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Thread: Is Electric Scotland too large?

  1. #1

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    Is Electric Scotland too large?

    I was talking to someone in the Scots Diaspora who is quite active in a number of Scottish American organisations. I was being told that my site is too large and rather intimidating.

    I grant that the site is huge and just the other day we found that we have some 72 Gbytes of data available.

    It is difficult to create good navigation to all our data so we do have layers of menus to get you to all of it. However while you can certainly enjoy a browse through the site I've always been of the opinion that if you are looking for something specific that you should use our site search engine. All the results are from our web site apart from perhaps the first few links which are really Google adverts.

    The other way to use the site is to check on the What's New page as that will tell you what's being added to the site in the past 3 weeks or so. Should you spot a new book we're adding then you can follow along as we put it up.

    As you may have spotted... this year I'm working on places in Scotland as my core focus. Should any of you have a particular place you'd like me to find for you please feel free to send me an email and I'll do my best to find a book about it. As well as giving me the place you might also give me the name of the general area as while there might not be a book about the place there might be a book about the general area which would include information on your town.

    I've been approaching places in alphabetic order mostly so am up to the K's right now.

    Anyway... if you have any ideas on how I could improve the site and make it more friendly these feel free to give me your suggestions.

    I might also add that we are considering converting the site to a CMS (Content Management System) format. This means that all our data would need to be converted to a database system. Which ever way you look at it this would be a massive amount of work or would likely cost a lot of money which we don't have. Later this year we are going to start looking at this very seriously and we may well end up seeking donations to help fund the work or finding a large company that might see value in helping us.

    Alastair

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  3. #2

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    Re: Is Electric Scotland too large?

    Alastair,

    Probably like many others I am no "computer whiz", however if you are interested in what is on offer in ES, then it only takes a little effort to work things out, when all is said and done it is probably easier to navigate than all these new electronic devices with multible remotes and covered in strange symbols just to confuse all and sundry. Like anything in this world, if it's worth achieving, it's worth the effort.

    Gordon.

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  5. #3

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    Re: Is Electric Scotland too large?

    Thanks Gordon... I have to confess that I don't really know of any other way to handle the navigation so you can actually get to all our content. Should anyone have any ideas on how to improve things I'm always willing to listen.

    In fact the last suggestion I got was to break up our Books page so I tried to segment that page into kind of similar material. So places in Scotland became one section and autobiographies/biographies became another section and so on.

    Alastair

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  7. #4

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    Re: Is Electric Scotland too large?

    The site has a huge number of threads. The figure for gegabytes of information is mind boggling. Would trimming be an option(?), I really don't know but if it is I would be the last person to do that.....I have trouble getting rid of old e-mail, old PMs and some of my mementos go back a long way.
    I would suggest keeping the wee notes at the top of the page, the "aren't you up late" and "aren't you up early"; I do like them....it's probably an age thing but they have a warm cozy feel to them.

  8. #5

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    Re: Is Electric Scotland too large?

    The site has a huge number of threads. The figure for gegabytes of information is mind boggling. Would trimming be an option(?), I really don't know but if it is I would be the last person to do that.....I have trouble getting rid of old e-mail, old PMs and some of my mementos go back a long way.
    I would suggest keeping the wee notes at the top of the page, the "aren't you up late" and "aren't you up early"; I do like them....it's probably an age thing but they have a warm cozy feel to them.

  9. #6

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    Re: Is Electric Scotland too large?

    Frankly Alastair, I wouldn't take the "too large and intimidating" criticism too seriously. That's the nature of the game on the internet and in fact, size is it's strength. The ES search function is key to finding particular topics and works well in my experience. I also bookmark a few of the pages that I use regularly. And just wandering around the "browse" once in awhile can be rewarding too. There's only so much that can be expected of you and none of us ever makes everyone happy, but I'm very happy and appreciative of all you do!

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  11. #7

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    Re: Is Electric Scotland too large?

    Thanks Rick... I had hoped the site search engine would be better used than it is. I keep getting emails in looking for information and I then use it myself to be able to answer their query and of course then wonder why they didn't use it themselves.

    Alastair

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  13. #8

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    Re: Is Electric Scotland too large?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alastair View Post
    Thanks Rick... I had hoped the site search engine would be better used than it is. I keep getting emails in looking for information and I then use it myself to be able to answer their query and of course then wonder why they didn't use it themselves.

    Alastair
    Alastair,

    I think some people are a little bit lazy, what happened to the old "Pioneering" spirit??? If everybody sat back and asked for help, the world wouls still be in the dark ages. Just as well we have the Scots.............

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