Author Topic: Do Guests see all Forum areas?  (Read 4402 times)

  • Guest
Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« on: April 02, 2008, 11:09:26 PM »
Can you pass guests thru a reception room? Telling them how to join , benfits of joining.....etc

I noticed 43 guests around 13:00 GMT....but no-one joining since yesterday

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 01:56:42 AM »
Good suggestion, Dave.  We\'re exploring several things to get our guests to join instead of just lurking.  Don is planning another meeting with a friend in Manila who has offered to host our site and do some tweaking of the tools for the forum.  We can set the posts so that no one can read until they join, but that was not considered proper with us being so new.  All things can and may change as we progress with the forum.  All good suggestions are considered and will be looked at in due time.

Thanks buddy!

Jack

Louisville, KY USA

  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 03:06:01 AM »
Good suggestion, Dave.  We\'re exploring several things to get our guests to join instead of just lurking.  Don is planning another meeting with a friend in Manila who has offered to host our site and do some tweaking of the tools for the forum.  We can set the posts so that no one can read until they join, but that was not considered proper with us being so new.  All things can and may change as we progress with the forum.  All good suggestions are considered and will be looked at in due time.

Thanks buddy!

Jack



Jack, I think the forum has gotten off on a good start.  Frankly, I must admit that my interest has been waining as I must wade through so much fluff these days to get to the meat of living in the Philippines.  As a social group chattering among ourselves as most do in daily conversation, it\'s been serving that purpose quite well, but seems to be straying from the mission of LIP as I\'ve understood it, the promotion and distribution of useful information about living in the Philippines. 

From my tiny point of view, there are going to always be lurkers in high percentages.  In all of the clubs and social groups I\'ve been involved in over my few years, we feel we are successful if we can get as much as 20% participation.  We justify the hanger\'s on by merely accepting their dues.  Can\'t do this in a forum format, but maybe we need to accept the fact that it\'s just the nature of the beast! 

If such a resource like LIP exists elsewhere, I\'ve yet to find it.  What seems apparent to me is that there is probably a need for both.  Places for idle chat and chismis and a source of good, solid information about living here.  Can any forum serve all tasks?  I don\'t know the answer to that.  I think it might, but I don\'t know how one would go about structuring it.  Not to demean, deride or criticize any who have been participating until now, we all have our own passions and I\'m not about judging others.  As a forum about Living in the Philippines to continue, it seems to me that this one is becoming diluted.  I think a direction would need to be chosen eventually...or not...

Thanks to Don, Billy, Keith and yourself for all of the effort and sweat you\'ve put into this.  I think overall that this has been a worthwhile task and I wish the forum and it\'s members well as it continues to evolve and find it\'s way. 

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2008, 06:06:42 AM »
Thank you Ron for the support you\'ve given and continue to give to our list and forum.  As I\'ve told others, there are many changes, improvements, additions, stumbles, falls, and rebuilds to come.  We are in this for the long haul, no matter what. 

Don, Keith, myself and others continue to work towards our goal of building the best site available for information on the Philippines, including topics not normally considered on topic for our previous group.  We recognize the need to offer varying views, and a wider base of knowledge. 

Don has been working on a press release to advertise the forum and website.  When that happens, we\'ll have a new influx of members to add some spice to the kaldereta.   ;D ;D  That should keep things interesting.  When he does shut down the old list, we\'ll again have an influx of new guests and it will again be spiced up. 

The forum format offers topics arranged in categories so our future guests can find the info they need quickly without having to read every post written since the beginning of time.  We also have the ability to edit out frivolous, unnecessary posts, and may begin doing so soon to keep the dilution level down to a minimum.  We\'ll see just how much we need to do when we hit the next level.

If anyone sees something they believe doesn\'t belong or fit in with our posting policy or goeals, they are always welcome to hit the \"Report to Moderator\" button to advise the staff.  We\'ll take care of anything that needs taken care of.

Thanks for all you do to help our list and forum, Ron!  Your opinion is always appreciated.

