Ladies & Gentlemen ... 'LIO in da House' ...

This is my nephew's login account :)  at this trial SMA.com which I thought Anthony was going to try-out for 30 days but looks like he already decided to go for this. I have not signed up yet and sitting on the fence. My nephew using his account here posted some initial minor critiques about this new sma.com which echoes my views. After observating for a few days whilst puffing on a few bowls from my Gandalf-ic pipes of Sageness & Clarity ... herewith I sayeth thusly ....

1) Primary negative I have is ... the messageboard itself is not available for general public viewing. In order to even just read any messageboard topics, you are forced to sign-up to the whole enchilada here. The non-addicted facebooker types, may want to somewhat keep their privacy. They do not want to create a blog, post personal pics, do chats, or create a my page, which is what is include in this whole package. They may only wish to participate in a messageboard activities. Again .... the Messageboard is CLOSED to public viewing ... which can be an automatic limitation and access to Stop Motion knowledge. Example ... a Wiki-type site, you do not require people to log-in just to search & read the contents.

2) As stated elsewhere, this is very much like facebook. It can be confusing to non-facebook users. The problem with integration of messageboard combined with facebook-like sort of thing .... many people might post their technical stop motion related question in their 'status update', whereas, they should have posted their question in the messageboard. Status updates are lfor comments like, "Hi sweetie luv ya", "Here at Disneyland", "Look at my pet Scoodles doing funny things", etc. Not making fun of that but trying to show the difference what a status update/comment verses a post, comment, question in the messageboard section.

3) This may only apply to a minority few ... me for example ...I already got website of many years, joined Linked-in (for professional related contacts), then reluctantly joined Faceback primarily to create the SMW Fan page, which is okay, but was first forced to create a personal LIO facebook page. At this time, I don't see need to create another online presence creating new my page, profile, etc ... more work for me!

I believe Marc Spess over at his site has something similar to this, where you can create your own blog, page etc.? Or attempted to do previously with his other black colored themed stop motion site aka Stop Motion Magic which Marc eventually shut-down and stayed with his original site/messageboard format. Marc's messageboard IS viewable by public without the need to log-in. I know that messageboard might may look plain.  I do understand people initially hooked by bells & whistles features such as this new SMA.com. Although, for me and perhaps some other Luddite-types it may be more features than needed, but that can be subjective view & we are probably in the minority.  I do like a little bit of bells & whistles but in moderation. This is Humongous Monster LEAP from a solid simple public accessible messageboard (although maybe dated style to to it) ... TO ... a facebook-like features up the wah-zoo clone combined/integrated with a messageboard, but closed to public viewing (again, you have to login).  

4) My final comment may be a little more positive .... the ARCHIVING of the previous SMA.com contents should be treated as seperate from this new SMA.com experiment. Hopefully, that vast previous SMA.com database can be saved.

Since Bruce Hoffman has walked-back his 'Old Curmudgeon' position, it looks like, I might be taking over his torch and the Loner here, expressing my initial critique about this SMA.com lay-out and I already expect deathly silence & only the sound of chirping crickets ... but Anthony wanted feedback from people . I may eventually come around here, similar to me being dragged into the whole social-schmocial Facebook thing.

The Original LIO™ .... accept no imitations.

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Ok Anthony, I'll keep that in mind. It seems there are many different ways to access this board. 

And yeah LIO - I suspect we'll see a somewhat different group dynamics now - the more Facebookified/Twitterpated crowd who kept a low profile on the other board will be stepping up here. And it might be a shot in the arm - I suspect those people are more high-energy and expressive than the 'long-writers' who dominated at the old board. Anyway, we'll see how it goes. It's definitely a time of great change for us all. 

Thanks Anthony, I see it now.

While I was looking I also found the RSS feed button ... now thats cool!!!

Jeff

Anthony Scott said:

Hi Jeff, I was able to add my personal website to My Page.  There is something called a Text Box.  Mine was located in the center column, down near the bottom and I used it to create a Homepage category and link to my site.  See photo below.




Jeff Lafferty said:

I like the new site Anthony.

My only suggestions would be to have a place in a users profile where he/she can put a link back to their own website. Personally I've discovered a lot of great animators and made friends by just being able to follow a link back to a persons website ... and I think it adds credibility to what they're speaking about, if you can look at their site and see what they do.

