Should AGD Restructure?

Discussion in 'Affiliate and Program Issues' started by Guard Dog, Dec 17, 2010.

  1.  
    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    Everyone PLEASE participate ;)

    I would like to make AGD as user-friendly as possible in early 2011. From what I have heard recently, AGD isn't the most user-friendly forum out there :( I've heard GPWA and Casinomeister are better put together.

    Now - I am biased.. I like AGD better in the way it is laid out. However - That is just 1 man's opinion and I would prefer a consensus.

    IMPORTANT QUESTION:

    How would YOU change AGD's forum structure to make it more user-friendly?


    Please, please, please.... Even if it a minor thing, please mention it here so that I can truly make AGD a better place. Thanks a ton folks!!!
     
  2.  
    Engineer

    Engineer Super Moderator

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    Aside from adding a non-spiderable forum area, I don't have any suggestions...

    I usually use the "new posts" link when I come here; I'm not too concerned about how many different forum areas there are.
     
  3.  
    KasinoKing

    KasinoKing Player turned affiliate.

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    I don't think all forums should look the same - variety is the spice of life! ;)

    One very minor thing irks me; when I go to any thread in the "Certified Programs" section, the Recent Affy Payments & Recent Forum Posts header does not appear like it does in other sections. I would prefer it if it did.

    Also I think those two headers should be reversed; i.e. New posts on the left & payments on the right.
    Also it would be easier if clicking on the name of the thread took me to the first unread post (same as clicking the little triangle), rather than the first post in the thread. (Or move the triangle to the left of the title).

    KK
     
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    Simmo!

    Simmo! Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    OK handsup! It was me who suggested that the forum wasn't condusive to making you want to post :D

    When I come here I scan the "latest Posts" list at the top of the front page and if I see something to comment on I do, else not. I'm never quite sure where to put a new post either so I find it easier to do that at GPWA.

    It's hard to put my finger on it but there is something about the way the Meister and GPWA forums are laid out that just makes me spend more time there, yet I love AGD's remit.

    Part of that maybe that thread titles are longer and there is less distracting-stuff around the edge. For example at AGD the blue "Discuss Now" lozenges, the giant smilies and icons seem to take up space and the thread titles are often down to 2 or 3 words. Thus:

    ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 17 16.13.jpg


    For me personally that doesn't get me involved.

    I also think there are forums here which aren't clear. For example, this thread is in the RoundTable forum. Does that mean anything I want to sak about AGD goes in here? I would have thought "FreeForAll" or "SiteDirection" was more appropriate?

    I also think it would be better to have one public forum and keep it busy. For example, the forums like the Unethical one and New Casino Affiliates should simply go - Free For All is good enough. And maybe having two AGD Services forums is a bit pointless. Again, one busier Private Forum might be better.

    If I only have to visit one forum and can see everything that works for me. I appreciate that as a forum gets busier the need for more forums becomes more pressing but if you have say up to 20-30 new threads a day, one forum, one place makes sense.

    Just my thoughts anyway - I may be alone with them :)

    Cheers

    Simmo!
     
  5.  
    WCD Admin

    WCD Admin Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I agree with a lot of what Simmo! says ... but that said, it doesn't bother me too much. What I DO feel is missing is a system in which to deal with offensive programs. I feel a lot of my efforts to reveal wrong doing go unpunished / unnoticed. A program should be established to take complaints, have people vote on the complaints and then have some appropriate action taken. Too much time is afforded to predatory programs.

    Platinum sponsors should be moved up higher on the page. It's okay to have sponsors, you need some dough to operate with (and some reward for the good guys). You just need to make sure you're not afraid to remove a program if it offends the affiliates OR players.

    Ordering of the affiliate program list with "greener" programs at the top and the "reddest" programs at the bottom instead of alphabetical. (but I've told you that before - its a vbulletin issue!) i know... i know...

    All in all, great job though! keep up the great work. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  6.  
    Simmo!

    Simmo! Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I should clarify - it doesn't bother me at all and I wasn't criticising AGD in any way...I was just trying to think of ways to help the forum get more posting and activity :)
     
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    Hazo

    Hazo Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I have always found this website extremely bad to navigate - and I either dont find what I'm looking for or it takes me a long time to find it.

    I'll think some more and post my suggestions - but I recall not visiting for a long time because I gave up trying to find things.
     
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    bonustreak

    bonustreak Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with the too large of smileys and the discuss button as well. I think the Round table should be named something different such as problem programs or something along that line. I think there needs to be a place where we can post when we catch a program cross marketing, stealing players, sending spam or not paying affiliates etc.
     
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    WCD Admin

    WCD Admin Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Yeah, hope I don't come off too critical either. I wouldn't be here if I didn't like it. :)
     
  10.  
    pdjoe

    pdjoe Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Hey Andy,

    Websites are funny, in the end they tend to take on the personality of the owner or at least I would hope so.

    Your a good man and do a great job! Keep doing what your doing and don't worry to much about how other sites look or feel.

    Let me know if I can help with anything.
     
  11.  
    Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Comment from the cheap seats. :p

    I would love to see an area for Player Concerns/Problems. Even if it doesn't concern an affiliate program per se...I know there are affiliates out there who do concern themselves with how players are treated. Hope you get what I'm trying to say?

    One forum/area where player issues could be posted, discussed and possibly addressed would be awesome.
     
