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Rampant Insanity - Crits Wanted!





rampantinsanity
Err, this is what I'm always talking about - my beloved Rampant Insanity Forum. Both it and our new website are under HEAVY construction so please pardon our mess. Feel free to take a look the sites and Post constructive criticisms here.

Our Forum:
www.rampantinsanity.proboards54.com

Our Frihost Website:
www.rampantinsanity.frih.net

We are a small group of die-hard free form role players who see ourselves as writers as well. We're very creative and several of our members post poetry, stories, and art work on our forum and soon - on our website. We are also home to several gamer freaks and everything in between. Rampant Insanity is a place for our fellow lost souls to gather.

-Alunasa from Rampant Insanity
benjad
Congratulations.. you have already figured out how to get your site & idea moving. You just don't realize it yet.

Right now, you site it nothing more than a mostly empty message board. You even admit it ....

Quote:
Now we've got 22 members and out of those only a handful have ever posted. Five topics out of this forum show up on the front page as mine. People this is a forum which is a place where you are suppose to post. Now for those of you sitting back waiting for things to get started that'll never happen


In order for you to grow your site, you must do one thing


Create a site with content! Don't expect your site visitors to show up to an empty board and just start jabbering away. Is this your RPG? What kind of a world is it? Is it based off a different one?

Set the stage for people to play on. If they are interested, they will stay.


But, the worst thing you can do, as you have already discovered, is to open a message board, and expect your visitors to provide all your content.
{name here}
Wow. Another message board, on proboards at that. Not that interesting considering the 500 other dead, dying, and insignificant forums about the same topic on every other board host. I don't know how a generic RPG forum can survive!

Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling better:
1) Use less message areas to give the illusion of more topics. Expand where you find necessary once you get enough steam.
2) Don't use some generic bulletin board host without at least actual content on some other site.
rampantinsanity
Thank you for the criticisms. Although they are a little on the harsh side, I appreciate them. I don't see the fact that we only have a few members as a problem, rather as a unique bonus. We aren't over-crowded or spam infested. At any rate, we now have a formal website hosted here.

www.rampantinsanity.frih.net

Feel free to check it out for yourself and post any comments here.
-Alunasa from Rampant Insanity

----

A few Words from Shouren: Co-Administrator of Rampant Insanity.

Well now that the primary admin is done with thanking you for your random unhelpful idiotic comments, it is time for me. I am Co-admin and keeper of the cans of a$$ whoop. First of all, we are NOT a generic forum, we host a wide variety of Rps that are currently going on with a wide variety of genres. We have a small following because we are very picky about who we let stay and those that can't handle our rules and the high standards required on our boards are soon weeded out. We have a small loyal following of RPer's (and by the way for the guy who put Rpg, that's classified as a game. We role play on a forum, not in a game.) who are great writers and plan to become better writers. Any of my members are equal to about three of a regular Rp forum's members, so I don't mind having a few. And as for the one who said that we have to stimulate, look around our forum and just see who the people putting up threads are and who the people continuously posting in them are. So as for all of you who just wanted to bad mouth the "little generic forum" because you're so much better than us, please be my guest to join our site, get into an rp (if you can) and see how you match up to our loyal members.

So in conclusion, before you go around bad mouthing another person's work, try taking a good close look at it and seeing just how much better it is than anything you could do.

Alunasa and Shouren from Rampant Insanity

www.rampantinsanity.proboards54.com
www.rampantinsanity.frih.net
warallthetm
rename advertismenet.bmp to header or something. My add blocker thinks its an advertisments thus i cant see it
benjad
http://www.rampantinsanity.frih.net/index.html

*applause* *applause* *applause*

Your previous post was JAMB (just another message board), hence it got flamed in advertise your web site. What you have posted now is a website, and I like the direction you are going in.


The site has a clean appearance and contains good content which explains who you are. It is truly going to develop into an outstanding showcase for your folks work... I am very excited for you.


A few errors in validation:
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rampantinsanity.frih.net%2Findex.html&charset=windows-1252&doctype=HTML+4.01+Transitional
- add a doctype, and char set tags....

As mentioned, your header gets blocked (by adblock for fx) because it sounds like advertisement. Rename this element, and change format to PNG or JPG. This will also bring the size down to a reasonable header size (presently 240k)... which is LARGE for a header.

Also consider combining all your style code into an external file. speeds up page loading.


Code looks pretty good. No major qualms there.

