Spotfeed Review #1

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Spotfeed Review #1

Post by Syfte on Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:35 pm

Anathema wrote:


Your Forum Review




First Impressions & Appearance - (Out of 20)
When I first view the fora, I immediately notice the color scheme (blue and white) -- those two colors always look particularly good together, but I fear that for some that shade of blue may be a bit hard on some peoples eyes (especially those who have brighter screens). I think that adding the color black in with the theme makes it look nice too. Speaking of things that look nice, your banner is professional and just generally pleasing to the eye.

Something that I really don't like regarding looks though, is this - http://trollin.info/i/4145139924d30c8cceb5198.05932170-11111.png - (sorry for not just embedding it directly into this post, but there's a size limit and I'm not going to re size it). The width of the forum is too large and creates that scroll bar at the bottom of the screen. It's annoying, and can make the fora look a bit sloppy. I would recommend that you fix that (or see if others are having this problem if you are not and it's just me). Perhaps you have a fixed width and that's what is causing this problem.

I think that you having the two informational forums clumped together in one category, but side-by-side is rather unique and nice to look at. The toolbar at the bottom of the fora is also kind of unique (it may not be as much so for Forumotion forums, but it is in just about every other software). I like how your forum has those little different features on it. Although, for some the toolbar can be very annoying. I personally don't find it annoying, but know many who will not join a fora if they have that kind of toolbar. I would recommend that you have an option that allows the users and guests to minimize it - perhaps even having it minimized by default would be good.

I think it's great that you have a favicon. Yes, that's a very misculantis thing to point out, but it can be so important. When a user bookmarks your fora (and hopefully they will) then if you do not have a favicon, the text "Spotfeed" can easily get lost in the abyss of other bookmarks that they probably have. Whereas, if you have that nice little "SF" favicon, it can make the Spotfeed bookmark stand out just a little bit more. That little bit more of a chance can eventually benefit you by getting you another page view or post (or even member).

In the toolbar, the "2010 (C) Spotfeed" text gets cut off. For me it looks like this - "(C) 2010 Spol". Maybe the toolbar has a set width and my computers width is under that?
(Scored 14/20)

Site Layout - (Out of 20)
I really like the layout of your fora; with the two side-by-side forums in that category (which, as I mentioned above, is nice looking and unique) then the forums that relate to the fora, then the main content/services, then the general discussion boards.

When viewing, it's kind of hard to see how your fora is centered around news and information - quite honestly it looks like a general discussion fora with a few services added in to it. I think you should either get more content in the board that is supposed to be giving information and/or news or create more boards that are specifically centered around that. Making your boards topic should be important, it's not as important as the community, but if people can't see how your board is different from that of a general discussion fora, then it may throw some off from joining.

This is really the only other thing that I notice off the bat that I find to be abnormal (in a not so good way). "General Spotfeed" and "Feedback". Why not just combine those two? Since from my interpretation of the General Spotfeed fora, that fora is basically where the members can discuss what they like/dislike about your the fora, about things going on there, ect. and the feedback fora is where they give, well, feedback. Problems and suggestions also, which I can gather from the fora description. Both are really where the members are giving their thoughts, ideas, and problems on things in relation to the site, so I don't see why they must have separate forums.
(Scored 17/20)

Statistics and Activity - (Out of 20)
Almost 1000 posts and just about 30 members is really good. From those statistics, there are approximately 33 posts per user. An ideal number would be about 50, but since your fora is so new, these numbers are quite good. It looks like you already have a bit of a member base who are friends and enjoy talking to each other.

From my eyes as a member there is one forum that has zero posts in it though. I see that that fora is not open and up and running yet (as it is a service), but perhaps you should hide it until you have the topics, guidelines, ect. ready for it (or even the staff for it if that's what you're waiting for to open it). Simply because it can make your forum look less active if you have one completely empty fora. If you would rather not hide it for whatever reason, then even posting a "notice" or "something's coming" topic in that fora saying what will be in that fora and a time estimate about it would be sufficient.

But of course, for a new fora I would recommend that you request packages and do exchanges to get some more content in your forums (even though you already have a bit of content in almost every open forum on the fora, which is in itself very good. Having at least three topics in every forum can make a forum look more active than it actually is, henceforth being more attractive to guests/potential members.)

