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Q: How to avoid decreasing user activity?

belfordAt this moment we have 59 visits/day (one of the lowest rates since the start of the private beta). When Community Promotion Ads can be launched? How to encourage users to get involved? Should we promote HR on Area51? I mean inviting users to participate and help us.

7:18 PM
Sometimes I wonder how people misinterpret "hardware recommendations."
@Adam Are we going to have meta-answering battles?
Hi peeps ee peeps!
@Undo Do you want the privilege of posting your (very nicely-designed) ad on other sites, or are you happy to leave it to others to do?
@JohnB ^ the same to you, for your ad.
I posted mine on Graphic Design but others should feel free to post it elsewhere
7:26 PM
yup yup
@ArtOfCode No objection from me with others posting it
Ideally throw a comment with a link so I can go vote on it
@Undo Ta. I said I'd co-ordinate the posting of ads
(or what ads we have, anyway)
@JohnB That post you linked to on Graphic Design:
Q: Graphic Design Computer Needed - ASUS ROG G751-DH71 or MSI GS70 Stealth Pro-072

BrendaI'm trying to decide between two computers that will be used for graphic design, heavy adobe usage - Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, etc, as well as some web design work as well. I have the Adobe Master Collection CS6 installed on my current computer. I have it narrowed down between these two c...

@ArtOfCode Sorry, beat you to it.
@Zizouz212 You did?
7:37 PM
Meh, I was just going to check who was going to post what :)
I don't actually mind who posts.
Oh shoots.
> We recently entered public beta, so we need to get word out to the rest of Stack Exchange about Open Source Stack Exchange. One of the best ways of doing this is with Community Promotion Ads.
Did anyone notice that?
@Zizouz212 I've been waiting for you to notice ;)
You don't say a word.
7:42 PM
I actually really like your idea of posting my ad on Arqade @Zizouz212
I thought Andy mentioned that error a while ago.
@Zizouz212 did you notice my message a few days ago about requested wording changes and additions to the post?
Ah I was right.
There. Changed
@Zizouz212 Already did that.
@Andy Hm, probably not.
Hm, we did the same thing.
But, my edit description is possibly effective at diverting users from noticing. :)
7:44 PM
@Zizouz212 You added a space, and an edit comment.
@ArtOfCode I changed Hardware Recs too. Wonder why it didn't tell me the post had been changed.
Who's played Portal? Any of them?
@Zizouz212 shrug
@Andy Where's the message. I'll do that right now :)
I just thought of an awesome ad idea for Programmers
@ArtOfCode I play it all the time
@Adam The musical talent in the team that made that game. Jesus they're good.
7:52 PM
What's a good font?
Like the one in Undo's ad?
@Ziz what purpose?
Just something that is soft.
@ArtOfCode Yeah the soundtracks are definitely amazing. They do a good job of making it fit the atmosphere
@Zizouz212 Go with sans-serif, something clean and light. I have a suspicion Undo used Helvetica, or some variant.
Use Google Fonts to help you choose.
@Zizouz212 I use Roboto for a ton of things. It's good for headings and body text.
7:56 PM
How's this so far?
Still polishing it, but how's it for a concept?
Um, opinions?
@Zizouz212 Looks like the wrong dimensions...
Nah, they're the right ones. It might be off a few pixels since it's a screenshot
Ah, that'll be it, yeah 441x551.
440 by 500 is required.
Nah, it's 440 by 550
Or any multiple of 220 by 250
8:00 PM
@JohnB You lied!
Note: you can also export your with dimensions 440 x 550 px to make it look nicer on high density displays — JohnB 2 days ago
OK, Undo's is by 550. I'm sure it should be 500...
@Ziz but if you're going to do that, for god's sake anti-alias your fonts :)
@ArtOfCode anti-alias?
oops, typo
@Zizouz212 Gets rid of the pixelated blocky-edge effect.
8:02 PM
Makes circles look more like circles rather than pixels in a circular shape.
Hm, @Undo Your thing is 220x275
look at all the devastation I have caused D:
sorry guys
@Undo! Undo that ad!
Oh dear. @JohnB is secretly destroying us again
Stop making my phone ring!
@Ziz little bit more anti-alias on the sans-serif font, and resize down to x500. Then you're golden.
@ArtOfCode That's Helvetica...
8:09 PM
@Zizouz212 So it is. Little bit more anti-alias on the Helvetica.
How do I do that?
@Zizouz212 Good question. What editor are you using?
Hmmm... I could quite probably ask my friend...
@ArtOfCode Pixlr. pixlr.com
@Zizouz212 sigh. Oh dear.
I have no idea, then.
How would you do it in a normal editor?
8:11 PM
@Zizouz212 Depends completely on the editor. Many have a tool for it.
I've never needed to do it because fonts automatically anti-alias in my editor.
I'm using yellow for the You don't program in BIOS. Should I use a different colour? I should probably make the Hardware Recs SE part more distinct and use a different font/colour as well
