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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Default Firehouse.com Mobile Version?

    Hey, Webteam, I was wondering if anyone has given any thought to creating a mobile version of Firehouse.com. With the big increase in the number of people using smartphones these days, I think that a more phone-friendly version of FH.com would be great. It's slow and annoying to browse the full website and the Forums in the regular web format.

    Honestly, I never thought I would be the one to advocate this kind of thing (I'm usually slow to adopt new technology), but that was before I got an iPhone. Now I'm noticing that I do a great deal of my web surfing and forum browsing on my phone as opposed to my desktop computer. There must be many others who feel the same way.

    Many other popular sites offer a mobile version in addition to their full site. Their mobile sites offer a much smoother and slicker browsing experience when using a phone. I've actually noticed (and maybe this is just me) that my visits to FH.com have decreased significantly since I started using the phone, just because the web site isn't really optimized for mobile browsing.

    So what do you think? Is this something that is in the works, or at least being considered? Or does it maybe already exist and I just haven't heard about it yet?
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"


  2. #2
    Forum Member Chenzo's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm in full agreement here. If there is anyway to design a mobile version, I think that would be awesome. I have my phone (Android) with me far more than I am able to sit at my computer, and it is a pain to try and sift through the full site on a 4" screen.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber BULL321's Avatar
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    Default

    But it would make trolling easier and it would never give us a break from the non hackers.
    Stay Safe
    Bull


    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
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  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    Hey, Webteam, I was wondering if anyone has given any thought to creating a mobile version of Firehouse.com.
    I'm sure that they have. The issue is, undoubtedly, space for advertising. As in, there isn't much room for it on a mobile forum. If there's no $$$ to be had, there's not likely to be much interest from FH.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Editor
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    Hi folks--thank you for the suggestion.

    We have explored the idea of a full mobile site, but we are looking at a variety of options, features and what would be most important. That brings up a good point--what would you like to see on the mobile version?

    The current website is compatible mobile web browsers and seems to work well for now.

    If you have ideas for the future mobile site, let us know.

    Thanks,
    Peter Matthews
    Editor-in-Chief, Firehouse.com

  6. #6
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    The webteam idiots can't take care of the normal website, and now you want them to do a mobile version???
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Editor
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    FWD, when you get a chance, could you please return my call.

    Thanks,
    Peter

  8. #8
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FHEditor View Post
    If you have ideas for the future mobile site, let us know.
    It's been a while since I admin'ed a vBulletin forum so I may be misremembering the details...

    Doesn't it have the option to let a user select layout templates? The easiest mobile implementation might be to offer a template simplified for viewing on a small screen. (i.e. less fancy formatting, simplified menus, fewer script driven frills, no advertising, etc.)

    If such a template isn't already available from vBulletin, it's the sort of thing any programmer with basic php knowledge could modify from the stock template. A slightly more advanced step would be to make displaying the simplified template automagic for anyone hitting the site using a mobile browser.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  9. #9
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FHEditor View Post
    FWD, when you get a chance, could you please return my call.

    Thanks,
    Peter
    When you answer all of my previously posed questions in an open, public forum as I have prevously requested numerous times, I will speak with you in private.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  10. #10
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Easy Fella

    So let me get this straight...Web-Team puts out an olive branch and FWDbuff tosses it in the shredder.....how juvenile. How about giving it a rest FWDbuff and if your dissatisfied with the site soooooo bad then join the others who have left and quit the bellyaching. Unless your a glutton for punishment.

    TURN THE PAGE ALREADY!!
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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  11. #11
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    So let me get this straight...Web-Team puts out an olive branch and FWDbuff tosses it in the shredder.....how juvenile. How about giving it a rest FWDbuff and if your dissatisfied with the site soooooo bad then join the others who have left and quit the bellyaching. Unless your a glutton for punishment.

    TURN THE PAGE ALREADY!!
    You took the words out of my mouth, Jay!

