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Suggestion: Open (not anonymous) thread voting.

 
 
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 09:47 pm
Laughing Laughing Laughing

This thread is a complete and utter trainwreck. Expect the negative rating to reach double digits...

Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 09:54 pm
@old europe,
Quote:

But that's kinda the point, right? We didn't come here because of the technology of the website. We didn't stay because of the technology of the website.


Lol, speak for yourself. I most certainly did.

Quote:

Is that really concern about the website, or is that Finding An Angle To Attack An Argument. Yaknow?


I admit that this is a failing of mine. I am an argumentative person. When confronted I tend to respond using the tools I know to be effective. I understand that others also have those tools and pull them out when the hair starts to fly, and that's how good threads turn into bad ones.

Quote:

My guess would actually be that it's easier for newbies to work with this site than for oldster. After all, we know that there was a thread about Dagestan, and now we can't find it. Newbie doesn't know - can't be bothered. We know that there was a powerful search tool. Newbie doesn't know - maybe doesn't even miss it.


That was part of my point, or at least I thought I thought it was; that if I were that newbie, I wouldn't have stayed. The technology was as important to me as the posting. And I know these things are being addressed, which is why I didn't post about searching... just saying that it needs to be hella easy for new users to figure out what is up!

There are a lot of solutions to all these problems; an easy one is a giant, red -

New users click here![/size]

Which could easily explain all of my issues to the new guy.

Thank you for continuing to discuss this issue with me, OE. I didn't intend for the rhetoric to become as heated as it did.

Cycloptichorn

maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 09:54 pm
@old europe,
This has nothing to do with thread voting (well maybe something to do with it).....

but today, after being away from the site for only 10 hours...I had to wade back through almost 11 pages of posts and vote down everything that didn't interest me; and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to grasp finding where I've left off in threads or what one's I've posted on.

I also find myself looking for short threads; ones where I won't have to click on 10 different pages to see where I left off.

Oh well, I'm adjusting I guess. But I do agree that the long running threads/conversations may be a thing of the past.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 09:55 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I agree with Cyclops here. The technology and layout of the old forum was exactly what I was looking for when I joined it. That was why I stayed. I now don't want to leave; and I'm doing my darnedest to stay.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 09:56 pm
@maporsche,
Thank you Maporsche, and I take back at least half of the bad things I've said about you!

Cycloptichorn
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 09:57 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Hey, that's a lot!

Thumbs up for you (you need them Laughing )
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 09:59 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Now that I can see your avatar in extreme close-up when I click on your name......is that a Howdy Doody reflection in the pupil?
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 10:14 pm
How many layers of Meta discussion about Meta discussion about Meta discussion before the Universe implodes?
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 10:30 pm
@maporsche,
It's a MC Escher Drawing; that's a skull in the middle of the eye.

JPinmilwaukee (or however that damn town is spelled) made it for me long ago, and I remain grateful.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 11:01 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
What unfair position?
You asked this twice despite it being explained in the previous post. Craven's choices:
1. Ignore yours and others questions and concerns and give the appearance that he doesn't give **** what the membership thinks.
2. Answer the same questions over and over, dozens of times (maybe going on hundreds by now) so people don't feel slighted.
This is a shitty deal that is exasperated by people who don't take a moment to view it from his vantage point (you.) Astonishingly; despite going incredibly far out of his way to answer the exact same questions and concerns, over and over again; he is still being accused of not caring or doing enough.

That's a hell of a way to thank the guy who built the site we love so much from the ground up, don't you think? (Usually, you do)

Quote:
Fellow Defender of the Faith
This crap twice too? Listen carefully, Cyclo: Stop defending Obama for a solid week. Wink

Quote:
I almost didn't write this last part, because I truly do like you, Bill. But surely you realize that this is how every sanctimonious person feels about their behavior.

Laughing (Irony aside) I like you as well. That's why I've been so patient and kind. Razz I'm neither a hypocrite (since I am not generally one to telling others how to run their businesses unless they ask me)(especially those clearly more competent at it than myself) nor am I devoted to anything. I do enjoy A2K and respect Craven and his intellect as much anyone; but it wasn't really until today that I turned the corner on liking the new version better than the old. Had I been running my mouth last week I'd have been as wrong as you are today about the improvements.

Anyway, I’m bored with this. The explanations for every concern raised are too numerous already.


Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 11:57 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
Yeah, but here's the thing; I didn't ask anything of craven in this thread. I didn't ask anything - in the way which you mean it, which is 'ask to do work' or 'ask to make changes just because I want them.' I was engaging in a discussion with other members of the site about the new site. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. I think you are doing some serious over-reading here.

