New Rank Avatars

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New Rank Avatars

Postby AMG » Thu 14 Jun, 2007 9:16 pm

Just to update the forum a little, we've enabled Rank Avatars, and to push the traffic speed up a notch, There is now the ability to upload your avatar to the forum. This will enable you to all take advantage of the signature feature, and embed your favourite avatar in the signature, as well as have a nice rank av.

The offer is out to you all, to come up with new and interesting rank designations, accompanied by a high quality avatar, so we can place it in the rankings. Just a little bit of secret mercedes business, we'll appreciate in time to come.

There's also a few updates to the ranks, due to the superb volume of contributions from members over the last 2 years.

John was saying to me the other night, He'd never dreamed the forum would grow so rapidly, and that he didn't believe back when the forum was in it's infancy, that we'd have so many posts or members!

It's a tribute to his commitment, and the other founding members efforts, which gives us the quality, technical resource and interesting stories to amuse ourselves with.
For John, It's a reward in part for sponsoring the forum and providing us with such competitive prices on spares, for us, as members, it's a fantastic resource, a place to share our common interests, and to also not-so-idly pass the time, whilst sitting out the cold.

Help the ranks swell a little, by encouraging your Mercedes-minded friends and acquaintances to become active members, and share their experiences, and Love of the Marellous Mercedes-Benz Marque.

Regards,

Joe B.
1987 560SL Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 "Jean Rédélé"
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
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Postby arkenstone » Thu 21 Jun, 2007 4:57 pm

You're getting all the stuff done I planned to when I first put my hand up!

...then work got mental...

Listen, if you need a hand with anything let me know. (pm/email).
1989 420SEL
Des wrote:When the sun shines on that star and it gleems and shines bright in the sun it makes you feel just a little bit better off than everyone else.
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Postby 420 SE » Thu 21 Jun, 2007 7:06 pm

Your (forum) avatar is clashing with my avatar.
Ross
"I don't know, it's just some random dude..."

220 SEb - 1962 (Hilda - sadly gone to which there is no return)
420 SE - 1988 (Lucy)
ML 500 - 2008 (the Doha desert Dame)

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Postby 420 SE » Fri 22 Jun, 2007 6:59 pm

So......are you going to tell us what all the new ranks are??

Thanks for ditching the clashing avatars BTW.
Ross
"I don't know, it's just some random dude..."

220 SEb - 1962 (Hilda - sadly gone to which there is no return)
420 SE - 1988 (Lucy)
ML 500 - 2008 (the Doha desert Dame)

Beware of fundamentalists
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Postby Boyracer » Fri 22 Jun, 2007 9:13 pm

Joe - just wondering, do we have the option to switch off the new forum avatar?
Cheers,
Michael

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Postby 420 SE » Fri 22 Jun, 2007 9:37 pm

Oh.......they are back.........
Ross
"I don't know, it's just some random dude..."

220 SEb - 1962 (Hilda - sadly gone to which there is no return)
420 SE - 1988 (Lucy)
ML 500 - 2008 (the Doha desert Dame)

Beware of fundamentalists
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Postby Hendrik » Sat 23 Jun, 2007 1:30 am

I think people should have the option of 'buying a rank' if they so desire.
For example, with 5 posts you should be able to buy a Mercedes bicycle.
10 posts is a smart base model, then every ten posts you can upgrade your smart until you get to fifty when you can buy a A class.
However if people don't want to buy avatars then they should be able to as well.
I realize from your point of view that forum traffic is important but having posting rewards may lead to rubbish posts to boost numbers.
This forum has been pretty lucky not to have a post count war and that is part of what makes this forum a nicer place than others.
Another problem with the these new ranking avatar is that they are not all veteran/vintage/classic Mercs.
If the focus of this forum is to change to include everything Mercedes then the title has to be changed, perhaps something like: OZBENZ the Australian Mercedes Driver Forum or more radically the Karl Gottlieb appreciation forums :lol:
While we are talking about forum matters, is it possible to change the skin of these forums to something more in-keeping with classic Mercs, like a bit of wood and a bit of chrome, perhaps a pinch of aluminium.
Perhaps wooden buttons with chrome writing on it :wink:
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Postby AMG » Sat 23 Jun, 2007 2:05 pm

The option is there for everyone to contribute to a theme if they so desire!

