Some Forum Changes

ChangesToTheForum

I’ve recently made some changes to the forum. I decided to hide a majority of the forums and stick with the WordPress section for now. I admit, I’ve been lackluster in posting to the forum because there is only one Jeffro2pt0 but about 200 things and places I need to be. If you haven’t yet checked out the forums, please register an account and participate within the community.

Forum2pt0 Launches And More

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First off, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine turned out great if you take out the dangerous driving conditions that developed. Some lake effect snow formed over Lake Erie and as I was traveling through the snow belt on the turnpike, things became dicey at times but I managed to bring everyone home including myself, in one piece.

As for the blog. Sorry I haven’t been doing my regular rounds of postings. This holiday week has screwed me up in terms of getting things done. I am hoping that starting Monday, I can get back on track and start delivering the content you guys want. However, I did manage to get one thing done, that being the forum.

As mentioned in a previous post, I have made the switch from PHPBB to VBulletin forum software. VBulletin in my eyes, is worth every dollar. It’s a powerhouse of forum software that I hope you guys will enjoy as much as I will. At any rate, I managed to find a somewhat related forum theme that looked good called RedandBlack developed by GFXStyles.com. I’ve also installed a few plugins such as the Top 5 Stats plugin which highlights Top Statistical areas of the forum near the top to help keep us all abreast as to what’s happening on the forum. I’ve also installed a GIVE THANKS plugin. If you have any forum experience what so ever, you’ll know that people make forum posts all the time that only contain the text THANKS or THANK YOU. Instead of creating a post or replying with a thank you, you can click the Thanks button which will thank the user for you. This will help keep the forum posts on topic and should aid in keeping the discussion clean.

Screenshot Of The Forums

Other features of this forum include the Subscription options. As a registered member of Forum2pt0, you’ll have the ability to subscribe via email in a multitude of ways. For instance, you can subscribe to a particular post, to a particular thread, to a particular forum topic, or to the entire forum. Alternatively, if you want to subscribe to the entire forum via RSS to keep tabs on new posts, click on the following link and add it to your FeedReader.

I’m also working on installing a mod that let’s you add your own blog’s RSS feed as a part of your profile. This will display a link to your last blog post that is shown to the public on every post you make. If I can successfully install this mod, I’ll be sure to remove the “NoFollow” attribute.

The forum currently covers the broad topics of Blogging, Technology, Jeffro2pt0.com and general Chit Chat.

Over time, I’ll be adding bits and pieces to the forum such as an arcade. What’s a forum without an arcade? Overall, the browsing and posting user experience on this forum is leaps ahead of my previous PHPBB forum. I hope you’ll agree as you check out Forum2pt0 – A Forum About Stuff and register your own account. Be sure to stop by the Feedback Section of the forums and let me know what you think.

The Switch To vBulletin

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Don’t mind the dust that is being kicked up by the work I’m doing to the forum. Actually, I wanted to let everyone know that I have decided to plunk down $85.00 and purchased a one year lease on vBulletin. I gave PHPBB a shot and although they have made leaps and strides over version 2, I can’t help but feel how spoiled I was when I managed a forum that was powered by Vbulletin. In my honest opinion, Vbulletin is worth every penny. It’s more user friendly, is packed with power and punch right out of the box, and provides an excellent framework for growth. Best of all, most of the things I want to use in forum software is already built into Vbulletin. I don’t have to spend every waking moment of the day installing 100 mods in order to get the functionality that I need.

Everything that was on the PHPBB forum install is now gone. We are starting over from scratch but this is as good a reason as any to do so. I have experience with Vbulletin and I know what it’s capable of. It might take me a few days to get everything the way I want before I re-launch the forums but it’s something worth waiting for.

