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Hawkwind
10th February 2011, 15:42
1- For threads which are set up for a specific purpose, eg- Q&A, polls, etc. establish and enforce well defined parameters for posts.
Instead of: " Please try keep to the format of questions or answers or the analysis of the material. Any posts which do not add value to the understanding of this material may be moved out of this thread."
Something like this might prove more effective: "Any posts which do not follow the given format of this thread will be removed. A separate thread *link* has been created to discuss points raised here. Please keep questions as short, simple, pertinent and respectful as possible. Thank you."

2-Create a subroutine or bot which auto-generates a "most thanked" thread.
I initially proposed the addition of a "useful" button, but the "thank" button should be good enough for now.
Avalon has grown considerably over the past few weeks. this has brought with it a dramatic increase in information flow. It's extremely difficult to keep up with this flow at present. If Avalon continues to grow, it will soon become impossible.
Asking people to limit the number and length of posts might serve to alleviate this problem temporarily, but the only real long-term solution is to restructure the data flow. Using the human brain as a model, data is absorbed and filtered before being processed by higher level functions. Something along the lines of this proposal should help filter the incoming data and make processing it a whole lot easier.

3-Institute a system of progressive time outs for people who post personal attacks or are otherwise being disruptive.
As it stands, the only recourse for misbehavior that I'm aware of is to ban offenders from the forum altogether. This seems unfortunate, in that a slap on the wrist or even just a few minutes to cool down would likely avert most situations from escalating to a point where "off with their head" becomes necessary.
If possible, I'd suggest creating a bot or subroutine which gives mods the option of preventing a member from posting for a given length of time. This could then be used something like: verbal warning, 1 minute mute, 15 minute mute, 1 hour mute, 1 day mute and submission of case for review of possible further action.

__________________________________________________ _________

Thoughts, opinions, other ideas?

JDM
10th February 2011, 16:23
I have been thinking of this for a while, as im sure many members and mods have.

I agree with you here.


EDIT: I dont really have a suggestion at this moment, because it seems you have just laid out the basics as to what I was also thinking.

I think it comes down to all of us to keep our own house(the forum) clean and tidy.

It should be the mods job to move post and threads that wind up in the wrong area.

Its also the members job to make sure that are posting in the right thread, ans starting new threads in the right topic area.

write4change
10th February 2011, 16:41
Number two has more problems than answers. People communicate very differently. Would you have Wade Frazier reduce the size of his posts? His way of thinking and creativity of bonding spirit and science cannot be talked about in a power point type presentation.

Me too or ditto might cut down on a lot of posts but then again it is the energy of the thread.

Hawkwind
10th February 2011, 16:49
Number two has more problems than answers. People communicate very differently. Would you have Wade Frazier reduce the size of his posts? His way of thinking and creativity of bonding spirit and science cannot be talked about in a power point type presentation.

Me too or ditto might cut down on a lot of posts but then again it is the energy of the thread.

Sorry, I didn't understand. I wasn't suggesting that anyone reduce the size of their posts. I was suggesting a means by which the posts which others find most useful could easily be identified and gathered together.

kinnypa
10th February 2011, 16:53
I basically agree with your 3 step plan, however if people stay on topic, it shouldn't matter how many times they post if their posts are short. They key would be to stay on topic, ask question and get answer. I myself have deviated from this format once, basically out of annoyance.
Good work!

write4change
10th February 2011, 16:57
This is a huge issue and dailykos is soon switching from dk3 to dk4 to try and address it. They have over 300,000 members and the current method of recommending information essentially allows 50 people to drive the site. There has been huge resistance to the new site on tests. I am too computer illiterate to know the tech of anything. On dk3, they really tried to get people to use their tags more effectively. Here the tags seem to also be worthless.

So this discussion needs to be made of what people really like and dislike about how the threads work. Looks to me like we have one more tab space for something like a drop down menu to the four top threads synopsis that stays in place until people are done with it.

greybeard
10th February 2011, 18:32
Hi Hawkwind I agree with the essence of what you say.
Im not technical so I dont know the practicalities of it.
People have been banned for a period of time or asked to start a separate thread, invitation only, for discussion on a hotly debated topic.
Regards Chris

shiva777
10th February 2011, 18:36
when someone reaches 1500 posts in this forum they should be banned for at least a month and a suggestion should be made that they go out and get a life

chantelle
10th February 2011, 19:23
*Raises hand*

Would it be feasible to condense long posts behind what's called a "cut"—that is, put text-heavy posts behind a separate link to make the forum easier to read and navigate? My 2¢…

Hawkwind
10th February 2011, 20:09
*Raises hand*

Would it be feasible to condense long posts behind what's called a "cut"—that is, put text-heavy posts behind a separate link to make the forum easier to read and navigate? My 2¢…

Great idea.

Inelia
10th February 2011, 20:14
I really want to see a button on the threads lists that takes one to the last post one has read. I know it's doable with VBulletin, it's an option on the control panel, but I don't know if this version (version used in this forum) has it.

Anchor
10th February 2011, 21:39
Is the proposal to turn the "Thanks" button into an "Agreed" button ?

