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Ali

To improve ShiaChat.com... [OFFICIAL THREAD]

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Salams,

Your input is needed. Every member is asked to simply finish this statement in one sentence.

To improve ShiaChat.com, I would...

Serious input only please, and one reply from each member. This is not a discussion thread, just a place for every member to tell us what they would do to improve this site. Inshallah I'll take this brain storming and make some of these ideas a reality.

This will inshallah act as a To-do list for our Dev. team and I'll try to respond to all replies. I will also delete any reply that is not an answer to the above posted question.

Wa salam.

Edited by magma

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(salam)

Have moderators / admins responding to queries / PM's.

Wa`Salaam

Admin Reply:

On the next forum update, I'm thinking of setting up a Help center, where you send in a support ticket, you get a ticket number and it gets responded to by a moderated, escalated to an admin if need be, etc.

Problem is, when 10,000 members, majority have issues with the forum or concerns, complaint, they all decide to PM me rather than PMing the mod. responsible or posting in the support forum. I start to delete PMs or ignore the majority.

This idea will Inshallah resolve that issue.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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To improve ShiaChat.com, I would make the Shia Chat chat room a safer place. I beleive it was better when the 'only English' rule was applied, and most of the times there was always a topic going on. Also we need to take care of pervs. And instead of trashing the really really really trashy threads, I would just delete them, and inform the starter about it.

Admin Reply:

It's a 24/7 chat environment. Other than adding more mods (which I'm sure Sis. Wilayah is always doing..) there is nothing that we can do to guarantee perverts will stay away.

As for "too much fun" in the chatroom. I see the chatroom as more of a relaxing place for members to enjoy their stay on Shiachat.com rather than be on any other chatroom that is not Islamic in nature. Ofcourse there should be Islamic discussions (which I still see happen alot) but if there isn't any, which again happens alot, then whats the harm in just having fun?

As for the language issue. I'm not sure when that changed, I'm always up for keeping it English only. I would put it under review if this is causing issues and will bring it up to Sis. wilayah.

`Ali

English only still applies in the chatroom but is not as strictly implemented, nor is there a need for it to be. People need to learn basic manners and common courtesy when interacting in public. If a topic is being discussed by the majority then it is common courtesy that all participating do so in english. On the other hand if two people are talking to each other when there is no main topic, and they aren't being disruptive, I'm not going to be a brutas and tell them to speak in English. Likewise if its a group of people who speak the same language and are doing so when there is no main topic taking place.

As for perverts, the ones that have been found have been immediately banned. It has been stated over again that the chatmods take a zero tolerance attitude to perverts. That being said, it is up to individual members to report any inappropriate behaviour. All are aware that chatroom dialogues, both main and private, are logged and in order to protect people's privacy, I've taken it upon myself to only go through logs if a matter is reported. For this to be maintained, I urge members who are faced with members harrassing them and directing inappropriate dialogue to report it to me or any chatmod.

wilayah

Edited by wilayah

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(salam)

To improve ShiaChat.com, I would improve the control Panel'ing issues. We PM people and we don't know whether it went to the Never-found land or to the person we're aiming at. It's quite annoying sometimes when you write a long PM and then it would bomb you out when knowing that the other party has not recieved it.

Thank you :)

Wassalam

Admin Reply:

Salams,

This forum software we're using is a third party software that was not created by me or anyone on this team. We simply report bugs back to the forum creaters and they fix them. However, I still cannot reproduce this error to show it to the tech. team so that they may fix it. I've never had this problem myself. One thing is for sure, if you click on Send and it takes you back to your Inbox, it means that message has been sent, if not, then resend. Make sure you use the "tracking PM" option and "save a copy in sent folder" as well incase it was not sent and to keep an eye on the progress of the PM.

Other than that, the latest version of thos forum, V2.1 final is almost here and we'll be upgrading with tons of new features. I'm sure this issue would fix itself once it's released.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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To improve ShiaChat.com, I would do an annual clean up. Clean up all the old threads that are useless (broken links, no point in the thread, etc.), delete them. And maybe change the forum theme, it's been a while now.

Admin Reply:

With almost a million post, it'll be next to impossible to go through threads and delete the useless ones. This is why the Trash-pit was introduced to avoid wasting time on doing a yearly cleanup and simply delete useless threads on the spot.

If there are any useless threads remaining, it would be in the Off-topic forum which I don't think I ever want to prune. I think it's cool that there is nothing that you can search for on this site and end up with no results. I'd like to keep it this way regardless of how far from the "Islam" subject the topic is.

The only thing I do delete is members with 0 posts and I run random scripts such as recount tools to recount members posts, topic replies, forum topics, etc..

