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Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

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Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Kaila on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 6:32 am

I moved this post over from Lime's thread in regard to making a new category. It matters little to me if we have a Friends category but the subsequent issues this question raises do.

peterab wrote:Sorry to disappoint but since neither of the current admins have ever mucked about with the features to create new sections this is very unlikely to happen. Even if I did feel inclined to learn how to do it, I'd be hesitant to split it off anyway since I'd rather have fewer sections with regular posts.
The Friends section thing is of no concern but the underlying issue of the forum's features/back-end (CMS) is a worry. Seriously I love this place and would kill to see it grow and full of activity! With kids having made this forum a few years back and subsequently abandoning it, were lucky they passed on the admin rights but with a low understanding of how to run the back-end are we going to move forwards? Whirlpool has a bucketload of activity on the Lego thread simply because it has a 'live' feel, something we could easily match with the addition of a chatbox, but with little back end CMS competency who's going to add it even if we wanted it? What if by some miracle we did gain a ton of members and spammers/trolls decide to roll in.. If placing a new category was deemed a tricky task then what happens if we need to ban? These questions need to be raised cause it directly affects a forums future.


Just to reiterate on the WP/chatox thing - Seriously why let Whirlpool forums steal all the thunder? To put it bluntly that WP thread is vastly inadequate, most times peoples posts get ignored simply because the thread is moving far too quickly. You try and condense the full spectrum of Lego issues into a single thread.. chaos. With an accommodating live chatbox we could easily move traffic over to here and this would carry on into major thread activity as well.

More importantly did the kids who originally made this place even index us on Google? Inside the Forumotion CMS panel there's a 'Forum promotion' tab in the General category. Inside this tab there are 2 very important aspects, one for Google indexing and the other for the localized Forums directory. Both of these when filled out properly will help us to index higher on Google when it comes to 'Lego specific' keywords and Metatags, higher indexing equates to more traffic and members. Also registering with Google analytics is a plus, it's on the tab below the forum promotion one.

Widgets and portals can also be built to aid a forum in it's variety and increase traffic. As many extra pages as you want can be added to the main menu, these could be used as a full Lego Youtube hotlink video page, a special page for a chatbox (this could also be done on the main just below the banner) a gallery, basically anything you can think of can be made that would draw more traffic and higher indexing.

So whats the point of raising all this? Well were basically standing still and without full CMS knowledge it may sadly stay that way.
It's dumb to raise an issue without trying to figure out a workable solution. So what are the realistic options? (anyone feel free to add ideas)

1. We could all contribute ideas on how to build activity, the things I've listed thus far mainly address critical technical issues. Of course we need some positive promo ideas.
2. If something needs to be done in the CMS I'm happy to give a tutorial on how to do it. Why don't I just ask for rights and do it myself? Because my purpose is not to get promotion or 'take over', rather it's to see this place grow with activity and not stagnate or go backwards.
3. Drop more links around the net on the various other Lego places, backlinking is important and helps hugely with search engine optimization.
4. Promo vids on Youtube/Dailymotion/Vimeo, these are fundamental to drawing increased traffic. A few slides to some music is easy, some of Brickies, LightningTiger, Peter, LocoAnnie, Ajax, Timmie, Redfive, Freespirit, Snappy, Waynes MOC's (sorry to anyone I missed) would look amazing in simple promo vids placed on Youtube and would definitely draw interest in the forum and raise us on Google index.
5. Bury head in sand and just carry on business as usual.

Any ideas? Also I'm happy to take criticism but please understand I just want to see more activity and interest in this place, especially a lot of that Whirlpool-thread activity that we could accommodate far BETTER here. Also I'm by no means taking shots at the current admins/mods, without them stepping up to the plate the whole forum would've gone under when the creators jumped ship.

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by PrincessLime on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 2:24 pm

i know how to make slideshows with music and stuff so maybe if others dont i can use their pictures to make some promo vidz to youtube and put the name of this forum with links. but i need permission to grab the pix. more activity is a good thing and im happy to help out cause its way to quiet round here, like a morgue sometimes! if you guys make a chatbox ill join 4 sure legohappy

lego videopage sounds fun, maybe you could put those funny stopgo vids there

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Locomotive Annie on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 3:25 am

I really like this forum and I usually check in at least a couple of times a day, but with only about a dozen of us being active members who actually post anything it does get awfully quiet sometimes.
I'm a complete Luddite when it comes to knowing how to do anything technical or software related with regard to maintaining a website. I run Linux on my daily use laptop and I'm not too bad when it comes to building up hardware and doing repairs on my own computers, but for anything involving code or modifying software it might as well be atomic physics for all the use I'd be.
Even though I haven't got a clue how to do it I do agree that some way of improving the forum's presence on search engines with improved tagging and links is important and needs to be fairly high on the 'to-do' list.

