NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Use this subforum to post feedback and suggestions about the SOS Magazine, App, Website or SOS Forum.
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Use this subforum to post feedback and suggestions about the SOS Magazine, App, Website or SOS Forum.

NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Forum Admin »

Here are some tips to help you quickly familiarise yourself with the new SOS site and specifically the Forum:

[*] Login / Register -- Existing users/members can log in at the top of any SOS page using their already-registered Email and Password. Guests/anonymous users can browse/read forums that allow it (Musician's Lounge still requires you to be a registered user). New Registrants will have to pass the new Google image CAPTCHA and verify their email address as being real, by clicking the validation code they get sent.

FORUM
[*] Members are allowed 45 minutes to edit their post after submitting it, then it is frozen. Send a Private Message (PM) to any Moderator if you desperately need a change to be made, or use the (!) [exclamation mark in circle] icon to Report A Post to all Mods, and explain why.

[*] All post-publication edits are user/date/time-stamped automatically (shows as smaller text at the end of the post).

[*] Posts can be saved as a Draft, re-opened later from MY CONTROL PANEL and then submitted when ready.

[*] Private Messages -- you can PM someone by clicking on the envelope icon below their avatar/username or via the Private Messages option under MY CONTROL PANEL > Overview menu.

[*] Flat Topic View -- this Forum only shows flat posts (no threaded option), one below another. Thus there is no means to reply directly to someone other than to use the Quote button (but please shorten the quote if it's not all required).

[*] Nested Quotes - a maximum of 5 nested quotes is allowed, then you get an alert message in red on the Reply screen.

[*] Latest Post In Topic - clicking the grey chevron > to the right of the poster's name on Forum Index will take you to the last post in that topic. Conversely, clicking the topic title anywhere will take you to the first post of the topic.

MY ACCOUNT
[*] Forum/Site Preferences - every site user's preferences are located under their EDIT tab in My Account (at the top-left of any SOS page). Here you can specify/edit your avatar, signature, location, biography and your website. Other Forum board preferences are defined in MY CONTROL PANEL > Overview in the grey sub-menu, such as subscribing to forums/topics, PM settings, visibility etc.

[*] Username - this can not be edited by a member once it has been chosen at initial registration. Note: this Username is used all across the site. Please use the Username Change form if you require a name-change: http://www.soundonsound.com/support/username-change

[*] Avatars - existing avatars will migrate. Up to 100 x 100px maximum visible image is allowed, though it will scale 1024 x 1024px when an avatar is uploaded. It always takes the largest size and makes that 100px. Avatars can be changed in My Account > Edit tab > Signature.

[*] Signatures - still 255 characters, they visibly show as smaller, grey text. Images, javascript and HTML are not allowed in signatures. URLs will auto convert to links.

[*] Location -- shows under your avatar if the Location field in your My Account > Edit tab > Profile has some text in it.

[*] Member's Rank Title: unique titles will not transfer, and we could find no way of keeping them in the new software. Moderators usernames are always shown in pale blue.

SEARCH ENGINE
[*] Search engine -- the forum is fully integrated within the site search and is a major improvement. It searches within titles, article intros, posts and all article/news main text. You can narrow down results using the filter links on the righthand sidebar. Use the main Search box at the top-right of any page, or search within just that topic. Results are displayed within the main Search page and you'll see 4 tabs: All, Articles, Forum and News. Click a Forum result and you're back to the post containing what you searched for.

[*] Member Website / Email -- this can be added to your signature and/or to your My Account > Edit tab > Profile. (Please ensure you put http:// in the full URL to make it function.) A globe icon will then appear under your avatar, which can be clicked by members. All personal Emails are hidden from public view, but if you have allowed members to email you in MY CONTROL PANEL > Overview > Board Preferences, this always occurs via an SOS web form so that your email address is protected.

If you have questions or need assistance, as always post in the Magazine, Website & Forum Feedback forum or use the SOS Support Portal (click HELP at the top of any page).

