Photo: A walk in the fields near Tetebatu, Lombok.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 19/3/2013 at 22:29 admin

Hi all,

We've recently taken on a resident programmer to assist me with getting the site shipshape. We've been working on the site's back-end over the last few weeks to make it easier for us to get the content onto the site and now that that is almost in the bag, we're shifting focus to the front-end of the site -- ie what you all see day to day.

So, if you have any features added to the site, be it small or large, please post it into this thread so we can take a look and prioritise what we're working on.

We're interested in anything -- annoying bugs, to typos, to suggestions for entire new sections or general ways to make the site more useful. Don't hold back :-)

Cheers

Stuart

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by caseyprich on 20/3/2013 at 01:35

I always liked the maps you had - always very clear and usually had all the accommodations and attractions that were mentioned for each location. I've found them before - stored somewhere on the site. Not as big a fan of the Google map.

#2 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by busylizzy on 20/3/2013 at 03:42

Be careful what you wish for [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

1. Yes, more maps!! I know your reason for not going back to the old ones... but it won't stop me from harping on about them.

2. What happened to the Kindle book?

3. Better organisation of the eGuides creation process:
a) Pick a place droplist: Can this be broken into two droplists eg Country, then Location? Then remember which country I selected last time.

b) Better yet, create a different type of control that allows me to pick multiple places at once to create separate eBooks (maybe with a max of 5 so that people like me don't get carried away and try to get the whole website in one hit!

c) It would be helpful to have the locations of each country somehow sorted geographically. If I'm heading to NE Thailand, it's difficult to easily know which eGuides are going to be useful to me without trying to correlate each area to a map (and they often don't match up!). Maybe it's just a case of changing the descriptions slightly:

Indonesia - Bali - Munduk
Indonesia - Bali - Sanur
Indonesia - Java - Jakarta

d) Include maps!! or at minimum, get rid of the 'coming soon' message. They've been 'coming soon' for a few years now.

4. Android TF travel apps! Ok not strickly website improvements, but now that I have a new sexy Nexus 7 tablet, I want some travel apps to play with.

5. Blogs need maps. (Hmmm.. a recurring theme here). I read about a guesthouse in Bkk which is of interest, but I have no idea where in Bkk it is because I still haven't got my head around Bkk districts. Even a link to the location on Google Maps would work.

6. How about some more interactive weather maps? (There's that word again....)

7. A bigger Reply box. (I'm trying to find an easy one!). I'm sure that I used to be able to stretch the 'Add your Reply' box by dragging the bottom right corner. I can't do it anymore; using Chrome.

There's a few for starters. I've mostly just hung out in the forum lately, but I'll be starting up some trip planning soon which will let me loose on the rest of the website. Stay tuned... [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by somtam2000 on 20/3/2013 at 05:18 admin

Thanks Casey & Lizzy,

Yes maps. We're not happy with Google Maps either and that is on our list already. To Lizzie's other points:

Kindle Book
We got to something we were reasonably happy with, but then decided it needed more work so went back to the drawing board with it. The main challenge with Kindle is we want something that looks ok in the older Kindles but also not too awful in the newer ones. As you may have guessed, the maps are the problem.

Eguides
3a) yes probably
3b) we intentionally didn't do this for server performance reasons. Sorry.
3c) Yup can do.
3d) Back to maps. Working on it. ;-)

Android app
I'd put this in the highly unlikely bracket -- at least in the short term. Sorry.

Blog maps
Yes, this is tied into the other mapping points. On the list. We have tried a couple so far and not happy with them so far.

Interactive weather maps
We have one already for Thailand here, and a basic one for Cambodia, but we are working on something more regional in this regard and only recently got all the data we need. So again, is on the list :)

Bigger reply box
Done!

Cheers & please keep requests & ideas coming.

Stuart

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by sayadian on 22/3/2013 at 03:06

How about a section with road condition updates? Especially useful in the rainy season and for people travelling on bikes. Some of the roads in Laos and Cambodia are fickle in certain seasons.

#5 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557

Posted by GenevieveRT on 1/4/2013 at 14:41

I cannot figure out how to add a new question to the forum? Can anyone help?

Jen

#6 GenevieveRT has been a member since 1/4/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by busylizzy on 1/4/2013 at 18:01

At the bottom of all the posts on the homepage is a link: 'Click here to enter the TF Messageboard'.

Click on the link, then click on the link for the appropriate forum that you want to post in. (eg 'Gear and Equipment' or ''Thailand').

Scroll to the bottom of the current threads, and enter your thread title and question in the 'Add new Post' section.

