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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Infopop, makers of the bulletin board software that run ehMac, have just upgraded to version 6.5! I'm implementing the upgrade to ehMac very soon now. (I know, I've been saying that for a while but trust me, it will happen really soon!)

I know when I do the upgrade, some people won't like the change cause well, it will be a change. But nonetheless, we'll try to go forward.

I plan on trying to update the look and feel of ehMac as well (yet keeping it somewhat consistent). Hopefully it will look ok. Will probably see a new forum or two.

And... there will be a few official sponsors to ehMac as well! Really excited about this as there are some great Mac related companies in Canada that we'll be partnering with.
More news to come soon.

Also, I maybe asking some members to participate in a survey that a research company is doing. If anyone has the time to honestly answer the questions on the survey, this would inadvertently GREATLY help out ehMac in a number of $pecial ways!!! (If you do fill out the survey, please answer questions properly, not just fill out survey to help out ehMac) Again, filling out this survey will really, really help out ehMac!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay tuned.
 

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Admittedly you are a benign dictator but I suggest in the interests of community support you open up discussion on forum additions as fragmented discussion areas are a recipe for failure.

It's already a bit thinly populated with 4 forums and we really need a membership drive and in particular a drive for more active participation in existing forums.

Towns can be improved or destroyed by renovations. Tread carefully.
If possible, a parallel URL for some test runs would be ideal.

Official sponsors may be good for the income but it's participation that makes the community work and makes it attractive to sponsors in the first place.

Certainly some feature upgrades like searchable threads for instance would be welcome but again I suggest caution in change and involving the community ahead of time. I beleive many have donated to provide funding for the upgrade so have a vested stake in the manner in which it is done.
Even such minor change as emoticons caused some friction. Once again for the community tread gently and try for a parallel URL to test drive differences.
More work but worth it in the long run.

My 2¢ worth. :cool:



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the good feedback Macdoc. Will take into consideration. I am the kind of guy though who would rather do something and see the reaction and then make modifications. (Case in point the emoticons.. which I believe you were the biggest opponent too ;) ) Just like Mac OS X upgrades... when that little upgrade ball starts bouncing in my dock, I can't wait to upgrade.

I thrive on change so I'd like to update the features and look of ehMac. Some will like, others might not. I will listen to feedback. I really think most members will love the new features and layout.

You have a very good point about membership participation. And that's where sponsorship comes in. Its kind of a chicken and egg situation. Driving up membership and getting more members and more posts really drives up bandwidth, the amount of storage space needed on a server and the amount of admin time etc... So, I've been a little reluctant to really grow. With sponsorship, it will be more feasible to start to promote ehMac growth. Someday down the road, maybe even more so. And the more members, the more value to sponsors.

But yes, I will try to get more active involvement from members we already have too.

Regarding diluting forums, you're ever so correct. I used to have to many forums and it was your great suggestion that got us more focussed. (And all the great members Macdoc has sent our way. And all the great posts.) I think the two new forums I have planned will be of interest.

Thanks again for the feedback and I encourage anyone reading this to let me know your thoughts.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ehMax:
And... there will be a few official sponsors to ehMac as well! Really excited about this as there are some great Mac related companies in Canada that we'll be partnering with.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hmmm, did someone say, special incentive (read price) for registered ehMac citizens to buy Unreal Tournament 2003, for official ehMac UT2K3 game nights?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm, did someone say, special incentive (read price) for registered ehMac citizens to buy Unreal Tournament 2003, for official ehMac UT2K3 game nights?

This kind of thing will for sure be possible!! ;) :cool:
 

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macdoc,

VERY good points!

I would submit I have attempted to solicit more members at one time, only to be told these forums are far too "clichy" and one sided in their administration. Individuals whom I have convinced to drop by and give these forums a try have all reported no interest in staying on.

Shame, really. I know of no other Canadian forums such as these.

On the issue of improvements, a post preview option would likely be a welcome addition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would submit I have attempted to solicit more members at one time, only to be told these forums are far too "clichy" and one sided in their administration.

Hmm, that's interesting. Are we too clichy? Maybe it just appears that way because there aren't as many people who post on a regular basis?

I think the very nature of having a Canadian only Mac based forum is kind of clichy but not in a bad way.

Individuals whom I have convinced to drop by and give these forums a try have all reported no interest in staying on.

Gee, that's too bad. :( I must work to make ehMac more interesting! That can be done!

Feedback is great, keep it coming!
 

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I'm honestly impressed by the number of regulars here and there seems to be a continued growth in the membership. For a "purely Canadian" site, the activity is quite remarkable, in my opinion. Rapid growth is NOT something I would care to see, in light of my experiences on other forums I frequent. Although I have had a few skirmishes here with fellow members, I maintain a respect for their beliefs and rights to express them. I believe the encouragement and acceptance of our differences is what makes us uniquely Canadian.

My comment on the reported "clichiness" (geez, I hate that word!) is only a result of feedback from those I've invited to join in. Personally, I don't see any more of that "feeling" here than any other forums. I would imagine that sense is only more apparent due to the smaller membership, making it more visible in a "smaller room".

The responsibility of making these forums more interesting shouldn't fall on the shoulders of the moderator(s) alone, but upon the membership. We are all an integral part of this community, and in that light must share the responsibility of continued growth and enjoyment.