The issue with a theme, it that it takes quite some time to create and then refine, and inevitably someone throws a spanner in the works and has a whinge that they don't like the colours etc... and expects that we shouldn't change ever. This is not just an online thing, it happens at work every day to all of us!

But that's why we have user profiles and Board Style options !!! :)

Yes, (this is not aimed specifically @ you Hendrik, because I have your angle) The user profiles are a perfect way of allowing users to have their own variation, but the ability to change the Board Style in a user's profile is perfect for our requirements, in that 'those who complain' about change can still have the board looking the way they like.

Keeping up with formatting and layout also positions the site in an advantageous position, when the software upgrades roll out. These software upgrades are essential in keeping the forum tidy, maintained, secure and up-to date. Sometimes we're forced to rethink because of issues related to software, or security- but generally speaking we all just want something that works, and is pleasant to look at and read.

This is why I've asked for peoples active input. Don't sit there in your chair and just talk about stuff.... get on the email and send through your hi -res pics, scan a drawing of a layout and send that, or if you're into coding and you're interested in the phpBB layouts, jump online, and have a look at the themes, and send the admin's a link. If the stuff is compatible with this version of the software - no problem. we'll jump on it and install it, providing it doesn't pose a security threat.

The avatar thing is a case in point. I've come across another bug in code that prevents us from choosing the forum default av, or our own uploaded av. This is something I'm working on rectifying. The avatars that are there currently are models that conform to the designations that were already on the forum, plus a few that fit in with the classic, vintage, and veteran qualification.

we need nice av's for the a/b/c/e/m/s classes. If you have a good hi-res pic of a classic, veteran or vintage model, we can certainly accomodate an avatar. It need not be a ranked avatar either. There should be a choice of avatars which are selectable from the profile page, and while this currently doesn't work correctly due to the aforementioned issue, I'm working on a solution which will enable us to all share freely, nice avatars which complement our site.

The idea of buying 'rank' is something used commonly in other forums, and allows the user some lattitude insofar as uploading personal avatars, and/or using an exclusive forum avatar. It's also a nice way to contribute to the forum's running expenses. John and I have had discussion on this, and at the moment we're seeing how things go with the new provider. Costs are always an issue, and while John's always footed the bill on our behalf in the past, he's leaving the responsibility of maintaining the site to me, and I am reluctant to make any change to our policy of keeping the costs to a minimum.

Having said that, if you wish to make donations to the upkeep and maintenance of the forum, Neither of us are going to knock your kind offer back.

The post-count-war issue you describe is often the case with those who think more posts = more respect. I can state to everyone, that this forum operates (as you know well) on shared knowledge, mutual respect and everyone having a fair go. it will never be the intention of the moderators or administrators to promote any individual to an elevated position which should be respected by all above all else.

Changing the name of the forum is an unlikely scenario, but the byline always will cope with change, and must, because as we grow older, so do our cars, and every year means more and more Mercedes Benz Vehicles change their status from classic to veteran to vintage, and also 'Unique'.

Generally we have frowned on the heavily modified MB's that have rolled through our doors, as most of us realize that some sense of the original identity is sacrificed through changing parts. We all need to be a little more accommodating to those who have an appreciation for old Benzes, even if they want to put lo-rider airbags underneath and huge boom-boxes in the boot.
We all stand to learn more interesting things about the cars from those who pull things apart and modify their Benz. It also means the forum becomes an excellent outlet for no-longer wanted spare-parts, which we are always on the lookout for.

So I'm looking forward to your input towards making the forum stand out as the most valuable resource for Mercedes Benz owners in Australia, and hopefully the Southern Hemisphere.

Regards,
Joe
1987 560SL Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 "Jean Rédélé"
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
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Postby Hendrik » Sun 24 Jun, 2007 9:40 am

JoeB wrote:The option is there for everyone to contribute to a theme if they so desire!

The issue with a theme, it that it takes quite some time to create and then refine, and inevitably someone throws a spanner in the works and has a whinge that they don't like the colours etc... and expects that we shouldn't change ever. This is not just an online thing, it happens at work every day to all of us!

