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Impressed once again


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matted

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Registered: 08/05/03
Posts: 4
Hi Geekers: Well, I keep coming back, don't I? Shows the power of a responsive community and developers. Even the response to my last post, but the anonymous <smirk> flamer who called me "Hitler" was interesting reading. Thanks for them all. In rereading my post, and those comments, it occurred to me that in some respects, my venting could be seen as a compliment to your efforts, as I took the time to do it at all. Hell, I'm not even a Geeker yet. I am trying to decide to become one, and spend a lot of time evaluating CMSes out there. But there is something about this project that tells me it's worthy of respect and attention, so here I am again, coffee in hand, blogging out this morning's thoughts.A lot of that need to vent came from many hours of wading through countless CMS sites where there were so many outright silly decisions, that its easy to wonder whether the developers ever talk to each other, read the posts, or surf the web learning what gets said about them. I guess that frustration had to get vented somewhere, and doing it might have been my intuitive way of making it have some productive impact on someone. Sometimes I feel like publishing a book about the CMS weirdness, and charging all the CMS shoppers to read them. It could save a lot of folks a lot of time. About my perspective. I'm a product designer. I try to look not just at what I see on the surface, but what it might become with just a dash of inspired thinking or ideas, and a smidgen of common sense. My programming partners are looking under the hood of Geeklog at the same time I am looking at the user paradigm and community issues. Why do we fuss so much? Because we think we are launching a project that is going to get a lot of attention, and very fast. And our choice of system will probably generate a lot of traffic, and inevitably reflect on our technical prowess, judgement and common sense. If I'm going to walk into John Doerr's office and beg for venture capital one day, and I say my system is grounded in something called "Geeklog," I'd sure as heck like to get a nod of knowing awareness from him, or his CTO, and not a look that says "Another open source crack head... is it lunchtime yet?" Are we your market for Geeklog? Well, on some levels, probably not, but having the respect (and buzz) of the greater IT community is never a bad thing. You folks suffer from chronic underexposure on the web, and those people can matter a lot. A single good mention from the right author on Slashdot, F**kedCompany, or a few other places, and you get into the mindeshare of another 5,000 gurus, users, and potential developers. I think you'd really benefit from a drive to get some volunteers surf all the big CMS and php-related sites, directories, and forums, and talk-up your efforts (but avoid sounding like a paid marketing shill). I've tried to mention you whenever appropriate. Be sure to include CMSinfo, OpensourceCMS, CMS-info, etc.. And webmasterworld, and other WM forums are a must. << Dirk writes>> About Geeklog": There is a "Whats is Geeklog?" block on the right. The "more" link takes you to the documentation that has a feature list.>> Whoops! You're right Dirk. But guess what? That was never visible to me. Not from the first day I visited. In preferences I discoved the "No boxes" option was checked. I never checked that, or if I did, it was inadvertent. I had to find your features discussion by search. Are you sure it's the default? <<Don't know why you claim we "refuse to provide any summary of features and core modules". As I said, a feature list is in the documentation and it's next to impossible for the core developers to stay up to date with all the add-ons that are being developed>> Agreed, and once read, your feature document is not bad (but not deep enough yet, IMHO). And that's why forums are so important. Let them do it themeselves. But be sure you provide a coherent topic structure so it doesn't become spaghetti (more on this later). Perhaps you are, but if not, why not just put up a quickie Snitz board or something similar until your forum module is ready? Regardless of the module, let me give you my most important take on Forum design based on years of surfing some of the best and WORST forums on the web. FIX YOUR FIRST 2 TOPIC LEVELS! Do NOT allow people to post topics randomly, without first routing them to major topics and subtopics. Force people to choose from not more than 8-10 well conceived topics. Then, do the same for the subtopics, and force those to the top of the topic list (if you allow others, which I advise against at level 2). These will contain the threads that you know, from your own experience, will rapidly emerge, and you can channel them so that members and visitors can get to what matters fast, and redundant questions and flames are minimized. I strongly feel you should prohibit new random topics at these first two levels. Period. A good map of topics at the outset will minimize thread spaghetti, help people get answers, and generally make you appear one of the more thoughtful CMS sites anywhere. Forum users at CMS sites are not using them to chit chat. They are there for answers, or to get a sense of how well the product is serving its users. A tight forum will greatly impress as well as inform them. The topics should be things like this (not a comprehensive list): STANDARDS -- e.g. Intallation, bugs, enhancement requests, etc. WHY GEEKLOG -- and CMS Decisions MAIN INTERFACE (Geeklog only) PREFERENCES DESIGN LINKS CALENDAR.. PLUGIN MODULES (Available) ECOMMERCE LINKS MISC MODS.. PLUGIN MODULES (Programming) GENERAL CRITICISM AND COMMENTARY RANDOM FREE-FOR ALL QUESTIONS -- (Too lazy to look) (This bucket can be reviewed and moderators can easily move new topics to the right topic threads. I would put it in every fixed topic in the other threads) Another Issue: I really think you should rename the "Sections" heading in the nav column to "Article Sections" (Most CMSes are very confused about their news vs site-sections, and this provides some clarity). I would then change the "Home" link in that list to "Home (Top stories)" so that it reinforces that this list is the news sections list, and not another navbar. Also, since "Resources" is more like a quick-picks list, I would put "Home Page" in this list, and rename the heading "Key Resources (or Pages)." Now these boxes are more clearly distinguished from the top navbar. As for that navbar, you have that persistent sub-selector line of options. ("Intalling GL,"Wink. I realize you probably feel this permits fast access to common needs, but it has a disorienting effect too. Most sites treat that line as a sub-level specific to the selected top-level in the navbar. Thus, the user's paradigm will nudge them into an assumption that the selector is going to filter or subdivide the section they are presently in. I would either go to the context-sensitive model (my choice), or preface the line with "Frequent -> Installing GL.." One more thing (maybe 3) before I go earn a living. I've mentioned this before, but in my view, it's key. You need to integrate HTMLarea WYSIWYG as soon as possible. In my experience with other products, nothing makes you look more "now" than that. In fact, I notice that a huge number of CMS seekers are looking for that feature FIRST (as I once was). EnVolution gets a lot of attention, just for that feature alone. Oh, and WYSIWYG encourages better writing too. Anyway, this is all the time I have this morning. I am honestly hoping my tech guys choose Geeklog. I think it would be fun to work with this community and contribute wherever I have time. Thanks again for caring, and accepting criticism as a key ingredient of any good effort. Keep up the good work! <M>
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Anonymous

