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Ads on a wiki?
Does that "Affordable Host" ad really have to be at the top of each page? Not that I don't like Tina, but IMHO one single link at the bottom of the home page would have been quite enough. How much is this deal worth, anyway? Matthias Gutfeldt
- Worth? Free hosting, full package. Took me all day to figure out how to get it on the page so it would show in both MSIE and NS4x. (All right.... it took me almost 40 minutes. That's all day in internet time.) A single ad on the home page wouldn't do the job, I think. Prospects usually hit an inside page first, by referral or search. Regular users tend not even to see it after a while, since the exact placement and style treatment makes it as innocuous as the MSIE toolbar. We don't know yet if newbies will respond. I could run a series of adlets down the right side of the page, now that I've got it figured out, providing anyone would be interested. If it's a hateful thing, I can certainly cancel out. I'd much rather have the good will of the community members than the token financial relief. What are the upsides, downsides, considerations, options? Jerry Muelver
- The banner is okay, but its a little annoying when combined with a text area (width 100%), when the text area has focus, it covers up the banner, but when the text area loses focus it shrinks so that the banner shows - its a little disorienting. I don't mind the banner at all (I am a huge fan of affordablehost and anything Tina does :-) ), but can it be sidelined when in editing mode? Isofarro
- It's not a particularly ugly ad, it fits in with the overall design of the site. However, i agree, a single (maybe larger) ad would probably do. Looks like Isofarro has been busy recently!! Bodidily
- I get these odd delusions of competancy spells every now and again. I needed to be demented to get the stuff done for the first showing of the alt.html faq. Isofarro
- Iso is a madman. I think I see where he's going, though. It will be very interesting to work out. We might have to do an interdimensional phase-shift into PHP to handle info access and architecture issues. Jerry Muelver
- I'm debating whether to spend some time to figure out how to read the existing wiki hashfiles from PHP itself - thereby solving any info access problems. The faq.php at the moment only deals with text files for its configuration and display - and consequently slow. So I'll probably have to database it when the traffic volume gets sizable. But importing stuff from a wiki'ed hashfile (is that the right term for the output files in the wikiroot?) is a good option. That also adds a nice little tool into my dream-ware HTML Component/Content Management system. Isofarro
Brainstorm -- ads for newbies only?
Mind you, I'm not completely sold on ads in a wiki, but the concept is worth exploring. How about limiting the display of ads to newbies only? Regulars have set preferences, which are stored as cookies. So, we could check for a cookie, and display the ad panel (or ad line or whatever) only if the visitor does not have a cookie. Would that address the aesthetic requirements of the regulars (the contributors -- the real reason a wiki exists at all) and the expectations of an advertiser at the same time? Jerry Muelver
Ads ain't working
Too many logical (who gets the revenue, what if some community members don't agree with the sponsorship, why should a signed posting have an ad on it, etc.) and social obstacles to advertising on a wiki, we have found. We are pulling the ads, and going back to "we pay for what we get" as a mode of operation (early October). Jerry Muelver
Looks like newbies will never be leaping in here to post new questions, which makes sense if I had actually given it any thought. Questions appear in newsgroups, and frequent questions get answered in FAQs and specs.
Iso's alt.html FAQ production gives me pause to think about the structure of allmyfaqs. The category linking could be much more useful if it were refined a bit -- HTML frames, HTML tables, etc. instead of just HTML FAQ. The legacy long filenames need to be pruned, and the REDIRECT pages (28 so far) need to be tracked down and deleted. And, still, the legacy links-as-answers should be evaluated and resolved (not text-copied!) into answers-on-page.