Might want to clean up some of the trailing <br>'s around the footer... seems to be a quite a few.


One thing to consider is that your header is centered to the page, and your content is left justified and fixed width. This results in the header seeming to not fit in well with the rest of the page. Either center the content as well as the header, or fix the header centered above the content....

Lastly, make sure you view you page in multiple browsers, at multiple resolutions.

Otherwise, I think you have made a very positive step. Keep going!




Quote:
Well now that the primary admin is done with thanking you for your random unhelpful idiotic comments ...


Your welcome! This board is advertise your website. Not advertise your forum, or blog. We work with and critique design. We don't think it's cool that someone else has just opened JAMB. Don't expect us to tell you that an empty unstyled message board is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!
. It's just not, and will be treated as such.

Quite frankly, the initial post didn't belong here... there was no web site. Now that a good looking site is developing, it does belong here. Further, since the web site explains whats on the forum... it is every more valuable!


Quote:
So in conclusion, before you go around bad mouthing another person's work, try taking a good close look at it and seeing just how much better it is than anything you could do.

Boo hoo!
infobankr
Hehe, I like the name, I just registered and built borderline-insanity.com
warallthetm
Jc!
Code:
<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
<i>All material is copyrighted to its individual owners.<br>
For more information, contact the site administrators at: alunasa@rampantinsanity.frih.net</i>
</div>
<!-- End Content -->
<!-- Footer -->

<br><br><br><br><br>
<br><br><br><br><br>

But anyway, you shouldnt use custom cursors on links, it makes it feel like a geocity site (not that it is, cuz it isnt) Also, it would be cool if you made your banner a flash animated or juiced up banner. It would bring life to the page
rampantinsanity
Thanks for all the advice guys. And for your information, when this thread was first posted, I wasn't yet approved for hosting, hence no where to put a site or even begin building it.

At any rate, I know next to nothing about html but I'll get to work on correcting the issues you pointed out, especially with the banner's name.. I had no idea that blockers would mistake it for an ad. Wink

I'll post site updates here from time to time. Also, if anyone knows where I can get some simple instructions on html or perhaps a site that has code, I'd appreciate it. I'm in need of simple forms.

-Alunasa at Rampant Insanity
warallthetm
If you dont know html to much, i would suggest using wysiwyg editor like dreamweaver, just make sure you dont become too Dependant on it.
{name here}
rampantinsanity wrote:
First of all, we are NOT a generic forum, we host a wide variety of Rps that are currently going on with a wide variety of genres. We have a small following because we are very picky about who we let stay and those that can't handle our rules and the high standards required on our boards are soon weeded out.

Of course, you only have to consider the 500 other dead bulletin boards with nearly the same content as yours. Also you use a generic bulletin board host rather than hosting it yourself - which gives you an ugly URL, and limits your options by quite a bit.

As for your high standards and rules, it's not really that unique. Several other free webhosts like FriHost require you to have a high standard in your post. I administrate multiple websites, and each one of them has a one chance policy.
Quote:
We have a small loyal following of RPer's (and by the way for the guy who put Rpg, that's classified as a game. We role play on a forum, not in a game.) who are great writers and plan to become better writers. Any of my members are equal to about three of a regular Rp forum's members, so I don't mind having a few. And as for the one who said that we have to stimulate, look around our forum and just see who the people putting up threads are and who the people continuously posting in them are.

It's not that active. It doesn't seem very active. I'd say your forums have about the equivalent post rate of Phatcode, but because your forums are spread out it makes your forum look much smaller than it is in reality, and as far as forums go, it is a small community even compared to the new qbasic.com forums.

Quote:
So as for all of you who just wanted to bad mouth the "little generic forum" because you're so much better than us, please be my guest to join our site, get into an rp (if you can) and see how you match up to our loyal members.

I never claimed to be better than you, but I do know mistakes I have made in forging websites, as well as many other aspiring webmasters that had their sites flop like a pancake. Although I do play Devil's Advocate, I will not ensue on a another forum flamewar after the theoretical and theological flamewars ensued at qbasicnews.com a month or two ago(actually the theological flamewars started about a year ago, and stopped months later). Also considering an admin has 660 out of the 686 posts on the board at the time of writing; I can't really consider you a very active forum with only 26 posts being made by other members

Quote:
So in conclusion, before you go around bad mouthing another person's work, try taking a good close look at it and seeing just how much better it is than anything you could do.

