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docj
post Feb 5 2014, 07:25 PM
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QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ Feb 5 2014, 04:42 PM) *

Andy, I like the new format and I think it will be a great inprovement, BUT, with one comment: Please make sure this does not slow down the opperation of the site, and it is still just as easy to use. I have seen too many websites add "improvements" which slow down performance (e.g. Yahoo mail is now much slower, Craigslist is slower and screen hops around making it more difficult to use).


As Andy noted, the entire website is being migrated to an entirely new server in order to provide additional capabilities and to provide the "horsepower" necessary to ensure that these aren't added at the expense of performance.


QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ Feb 5 2014, 04:42 PM) *
Also, what is the purpose of the "is this review helpful (yes) (no)" button. Those of us who use the site find most of the reviews helpful as a collection.


As an example, both TripAdvisor and Amazon let readers "vote" on whether or not a particular review is helpful. That way when you encounter someone's review you can see how many "helpful" votes they have received. It doesn't mean their reviews are better but it is another method for evaluating this person's reviews and how much trust you should put in them.


QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ Feb 5 2014, 04:42 PM) *

Also, please try to allocate more time to database admin. You may know that within a national park and state park, there can be several campgrounds. The admins have spent alot of time breaking out the campgrounds in the national parks so you can find the individual campgrounds, but the state parks still need lots of work.


A lot of the features many of us would like to add have been limited by the capabilities of the current system. For example, even the excellent re-do of the national parks has resulted in all of the campgrounds in a park being aggregated as if they all were in a single location so that the "nearby" box is meaningless. As a result, someone who wants to know what town a specific campground is near has to use a map or Google maps. Ideally, a campground can have multiple attributes so that it can be tagged, for example, as being in a national park AND that is near a particular town. Not all these improvements will be available immediately when the new system is ready, but moving to the new platform will give RVPR the ability to evolve.



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NYDutch
post Feb 5 2014, 07:26 PM
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I like the new look, but please keep in mind that many of us are dependent on mobile data plans with limited bandwidth. Excessive use of complex pages and graphics can be serious data eaters, and Flash or any streaming media should be avoided, including in any third-party ads. A well implemented CSS layout can be low impact as well as functional and aesthetically pleasing. The security issues related to Java are well known, so best to avoid that as well.


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edcornflake
post Feb 6 2014, 12:27 PM
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They keep telling me that "the only constant is change". As long as I can still get the info I need in a quick and efficient manner, and find interesting topics in teh forum, I'm all for it.
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Andy R
post Feb 10 2014, 05:24 PM
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Thanks for the great feedback, keep it coming!

Joel's (docj) responses above are spot on regarding those topics.

Dutch, we will indeed take into consideration data plans. We plan to have a responsive style that will keep the page size small on phones/tablets but many use devices like MiFi for mobile data so we will keep the main website trim as well.

I'm looking forward to working with you all on ideas to make the site better in the future!
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John S.
post Feb 12 2014, 03:17 PM
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I am the moderator of a high line motorhome manufacturer that is very active. We went to new software and the learning curve was a bit steep but doable for many who are not super computer literate. I would say make the best site you can and do not worry about where the buttons are as the functionality of this site is not very robust. It does serve a purpose. I will say if there is too much advertising you might see a drop off in numbers. Remember that this site was the first to start up but there are now other sites that have been catching up and getting a few reviews on many of the campgrounds.


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docj
post Feb 12 2014, 09:01 PM
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QUOTE(John S. @ Feb 12 2014, 05:17 PM) *

I will say if there is too much advertising you might see a drop off in numbers. Remember that this site was the first to start up but there are now other sites that have been catching up and getting a few reviews on many of the campgrounds.


I can't understand why anyone complains about advertising on forums. If you don't like seeing it, block it. I run AdBlock with Chrome and see absolutely no ads. I'm sure the advertisers aren't pleased, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to use it.