Thanks in this context has a specific definition (made clear on the forum pages when it is used "The Following n Users Say Thank You to xxxxx For This Useful Post" - it appears to have mutated into I support you or I agree with your position button.

So now instead of "Thanks for a useful post" which I would give even if I didn't agree - now its a "I support your position" and if I didn't agree with you, then you would get nothing - I dont like that.

Personally I prefer it as they are. The thanks button is modeled on gratitude and giving thanks, any other use becomes potentially divisive.

I also happen to think that the forum is running pretty well - except in respect of the mega-threads.

John..

Necromancer
10th February 2011, 21:52
I really want to see a button on the threads lists that takes one to the last post one has read. I know it's doable with VBulletin, it's an option on the control panel, but I don't know if this version (version used in this forum) has it.

Sorry if this is not what you are saying, but if you click on the "double down arrows in the blue circle" to the left of the thread name it will take you to the last post you read in that thread.

Paul
11th February 2011, 05:15
I really want to see a button on the threads lists that takes one to the last post one has read.
Ah - you've asked one of people's favorite questions.

I went ahead and posted illustrated instructions explaining how to find this. See How to find the most recent post you've read on a thread (and other forum icons) (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?13873-How-to-find-the-most-recent-post-you-ve-read-on-a-thread-%28and-other-forum-icons%29)

Holler if I botched something, or if it doesn't make sense.

Thanks for asking.

¤=[Post Update]=¤


Sorry if this is not what you are saying, but if you click on the "double down arrows in the blue circle" to the left of the thread name it will take you to the last post you read in that thread.
That's correct. I wrote up your reply, with many more words and a couple of pictures, as I just noted above. Thanks for responding to Inelia and motivating me to write this up.

Ross
11th February 2011, 06:07
3-Institute a system of progressive time outs for people who post personal attacks or are otherwise being disruptive.
As it stands, the only recourse for misbehavior that I'm aware of is to ban offenders from the forum altogether. This seems unfortunate, in that a slap on the wrist or even just a few minutes to cool down would likely avert most situations from escalating to a point where "off with their head" becomes necessary.

This is a private party, invited to participate with expected use of respect. (See guidelines below)

So, Members who feel there is an issue at hand via a post, all you do is hit the report button and state your concern. We will look at the issue and take the appropriate steps if necessary.

If we see a potential problem or something’s "off' with a member, we do PM them and open a line of communication and try to resolve the issue. This at times works, other times its does not.

When this first approach fails we will then put them on "read only", usually 7 days, sometimes if it is warranted 30 days or more. With more serious issues we will unsubscribe them permanently.

Ross.

Ilie Pandia
11th February 2011, 07:20
Enforcing the "question" rules and moving post around will create a tremendous burden on the Moderation team: it promotes laziness and responsibility avoidance. "I will just post this bit here, without thinking about format, or if I am on topic or not, etc... and let the Mods sort this out!"

In my opinion, it is the responsibility of every member to try and follow the guidelines. The guidelines are here to help, not to limit! Keeping a consistent (numbered) question format helps both the ones that answer them and the ones that read the answer!

If we just flood the forum, then a "natural" solution will happen... people will stop answering the questions and start ignoring the "monster" threads (where the noise has become unbearable).

I think Bill explained that taking the time to format and correct your post will make it more likely to be helpful and understood. (which is what you want, right?)

Ideally, we should not need a moderation team, or rules to be enforced. Only a technical support team.

When will we start managing ourselves?

ArtyCarl
11th February 2011, 09:56
I have stated this on another thread but individuals should make more of an effort to only quote an item relevant to their reply. Too often I see whole posts quoted which makes navigation of long threads particular cumbersome.

It is easy enough to pull out a line or two as a reference for a particular point you want to make and some of these long threads could be much easier to follow if people kept that discipline.

bitworm
11th February 2011, 10:21
The main problem with the long threads is that people are replying to posts halfway into the thread without reading the rest of the thread.

Then, there is a cycle where the same ground is covered, same arguments, etc. about every 10 pages. On top of that, some people (who read the entire thread before posting) don't realize this is what is happening, and it causes unnecessary arguments to spawn off from legitimate misunderstandings.

Perhaps an 'ignore user' feature could be implemented. Some versions of VB I've seen a plugin for this. Please note, I'm not referring to anyone in particular, but in general, I'd expect some members could benefit from this.




On a less-serious note, perhaps the ability for a user to thank his/her own posts could be implemented. I'd expect some members could benefit from this also.

Hawkwind
11th February 2011, 11:34
....I also happen to think that the forum is running pretty well - except in respect of the mega-threads.

John..

Agreed, but it was a means to better process the mega-threads that I was suggesting. If and when something perceived as potentially important comes along, it's going to generate a lot of dialogue. As it stands, this is at times difficult to keep up with. If the membership of the forum continues to grow in size, it will soon become impossible. Some sort of filter would make it easier for people to remain reasonably up to date with the discussion.

rhythm
11th February 2011, 12:44
maby this will help...lol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYtnNk7xCRE:heh:
do it for you? old bush seems to like it eh!!:eyebrows:

Hawkwind
13th February 2011, 22:22
Enforcing the "question" rules and moving post around will create a tremendous burden on the Moderation team: it promotes laziness and responsibility avoidance. "I will just post this bit here, without thinking about format, or if I am on topic or not, etc... and let the Mods sort this out!"

