Also I agree with this,
Originally Posted by TimJim
2.)Increase the max avatar size by enough that people don't assume this forum is dead(er) than it is due to the 10 year old maximum size limits.
4.)Discourage bullying newbs and unban previously grudge-banned accounts such as Mappy's and Blockhead's and even Tronn and Jaylink.
5.)Implement more of the BBcode functionality as seen on sites like SomethingAwful and what have you
Originally Posted by fingers mccoy
the forums as a whole will never be what they were (which wouldn't be particularly desirable anyway) without stronger content on the main site, focussed as it once was on a constructive approach to the subject rather than a poorly-regulated critical one
Also, I don't mean to be a dick, but the actual layout of the main site is ugly, cluttered, and looks haphazardly pasted together. That can play a huge role in whether people ever come to the site. The "music news" column on the right side looks spammy. The font needs to be changed. The blurbs that go with each album should be more prominent, and the new featured albums should take up more space on the page and be accompanied with their ratings. The bordering empty space gives all of the content an uncomfortable floating feeling. There needs to be more content that isn't just tiny text next to tiny pictures! It should fill up the page. This would make it all look much more lively.
Most importantly, I think that the communal aspect of sputnikmusic should be played up, since that's really the only thing that clearly differentiates it from most other music sites. The "popular albums list," and other indications of collective involvement, should be made more prominent. "User reviews" and "staff reviews" should both be headers - right now user reviews are buried. This is also a gateway for people coming to the message boards, if that is a priority.
Some other suggestions: News can be incorporated with reviews on the main page, and be accompanied by pictures. That's the purpose of headers, so that if people want to look at more specific things they can. Why aren't any letters capitalized? The Login box should take up way way less area on the page. It could just be an isolated header (ie, above the "Find a Band" thing) that opens up into a box, and it should be called "Users Login" or something cause when I see a huge login box on the main page my first thought is that at least some part of the site can't be accessed without an account. The "new comments" list is odd, and looks sort of like a list of downloads on a file-sharing site.
The layout looks much better when you actually click on a review, mainly because there are fewer separate sections crammed full of small words all competing for your attention in the same area of the page. Though I would still change the color of the bordering space and background, and definitely change the font. The distribution graph of user reviews is a cool touch, and more stuff like that should be incorporated on the main page.
I think the problem is that the main page harkens back to when all a website had to do was organize content in a way that someone could access it and understand and communicate about it. Now looking at a website has to be an experience in itself. It isn't enough to organize content into a perfectly-delineated grid of rectangular lists.