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Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


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Posted
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#17757 (In Topic #4114)
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Community saint

Things we'd love to know, but are ashamed to ask ...

Hi everyone!  ;)

Seems a few of us are regretting the old lively forums.
There was a lot to learn, just browsing these…

The support format has changed. True enough, Chris is still willing and able to tackle any issue we may have trying to make something intelligent with ocp (which admittedly is all that counts), and the guides are there for all our everyday snags. But digging into the documentation can take time, said documentation cannot cover all the little things we'd want to ask, and I can't see myself sending ten support tickets a day for things I could find on my own with a little effort.
Most of the times, other users went through all this before, and these silly little questions that are too trivial for support could easily be answered by the community.
This could save the newcomer a huge amount of time, and make his ocp experience considerably more enjoyable.

So here's the idea (can be improved):
A topic is opened, in a sub-forum where everybody has moderator status.
Have a question? Edit the post and add it to the list (in red?)
Can answer one? Edit the post, and answer it (in blue?)
Maybe once in a while an admin can drop by and fill-in a few blanks, too.
If the thing picks-up, and gets too big, we can split it into categories and have more than one post.
No question too simple or too daft, want to know something, ask.

How about it, Wizard?

www.precorp.fr

Last one to leave the country, please turn off the lights.
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Posted
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#17767
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We'll give this a shot :). I realise that our website has a very corporate feel now and that some find it off-putting, but actually we're more than happy to answer 'silly questions' as long as:
  • ocPortal users aren't trying to get free support so they can go on without supporting the development of ocPortal
  • ocPortal users aren't making us regurgitate what we've already clearly described in an obvious place in the documentation

This isn't happening here and I don't think it will much. This is a great opportunity for us to see what little (or big) problems affect people. The ocProducts staff might know websites like the "back of our hand", but we're quite understanding that most people don't. There's plenty of stuff we don't know in life, it's just this is our area of expertise. We're happy to share that expertise, or preferably, actually make the product self-explaining (which is a big thing we're aiming for in v3).

We'll be making changes to ocportal.com when we launch version 3, that will change the perceived tone and I'm hoping people will really join in, because that's really what we all do want :)! I'd like to see this stuff on a WIKI rather than on the forum, which is something that version 3 will do well, so we might just make this a proper part of our website… everyone joining in now would give us a good incentive to do that ;).


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#17771
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Hi, moimaim. Thanks for taking initiative and sharing this idea with us :). I think that most of us agree that ocPortal's biggest plague at this point is that many of its features and settings are not intuitively obvious, despite our efforts to document as many things as possible. The reality is that there are many "silly" questions which need to be addressed.

My suggestion is to change the styling format of the questions and answers. Red and blue can both be difficult to read, especially considering our own background is a shade of blue. I recommend shifting it to a bold/non-bold format, like this:

How do I do such and such?
Start off by doing this and that, and then finish by…

That will make the questions jump out easier, and also help readability for people with weaker eyes.

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Posted
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#17777
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Fan in training

You have a point, bold/non-bold will probably be easier to read.

Thanks for trying  ;)
Ocp does deserve a strong community and these dead forums are a shame. Let's try to bring them back to life.  :thumbs:

Your mouse has moved. Windows must be restarted, for the changes to take effect. Reboot now? [OK]  :'(
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Posted
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#17816
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Well-settled

I had a hard time finding these forums. The feel of everthing seems put off and distant. The forum gate appears closed out like a ghost-town hospital. OCPortal looks great, but I haven't discovered how to customize it and make it my own. I'm not even sure where the documentation is located.
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Posted
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#17820
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Thanks for your feedback. The intent with the website was to make all the information available to people (there is a lot of it there), but obviously it doesn't feel right as you point out. We will be fixing that. The next version of ocPortal also has a lot more documentation actually built into it, or linked to from inside of it.

Documentation


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#18486
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Fan in training

I know you must hate future feature questions, but do you have any plans to include email to discussion in your software?
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Posted
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#18487
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Hi,

By this do you mean allowing people to send an e-mail to the forum and having that e-mail be turned into a forum post? Or do you mean having forum posts sent out to subscribers, much like a mailing list? Or both?

We've thought about this and the idea is floating about within our planning. I can't confirm whether it would come to fruition though because our plans are very fluid. The best way to influence us though is to explain the benefits of having such a feature: the better case put, the more likely we are to include it. :)


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#18508

Non-joined user

Actually, I would prefer both of your listed options. Being able to mimic a mailing list, in whatever way that is possible, would have many advantages.  Ideally, being able to post to blogs using email would be nice, too.

