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Old 4th August 2004, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
Brian G. Turner
 
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Changes: suggestions welcome

This place needs a good shake up.

Firstly, the design itsn't right - the graphics in the header image never worked, and I never got around to replacing them.

And though the design scheme with the overhanging header looks neat in some respects, the forum itself absolutely needs to fill the user screen, rather than be crushed in the center for higher res users - where the tables are easily knocked out of sync by over-large images.

So: re-design required.

However...this place was originally conceived to work as a network. I nearly succeeded in that, running the place from 2 domains - chronicles-network.net for writing and this community, with .com for the books. Never fully implemented properly though. In fact, I'm going to drop the concept of network and run from a single domain.

But if this place is no longer going to be a network...then why call it the "chronicles-network"?

In fact, as this place is now so completely divorced from my own "Chronicles of Empire" site, then why even chronicles?

See what I'm thinking? I'm thinking this place needs a complete reinvention of itself.

I have some ideas in mind - new site name, new domain name, new design and colour scheme...

...but I would like to throw the issue out for members to discuss.

What's broke?

And where do we really need to most improve?
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Old 4th August 2004, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

As to the name, I think it should retain the word 'chronicles', some amount of continuity and familiarity there. Fantastic Chronicles? Something like that.

I still like the overall colour scheme, and I hope it sticks to something as clean as this.

Other than that, I guess pushing on hosting non-forum content (reviews, articles, interviews) is something to look at in the near future.
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Old 4th August 2004, 12:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

You should certainly try and keep the name or something similar. Perhaps you could have a poll to decide on some of these suggestions. As long as this site is still running in some shape or form, I am sure the member will use it to their own device. British Airways and Royal Mail suffered with name changes and paint jobs...
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Old 4th August 2004, 01:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

Personally, I always refer to this place as the Chronicles and nothing more. I think it's a suitable name, as literature is a chronicle of time in its own way.
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Old 4th August 2004, 02:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

I agree that some form of Chronicles should stay in the name - even without the actual Chronicles the name came from - as it is unique from other sf/fantasy forums and familiar to current members.

As to the rest, I'm not good with design so I'm not sure what to suggest other than making the home page a little more mysterious and interesting but still user friendly. As I said I don't know design so this may not be feasible but perhaps some sort of doorway scheme, books (which is, in general, the main theme of this forum) are all doorways to different worlds and realities. I picture a Dali-esque landscape with different types of doors designed to fit their themes (an airlock for science fiction, a stone door covered in runes and lichen for fantasy...you get the picture). Each with their own little taglines, 'step into an alternative reality', 'beware of magic and monsters' that type of thing.
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Old 4th August 2004, 02:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

Sounds great, but I think I'd lost. Or is that the idea??
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Old 4th August 2004, 04:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

It sounds like a good idea, but it would be very difficult to make it userfriendly, especially for returning members who are after content, not first impressions.
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Old 4th August 2004, 06:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

Count me in as another one who thinks that "chronicles" should remain in the name of the place. Maybe because it is familiar? Maybe because it has a science-fiction feel to it (for me it does anyway)? Other than that, I'm not really a design person, so I think I should probably keep out of this one. I do think having everything in one place is a good idea.
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Old 4th August 2004, 06:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

Graphics are great to use, but not my strong point. Also, a little heavy on the resources side. A good idea none-the-less and I wouldn't be surprised if most websites moved that way - especially 3 dimensional forms - over the next 5 years.

I guess at the end of the day there's a lot of cleaning up left to do here - but rather than throw out the old crockery and buy in new, I guess the point is that there is already established branding here, and that should remain.

I've got a big webdevelopment project to finish this month, and a lot of work to do for clients - but I'll try to make August the month that the chronicles-network is more properly completed.
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Old 6th August 2004, 09:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

What about the signatures, M. Brian? I would like my signature to show here when I post. It is too big, perhaps, or no? Tell me. I will listen.
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Old 7th August 2004, 12:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

Banners lead to mischief. I do not want to see Ladbrokes flashing across the screen, or some shoddy internet loan firm... you know what I am getting at.
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Old 7th August 2004, 12:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

Okay. I think I understand. I just want to see my flying carpet. Hehe. I worked so hard to make. Hehe.
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Old 7th August 2004, 01:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

Just keep pestering Brian, he might cave.
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Old 7th August 2004, 09:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

There will be no banners here - certainly at least not until this place has swallowed up a few other sf/f forums, and we take on advertising from Hollywood itself.

(I do actually intend to buy out certain other sizeable sff forums in the medium-term future, and merge the communities together here. The process *might* even start next year - depends how much I need to raise for cash purchase. )

Before that, though - we will probably be taking advertising on very soon, but I will insist that it is very limited, not distracting, and effectively text based, not banners or graphics. Even the AdSense ads above the forums are likely to go, but the new ads would go either on a left hand nav, or else in the forum footer.

As for images in signatures - I've never been keen on those - it can give forums that use them a sense of being filled with banner ads. But...you can upload your own 100x100px avatar here, add text and links in the signature, and maybe use other features of the profile: profile pic, for example, for other graphics.

Cricket, would you like me to upload a new avatar for you, based on your image? For example, as per the attachment below?
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Old 7th August 2004, 04:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Changes: suggestions welcome

Ohhhh, that looks very nice. Okay!
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