Feedback What kinds of things do you like on a portal page?


Code Monkey
Staff member
I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things online. We are still working on getting my Mom's affairs in order but it's all starting to slow down meaning I can actually spend more time online then I have been the past few months. You may have noticed I upgrade the forum software last weekend which introduced a few new toys (some I haven't turned on fully yet) like the new user profiles (take a look at somebody's user profile page to see what I mean).

I've been experimenting with a few things for the front page portal but since I'm there... what types of things do you like to see on a portal page? Heck, for that matter, do you even go back to a portal page or do you bookmark the forums directly?

In particular, I'm interested in what types of things you'd like to see, not necessarily the layout. Changing the layout is for a major re-write another day.
Portal page should have latest news on it. Maybe popular threads (ones with 3 or more replies?) Links to sister sites? (You have a few others you manage I think)

How about some pretty clickable banners for anyone we have regular linked postings for? like authors blogs.

- "Hot Threads" (vBulletin's term for most viewed threads)

- Sister Sites - Yep, I run a few others sites but for the most part I try to keep them seperate since the intended audiences are different. Every now & then I get an email from somebody requesting reciprocal linking... it may be time to start saying 'yes' to some of them.

- Authors blogs... their blogs here at Cool Sci-Fi or their own personal blogs on different sites?
If the authors and any other personages post here, maybe we ought to utilise their linking/work and make them more prominent. It gives them free advertising, it gives us weight.

Preference should be given to those posting regularly. Remember the RSS type feeding? But if we affiliate ourselves with them in a good light, then by association we benefit.

Authors don't really make that much money. The average UK author last year made £4,500 for the year! So we aren't necessarily doing their work for them or lining their pockets. It's all about name, prestige and thought really.
HHHHmmm... I think I can whip something up for the front page. You (and anybody else who may be reading this thread ;) ) may have noticed a new title showing up on some profiles of "Guest Author" appearing next to the person's name. Right now I'm manually adding people to that group as I think about it. It should be easy enough to have some type of module on the front page that selects random X amount of members in the Guest Author group and then show a link to their home page associated to their account (whatever URL they entered into their User CP).

I'll see what I can do.

Come on, everybody: What would you like to see. All ideas are welcome. No guarantees that I can get them done, but I can least try to get the ones that we can do.
A Mission Statement (links to)

Sitemap (linkto)

Genre News (linkto)
-Scifi news scroll

Polling Station (linkto)
-Newest poll
-Most popular Poll
-Random Poll

Tag Cloud

(Current Conventions and Real-life activities schedule)
With zipcode search and a mapping module
-Book signings
-Film Festivals
-Workshops (writing, filmmaking, etc)
-Movie Screenings

Member's Reviews (linkto)
-Short video

Genre TV Schedule (linkto)
-DTV (Satellite)

Author Spotlight (linkto)
Artist Spotlight (linkto)

Just throwing ideas at you