Anonymous
In rereading my post, and those comments, it occurred to me that in some respects, my venting could be seen as a compliment to your efforts, as I took the time to do it at all.

Wrong windbag, venting was very unprofessional of you. Why have you yet to answer Blaine's post for all to see here? Again, very unprofessional. You get no respect from me until you apologize for your previous behavior and show you will actually do something.

'I'm a product designer.' Oh, and that makes you an expert on website design and marketing too? LOLOLOL Anyone who runs a non-personal site could have given the exact same suggestions you have so far but keep feeding your own huge ego.
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Anonymous

Anonymous
blah blah blah blah. Don't you have some products to design or something.
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Anonymous

Anonymous
You must have lots of spare time... Give up the bubble and make some clear statements.
In the beginning I thought you are just kidding, but then you came up with some good suggestions. However - I think your matters are adressed for Geeklog 2.
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Status: offline

Norgs

Forum User
Junior
Registered: 16/12/03
Posts: 17
No Paragraphs makes baby Jesus cry.
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ByteEnable

Anonymous
No, do not spread the word about GeekLog. Its the best kept secret in OpenSource! By the way, www.groklaw.net runs GeekLog and they probably get (just a guess) 50,00 hits on a good day. I also run GeekLog at my site, www.linuxelectrons.com. I'm a ex-product designer Wink

Byte
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