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  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Gorn, But they were pretty meaningless and sometimes gave people the wrong idea. Some thought they were literal.

    Myself and my friend combined know everything there is to know, but he's not here.

  • The stars replaced them. I may go through and add ranks for folks, I just a haven't had time yet.
  • I just happened to find them something to strive for in trying to help others here. Sort of an inspiration I guess. Speaking to some others I've found out that inspiration has dwindled now since the changes and most who were commenting and helping no longer are. Not sure if it's the new format of the site or what. I thought the titles were a nice touch though and not meaningless at all. It showed one's contribution to the site and community. Was just curious as I noticed them no longer here.
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    I believe part of the change was to more closely emulate the social media format many [though not all] Millennials prefer.
    I just happened to find them something to strive for in trying to help others here. Sort of an inspiration I guess. Speaking to some others I've found out that inspiration has dwindled now since the changes and most who were commenting and helping no longer are. Not sure if it's the new format of the site or what. I thought the titles were a nice touch though and not meaningless at all. It showed one's contribution to the site and community. Was just curious as I noticed them no longer here.
  • I just happened to find them something to strive for in trying to help others here. Sort of an inspiration I guess. Speaking to some others I've found out that inspiration has dwindled now since the changes and most who were commenting and helping no longer are. Not sure if it's the new format of the site or what. I thought the titles were a nice touch though and not meaningless at all. It showed one's contribution to the site and community. Was just curious as I noticed them no longer here.
    This is good feedback! We absolutely can have rankings with titles again. I'll look into setting it up in the near future.
    It's unfortunate that there's been a bit of a fall off with the update, as I was pretty excited to get a new and clean interface with easier navigation. That said, if there are things that you or anyone miss or want, please feel free to comment or start a thread.
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    Truth be told, some people are a bit put off by change, while others aren't. Perhaps those uncomfortable with losing the old fora ranking will become more active when they see something similar instituted with the new format.
    Paul_Lulu said:
    I just happened to find them something to strive for in trying to help others here. Sort of an inspiration I guess. Speaking to some others I've found out that inspiration has dwindled now since the changes and most who were commenting and helping no longer are. Not sure if it's the new format of the site or what. I thought the titles were a nice touch though and not meaningless at all. It showed one's contribution to the site and community. Was just curious as I noticed them no longer here.
    This is good feedback! We absolutely can have rankings with titles again. I'll look into setting it up in the near future.
    It's unfortunate that there's been a bit of a fall off with the update, as I was pretty excited to get a new and clean interface with easier navigation. That said, if there are things that you or anyone miss or want, please feel free to comment or start a thread.

  • As I've been told by some the navigation isn't as smooth as before which is why they haven't contributed to the forum lately. I agree to a point. It does seem a little more complicated. But that's just me. Thanks Paul :)
  • Paul_LuluPaul_Lulu Admin
    edited February 6
    Any suggestions for a cleaner navigation? I thought about making the "Recent Discussions" the base home page. Something more like Reddit's home screen, but I feared that might be too much of a change.

    We've got heatmapping running so I can get a sense of where people go and how they land on the forums, but that really has to run for 90 days or so before I get meaningful data.

    Also, a quick look at the current rank system, we have 5 tiers, with the lowest tier being anyone logged in. So we can list 5 different ranks at the moment, and I can add or adjust how those ranks are achieved. Did we like the old titles - Librarian, Professor, etc.?
  • I personally liked the old titles. What some were telling me is that it seemed to take too long to get to the forums. Too many clicks? Not sure. To me personally it just doesn't seem as personal or attractive in the forums now. As Sphinx mentioned maybe it is made that way to be like social media. I'm not really complaining about it,  I just happened to notice the titles gone and missed that. I'd rather see "Latest comments or questions" rather than have to click each separate category and then decide if I can help or not. I think maybe that is why some are not helping as much as before. In the past I've gotten so much help from fellow members and my work has gotten better but far from perfect. But it does seem less people are showing up now to help. I'll talk to those who chat with me frequently and see what they have to say as well. Then get back to you.
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    Master Wilcox,

    Perhaps you and those you chat with could suggest new titles? For now I'll settle for the title "Above the Daisies".

