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BotM - What do YOU look for?

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  • BotM - What do YOU look for?

    I have a general question for those who vote in the BotM polls, as I know not everybody votes. I've been told twicein the past, regarding a couple of my odler styles, that they were BotM quality. However, come vote time, they were always dead last. A few things to note here about my styles, and boards in general. I don't tend to alter the templates that much, use hack/addons, or portals on most. My reasoning is that if the style itself is good enough, you can still gain that true sense of originality and indivuality that's needed while retaining the familirity users have with the default templates. That I think shows some skill in itself. However, I see more board winning that have been modded beyond belief. While there's nothing wrong with that, I'm a bit confused as to what people are really looking for when judging these sites. You could do me, and probably others as well, a grand fvor by telling us what it is you personally look at, or for, when viewing contestants. Thanks!
    House of Night Forums - An online House of Night roleplaying community,

  • #2
    I usually just see which board has strayed the furthest from the default style, has a unique look, is easy on the eyes, and overall looks good. I think the BotM is more of a style-content than anything else, and I'd be surprised if anybody said they voted based on anything but the style.

    MGM out

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    • #3
      This is what I'm wondering about though. Why do you feel that "those who've strayed the furthest from the default style" have better styles than those who simply adjust the css, header, footer, and maybe one or two other templates? In my opinion, the one who does the most, with the least amount of changes, and is able to integrate a unique feel while maintaining familiarity has done the better job.

      Others opinions?
      House of Night Forums - An online House of Night roleplaying community,

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      • #4
        I look at the community. Style means very little to me. I normally vote for active boards or boards I would join.
        I never vote for graphic intense styles. If it takes more than a couple seconds to load on my 8meg connection I'm gone.
        Admins Zone - Resources for Forum Administrators

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        • #5
          What if it's a start up but has great potential? How do you know if something has potential? Sorry, I'm not being an arse, just trying to find out how people think. Thanks for indulging.
          House of Night Forums - An online House of Night roleplaying community,

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          • #6
            WHen it comes to voting for me, I select it based on a number of things:

            Alterations to the original default style is essential. It take little to alter the colors and add a new logo (but some folks don't ever do that!) but it must go further than a slight variation.

            Colors, icons, logo to all fit the theme and match the target audience.

            Then I look at community. Is it a healthy community? Lots of activity? A reason for being? A theme/art that matches? What other add-ons are featured for the use of the community within the vb software? Gallery? Journals? Content? Content? Content? (Yup, its true. Graphics must uphold the community as a whole or else there is no need to even exist)

            My bottom line (to answer your specific question) is another question: Why vote for a board that is a slight variation to the original default design?

            It must be light, load fast but be unique for me to bother voting.

            BTW, have ya'll voted this month?
            Fan Club member for VBulletin Dev and Support Team ;)

            Hysterectomy - GirlsGetGoing.com - Fabulous Fifty

            I'm frequently asked about the skin designer for my forums. ForumSkin.com

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            • #7
              I won't vote for a startup. As I said style means little to me so the only thing I have to go is the community atmosphere.
              I might not be the only one to feel this way. Look at recent winners. All of them had great communities with a pleasing to the eye, fast loading style. It's been a while since an eye candy bloated style with little of no built up community has won.

              I agree with all of what Kathy said except for one thing. While I would like to see at least some color changes I have seen many huge forums with great community atmosphere that use stock style and even use the vbulletin logo. If one them were nominated I would vote for them. I have also seen some butt ugly forums, but, the content and community more than made up for the style. While neither of the above examples would be likely to win vbotm I would vote for them.
              Last edited by AWS; Sun 21st Aug '05, 2:00pm.
              Admins Zone - Resources for Forum Administrators

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              • #8
                How would you rate the realm then (link in sig)? It's been around well over a year, has a VERY tight nit, select group of people that post consistantly. Most of them I am now close friends with. But the style has little change. The header, footer, and very minor edits in a few other select places. That's it. However, I feel that it's "mine" in that it has a feel of uniqueness without actually changing much.

                None of what I said above though would seem to stand out in your (re: Kathy) definition though because all you would see is "one year and only 85 uesrs" and "well he didn't do much with the style". So, how would you rate my community? What makes it better or worse than a site that's been around longer and has more members, or one with many hacks?
                House of Night Forums - An online House of Night roleplaying community,

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                • #9
                  I like the wizarding realm style just fine. The header area is nice and helps support the theme. The words: "Come join the adventure" seems out of place for font choice. Its kinda hard to read. But over all, I like the header and the browns you have chosen for the category and table borders. (Recently I've seen a whole arty car in the header for a software site which makes no sense. Visitors don't seem to have noticed that the theme of the art had nothing to do with the community though. They are wowed by the photoshop....)

