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A2Kers, where are you? Where is everyone?

 
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:21 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
Respectfully, I did not say that. I said that once something is voted down, there is no opportunity to have a change of mind about that because whatever you vote down is almost impossible to find again after awhile.


And like I said, if you are having so much voter remorse then change how you are voting. Don't be so bury happy if you then regret burying the topics.

Quote:
Unless you spend all your time here, it is impossible to track everything on that huge conveyor belt using Endy's metaphor.


Then don't. On the old site you had New Topics (didn't work well, was VERY slow), New Posts (would get reset frequently), My Posts, Email Updates and Forums. On this new site you have all of those (and working well instead of being consistently broken like on the last site) with the addition of Popular Topics, My Topics and My Tags.

They all sort and order topics the same way as the old site did, so you still have all the old tools you had to organize and navigate posts. Just go to tags of interest to you like you used to go to forums of interest to you on the old software.

Quote:
In the past, active threads that I initially didn't pay any attention to would stay near the top and often subsequently peaked my interest due to the number of replies they were attracting and the names appearing as the last to post. Once the topic is voted down, there is no chance for that to happen.


Again, then don't vote it down if you find this objectionable. Because otherwise the lists are fundamentally the same, and the topics on the list are ordered just like they were before.

Quote:
So my choices are to vote down threads of no interest and lose them--for me--forever or put up with the huge conveyor belt that is generally moving so fast that I don't see most of the stuff that is on it. (Yes, I could click through many pages to catch up, but I usually don't take the time to do that either.)


Fox, take a moment and step back. All the old options of browsing and navigating for threads exist and are ordered the same way they used to be.

Instead of being "forced" to do something you find regrettable, just don't do it. You aren't being forced to use "New Posts", you aren't being forced to vote so many topics down.

Quote:
I've accepted this as my problem and nobody else's. And I've also stated that I certainly don't expect you to accommodate me or what I would prefer. The only reason I mentioned it is because if enough of us feel the same way and there IS a remedy, then perhaps it would be helpful.


There IS a remedy, and I've been trying to explain that to you. If you'd just give it a try, you can do it the way you used to do

Quote:
Okay I'm done. (Unless I'm misquoted or mischaracterized again. Smile)


Who misquoted you? Sometimes I wonder about thee...
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:23 pm
@ossobuco,
I've tried Osso, and it's not as useful as the other search function.

I liked that in the past I could search for keywords AND by username, and I could display the results as threads, or as posts.

Now, I can search for keywords, but not by user, and I can only display the threads that the person posted in, not the exact post nor can I just view the posts.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:25 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Actually, I like the new site just fine now that I'm used to it, and wish I hadn't bitched as much when the change happened, for which I now heartily apologize.


No worries, we took as much of the actionable feedback as we could, and incorporated it so a lot of the legitimate gripes have gone away.

Quote:
(though I miss PM's and the search function!)


PMs are close, search is far. We are almost done PMs, after that our next a2k priorities will be some performance issues, the ratings fixes etc. But we'll likely have to put some effort into some of the other projects we do that pay the bills, so after PMs we'll have to step back a bit.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:28 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:
I've tried Osso, and it's not as useful as the other search function.

I liked that in the past I could search for keywords AND by username, and I could display the results as threads, or as posts.

Now, I can search for keywords, but not by user, and I can only display the threads that the person posted in, not the exact post nor can I just view the posts.


Yep, this sums it up well. The current search is better for someone not looking for a specific thing someone said, and does a better job of finding the most "relevant" topic for the query. But the old search allowed you to search on a post level, not on a page level, and was thusly much more useful to find specific posts by a specific user.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:30 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Actually, I like the new site just fine now that I'm used to it, and wish I hadn't bitched as much when the change happened, for which I now heartily apologize.


No worries, we took as much of the actionable feedback as we could, and incorporated it so a lot of the legitimate gripes have gone away.

Quote:
(though I miss PM's and the search function!)


PMs are close, search is far. We are almost done PMs, after that our next a2k priorities will be some performance issues, the ratings fixes etc. But we'll likely have to put some effort into some of the other projects we do that pay the bills, so after PMs we'll have to step back a bit.


I was wondering, what kind of servers host A2K and where?

Cycloptichorn
Foxfyre
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:44 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Who misquoted you? Sometimes I wonder about thee...
You did. Or at least mischaracterized what I said. You still are. Smile

I'm just chalking it up to my inability to better communicate my point though and will let it go at that.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:47 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quad core Opteron (1809.305 MHz cores), 8GB ram, SCSI discs and running Linux.

It's mostly hosted out of Texas (good land for data centers, with low risk of natural disasters).
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:56 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Quad core Opteron (1809.305 MHz cores), 8GB ram, SCSI discs and running Linux.

It's mostly hosted out of Texas (good land for data centers, with low risk of natural disasters).


Cool, I've just been thinking lately a lot about how the internet works and have been trying to learn more about it.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 12:57 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
... The arbitrary tags are not that helpful to know what's new. ...

Understatement of the Year?

Robert Gentel wrote:
Foxfyre wrote:
I rarely used 'new posts' on the old A2K but rather went to a few forums of interest to see if anything new was cooking there.


Then go to the specific tag pages here.

It doesn't work that smoothly, Robert.