Quote:
Fellow Defender of the Faith

This crap twice too? Listen carefully, Cyclo: Stop defending Obama for a solid week. Wink


Done.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 04:49 am
I have A2K set to all time and new posts
I can see a time coming when the entire first 3 or 5 pages (or more) of A2K are either "below viewing threshold" or "topic voted down" collapsed type of threads. I rarely use the trivia and word games type threads and voted some down but I want to wait a while to see what it all pans out like.
Of course if everyone did that (wait and see) nothing would happen.

I really really want to be able to search the tags for topics that I am interested in.

DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 07:00 am
@dadpad,
The second or third page of "new posts" had a total of four visible threads for me yesterday evening....

Easy to see there was nothing on the page to which I wanted to contribute, though.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 07:00 am
OK, it's the day after here. I'm not going to read up on everything that's been posted since I last was here, sorry. But I do have two points to address from yesterday, both of 'em Cyclo's. The first one is of general interest, the second one is meta about this thread, and thus probably not of interest to anyone but those who were closely involved.

I'm going to paraphrase them, because sorry, I really dont wanna go back through the whole site to find back the exact quotes.

-> Quality threads about obscure topics will be much more unlikely to be found in the new site

This is anecdotal evidence, but I thought I'd bring it. In the old site, I started a thread about "on-shoring"; the trend of businesses coming back from the concept of off-shoring and instead setting up 'satellite offices' in rural America. Where wages are higher than India, but still a lot lower than in Silicon Valley or New York, and where you wont have any of the cultural and legal issues involved in transcontinental off-shoring.

It received exactly one response and then died. Maybe people thought it was interesting, but seriously, how many of us have something themselves to add? So it sank quickly -- cause in the old site, no new posts = disappearance from the front page = death.

Now someone revived that thread. And in turn elicited three more responses. Still not much - nothing that would have kept it on a forum homepage for too long on the old site. But in so doing, others got the chance to look at it again too, and even people who themselves had nothing to say apparently voted it up, because it's now at a net +6. That means that, for those using the sort-by-votes view, it shows up at the top of both the economy and business forums, And an approximate +6 should be enough to keep it up there for quite a while, thus making it more likely that people will keep finding it, newbies too (especially once the tag listings have been upgraded as promised).

Now I know - /sarcasm/ - that by explaining how something like this works on the new site, I am invalidating Cyclo's opinions and being offensively pushy. But for those who actually want their assumptions tested, it should be interesting. /end sarcasm/
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  5  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 07:22 am
OK, now to get into the weeds (this is a sign for those who havent followed this thread to sign off, if they hadnt long ago already). This is two points in one actually, hence the drift in focus between beginning and end.

-> Cyclo: I dont want people to explain me how the navigation works, I understand how the damned site works; I just want people to address my concerns!

This still kinda makes me angry. It also makes no sense.

If you express the concern that the navigation doesnt work, and that specific elements of the navigation such as a), b) and c) do not work, either for newbies or for regulars, then people responding that yes, actually, they do work and explaining how, ARE addressing your concern. No, they're not agreeing with you. But if you make statements about how the site is difficult to navigate because you can't do x, or it takes four steps to do y, and I know that this just isnt true and explain why not, I'm addressing your concern.

If you argue that the current homepage is flawed and that there were no problems you knew of with the old homepage, and people describe exactly how useless the old homepage was for the majority of users, they're addressing your concern. They're just not agreeing with you. If you express the concern that threads of type a) (say, mostly inactive but quality threads) will be harder to find, and people believe that, for a number of specific reasons, they should actually be easier to find and argue why, they are adressing your concerns. They're just not agreeing with you. If you argue that threads of type b) (say, threads that are posted to a lot but only by a couple of posters) will be harder to find and people believe that hey, moving those down and moving threads with fewer posts by more posters up is actually a good thing for most users (and certainly newbies), then they are addressing your concern. They're just not agreeing with you.

It's like with Foxfyre on the Politics forum, except now the shoe is on the other foot, and at least the intentions are overwhelmingly good. She will start off with a hypothesis or argument, and people will respond, and most will not agree. Some will respond with insults; others with elaborately crafted arguments to address each of her points; yet others with some copy/paste. (And this all in generally much harsher language than you've seen here..). And you will be one of those ardently doing so. Foxfyre then tends to feel piled on and start complaining that people are just out to personally attack her, that the forum is intolerant to dissenting opinions, etc, and eventually cry foul and leave. But what she was faced with was just that a majority of posters thought her concerns were based on misunderstandings and misrepresentations. It's not that her posts were not responded to seriously - even amidst some of the commonplace garbage there would always be plenty of serious responses. It's just that she didn't meet the agreement she was seeking.

