I think the original poster could have come up with some more original ideas if they thought they were going to "save the day", I think if it needed rescuing and your tips are to make some small skinning changes then your tips fall way below the mark. However I do not think it needs rescuing.
You're the second poster to critique the fact that only one method of improvement has been demonstrated. And like I said in the OP, Is it really up to a new client to start listing fundamental ways through which to improve their product when someone, somewhere is probably on a handsome salary to exhaust avenues like this.
To be quite honest I've been concentrating on IP.Board for 4 weeks and I'll list my stats in a moment. In that short time I've noticed between 15 and 20 methods through which to make massive improvement to this software. To put my money where my mouth is I'll demonstrate another of the more trivial things I've come up with...
Why am I scrolling through threads in 2012?
I get to the half way point and I've had enough, or suddenly decide I wanna search or check for something else. Maybe check the shoutbox who knows. 'Back to top' is great, but I have to scroll all the way down to use that (and 80% of IP.Board users probably don't know it exists). How it should look :
IP.Board can have that one for nothing. But If I was to devote time to spilling my mind out, I'm a new user it's not like I owe the company anything, I'd want paying. "Buzzards gotta eat same as worms", and my minds worth it. If only I had a small army of scriptwriters and programmers and graphic designers like Invision has there'd be something pretty new and all-encompassing in development guaranteed. It doesn't stop at that with Invision; It's got a gigantic user base, largely untapped.
Re; this navigation bar - Sooo yeah the writings on it's side. Does it really matter? It's still legible a user's gonna know what that is when they see it floating as they scroll, or so maybe it needs tweaking or thought through fully. Frankly I think you could get away with that as it is.
.... and is that trivial? Any step up against a competitor isn't trivial. The share buttons I pictured in the OP are by no means trivial either, to my mind they're long overdue and I've only been onboard 4 weeks.
So my stats.
Like I said in a previous post I'm going for professionals.
- The first week was getting it set up, I wasn't working alone.
- A week after I paid the money to IP was when the drive to get people over started. This was what I set up the Twitter account for, but of course had no followers. This is week Two.
- So during the second week achieved approx 110 registrations. I was quite happy with that given that it was mainly word of mouth, there's sod-all on the board and I'm also forcing people to register with their real name, something many users aren't comfortable doing I'm sure.
- The third week it dwindled. This was when we put the Board Index share buttons on. These can't be blamed but they should've been installed from the off on hindsight.
- Now I'm four weeks in and on 210 approx.
But the activity levels dreadful. It's on 100 posts and that's me and a couple of the people involved in the forum. Organic user inputs IRO 20 posts / threads. All the while members are busy bees on LinkedIn and Twitter (can't comment on Facebook I don't use it). LinkedIn because it's a massive social network of professionals, but with group functions and a forum structure, with 'likes', 'shares' basically all the things I'm hinting need looking at on IP.
Threads and posts have been 'liked' in-site, so this has had me a little frustrated that people don't notice these share buttons the way they are currently. There's a lot in the balance with a new board. Ten years ago you'd be laughing.
LinkedIn aren't going backwards. And look at the pair of them; LinkedIn's put its head down and provided script that auto-runs any profile holder's latest tweet directly to each contact's homepage whom the user has in their network. That can a be a lot of people. It's pretty good teamwork I can tell you.
IP.Board isn't going backwards either... but it isn't moving forwards as quick as I'd perhaps like. And I love the board you must understand I've got it's best interests at heart. I've admin'd on iphbb etc so I knew where I was going this time around.
In my opinion this is like comparing apples and oranges.
If you have a good niche with good content. You don't need to worry about anything.
Yeah nuff said ay, pretty cushy time to start a board six years ago. There's a hell of a lot more going on now in 2012 mate. I dunno what you're into, but take it as a given if you were starting whatever board you started then now you'd be twiddling your thumbs, and you'd be pissed off about the share buttons as well I shouldn't wonder.
I have to agree. But, I think IPS needs to stop these "facebook is awesome, message forums suck" topics from continuing to pop up. It's distracting to those of us who license the software and it's disrupting and demoralizing to those of us who support IPS. We support IPS products, pay our licenses and visit these support forums for answers to solutions regarding IPS products. It's not that Facebook shouldn't be discussed here, but it serves no purpose for topics like this one to be nothing more than "feeding that nasty troll" that keeps dredging these topics up.
Yep see this? The problem we've got is, most of the members posting here are pretty loyal to IP.Board. Their community is established and thinking about the now's easier than considering the tomorrow. Also the emphasis with a lot of these posts unfortunately is centred all on Facebook. Partly my fault because I mentioned it in the header, and it was the Facebook share buttons I was loading my guns about.
Whilst I think these are completely essential at this moment in time, I'm under no illusions about the limitations and the dangers Facebook is going to face, despite its CIA, MI5 and military backing. But not many people seem to be concentrating on Google+ at all. I don't blame them, it hasn't really got going yet in fareness. IP.Board should be forward thinking particularly because it has the money, the size, infrastructure and facilities to adopt software similar if not better to what we have here currently. Is the consensus that they won't bother? People are being way to optimistic, and shortcomings at this stage will be picked up by the other monster.
And the forum will be active in five years there's no doubt about that. But how many new boards are going to be being created? This is Invisions bread and butter growth strategy. How many people will be registering to IP.Boards forums in five years?... Will people be gifted forum building facilities on the registration of en email address?
If you ask me any seemingly tortoise like characteristics with whatever it's developing now is purely because they're getting ready for bigger changes.
- when you are 30+ years old you will realize what has come and gone and realize that all these social media are just fads,
- believe it or not they will be replaced sooner or later by newer and more trendy apps.
- But it isn't under 30's that are using Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and Google+. Serious people are using them in serious ways.
- I've no doubt about this. So how far will IP.Board lag behind in allowing administrators to work fully in conjunction (if inclined) with these new sites when they do rise? It would do well to get a universal framework in place now (in terms of the share functions I detailed in the header post for one instance) to A - Utilise whats dominant in the interim, and B - Be better prepared for incorporating the next giants (which I'm sure, will be a lot better than what's around now remember, providing newer challanges).
I agree with the points various people have made that social media such as Twitter and Facebook are excellent ways of driving people to your forum, particularly if your community targets a specific niche.
However I also agree with the original poster's point about IPB's current sharing buttons being inadequate (in fact for a long time I never even noticed they were there). That's why on my site, the top of every topic page now looks like this:
That's really impressive mate. See people like myself starting a board for the first time won't have a clue how to go about doing this ourselves. Installing a shoutbox became a laborious affair and the Board Index share buttons a real pain in the arse. I honestly don't know how, years on from the inception of horrible sites like these, there still isn't a comprehensive widget that IP.Board have as an optional mod as default.
You really don't know how to compare sites do you....
Explaining what he wasn't doing would be more appreciated by the reader. Maybe you didn't have time.