19
   

Tags vs. Forums -- The Showdown

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 11:27 am
@Lash,
Maybe a solution that would incorporate the best of both worlds would be to have a limited number of general tags similar to the old forums. You would have to click a button or whatever to assign one of those general tags to the thread; i.e. politics or philosophy or religion or languages or ask a question or trivia & games, etc.

Posting on a thread automatically subscribes you to the thread, but also have a means of subscribing to a thread that you just want to follow and also an 'unsubscribe' feature in case you regret signing onto a thread. Unsubscribing removes the thread from your personal queue completely.

I like seeing all posts as we do as it has encouraged me to participate in discussions that I probably wouldn't have seen before. But having a way to narrow down the subject matter more efficiently and effectively would help solve the problem of a good thread being buried and lost within minutes.

As Tico said, I'm sure CdK has considered all of this at some point and there are likely very good reasons that my suggestions are not practical or feasible, nor do I expect that everybody will agree with them.

But the current tagging system is tedious and frequently frustrating for me, as CJane mentioned, and also it isn't working well for me, and I don't know what to do to solve that.

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 11:30 am
@roger,
And I believe the old would show you the forum even when just looking by newest posts. I did like that because I might find a topic/question interesting, but then seeing what forum it was I realized it was a joke or something else than what I expected.
0 Replies
 
Gelisgesti
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 11:59 am
Sounds like we need a catch all tag for files that either defy description or that don't really lend themselves to any one category. Something like; 'odds and ends', this and that, even that old fave .... misc would lead to a list of sub directories that a surfer could peruse. Anyone that is looking for anything specific would hardly search in misc and expect success. Type in just whatever you need or play click the icon.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  0  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 12:17 pm
@jespah,
Even I come away more confused by this explanation.
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 12:38 pm
@Region Philbis,
Region Philbis wrote:

I mistakenly wrote:
if i'm not mistaken, all old forum tags appear on the homepage, in the left-hand column...
it looks like only the most popular tags are shown there now.
that might've changed when the tag display was changed from a word list separated by commas to a single-word column...


But that is the most frustrating thing. What seems logical to me as a tag is obviously not logical to somebody else. So you find topics that used to be grouped all together in "politics" or "computers" scattered all over the place now. Sometimes finding a thread you're looking for is a real crap shoot, especially if you can't rememer the title or come up with a keyword that works.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 01:23 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
Sometimes finding a thread you're looking for is a real crap shoot, especially if you can't rememer the title or come up with a keyword that works.


Yes, I've had that too. I completely forget keywords and I am just
not willing to remember those in addition to hundreds (exaggerating)
passwords and ID names I have privately and in business settings. I used
to have a good memory, but I am not so sure anymore.... http://www.kolobok.us/smiles/he_and_she/girl_sigh.gif
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 05:14 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Ack, well then I wrote this topic poorly. And I can see my opening paragraph sucked. These things can't all be gems. My apologies.

A few things.

First off, you need not go nuts writing tags for topics you're creating. If you prefer, you can go into a tag (just click on it), say english and if you click Start a Discussion, you get to this screen: http://able2know.org/post/discuss/english/ And at the bottom, in the tag section, the word english is already filled in. Like that? Then it's enough; just post and you're done. And if you want to find the topic again, click on the english tag under My tags (in your profile; also can be found from the My Topics page).

As for older topics, I would not go nuts spending hours tagging. What I usually do is, I see something, or I think of a topic that I like but haven't seen, find it using Search and then tag it. I don't go out of my way to tag everything under the sun. I've got lots and lots of topics that are untagged. Heck, I've voted down a boatload of my own topics.

As for topics sliding off the first page quickly, you can sort to New Posts, Most Replies or Most Viewed. Chances are that will keep the first page from changing too much too quickly. Keep in mind that a hopping forum, regardless of how it's laid out, is going to get a lot of responses and newer topics will continue to supplant older ones on the first page.

I know that right now it is not easy to find things. The search could be better (it will be), for one thing. But some of this is going to improve with good old tagging. The idea is -- if you like the topic, and want to find it again, tag it. Don't like the topic? Then don't bother. No one is making you tag if you don't want to do it. I am merely suggesting that a lot of the issues with not just finding things but also in seeing what you might not be perfectly interested in, could be improved with tagging.

I hope this helps and I am sorry for the earlier lack of coherence. What I really need right now is some rest.
Foxfyre
 
  6  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 05:40 pm
@jespah,
But newbies coming on the thread don't know how to do that. They see a topic they want to get involved in, go figure up how to make themselves a member, come back and its gone. Okay it had a political theme. Click on politics. It's not there.

I clicked on Trivia and Games earlier and it brought up one....count it ONE.....thread - one I had never seen. The only one I actually play in now and then isn't even there.

I tagged my General Election 2008 thread Elections - click on politics and then Elections and it isn't there.

