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I think I just had a frihost 2.0 vision! gotta write this





IceCreamTruck
Bear with me... I have had a vision and it's not a complete picture, but I see some cool easy changes that I will have to think about a little more that seem to be in the arena of cheap quick fixes for frihost that would make it more compliant to the modern social site standard. I don't want frihost to become a facebook or myspace, but I do want frihost to keep kicking butt like it has been forever!

Here's my ideas from this vision:

Frihost is like facebook and myspace socially because there is the main forum site for communications, and we all have our own sites for people to go to, like facebook personal time-lines or your actual myspace page where you advertise who you are. Frihost's format is just like facebook, but doesn't provide the standard graphical layout that we all must have on our individual websites. This makes frihost like facebook socially, but allows it to be custom. My suggestion is to feature the English posts section, and the blog posts sections more centered on the home page of frihost, as I don't think the users are really using the frihost page as their landing page. I would think most people entrance into the forums, if they are a regular users, becomes the forum section where you can read all the forum titles and see if they are updated by the icons flashing. It seems that the version of phpbb being used, and frihost setup, makes me tend to end up on the general forums page, but it might also just be my habit and others are using different things other ways and not ending up on the general forums page as much as I do.

Edit: in the paragraph above what I mean is that even if you enter frihost via an email link, or via the forums link on the home page, it comes up a lot for me to navigate back in via the "Forum" link on the top of the page. So regardless of my actual entrance point each day I keep going back to the main forum page as I browse from topic to topic and forum to forum. This should be similar for everyone.

The "English Posts" section, if featured a little more, could also be looked at to see if it's worth making it possible to switch this in the user settings if you don't speak English.

This would be a change to focus incoming users more into the forums instead of making them instantly aware of what frihost really is, and that's a free hosting service. Let more people in on the social aspect of frihost up front, feature the social aspect, and keep the "host your own site" option in the user settings for them to find and expand their frihost experience. The forums provide enough of a user page like feel so social users on frihost don't have to expand into web hosting if they don't want to, which might even be a more feasible business model should frihost go supernova like Bondings and others efforts deserve it to.

Simply put: how about moving the "English Posts" and "Blog Posts" sections in the middle of the home page, and move the hosting info to the right where the topic links and blog links are at now. Then we can work on more of this vision that I've had.

Thoughts? BTW, I can possibly do this work if no one is available. Usually don't make suggestions that I'm not prepared to work on, FYI.
IceCreamTruck
This change would mean I click "frihost.com" more than I click "forums" personally, and I'd be taken to a page where I'm reading active users posts instead of just forum titles, and wiggling icons to show which forums have been updated.

Comments welcome!
Asap170
So your saying in the middle of frihosts homepage to add a list of like the 10 newest post and or topics? If so I really ser no point in that. I rarely go to the homepage...and the homepage is to attract users by what frihost has to offer in their hosting area
deanhills
IceCreamTruck wrote:
This change would mean I click "frihost.com" more than I click "forums" personally, and I'd be taken to a page where I'm reading active users posts instead of just forum titles, and wiggling icons to show which forums have been updated.

Comments welcome!
That sounds like an excellent suggestion ICT. It would be ideal if we could have everything on one page. All we need to do is type www.frihost .com and everything is there. We could have a knowledge base php section, a registration section etc all linked to the main Forum page as functional parts so we only have the most important active parts right in front of us. So the Forum page always gets clicked first and everything else second.
Ghost Rider103
Trying to turn Frihost into a social network is a bad idea. While it sounds great, since we are all involved in the current network of Frihost, Frihosts main focal point is free hosting, AKA "Post to host."

But making things easier for the users would of course work. In other words, making the home page my general landing page so to speak would be nice. So for logged in users only (as the home page is currently a marketing page for what Frihost is), we could have definitely do it up a little different. Display all English posts, or maybe even only posts selected from your favorite forum categories. Then of course we'd still have the normal "forum" link, just in case.

An option to display blog posts (maybe in another section) would be cool as well.

I've thought about making Frihost more socially networked inclined, but it doesn't make sense when the focus is free hosting, not social networking. That's why I never mentioned it. Plus Bondings has all kinds of other stuff in the works.

Quote:
BTW, I can possibly do this work if no one is available. Usually don't make suggestions that I'm not prepared to work on, FYI.

Bondings has said several times he wishes to do nearly everything himself, for personal experience. So offering to do the work is nice, yet a LOT of people have done so, so no use in trying. He knows he has help when (IF) he needs/wants it.

Quote:
So your saying in the middle of frihosts homepage to add a list of like the 10 newest post and or topics? If so I really ser no point in that. I rarely go to the homepage...and the homepage is to attract users by what frihost has to offer in their hosting area

You sort of missed the point of the suggestion. The OP is aware almost nobody uses the home page. The point is to make the home page into something you will want to use, as it would make things easier.

Edit: I shouldn't say almost nobody uses the home page. I meant almost no "user" uses the page. I'm sure every new unregistered guest goes there probably first. I personally go to frihost.com everyday first. Not the forums. But I immediately click forums.
IceCreamTruck
Great replies guys!

