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my customer service adventure today
I may have totally confused a sweet, unsupecting Pakistani man....or I could have been talking with Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey. But it was a fun experiment. :D

At least Brandon picked a cool name.

On one outsourced helpdesk call, a friend of mine once got someone with a thick Indian accent who said his name was Abraham Lincoln. He challenged the guy on that not being his real name. The rep said, "I'm sorry sir, but they have instructed us to take an American name because they are easier to relate to." My friend advised him that he might choose a little less famous name next time if he wanted to be believable. :lol:

my customer service adventure today
I had a banking question today and accessed the banks live chat program.
you be the judge: was I talking with a real person, or an automated program?

Chat InformationWelcome to an online chat session at Bank of America. Please hold while we connect you to the next available Bank of America Online Banking Specialist. Your chat may be monitored and recorded for quality purposes. Your current wait time is approximately 0 minutes. Thank you for your patience.

Chat InformationThank you for choosing Bank of America. You are now being connected to a Bank of America Online Banking Specialist.

Brandon: Hello! Thank you for being a valued Bank of America customer!
Brandon: My name is Brandon. How are you doing today?

You: Hi, I have an e-bill question. Doing well.

Brandon: May I please have your full name as it appears on your account?

You: aCCOUNT NAME Helena ///////

Brandon: Thank you, Helena.

You: I recently was able to sign up for e-bills with Missouri Gas Energy.
You: However, there is not an option for ebills from them on Bill Pay.
You: Will that be offered anytime soon? Or is there something I have to do to make the option appear?

Brandon: I am sorry to hear that.

Brandon: I'll certainly look into the details as best as I can.
Brandon: May I please have the last four digits of your account number?

You: ####

Brandon: Thank you for providing me that information.
Brandon: Thank you for your patience and support.

Brandon: In this case you may set it up as individual payee.

You: am I talking to a real person? your answers seem scripted.
You: I already have it set up as an individual payee.

Brandon: You are also able to make Missouri Gas Energy listed into Bill pay section by calling us at 1.877.800.1722. Their hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Monday through Sunday, Eastern time.
Brandon: While we make every effort to assist our customers who contact us by Live Chat, there are certain situations, which require a conversation with a specialized department.
Brandon: I sincerely apologize, much as I wanted to have your issue resolved over chat, I am having you to call us.

You: With whom should I ask to speak?

Brandon: You may speak to anyone of our associates.
Brandon: When you call the number the Automated Voice Response will start.
Brandon: Once the Automated Voice Response starts, I request you to kindly press 0 to talk to a customer service agent.
Brandon: This will allow then you to talk to the associate directly and save your precious time.
Brandon: I am confident that our associates at the above number can further assist you.
Brandon: I really appreciate your patience and support in this regard.
Brandon: Thank you for being a wonderful customer and giving me an opportunity to assist you.
Brandon: Is there anything else that I may assist you with?

You: ok..thank you for your time. Nothing else at this time.

Brandon: You are most welcome.
Brandon: It was my pleasure assisting an esteemed customer like you today.

You: too effusive Brandon...I am beginning to doubt your sincerety.
You: :P

Brandon: Thank you for choosing bank of America Text Chat Services & for being a valued Bank of America customer.

You: You haven't told me how pretty I am yet...waiting.

Brandon: You have been a good customer.

You: :( I'm not pretty?

Brandon: You are pretty.

You: Yay! and Brandon is real. Score! Thanks a bunch. :D
You: Bye now...

Brandon: You are most welcome.
Brandon: Bye!
Last text message received Brandon: Take care!

So what do you think? Is Brandon real? Or a programmed response?

BB's Zathyus ZB board directory rank
Just checked the ZB official board directory today:

Forum Services category
BB is ranked #3 (after the official support board and the official resource board, ZBThemeZone)

update 2/20
BB is ranked #2 ) (after Outline)
Full Service (1st subcategory to Forum Services)
BB is ranked #2 (second only to ZBThemeZone)

Not bad for a non-official board, eh? :)

You may commence to congratulating us.

Also, if you use the search field we come up high there too:

"codes" BB is #1 (what do you say about THAT, ZBCode? :P )

"themes" BB is #3

"support" BB is #2

"networking" BB is #1

"resources" BB is #1

"database" BB is #1

"archive" BB is #2

how to make a website in zb?
No problem...it's a new system, and we all have had to learn it. :)

You can see the BB portal by going to this URL:


You can see the modules we have enabled there, including setting a poll module.

