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feedback, suggestions or criticisms from sradwxi

Travel Forums System Talk feedback, suggestions or criticisms from sradwxi

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1. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

suggestions:
when i subscribe to a post, i get an email every time it has a reply, so i go to bed and i get 6 or more emails from one single topic
on most other forums you will get a single topic reply notification to show that there has been replies to the post since you last visited
could this be changed?
i know the way this one os set out, it doesnt just give you a topic reply notification, it gives you the notification plus the actual reply inside the email you get, so maybe this is why there are repeated notifications, and maybe it cant be sorted because of the way its set up
it was just a thought
feedback:
its a great site and ive found tons and tons of useful information, id like to thank everyone who has helped me at some time or another, either with facts or with funny comments on some of the other off topic posts
basically, if i hadnt came accross this site, i would have been going to bombay with no clue where to stay and no clue what to do when i land
this site has gave me contact with some great people with some great knowledge
when i first joined i found it a bit quiet, i placed a post and didnt get a reply for a few days, but thats changed and now im happy
criticisms:
well is it really a criticism or is it a case of ignorance on my part, ive tried to include pics hosted on places like photobucket in my posts to give a clearer description of what im trying to say, and i cant seem to do it, it doesnt work in the normal way,
is it possible to place any kind of image tags on a pic link to show them in the main forum posts?
i do understand that if it was introduced, it has the possibility to change the whole look and feel of the site,
i run a forum of my own so i also understand what problems can arise from introducing something like this

anyway i hope u see my criticism as 'constructive', and my suggestion just as it is, 'my own thoughts'
cya soon
carl

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

Hey Carl,

Thanks for the suggestions and comments and also positive feedback! Always good to get people's point of view because we get jaded from using things in a certain way all the time so take them for granted.

Forum mail outs. I know what you mean regarding multiple emails, but personally I prefer it this way. Mainly because it means I don't actually have to visit the site to see what is being answered to a thread I'm subscribed to. I can then choose which entries require a reply back from me for example. If a thread goes off topic, I just tend to hit the unsubscribe button. The other big benefit of doing it this way is that if you see an email come in with an answer and then respond quickly to it, it usually leads to another answer straightaway. If there is just one email a day, the threads die out much quicker since people might have lost interest in the mean time, no longer be online etc. Google does this in their groups and I'm continuously frustrated by it. Of course there could be a setting in a profile which figures out what option each member prefers and acts on that, but that is quite a lot of extra coding for what is a problem that really comes down to email management. Gmail and Apple Mail for example allow for threading email discussions which means that all the emails are kind of bunched into groups based on the subject. That way your email inbox shouldn't be cluttered at all (a thread takes up the same space as one email). Does that make sense? If a LOT of members prefer this though we're always happy to consider.

We've discussed allowing pics in the forum before and the main reasons we've chosen not to activate this (it's possible in the blogs for example using the same code to insert photos from other sites) are a. loading times b. speed c. design/clutter and d. relevance. A and B are really the key here since a lot of users are visiting the forum on slower internet connections while travelling. If you have to wait for a 1MB photo to load on the page to read the reply to your answer, then that can be REALLY annoying. It would almost certainly mean less people using the forum to get/give advice and that's something we really don't want On point C; I know some forums pull this off in quite a nice way, but on TP it really wouldn't sit well within the design and overall look/feel of the site. With point D I mean what would be the added value of allowing embedded images directly in an answer. I can see where someone asking about a destination could warrant a beautiful pic of the destination to convince them to go there, but is there any added value in having the image embedded over including a clickable link directly to that destinations featured photography (on TP) or an image hosted elsewhere? As I mentioned earlier, the functionality for this is already included in the blogs (and wiki as well) so technically it's a no brainer, but I think most of us -including a large majority of members- are pretty opposed to adding it to the forums.

