Open Uru Site Styling and Organization (was Wiki Main Page)

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JWPlatt
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Re: Wiki Main Page

Post by JWPlatt » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:37 pm

Bots are set to have no more access than Guests. They are basically equivalent. I didn't want searches to reveal confidential development information such as for David's Journey.
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Re: Wiki Main Page

Post by rarified » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:06 pm

Hi, just dropped by and saw the activity. Something came to mind reading JW's tome ;)

Fitting in with a more "businesslike" tenor, but possibly missing in the presentation, is a task-oriented focus (or description) rather than a capability driven one.

For example, sections could be indexed under "How do I set up <favorite Plasma tool> to do ...", or "What do I need to play with modelling?" Then after you've phrased the question, we can outline either what we have that can accomplish that task, or refer to outside resources as needed. We also (alright, I can volunteer :roll: ) to actually make environments where those tasks can be done available, so average URUite doesn't need to roll their own. I've been wondering about setting up some time on the servers to provide render time for Blender hi-res project finishing, for example. Could be linked to a project's Hudson build setup.

Am I way off base here?
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Re: Wiki Main Page

Post by JWPlatt » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:54 pm

Nice! We accept, I'm sure.

No, you're not way off base. This is very productive. But Mac, if you see ANY signs we're going WAY off topic here, please let us know. So far, so good, eh? ;) Hey, it's just the four of us in this room.
rarified wrote:...make environments where those tasks can be done available, so average URUite doesn't need to roll their own.
Yes, that is exactly (some) of the point. The artist shouldn't have to be an engineer to do his art. My thinking about such things was oriented toward setting up a resource through Amazon, Rackspace, or some such service to provision, through a UI on this domain, an on-demand, pre-loaded (compiled shard, ready to go) Uru instance for testing of ages. I'm still working on that, inch by inch. But your idea is the step before such full testing, so I like it. An easy development pipeline like that would be fantastic.
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Re: Open Uru Site Styling and Organization (was Wiki Main Pa

Post by JWPlatt » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:02 pm

Nalates,

Would you be willing to look at what we've done since your suggestions? I think we've implemented a few things. What do you see that we have actually completed? What do we still need to do?
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Re: Open Uru Site Styling and Organization (was Wiki Main Pa

Post by Nalates » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:56 am

I went back and read this thread. To follow up on the things I brought up… :)

The mission statement could be broken into more than one sentence for impact and placement. Other than placing Open Uru as two words at the beginning of the sentence, my change is just a difference in how we say things, so understand my suggested changes are not a biggie for placement.

Mission
Open Uru provides a venue for those interested in Myst/Uru gaming. We provide free resources and a gathering place for cooperative creativity and exchanging of ideas for development of Open Source Uru projects.

Main Page: The URL http://openuru.org/ now takes one to a real home page. Resources are now explained in basic English :) For search placement I would probably write the sentence differently.

OpenUru.org provides free resources for Myst/Uru projects and teams.
  • Blogs – Example: [URL to example blog – preferably one with Myst in the name]
  • Wikis – Example: OpenUru.org’s Myst Related Wiki
  • forum space – Example: Open Uru Forum
  • Enterprise class open source development tools
    • project management – Example: [-link-]
    • issue tracking – Example: [-link-]
    • Code repository – Example: [-link-]
    • Continuous Integration – Example: [-link-]
Much of this is redundant. But for placement these links with link text, alt text, and title text on the top page of the domain have significant value in a search engine’s eyes.

I personally really like the clean, brief to the point page as it is. But, for the search engine’s sake I would provide additional links.

Wiki’s Main Page – This page is way more informative than the old page. I might change the opening sentence to read: OpenUru.org provides a venue with resources for a diverse community of projects to encourage a cooperative environment for the exploration, development and exchange of ideas in Cyan Worlds' Myst game universe and Open Source Uru.

Usability – It has been improved. A lot. I’m not sure how the changes have affected Google placement. It may be too soon to know. The site changes will influence Google/Yahoo. We just have look each month on a couple of search terms. Or add Google Analytics (GA) to capture that information. I’ve learned a lot about my blog and clients’ sites using GA.