Speaking for myself I've never been a chatbox or social media type computer user. I used Facebook when my kids were at university in another town so i could keep in touch with them, but now they're older I hardly ever bother to look at my Facebook page.
I like the idea of using Youtube as it's an excellent way to display MOCs and it's great for things that actually move and do things such as Trains and Technic, but especially good for flyover views of towns and other larger layout type MOCs.
Stop motion film clips are wonderful and i love seeing them, - only they tend to be major projects that take huge amounts of time and patience to do well so it might not be a practical way to promote the forum. Promo vids done with still slides and background music are certainly doable and I'm more than happy for any pictures I've posted here to be used as a part of a promo vid.

From what I saw of the Whirlpool forums thread it seemed to me to be vastly inadequate for what it was trying to be used for. As tempting as it was to join in the Whirlpool thread I decided that I'm going to stick with Australian and New Zealand Fans Of LEGO simply because it is better and has the potential to become the best venue for Lego enthusiasts 'down under'.
Because I have frequent bad days with this illness I live with I don't think there is a great deal I can do in terms of nuts and bolts promotion of the forum, but I can certainly do things like posting pictures and descriptions of my MOCs here on this forum well before I post them anywhere else.

Thank you for starting this thread Kaila. After reading it I didn't reply right away, but took a day to think about the issues you've raised before writing my reply. This is a darn good forum and it has the potential to be as good as Eurobricks or any of the other high traffic Lego forums that are out there.

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by PrincessLime on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 6:43 am

i think it has heaps of potential too and agree on your thoughts annie. but u know whats really interesting???? since she posted this topic 2 days ago *457people have looked at it. now why are there so many lurkers who arent willing to participate in anything? maybe we can think ways to get those guys crossing the line and join in


Last edited by PrincessLime on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 1:52 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : to amend the count on lurkers :))

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Locomotive Annie on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 6:49 am

PrincessLime wrote:i think it has heaps of potential too and agree on your thoughts annie. but u know whats really interesting???? since she posted this topic yesterday 140 people have looked at it. now why are there so many lurkers who arent willing to participate in anything? maybe we can think ways to get those guys crossing the line and join in

Yes princess, - it just seems really strange to me that anyone would visit a forum and not say anything or try to contribute in some way..

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Kaila on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 8:08 am

Locomotive Annie wrote:
PrincessLime wrote:i think it has heaps of potential too and agree on your thoughts annie. but u know whats really interesting???? since she posted this topic yesterday 140 people have looked at it. now why are there so many lurkers who arent willing to participate in anything? maybe we can think ways to get those guys crossing the line and join in

Yes princess, - it just seems really strange to me that anyone would visit a forum and not say anything or try to contribute in some way..

Nice pickup there Lime, I'm surprised by those numbers also. Yet more potential activity that needs to be harvested legowink Well think I'll start working on a simplistic slideshow promo vid and use it as a test run just to see how many hits I can get on Youtube.

Eurobricks is a great forum, but it had to start somewhere you know. It took me a year to build a forum from 0 to 1000 members back in 2011/12 (non Lego related) and it made it to page 1 on Google for it's keywords, so trust me it's by no means impossible to increase numbers but it does take work and creativity.

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Kaila on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 10:10 am

Okay a quick promo I made using some Brisbricks pics and Ninja sets



Annie is it alright to use your pics for the next promo?

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Locomotive Annie on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 10:25 am

Nicely done Kaila. I wouldn't have a clue as to how to put together a clip like that.

I think it's a good balance in that it shows a good variety of displays with nice examples of MOCs as well as emphasizing the website address. Showing boxed sets is a good idea, but I think some more variety is needed apart from just the Ninja sets.

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by timmyc1983 on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 11:22 am

Great ideas so far. As a very new member i feel like i need to help out somehow but unfortunately like many here, i don't have much experience/know how with the back end of forums. I built my own website for my business from scratch but that had no forum element to it and i don't think i would be much help there. I agree the google placement is really important (having said that i used google to find this forum but i think i was relatively specific in my search)

In terms of more traffic, a youtube channel with promos, like the great one you've made Kaila is a great idea, as long as it's a channel, that way we can all subscribe which would hopefully encourage others to do the same, and all with links back to the forum.

