Idea for forums

Retne

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Nov 13, 2009
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Hi there,

I don't know if this is possible (I assume you've bought in some tech to run your forums rather than code it all yourselves), but I had an idea for a feature request. Three actually, come to think of it.

First up, is make your backlog visible, and let us punters vote on it. That won't dictate the order the features are worked on, but could suggest strong requests accross a variety of people. It may also stop people requesting features which are well in hand ;)

Second is just to provide a simple list to allow us to see what we've posted. I've made less than one post a week, but I have, I'm sure, missed replies to my posts (apart from the last few posts which have no replies - I've either made the perfect post which no-one can add anything too, or people are reading and sighing. On reflection, probably not the first ;) )

Third, and the reason I stopped typing, is to have some tagging system that reflects the equipment people own. Then people can be alerted to posts that ask about equipment they own or express an interest in (email or just on a "My account" page). It could be as generic as manufacturer-level interest (I'd currently tag Philips and TVs in a hope to find out what's happened to some of the TVs that were on Philips 9000 series page a few weeks ago and are now no longer there).

Cheers

Rob/Retne

Fourth idea... let folks you can trust with coding skills write some of this in exchange for the odd freebie :), with your current code team doing code reviews/QA on submittied code ;)
 

Andrew Everard

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Thanks for your suggestions.

Retne said:
First up, is make your backlog visible, and let us punters vote on it. That won't dictate the order the features are worked on, but could suggest strong requests accross a variety of people. It may also stop people requesting features which are well in hand ;)

For various reasons, including the need to keep exclusives exclusive, we think we'll stick to doing things the way we do now.

Retne said:
Second is just to provide a simple list to allow us to see what we've posted. I've made less than one post a week, but I have, I'm sure, missed replies to my posts (apart from the last few posts which have no replies - I've either made the perfect post which no-one can add anything too, or people are reading and sighing. On reflection, probably not the first ;) )

Yes, that was possible in the old site software, but not in the current. It's something we've asked to be addressed.

Retne said:
Third, and the reason I stopped typing, is to have some tagging system that reflects the equipment people own. Then people can be alerted to posts that ask about equipment they own or express an interest in (email or just on a "My account" page). It could be as generic as manufacturer-level interest (I'd currently tag Philips and TVs in a hope to find out what's happened to some of the TVs that were on Philips 9000 series page a few weeks ago and are now no longer there).

Well, people can put a list of their equipment in their signature, but the tagging is an interesting idea. However, our experience is that email alerts are more trouble than they're worth on a site of this size.

Retne said:
Fourth idea... let folks you can trust with coding skills write some of this in exchange for the odd freebie :), with your current code team doing code reviews/QA on submittied code ;)

I'm not too sure the company would take too well to people having access to the coding of the site, so that's unlikely to happen.
 

Retne

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Hi Andrew, thanks for the reply. Couple of ambiguities in my first post:

Andrew Everard said:
For various reasons, including the need to keep exclusives exclusive, we think we'll stick to doing things the way we do now.

Ah, yeah, I meant software features on the forums, rather than features from a journalist point of view. Although it would be great to know if/when you get Philips TVs in for review, but now I'm just sounding like a man obsessed...

This isn't too important, just if you have this list anyway. I realise software forums aren't the business you're in, but I do like the interaction with you the writers and the rest of the readership, hence wanting to improve it.

Andrew Everard said:
Well, people can put a list of their equipment in their signature, but the tagging is an interesting idea. However, our experience is that email alerts are more trouble than they're worth on a site of this size.

Yeah, I agree, email alerts are a pain, generally. Having signed up for alerts and automatic newsletters when I first got on the web I'm finding them less and less useful as the signal to noise ratio gets worse. It would be kinda cool to have some type of list of posts on equipment I own or am interested in (or even did own, in case someone asks a question I can answer about the old Sherwood amp I've not got abandoned in the spare bedroom)

Andrew Everard said:
I'm not too sure the company would take too well to people having access to the coding of the site, so that's unlikely to happen.

Yeah. I'm mostly after free stuff :)
 

John Duncan

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I meant to reply to this at the time. The website's built on Drupal (v6, specifically), so if you fancy improving the functionality you can always go and contribute to code there if your PHP's up to it. Advanced Forums would be the place to start ;).

Still no free stuff, though, I suspect...
 
A

Anonymous

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What about being able to private message another forum member? I know some forums do this. Doesn't mean we have to reveal our personal email address but I like the PM idea
 

Andrew Everard

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It's been discussed, but past experience and that of other forums suggests it brings problems of spam, unwanted messages and the like - and we really don't have time for that level of dispute-moderation.
 
A

Anonymous

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Andrew Everard said:
It's been discussed, but past experience and that of other forums suggests it brings problems of spam, unwanted messages and the like - and we really don't have time for that level of dispute-moderation.

Can pretty much understand that I think. Pity in a way as there are some really helpful guys on this forum who could do a really good one to one with new people in helping them out with equipment choices etc. However as it can work the other way as well probably your position is perfectly understandable.
 
A

Anonymous

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I work here by the way.

The backlog visibility is up to Andy and Andrew, after all it's there backlog. IIRC there was a thread in here about upcoming features.

We are just in the testing phase of a way of listing all of a users posts, this will hopefully be with you in the next week or two.

There is a long term plan of being able to add bits of equipment to personal lists, we created something very similar on stuff.tv called "got, want, had" that created 3 lists of kit.

Keep the ideas coming, we do read them.

By the way John, surely you should be working now you have a fancy new job :)
 

Crocodile

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Having moderated a forum much busier than this one I found problems caused by the PM system miniscule. It can always be made optional with opt out being the default so members have to actively opt in. Part of that could be an acceptance that WHFS&V accept no responsibility for what goes on by PM & will not participate in any disputes.

Good to see that progress is being made but the inabilty to make meaningful searches really limits functionality. How about a "search by author"? Entering a member's username into the current search appears unreliable unless what I've been looking for has been deleted.

Any chance of an easy way to convert a URL to clickable text without messing with HTML?

And what should be an easy one, could we have the date in UK format?
 

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