@Zizouz212 I went with the site color themes.
Dark of #3e5583, light of #8fd8f5.
@ArtOfCode Hm, English?
@Zizouz212 They're hex color values...
Blue? Dark blue? Hot pink?
8:15 PM
The beta color theme is good because it's easier to tell that we're in beta just by looking at the ad.
Dark shade: #3e5583; rgb(143, 216, 245); hsl(220, 36%, 38%); darkish blue-navy.
99.9% of hex values don't have actual names because there are so many of them.
Light shade: #8fd8f5; rgb(143, 216, 245); hsl(197, 84%, 76%); light turquoise-blue.
Just make sure you stick with only a few colors or people will be confused.
8:17 PM
I try to keep to the rule of maximum 3 colors in a simple thing like this, unless you're really skilled.
@Adam That's what I'm nervous about. I don't really like the yellow on blue, especially with a narrowish font. What complements blue again?
Which I like to think I am, but it's probably not true.
@Zizouz212 Yellow. R-G, P-O, B-Y.
You don't always want the complement, though.
White is a good bet.
Alright. White.
What about the bg colour?
Keep the blue behind the code; that's reminiscent of a BIOS screen. I'd make it some other color under your HR.SE and related text, to distinguish it.
Maybe a slightly darker blue?
8:19 PM
Aye, could do. Lemme work out a midpoint.
Nah, just got a perfect colour
Better blue?
Also remove the period after SE since that line isn't a sentence.
Try rgb(31, 49, 193)
Oh wait never mind. Thought you still had it.
8:22 PM
@ArtOfCode As bg? The updated one is rgb(0, 13, 199)
Yeah, as background. That's a midpoint between your original BIOS blue and the SE dark-shade blue.
With your background:
2 days ago, by Andy
@Zizouz212, I can't edit your community ads post and you preempted the one I was preparing. Can you change a few things on your post?
Start there. It's a block
@Andy Alright Sure. Edits away!
Thanks :)
8:24 PM
Ziz, be careful with your alignment as well. How you place things can make a huge difference.
You can really blame at @HDE226868 for that kinda. I sort of copied that entire thing from Open Source anyway. Sorry @HDE226868 for stealing your post :)
@Zizouz212 No prob. Glad I helped!
If only we could migrate to SU already.
@Adam My thoughts exactly. I miss my feeling of power that lets me just migrate stuff in a couple clicks. Hey, if you get picked for mod...
8:35 PM
@ArtOfCode we have the close review queue for that, no need to post this in chat
@Zizouz212 Ow, the colors! This would look much better in white on blue.
@Zizouz212 May I recommend the following changes:
Damn, that font could do with being a little bigger. Ah well. That's my take on it; use what changes from that you will/want.
The yellow is hard to read against a light background.
Please change the color of the bottom font
@Adam Also working on that.
Better version of my take on Ziz's ad upcoming.
@ArtOfCode Hey wait. Doesn't that have to do with that "implicit" recommendation stuff?
@ArtOfCode Yes! What colour is that light blue?
8:43 PM
@Zizouz212 I don't think so. He's literally just wondering if he can run WX on <4GB RAM.
@Zizouz212 Not telling you, because here's a better version:
@ArtOfCode Wow. Thanks :/
For the record, it was the SE light shade :)
@ArtOfCode Hm, I'm going to grab that and just add a small tweak :)
@ArtOfCode The fading works surprisingly well.
@Zizouz212 Go ahead. I can chuck you a .pdn file if you have Paint.NET.
8:45 PM
@ArtOfCode Paint.NET? Ew
@HDE226868 You wouldn't think it did, would you?
I could've used my own paint app that I made -_-
@Zizouz212 Better than GIMP, cheaper than Photoshop.
I just need to think of a good name for it
More features than your app ;)
8:46 PM
@ArtOfCode My app is ever evolving
@Zizouz212 I can still guarantee PDN has more stuff.
@ArtOfCode Not for long.
Mind you, I might check it out to get ideas for features.
@Zizouz212 It also has plugin capability, so you can add your own features. Have fun implementing that.
@ArtOfCode God damn it.
In fact, that's a good idea right there though. Thanks :D
@Zizouz212 Yeah. Plugins are hard to get right, though. Not saying it's impossible, but it's not easy.
8:49 PM
I've designed it so that everything is an interface, so it should be fairly easy to implement.
For your paint app to be good enough for me, one of the essential things is I have to be able to zoom down to pixel level and edit individual pixels.
The core is literally just interfaces, and the app is the actual classes
@ArtOfCode I've got that already :)
@Zizouz212 Good. Can I paste stuff in from my clipboard?
@ArtOfCode Uh, like what?
A: Community Promotion Ads - Let's advertise this site!

Zizouz212 After a bit of back and forth in chat, here's the final product. Special thanks to everyone, especially Art for really giving it the finishing touches.

