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New Hunting Forum Features
Posted by Michael Strahan on May 06 2006
Hi folks,

Here's a list of some of the new features David has added to the hunting forum.  Check it out!  The link is < http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/akforum/akhunting_save.php?id=0&a=post >

UPGRADED USER PROFILE

You can tell us all about yourself; personal web link, photo (YES! Photo!), hobbies, interests, birthdate, where you live, whatever you want people to know.  You can change this information any time.

LIVE "WHO'S ONLINE" FEATURE

You can turn this off and be "invisible" if you want, or you can leave it on and a little green light appears next to your name, letting folks know that you're online.  A complete list of the screen names of who's online appears at the bottom of the main forum window.  I like this feature; it approaches "Live Chat" functionality.

PRIVATE EMAILS TO OTHER USERS

This is MUCH easier than it was with the "old" software.  Just one click and you're there.

STYLIZED TEXT

Now we can use bold, italic, underline, different font sizes and COLOR!  YES!  You can even add little icons to your post.  This will make our posts much more readable and will allow us to emphasize certain parts of our post.  A great feature.

LINKS WORK!

In the old software, posting links was a gamble, and most of the time it just didn't work.  Sure, you could post the address, but it wasn't clickable.  With the new software, links are clickable.  This is going to save all of us a lot of hassle.

PICTURES!

We can now post pictures!  Folks have been asking for this for a LONG time, and now it's here!  You can post photos from your computer, or from online image banks (a lot of folks use photobucket, .Mac, or other image storage on the net).  When you go to post a photo, there are certain size parameters that must be observed.  So it's your responsibility to make the image fit within those guidelines.  For some of us, this will be a challenge, either because we don't have photo processing software on our computers or because we don't know how to do it.  We have a pretty good thread going there already on Image Manipulation, that should help you get through this.  Have patience!  Ten years ago you probably weren't using a computer!  You too can learn how to do this (yes, you can).  There are several FREE image editing programs out there (we've posted links to them) that you can download if you don't already have something.  Just like with the hunting stuff, we're here to help you, and WE WANT TO SEE YOUR PHOTOS!

THREAD VIEWING

With the old forum, all you got was a list of titles of stuff people posted, and you had to click on each one.  This is a real hassle, especially if you're on dial-up.  Now, you get three choices: you can view threads by title (the way the old forum was), you can view the entire contents of the thread (you get the title, plus what everyone said, right on your screen), or you can choose a combination of both.  With this choice, you get a small window at the top of your screen that displays all the thread titles, plus another larger window where you can scroll down and see everything everyone said.  With longer threads (we have several there now), you have to click the "next page" link at the bottom of the page to get the rest of the stuff.

NEW POSTS

There is an option that lets you see only new posts that have been posted.  This is pretty cool, and I do that first thing.  You can also opt to have an email message sent to you whenever someone posts in any threads you've selected.  This is way cool if you're trying to keep track of several discussions at the same time, and don't want to go there every time you log on.  The email you get contains a link that will take you directly to the new post.  How cool is that?

POST A QUOTE

When you reply to a thread, you have two choices.  Regular reply, where your message appears below the one you're replying to, or "Quote", where the contents of the message you're responding to appear before your post in a grayed-out box.  This way you can reply to something someone said three or four posts prior.  This will be great for folks that don't make it there before me!  :-))

THREAD TOOLS

For those of you who print this stuff (and there's a lot of you out there), you click this to view a printable version of a thread.  From there you can save it as a PDF (if you have the tools), or print it on your printer.  Thread Tools will also let you email a thread to someone, or even post a poll.

RANKINGS

Everyone has a ranking, with the number of posts next to their name and their ranking.  Right now everyon is a "Junior Member".  You will move up as you post.  David was talking about changing the names to make it more interesting and I suggested a fishing theme: you start out as "Alevin", then "Smolt", "Parr", "Juvenile", "Adult", "Spawner" and finally "Spawned Out"....... well, okay, there are probably better ones out there, but it's a thought!  :-D.  You can also rank threads.  If you give a thread a five-star rating and someone else gives it a one-star rating, it gets a three, and so on (it averages the rankings).  This will help folks looking for high-ranked threads.

SUB-FORUMS

Right now, we have all the same forums, plus some new sub-forums listed under main categories.  For example, the Hunting forum has a sub-forum just for archery.  Fishing has added a Dipnetting forum, and so on.  David is very open to new forum ideas, so if you have one, let him know.

GLITCHES AND WIERDNESS

There have been a few bumps in the road, and the web guys are troubleshooting as we speak.  Photos have had some issues, and sometimes you can't post.  They think perhaps it's because the old forum (this place) is sharing bandwidth with the new one.  So, in essence, we're creating the problem ourselves, by continuing to post here.  I think David is going to turn off the posting feature on the other forums soon, but I asked if he would hold off on the hunting forum (we get the most activity here by far).  I'd hate to shut this forum off until everyone got the word about the change.  I think he's going to send out an email to everyone about it though.

MORE STUFF

Folks, there are so many other things in the new software, and I'm still learning it.  The short story is that this is not only a seriously-needed upgrade, it's classy, it's very well put-together, and it will give us a LOT of room to grow.  I think what I like most is the ability to post pictures, because now we can put some faces with some of the names.  Once we see that we're all just real people, perhaps we'll be more tolerant with each other.  I certainly hope so.  We're living in a world where some want to take our right to hunt away from us.  If we're fighting with each other, we play into that agenda.  Let's get to know and respect one another, whether we agree or not.  There's no laws against respect.

See you over there!  I'm gone.

-Mike


Previous: New Upgraded Hunting Forum Link & More! Michael Strahan May 06 2006

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