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  #1  
Old 04-24-2012, 07:03 PM
legalize legalize is offline
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Reviewed Computer Talk Forum
Site Name: ComputerTalkForum
URL: ComputerTalkForum
Software: IPB 3.3
Launched: Dec '11
Posts: ~3200

Thanks for looking and can't wait to hear the input as I've had "writers block" for a month now.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:11 PM
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Hello, thanks for your interest in having your forum reviewed by the review team! We are happy to announce that you have met the requirements and we would be honored to review your forum.

Please note- we are in the middle of a difficult time and while we are trying to get to all of our open Reviews, we have some inactive members. We will get to yours as soon as we can and I hope you can be patient with us. Thanks

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  #3  
Old 04-25-2012, 10:31 AM
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I hope you don't mind me replying.

I like the layout of the forum it looks very good . The problem I have is the next to the community forum section there is a blank space. Is there supposed to be an ad there? The join guest notice doesn't explode at me, it could be bigger, a few images maybe saying register now? Something to catch their eye. Other than that I would probably add a bit more description to the subforums, might help people that aren't as computer literate find their way around.
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:45 PM
legalize legalize is offline
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The more responses the merrier!

On the right side of "The Community" forum there is an ad, right on top of the adsense ad so that space shouldn't be blank.

I agree with the guest message, it was a quick one and I'm working on getting something more inviting and visual.

Thank you for your input!
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legalize View Post
The more responses the merrier!

On the right side of "The Community" forum there is an ad, right on top of the adsense ad so that space shouldn't be blank.

I agree with the guest message, it was a quick one and I'm working on getting something more inviting and visual.

Thank you for your input!
Ah, I wondered why it worked in Firefox not Chrome, it was me.

Can't wait to see it.
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2012, 01:55 PM
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First Impressions
Clean and simple is what I thought of first. I really like that your forum is consistent in its design and doesn't go overboard with the amount of forums and stuff coming at you. I'm a big fan of IPB too.

Look

Guest's Outlook:
You do a great job and making sure people know what the site is about. The guest message is pretty good too. It is a little weird looking having the guest message centered like that in my opinion. I use a mod called Guest Message for years and it works great, so feel free to try that out to see if it looks any better than what you've currently got. More importantly though is what your guest message actually says and I think it's fine since it gives a guest a reason to join and further explains your community focus.

Logos and Banners:
The logo you've got is awesome man, I really like it. Again it's nothing too complicated or too simple, it's "just right." I'll talk more about advertisements later on, but I noticed that you had an advert right below the banner. Would that be better if it was incorporated into the banner to the right of the logo? I figure that way it would take up less space and I've seen many sites with that type of advertisement placement. Getting back to the actual logo though, again it's really cool and I think the only thing you could add to make it more unique and personalized is a mascot of some sort. A nerdy looking guy or girl or something like that would be pretty easy to do and add some more flavor. The big social networking icons are in a good spot too.

Quantity of Forums:
Thankfully you haven't one overboard on the amount of forums you've got! This is absolutely a good thing. Too many times, especially with computer related forums, I see sections for every type of operating system or programing language or gaming systems, and it is too much. If anything you may want to put "Hardware" and "Software" together in one forum and just name it "Hardware & Software" if you want to consolidate, but then again that's not really a suggestion just an idea. I thought I was going to see an area dedicated to gaming but I guess not, or is that "Other Technology"?

Advertisements:
Not too many, but more than I usually see. The great thing about your advertisements is that most of them blend in very well with the white background so they aren't even noticeable. The 20% off ad is another good one because it's not what I would even consider a traditional ad, but rather a good promotion.

Color Scheme and Styles:
The colors could be easily added on to, maybe a green and red version of the skin, along with a darker version. The skin is simple enough that the only change that would have to be made is the color of the logo, forum navigation bars, and the background. I think the blue and white theme is a safe choice but adding more choices never hurts. For a lot of people, including myself, I prefer sites with darker backgrounds. I've even got a "turn off the lights" addon on my browser for watching Youtube videos.


Favicon, Buttons, and Other Graphics:
Favicon works, graphics work, it all works and is consistent. No problems here.

