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blair

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blair last won the day on November 4 2010

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About blair

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  • Birthday 03/13/1966

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  1. blair

    IPS 4 Stability

    Some heavyweights here, I'm not sure I even feel qualified to post, but the title triggered something in me that I've been meaning to post. If this were my forum -- I'd be embarrassed by the condition of it. IPS 4 is just too fragile to run in Production. Almost every time I use this site I see broken topics, broken quotes, missing articles. I've bookmarked, liked, followed content that's important to me, only to find it disappear or become unusable. This looks like an amateur's site with an upgrade that's half done, or broken. But it's not. This is the forum of a company that creates forum software! Too fragile? Well if IPB can't properly manage their own IPB 4 forum, how am I supposed to? That's not all. It seems search engines have noticed as well. Look at the average number of users online. They've fallen dramatically. Look at the number of pages indexed compared to number of topics. Much lower than it used to be. This forum is not healthy. Should you trust a skinny chef?
  2. blair

    Similar Topics

    Hey Marcher, Appears the suite updates have eaten your article on orany Sphinx edits. Do you still have it saved somewhere you could share? http://community.invisionpower.com/resources/articles.html/_/ipboard-3x/simple-modifications/sphinx-enabling-orany-words-search-r634
  3. Grinler, I don't plan to upgrade before 4.1.1 at the earliest. Hopefully they won't throw me an EOL curveball prior. I'm guessing you haven't read much about the performance issues with 4.0? Because emoticons are one tag. Bbcode had opening and closing tags. E.g. code /code
  4. @Ralph H. Would you agree that you should be able to create a list of pros and a list of cons at PHPBB.com, copy and paste it here and retain the formatting? Because you can't and that's but one example. What about the same list created here and copied to PHPBB.com... Again you can't. What if you had a catalog of replies, and you never knew what would work and what wouldn't with each new release of IPB? That's the dilema faced by some communities. Just because the problem didn't affect you, doesn't mean it's not real.
  5. Flash is a bad analogy. Bbcode is neither a resource hog or security risk. It has much more common with HTML. Just as HTML is crossbrowser, bbcode should be cross bulletin board. I should be able to format a post using notepad or a third party code generator and paste that code into any bulletin board and expect consistent results. I frequently use IPB, vB, PHPBB, Wolflab and Xenforo. iPB is the only one consistently breaking bbcode. It's not like we're asking for support of an edge case. We're asking bulletin board software to fully support bulletin board code (bbcode). Actions speak louder than words. How about a release version that doesn't break bbcode? Sure WYsIWYG is sexy, intuitive for new users, and meets the needs of 90% of posts. But if you have a community more than a few years old with decent views, you'll soon learn the posts that are generating the traffic are often a how-to guide, well maintained list, or other complex post generated by a power user, who used bbcode. The tech industry is littered with corpses of companies and communities who ignore their power users. I was actually hoping IPB4 would use a modular editor plugin. So you could chose from the default WYSIWYG editor, a third-party WYSIWYG, or something completely different like bbcode or Markdown. If you chose to put your head in the sand, and pretend there are no communities outside of yours, and no community software outside of IPB, then yes iIPB's WYSIWYG editor is perfect for you.
  6. blair

    4.0 - Q&A Forums

    Adding up and down arrows don't make a forum a Q&A site. Reputation should be featured, not post count. Profiles need to be reworked. Related content is required for discovery. Questions should be able to be created without having to first register, pick a category, et al. Ask for email and pick a category after the question is asked. Same for adding an answer. Search has to improve greatly, and offer fast, relevant results. SEO has to be very good. Unanswered questions have to be surfaced... There's some very tough competition in this niche, I'm afraid this doesn't go far enough to become relevant.
  7. blair

    Embrace email

    Don't be shamed. It appears well done. I just wish it were a core feature of a suite interested in building community. And it is only one of my three suggestions. In case you're looking for future enhancements, the stack exchange and discourse folks do an excellent job.
  8. blair

    Embrace email

    We have email notifications of reply. What we need is reply via email, submit topics via email, and a weekly email digest of highly rated and new content. Most people want to know what's new. Be proactive and send it to them. People enjoy mailing lists. Hard to appreciate with new forums, but it scales with size. Some will be concerned about creating content via email and losing pageviews, but that's unwarranted. New user generated content is far more valuable than a page view.
  9. blair

    ipb 4 seo?