We hope you enjoy using the new site and this new forum.
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Bossman »

New forum looks good.. And is usable on my phone :thumbup:

Thankyou
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by zenguitar »

For those of you who have previously commented on the old forum not having the facility to go to the first unread post in a thread...

GOOD NEWS

At the top of each Topic there is a 'Go to 1st unread post' link.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by garrettendi »

New site and forums look great. My only bug report is that my post count seems to have gone to zero! Yet my posts still exist... It's a minor bug though
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

garrettendi wrote:My only bug report is that my post count seems to have gone to zero! Yet my posts still exist... It's a minor bug though

That is very odd, and I can't explain why... but I'll add it to the list of things for the team to look at.

H
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by zenguitar »

It's not unique Hugh. In my travels around the forums today I have noticed a number of members with 1 or 0 posts who I know have posted in recent days and weeks.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by EvilDragon »

New look is fine.

I wonder if there's a way to make the layout MUCH wider (ideally fully utilizing the available display width)? Currently the right side area with Latest forum activity takes WAY too much space, and I cannot see a way to collapse it completely.
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Forum Admin »

EvilDragon wrote:New look is fine.

I wonder if there's a way to make the layout MUCH wider (ideally fully utilizing the available display width)? Currently the right side area with Latest forum activity takes WAY too much space, and I cannot see a way to collapse it completely.

Glad you like it (mostly). :D

It's been a very long day, so hope I'm not missing your point here?

The site is a fixed-width on desktop, and the righthand column is fixed-width to accommodate the industry-standard advert slots we've adopted. The narrow/tall skyscrapers will eventually get replaced as advertisers swap to the new format (some already have).

The forum's Latest Activity snapshot links therefore fill some of the righthand space. There are plans to add more sidebar content blocks, down the line. There's no way to collapse the desktop site.

cheers,
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Wonks »

I really, really hate it. Far too small a column width to read anything easily.

It's so narrow that you haven't even got enough space to fit 'quote' and 'code' in their own boxes in the reply to post display.

Why are the avatars so large? Make them smaller and give more column space to posts.

My post count has lost over 7000 posts.

I really don't want to be here until there's a decent column width.

Bye for now.
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Bye! :cry:
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by softdigital »

I'm sorry to say this update is a bit of a mess all round...

Fixed width in 2016? I have a large display with a mainly grey background. Empty screen space, paired with the new colour scheme, makes the site quite jarring to use.

The Readers ads update is awful; Firstly, the link to readers ads is buried halfway down the page. I'm sure i'm not alone in the fact that the ads is one of my most visited parts of the site - I have the print and tablet versions of the magazine for the actual content (and wonderful it is too).

Its much, much harder to see the same amount of information on each listing; The excel spreadsheet/table view makes scanning ads borderline unpleasant and also takes longer; there are inline SOS ads and videos within the listings, and large amounts of wasted space with padding etc.

The iPad magazine edition is actually a good case in point. That FEELS like an extension to the print edition, with striking, clean and pleasant layout - a very closely aligned UI/Look and feel between the two editions. The new site feels detached form the rest of the SOS look and fell.

The ads are intrusive and take up an unduly large amount of space in what is, thanks to the fixed width design, already a cramped layout.

I'm sorry, I love SOS and appreciate how much work goes into it from what is a small and very dedicated team, I just think this time its not gone the right way...

[edited as I don't want to hang anyone out to dry. I think the fixed width is guiding the entire layout and that is causing issue with cramming everythgin into what in 2016 os a tiny amount of space...I still love you guys x]
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by nathanscribe »

Sadly I feel I have to agree on the width thing. The column of text that I actually *want* to read takes up about 1/4 of my screen's width, which makes scrolling through the comments and replies both tedious and an bit of an eye-strain. I like the cleaner overall concept, but this forum really needs a few pies...
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

nathanscribe wrote:Sadly I feel I have to agree on the width thing.

We all agree about the width thing... and it is in hand. Please be patient...

