Forum Feedback
01-15-2009, 01:52 PM,
#1
Forum Feedback
Hello everyone, perhaps a forum feedback thread is in order. Feel free to post feelings or desires of change about this growing and wonderful place.

My initial reason for creating this thread is because I wish myself to leave a bit of feedback and thoughts about the structure of the forum.

It has some things that I personaly recognise as separating factors: Rating systems.
This includes: Rating threads and giving Reputation to people.

We can see some nice threads of our friend Dreaming Peace being set to 1/5 "stars" for no apparent reason. This is of pure negative intent. Also, what you gain from reading a thread is subjective. I belive we can agree on that most of us here wish a loving and accepting environment, rating people's threads because they are "bad" in a subjective opinion feels destructive for me. People new to the site and perhaps a bit confused of the nature of this forum may only check threads which has 5/5 "stars" etc, just because some marauder has been active.
I wish this system to go.

Reputation is perhaps a good thing in some ways, you can show appreciation of a user which has contributed to the forum. Yet, I've seen on many forums that this system only encourages elitism. People giving reputation to eachother just to collect "rep" and the forum creating parts which are only available to people with a certain amount of reputation. This forum is quite unique in its general environment though, so it might just be good here, but I'd rather be without this system in the end. We'll see how it works out, I suppose.

Peace and love to you all.
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01-15-2009, 04:58 PM,
#2
RE: Forum Feedback
(01-15-2009, 01:52 PM)ayadew Wrote:  Hello everyone, perhaps a forum feedback thread is in order. Feel free to post feelings or desires of change about this growing and wonderful place.

My initial reason for creating this thread is because I wish myself to leave a bit of feedback and thoughts about the structure of the forum.

It has some things that I personaly recognise as separating factors: Rating systems.
This includes: Rating threads and giving Reputation to people.

We can see some nice threads of our friend Dreaming Peace being set to 1/5 "stars" for no apparent reason. This is of pure negative intent. Also, what you gain from reading a thread is subjective. I belive we can agree on that most of us here wish a loving and accepting environment, rating people's threads because they are "bad" in a subjective opinion feels destructive for me. People new to the site and perhaps a bit confused of the nature of this forum may only check threads which has 5/5 "stars" etc, just because some marauder has been active.
I wish this system to go.

Reputation is perhaps a good thing in some ways, you can show appreciation of a user which has contributed to the forum. Yet, I've seen on many forums that this system only encourages elitism. People giving reputation to eachother just to collect "rep" and the forum creating parts which are only available to people with a certain amount of reputation. This forum is quite unique in its general environment though, so it might just be good here, but I'd rather be without this system in the end. We'll see how it works out, I suppose.

Peace and love to you all.

ayadew, I totally get what you're saying! I have seen forums that have an option to vote on the person or their post, and I've seen people who don't like that person or simply disagree, vote 'No' to the prompt 'does this add to the discussion' even though it clearly did add to the discussion. I've also seen people go around voting 'No' on everyone they don't like just to be divisive.

However, I don't interpret the star system here to be like that. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I thought the '1/5' stars just meant that only 1 person had rated it thus far, and as more people find the thread helpful, it will get more stars.

It's different from, say, the rating system for books on amazon.com - where each person individually rates the book from 1 to 5 stars. So if you see a review of only 1 star, that means the person didn't like that book.

In this case, the stars seem to be cumulative. 1 star just means that only 1 person has voted so far, and as soon as another person votes, that thread will have 2 stars, and when 5 people have voted, it'll have 5 stars...so the more stars it has, the more people have seen that thread and found it useful.

Hence, a thread with 0 stars does not mean it's a bad thread...it just means it's a NEW thread!

So the star system is just a way to see which threads are getting activity, not label a thread as 'bad.' It's a completely different system than the 5-star system used by book sellers like amazon.com.

