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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Sep, 2004 4:14 pm    Post subject: New forum feature: Spotight Topics         Reply with quote

There's a new button on the forum navigation bar called Spotlight Topics. Selecting this option will show you a list of topics throughout our forums that we deem important enough to be bookmarked for easy access. Sometimes these topics are full of good reference materials and other times they're just particularly interesting discussions. Either way, they're now easy to reference despite how active or new these topics currently are.

We haven't spent a lot of time going through the old topics and adding them to the library, but expect this list to slowly grow over time.

Nominating New Spotlight Topics:
If you find a topic that you think should be added to our Spotlight list, please send me a private message with a link to it so I can consider adding it.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've changed the way Spotlight Topics are displayed. They're now separated into categories to make them a bit more organized. The nature of a forum makes long-term accessibility of useful information somewhat difficult because much of it is hidden from view and must be specifically found with a search. Well, I've always found it nice to have the really good stuff hand-picked and presented to me. This way I get exposed to cool stuff that I didn't even know I was trying to find.

Check it out.

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,160

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great idea! Just had a quick peek and I like it: Probably a couple of topics I missed completely and some I would read again to refresh my memory about the subject matter.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Jean..

Serving as a form of ego-incentive, people's profiles now show how many Spotlight Topics they've created, if any.

Cheers

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,160

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan you are an evil genius and student of human nature. Cool Laughing Out Loud
You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Nathan you are an evil genius and student of human nature. Cool Laughing Out Loud

Mister Double-spotlights: You've no idea Wink I try to keep that stuff in check around here, though!

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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is pretty cool, Nathan! Given the breakdown and ease of navigation, this should be a nice addition. Looks like a bundle of those topics have been dormant for a good long time... bet there will be some additional conversation pop up on some of the dusty ones.

Always moving forward... Wink

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great idea, Nathan! I have gone nuts in the past trying to find topics with search engines - they just don't get along with me Evil
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Mon 31 Oct, 2005 2:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Please take note that I've changed the Spotlight Topics page to make it easier to read and use.

We've had a lot of excellent topics get promoted to spotlights and the list was simply getting too long to be easily used. I had to find another solution. So now the articles are categorized and tidied up quite a bit.

I also added a new category, "Antique Profiles," with several new spotlight topics contained in it.

This new interface makes it much easier for me to add more categories without the big fear of over-cluttering a single page. I'll still be selective as to what becomes a spotlight topic, of course.

Enjoy.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Nov, 2005 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay. I got some good feedback on this. I cleaned it up and made it fit a bit better, stylistically, with the rest of the site. I also added the same functionality to our Info Pages.

Cheers.

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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 1,001

PostPosted: Wed 02 Nov, 2005 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brilliant stuff Nathan. You've been a busy man as of late.
Thanks again for your extra work.


Cheers,

Bill

Roanoke Sword Guilde

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"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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Thomas Hoogendam




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 20 Jun 2004
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Wed 02 Nov, 2005 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not to sure yet if I like the new layout. I think I need to grow into a bit more. Big Grin

I do like the way the Spotlight threads are now organized. Very nicely done Nathan.
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Wed 02 Nov, 2005 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Picking which topics to be promoted into Spotlight Topics has been somewhat difficult for us. Not only may we miss something really good, what we find interesting and informative might not jive with the preferences of the members here.

So to help us decide which topics are worthy, I've added a feature to the forum that allows you, the members, to nominate any topic for a promotion into a Spotlight Topic.

You'll find this feature right above the top message header when viewing a topic. It's grouped with newly-organized buttons to watch topics, add to favorites, and email topics to others.

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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Wed 02 Nov, 2005 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neat new features, Nathan! I just noticed they were there... These will be useful for me!
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,160

PostPosted: Wed 02 Nov, 2005 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan it is good for you to be able to see which topics are attracting votes to becoming spotlight topics.

A few questions / suggestions: One shouldn't be able to nominate one's own topics I assume.

Having the number of votes visible to all might turn things into popularity contest, one might feel obliged top vote for a friend's Topic or one wouldn't want a friend to see that you didn't vote for their Topic.

Actually, it important to keep in mind that one should vote for the Topic not who initiated it.

There is also the danger of people wanting to be " nice " voting for many many topics.

So one should be able to vote and leave no visible footprints except to the moderators or you to make the final decision so as to avoid an " American Idol " type of thing were it would become a race between between winner topics and looser topics.

Hope I'm not overthinking this just thought I'd bring up possible pitfalls.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Nov, 2005 8:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Jean-

That's a good message with a lot of thought put into it. Thank you.

I just removed one's ability to nominate topics that they've authored. Good idea. I should have thought of that.

The nominations are anonymous. There is no way for others to know who has voted for a topic.

Right now it's set up so that the number of votes are visible, should there be any, at the topic's header. I hope this encourages others to give a good look at a topic that may already have existing votes and decide if it's worthy of their own vote.

I guess we'll see how it works out. I don't expect it to be that popular, either way.

The only reason I'm working on the whole "Spotlight topic" thing is that I have always felt that the forum format is a horrible one for archived information. I see our spotlight topics as being a knowledgebase that the members of this site are building on their own. There is a ton of good info on this forum, but it's scattered all over the place and difficult to find unless it's "current" and this is one attempt at finding a solution to that problem.

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Pamela Muir




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Thu 03 Nov, 2005 5:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Nathan,

I appreciate all the work you put into this site. It really is a wealth of information and the re-organization of the Spotlight Topics makes that information so much easier to find.
Nathan Robinson wrote:

You'll find this feature right above the top message header when viewing a topic. It's grouped with newly-organized buttons to watch topics, add to favorites, and email topics to others.


I like having those buttons moved to the top!

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2005 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent idea, Nathan, with very important clarifications by Jean.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
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