H
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by EvilDragon »

Yes, width is also bothering me. This is why I'm thinking there should be several options for width. Preferably one of them utilizing the full desktop width. And the right side column should be collapsible if the user wants it to (and this stored to a cookie).
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Temp »

Temporary fix until the width issue is sorted.

http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewt ... 93#p474035

Cheers.
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Forum Admin »

EvilDragon wrote:This is why I'm thinking there should be several options for width. Preferably one of them utilizing the full desktop width.

?? Full-width is impractical. Nobody realistically can follow along a line of text with their eyes that is 1024px long/wide -- that breaks every rule in the book.

And the right side column should be collapsible if the user wants it to (and this stored to a cookie).

We don't want you to collapse it. ;) It's a fundamental part of the site template and would affect articles and hide the adverts, and that would mean less funding for the site -- and like every magazine publisher, we can't afford to lose these revenue streams.

There's nothing stopping you moving the right side of the browser window leftwards towards the right edge of the forum text area if it really displeases you. And all modern browsers let you scale up/down any page, Cmd-+ on a Mac, not sure of PC, to get the whole site wider and fonts bigger if that helps?
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by vinyl_junkie »

It's hoooorrrible and laggy. I don't get why it had to be re-done when it was ok.

Also the search function makes it difficult searching for old reviews. Google links also don't work now.
Example http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul02/a ... akaiz8.asp

Just like the new coke, it sucks so bring back the old coke and call it SOS Classic :lol:
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Forum Admin »

vinyl_junkie wrote:It's hoooorrrible and laggy.

The tech guys are still working on optimising the servers and databases -- this is a massively complex site with a lot going on; the forum is a small part of it, but an important part.

I don't get why it had to be re-done when it was ok.

To bring it into the 21st Century and give us a tool that allows easier creation of web articles/news etc and administer it all wherever we might be internationally -- at trade shows, etc. If I told you how much work went into making a single article in the old site, you'd die laughing. This new CMS-driven site, with full eCommerce, integrated phpBB forum (one of the most popular packages in the world) is a real benefit to us, and the article presentation, tagging, searching etc is way, way better...

Also the search function makes it difficult searching for old reviews.

Not had any problems - can you be more specific?

Google links also don't work now.
Example http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul02/a ... akaiz8.asp

That article won't because it's not (yet) on the site -- currently August 2005 to June 2016 but Google links to articles from this period do work (they auto-redirect to the new site filename paths). The entire site is now SEO friendly, so we expect more traffic from Google.

The really early SOS mag articles which were never on the site anyway, as they were made with paper and glue layouts, pre-digital, have been lovingly scanned by forum member desmond and put onto his wonderful archives site: www.muzines.co.uk

We'll keep adding past issues as fast as we can, and new issues monthly.
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by 4TrackMadman »

Ouch...this new layout is very tablet/phone friendly and PC unfriendly...it looks huuuuuuge.
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by muzines »

Been having a nose around the other parts of the site (very generous putting the forum as the first item in the main nav - I'd have put "Magazine" there and shoved "Forum" off to the right end... ;) )

The new article display format is great, *sooo* much better and the various search/filtering stuff is really good - really good to have a bunch of different tools to suit different search/browse needs and it's working nicely. If anyone says that what was available before was better then I seriously question their judgement! :headbang:

It's all very readable, nice text sizes, and the boxouts and stuff work really well, and definitely imo improves the archive value of the content, particularly now SOS is much more mobile friendly. It's much more inviting to browse around on the sofa with a cup of tea (hmm, no "tea" smiley? Travesty!)

And, anyone that uses the forums and the site in general - please whitelist SOS in your ad blocker, should you use one. They're a responsible advertiser and it's a small and easy way to (at least) help give back for the benefit of the resource.
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Forum Admin »

desmond wrote:
And, anyone that uses the forums and the site in general - please whitelist SOS in your ad blocker, should you use one. They're a responsible advertiser and it's a small and easy way to (at least) help give back for the benefit of the resource.

Cheers desmond. I'm off to bed. :beamup:
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by EvilDragon »

Forum Admin wrote:
EvilDragon wrote:This is why I'm thinking there should be several options for width. Preferably one of them utilizing the full desktop width.

