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Old 05-18-2007, 01:26 AM   #43
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My 2 cents....

Sometimes I really need the tech stuff and other times I really need to relax, I have a busy life. I like to relax with others of our community in the "off topic" section of the forum some days. I like the fact that we are a diverse group of people with one common interest, our Airstreams. However, we are diverse and part of the fun for me is learning and interacting with others. I feel this site would be a bore if it were just technical information and we would miss out on the uniqueness of our members. For example, I Live in North Eastern Ohio, because of our climate we are not always working on our camper or camping. If it were a purely techincal site, I would most likley not visit the site during the winter. That would signifacantly decrease my feeling of community on this site. That would be a great loss to me. A believe a balance of both is important for the health of our community.
Heather
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:56 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by lebolewis
The PORTAL page groups NEW post by SUBJECT. It's the only place on this site that groups NEW posts by subject!....at least that I am aware of.
Uh, I must be missing something here...when I click on "PORTAL" (either the tab or the blue bar) it does not categorize the thread titles by subject. It lists them all by whatever the original thread starter called the thread...in a lineal fashion, the last 25 posts. period.

If I want to view things in a more categorized manner, I click on "NEW POSTS" then I scan the right hand column for subject matter in topics that interest me - then look at the thread title for more info and either choose to read the thread or not. If I want more detail or I am looking for a specific topic, I click on "FORUMS" then scroll down to the approriate section or use the "SEARCH" function.

IMO, the portal page is is mostly a casual visitor's tool..."what's been going on in the last couple of hours?" sort of thing...with only 25 most recent posts showing, if that is the only place a member visits, they will miss out on ALOT of techie information...even if all the Off-Topic" posts were removed. On average, there are posts to over 100 DIFFERENT THREADS every day! Just because a thread was posted to 26 or 38 or 75 posts ago and it has dropped off the portal page, doesn't make it any more or less important as one that is on the top of the portal page list....just not as fresh with it's responses. Even if the 1/2 dozen or so active "off topic" threads were eliminated from registering on the portal page...there would still be many, many posts that wouldn't make the "most recent 25" list shown - or would only show there briefly during active posting sessions.

Oftentimes, the really techie questions, the ones that don't get many responses and thus may only show up on the portal page once or twice are the most interesting...at least to me. They are the questions that don't always have an easy answer...those 0-3 post threads can be just as pertinant (or more so) than the multi-answered thread which shows up every hour or two on the portal page. They are the "more challenging questions" alot of times.

Currently, it appears that this software does not allow members to filter their own portal page. To me, this does not mean we should totally remove the social or off-topic aspects of the community's posts and just "keep things techie"...it's a community! There are lots of different ways to use the software tool and seek out the info most important to each member that are not utilized by most. If you visit other forums of this size...you will find many of the same off-topic threads arise...it's human nature to want to relate on a social level with others they have met with a common interest. Especailly when the common interest of "owning an Airstream" - which is very social - is what brought us all together. Heck, you can't own an Airstream without drawing out other campers in a campground, now can you? It's VERY social! It's natural that this community forum would follow suit.

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Old 05-18-2007, 09:35 AM   #45
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Ok. First I am total newbie to this site. After reading this thread, it sounds like this forum has similar problems to a VW forum I belong to. It's TheSamba.com :: Volkswagen Classifieds, photos, shows, forums, and information. They have broken their site down into many subdivisions which make it easy to find what you want. They have it broken down into tech forums by vehicle, vw photos, vehicle forums, vender forums, etc. They have a ''general chat" forum that holds word games and non vw related posts. There's a "rants" forum for threads that have gotten nasty or have the trouble makers arguing. The rants are deleted after 8 days. It gives those who enjoy arguments a place to go instead of wasting pages of a tech thread to insult each other. It seems to work over there. They have moderators who are quick to lock any threads that become offensive.

I am not trying to tell anyone how to mange this site, I am happy either way. The Samba seems to be a similar type forum that has used the general chat forum to releive this problem. Maybe you should check out how their site is laid out. It might help the problem. Im flexible. I just scroll on by what I don't want to read. I'm just happy to have a forum to help me since I am totally new to Airstreams! After Saturday, I'll need all the help I can get!
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:45 AM   #46
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Quote:
Sometimes I log in, take a look around, skip the axles and the tires questions, may not even see much new since my last log in and then a simple post to a frivolous game gives me a lift. I made a connection with others that are here, and we are all all together, but not. (Is that what Kevin says???)

I feel the same as wheelinterested - this website is my way of camping and being around fellow campers when I can't go camping ... a mini-vacation, even if it's just 5 minutes long. We all have our reasons for being here, the important thing is that we're all here.