Go to Google, type "shiachat" follow by any other freakin word and you'll end up on a thread on this site. That's whats cool about it. Keeping these old threads in our database will only help us reach that goal of being the largest Islamic forum online.

Checkout www.big-boards.com

As for forum themes, that would have to mean we have to result to using skins. Skins are a bad idea when using this type of forum as it would prevent us from upgrading to the latest versions of the software in-turn protect ourselves from hack-attacks. I will however try my best to make small changes, ie, colour, images here and there but I would never use skins unless I can pay for it and the author of the skin can guarantee an upgrade skin within 24 hours of when an update for the forum is released.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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(salam)

1.Automatic update every 10 seconds,so u don't need to refresh the page.

2.Rate topic's.

3.Have a bar that's chooses randomly an old topic.

Admin Reply:

1) That would instantly crash the server, with a forum this size. Will not happen.

2) Coming in the next update, V2.1 Final

3) I don't see the use for that. Imagine someone posts a useless topic or a spam topic, or even a vulgar topic. Wouldn't be too cleaver.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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Salam

To improve shiachat I would some how try to maintain the standard and encourage a more decent, focused and a constructive environment on the site. I.e. by deleting/trashing more of the irrelevant and inappropriate topics. (this is obviously quite difficlut with so many users now)

The environment on the site was very constructive and decent about 2 years ago.

Malek

Admin Reply:

That's because 2 years ago we had 25% of the members and amount of posts we have today.

We're always working on maintaining a decent environment on this site, but like I said with regards to maintaining an educational and also a fun environment on this site, we have to learn to balance both so that the members seeking fun on this forum will get their bit and those seeking only knowledge will get theirs as well. Also, we'd like to keep 1 moderator for every 500 members. That might need to change as more members are active now than ever.

You know which forums to avoid

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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I don't know if theres already one but I think there should be a button that says my posts. Instead of putting your name in the search. Also on the pms If you put track message you can delete the message before they recieve it but I didnt see a way to look at the message you sent to edit or look at it to remember what you said etc.

Admin Reply:

Click your name, then click:

-Find member's posts

-Find member's topics

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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(salam) to all,

Here I go again with my typical American suggestion,

Why not have a ShiaChat.com STORE!

Asking people to donate is fine, however, I'm a big fan of offering something of value that people want and financially supporting the site in the process. I don't know if your incorporated in Canada as a non-profit, and even if you are, I'm sure that whatever revenue is generated can be easily (and quickly) put back into operations and improvements.

Here's a partial list of things I would sell (at a reasonable, yet "worthwhile" price)

- Shiachat.com T-Shirts (brought up before)

- Shiachat.com Mousepads (no-brainer)

- Shiachat.com Coffee mugs, water bottles, etc. (again, no brainer)

- Shiachat.com headscarves (kind of out there...but..whatever, some ladies will buy them, inshahAllah)

- Shiachat.com caps (Everyone likes a cool cap..will sell better in summer)

etc. etc,

Admin Reply:

This was on the top of my to-do list but it never launched because of the fact that these shirts cost an arm and a leg to ship. We had a store a while ago with www.cafepress.com. They have the best verity and prices but it was still expensive, therefore I never launched it. Also, there isn't much interest in ShiaChat.com t-shirts, therefore I usually just end up offering them as prizes and such.

ShiaChat.com is doing well Alhamdullilah financially due to a couple of devoted people that will simply not let this site down without paying an arm and a leg to maintain it. Donations are always welcomed but if we were to open a store it wouldn't be to earn revenue but to spread the Shiachat.com name.

`Ali

(salam) Ali

Is it still on your list at all? Have you looked at getting them from China or Korea (much, much cheaper then buying from suppliers in Canada or U.S., even with shipping costs)? Even if it's just to create awareness I think it's worth doing...B.T.W., This is not my business, and I don't have any suppliers "in mind", but I do think it's a really good idea and I'm willing to research it for you, inshahAllah, if you need help.

Admin Reply

See I didn't know about importing, and howmuch time I would waste on something like this. Ie, getting them printed, shipped, setting up orders etc. Start a new thread, we'll discuss it individually inshallah. If someone wants to take over this job, I would ofcourse OK it and provide the funds.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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(salam)

To improve ShiaChat, we need a “Muta and Polygamy Forum” under Marriage forum where muta related thread get trashed (archived). We need more members in development forum to make cool thing happen. And we need more admin to ban people. :shaytan:

Admin Reply:

Start a thread about that in the Dev. forum, I think it sounds good. We might go for it.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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Guest THE GUARDIAN OF FAITH

(salam)

To improve ShiaChat.com, I would..have a limit to how many post a member can have in a day.

Also, in the chat; their are people who use swear words. I suggest if they type a swear word, they should be automatically logged off.