Jeff

You know I wrote this long message, then decided it was just parroting some of the posts above and scrapped it. But my 2 cents would be that the message boards are probably going to be the main issue around here since that is what set sma.com apart from all other sites. Including facebook. That's what I'd focus on emulating (the old boards) as closely as possible on the new site to keep the success going. I don't mean to suggest getting rid of the new stuff (pictures/videos/blogs) but just within when you enter the new board area. So getting rid of the side bar, chat, online members and all the things that were not there before. The familiarity and consistency in that section will probably crucial. I already notice some old timers who haven't joined or posted, and I know they have seen the new site.

My only hesitation about the new site is the fact that I'm reluctant to change because I'm nostalgic by nature and hate to see things I've learned to love move into the past. But the reason for the creation of this new incarnation of SMA is out of fear the old site might one day crash and not be able to be revived and so, I guess I'm cool with being forced to switch.

I fully understand the objections and fears about the new format but, I have to disagree... I think the new arrangement will be just fine for us and not present any real problems. There may be similarities to Facebook but there's one major difference... IT'S NOT FACEBOOK. :) What I mean by that is that FB is populated by the whole world of vastly unrelated people and that accounts for the endless gibberish getting posted there, I don't think that will happen here just because of the art-specific nature of this site.

Uncle LIO worried earlier about people possibly posting questions on their profiles or the chat page instead of on the message board and yeah that may happen but, people have always posted things in the wrong subject categories - even at the old SMA so, that won't be anything new.

As for people needing to sign up as a member in order to peruse what's written here, I don't see that as a real problem either. First of all, I'm a member of the new AnimateClay.com but I virtually never participate in anything other than the Live Chat Show there. As soon as I logged in here for the first time, all I needed to do was create an account, I really didn't need to fill in a whole profile page unless I wanted too. So people can still come in here, create a quick account and read whatever they want... I've done that on plenty of sites I never stuck with.


Let me put it this way, if this were 7 years ago (when I was brand new to the internet) and I found this site the way it is now instead of the old way... I don't think history would have been any different. I would have had some more buttons to learn how to push but that's about it. Unlike FaceRant, I don't need to worry about my wife's ex-husband stalking and harassing me or being pounced upon because I mentioned which political party I'm a member of here. (BOTH of which really did happen to me on FB!)


The only critique that was mentioned here that I will agree with is... I need my damn emoticons!

"I guess I'm cool with being forced to switch" - pretty well covers my reaction too.

I was going through each new thread to stop it sending me emails every time there is any activity, then I found I can fix that in my profile.  After un-ticking a long list of when to email me, I found the last item was a blanket "don't send me emails from SMA".  Actually that's a bit too drastic.  But it worked, my inbox isn't flooded any more.

Apart from smileys, I also miss having a couple of stock items in my signature, like the links to my photos and YooToob videos. It saved opening another browser window and copying and pasting the ddress every time I wanted to shamelessly self-promote   offer a helpful example to show what i was talking about.  I didn't find anything in my profile about adding things to my signature, or signatures at all. That would be something to ask the Ning nongs about.

I will investigate the possibility of getting emoticons and signatures added.

There is an email option that only sends you one email per day, in digest form. I've selected that option and it has made a huge difference. I was getting hundreds of emails!

Also, just to the right of the word "Activity" in all those email checkbox categories is an option that says "Stop Following All," which means it won't send emails about the routine messages and other postings. I've unchecked everything except "A personal message," "A message from Stopmotionanimation.com,"  and A comment on My Page" (whatever My Page is...) That way, I'm still available to anyone who wants to send me some personalized hate mail. Since I haven't gotten any yet, I guess that means everyone loves me. That makes me feel good, inside.

Anthony Scott said:

I will investigate the possibility of getting emoticons and signatures added.

There is an email option that only sends you one email per day, in digest form. I've selected that option and it has made a huge difference. I was getting hundreds of emails!

I spend all day working by myself so, getting updates on conversations every now and again during the day makes me feel like I got company popping in. I think if I got all my updates coming in just one email THAT might seem overwhelming so, I'll keep it the way I have it now.

Got yer smilies right here!    you have to drag them into the dialog box.

Smilies are now installed, but unfortunately, I can't add signatures.  They don't offer a free option, but there is apparently a paid app for it.  I think I'll wait on that one. 

StopmoNick said:

Apart from smileys, I also miss having a couple of stock items in my signature, like the links to my photos and YooToob videos. It saved opening another browser window and copying and pasting the ddress every time I wanted to shamelessly self-promote   offer a helpful example to show what i was talking about.  I didn't find anything in my profile about adding things to my signature, or signatures at all. That would be something to ask the Ning nongs about.

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