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The Future of Nuxified

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

For quite a while things have been going rather slow and easy around here, but Nuxified.org nevertheless has quite a bit of value stored in and even added every once in a while with an occasional forum thread, a great blog entry by reptiler or some piece of controversy that I've recently written about. Eye And there are thousands of people visiting it every month.

The point is, Nuxified has a future and it does remain a valuable enough project for me to continue it. I in fact have a few ideas about what could be done to advance it, which I would like to propose here. I wont however hide the fact that I've become very occupied by other unrelated projects behind which I put most of my focus, but nevertheless some time is assigned for Nuxified.org as well and in that time this is what I am thinking of doing.

1. Design changes

The current design has been serving us very well for a long time and so I don't intend to change the basic premise. However some improvements may be worth doing. Specifically the idea is to make the design have fixed width optimized for 1024x768 resolutions and build in a widget that allows people to shorten it to around 800px (in case they're on old EeePC which uses 800x600 for example) or widen it to 1280px (in case they have a monitor with larger resolutions and prefer wider windows). See DoublePlusHuman.com for an example, where I've implemented this feature.

We currently use fluid design which scales to the resolution of the screen or size of the browser window automatically, filling all of the space. However, this makes things look rather crowded if resized to 800px or below in width, and some things begin to overlap each other, and if you use a really big resolution screen it'll fill it all making huge lines of text in the content area, which can impair readability, and the user has no way of correcting this aside from resizing the browser. Given that with switchable fixed design we can still provide the user some options, and prevent any unpredictable behavior (in fact with fixed designs everything can be perfected to the pixel) fluid design benefits begin to seem a little weak.

2. Nuxified News

I don't intend to start a dedicated news service like LXer.com, but a section that allows people to easily submit a link to an article they wrote somewhere and have it published in a section dedicated to news might serve people like David23 who keeps doing exactly this kind of thing on our blog. I know one person isn't exactly indication of a problem or big demand, but I have a feeling that in the buzzing Linux/FOSS blogosphere a lot of bloggers would easily embrace ANY opportunity they can find to publish their stuff, so why not try and give them another one, right here?

It may even help Nuxified in that we might get more updates more frequently and some people might come to Nuxified to see what's new.

3. Nuxified TV

There already was an idea about doing video.nuxified.org which would host original video reviews made in this community. However, that is simply too time consuming to be maintaining on a regular basis so I came to an alternative idea. We could simply have a semi-automated video playlist which feeds itself from various good quality Linux and FOSS related video casts, with perhaps a video jingle for Nuxified itself thrown here and there in between. People could post suggestions of new video casts or individual videos to include.

I'm not yet entirely sure about this and how exactly could it work, but it's an idea. At best I could find a way to feed videos from multiple video sites into one playlist. At worst we'd be limited to youtube playlists, which isn't terribly exciting, but it's still something.

4. Updating forum rearrangements

A long while ago the idea was to differentiate Nuxified from typical Linux support sites by supporting all Free Software or Freedomware (or Open Source Software, as you wish Eye ) on any OS. But that didn't quite work out. Most people search for support of one particular distro not for "free software support", so it would've actually been helpful if we had names of distros in our forums dedicated to those distros.

So the idea is to rearrange forums in that way. Since we don't have terribly huge amount of topics we can have only few forums covering only the various types of distros.. like Debian/Ubuntu for the whole .deb world, Fedora/Mandriva/OpenSUSE for the whole .rpm world, Arch/Slackware/Gentoo for their own geeky world, Windows forum for all FOSS on Windows and Google forum for Google's popular distros like Android and the incredibly hyped up Chrome OS coming in the future.

One way to do this is to chop up the Free Operating Systems forum into these and move distro specific threads from other forums there.. Some of the existing forums could stay though, but be merged, like Command Line and Programming forums could be a single forum (into an Advanced Users forum or something like that).

I'm open to suggestions in any case.

That's it for now. Feel free to make any suggestions or comments. I wont be hurrying this so there should be plenty of time to work things out and perhaps even come up with some additional or even better ideas. I really hope that one day I'll be successful enough (with my main projects) to actually start paying more for advertising, editors, marketeers etc. to make this a flourishing place.

I wish I could dedicate all of this myself at this point, but I can't, so the idea is to really make the best of what's here, keep things going until that good day comes, because I am not the guy who easily gives up on projects that have the kind of history Nuxified does, even when I get so occupied with others.