    [sarcasm] Except for hierarchical URLs [/sarcasm] Add or remove sarcasm tags depending on whether you follow @Charles.
  10. blair

    profile privacy in IPB 4

    As a forum user, I'd hate to see privacy settings anywhere near as complex as Facebook. As an admin, I realize forum profiles are mostly worthless. I don't show them to guests. I'd like that to change. Facebook, LinkedIn, and many others have built businesses using user profiles. There's obviously room for improvement. Maybe in 5.0?
  11. blair

    Similar Topics

    I have a similar problem as an earlier poster. No similar topics are displayed with Sphinx, but it does work with the force SQL option. You can disregard this post. I updated to a new version of Sphinx, and the newer API resolved my issue.
  12. blair

    URL Enhancements

    Microsoft's Community does something like this: Windows | Windows 7 | Repair and Recovery becomes: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/ Windows | Windows 8.1 | Repair and Recovery becomes: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-system/ Windows | Windows 7 | Devices and Drivers becomes: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/ Now say you're searching for an IRQL error. The post title won't likely include the Windows version, or whether it's hardware or system related. But the forum name AND URL help narrow the search. I wonder why they left "forum" in the URL? I can't imagine there are many forums with a subforum as deep as the example, but having an option to define the forum slug would be an improvement over the generic "topic". A Bing search result: If I add "hardware" to the query, I get different search results because of the FURL (not forum name):
  13. blair

    URL Enhancements

    Sorry I'm late to the party. Stumbled across this topic searching for something else. 1) CSEO was no vBSEO, but it was ahead of its time, and most users saw very good results. It used a default FURL e.g. tld.com/community/this-is-a-topic-1234.html. They never had a hierarchical URL. They also had other a few URL options, stop words for keywords/URLs, strip session IDs, etc. Another option they had was transliteration, or custom FURL. For example, if file names are important to your site, you could replace "." with "-" in the URL, instead of ignoring them. It also reversed page titles (board title at end) and had relevant similar topics. Don't underestimate similar content. Of course, a lot has changed in the SEO world since then. 2) If you've ever migrated a forum, or wanted to migrate a forum to another software, topic ID is critical. Why migrate? Don't look any further than vB5. Removing topic ID doesn't offer enough benefit to justify the loss of migration options. If IPS wants to lock in users, get rid of topic IDs (please don't). 3) Don't underestimate speed. While server hardware is cheap, a faster site will win the SERP (everything else equal). Even if Google has oversold the performance/SERP benefit, performance will always be important. 4) Finally, no hierarchical URL option in IPB 4 would be a HUGE disappointment. URL changes should never be taken lightly, but recently I've found search engines more receptive of change with 301 redirects. I would jump at the opportunity to have hierarchical URLs, and some of my communities have 10+ years of URL history. Myself and others have made the case before, but it's just common sense. The current URL structure is broken. Don't force the change on users, but give them the option to redirect it with a graceful 301 redirect. Even though this topic is a very bad example URL (too many subforums), it's still relevant. If you were looking for changes to IPS URLs, which would you be more likely to click in a search result? http://community.invisionpower.com/invision-power-services/ips-client-services/ips-software-and-company-feedback/community-suite-feedback/ip-board/url-enhancements/2471724.html Or, In an A:B test, even in this bad example, the first result would get a better click through. Not to mention how keyword rich the URL is (IPS, URL), to increase SERP. P.S. I didn't make $xx,xxx last month, but my communities do have about 500k registered users, and 4M posts.
  14. blair

    Tutorials

    About to pull the trigger on this mod, but there seems to be a glaring omission. No similar tutorials (unless it works with >Marcher's similar topics)? Or "other tutorials you may be interested in..." (like IP.Downloads)? Great for user experience and SEO. Looks like it's already under consideration, but an appearance more similar to IP.Downloads would be welcomed.
  15. blair

    [IPBLounge] Applications System

    Just installed recently on 3.4.6. Added a group, added questions, changed permissions. Application shows in the menu bar, but the page is blank. No application mod shown.
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