Initial Site Feedback

I wanted to start a thread to start collecting and discussing the initial feedback on the site.

  1. It’s kind of a confusing layout.
    Agreed: the forum software, Discourse is a bit of a different animal than the old format. We chose Discourse because it allowed us to scale quickly and we could extend it features like a maps and auto-reporting of incidents. It’s going to take a bit of time to start implementing these customizations. That said, please post any suggestions you have to improve the layout.

  2. We need more instructions for new users.
    Agreed: We are working on some help materials. If you would like to pitch in, please reply here.

  3. A map would be really useful. I would like to see this added as one of our first updates to the site. There is a Discourse/Google Maps plugin built for goat farming which I am reviewing for possible use.

  4. The site won’t make much sense until there is a critical mass of content. Our early group of users needs to start posting and using the site.

What other early feedback should we be thinking about?


Is there a way for members to Message each other? When you set up Moderators is there. Way that they can communicate that is not open for all to see.

What is the policy going to be for posting injuries and or deaths?

Regarding the messaging aspect of your question, there is a way to message one another. I just sent you a test message to check. You can message people by clicking on their icon and selecting message or by searching a user using the search function at the top of the page.

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Hey SixOneNine. Messaging: Yes. If you click on the user’s avatar, you can direct message someone. I did so with Chaparral this morning.

There is a Staff forum category which is only for moderators and administrators. We haven’t used it yet.

When all the house rules are complete it may be nice to either have members read them
When they sign up or have them stuck or posted where they are visible. I am trying to navigate from my phone and it will take some getting used to.

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I started some house rules a while back and will post for edits and polish.

There is a mobile app for Discourse that I tried once but didn’t get working. Apparently the source code is open source so we could compile a custom branded pretty easily.

A custom branded app/ discourse?? That would be cool.

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I think one option would be to put all the necessary details regarding the forum in one post. Some things I think should be there are forum layout, topic title template, guidelines/rules… anything else that people think is important. We can then pin this topic post globally so that it will be appear at the top of every category.

While I haven’t dug in, I’m pretty sure it’s all here.

Okay, I am in on my Computer now but i gave up and created a whole new account. So now I have an “R” on the end of my handle. Looks way easier to navigate from a computer. :grinning:

So from my phone, it has been very slow to load. I have to go to first then navigate to the forums, if i try going to it basocally fails to load or takes forever.

So I noticed the tags are different than this morning. I think it’s much less confusing how it is now. So on that “other site” there was an IA thread that was dedicated to information strictly about the IA, no superfluous conversation, questions etc. So the question is, do we think that is still important to have a clean thread without questions, and commentary and off topic commentary and 10 million “any updates??” posts. If we feel that is still in the best interest, we will need to figure out a way to do that in the threads. Due to the differences in how the forums are, my suggestion would be to include in the rules that we modify how the titles are made. For instance an IAand discussions would read
CA-LAC-Test IA thread
CA-LAC-Test discussions

Or make the IA thread

And the discussion as follows
Discussion and Questions for CA-LAC-Test

Personally I like some iteration of the latter. Granted of we collectively don’t think this is important anymore then it doesn’t matter anyways.

Additionally I wonder if the titles for specific areas could be color coordinated? Random thought, but might help down the line.

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Moderation I think will be one of the toughest challenges, I think sixonenine mentioned that earlier. There will need to be a clear cut set of rules, and I like the idea of it being a click box that has to be accepted at the sign up process.
Also, are there any worries about spam/bots?? And any safeguards in place to prevent that. With the amount of traffic and publicity the site has the potiental to gain, I see that being a real danger without some plan. I’m not a fan of the “must post x number of moderated posted before you can post unrestricted” option which if I remember right is available in discourse.

Also I think a screenshot video of how to use the site that can go on FB and YouTube along with written instructions would be helpful for the launch, helping reduce confusion.

This is a pretty specific and repeatable problem so we should be able to solve it. I am also seeing this issue. I have requested help from our devops.

I do think some way to separate discussion from legitimate fire info would be nice. When it gets busy Folks can’t help but chat about all kinds of off topic stuff. If no one else agrees
Then it’s all good. When people are looking for up to date fire info it is nice to not look through hundreds of posts.

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It seems to work when Folks have to answer a question or pick out correct images when they sign up to help avoid spam bots. I know they caused issues on the old site. I also agree that as this site gets busy spam bots could be problematic.

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Sorry guys I am testing from my Computer with my other Screen name I had to create. Just a test post.

Right now I say: Who cares. Just proud of you all for stepping up and giving this a shot. Thanks to all. MHB has been a member for 20 minutes, need some time to look around. Again, just want to say thanks. MHB is in the house and requesting a mulligan on my first violation. Ha. Naw. I will be good. We got 6 months until the mid terms! Ok, never mind that last part.


Welcome MHB! Posts and discussions are really helping us shake out the bugs and clean up the site. We’ll forgive you your transgressions if you help get this puppy off the ground and create some posts.

You got it. Is it ok if I start sharing with friends?