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Re: Of course
LSF Member
Joined:
03/10/2007
From Farmington MN
Posts: 319
There seems to be a lot of MN fishermen contributing to several other fishing message boards along with quite a few people that have stayed with Lake State even with the kinks and querks in this site. It could still thrive if a little TLC was put into it. It probably can't reach the level it was 5 or 6years ago but it could still be great site for local fishing info and general BS.

Posted on: 8/10 10:20:39
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Re: Of course
LSF Member
Joined:
12/28/2005
Posts: 1303
I've often wondered how many different people are involved in the MN related fishing forums. It may seem like a lot but I'm guessing there are a lot of the same people on each site. 2 forums may have 5000 users each but that doesn't mean there are 10,000 users since I'm guessing at least half are members of both forums. I know I've posted on at least 5 different sites. I don't think there are as many unique users as it may appear.

I think this site and other forums can still thrive they just need to adapt themselves. I think they'll need to innovate in and reinvent themselves a little bit.

Just as example the basic design and layout of this site has been outdated for years and it simply far too cluttered. When you click on the homepage the biggest element you see are advertisements not content. You actually have to dig a little before you start to realize what value the site might offer you. The average web users simply won't stay on a site long enough to digest all the info being thrown at them on the homepage.

Now simply redesigning the home page is a good start but I think the real trick is finding new was to connect with new users and give them some added value either through content the site is creating or give them ways of generating new content themselves.

If I had a site like this one thing I would look at doing is breaking the site into some different sections. Id have to research the best way to break it into sections but just for discussion purpose maybe a few sections are Specie specific with Bass, Walleye, Panfish, Pike/Musky sub groups and Hunting with rifle, bow, upland, water fowl sub groups.

I would work to find a few resident experts to head up each section and each sub section. They would be dedicated to advancing discussions, generate content (threads, articles, videos, etc).

I would get away from the region specific forum model designed to share fishing reports since so little of that is done now days and it was never really all that helpful anyways except for those people trying to chase a hot bite. I'd move it more to a learning environment where content is focused on teaching the skills or techniques needed to become a better fisherman or hunter not to find out what lure to use on a specific lake at a specific time of year. That specific of info is only helpful to a very few people that want to fish that lake at that time. Info about how to be a better bass fisherman is helpful to everyone that wants to fish for bass. The region specific concept also limits your target audience substantially. Given the draw of facebook and other outlets you have to draw from a wider audience. Going to a learning model versus sharing of reports model allows you to draw from all over the country. You've opened yourself up to anyone that hunts and fishes, not just those that hunt and fish in Minnesota.

I think the Field and Stream website is a somewhat close example although without the user interaction I'd target. The F&S site has relevant sections for hunting and fishing and a ton of good content. Theirs is all articles written by professional staff so it does differ in that way but the idea is the same with the basic ides of sharing valuable information that can help you become a better hunter/fisherman.

Now that I've put the idea out there everyone is free to steal it and get to work. I don't have the time to take it on myself.

Posted on: 8/10 11:03:31
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Re: Of course
LSF Member
Joined:
09/11/2008
From Chaska/Leech Lake
Posts: 159
Why is there nothing but Silence from the owner of
this site?
If you choose not to be responsive to the few members
remaining .....pathetic !

The last few months....when we go to visit the site
there is a good chance that it is unavailable.

I, for one, would appreciate a few explanations and
information on what is being done to mitigate these
issues.

If I was not concerned about the validity of the site....
I would not be writing to express my concerns.

Thanks,

Jim Erickson
tweed

Posted on: 8/10 12:30:36
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tweed
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Re: Of course
Field Staff
Joined:
12/18/2012
From South Minneapolis
Posts: 1757
nofish i agree with a lot of what you said but I disagree this site is too cluttered and the design is outdated etc. The reason why I started using this site over the others (and still use this one) is because the layout seems less cluttered to me, and the design is more intuitive.

Posted on: 8/10 14:51:28
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Re: Of course
LSF Member
Joined:
12/28/2005
Posts: 1303
I suppose design aesthetics are somewhat subjective but i will point out that I counted for 20+ different things going on on the home page, to me thats clutter when most of them are irrelevant to the bulk of the users. Compared to some of the other forums that are out there I will agree that the layout here is a bit more intuitive and looks a little better but that's not saying much as there are some god awful designs out there.

All I know is that in my 15+ years of working in design and marketing if I had designed the current homepage and handed it over to any boss I have ever worked for or given it to a client I'd have been fired long ago.

Posted on: 8/10 15:02:15
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Re: Of course
Staff Team
Joined:
07/01/2011
From Annandale
Posts: 3588
The future is in mobile apps like fishbrain. By 2020 over 60% of the country will be millenials and gen Z'rs. Fast, friendly, convenient and mobile is the only thing that catches consumers these days and everyone wants things that operate on their smart phones. This trend will only continue to drive forward as things move on. When's the last time anyone has seen a young kid or teenager as a member here? The only way to move forward is to embrace the change of technology. In my eyes it's an LSF app or bust. We had members asking very frequently to make the site more mobile friendly years back. Give the consumers what they want and you might be shocked by the results.

Posted on: 8/10 16:08:36
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Re: Of course
LSF Member
Joined:
12/28/2005
Posts: 1303
I think a website is still viable but you're right it can not exist on its own. Anything you do here needs to have a mobile counterpart. That in part ties into the clutter of the site as the current version is not good on mobile at all. The idea I mentioned earlier could really streamline access to content if designed in the right way.

Posted on: 8/10 16:21:25
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Re: Of course
LSF Member
Joined:
06/14/2013
From Minnesota
Posts: 606
Safe to assume Kirk is on a fishing adventure since he hasn't chimed in to defend the site?

Or, maybe he also has finally seen this for what it is. We can piss & moan all we want. The only thing that happens is the thread gets pulled down. Mike is gone, not coming back and really shouldn't even be missed. He is about as relevant around here as dial up internet.

Posted on: 8/10 20:41:41
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Re: Of course
Field Staff
Joined:
12/18/2012
From South Minneapolis
Posts: 1757
I guess an app or more mobile friendly version would be nice when I'm up north on an ice fishing trip and want to give an update. Other than that I'd rather use the web based version on a computer. I'm maybe a weird millennial but since I sit at a computer all day at work I try not to spend a lot of time on my phone or computer at home and on my off days I try to be outside and prefer not to be on my phone then also, except to check the map to make sure I'm not getting lost.

Posted on: 8/11 8:51:21
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Re: Of course
LSF Member
Joined:
12/28/2005
Posts: 1303
Quote:

bottlebass wrote:
I guess an app or more mobile friendly version would be nice when I'm up north on an ice fishing trip and want to give an update. Other than that I'd rather use the web based version on a computer. I'm maybe a weird millennial but since I sit at a computer all day at work I try not to spend a lot of time on my phone or computer at home and on my off days I try to be outside and prefer not to be on my phone then also, except to check the map to make sure I'm not getting lost.


I'm the same. I can find a few minutes at work to cruise the site and get caught up but once I leave the office the computer gets shut off and I am not very tied to my cell phone. I know there are a lot of other people in the same boat so thats why I think the web version always needs to exist. Mobile versions usually stress being streamlined making them no ideal for certain things. I think with any redesign you'd really need to figure out what your core areas would be and where most traffic is funneling through and make the mobile version shine in those areas. Then the web version can be more robust in some other areas to add extra value.

Posted on: 8/14 8:41:09
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