Jack
Louisville, KY USA

  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2008, 08:20:26 AM »
Can you pass guests thru a reception room? Telling them how to join , benfits of joining.....etc

I noticed 43 guests around 13:00 GMT....but no-one joining since yesterday

Dave et al,

To answer some questions raised by you, Ron & Jack. First of all Dave, you can easily check what a guest can or cannot see by logging off the Forum. The 1st section a Guest sees is \"Welcome to the Forum\", followed by \'Questions about the Forum\' covering simple start up instructions and a section to start posting right away to get the hang of it. A \'Reception Area\' if you like. As for your subject header \'Do guests see all Forum area\'s\' the answer is no. Some boards are hidden until they become members, while other boards are viewable but posts cannot be read until they become members. The idea is that with a  reduced view of the boards the Forum looks less complicated to those who are unfamiliar with the format. As with other Forum\'s the access to some boards is limited to members only & are there as \'teasers\' to encourage lurkers to enroll.

Ron said:
Quote
In all of the clubs and social groups I\'ve been involved in over my few years, we feel we are successful if we can get as much as 20%

Judging by the numbers voting in Ben\'s polls we have a group of some 30 - 40 members posting, with some posting often, some not so often. We have others who may just post 1 question then nothing more. The same as the LinP3 group. 11,000 members but only a few posting at any given time. In a period of 3 months the Forum has grown from a handful of \'Founder\' members to the 752 we have today. This is a baby, growing and learning day by day. Yes we have lurkers, they are welcome also. They are the ones we write for. The ones who need to learn, from those with knowledge & experience of what \'Living in the Philippines\' is about. What we do need though is more \'Topic Starters\' rather than those who respond only to others posts.

Ron also said:
Quote
As a forum about Living in the Philippines to continue, it seems to me that this one is becoming diluted.

I agree to some degree. To help the forum to grow, Jack & I have given a fair degree of latitude to the content of posts but more recently some members have started personal chats within serious topics (we have a board for this - Chikka Chikka) and inserting jokes within serious threads (we have a board for Jokes also), which as Ron said distract & dilutes from our main purpose.

Jack said it well enough:
Quote
We also have the ability to edit out frivolous, unnecessary posts, and may begin doing so soon to keep the dilution level down to a minimum.  We\'ll see just how much we need to do when we hit the next level.

As the old saying goes (i am paraphrasing) \"we can please most of the people, most of the time but we can\'t please all the people all of the time\" but we try hard to  ;D

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2008, 11:20:11 AM »
Cap\'n Ron and all,

Actually I must step back and re-address your question, as I was thinking and speaking ahead of myself before.  As Keith has mentioned guests actually see a selected section of each main board.  To see the difference, log off as Keith has suggested and you will see what guests see.  Some boards have topics that some members and all guests cannot see.   We have tested different settings to see how well they work for guests and more junior members.  So to more correctly answer your question, no guests can\'t see all topics, but most of them. 

Again though, all of this is in fluctuation.  We are in our infant stage and have yet to reach a point where we are completely satisfied with the look, the layout and even the substance of the forum.  I\'m sure as we grow many changes will take affect and we are likely to see many different faces of the LinPC Forum until we settle into a groove.  All suggestions are considered, but don\'t expect quick changes.  We are always open to ideas and suggestions, as long as they keep within the bounds of our original goal and mission statement.

Thanks for everyone\'s concern and input.

Jack
Louisville, KY USA

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Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2008, 01:33:16 PM »
Whilst grudgingly seeing Ron\'s point about \"fluff\" and meat........there are times when no meat is being posted.

When that happens, as it does and will continue to do...... do you want posters to gradually give up and go away, beacause there\'s nothing new.....I don\'t think so.

I think the forum is a VAST improvement over yahoogroups, talk about wading through fluff!!!!
And repeatedly recycling the same subjects ad nauseum ...yeeesh even meat sucks!!!!


One man\'s fluff is another man\'s feather boa.......


  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2008, 03:38:17 PM »
........there are times when no meat is being posted.

When that happens, as it does and will continue to do...... do you want posters to gradually give up and go away, because there\'s nothing new.....I don\'t think so.

