How can DiyDrones surpass RcGroups!?

To the Diy Drones Community from Joshua Johnson:

Which proposed improvements do you like?  Which ones do you dislike?  Do you have your own ideas on improvements that would put Diy Drones ahead of  Rc Groups and add more resources for the community?  Please share and collaborate this is a perfect time for the community to help shape and evolve this community in something even better!!!!

My List of Proposed Improvements for

  1. Change background to black to fit in with the top banner and make the website more appealing but keep the very bottom of the website that displays the copyrights, who created the website, etc just a plain background.  Editing the color text scheme so that links don't get lost will take 30-60 mins to fully sift through. )
  2. Add eye catching content to the home page like the High Tech Revolving Visitor globe that I embedded into the Diy Drones News Center! (Members will have access to website statistics to use for personal and business purposes)
  3. Add a Poll Center page and HTML embed a 3rd Party polling encoder to allow the community to vote on key issues and hot topics (  Maintain this section constantly adding new polls that the community will find useful and interesting at the same time )
  4. Instead of Video's add a Menu called: Diy Drones and the Drop down menu should include Options such as: Facebook(Linking members to the Diy Drones Facebook), Twitter (Linking members to the Diy Drones Twitter), News(Linking people to the Diy Drones News center I created), Groups(All Groups Link), And Rules(The Diy Drones Website Rules).
  5. Setup schedule to change 100 photo carousel (Same Day each month) at the top of the home page with 100 new photos and maybe even set up a contest where we take a poll and embed in a Diy Drones Poll Center and allow the community to vote on a winner and the winner each month will receive a prize based on the highest number of votes
  6. Video's and Photos should be pulled off the menu list and put into the Members drop down menu.  Also the Members Drop down menu could be decked out with tons of features that can assist the members in different ways of engaging ( Could be links to the Diy Drones Skype Chat Group, an IRC Chat could have its own page and link in the members drop down menu which won't cause any lag for the website and will allow members alternative ways to engage. )
  7. Change Store to 3DR Store ( When someone is brand new to a website and they click on store to check out products getting sent to a different website usually makes people uncomfortable or people sometimes assume they got sent to a fraudulent website so changing the name to 3DR Store will give people a pre warning on where you intend on sending them )
  8. Getting Started Menu should be renamed For Beginners and should include like 10-15 drop down options ( This drop down menu should include a link to the website currently being developed by a Diy Drones Member that is map based that allows people to implement their local legislation's and laws concerning drones to a map.  Also links to websites like the Academy of Model Aeronautics and any other useful Diy Drones or non Diy Drones pages that beginners would find useful )
  9. Forum drop down menu could have some important forum topics added and changed each month of discussions that the community deems important ( If something like the 3DR IRIS is a hot top that month create a page or link a current page to a new drop down menu option under Forum  )
  10. Blogs Drop down menu should be the same thing as the Forum with links directly to important Blogs that are still hot topics or are of importance to the community ( Use this drop down menu to showcase the top blogs/news of the month that members would deem important.  This could be updated weekly or monthly. )
  11. ArduPlane, ArduCopter, and ArduRover drop down menus should all be jam packed with useful links to pages, discussions, blogs, or website pages that are important or pertain to these menu subjects.  ( The drop down menus could have minor schedule updating by a member of the Diy Drones Team with new links that members would deem important. )
  12. MyPage drop down menu could include links to MyGroups, MyFriends, MyDiscussions, MyBlogs, Etc
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  • Oh one more suggestion to the front page. Remove the feature box. The content is not updated often enough in there and it makes the page look stale always having the same content in there for months. That is prime real-estate being wasted on stale content. 

  • I would suggest a better forum system so its easier to find threads/posts, keep track of threads/posts, etc. The current forum system is not that friendly and is very difficult to follow threads that get big. I think the current forum system gets in the way of the community when it should be supporting the community.

    Something like... vBulletin, IP Boards, Xenforo, heck even phpBB would be better than what is here now.

    That said I like the front page news and pretty much the only reason I visit diydrones at the moment.

  • I definitely wouldn't want DIYDrones to take after RCGroups.

