How would you like changed?

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This site is for you guys. I have loved watching it grow, and I thank each and every one of you for your contributions. What do you love and hate about

Traffic has been pretty steady at 30,000 page views and 10,000 sessions a month for a few months now. I thought it might be about time to bring the design back into line with how the site is actually being used.

Page view breakdown:

31% Front Page
43% Forums
25% Links Directory

Some ideas to kick things off?

<li>Should the site be changed to be forum centered instead of directory centered?
<li>Is there any interest from people wanting to host their projects on the site? If so, a section could be set up pretty easily.
<li>vBulletin configuration. Seems to be working ok - any comments?
<li>More functionality? What else would you like to see on
<li>Quality of the directory. I admit it hasn't been getting my full attention. I also haven't been getting a lot of new links submitted from the outside world either. Would anyone like to volunteer to maintain that section and give it the attention it deserves?


My views

Personally, I don't use the links much because it looks like they've been neglected. I'd like to see them updated more with more links to people's projects, or things like that. Has the problem been one of mainly no links or no time? If you want more links, I think I could probably dig up several that you may not have.

As to the other things, I just read bits and pieces of the forums as I don't have the money to try the things out. (priorities put money in other places when I have excess)

That's my views.
Some of my ideas

Hi Jason,

I like the way the site has grown, and I think that the reorganization you did last time around with creating the different forum topics has worked out quite well!

I do have two suggestions though:
1) I like your idea on the projects section. This area could serve two functions. a) It could be a collection of links to different projects on the web page of the builder, and b) it could be a place for people who don't have their own web pages to be able to post a few pictures and some descriptions.

2) Since the theme here is DIY audio, I think the links section should be organized a little differently (perhaps as its own forum section??). I was thinking that there should be a collection of links that focus on topics like:
a) amplifier power supply design
b) amplifier grounding techniques
c) amplifier heat sink selection & mounting
d) speaker enclosure design
e) links to electronics surplus houses
f) learning basic electronics
g) vendors for rare & exotic parts like silver wire, electro static panels for speakers, etc.
h) any other ideas...

I have book marks for many of the topics I listed under 2). E-mail me if you'd like a copy of them.

Change, why?

It would be great if it was easier to put pictures in the forum (i.e you host it).

A front-page centric layout is useful for new users. I log on so regularly that I usually find the latest posts anyway. Would it be possible to enlarge list of "latest activity" on front page?

A tips and tricks section would also be useful. Not all issues are suitable for a discussion board.

If viewers could vote on the quality of content that could form a basis for quality oriented individuals with little time to check out quality postings.

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It's great the way it is, however...

You could add a forum for Digital ideas and questions.

As a foot note, I hope you don't mind me adding the video projector threads to your site. There are other site for video, but I simply don't like those site as much as I like this one.

if it ain't broken, don't fix it! is one of those sure things in life. I got used to the way it is, my hand knows were the mouse should point, so PLEASE DON'T CHANGE IT!

I agree with what Petter says, it should be easier to upload pictures. Maybe a new section for them would be good. That and a nice clean up the links section should do it.

[Edited by grataku on 07-31-2001 at 02:16 AM]
What I would love to see is some sort of directory of places to buy stuff. The most daunting task of all is not speaker construction or design, it's finding the right drivers, crossovers and other components at reasonable prices. I've had a hell of a time trying to find sub amps I don't have to order from Krakatau or some place. For me it's entirely regional. Sure, online retailers like Madisound offer wide selections, but with sometimes unreasonable prices with the guarantee of death by exchange rate and brokerage fees. But what if I wanted to find such things in Canada? Or Ontario, for that matter? The answer is "tough luck" as far as I can tell, because no really good index of DIY audio retailers exists that i can find.
I agree that we should perhaps have a digital section. The topic has been occurring more and more, even in regards to smaller things such as digital cables, etc etc.

I also like having the idea of having a member-based projects section. Some of the best ideas I've heard of are on this site, but often this is the only place I've heard of them. Having a project section would just be bringing the best of the DIYers into a centralized location, making things a lot easier, especially for those just getting into DIY realm.
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grataku: Point taken. I too have seen many 'upgrades' turn into 'downgrades'.

Ignite: A good directory of parts retailers would be nice and very useable. It kind of exists under the 'retailers' sections of the amp and speakers sections, but isn't comparative it's just vanilla links.

Schaef: Lack of time is the center. That means not updating the links, and not sourcing new ones. I don't get many submissions for new links.

Eric: I'll wait and see if anyone is keen to have projects hosted. In the meantime I'll turn on image uploading and trust it won't get abused. If anyone notices that it is, please send me an email so I can take action.

vdi_nenna: The VP thread was great. I am keen to build one! (Not that it will happen but it gets the creative juices flowing anyway!)