?? Full-width is impractical. Nobody realistically can follow along a line of text with their eyes that is 1024px long/wide -- that breaks every rule in the book.

I can and do that all the time while on Reaper forums, KvR, Gearslutz, VI-Control. They all have full-width skin options and are GREAT for having that option. Different strokes for different folks.

Forum Admin wrote:We don't want you to collapse it. ;) It's a fundamental part of the site template and would affect articles and hide the adverts, and that would mean less funding for the site -- and like every magazine publisher, we can't afford to lose these revenue streams.

Ehh, an option would have been nice. Design could be so that ads are inlined between posts, not on the right hand side. In any case, I suppose nothing that a bit of Stylish scripting can't fix, if you won't...

Forum Admin wrote:There's nothing stopping you moving the right side of the browser window leftwards towards the right edge of the forum text area if it really displeases you. And all modern browsers let you scale up/down any page, Cmd-+ on a Mac, not sure of PC, to get the whole site wider and fonts bigger if that helps?

I don't need bigger fonts, I'm not blind. I like to see much WIDER posts - fitting more text horizontally so that less scrolling is necessary overall while reading a thread. Right now it's a bit ridiculous.
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

EvilDragon wrote:I like to see much WIDER posts - fitting more text horizontally so that less scrolling is necessary overall while reading a thread. Right now it's a bit ridiculous.

The general wisdom in typography is that the most comfortable reading is with line lengths of 50-60 characters, with 75 characters as the maximum limit. This site is currently using about 65 characters per line as far as I can see, which feels very natural and easy to read to me.

Of course, everyone is different, has different preferences and copes or struggle with different things. A compromise is necessary and appropriate, and while it might be helpful to make the forum text boxes a little wider, but would probably be counter productive to go too wide.

H
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Pauly99 »

The new layout is very frustrating in the forum area. Approx 60-70% of screenspace wasted on my laptop, with a thin column of text that you have to scroll and scroll and scroll through. It's exhausting compared to the previous forum layout. Why can't you do dynamic resizing to suit the sreen size being used?
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by forumuser838999 »

I can't see the readers ads at all. I'm used to seeing a link to them in the top level nav but it's not there, nor can I see it in the bottom nav. The old URL for readers ads now 404s.

Does this mean you've stopped doing readers ads??
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

forumuser838999 wrote:I can't see the readers ads at all. I'm used to seeing a link to them in the top level nav but it's not there, nor can I see it in the bottom nav. Does this mean you've stopped doing readers ads??

I don't know where you are -- it would be really helpful if you put a geo-location into your profile -- just the country would be enormous help to people answering your questions.

The reason I say that is because SOS has taken the policy decision to restrict Readers' Ads to the UK only -- they are no longer visible or accessible to anyone with an UP address outside the UK.

If you are inside the UK, then you'll find the links to Readers' Ads half way down in the right hand side bar.

H
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Pauly99 wrote:The new layout is very frustrating in the forum area. Approx 60-70% of screenspace wasted on my laptop, with a thin column of text that you have to scroll and scroll and scroll through. It's exhausting compared to the previous forum layout. Why can't you do dynamic resizing to suit the sreen size being used?

The overall website width is identical to that of other major players, like the BBC's news website. It has a fixed size in desktop/laptop screens the same as other major websites.

The dimensions of the main column and side bar are consistent across the whole site for many and varied reasons, so the forum has to live within this space because -- unlike the previous incarnation -- it is a fully integrated part of the site in every way.

There is no fundamental need to 'scroll and scroll and scroll' -- I humbly suggests you're doing that because you haven't yet found the many quick and direct access methods that are built into the Forum software.

For example, there are red links at the top of a forum thread page to take you to the most recent addition. You can also directly access the latest posts by using the links half way down the right hand side bar. And clicking on the chevron to the right of a poster's name takes you straight to their post too.

