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Thread: NEW! Friends of The Creek Directory Service, Check This Out

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
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    13,245

    NEW! Friends of The Creek Directory Service, Check This Out

    Our Friends of The Creek (FOTC) Directory Service is now online for all to enjoy!

    Our Server Administrator Aaron Koehl has created a new custom directory service that you can search or browse to find companies that will provide almost every service you can imagine. You can search or browse by keywords/classifications, city, state, country, business or members name, service, etc. Looking for someone to help you with a project or provide a service for your shop? Our Friends of The Creek Directory is the place to go............Searching and Browsing the Friends of the Creek Directory is free and open to everyone on the global Internet.


    If You Own A Business
    Those of you who own your own business are welcome to include your information and to take advantage of the power of a link from our high traffic web site. Sharing your contact information in the new Directory is just another way that you can take advantage of the networking aspects of this woodworking community. Including your business information here is the least expensive advertising you will ever find and places your company data directly in the path of over 100,000+ Woodworkers, Laser Engravers, CNC Operators, Wood Turners, etc. As Google picks up the links to the new Directory the information will be available to all who use Google as their search engine.

    When you enter your company data you will also receive a new Friends of The Creek title here that includes one year of Contributor status.

    How Do I Get My Company information In The New Directory?
    - Click on the Donate Button on the blue menu bar at the top of any page. On the list you will see a payment entry for "Friends of The Creek".
    - Select from one to five listings from the drop down menu and make your payment via PayPal, the cost is just $50.00 per listing for an entire year of exposure which amounts to $4.16 cents per month. As long as you use this link your account will be automatically updated here at The Creek.
    - You can send a check via USPS if you prefer, the address is on the bottom of the Donate Page.
    - Once PayPal has verified your payment you will be able to go to this link and input your company information. Your record will not be visible until it is reviewed by an Administrator however approvals will be done several times during the morning, noon and evenings. You will also be able to update your company information at any time.
    - Soon there will be a fire engine red Friends of The Creek button on the bottom of every page here at The Creek. We will also be promoting the new Directory on the main page of our web site when we upgrade to the newest version of vBulletin very soon.

    We just opened the doors so to speak so there are few records to browse at this point, but we believe Friends of the Creek will be THE PLACE to list your company information in a very short period of time. In order to entice you to join Friends of The Creek and help us to get it moving forward I will guarantee the first 500 people who join that their annual fee will remain at $50.00 for as long as they continue to participate continuously.

    Aaron will appreciate your comments and suggestions concerning his new Directory Service. Please help us to make FOTC the best Woodworking Directory on the Net by sharing your suggestions and of course joining the service. Until we have the new FOTC buttons installed here is the link:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/friends.php

    Thanks,
    Keith
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 04-11-2010 at 1:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Savannah, GA
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    This is Awesome, Keith! Thanks so much!

    “Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy and chivalry.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Everybody knows what to do with the devil but them that has him. My Grandmother
    I had a guardian angel at one time, but my little devil got him drunk, tattooed, and left him penniless at a strip club. I have not had another angel assigned to me yet.
    I didn't change my mind, my mind changed me.
    Bella Terra

  3. #3
    Nice Work.

    I just did a quick look and when clicking through a category, location, or type, the way to get back to the beginning is not very obvious or intuitive ("New Search"). Ideally, those would be tree type menus but at the least, I'd make the title (ie. category) a link that brings you back to the top level.

    I also think the URLs should be active links. This is a paid service plus cross-linking will help SEO for both Sawmill Creek and the company website.
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Gloucester, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Griffith View Post
    Nice Work.

    I just did a quick look and when clicking through a category, location, or type, the way to get back to the beginning is not very obvious or intuitive ("New Search"). Ideally, those would be tree type menus but at the least, I'd make the title (ie. category) a link that brings you back to the top level.
    Since it's fully integrated with vBulletin, there's a navigation tree (breadcrumb trail) at the top of the page which does exactly what you suggest. The categories will be more intuitive once the hierarchy is in place, which will happen when we get more listings in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Griffith View Post
    I also think the URLs should be active links. This is a paid service plus cross-linking will help SEO for both Sawmill Creek and the company website.
    The company name contains the active URL link so it does help for SEO. Taking a hint from Google, the green url link is not active.


    Thanks for looking!
    _Aaron_
    SawmillCreek Administrator

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Koehl View Post
    Since it's fully integrated with vBulletin, there's a navigation tree (breadcrumb trail) at the top of the page which does exactly what you suggest. The categories will be more intuitive once the hierarchy is in place, which will happen when we get more listings in there.



    The company name contains the active URL link so it does help for SEO. Taking a hint from Google, the green url link is not active.