Petter: Will enlarge list.
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Doesn't look like this version of vBulletin supports file upload natively :(

Oh well, if anyone wants stuff hosted then just mail me and I'll upload it in a jiffy. The index I did for petter is completely dynamic - it creates the thumbnails and stuff based on the directory contents.

I believe this is one of the best places on the net to hang on, please don't change much what is already working.

I like the idea about adding things, for instance, about links, I would like to see more links but to member projects and a few selected ones, otherwise this link section will look as other well known sites. I like the idea about putting some space to upload pictures, but I'll venture a little further, Why don't you set some space but for finished projects for those threads about building something if the users require it? (Some sort of project mini-log with some text, diagrams and pictures. )

Also, a new section about tips and tricks sounds like a neat thing, probably these should be voted within the threads, or special contributions...

In any case, this is one of the best places, keep on going with it!!!!

Hi Jason, and thanks so much for your great work on this site. I emailed you a while back now suggesting you create the "Solid State" forum out of the general forum. I am so glad you did!
Definitely agree with the others so far, no great changes and a Digital forum,for DIY- DAC's ,Surround Processors, Clocks CDP, DVD etc.I would also love to see two more forums, the"Active Crossover Forum"for Xovers, and the "Pro Audio Forum" for Mic Pre amp designs, Compressors, EQ's, Limiters, A-D convertors,DI's etc. I realize these last two would probably not be raging with activity,but I know of no other forum on the net dedicated to active crossovers or *DIY* pro audio and I know there is certainly enough projects and general intrest.I know these topics can be categorized into other forums, ie- solid state, tube, speaker, but thats the problem, the info is sprayed across the net in off topic forums. Anyone else (dis)agree?

Thanks Again! Ciao.
You know, if uploading pictures is a problem can't you guys just get a Homestead account or one of the many other free webspace providers and just link to your pictures? That's the standard in all other message boards I know of. And then bandwidth rests on Homestead and not
Site improvements

Love the site and spend lots of time here - kind of a playground i guess!

The previous suggestion for links to suppliers of hard to find items would be great, as would links to surplus suppliers - most of us surf for these places anyway as part of sourcing project parts so it would be really useful.

What about some PCB layouts - even if they needed to be adapted for your own use they would serve as a very useful starting point - doesnt need to be anything more exotic than JPG files, etc.

A useful circuits section could also be handy...

Many thanks for what we already have.

The site's great. There seem to be lots of people here sharing their knowledge, ideas and opinions. I think that's what makes your site work so well. I've seen comments about needing a new forum for this or that. These are minor changes, which should be able to be made without significantly altering the quality of the site.

On the other hand, I just took a tour of your links. They need some serious help. It seems to me that a complete overhaul of this area would be useful. This shouldn't change the character of the site significantly.

Overall, a nice place to visit and discuss ideas.

We frequently need to attempt simple diagrams. Without going so far as to request CAD capability, it would be a big help if the site didn't scan off white space characters.
Also the spacing gets wonky betwixt the reply screen and the actual thread...perhaps a change between non-proportional & proportional fonts (?). This can be worked around, but requires repeated edits to get the spacing right. Would it be possible to use the same font in both the reply & thread screens?

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Hi grey,

If you want to use a monospaced font, such as used in the textarea you type into, you can force it yourself with <PRE> which ensures it comes out how you intended, always. PRE means "Preformatted text" I think. You need to close the tag as well with </PRE>.

For example, WITHOUT PRE

o o
\|/ \|/
| |
/ \ / \


o o
\|/ \|/
| |
/ \ / \


I can adjust the main font to be monospaced but
it would probably look ugly. I will change the
style sheet so that the PRE font looks a bit nicer

[Edited by Jason on 08-20-2001 at 10:27 PM]
I can't agree more with most of the sentiments here - it's a brilliant resource - nice feeling in the forums - no particular changes needed.

But to my mind there =is= still something missing, and that's any mention at all of what you folks listen to when this hard-won kit eventually comes online. Can I therefore suggest a music/recordings forum? I know it's entirely down to personal preference, but perhaps it could focus on

Foremost) highlighting outstanding recordings (technical/atmosphere/ambiance point of view), the kit here mostly calls for fine quality recordings - it may encourage the record companies to pay a little more attention to detail

Secondly) pointers to (In peoples' humble opinion of course) particularly cool performances they'd like to share with the group

Perhaps some sort of simple score system like they run in the review mags?

I think this would make the site more balanced and put it all into context.

What think ye?

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