On occasion, viewpoints and discussions in these forums irk me. But that doesn't keep me from dropping by on a very regular basis. Perhaps my input isn't as prevalent as it could be, but I do read most of what everyone is writing.

Cheers, all!
 

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ehMax announced:
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> I maybe asking some members to participate in a survey that a research company is doing. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If it is a phone survey I can understand that some members may not want to participate. Please feel free to volunteer me for this survey.

If it is an online (or other passive method) survey I would think that ALL members should be welcome with their opinions.

The greater the sample population, the more closely do the results resemble reality.

My 2nd year stats prof. is now smiling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Macspectrum for helping. It won't be a phone survey, thats for sure! (I hate getting calls at my house besides from people I know) An email will be sent out with a link to an online survey. I'm getting final details next week. I'm not sure what the survey will be on yet but they are specifically looking for Canadian opinions. I know they will get some honest opinions here! ;)
 

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do whatever you have to do...but don't make it another macnn type place (or even like the apple forums). We've already got those. This site has a special tight knit community feel and I think that's really important because it allows it to be a multilayered experience...not just a "fix it shop" experience. People come here just to browse...not just to find a solution to their problems.

just my feelings. ;)

edit: p.s. I also really like the format of this group (the colours and layout)...it feels like home...not like a techie site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Pamela! Thanks for reaffirming to me that we do have something kinda special here. I won't go to radical with the new layout.

PS.. the ehMax character is going to get a face lift as well and will be coming to life a bit. ;) He he.

And Macdoc... more is more. More emoticons that is.


I might be doing the upgrade sooner than later actually. Which may involve the sight being down for a weekend. (I'll remember to backup this time) Maybe REALLY soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On the issue of improvements, a post preview option would likely be a welcome addition.

Just testing the new board. Really nice post preview is there.

(New version unfortunately has the same problem in Safari as this one when using Instant UBB code. Cursor jumps back to beginning of text. Wish that would get fixed)

Some really neat new features.
 

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I've seen too many BBSs go south after tinkering with a reasonable set up. :rolleyes:

I'm all for progressive change but not change for it's own sake.

Can I make a suggestion ( yes more emoticons is great ).
You do it one of two ways.

Update the software but the leave the forums as they are with some side benefits like searchable threads - in other words introduce features without forum change
OR
leave the current software in place and try out the forum changes for test runs without involving feature changes at the same time.

Doing too much at once makes it hard to evaluate.

Here are things I'd like to see - I suggest others make a short practical list that you can comment on.

Threads like the "Welcome Mat" and "Who we are/What we do" being accessible always so newcomers can browse and contribute and members can welcome them without the thread getting lost. Also makes finding the right person for tech help easier. I know I was impressed and many others were with the variety and backgrounds.

A "What ehmac has done/can do for you" thread also permanent so people can express support and "it saved my day or made me laugh" comments can be kept.
2 am tech support is a BIG draw but people have to KNOW the capacity is here.
The "ehMac great moments" will help as will a permanent "Who we are."

Have a mission and welcoming statement that guides newcomers over the hurdles of getting comfortable - just like the tourist info in any town. Mention that the Kitchen can get heated but we all work on being decorous and that the vicious flame wars that characterize other forums are frowned upon..humour and wit praised.

Lay out the nature of the Marketplace etc with basic rules.
I and others can help you verbalize the "mission statement" - start with point form and that then can guide how you want the community structured and what growth might be useful.
Biggest recommendation ...go slow and do it parallel.

Duplicating what is already out there as Pamela nixed I also don't think is useful. Working on the "unique and Canadian" aspect will take some doing but I think is worth while.

As to costs and bandwidth there are many ways to skin that cat and you know you have my support on that plus others have "anteed up " already.

If you tell me/us what the bottlenecks might be, solutions might surprise you.
:D

Oh how about pointing us to a couple of Infopop sites with the 6.1 in place for a look-see.



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Although I have been a member here for over a year and a half, I have yet to feel comfortable posting at ehMac.

I read almost everything on a daily basis but I still get the feeling of "old boys" club.

I'm an active member with another forum so it's not that I'm too shy to participate. I suppose as stated before, maybe it's simply the small size of the group.

I haven't given up on ehMac and disappeared so maybe there is something good here. Looking forward to seeing the improvements. :D
 

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macspectrum wrote:
The greater the sample population, the more closely do the results resemble reality.

Actually, that's not the case. A larger sample population does not guarantee more accurate results. I'm sure you can construct a trivial example where a larger sample population generates a result farther away from reality than a smaller sample population.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> This site has a special tight knit community feel and I think that's really important because it allows it to be a multilayered experience...not just a "fix it shop" experience. People come here just to browse...not just to find a solution to their problems. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I heartily agree with Pamela on this one. I like the community feel and think of ehmac almost as a place to visit with friends. I don't always post every day, but usually do read what's going on.

I also enjoy the basic look and feel and wouldn't like to see it change too much. Sort of like the same, only better!
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by macdoc:
"I have yet to feel comfortable posting at ehMac. "

Care to elaborate?? This is an important issue.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have tried to figure out why I can post in one forum but not here. As silly as this sounds, the only answer I can come up with is I don't know anyone here.


I'm more used to a "community" feeling where I spend as much time getting to know folks through private messaging as I do in the "room". We share recipes and laughs and give each other "hugs" when life has us down.
I think because of this we share far more of our personal lives out in the open.

I have nothing against ehMac per se. It's just a different feeling than I'm used to. ;)
 
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