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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Prioritizing Features

    I could use some help prioritizing Features on my website.

    My website is a portal about Small-Business and its main focus is Articles.

    My objective is to take a rather STATIC website and make it more Interactive and Web 2.0-ish.

    I recently just added the ability for registered Users to add Comments below Articles, which I hope will encourage conversations and debates about the content on my website. However, this Feature only allows for basic Text Comments. (No where near as fancy as SitePoint!!)

    Here are some Features that I would like to add...

    - Provide ability to Quote other Users' Comments when making a Post
    - Provide ability to use Rich-Text Editor
    - Provide ability to use BBCode
    - Provide ability to Send/Receive Private Messages
    - Provide ability to Add Friends
    - Provide ability to Choose Interests/Likes (e.g. I am interested in... Small-Biz Taxes, Small-Biz Legal, Internet Mkt)
    - Provide ability to Change Name, E-mail, Location
    - Provide ability to View My Comments


    If you had to choose from that list, which Features would provide the most benefit to you as a new User?

    And am I missing anything that is a "must have"?!



    As always, TIME is a factor, so I need to carefully pick which Features to implement next, as since it takes me forever to code all of this stuff from scratch, and I know that I ask for a lot of help on here, I need to use my "aces in the hole" wisely!!

    Thanks as always,


    Debbie

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast Lil_Kins0's Avatar
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    One which would be benefitial to me is: The Ability To Send/Receive Private Messages

  3. #3
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    DoubleDee,

    vBulletin offers most if not all of the features you need.

    And at a trifling sum.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small marketer View Post
    DoubleDee,

    vBulletin offers most if not all of the features you need.

    And at a trifling sum.
    Except then there is the whole integration issue...

    I'm trying to add Features to my existing code base.


    Debbie

  5. #5
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    spikeZ's Avatar
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    IMHO
    In this order:

    Premium features

    - Provide ability to Quote other Users' Comments when making a Post
    - Provide ability to use BBCode
    - Provide ability to Send/Receive Private Messages

    Should be there anyway
    - Provide ability to View My Comments
    - Provide ability to Change Name, E-mail, Location

    Utterly irrelevant.
    - Provide ability to use Rich-Text Editor
    - Provide ability to Add Friends
    - Provide ability to Choose Interests/Likes (e.g. I am interested in... Small-Biz Taxes, Small-Biz Legal, Internet Mkt)


    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Nice response, spikeZ.


    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ View Post
    IMHO
    In this order:

    Premium features

    - Provide ability to Quote other Users' Comments when making a Post
    - Provide ability to use BBCode
    - Provide ability to Send/Receive Private Messages

    Should be there anyway
    - Provide ability to View My Comments
    - Provide ability to Change Name, E-mail, Location
    Do you think the "Ability to View My Comments" is critical if Users are just Commenting on Articles? (Obviously for a site like SitePoint it is, but maybe not so much for a site like mine?)


    Utterly irrelevant.
    - Provide ability to use Rich-Text Editor
    - Provide ability to Add Friends
    - Provide ability to Choose Interests/Likes (e.g. I am interested in... Small-Biz Taxes, Small-Biz Legal, Internet Mkt)

    What about the last point?

    Wouldn't you like to be able to set Preferences that eventually could be used to customize content and help the business give you more relevant content and offerings?

    Finally, what other kinds of Features would you "like" or "expect" to see beyond what I have above?

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot sammyspam's Avatar
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    I agree with spikeZ. The ones he deems premium/should be there anyway really should be the basis of any interatice/"web 2.0" site, I wouldn't expect anything less.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Wouldn't you like to be able to set Preferences that eventually could be used to customize content and help the business give you more relevant content and offerings?
    If this is how you plan to use people's interests and likes then I would move this off the irrelevant category. I am always a fan of websites that can provide me content based on what I have registered as likes/interests. It should be at the bottom of your priorities though, more a luxury feature than anything else.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyspam View Post
    I agree with spikeZ. The ones he deems premium/should be there anyway really should be the basis of any interatice/"web 2.0" site, I wouldn't expect anything less.
    I think you misunderstand what he was saying. (I took "Premium" as "relevant and nice-to-have but not necessary" versus how you imply they mean "must have".)

    Can you tell me more your thoughts on these Features...
    - Provide ability to Quote other Users' Comments when making a Post
    - Provide ability to use BBCode
    - Provide ability to Send/Receive Private Messages
    How would you rank those three?

    Which would you rely on and use most?

    What "benefits" would you get from each?

    Thanks for everyone's comments so far!


    Debbie

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot sammyspam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I think you misunderstand what he was saying. (I took "Premium" as "relevant and nice-to-have but not necessary" versus how you imply they mean "must have".)