Of course, you should search the forum first to see if your question has already been covered off previously, or add a new post onto a current thread (if applicable).

#7 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by DLuek on 1/4/2013 at 22:39 TF writer

In reply to this from Lizzy:

"I read about a guesthouse in Bkk which is of interest, but I have no idea where in Bkk it is because I still haven't got my head around Bkk districts. Even a link to the location on Google Maps would work."

... Beginning some time around October '11, it's standard practice for me to include links to a Google map with an exact pinpoint location of whatever guesthouse, restaurant or sight I'm writing about -- and I typically include detailed directions on how to get there. See this post (2nd paragraph) for an example of the map link. If you look at any of my somewhat recent posts, you'll usually find your map links. :)

- DL

#8 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,173
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Posted by busylizzy on 2/4/2013 at 14:57

Thanks David. I'll confess that lately, I've been skimming the posts so obviously missed the map links. As I start to get closer to organising stuff for upcoming travel this year, I'll be going back through them in detail - and searching out those map links!

Somtam - another suggestion. Actually, it's a repeated request. PLEASE make it easier for people to understand how to enable private messaging. It's STILL not clear that it's a 2-part process, and I've just had to help someone else again today. I see that you have the little pop-up '?' help text boxes. Maybe add some more notes in here to tell people what they need to do? It's not clear that the Profile needs to be public in order for PM's to be fully enabled.

#9 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by somtam2000 on 14/4/2013 at 08:14 admin

@Busylizzy - have just added some more instructions re private messaging at the top of the Member Centre home page -- hope that clears it up a little :)

Cheers

#10 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by busylizzy on 22/7/2013 at 18:49

Just thought of a minor 'enhancement' - what about a small red indicator on the Private Message link at the top of the page to indicate that I've got an unread message? Not a biggie really... a 'nice to have'.

Re: your above comment adding additional info about enabling PM. I still don't think it's effective as I still end up telling people how to enable it. You need the info on the page where you actually enable the PM. (Who reads the waffly text on the home page? I just jump straight to the settings to turn things off and on). FWIW... :-)

#11 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by jakobh on 23/7/2013 at 08:17

Heya,

this is my first post and I hope it's at the right point as I wasn't able to find any other place that seemed more suitable.

First of all, thanks so much for this great resource that gave us so much useful information on our trip since 5 weeks which is drawing to a close slowly.

I'm hanging out in Pursat (Cambodia) at the moment and saw that there's no Destination page for it so I wanted to create one. However, it seems I'm either not able to find the right button or there's a privilege system in place that only allows certain users to create new destinations (which would doubtlessly sensible).

Is there a specific reason for Pursat not to be in the Western Cambodia section? If not, I'd get a short blurp for Pursat started and then add the other info. Would just want to avoid doing it in vain...

Best wishes,

Jakob

#12 jakobh has been a member since 11/2/2013. Posts: 3
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Posted by DLuek on 23/7/2013 at 09:22 TF writer

Hi Jakob,

I'm answering on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Travelfish as they're off on a remote island somewhere in Indonesia with no internet access until early August.

New destination pages are currently written only by paid Travelfish researchers, and some smaller destinations throughout the region have not yet been covered. Once new destination pages are added to the site, members can add "reviews" of the destination, just as you can add reviews on individual accommodation listings. But members cannot create new destination pages, which normally takes a fair amount of work on the ground.

The question of why Pursat isn't currently included in the Cambodia coverage will have to wait for the boss' return. I imagine he'll check this thread when he gets back, but in any case I'll run Pursat by him ASAP.

Thanks for the head's up about it.

DL

#13 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,173
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Posted by jakobh on 23/7/2013 at 19:06

Hey DL,

thanks for your reply, that makes sense! Meanwhile, I've pushed the info to http://wikitravel.org/en/Pursat and have a picture of the aforementioned guesthouse to add the listing whenever the destination page is being created.

Cheers, J

#14 jakobh has been a member since 11/2/2013. Posts: 3
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Posted by Snookieboi on 9/8/2013 at 01:42

Forum's broken. Doesn't allow avatar's to be loaded, and pages don't automatically scroll down. Pity, cos otherwise its a good travel forum.

#15 Snookieboi has been a member since 14/4/2013. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 61

Posted by somtam2000 on 9/8/2013 at 19:09 admin

Hi Snookieboi,

What is the problem you're having with avatars? I just changed mine without problem. If you can give me a bit more information on what the problem is, I'll check it out.

When you say "pages don't automatically scroll down" do you mean when you click on a link to a thread on the forum from say the homepage, it takes you to the top of the thread? If so, that makes sense as many may not have read the initial comments -- I guess we could add another link to "last post" - that what you mean?