    RCGroups is a great site that has helped me on numerous occasions. But it is vast and very general. You can't just browse for the new posts and find each thing more-or-less interesting.

    When I power the laptop up each morning I expect to get the RSS feed from DIYDrones Blog and read subjects about the community, hardware, software and legislature of the UAV world. Extending the membership to cover other interests will simply mess that up.

    These are my 2 cents.

  • What Stan said. I got confused by the "rcgroups killer" mentality, because I don't understand the rationale.

    DIYD has unique content that doesn't fit inside any category of rcgroups, why shouldn't that be enough?  The rest is organization.

    One thing that puts me off is the way how forums are organized. The functionality and layout is pretty poor compared to any other larger site out there (rcgroups/fpvlab) and there's less sense of a community for some reason.

    DIYD is *more* and different than other forums like fpvlab and rcgroups, but it looks like it's struggling with a stronger sense of community.

  • Moderator

    The Ning update to version three should take care of that. I agree the current layout looks dated, but it is what we have to work with at the moment.

    As I often have to say, size does not matter its the content that is important here and getting the best member builds and most interesting developments front and center is what I believe will be most needed.

    There are ideas that have been kicked about in the team in the last two months for new looks and we are awaiting Nings upgrade and stable migration tools. The moderation and admin team will then roll out new features.

    At the end of the day for all its faults DIYD is the largest most active UA site in the world by a country mile.

    This is not a model aircraft flyers forum. It all has to be put in context, in 2007 you could not buy an autopilot for $200 and put it many types of vehicles. 

    Keep the comments coming though it gives us some targets to aim at.

    I should single out the Wiki team for special mention here, they have done a fantastic job of getting things ever easier to understand. Stefan has also done an excellent job of sorting out the new APM hardware support forums 


  • I think the DIYD website looks like a mashup of an online magazine, Google news and a forum, that can't decide what it wants to be (and I am differentiating between the user interface and the content, which is superb). The three column look is cramped even on my near-new 17" laptop. The 'Latest Activity' column wraps so tightly it's painful to read, while there is this massive photo barrage front and center that changes every few seconds, lacks any kind of real time context...and in short is a PITA.

    Then there is the right side column, which purports to show 'Top Content', but is really just a chaotic mishmash of disparate themes with no obvious organization.

    So my advice is to first decide what you want DIYD to be, THEN decide how to organize it. The site has superb content, but it's unituitive and unobvious to the casual visitor how to navigate the site and how to find what one is looking for. Make it easier and the site will grow.

  • I will say as a member of both.

    I find my videos and content are more viewed on DIY than Rcgroups.

    It appears to me DIY community is more active.

  • All the time DIYD is so 3DR centric and anti the competition, I really don't think it will ever come close to RCG in numbers.

  • I would love to the DIY drones test take advantage of the Ning titles system and set up a application process/widget so members can add titles based on their expertise, company of employment, etc. like sUAS journalist or members adding thsy title.
  • One important item to remember is that visual styles change -- constantly. Our snazzy new masthead (everyone remembers the contest for it, right?), will seem stale in 2 years (or way less) and another one will be required so that the site will look fresh.

    These are two different pieces of software and if the new Ning can provide the same level of searching, then DIYD fixes a major weakness IMHO.

    At RCG the search finds items so old that the subject is often not available anymore -- plane, heli out of production. For an archive purpose this is fine, it tells me that plane 'X' or heli 'Y' is sorta an orphan now. On the other hand, the build log section on RCG is pure gold with many threads going on over years. It gives a sense of a vehicle's life span.

    All the bits and tinker adjustments to DIYD will not change the interest of the visitor. As rapid as 'drone' growth is, not a single multirotor was at either of the last two flying fields I visited. Big gas/nitro 3D planes and Warbirds were the rule with the occasional sport/trainer fixed wing. One member said the nickname for a member that flies helis was 'Eggbeater'. It was hilarious!

    Hobby flyers just want to do that and RCG suits their internet interests. DIYD folk do that too, sometimes, and a bit more...actually a lot more.


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