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#1 2016-07-17 08:29:42

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 877
Website

Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

I have some announcements to make today. Following recent events, myself and LCGuy as administrators of the community tabled a discussion about how we think it would be best to handle this community going forward.

Since ThinkClassic was established in 2014, we have accomplished a lot in a relatively short span of time. Our discussion forums are a wealth of information in some fairly specialist and niche areas, we have contributed back to the greater retro computing scene with a number of member-founded projects and our name has become known amongst other retro computing communities and circles.

So I want to see this site continue to grow.

The discussion forums haven't been in the strongest position as of late. Our member retention and daily activity rates have fallen off somewhat, and the new member numbers could use some attention. I also know some members believe our decisions surrounding recent member disputes were inadequate. Some believe our decision to close those discussion threads was not justified or warranted. Members that submitted reports would be excused for thinking their concerns went unanswered. I assure everyone that those issues did not go unnoticed. Given the circumstances it was difficult to find a reasonable middle ground between an adequate response and our relatively easy approach to moderation that our members appreciate.

But there's no time like the present to fix these issues. So we intend to implement some changes moving forward. Some are already happening, some are still in the process of being tabled and subject to community review. We would also like external advice as well from other community leaders because we think that our involvement in the overall wider retro computing scene will become extremely important in the future.


Administration & Moderation Changes

After a ten month hiatus from managing the community, I will be rejoining the administration team. David (LCGuy) has also remained on the board to assist with the decision making processes and look out for the best interests of our members throughout this transition.

We are in the process of looking for additional administrators and community leaders to come on board into the future, however at this time no decision has been made.

Our current and outgoing administrators have done a phenomenal job. Operating an online community is not a simple task, requiring a commitment of time, effort and technical expertise with little return, and yet ThinkClassic has continued to operated reliably with minimal downtime since it was launched 26 months ago. I wish to thank them for their service and all their contributions over the years.


Rules & Guidelines Changes

Our community guidelines are a patchwork of alterations and additions from our original rules, drafted back in 2014 when the community launched. Several areas could use clarification and further amendments to better address the issues affecting our site. This would allow for a better understanding on how members and moderators alike should conduct themselves and handle issues within the community. It is my recommendation that the community rules and guidelines be revised and rewritten to address this.


Putting Members First

We really do value our members and contributors here on ThinkClassic, and so we intend to ensure that your concerns and queries are promptly and properly addressed.


Improving Our Website

ThinkClassic continues to look and feel as inviting as it did when the website was originally built, but the underlying technologies could use some improvement. We recently updated the discussion forum software to the newest build of FluxBB, addressing several security and performance issues in the process. Some improvements to the stylesheets were also made to fix some issues that could potentially cause rendering issues on some browsers.

Our current discussion forum software is more than adequate for now. It's fast, efficient and simple to use. It should continue to serve us well moving forward. We will however continue to evaluate our collective needs moving forward and make changes as necessary.


Expanding Our Technical Focus

ThinkClassic is an excellent community for enthusiasts of vintage Apple computers and will continue to be first and foremost. However there are some excellent and exciting developments out there from the other brands and enthusiasts in the retro computing scene, and we would like to do something for them as well. At the moment we have a dedicated discussion area for other manufacturers computers, but it could be possible to break this out into more specialist areas as the growth of the community allows.

This doesn't mean we intend for ThinkClassic to lose its Apple computer-centric focus, and our current set of discussion areas won't be going away any time soon. But if there is anything we can do to bring other interest areas on board and give those enthusiasts a place to shoot the breeze with others and share their creations, we think that can only be a good thing. However to ease concerns I should state that no discussions have taken place and no decisions have been made at this time.


Becoming More Involved

Rather simply, I would like to see ThinkClassic become more involved with other websites and communities in the vintage Apple computing space to share information, knowledge and resources. We consider these places our friends, and it would be great to work with them to allow our communities to share and leverage each other's collective strengths in specialist areas such as hardware, software, electronics, component fabrication and repair, to name a few.