Feel

Theme:
All the in-depth tutorials and content, which looks great with IP.Content by the way, sets up the theme of your community. It's unfortunate that you don't have more members than you do because I think you've got something great going. Advertising and getting the site out to people interested im IT just has to be your priority, aslong with regularly updating and improving the site any way that you can.

Sense of Community and Participation Overview:
It doesn't look like you have much of a core member base. What you want to try and strive for is one member at a time that will stick with you and post on a daily or weekly basis. Once you've got one, then try to get another, and so on. Of course with newer IT related communities it's a real challenge because there's already so many other bigger communities that have a "monopoly" more or less with the content. My suggestion for you is to jut try and give your community a unique twist that people can't find anywhere else - and unique and useful content is the best way to do this. The hosting you provide is another good example.

Postcount and Quality:
So you already know who is posting and how many posts each they have, so I won't bother getting into that obvious information. What I will say is that the quality of posts from what I read were top notch! Quality over quantity is my motto.

Contests, Games, and Diversions:
To attract more members I would encourage you to maybe have some sort of referral or post contest and advertise it around on as many sites as possible.

Management

Points of Registration:
The only thing I wanted to mention is that I've found that on my own IPB powered community, the security image is really unnecessary. I've removed it altogether because I noticed it hasn't kept out spammers. What's good is that I don't even get spammers with or without it. Also, since you have members confirm their registration via email, that's another reason why I think it's unnecessary. I don't have reCAPTCHA or email validation and I don't get any spammers. I don't like having the security image because it slows down the registration process and is pretty useless. I encourage you to try disabling it and see for yourself.

Rules, FAQ, and Privacy Policy:
The rules and FAQ are simple and to the point, just how I like them. The privacy policy is custom too which is rare to see, but good job on it.

Quantity and Activity of Staff:
You and the other administrator definitely have the majority of posts and I don't see any problem with that. I also am pleased to see you don't have any moderators since it doesn't look like you need them. I notice many administrators will appoint moderators even when they don't need them just because they want them to post more or to be active, but I think that's the wrong way to go about doing things. It's bettet to appoint a moderator when there is a real need to keep the community under control or when there is a significant interest from the member and has proven to be worthy of that position.


Overall Impressions
Overall I think the site has a big future ahead of it. With more advertising and content, I can't find a reason why members would be turned away from the community. Its got a professional atmosphere with a level-headed staff and a easy going tone. Keep working on the site and don't give up. Thanks for allowing us to review your site, hopefully I helped out a bit.
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Last edited by Arris; 04-30-2012 at 03:15 PM.. Reason: typo
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2012, 06:39 PM
legalize legalize is offline
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Noles, thank you VERY much! I really appreciate the work you all put into the reviews here.

Thanks for some of the tips, creating a gaming forum seems like the next logical step as this isn't the first time I've been recommended that. Same with the guest message (which is still in the works).

I must then concentrate on getting more permanent and active members, that seems to be the impossible right now quiet honestly.

I will also try removing the captcha, though I get spam even with that enabled, the IP spam service, and Stop Forum Spam... Human spam I guess.

Thanks again for your time and suggestions.
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2012, 06:50 PM
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No problem, good luck buddy.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:13 PM
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Great review Noles.

I can say that I am a member at the Computer Forum and although still small compared they have done a great job as admins keeping up-to date content and interacting with there members
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2012, 01:58 AM
legalize legalize is offline
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Thanks for that Michael! Can't believe I didn't see that until now!

I was hoping to get some input on my new guest message, I paid quiet a few bucks for it but it feels a little cheesy. Possibly too big and I wasn't sure what to put on it. Any input is good input, thanks in advance!
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legalize View Post
Thanks for that Michael! Can't believe I didn't see that until now!

I was hoping to get some input on my new guest message, I paid quiet a few bucks for it but it feels a little cheesy. Possibly too big and I wasn't sure what to put on it. Any input is good input, thanks in advance!
I actually love it. The problem is that you've got an ad right next to it, which makes the message actually look like an ad too. So if I were you I'd remove that ad below the image for guests, and have it there for members instead or just move it somewhere else.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:11 PM
legalize legalize is offline
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Thanks Noles! Maybe that's what it is... I'll try getting rid of the ad.
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