The tags are arbitrarily assigned. Maybe someone will tag a thread "Politics," but it's just as likely to be named "Whiny Conservatives" or "The Big Whore Of Conservatism."

Robert Gentel wrote:
Look, from a read perspective, the tags work just like the old forums did.

Not sure what that means, but from a User perspective, the tags don't work nearly as well.

Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 01:02 pm

Thanks Robert.
i appreciate your good advice
e
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 01:05 pm
@Ticomaya,
Ticomaya wrote:
The tags are arbitrarily assigned. Maybe someone will tag a thread "Politics," but it's just as likely to be named "Whiny Conservatives" or "The Big Whore Of Conservatism."


People could post threads to the wrong forums before as well, and even with some of the stupid tags people use, it can almost always be found in the expected tag anyway. Your examples are. They can be found in the politics tag just like they used to be found in the old politics forum, and those tags tend to be in addition to a useful one.

But yes, that is an issue we're addressing, in fact one of the big changes is coming together with the PM release. Some users see tags as graffiti, instead of being a categorizing mechanism, and we are changing the sidebar of topic grids to list your tags, to both make them more useful as categorization as well as illustrate their purpose. I suppose there will still be users who like to use those kinds of tags but we'll be doing that and other things to minimize the ones that aren't useful for categorizing things. We'll weigh author tags more heavily, compare the tags to the post text and weight the ones that are more relevant differently, etc.

But the bottom line is that if you used to find that topic in the politics forum, you can now find it in the politics tag. With more freedom in tagging they can spread a bit more, but in practice they really don't spread significantly more than they could before.

Quote:
Not sure what that means, but from a User perspective, the tags don't work nearly as well.


Not all user perspectives are created equal. What do you want to do with tags that you used to do on forums? Fox was saying she can't browse threads the same way, and those tags don't preclude her from finding the same topics she used to with the tags they were converted to. There certainly is a problem with tags that are not helpful for categorization that we need to address, but I don't think it's to a degree that makes the old browsing not viable anymore. The topics are almost always still to be found in one (or more) of the main tags.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 01:23 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:
adds, not as important at all, but wondering: Could the Top and End letters be just a wee bit darker (not really bold, that could be distracting, but just a tad darker coloring). That would help me to see them - not sure that is any problem for others.


I've tried, but I haven't yet found a way to improve them. Here are the challenges:

1) At an 800X600 resolution, they overlap the page borders if the text is any larger.

2) We have a general color scheme with green links being used to denote links that won't take you to a new page. Any other color, would break this pattern and make the links less intuitive overall without changing them all.

3) Any dark color will be hard to see on the light dark colors of the background, with the light ones hard to see on the light background.

I've seen a couple requests to make them bigger, or more prominent, and I gave it a try but for those reasons I don't yet think I can do so without harming the site usability in other ways. I kinda think those links are most useful to folk who discover them and incorporate them into their use pattern, and their placement near the arrows is meant to allow them to be as unobtrusive as possible while still being in an intuitive location for discovery.
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 01:29 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I now look for those buttons on every website I go to...

Cycloptichorn
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 01:38 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

I now look for those buttons on every website I go to...

Cycloptichorn
yeah
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 01:42 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I didn't understand that the choice affected more than those two words - thanks for working on it, understand your explanation.

For me now, it doesn't really matter, I know they're there. It was a complete surprise, though, when I first heard about them and had to stare hard to find them (but I have unusual eyes and can't extrapolate to others).

0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 01:42 pm
I love those top and end buttons. I wish more sites had them!
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 02:07 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I do think the "Popular Tags" page did help quite a bit with the grouping of the tags. Have you given any thought to making that link typed out and grouped with "Popular Topics," "My Topics," "My Posts," etc., across the top of the page/

I know you can reach it by clicking the "able2know" logo in the upper right, but that might not be intuitive to everyone.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 02:12 pm
@Ticomaya,
Ticomaya wrote:

I know you can reach it by clicking the "able2know" logo in the upper right, but that might not be intuitive to everyone.


(I've got it on the left here Shocked )
That's the 'homepage'. On most, if not all, sites you start to navigate from there, I think.
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 02:16 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Yeah ... the other right.

I see it is the homepage. Still wonder whether a link to "Popular Tags" would be helpful to some. I don't link to the homepage when I link to A2K.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 03:34 pm
@Ticomaya,
Ticomaya wrote:
I do think the "Popular Tags" page did help quite a bit with the grouping of the tags. Have you given any thought to making that link typed out and grouped with "Popular Topics," "My Topics," "My Posts," etc., across the top of the page/


I have a bit, and I had some reservations about it. When we moved them to the home page, I'd thought of keeping the Popular Tags page, and having the home page link to the subsequent pages of it. But the pixels in the header are pretty valuable real estate (for e.g. if at 800x600 logged in, the menu there is already full without wrapping or scrolling) and I wasn't comfortable with the repetition.

The last site had everything in a /forum/ subdirectory, so I think some of the long time members are used to ignoring the home page, but I'm not sure if the additional option to the same page would be useful enough to justify the additional clutter. One of the simple keys to usability is to merely try to keep the options presented down to the most important ones, and repeating an option might make things worse for more people than it'd help. I'm really not sure, but that's my gut on it.

But we do want to improve on the tag navigation elsewhere, and we'll be reworking the topic grid sidebars (the right column on any topic listing) a bit more.
0 Replies
 
 

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