Rethinking Our Social Presence

Our Twitter account will continue to serve updates to our members and post announcements. However whether it continues to serve content and notable discussions from within the forums remains yet to be seen. It takes considerable effort to curate that content and submit it each week, and anyone following it will notice it hasn't been updated in some time. Something needs to be done about that.



Be aware that none of the above changes are set in stone at this time, and members will certainly have an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on all matters of the website and community as we start to look into these in a little more depth. Several of the proposed changes and improvements will not be simple either, so don't expect all of them to happen overnight. We're now a rather small team attempting to make this happen, and we will require additional hands on deck as well.

We consider ThinkClassic a valuable and friendly community for everyone with an interest in old computers, and that is something worth putting in the extra mile for.

Feel free to ask questions or have discussions about the above in this thread below. Anyone interested in becoming involved, or anyone with queries or concerns to be addressed privately, please feel free to contact me via the email link below my name or on my profile.


Thank you to everyone here for being a part of this community, and I look forward to seeing you all in the forums.


Cheers,

Michael (iMic).


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#2 2016-07-18 02:09:51

360alaska
Member
Registered: 2014-12-04
Posts: 15

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

Could you please add forums for intel based Macs?

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#3 2016-07-18 08:46:21

uniserver
Member
From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 954
Website

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

Welcome back Mike!
Charles


#I Re-Cap √Mac √NeTX √Amiga Boards - A/B - PSU# (MacCaps.com)  Modern SCSI HD's - For Old Macs - Pre Cfg'd - 10k RPM! 73gb!! $50 + free shipping  -- Mac 128K Re-Ram kits (16 Chips) $35 + shipping, Floppy Issues?-> Bourns Filter Solution 128k - SE/30, $16 + shipping

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#4 2016-07-18 22:50:15

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 562

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

360alaska wrote:

Could you please add forums for intel based Macs?

I second this! It's becoming increasingly important, as now there are a great deal many Intel Macs that fall under the "Vintage" category, and as such, they're being pretty much left out in the cold on all the "mainstream" support channels.

So far, Intel Mac-related threads are fairly few, and those few have been contained in the Front Bar, but if we formally create a dedicated place where people can discuss them, it could prove useful for those who wish to find support for their old CoreDuo Macs which Apple refuses to acknowledge.

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#5 2016-07-19 06:00:34

wimc
Member
Registered: 2015-05-31
Posts: 38

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

Welcome back. Though I'm not a Mac person, still enjoy reading about the old stuff here at TC. And amazed what some of you do (fixing, etc).

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#6 2016-07-29 00:20:48

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 877
Website

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

360alaska wrote:

Could you please add forums for intel based Macs?

It's something we can look in to. We should define a reasonable time frame or eligibility range for such machines however. Perhaps machines that have entered Apple's obsolete status (7+ years) or vintage status (5+ years) where parts and technical support are no longer available from Apple direct.


While we're running on minimal staff almost everything above is subject to time availability. I'm fairly constrained at the moment but am still working on it.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#7 2016-07-29 06:11:16

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 562

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

For the Intels, how about this: Maybe have two sub forums, one for the first generation Intel Macs (anything with a CoreDuo and/or that only support up to Mac OS X Lion (such as the Late 2006 through Early 2008 MacBooks, which all have Core 2 Duo CPUs)), and one for more recently unsupported Macs (most models from 2007-2009 are fair game now, since they are no longer supported by macOS aka Mac OS X; this also neatly coincides with the fact that these are all between 9, and 7 years old, thereby falling into Apple's Obsolete category).

I suspect a third category for modern Intels (2010-present) could work, but then the forum loses its focus a bit (it would also be superfluous anyway, since Apple stills supports and sells these recent models)

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#8 2016-08-21 00:05:57

bigmessowires
Member
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 166

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

I greatly appreciate all the hard work that's gone into creating this site and keeping it running. I'm sure it often feels like a thankless job.