Ghost Rider103 wrote:
Trying to turn Frihost into a social network is a bad idea. While it sounds great, since we are all involved in the current network of Frihost, Frihosts main focal point is free hosting, AKA "Post to host."


Not trying to turn frihost into a social network, because it already is one. Not arguing any of these things. You are correct except that it is it's own social network.

Ghost Rider103 wrote:

But making things easier for the users would of course work. In other words, making the home page my general landing page so to speak would be nice. So for logged in users only (as the home page is currently a marketing page for what Frihost is), we could have definitely do it up a little different. Display all English posts, or maybe even only posts selected from your favorite forum categories. Then of course we'd still have the normal "forum" link, just in case.


Yes, you have the spirit of my suggestion, which can be further simplified down to moving the current "English Posts" section, and "Blog Posts" (below on home page), out into the middle of the page.

Ghost Rider103 wrote:

An option to display blog posts (maybe in another section) would be cool as well.


exactly. Wait... have you not seen this section already is on the home page below "English Posts"? I make this point later that it's hard to notice that it's there. I think this isn't fair to the blogs!

Ghost Rider103 wrote:

I've thought about making Frihost more socially networked inclined, but it doesn't make sense when the focus is free hosting, not social networking. That's why I never mentioned it. Plus Bondings has all kinds of other stuff in the works.


It's more to feature the discussions and pretty well tested forum setup on frihost. I'd like more users from the web reading whats going on in the forums, and becoming active members. They can then start a hosting account as the next stage of whatever they want to pursue, as the option is always there on frihost, and should remain on the home page, and on the user account page. Not trying to reinvent frihost.

Ghost Rider103 wrote:

Quote:
BTW, I can possibly do this work if no one is available. Usually don't make suggestions that I'm not prepared to work on, FYI.

Bondings has said several times he wishes to do nearly everything himself, for personal experience. So offering to do the work is nice, yet a LOT of people have done so, so no use in trying. He knows he has help when (IF) he needs/wants it.


I don't suggest work, without suggesting ways to get the work done. In this case I can offer my time and skills because I know what code changes are required to perform all of my suggestions, but it doesn't mean that it has to be done. This is a suggestion. I am unaware of a "I'll die if you don't make this change right now" forum. Twisted Evil

Ghost Rider103 wrote:

Quote:
So your saying in the middle of frihosts homepage to add a list of like the 10 newest post and or topics? If so I really ser no point in that. I rarely go to the homepage...and the homepage is to attract users by what frihost has to offer in their hosting area

You sort of missed the point of the suggestion. The OP is aware almost nobody uses the home page. The point is to make the home page into something you will want to use, as it would make things easier.


Pretty much right on, but I am curious. Do you not want to use the home page? Do you like the current set up? Do you land on the home page, and then click forums and go, or do you land somewhere else?

Ghost Rider103 wrote:

Edit: I shouldn't say almost nobody uses the home page. I meant almost no "user" uses the page. I'm sure every new unregistered guest goes there probably first. I personally go to frihost.com everyday first. Not the forums. But I immediately click forums.


Yeah... and we skip right over the section that was built for this purpose. No body probably even notices the blog posts section below that. I should go there more just to see frihost in a completely different way, but I forget most of the time. I've gotten used to checking up on the different sections of frihost from time to time, but the chronological stuff on the home page is great, but I think it doesn't get used. I know I straight up forget sometimes that it's there. This is because frihost.com is almost never my landing page... ironic because I never type the full address to get to the forums either... I just end up clicking the forums link a ton, so my landing page is actually the general forums page.

In this change I would think it cool if the large forums section could be made into a foldaway javascript navigation that spans left to right and multiple rows, and when you mouse over you get the sub forums. This is possibly an addition after highlighting the "Latest Posts" section on the home page, and "Latest Blogs". Which I think it should be "Latest Posts" or "Post Updates" instead of only English. I think it might be healthy for frihost to show other language posts here, or base it on user preference, if there is a logged in user. Otherwise, make the English Posts section of the home page all languages.

I wish I could take this picture out of my head and just giving it to you without having to work on it, but I can't. This suggestion might be going to need some visual aids, so I'll work to illustrate a few points graphically. I might even build a landing page that is available from my hosted account, and others can use it, update, and love it, or not. Doesn't matter to me... the web is my playground! I'm not actually bound to use frihost in the manner that I do, but I was thinking about how I use it, and how other people might be using it. The suggestion came to mind.
Ghost Rider103
Quote:
exactly. Wait... have you not seen this section already is on the home page below "English Posts"? I make this point later that it's hard to notice that it's there. I think this isn't fair to the blogs!

My idea of displaying blog posts is probably a bit different, I should have been a bit more detailed. I know titles to latest blog posts are there. Which doesn't help much in getting someone involved in a blog posts. My idea of having the blog posts being displayed on the home page for logged in users would show a bit more. Who it's posted by, the title and the beginning sentence or two of the blog post.