At some point the owner of this forum must decide what it\'s mission is.  As it has been explained to me, it\'s purpose has been to disseminate information about living here, but then I may have misunderstood.  When someone is looking for information I don\'t think it matters how \"active\" the forum has been with idle chat and inside humor, only that the information found is current and correct.  There is room for on topic personal experience and anecdotes.  There are other forums to service the lonely and provide a platform for those who want to be noticed and feel recognized and important. 

Can this forum serve all of these purposes?  Maybe, but none are served if its contributors dilute each of it\'s topics with their own off topic, self-serving minutia.  It would seem that an attempt has been made to keep such separated, providing topic lines to service both purposes; a variety of living in the Philippines threads along with jokes and chit-chat.  It\'s been set upon us to make the right choices and keep the overall relevant. 

Personally, my only purpose on these forums has been to help the next guy make easier choices.  There wasn\'t such a resource available to me when I first came and I\'m happy to pass along whatever I\'ve had to learn, sometimes the hard way.  I have no interests in self aggrandizement.  Numbers of contributions or time on line mean nothing to me.  If I had the time and these things were important to me, I\'d write my own blog or find a more suitable forum.

Again, I\'m not passing judgement.  I enjoy a good story as much as the next guy, but if I\'m having neighbor trouble and need some insight on whatever the problem may be, I don\'t want to have to wade through a ton of fluff to find a nugget or two of good information or spend hours of plowing through to learn that the answer lies elsewhere. 

  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2008, 06:03:57 PM »
I agree with Ron, that the main purpose of this forum is to pass information to those planning to move to the Philippines. However, when you consider that there are only around 30-40 people posting, it is the same people that post both useful information and \'fluff\'. I know that I am guilty of it. While I am not in favour of heavy censorship, perhaps the answer  is to place a time limit on the \'lighter\' posts. As Keith will know, I have never been in favour of the jokes section and never look at the \'chit-chat section. I believe there is a place for the lighter side but feel that perhaps it should be more heavily regulated.

Colin

Offline coutts00

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Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2008, 08:12:11 PM »
If I might throw in my 2 Centavos

There is a lot of information on Dons Homepage, however if you want to ask a question about any of it, there appears no links to do so. Maybe Don would consider a link at the bottom of each of his topics which led here, dropping them to a search page with a pre populated question in the search area. It would drive people to the site and if they wanted to pose a question from that point, they would need to join up.

Also if Don would consider adding some of his site content here, as information only threads, i.e. locked topics. If a question is then to be posed, it would bring up the member application page, and when finished drop them to the appropriate predefined question area. I know that we all love to answer questions and we all have our own take on how to answer any question.

Maybe a bio section for some of our more serious posters, or more prolific posters, myself included. So if a newbie wanted to know where the info was coming from he would be able to look at the background of the posters.

After being here a while, I for one know Colin recently said he has a Telecom background, not sure how long he has lived here and how long he has been married to his asawa, I know where he lives approximately, and from his chats he is a good bloke.

Dave aka Captain Ron, live mostly in Europe but could be anywhere at any point in time. His Asawa to be is Glo, he plans to live in Bohol, not sure how many times he has been here though. His background is in computer applications and he works for a bank as a contractor currently.

BenK works as a journalist etc.

You get the idea, we can give some generic info about ourselves, so newbies know who it is they are speaking to and what some of our backgrounds are, and how long we have been here to give this info and the credibility of the info.

Clearly what we want to do is disseminate information, provide the search engine to do it, and primarily provide information on living here, I find this a great \"Social Site\",  Keith, Jack and Don have done loads of great work, including keeping me in line... But, lacking in core information.

For instance, a topic such as coming here the first time, if there is no asawa or girlfriend involved, 95% will go to Manila.
  • What do you need to bring, i.e. documents, clothing, how much money for what length of stay, where to stay, Tourism activities, non-tourism activities.
  • If you are planning on visiting for say 3 - 6 months, documents, money, banks, transferring money, renting, marriage, housekeepers etc.
  • Moving here, how to get your stuff here, owning property (joking), buying property or long term leasing, health care and where to get it, recommendations for doctors, who to talk to, where to get furniture, cars, bikes etc. Who is a reputable dealer and who to stay away from etc.

