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Maptalk Upgrades

Show Profile  nick Posted: 1 May 2009, 4:09 AM  

I agree - it would be ideal if Maptalk didn't have to carry the national responsibilities of providing centralised event info, photos, being our public face and so on.

But the argument that nzof *should* do that stuff doesn't gel with the oft stated view that nzof should *not* provide leadership on competition structure. Which is why I'm calling out all the "anti-season/DIY" people to be consistent by encouraging Maptalk to take responsibility for being the public face of orienteering. Or, is this different somehow? Or, are you just full of it?

IMO this is not off topic - it seems a pretty crucial decision; does Maptalk stick to its knitting, or evolve into something greater? Why not evolve into *the* O website for NZ?

To be honest, I don't care which website is the "public face of orienteering", so long as there is one and its good. I'd prefer nzof, but at the end of the day I rate Maptalk way above the current nzof site, and its way more likely to develop (thanks to you & Fraser). So, even though its not the ideal situation, evolving Maptalk seems the best bet.

...just an argument for you to consider

You've convinced me on 'topics' though. And I agree with Michael's point about constant updating being what keeps us interested (and this might explain your maptalk stats?). Helluva job leaving updates one person though eh!? I suppose thats the beauty of the forum - everyone contributes.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 1 May 2009, 4:27 AM  
Piss, shit, fuck - 3 reasons why this should not be an official NZOF or public face website

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 1 May 2009, 4:48 AM  
Isn't the NZOF actually aabout 2000 people. Don't we pay our levies so that we belong to the NZOF? But yes when most people say NZOF they mean the executive committee and I quite agree they can't be expected to do everything. I guess what people like Michael and Nick want is the NZOF executive to direct money and/or resources (mostly human) at certain issues. I presume this is the kind of thing discussed and prioritised in strategic plans.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 1 May 2009, 1:01 PM  
problem is now that we have two web sites, spreading resources and users, neither is a one stop shop, maybe that's a good thing, maybe not. But I believe because of this some of the potential banter and fun that could exist on maptalk doesn't happen as many people possibly don't want everyone to read their garbage. On the NZOF site much of the news or results is never put on until too late, probably because it's already on maptalk. The result of this is that I wouldn't think a lot of people check the nzof site very often.

( which could be why no one has yet noticed the lastest exciting WC and WOC selections for 2009)!!!

Nopesport does well as a one stop shop, with news, training, events, etc, and the forum has seperate zones creating areas for general, foul typed banter, techno, junior, etc. discussions. I would imagine that this could make users feel more comfortable, and hopefully the numbers of people joining in would increase. The more the merrier.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 7 May 2009, 2:13 PM  
I've had a discussion with Simon about the button on the events page which makes it go when you select clubs, regions, types etc. He likes "Filter", but I didn't at first recognise it as the action button. I think "Go" would be a better option, what do others think?

Some forums have the ability to upload pictures (maybe of limited size). It would be good for example to see discussion of Twalk with the costumes, or bits of maps in a mapping topic. Is that feasible?

Show Profile  Tane Cambridge Posted: 7 May 2009, 2:34 PM  
I didnt even notice that it said "filter"...But "go" sounds a bit stupid. I think "OK" might be more appropriate.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 8 May 2009, 2:20 AM  
I initially had "sort" as I was sorting events! But changed it to "filter" following a few queries with a few people as to what they thought was the best term :-) Go or Ok still doesn't actually show what its going to do.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 8 May 2009, 2:34 AM  
If you dont know what its going to do, then what the hell are you doing using the drop down list, talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill, does it even matter, ok/go/filter/sort who bloody cares.

Show Profile  Rog Posted: 9 May 2009, 7:45 AM  
Q. What is the purpose and goals of the and its forum?

Q. Who are the target audiences for the maptalk and its forums?

Q. Why do the visitors to the site need this site?

It appears there is some disagreement to these questions which are critical in deciding the future direction of the site.

Spell checking - For those wanting spell checking - Firefox 3.x spell checks within standards based website forms as you type. Other browsers will most likely follow suit in the near future.

Some suggestions for future versions of maptalk:

1. - An API that allows other websites to upload, *update*, and retrieve events information stored on maptalk events.

2. - Publishing of events information to other sites: i.e. upload it once to maptalk - and it automatically is submitted to all the target event listing websites for promotion. (Would save hours of work, improve promotions, but is difficult to do)

3. - I agree searching would be very useful - (Would Googles Custom Search product be suitable? )

4. - Ability to have the same forum thread available on multiple sites. e.g. A subsection relating to a special event is on the event website as well as maptalk website. If someone posts on either site it appears on both sites etc. Wider audience that way.

5. Customised Carpooling/travel function to allow first timers to get to the forest (a potential stumbling block for some to get into the sport. They may be reluctant to post on forum as is, if its not encouraged.)

