New Class Website: Suggestions Please.

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by Bradley, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I really had to fish to find a RESULTS link. Why not have it featured in the bar along the top?

    Also, I'm assuming that either FLEETS or DISTRICTS is going to be removed because the information in them is identical. If one is removed there would be room for a RESULTS link.

    The site has a nice easy to read look.

    Merrily
     
  2. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

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    Look for the new site to go live to the general public around 9PM EDT this Thursday!
     
  3. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    First impression - eliminate the spam along the left side of the screen.
     
  4. sailor327

    sailor327 New Member

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    this explains the spam
     
  5. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

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    SPAM is an unsolicited email message. The advertisements on the class website are not spam, but simply advertisements. They are not in the way of page content and help the class cover the cost of web services.
     
  6. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    I don't much like the automatically generated ads either. Gives the site a cheap and unprofessional look. If you go to the Racing Information page you will currently see ads for cosmetic laser surgery and laser pointers. I suspect the class won't be making much money by click-throughs on these items.:rolleyes:
     
  7. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Since the ads are in gray and the same color as the background, they don't seem instrusive to me, thus not cheap. However, I can't see how Laser surgery will generate much traffic from the site either. It does remind me of this past summer when I got my picture in my city's paper while sailing my Laser, and yup, coincidentally there was a Laser hair removal ad just below. But hmm... maybe the editor had a sense of humor.

    Merrily
     
  8. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    I didn't see the ads at all - why ? Because I use a HOSTS file on my PC that does a nice job to block stuff like that... If you are also tired of ads showing up on pages that you visit and also want the added benifit of having the pages load faster, go here and read up on using HOSTS files -
    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

    I disabled my hosts file so I could see what the issue was - If the class gets ALL the revenue from the click thru's on the ads then I'm ok with that. (especially since I'm turning the hosts file back on :) )
     
  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Maybe I wasn't clear. It's not the color I object to. The whole idea of using automatically generated ads does not IMHO create an image of a professionally run class association.

    Another issue - I see Google is now placing ads on our site for other classes of boat. Is that really what we want prospective Laser sailors to see?
     
  10. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    It may not be e-mail, but it is definitely unsolicited advertising. I really don't see how they add to the website or the information available. In my opinion the google ads should go.
     
  11. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Well I guess in theory it was solicited by Bradley. But soliciting is not always a good thing. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    This was a class decision. Bradley is only helping to create the website under their direction.

    Merrily
     
  13. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    The Class and the ads?
    From my perspective, we have a shortage of resources. The ads are supposed to help with that shortage by generating some revenue.
    Certainly this discussion could be moved along by someone making a more detailed description of the plans fpor the revenue.

    I suggest we make up some dedicated uses.

    Examples of dedicated uses for the ad revenue:

    1. The ad revenue will be used to pay a person $12.50 per hour to find regattas where Lasers are welcome and and post information about those regattas on our website.
    2. The ad revenue will be used to pay $5 per regatta for every NOR posted on our schedule. The posting would have to include dates, times, fees, email and phone contacts and directions to earn the $5
    3. The ad revenue will be used to buy Bradley a new boat
    4. The ad revenue will be used to pay Shevy for the rights to his Dr Laser web materials. The class plans to collect and offer $10 per page.
    5. The ad revenue will be used to pay a person $10 per page to transcribe and post as PDF files every available Laser newsletter from 1972 to the present.

    Or something along those lines
     
  14. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Or the ads will be used to pay someone $12.50 an hour to phone every member of the class who left since Fred got fired and persuade them to rejoin the class.
     
  15. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Just checked out the NA Class site, haven't looked at it for a couple weeks - couple additional comments:

    I understand that the Masters events are not in the "Majors" group for the listing that is on the main page in the "Latest Events". IMHO,considering the masters group makes up a good portion of the dues paying members, it might be nice to have their events listed there too - plus it makes it seem like more is going on in the class activity wise which can only lead to more people wanting to join in the fun.

    On the calendar - Again, IMHO, the format gets quite confusing when there are multiple weekend events on the same weekend and one or more of them are a single day event - If the event is a two day (or more) event, it should stay on the same row for both Sat and Sun - maybe move all the single day events to the bottom of the listing - take a look at the June listings to see what I mean vs Feb.
     
  16. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    The current calendar has a number of deficiencies which we are working to remedy... some examples include:
    1) Events can only be assigned one category... So, for example, the US Nationals is a "major" event, a "Full Rig" event, a "Radial" event, a "District 15" event, etc. But right now we would have to enter it for each category and that really would make a mess of the monthly view...
    2) We don't have as much control over what gets displayed in various views as we might like. For example, I think the ordering of items in the monthly view is by order of "categories" and we don't seem to be able to control that.
    3) Current formatting limits the number of items displayed on the front page to just 2. So, the events listed there are limited to "major" events to make sure the "big" events do get listed because of the above ordering issues. You make a good point about Master's events, we can try turning that on and see how it works.
    4) When displaying the District schedules you don't see all the information you really want to see unless it is entered as part of the "Event Name"...

    Two comments about all of this:
    1) We knew of some of the issues with the calendar but felt it was more important to get the calendar up and running and deal with the problems than to have nothing.
    2) Before making big changes to the underlying calendar we also wanted to get some operational experience to help find other potential problems, see how it worked in practice, get feedback, etc.

    We are getting the ball rolling on making the modifications and I am hopeful we will soon have a solution to these problems.

    In the meantime, continued feedback is extremely useful. The more we get the better we can make the site!

    Tracy
     
  17. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Tracy, Thanks for taking the time to reply (and in depth). Sounds like the team is on top of things.

    FWIW, just having a working calendar is appreciated.
     
  18. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    When I use the calendar, I'd like to be able to jump directly to any month, rather than having to scroll through them all. Or am I missing the magic button?

    Merrily
     
  19. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Currently the top item in the Popular list in the bottom right hand corner of the home page is '404'. Not a good thing.
     
  20. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Yeah and I keep resetting the hit count too.

    Having gone through every link several tmes (I'm fairly certain I have at least), I've pretty much convinced myself the reason for the high "404" count is because we are using "Search Engine Friendly" URLs. The site is run by PHP accessing a MySQL database which means a standard url would have a "?" with a search string following it. Apparantly search engines other than google decide any url with a "?" in it is malformed and won't index such pages. So, the urls are reformatted to make them "friendly" to search engines. As I understand it, the reformatted urls aren't, initially, valid so they cause a "404" type error which is "caught" by some formatting code which then forms the proper expression. I'd think this code would also reset the 404 condition but my guess is that it isn't, hence the growing hit count on that page.

    On the other hand, maybe when you are looking for a problem you never find it. If anyone out there is getting a "page not found" error, please let us know so we can fix it!


    Tracy
     

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