Also i was thinking as i was reading thru these posts, a flickr group with photos of people's MOCs etc on it would be good too, and again people can join the forum's group with links back to the forum. And i think you can set the groups so that only members can post and make it so only relevant pics are added.

And the other thing i though of is a Facebook page.. I no longer use Facebook but it's really easy to set up a page, then you can post videos, pics and statuses about what's going on in the brick world of ANZFOL. Unfortunately these days social media is very much a part of any online presence. If i were on it i would join but i'm not going back to the dark side legotounge

And finally, i just thought now, running MOC comps like EB does would be a great idea to get some people who are lurking but not necessarily posting, a comp might encourage them to join in and then the results of the comps can be used as promotions in the aforementioned medias....

Anyway, just a few ideas, and please let me know if you would like any photos of my town for the promotional vid or the like, i'd be more than happy to email you some high res versions, or if there's anything else i can do!

legoeyeshutlaughing

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Kaila on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 11:48 am

timmyc1983 wrote:Great ideas so far. As a very new member i feel like i need to help out somehow but unfortunately like many here, i don't have much experience/know how with the back end of forums. I built my own website for my business from scratch but that had no forum element to it and i don't think i would be much help there. I agree the google placement is really important (having said that i used google to find this forum but i think i was relatively specific in my search)

In terms of more traffic, a youtube channel with promos, like the great one you've made Kaila is a great idea, as long as it's a channel, that way we can all subscribe which would hopefully encourage others to do the same, and all with links back to the forum.

Also i was thinking as i was reading thru these posts, a flickr group with photos of people's MOCs etc on it would be good too, and again people can join the forum's group with links back to the forum. And i think you can set the groups so that only members can post and make it so only relevant pics are added.

And the other thing i though of is a Facebook page.. I no longer use Facebook but it's really easy to set up a page, then you can post videos, pics and statuses about what's going on in the brick world of ANZFOL. Unfortunately these days social media is very much a part of any online presence. If i were on it i would join but i'm not going back to the dark side legotounge

And finally, i just thought now, running MOC comps like EB does would be a great idea to get some people who are lurking but not necessarily posting, a comp might encourage them to join in and then the results of the comps can be used as promotions in the aforementioned medias....

Anyway, just a few ideas, and please let me know if you would like any photos of my town for the promotional vid or the like, i'd be more than happy to email you some high res versions, or if there's anything else i can do!

legoeyeshutlaughing

All great ideas! I gave up on FB too, it's dying in popularity I suspect anyway thanks to all the legospam1. Pinterest is an excellent method for pics these days as well as Flickr, I'll make a Pinterest account now thats Lego specific.

Send me the pics - i'm working on a second promo right now (just in case you missed this post I'll pinch them from your and Annies posts legohappy I'll pm my email ok.

Yeah agreed Annie, I pinned those Ninja as a filler, can I pinch your MOC pics for a promo?

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Kaila on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 1:17 pm

Here's the next one, thanks Timmy legowink Watching in HD is better btw as I make all vids as 720p



Last edited by Kaila on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 1:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Locomotive Annie on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 1:19 pm

Kaila wrote:
Yeah agreed Annie, I pinned those Ninja as a filler, can I pinch your MOC pics for a promo? [/color]

Yes of course you can Kaila, - not a problem at all, - take whatever you want.

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by timmyc1983 on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 2:03 pm

Kaila wrote:Here's the next one, thanks Timmy legowink Watching in HD is better btw as I make all vids as 720p

Yeah looks great! Got me thinking, you could have a vid for each theme, if you can gather enough photos. Wouldn't hurt to put a short one like that for each theme on the channel, that way you can target each theme to the peeps it best fits...

Seems like those photos worked pretty well, you still want the original files?

