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Forum Activity widget feedback


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The new widget on the front page is called "Who We Are" and was developed by a third party to highlight forum activity by members and put new content front and center. It was developed to provide an easy and direct  way to (a) see what's new on the site and (b) go directly to the latest activity on those topics without having to click on a small dot or star in an activity stream.

I am interested in your feedback, both initial and after you've given it a few days. 

I added it as an experiment  because in many communities adding this widget *stopped* complaints about the way the new  activity streams work.  I don't have any problem with the new streams but in just a few hours since I installed the widget I've come to like it about a thousand times more than I expected because it shows me immediately what's new across all the forums and takes me there directly.

It only cost me a few dollars to purchase so I thought it worth an experiment. 

The bits of the widget are a section showing the profile photos of recently active members. Its purpose is to put a face on the community and add a touch of personalization.

The main block is the latest 15 topics that have had any activity. If there is content added that you have not read, the link text is bold and clicking the topic title will take you to the first unread content in that topic. This mimics the old View New Content behavior.

The third smaller block lists the last five topics that I (meaning you) have personally participated in. I'm not entirely sure of the purpose of that sub-block. I guess it could be useful to remind us to review or post an update to something we've previously posted in, even if there hasn't been new activity there otherwise.

I will note that the developer may add an option for individual users to turn it off or collapse it. That to me is the ideal solution but is not presently available. For now it's all or nothing. I can only control who sees it. Guests do not see it, primarily for reasons of server resources. (Guests include search bots which at times hammer the site pretty hard.)

In the meantime, the forums are laid out exactly as they were and can be browsed in the usual manner. Nothing has been lost or otherwise reorganized. 

CAIRNTALK: Vote! |  Questions? Need help? → Support Forum Please do not use PMs for tech support
CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club | 🗓️ 2023 Cairn Calendar



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Thanks for the explanation Brad.  I was a bit perplexed when I first saw the new setup but I have since realized that everything is indeed as it was.  I like it.  This will always be my favorite forum regardless of how it is presented or organized:)

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I missed this as I went to Acivity - unread right away. But now I've I've found it I like it a lot. Very easy to see what's going on at the moment. Thanks Brad.

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I originally wanted to use it in the sidebar but I don't like the formatting when it's there. Oddly it felt bigger and messier in the sidebar which is the opposite of intent :P. If I can figure out how to adjust the formatting for just that one widget without busting formatting for stuff elsewhere I'd like to try it in the sidebar as a possible alternative.

CAIRNTALK: Vote! |  Questions? Need help? → Support Forum Please do not use PMs for tech support
CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club | 🗓️ 2023 Cairn Calendar



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Ok Brad do not take any offense to what I'm about to say, just remember I'm a computer illiterate Tennessee Hillbilly.  Just laugh as I am "at myself" until you cry. When I first logged in and seen it I thought my computer was crashing or something. I didn't know what was going on. Then I realized it was a change. I love change most of the time, except when it happens on computers. lol

 I will have to be honest and say that now I have seen it for a few days and I'm getting use to it, I really like it.

It does make it easier to see what is going on. You can't miss it. Sometimes I have missed posts that were posted in forum support, the dog park and other places, now maybe I won't.

Thank you for all of your hard work in keeping this forum going. It brightens my day and is a blessing to have you all in my life, even though we are from all over the world. It has also made me learn to use a computer and do things on one I wouldn't have otherwise learned to do. For instance I have a Youtube account so I can share videos of my Cairn Girls, and how to change the size of a photo.

I lost my job this year and had to find another. Without this forum I would not have been able to do that as no one takes paper applications and resumes anymore. Even for entry level jobs I have had to take tests online, upload resumes, link to other things, and I learned how to do all of this, because of Cain Talk.  Thank you for all that you do.

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