Yep, the newer look for the forum pages - with the "Do try a search before posting a new question..." 'box' above the posts, and the 'other' forum links to the left - is IMHO a good enhancement.
My only suggestion is - could the term "Do try a search before posting a new question..." be in a strong colour and also bold to really attract attention?
And if I may make a timid suggestion ... how about putting links to the suggested itineraries in full view too?
People never seem to find them buried in the bottom of the "before you go" box at the top of the page and requests for itinerary suggestions are one of the most frequently asked questions on the forum.
"Main purpose was to get the search above the fold. Will watch the stats for a while and decide from there."
I do hope it proves successful (as noted a strong colour may also assist).
If it 'stays', maybe the third of the grey area currently devoted to the Search Travelfish could be rejigged to take the 'Trips' from the Before you go section. Thus, there could be Trip Ideas - Before you go - Buy a Travelfish guide.
And, if I could be a little more cheeky, I'd suggest also that on the left, under the various Forum Quicklinks, and below Travelfish About Us | Travelfish Guides | Competitions, you put a few words together to alert the (newer) viewer to the fact of the 2 (maybe 3) boxes with details in the grey area. To my mind, that may serve to reinforce/educate/assist/etc.
That's one of the problems with written language - it's so easy to skip over and thus fail to grasp the writers' argument/intentions. And, this further complicates the very fact that what is read is coloured by personal experience and so changes the flavour of what the writer intended, and a quite different meaning can often result.
For me, repetitive similarity breeds eye glazing over. It is because of slight distractions that a message can be enhanced, made more appealing, etc.: though, that's not to say I get the balance right.
I went away from my post (immediately above) to read my emails. On one, a reference was made to a webpage talking about blogging (and how to enhance audience) it's here .
What struck me was the following (in your fav presentation...)...
"Another thing that's easy to dismiss is the personality inherent in the writing. Posts on these sites are definitively personable. The prerequisite bitchiness allows for a lot of the author's personality to come through, which makes for very engaging reading.
I then thought Ah, now I know why SBE continues to have a go at me - she's helping Travelfish!!!
Top of the page search searches the entire site, while the one above the messageboard searches the messageboard only.
SBE we're going to bundle up the itineraries in a different way - am aware they're buried at the moment.
"Top of the page search searches the entire site, while the one above the messageboard searches the messageboard only.
That's an important differentiation that is no-where explained.
Personally, I'd make the new 'search' (position) search all of Travelfish, and thus delete the other. My experience of the search everything is that the question (if somewhat focussed) tends to pop up answers applicable to the Forum topic site. So, the differentiation appears unnecessary.
Yeah I'm trying to help travelfish Bruce. It's bloody hard work!
Regarding the lurid BB "enhancements" that think everyone should use to make their posts more appealing:
I'd have thought people who ask travel questions on a forum like this would be interested enough in the answers not to need to be kept awake by "slight distractions".
If you overdo BB emphasis, all you see is a jumbled mess of various colours, fonts, underlining etc. Does underlining something mean it's more important than what's in bold or vice versa? Does red text indicate something different than purple or green text?
There is no real clue for the reader as to what is particularly important and what isn't.
Speaking for myself, cogent arguments hold my attention far more than text enhancements and I'm far more likely to read every word of a concise post than a long rambling one.
Maybe some people actually enjoy being subjected to thundering sermons about what they should do but I think the majority of people prefer to be treated as intelligent equals!