Okay - here we go!
We know that for many people, Brisbane Local Food is like an old glove - one that fits perfectly! For others though, especially new users and those who post less regularly, this may not be the case.
So this is a chance to have your say about what you think really works about this site and also throw in for consideration any areas you feel could do with improvement.
Be honest - all suggestions are welcome!
(Note, at some point in the future we will also send out a short survey of members, but this is a nice and easy way to get the ball rolling and creative juices flowing :)
Ok, waiting and watching for someone to make a comment lol, but it's not happening. Let's get the ball rolling.
I love that we can share anything on the site - pics, videos, links, blogs. And we can do so quite easily compared to other sites, though it did take some time to learn how to use the tools...but then I'm not very tech savvy. Some of the new members have asked for help. Maybe a "how to" (load pics etc) link on the home page might help.
Probably the first year I was a member I was still figuring out all the goodies that the site offered. I didn't realise that if I scrolled down on the Home page there was yet more stuff!
There are some inactive groups. If groups have been inactive for a certain time perhaps should they be shut down?
I really do wonder myself why there are so many "silent watchers" who read but don't post. I'm very curious about this. A website only functions if people post something. Otherwise it just stagnates and there will be nothing for the silent watchers to read. I belong to some sites like this where nothing happens (does that make me a silent watcher of those sites??).
Personally I like the look of the site. It's taken me so long to get used to everything and I'm a very visual person - when things change (you know how they move all the shelves around in the supermarket, lordy I hate that) I have to re-orientate myself.
I would like to see the Forum categories reduced down to just the main headings. Not everyone knows to move to "next" for different topic headings.
Please change the "Featured Photos" and anything else featured at least once a week for the sake of variety.
We have some remarkable educational videos saved on the site. Feature some of those every now and then too. I don't think most people know they are there.
I have no problem with the ads myself. I don't find them invasive - some are even interesting - and they provide some income on the site.
It's been wonderful to see the site grow from something quite small and quiet into the busy hub of sharing that it has become. I know I've learned a huge amount by being a member :)
Thanks Lissa :) Yes there's definitely plenty to love on the site and it is a wonderful hub (hive?) of activity thanks to people like yourself!
They're all useful points and some good ideas for new help features too.
And yep, I do need a good schedule for rotating and featuring pics, videos etc - it's been quite haphazard to date as have just been fitting in bits and pieces here and there! I'll work on it :)
With the forum, do you mean to have it the way it was (i.e. listed by category rather than activity)? If there were to be just four to five categories, what would they be? At the moment, some of the categories are quite narrow and therefore don't get used very often. Much could probably be consolidated under (and these are just a play!)
- exploring the field together - identifying and growing food
- from garden to table - recipes and tips on preparing local produce
- buy, sell, swap and freebies
- resources - books, articles, websites, videos
- community gardens, local and BLF news
Any thoughts on these?
Sorry, probably wasn't real clear about the forum bit.
Go to Forum - you'll see that there are headings followed by discussions going on under those headings. Fine for those of us who are more familiar with the site but I think new folk would find it confusing, overwhelming and not realise that there are more headings on two more pages if they would only go forward.
A lot of those discussions are old anyway.
Perhaps you could reduce the number of categories. Most of them are useful but there is some repetition. Streamline them a bit. Books and Movies for instance - videos get posted on the front page anyway and books tend to get discussed under the general forum. People seem to be using the Articles heading. Don't think I even realised it was there myself!
I could be wrong. If people like it the way it is then it needs to be kept that way.
What does everyone think?
I'm not sure we should get rid of old discussions - that was how I found the site.
I tried to find a thread on raw milk the other day - no luck. It was obviously on a thread that started as something else. I'm not sure how on earth we'd fix that little problem though.
Not get rid of them, simply reduce the area down to headings only. The discussions would still be there but you would open the heading to see them. It would make the headings more obvious for people to choose from. At the moment they ramble on over three pages (with some featured discussions below each heading) and most people wouldn't think to look beyond the first page.
Any information is good information in my book, old or new.
I also have the same problem finding discussions that deviate into something new and interesting. There are many ways to hunt for them but it's time consuming and often unsuccessful....so I start something new on the same subject.
I don't think we can make the site "perfect". It's working pretty well the way it is really.
dispite living in CQ I really enjoy BLF. Being able to talk to & see pics of others veg gardens is great. Its nice to be able to share ones successes also ask for advice or give it when necessary. After a bit of practice I have easliy found out how to use the site it is much easier than others I have tried. Just happy with the way it is.
Thanks for your feedback Jane! It is really good to know that the site is useful for those who are quite some distance from Brisbane - the question does come up :) The gardening community extends far!
I'm one of those where the site fits like a glove. Sometimes, I worry that I talk to much.
No way! Thanks Andrew.
.. since you asked... :-)
I reckon when you log in to the homepage, instead of seeing 'events' etc at the top, you see a category called "what people are talking about on BLF today" (currently called the 'latest activity' page). Keep the dates obvious so people know it's current and not old discussions from 2009 or something. And on that page have an easy link to add a new discussion. People still have to select a category for archiving the discussions later though.
Love it! Thanks Tracy:) I definitely agree that the latest activity could be more prominent - It's certainly where I find myself scrolling and I'm sure many others are in that same boat. The name is good too (as long as there are actually people talking that day..!)
There are already links to add discussions on the front page (at the bottom of the forum section and also underneath the blogs section) Are these enough? If the number of discussions that are previewed in the forum and blogs were reduced, would this help (by making the "add discussion" link more obvious)...