A Few Updates Worth Mentioning

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First off, I’d like to thank those of you who participated in the Live Chat last night. I had a blast talking to you in real-time and I think I’m going to make it a weekly occurrence. Every Friday between the hours of 9PM EST and 10PM EST, I’ll be hanging around the blog to chat with whomever wants to chat. So who showed up to the party last night? Sierra, Brad of Strangework.com, Ronald of the ReadersAppreciationProject, Mark Rizzn – Contributing Editor over at Mashable.com, and John Kolbert of Simply-Basic.com. Thanks guys for making the chat a success. The event is logged within the shoutbox itself so if you’re interested, you can browse the back pages of the shoutbox to see what was discussed. I really enjoyed my conversation with Brad concerning Facebook and OpenSocial which will probably turn into a blog post.

Asides from the chat, I have received numerous links pointing me to helpful guides for those that are starting a forum community. I’ve read them all, and I have taken at least one of the hints and implemented it into the forum. I have slashed the number of forums to post in from 20 to about 7. I hope this encourages more people to visit and post within the forum. I’m also working on installing a PHPBB mod which will help me syndicate the forum as a whole, or seperate categories. Once I have that working, keeping up to date with the forum should be easy and I’ll be able to place a widget on the front page of the blog highlighting the 5 or 10 most recent posts.

I’m still working on the MyAvatars code to figure out how to get it to work without stack overflow errors. No progress has been made just yet.

That’s all. Have a great weekend. Don’t forget to visit and sign up to the forum – Jeffro2pt0 Forum

Jeffro2pt0 Forum Update

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I’ve spent the last 5-6 hours putting what I hope will be the finishing touches on the forum. Special thanks to Foomandoonian, Simply-Basic, Mike and SierraK for signing up to the forum and helping me iron out some issues that were discovered.

I’ve tidied up the design so it looks the same in both FireFox and IE 7. I’ve added an entirely new icon set to help distinguish between new posts, sticky posts, ect. I also modified some link colors as well as some background colors. As per Sierra’s suggestion, I have turned the forum header/logo image into a link which will take you to the blog homepage when clicked on.

About syndication. Unfortunately, PHPBB RC7 does not come with any syndication out of the box and will not be shipping with any in the final version. Instead, I will have to rely on a mod author to create a syndication mod once PHPBB has been finalized which should be any month now. Until then, I suggest making sure that the check box to be notified upon a reply to a thread or topic you have posted on is checked. This should send you an email anytime someone replies to a thread you have posted in.

We already have some conversations ongoing within the forum so don’t be shy. Register an account and get in on the action. Click here to view the forums.

On the topic of updates, I wanted to let you know that I have finally fixed the “text highlight” bug which was apparent in FireFox. It had something to do with using a white image as a background. When a user viewing this blog in FireFox would drag their cursor over some text to perform a copy and paste, the highlight would blend in with the background causing confusion as to whether the text you wanted selected was their or not. This issue has been fixed.

I also tried to replicate the Internet Explorer Stack Overflow errors as I wanted to fix those as well. However, no matter how many times I refreshed the site, I could not get those errors to appear. Mike, if they happen again, the first thing I would advise you to do is to install IE7. If that doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll continue to investigate.

Now that most of the hard work concerning the forum has been taken cared of, expect to see some content added to the blog this week.

Forum Is Now Open For Business

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Well, I have finally buckled and have gone ahead and installed the opensource forum software, PHPBB. I’ve been a fan of PHPBB for a very long time and I decided to give RC7 a try as well as checking out all of the cool new stuff that’s made it into the newest version. The forum software was incredibly easy to install and so far, I am pretty impressed.

I spent my entire weekend working on my own Forum theme and it’s really a work in progress. However, the forum is now ready for user registrations. Within this forum, users can chat about anything from blogging to computer hardware.

I enjoy having conversations with the readers of this blog and I feel that by having a forum, the conversation can be started by you or me and gives me even more of a chance to discuss various topics of interest that don’t necessarily equate into blog posts.

I highly encourage you to head on over to the forums right now and create yourself an account and begin to engage yourself within the community this site has started to build. You can check out the forums by clicking here or click on the FORUM link at the top of this website. Please provide me with your feedback.