News

The Reefuge

Administrator
Jul 9, 2011
4,152
1,928
Here.we.go
Hi everyone,

Okay, so let's get the ball rolling. I am going to be up front with everyone about what is going to be happening. Unfortunately, due to the amount of hackery that has been done to this forum, it is almost impossible to get this thing upgraded and back up to a suitable condition for development. It is almost as difficult as moving from one forum platform to another.

So, the only viable option at the moment (unfortunately) is for me to setup a new website and see what can be salvaged from "The Reefuge". It is almost certain that the userbase, along with the forum threads/posts will be able to be transferred over. However, everything else will be lost (marketplace, journals, groups, maps, etc).

Having said that, I would like to get a head start on things as I have found a little bit of free time. Here is what I ask everyone to reply with -

1. Important features - stuff you find important. So tank journals, chat box, etc.
2. If you will be willing to beta test as I am developing.

If you have any suggestions on new things you would like added, please take this opportunity to do so as it is a lot easier to implement this stuff during development time.

Thanks.
 
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Wrangy

Member
May 7, 2013
2,923
1,567
Research
- Tank journals are a must lol I love the feature and the way they're set out so we have to keep them! lol
- Chat box is always nice to have too :)
- Marketplace with larger ad picture tiles would be a nice addition

Nothing else I can think of off the top of my head at the moment and as always, happy to beta test whatever you need :)
 

Rob

Member
Apr 26, 2012
743
424
Stupid question i know however is it a license or financial issue you need to migrate to a new platform ?

I thought the site was ok as is. Must admit though im not as active as i once was however the layout you have created must be admired by 90% of the other forums out there
 

IJG3145

Member
Oct 27, 2015
442
162
South Gippsland
Forums like this are dying, not just for aquaria but dedicated forums of all types. I believe it's mainly due to things like facebook, youtube,etc. I've been thinking about this in relation to The Reefuge & my own sites for months. I have some ideas for reefuge cross-platform marketing that I'll get to separately.

I'll be as brief as I can but you all know that's not a strong point of mine. :rolleyes So I'm not criticising, I know there are sound reasons for most things but you asked........:D

My Positives
  • The people! This is such a positive place compared to that other mob. Moderators and Team Leaders here don't seem to require high horses, people are almost always helpful & supportive. We are not censored for every little thing - I can even say 'shit' without this post being deleted and that is, or at least was, the Aussie way.

    I don't believe I would have received support anywhere else like I did here when my health was getting really bad again. I bet Ezza would agree about support she received at a difficult time.

  • Tank Journals. After initially struggling with the new TJ system, I now like it a lot and it has some fundamental advantages.

  • Marketplace. Great but underutilised. I know for a fact that some visitors could not find it, they thought it was an area for businesses. I've seen it called classifieds, garage sales, buy and sell - they all work but Marketplace can be confusing to people that don't know their way around here.

    Personally I would like to see options to browse by state and shipping yes/no added. Ok it's not that big a detail now because it isn't used enough but let's assume it will grow and design accordingly. Take this example, if I'm looking at fish I'm not interested in anything outside my own state. If I'm looking for coral or equipment, I'm only interested in sellers that will ship.

  • Search Function. Use it all the time.

  • Business Groups or Forums. Good. However we need a visual indicator as to when there is something new in there - possibly with the option to turn it off if not interested. However I would support not being able to turn the visual indicator off if it was unobtrusive, say bold text. Businesses will only come here to get their message out - no other reason, so let's not lock them in a corner.
  • State Groups. I like state groups. The idea is sound but again a visual indicator is needed to draw attention. These could also be used to coordinate local activity, ie a swap meet.

My Negatives
  • Flood checking. Writing a 5 second reply but waiting 30 seconds so I can post it. I get the rationale but maybe we could have a group of users who don't get flood checked. Maybe based on time as a member, contributions, etc. I sometimes answer half a dozen posts or questions in a go and the delay is frustrating.
  • Lightbox. Sorry but it's awkward, slow, resource hungry & unreliable. The only feature here I actively dislike.