    I agree the addition of "Latest comments or questions" or possibly "Trending Now" would give people a quick view of the latest postings, though my personal peeve about the old layout was that someone could comment on something from years ago and it quickly wouldn't show without a lot of searching.
    I personally liked the old titles. What some were telling me is that it seemed to take too long to get to the forums. Too many clicks? Not sure. To me personally it just doesn't seem as personal or attractive in the forums now. As Sphinx mentioned maybe it is made that way to be like social media. I'm not really complaining about it,  I just happened to notice the titles gone and missed that. I'd rather see "Latest comments or questions" rather than have to click each separate category and then decide if I can help or not. I think maybe that is why some are not helping as much as before. In the past I've gotten so much help from fellow members and my work has gotten better but far from perfect. But it does seem less people are showing up now to help. I'll talk to those who chat with me frequently and see what they have to say as well. Then get back to you.

  • Sphinx I guess it's more nostalgia than anything. I always enjoyed getting the messages from lulu saying I'd made it another level or gotten a badge for something. I really am not complaining about it. I just happen to notice and thought it was always a nice touch here. I usually just search the general discussion link and ignore the others. Those are better left to more experienced writers than I. I agree about the posting on old comments. I think after a certain amount of time maybe certain comments could be blocked like in some blogs online. I'm happy with the site now that I've gotten used to it but haven't really enjoyed the forum as I have in the past. To me it's sort of an online family if you will. I actually chat here more than on Facebook. Less politics and social issues just what can I do to become a better writer :) Thanks for the comment Sphinx..
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    The stars replaced them. I may go through and add ranks for folks, I just a haven't had time yet.

    What stars? But if you do add ranks don't make them titles to do with publishing professions, newbies think they are actual qualifications.

    Myself and my friend combined know everything there is to know, but he's not here.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Any suggestions for a cleaner navigation? I thought about making the "Recent Discussions" the base home page. Something more like Reddit's home screen, but I feared that might be too much of a change.


    It looks very clear to me, far better than the previous version. The Recent Discussions button is ideal, and who could miss it? I have never seen Reddit.

    We've got heatmapping running so I can get a sense of where people go and how they land on the forums, but that really has to run for 90 days or so before I get meaningful data.

    In all the time I have been here the people who arrive at the forums have slowly dwindled away. It could be nothing to do with the layout of the forums. Although there was one change to them that no one seemed to like and they left, and never returned. I was one, but I did return eventually. Previously, all the vast number of interlinked Help pages were very confusing to get around, and they have been simplified over and over. Perhaps people now think they don't need to visit the forums? Helps search is still rubbish though. It cannot find crucial words that one knows must be in Help somewhere. Such as 'Fonts.'  It also still cannot read beyond the first word in a very short sentence.

    The thing is, though, how does the lack of visitors to the forum balance out with the people who still publish using Lulu? Up? Down? The Same?


    Also, a quick look at the current rank system, we have 5 tiers, with the lowest tier being anyone logged in. So we can list 5 different ranks at the moment,

    It depends on the 'points' needed to reach those ranks. Years ago some of us reached the max ranking, and remained stuck on that for years! What was it? Professor?  It did seem very, er, pointless.

     and I can add or adjust how those ranks are achieved. Did we like the old titles - Librarian, Professor, etc.?

    No. See above! and whatever you use perhaps the rankings should be almost infinite? God like being?  LOL.

    Myself and my friend combined know everything there is to know, but he's not here.

  • Any suggestions for a cleaner navigation? I thought about making the "Recent Discussions" the base home page. Something more like Reddit's home screen, but I feared that might be too much of a change.


    It looks very clear to me, far better than the previous version. The Recent Discussions button is ideal, and who could miss it? I have never seen Reddit.

    We've got heatmapping running so I can get a sense of where people go and how they land on the forums, but that really has to run for 90 days or so before I get meaningful data.

    In all the time I have been here the people who arrive at the forums have slowly dwindled away. It could be nothing to do with the layout of the forums. Although there was one change to them that no one seemed to like and they left, and never returned. I was one, but I did return eventually. Previously, all the vast number of interlinked Help pages were very confusing to get around, and they have been simplified over and over. Perhaps people now think they don't need to visit the forums? Helps search is still rubbish though. It cannot find crucial words that one knows must be in Help somewhere. Such as 'Fonts.'  It also still cannot read beyond the first word in a very short sentence.

    The thing is, though, how does the lack of visitors to the forum balance out with the people who still publish using Lulu? Up? Down? The Same?


    Also, a quick look at the current rank system, we have 5 tiers, with the lowest tier being anyone logged in. So we can list 5 different ranks at the moment,

    It depends on the 'points' needed to reach those ranks. Years ago some of us reached the max ranking, and remained stuck on that for years! What was it? Professor?  It did seem very, er, pointless.

     and I can add or adjust how those ranks are achieved. Did we like the old titles - Librarian, Professor, etc.?