I've managed a forum for a long time, but as a beginner to web site administration, I've spent many hours searching for a CMS that is powerful and sophisticated enough to meet most of my needs and yet tame enough to set up and handle on my own.  So far, OcPortal is the only one that gives me a feeling of confidence in my ability to accomplish what I want to do.  However, the lack of email integration into discussions is a sticking point because I know I'll be starting a site that some of my intended audience will not use.  Without this feature, my only alternative will be to run separate mailing lists which will not only increase my workload but will also tend to fracture the community I wish to build.    

As much as I am a fan of discussion boards, I've discovered that many in the community I plan to serve either prefer to participate in discussion through email or simply refuse to participate in a forum format. There are also many who can and will participate through their cellular phones/mobile devices if they can do so with the convenience and ease of email and their use of the site will increase if they have that ability. I'm missing these people in the forum format I'm currently using and I'd like to broaden my membership when I start my new site.  

While there are those who may want the "hit" each time a person posts or reads a discussion and, therefore, would not want to utilize this feature, I view offering it as an enticement to those who would probably not participate at all.  They will still sometimes login to see other content and use other features and their use will increase the vibrancy of the community and draw more members.

I think this feature would not only be a welcome one for hobby and non-profit sites, but it would be an especially important option for corporate clients.  Within an organization, there are those who prefer to deal with the efficiency of one stop at their email box rather than having to login at a forum to participate in ongoing collaboration or discussion.  Inclusion, ease, and efficiency are paramount considerations when choosing corporate software.

Recently, I've read information and discussion on other sites concerning this topic.  They relate to use of the mail handler and list server modules of other software systems for this purpose.  There does seem to be interest and need for such features among those who are seeking content management systems and I'm sure OcPortal could provide a superior integrated solution.

Thank you for your time and consideration. You appear to have a fine product with wonderful documentation. I'll be watching your blog for notes on your new release and looking forward to a chance to see a demo soon.


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Posted
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#18511
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Well-settled

This has my vote. We have lost members to mailing lists because we did not have an email access point to our forum. So many people live by their email and no time to surf through forum posts. My community has been split across the Forum/Mailing List divide for a long time now. Keeping them in sync has been impossible.

I have seen that other communities are starting to change this. I was on a mailing list that recently added a forum for their mailing list posts. Although many of their list subscribers hate forums, the list members never have to actually use the forum. Many find bridging the gap between the two a relief, including me.

I've often wanted to post via mobile, which I have done to a blog before. So that'd be a nice feature.
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Posted
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#18513
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Thanks people, this was very well argued and is very likely to influence our future plans. I'll point out that if this is a sticking point for a customer registering, then it is the kind of thing we may well be able to implement it in at least some form in the free hours we provide to each user.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#21826
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Community saint

Chris Graham said

Thanks people, this was very well argued and is very likely to influence our future plans. I'll point out that if this is a sticking point for a customer registering, then it is the kind of thing we may well be able to implement it in at least some form in the free hours we provide to each user.
 
This is not a dead issue at all and in fact we have seen on line forums closed because some posts have provided information that was used by others in breech of privacy rules etc … In that forum the security was open however the forum now only sends to an email list and there is no actual forum.

The issue of being able to send an email to a blog or forum is of interest also. i.e send a mail to mailto:bugs@ocforum.com could well create a new bug thread and create the trouble ticket support call for a registered member.

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Posted
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#27151
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Honoured member

Email to Post/forum

Chris Graham said

Thanks people, this was very well argued and is very likely to influence our future plans. I'll point out that if this is a sticking point for a customer registering, then it is the kind of thing we may well be able to implement it in at least some form in the free hours we provide to each user.
 
I'd like to gently "bump" this and remind the OC Team not to overlook consideration for this in the next release.  My new (in process of being built…which is why I'm here) site has a demographic that is intimidated by forums, accustomed to email lists (think Yahoo & GMail), and allowing subscription to threads/forums and the ability to email a response would be very useful to those of us with SEVERELY non-tech-savvy users.  :thumbs:



Thanks for the consideration,

Hitch



I always ask myself: WWWWD?, or, "What Would Wonder Woman Do?"
How come we have Yahoo IM, AIM, ICQ, you name it, but no field for Skype contact info?
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Posted
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#27152
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Community saint

We support automated email posts as Chris has pointed out previously I have been in forums that have closed where those groups continue through automated mailing lists to the user groups email accounts. (Yahoo Groups). There you simply send an email to the forum address and it is distributed as an email. There are other options such as post an email to a forum and it creates a new thread. There is also definitely a requirement to be able to pick out either a thread or a forum and email these (In case of the forum a link i suppose, in the case of a thread the complete thread) to OTHER than OCPortal users (users outside OC portal accounts) and is a good way to get users to use the OC sites.
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