Some high-level thoughts:

- What is your goal for the site? To have the highest possible daily active users or number of posts? To have the greatest amount of useful content? To have unique content that's found nowhere else? To have a forum for discussing your own personal projects and questions? Any of those seem reasonable. If I were in your shoes, I think I'd focus on useful/unique content and not worry about user numbers as much. Maybe set up a wiki to document and summarize some of the more interesting threads? It's tough to grow user numbers to the discussion forums if there isn't something drawing them there (besides the forums themselves), and when you're probably poaching users from other related sites more than you're attractive new users who were never active in the vintage computing hobby before.

- I'm probably in the minority, but I don't follow Twitter and I'm not really interested in the "social presence" of web forums where I'm a member. If you think it'll help reach your goals, that's great. Personally I would focus the limited time elsewhere.

- I appreciate active moderation. Out of control flame wars or anything else that's not constructive and relevant discussion is a big turn off, and drives me away from the forums, so I'd encourage using the mod tools to keep things civil and on topic. If someone doesn't like it, they can start their own web forum.

- There are changes you might make to the site design that could help attract more new users. The biggest is that the site isn't optimized for mobile devices, and fails Google's mobile test: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools … lassic.org This means that if anyone does a Google search for vintage Mac topics from their mobile device, thinkclassic.org pages will be demoted in the results.

- I would put a brief ~5 word tagline directly under the Think Classic logo on each web page, saying "Your Vintage Apple Macintosh Resource" or something similar. As it stands, there's nothing above the fold on the home page that mentions Apple, or Macintosh, or even computers. There are some visual cues like the cut-off portion of a keyboard, and some tiny footer text in the "about" section way down at the bottom of the page, but these are too subtle IMHO. Don't leave new visitors wondering whether this is a site about classic cars or Classic Coke or classic ways of thinking - if they're hunting for information, they will click away in less than a second if they don't see what they want.

- The biggest hurdle to people posting in the forums is creating an account - many lurkers never bother. So design the web flow to encourage this. If someone hits the home page and isn't logged in (or has never logged in, if you're able to tell this), there should be a giant in-your-face "Register Now" button dead center above the fold on the home page, along with a 1-sentence summary of what benefits people get from registering (access to trade forums, etc). Maybe even provide some bonus to newly registered users, like email them a repair guide or other useful info.

- There are a couple of technical things that would really boost the usability of the forums: the ability to post images, and keeping track of each user's unread posts. I understand why these are both challenging and possibly expensive to implement, but if you want more people to participate in the forums then I think they're worth the investment. Linking to an image that's hosted elsewhere is a far less desirable option than uploading the image directly while authoring a post. And tracking unread posts is a more-or-less standard feature on most forums where I'm a member. I don't mean highlighting all the posts that are new since my last login, but actually keeping track of the newest post I've viewed on a thread-by-thread basis and persisting that information across logins. Without this, I personally quickly lose track of what I already have or haven't read, and I end up losing half the conversation.

I know there are few things more annoying than listening to someone else tell you what you ought to do, so please consider these all as friendly suggestions for you to examine and act on or not as you see fit. Thanks again for all your hard work!

Last edited by bigmessowires (2016-08-21 00:11:21)

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#9 2016-08-21 19:31:26

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

I'm probably in the minority

I'm in the minority too. I rage-quit Twitbook and Face-ter a long time ago.

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#10 2016-08-22 01:38:26

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 877
Website

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

bigmessowires wrote:

- What is your goal for the site? To have the highest possible daily active users or number of posts? To have the greatest amount of useful content? To have unique content that's found nowhere else? To have a forum for discussing your own personal projects and questions? Any of those seem reasonable. If I were in your shoes, I think I'd focus on useful/unique content and not worry about user numbers as much. Maybe set up a wiki to document and summarize some of the more interesting threads? It's tough to grow user numbers to the discussion forums if there isn't something drawing them there (besides the forums themselves), and when you're probably poaching users from other related sites more than you're attractive new users who were never active in the vintage computing hobby before.