You can link to a specific post within a thread, for example this link to your comment above (that was actually broken, and I've just fixed it).

Anyways, if you can give mw a bit more info aside from the forum being broken, I'll try and unbreak it for you ;-)

Cheers

#16 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by Snookieboi on 10/8/2013 at 02:18

Hi Somtam.

The avatar that i tried uploading yesterday has finally appeared but strangely does not appear on my posts. Also i always have to scroll down the page, there is no possability to click on the 'latest post' like other forums do. Maybe there's a bug in my system or i haven't somehow 'enabled something'?

I noticed that only a few posters have avatars. It's not essential stuff, but something i've noted.

Regards.

#17 Snookieboi has been a member since 14/4/2013. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 61

Posted by somtam2000 on 12/8/2013 at 19:41 admin

@Busylizzy - your requested private message indicator is now up and running :-)

@Snookieboi - you need to set your profile to public for the pic to show. I can see your pics in the backend of the site, but they won't appear on the site to other readers unless you set your profile to public. You can do so via the second setting under "Your settings" on this page (need to be logged in to see it). Re the link to the last post, no we don't have that at the moment, but will have it added in later today or tomorrow.

@jakobh - thanks for the note -- as Dluek pointed out we don't take submissions on new places from non-staff writers unfortunately and Pursat isn't currently on the site 'cause I've not sent anyone there -- it's now been added to the list for our Siem Reap writer.

Thanks all -- and please keep suggestions/problems coming -- I'm travelling at the moment (hence the delayed answers) but I do follow this thread closely.

Cheers

Stuart

#18 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by SBE on 13/8/2013 at 01:03

Silly question no doubt, but why?


WHY do you have to activate the public profile if you want to use PMs or post an avatar?

Why aren't people who value their online privacy allowed access to any of the "extra" features on TF?

#19 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by somtam2000 on 13/8/2013 at 01:43 admin

@SBE - Umm weird - I didn't realise the messaging was being bundled with the profile -- that's been fixed.

So basically if you enable messaging, then people can message you and if you enable public profile, then you can display a thumbnail etc -- but these two things are not intertwined anymore. BUT both of these features are disabled by default.

Regarding needing to have a public profile to display a thumbnail, that is because the thumbnails are clickable and link to the profile page (click on mine for an eg to see what I mean). There is no point having one if the profile is set to private as if someone clicks on it they'll get thrown an error.

Hope that makes sense.

#20 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by Snookieboi on 13/8/2013 at 01:54

Thanks Somtam, yes i needed to select 'public'. Silly me. Great to hear the 'scroll down' will soon be happening.

Cheers.

#21 Snookieboi has been a member since 14/4/2013. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 61

Posted by SBE on 13/8/2013 at 07:24

Umm weird - I didn't realise the messaging was being bundled with the profile-- that's been fixed.


Huh? What do you mean you didn't know?! See Lizzy's last sentence in post #9 and your own member center blurb says they're bundled.

And now it's fixed. Just like that?

Why. Didn't. You. Do. This. Before.

So to clarify.... members can now enable the PM function without making their profile public? All they have to do is tick a box saying "enable PM function"? Fantastic. Newbies who don't understand how your mind does algorithms will be able to do this intuitively and Lizzy won't have to keep writing explanation posts.

Don't forget to modify the instructions in the member center though. I just checked and the blurb still says it's a two step process and admits it's a bit tedious.








#22 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by somtam2000 on 13/8/2013 at 08:40 admin

@SBE It must be cause I'm all energised from my three weeks on the Togeans - learned to dive while I was there ;-)

Yes, to PM the profile does not need to be public -- I can't remember why I bundled them, but they're unbundled now.

#23 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by SBE on 14/8/2013 at 03:04

Congrats on the OW certificate! It's amazing what 3 week break from internet can do to one's mind. ;-)

Before your brain reverts to normal cybermode I have another silly question.

Why does the thumbnail picture need to be clickable? There's a visible profile link just underneath it, next to the PM link.

What's more important? Making it as simple and easy as possible for users or bowing to the needs of thumbnails that don't even tell you they're clickable?

#24 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,019
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Posted by somtam2000 on 14/8/2013 at 05:22 admin

I'm otherwise engages at some bazillion bat temple just north of Nakhon Nowhere - will change tonight.

Thanks on the congrats - you see this week's video? ;-)

#25 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by somtam2000 on 14/8/2013 at 22:54 admin

@Snookieboi the last replied links are now up and working -- you can see them on the homepage here -- we only show them if there have been a few replies.

I hope that is what you meant!

#26 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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