This month, I'm laying the groundwork for a number of software changes to the site. These will include layout/graphic changes, and also some functional changes to the site. Among the changes I have in mind are these:
- Calendar of upcoming events
- lost & found (multiple lost & found listings) appear in forum and main page
- searchable user profiles (will include your recent climbs, tick list, when you climb, whether you're looking for partners, etc)
- multi-platform (mobile) compatibility
- social networking integration (perhaps)
- Upgrade of the current forum software
- Better photo submission/display
While I'm pondering and creating these changes, I'd like to hear from you folks about changes you'd like to see. Before you comment, I'd also like to mention that I'll also be make some "operational" changes to the forums, moderating more regularly to make the boards more useful, and less of a "school cafeteria"-level of discourse, if you know what I mean. There will also be more regular front page content, which I hope will give you all more to talk about and more facts behind the stories.
Thanks for your feedback.
Photo section improvements will be nice.
Regular front page content would be good too. Hopefully that includes resurrecting old items, like the "breaking into the grade" article (and maybe there was a "test pieces for the grade"?) There was a list of climbs by grade with rappel stations indicated that would be handy - are you looking to try and make the site "the" route database for the gunks? Leaving that to Mountain Project? Another article I'd like would be one covering the climbing areas of the Gunks. Rob had compiled a list of lesser traveled legal climbing areas. Fleshing that out, with issues on approach covered where applicable, would be nice.
In terms of moderation, a note on when/why threads were moderated would be nice. Sometimes huge chunks of posts or whole threads disappear. Usually it is obvious why, but sometimes it would be nice (and establish the tone for the site) if reasoning were supplied. It is also frustrating as I think in at least some instances people spent a lot of time on useful content that was only tangentially related to some flame fest had their entire post removed. That doesn't encourage spending time on future posts.
Regarding layout - I still think the huge photo banner on top hinders site utility. They look nice but are not functional. They push the actual content down the page which is especially annoying on mobile devices. I see no reason to have to scroll past the banner on every page. A large portion of the page is also a link to the front page since almost the entire image links there. Compare the "target size" of a link someone may be trying to click, like "food", to the homepage linking banner.
And if it hasn't come up elsewhere, hopefully the updates fix the readability of older content that includes replies. The text overlaps for me on them, like this
Hope that doesn't seem like too much complaining!