Idea for improving the forum

triforcefx United StatesPosts: 1,641 Moderator
edited October 2019 in General

We regularly have to summon Staff members on the forum, and sometimes it can be difficult to choose a particular person, especially if you can’t remember everyone’s usernames.

I propose the creation of an @Staff account that can be seen by all Staff members and forwarded to the proper staff member for answering. It would be nice if the Staff could still answer with their own accounts though, it’s a nice personal touch.

I don’t know what’s possible with the software, but if there was an @Mod  account that would automatically forward tagged posts to the Mods that would be neat too. While we’re at it, perhaps there could also be a @PowerUsers for the people that typically offer help on here.

 I think the Staff bit is entirely doable, but they might have to work out a few things on their end as to how it’s managed. The other bit might not be possible with the current forum software, but if implemented correctly could be quite useful.

@TheBenNorris @Triem23 any thoughts


  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,219 Expert

    @triforcefx A very useful idea, for sure.   I floated the idea of just a sort of STAFF directory a while back...  Sadly, I never saw anyone else weigh in.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,632 Enthusiast
    edited October 2019

    Anything is possible with Vanilla being it is an open source software. You can write any type of plugin you want or add custom columns to the database. The problem is time I'm sure. FXHome develops video/photo software and how would a small team find the time to write custom code for Vanilla.? It's do-able...I used Pligg , precursor to Vanilla,  but it took me several months to develop a stable plugin(s) and database. Time. You could hire someone to write it for you but you would still need to test it on an offline "shadow forum" to make sure it worked and didn't corrupt the database.

    The problem I see with tagging staff is they would be inundated with simpleton question that could easily be answered by doing a bit of searching.??!?

    All good ideas and I see where you are coming from but really the forum needs to be revamped. Search is terrible, navigation is terrible (and not displayed).  Need top/sidebar navigation - including things like categories, top comments, recent comments, top pick categories. most asked questions...etc, etc etc.

    Whats needed is a new themes that allows new users to find what they are looking for easier :-)

    EDIT: Don't get me wrong..the theme being used now is "ok" for mobile use but there is room for improvement. As for desktop viewing the theme is "empty". The menu button is ok but most lead to the main website and has little to do with forum navigation. I know...leading a horse to water is easy... whether it drinks it or not is another question.

    EDIT Again: Got to go further. Check the flow of connection -< List categories only and this is the landing page. <- Shows all the stickies (good stuff) at the top of the page. Personally this should also be displayed on the landing page. Also internal pages do not list categories.

    IMHO - Simple tweaks to the current themes navigation flow would go miles. It would cut down on the tagging and get the end-user to the desired information much more efficient. 

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,042 Staff

    I'd like to point out that forum improvements are being discussed on our end, and it's definitely something a few of us are passionate about improving. Of course, @GrayMotion is right that most of us are mainly software developers, and have little time/experience to write custom plugins.

    I'm not sure on the current state of the forum improvement discussions, but you may be able to withdraw more information from @Ady.