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Homepage - yay or nay?
DAJB at 5:48AM, Nov. 17, 2007
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I don't know …

I've just switched on the Homepage function for Shades which means we now have our own forum. I'm in two minds as to whether this is a good idea.

On the one hand, I can answer questions in much greater detail here than I can in the Comments sections under the individual comic pages and I can address things which are maybe more relevant to the comic as a whole than to any one particular page. On the other, it seems to me that the Homepage creates a bit of an extra barrier between Shades and the reader.

What do you guys think? If you don't like it, I can always switch the Homepage off again. If you do, we can keep it. Post your answers here or, if you're shy, send me a PQ. I'm just as happy either way!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
Lemniskate at 10:16AM, Nov. 17, 2007
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'tis a difficult question, indeed. I personally don't like it that much because I have to click at ‘latest’ and again at ‘The last page!’, so it really is more clicks (what of course won't stop me). The question is, will it prevent readers who found it just by chance from commenting? I hope they will go to the first page anyway, cause every page looks great and is intriguing.

BUT.
If this forum turns out to be really exciting (I hope so) then it's worth the extra clicks.

But isn't it possible to keep the forum without the hp? I think I might've seen it this way.
 VaƄmyz umoj.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 2:20PM, Nov. 17, 2007
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Lemniskate
isn't it possible to keep the forum without the hp? I think I might've seen it this way.
I don't think so. Maybe for people who have created their own comic layouts, but - as far as I can see - those of us who use the standard DD “templates” just have Homepage off or on options. “On” lets you have a forum and “off” doesn't.

At least that's how it looks to me at the moment. If you do come across any comics that have one without the other, please do let me know. I'm open to any advice anyone can give!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
harryq at 4:03AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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These things gimme the creeps ‘cause I don’t have much to say, or time to say it.
Pugnuggle Tales; zen farce in a bucket!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
Abt_Nihil at 4:24AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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Early on I wasn't sure about whether or not to use the HP on my comics too, but I ended up using it on A.D - which is quite sprawling and not a comic to read on the fly anyway, so I thought people who are not turned off by the storyline won't be turned off by the HP either - and not using it on some other less complex comics.

I don't know how you feel about Shades, but that's the sort of reasoning I went through.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 4:37AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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harryq
These things gimme the creeps ‘cause I don’t have much to say, or time to say it.
Thanks for the feedback, Harry. Hopefully people will still use the Comments feature for most short observations (and, of course, “fives”!)

My thinking is that the Forum might be a place for lengthier discussions. (Always assuming anyone wants one, of course!) I'm keeping my options open for now. I think it's easy enough to switch off if it starts deterring visitors …
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 4:44AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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Abt_Nihil
I ended up using it on A.D - which is quite sprawling and not a comic to read on the fly anyway, so I thought people who are not turned off by the storyline won't be turned off by the HP either
I guess that's kind of where I'm coming from on Shades.

Most of the comments I've been getting have been quite short and easy to answer. But, occasionally, someone has hit on something which is quite important to the thinking behind the comic and so I've found myself replying at some length or, worse, deliberately truncating my reply.

Those are the sorts of issues I thought I could maybe handle here.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
SoItBegins at 8:35AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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Against. I usually don't have much to say, and I'm on a very flickery wireless connection most of the time. Having to go Comic Page -> Forum Page -> Forum Reply Page -> Forum Page just to enter a comment really gets old when each page takes a minute to load.
The Mad Scientist Wars: Adventure! Heroes! Villains! Gender-swapping! MAD SCIENCE!!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
JustNoPoint at 10:06AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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I don't really care for the extra clicking either. I had the homepage and got rid of it as it just seemed redundant.

You should be able to simply slap the forum code from the homepage onto your template.

I was looking for an old thread of pros and cons in using the homepage, but no search feature makes it hard to find. Most people disliked it however.

If I want to leave a normal comment I have to click latest> which takes me to the page before the latest o_O > then next, > then I can give a score and comment.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 11:16AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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@ SoItBegins: You can still leave comments in the usual way, of course, (i.e. ignoring the Forum) but - if you have slow loading times - I can see the extra clicks must be especially frustrating.

@ JNP: Interesting. Do you know what happened to your Forum when you switched the HP off? Did it still exist or was it (and all the entries on it) wiped out?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
JustNoPoint at 11:36AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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It still exists. I still have a link to the forum. It's one of those 6 buttons that I think no one ever pushes! =D

If you wanted to make a graphical button and want it placed in a certain spot you can make a test account and add me as an assistant. I'll place any buttons or graphics you want and you can simply copy paste.

That's why I made “temp test” so I can help mlai with his html needs.

That is if you needed help. After which you can simply delete the test account.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 11:46AM, Nov. 19, 2007
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Thanks, JNP.

Actually I'm running tests now, by creating a dummy Forum on the BVC Scrap Book.

Thanks for the offer, though. Still undecided which way to jump on this!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
bbr at 6:42AM, Nov. 20, 2007
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You can have a forum even without the homepage feature enabled.

I don't like the homepage thing either tbh.

i know i don't have much to show for myself, but the layout i've set up is imho fairly easy and straightforward:
http://www.drunkduck.com/Random_Ravings/ , with a direct link to the forum, empty as it might be.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 7:37AM, Nov. 20, 2007
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Okay, guys - I see most of you here are as unenthusiastic about the extra clicks as I am but, on the other hand, I am enjoying having a Forum to play in!

