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mrsmiley

mrsmiley

9/24/2004 8:41:26 AM
I have been around the 7th column for quite some time now. I officially joined as "mrsmiley" over 2 years ago, but was a semi-active member as "thesmileguy" for about a year before that. All that to say, I am no newcomer to the Seventh Column. Also, and I think many would agree, I know how to run a chapter pretty well. [url=http://www.bungie.net/fanclub/418/Group/GroupHome.aspx]MSXL[/url] came from nothing to one of the most influencial and prominant chapters out there, and I am proud of this! I do not say these things to build myself up at all, but rather to lay the groundwork that my critique of this new Column has some history to back it up! The new Seventh Column is very different in many ways, and similar in some. Some things are great, some things aren't so great. Here is my feedback, in simple format, as a "veteran" of this magnificant online community. [u][b]The Founder[/u][/b] [*] ++ Security roles are bad ass! You can group your members to have different privledges, thereby removing the hassle of changing the same privs for 10 different people when you want to make a change. Now all you have to do is add someone to the appropriate security role group, and BAM! They can only do exaclty what you allow them to! (MWUAHAhahaha) You can make up to 15 of these groups. Rock on. [*] + You can now edit a person's security settings straight from the memberlist. Thank god! (You can also remove, or blacklist them from the same list. Very handy.) [*] + Themes are back! Right now the groups may all look like polished drones, but soon Bungie (and fans!) will be hooking us up with new themes to set our group apart from each other. [*] + All of the new and old founder tools are pretty straightforward and easy to understand. (Explained well.) [*] +/- The ability to choose a unique "quick" link is kinda cool, but not really that quick. Basically, for my chapter the link is "/Fanclub/msxl/GroupHome.aspx" instead of "/Fanclub/418/GroupHome.aspx". Not all that effective, but a nice touch, I suppose. [b][u]The Forum[/u][/b] [*] + It is nice to be able to lock/pin topics now. [*] +/- As with it's integration to the new Bungie.net, the new forums have same pros and cons. (No search?) [*] - No more creative (custom) forum names. Damn. [b][u]The Resources[/u][/b] [*] ++ Aside from still being able to choose whether members or non-members can view your resources (databases), you can now limit it to moderators, and administrators as well. Sweet! [*] + 25 Custom databases is much more than I expected. Way to go! [*] +/- The custom resource tool is pretty much the same, without giving the option to form rows vertically. Oh well, no biggie. [*] - - You're telling me that I can't delete or customize the Guestbook, Contact Info, FAQ, Links, or Articles resources? Why? What if I don't want to worry about modding a Guest book, or hassling with an FAQ! Maybe a later version will allow us to choose what we put on the "quick acces" bar. Now THAT would be cool! [b][u]The Main Page[/b][/u] [*] + You can now go to any forum on B.net from the forum box. Cool. [*] + News posting has been improved, with the ability to post multiple announcements in the same "Top Story" format as Bungie.net. Nice touch. [*] + There is also an option when posting news, to have a copy automatically posted to your forum, with a link connecting the two. I used to have to manually do this. Awesome! [*] +/- Everything you need is right there at the top of the page in the main nav bar and the pop-up ones. Cool... wait a minute, where is the "goto chapter" scroll menu? Awe man, I have to go to my profile to find a different chapter to check out. 56K users will love this little added step. [*] +/- The "most popular thread" box is pretty cool, although I think the previous "last 5 posts" box was a little more helpful. [*] +/- No more front page polls... but you can still make them in the forums. Meh. [*] - The group description kinda blends right in with the news. Gives the page kind of a sloppy look. I'm sure there will be themes that fix this, but so far, with both themes provided, I believe it gives that effect. [*] - Why are we required to fill out both the "summary text" and the "full news story" text? What if we just want to post a short new blurp that everyone can read without clicking. I know this can still be done, but why should we be forced to write something pointless for when people click "continues". It would be nice to make that text optional, and have the "continues" button only if there is added text. [b][u]Final Words[/b][/u] It seems to me that the "new hotness" was definitly created by admins, with admins in mind. This is why the whole new system is so 50/50 in it's efforts to outperform the previous version. Sure, the new founder features are great, and there a few new tools that have been badly needed, but where it's strength in administration excells, it's appeal to regular members wanes. There really just isn't the versatility of the old chapter set-up. There is a good reason for this: Halo 2 means tons of traffic, and all around wear and tear on the new server. But in the end, was it really better for Bungie to sacrifice the versatile appeal of chapters for the more uniform and founder friendly rules of the groups? Only time will tell. [b][u]A Personal Opinion[/b][/u] [i]>In order to keep this review as unbaised as possible, I have removed my personal opinion. I'm sure this will be posted on my chapter when I get a better feel for this new system.<[/i] *If you think I have forgotten something, or have something to add, please send me a [url=http://www.bungie.net/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=782]personal message[/url], and I will gladly post it up. Comments welcome! [Edited on 9/24/2004 3:57:49 PM]

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