Still something I'm considering at this stage. I suppose the immediate aim was to address the concerns from members who believed we weren't doing enough to defuse some unpleasant situations around here. Relations within the community have largely settled since then, so perhaps we can start looking into what else this site can offer.

One idea I had been considering was introducing some kind of documentation system, be it a Wiki or a static database of useful knowledge such as tech specifications, common issues, guides and whatever else we can add. At the moment the two major holdups with this plan are human resources (time, effort and expertise) and the infrastructure (what wiki or documentation engine to use). Unless someone can be tasked with configuring and maintaining a large MediaWiki or DocuWiki install, whatever solution we choose will need to be simple to configure and manage.

Another possibility, which certainly isn't out of the question, is to address the immediate issues here and then find a new maintainer for ThinkClassic. I'll continue to maintain the site and fix issues but with three businesses to oversee and a number of other life considerations it does mean ThinkClassic sits somewhere around seven or eight on my list of priorities. Should this happen the site wouldn't be sold (and it was never our aim to profit from it), but rather turned over to someone with a vested interest in vintage computers and the ability to run a small scale website such as this one. I'm always open to discussion.


bigmessowires wrote:

- I'm probably in the minority, but I don't follow Twitter and I'm not really interested in the "social presence" of web forums where I'm a member. If you think it'll help reach your goals, that's great. Personally I would focus the limited time elsewhere.

The Twitter account now serves little purpose and as it stands, I see little reason to continue using it.


bigmessowires wrote:

- I appreciate active moderation. Out of control flame wars or anything else that's not constructive and relevant discussion is a big turn off, and drives me away from the forums, so I'd encourage using the mod tools to keep things civil and on topic. If someone doesn't like it, they can start their own web forum.

There were instances in the past where this did drive members away from the forums, which is rather regrettable. I think we can meet a reasonable middle ground when it comes to moderation that benefits the greater community, but also without being too heavy handed over smaller issues.


bigmessowires wrote:

- There are changes you might make to the site design that could help attract more new users. The biggest is that the site isn't optimized for mobile devices, and fails Google's mobile test: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools … lassic.org This means that if anyone does a Google search for vintage Mac topics from their mobile device, thinkclassic.org pages will be demoted in the results.

- I would put a brief ~5 word tagline directly under the Think Classic logo on each web page, saying "Your Vintage Apple Macintosh Resource" or something similar. As it stands, there's nothing above the fold on the home page that mentions Apple, or Macintosh, or even computers. There are some visual cues like the cut-off portion of a keyboard, and some tiny footer text in the "about" section way down at the bottom of the page, but these are too subtle IMHO. Don't leave new visitors wondering whether this is a site about classic cars or Classic Coke or classic ways of thinking - if they're hunting for information, they will click away in less than a second if they don't see what they want.

- The biggest hurdle to people posting in the forums is creating an account - many lurkers never bother. So design the web flow to encourage this. If someone hits the home page and isn't logged in (or has never logged in, if you're able to tell this), there should be a giant in-your-face "Register Now" button dead center above the fold on the home page, along with a 1-sentence summary of what benefits people get from registering (access to trade forums, etc). Maybe even provide some bonus to newly registered users, like email them a repair guide or other useful info.

All valid points. The website design and feature set could use a refresh. The latter two are simple improvements that could be done fairly quickly, and are definitely worth considering. The responsive mobile design is somewhat more difficult, especially with the limitations of the FluxBB software, but I have seen it done before so if we're committed to using this platform for a reasonable amount of time it's something we could look in to.

Of course we could just replace the board software but the alternatives that actually look reasonable are all fairly costly. There are more feature complete open source packages available, with the tradeoff that many of them are massive, unwieldy and confusing. (phpBB, I'm looking at you.)


bigmessowires wrote:

- There are a couple of technical things that would really boost the usability of the forums: the ability to post images, and keeping track of each user's unread posts. I understand why these are both challenging and possibly expensive to implement, but if you want more people to participate in the forums then I think they're worth the investment. Linking to an image that's hosted elsewhere is a far less desirable option than uploading the image directly while authoring a post. And tracking unread posts is a more-or-less standard feature on most forums where I'm a member. I don't mean highlighting all the posts that are new since my last login, but actually keeping track of the newest post I've viewed on a thread-by-thread basis and persisting that information across logins. Without this, I personally quickly lose track of what I already have or haven't read, and I end up losing half the conversation.

