Furstralia Revamp and Redesign

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Furrhan Blackwood
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Furstralia Revamp and Redesign

Postby Furrhan Blackwood » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:20 pm

So, I've been chatting with Werestritchy and I've come up with a list of changes to completely revamp these forums. These changes will streamline and organise the place and make it neat and tidy and shiny and professional. ^^ Weretritchy has approved them and even begun implementing some as you'll see if you look at your profiles. He and I would love you guys to have your say though! What do you think of this list? Is there anything more you want on there or is there anything you don't like? I know this list is long but please do read it carefully and comment below. All input is gratefully appreciated!

So, without further ado, here's the blueprints for the new Furstralia!


First and foremost, enable guest access to the forums. They won't be able to comment but they'll be able to see all forums except the "Adults Corner", "Marketplace", and "Meets and Conventions" to comply with Australian law and to protect the privacy of your contact details and transactions.

Once guest access is enabled, the following changes are proposed:
The list:

1.) Remove everything from the profiles except the following: website, location, occupation, interests, birthday, species, gender, fursuit info, steam, twitter, Facebook, Skype, weasyl, FA, DA. This is a forum, not a Facebook page after all. The rest of those things can be discussed in the appropriate threads. We want to get people to post on the forums so removing the extra things from the profiles provides more topics for discussion. Certain information such as "high school" and "sexuality" may not be appropriate for sharing on public forums anyway, and may make some posters uncomfortable. Additionally several of the websites on there no longer exist so there's no point having them listed.

2.) Reorganise the "The Team" page to make it clear who's who and what roles they have. If staff are not administrators they should not be listed as being in the administrator user group. Conversely, if a user is an administrator then they shouldn't be listed with "Global Moderators" or "Moderators" as their primary group. Staff should also use the coloured names for easy identification in addition to the custom ranks. At the moment that page is confusing so it's impossible to tell who's actually in charge. Is it Werestritchy or MarcWolf? Does zwabbe, the creator of the forums, still have any say in things or any role on the staff team? Is Foxy an administrator or just a global mod? Also, if staff haven't posted in the last couple of months then unless they have a very good excuse or are completely irreplaceable I don't think they should be on the team any longer. A forum can't survive without a cohesive, active and enthusiastic team.

3.) Add a global announcement with some basic rules. It doesn't have to be detailed or complex - something simple like "No spamming, no trolling, no NSFW/XXX content except in the Adults forum, no arguing publicly with staff, staff decisions are final." would do the trick nicely. People will be more inclined to join the forums if they know to what standard they will be held and to what standard the staff are held. This is actually the first forum I've ever seen without a dedicated rules thread and it's very unusual to not have one. This thread should be visible to all users, both registered and otherwise, and should also contain information such as a note about the extra forums (Marketplace, Meets and Conventions, and the "Adults Corner") that one can access once registered as well as directing new users to the appropriate place for introductions and welcomes.

4.) Clean up the index page as follows:
  • i) Change the "Adults Words" and "Adult Art" into subforums in the "Adults Corner" and move the "Adults Corner" forum into the "Anything Else" category. Delete the now empty "Adults Lounge" category.
    ii) Delete "Roleplaying" or merge it into the "The Ridiculous Corner". It's not been used in 3 years. It can be remade if RPing becomes popular enough again.
    iii) Change "Fursuiting and Costuming", "Photography", "The Written Word" and "Music" into subforums in "The Gallery" and move "The Gallery" into the "Anything Else" category and delete the now empty "Art It Up" category.
    iv) Change the forums in the "Marketplace" category into subforums in a new forum called "The Marketplace" and move that forum to the "Anything Else" category. Delete the now empty "Marketplace" category.
    v) Merge "The Dark And Light Side" into the "Off Topic" forum, or make it a subforum in the "Off Topic" forum and delete the now empty "Forum" category.
    vi) Turn the "Major Meets and Conventions" forums into subforums and move them to the "Meets and Conventions" forum and sort the threads in the "Meets and Conventions" forum into the appropriate subforums. Delete the now empty "Major Meets and Conventions" category.
    vii) "Bunfur" no longer exists so that can be deleted. "A Very Furry Halloween" was part of Confurgence so that can be merged into the "Confurgence" subforum.
    viii) The "General" forum has lots of random topics. These should be sorted into the appropriate forums and then the "General" forum deleted as it's unnecessary.
    ix) "TV, Movies and Media" should either be merged into the "Off Topic" forum or turned into subforum therein.
    x) Delete the "Greetings" forum and make a "Welcome Thread" in the "Off Topic" forum to replace it. That's what I've seen on several other forums I've been on and it works well because it saves having hundreds of threads with just two or three posts each.
Those ten steps will take you down from having 8 categories and 30 forums on the index page to having just 3 categories and 9 forums on the index page if my maths is right.

5.) Set permissions so that the "Registered Adult Users" and staff are the only users who can see and post in the "Adults Corner". Legally in Australia this should already be set thusly.

6.) Set permissions so that guests (those users without accounts) can see all forums except "Adults Corner", "Marketplace" and "Meets and Conventions" but cannot post anywhere.

7.) Add a disclaimer to the "Meets and Conventions" forum that states that users organise and attend meets and conventions entirely at their own risk and that Furstralia cannot be held accountable for any damages or injuries which may occur as a result of attendance at those events.

8.) Add a disclaimer to the "Marketplace" stating that all transactions are to be completed at the users' discretions and entirely at their own risk and Furstralia cannot be held liable for any losses or damages incurred through transactions organised on these forums. Also advise the use of Paypal and not giving payment details publicly on the forums.

9.) Remove the ranks that change as people make more posts. In my experience, rather than encouraging people to post, this tends to promote exclusivity amongst the higher ranks as well as promoting spamming just to get a higher post count.

10.) Remove the guests-only forum. As guests can't post anyway, this is completely useless and will be even more so once the rest of the forums is visible to guests.

So, that's all the proposed changes. What do you guys think? If you all approve then these changes will be carried out within 2-4 weeks.
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Talinart
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Re: Furstralia Revamp and Redesign

Postby Talinart » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:31 pm

An intriguing proposal Furrhan.
Looking over your proposed changes, I can't see anything overtly incorrect. I look forward to seeing the streamlined forum structure.
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Pingu
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Re: Furstralia Revamp and Redesign

Postby Pingu » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:14 pm

I like the proposal, In relation to the Rank removal...what about replacing it with a custom title. My title on another forum is "Resident Penguin and Official Greeter".
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KaiAdin
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Re: Furstralia Revamp and Redesign

Postby KaiAdin » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:50 pm

I'm a bit late to the party but this all looks great! I noticed the convention warning, defs a good idea. :3
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FoxTailedCritter
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Re: Furstralia Revamp and Redesign

Postby FoxTailedCritter » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:23 pm

KaiAdin wrote:I'm a bit late to the party but this all looks great! I noticed the convention warning, defs a good idea. :3
Better late then never~!

Also everything looks great, I approve of these changes.
:D
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