  • Locked usernames.

  • Not being able to delete old TJ's
  • General Reef Forum. Once again I know for a fact that people I've steered here, looked at the forums and saw only what they perceived as what was missing, a coral area, a fish area, an invert area. A couple who did work it out said they couldn't be bothered sorting through all those post while trying to find only invert ones about moulting. I think they may have a point.
Things I never use and would never use
  • Everything in the account dashboard except the ability to change name.
  • LFS & Member Map. I really couldn't care less about the location of LFS in Europe, US, etc. I come from a land downunder......
Chat? I'm on here all the time. Did not know there was a chat area.

Also I think the right sidebar is counterproductive. The image below is a screenshot from my PC.You can see (left screen) that my writing, viewing editing room is very narrow due to the right sidebar. On my Samsung smart phone, I can't read the screen because the text is too small due to there being two sidebars.


Ignore the right side, I run virtual machines in a multiscreen setup.

Untitled.jpg
 

Shaun3350

Member
Feb 19, 2014
36
7
Shepparton
I agree with all of the above.. With what IJG3145 said. Except I like the map Idea but maybe just stick to Australia and try to keep it current. Being someone that doesn't live in the city its good to see where the LFS are BUT!!!!!!!!!!! 3/4 of the LFS either aren't there anymore or don't sell marine at all. If you look at the shops in Melbourne for example there is about 30 shops on there but i'm sure there is under 10 GOOD marine stores. It's also handy for travelling, but usually leads to disappointment. Also more separate sections instead of a general reefing in the forum would be good. Happy to beta test.
 

NiCd

Lead Moderator
Jul 29, 2011
4,297
1,586
Sydney
I liked the chat box a lot more when it was on the front page, now its in the browse section i virtually never use it.

Agree with the filters for the classifieds and its naming being able to be improved upon.

I dislike the way the classifieds run where there is the post to the main page that shows a bit when you click on it and then get redirected to the add, i really think this could be improved upon a lot

Posts in off topic etc not showing on the front page, maybe for logged in users the ability to select which sections you want to subscribe to being on the front page feed?

TJ's have grown on me, I was a hard sell but over time i think its alot better how it is at the moment.

I think the reefuge wallet, custom links etc should be binned.

Micro groups and business groups I think have had their day and can get binned, state groups need to be either pushed better or abandoned
 

IJG3145

Member
Oct 27, 2015
442
162
South Gippsland
Yep, as above too. Especially re classifieds and being redirected.

BTW I love the text editor on this site.

I'm not a big fan of images I own and/or upload, being stamped with The Reefuge logo and the copyright symbol no less. For me it's not about ownership, it just seems rude and sometimes the logo blocks what was intended to be seen.

Now in all honesty I don't really care that much, it's not like I've put in any artistry and if I hadn't already licensed them under Public Domain provisions, I would happily give them to you.

Suggested reading...
 
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IJG3145

Member
Oct 27, 2015
442
162
South Gippsland
lfs store reviews or links is about the only one i feel would be good other wise BANGING job !!!!!!!!!!!!
Your name just reminded me of something.

On some other forums I occasionally use there has been debate about the word 'NEWBIE'. Apparently some people find it disparaging. I thought this was a stretch at first but then I read some threads people highlighted on masa, that were about trying to improve their site and getting the so called gurus to back off a bit.

In each case the gurus refused to listen :cumand nothing was achieved, however the threads were open to everyone and had hundreds of views. In those threads were comments along the lines of "well the stupid newbies should listen"....

That's certainly disparaging and so called newbies are not stupid, just inexperienced and often looking for help. I don't know which way I lean on this and I certainly don't want to encourage censorship, but perhaps it is a word best avoid.
 

newbiereef

Member
Nov 8, 2011
874
154
gracemere
Your name just reminded me of something.