Not even sure where to begin with this one.

Good idea, but how one would implement it is another story. I can understand retaining unread posts across logins and devices, and hopefully it would be as simple as moving the last visit value from cookies (where they're currently stored) into the database. We'd have to dissect FluxBB to figure out how it works and where we can make some adjustments.

In terms of a time and financial investment to implement these features, it would be easier to invest the time and funds into a forum solution that already has these features out of the box. A more powerful server with adequate storage space would also be required to host the extensive library of attachments and images that would come with adding such a feature, and that could be addressed roughly at the same time.


bigmessowires wrote:

I know there are few things more annoying than listening to someone else tell you what you ought to do, so please consider these all as friendly suggestions for you to examine and act on or not as you see fit. Thanks again for all your hard work!

Not at all, the feedback is appreciated. A little worried about how to make it all happen of course... maybe it will become more clear as I start working through it.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#11 2016-08-24 21:45:15

Hotdog Zanzibar
Member
From: Columbus, OH
Registered: 2014-07-25
Posts: 82

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

I am a frequent user of the Bookface, mainly to keep in touch with distant (location-wise) friends as well as immediate and extended family. It's a neat way of organizing events and it syncs with my iPhone seamlessly, and even sets up reminders automatically.

Twitter, however, is the internet's outhouse. It's a complete and utter digital cesspool and I removed myself from its offensive stink 2 years ago. smile


Daily Driver: TITAN - Mac Pro 1,1 - dual 3GHz quad-cores, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD w/ 3TB RAID storage, GeForce 570 GT 1.25GB
Daily Driver Laptop: PHOENIX - MacBook Pro 1,1 - 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD
Collection: **List truncated by forum signature limit** ;)
Looking for: Plus, Color Classic, DuoDock, Portable, Duo 280 keyboard, Q950 CD bezel, TAM, AppleVision 1710AV

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#12 2016-08-25 17:57:03

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

Twitter, however, is the internet's outhouse.

This, sir, is a (brown) smear against the reputation of outhouses and dunnies everywhere, and I demand, sir, if you have any honour or indeed any shame, you will take these vile, noxious smells words back immediately.

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#13 2016-08-25 21:53:47

Hotdog Zanzibar
Member
From: Columbus, OH
Registered: 2014-07-25
Posts: 82

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

ClassicHasClass wrote:

Twitter, however, is the internet's outhouse.

This, sir, is a (brown) smear against the reputation of outhouses and dunnies everywhere, and I demand, sir, if you have any honour or indeed any shame, you will take these vile, noxious smells words back immediately.

Quite, quite right. I summarily renounce my aforementioned and unintentional slur against our detached domiciles of defacation. Twitter is firmly lodged in a wholly separate and MUCH less salubrious level of shit. smile


Daily Driver: TITAN - Mac Pro 1,1 - dual 3GHz quad-cores, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD w/ 3TB RAID storage, GeForce 570 GT 1.25GB
Daily Driver Laptop: PHOENIX - MacBook Pro 1,1 - 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD
Collection: **List truncated by forum signature limit** ;)
Looking for: Plus, Color Classic, DuoDock, Portable, Duo 280 keyboard, Q950 CD bezel, TAM, AppleVision 1710AV

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#14 2016-08-27 07:25:06

volvo242gt
Member
From: Duvall, WA
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

I agree with Steve on everything he said.  I do use twitter, but, not for computer-related stuff, or, for that matter, the normal stuff.

With respect to the book of face, I'm realizing that I need to back away for a while, maybe permanently.  I've already resigned from the group I created while the other forum was down.  Partly because I felt like it was no longer my creation, and partly because of the fact that I decided to recycle some rules I used on a photography group that, like the Apple Mac Enthusiasts group, did have a problem with spammers getting in.  Worked with the photo groups, but I guess it has sorta backfired on the Mac group.  Oh well.


