View Full Version : Suggested improvements to Press F1

21-01-2002, 04:21 PM
Hi All -

We are seeking more suggestions for improvements to Press F1, as outlined in this post. All suggestions welcome


21-01-2002, 04:59 PM
Have a category list on the front end (i.e. XP, 98, Internet, games, modems, etc) so that you can go directly to the area you are having a problems in instead of scrolling thru the posts. And also perhaps a FAQ section for people to look in first for common probs and solutions..?

21-01-2002, 06:16 PM
Hi Mark, private messages would be quite good. When you want to tall someone something but don't want everyone reading it.

Keep up the good work

21-01-2002, 06:26 PM
I like the ideas already....they seem the best way to implement the ideas in the post further down. I think most would be happy with the way these are planned as they combine the ideas with the minimum of change or intrusion. I did consider suggesting a chat style online help room however I feel that this would draw people away from posting their problems and so defeat the purpose of the site as the answers would then not be there for all to see and learn from. Perhaps the links to other sites...ie PCPitstop etc could be a bit more noticable even perhaps on another page with one large link to take you there. I only discovered them after a few months...lol maybe ads for optometrists would help me too. Please can you lock out the 'post' button so it can be clicked only once??..yes people do make mistakes and we try to be tolerant of it but if everyone is making the same mistakes then it can be irritating. Perhaps include this site in competition questions in your mag and get more people looking??....as to drawing first time visitors how about running a competition in conjunction with various ISP's?....ie you promote their product in competitions and they promote yours?? etc etc

21-01-2002, 06:44 PM
Thanks for the comments. Keep 'em rolling.

What do you think about the idea of some of the more frequent (and knowledgeable) posters in this forum acting as moderators to help out Rob?

Like the idea of private messages too ... as well as messages to the moderator, and the ability for the moderators to highlight particular posts.

What about 'digest' emails containing summaries of the posts from the last week or whatever?

Mark Evans
Business Manager Online
IDG Communications Ltd

21-01-2002, 09:05 PM
the HelpScreen site is good put this one is better perhaps we don't need so many old posting avaiable. cut the number down and catalouge them with a good search engine. Question of the week, more moderators, and the ability of moderators to highlight questions all sound good

22-01-2002, 12:42 AM
Hi Mark

Ditto re Susans comments. It ain't broken
I like having all the categories in one place, a nice informal feel to it. May be after a certain length of time posts could be archived by category/faq.


22-01-2002, 01:28 AM
Hi there all. I don't like the idea of slitting it up into categories. I like the idea of registering to post because every now and then we have had some smart asses who do nothing for the site. A FAQ page is a good idea as well as a page for usefull links with a brief description. For those of you that don't like the link colours have you tried changing them in your browsers options. Not a 100% sure as to what the moderator needs to do but Robo needs a holiday on occasion. Ian's idea of new posts keeping it alive by moving it back up is a good one but it might mean that the curly ones disappeared rather quickly. Every now and again it could be usefull to get someones email address to be able to talk them through something even on the phone. I don't know how easily it could be done but it would useful if clicking on a post opened it up in a new window as the load up time for the main page is a little slow.
Thanks for a great site Robo and co.

22-01-2002, 01:35 AM
It would be useful if the view icon changed when there is a response to a response.

22-01-2002, 10:43 AM
Re the use of moderators - hopefully they aren't needed most of the time, but you never know when you get some idiot who decides to make the site his personal place to annoy people. It happens. Having several people who frequent the site often who then have the ability to close threads, or remove multiple posts can be useful.

Also, if we do implement some form of categorisation, or even several different forums for different subject areas, having folks on hand with the ability to move posts to a more appropriate place or possibly correct categorisastion errors made by someone posting can be useful too.

Personally I like the idea of registering to post. It opens up lots of good personalisation options. Many forums combine a user profile kept at the back end with registraion to then allow you to set up defaults on how you wnat things to work for you. Also, as mentioned, it means you don't have to keep filling in your name and email for each post, and your contribution to the forum can then be tracked and you can get rewards - spot prizes maybe? - for stirling service.

