Lamma Forums
http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/

Improving this forum and updating the Yellow Pages
http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=12938
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Author:  pit [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Improving this forum and updating the Yellow Pages

It appears that the "Services, Work, etc." section may have been set on a short fuse self-destruction just like the "Buy & Sell, Rent & Let" one and many past exchanges of village wisdom have been lost.

Kind of unfortunate that the mojo of the forum search has been so dramatically compromised.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Good suggestion, Pit.
I've just disabled the 30-day autopruning of the Services forum. This had been enabled several years ago due to the volume and short shelf life of the messages in there, similar to the Buy & Sell, Rent & Let forum where topics still expire after 30 days of no new posts added to a topic.

For our Bilingual Yellow Pages, see the left column of the home page where all kind of Lamma-related Quick Info is linked, including the very extensive bilingual list created and still online in our Chinese forum:
http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/viewtopic.php?t=2202&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=39

The Yellow Pages are a bit out of date as they rely on people telling me or the forum about their services and contacts which hasn't happened. Send me your contacts to be added to the list. Any help to get our Yellow Pages updated would be most welcome.

I've also just added mouse-over pop-up titles to the ...of the Week pictures at the top of these forum pages...
Any more recommendations to improve this forum further are always welcome.

Attachments:
File comment: Left column of Lamma.com.hk home page
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Author:  pit [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lamma-Gung wrote:
Any more recommendations to improve this forum further are always welcome.


This is getting slightly off topic, but since you asked...

I find myself following the forum almost exclusively through occasional peeks at the Recent Topics section at the top, but it only holds the last eight items and may be subject to posters' desperation at staying visible in the "top 8".

Needing to reload the entire forum index just to see if any of the eight "recents" have changes of interest feels a bit wasteful besides being rather slow.

Having an entire sub-forum section solely for latest posts (all threads in chronological order) would work for me.

Other way to slightly improve the Recent Topics visibility could be by expanding that section vertically and stacking the two Popular Topics sections.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

That's a pretty unusual and inefficient way of keeping up-to-date with new posts, I think.
The Recent Topics box at the top of the forum main page is just an add-on MOD I added a few years ago, mainly for new or occasional forum visitors and non-members.

The usual way for forum members to see the latest posts would be to click on View posts since last visit in the upper right corner of the forum home page.
You'll get a personalised page of just new posts you haven't seen yet, totally customised for you, and it's several times faster that loading the forum home page. This link has been there since the beginning of the forum 10+ years ago.

This direct link is my browser's Home button and major bookmark. It's also where you get to straight from clicking on the "Forums" link at the top of the Lamma.com.hk home page and ALL Lamma-zine pages. I very rarely visit the forum home page as it's much slower to load than any of the other forum pages.

Anybody willing to help updating our Yellow Pages? We could crowdsource it and get everybody submitting their own favourite local services and contacts. I've got the local bars & restaurants covered comprehensively in the Bars & Restaurants Index. But to collect and proofread all these small local contacts needs some help. Maybe somebody could check out the current Yellow Pages and help to update at least the existing contacts, please?

Author:  pit [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

Lamma-Gung wrote:
The usual way for forum members to see the latest posts would be to click on View posts since last visit in the upper right corner of the forum home page.
You'll get a personalised page of just new posts you haven't seen yet, totally customised for you, and it's several times faster that loading the forum home page. This link has been there since the beginning of the forum 10+ years ago.


OIC; it works as designed for logged in members.

Just FWIW, personally — and I realize I'm in the minority here — I only turn on (or retain) cookies when absolutely necessary (which for forums means typically only when I'm posting something). But thanks for the tip.

Turning my innocent slightly off-topic plumbing post into this was a surprise though. Did foreign body get my tip? :suspicious:
Update: I see you had added my note back on your initiative already before my "complaint"... Thanks. Lacking strikethrough code I went with the colour olive... can't go wrong with olive!

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

I copied your reply to foreign body into the original topic she started.
Yes, seeing just the last posts requires you to be logged in, but you just select "always logged in" when signing in and never have to worry about entering your forum password again as long as you connect from the same computer.

Living without Cookies in this mobile age must be really tough as they keep your desktop computers, laptops, mobiles, tablets and phablets connected and working together pretty seamlessly and user-friendly. But there's a price to pay in terms of privacy, of course. If you don't trust Google, I hope you can at least trust me! :wink:

OK, back to composing my Data Privacy email that the HK Govt. wants me to send to all of you registered forum members and Lamma-zine email recipients who haven't opted out or unsubscribed yet...

Author:  Alan [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

"http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/search.php?search_id=newposts" is my bookmark for the site -- just shows me posts I haven't seen.

As for cookies, I default have them off, but can enable them for specific sites -- basically all the forums I am a member of, and Yahoo, GMail for mail.

Most browsers have such a feature, or certainly as an add-on.

Google Chrome though will basically keep you logged into Google and all their sites, (GMail Youtube etc, etc). There may be a way around it. But Google knows everything everyone does already....

Author:  Tigger [ Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Improving this forum and updating the Yellow Pages

pit wrote:
It appears that the "Services, Work, etc." section may have been set on a short fuse self-destruction just like the "Buy & Sell, Rent & Let" one and many past exchanges of village wisdom have been lost.

Kind of unfortunate that the mojo of the forum search has been so dramatically compromised.


What a bummer eh?