If you know where to look, and more importantly how to look, all of this stuff is here, but not all in one spot with links to sub forums or threads to ask specific questions, i.e. if I live in Cebu, who is a good car dealer, who is a good mechanic, who won\'t rip me off because I am white and who will.

If you are having problems, who do you turn to? Do we have a page with the info for all of the embassies here in RP, addresses, Phone Numbers, procedures for how to contact, emergency numbers for say consular assistance, your thrown in the clink for something, who do you call? Who is the lifeline back to the States or to the UK, what is the name of the Consul at the time and how do you reach them at 4.00 am?

I have a lifeline back to Australia, but he is in the US, he is the Australian Trade Consul, He is a personal friend of myself and my wife, I have his home phone number and know he would answer the phone when ever I call and move heaven and earth in Australian Circles to get me out of crap if I somehow find myself in it. But who do other nationals call.. Do they have the number on speed dial in their phones?

Wayne ;D
Wayne  ;D ;D

  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2008, 08:13:27 PM »
I agree with Ron, that the main purpose of this forum is to pass information to those planning to move to the Philippines. However, when you consider that there are only around 30-40 people posting, it is the same people that post both useful information and \'fluff\'. I know that I am guilty of it. While I am not in favour of heavy censorship, perhaps the answer  is to place a time limit on the \'lighter\' posts. As Keith will know, I have never been in favour of the jokes section and never look at the \'chit-chat section. I believe there is a place for the lighter side but feel that perhaps it should be more heavily regulated.

Colin

In time if there\'s heavy enough usage, response times will increase, that\'s probably the time to look at FIFOing less useful posts

Really important subjects can be made \"sticky\" they get posted at the top of a section and do not expire over time
Don\'t think we\'re there yet

  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2008, 09:16:17 PM »
I like a lot of the ideas that Wayne has suggested, particularly the bit about me being a good bloke (more fluff)  ;D. Seriously, I have been thinking recently about easier ways of accessing the information and it occurred to me that if you were to read an instruction manual, you would expect to have a chapter list at the front and an index at the back. We have the chapter list but no index, and instead of page numbers we could have links to the appropriate section.

Colin

  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2008, 09:25:40 PM »
Most forums/websites have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section.....usually at the top...AND MADE VERY VISIBLE

That\'s the place to link bank to areas of Don\'s Homepage

Lay it out like like a \"Table of Contents\" at the front of a book

  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2008, 10:24:28 PM »
Most forums/websites have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section.....usually at the top...AND MADE VERY VISISBLE

That\'s the place to link bank to areas of Don\'s Homepage

Lay it out like like a \"Table of Contents\" at the front of a book


That includes THIS Forum. The FAQ is in the Second Section & THIRD board (4th for Newbie) on the main index page under Don\'s welcome and the rules. It is called \'Now that I have joined the Forum, where do I start off??\'


http://livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php?topic=193.0

I think anyone joining the Forum or just looking as a guest won\'t have a problem finding it. Please also consider that maybe, just maybe, we don\'t want to copy what other forums have done but to establish our own identity.

  • Guest
Re: Do Guests see all Forum areas?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2008, 10:51:08 PM »
Good to see a nice round of suggestions and ideas.  I\'m sure that Don, Keith and Jack have read with some interest the good ideas here.  Of course the final decisions are Don\'s and I hope he finds this thread useful.  I see the forum format as more useable and flexible than a mail list with good potential.  

I was thinking in terms of a better separation of \"wheat\" from the \"chaff\" rather than by elimination entirely, but maybe a good dose of both would be in order.  Though to do either would require a close supervision of the forum and a lot of time and effort by a few.  Without much experience with these modern contraptions (I\'m still struggling to find a happy alliance with my cell phone), it would seem to me that moderation is essential or ether enterprise (mail list or forum) would flame up and die as we\'ve seen others do.  

 


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