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Andy R
post Feb 13 2014, 10:56 AM
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QUOTE(John S. @ Feb 12 2014, 03:17 PM) *
I would say make the best site you can and do not worry about where the buttons are as the functionality of this site is not very robust.
I've been working with RV related communities for more then a decade and it's obvious that software changes can be challenging for the users. Knowing this, we have made every effort to try and keep familiar links and navigational elements in the same places. One of the first things we did before designing a single thing was to use some heat map tools to monitor how people actually click through the site. Here you can see a couple of them.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xex9uhafj7e8bez/r...e%20heatmap.gif
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cd7aa1feg36426l/r...e%20heatmap.gif

Even though we are trying hard to keep things similar, it will be a new system and some things will be in new places. We will be here to help everyone get settled and this change is the foundation for being able to create some really amazing features in the future.
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MaineDon
post Feb 16 2014, 10:19 AM
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Yikes! This site has been so good and so helpful. We've used it extensively for over 10 years and, reading the proposed changes, has me worried. Dutch's comments above are right on the money. I think of all the parks we've stayed in across the country with fragile and weak WiFi signals, where you wait and wait to get the current review format downloaded. How will access be with what appears to be 2-3 times the information now provided for each park? I suspect not good. Guess i am getting old and cranky.
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docj
post Feb 16 2014, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE(MaineDon @ Feb 16 2014, 12:19 PM) *

Yikes! This site has been so good and so helpful. We've used it extensively for over 10 years and, reading the proposed changes, has me worried. Dutch's comments above are right on the money. I think of all the parks we've stayed in across the country with fragile and weak WiFi signals, where you wait and wait to get the current review format downloaded. How will access be with what appears to be 2-3 times the information now provided for each park? I suspect not good. Guess i am getting old and cranky.


Just because the new format may have a few additional buttons doesn't mean that the amount of data required to load it will be all that much greater. Even if there are pictures and/or video available online doesn't mean you need to view them. Social Knowledge manages lots of websites and I trust they know how to design them to be user-friendly.


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mdcamping
post Apr 13 2014, 07:37 AM
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Might consider expanding the forum, maybe something similar to the RV.net or irv2 forum... like the idea of a introduction/new member discussion threads.

mike
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Texasrvers
post Apr 14 2014, 12:48 PM
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QUOTE(mdcamping @ Apr 13 2014, 08:37 AM) *

Might consider expanding the forum, maybe something similar to the RV.net or irv2 forum... like the idea of a introduction/new member discussion threads.

mike



Our forum could use some expansion. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Texasrvers
post Apr 22 2014, 11:35 PM
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In light of some comments that have been posted in other threads here and on RV.net, I would just like to say that I have been an admin on this website for about 7 years, and this site is definitely due for a major overhaul. I liked and respected the previous owner. He turned RVPR into a leading website making it so popular that it outgrew his capabilities to take care of it. He simply did not have the time or the staff to maintain, much less update, it anymore.

From what I know of Andy he is a great guy. He is excited about purchasing the site and is ready, willing, and able to take it to a much higher level of information and service. We are essentially creatures of habit, and anything that disrupts our way of doing things is traumatic, but Andy has some great ideas for improvement that will make the site easier to use and more helpful to RV enthusiasts. Of course, as with anything that is new, there will be a period of adjustment, and there could even be some glitches, but I know Andy and his staff will respond quickly to resolve any issue.

Therefore, when the new site finally rolls out, I hope all of you will give it a chance because I know a lot of thought and hard work went into making it better. We hope that you will find it to be more user friendly while continuing to keep and expand all the good information that RVers need so that they can make informed decisions about RV parks and campgrounds.
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Andy R
post Apr 23 2014, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for the kind word. Having worked with many communities over the years, I learned we have to earn the trust of the members. We earn trust by being part of the community, trying to be open/transparent about why we manage things a certain way and putting forth our best effort.

When it comes to change, we will make mistakes and that's ok. Sometimes we just have to try new things to see how they work out and if the results are better, great. If not, then revert and try something else. The important thing is that we not be afraid to try and evolve. If we are, others will gladly try to take our place. With such a smart member base and team, I think we can do great things here with RVPR!
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endofrope
post Jun 9 2014, 05:16 PM
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[quote name='Andy R' date='Feb 4 2014, 12:04 AM' post='35683']
While you are re-designing the page, please include a field to list the specific site that someone is reviewing. I always try to add that information to my reviews, and also whether cell service for my carrier is available. And whether we were able to get satellite service.
We camp in national park and forest campgrounds a lot, and that information is never available on the Recreation.gov site. So it would be nice to get it here.
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docj
post Jun 9 2014, 07:10 PM
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That's an excellent suggestion; we were thinking of providing space to rate cell phone service (by carrier), but providing an option for noting your specific site is a good addition.


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