To get a good idea of how the site is coming across I would find a noobie on the GoMa site and ask them to do an inspection of the site. Explain very little to them other than to visit the site and give you their impression. I suggest this because the improvements make it look pretty good to me and I THINK new people would understand. But, until a new person actually tells us… our glasses may be too tented. If you want, I’ll put a post up over there. I can also contact new people (PM) at MOUL Forums and ask them too.

Goals – I think the goals are much clearer now. I know your basic marketing approach is word of mouth. So, add that where you can. Ask new signups post links back to OU. I just changed my signature at GoMa. I’ll update my other signatures too.

Also whenever you post a link into OU be sure you use important keywords along with the topic info. Saying, 'There is a great discussion on where to start the game here' basically does nothing for search position. Instead say it as; 'See the great discussion on Where to Start Playing Myst/Uru at OpenUru.org.' It is a bit hypie and corny but humans don’t really care about corny when they are looking for info. It helps placement a load. Think of it as word of mouth for search engines. I try to consider my wording whenever I make a link to a site I like.

The menus here look good. The header part of the sites is nice. The code in the menu is:

Code: Select all

<li id="nav-home"><a href="http://www.openuru.org/"><span>Home</span></a></li>
You might consider adding other attributes to help placement. Hopefully the menu is in an include.
title="Myst Uru Open Source Home" – This changes for each link. But it gives you a way to add text and not mess up the pretty link text.
rel="parent" – This can be used on all pages in the site with the HOME link. See Link Types
rel="contents" – This can be used with the Community and Wiki links. Where this is used the link should point to Table of Contents type page, i.e., the Board Index. So, this should probably be different on the home page and the forum, if that is possible. The home page goes to a ‘pre-forum’ community page.
rel="section" – Links within the forum or wiki that point within could use this one.
rel="related" – could be programmed into the wiki category links.

Code: Select all

<li id="nav-home"><a href="http://www.openuru.org/" title="Myst Uru Open Source Home" rel="parent" ><span>Home</span></a></li>

Code: Select all

<li id="nav-comm"><a title="Myst Uru Open Source Forum" rel="contents" href="http://www.openuru.org/pages/Community.php"><span>Community</span></a></li>
The Community Page – This is a rational layout… Home->Community. The explanations are great for new people. The links here would give more push if they were on the home page. I’m not sure moving them would make enough placement difference to be worth the change. Lots of SEO things are like a swimmer shaving their body to cut 0.01 seconds of their time. Having the membership in groups explained to help new people understand there are blocks to just posting is important. So, this page should probably stay.

I would add titles to the links in the body of the page.

The other pages the top menu lead items lead to are fine. I would add links to words in the About Page’s text to help placement.

Blogs are coded to use the posts title and the first 150 or so characters of the abstract or opening paragraph to create a meta tag description. Google and Yahoo do not like duplicate titles. If one cannot easily add changing descriptions then it is better not to use them. Google/Yahoo will try to take a description from the opening text of the page.

I like the layout of the site much more. I think new people will find it easier to use.

Hope this helps...
Nalates
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Re: Open Uru Site Styling and Organization (was Wiki Main Pa

Post by JWPlatt » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:23 am

Wow, thanks! We really appreciate your time, Nalates. We have Mac_Fife to thanks for most all of this. I'll start going through your line items to see what else we can do. Slow and steady...
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Re: Open Uru Site Styling and Organization (was Wiki Main Pa

Post by Mac_Fife » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:37 am

Yes, thanks Nal :) .

The menu bar is an "include" so making the improvements you suggest is relatively simple.

One question I have is whether we should focus more on 'Myst' or 'Uru' as keywords? I notice that many of your suggestions prefer 'Myst' - Myst probably has the broader scope in terms of a "catchment area", but is it too broad? Is 'Uru' too narrow a term? Is MOUL too much of an "insider" term to be useful (probably, since there are all the variants 'MOUL', 'MOULa', 'MO:UL' in use :roll: ).

I'm aware that most of our target audience are likely to be Uru "congnoscenti" which might modify the search terms they use, compared to people coming from the more general Myst games background. Any thoughts on that?

Due to using the wiki as the "source" for most of our webpages we may be limited in what we can do in terms of adding additional properties to links. I'll need to look at that.
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Re: Open Uru Site Styling and Organization (was Wiki Main Pa

Post by Nalates » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:31 am

@ JWP & Mac - you are welcome. Thanks for the contributions you are making to the community.