In this thread, you experienced much the same, with just Ebrown and Hawkeye on your side, and the rest seemingly piling on. The difference is that in this thread, most people responded simply meaning well, which you cant always say about Fox's respondents. But much like Foxfyre, in the end, the choice what to focus on is yours. Robert Gentel, for one, did actually address any number of the different questions and arguments you brought up, as you jumped from one to another thing that doesnt work or might not work for this type of user or that, even if he didnt necessarily agree with them. And he was almost invariably polite. And then there were DrewDad and O'Bill. It's your choice what to respond to or listen to.

Or take me - sorry, but I wrote at least a dozen posts, some at some length, politely responding to the issues you described and explaining why and how I think they do not need to be the problems you take them to be; sometimes describing practical ways you could yourself use to work around them, sometimes arguing that they might be annoying to you, but have actually made the site easier to use for most users, or for example for newbies. And then I signed off, eventually, with an exasperated rant about the way you were posting, preluded by a warning that this was what was to come. So what did you respond to? For all I know you havent even read most of those prior posts, I didnt see any evidence of it anyway. But you did respond angrily at the last one, asking me why I spent so much time on your personal behavior. Dude, 80% of my posts here addressed the specific website concerns you raised, just like you had seemed to ask.

In the end, how you experience a2K is in your hands - and it always was. Which stuff you take to heart, which stuff you get engaged in, which stuff you ignore. The difference is that now at least, you actually have more tools in hand to control your experience, to avoid the more useless aggravation and more easily find the substantive stuff.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 08:42 am
@nimh,
Good points from nimh.

One other random thought I had re: newbies -- a lot of them will come here via Google. (That ties in to what I was saying earlier about Craven being the SEO king.) That means that they'll go right to what interests them most, and then have the "related tags" box right next to the thread they're reading (about whatever it is that interests them most, whether Dagestan or Lovatt's crossword...)

By the way I think the "what about the newbies??" question is interesting. I was taking exception to rather large and messy strawman you'd crafted, as nimh noted.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 09:17 am
@sozobe,
On edit - this whole thing is supposed to be a response to nimh, I hit the last button.

Quote:

Or take me - sorry, but I wrote at least a dozen posts, some at some length, politely responding to the issues you described and explaining why and how I think they do not need to be the problems you take them to be; sometimes describing practical ways you could yourself use to work around them, sometimes arguing that they might be annoying to you, but have actually made the site easier to use for most users, or for example for newbies. And then I signed off, eventually, with an exasperated rant about the way you were posting, preluded by a warning that this was what was to come. So what did you respond to? For all I know you havent even read most of those prior posts, I didnt see any evidence of it anyway. But you did respond angrily at the last one, asking me why I spent so much time on your personal behavior. Dude, 80% of my posts here addressed the specific website concerns you raised, just like you had seemed to ask.


Sure, I understand that - and of course I read your posts. But two points I found frustrating:

First, it seems to me that you chose to pick the most contreversial statements out of some of my posts, ones which were most tangential to my arguments, to take umbrage with, while ignoring my larger point that: we really don't know what the effect of the new posting order style will have on conversation.

The second point is more important, and that's this: the fact that you like the new features, and think they will work well, doesn't mean everyone likes them or thinks that they will work well. The problem is that you and others seem to feel that if you just explain the way things work well enough, if will bring people around. But life doesn't really work that way.

For example, some of you seemed perfectly baffled that people would attach a value judgment to giving thumbs up/down. It's as if it never even occurred to you. Well, to some other users, it does carry a connotation and it's not something that we are interested in. It's not a comfortable feeling. I wonder how many new people will come along and not know that they don't have to. I probably would not have stayed, for there is a large 'popularity contest' feel to the site now; if you don't know that people vote threads down to collapse them, it can look like a bunch of topics are unpopular or unliked by people here.

Dagestan. Someone surfs in off of Google to a thread, just like Soz describes. What does that person think when he sees the article has 15 thumbs down? And all the articles on that obscure topic have negative ratings? Associating thumbs down and negative ratings with things has a negative connotation in the minds of many. Is this attractive to the person? I'm not sure.

Now, over the course of the thread, several different topics arose - which I tried to separate out at one point for clarity, as I wonder about old topics dying and suck -but that's my main concern.

The point is, it isn't a mis-understanding of how the site works which has led to my worries, but a different point of view on the psychology of voting up/down. Several posters scoffed at the idea that someone could have a different opinion then they about thumbs up/down. Thomas said 'I adjusted, why can't everyone else adjust, to definitions which might not be the traditional ones?' I even linked to evidence about the use of the system in popular culture to bolster my case. McTag and others came along and helpfully provided additional opinion that they didn't like the voting system either.

