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1 Article Analysis [Reverie] on January 28th 2012, 3:18 pm

Darren

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Your URL: http://www.forumansion.net
Your position: Non-Founder
Type of package: Article
Other details?: Avoid staffing, honesty is expected.


Thanks ;D



Last edited by Darren on January 30th 2012, 5:41 am; edited 2 times in total

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2 Re: Article Analysis [Reverie] on January 28th 2012, 3:42 pm

Voldemort

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Tag. This will be done either tonight or tomorrow night.

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3 Re: Article Analysis [Reverie] on January 29th 2012, 11:47 pm

Voldemort

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Forumansion's Forum Review!

Congratulations! Your forum review has been completed. The forum review will hold many tips, suggestions, comments, and feedback that are convenient and voluntary for your forum.


First Impressions ::
Before jumping on into the review, I'd like to start off by saying that I'm reviewing this from an unbiased standpoint.

Once I open your forum, one of the first things I notice is the mascot - the little ghost in your banner. I think that is such a cute thing to have on your forum, and I think that it could also help you out a little later. I can see it being used in competitions (Find the Ghost!, edit the ghost into a banner, ect.), in some sort of advertising scheme for your forum, in graphics on your forum, and in so many other clever ways. I also think that it makes your forum seem a bit more friendly and community centered. Like you don't take yourselves too seriously. I like that.
Another thing that I really enjoyed right off the bat was the feel of the community. I really like how it feels like a very close community, yet is so welcoming. How it seems like most of the users know and like eachother, yet welcome new users very kindly. It's a very nice feel to have with a community, and I can guarentee it'll help you out a bit in the future. Some of the other things that I'm a fan of is the banner, the favicon (and the fact that you have a favicon in general), and the theme in general.

I think that you should do something with the "visitor messages" - they seem too underused and ignored to me. Maybe if you added a link to the "visitor messages" page in the navigation bar, and made it so that it shows when you have new ones. Perhaps making it easier to leave someone a visitor message (like putting somethig like a "quick reply" or "status box" on the page, instead of the person having to click "new PM". Speaking of the "new PM" button, the visitor messages page needs it's own graphic. The messages on there are not "PMs" they are "VMs", it should say that.) would help as well. Because honestly, if they're not going to be used then they may as well be removed; all they're doing right now is taking up space.


I feel like the "sticky ads" are not very useful or helpful with advertising. To me, it just seems that the chance of someone clicking the topic and joining it is unlikely. Also, the topics crowd and look annoying in the forums. I think that it would be an improvement to just get rid of sticky ads completely, and put some other service in its place. Maybe some sort of staff-signature advertisement, from experience, they work rather well. I know that I have joined a few forums after seeing a link/affiliate button in a staff members signature.


I think that the avatar gallery needs some help. It has things like this - in it. What is that? It's not even Forumansions mascot, it's Forumotions. Not to mention it's not particularly pretty, and is extremely old. I think that the staff should make a point to add some fresh avatars to that gallery, because I know that I check the avatar gallery on a forum first and usually just pick an avatar from there. I was kind of disappointed that I'd have to find one of my own, and almost didn't add an avatar at all. Also, even just having members make avatars for the gallery would be an interesting contest idea..

I don't like the forum title "Site Ratings". I feel like it gives off the impression that it's okay for people to just say "7/10" or "4/10" without giving any actual feedback. I think that it should be changed to something like "Peer Reviews" or "Member Reviews", so it's more clear that you should leave some contructive criticism along with the rating. In fact, rating isn't even completely nessisary. Personally, I'd prefer some actual feedback to "6/10".

(First Impressions :: 19/25)


Theme and organization ::
I like the theme, I like how it uses so many different shades of blue, yet brings them all together in a fun, chic looking way.I love the banner, icons, and other main graphics.

