I am kindly asking fellow creators to comment on my latest ning network. The network is a local/regional social network, online newspaper and community directory. The network is not finished, especially the directory section which has a long way to go. But, I am at the stage that I wanted to start inviting more people.
Any good features that you might see is the result of the many amazing tips that I have gathered from Creators, Jen Social, TJ's site and the many great tips/help from Sweetpotato, Bernard, Firetech and about a dozen or so other people. I tried to use the good features that I have seen on other networks (jen social, sweetpotato, etc.) and other local community networks (ecoronado, dukecity fix). Any bad features that you see on my network is the result of my own additions or attempts to improve the site.
Please take a look and feel free to comment on anything. I welcome good comments and especially negative remarks that can help me improve my network.
I have five additional writers coming aboard soon so that the site will better cover additional subjects/topics. Right now it is a little sports heavy. I have some additional content to put on the front page (2 side columns) to even out the site. Currently, the middle column stretches much further than the side columns.
Some specific questions I have:
Should I keep a photo header or change to a header more like the huffington post (simple text header)?
Is the front page weather widget look ok? Or less professional?
Does the front page load slow on your browser?
Here is the site, let me know your thoughts:
Anyone?? I would welcome any advice to help the site look better or help increase membership and/or activity.
You site looks great..except one tab "my profile" is floating at the middle which looks odd. And your header is big in height. BTW, it just my opinion.
Please consider the environment before printing this content.
Thanks Bernard. I have decreased the size of the header a few times already, but I can take some more off of it. Which browser are you using? My tabs are all in one row on my browser (safari), but I will check it in other browsers. Thanks very much for the good feedback.
cool, but if i may ask who did you do this
'my profile' tab. firefox osx 10.6.8
Thanks, I eliminated one of the tabs so hopefully I fixed that problem.
Personally, it's too many pictures at the top. Just a big picture of a river, then a moving slideshow. I'm forced to *have* to scroll down to see if there's any *content* of value to me as a visitor.
If that moving slideshow was pictures of news stories or useful content, it might be nice, but it's just an animated call to action.
It takes a long time to come up - there's *191* http requests (many are 304 status) but that strikes me as *lot* of items. By comparison, Yahoo's homepage is 73.
Drop the weather, imo.
I have the slider set up that way now because when people first started visiting the site they would just read the content and leave. They didn't really understand that it was a social network in addition to a online news/directory site. So, I put that slider up to get folks to understand that they can join and get involved/engaged. I will either change the slider to news content, move it down the page or remove it at some point ahead when it is easier for visitors to understand the social networking part of the site.
I will work on ways to speed up the load time of the site. I will see what others think about the weather widget and then perhaps look for a smaller compact weather/temp. display depending upon the feedback.
I cut the header image down quite a bit. Now all that is visible is the trees until I swap images. The original reason for the river was because it is tied to the name - standing stone news - juniata river. Juniata means "people of the standing stone". I have started slimming down the http requests and less important code to improve load time. Thanks for your feedback.
Good job. Faster loading, looking cleaner.
For me it's well done, maybe too many featured articles, the site appears a little bit long