First of all i think this site's great, but i havent been using it much lately because the layout gets irritating, and it's too hard to find the stuff i'd like to.
Here's a couple of suggestions i'd love to see implemented.
(I dont think any of them should be overly strenuous on server resources, bandwidth, or moderator's time, infact half of them should save them time).
1. CHANGE THE DEFAULT SEARCH PARAMETERS
Make it so it's restricted to deals, and sorts them by the original post date rather than the last post's date, by default.
I'd suggest adding a drop down box next to the main search bar that lets people choose between which forums to search in, with "deals" selected by default.
I'm not an expert on search engine optimisation, so there are probably further improvements to the search engine that could be made that im clueless about
(Reasoning: I think most people realise the current search brings up a lot of problems, mainly dupes and people getting disillusioned when they post a deal that goes extremely cold because they posted a worse deal than one already on the site.)
i know this wouldnt totally fix search but it would be a big improvement i think.
2. ADD MORE CATEGORIES/SUB CATEGORIES FOR ITEMS
Or something like that...
This would help a ton with searches, and honestly id probably just set my home page as the "computer game deals" section.
(In addition it would also be nice if there was an option in the user control panel that allowed us to "ignore" certain categories.)
i.e. i have no real need to view pet food deals and im sure there's a ton of people who hate seeing all of the computer game/movie deals.
3. ALLOW US TO SPECIFY OUR "TYPE OF REPLY"
i.e. allow us to choose from 3 options - positive reply, negative reply, neutral reply.
then allow us the option to easily view just the negative or positive responses
(or have the negative ones show up with a red background, with the positives showing up with a green background)
this would be helpful in situations where someone posts a warning about a company or the service they received but only after a few pages.
maybe if a thread receives a certain number of negative responses (5 or 10 maybe) then an exclamation mark would be put next to the thread title to easily alert people of the possibility of something being wrong.
4. ADD A "DUPLICATE" BUTTON next to the "expire" and "spam" ones.
The dupe button would require you to add the URL, and if a post was removed for being a dupe then the original post would receive a bump.
it might also merge the comments from the dupe to the original post, or at least make them accessible somehow.
This would also probably require some proper guidelines or rules on what constitutes a dupe, mainly a timeframe for reposts (i think ive heard "3 weeks" before, unofficially)
(maybe when someone clicks the dupe button they're taken to a page with a brief recap of the rules/guidelines on what a dupe is, and then has a box to enter the URL of the post that has been duped.
then the site could run some sort of validation against the link's date to see if it is less than 3 weeks, if so the dupe claim would be rejected)
5. OPTION TO VIEW MORE THAN just the top 5 hottest deals for the last day/week/month/alltime/particular categories
maybe just a "more" link below the current top 5 of each timeframe.
this could potentially be harsh on server resources though, so maybe this one isnt a particularly good suggestion. Either way id use it a lot.
6. "EXPIRE BUTTON CHANGES TO "UNEXPIRE" when a deal has been expired.
This would operate in exactly the same manner as the "expire" button (requiring a couple of votes before it takes effect).
I dont know how difficult these changes would be to implement with this forum software, but i think it would improve the usability of this site a whole lot.
Please at least consider most of these, i'd use this site a lot more often if it some of these improvements were made (mainly the categories)
I'd also appreciate feedback on these suggestions, thanks.