Toss me a cold one next time you pass by the cooler, please ...
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:46 AM   #47
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Welcome Daisy! Before I got my Airstream, I had a 78 VW bus named Dieter!
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:48 AM   #48
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Maybe the off-topic section should be renamed "The Bonfire" to represent the social aspect of the site. Without the fun and games of a community, life gets dull.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:45 AM   #49
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Wow - I did not imply to degrade any of your forum experiences, only to enrich it for others for whom it may be a challenge to attend.

I certainly did not expect if someone asks for help it to be easier to quote, diagram, dissect and heckle than to accommodate. Does having some basic accessibility options really lower the value of your cyber-space turf?

I am not saying Bill is anything but brave enough to think aloud in print allowing me to connect trends discernible within our online village. 44.2% of the posts in this entire forum are in the 'Our Community' open forum and if those folk are so bold as to not allow Joe-Anybody the option of finding serenity in choosing not to monitor every breathless Community post during a tough week this feeling I am trying to express may well turn to shame.

From the privacy of our home, trailer or office it's too easy to claim excellence by attendance - those of us with dyslexia, AADD, vision problems, chronic pain syndromes, or simply the normal hassles of daily living and a wounded Airstream in mid-surgery might welcome opting to condense effort expended to just the mechanical & technical aspects of the greatest yearbook for the greatest RVs ever seen on the planet; then come sundown explore the social and intellectual side of your 1st-Tier cyber-community - both with the ease of a click of the mouse.

I am still livid at the bullying I saw after I chose to support someone expressing a basic need (for whatever reason); If a single person was kind enough to post something troubling then surely thousands had thought the same thing. It isn't up to us to divine that person to be lazy or undisciplined, it doesn't build character or provide wholesome comic relief to glibly negate another's insights.

It appears this thread is growing, by the time I click on submit reply there may not be a reason to have posted this response and if so I apologize in advance. There are a lot of creative, self-actualizing and successful people associated with Airstreaming, so aside from the pleasure of great vehicles, I for one hope to have some of that rub off on me!
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:50 AM   #50
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Hey thanks! VWs buses rock! LOOVE mine!


OOPS we got off topic! hee hee!
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:08 PM   #51
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Wow Wabbiteer that is eloquantly put! I see your points well taken. I think many responses were on the defensive for the preserving of our playful attitudes, like the reaction to an office memo for shorter and less frequent coffee breaks. And we all know just how much more productive that can actually make us.

I think the administration might be able to fine tune the interface and if all possible think that should be seriously considered since Bill's is not the first post I have read in this regard. I remember another thread about it not long ago. Perhaps Shari will remember where that is since she posted much about the User CP section and our capabilities. It's a valid concern. I think we just jumped prematurely to the conclusion that the remedy was cease and desist.

And Hamb7 we shared your North Eastern Ohio winter here in South Eastern Michigan...is it just me or was this the longest winter ever!!!! You're right about winter postings, definitely a different experience according to regional weather I think. Those California posts were killing me with pictures of camping while we were still all winterized.
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:19 PM   #52
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See more, do more..........

Wally would roll over on his gaucho if he knew we were using up valuable camping time talking about using up valuable camping time.
LOL kidding....just kidding....just a joke....maybe
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:24 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel interested
I think the administration might be able to fine tune the interface and if all possible think that should be seriously considered since Bill's is not the first post I have read in this regard.
The admin team members HAVE looked into it and currently, the way the forum is set-up there is NOT a way to individually set the Portal page to filter out topical posts. Possibly a future version will make this feature available...however, until then, I have tried to give members alternate ways to use the interface tools we DO have available to us.

I don't think it's been anybody's intention to heckle or dissect anyboby else...just make the readers realize there are MANY untapped tools that ARE available. I have found that AirForums is quite often a members first experience with an internet-based community and they are not aware of how powerful and customizable the software is. Andy and the "behind the scenes" staff are constantly upgrading, tweaking and trying to keep this community dynamic and and on the forefront of technology...much to the shagrin of other members who come out voicing their complaints with each upgrade.

Suggestions are always noted, some are able to be implemented, some are not. Currently, this suggested feature is not...

Shari
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:18 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
...Andy and the "behind the scenes" staff are constantly upgrading, tweaking and trying to keep this community dynamic and and on the forefront of technology...
I send a hearty "thank-you" to Andy and his team of admins and volunteers who make this site one of my favorite places to be! You guys are the best!
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:10 PM   #55
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Point that this may be "a members first experience with an internet-based community" is well taken. Internet etiquette in general dictates that the use of words all in upper case letters be avoided. It's considered yelling.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:37 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel interested

And Hamb7 we shared your North Eastern Ohio winter here in South Eastern Michigan...is it just me or was this the longest winter ever!!!! You're right about winter postings, definitely a different experience according to regional weather I think. Those California posts were killing me with pictures of camping while we were still all winterized.
Yes! I think this winter was 9 months long! The California posts were about to do me in! LOL Everytime I saw those lovely pictures of happy campers I would go out of my mind!
Heather
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