Admin Reply

It's not fair to limit post count as many members who are posting useful things would not want such a limit upon themselves due to spammers who can't control themselves.

It easier to war/suspend the few spammers we have than to limit the entire member dataase.

As for Chat swear words, there are already filters in affect. If we missed a word, PM Wilayah and she'll add it.

Edited by Ali

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To improve ShiaChat.com, I would ^object to the above suggestion, but I would add a minimum word count on a post (as done by many other forums) to avoid spam. Meaning, a person must type a certain amount of words before he/she can post.

Admin Reply:

No such feature in the current version. I believe this is possible in the next version, if not, there would probably be an add-on and I HATE add-ons for the same reason I gave with regards to the Skin/theme suggestion.

Edited by Ali

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(salam)

To discourage people who post trash to INCREASE their posts, perhaps a reversal action can happen? Three 'warnings', and they loose something like '10 posts'!

Wa`Salaam

Admin Reply

After a topic ends up in Trash, and then deleted, as stated above, we run recount tools that will recount all post counts for all members so it will decrease once the script finishes.

To do this manually is a headache. Again, I'd rather suspend/ban like I've been doing lately..

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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To improve Shiachat, I would like to see a significant drive to clamp down on people of one faith or background lampooning another. As I have pointed out to the admins and mods in separate PMs as well as in regular posts, this has the potential of increasing bitterness among members on acccount of religion, of spilling out of Shiachat's own backyard onto the streets, and thereby leading to a worsening state of world affairs.

Instead, I would like to see encouragement by Shiachat for the presentation of the positive side of Islam, which, currently, in contrast to the religious flame wars is insignificant. For example, there are far more Shia posters trying to fight with the Sunnis or people of other faiths than those trying to discuss Hazrat Ali's letter to Malik-e-Ashtar. This should be reversed.

I would also like to see the use of informal and impolite language being seriously discouraged in inter-religious discussions. This is not happening effectively now even though it might be Shiachat's stated or implied intention to do so.

And I would also seriously like to see the development of Shiachat into a site that presents SHIA ISLAM to the world in a confident and seriously accepted manner. The thread "Countering false propaganda" is a measure in the direction. There are more things that could be done to achieve this end.

More later if I may be allowed.

Reply from Admin:

All the suggestions mentioned above are things we aim to do but simply cannot perfect due to the size and real time nature of this board. We will be adding more moderators Inshallah as the site grows.

As for "Countering false propaganda", much like what I've said on that thread, it's under consideration and will probably be opened.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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Guest THE GUARDIAN OF FAITH

Salam Aleekum,

To improve Shiachat, I would allow your members to invite their friends to come and see your site. Mabey somewhere on the top of the screen you could have a '''Tell-A-Friend''' section, it would increase the amount of members on Shiachat and members could easily get their friends involved with this invitation.

Reply from Admin:

This is a feature available in the next forum update.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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Moderators should be elected by the members and not appointed.

Reply from Admin:

unfortunately, that won't happen as it would be like a popularity contest. I believe the moderator team is the best group to choice new members to join them. Some times we ask members with very little posts to join us as Moderators when they prove worthy. It's not the "known members" that usually end up moderators, but the active members with potential that do.

After all, it's a responsibility not a privilege to be a mod.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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This site should promote creative talents, rather than trashing those creative threads which members put a lot of time and effort in writing up. A subforum for Creative Writing would be appreciated.

Reply from Admin:

I've yet to see a decent thread that ended up in trash. Any post that ends up in trash has no talent. If members wish to post their tallens, there are many forums to do that such as:

Poetry, lyrics and songs

Articles, Graphics, Multimedia, etc.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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(bismillah)

To improve shiachat I would :

1:add items to the media section that are in other languages aswell as arabic.

2: improve one the front page making sure the oline books, the shia links page, the media, the links to the scholars sites plus other resources were cited CLEARLY there aswell as making it look more visibly inviting. Improve on the resources and links that we offer. SO basically there are all these section plus the forum that we can access from the front page, and its more inviting( not just the headers).

Reply from Admin:

1/ That's Br. YaAba3abdillah's project and I believe he is thinking of doing just that.. However, he speaks Arabic and English and cannot upload any material he doesn't understand. The material we have up there in unique and not available anywhere else online. If anyone has such material in urdu, farsi or any other language, by all means let Br. Ya Aba 3abdillah know and he'll bring you on his team

2/ A new header design is in the works to take care of all these changes :)

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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To improve Shia Chat I would ban all modern weaponry from signatures and avatars in the hope of promoting peace, also anyone who exploits children by showing pictures of them with weapons or posed with weapons should be banned.