6. A Wiki style knowledge base of information. Where users can log in and update the information. Contribute to topics etc.

7. Links to photos other than the official list of photos for publications

8. Member Personalisation - Email notifications based on requested frequency (each post/daily journal/weekly journal) relating to topics interested in. Select which topics/sections interested in. e.g. include/exclude mapping notifications.

9. I like the idea of topics and structure to the forum and *guidelines* for posting that we all can agree on. We could also add in personalisation of view of the forum.

In addition, The forum is split into two parts:

PUBLIC - "Public general orienteering topics" sections publicly viewable, which are moderated, and have guidelines for posts - just like most other forums on the web.

MEMBERSHIP - "Members restricted" sections. Can be read by those who log in and specifically request that section of the forum.
These could have more relaxed guidelines on posts compared to public, specific to that section.

Once a person joins and is logged in, a member can select what sections (public and private) they want to see or get notified about. Each section having their own guidelines for postings.

e.g.1. I log in and click on "select all sections", Agree to posting guidelines, and am done. I see all postings.

e.g.2. Someone else creates a member account, logs in, and selects mapping and general sections only. etc. They see those postings.

e.g.3. Someone doesn't have an account, they can see the public forum topics.

I can think of positives and negatives from doing that.

As an aside:

Does the disclaimer on Greg's posts imply Maptalk endorses, supports, sanctions, encourages, verifies, or agrees with the comments, opinions, or statements posted by all other users?

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 10 May 2009, 1:04 AM  
Lots of good ideas Roger, but does the use really justify that sort of investment, financial or volunteer time?

I am all for Maptalk being the dynamic face of orienteering in NZ. The primary outlet for news, photos, event information and gossip (the forum). NZOF is a "grey" site and should stay that way, providing more of a conservative, bedrock presence.

I think news and photos would be used more if they had more of a profile on the homepage (or is it just that my screen is small??) Even though I am one of the few people to contribute to news occasionally I forget that it even there.

It would be cool if we could add more functionality to forum posts like michael suggests...images of maps...maybe even links...

Having used a few "restricted" forums I think that people are just as likely to contribute in the current format...anyone got any good examples of a restricted entry forum that facilitates more discussion??

I think it would be good for us to have a good idea of the different roles of all the different media in NZO....from the mag, to NZOF site, to maptalk, Michael Woods sites, O Squad blog, I think we tend to draw arbitrary lines between these which don't really exist...

ps. Nick. who are the choose your own season/DIY people you talk about? I'm confused. Akld orienteering? Jenni, Me and the South islanders? If I didn't know better I'd think you've been to a few National Party communication seminars....

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 10 May 2009, 1:56 AM  
If, by "Michael Woods sites" you mean the NZOF rogaine, MTBO and SkiO pages that's a pity. Even if for the moment I maintain them (for ease of update) they are logically part of the NZOF website and I don't like to think of them as separate. NZOF contributes to the cost.

I once asked the webmaster for some templates so that they could look like the rest of the NZOF website. I still hope for a vibrant NZOF website, and clearly, distributed content responsibility is necessary for that. It can be achieved by modern website technology that allows certain people to update their parts, or by those people maintaining their own websites with the same "look and feel".

Bedrock yes, but with interesting crags sticking out.

We have a new webmaster, maybe we can make some progress. Perhaps the new vice president can guide him.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 10 May 2009, 2:48 AM  
mmmm I guess thats just the way I categorise them, it doesn't necessarily translate that others think of them like that...

It does reflect the difficulty though of getting different people/perspectives to contribute....

...and I disagree, they are logically part of could make them part of maptalk if you posted to and then took a feed...

I can't see any rational in trying to change the NZOF website as opposed to maptalk. Maptalk already has some dynamic functionality and already has a following.

Other NSOs, eg bike NZ with or trying to develop an online community associated with their national body, we already have that, lets concentrate on developing it...

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 11 May 2009, 8:02 AM  
Some good feedback so far.

I've added a search bar at the bottom of the home page for now. Might find a new place for it after a redesign.

If there is a demand for it I can look at developing an API or some widgets which would allow clubs to display their event listings on their own websites. Please let me or Simon know if there is any demand for this.

Show Profile  Jason Posted: 10 June 2009, 5:01 PM  
I think we are very fortunate to have Maptalk. Well done to those who set it up.

Like Bryan I suggest a search function so I can find a key word. Maybe creating an archive would serve this purpose; which could then be downloaded as text files?

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 12 June 2009, 5:01 AM  
1. Thanks for that search Fraser, but I had to search for it! I normally come in via favourites which link to the forum. That's where I would want to search, but I can't find a quick way of getting from there to the "home page" other than by editing the url right back to

2. What about having forum postings latest-first?

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