  12.  
    TheGamblingGuru

    TheGamblingGuru Turning Over Stones

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    I want a Music Video thread! :p

    Where the videos actually show...not just a link. ;D
    ____
    ____
     
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    celena

    celena Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Very good job for me!

    I think, though, that affiliations First Gaming partner, who does not pay, should be noted in red and located in: Casino Affiliate Programs eviction.
     
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    Webzcas

    Webzcas Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I personally am not a fan of how each thread is viewed, whereby the latest post on any thread when logged into the forum, appears on the top of page one.

    Almost all other Vbulletin powered forums have the latest post, at the end of the last page of the thread.

    It is a bit confusing having to read backwards as it were. A bit like being told to read from the right to the left. Rather than left to right, which has been ingrained in us from when we learnt to read.

    Yet if you view the forum whilst not logged in, the threads are organised with the first post at the top of page one, with the last post at the end of the last page of the thread.

    Confusing and I am sure slightly off putting.
     
  15.  
    KasinoKing

    KasinoKing Player turned affiliate.

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    That's just your personal setting - I'm really surprised you didn't know that! :p

    I see the forum with newest posts at the bottom.
    Just go to your CP and change it.

    KK
     
  16.  
    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far ;)

    Roundtable Forum: This forum was introduced for something I had planned on doing. The plan was to have a newsletter which pointed to the Roundtable forum for an important post/poll. There was to be an 'important topic of the week or month' and that topic would have to be started by me or one of the mods (or moved into that section because someone posted something very important). It happened once or twice and then I did not continue with the concept :( So - this was the purpose.... it was to be a 'roundtable discussion' of a topic.

    Header: Recent Payments, Recent Posts. That can be placed in all forums easy enough. Do we want to do that for sure?

    Header: Recent Payments, Recent Posts. Is changing the order going to help, look better, or ? To me, I am used to it - but will certainly change :)

    Big Category Smileys: I can remove these, no problem.

    Discuss Now Buttons: While I do like those, I must admit, it is mainly because I had them purposely created... after all, I designed the original style. If they take up too much room or detract from the listing of threads - I can certainly get those out of there. Personally, I always felt the way GPWA listed threads was all jumbled together and I was looking for a way to segregate each thread. I was also looking for a way for the extreme newbie to get involved with an 'action' statement.

    Private Forum: Will be done, but it will be for ALL AGD members. Will only be private in the sense that you have to log into the forums to view.

    Forum Variety: While I would love to have forums look different, that would take a lot of time and effort and money to template each forum. It IS a thought, though, for Platinum Certified forums (been a thought for a long time, though). :)

    Forum Post Listing: Will take a better look at CM and GPWA to see what I can find that is better.

    Dealing with Offensive Programs:
    This is important. I think there should be a 'roundtable discussion' on this topic. I know there is a lot of frustration on this and I haven't responded as quickly as I should have in a few cases. We do need some sort of voting/arbitration system whereby affiliates can 'vote out' an affiliate program for being shady.

    Platinum Sponsors: Yes, I want them at the top and am going to work on a way to do that. Not easy, let me tell you :)

    @Hazo - Please come back to this thread and give me more information. Was your issue BEFORE the new template? The new template is laid out MUCH better than the old one, so I hope so. Let me know your issues, please!


    No worries about 'being critical'... the thread question kinda leads you down that path and it *IS* what I was looking for!

    Andy
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  17.  
    Simmo!

    Simmo! Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Hey Andy

    Until this thread came up I always assumed from the title that the "Roundtable AGD Discussion Forum" was for dicussing how the AGD forum could be made better so I never went in there LOL.

    How about calling it "Affiliate Program Issues". In fact, why not combine that and the unethical forum and just call it "Program & Affiliate Issues" or something?

    If a Private forum means just logging in, then presumably anyone can sign up and look and what it really means is it isn't spidered by the search engines, correct? So, why not just call it "Free For All (Search Engine Blocked)" or something? In fact, is it really necessary? If anyone can signup and look anyway then it isn't private strictly speaking. Or do users need to get to a certain level.

    Either way, the only time I would ever have something private to say would be to ask about a specific affiliate program, and if they can view this forum then I'd never use it anyway to be honest.

    Good thread btw. Hope it turns up something that get more people posting on AGD :)

    Simmo!
     
  18.  
    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    Something to think about. I'm all for consolidation (even though we have very few forums outside of Affiliate forums). I prefer a smaller footprint, always have.

    The whole concept of that section was to just not be spiderable. If we keep people out, then it is a private forum to only specific members. I dislike that concept. I think a private section should be used in moderation and what ends up happening is that certain people are privy to information that should really be out in the public. Bothers me.

    So - in another thread, http://www.affiliateguarddog.com/forums/private-forums-yes-no-maybe-t3520.html, we talked about this a bit and some thought a minimum post count while I always have felt any person logged in should be able to read. Feel free to re-discuss, though. I'm not set in my view, but darn close to it :) I can still be swayed.
     
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    dominique

    dominique Certification Member

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    Well, I don't have any problems with the way things are now, and I won't have any problems with the suggested changes.

    One thing that rang true with me - sites tend to take on a part of the owner's personality.

    I agree, and the one's that don't are just cookie cutter and won't be remembered. I prefer a site with "character" any day.
     
  20.  
    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    Done. I created a separate query that I can run which does a re-order of the forums based upon criteria I have set. NOW - Platinum Sponsors are at the top and the rest are alphabetical.
     

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