Just as important respect for all faiths should be enforced.

Peace

Satyaban

Reply from Admin:

Sounds like a good idea if we manage to implement it. But again, with a forum this size we'll miss many signatures. I will bring it up to the Mod. forums and see if we can implement this as a rule.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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(salam)

Since there are too much of insults and bad blood oozing out of the sunni-shia forum, Allow me to suggest a few improvements (since the Admin has already ruled out a complete re-vamping of the sunni-shia forum as advocated by brother Baqar) !

Suggestions:

1) Moderators should be prevented to debate actively in a thread (especially in the sunni-shia forum) as objectivity is impaired !!

2) One sunni Moderator needs to be appointed (I even have a name in mind! )

3) One Christian Moderator also will give greater credibility to the Islam-Christianity-Judaism Forum and help bring more christians to post and debate ! (There are only 2 possible candidates : either Rob or IMAnonymous )

Reply from Admin:

1/ When chosing moderators, we usually chose active members. Making active members moderators and then limiting their posting ability is not fair to them and will hurt the forum. Moderators should be able to post anywhere they want, allthough I do understand where you're coming from.

Here is a "rule" from the moderators guidelines that will show you how moderators are asked to deal with such issues:

"If a moderator by any chance gets into any personal arguments with any of the users, its recommended that this moderator asks another moderator or administrator to deal with this specific user to avoid any problems. Any disputed between moderators should be brought up to the administrator to be resolved." This applies for threads and topics as well.

2/ This has been done a couple of years ago and it did not turn out well so it will never be repeated.

3/ Same as above. There is no reason that a person who does not believe in the Prophet hood of Muhammed (pbuh) or the wilayah of Ahlulbayt (as) be given the power over those who do in their own forum.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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1: Shiachat needs to be physically expanded, that is, I would build a section for news and articles to be posted by selected members, staff and dev. team, and for that I would use IPB Portal www.ipbmods.net which will integrate into the board.

2: I would discourage the spamming, enable the flood control and DISALLOW kids under 13 to post on the forum.

3: I would replace the good old mods (who has got life and somehow cant dedicate enough time to Shiachat anymore) with the new ones (tough job) and create a new usergroup to give the old mods a unique title and and some priviliges. Shiachat needs some good mods, seriously (I am tired of silly threads).

4: I would upgrade the forum software :P

Note from Admin:

1/ As stated previously, this will all come inshallah after 2.1 final.

2/ Flood control is enabled, but as answered previously, it's easier to ban these spammers rather than limit the entire member database from utilizing shiachat for what it is, a forum.

3/ New mods are constantly being added. There are no "old mods", they're just on temp. extended leave.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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Guest Razashan

To improve Shiachat.com,i would Add a Forum "Games/Movies/Cartoons etc"

Note from Admin:

This is an Islamic forum. We're trying to get rid of and limit these forums, not bring more of them!

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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Why do my posts get deleted? :angry: I demand answers!

Note from Admin:

Read my first post in this thread..

" I will also delete any reply that is not an answer to the above posted question."

This rule applies to all :)

Improvements:

ShiaChat Zoo

A place to post all your lovely and adorable animal stories and pictures! There are plenty of threads to fill up a subforum!

Just for Fun

So none of the fun threads get thrown away in the trashpit, to be deleted forever :cry: My "Would you marry Willy Wonka" poll was not trash pit-worthy :dry: I resent it being deleted!

Hope to see these up and running soon! InshAllah :D They will be a wonderful addition to ShiaChat and make it a more welcoming place :D

Note from Admin:

ShiaChat Zoo? I dont even think that deserves an answer. But if you do really want one, see the reply to the brother above.

As for your second suggestion, it's still in the process of being approved. You have access to that dev. forum as I do, and you know how slow things take place there. We need input from all mods before approving such a big addition.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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Disable signature viewing for guest accounts .. i don't like the fact that first time visitors to shiachat who have come via google or anywhere else are subjected to violent images in the sigs .. this gives a very bad image of shia islam .. hope this ability is available in the next version of this forum software.

Reply from Admin:

I too wish that this woul dbe a feature for the next update. But if it's not, I think it's an important enough feature to break my "no-mod" rule and add it.

Inshallah I will do so once I review this to-do list after we upgrade to 2.1

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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To improve ShiaChat.com, I would Really like if there was a voice chat

Reply from Admin:

Oh if I get a dollar everytime this is brought up. We're still collectivly against this idea because of the real-time nature of a voicechat room. It's hard enough to monitor a Chatroom, but a voicechat room would be multiple times harder. However, we still might bring a voice chat room up only when there is a moderator around.. This is still on the top of the to-do pile but dont expect it anytime soon.

`Ali

Edited by Ali

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