I was met with several sorts of responses:

1, get over it.
2, you're whining.
3, if you just understood the site better, you wouldn't worry.

A whole group of people spent a ton of time trying to explain things to me that I didn't need explained. Here's from your post on page 9:

Quote:

I have watched with admiration how Craven tackled each individual question he came across, even the ones that were no more articulate than "Waaah I hate this site why have they ruined it f*ck you!", which I myself would have just ignored. Even in this thread, you have had the choice between focusing on, say, DrewDad's insults or focusing on the countless posts that have by now been made explaining, once more, solutions to some of the problems you encountered, and arguments for why some of the solutions you suggest would be a cure worse than the illness (what's that expression?).


(that's the right expression)

The thing is, I am not really having problems navigating the site, other then aesthetic issues. Craven has addressed all my complaints specifically, just like you said. But I'm still worried that new users will have problems having the same experience that I did when I first came here, for some aspects of the new site are confusing and you have to put some time in to learn the way things are done. That's cool, and I don't even mind that, but hey - as someone who is a long-time user of A2K, I'm going to do that, 'cause I'm not going to leave. But will someone new put that time in?

The old A2K was a very traditional bulletin board system with some smart people and some cool features. It wasn't anything that any random surfer wouldn't understand instantly. And it had problems, and had to go; but it was inviting the new users. This new A2K, is it going to be the same? I think it's important to capture the casual surfer with the same things that captured me: high quality, ease of use, neat technology.

Explanations on how the current site works don't answer that question. Only time will, I guess. And it's frustrating to me when I read stuff like this, Nimh -

Quote:
here are features that you really dont like, and you demand your arguments to be heard, acknowledged, listened to and acted upon.


Okay. Can you link to where I demanded anything? This is a discussion board. I'm not 'demanding' my arguments be heard any more then your last post was a demand that your arguments be heard. I certainly didn't demand that anyone change anything. Can you link to where I did demand this? I think you went a little overboard with this comment (which was contained in a self-described 'rant' at least) and you should think of revising it. For I have done nothing but ask questions and give my opinion. I stated that I'm not leaving, and I'm just trying to speak my piece at a time when the Devs might read it and take it into account. Maybe they won't, who knows? But it's not wrong of me to state my opinions and I'm not attacking the site.

It got to the point however where you and several others who really like the new site got very defensive when I didn't just accept your explanations (which didn't really address my argument, though I might not have presented my argument as artfully as I could have) and turned confrontational. And yes, it sometimes is difficult to distinguish between those who are being insulting and those who are trying to help, when you write that I have been 'demanding' things, Nimh.

Quote:

By the way I think the "what about the newbies??" question is interesting. I was taking exception to rather large and messy strawman you'd crafted, as nimh noted.


Well, in a thread where there is a pile on of those who feel a certain way about the new site, against those whose opinions might not be the same, you can see how one would get the impression. There was so much effort to explain me out of my opinion that it came off as callous on the part of several here. And I know that other users who are not happy with the new system have felt the same way; that what starts out as an attempt to help them understand the new system ends up being attempts to convince them that it's better all around then the old one(so why are you complaining?), and turns to frustration when the person isn't argued around.

At the end of the day, the arguments of those who want to defend the new system are often better and more logical; but that does not mean they adequately address people's emotional concerns about the new site. You shouldn't expect to be able to address emotional concerns with logical arguments, for it rarely is a successful tactic. I feel that the failure to convince me that everything was going to be cool, even though the arguments presented were logical, turned to frustration which quickly made the conversation meta-out.

I think OE's post a few pages back is a good example of disagreeing with someone while still acknowledging their right to an emotional position on the subject.
Cycloptichorn

DrewDad
 
  0  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 06:50 pm
@nimh,
Is that a long-winded way of calling someone a whiner?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 06:55 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
Dagestan. Someone surfs in off of Google to a thread, just like Soz describes. What does that person think when he sees the article has 15 thumbs down? And all the articles on that obscure topic have negative ratings? Associating thumbs down and negative ratings with things has a negative connotation in the minds of many. Is this attractive to the person? I'm not sure.

You're jumping to conclusions. The most obvious being that an obscure thread would have many thumbs down.

I would suggest that you wait for the empirical evidence, rather than simply constructing hypothetical examples that support your conclusions.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 09:01 am
@old europe,
I agree with old europe; the negatives outweigh the positives. I'm not so sure than many are willing to invest a whole lot of time trying to learn this new system with its inherent frustrations.

Most of the threads I used to be active in are mostly all gone; kaput!
 

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