Quote:
Pretty much right on, but I am curious. Do you not want to use the home page? Do you like the current set up? Do you land on the home page, and then click forums and go, or do you land somewhere else?

I'm assuming this question was meant for Asap? I definitely agree to a home page change. I've mentioned many times (outside this thread) that I think Frihost needs a total face lift, pretty much everywhere around the site.

As for Frihost being a social network... It is, in a much more specific way. A social network to me, is like Facebook (I'm talking types here, not function wise). Only a select few of my Facebook friends would ever agree to signup at Frihost. Frihost is a social network of developers, designers and the soon to be developers and designers.

People who aren't interested in design and development would have no reason to sign up on Frihost. This is what I thought you were going for, in turning Frihost into a Facebook social network type with free hosting being just a bonus.
IceCreamTruck
I don't think frihost should limit itself to only developers/designers. I think frihost should pursue a large contingent of it's active forum members not having hosting accounts. There are people who are participating in the forums without hosting, but it's a small number I believe. This, I think, is directly related to the main site page being about hosting. It niches frihost nicely, and frihost SEO isn't bad because it's how most of us found frihost to begin with. I just think it could also be marketed as a great public forum now because it's tested and true over all these years! Its it's own customized solution for that purpose, and I think it might be a good idea for frihost to branch a little into these waters. That way maybe it can introduce people to the idea of hosting their own site, instead of hosting just a prefab page with other social sites on which they have limited control, and ultimately you are just advertising for that site -- like facebook. Facebook turned everything into an advertisement, which was commendable, but they are trying to control everything, when the greatest part of facebook is user created material, always has been. It could virtually lock up like myspace did, and suffer mass exodus. Frihost is an all around better model already, and it just needs help from us! Bondings has done an amazing job!

Honestly, I need to secure my site linking again. I've taken down a lot of my site links pages because they became so outdated, but frihost hasn't changed, so I need to get it's ads back up on all my sites. I've always planned on giving back this way.
Ghost Rider103
Quote:
There are people who are participating in the forums without hosting, but it's a small number I believe.

I think it's safe to say that the people without hosting here, are related to web development, design and/or hosting in one way or another.

Maybe a small, very small percentage of people here are here just for the discussion forums. But the majority of us came here in the beginning for the hosting or for the help on the forums from other developers/designers.
IceCreamTruck
Very true. I like a lot about frihost exactly the way it is... but I've seen the same windows for a while now, and my mind is thinking make-over! Something that would give frihost some zip/zing! It is the thomas the tank engine of websites though... just keeps plodding along, and it's blue! Not bad, but my favorite color is the lack of color -- black! Smile

This is a sample of the color scheme that I think is much easier on the eyes after viewing all day: http://astrotwister.com/attempt.html
Navigator
how about login in with your FB or Twitter account?
IceCreamTruck
Navigator wrote:
how about login in with your FB or Twitter account?


This is kind of a topic in and of itself, but it does remotely apply to phone's because SSO does make loging in with multiple devices much easier. The change you are requesting here is setting up a facebook and a twitter app that would, given permission by the user, would farm their facebook or twitter for the log in privileges to join the forums. Not overly difficult if you know what you are doing, but the hard part is getting the user properly inserted into the existing frihost-phpbb database so as not to introduce bugs related to loging in one way or the other.

If people are serious about hosting they don't mind the phpbb setup process, but it would make things easier. Thing is this kind of change probably won't be created because it's likely that the latest and greatest phpbb includes that update, so the logical thing to do would be to update frihost to the latest version of phpbb, and that's simply not going to happen right now. Lots of people have asked! just look for other phpbb discussions on the forums, particularly the suggestions forum.
Navigator
IceCreamTruck wrote:
Navigator wrote:
how about login in with your FB or Twitter account?


This is kind of a topic in and of itself, but it does remotely apply to phone's because SSO does make loging in with multiple devices much easier. The change you are requesting here is setting up a facebook and a twitter app that would, given permission by the user, would farm their facebook or twitter for the log in privileges to join the forums. Not overly difficult if you know what you are doing, but the hard part is getting the user properly inserted into the existing frihost-phpbb database so as not to introduce bugs related to loging in one way or the other.

If people are serious about hosting they don't mind the phpbb setup process, but it would make things easier. Thing is this kind of change probably won't be created because it's likely that the latest and greatest phpbb includes that update, so the logical thing to do would be to update frihost to the latest version of phpbb, and that's simply not going to happen right now. Lots of people have asked! just look for other phpbb discussions on the forums, particularly the suggestions forum.


Although it might be tricky, there are some plugins for phpBB. But since I wrote that post I have grown hesitant of such a feature as Facebook is a big spying machine.
IceCreamTruck
heck yeah... facebook is a big pond now, and this means the big phish are all looking to score easy. If frihost becomes an app, then that would provide a lot more information to frihost about it's users, but at the same time can open us up to greater risk of phishing and such. Since frihost is a public forum, then I'm not exactly sure what people would have access to that isn't already available in the frihost forums, but there are bots on facebook that are not active on frihost, and I'm happy keeping it that way.
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