If you go to ZBThemeZone, you can see a portal that uses the ZB shoutbox:

The content of the portal is made up of predetermined modules. You will find the choices here:
Board Customization > Board Preferences > Portal

You can add custom modules through the Portal Manger
Board Customization > Portal Manager

Either the portal or a webpage can be set to become your board's front page. The webpage is, however, free to configure as you like (as long as you write the code)

how to make a website in zb?
It sounds like you basically want the portal, but on steroids. :D

Perhaps the Portal might work for your vision for the basic parts, and you could have separate webpages and links to them for the gallery and videos. (Portal modules already consist of board links, latest news section, affiliate area and poll.) Web page links can be configured to display in your submenu. The portal can be selected as the board's front page.

The ZB Cbox will be released soon, and that can be displayed on the portal. (You can have it now by purchasing ZB Premium).

Is using the portal something you might want to consider?

ZB conversion help
Don't be afraid of the possiblity of bugs...you might not even have any that are significant. There have been a couple of conversion batches that were fairly smooth.

It is a good decision to convert...you will have a lot more options for your members and you will be hosted on a software that is up to date and continually being improved, unlike the Invisionfree system.

how to make a website in zb?
You are most welcome. :)

Your webpage will already have the frame and headers that other board pages have. (including ads, unfortunately)

The only thing you have to add is your content.

If you know how you want that arranged, you can post it here and someone can set it up for you in HTML.

ZB conversion help
If there are changes to make before you want to allow members to see the converted board, then choose this option:

Opt in. Convert my board as soon as possible and turn the new board offline so I can make changes before my members start using it.

You board will not go offline until the next batch of conversions start. All boards are not converted simultaneously, so your board could go offline anytime during the several days that conversions will take place.

Server change just means the ZB portion of the operations that you have no control over. Once they have completed their process, you can start your user side changes. Beware that there usually is some kind of conversion bug that may have to be worked out before your board is fully operational. With our conversion here at BB, the major bug was that themes could not be added or edited. That took several days to work out. Most conversion bugs however, are minor and you can work around them.

The Forum Directory
You need a logo, banner, of course. :) but I'm sure you know that. Your signature ad is a nice design, but rather feminine and flowy which doesn't match the feel of the forum. I would suggest something with some strength and severe angles that compliments the designs in your theme.

The theme is very pleasant and clean, but what makes your Forum Directory different than other advertising directories? I can't find anything except the statement "Everyday lots of people will see your forum". How will that happen? What will make your forum a place many people will visit daily? What sets your forum apart from other advertising forums? How wiill people find out about your directory? Since it is your main focus, those are questions that deserve careful answers.

As there are almost no posts in your community section, there is no posting incentive there at present, therefore new members who do join will not spend time on your board. I suggest you start some interesting discussion topics for new members to comment on to get going.

Give serious thought to adding some kind of feature that has new information added to it daily. You need something to draw traffic and build your community. If you can, gather some friends who will post to conversations in your community sections. It's very hard to keep activity going if no one regularly responds to your posts. An advertising board cannot be on autopilot. The promise to your members is that you will bring in lots of views and clicks to their ads, so you have to find a way to do that to be successful.

Graphicly speaking the few default images that remain do blend with your theme, so I don't find any glaring graphic problems. Nice job on your set up and forum organization.

how to make a website in zb?
"New Window" just means you are making a new webpage. (rather than editing one)

Page ID: Must contain only letters, numbers, or underscores. [Max field length is unknown] Put the name that you want to appear after the last slash in the URL that will appear in your address bar

Page Title [Max field length is unknown] This is the title that will appear on the webpage you are creating

Link to this page in the board menu?A link to this page would be put in the menu bar that includes links to your rules, calendar, search system, etc. Yes No (self-explanatory)

Page Content
Use HTML code here to build your web page.

All webpages are available for guest viewing at any time.

If you are thinking of using this as your front page for your board, you can toggle that command (once the page is created) here:

Board Customization > Board Preferences > Board Set up > Front Page

ZB conversion help
There should be a conversion coming up soon, as it has been several months since the last one. There will be a notice posted in the announcement section of the support board. They generally will give some sense of when the conversions will begin through an announcement there, but you will get no individual notification. If you choose not to have the board turned offline during conversion, it will only be inaccessible for a short time (less than an hour) before you can access the ACP again. The conversion will not take much longer than that, and may be even quicker, unless your board is big with many posts. BB's conversion (server side portion) was complete in a very short time--a couple hours, I believe.