My concept here is that we make the theme more in keeping with classic Benzes, at the mo it has a modern look which I am comfortable with but if it can be changed to make the place more Benz like then why not. Can it be done easily? Can it be changed back easily?
Will it look tacky having a zebrano background.......probably, will wooden buttons with chrome writing look tacky.......perhaps but we won't know until we try.
At the mo this forum looks like 1000's of others.
JoeB wrote:
The idea of buying 'rank' is something used commonly in other forums, and allows the user some lattitude insofar as uploading personal avatars, and/or using an exclusive forum avatar. It's also a nice way to contribute to the forum's running expenses. John and I have had discussion on this, and at the moment we're seeing how things go with the new provider. Costs are always an issue, and while John's always footed the bill on our behalf in the past, he's leaving the responsibility of maintaining the site to me, and I am reluctant to make any change to our policy of keeping the costs to a minimum.

I don't mean buying rank as in spending dollars but rather spending accumulated posts on a rank avatar. That way those who are into that sort of thing can while those who don't care don't have to bother.
Far as raising money for the forum, other forums use list drives where people buy t shirts, stickers, caps with the profits going into forum expenses. Something like stickers would be a good way to raise money and the profile of the forum, however the problem is that we don't have a website as such (eg.www.ozbenz.com.au), however I suppose we could use http://www.mbspares.com.au on a sticker. That way John gets a plug.
JoeB wrote:
Having said that, if you wish to make donations to the upkeep and maintenance of the forum, Neither of us are going to knock your kind offer back.

I guess buying stuff from MB spares is partly contributing towards that.
JoeB wrote:
The post-count-war issue you describe is often the case with those who think more posts = more respect. I can state to everyone, that this forum operates (as you know well) on shared knowledge, mutual respect and everyone having a fair go. it will never be the intention of the moderators or administrators to promote any individual to an elevated position which should be respected by all above all else.

Yes but by introducing rank avatars you are doing that. Personally I would like all reference to post counts be removed from users information except for the users info page. That gives a sense of equality and no-one is better than someone else.
JoeB wrote:Changing the name of the forum is an unlikely scenario, but the byline always will cope with change, and must, because as we grow older, so do our cars, and every year means more and more Mercedes Benz Vehicles change their status from classic to veteran to vintage, and also 'Unique'.

I wasn't talking about OZBENZ, we have just been there but rather the byline which gives the impression that this forum is soley for owners of old Mercs.
JoeB wrote:
Generally we have frowned on the heavily modified MB's that have rolled through our doors, as most of us realize that some sense of the original identity is sacrificed through changing parts. We all need to be a little more accommodating to those who have an appreciation for old Benzes, even if they want to put lo-rider airbags underneath and huge boom-boxes in the boot.
We all stand to learn more interesting things about the cars from those who pull things apart and modify their Benz. It also means the forum becomes an excellent outlet for no-longer wanted spare-parts, which we are always on the lookout for.

We worked our way through this and agreed that while we all have different ideas about how our cars should look we should not frown on those who choose to modify their cars. End of the day the owner has to be happy about their ride and not someone else.
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Postby AMG » Mon 25 Jun, 2007 9:39 am

My concept here is that we make the theme more in keeping with classic Benzes, at the mo it has a modern look which I am comfortable with but if it can be changed to make the place more Benz like then why not. Can it be done easily? Can it be changed back easily?
Will it look tacky having a zebrano background.......probably, will wooden buttons with chrome writing look tacky.......perhaps but we won't know until we try.
At the mo this forum looks like 1000's of others.


True, but thats why you have the user profile, to allow yourself to change the theme to however you want.
We have more choice now. It doesn't mean we all get 100% tailored sites to our own liking.
I know that there are millions of boards out there looking similar. Thats because the code is GPL. I don't have the time to be working on this site 24/7. I have a full-time job. I work on it as much as I can.
I also took the responsibility of hosting and maintaining the site from John because it's costing him too much. I've found a host, and while I'm happy to host it, I'm also footing the bill. It means if you want some professional customized theme, thats fine.... but who's going to do it, and who's paying? and if that were the case we'd probably be using paid software, which would cost us more money.
I put the offer out to everyone, so they can put in some effort themselves and improve on what we have, not for this to degenerate into something which is a complete waste of time.

JoeB wrote:The idea of buying 'rank' is something used commonly in other forums, and allows the user some lattitude insofar as uploading personal avatars, and/or using an exclusive forum avatar. It's also a nice way to contribute to the forum's running expenses. John and I have had discussion on this, and at the moment we're seeing how things go with the new provider. Costs are always an issue, and while John's always footed the bill on our behalf in the past, he's leaving the responsibility of maintaining the site to me, and I am reluctant to make any change to our policy of keeping the costs to a minimum.