Myst is definitely searched on more often, about 20 times per day. About 4 times more than Uru per Google AdWords data.

The variations on MOUL are probably not that important. I checked AdWords data and MOUL is just not a frequently used term. AdWords shows less than 1 search per day.

Whatever we think about who will search on what terms is conjecture. It is like a door-to-door salesman looking at houses and trying to guess which house is where he'll make a sale. It is almost a certainly that one of the houses he rejects would have bought. It is purely a numbers game.

I try to use Myst Uru, as two words, as often as possible. My thinking is we will get as many Myst people as possible. Those that know Uru and search on the term will still find OU. I know that I often search on Myst Uru to avoid the credit processing URU thing.

The Links in the wiki may be hard to add tags to. I wouldn't worry too much about that. Category names and page titles will do a lot for search placement if keywords are used in them. The same is true for the forum with post titles.

WordPress is an excellent example of catering to search engines. The forum and wiki software would probably need too much customization to come close to being search friendly. Somewhere the effort becomes too costly for the return. Do the easy stuff.

Even the Myst Online web site does not place that well on Myst. It owns Myst Uru. Uru Obsession places 9th. OU needs more incoming links. Most of the things I'm suggesting are about internal links that we can do something about immediately. In coming links from other sites are way important for good placement. So, links in signatures are a fast way to add lots of links quickly. I've added OU to my GoMa and Devokan sigs. Overtime I'll get it added to more and more. Most forum don't care too much if a signature has promotional links. Adding a recommendation to help OU by adding OU to member sigs in other forums could be part if signup info or FAQ's.

Another idea is to update the Wikipedia article. Most of the Myst Pages now have a similarity. The Myst Uru page has some info on the MOULa and OHBot. I suspect that section could be updated to add more information on what fans are doing to move toward open source. By adding a collection of links to GoMa, GoMe, GoW, UO, OU, Rel.to, and may be Devokan Trust the entries will stay. It would be good to consider all the Myst pages and make an update that is interwoven across all the Myst games with entries that support each other.
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Re: Open Uru Site Styling and Organization (was Wiki Main Pa

Post by Mac_Fife » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:43 am

Signature/profile links need to be sure to obey any host site rules on "promotion": For the most part, "authoratative" and non-commercial links are going to be OK; commercial, marketing links will get you added to the stopforumspam.com database and the DNS blacklists pretty quickly ;)

From a personal perspective, as a moderator of the MOUL forums I wouldn't be comfortable about adding an OpenUru.org link to my signature - I don't think Cyan would object, but it doesn't feel ethical to me. When I became a moderator there, I reduced content of my sig and the size of sig image, because I felt that being a moderator was about the 'forum' not about 'me'. As an ordinary member, I'd have no qualms about a sig link.

There's possibly not that many people who check in here regularly just now (although I think that JW had noted an 800+% increase in site traffic recently), but getting those who do visit to add sig links to here in their profiles on other forums is going to be the quickest way to promote the site. I note that Google is currently trialling a revised ranking algorithm on their US platform - I think this is to try reduce the influence of SEO spam and SEO linkfarms, so that could reduce the page rank value of forum links.

I also think JW maybe had an update to the Wikipedia page on his 'to do' list. We just have to work out way through things as we find time - I had some time around Christmas, so I was able to make a bit of headway on the masthead, which in turn made the forum and wiki styling a lot easier to do.

[Edit]
I've put a couple of tasks into the OUORG JIRA project to remind myself to do some of the things suggested here.
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Re: Open Uru Site Styling and Organization (was Wiki Main Pa

Post by Mac_Fife » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:28 pm

Nalates wrote:rel="parent" – This can be used on all pages in the site with the HOME link. See Link Types
rel="contents" – This can be used with the Community and Wiki links. Where this is used the link should point to Table of Contents type page, i.e., the Board Index. So, this should probably be different on the home page and the forum, if that is possible. The home page goes to a ‘pre-forum’ community page.
rel="section" – Links within the forum or wiki that point within could use this one.
rel="related" – could be programmed into the wiki category links.
Hmm... I can find neither "parent" nor "related" listed as valid link types in the W3C document. The nearest I can find in intent to "parent" is "start". I also found "friend" which might be an alternative to "related" but that was from a source other than the W3C recommendations :? .
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