I am trying out a new, simplified Home page design principally featuring the latest activity from the Message Board. Everything else, Photos, Videos, all that extra stuff is still accessible from the top menu bar and will also appear in the Top 10 list. Let me know if you find anything buggy. This is just an experiment, I can always modify it.

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you will probably need to clear your cache (browsing data) in order to see the pages correctly.

Well blogs are not listed in the top menu, and only can really be found by the way bottom sidebar mention. I already miss the at a glance updates from across the board. It also helped me notice things that I normally would not go digging for.

Thanks for the feedback. I don't think Blogs were ever in the top bar. Maybe a long time ago. I don't really want to feature them anyway.

Latest Activity is a good way to get an overview so I'll put it back in for now but I limited it to 4 items. You can hit the More button to expand it. 


Shea Street said:

Well blogs are not listed in the top menu, and only can really be found by the way bottom sidebar mention. I already miss the at a glance updates from across the board. It also helped me notice things that I normally would not go digging for.

I know it's tough when I change things on here. People get used to the way things are. I definitely heard from a lot of people when I switched to this format 3 years ago!

So a question for everyone: Do you read the Blogs on this site? I have always felt they compete with the Message Board in a bad way but I can't get rid of them. They are built into this system, primarily accessed through each User's Personal Page. I couldn't customize it 3 years ago so I left it but chose not to feature it. I can easily put it up on the top menu bar, but for now it remains at the bottom sidebar.

Another question: is it useful to have all the Message Board Categories on the side bar? I personally like it but would like to hear back from you.

I hope these changes make for a better experience. There are many options out there for people now. Facebook groups, all kinds of social media. This site has always been quiet, but it's getting even more so. Spammers are relentless. I will be evaluating the future of this site over the next few months. It's been a good run though, no matter what happens. Thanks for your participation.

I don't usually know when blogs are updated, so I don't read them much.  Having them come up along with other new posts would be good.   I think I liked being able to see if there were new photos or videos at the bottom of the page, without having to go to the photo or video pages first, but I can cope with that.

Otherwise I'm happy with the site as it is.

I joined FB a couple of years ago, very reluctantly, because a number of regulars didn't seem to show up at the message board very often, and most of them are on FB.  SMA would be my preferred place to go for stop motion news and discussion - but I can see it it is quieter than it used to be.  Still of use I think, with new members turning up and asking questions and posting videos.   But as you say, there are other places like FB groups as well.   

Yes there are many options out there, but again you got to go digging. There is just enough unification here that this site has made a world of difference in my knowledge and skill more than any other resource. This place is a touchpoint for the world of stop motion. Also I have talked to more people here, shared, and even paid it forward on kickstarters I wouldn't have know existed to help this art. Yes this site may not be hyper active, but it is active. Our craft is time consuming and slow so it is only fair to expect that would translate into the pace of interactions here.

What ever the future of this may be, let us be a part of it. And when and if the time comes that you think it is your time to move on, keep us in the loop and give us fair timing. I am sure there are many of us who would pick up the torch.



Anthony Scott said:

I know it's tough when I change things on here. People get used to the way things are. I definitely heard from a lot of people when I switched to this format 3 years ago!

So a question for everyone: Do you read the Blogs on this site? I have always felt they compete with the Message Board in a bad way but I can't get rid of them. They are built into this system, primarily accessed through each User's Personal Page. I couldn't customize it 3 years ago so I left it but chose not to feature it. I can easily put it up on the top menu bar, but for now it remains at the bottom sidebar.

Another question: is it useful to have all the Message Board Categories on the side bar? I personally like it but would like to hear back from you.

I hope these changes make for a better experience. There are many options out there for people now. Facebook groups, all kinds of social media. This site has always been quiet, but it's getting even more so. Spammers are relentless. I will be evaluating the future of this site over the next few months. It's been a good run though, no matter what happens. Thanks for your participation.

Thanks for your notes Nick. New Blog posts will appear at the top (in the Latest Activity feed) along with any new photos, videos, message board posts, events. Clicking on the More Button will expand Latest Activity posts.

I decided to get rid of the Photos and Videos on the sidebar to make room for the Message Board Categories. This will enable people to quickly access every category. It always bugged me that there wasn't a way to view all the categories on one page, like on the old board. Now it is possible with this new sidebar menu. I will see if I can squeeze the Photos and Videos back in someplace though.

I will keep this site up and running until June 2016, at that point I'll have to decide if I want to renew my contract with Ning or take another direction.

I do appreciate all your comments and advice over the years here. You've encouraged scores of animators Worldwide. :)

StopmoNick said:

I don't usually know when blogs are updated, so I don't read them much.  Having them come up along with other new posts would be good.   I think I liked being able to see if there were new photos or videos at the bottom of the page, without having to go to the photo or video pages first, but I can cope with that.

Otherwise I'm happy with the site as it is.

I joined FB a couple of years ago, very reluctantly, because a number of regulars didn't seem to show up at the message board very often, and most of them are on FB.  SMA would be my preferred place to go for stop motion news and discussion - but I can see it it is quieter than it used to be.  Still of use I think, with new members turning up and asking questions and posting videos.   But as you say, there are other places like FB groups as well.   

Well I hope this site continues on.  I personally would miss this place alot, but I do understand that things are always changing and moving, whether we want that or not,  you just have to do what you have to do.  nothing lasts forever as they say, or something has to give right.  It's easy for me to say that this place should continue to run, but I'm not the one behind the scenes running the show right,  it's not my time and effort and money invested but yours, so I understand if SMA has to come to an end, I hope it doesn't, and please let us know if there is anything that any of us can do to help?  Worst case scenerio, if SMA ends, I'm sure with the power of social media now that there will always be other similar sites, perhaps not the same, but alternative interactive creative forums are being born all the time aren't they, where we all can share our common interests, but I do like this place a lot, and I hope it continues, but I guess enough of us have to prove to ourselves and to each other that we want this place to continue, we have to interact and engage and make quality connections with each other.   I personally believe that I will be an ongoing active member of the community, but personal stuff always happens and life can get in the way and interfere with our hobbies and careers, and then people are forced to change direction, it's hard in it, it's definitely a struggle at times and needs a balancing act to make it work I guess.      

It isn't going away anytime soon. I'll see how the next 6 months goes. It may make sense to transform the site into something else. Not sure. In the meantime, I won't pull the plug without fair notice. As for myself, I'll try to participate more.

Thank you Anthony for wrangling all this. This website and this community is a wonderful resource, no matter what form it takes. Much appreciated. 

I'd hate to see this site go as well. I plan to be contributing more, once my workshop is finished. I always wanted to work in miniature fx, but being realistic, that can't happen. At least right now. But I've decided to make my own production and stop-motion is going to be a major factor in the process. If I can't go to the dream, I'll make the dream come to me! ;)

Anyway, facebook is good for interaction, especially among the different stop-mo groups, but a lot of that is repetitious postings. It's like a mall with a bunch of little shops and you can hit them all quick, but this place feels "real" to me, like a mom + pop brick and mortar store. Not sure if that makes sense? I guess it's more nuts and bolts, meat and potatoes, peanut butter and chocolate. You know, the best of the best.

Dennis

Thanks for all your comments. It's good to hear this site is still relevant. ;)

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