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Seamless integration with portal

Community Veteran
Posts: 2,322
Registered: 01-08-2007

Seamless integration with portal

As Ive been requested to put this in the suggestions area - here it is.
Hopefully by posting any concerns here, they may help people developing the site rather than being construed as whinges.  Smiley
This forum, for me at least, feels like it is now a bolt on addition to the portal/ISP experience.
Previously the integration was seamless and flowed very well.
I can understand why some people would not wish to have their PN username used on a forum and can to some extent understand the seperate login.
At present I feel the community is a little disjointed from the overall isp/portal experience and would wish for it to become a semaless experience in a true total immersive package.
In order to demonstrate what I mean by a wish for the site to be seamless once again I shall provide examples of differences which could be contrued as negative by visitors - hopefully this will be of use to anyone developing the site.
Example1:
Previously when reading the forums and discussing a topic regarding usage, it took two clicks to check my own usage, and two more to get back to the topic and contribute further if necessary.  Now its either tabbed browsing (which many may not even understand), or some long winded navigation which on a shared access PC now requires logging in when moving from one area to the other, and another login when moving back again.
This disjointed feel has already struck the webmail, although there were obvious reasons why this step was taken immediatley in order to respond to a security breach/threat, some months later webmail now feels somewhat like like a seperate bolt on entity also - though not to the extent the community now does.
There have been a number of points raised during my discusions of this on other threads, though for the sake of keeping the new forum clean, perhaps they be addressed here instead?
One point raised was that this new approach would allow for multiple users of a single connection to have their say on these forums.
How?  You have to register through the portal, and once registered you can not register another account - so how would multiple users of the same account register and contribute to this community?
The forum lacks even basic links back to the portals of peoples choice from the main header menu, even if the community site cannot be fully immersed within a portal area, the lack of even basic links back from the main header menu contributes to the disjointed feel.  Other than the avatars and signatures of PN staff on the boards what else is there on a discussion thread in terms of links, graphics or tools that would even suggest this community is part of the PN brand at all?
People used to access this community easily through the portal page, whereas with it now being a seperate entity, many may simply choose to have a favourite set up for the log in or main page of the community site.
This effectively bypasses the portal page alltogether, where may may see new products, competitions and referral incentives advertised etc, if these are bypassed by coming to the forum/community login/main page direct, it may result in discussion of these items being reduced, reultiing in less colaboration or ideas being discussed about any recent changes etc.
Hopefully by choosing to post this here, it wil allow for any other threads to get back on topic that I may have posted on and at least help keep the new community site tidy in its infancy.  Embarrassed