Creating topics in just about every promotion forum - big or small - I have seen to work for forums too. If you wish, you may PM me and I have a list of about 30+ promotion/administration forums that allow you to create a promotion topic saved and would be more than happy to share with you.
(Scored 18/20)

Staff Moderation - (Out of 20)
According to the "groups" list in the navigation bar, you have two administrators, one journalist, zero moderators, zero reviewers, and one "the staff".

That's not a bad amount for a new fora -- but I would like to make you aware that having more than one administrator isn't always good. It leaves more room for serious damage to the forum to occur. I know both of the administrators, so it may sound funky for me to say that, but please take caution if you ever get another administrator (which I recommend that you don't do. The amount you have right now is fine). I think you should hide the groups that you have no one in (except the administrator) because since there's no one in it, there's not reason for anyone to be curious as to who is in it. For the reviews and moderators and other groups with zero people in it, I would recommend that you get at least one member in them. Especially for the reviews - I can see that Syfte would be able to do all the requests that would come in by himself with the current activity, but if he's away I'm not sure who would do them. It's always great to have a backup in emergencies. Even if the people you hire are just temporary, having one temporary staff member in each group is better than none at all.

From what I can see, all of your current staff members have been on within the last 24 hours, and are moderately active. That's great, because on a new forum especially, the staff set an example. If they're active, then they set the example to be active (and the opposite way around if they are not active). I would keep encouraging them to make good posts throughout the fora to encourage activity for the normal members and each other.
(Scored 16/20)

Spelling/Grammar & Professionalism - (Out of 20)
The spoilers in the forums are not working. Having some aspects of the forum that are disfunctional can make the fora itself look sloppy and not well put together. I would recommend that you fix the code in the CSS that is causing it to not open on click -- or if that doesn't work, go to your host or someone who has a higher degree of knowledge or experience dealing with CSS and those codes. If you're not sure what I'm referring to, an example would be here - http://www.spotfeed.net/t39-lady-gaga - I can't see/open the Lady Gaga picture (I'm very saddened by that by the way).

I only noticed one very tiny mistake in the forum -
"All your News and Information here. All posts written exclusively by the SF Staff."
I don't see why "news" and "information" are capitalized. "News" and "information" are not the beginning of a sentence or proper noun, therefore not needed to be capitalized.

This isn't really a problem or something wrong at all, but a suggestion. I would suggestion you change one or two of the descriptions in the "services" category. I noticed a pattern -
[Clever drawing-in question here]? [Some variation of "we can help you or do that for you here" here]!
- that's in all three of those forums. That probably won't be noticed by many, but I would suggest that you mix it up a bit. Having that same pattern won't have any effect, but if the fora grows popular and more active in the future, you should always be looking for a way to improve and beat out the competition - even if it's only by small changed like the one I just pointed out.
(Scored 19/20)
Total Score - 84/100


Final Remarks:

What was most liked about the website/forums: The look and professionalism of it.

What was disliked most about the website/forums: The toolbar.

How could I get you (The Reviewer) to join my website?


After you have read your review, please click the following link and rate our service to help us make it better for you.... [Click Here]

.

Once again I'd like to thank our members for their support and we will strive to better the forum to fit your needs. Smile


Last edited by Syfte on Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Spotfeed Review #1

Post by José on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:08 pm

84/100

That's nice for a new forum!
Keep the great job.
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Re: Spotfeed Review #1

Post by jshushij on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:24 am

Awesome job! The width is not an issue for me however and I rather enjoy the toolbar. Also, the spoilers are working just fine.
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Re: Spotfeed Review #1

Post by Dennis on Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:48 pm

It was a nice review but he was a little harsh. The forum width is fine it must be his small computer
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Re: Spotfeed Review #1

Post by José on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:23 pm

I don't think so. I am now using a big computer, and the width bar still shows.
But, honestly, I don't really mind it.
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Re: Spotfeed Review #1

Post by Dennis on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:38 pm

José wrote:I don't think so. I am now using a big computer, and the width bar still shows.
But, honestly, I don't really mind it.

oh, where do you see it?


@ i just noticed Amber wrote this
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Re: Spotfeed Review #1

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