                  Personally, my old lady eyes have a hard time with sites that have dark backgrounds. But the dark background is the choice for Harry Potter in this case and the right colors for the theme.

                  Icons on forumdisplay (blue and orange) seem out of place. Could you find some that are more muted and brownish?

                  Overall, it looks good and you should be proud of your community and the energy you have invested.
                  Fan Club member for VBulletin Dev and Support Team ;)

                  Hysterectomy - GirlsGetGoing.com - Fabulous Fifty

                  I'm frequently asked about the skin designer for my forums. ForumSkin.com

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                  • #10
                    I really dont think activity should matter... I mean, not everybody has been around for years to be able to get an active community... which is why I base my vote on the amount of work done to the board. IMO, the more work you put into your community, the better chance of success in the future.

                    MGM out

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Kathy.

                      Therein lies a good point MGM and is along the lines of the one I am trying to make. I already consider the Realm a success. I have members and they are happy, therefore, I am happy. I am not even sure I want the community to ever reach the point of thousands of members or a half-a-million posts. So then, what defines success? Is it purely up to the viewer to determine? If the majotiry think as rigidly as some seem to, then boards like mine, will simply never stand a chance, even though the ones who created them and use them already feel like they've met their goals. The sad thing is, there are a great many boards out there in this situation but nobody knows about them becuase they were never, and may not ever be, recognised because of some belief that a board has to constantly have 20+ users online at all times and multitudes of content. Now, don't missunderstand, I'm not ranting or really even trying to fault anywhere. More accurately I'm trying to get a better picture of how other forum admins view things. I am aware that no matter how many replies I get here, or how good the arguments are, it will still be askew because the other side (users only) input needs to be present too. Well anyway...hehe...dang it's hot today. My AC is low on coolant and I'm frying sitting here.
                      House of Night Forums - An online House of Night roleplaying community,

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                      • #12
                        A successful forum isn't measured by the winning of vbotm.

                        Your forum is successful if you are happy with the community and the progress you have made based on the plans you have set forth.

                        I know many vbotm winners that I wouldn't consider successful. I know many vbotm "losers" who have the most successful forums on the internet.

                        The measure of a forums success isn't in an award...but in the community itself.

                        Its silly to worry about why you may or may not win vBoTM. Look at me. I've been nominated a few times and never won. And I think my forum is one of the best on the internet, second to none in its category and content. And yes, I think its the best looking one too.
                        Last edited by Kathy; Sun 21st Aug '05, 3:50pm.
                        Fan Club member for VBulletin Dev and Support Team ;)

                        Hysterectomy - GirlsGetGoing.com - Fabulous Fifty

                        I'm frequently asked about the skin designer for my forums. ForumSkin.com

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                        • #13
                          LOL! No, I'm not overconcerned about the vote itself, or the results. Only the thought behind it. And I think you're beginning to see what I'm talking about.

                          *If* the measure of a site does not rest in the hands of a vote, by a limited (and often biased) userbase, why have it at all? On the other hand...maybe the vB staff should simply decide amongst themselves from the list of seconded sites. That would better represent things, ruling out boards with hacks (they do it for support, why not the vote, leave THAT vote to vb.org)?

                          "Who has best utilized our software."

                          And thanks for the continued discussion, it's been interesting.
                          House of Night Forums - An online House of Night roleplaying community,

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                          • #14
                            Well, I have long been confused and frustrated by the process myself. Why? I'm competitive enough that I'd like to win. I think my site supports that possibility.

                            But it hasn't. And you are right. Few vote. And those that vote rarely vote the way I vote..... But it does have at its heart a value for the software and the graphic interface. And while I'd like to have some other way of selection, I'm okay with it since it is what it is.

                            Onward and upward, eh?
                            Fan Club member for VBulletin Dev and Support Team ;)

                            Hysterectomy - GirlsGetGoing.com - Fabulous Fifty

                            I'm frequently asked about the skin designer for my forums. ForumSkin.com

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                            • #15
                              Agreed. And my vote was cast to HysterSisters by the way last time it was up.
                              House of Night Forums - An online House of Night roleplaying community,

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