    Thanks for looking!
    I see the tree at the top but too much navigation never hurts. Plus, the top tree is broken. Parameters are missing data.
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Gloucester, VA
    Posts
    1,984
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Griffith View Post
    I see the tree at the top but too much navigation never hurts. Plus, the top tree is broken. Parameters are missing data.
    Tree is working, some parameters may be blank.. Making the title of the current level of navigation into a link wouldn't take you anywhere meaningful; think about it.
    _Aaron_
    SawmillCreek Administrator

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Koehl View Post
    Tree is working, some parameters may be blank.. Making the title of the current level of navigation into a link wouldn't take you anywhere meaningful; think about it.
    I'm not getting the same missing search results as before but...

    try this:
    search for "industrial"

    Custom Fabrication returns 1 result.

    When clicked, no results are found. That is the same message I was getting with the tree. Also, the tree doesn't reflect the type.
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/friends....4&q=industrial

    As for clicking the title of the current level of navigation, my thought is that it would clear that search parameter and expand that list.

    Example:
    Once I narrowed my Category to "Labels" and my location to "North America/United States/Virginia", I could expand the category again to search for Name Tags and stay within my current location.
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Gloucester, VA
    Posts
    1,984
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Griffith View Post
    I'm not getting the same missing search results as before but...

    try this:
    search for "industrial"

    Custom Fabrication returns 1 result.

    When clicked, no results are found. That is the same message I was getting with the tree. Also, the tree doesn't reflect the type.
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/friends....4&q=industrial

    As for clicking the title of the current level of navigation, my thought is that it would clear that search parameter and expand that list.

    Example:
    Once I narrowed my Category to "Labels" and my location to "North America/United States/Virginia", I could expand the category again to search for Name Tags and stay within my current location.

    Doug,

    Thanks for all the feedback! I've incorporated some of your suggestions, and hopefully clarified the intent of some of the interface elements. Keep 'em coming.
    _Aaron_
    SawmillCreek Administrator

  9. #9
    I'm a programmer as well and always appreciate when others give me their point of view.

    One thing I'd do is add target="_blank" to the remote links.

    Cheers
    I design, engineer and program all sorts of things.

    Oh, and I use Adobe Illustrator with an Epilog Mini.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Michelmersh, ROMSEY, Hampshire UK
    Posts
    1,020
    When filling in the form, there did not seem to be an official place to add my email address.

    Since most of my work comes in by email, this is important to me - I don't want potential customers trying to describe stuff on the phone, nor have them turn up on the doorstep!

    For the time being, I've added email after my postal address.


    PS Although the "Friends" details are active, my status on the forum is still just member - will this change when the red button arrives?
    Last edited by Michael Hunter; 04-11-2010 at 6:17 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Hayes, Virginia
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    Michael,

    Your comment about not having an email link was the first subject I brought up with Aaron.
    Aaron will be adding an email record to the database shortly and I just updated your account title and access priviliges.

    Thanks,
    Keith

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,245

    Friends of The Creek Business Directory

    Quote Originally Posted by Belinda Williamson View Post
    This is Awesome, Keith! Thanks so much!
    Belinda,

    Thanks, Aaron did a nice job with the new directory service. It is much better than the old list we were keeping and as it grows it should prove to be more useful to those who are searching for products and services.

    As we discussed months ago in the Engravers Forum we wanted something that a very small business could afford and it had to be able to support every group here and Members outside of the United States. It had to be fast and efficient, as the database grows search activity will no doubt become a load on our server. Our new server, which we just haven't had the time to bring online yet, should be able to deliver almost instantaneous search results. As soon as Aaron finishes the minor edits to the FOTC program he will upgrade vBulletin to the new publishing platform and then move everything to the new server. Obviously we had to prioritize these projects, the number of people who requested the new business directory was significant enough to move it up on the schedule.

    As with any new project like this one we will need the support of this Community for it to succeed. FOTC has added an additional layer of Administrative support that we will have to include in our daily schedule. The additional financial support should help us to diversify our income even more and assure that we can continue to grow during tough economic times like these.
    .

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Michelmersh, ROMSEY, Hampshire UK
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    1,020
    Thanks Keith!

    I find the Engraver's Forum so useful that I was intending to make a contribution - and then I saw the news about the "Friends" and decided to wait.

    The wait was worthwhile! I think that it will be a great facility.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,245
    I had hoped that we would receive more comments about the new service but the topic has proved to be less than popular. Given the number of people who requested that we provide the service I am surprised.

    We can't fix or improve the new directory without feedback folks, tell us what you think!
    As soon as we are back home from the ShopBot Jamboree in North Carolina we will place the new buttons which I hope will attract some attention to the directory.

    .
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 04-24-2010 at 8:17 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Chain Of Lakes, Nortern Illinois
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    418
    Keith,

    Just saw this topic, great job! I will be making the donation first part of next month for it!

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