Certainly it is better than anything I could do in the field of RPs. However, I do administrate an active Wikia, and a website for an open source operating system(I turned the site completely around from its non dynamic days and I fixed the spambot problem as well[500 spambot accounts were registered before I came in]). I don't think you do/did either.
benjad
Quote:
Also, if anyone knows where I can get some simple instructions on html or perhaps a site that has code, I'd appreciate it. I'm in need of simple forms.


Strongly recommend:
http://www.w3schools.com/html/


For authoring in a non-WYSIWYG environment, I like..
http://www.mpsoftware.dk/phpdesigner.php
php designger 2007. -- freeware version.



Best advice is to use a visual editor (front page, coffeecup, dreamweaver) for a little bit to learn, then start coding by hand....
plato
Very cool subject!
Motoracer380
i have o idea wha its about didnt bther reading but the imer looks cool...whos taking over?
rampantinsanity
{name here}:

Thank you for your continual bashing of my forum. Seriously, thank you. Bash away, the truth is that I am my own worst judge so there is really nothing that you could do to make me feel any less adequate than I already do.

I came here wanting HELP and ADVICE. You also seem to have very little to say about my FRI Host site at all, so while you are so kindly flaming me, why not go over there, check it out and come back with some more flames? I do so love a good fire.

So why not share some of your oh so impressive experience and knowledge? You clearly have enough time on your hands.

Everyone else:

I changed the file name of the banner to minion.bmp instead. Please check out the frihost website and let me know if it's still causing problems with pop-up blockers. Thanks again for all the comments. Please tell me if you see something else that needs to be fixed.

-Alunasa from Rampant Insanity
{name here}
rampantinsanity wrote:
{name here}:

Thank you for your continual bashing of my forum. Seriously, thank you. Bash away, the truth is that I am my own worst judge so there is really nothing that you could do to make me feel any less adequate than I already do.

I came here wanting HELP and ADVICE. You also seem to have very little to say about my FRI Host site at all, so while you are so kindly flaming me, why not go over there, check it out and come back with some more flames? I do so love a good fire.

I already told you one thing - you're using a generic forum host which really has no advantage if you really think about it - you're stuck with ads, you can't add mods, and you can't backup your forum in case something goes to pot or if you want to take your business elsewhere.

The other thing that sort of burns be about your site is your logo on the main site, which is a png rather than a jpg. Now, this is quite inconsiderate of you to dial up users as your png loads somewhat slow even on my 100 megabit/s connection - you've probably just made some rural RP nerd cry because he can't load your site quickly. Also you choose to change the cursor to a crosshair in the menu, which isn't a particularily good idea if you don't need to use it as it can be just about as irritating as a javascript cursor trailer. Finally, your logo does not show on every page.

Other than that I cannot criticize your main page - its design is simple, light, and will display correctly for text based browsers due to its div-based design.

Ignoring that the majority of your posts on your forum are from an admin, the one only valid criticisms I can make is that your logo doesn't really integrate into the site's design - the background of your logo just sticks out in your logo area, and finally you display a news area when there aren't any news blurbs - that's just a big blue waste of space.

Quote:
So why not share some of your oh so impressive experience and knowledge? You clearly have enough time on your hands.

It's not impressive by any means. I did every mistake that a webmaster could make before I got to the point I am today, and to this day I make mistakes, though to a much lesser extent now knowing what I know now. You learn more from mistakes than anything else.
rampantinsanity
Finally, I feel like I've gotten through to you. I'm just someone trying to learn and have fun while doing it.

Lets discuss this then...

1. We cannot host the forum on Fri-Host because it occasionally has adult content (no pornography or pictures, just the occasional dirty joke or slightly erotic role play post). As I'm sure you know, this is against Fri-Host's rules, so that's out. If you can suggest a completely free host for our forum that doesn't mind us being our raunchy selves, then by all means, do so. Until then, we'll probably stay right where we are.

2. "The other thing that sort of burns be about your site is your logo on the main site, which is a png rather than a jpg." It is? I had no idea. (No sarcasm this time, I really didn't know.) Ok, so how do I fix it? I don't have any fancy photo editing software, just plain old paint. Will a simple "save as" correct the problem? Oh and are you talking about the logo on the Forum or the Website?

3. I am not a programmer. The html code was borrowed from a forum member with their permission, but this person is too busy with college to take the time to code the site. "Also you choose to change the cursor to a crosshair in the menu, which isn't a particularily good idea" Actually, this bothers me too. How do I change it back?

