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So, I know many sites use the format where each specific location gets its own subforum. Like one for Elf City and another sub-forum for Dwarf Citadel and so forth. That seems like it might even be standard practice. Personally, I dislike the format and never stick around somewhere like that for very long. Ends up isolating the community into too many groups. Plus, when I write on boards, they usually have lots of freedom for members creating new locations, so there's no way to keep track of them all and have them properly sorted. That raised a question. How do board layouts affect members and potential members/guests? Have you noticed ways that different layouts affect your initial response?
dystopia posted a gallery image in Graphics Showcase & Discussion's Graphics ShowcaseA more modern layout of mine, this was made for a project called DragonBall Zenith. Zenith is a concept for a DBZ RPG built entirely in my project "Chimera Engine" which utilizes heavy scripting to handle full profile and stat RPG management. Overall this is one of my favorite layouts and while the RPG itself has never moved past conceptual design one day I hope to finish it. There's a second version to this layout as well, as the entire site framework was to be built to allow easy theme swapping.
dystopia posted a gallery image in Graphics Showcase & Discussion's Graphics ShowcaseAh good old Cyberpunk Nexus, the biggest, more daring thing I ever did online. For those of you who are unaware of what CPN was, hereâ€™s a small history lesson. In 2008 MSN announced that their Groups service would be closing. For many of us, me included, MSN Groups had been a home where we hosted our RPGs. With Groups out of the picture we were going to have to find a new home. I thought it would be a good idea to build that home myself. CPN ended up being a 2 year venture and for a good while a very successful one. This layout was launched with the site and served as our theme for the first year before all the true work was done to automate everything and which came with a new design. In the end this is probably my most detailed and best done layout. There are many versions and so much work into it, more than a screenshot can capture, thatâ€™s for sure.
I'm making this thread in response to @Morrigan's discussion on Imgur and their recent crackdown on hot linking. Imgur has blocked Jcink from using their service recently (source). While I only do a browse or word search when looking through TOS, Imgur's terms of service is not for image hosting. Wait, or is it? Whatever. It doesn't matter. The bottom line is: You can't use Imgur if you want to link to your images. Basically, Imgur is for viewing the most viral images on the internet, not hosting your graphics. You can view their TOS here. It's not too long. But just in case you're a professional potato (like me), I'll quote a major point in their TOS: So there you have it. Anyway, I'm sure a lot of you, like me, are bummed. Because honestly, their short links is what sold me. I spent a lot of money on upgrading my account to have access to unlimited uploads. And even though they said that they have removed the limits and stopped the paid, upgraded account service, my account is still being restricted based on their old restrictions. Ugh. So for me, that's still frustrating but I'm not the type to cry over split milk. However I'm sure that some of you might be looking for a new place to host your images. So what are your options? First, and foremost, if you're looking for a place to upload your layout images, then you should be looking at your forum host first. A lot of forum hosts, including Jcink, offer to host your images for your community. In some cases, it's free. In other cases, you'll have to pay to have more storage, but generally they give you enough space to upload what you need for your forum. I highly recommending uploading all your images for your layout with your forum host. Not only will your community load faster (because it's not calling and retrieving information from a third party), but it'll help with the load times on your forum. Load times are important. And it becomes a make or break factor with some members that have a slower/non-priority connection speed. Other image hosting sites can be found by going to google and using your magic little fingers. I found several websites that I will kind of link to below, but as I'm a professional potato, I only skim TOS and search these policies for keywords. Yeah, I know, you can criticize me all you want, but if the service leaves me scratching my head by either hunting down what their site is about, or if they market it to true image hosting (when it may not be the case), then that's on them. I'll still link to the TOS's for you to do the homework, because I'm only liable for me and mine. Here's a few image hosting options I found: Tinypic -- "TinyPic® is a photo and video sharing service that lets you easily upload, link, and share your images and videos on MySpace®, eBay®, Orkut Scrapbooks, blogs, and message boards." -- [ TOS ] I browsed through it and didn't see any kind of restrictions, other than the content you "post" has to adhere to international laws. It's owned by PhotoBucket now. Photobucket -- "Photobucket offers photo and video storage, story creation products and sharing services (collectively referred to as "Photobucket Services") that are offered via the Site, other social media, mobile services and mobile applications." -- [ TOS ] I didn't see anything related to "forum/message boards" so this could be an open field. I highly recommend scanning this TOS. It's not too long, but there are vague points. Also, if you're using this for image hosting layouts, I suggest having your folders on private lock down, otherwise other users can freely redistribute whatever they find. Photobucket also sells prints, so this could be an issue if you don't private/lock your folders. Imageshack -- "Sharing is easy and you have full control of privacy. You can share a single image or even a whole album. Use us for business. We will host your images for your site of forum. Upload quickly and get any link type you need. Discover new inspirations with our follow feature. Follow other photographers, friends and even your family." -- [ TOS ] The first line in this TOS is "ImageShack is here to serve all of your image hosting needs..." Imagevenue -- "Free Image Hosting for bloggers, message board users, and eBay sellers." -- [ TOS ] Short and to the point. Postimage -- "Postimage.org was founded in 2004 to provide forums with an easy way to upload images for free. Postimage is a very simple, fast, reliable free image host. It's perfect for linking to auctions, message boards, blogs, and other websites. " -- [ TOS ] Short and to the point. You can discuss other options as well, because I'm sure it's well worth it if they are true image hosting sites for general purposes. If you want to post your art/professional photography, there are other options out there. Stick to "image hosting" sites that are basically art portfolios, like deviantArt and Weasyl. If you're looking for a place to host your images for your layouts, then I suggest looking into your forum host first. Other than that, Imgur was a lesson learned, yeah? I also suggest taking a look at this list of photo-sharing websites that I found on the infamous Wikipedia. If you scroll down, they touch on the kind of features each site has and they compare them. Might be userful if you're looking for something that lets you organize your stuff.