I don't mean buying rank as in spending dollars but rather spending accumulated posts on a rank avatar. That way those who are into that sort of thing can while those who don't care don't have to bother.
Far as raising money for the forum, other forums use list drives where people buy t shirts, stickers, caps with the profits going into forum expenses. Something like stickers would be a good way to raise money and the profile of the forum, however the problem is that we don't have a website as such (eg.www.ozbenz.com.au), however I suppose we could use http://www.mbspares.com.au on a sticker. That way John gets a plug.


2 responses:
you just confirmed to me something I intended to do at the outset, regarding the domain...

regarding Av's:
Thats how the forum is designed to operate. Avatars are free, and the option to upload one of your own or use a communal av is what I'm working on. I mentioned before there are problems with the sites code.
I'm happy to discuss this offline, I'm sure I've said enough about it.
I also have no qualms about offering a paid avatar 'programme' where people make a donation and in return can have a special avatar of their liking.
JoeB wrote:Having said that, if you wish to make donations to the upkeep and maintenance of the forum, Neither of us are going to knock your kind offer back.

I guess buying stuff from MB spares is partly contributing towards that.

Actually, No. I'm footing the bill personally for it. It's no longer costing John a cent, except for his annual domain registration fee to keep his mbspares.com.au domain, and the mbspares website. John is looking for a better and cheaper host still, and keeping internet costs down is simply a way of ensuring the longevity of the business.
John is the founding sponsor of this forum, and we owe a lot to his persistence and kind provision of heavily discounted parts for members.
Buying Stuff from john keeps John in business, sure, but he could charge you a lot more than he does.. it's a two-way street. we both benefit from this forum. As customers of Johns, and from the forum as a great technical reference. John recoups his efforts by building and reinforcing his loyal customer base.
JoeB wrote:The post-count-war issue you describe is often the case with those who think more posts = more respect. I can state to everyone, that this forum operates (as you know well) on shared knowledge, mutual respect and everyone having a fair go. it will never be the intention of the moderators or administrators to promote any individual to an elevated position which should be respected by all above all else.

Yes but by introducing rank avatars you are doing that. Personally I would like all reference to post counts be removed from users information except for the users info page. That gives a sense of equality and no-one is better than someone else.


The post count is a non-removable feature. it was there in the beginning, as an indicator of one's involvement. Introducing Rank Avatars do not make any difference to the post count. Ranks were there from the start. having more ranks is simply an incentive to members to be more active. The rank avatars themselves do nothing but contribute to the aesthetics of the site.
We need more members and existing members to be more active and post quality technical references discussing problems, and highlighting issues they encounter. How a post is interpreted is a personal thing, but officially bulk-posting is certainly not a 'respect' indicator.

Each post should be treated equally and with respect. You don't get more respect just because you post more times than other people. What gets respect should be the quality of posts.


JoeB wrote:Changing the name of the forum is an unlikely scenario, but the byline always will cope with change, and must, because as we grow older, so do our cars, and every year means more and more Mercedes Benz Vehicles change their status from classic to veteran to vintage, and also 'Unique'.

I wasn't talking about OZBENZ, we have just been there but rather the byline which gives the impression that this forum is soley for owners of old Mercs.


Suggestions people!

JoeB wrote:Generally we have frowned on the heavily modified MB's that have rolled through our doors, as most of us realize that some sense of the original identity is sacrificed through changing parts. We all need to be a little more accommodating to those who have an appreciation for old Benzes, even if they want to put lo-rider airbags underneath and huge boom-boxes in the boot.
We all stand to learn more interesting things about the cars from those who pull things apart and modify their Benz. It also means the forum becomes an excellent outlet for no-longer wanted spare-parts, which we are always on the lookout for.

We worked our way through this and agreed that while we all have different ideas about how our cars should look we should not frown on those who choose to modify their cars. End of the day the owner has to be happy about their ride and not someone else.


I thought so too, but to cater more specifically for those who are more heavily into modified mercedes, I'm toying with the idea of creating a board specifically for Modifications.
maybe... watch this space.
1987 560SL Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 "Jean Rédélé"
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
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