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Communiqués News and information regarding the forums and SCMO in general

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Old 07-02-2009, 10:40 AM
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Default Site Upgrades Complete - Get All The Details Here!

It's been a long and at times frustrating six months, but we've completed the upgrades to the site. Thanks to everyone who helped along the way, whether testing the new features, suggesting improvements or just sending along a kind word.

Here's all the details on what we've been up to - hopefully, it'll inspire you to explore!
Forums

You're here now, so you've probably already figured out that we upgraded the forums. This is actually the second forum upgrade in little over a year, and Lord willing will be the last one. vBulletin is pretty familiar to everyone, so I don't need to tell you too much about how to use it; I'd remind everyone to take a moment to verify and update the information in your profile so we can build our community.
Marlin Club Archives

The MC is still around, and posts back to 2000 are all available via search. Last year, we were able to reconstruct part of the original Marlin Club from the '90s that was lost during the very first conversion in 2000; you can access it from the pinned topic at the head of the MC. It's interesting to see how times and opinions - particularly mine - have changed over time ...

Ask The Experts

We did add one new forum as part of the upgrade, our Expert forum. This is a special place for some of the best of the best to share what they know - take a moment to review the experts list, and maybe even pose a question. You're going to get answers here you won't find elsewhere, I promise you!

Smilies

We all have our addictions - mine (other than marlin lures) is smilies. As with every upgrade, I've added a ton of new ones, so take advantage of them to spice up your postings!

Gallery

Associated with the forums, but truly a stand-alone application, is the new MarlinNut Galleries. There are lots of places to post and host your pictures, but why go elsewhere when now you can go here? Unlike most of those others, we don't barf a logo all over your shot - it's your shot, after all. Pic posts include easy cut-and-paste HTML and BBCode for including your shots in forum postings here and elsewhere.
MarlinBlog

Another upgrade was over in the MarlinBlog, although it's less for you than for me. We upgraded to WordPress, and hammered a theme into shape to make it look remarkably similar to our old Greymatter install. Really loved that program, but like the DCForum app that used to run the forums, it's time had come. As before, you can post your own comments and subscribe to the RSS feeds. If you really feel adventurous, I'll even add you as an author and let you make your own postings!

Member's Area

Our supporting members, the MarlinNut Angling Club, have enjoyed perks above and beyond the average site member, one of which was access to a member's only area that included content only they could access. Problem is, they didn't use it. Frankly, it always bothered me that there was so much good stuff being seen by so few eyeballs, and I also received a significant amount of negative feedback from non-members about the inherently elitist nature of having a member's area. The access statistics tell me that only 1 in 10 MNAC members ever visited the member area, and very few more than once - clearly, the members area wasn't serving a useful purpose, and was causing more trouble than good. So, as part of the upgrades, it was eliminated. The best features were distributed elsewhere on the site, as outlined below.

The purpose of the MNAC - and the reason the vast majority joined - was give our visitors a way to provide financial support for the site rather than having a paid-only section, and the majority of our members would seem to agree. I'm hopeful that the majority of our members will continue to support SCMO through MNAC membership, much as they would PBS or any other entity they believe in. It's possible that some will discontinue their support over the loss of the member-only featres, but there are lots of sites out there that will be happy to relieve you of your cash in return for some stale data. In the meantime, we'll keep doing what we do for our community. Of course, the rest of you could help prove my point by becoming members yourselves ...
Fishing News

The Fishing News has been a part of SCMO from the beginning, but since it's been sequestered behind the doors of the Members Area for the last few years you may not have seen it. I suspect you'll be amazed to see what you've been missing, and thrilled that it's now part of the public site. New this year, we're using the same WordPress app that runs the MarlinBlog for the FN as well. The first update of the season should appear next week, but for now you should check out the archives (available via the "Old School" links on the right side of the FN page). To say there's a lot of stuff there just doesn't do it justice - see for yourself!

Marlin Tutorial

Another feature from the Members Area that will now see the light of day is our Marlin Tutorial. I'll confess that I haven't been as diligent about adding new chapters as I should, but now that more people will see it, I'm sure I'll be better incentivized (ie - be receiving more emails) about increasing the content. It's how I see marlin fishing, but we always love to get your thoughts and opinions as well!
Front Page

We made a couple of tweaks to the front page of the site, mostly to freshen things up and add the Pics O' The Day from the old Members section. The navigation is a lot cleaner now, as well - be sure to check out the navigation bar at the left side of every page to see the new location for some features.

Social Networking

SCMO has always been about the latest technology, and technology drove much of the updates we've just completed. A key factor is the integration of social networks into SCMO, and SCMO into the networks. From the Forums, to the MarlinBlog to the front page, you can access the SCMO Twitter stream as well as become a follower. You'll get the latest updates from SCMO - often, before they hit the site. Of course, occasionally you'll hear about what I'm having for dinner, but that's just Twitter ... :-) Also, SCMO has established our presence in Facebook, and is reaching a whole new group of angling fans. You can visit our FB page and become a fan, and just might meet a bunch of new friends in the process!

The upgrade of the site took more time and patience than I could have imagined, but I believe it's all worth it in the end. Our community now has all the tools it needs to thrive and move forward. But now it's up to each of you - because a community isn't about the buildings but rather the people who live in them. If you like what you see, participate in a forum conversation, post some pictures or add a comment at the MarlinBlog. Most of all, tell someone - spread the word about this gem of the internet, a special place for billfish anglers and fans alike!

Thanks for your support.
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