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Kaila on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 3:11 pm

Sounds like a winner to me. Themes keep things tidy so yeah i'll go with that. Still send pics as they will be useful. Anyone else who wants their mocs/builds to star in promo vids just pm me or write here. You can email me the pics or i can just grab them from your posts with permission of course. Moc Videos would be even better, like what Brickie posted the other day from his racecourse would make awsome promo material legowink

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by timmyc1983 on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 4:20 pm

Ok so i emailed you some pics, but they are fairly poor quality, so i will take some better ones with my real camera tomorrow for you and email them :D

I just hope it works and we can liven the forum up, i'm sure there's plenty of LEGO fans downunder who could enjoy this place legohappy

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Lightningtiger on Mon 22 Apr 2013, 4:56 pm

Interesting topic......recruiting new members eh ?
We need a minifig image saying 'WE WANT YOU' like an old war poster.....yeah, an ANZAC would be best suited.
Just my two bob's worth. legowink

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Kaila on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 1:01 am

Lightningtiger wrote:Interesting topic......recruiting new members eh ?
We need a minifig image saying 'WE WANT YOU' like an old war poster.....yeah, an ANZAC would be best suited.
Just my two bob's worth. legowink
Thats actually a really good video idea. I downloaded a heap of minifig pics with assorted characters just now (mostly Olympic, easiest to find with white backgrounds) but when it comes to putting speech bubbles I'm having a creative block >_< Got some ideas on what to write that's novel?

While were at it my original 2 vids ranked low on hits, it's most likely because I stuffed up the tags and added them afterwards (Youtube altered it's tag system since I last made vids). Anyway for the next vids I need good tags/keywords otherwise people don't find the videos. Can you guys think of Lego related search words to add to this list?? It would be of great help legohappy These are the words I have so far -


lego, train, plane, rail, city, legoland, 12v, 9v, legoman, forum ,new, toy, brick, buildings, small, miniture, space ,technic, blocks, classic, vintage, legotown, transport, network, .........................

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Locomotive Annie on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 1:09 am

Don't forget 'Friends' legohappy
AFOL, MOC and MOD might be good keywords too.

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Ajax on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 2:00 am

Good ideas everyone, This forum has heaps of potential, It looks good, easy to navigate, loads quickly and should be more popular. I think competitions would certainly bring extra members to the forum I just don't know who or how prizes would be organised, I would be happy to chip in a few dollars or donate new lego if needed, Lego themselves may donate Lego for prizes? A Flickr group like Timmy suggested for just ANZFOL members would also be cool. I think somehow of taking advantage of the new 'Friends' craze could help attract members too.

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by timmyc1983 on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 7:07 am

yeah and don't forget to tag the new crazes coming thru like:
Ninjago, Chima, Star Wars, Modular, Mine Craft, Space, Castles, diorama, superheros, iron man, superman, Lone Ranger, Avengers, batman, Spiderman, Indiana Jones, Pirates, Caribbean, Ben 10, Bionicle, Lord of the Rings.... May as well use these licences to our advantage and it is all Lego! legolaugh

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by peterab on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 10:50 am

Hi Kaila,

There was a push to grow the forum a couple of years back which eventually foundered because it's pretty hard to make any advertising revenue out of a forum you don't control the hosting of. The admins at the time wanted to fund promotional activities like contests. There was some talk of scraping the forum and setting up elsewhere but nothing ever came of that.

I'd be happy to hand out admin powers (since I'm really not interested in learning how to use forummotion) provided most of the regulars think it's a good idea.


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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by timmyc1983 on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 10:53 am

Ok, so i chucked this together this arvo for the "Lego City" promotion, based on everyone's ideas legohappy

Hope you all like it and can use it!



Have we set up a youtube channel yet??

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by peterab on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 11:03 am

I tried to enable the chatbox, and that resulted in any attempt by me to read any thread hanging my browser, so I've reverted that change lego8O

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by Locomotive Annie on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 12:05 pm

timmyc1983 wrote:Ok, so i chucked this together this arvo for the "Lego City" promotion, based on everyone's ideas legohappy

Hope you all like it and can use it!


Have we set up a youtube channel yet??

Good pictures Timmy, but they need to run a little more slowly as it's hard to get a look at them before they get jerked away and the next picture is presented. You're on the right track though with your video clip.

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

Post by timmyc1983 on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 12:40 pm

Locomotive Annie wrote:

Good pictures Timmy, but they need to run a little more slowly as it's hard to get a look at them before they get jerked away and the next picture is presented. You're on the right track though with your video clip.

I was going for the fast, exciting type of vibe, you know like: You can do so much stuff with LEGO that we couldn't even fit it into this video! .....

hehe maybe that didn't come across... I could do a slowed down version....?

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Re: Forum CMS issues & brainstorming to index this place better and draw members

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