68K: Q650 48/1.2G/CD
modern: Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8-core 6GB/500G/DVD-RW, A1150 MBP 2GHz CD, 2GB/80G/DVD-RW
Pre-Mac: ][+, //e
other: iPhone 6s 128GB Space Gray

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#15 2016-09-05 05:44:18

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 877
Website

Re: Announcement: Community Changes & Forward Thinking

If time allows, I would like to start actioning some of these proposed changes, namely the following:


360alaska wrote:

Could you please add forums for intel based Macs?

The current proposal is support for Early Intel systems, that is machines that are unsupported by the current release of Mac OS. With the introduction of macOS Sierra expected shortly, the approved list would be as follows:

  • iMac (Early/Mid 2009) or Earlier

  • MacBook (Mid 2009) or Earlier

  • MacBook Air (Mid 2009) or Earlier

  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2009) or Earlier

  • Mac Mini (Late 2009) or Earlier

  • Mac Pro (Early 2009) or Earlier

This approach makes sense as we are covering the first three years of Intel machines, none of which are supported for software, hardware or replacement parts through Apple, and it allows us to use a simple metric that can be revised when additional machines are dropped from support with future OS releases.

This is somewhat out of our focus area but the demand has been high enough to warrant trialling it.


bigmessowires wrote:

I'm probably in the minority, but I don't follow Twitter and I'm not really interested in the "social presence" of web forums where I'm a member. If you think it'll help reach your goals, that's great. Personally I would focus the limited time elsewhere.

We'll maintain ownership of that account for some limited cases, such as server outages and instances where we need to communicate with others via that channel. For all other instances, that account can be decommissioned.


bigmessowires wrote:

- There are changes you might make to the site design that could help attract more new users. The biggest is that the site isn't optimized for mobile devices, and fails Google's mobile test: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools … lassic.org This means that if anyone does a Google search for vintage Mac topics from their mobile device, thinkclassic.org pages will be demoted in the results.

I intend to make some starting changes to the software to improve our compliance, and over time we can look at revising the site for better ease of use on mobile devices.


bigmessowires wrote:

I would put a brief ~5 word tagline directly under the Think Classic logo on each web page, saying "Your Vintage Apple Macintosh Resource" or something similar. As it stands, there's nothing above the fold on the home page that mentions Apple, or Macintosh, or even computers. There are some visual cues like the cut-off portion of a keyboard, and some tiny footer text in the "about" section way down at the bottom of the page, but these are too subtle IMHO. Don't leave new visitors wondering whether this is a site about classic cars or Classic Coke or classic ways of thinking - if they're hunting for information, they will click away in less than a second if they don't see what they want.

I'll look at how other communities tackle this issue and see if we can do the same.


bigmessowires wrote:

The biggest hurdle to people posting in the forums is creating an account - many lurkers never bother. So design the web flow to encourage this. If someone hits the home page and isn't logged in (or has never logged in, if you're able to tell this), there should be a giant in-your-face "Register Now" button dead center above the fold on the home page, along with a 1-sentence summary of what benefits people get from registering (access to trade forums, etc). Maybe even provide some bonus to newly registered users, like email them a repair guide or other useful info.

This shouldn't be difficult to implement. Our current system is already capable of it, we just need to make it look nice and switch it on.


In addition some other proposed changes can hopefully come into effect soon, such as:

  • Revised Rules and Guidelines

  • Revised Forums and Sub-Forums

  • Creating new content and discussions in the Front Bar


Some other proposed changes are starting to be looked in to, but its still too early to act on them at this time. Major improvements such as better tracking of unread posts depends on having a stronger forum software to move to, and feature additions such as direct image uploads require more server space than we can currently allocate. Some are one time upfront costs, some are ongoing monthly renewals, but ultimately both would require having more available and steady funds than we have now.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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