banner slideshow, below which is to be a full-width bar, a “function
    bar” that is relatively thin, containing social media icons and a site
    search form as well as other oddments.

    Beneath that should be a sidebar on the left and a news area on the
    right. The news area will in turn be split top and bottom between notices
    of recent news articles above and notices of recent forum posts below.

    Beneath it all will be the footer for cleanup and legalese.

    The goal is to cover what the *[em]FFS[/em]* site needs to cover in an
    accessible style without excessive complexity.

    And there are a number of mobile-ready themes along these lines that
    can be easily adapted to our needs while still being usable on a
    classic desktop system.

    The front page or the landing page from the top: The banner

    I’m thinking that the banner should have 3 slides in rotation, each
    with a short phrase about FF or the implications of aneutronic fusion
    along with appropriate art. As the concepts of FF and aneutronics cover
    a lot of territory each page visit will load a different set of three
    slides from a list of such. The choice of which 3 particular slides
    from the list will be random for no-cookies visitors or in rotation for
    browsers with cookies enabled.

    That banner is to be the eyecatch and the slides should be in text
    and image(s) so that the banner can load quickly and be accessible.
    3 slides at a time will give us space to add a 4th slide when it is
    needed
    … say, for a specific event or campaign.

    Which phrases to use? The best short phrases that encapsulate the
    the various aspects of Focus Fusion, aneutronics and the FFS. They
    should be factual and yet brief… enticing and inviting further
    exploration. Each slide can link to a related topic on the site. This is
    one area where the input of the membership will be needed and greatly
    appreciated.

    Here are some examples of what sort of phrases I’m thinking of. In
    order to avoid prematurely singling out specific FF-related phrases
    I’ve provided some examples that are actually bits from various old SF
    movies… so please pardon the disconnect 🙂

    [em]”8000 cubic miles of klystron relays” [/em]
    pic(s) of the Great Machine from Forbidden Planet.

    [em]”We sighted it moving towards Earth less than two hours ago”[/em]
    pic(s) of asteroid Flora from The Green Slime.

    [em]”Independent action increases on a 73-degree tangent”[/em]
    pic(s) of the Courier’s floating head from Not Of This Earth

    [em]”We go into the nest and find out”[/em]
    pic(s) of the nest from Them.

    … substitute FF-related phrases and art and that should get the
    concept across.

    Next: the function bar
    … sort of a junk drawer right now 😉

    Next: the sidebar.

    Below the function bar there should be a sidebar on the left
    with a listing of direct access links to various site areas. The
    sidebar should be headed by a compact version of an improved FFS logo.
    This can lead to a new “Intro to FF” slideshow, one that gives a good
    introduction to what both FF and aneutronic fusion are and why we
    support them. This intro probably would be derived from the current
    landing page and the Indiegogo stuff but greatly clarified and of
    course with text components instead of all graphics. (For right now tho
    we can cannibalize the one on the current front page.)

    Below the “Intro” header the the sidebar should have links to “About
    the FFS”, the news page, the forums, the aneutronic-related
    articles page… and what else?

    Next: the recent news area.

    This should be a largish part of the page.
    The news area should have excerpts from the latest news
    articles in the news section, linking to those same articles. Below
    that should be a listing of the latest forum posts, again linking to
    those posts.

    And then the footer.

    This plan should make the site and especially the new front page
    both more accessible and more informative than the old versions.

    So that’s the outline. What do [em]you[/em] think of these concepts?

    #13393

    zapkitty
    Member

    A side note: Is LPP going to cover the LPPX history? The FFS had that
    for a while but the coverage lapsed. It shouldn’t stay dormant, I
    think. That total history available in articles and pics detailing both
    advances and setbacks… that can be both interesting and persuasive…
    as well as a good counter to arguments that FF is a scam
    or that we’re delusional. Scammers don’t like leaving a detailed history
    and delusional histories can’t stand up to scrutiny.

    But is FFS the place for that? Or would it be better situated over at LPP’s site? .

    #13394

    benf
    Participant

    Zapkitty, first off I’d say it’s great that the FFS site is moving away from Expression Engine to WordPress….
    Regarding the history question, I think it’s important to have on this site as it provides a resource to educate, one of the reasons for non profit existence.
    Plus having it on this site makes it easier to redirect to past articles that may already provide an answer to questions that come up in this Forum, rather than directing to another site.
    There’s no harm in having LPP’s history on both sites, in my opinion.

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