Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
Well, we're off to a great start with over 600 members after the first two days. I've seen many comments from people in the main chat window of how much they like the site, but also comments saying things like "I hope it stays this way" or "this is what Mother Earth News was like early on before...". I'm not really sure what to make of these things but member feedback is VERY important to the success and happiness of this community.
Having said that, this will be a running forum about what we really enjoy about the Farm Dreams site. Letting me know what you use/enjoy the most will ensure we can preserve it. Also, let me know what you don't enjoy or are confused about and let's see if we can address that.
UPDATE Dec 3, 2:04 PM
There are a number of factors about the design platform I'm using that create opportunities and limitations. These relate to how blogs may or may not be shown, the choice of using Flash, and many more. Since there's no way members can know what those design limitations are, I will write a post on the home page tomorrow describing why Farm Dreams was created, what resources we have and what can and cannot easily be done. The reason for this forum was to simply make sure I understand what functionality you really like on this site (so that we can protect it) and what you don't. This isn't a "design" forum. Even though the feedback may be intended to be helpful, you just don't have access to some of the limitations I'm dealing with. But please keep the comments rolling.
So far I love the site and am excited to check out the new content added every day. I am personally living the "farm dream" so this feels like home. I am hoping to see more interaction amongst the members but I am sure that will grow over time.
Do you have a specific email where you would like us to email any content suggestions, requests, ideas or offers?
I'm just a little overwhelmed, not sure where to look for everything. Not sure where it's a discussion or just to read and learn. No complaints, I will just have to keep coming back and figuring it all out. I may even stumble across something I didn't know I was interested in, and find out I really am.
Are there any topics on firearms and especially firearms for females?
I like the diverse BLOGGERS... it's not just one sided. I know some of the techniques described that work for someone won't work of all of us. (But, it may generate an idea that we can apply) Where we are (what climate, and what soils... how close to a city etc.) plays an important part.
I also like the various forums... you can read and participate in things that interest you without having to filter through tons of information.
I will be part of this group, and am very interested in how it grows up.
I think it was a great idea to ask people what they think!
I also like the diversity in this site. There is so much good information here, and lots of good people too. I do agree with Faith that it is a bit overwhelming, but the more time we spend here the easier it will be to find what we need. I find it very well-organized and easy to navigate. Someone mentioned the small type, my eyesight is not great but I have no problems reading the text here. Actually, when I read the posts above the dark grey seems easier on the eyes than the bold black. It's too much contrast and harsh, but maybe that's just me.
I think this site is awesome. It is functional and looks great!
I'm enjoying the site thus far. As far as constructive criticisms I have two:
I think this will be a great asset to all of us farmers - thank you!!
I really like the site and the work you've done.
So far, I'm seeing comments about it being a bit 'overwhelming'. Having 14 main sections on the menu bar of the site is a lot. So obviously one of the strong points of the site is that it has a bit of everything. I think one example of where that is confusing is the forum competing with the groups. I've read and understand your post on the difference between the two. But I'm still trying to figure out what kinds of things would be more appropriate for the forum. Some of the topics here so far I could see being a better fit for the groups.
It also seems that while plenty of people are joining the groups, the discussions have very few page views. Are people joining groups and not seeing that they need to scroll down to see the discussions?
So I'm not really even suggesting that the actual features of the site need to be reduced--just perhaps finding ways to simplify the navigation and organization of the content.
I really like being able to choose from so many groups and only follow the ones I'm interested in. This keeps the topics pertinent to what I want to know more about. It's difficult to keep up with them all though. Maybe I'm just interested in too many or maybe it's a limitation of the site, but I am finding that I'm missing discussions that are started unless I open every group I've joined and check it every day for new discussions. The daily email digest doesn't seem to get them all or something.
I like it and do not find it overwelming. I prefer it over a few others I have been a member of, where they assume you know all of the technicalities for a certain area of farming.
I think someone else mentioned this--but is there a way to see what groups discussions have recently been commented on, or had discussions added? The groups can be organized by "recent activity", but even someone joining the group will put it at the top of the list.
It would be nice if the "my groups" link yielded results on which of my groups had new comments or discussions.
Regarding "discussions" or forums, there are a couple of ways. One is that recent discussion comments show up in the latest activity feed on the home page. They also show up on your page (my page in the nav bar). Finally, if you "mouse over" forum in the nav bar you'll see a link to latest posts. Of course, you can click the RSS icon (which looks like the image on the right). This icon is on the bottom of blog posts, forums and other places on Farm Dreams and allows you to get updates in your RSS reader of choice.
Regarding "groups", it's more difficult. Updates to groups DO NOT show up in latest activity feeds for a good reason. Groups are private and members have to join them. Anyone (even non-members) can view the home page of Farm Dreams, but they can't see the forum or groups without joining. Therefore, if group content displayed on the home page then non-members would have access to the content of a private group. This may seem burdensome or inconvenient now but imagine that you wanted to create a group called...oh, I don't know...farmwives of Memphis, and membership was invitation only. Who knows what y'all would be talking up and you wouldn't want prying eyes to see.
Hope this helps.