    No. See above! and whatever you use perhaps the rankings should be almost infinite? God like being?  LOL.

    Just to get a better sense of the control I have, and because I have a very nice spread sheet with the requirements for the old ranks (thanks Glenn), I put those ranks back in. We can (and I likely will) adjust some of the titles. But as of now, everyone should have a rank just following their name.

    The one major difference I still am toying with would be to set up the home page as the Recent Discussions. Our traffic to Knowledge Base content far outweighs folks using the Forums, and over the last couple months I've spent more hours than I care to admit reading up on and clarifying the Knowledge Base content.

    The search bar should (I say, full of hope) be working better as of yesterday afternoon. The integration with our content and tagging didn't work initially, but our developers released a fix that forces the bar to search content in the Knowledge Base category by default, making it (again, full of hope) easier for someone to search for answers and not get bombarded with loosely relevant forums posts from 2 years ago.

    On the last point, since we initiated ranks no one has yet achieved the highest rank according to my records.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I am not sure where the problem lies with the existing links at the top right. I don't think there is one. They seem as plain as day to me and work just fine. But I am not viewing them on a tablet or smartphone. Do they look different on those? The first I click is Recent Discussions. But that does not seem to include new postings, one has to search for those using the Categories link. Maybe a link that lists New Postings? Original ones, not within a thread. Perhaps instead of the Unanswered link, because that only seems to apply to posts set as a Question. (And often remains as Unanswered even when it has been.)

    As to reaching the highest ranks, you have reset them with this new forum have you not? If not then the requirements to advance must be astronomical considering how long some have been posting in the forums.


    BTW. Forums are often viewed in a bad light, so maybe that has caused dwindling figures?  There's also not enough people here replying to people. Just the usual three-ish are still around. They have also dwindled. There used to be dozens of regular helpers. Although there were also more regular semi-trolls.

    Myself and my friend combined know everything there is to know, but he's not here.

  • The mobile platform is pretty basic, but does require a click to expand a menu to see the sidebar navigation.

    For the ranks, we retained the account age and number of posts total, but we lost the point system we had previously (based on solutions and kudos). The new point system is based on accepted answers and interacting with the buttons at the bottom of the post. I set those requirements pretty low, so long time users should be bumped significantly closer to their previous rankings.


  • Thanks Paul for your hard work. Again not complaining. I just thought it was a nice touch to those of us who have been here awhile and use the site. You are probably right about the knowledge base being used more than the forum and therefore more important. I think most new people would use that before using the forum as I did when I first started. I just prefer the forum to get answers because there are some very knowledgeable writers here and I highly respect their opinions.
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    Master Wilcox,
    I understand nostalgia and feel it sometimes myself, when I have idle moments. The reality is the badges and ranks signified something you and others had accomplished, regardless of the reason[s] behind the interaction.

    Ah FacePain, something I don't do for a variety of reasons, one of which is it I have no desire to be trolled by those few relatives [blood or otherwise] I have left. Another reason I refrain is the feel of high school-esque social cliques, something I wasn't overly fond of decades ago. When it comes to political and social issues I long ago grew weary of trying to discuss issues with people who were firmly convinced there is no POV except their own. Should I feel the need of touching on politics or social issues, my writing is a better place to get my point across.

    GoodReads has some good groups, though there is some of that overall FB feel to it, with a few too many people trying to sell services or the occasional vanity-published author trying to promote the company that got them into 'Traditional Publishing'. When it comes to the craft of writing, this is a good place to either learn or help others learn, which lends itself to creating the feel of a community.

    Hopefully as Paul adjusts things on the fora to fit both the needs of the business as well as the needs of the end-users, that community will regroup and grow.
    Sphinx I guess it's more nostalgia than anything. I always enjoyed getting the messages from lulu saying I'd made it another level or gotten a badge for something. I really am not complaining about it. I just happen to notice and thought it was always a nice touch here. I usually just search the general discussion link and ignore the others. Those are better left to more experienced writers than I. I agree about the posting on old comments. I think after a certain amount of time maybe certain comments could be blocked like in some blogs online. I'm happy with the site now that I've gotten used to it but haven't really enjoyed the forum as I have in the past. To me it's sort of an online family if you will. I actually chat here more than on Facebook. Less politics and social issues just what can I do to become a better writer :) Thanks for the comment Sphinx..