Isn't life hard. The Lamma website doesn't quite match up to your expectations. Sigh.. what is the world coming to....

Make it simple. Start up your own website and forum. Then you won't have to whine when 'websites' don't quite match your expectations.

Just a suggestion. :-)

Author:  pit [ Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:25 am ]
Post subject: 

???

I was merely giving feedback to LG and, incidentally, only because I was trying to help someone find the local 'service' he/she was looking for and that information wasn't on the Lamma 'website' any longer because that section had been set to disappear (even from the search archives) after a short period and I reckoned information useful to some lammaites was being lost unnecessarily.

Rest assured it was nothing intended to cause you upset or inconvenience.

:-)

Author:  Alan [ Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Lamma-Gung wrote:
Good suggestion, Pit.
I've just disabled the 30-day autopruning of the Services forum.


We should manually prune it then, as many posts like "helper looking for new employer" or vice-versa would swamp out the ones of more more general and lasting interest like "recommend a plumber".

Or separate the "jobs" and services" into two sub forums, the former staying on autodelete.

Lamma-Gung wrote:
Anybody willing to help updating our Yellow Pages. ? We could crowdsource it and get everybody submitting their own favourite local services and contacts.

Why is it a Word file and not a standard webpage here?
Anyone can copy and paste it into a Word or whatever file if they want to save a copy.

Make it like a pinned FAQ thread. Anyone can respond with suggestions and admins can incorporate useful info into the head post.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Improving this forum and updating the Yellow Pages

Tiger wrote:
What a bummer eh?

Isn't life hard. The Lamma website doesn't quite match up to your expectations. Sigh.. what is the world coming to....

Tigger, please don't discourage pit or anybody to suggest improvements to this forum and website.

I get very few improvement ideas, so each one is very precious and much appreciated. I implemented pit's suggestion right away - no more autopruning in the Services section for now - and there are probably many more areas this site could be improved, even after running for over 10 years and literally hundreds of improvements and changes made over the years.

There's a major upgrade of the forum running in test mode, but I haven't got around to modifying it yet to make it look and work similarly to this ancient but functional version of the phpBB forum software. Is anybody eager to become a beta tester and give me some feedback on this major, more powerful and more secure upgrade (installed by my summer intern last year)?

The posts in the test forum haven't been updated in a few months and I haven't added our forum header yet, but it works fine otherwise. I was planning to switch over last year, but was worried that the forum oldtimers might not like the changes, the many new features and the different look. Log in with the same userid and password and check it out .. and PM me your frank feedback, please!

http://www.lamma.com.hk/phpBB3/index.php

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:29 am ]
Post subject: 

Alan wrote:
Why is it a Word file and not a standard webpage here?

Make it like a pinned FAQ thread. Anyone can respond with suggestions and admins can incorporate useful info into the head post.

Well, nobody complained about this before, so I left it the way it was created years ago. While making it into a proper Lamma-zine web page, it should also have been updated but it's too much work for me to update it myself comprehensively and keep it current, plus it should be bilingual.

So far I've not found any help in updating, despite trying numerous times and several people over the years, even if willing to pay (modestly) for the help. The "official" yellow pages of PCCW, Openrice and other online directories are so massively out of date and often just wrong to be almost useless as input for our Yellow Pages, or would need major fact-checking via phone calls.

We've had a great effort in the Chinese forum in 2008, still online and linked from the Yellow Pages Word file above, collecting the bilingual details of most Lamma businesses, but we couldn't maintain and update it since then. Anybody willing to help continue it by adding/deleting/updating the business contacts, at least a few of them, as far as you know?

Yellow Pages Word file

Bilingual Yellow Pages forum

Bar & Restaurants index

With some help, I'd consolidate this all into a proper, presentable and up-to-date Lamma Yellow Pages, but without help it won't happen as I have my hands full already running this entire website almost single-handedly, from approving all new registrations and resetting lost passwords to publishing photos and new Lamma-zine stories almost daily, plus, last but not least, keeping the advertisers happy without who this website couldn't survive; plus Alan's invaluable, daily help in these forums.

Just keeping the Lamma Events current is a major time commitment and the Bar & Restaurants index is in pretty good shape as well, but all the changes in our little shops, services and individuals, like plumbers, is just too much to keep track of for a one-man band. HELP!!!

Let's continue collecting YP contacts in the forum that has the best (but 5 years out of date) contacts so far:

http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/viewtopic.php?t=2202&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=39

Author:  Alan [ Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:34 am ]
Post subject: 

Lamma-Gung wrote:
So far I've not found any help in updating


I'll see what I can do in the near future.
But my metier is editing, not creating.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:48 am ]
Post subject: 

Edit the current info, fact-check the current contacts, delete the ones gone out of business, and add new ones you know about from your own list of local contacts!

Every Lammaite has name cards and a list of handy local contacts, like plumbers, repairmen, shops, etc. Share them!
Name cards would be ideal and I'll scan and publish as many as I can get, adding them to my own extensive collection. Local businesses might be eager to get themselves added to a free and public Yellow Pages, much more comprehensive, informative, attractive and up-to-date than any of the other few local directories, like the very poor PCCW Yellow Pages above or the seriously out-of-date OpenRice Lamma restaurants index.

Post your contacts here, please:

http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/viewtopic.php?t=2202&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=39

Author:  Tigger [ Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:03 am ]
Post subject: 

Apologies Pit and LG. x

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