I'm sure you'll find -- as we all have -- that navigating this new forum system is actually very quick and easy once you're familiar with its new ways. ;)

H
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

EvilDragon wrote:I can and do that all the time while on Reaper forums, KvR, Gearslutz, VI-Control. They all have full-width skin options and are GREAT for having that option. Different strokes for different folks.

Maybe, but none of those are operating a forum as a fully integrated element of a magazine website. The situation and the requirements from the SOS end are completely different.

Ehh, an option would have been nice. Design could be so that ads are inlined between posts, not on the right hand side. In any case, I suppose nothing that a bit of Stylish scripting can't fix, if you won't...

Go for it. The site is laid out the way it is for clearly defined reasons and the side bar is not an optional extra, it an important part of the design.

I like to see much WIDER posts - fitting more text horizontally so that less scrolling is necessary overall while reading a thread. Right now it's a bit ridiculous.

I appreciate your view... but I don't share it. It feels very comfortable to me, and I dare say I spend a lot more time on this forum than almost anyone else! ;)

H
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Readers' Ads

Post by Forum Admin »

forumuser838999 wrote:I can't see the readers ads at all. I'm used to seeing a link to them in the top level nav but it's not there, nor can I see it in the bottom nav. The old URL for readers ads now 404s.

Does this mean you've stopped doing readers ads??

The 404s might have been a glitch as servers propagated the domain switchover. It's certainly working for me.

The new site design has been heavily influenced by detailed analysis of which sectors of the site attract the most traffic, and readers' ads -- whilst popular and an essential service for many who the stats tell us come here, post their gear/wanted ads and go nowhere else, have no subscription, etc (but yes, they could be newsagent print mag buyers) -- it is not used by the majority of our 1.1 million unique monthly site visitors.

So design decisions were made to move it out of the main navigation options, to allow greater/easier emphasis on the sections of the site that were previously hidden under the 'Articles' menu. Again, the stats tell us that a huge amount of incoming traffic comes to these articles every month/week/day from the search engine article links that their bots/web crawlers index. Hence why you can now see the section menu links in bold black below the horizontal banner ad above.

And because those same stats revealed that very few of our US brethren, Europeans, Australians, Japanese etc ever read or posted an advert in Readers' Ads, we have Geo-IP targeted that section to the UK-only (it might get extended to include other regions later).

So we created 3 bright red buttons to make them stand out, and slotted them between the adverts on the righthand side of every SOS site page. And we set about improving the functionality and user management of your ads (via MY ADS, once you have submitted an advert) -- and there are plans for extras in the future, as the site develops.

You are UK-base, so should be able to see them. The screenshot should help you find them (click for a larger view).
Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 19.07.47.png
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Re: NEW FORUM / SITE - User Tips

Post by Pauly99 »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Pauly99 wrote:The new layout is very frustrating in the forum area. Approx 60-70% of screenspace wasted on my laptop, with a thin column of text that you have to scroll and scroll and scroll through. It's exhausting compared to the previous forum layout. Why can't you do dynamic resizing to suit the sreen size being used?

The overall website width is identical to that of other major players, like the BBC's news website. It has a fixed size in desktop/laptop screens the same as other major websites.

The dimensions of the main column and side bar are consistent across the whole site for many and varied reasons, so the forum has to live within this space because -- unlike the previous incarnation -- it is a fully integrated part of the site in every way.

There is no fundamental need to 'scroll and scroll and scroll' -- I humbly suggests you're doing that because you haven't yet found the many quick and direct access methods that are built into the Forum software.

For example, there are red links at the top of a forum thread page to take you to the most recent addition. You can also directly access the latest posts by using the links half way down the right hand side bar. And clicking on the chevron to the right of a poster's name takes you straight to their post too.

I'm sure you'll find -- as we all have -- that navigating this new forum system is actually very quick and easy once you're familiar with its new ways. ;)

H


This is a screenimage of what it looks like on my PC. As you can see, mostly empty space.

Image

You mention the BBC site as being similar, and I agree: that is one of the worst laid out sites of all the 'news' style websites, with huge amounts of wasted space.
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