  • Thanks Paul for your hard work. Again not complaining. I just thought it was a nice touch to those of us who have been here awhile and use the site. You are probably right about the knowledge base being used more than the forum and therefore more important. I think most new people would use that before using the forum as I did when I first started. I just prefer the forum to get answers because there are some very knowledgeable writers here and I highly respect their opinions.
    I agree and using a Forum is always my preferred method to find answers. Part of the problem is the way we point users to this space, part of it is the nature of the Internet.

    Any feedback, both constructive or just a complaint, is welcome. One aspect of this new software is the versatility of it. We can design, skin, and add functions. Some are easy, some are hard, but almost anything can be achieved. So anything you think makes your experience better, I want to hear.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    "... and interacting with the buttons at the bottom of the post."  Have you noticed how often they are not clicked? But an addition to them could be Thank-you.

    Myself and my friend combined know everything there is to know, but he's not here.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Many years ago a forum regular said I must get on to Faceache, so I did, all those years later I am still wondering why. Did she mean pay for adverts on it?

    Myself and my friend combined know everything there is to know, but he's not here.

  • A thank you button is a great idea!

    I added it over the "Agree" button
  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor
    I agree with TheJesusNinja. On most counts. It just took me several clicks and back and forths to be able to post an answer here. People are impatient nowadays. They want a quick click and answer. Plus, I like to read the answers and browse without signing in, which I'm not sure I can do. I haven't taken note on which instance this happens.

    I love the light and clean look, but yes, after 14 years of participating, I enjoyed the "Professor" ranking. Glenn and Rachel gave it to me and I loved them so.
     A citizen of the world.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor
    JesusNinja, Your comments are so smooth. It makes me happy to read them.
    On another note, I had an idea for you early in the morning about a month ago. Print your name, TheJesusNinja, on a T-Shirt and sell them online and on Amazon if you can.

    I believe it was an inspired idea and a gift for you.

    There are online companies which do this. Good luck. :)
     A citizen of the world.

  • Em_Press said:
    I agree with TheJesusNinja. On most counts. It just took me several clicks and back and forths to be able to post an answer here. People are impatient nowadays. They want a quick click and answer. Plus, I like to read the answers and browse without signing in, which I'm not sure I can do. I haven't taken note on which instance this happens.

    I love the light and clean look, but yes, after 14 years of participating, I enjoyed the "Professor" ranking. Glenn and Rachel gave it to me and I loved them so.
    There shouldn't be any need to log in or register to view all parts of the Community. The old service did require a profile, but I've made a generic "Guest" level for anyone who gets to the pages.
    A hang up we've seen is if you are logged into a Lulu account when you land here, it tries to force you to log in, which can be tedious. We're working on a complete redesign of the log in service anyway, so I've been told this should wrap in fixes for the Forum log in. If it doesn't, our development team will be getting a ticket from me to get it straightened out.
    As for the ranks, I plugged them back in, but because we have a new point system, it didn't place everyone exactly where they belong based on the old ranks. I turned on a feature to allow me to do so manually, but it is producing an error. Once I get that straightened out, I'm going to manually apply ranks to long time members that more closely align to their previous ranks.
    I'm also toying with adjusting the home page to a display of "recent discussions" rather than the categories, so you see the newest content as soon as you land here. I have to tinker with it more. I hate to make to jarring a change, but I do want to make it as easy as possible for folks to land here and comment/ask questions.
    Thanks for the feedback, please keep it coming!
  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor
    Thank you, Paul.

    Ok, I'm on Andoid now. I read your answer without signing in. Clicked on sign in to respond. It brought me back to your answer with the option to sign in or register. I clicked on sign in again. It brought me to my projects. I clicked on learn, then clicked on forums to get here. And now I am able to type in my response.
     A citizen of the world.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor
    Btw, I LOVE the Thank you! option.
     A citizen of the world.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor
    Kevin, was that me? Hmm...Facebook...I don't know yet if it's helpful, but I'm addicted.
     A citizen of the world.

  • so the big loop back to Lulu is the issue I'm still fighting to get fixed.
    What should happen is:
    1. Go to a post and decide to log in
    2. click log in/register
    3. if you're browser recognizes you as logged into Lulu, you get redirected to the original spot, logged in.
      or
      if you aren't logged into Lulu, you hit the standard log in/register page, log in and end up where you started

    That weird loop back to home site is what I'm told we can't (or won't) fix until they finish rebuilding the sign on.

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