Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Improvements you'd like to see for this community

Hello all - Sylvia recently sent out a message that included a note about the two of us working together to give this community a face lift.

 

The bad news first: I'm new to this community.  Shame on me...but Sylvia's been too nice to say no to my requests for help so far, so she's been the only resource I've needed so far!  I'm also new to Ning generally, so I'll be doing some homework on getting up to speed with what can be done.

 

The good news: I know enough HTML, CSS, PHP, and other flavors of the alphabet soup to be able to do some pretty cool things.  I am enthusiastic about helping Sylvia continue to cultivate this community, so I've given her no limits to what she can ask me to do.

 

The content that you create is the heart and soul of this community, so keep it up, and even consider doing more of it!  With that said, any suggestions that you have to improve the other stuff - aesthetics, functions/widgets you'd like to see, how things are organized, etc. - this is your place to voice it.

 

Thanks, and fire away.

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Is there a way to see the more of the past postings. Like the last few days worth? I think this is what most of us may want. Also there are programers that can adjust and customize the forum. They will give you an estimate for the changes. You could have a Donation paypal account so we could contribute to this. Also wasn't there a guy who offered to do some of that. I could help with managing the programer if it becomes necessary but I bet most of those guys can tweak it very easily.
I see that Sylvia has increased the number of new forum and blog posts showing on the side of the home page which will help a little bit to keep up with what's active.

Hum, since the ning creators don't seem to see fit to make the function of a "new posts" or "unanswered posts" link easy, perhaps is there like a daily digest function? That might let those of us interested subscribe for a daily e-mail about new discussions and blog posts?

I know there is lots of great info buried in here but the ning creators don't seem to be making it easy to find stuff if it isn't visible on the home page.
I understand, TC, and honestly I wish I could give you that capability because of your great answers to these topics! I've expanded how many recent forum topics are on the front page from 4 to 6, so that should help. I also go into the Forums tab and look at which Categories have recent activity. That helps.

thanks again for all the great contributions you make to this site! I, and the rest of the community, really appreciate you.
Yep I saw that you expanded that which is great.
And I know you are trying Sylvia. It isn't your fault, it is the ning programers. Just throwing out some other possible options in case they might exist by a different name (like a daily digest, which is how I keep up with barrel ponics and barefoot gardeners) or something.
Anyway, keep up the good work and keep making suggestions to those programers (though that might mean a whole new version of the ning network would come out and the upgrade/install and everyone re-learning everything might be even worse, but don't computers make our life better? LOL. Careful what we wish for I guess.)


Sylvia Bernstein said:
I understand, TC, and honestly I wish I could give you that capability because of your great answers to these topics! I've expanded how many recent forum topics are on the front page from 4 to 6, so that should help. I also go into the Forums tab and look at which Categories have recent activity. That helps.

thanks again for all the great contributions you make to this site! I, and the rest of the community, really appreciate you.
Hmmm. Interesting thoughts, Cosmo and TC.

There are RSS feeds on most pages. Would that feeding into a reader do the trick for a daily (or however often you want) update, TC? If you look at the bottom of the Forum tab you can subscribe to that feed and will be notified any time there is a new discussion started. Or you can follow the Forum page and will get an email anytime a new discussion starts.

While I can't afford to pay a programmer to do this kind of thing right now, and I doubt we would get enough contributions to pay for one I would be happy to solicit volunteers through an email to the membership to see if anyone is willing to step forward. Before I do that, though, could you two come up with specifically what you would like to see...maybe through PM. Please keep it very simple so we have a better chance of making it something that is practical for a volunteer HTML programmer to tackle quickly.

A lot of the focus of the Ning developers right now seems to be on helping Creators monetize their large social networks. Yesterday I was looking to see where the Wiki app was in development, for example, and found that it had been pushed back in the development roadmap for these other projects. We are pretty unique for them because a) this isn't about monetizing and b) we are more about learning from each other than social networking. Information and data is big with us, but not with most of their typical networks.

I actually like the Ning format in general much more than the typical forum platforms used by BYAP, Practical, etc., which I find unwieldy and think they have a very poor user interface. I think it ends up being what you are used to. That said, you are right, Ning could use better data collection and retrieval, that is for sure.

I look forward to what you two come up with!
I'll check out the RSS feed and see what it does for me.
Aw wait. (now I need the embarrassed smile) Ya know I had not even been down to the very bottom of the forum list to see that there was a link to subscribe to new discussions. That should do to help me find the new ones to check them at least.
Honestly I hadn't noticed that either until this discussion. Should help us both out!
Now if only that were an option for Blogs in general. Currently it looks like you have to subscribe to each person's blogs separately.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Honestly I hadn't noticed that either until this discussion. Should help us both out!
There is an RSS feed...


TCLynx said:
Now if only that were an option for Blogs in general. Currently it looks like you have to subscribe to each person's blogs separately.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Honestly I hadn't noticed that either until this discussion. Should help us both out!
OK, so I've never used an RSS feed.

First thing I tried simply put a huge list of links to the last page of existing blog posts into my bookmarks. Hum, not quite what I had in mind.

Next, I went a tried choosing a different application for the feed. I chose my Thunderbird mail application. So this appears to have sent the last page of existing blog posts into my mail folders as if they are e-mails. That isn't so bad I guess. It won't let me get the older pages of the blogs so I guess I'll have to look through them online manually to find which ones I've missed over time but that isn't too bad.

Now I'll just have to wait and see if new blog posts show up there and if it notifies me in any way.

Hopefully this info helps others who might not be too savvy with this sort of thing. (Hopefully it will also help others to see me willing to look a bit silly for not understanding this stuff already.)
There is always a first time for everything! To use an RSS feed you should start by setting up a reader, which is a centralized place for your feed updates to go and where you can manage them. I highly recommend Google Reader, mainly because I think it is a standard, and it was recommended to me when I started doing this a couple years ago. Just search on Google Reader and do what you need to do to get it functioning for you (sorry I can't be more specific, it was a long time ago when I did this).

Next, go on the page that you want regular updates from - for example, the Blogs tab, and look for the blue RSS symbol and click on it.

Copy the URL, and go to the Reader and select "Add a Subscription" at the top left of the page. Past in the URL, hit Add, and you are done! You will now every blog post going into the Reader displayed in the order you want it to (default is newest first).
Let me know if you try it.
Well I'm already using Thunderbird so if it does work and I get the new blog posts and am notified of them, I'll probably not go searching for another way to do it (I will let you know if I do try the google reader though.)

I can say that I just got an e-mail about a new forum discussion and got to read it and comment so I'm happy about that.

So, I guess I just need some one to go put up a new blog post so I see if I get notified about that ; )

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