Feel free to suggest anything, like it's an open canvas. You never know. When a site owner asks for suggestions it's always an opportunity to pitch in an idea for something you'd really like to see but don't have enough time or will to do it yourself. So go for it. Smiling

Thanks!

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
Re: The Future of Nuxified

As you know, I haven't been on here for ages. Well, except to read reptiler's blog posts, but I don't think that really counts.

I have no idea what to do about this. Sure, you could add new features, but would that have much impact ? Would it ? Maybe people would post links if that were easy, but I'm not convinced that would fill up the forum. The forums have always been the core of this community, they're really that important part that must not be lost. Even if we let the site decay, the forum archives are valuable and should stay on line.

A new design ? Maybe. I quite like the current one myself, but, for all I know, it might scare away new users. If there should be a new design, the colours might need some rethinking. I think the fact that the colours aren't at all serious is a potentially larger problem than the page resizes differently from the modern norm.

If I were a new user, however, I'd be most put of by the fact that there simply isn't anything going on. And that is a tough problem to fix.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Re: The Future of Nuxified

Honestly, I don't believe new features alone will have much if any impact so you're right about that. The whole site will stay online no matter what, including the forums, of course. I'm not in such a bad financial situation that I need to close down the sites and from where I stand that will never happen. The worst thing that could happen is that I sell the site, but I'm not intending to do that because (1) I still depend on it for a living (ironically) and (2) because I think it will be real hard to find someone to take good care of it.

The actual long term goal is to keep it up and at some point even do something with it that will make it break through into the Linux and FOSS mainstream. I hope to make enough money with my current and future main projects to be able to invest enough of "left overs" to more efficient growth and promotion of Nuxified.org and perhaps even Libervis.com. With good paid marketing anything is possible. Eye

But before that, the idea is to do what I can with limited time and effort available for it in order to keep it relevant at least. It's true forums have been the core, but it's really hard to get a lot of forum posters with so much competing forums and so little time. I think I will have to shift things to articles. I should write some killer articles for Nuxified in the coming weeks if I find time and inspiration. Good articles can get people coming and even if forums still remain slow, at least there will be comments and stuff so it wont look like a dead site, which in the long term helps for eventual revival of forums as well, especially if I/we can come up with some interesting event/campaign, like perhaps a new gamefest (learning from many of past mistakes). Smiling

But this will happen in what is essentially my spare time, mainly weekends (unless I have other jobs reserved for them like this weekend, doing big articles for pay :S ) because I really made it a priority to make this new project take off. It's like my soul-mate project. Smiling

About the design.. you might be right and I'm not yet entirely sure if I will do it. I like thinking up new designs which is why I tend to always lean towards redesigns when thinking about improving a site, but I also have to count the fact that this is a limited-time project and so if I don't absolutely have to do something, perhaps I shouldn't. Efficiency is key. Maybe just doing a few tweaks will be enough.

Speaking of which, what do you mean by colours not being at all serious? I'm honestly curious because it might hint at potential improvement that needs to be made.

Thank you!

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
Re: The Future of Nuxified

Colours are always tricky. Cultural thing, you know. The combination of light yellow and the light blues has a certain childing “candy” feel. Do you know what I mean ? I'm not sure if this is still true, but I think certain GTK themes classified something very similar as "candy". (murrine, rezlooks, etc).
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, I'm really not sure. It's just very non-business-like, I think. Also, I'm sure there are quite a few people that would immediately dismiss this as "gay" and go on with their homophobic lives, but I don't think that really cuts into the clientel we're after. At least, I hope not, I like to imagine that type of YouTube commentor to be somebody not remotely able to take part in this kind of forum.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Re: The Future of Nuxified

I see. The colors are a bit candy like indeed and were actually deliberately made to be a little more colorful and less bland at the expense of that business-like feel you mentioned. It isn't necessarily meant for business people, but primarily home users..

Hmm.. but if I decide to do a redesign, at least in terms of coloring I'll see if I can make it more business-like without making it too bland.

Thanks for the suggestions.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Re: The Future of Nuxified

Here's a first mock up for a new design. Well actually it's not a new design, but more of a redesign, which is why some elements follow the same concept as it already is.

A redesign is likely to be done during an upgrade to latest Drupal.

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