@Zizouz212 I have an image copied to my clipboard. Can I paste it directly onto the canvas?
8:51 PM
@ArtOfCode It's slightly buggy, but it works half the time.
@Zizouz212 That'll do. Um. What else do I use?
All the basic tools. Pencil, fill, shapes, magic wand are the most common.
Must have a good color picker.
There's a wide variety of brushes and strokes to draw things. Draw/Fill shapes and stuff too :)
@ArtOfCode Is the JColorChooser okay?
@Zizouz212 Not a clue, never used it.
Let me get a screenshot
Well, can't find one. Let me make one...
Basically, you can choose to have transparency, and get a colour from a palette, HSV, HSL, RGB, and CYMK colour models
This is what I'm used to:
This type of thing is also good:
8:55 PM
Is this okay (missing the transparency, but I've got Java 6 on this, so...)
It's adequate ;) Transparency and a hex input and it would be good.
@ArtOfCode Yeah, it's got those both, but in Java 8. I'll distribute my app in Java 8 of course :)
Goooood. Ah, gradients?
Unless there's an open source colour chooser I can find, then I'm sticking with the Swing colour chooser
Gradients and layers are the last two major things, I think.
8:58 PM
@ArtOfCode I don't have layers, but I've got full undo/redo if that helps?
@Zizouz212 I assumed that as standard ;) Layers are really useful, it has to be said. I split your ad into 3 layers to get my editing right.
@ArtOfCode I'm hoping to do that, but I'm also trying to limit my memory to under 100 MB as well. With the current setup, it runs at about 90
@Zizouz212 Jeez. That's a hard task. Java is memory-intensive, so you can be forgiven for more memory usage than others.
I wrote a text editor in C# once. Lemme get some metrics on that.
A whole 9.7 MB RAM usage.
On an empty file, that is. If I open a big file I imagine it'll be more. Let's check that.
Oh, and I just realised I haven't finished my audio mastering either. Fun.
Ugh, I do hate it when artists use one mic to capture everything. Like, what do you expect me to do with that?
9:16 PM
OK, that'll do.
Good luck working with a single channel.
Hi! ;)
@Adam My problem exactly. I have one stereo audio channel, how am I supposed to bring out the best of the music with that?
@belford Hi there!
Could you believe that they have 100% answered ratio? @Andy's answer has surprised me. communitybuilding.stackexchange.com
At this moment we have 57 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers. We should do something about it ;).
@belford A number of sites have 100%, including I believe my own Open Source.
It'd be a better idea to compare our stats to SR's. Recommendations sites have low answer rates, because some questions nobody has the experience to answer.
9:35 PM
Sure, I would agree. According to the information about no upvoted answers... Is there any way to suggest "featured" badge for the question? Should we call Robert Cartaino? I mean this post: meta.hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/38/…
@belford May be easier just to wait til we have mods. The CMs are understandably pretty slow at responding to flags, and often leave non-critical flags like that alive until the moderators are installed.
9:58 PM
@Adam suggested edit review that I've done half of awaiting you
10:32 PM
@Zizouz212 wut
Oh okay. Not my fault, for once :P
@belford Throw an 'other' flag on it if you really think it deserves it
Okay, this is embarassing... I don't have the original xcf for that
Ooops :P
Easy enough to recreate, though
@Ziz Grab the right sized one from meta.hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/219/….
11:11 PM
oh lol
11:29 PM
@Zizouz212 yours is still x550, FYI.
Oh yeah, I need to fix that.
Aye. You may need to remove SE from the text, which may also screw the background without the layers. I'll rework it tomorrow if needs be.
Why do I need to remove SE?
Including SE is sort of pointless. The ads are already displayed within SE. It's really only useful for URLs.
@ArtOfCode I'll get on that edit pretty soon.
Thing is, Stack Exchange is a part of the site name if you think about it. There's no argument for it, but there really isn't anything against it either
11:33 PM
You might need to remove it to make it fit, I mean
Can't I just scale it? If I need a crop, it will likely have to be vertical
It's too wide, but the right height. If you scale it, you'll screw the aspect ratio.
Hmmm, let me see..
You should try to avoid "trapping" empty space between things, so you'd have to scale the text down or remove SE.
11:39 PM
@Zizouz212 sigh. I'm sure that's still at 5. Oh well.
You should know me, I'm immature and do things when I'm not supposed to.
Oh, shoot. It's actually at 6.
HAHA Suckers! (in despicable minion voice)
Fair warning: gamedev's ads are dead in terms of any sort of clickthrough response. Post it on Arqade too.
Hm, I need to update that post based on what Andy said...
@Gilles The legal name is still Stack Exchange apparently though...
OK, Arqade's ads have pretty low response too. Oh well.
11:47 PM
Give it some time...
As in, one approved in May has got <20 clicks since then.
Well, time to go back to reader User Interface Guidelines - developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Java/Conceptual/… :D
Apple. Why?
> The default character encoding in Java for OS X is MacRoman. The default font encoding on some other platforms is ISO-Latin-1 or WinLatin-1; unlike MacRoman, these encodings are subsets of UTF-8. Programs that assume that filenames can be turned into UTF-8 by just turning a byte into a char will cause problems in OS X.
But filenames are UTF-8... Interesting.

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