I simply don't understand. And don't have the time to figure it all out I guess. I just want to come here mostly to test ideas or theories or vent or rant or laugh or just enjoy folks for a bit.

I'm not ranting now. I know I am in a very small minority of those who just don't 'get it' and I'll manage. But since I thought you asked. . . . Smile
Swimpy
 
  3  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:21 pm
@Foxfyre,
me, as well. I don't use tags. they are unnecessary for the way i use A2k. New Posts and My Posts are all I need. Anything I miss, oh well.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:25 pm
@Foxfyre,
You can enter a thread without registering.

Dunno about you, but, when I am browsing a new site and have to register, I usually open the registering process in a new window, just so I don't lose what interested me in the first place...though one, can, of course, simply use the button in one's browser a lot of the time to ensure that.
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:35 pm
@dlowan,
But you have a lot of experience with that and know to do that. A2K was my first serious message board experience ever and I sorta learned the ropes a bit here though I'm still not as proficient at some things as others are. I do participate now and then on other sites--some were easier and some a bit harder to get the hang of than the old A2K. But honestly, if this new and improved A2K was my first experience with message boards, I wouldn't be having an experience at all. Even having experience on other boards, if I had just visited here recently, I probably wouldn't have stayed.

I've been here four years though so I'll take the good with the bad because I mostly like it here. For richer and poorer, better and worse and all that. . . .

Already some things are much better than they were. The hated rep points are gone. The font and avatars are great. I'm not having any problems at all taking care of business once I get where I'm going and I actually love the new look and everything.

But I hate the tagging system only because I don't seem to be able to get the hang of it. And I'm just accepting that as my problem and nobody elses. . . .
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  5  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:36 pm
@Swimpy,
what you will miss, unless you log in daily, are most of the threads that are not replied to. Those of us who use last post are doing the best we can to manage, but our experience is diminished by the popularity programing. In many different ways threads that don't gain popularity early vanish, and are encouraged to vanish by the design of the site. The a2k sanitation process does work, though this is not a good thing.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:47 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
what you will miss, unless you log in daily, are most of the threads that are not replied to.


Just like on the old site. If you want to keep up with every thread on the whole site, you better be here all day every day. And even then, at some point that won't be possible for you to keep up with anymore if it keep growing.

This is not fundamentally different than the way it used to be, on the old site if you didn't get early replies your topic would soon be buried as well. If someone dug it up and replied to it, it would bump to the top.

All of this happens here as well. People who want to spend 24/7 on the site use "all time" and "last post" grids. People who don't want to do so will skim through other sorting and filtering. Either way, those people who don't want to try to read every post made on the site weren't going to plough through all the posts by last post date to get to the buried stuff anyway.

And this is why you can't come up with a single example of this great evil you've been preaching against. Find one example of something that is less visible to you now under the settings you use (that duplicate the old site).

Where is an example of a thread that was "encouraged to vanish by the design of the site"? This forum martyr gig you do is about how unpopular you are, and you can't back up your claims.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  6  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:53 pm
@hawkeye10,
set your preferences to "no minimum" for posts and topics and the only thing that ever disappears are the topics you yourself vote down.

Nothing vanishes if you set your preferences for that.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:56 pm
@JPB,
He knows that. But facts get in the way of playing forum martyr.
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:58 pm
@JPB,
Everbuddy hold still, I want a screen shot of this...

(for the record, I am not tagging, mostly cuz only a handful of yas understand the humour thingymabob...)

Anyone tagging maliciously should know that the hamsters have got a bit sharper in their silence...
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 07:00 pm
@JPB,
It is true and that is how I have my preferences set. But they can fairly quickly become buried deep into several pages, and if I can't call them up with logical tags, it is a real pain to go hunting for those I didn't post in or tag when I first saw them. And usually I don't.
JPB
 
  0  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 07:06 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Seeing that he's one of two members most likely to be set to Ignore, I wonder if some of his concern is not having a full audience rather than not being able to find hidden topics.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 07:13 pm
@JPB,
if you don't log in every day but do last post when you do you will have many pages of threads that have been active since your last time around., However, the less active ones will tend to be towards the end of the list. They are buried, and few will regularly take the time to sift through all the threads that have been active in the hopes of finding something good in the threads that everyone else has passed by with out stopping. These same threads that lack popularity also will not be tagged , thus will not be found in that way. They also will have low popularity numbers.


In many different ways a2k gives the message "this thread is not worth your time", even if we try not to listen because we know that the a2k valuation will not always be our individual valuation, we will be influenced. Even soviets who knew that their government spoke propaganda were influenced by it, had a difficult time figuring out what the truth was, as we as humans do act according to group think even when we don't want to, even when we try not to be.

hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 07:18 pm
@Robert Gentel,
a martyr makes a self sacrifice for the collective, I am doing no such thing. I am OBJECTING, and explaining why. You don't know me, and thus you can't know my motives...even if I was a martyr you are in no position to make the determination that I am because you can't determine the sacrifice of a self whom you don't know.

 

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