Feature Community/Group Forums on commonsinabox.org homepage?
Right now the homepage of cbox.org is pretty static. The forums are well hidden -- one has to figure out that one should click on "community" to find evidence of life on the site.
Should we feature group forum activity on the homepage? Doing so would highlight bugs, but I think we should, as it will show people how/where to find support and will get back talking more about the product.
Boone, Chris, what do you think?
#2 Updated by Raymond Hoh over 8 years ago
For now, I've added the bbPress topic shortcode on the homepage; it shows the last 15 topics from across the forums.
Unfortunately, the shortcode doesn't take any parameters so we can't limit the number of topics or anything else at the moment. We could probably write some custom code to limit the topics on the homepage.
Feel free to remove the shortcode if it it's deemed too busy.
#3 Updated by Matt Gold over 8 years ago
- Status changed from Assigned to Rejected
Thanks so much, Ray, for trying that out, but I do think it made the homepage too busy and that the forum topics appeared under the CBOX introductory text without any context. The impression one might get from looking at that list of topics might be that the software is really buggy. Hope you don't mind, but I removed the shortcode for now.
I've been thinking about this ticket a bit and looking around at some peer sites (like Zotero and Omeka). I think that for now that we should leave things as is. Chris, if you have any ideas, please let us know and we can reopen the ticket.
#4 Updated by Chris Stein over 8 years ago
Matt, you may be right. A list of forum topics might not be appropriate for the homepage. I'm attaching a screenshot. I added a Latest Updates that is now a list up releases but could potentially have other news. Then I also added a CBOX in the News section where we can list writeups people have made about it.
The idea, for now at least, is to make these just text we can update by hand as things come up and not worry about automating forum posts or anything like that.
I also reorganized the layout a bit. One of the things that has been bugging me about the pages on the site is that in many places the measure (length of a line of text) is too long. Experts recommend 60-75 characters and ours is like 127 on the homepage. Also they have a style on the lists that causes text on the second line of bullets to come under the bullet, and there is no margin between bullet points. So I modified those things as well.
In another ticket an another time we can address in a more comprehensive way the design issues.
#5 Updated by Matt Gold over 8 years ago
- Status changed from Rejected to Assigned
This looks great, Chris -- thanks! My only worry about the text-length issue is that having three columns at the top might make things a little busy, but I say that we should go with this and see how it looks. Nice work!
#6 Updated by Chris Stein over 8 years ago
It's possible it's a bit busy. That's one of the reasons I increased the font-size on the first two sentences, to make it clear where first time visitors should start reading. I can implement this without much of a problem using some hackish inline styles and just editing HTML for the page in dashboard. If we go with something like this long-term it would be better to have some styles added to the site's CSS.
Before I make the change there are three content questions to answer. I'll be tied up the rest of the day and won't be able to look at it again until the evening.
- The first three paragraphs now start Commons In A Box (CBOX, CBOX and CBOX. Perhaps a little wordsmithing is in order there.
- What should be in the Latest Updates section? Also should these link to blog posts from the blog? In the future this section might be a widget that just pulls in the last x blog posts.
- Which writeups should be in the CBOX in the News section? And should these link to blog posts as well?
#9 Updated by Boone Gorges over 3 years ago
- Status changed from Assigned to Rejected
I'm assuming that some of this work will become moot when CBOX-OL is ready for launch, since presumably that integration will entail a rethink of the front page. Let's handle the redesign under the auspices of that project.