At least that's how I understood it!
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01-15-2009, 05:14 PM,
#3
RE: Forum Feedback
Here, the star system is a median of what everone rates the thread as.
I demonstrate this now by placing a 5/5 star on this thread. I am the only person that's done so so far, and it has now 5/5 stars. You cannot see how many has voted for the thread, thus it might be 1 or 100 people that has disliked it: you don't know, but you have the same result.
Almost noone rates thread anyhow, personally I see no meaning in it. I read/skim through all threads. The only times I rate threads is when a marauder has placed 1/5 stars on a thread for pure negative intent, I try to improve the rate.
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01-15-2009, 05:20 PM,
#4
RE: Forum Feedback
(01-15-2009, 05:14 PM)ayadew Wrote:  Here, the star system is a median of what everone rates the thread as.
I demonstrate this now by placing a 5/5 star on this thread. I am the only person that's done so so far, and it has now 5/5 stars. You cannot see how many has voted for the thread, thus it might be 1 or 100 people that has disliked it: you don't know, but you have the same result.
Almost noone rates thread anyhow, personally I see no meaning in it. I read/skim through all threads.

Oh wow, then I stand corrected! In that case, you do indeed have a point. This forum is different from most, in what we are trying to accomplish: promoting unity, allowing each person to discern for themselves, etc.
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01-15-2009, 07:03 PM,
#5
RE: Forum Feedback
Yeah, I generally have ignored the star rating system so far and the 'reputation' system for users also. I do think they're bad ideas for reasons you mentioned. The subject matter of the forum is unique to say the least. If we were discussing which iPod is the best or how to fix your car, the rating system would be invaluable. But since we're discussing things that are by themselves endlessly subjective, the rating system actually hinders us as we seek to find our own truth. For that matter I might also do away with the little title that goes under each user name, and the string of stars. I don't know what those are for actually, but I assumed they are also tied to the reputation meter in some way? Sounds trivial but you could see how it could be damaging.
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01-15-2009, 07:17 PM,
#6
RE: Forum Feedback
I believe they are tied to post-count, but also out-lining the more 'special' members such as Carla and our moderators.
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01-15-2009, 11:54 PM,
#7
RE: Forum Feedback
I agree with ayadew, et. al. I think we don't need the ego ratings, reputation or ways to distinguish new members for the "established" ones. We're all here to learn/teach and teach/learn. Why not give everone that title (learn/teacher and teach/learner)?

3D Sunset
Ra Book III Session 65.
Could your planet polarize towards harmony in one fine, strong, moment of inspiration? Yes, my friends. It is not probable; but it is ever possible.
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01-16-2009, 04:37 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-16-2009, 04:44 AM by Bring4th_Steve.)
#8
RE: Forum Feedback
(01-15-2009, 07:03 PM)Lavazza Wrote:  If we were discussing which iPod is the best or how to fix your car, the rating system would be invaluable. But since we're discussing things that are by themselves endlessly subjective, the rating system actually hinders us as we seek to find our own truth.

Lavazza's above quote struck a strong chord with me. The rating system definitely has its place amongst sites where content needs to be qualified, critiqued, or legitimized within its user community. As we all seem to agree in this setting, we don't have a need for rating each other's content, as we are all seen as equals. So I will definitely confer with Gary on the final decision to remove thread ratings.

I feel it's important to mention that during the development of Bring4th, no one purposefully selected the rating system as a means to separate the community. It was simply a matter of letting default forum settings "ride" as work continued on other parts of the site. So the fact that there is already consensus is great, and much appreciated!

As far as reputation goes, I'll throw in my two cents... I believe that it can serve a positive purpose. Being able to send someone a heart-felt comment may lighten someone's day, motivate people who feel isolated to see that they are cherished, help to appreciate someone for their obvious investment of time as evidenced by thoughtful/insightful posts, or to help serve as an ice breaker for future conversation, perhaps. Our community is (fortunately) very positive, so I can't imagine that we would take advantage of the system with the intent to hurt others or turn it into an elitist yardstick. Also, not all content on this site is strictly for learning or teaching. As the site grows, the social outreach may very well branch into other areas, such that sections of Bring4th become dedicated to teaching/learning, while other sections blossom into areas for socializing, exploring, and creating, for example.

I totally see 3D Sunset's point about member titles. Keep in mind, though... Titles for each member are customizable, and serve as another facet of self-expression. Some may choose fun titles, some may wish to put their Bring4th blog link there, some may enjoy referring to their passion in some way, while others may indeed choose a label that indicates an out of control ego. Smile I personally took advantage of the label to help identify my role with Bring4th so that people could approach me if they have a problem on the site or need help with anything technical. While I think learn/teacher and teach/learner would make a great universal title, it might not be a title that everyone wants, especially when user profiles are already built to be customized in a multitude of ways. So you see, we walk a fine line of offering creative expression, versus offering a means to facilitate separatism. I'm not sure this is an issue that has a right or wrong answer, and I certainly don't claim any form of authority to throw down the gavel on what stays or goes. But I felt it was important to contribute that creative expression can add color, creativity and love in addition to what many of us hopefully already recognize; that we all are one, and that we all are learners and teachers at the same time.

