Author Topic: Love the Site, One Huge Suggestion That I Believe Will Make It a Lot Better.  (Read 3568 times)

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Achtung40Life

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So first off, I want to thank everyone for running this site where all of us can gather and share our passion. I honestly would not know what I'd do without it. And I'm not complaining, but rather discussing a major flaw in the message boards. There needs to be a way that Topics don't disappear. Let me explain. Once you create a new topic, you get the initial replies, maybe 3-5. If you're lucky, you'll get new relpies for a week, and then the discussion disappears. Gone, never to be heard of again. I think this is a major flaw, there needs to be a way to randomly surface topics from last week, last month, last year. Obviously if someone is asking "I need a link to the One performance at Slane Castle," it will be resolved rather quickly and there's no need for a drawn out discussion. But for topics that are very opinionated that can go on forever are often lost within a short period of time. Look at it this way, say every topic is stacked like a bunch of books, the ones on top are the only ones that get attention, while the ones on the bottom are not even seen, yet alone replied to. Every time I log on (a couple times a day), the same exact topics are always on my unread posts since last visit. It's been like that since I started using this forum 5 months ago. I'm sure there is away around what I believe is a minor obstacle, but I really think with a little work, the forum will be improved. Actually, if there are an overwelling amount of topics, more guests will feel the need to join just because of that single topic they want to discuss, users will feel the need to reply to more topics, 'shy' users will find a wider range of categories, etc. In my opinion, this change could spark a chain reaction of replies to every topic. Let's just hope what I just wrote won't be forgotten in a couple days. Thanks for listening users, guests, and mods.



Achtung40Life

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Oh and I forgot my simple solution. Along side of the 'New Replies" and "Unread Post" (have both of those sections operate exactly the same as now), but put a new section titled something like "Random Topics," a section that will list a page of completely random Topics that consists of any topic ever submitted to the @U2 Forum.

Offline Nielsen

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There is a search bar and maybe sometimes people doesn't want to discuss on topics that are new etc.

But I like the Random idea - it is interesting what people are saying before and compare it to now.

Offline Joe90usa

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My opinion...

Threads have natural life cycles. They begin based on something happening or a person expressing an idea and when people don't want to comment any longer, they won't. That thread then slides down the list of threads that have been recently commented on until it is not on the recent thread list at all. Why should any topics other than those that the people of the board have chosen as being worthy of conversation be promoted? I trust our members to decide what they feel is worthy of conversation and then talk about it.

I'm not a fan of people of people digging up old threads to resurrect them unless there is something of significance to add to that thread. A thread about whether song YYZ is good or not does not need to be commented on three months after the last comment just to join in. I can see digging up a thread about Larry's wrist problems if someone notices that they are really giving him problems at a recent show that they attended...but not because they saw this issue watching a concert video that is years old.

Again, just my opinion.

Offline m2

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First, thanks for this post and your thoughts. It's excellent to get feedback and constructive ideas.

That said, I'm not sure I agree with what you're saying is a problem. Hope you'll let me play Devil's Advocate here.

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There needs to be a way that Topics don't disappear.

We have more than 7,000 topics right now. If none of them disappear, don't you think the forum would become un-navigable? As Joe says, the members decide what topics deserve longevity and which don't. I don't think it's for us to decide that all topics should have ongoing visibility. That's up to the users as a whole.

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But for topics that are very opinionated that can go on forever are often lost within a short period of time.

Maybe I'm not understanding, but that seems contradictory. Topics that are opinionated and go on forever are often lost?

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Actually, if there are an overwelling amount of topics, more guests will feel the need to join

I actually believe that would turn users away. I know for certain that many of our members like it here because they find other U2 forums to be overwhelming -- too much activity, too many things to keep track of, etc. I don't think an overwhelming amount of topics is a good thing.

As for the other ideas ... you have to understand that we are using off-the-shelf forum software. For new features, we have two choices:

1) Hire an expert programmer who knows this forum software through and through, and pay them to develop the features we want.

2) Rely on the currently available plug-ins that are available for this forum software, most of which are free, but few of which include any tech support.

One is not really an option because we don't have adequate funds. Two is an option, and we've already used a lot of plug-ins to make improvements that have been requested. Things like the expanded profiles and the smilies would be a couple examples. I don't recall seeing any "Random Topic" plugins last time I was out looking, but we can certainly keep it in mind.

Hope this helps explain things a bit. Please keep the discussion going and we'll chime in as best we can on any questions/concerns.

Achtung40Life

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Maybe it's a bad idea, but that's just how IMDB is, it doesn't exactly have a 'random' section, but it puts 5 random posts on the front page (you'll know if you've ever used the site). Thanks for listening though.

Offline briscoetheque

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Personally, as a moderator on other boards, I would say that it's a consequence of a reluctance/decision to not merge more threads.

And I honestly know and understand how tough it is to moderate a board like this.

take the example of the Tours forum.

there would have to be 50 threads in there bitching and moaning about 'the setlist'.

Any poster on a whim could just start a new thread and see their name up in lights against: 'Why are they not playing CARTOON WORLD this tour'

Which is crap.

For the US leg of the tour, I reckon we start a thread called:

Bitching, moaning and constructive criticism of the setlist

It would likely be high up the tree of updated threads
It would make it easy for people who get sick of the whining to avoid
It would reduce the case of duplicate posting

Many other threads in my opinion would benefit from a harder line taken in a moderation sense when it comes to merging.

I truly understand the thankless task of moderation, but with a tour on the scope for this site to become a noisy mass of crapola is high.

Perhaps a dedicated moderator for each forum?

Perhaps a greater number of moderators?

I don't know.

But to tie it back in with the initial thread, reducing the cases where good threads 'die' will reduce duplicate posting and the frutration that comes from repetition will decrease.

Keep up the good work.
AB
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 11:15:32 PM by briscoetheque »

Offline Joe90usa

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Good thoughts Brisco, but what we learned from our last member poll is that forum members don't want a forum that is heavily moderated. They would rather have the moderators only step in when absolutely required to do something rather than keep up on maintenance tasks like merging threads. The way this forum is currently moderated is far more hands off than the way we used to do it because of that, but it is what the majority of members want.

Obviously, there are pros and cons to this type of moderating. Fifty threads on set lists and 40 more on Coldplay are examples of those byproducts. Whether this is a pro or a con is subjective.  :P

Offline briscoetheque

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Cool, if that's the feedback Joe then that's cool.

From my experience there is a big difference between moderation and housekeeping.

Moderation tends to be seen by most as keeping the site safe and enjoyable for everyone, free of flames, offensive behavious, trolling and the like.

I'd see the merging of threads as being more housekeeping.

I'm not trying to be an ar*e, arguing about semantics, but I'm sure plenty find those those tour threads and coldplay rants so tiresome and repetitive that, particularly when something is a topical as the current tour, it might be worth revisiting that approach.

I'd really like to try the 'b**** and Moan about the North American Setlist' thread just in the hope that it becomes a sh** accumulator. Any problems with me starting it?

Offline Joe90usa

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I agree with your difference between moderation and housekeeping. Both were commented on in the survey. We only seek to give our members what they want.  ;D

You can certainly give your thread idea a go. I think having one "Big, Giant Thread about NA Set Lists" thread would be way cool.