If you don't opt for the board to be turned offline during conversion, your Cbox should remain useable after the initial server changes. If you opt for the offline option, you can re-install it (after the initial server changes) below your logo or below the copyright, and it can be useable while the board is offline.

Graphics Challenge #45 - Best Welcome Graphic
OK..here's one a support board (maybe BB?) could use for Halloween:
(looks better on a darker theme)

Posted Image

Graphics Challenge #45 - Best Welcome Graphic
Welcome to BB's Graphics Challenge #45 - Best Welcome Graphic

The graphics challenge runs for one week and requires your submissions to comply with a stated theme. The themes are specific, and should be judged by which best fulfills the theme and shows the best design skill. A run-off poll will be posted in which BB members will pick the winning design.

The winner will be awarded a crown, and can claim the title of BB's graphics king until the winner for the next graphics challenge is chosen.

The current challenge is to design the best welcome graphic.

The challenge will close on Sunday, October 3 at 11:59pm forum time (CST or -6 GMT)

If you have a previously created graphic that fulfills the challenge requirement, you may enter it. You may also post as many entries as you like during the course of the challenge. The graphic may be any size up to and including 500x500px. An example of a welcome graphic is BB's Welcome Wagon gift image, but it could be as simple as something connected with a registration button. The design and intended use is up to you.

So, open up those graphic editors, and lets see who will take the crown!

I am convinced that whoever came up with this recipe made it specifically to thrill ME. And they succeeded. :D

facebook style games
I don't know of any, but you might be onto an intriguing idea with an interactive game site your members could access.

Random help
I can't seem to get that version of the code working, but you can install this one (from the same topic) that allows a name in the dropdown and the hex code in the posting text area. Just make the hex numbers match the color names if you don't want hex code appearing in the BB code that inserts. ( Each color has two entries, so that you can make one appear in the dropdown and the other in the BB code insertion.)

Like this:
var colors = [["Displayed in Dropdown", "Displayed in UBBC"], ["Ditto", "Ditto 2"]];

<script type="text/javascript"> <!--
var x = [["Deeppink2", "#ee1289"], ["Slateblue", "#7a67ee"], ["Royalblue", "#3333ff"], ["Turquoise2", "#00e5ee"], ["Seagreen2", "#4eee94"], ["Red3", "#cd0000"], ["Magenta3", "#cd00cd"], ["Papaya", "#ffff7e"], ["Plum2", "#eaadea"], ["Violetred", "#db2645"]];
if(document.posting && document.posting.fcolor) (function() { var z = document.posting.fcolor;
for(var i = 0, j = z.options.length; i < x.length; i ++) z.options[i + j] = new Option(x[i][0], x[i][1]);
for(var i = 1; i < z.options.length; i ++) z.options[i].style.color = z.options[i].value; })();
// --> </script>

Yum. Much better than jamocha shakes. And doesn't give you lockjaw trying to drag it up through the straw.

Wendy's pours strong coffee over their Frosty icecream, blends it up, adds whipped cream, and drizzles chocolate on top of that.

If you are a mocha freak like me, you must get you one.

Yes - I am officially addicted. I am having a bumper sticker printed that says "Caution--stops for Frosti-cino's"

Graphics Challenge #44 - Best Orb
What? No challengers? That is a disappointment. I thought this might be a really interesting contest. But oh well. I'll get another one up soon now that I'm back.

I freed Fluffy!
Congrats Nicolas. Persistence has paid off. (or you used a proxy and snuck by the anti-Nicolas IP filter. :D )

Posted Image
Because you've made the effort to post here and have made your membership known, we'd like to start you off with a new member welcome gift of a week of featured affiliate advertising for your board. Our official BB mascot, Spider Pig, has personally driven the welcome wagon here with your special gift. :) You'll see Spider Pig around the board. He occasionally likes to drop into random posts and make credit awards.

And as a bonus, you can extend that to two weeks just by posting a few more times. Click here for details of how to claim your welcome gift. (An alternate welcome gift of BB credits may be chosen by new members that don't have a board to promote.)

Please visit our FAQ for any concerns you may encounter. :)

- - The Big Boards Team

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