In reply to Alan.:
In reply to Catlady:
Hello ELLIOT. I posted a reply to you on the 13th, thanking you for both the updates and further information regarding future updates. Today I have to post again. I understand we have to move with the times and updates etc have to be implemented. We had quite a dramatic change with the update on the community last year, leaving us frustrated to say the least, from navigating, posting, adding photos, the lay out, etc. Changes were made twice now and they were much appreciated, more posts on the main page, posting down the left hand side (no indents), size and style of print in the reply box, pages back to being numbered, date and time set and many more. Things were getting back to the way they were, and I think were coming round to being happy people again. The one big pain as far as I can read, is the posting of photos. I post very few, so pick up from a file individually and resize in the box but for those who post many photos on a regular basis this has not been fixed, even though you have explained why, I really think that this issue has to be addressed. NOW after the last update when things seemed to be working well, we have no option to add photos or do anything other than reply from the last post, (page not found) we have to go to the second last post and work from there. The last few days odd things are happening when folks are quoting from another post, the name quoted is not the person having originally posted. Folk are receiving emails from threads marked not to receive emails, and whatever else, I do not know. We seem to be going one step forward and more than two back. We are a fun community forum who simply want to be able to keep in touch with each other by having a user friendly system. We have lost many folks on here since all this has started, which is a real shame. Folk can only persevere and have LOTS of patience for so long. The osprey season is going to be underway in less than a month, we NEED TO HAVE THIS FORUM SORTED by then. Please look into this, make those changes and keep us in the loop as to what is going on, fingers crossed for a happy outcome, when we can all, and those who have left, once again settle down to enjoying what this forum is all about. Thanks CL.
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In reply to Elliott B:
Alan. said:I think at the end of the day it is going come down to the individual to decide whether they stay or leave the community even though the IT staff are doing their best. It has always baffled me why this community from one of the premium wildlife charities has never been busy, it has always come down to probably no more than 20 of us hardcore users to keep it ticking over day by day.
I would definitely echo your sentiments regarding the active “hardcore users” - this is something we are also working to address.
The first stage of this was to upgrade our service agreement with our community software provider so we were using the latest version of the software available to us.
The next stage was to move the ownership into a part of the organisation that can best manage it.
We now want to further integrate the community into the wider site capability and look at bringing community features into the main content and information areas of the site.
We also want to remove the need for multiple usernames and password if you are using the various parts of the RSPB website and create a single online account for all our digital supporters.
Once delivered this will certainly make the community a richer and flourishing section of the digital experience delivered from us, which in turn should see user numbers grow and more activity being evident in the contributions from more of those 12 million unique users we see online each year.
This will take a bit of time to fully deliver, but this is part of our plan.
It will certainly be interesting to see what sort of community you end up with Elliott but I think you are going to lose a few of long standing members over the photo upload issue, it shouldn't take all the "clicks" it does to select and upload photos. I can cope with the system as it stands and will alter my photo dimensions to 550 but some find it too much of a hassle, I see you have mentioned the speed of the site loading when on a mobile, I have to say I use the site when out and about for viewing and uploading and have never noticed the site being slow despite a few uploading photos larger than the default. Rather than lose members when we need them most is it possible to temporarily alter the default size and see what happens to the site...I'm trying to reach a compromise to stop the community falling apart. I've always tried to welcome every new poster and give any question some sort of an answer to make people feel welcome and would hate to see it go to waste.
Elliott B said:One of these issues is very likely to be the formatting of the images. The site is already slower than we would like it to be and the pages load slower than we would like. (Especially on a mobile device) So, allowing for larger images to be loaded directly into the page only makes this issue worse. We are looking at ways to mitigate against this, for all of our users, but this change may not be delivered in time for the next Osprey season as the change needed requires significant investment from the RSPB and time to deliver across our whole digital estate.
Elliot, we have a couple of contradictions here.
The majority of users posting pictures to the Community are already taking the effort to increase the display size of pictures by either altering the default box to 550 or 620x480 and loading each picture individually or they are bulk loading as i do and altering the html to increase the default picture display. We do this so that viewers can see a fair sized picture without having to click to enlarge it unless they really want to see more detail. The current default thumbnail size renders pictures valueless on a standard desktop or laptop.
Are you saying that we are responsible for slowing the Community down? There have been no complaints on the Community that it is running slow, whether on mobile or laptop. Anecdotal evidence suggest that what does slow the user experience down is the constant need to enlarge the current thumbnail - notwithstanding the slowdown in the user experience of those uploading in the first instance.
Can I please beg you to cut the users some slack here. I would ask you to change the default display size for one week and measure the performance drop. I suggest that more people will post multiple pictures if the drag and drop default is increased. - in fact we will encourage them to. After a week you will be properly informed of any performance downgrade and can take the decision to restore the miniscule thumbnail size. Most of us have already stated that we would accept, if necessary, a reduction in the maximum size of a loaded picture from the current 4mb if that would give us the option of a better default display. Surely it's worth a try for a week - performance hard evidence is better than performance guesstimates.
Alternatively, if the larger default pictures that we are currently loading are affecting the performance of the Community, then ask us to desist altering the default.
( Bear in mind that the drag and drop multiple load is the only benefit most of us have perceived since the upgrade even though most people don't use it because of the default display size).
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