    FWD - A member of the WT, using his real name, offers to speak to you personally and you refuse to do it? Either call him or quit bitching.
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  12. #12
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    Unless your a glutton for punishment.
    Oh my god- what are they going to do? Permanently ban me? Oh the horror.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    You took the words out of my mouth, Jay!

    FWD - A member of the WT, using his real name, offers to speak to you personally and you refuse to do it? Either call him or quit bitching.
    He called me several months ago- at my request, to discuss the WT's refusal to identify themselves and their fire-service background or lack thereof, and their refusal to discuss their polcies and procedures for discipline/banning/issuing temporary restrictions. This occurred due to several members being unfairly treated by the WT because of that moron scarecrow.....At the time I did not return his message because the issue resolved itself when the members privileges were returned in 24 or 48 hours or less- which lead me to believe at the time that they realized that they were wrong, so I dropped it.

    If he has called me in the last several days I have not received a message. But then again my carrier is AT & T so it could very well be floating in cyberspace somewhere.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  13. #13
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Phone Call

    That explains it to me although you should change carriers. I do think that you do need to tone it down a bit as it is getting old. I understand the frustration with trying to deal with the many things the Web Team has to deal with......but for Pete's sake "Turn the page ."

    Just my two cents....I'm sure others will agree. If you're unhappy then by all means remove yourself from the "Headache" I would.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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    Lifetime Member CSFA
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  14. #14
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Hey, I was talking to Peter on the phone at 11:30pm on Sunday night... (regarding the Chief LindCrackHead issue). Seems like a good person that cares. So if he's asking to speak to you, you should.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Editor
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    FWD,

    I've left at least four messages since your initial request for a phone call. I am here if you would like to discuss it further.

    Thanks,
    Peter

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FHEditor View Post
    Hi folks--thank you for the suggestion.

    We have explored the idea of a full mobile site, but we are looking at a variety of options, features and what would be most important. That brings up a good point--what would you like to see on the mobile version?

    The current website is compatible mobile web browsers and seems to work well for now.

    If you have ideas for the future mobile site, let us know.

    Thanks,
    Peter Matthews
    Editor-in-Chief, Firehouse.com
    Well, since I'm the one who started this thread, I guess I'll chime in . Yes, the current website is compatible with mobile web browsers but it's not what I'd call "optimized" for mobile browsers. I can surf just about any site on the Internet with my phone but it's not always convenient or easy...mainly because of the layout of the site. You have to do a lot of zooming and panning from side to side to be able to read anything. It's possible but annoying, compared to some other "phone friendly" sites.

    Forums would be easier to use if they were less cluttered and set up to display on a mobile screen. Maybe set up the news stories as another mobile feed that could be more easily viewed on a small screen. Maybe take the 3 or 4 most popular features of the website (whatever they are) and optimize them for mobile browsing, then everything else could just be the "normal" site.

    I've seen some sites where the mobile version is actually an app that you donwload to your phone (Facebook is a good example). Some sites seem to detect that you are on a mobile browser and direct you to the mobile optimized version of the site. I don't know too much about how either system works, just what I've observed.

    These are just a couple of the obvious things I think would be helpful. I'm sure others have some other ideas.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  17. #17
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    I've seen some sites where the mobile version is actually an app that you donwload to your phone
    I did a little research and vBulletin offers both a "Mobile Style"" layout template designed to be more user friendly for a mobile phone browser and a mobile app for iPhone and Android. The catch is that the app requires additional licensing fees.

    I'd like to see them at least try the "Mobile Style" layout template but, honestly, the existing layout isn't all that bad on my EVO now.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Tapatalk is good enough if they aren't ready to check off "mobile layout" on their control panel.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  19. #19
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    I'd like to see them at least try the "Mobile Style" layout template but, honestly, the existing layout isn't all that bad on my EVO now.
    Mine freaks out when i turn it horizontal and try to type. Yours works fine?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  20. #20
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Mine freaks out when i turn it horizontal and try to type. Yours works fine?
    I don't recall if I've tried it horizontal. I'll give it a try and let you know. (crappy reception here, will try tomorrow from fire school)
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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