Please keep the great feedback coming, and thanks for caring enough to bring these feelings out into the open.

Peace,
Steve
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01-16-2009, 05:22 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-16-2009, 05:25 AM by Monica.)
#9
RE: Forum Feedback
(01-16-2009, 04:37 AM)Bring4th_Steve Wrote:  I feel it's important to mention that during the development of Bring4th, no one purposefully selected the rating system as a means to separate the community. It was simply a matter of letting default forum settings "ride" as work continued on other parts of the site. So the fact that there is already consensus is great, and much appreciated!

As far as reputation goes, I'll throw in my two cents... I believe that it can serve a positive purpose. Being able to send someone a heart-felt comment may lighten someone's day, motivate people who feel isolated to see that they are cherished, help to appreciate someone for their obvious investment of time as evidenced by thoughtful/insightful posts, or to help serve as an ice breaker for future conversation, perhaps. Our community is (fortunately) very positive, so I can't imagine that we would take advantage of the system with the intent to hurt others or turn it into an elitist yardstick. Also, not all content on this site is strictly for learning or teaching. As the site grows, the social outreach may very well branch into other areas, such that sections of Bring4th become dedicated to teaching/learning, while other sections blossom into areas for socializing, exploring, and creating, for example.

I totally see 3D Sunset's point about member titles. Keep in mind, though... Titles for each member are customizable, and serve as another facet of self-expression. Some may choose fun titles, some may wish to put their Bring4th blog link there, some may enjoy referring to their passion in some way, while others may indeed choose a label that indicates an out of control ego. Smile I personally took advantage of the label to help identify my role with Bring4th so that people could approach me if they have a problem on the site or need help with anything technical. While I think learn/teacher and teach/learner would make a great universal title, it might not be a title that everyone wants, especially when user profiles are already built to be customized in a multitude of ways. So you see, we walk a fine line of offering creative expression, versus offering a means to facilitate separatism. I'm not sure this is an issue that has a right or wrong answer, and I certainly don't claim any form of authority to throw down the gavel on what stays or goes. But I felt it was important to contribute that creative expression can add color, creativity and love in addition to what many of us hopefully already recognize; that we all are one, and that we all are learners and teachers at the same time.

All of that sounds very reasonable to me, Steve!

For what it's worth, I think the star rating of threads should go, since they really serve no purpose...and we can easily do without it. It's even misleading, as has been pointed out. And it might keep some people from finding really good threads. And it would get in the way of people being able to just discern which threads to read. Yup, I think it should be tossed. (And thank you for explaining that it was just a default setting in the software.)

I also agree that the name descriptions should stay, as it's just another means of self-expression and, more importantly, chosen ourselves. (in contrast to the rating system which is feedback from another self.) I think of it as just an extension of the name...like 2 lines for a very long address. I vote: keep it.

As for the reputation comments, I can say from my own experience that it was very heart-warming for me. I didn't know that there was such a thing, and just happened to wonder what the number by my name was. In curiosity, I clicked on it, and was totally surprised to find that a few people had left comments about me! Reading their kind words gave me warm fuzzies. So then I thought, "who can I comment on?" and decided to pass on the warm fuzzies...
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01-16-2009, 06:10 AM,
#10
RE: Forum Feedback
Another question.

From my own user page there is a "Find all posts button" Which lists all my own posts. However to get there I have to click on the "Forums" button, then scroll down to the logged in users, find and click on my name, and then hit the "Find all posts button"

Often forums have this "My own posts" somewhere on the top of the page and it's really really usefull if you want to keep tabs on the discussions you're participating in. I know there are other ways. But this is the easiest one.

Would it be possible to have a "My own posts" link somewhere in the top of the page? Or alternatively my name on the top of the page like most fora so I can jump to my page directly?

If all that is for some reason not possible I can always add a bookmark to the "My own posts page".

