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The a2k world is changing 2: what will suck

 
 
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 07:21 pm
The changes to the site that are coming soon aren't without their downsides and I'd like to explain them to the community so that everyone has advance notice about the repercussions of the changes.

We intend to actively develop the site and improve on it as we find problems but I do want to warn everyone that we are going to launch a rough version of the software. Some of the beta testers have raised legitimate concerns about this decision, asking why we don't just wait till we have a better product and the answer is simple: time and money.

Simply put I'm running out of both. We have been working on this years and I spend several thousand dollars out of pocket on this a month. Neither situation is tenable in the long term and we need to push out the basic site shortly and stem the bleeding a bit or the company will go bankrupt.

So in the short term this means we are launching without:

- Private messaging. We will work on this immediately after launch but expect at least a few weeks of no private message feature.

- Avatars. We are launching without avatars. Save your avatar as we plan an avatar feature or something similar (maybe full photo albums).

- Search. We will launch without a good search engine. It won't be as easy to do keyword searches until we build a new search engine for the site. There are significant technical challenges in doing so therefore I won't know a lot more about this (time lines, quality etc) till we try to build it.

- Email updates. We will launch without email updates. We'll make a new feature for this but with no guarantees that it will work exactly the same (e.g. we may do it so that you get an email digest of all the topics you subscribe to once a day instead of the per-post updates).

Those are the main things you may miss when we launch the new site. We'll be working hard on the features but can't hold off the launch until they are ready as it is likely we'll stall the development that way. We already stalled once, after spending a year getting 80% of the way the project died and we restarted it in December.

So the basic thing I am trying to communicate is that we are still bootstrapping and I ask that you give us a chance. Sure, I'd love to have the money to spend on a smoother launch, with more developers and more testing. The reality is that I'm spending every free cent I have and it's not enough for that kind of operation. So please bear with us as we work this out. We do intend to make things better but we are going to launch rough because it's what our resources and time line permit.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 2,888 • Replies: 23
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 07:26 pm
Cool!

A little rough is more fun, cos you get to watch it develop....and a few bumps are interesting.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 07:32 pm
dlowan wrote:
Cool!

A little rough is more fun, cos you get to watch it develop....and a few bumps are interesting.


I love it when you talk dirty.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 07:35 pm
Since a few people mentioned it I think I should discuss this:

New default sorting.

One of the fundamental changes we are making is that the default way to view the site will be for topics started within a certain range (e.g. last day) and ordered by votes.

Now before you freak out, I will note that you can change this to topics from all time, and ordered by either popularity, replies, topic date, view or even the one most people now use: last post time.

You can change all of this easily but we are defaulting to the new settings for these reasons (among many, believe me a simple decision like default sort takes up a lot of our thoughts):

1) Providing editorial control to users. If the voting does nothing more than change a number next to a post it's a exercise in vanity. By making the order based on the collective votes this presents the good topics first and pushes the topics that the community votes down out of view. For this reason, we are changing the defaults to try to empower the users to have this collective editorial control. But we also believe in trying to let each user define their own experience so these are options for the users to change.

2) Break up meta topics into specific tag-grouped threads. For a variety of reasons a bunch of more specific topics is better than one mega topic. For example, there is a general Mac computer thread that would have helped far more people if it were broken down into the specific questions. This is because others find topics mainly by the topic title and a lot of times valuable posts are relatively buried in a huge list of pages if it's one topic.

Of course, you can still change the filter to "all time" instead of "1 day" (or week, month etc) and get what you are used to but we are moving toward more topics with these sorting and filtering defaults.

So here's the simple version: we are changing the way you browse the site, but you can change it back easily if you want.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 07:39 pm
Will the old threads from here be incorporated into the new site, or is
there just a link for the archived old a2k?
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 07:40 pm
Ah, I just found the answer in another thread!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 07:48 pm
Thanks for the explainos, you have my patience.

From here, this will be fun. (NNA, no need answer).
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 07:50 pm
Craven, Thanks for the head's up on what to expect, but please don't worry too much about the beginning bugs. We love a2k and you, and for many of us, it's the place where we have established many friends on-line and in person.


I hope to continue being active as long as I'm able.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 08:54 pm
Please take seriously the advice to save the avatars, and tell your friends, particularly folks who haven't been active for a while.

We on the Mod team will take care of the avatars for the deceased members.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 11:51 am
We won't delete the avatars either, so we can make them available (posted elsewhere temporarily, emailed to the users or something).

We will however not be moving the avatar gallery (because of copyright issues we won't be providing avatars we don't have explicit rights to ourselves), so if you have one of those you should change it to an uploaded one (save your avatar and upload it).
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 02:51 pm
honestly the search sucks anyways.

the pm is gonna be a big hit on certain people, but theres always email naw mean.

the avatar is the worst of it!

my doggy will be no more!
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 03:20 pm
Agree on that. Use a keyword and author, and you might be referred to a several hundred page topic. Browse through it at your leisure.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 03:21 pm
Ogi, SAVE your avatar or a link to wherever you got it.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 03:23 pm
Should probably mention just for food for thought: My page hit count increases dramatically when I get into a PM conversation with a certain someone, because that's how I know when it's my turn. I assume this is true with many posters, so it is probably quite advantageous for the site to provide them. Email will work fine for me, but I don't see how that will benefit you. For clarification; I don't much care what order or when you bring the system up to speed... I just thought some feedback on usage might be helpful. Thanks for everything as always; and don't feel compelled to respond.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 03:24 pm
roger wrote:
Agree on that. Use a keyword and author, and you might be referred to a several hundred page topic. Browse through it at your leisure.


roger, you might want to choose to "display results as posts" rather than as "topics" when you search -- the results will display as either and "topics" is the default.

I find the search function here super-useful and will definitely miss that a lot.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 03:37 pm
Huh?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 03:59 pm
I find the search here, usually choosing POSTS, quite useful most of the time and frustrating on others. Sometimes I have to play around with the words I put in the subject line (whatever it's called, keyword).

I only let it stay on TOPICS when I'm trying to find the 'beautiful animals' thread or the 'Vietnamese Vets' thread in a speedy manner.

Also, sometimes it looks for the exact words as shown... depending on what you clicked. I had a hell of a time finding Giuliano Bugialli's lemon chicken recipe a few weeks ago, and I KNEW I'd had a thread and a bunch of posts on it, and yes, I put ossobuco as author. I was only off by a small bit in the word sequence.

I had trouble figuring out the choices for quite a while, so suggest - in the future - more clear wording for people like me.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 04:13 pm
Question on Tags - not sure if this is the right place to ask.


Who lists the tag possibilities, or are they entirely member generated, including misspellings?

There has been a long time confusion for some about the categories of Original Art and Photography (short for original art and original photography) and Art, which happens to include photography.

Does this kind of thing sort itself out by numbers?
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2008 04:48 pm
BBB
Hugs for Craven.

BBB
snood
 
  0  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2008 02:35 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Oh man, I'm lost. don't even know if this first reply will go thru...
 

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