On a topic page, when a person who posted in it is online, their post has an orange "online" graphic over their post. I don't have a problem with the fact that you have an "online" graphic in general, but I hate that the "online" graphic is orange. Orange? The theme is blue, not orange. I'd recommend changing it to blue, green, or gray so it wouldn't look as awkward with the rest of the theme.


I don't see why you have the "freebees" section of the forum. In my opinion, it makes the "exchanges" section a little pointless and it will probably make it less used in the future. After all, would you rather pay ten credits for five posts, or get five posts for free? If I were you, I would merage the "freebees" with the exchanges, and just make a topic icon that says something along the lines of "freebee". I would also the the "affiliate" forum a subforum in the "exchanges" forum (you're EXCHANGING affiliate buttons or affiliation, so I think it would be a better lay out to have it there), but make sure that there's some sort of link to it on the index so that it clearly shows that it's there.

The forums "Member interviews", "memebrs birthdays", "debates", and a few others need forum icons. Just because they're sub forums doesn't mean that they don't need a forum icon. Not having a forum icon in a subforum forum just because it's a subforum would be as silly as not giving it a description because it's a subforum, or not giving half of the forums forum icons.

How the quick reply is slightly into the text box doesn't look good to me - I think that it would look better if you moved it down slightly, so that it's completely out of the text box.

I really, really like the emoticons in general. However, I think that you shouldn't have more than one theme of them. Having these different themes; the blue ones; , the green ones; , the forumotion ones; , along with normal ones; doesn't look to good to me. I think that it would look best for the forum if you got rid of the blue and green ones, leaving only the Forumotion ones and the other normal emoticons (because they look rather similar, and between both of them they cover all the emotions that the green and blue ones do).


I think that you should change the "Forum of the Month #1 Winner!" forum to a widget on the side. I don't like how it's over a forum, and I just think it would look better if it was a widget on the side. It would be just as noticed there (maybe more, because it would stand out a bit more). The only difference would be that it would make the index slightly shorter (which is actually a good thing) and it would be on the side.

(Theme and organization :: 17/25)

Activity and Staff Moderation ::
I'm not a huge fan of how the general discussion sections and the introduction sections are so much more active than the sections that are actually relevant to the forum (Admin discussions, SEO discussions, ect.). I think that you should ask your staff to or you yourself should make a point to post in the forums in the Webmaster category. It doesn't look too good from a new guests point of view to see all the posts in the general discussion and games sections, and see no content in the relevant sections.

From what I see, most of your staff are a relatively active part of the community, and I don't believe that I see one who has not logged on in the past 24 hours. Nice job with that. You requested that I don't touch on the staff much, so that's all I'll say on the subject.

I don't see why you didn't delete the members of the forum since you deleted all of their posts. It makes no sense to me. It completely throws the post-member ratio off, it keeps a bunch of 0-post accounts up, and it is pointless. In my opinion, it would be smart to continue sending out "we're back!" emails, promoting, and such, and then at the end of the month, delete every account that has not logged on or posted in the month. It wouldn't be hurting anything, because none of the accounts had any content on them anyway. The worst thing that would happen would be a person would come back and not have an account and have to make a new one. I can also see a lot of people not remembering that they have an account, or not remembering their email or password since it's been so long since the forum was up, so I can see it causing a lot of problems as far as double accounts go.

I think that the VIP price is too high. The forum has been open for a week, I can't see any member paying a 20$ donation for a VIP status. I think that lowering to to 5$ would be best, but if you're really set on a high, unreasonable about, 10$ should be the highest. You'd get the most VIP members and money out of it that way. Because if you set the price at 20$ and have one person do it, you'll have 20$. If you set it at 10$ and get five people who do it, you'd have 50$. And the latter is much more realistic and likely to happen.

The activity is outstanding. Almost 3,000 posts in about a week? Goodness gracious, now that's something to be proud of. You already seem to have a great and strong memberbase, which is also great. Very good work with that.

