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Heroes Community > Turban Tribunal > Thread: Community Banners
Thread: Community Banners This thread is 7 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 · NEXT»
Valeriy
Valeriy

Mage of the Land
Naughty, Naughty Valeriy
posted November 24, 2014 12:08 AM
Edited by Valeriy at 21:52, 28 Nov 2015.

Community Banners

I've been updating the banner rotator on HC today (you'll see a greater variety of banners including Amazon, HC games and even some interesting free documentary movies) and I had this idea... Community Banners!

A community banner is a banner created by someone from HC to promote a specific thread. The thread could be a contest, or just some fun or interesting discussion that you want to draw more attention to. It has to be the kind of thread that is worth being promoted over the entire HC.

Here's the draft criteria:

HC Community Banner:
- 728 by 90 pixels
- under 60,000 bytes file size (right click > properties > size in brackets)
- JPG, PNG or GIF format
- mild GIF animation is allowed, but no flashing or visual irritation
- must promote an HC thread

Thread being promoted:
- must be community focused
- must be easy to participate in (ex: not some complicated project requiring knowledge of specific game mods)
- must be worthy of being promoted to the whole of HC
- must not be promoting an external web site or product

All community banners are subject to my approval. Once in rotation, a community banner will have approximately 2-3% chance of displaying on every page of HC that has a banner.

These are some preliminary ideas. If you have any other interesting ideas, feel free to throw them in. Note: this thread is not for discussing the general subject of having ads on HC.

Additional info about GIF animation:

I've received a couple of banners so far, both animated GIFs, and both severely exceeding the file size limit. Here are some pointers with regards to GIF animation:

- Animated GIF is made of frames. The first frame is the base banner. The following frames contain the changes that go on top of the base banner. Thus if you concentrate all animation into one part of the banner (for example right third of the banner), the following frames can be smaller (one third of the size).

More details: if you make a small change in top left corner and in bottom right corner, everything in between the changes will have to be included in the frame too, making it very large - that is why animation should ideally be happening in a small area. The animation can happen efficiently in different parts of the banner, as long as it is not happening in different areas at the same time.

- Reducing the number of colours helps to reduce file size. Note that photographic style images look bad with a low number of colours.

- Overall, don't expect to make a visually stunning entirely-animated GIF banner that fits into the size limit. You will need to find a compromise on animation and quality.

If you think this is impossible, here's an animated GIF banner I made for a game ad several years ago. It is under 46,000 bytes and you can observe the principles I've explained:



If you find GIF animation difficult, make a static JPG banner - it is a lot easier to fit within the file size limit.


CURRENT COMMUNITY BANNERS:


Launched on 5th Dec 2014. Made by Galaad.


Launched on 9th Dec 2014. Made by Galaad.


Launched on 26th Dec 2014. Made by Galaad.


Launched on 31st Dec 2014. Made by Docent_Picolan, submitted by nik312.

PAST COMMUNITY BANNERS:


Launched on 3rd Dec 2014. Removed on 29th Nov 2015. Made by Galaad.
____________
You can wait for others to do it, but if they don't know how, you'll wait forever.
Be an example of what you want to see on HC and in the world.
http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.com

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted November 24, 2014 12:31 AM

This would come in handy when competitions arise with Heroes VII (hopefully). But for the now, there was some talk about ICTC, provided it gets serious there should be a banner made for it for advertisement.

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Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted November 24, 2014 02:46 AM

How about a "thread of the month" competition or some such?
____________
I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. -Mitch Hedberg

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Valeriy
Valeriy

Mage of the Land
Naughty, Naughty Valeriy
posted November 24, 2014 05:51 AM

Cleaned the thread, please keep the discussion on topic and refrain from "jokes" that look like provocation towards other members.
____________
You can wait for others to do it, but if they don't know how, you'll wait forever.
Be an example of what you want to see on HC and in the world.
http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.com

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 24, 2014 05:56 AM

Anyway, the question was if you were talking about voting the month of the thread, Corribus.
____________
I hope I am mistaking - frostysh

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted November 24, 2014 09:02 AM

Isn't a concept like this something that's always getting updated? I mean, it's not a fire-and-forget idea, there is a constant stream of new threads that would need to be promoted. So when making an image, that somehow has to reflect it.

