Website Update

Discuss in an open and civilized format possible marketing and promotion ideas for Checkers or specifically the ACF

Website Update

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:40 pm

Jason Solan wrote:viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2886
I ask and nobody responds. I'm not an active checker player anymore and not a mind reader. I need to know what you want to see on the website.


Jason, what i meant from my post, is a bit of cosmetic work done to the front page....
to bring it in line with current design trends.... perhaps a picture added ... or a bit of a cleaner look (i believe less is more)
the other thing i would like done is.... if there are no tournaments planned , i much rather see an empty space than a tournament for march and july and then "no tournament scheduled" for every other month.
I am sure that if you do honestly talk to others you will see what i mean. Plus you are a smart guy, surf around a little and compare websites.
I personally have not said anything in the past because i know you are a volunteer and i didn't want you to feel i was criticizing you.
I feel if we are going to renew our efforts , as far as procuring a sponsor, the website (front page) has a lot to do with success and/or failure. so revamping it might help us achieve a sponsor.
cheers,
Danny
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Re: ACF Marketing and Publicity

Postby Jason Solan on Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:04 am

I may be smart but I'm horrible at user interfaces, always have been. When I write programs at work, I write them with functionality in mind and need other team members to make them usable. I'm asking for some specifics on what you think would work better. I can handle criticism so lay into me/the site with all your might.

Here's what the current re-design looks like:
http://www.usacheckers.com/index.new.php

It's not completely ready yet, hoping to finish it this weekend. And it's really not much different from the current front page. Just more organized/more colorful and the Event listing is pulled directly from the google feed. I'm going to go through and clean up the old articles too so there are less of them shown.

I personally like sites with tickers and the like with feeds from the forum/facebook/twitter/etc of current news. That way I can glance in one spot and see the most recent activity. However the feeling around here is that our forums are too confrontational for new potential members to see.
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Re: ACF Marketing and Publicity

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:16 am

Jason, two important, crucial things need to be done first

1) Disconnect forum from ACF website. People who visit website should not read this and this forum in no way should be associated with ACF. Forum can be migrated to other website or stay alone.

2) This is American organisation website but only ACF logo is appear on front page. We have to put somewhere American flag or other US symbols.

It will be a good start.

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Re: ACF Marketing and Publicity

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:24 am

JohnAcker wrote:That's unnecessary. Neither the US Chess Federation nor the North American Scrabble Players Association have flags on their websites.
Absolutely necessary ! Otherwise - why we have letter "A" in ACF abbreviation ?

This letter is also in front of abbreviation which means - the word "American" in it's name is most important and determine what needs to be done first. We are not checkers patriots, we are American patriots first.

We have to promore checkers in USA - this our responsibility #1.

I can easy drop my title but not citizenship.

People who is coming to website should know where they are.

Respect yourself and your country and other people also will respect you and your country.

Or maybe you think we (ACF) can have oversees sponsors ? :lol:

All after all - we can put something associated with America - lets say Liberty Statue ... why not ?

Regards,

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Re: ACF Marketing and Publicity

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:38 am

JohnAcker wrote:I see no good reason to disrupt the page design with a picture of the flag or the Statue of Liberty.
Here is where we divided :lol: It's up to ACF Execs.

Lets move forward. What about issue #1 - do you agree that keeping this forum under ACF website umbrella has no sense and is significantly lowering respect to ACF ?
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Re: ACF Marketing and Publicity

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:12 am

Jason Solan wrote:I may be smart but I'm horrible at user interfaces, always have been. When I write programs at work, I write them with functionality in mind and need other team members to make them usable. I'm asking for some specifics on what you think would work better. I can handle criticism so lay into me/the site with all your might.

Here's what the current re-design looks like:
http://www.usacheckers.com/index.new.php

It's not completely ready yet, hoping to finish it this weekend. And it's really not much different from the current front page. Just more organized/more colorful and the Event listing is pulled directly from the google feed. I'm going to go through and clean up the old articles too so there are less of them shown.

I personally like sites with tickers and the like with feeds from the forum/facebook/twitter/etc of current news. That way I can glance in one spot and see the most recent activity. However the feeling around here is that our forums are too confrontational for new potential members to see.


Jason should i discuss this here or you prefer me to send you an email?
please let me know. I also would like to extend my thanks for understanding the spirit in which i voiced my concerns... i fear that a lot of the time the tone and facial expressions (which according to UCLA make up to 93% of communication) are lost in mediums such as this forum which in turn lead to mis-communication.
Thanks mate. and thank you for putting your talents at the service of the ACF.

cheers
Danny "enjoying a dry summer downunder" Alvarez
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Re: Website Update

Postby Jason Solan on Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:27 am

Either way is fine with me Danny. If you feel the points may not come across as clear in the forum, then feel free to send an e-mail.

As for splitting the forum away from the ACF. I've actually got no issue with that, but my stance on the forum has and will always be:
A forum about the great game of Checkers, hosted by the ACF


I feel open discussion is important, but there needs to be a clear direction. Having this not be an "ACF Only Forum" but having it overseen by the ACF Executives I think gives us that great balance. I just don't think dis-associating with it does anything but cause a lack of direction. The ACF needs to attract new members and I don't think keeping the organization closed off from the rest of the world is a good way to do that.
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Re: Website Update

Postby waynegober on Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:39 am

What about champions?

