Hey folks, I just wanted to start a discussion on where we should take things going forward for the StP website and it's community. Do you want to see specific features come to the website? A change in the layout? Add or remove sections? This is a pretty open ended thread, I just want to get some input and some ideas for where we can go from here.
A few things I personally would like to see happen...
A few things I personally would like to see happen...
- streamline the website rules - I will be pulling together basically everything you need to know about the StP website and it's community into this thread. new users will get a very short introduction message/email pointing to that thread and it will be their responsibility to read it. it'll have the website rules, links to the help area, and general ettiquite we expect people to abide by. this also means that some of the more obscure rules (i.e. no asking for the crew change) will be moved from only being mentioned in the sticky threads to the main thread linked above.
- revising the website rules - i think it's time we had a review and either included some new rules or removed others that were unnecessary. most importantly we're going to be adding some new rules that basically say the staff doesn't have to sit here and take people's abuse. there's been a lot of toxicity lately from folks that either are just straight trolling or just don't share the same (i.e. mostly anarchist/left leaning) ideals and want to debate about things most people here find offensive. also the elimination of 'rules lawyering' and other such nonsense. new rules would give mods the power to (officially) ban folks that aren't willing to play nice. the main concept is 'be nice or leave' with the reassurance that we as a staff try really hard not to let things get personal. meaning, we don't ban people for disagreeing with us, we ban them for either breaking the rules or for being a fucking asshole.
- website redesign - I'm toying with the idea of a simpler, faster design with a focus on mobile devices. since almost 70% of StP members are accessing the site from a mobile this makes the most sense. I have something in mind using this template. That link is the default template, the end result would be customized to StP's needs, although I am considering keeping the blue/black color (instead of the green/black we have currently). of course your input is welcome
Update - 12/20/2019: Following community input, I've decided to stick with the green/black theme but still make several improvements that will be showing up in the next few weeks, especially for mobile users.
- moving travel stories to a thread prefix - ive been thinking for a long time that it might be more beneficial to move all the stories from the travel stories section to other forums (i.e. train hopping stories to the train hopping forum and hitchhiking stories to the hitchhiking section) and then put the 'travel story' thread prefix on them so users can still sort out stories from question, photo posts, etc. i'd still leave the 'travel stories' section as a link that would link to all threads marked with the 'travel story' thread prefix.
Update - 12/20/2019: Following community input, I think we're just going to leave the stories section as is.
- re-organizing of the destinations forum - i'm considering a re-organization of the destinations section of the forums along the lines of what was suggested in this thread.
Basically, sticky a 'general information and questions about ____ country' thread at the top of the list of threads, and then make all the threads below that about specific towns/places/etc.
- Europe (category)
-- Country 1 (category)
--- sticky 'general questions' thread about that country (thread)
--- normal thread about a specific place inside that country (thread)
--- another normal thread of a different destination inside that country (thread)
Would probably need to sort the forum sections by title instead of date. I also think we'd need a dedicated forum moderator for this area to keep it tidy.
- removal & adding of forum sections - there are some forum sections that need to be removed, some added, some just changed slightly. the main forum i want to change is 'making a living' to maybe 'Jobs & Money' or something like that just to make it a little more obvious what to expect there. ideally I would like to separate out the music and art forums into their own sections, and maybe use this addon for organizing music discussion. eventually, maybe even add this addon for discussing travel movies? who knows.
one possibly major change that i'm considering is adding a new 'off the road' section to the forums where topics that aren't quite so relevant/popular to traveling could be discussed? basically a place for the community to discuss shit that might not necessarily relate to travel, or might be related to things we all take interest in between travels.
Update - 12/20/2019: Following community input in this thread, the rearrangement of forums has been completed.
- why is no one adding anything to the resources section? - so i started the resource section a while back, as a kind of wiki-style place for static info that should be useful to folks here, but i don't think there's been a single addition to this wiki since it was started. I'm curious, why? Do folks not want to share information? is it hard to use? did you not know it was even there? Please let me know your thoughts as to why this isn't getting used.
- making it easier to find other users - im curious if anyone has any thoughts on how to make user interactivity easier? maybe a map of recent users? new profile fields? etc...
- community managers - i've always wanted to have each forum section have a dedicated mod, but i've always been told this is a bad idea. seems we have a hard enough time getting global mods much less mods that want to dedicate themselves to one (or more) individual subjects.
- ways to bring the stp website and community into real life? just a vague thought as to how we can bring StP from being just a virtual space to real life interactions. one example might be finding some way to help travelers, maybe collecting travel gear to send to those who find themselves gearless and fearless? a bit vague i know, but i think it could warrant at least some discussion.