4. "Finally, your logo does not show on every page." Once again, how do I do this and do you mean the forum or website?

5. As far as the news section goes, the site is under heavy construction and I simply opted not to put a cheesy icon straight from windows 3.1 on my site, informing people as so much. I work full time as does the other Administrator and so time is very, very hard to find for us, but I'll endeavor to start updating the news portion... It is a good point. Heh. I'll take it down if I can't keep up.

6. We haven't really posted 600+ posts, that was just a bit of fun exaggeration on our part. It's closer to 100 or so, and the other Administrator is my husband. If you'll look at our posts, they are mostly content posts and most of the active members are Moderators or work closely with us. I know that we're small, but right now - I like it that way. I don't want a huge forum with so many posts that I have no idea what's going on. I want to know each member and to be closer than that. But then again, I'm an odd duck and prone to strange thoughts like that.

Does that explain things better?

-Alunasa
{name here}
rampantinsanity wrote:
Finally, I feel like I've gotten through to you. I'm just someone trying to learn and have fun while doing it.

Lets discuss this then...

1. We cannot host the forum on Fri-Host because it occasionally has adult content (no pornography or pictures, just the occasional dirty joke or slightly erotic role play post). As I'm sure you know, this is against Fri-Host's rules, so that's out. If you can suggest a completely free host for our forum that doesn't mind us being our raunchy selves, then by all means, do so. Until then, we'll probably stay right where we are.

Well, I do in fact know a host that will allow you to probably host that content, which I will send to you via an email or PM depending on which is available to me.

Quote:
2. "The other thing that sort of burns be about your site is your logo on the main site, which is a png rather than a jpg." It is? I had no idea. (No sarcasm this time, I really didn't know.) Ok, so how do I fix it? I don't have any fancy photo editing software, just plain old paint. Will a simple "save as" correct the problem? Oh and are you talking about the logo on the Forum or the Website?

Just save as JPEG image(note that unless you have a more advanced image editor you will experience a slight loss in quality if it is graphical rather than photo-like), and I'm talking about the site logo, not the forum logo, which seems to be a JPG already.

Quote:
3. I am not a programmer. The html code was borrowed from a forum member with their permission, but this person is too busy with college to take the time to code the site. "Also you choose to change the cursor to a crosshair in the menu, which isn't a particularily good idea" Actually, this bothers me too. How do I change it back?

Looking at the CSS in the HTML source(near the top), you will stumble upon a group of CSS directives that start with A. Inside those directives(curly brackets), you will see a thing that says cursor: crosshair;. Delete that in every one of those that start with a capital A and you will have a normal cursor when hovering over the link.

Quote:

4. "Finally, your logo does not show on every page." Once again, how do I do this and do you mean the forum or website?

This problem is on the website. What you want to do is stick <center><img src="minion.JPG"></center> after the body tag and two line break(br) tags(this assumes that you converted minion.bmp into a JPG file and did not change the extension to a lowercase like paint does not do).

Quote:

6. We haven't really posted 600+ posts, that was just a bit of fun exaggeration on our part. It's closer to 100 or so, and the other Administrator is my husband. If you'll look at our posts, they are mostly content posts and most of the active members are Moderators or work closely with us. I know that we're small, but right now - I like it that way. I don't want a huge forum with so many posts that I have no idea what's going on. I want to know each member and to be closer than that. But then again, I'm an odd duck and prone to strange thoughts like that.

Does that explain things better?

Yes, quite a lot. I haven't seen a lot of fake postings outside of one clicdev forum I used to be a member of.
rampantinsanity
{name here}, I don't think that its possible for me to thank you enough for all of the help. I'll be correcting it when I get a chance, probably tomorrow night after work. Also, in case you were curious as to what our real number of posts is, I did a quick count, it's not perfect but it's closer..

As of 5:30 on Jan 30, 2007:

(416 posts between 8 members)
(143 posts between 2 admin)
(559 posts total)
This excludes non-active members or members with less than 10 posts

The breakdown:
74% of messages were posted by members, not admin.
26% of messages were posted by admin.

Small numbers, I know - but we've been without internet for about half of the time that the forum has been up, since Mar 4, 2006. We're still around and kicking, and if things continue to improve, we'll get bigger and better. I've got steady internet now so that helps.

Also, anyone reading this is more than welcome to come check us out, just don't expect us to be putting up a new post every few hours, its more like two or three times a day, depending on whats going on with our members.

-Alunasa from Rampant Insanity
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