I think I've found a compromise. I'm going to leave the Homepage enabled for the time being. There are so many other comics on DD which do use the Homepage that I'm guessing most visitors won't be particularly fussed.

For everyone who just wants a quicker route into the latest comic page however (and especially people with slower connections like poor old SoItBegins!), the HomePage will have a direct link to the latest page. (I can do that, it seems, simply by creating a thread especially for it in this forum.) It will still mean one extra click, I'm afraid, but at least it will be less than before.

I'm going to keep it all under review for a while just to see how things shape up. In the meantime, many thanks for all your input!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
bbr at 10:36AM, Nov. 20, 2007
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As i said, you can have a forum without having the homepage feature enabled ;)
The forum is always active, you just need to create one. Which you already have.

DAJB
@ JNP: Interesting. Do you know what happened to your Forum when you switched the HP off? Did it still exist or was it (and all the entries on it) wiped out?

Your forums are completely independant from the layout of your front page.
I've done the switch a number of times before i decided i preferred the html way.
The forums were untouched, yours should as well.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 1:12PM, Nov. 20, 2007
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Thanks, bbr.

I've been playing with a dummy forum and so, yes, I'd got to the point where I was satisfied that the two could work independently. That still left the question of how to give sufficient prominence to the fact that Shades actually has a forum and where it can be found. Those little blue buttons are not exactly well-placed (or especially eye-catching!) and, since I'm not that au fait with HTML I decided to give this solution/compromise a try which, if nothing else, is one I can use with the DD standard template.

It's not perfect but, as I say, I'm going to give it a try and see how it goes. (At least for a little while!)

Thanks again,
D.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
harryq at 4:28AM, Nov. 22, 2007
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DAJB
Abt_Nihil
I ended up using it on A.D - which is quite sprawling and not a comic to read on the fly anyway, so I thought people who are not turned off by the storyline won't be turned off by the HP either
I guess that's kind of where I'm coming from on Shades.

Most of the comments I've been getting have been quite short and easy to answer. But, occasionally, someone has hit on something which is quite important to the thinking behind the comic and so I've found myself replying at some length or, worse, deliberately truncating my reply.

Those are the sorts of issues I thought I could maybe handle here.

The forum concept frightens me because I have trouble keeping my mouth shut if someone seems even slightly interested in my Pugnugs. The problem is that I have a “Pugnuggle Bible” that's about an inch thick and full of character descriptions, inter-connecting plot lines and background info about the bottom line structure and reasoning about what ‘s going on. There’s roughly 15 years of notes there, 90% of which should never be discussed with anyone except 2 or 3 persons who will never read the thing anyway. I value my ambiguity above all other concerns.

That's why I avoid getting into discussions about motivations, plot threads, or the bottom line of my concept, which I'm looking at on a tiny piece of paper that lies on my desk. It contains 5 words that explain everything. lol!
Pugnuggle Tales; zen farce in a bucket!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 5:23AM, Nov. 22, 2007
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harryq
The forum concept frightens me because I have trouble keeping my mouth shut if someone seems even slightly interested in my Pugnugs. The problem is that I have a “Pugnuggle Bible” that's about an inch thick and full of character descriptions, inter-connecting plot lines and background info about the bottom line structure and reasoning about what's going on.
Heh - I can be quite tight-lipped about things I'm working on. When the script for Shades was still a work-in-progress and all I had was my ideas, I'd say virtually nothing about it. I guess that was partly because I didn't want anyone to derail me by saying they didn't like it. But it was also because, once I've told somebody all the details of a story, I kind of lose the need to write it.

Once it was fully written, on the other hand, I became happy to talk to anyone about anything they wanted to know. As long as I can do so without giving away any major plot spoilers!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
harryq at 5:05AM, Nov. 26, 2007
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DAJB
harryq
The forum concept frightens me because I have trouble keeping my mouth shut if someone seems even slightly interested in my Pugnugs. The problem is that I have a “Pugnuggle Bible” that's about an inch thick and full of character descriptions, inter-connecting plot lines and background info about the bottom line structure and reasoning about what's going on.
Heh - I can be quite tight-lipped about things I'm working on. When the script for Shades was still a work-in-progress and all I had was my ideas, I'd say virtually nothing about it. I guess that was partly because I didn't want anyone to derail me by saying they didn't like it. But it was also because, once I've told somebody all the details of a story, I kind of lose the need to write it.

Once it was fully written, on the other hand, I became happy to talk to anyone about anything they wanted to know. As long as I can do so without giving away any major plot spoilers!

See, this is what frightens me, a guy as sharp as you, coming to my page and using his x-ray vision on everything! You pick up on things that seem to cruise right under other peoples' radar… and what was that “Aliens, eh”, eh? Heh, heh, on second thought, don't answer that! :nervous:
Pugnuggle Tales; zen farce in a bucket!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM
DAJB at 12:04AM, Dec. 24, 2007
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Well, we've tried the Home Page for a while now and I'm still not sure if it adds anything, so I'm going to switch it off again.

We're trying out a new custom design for the Shades pages as from today so, hopefully, we can build some of the more useful Home Page features (like the prominent Forum button) into that.

Of course, we may switch the Home Page back on again later. We'll see how it goes …!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM

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