Namaste
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01-16-2009, 09:19 AM,
#11
RE: Forum Feedback
I agree that thread ratings are unnecessary. Post counts tell you clearly enough which threads people are excited about.

I think on balance that I also come down on the side of preferring not to have a reputation system. I hear what you are saying, Steve and DreamingPeace, but to me the system feels a little bit clique-ish and you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours-ish. (Now that's just basic yellow-ray behavior, but perhaps it is in a wanderer's nature to feel alienated even from a group of other wanderers!)
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01-16-2009, 10:28 AM,
#12
RE: Forum Feedback
Bring4th_Steve Wrote:As far as reputation goes, I'll throw in my two cents... I believe that it can serve a positive purpose. Being able to send someone a heart-felt comment may lighten someone's day, motivate people who feel isolated to see that they are cherished, help to appreciate someone for their obvious investment of time as evidenced by thoughtful/insightful posts, or to help serve as an ice breaker for future conversation, perhaps.

That seems like a good use for private messages, and private praise is frequently more heartsent and heartfelt than public. If a particular message really resonantes, just post a reply to that effect. The quid pro quo (no pun intended) nature of the reputation system is inherent. My underlying issue is with the label "Reputation", and the ability to rate someone negatively. Just seems elitist and unnecessary.

IMHO, I say scrap it.

Love and Light,

3D Sunset
Ra Book III Session 65.
Could your planet polarize towards harmony in one fine, strong, moment of inspiration? Yes, my friends. It is not probable; but it is ever possible.
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01-16-2009, 01:18 PM,
#13
RE: Forum Feedback
Ali, it's so funny that you happen to request that right at this moment. I was on the MyBB forums trying to solve an issue I found with the forums and wanted to check back in with my post. The problem was, I had no idea where to go looking for my post!

So if there is anyone who could empathize right about now, that would be me! :-)

As far as a fix goes, I --may-- have nuked that feature when customizing the forums a while back, because there were a number of choices I had to make if the forums were to work properly with the other applications on this site (Single Sign On & Permission-based settings). I will definitely go back into the templates, because I may have commented out the feature temporarily.

Also, instead of bookmarking, you can also subscribe to your own thread when you post by clicking on the subscribe radio button at the bottom of the forum post. This would then send you an e-mail notice when someone does reply, and you can then click on the link to go straight to your post.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

Steve

(01-16-2009, 06:10 AM)Ali Quadir Wrote:  Another question.

From my own user page there is a "Find all posts button" Which lists all my own posts. However to get there I have to click on the "Forums" button, then scroll down to the logged in users, find and click on my name, and then hit the "Find all posts button"

Often forums have this "My own posts" somewhere on the top of the page and it's really really usefull if you want to keep tabs on the discussions you're participating in. I know there are other ways. But this is the easiest one.

Would it be possible to have a "My own posts" link somewhere in the top of the page? Or alternatively my name on the top of the page like most fora so I can jump to my page directly?

If all that is for some reason not possible I can always add a bookmark to the "My own posts page".

Namaste
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01-16-2009, 05:48 PM,
#14
RE: Forum Feedback
(01-16-2009, 09:19 AM)βαθμιαίος Wrote:  I agree that thread ratings are unnecessary. Post counts tell you clearly enough which threads people are excited about.

I think on balance that I also come down on the side of preferring not to have a reputation system. I hear what you are saying, Steve and DreamingPeace, but to me the system feels a little bit clique-ish and you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours-ish. (Now that's just basic yellow-ray behavior, but perhaps it is in a wanderer's nature to feel alienated even from a group of other wanderers!)
Good points! I'm ok with scrapping the reputation system.
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01-16-2009, 07:32 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-16-2009, 08:05 PM by Bring4th_Steve.)
#15
RE: Forum Feedback
Ok, it seems we have a mixed bag on the reputation system. 3D Sunset mentions that one could just as easily send a PM or respond directly to a post if one really wanted to give a comment out. And we certainly are a bunch of equals here, so having a good reputation isn't going to tangibly mean one person is "better" or more "reliable" than the next person here. While it may be an important differentiator for other types of sites, it is clear we won't need to bother with it in our setting of socializing, learning and creating.

So.. Thread ratings, reputation system, and the warning system have been removed. Knowing Gary, I'm confident he'll approve the changes based on the combined feedback.