On some other forums I occasionally use there has been debate about the word 'NEWBIE'. Apparently some people find it disparaging. I thought this was a stretch at first but then I read some threads people highlighted on masa, that were about trying to improve their site and getting the so called gurus to back off a bit.

In each case the gurus refused to listen :cumand nothing was achieved, however the threads were open to everyone and had hundreds of views. In those threads were comments along the lines of "well the stupid newbies should listen"....

That's certainly disparaging and so called newbies are not stupid, just inexperienced and often looking for help. I don't know which way I lean on this and I certainly don't want to encourage censorship, but perhaps it is a word best avoid.

yeah i have had the so called gurus bash me on another site i asked a question and one "guru" was slagging out at me i already had a very good idea on what i asked but wanted some more "honest" feedback and as it was he wasssssss way off some one else told him so then the s^%t hit the fan it was sooo funny reading the replys.

I am still a "newbie" even though i have had my tank now for nearly 8 years so much still to learn so much
 
E

ezza

Guest
For the most part I am pretty happy with the way things are. These are some of my ideas:

It would be good to have easier access to the chat box. I feel it gets lost now and rarely use it because it's hard to find.

I tend to read posts off the main page that shows the picture and post summary. Funnily enough, not every new post shows up there though. It would be good to have a page that just lists the posts in order of newest post- or to be able to set that choice manually regardless of which subforum it is in. Maybe I need to just go to every forum and work through and not be lazy.

The photo upload on iPhone killed me for so long. I think you recently did something with that though so thanks! Having to find the hidden button was tedious.

Maybe we could have a hardware forum? We could include details of lights, pumps, blah blah blah and though of course it will date, it could be a useful resource. I find myself reading old forum posts a lot when trying to sort out things regarding my lights etc. it would be so much easier to have a resource on our own forum where you can go to find out the details, functionality, recommendations, maybe we can upload instruction manuals or tricks we learn... I don't know.

Someone mentioned a wiki. Is it worth making a little directory to put in fish and coral IDs? Just pop in a wee pic, the name, food, habitat, coral placement levels, what not to put it near, etc. it could be super helpful.

The community support here is something else. Never in my life have I ever been so cared for by a group of absolute strangers. It will be part of my story forever. I recount my journey, including the support of this forum, reasonably frequently. To keep this loving and compassionate treatment and care of members as part of the forum's heart should always be a focus. To be there for each other, whether through health crisis or aquarium disaster is vital to the ongoing existence of this place. It'd be nice to keep doing occasional social things too. Now my body is pretty functional, I would like to meet some people and talk aquariums!

I have finished work now and will start uni again soon, but I have time to test things and generally hang around. I got me a new laptop recently so my time at home is guaranteed to revolve around the Internet!!
 

holly

Member
Jul 10, 2013
1,806
832
Melbourne
Tank journals, chat box :) They're the essentials for me. Groups and events is a nice extra, classifieds are good too. I don't use any fish forums on facebook anymore as I've gone oldschool newsfeed to keep my sanity.
 
E

ezza

Guest
I don't use any fish forums on facebook anymore as I've gone oldschool newsfeed to keep my sanity.
Me too! They are great to look at but make me want to kill people by feeding them Palys or shoving Acro in their eyes.
 

newbiereef

Member
Nov 8, 2011
874
154
gracemere
Tank journals, chat box :) They're the essentials for me. Groups and events is a nice extra, classifieds are good too. I don't use any fish forums on facebook anymore as I've gone oldschool newsfeed to keep my sanity.
but they are good for a laugh :-)
 

IJG3145

Member
Oct 27, 2015
442
162
South Gippsland
but they are good for a laugh :)
I go on them and try to get people to join here. Some of the advice on facebook is so bad.

There's one 15yo aussie kid that runs a facebook and a youtube advice channel.

In a recent post he said (and I quote near enough) "I finally worked out what's wrong woth my 40 gal. I realised that you need to do water changes"

:cumo_0
 

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