- Jerry, I have an idea that could be helpful. Due to the great design of the wiki (seriously), it is quite possible to run two wiki's simultaneously, with different wikiroots. I run them on a piece of webspace called wiki.pl and wiki2.pl. With two instances, its then possible to create the right structure on the second instance, then move all the "right stuff" over. It saves tracking down redirect pages ready for deletion, and broken links. As soon as the second wiki is then up to scratch, just switch the wikiroot variable on both wiki.pl's. Isofarro
I can find my way around, and dig out a relevant FAQ with just a click and search (or two), but infrequent-user navigation, within the wiki paradigm, must still be refined. Jerry Muelver
- Another idea I have here - I've been playing with a tool called SiteXpert which can create site maps - I bought a license for the purposes of creating site maps of useful sites where info may be a little tricky to track down. The result is a nested list (dynamic or otherwise). With that as a starting point, and a little perl script, it should be possible to build a static site map - in a hierachial structure, which will then be a complete overview of what's on wiki. Run that at certain (ad-hoc or otherwise) periods, then we'll have a useful site map (and with the browser's search function - the searches are much quicker than slogging through all wiki entries every time). Isofarro
- The search facility has never worked for me. Never finds any results :-( I can usually find what i want my typing the full URL and then a question after it, but newbies wouldn't know that. I agree, we should actually answer questions directly instead of offering a link to the answer. I try to do that where I can, as if you just have a link it may take up to 5-7 clicks to find a simple answer! Way too much. Bodidily
- Yes. But I still either get nothing at all, or loads of irrelevant stuff Bodidily
- Irrelevant? Strange.... It's a case-insensitive, full-text search, with regular expressions. If you think of it, sometime, drop me an example of what you wanted and what you used to search for it. I usually get 6 or fewer hits, and the one I need pops right up. We hacked the search routine to show initial two lines plus context, which is a lot better than wikis which only show you the page title and hope that's enough. If folks have problems finding stuff here, that's a usability issue that needs more serious attention. Jerry Muelver
- Well. Maybe irrelevant is the wrong word. If i search for, say, Form buttons as links, I get stuff like "submit by pressing enter" because the page contains the same words! It's not a big problem. I still think the easiest way is to just browse the categories to find what you want. Bodidily
- A good search for "form buttons as links" would be
button.*link, since any search text without wildcard characters would force an exact-text match search, resulting in no hits if the text is in any way not an exact match. Searching here is not google-wise. You don't get tries for exact match, followed by additional tries for each word in combination. Google works from an index -- we work from brute-force full-text search, and rely on word sequence order (with delimiting .* "any-character" wildcards) to determine relevance. Regular expressions are the power tool here. Jerry Muelver
Dead Links (for want of a better title)
- I've seen a few pages on here with questions and no answers/no links but just a piece of text like this...
- Have they not been answered yet or are the links not working? What is that for? Or is it to be used with something else? If it's a link problem or unanswered Q's i'd be happy to help. But maybe i just don't understand! Bodidily
Jerry Muelver : Those are Iso's draft alt.html FAQ pages. We're working on a some way of synchronizing content and references. He's working from current hot topics on alt.html, and allmyfaqs works from historically repeated FAQs.
Isofarro : The [draft1/faq_138b.html] is a pointer for me as to where I've got the question answered - I don't intend them to be pages, but at some stage I'll be mapping my references to allmyfaqs references. It just makes it a little easier for me to line up my faq questions with allmyfaq questions - spot the duplications and the uniques, should make merging easier.
if you take the faq_138b.html, you can convert this to a direct link
Bodidily : Oh ok, Cool. Thanks guys!
Bodidily: Alphabetical Guest Register, nice!
Jerry Muelver: Yeah, I thought it was time, even though it gives Alan the top slot!
Bodidily: Wow Jerry, you've been busy! One thing though, it might be a good idea to answer the question on the page rather than providing a link to the answer (its just one more click, thats all!!). Also, I was sure there was a page on streaming audio using real player around somewhere, but I couldn't find it. Maybe I was thinking of another site :-)
Jerry Muelver: I agree -- that's the basic design. First, give question, with existing link as the answer. Then (time permitting), add elegantly written answer, giving the old link(s) as "See also" for "been there, checked that" credibility. Lotta questions, though, for one guy to work through. Pick a couple (hundred), and have at it! (BTW, yeah, I'm the only guy who can delete pages, at the moment. Just put DELETE-- at the veryvery top of the page, so I can search for all such marked pages and send them to oblivion.)
Bodidily: Oh yeah! I didn't expect you to answer all those questions! I'll have a look through and see if I can help with any.
Possible Reorganization of long linking pages
Sam Hughes: On HTML Tutorials, we have a submission by Phil that is organized into HTML Tutorials and CSS Tutorials. However, the organization stops there. Then there's "Person A suggests: such-and-such... Person B suggests: such-and-such". With this division by people's suggestions, it tends to result in an unorganized, hard-to-navigate wiki page. I think it's a good idea to reorganize those links by HTML and CSS, and to get rid of dead links and such, instead of having scattered suggestions. However, I don't want to get rid of names, violating their space on the wiki page. If this is done, it could improve the quality of many pages.
- Names are significant, I agree. They are humanizing (names have that effect), and thus provide a more personal, credible connection with the reader. I don't see any problem with moving the CSS tuorials to the CSS menu page, dragging a copy of Phil's name along with them. What I'd really like to see is a capsule review of tutorial sites, maybe even a ranking (1-5 stars?) to help people select the rubies from the rabble. -- Jerry Muelver
Speaking of reorgs, I've been playing with the organization of the HomePage, since I found it rather confusing when I first saw it. I've got suggestions for changing both the top/bottom matter and the organized lists of links into the AllMyFAQs site. Before I waste any more time tweaking it and then taking it from HTML to Wiki syntax, what's the best way (mechanically) for me to post it so you-all can have a go at it? (Assuming you'd like to?) -- Marj Tiefert
- Just make a link to a blank page, and put it there, something like Home redo should do it. Then tweak the wiki text there until you're happy with it. In fact, take a peek at Home redo now.... Jerry Muelver
- I'll get to it as soon as I have a decent internet connection again. For some reason, dialup is faster than DSL at the moment, yuck! (DSL was fine earlier today..) Thanks -- Marj Tiefert