Thanks,
Steve
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01-17-2009, 08:46 AM,
#16
RE: Forum Feedback
Thank you, Steve. =)
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01-17-2009, 06:00 PM,
#17
RE: Forum Feedback
I think these are good steps towards maintaining the polarity of the forum! Heart Well done.
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01-19-2009, 09:54 AM,
#18
RE: Forum Feedback
(01-16-2009, 01:18 PM)Bring4th_Steve Wrote:  Ali, it's so funny that you happen to request that right at this moment.
Synchroniciy rocks doesn't it Smile

If you can find your way to your profile page you can look for all your posts there. So posts are locatable at this time. It's just kind of a hidden feature now. As far as I am concerned there is no rush for a fix.

From one coder to another: "Good luck on the bug hunt" Tongue
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01-20-2009, 01:03 AM,
#19
RE: Forum Feedback
Ali, where did you go in your profile to find all the posts that are tied to you? I went to go look for the feature you referred to so I could drag it out into the front section, but could not find anything...

Thanks!
Steve

(01-19-2009, 09:54 AM)Ali Quadir Wrote:  
(01-16-2009, 01:18 PM)Bring4th_Steve Wrote:  Ali, it's so funny that you happen to request that right at this moment.
Synchroniciy rocks doesn't it Smile

If you can find your way to your profile page you can look for all your posts there. So posts are locatable at this time. It's just kind of a hidden feature now. As far as I am concerned there is no rush for a fix.

From one coder to another: "Good luck on the bug hunt" Tongue
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01-20-2009, 04:09 AM,
#20
RE: Forum Feedback
(01-20-2009, 01:03 AM)Bring4th_Steve Wrote:  Ali, where did you go in your profile to find all the posts that are tied to you? I went to go look for the feature you referred to so I could drag it out into the front section, but could not find anything...

Thanks!
Steve

Hey Steve

I was able to find the entire listing of my posts and it's somewhere in the profile under the dashboard but the only way I could find to get to it was to click on my name at the bottom of the forum page where it shows who is currently online. Once I did that it took me to a part of the profile that gave the option of seeing threads or posts.
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01-20-2009, 04:43 AM,
#21
RE: Forum Feedback
Ahh, thanks! This gives me enough to work with. I'll try getting to that really soon.

Don't forget, in addition to clicking on your username and clicking on "View My Posts" or "View My Threads", you can also click on "Search" and type in your username. It will then show you all posts that you have participated in. You can use it to also see if you name has been referenced in another room as well.

Steve

(01-20-2009, 04:09 AM)BrotherAsa Wrote:  
(01-20-2009, 01:03 AM)Bring4th_Steve Wrote:  Ali, where did you go in your profile to find all the posts that are tied to you? I went to go look for the feature you referred to so I could drag it out into the front section, but could not find anything...

Thanks!
Steve

Hey Steve

I was able to find the entire listing of my posts and it's somewhere in the profile under the dashboard but the only way I could find to get to it was to click on my name at the bottom of the forum page where it shows who is currently online. Once I did that it took me to a part of the profile that gave the option of seeing threads or posts.
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01-20-2009, 10:57 AM,
#22
RE: Forum Feedback
(01-20-2009, 01:03 AM)Bring4th_Steve Wrote:  Ali, where did you go in your profile to find all the posts that are tied to you? I went to go look for the feature you referred to so I could drag it out into the front section, but could not find anything...

It's a multi step process indeed. This was my way to get there:
1: Click on the forums button in the header of the page.
2: All the way in the bottom there is a "Who's online" list.
If you did not hide yourself in your profile you can click on your own name here.
3: There is a "Find all posts" option in your profile...

The url for me is
http://www.bring4th.org/forums/search.php?action=finduser&uid=158

I guess that makes me user number 158 Tongue

I'm afraid this also makes the url different per user.

Other BB forums have an "search.php?search_id=egosearch" but I can't get that to work on this forum, if that had worked you could just add an url to your header and be done with it. It's also my favourite bookmark location for forums.

You say you can can also do a search on your own user name. I guess that would be easier, maybe too easy... Smile
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02-06-2009, 08:59 AM,
#23
RE: Forum Feedback
In the Science & Technology part of the forum there are still Star Ratings.
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