Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

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Jools
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Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Jools »

Guys,

[Begin Mod Edit: Added quotes]
chalkvandam wrote:hi all, just joined the site, could anyone tell me how to put my cats on my page.
loachy_406 wrote:Welcome to PlanetCatfish. :D On your My Aquaria page you can enter your tank details and a picture, and say which species are kept in there.
[End Mode edit quotes]

I get asked this and similar questions from time to time. So I thought about writing a user guide for the whole site. Nothing enormous, just a good intro to everything. Then I thought that it would be better if someone else or several others (perhaps a feature each) or something would be better as then I could see how others interpret the site.

The thing could be constructed as a forum post and the added to the site as a sticky or perhaps just as a linked article somewhere. Maybe even the FAQ which perhaps also needs some attention from me.

What does everyone think?

Jools

Mod Edit: I decided to split this from the "I'm new here" post in http://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/view ... =2&t=23794
It is a tad disjointed as it is, but I think it makes sense. I added the quote above to make it easier to follow.

-- Mats
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Re: my cats?

Post by loachy_406 »

Sounds good. You would need to make it obvious where it is though, otherwise people will still ask us questions like 'Why the stars in c*****d?' because they haven't found the all-conquering article :wink:.
Before you actually make it into an article you could post it and have people suggest things that might need changing, before it is 'published'.
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Re: my cats?

Post by Jools »

Hi Aled,

I was thinking of someone else or several folks writing it. That way, I get to see other folks untutored view of how the site works. I agree it's ultimate location is important, but that's a thing to worry about once it is written...

Jools
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Re: my cats?

Post by loachy_406 »

I didn't write it very clearly, but I meant that when you have pieced together all the sections written by various people, (before you actually add it to the site as an article) you could post it, and have other members suggest things that might need changing, before it is 'published'.
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Re: my cats?

Post by Birger »

I just about overlooked this....PC is abut due for what you have suggested.
I would think an expansion of the FAQ and making it more noticeable for new people to see/find would be a big help for both new posters and for those that answer these type of questions on a regular basis.

Birger
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Re: my cats?

Post by MatsP »

I have access to the FAQ, so if there is any particular questions you want added/changed, please say so in the "Site suggestions and Bugs" forum.

I do not have access to the overall layout/formatting of the site, so that's a different topic that also should be posted in the "Site suggestions and bugs" - but in a separate topic (assuming you have some sort of constructive suggestion rather than "it needs to be better, but I don't know how", as I think Jools does think about those things as best he can - although I guess pointing out that something needs improving even without suggestions could be done, it makes life MUCH easier if there is a suggestion of what needs to be done to make it better).

--
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Re: my cats?

Post by Jools »

Birger wrote:I just about overlooked this....PC is abut due for what you have suggested.
I would think an expansion of the FAQ and making it more noticeable for new people to see/find would be a big help for both new posters and for those that answer these type of questions on a regular basis.

Birger
Why did you "just about" overlook it? I am curious.

What I could also do is make it a top level item in the site menu and perhaps also make it sometimes appear in place of the latest forum posts. e.g. Last x FAQ entries read.

Jools
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by MatsP »

As stated in the top of this thread, I split this from the original thread. I'm thinking we should discuss the development of a "Quick-start guide" or "How to get the best out of your membership on Planet Catfish" or whatever it should be called.

Here are some of the things it should cover:
- How to use My Cats, My Aquaria.
- How to search in the Cat-eLog (covering all 4 (or more?) different options)
- How to ask "Smart" questions in the Forum
[A'la: http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html - although a lot shorter and perhaps a bit more polite].
- How to post links to the Cat-eLog.
- How to post pictures.
- When to use Private Messages.

Anyone else have any ideas?

[Also, should we move this to Site Suggestions & Bugs, or keep it here?

--
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Jools »

I'd move it to site suggestions, but maybe what is needed there is working copy. I see my question about the FAQ wasn't answered. Anyone think I need to change the "Help!" top level menu option above to make the FAQ more readily visible?

Jools
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Martin S »

Jools wrote:Anyone think I need to change the "Help!" top level menu option above to make the FAQ more readily visible?
Yes, i do - i just looked at the forum and it took me a bit to find the FAQ link. It gets mentioned in lost of posts when users are asking about 'cichlids' and 'pleco', but is not obvious.
I think you already suggested it, but what about movint it to a top level sub-forum above identification with a single FAQs entry?
Sorry, awful attempt and ignore the repeating but hope you can see what I mean
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Jools »

Martin,

Your post underlines the problem. That's not the FAQ we're talking about! Check out the FAQ link under the "Help!" top level menu (just to the right of "cool stuff" and "search"). See what I mean........

Jools
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Birger »

Why did you "just about" overlook it? I am curious.
Sometimes when in a rush or it is late I just go to the posts that pique my attention instead of going through all of them...thats all
Anyone think I need to change the "Help!" top level menu option above to make the FAQ more readily visible?
Now that I have thought about this the FAQ are not too bad, there are always things that could be changed but it is getting people to notice where they are that is the problem(for lack of a better word) I think it would help to change it to be more noticeable or maybe a different title, I know there were times when I must have been in a daze and ended up kind of looking around for it myself so I could send someone there in post.

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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Martin S »

Jools wrote:Martin,

Your post underlines the problem. That's not the FAQ we're talking about! Check out the FAQ link under the "Help!" top level menu (just to the right of "cool stuff" and "search"). See what I mean........

Jools
OK, yes I see it now... :oops:
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Jools »

Martin,

Don't be embarrassed, it's bad site design at fault...

Jools
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Jools »

Just thought I should resurrect this - any volunteers???

Jools
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by MatsP »

I'm happy to volunteer on the usual basis: No time limit, and no promise to actually deliver :)

--
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Jools »

Happy also with that arrangement which also includes me passing it on to someone else later on if too much time passes - and I really mean quite a lot of time!

What's the delivery mechanism for this? A general section article supplied to me s a word document? Multiple FAQ entries, or what?

Jools
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by MatsP »

Good question - I'm not even sure what the "deliverable" is - as there is quite a bit of POTENTIAL, but not quite sure what we want to actually get as a "ultimate result".

A small document that links to other places to get help (e.g. the FAQ, Search facility, beginners guides to water chemistry, some articles about catfishes, anatomy page, and so on) may be a good idea.

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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Jools »

OK, then make the "deliverable" a word document that I will make a general article and weave it into the site so it should be hard to miss. I think it's general format should be as above and each section augmented with links to other parts of the site as you sugges
t and if appropriate.

I may even change the forum registration email to make mention of the article. It could be used as a "read this 1st" type thing.

Jools
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Re: Howto/Users/Beginners guide to Planet Catfish.

Post by Jools »

* bump *

Anyone else aside from Mats (he's far too busy with other updates!!!) want to have a crack at this? Deadline CSG convention so we can discuss it?

Jools
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