Or would you rather have generic banners for that and somehow solve the issue of thread specifics differently?

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Valeriy
Valeriy

Mage of the Land
Naughty, Naughty Valeriy
posted November 24, 2014 08:51 PM

Agree, this would be good for promoting ICTC.

With regards to Thread of The Month idea, obviously someone would need to take on the initiative of running the selection process. To make it an ongoing feature there could be a "Thread of the Month" banner (perhaps also designed via a contest?) with the name of the thread superimposed on it. I could make a simple script that allows moderators to update which thread displays in the banner.

Overall this is an interesting idea. Could also be a two-part selection, for example one "Deep & Meaningful Thread of the Month" and one "Funniest Thread of the Month" - both could be incorporated into the same Thread of the Month banner.
____________
You can wait for others to do it, but if they don't know how, you'll wait forever.
Be an example of what you want to see on HC and in the world.
http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.com

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Galaad
Galaad


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Enrothian Conservative Party
posted November 25, 2014 10:45 AM
Edited by Galaad at 10:45, 25 Nov 2014.

Valeriy said:
Agree, this would be good for promoting ICTC.

+1
I also think Horn of the Abyss deserves some promotion, the quality of the expansion is quite impressive. I remember hippox89 putting some effort into it.
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#Give JVC Might and Magic rights back!

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Valeriy
Valeriy

Mage of the Land
Naughty, Naughty Valeriy
posted November 26, 2014 02:28 AM

Galaad: yeah, this is something that could be promoted via a community banner, perhaps you should invite the creators to this thread.

Markkur: it is an interesting idea, but you should repost it here because this thread is about community banners, not general page improvements.

Now on the subject of banners, I've implemented the HC Supporter feature that I mentioned a while ago. You'll notice a "remove ads" link in the page headers, all the instructions are there and the system is automated.

I improved the idea by allowing Supporters to control ads according to 5 content levels. Relevant to this thread, the community banners are at the highest level of ad filtering so even the Supporters will see them. You can see the filtering options in your profile now, but they won't work unless you are a Moderator or a Supporter. Yes, moderators can now browse without ads, and they are not allowed to become Supporters because they are already HC supporters by the virtue of being moderators!

Feel free to let me know if you try the Supporter system and encounter any glitches, or banners showing up when they shouldn't. The HC Supporter badge is just text for now - could be replaced with an icon later.
____________
You can wait for others to do it, but if they don't know how, you'll wait forever.
Be an example of what you want to see on HC and in the world.
http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.com

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted November 26, 2014 08:17 PM

Any other means of contributing, like iDeal? I don't have a PayPal account but I do want to contribute.

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted November 26, 2014 08:50 PM
Edited by Stevie at 20:54, 26 Nov 2014.

You don't need an account. I just paid.

And yea, would be great to have that Badge you promised Val.

Also, I'm getting all the ads even after setting only Community. Changing to any category doesn't remove the rest. I don't think it works properly.

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Valeriy
Valeriy

Mage of the Land
Naughty, Naughty Valeriy
posted November 26, 2014 09:36 PM

Thanks for being the first Supporter, Stevie, and Geny for being the second

There was indeed a glitch with the automated system, which I think should be fixed now - we'll know when the third supporter comes along. I've updated your status manually with a fresh timestamp so you don't lose any time. Let me know if you find any other glitches, this new system needs a good test.

Maurice, I've only got the PayPal system set up so far, but there should be a "don't have a PayPal account" option when you click the donate button. I think it allows credit cards and maybe even bank transfers. All of this is processed by PayPal, the card/bank info is never transmitted to me or to HC. Let me know if that works.
____________
You can wait for others to do it, but if they don't know how, you'll wait forever.
Be an example of what you want to see on HC and in the world.
http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.com

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted November 26, 2014 09:52 PM
Edited by Stevie at 21:56, 26 Nov 2014.

I can confirm the system works now. And I really like that golden HC Supporter text! Being HC's very first supporter feels very dignifying right now Would it be an overstatement to say this is like a VIP?