    Can you tell me more your thoughts on these Features...


    How would you rank those three?

    Which would you rely on and use most?

    What "benefits" would you get from each?

    Thanks for everyone's comments so far!

    Debbie
    Ranking Wise (and I've tried to think about how these would work on your site, rather than in general):
    1- Send/Recieve PMs
    2- Quote Posts
    3- BB Code

    I think the PMs would suit your website as I feel like small businesses may want to contact eachother and contact article authors directly with more questions (although this point is void if most articles allow some other method of contact). Such as they leave a website link/email etc.

    I feel like a quote posts feature is necessary to create good discussion (this thread for example), but again I think thats dependent on how your site works, you know the most about it and how people interact, if you think it would create more discussion (ultimately this should lead to better content/community).

    BB Code is probably the least important, simply because its a luxury feature (a premium like Spikez suggests). Its really not needed, but definitely doesn't hurt to include eventually. More of a finishing touch to your website.

    Hope that helps.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyspam View Post
    Ranking Wise (and I've tried to think about how these would work on your site, rather than in general):
    1- Send/Recieve PMs
    2- Quote Posts
    3- BB Code

    I think the PMs would suit your website as I feel like small businesses may want to contact eachother and contact article authors directly with more questions (although this point is void if most articles allow some other method of contact). Such as they leave a website link/email etc.

    I feel like a quote posts feature is necessary to create good discussion (this thread for example), but again I think thats dependent on how your site works, you know the most about it and how people interact, if you think it would create more discussion (ultimately this should lead to better content/community).

    BB Code is probably the least important, simply because its a luxury feature (a premium like Spikez suggests). Its really not needed, but definitely doesn't hurt to include eventually. More of a finishing touch to your website.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I think your comments helped give me a different perspective.

    Any other Features you think would help my website out?

    (I have lots in mind, but don't want to influence anyone.)

    BTW, do you know how to program the Feature of "Quoting Other Users" using PHP?

    From what I have heard, that is a fairly involved thing to do, especially if you are doing it from scratch?!

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    I think it would do you some good to read chapters 4 and 5 of Getting Real.
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot sammyspam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I think your comments helped give me a different perspective.

    Any other Features you think would help my website out?

    (I have lots in mind, but don't want to influence anyone.)

    BTW, do you know how to program the Feature of "Quoting Other Users" using PHP?

    From what I have heard, that is a fairly involved thing to do, especially if you are doing it from scratch?!

    Thanks,


    Debbie
    I can't really think of anyother features that you would need, you've got most of the important ones covered.

    I've got no clue how to program it (sorry) check out the PHP forum I guess. If it is a massive project it may be worth putting it to the side for the time being, think about time vs reward on the project.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Without knowing your website very intimately, I'd go along with spikeZ's rankings.

    However, you should let your customers help guide your decisions. Ask them what they want (through polls and what not). Then you know you'll be targeting exactly what your customers need.

    For example, on Sitepoint having a private messaging feature is very important. However, on a site where you don't really have a community, but people commenting on articles, private messages are a bit silly. That's like Amazon having a private messaging system so you can message other users (if they do... I don't want to know about it =p).

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    Without knowing your website very intimately, I'd go along with spikeZ's rankings.
    Okay.


    However, you should let your customers help guide your decisions. Ask them what they want (through polls and what not). Then you know you'll be targeting exactly what your customers need.
    Except in order to get Members I need an awesome site with relevant Features...


    For example, on Sitepoint having a private messaging feature is very important. However, on a site where you don't really have a community, but people commenting on articles, private messages are a bit silly. That's like Amazon having a private messaging system so you can message other users (if they do... I don't want to know about it =p).
    True, then again, one way I can start developing a "Community" is by allowing people to talk to one another and develop bonds...

    1,000 hungry Web Designers didn't just show up at SitePoint one day and form a community. It took time and the ability to get to know people... User Profiles, User Info, User Rankings, Ability to Talk to Members in Public and in Private, and so on.


    Debbie

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard
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    All of that stuff you just mentioned was superficial.

    The one feature that got nearly all of us here was the basics of the forums: being able to create posts and replies.

    Everything on top of that is just nice to have.

    Which actually leads me to a good point. You should boil down the one or two features which are really going to drive the customers how you want. Make those awesome. Then worry about the other stuff.

    If you haven't, I would give this book a read: http://gettingreal.37signals.com/ (it can be fully viewed online for free).

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict Green Moon's Avatar
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    I agree with the priority order listed by spikez. PM is the ability to interact. Interaction is the key to building community among your members.


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