I'm going a little nuts as this is technically my FOURTH Seahawks forum that I have joined, and it's really hard keeping up with them all, not to mention the the stress that it's causing at home and at the office! I'd like to be able to settle on ONE place to feed my "Seahawks Jones" but each place has it's own benefits, as well as some shortcomings.
I've also noticed that some of the people on this Blog are regulars on some of the the other forums, so I'm wondering if we should start trying to get ALL the regulars together in one place, to discuss and debate our favorite football team, namely HERE?
I know I'm a newbee and hope I'm not overstepping my bounds, but I thought I'd lay out the pros and cons of the other forums and see what others thought.
This is my favorite place, probably because it was my first and I've built kind of a "street cred" on the board. It's loosley moderated so you can pretty much speak your mind, but if someone starts flaming or spamming, they are dealt with pretty quickly. The topics lay out is really straightforward and they provide a large input area for your post, as well as a large area when reading through the threads.
There is a NEW indicator on Topics with new posts since your last visit, and clicking this indicator brings you to the first new post in that Topic. A post counter exists under everyone's screen name, so you can see if they're new or a vet subscriber, and the system can remember your login and password so you don't have to log in each visit.
There are point an click controls on font size and color, bold and italic, and you can sneak in some HTML tags like 'quote'. You can see the previous posts when making your reply, which makes cutting and pasting text very easy, and links are automatically hypertexted without requiring tags. Posts can be easily edited and deleted at any time, and you can also create a 4 answer poll when creating a new Topic.
The site doesn't need much improvement, perhaps placing the New Topic and Submit buttons at both the top and bottom of the window, and a Search feature, to help find an archived post or topic. The ST used to only sporadically include a link to the chat site with selected articles, but recently has made it a consistent link at the top of their lead Seahawks story. It would be nice to get the link to the forum as a persistent link in the ST web site navigation.
A recent benefit to this site is a subscriber who appears to have an inside track to the Seattle front office, and he's provided some advanced news on things, such as the Mili signing.
Seattle Post Intellegencer
I come here mainly when the conversation dies down on the ST site, or when I want to check the AP and TSN newswires. There seem to a larger number of subscribers on this site, so there seems to be many more active topics and many responses within them.
The site is more strictly moderated, and there is automatic content control which will prevent a post from being submitted if it includes foul language, although you can get around this using the spammers lexicon (i.e. @ss) . The topics are arranged the same as the ST site, with the one with the newest post showing first, but there is no NEW indicator to show you which Topics have been responded to since your last visit.
The area for input and viewing of posts is very narrow, due to the design of the overall PI web site, which makes it very hard to read a thread which may have several posts and replies. Subscribers to this site are not dilligent at posting within existing Topics, so you'll find several Topics on the same item, which gets confusing. There are clear directions at the top of the window for submitting your post, and even hints on how to use the common HTML tags available on this forum. Unfortunately, you have to use the "link" tag to paste in an active URL, and the target page opens in the same pane, instead of in a new browser window. There is no facility for saving your access info, so you have to authenticate each time you decide to post.
I like the fact that the Hawks Forum is a persistent link in the left hand nav of the PI site, and there are convenient links right under it for the AP and TSN newswires. The web board could be improved with a larger area for posting and reading, as well as more convenience for logging in and seeing recent posts. The subscribers also need to do a better job of not creating a new thread if one already exists.
Seahawks Listserve on Yahoo Groups
This could potentially be the most convenient place to talk Seahawks, since it is all email based, however, many subscribers probably like the web boards since they can maintain a level of anonymity. Subscribing to this group and your first few posts need to be approved by the moderator, which is a little cumbersome, but once he realizes you're a Seahawks fanatic, and not a commercial spammer, you're able to post and reply directly.
While there are 115 people subscribed to this forum, it is one of the least active that I'm involved in, which is a little disappointing. Since it's a Yahoo group, you get all the benefits of a web based forum, along with full calendaring and polling, and the ability to upload files, pictures and database information.
Improvement to this site would be a more active subscriber community, and perhaps providing unmoderated posting priviledges a little quicker to encourage more frequent discussion.