There are lots of little pay-offs too. For example, if, via registraion, you always use the exact same user name, then people are able to search for posts done by you with confidence that they'll find that great bit of advice they remember you giving a month ago. So on the whole, I think registration for posting is a plus.

Bruce Buckman
Web Dev Manager
IDG Communications Ltd

22-01-2002, 01:49 PM
Everybody seems pretty much in agreement but I wouldn't like to see too many changes - Press F1 has a friendly feel to it, much more welcoming than the Aussi version, which appears too formal and uninviting. Better catagorisation of threads would be helpful, but as suggested, probably needs extra input to re-title some posts. A while back, someone suggested laoding the months postings on to the cover cd. I doubt this would take much room and would mean we could have a permanent reference set.

22-01-2002, 05:04 PM
Lots of good ideas coming in and it sounds like most people agree with the kind of improvements suggested, which is good.

Just want to clarify a couple of things:

JM: You have a valid point regarding private messaging - doing that is OK. I just have an irrational fear that I'm going to miss out on something!

Iain: My phrasing of #7 is a little confusing - I want the site to *retain* the ability to read a whole thread on one page, like it is now. (Was worried they might change it!)

I also thought it a good idea if new messages to a thread returned that thread to the top of the page, but didn't mention it in case it might be an 'advanced' feature too costly to introduce.

I also like all the posts on one page no matter what the category, ie not split up. They could be categorised after they have been archived, if that could be done automatically, or maybe the search engine would be sufficient.

Mike: If you want a thread to open in a new window, just hold down your shift key when you click on the link. That will do the trick.

Moderators: Initially thought they were to be the 'experts' weeding out the useless posts LOL! I have no problem with Bruce's moderator job description and might even put my hand up to be on the team if necessary.

If you are going to have the ability to private message or email somebody, I think it would be a good idea to keep the recipient's address private until they wish to respond. That would hopefully prevent unpleasant and unwanted attention.

22-01-2002, 09:38 PM
It would be good if people could assign themselves a skill level but I would only hope it would work in practice.

22-01-2002, 10:10 PM
Well I just went to the Aussie site for a look,


And it is absolutly terrible, I went to networking, for a nosey, and I couldn't believe how much work it took, to access the responses. Which incidentally only half were correct, so impersonal, and such lazy answers. Maybe one good one out of six.

My votes with e_

22-01-2002, 11:12 PM
please can I ask that you do NOT put the current posts into catergorys. I have been to a site that had that and it was horrible to say the least. The intention of my original idea was to put the expired posts into catergorys to make them easier to search. If this was done with the current posts it would make it a lot harder (in other words give up) to browse the posts and so expand our own knowledge base.

22-01-2002, 11:46 PM
Check out the forums at these sites.



I know that the forum at RadiativeNZ is free, available from


24-01-2002, 03:14 PM

...can you 'enable' Press F1's Data Base to be searched using GOOGLE (??)

Searching a Web Site using the power of GOOGLE is more effective (in most cases) than the Site's own dedicated search function .

To date, i have been unable to use GOOGLE on Press F1



probably worth a 'How To Tip' back on the main Board for less experienced users; i'll write one and post it there in the next few days.

24-01-2002, 04:13 PM
I don't think that can work: I bet the search on this page uses a search engine running on IDG's server, so it is in real-time. Google and other search engines are going to be days or weeks late updating postings on any site, aren't they?

The search works for me -- even for a quick search on NZ sites.

24-01-2002, 04:39 PM
I don't think you'll find Google does a better job than the search function built into the database. Why?

For starters the DB's search is real time - if you search PressF1 (choosing the PressF1 option in the search bar, not the Site option) it will search ALL live docs in the DB. Google, however, is not real time - nothing like. Google would probably update its index of PressF1 every six weeks IF we were lucky.

Plus you have no guarantee that Google will index everything in the PressF1.

Our current search isn't very user friendly but it is comprehensive. The type of search we were discussing above is much better, and will most likely be how it is done after the revision. Personally, I'd rather use a site's search function to search the contents of the site than rely on what an external search engine has gathered. That's not what they are designed for.

Bruce Buckman
Web Dev Manager
IDG Communications Ltd