In my opinion, it is the responsibility of every member to try and follow the guidelines. The guidelines are here to help, not to limit! Keeping a consistent (numbered) question format helps both the ones that answer them and the ones that read the answer!

If we just flood the forum, then a "natural" solution will happen... people will stop answering the questions and start ignoring the "monster" threads (where the noise has become unbearable).

I think Bill explained that taking the time to format and correct your post will make it more likely to be helpful and understood. (which is what you want, right?)

Ideally, we should not need a moderation team, or rules to be enforced. Only a technical support team.

When will we start managing ourselves?

I wasn't suggesting that the mods be responsible for moving posts around. I was suggesting that posts to threads which have a defined purpose and format be deleted if they fail to follow those guidelines. Of course if every member of the forum followed the guidelines there would be no need of mods. If that had been happening, I wouldn't have bothered to start this thread. If question threads are simply allowed to run amok, people will indeed stop using them. Likewise, if the level of background noise were allowed to drown out valuable information and discourse, people would stop using the forum altogether. Some degree of monitoring enhances the signal to noise ratio. In the case of the most recent "Questions to Charles" thread I believe setting and enforcing stricter guidelines would have produced results more in line with the stated purpose of the thread. Also, there appeared to be a concerted effort on the part of several users to purposefully derail this thread. It wasn't one off-topic post, it was dozens. I'd like to see this kind of situation averted in the future, and this seemed one means of accomplishing that.

Ilie Pandia
13th February 2011, 23:06
Hello Hawkwind,

I understand what you are saying and why you are frustrated with the noise.

Even just deleting a post is not as simple as it looks... and it takes effort to track down posts that do not follow the guidelines. So deleting posts is a solution, but it may not work for long. (you just have to take a tea break and you have a backlog of 5 pages to go through...) Also people may become frustrated with their post being deleted and start a storm about that....

Personally, if I would have told people that I will answer only posts in a certain format then I will simply ignore those that do not respect the format. That for me would be super fast! But both Bill and Charles have read questions that they considered important even though were not in the proper format... and once they broke their own rule, nobody seemed to care about format any longer.

I do not think you can forcefully "civilize" someone... you must wait for them to understand why respecting the format is a better, more efficient way :). And the irony is that those reading this thread are already following the guidelines :)... since the interest in such a thread.

So meanwhile I think we will follow this cycle:

start a new thread: questions for Charles/Bill vol. <nnnn>
questions start to flood with little regard for topic or format
Bill and Charles do their best to keep up until they get tired (or bored)
the backlog becomes huge and the thread is ignored/closed
repeat from step 1


The solution I have (for me) is simple: I have a list of users whose posts I follow with great interest and I pretty much ignore the rest when the thread has more than 20 pages. I do not believe that *all* the posts in a thread are of crucial importance to me, so I am selective. Also every now and then I scan the thread really fast and see what my eyes pick up! I realize that Bill or Charles do not have this luxury and I appreciate the very big effort they've put into this!!

PS: Just had a quick look at the questions for Charles vol. 2 thread: nobody is asking any questions now, they are just talking among themselves..... I seriously doubt Charles will be posting there any time soon.

Hawkwind
14th February 2011, 01:26
Hi pixel-

Thank you for your reply. I understand what you and others are saying as well. Avalon is by far the best functioning forum that I've participated in. So, in general, I'd go along with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy. The thread that prompted me to start this discussion, however, had some pretty clearly discernible problems. If this was an isolated incident, it won't pose any serious threat to the overall health and well-being of the forum. That might not be the case, however, if a trend begins to develop. I thought the ounce of prevention option was at least worth considering.

BTW- Charles was on and replying to questions briefly this morning. Trouble is, there were 1,200 posts between the questions and his answers. Also, it seemed that for every question he answered, people would post two new ones. Ah well, I imagine if anything Earth shaking develops I'll hear about it sooner or later.

Namaste-

Hawkwind

Ilie Pandia
14th February 2011, 09:19
I though of a solution to this problem and perhaps it could be done like this:

- extend the vBulletin platform so that you can "Lock" a thread and just a list of specific users can post there, like: Mods and Charles.

- another one: extend the vBulletin platform so that any user can post maximum 3 posts in marked threads, expect of course Mods and Charles (or however needs to answer the questions). When you know you can ask a limited number of questions you tend to spend more time, carefully choosing your words.

I will look into this and if I find such "extensions" I will post them here.

Ilie Pandia
14th February 2011, 09:50
Ok, I found something.

If Charles is promoted to "Moderator" for the Charles material forum then he will be able to post in Closed threads. (source (http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php/183997-Allow-Mods-only-to-post-in-Closed-Thread?p=1121406&viewfull=1#post1121406)).

So when a break in questioning is needed, the mods will close a thread, but Charles would still be able to answers the questions :).