I never see Dist or state champions in bulletins.

I can't find them on website anymore.

My question what is the point in having any champions at all if the organization doesn't find it important to honor them?

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Re: Website Update

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:57 pm

Jason Solan wrote:As for splitting the forum away from the ACF. I've actually got no issue with that
I do ! Good number of new players from South America, Africa, Asia (including China), Eastern Europe asked me occasionly about directions and sources and I gave them WCDF and ACF websites links. I never heard back from them and several my Russian friends and strong players, who can read and speak English, were very angry after visiting this forum and told me do not bother them anymore.

More worse ... one of them translated some posts on this forum on Russian and posted in "Russian checkers forum" ... Horrible

This forum makes significant damage to ACF reputation.

Jason, I am not talking about full, complete isolation or dis-association. ACF website will remain in place and all overseas visitors are welcome to be a guests on our American website.

And even forum will be there, but not connected directly to ACF website and have independent link.

Although many infomation and ideas posted on this forum have nothing to do with ACF activities and should belong to WCDF. It would be more logically to start (or re-direct) this forum onto WCDF website or make it completely independent.

ACF is professional organisation and website suppose to be the same.

Respectfully,

your champ
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Re: Website Update

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:09 pm

JohnAcker wrote:and as long as it's hosted here then the ACF can have some modicum of control.
True, but if it will be separated, then ACF will not be responsible for anything at all and not being in charge of "moderating and control".

If people need to talk - there is email, phone, SKYPE.

ACF must concentrate on it's day-to-day activities and obligations and not sitting on this forum 25 hours per day.

We are losing new members and sponsors - due to this forum.

So ... I would like to add my proposal to "Marketing" activities and discuss it among ACF members on this forum - if they are OK to use another address to connect to forum.

JohnAcker wrote:Jason, perhaps you can answer this: does any part of the current ACF website get more hits than the forum?
The answer is quite obvious - NOT. And this is the main point of my proposal - to be separated from this. Because this is the weakest part of website in terms of promotion and respect.

Respectfully,

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Re: Website Update

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:35 pm

we have a popular saying in spanish "no hay peor ciego, que el que no quiere ver"

roughly translated it means "the worst blind person, is him who refuses to see"

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Re: Website Update

Postby john reade on Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:54 am

The English version is 'There's none so deaf as those who won't listen.'
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Re: Website Update

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:58 pm

Thanks John that is probably the exact translation of the spanish saying .... except in spanish we talk of the blind ... while you guys talk of the deaf (which obviously is much much smarter, unless they can read your lips) ...
i find that popular wisdom, many times it is cross cultural ...
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Re: Website Update

Postby Jason Solan on Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:46 pm

Danny_Alvarez wrote:one of the highest marketing maxims is to APPEAL to people's emotions , if we want them to BUY our product...
we have a product rich with emotion and passion (most of us have played our first game of checkers with those whom we love best ...parents, grandparents, brothers , sisters...) why not use that to our advantage??? I propose a very simple cover page that appeals to emotions and looks AWESOME and then after that you guys can keep whatever makes you happy if change scares you so much..... a cover page with a large PROFESSIONAL photo of a grandfather and grandkid playing checkers with the acf logo in a corner and the word ENTER somewhere, perhaps a small quote somewhere near the bottom .... i am no graphic designer by any means but i am trying to sketch my suggestions .... i hope to finish soon and forward that to Mr Solan and ACF...

PS2 i want to discuss things i am not looking to argue redundantly about my intentions and/or yours


While I won't disagree emotions are a great tool, but I'm surprised that people actually like splash pages.....
I know I'm probably not the target demographic you're thinking of for sponsors, but I personally hate having that extra click.
In all truthfulness, the past few weeks my favorite hockey team had a splash page on their main page asking users to vote for the all star team. Probably 3 out of 5 times I'd go there looking for news I got annoyed and instead of clicking through, I would close the window and just go to espn.com or twitter for news.

I won't rain on your parade anymore because I appreciate any ideas and it this very well could be helpful for attracting people/sponsors. I do like the imagery and trying to draw on peoples emotions, I'm just a jaded internet user and my clicks/time are precious when browsing.
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Re: Website Update

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:56 pm

well a good compromise would be to have the page with the image as the official page that NEW USERS get to see and click ..... and if someone dislikes the extra click they can use the subsequent page as a favourite, therefore skipping it altogether .... another alternative would be to have the navigation menu, surrounding the image.


I understand your point completely Jason.... i am like that, i have the forum on my favourites and i go to the acf page only once a week or perhaps less... that is to avoid a mere 2 clicks ... so i understand and agree with your point.... but i am trying to make us look at this from the other side as if we were new users and/or sponsors and we know NOTHING of the ACF and little of checkers.

we need to come out of our comfort zone if things are to change. Jason, i am hopeless at design and my sketch is looking more like a stick figures cartoon but as soon as i am finished i'll send it to you. please promise not to laugh and/or send it to DamnLOL :)

cheers
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