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VokialBG
VokialBG

Hero of Order
First in line
posted November 26, 2014 09:53 PM
Edited by VokialBG at 23:49, 26 Nov 2014.

Great idea. I may also try to make a banner or two
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Geny
Geny


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
of nastiness
HC SUPPORTER
posted November 26, 2014 10:14 PM

So the banner filter works by blocking unwanted banners, rather than only showing the wanted ones, i.e. the site still cycles all the available banners, but shows a blank space if a filtered banner comes up. Is this by design or by mistake?
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geny is a meanie - fred79

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted November 26, 2014 10:26 PM

Is that how it works? I set to Community and none showed because there are none. There should be a way to cycle only the ones that are enabled.

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JoonasTo
JoonasTo


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted November 26, 2014 10:48 PM

Next up, an icon for HC supporters
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Valeriy
Valeriy

Mage of the Land
Naughty, Naughty Valeriy
posted November 26, 2014 10:53 PM

@Stevie: The current badge is a simple golden text with CSS shadow effect. I quite like its simplicity, but the text does blend into background a tad. Could be fancied up later if anyone has better ideas, or can be left as it is, or we could even run a contest for this one too

I didn't want to create a supporter system that puts Supporters above normal users in terms of privileges, so I don't think I'd call Supporters VIP members. That's also part of the reason for setting the donation so low and not offering a higher option.

A Supporter is a normal member who makes a small contribution towards the development of HC. "I like this site and support it" type of thing with the benefit of controlling the ads. This is also based on feedback from members who wanted a way to turn off the ads without undermining the site's advertising revenue.

But yeah, you have gone down in history as the first Supporter

@VokialBG: great, looking forward to see them

@Geny: Yes, currently the banners are sorted into 5 tiers:

5 - shopping (like Amazon)
4 - gaming (free to play MMO games, HC games, etc)
3 - M&M games (none right now, but maybe in the future)
2 - documentaries (generally non-profit ads for interesting documentaries about the state of the world, etc)
1 - community banners (none right now - subject of this thread)

In the profile you can select the filtering level (everyone can change the setting, but it only works if you are a Moderator or Supporter). The ads are still selected the same way, but when the selected ad is above your filtering threshold at the moment you simply see a blank space instead. I may replace the blank space with something useful in the future, maybe a little bit like on HC games, but not exactly the same.

Feel free to let me know if you have interesting ideas here, or if you think the supporter ad filtering system has any serious shortcomings.
____________
You can wait for others to do it, but if they don't know how, you'll wait forever.
Be an example of what you want to see on HC and in the world.
http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.com

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted November 26, 2014 11:04 PM

Valeriy said:
@Stevie: The current badge is a simple golden text with CSS shadow effect. I quite like its simplicity, but the text does blend into background a tad. Could be fancied up later if anyone has better ideas, or can be left as it is, or we could even run a contest for this one too


The only thing you need to do is darken the color. Both possible backdrops of the text (white and light grey) are light colors. Make the text a dark color (any will do, really) and you get enough contrast with the backdrop to more clearly read it.

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted November 26, 2014 11:07 PM
Edited by Maurice at 23:11, 26 Nov 2014.

Stevie said:
You don't need an account. I just paid.

And yea, would be great to have that Badge you promised Val.

Also, I'm getting all the ads even after setting only Community. Changing to any category doesn't remove the rest. I don't think it works properly.


I saw PayPal and stopped right there . Anyway, with that pointer I went ahead and made my donation as well. Sooooo ... where's my HC Supporter tag? I am not seeing it yet . But seriously, I don't know how this is handled behind the scenes? I don't see it reflected (yet) when I check my profile settings either.

By the way, Valeriy, maybe you should also put up a disclaimer with regards to refunds. I can already forsee someone who made a donation but turning away from the site who might then demand a (partial) refund.

Edit: Ahh, there it is . I was just too impatient .

Edit 2: I am guessing you are still fleshing out the deeper details, so just as a suggestion: is it possible to indicate under your profile settings whether or not you're a HC supporter and if so, how long until it expires?

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