(Activity and Staff Moderation:: 20/25)


Spelling, Grammar, and Miscellaneous:
The following portion is going to be incredibly nit-picky. You have no spelling or grammar issues on the forum index, or any other really important and noticible place, so what I do point out is going to be very small, irrelevant problems that normally wouldn't even matter.
In the rules -


-"Private Messaging system is for. You will need to contact a staff member with eligable moderation powers to do this for you and NOT to send in a report. " I believe that eligable should be eligible.

- "This orange bar indicates that you are on a heavy warning and you should
be more careful in following the rules. This bar suggests that you've
committed a bad offence. " - I believe that offence should be offense. Which also means that the "offenses" in these sentences should be changed - "This red bar indicates that you are on your last and serious warning. Any more offences from you and that will be a ban. At this point we suggest that you STRONGLY re-read the rules before using the forums. ", and "This banned bar is pretty obvious. You've been banned from the forum for a string of offenses or simply one serious offence. "

- "* Double Topics : Before you create a topic, be sure to search if any
other similar topic(s) already exist. If you created a topic that
already exists, it will be trashed, and if it has about 5 replies, then it will be merged with the existing topic. " Any numbers under ten should be written out.

- I don't have a specific sentence to point out here, but in more formal, professional writing, it's best to stay away from most contractions. If you want to give the "rules" a more professional and serious flare to them, I would recommend that you go through and change the contractions where you can.

- " * Harassment : This includes all forms of harassment. Things like stalking a user, repeatedly asking for pictures, phone numbers, MSN addresses. Harassment can also include sending unwanted pictures via PM to a user, or dirty talking to a member when they are uncomfortable with it. Racial discrimination falls into this category as well. " - You use "an" before words that start with vowels, so it should be "an user,"

- "* Begging : Begging for something makes you look very bad. Continuously saying "PLEASE PLEASE help me; I REALLY NEED HELP! PLEASE!" is considered begging, and we don't tolerate it. Saying "May someone please help me with my issue." is the correct way to handle things. " - "Continual" means "frequent." "Continuous" means "without break or end.", so it would make more sense if you used the word "Continually".

-"* Limits : If you have 3
massive images in your signature and no text you may be asked to remove
one or more images because the signature is still too big. " Any numbers ten and under should be written out.

-"This yellow bar indicates that there is a warning on your account.
Having this kind of bar does not mean the end of the world. It will be
refilled if you have learnt your lesson and that you continue to follow the rules after receiving the warning. " - I'm not 100% sure on this point, but I believe that "learnt" should be "learned".

Moving along, I don't think that the warning bars should be viewable by members. I think it's a bit embaressing and cruel to show every other member on the forum that Sally has a red warning bar. In my opinion, it's none of the other members concerns about other members warning bars, and should be only viewable by staff members.

I really like the forum descriptions. They all portray what type of threads and content belongs in the forum well, while not being too bland and boring. Nice job on them.


(Spelling, Grammar, and Miscellaneous:: (19/25)
Overall Score: 75/100



What I liked most about your forum:
The theme, the community feel of it.

What I disliked most about your forum:
There's nothing I really dislike enough to feel comfortable repeating and drawing emphasis to in this section. What I dislike most is just all the tiny little things that could be improved upon on the forum.

After you are satisfied with your review, it would be very helpful for the reviewers here at Forumansion if you were to leave feedback in the appropriate topic. Thank you for requesting at Forumansion!

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4 Re: Article Analysis [Reverie] on January 29th 2012, 11:51 pm

Voldemort

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COMPLETED

Thank you for requesting your review, you may request another in 7 days
Please rate your review by clicking here

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5 Re: Article Analysis [Reverie] on January 29th 2012, 11:58 pm

Cody

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Might I say, everything in this review, will be improved in order to make ForuMansion the best website available to the internet.

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6 Re: Article Analysis [Reverie] on January 30th 2012, 5:40 am

Darren

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Thank you for this ;D

Credits deducted from myself, and moved to completed.

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