As always, if tons of others really like an idea, we're happy to consider it and add it to the ever growing 'to do' list :)

3. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

yeah they are all valid points, so i know why them things are like that now it makes sense.
i doubt a great ammount of people would like to change the forum around anyway, its good as it is, well i think so anyway, so nice one for the explanation
i posted a post in a suggestion box in a site one time and the reply was
so what!!!!!
i mean why bother having a suggestion bit if your gonna reply to suggestions like that
lol
crazy, but i do understand why and i will live with the extra emails, its not a real problem, it just didnt conform with most of my other emails lol
i can easy set a filter so they go to a different folder and read them there keeping my inbox clutter free
thanx for the reply
cya soon
carl

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 8y

Now that folk are feeding back, suggesting and critisising I would like to join in.

I have a suggestion inspired by Facebook and something Sam said about certain types of converstations not sitting well on TP.
What if there are threads that are owned by a person or a group to address hot topics such as religion, human rights and the rest of the trouble making group. A summery of the thread topic could be visible to everybody so that those who are interested could express an interest in joining and the owner of the thread could allow them access if they are serious about the discussion.
These threads would be monitored by the owner who would be allowed to delete unsuitable posts made and evict hecklers.
If there is no way to accomodate all types of travellers I think TP is in danger of becomming too much a site for mainstream travellers and the topics may become too bland to attract much attention. I think that may be partly the reason for the quietness that Sradwxi noticed when he joined.

I never subscribe to posts because I can generally remember which ones I posted in so dont have the heap of updates clogging up my inbox. But for one reason I tend to agree with Sradwxi that only one message should be sent to let the member know that more posts have been made on the thread they subscribed to. It would prevent people getting too many notifications that posting slobs like me have posted again instead of making a big fancy post like the neat and tidy members. I think that would be another way to accomodate different types of members so that travelling is what the site is about and not other things.

Mel

5. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

Mel., I'm really not too sure about the first idea. It would become very cluttered for people visiting the site as to who is deleting their posts or kicking them out of threads. There should be some clarity in that regard and a system like you mention would quickly end up confusing a WHOLE LOT of people. Personally I'm quite fine with 'bland' in the topics. If by bland you mean travel related questions :) There is a way to do something like this and that would be to allow for the creation of Groups, similar to what FB and most other networking sites have. It'd be a function totally separate from the forums though. This is something I've certainly been considering for development in 2008... no guarantees as to if/when it arrives though

The second point brought up something I forgot to mention in my first reply regarding keeping an eye on threads you've posted in without it cluttering up your inbox. We created two ways of keeping an eye on threads you've been active in, without subscribing via email. I remember posting about this a while ago in the Thorntree update thread:

Quoting "http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=44630"

If you select the forum template when you customize your home page, the third block down has your 10 latest posts, with those having received a reply since your activity being bold. There's also a link there to check your last 50 if you are really in the mood for back tracking. Of course if you don't want to use the forum template (personally a big fan of the photography one) you can just add this by clicking on the Add Content link at the top of your home page. It's the 'My Latest Forum Entries' box that you want to add. As always, you can drag these boxes around the page to where you prefer them.

It's a pretty useful way of staying updated of which threads are getting answers without actually seeing all the answers in your inbox.

6. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

On a related note, Sam (I can't for the life of me remember the answer to this one...): Is there any way to unsubscribe from all threads in one shot? Instead of clicking unsubscribe in each thread, is there a kind of "master" unsubscribe button that I can click and be done with it? I subscribe to everything, then get stuck 5 minutes before leaving on a trip, trying to unsubscribe to 50 threads. Maybe I should just not be so ambitious...

7. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

Quoting tway

On a related note, Sam (I can't for the life of me remember the answer to this one...): Is there any way to unsubscribe from all threads in one shot? Instead of clicking unsubscribe in each thread, is there a kind of "master" unsubscribe button that I can click and be done with it? I subscribe to everything, then get stuck 5 minutes before leaving on a trip, trying to unsubscribe to 50 threads. Maybe I should just not be so ambitious...

There is no 'master unsubscribe', but I am pretty sure that if you switch off email notification in your message center, you stop getting all emails from TP (80% sure, not 100!)....

8. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

Quoting Sam I Am

Quoting tway

On a related note, Sam (I can't for the life of me remember the answer to this one...): Is there any way to unsubscribe from all threads in one shot? Instead of clicking unsubscribe in each thread, is there a kind of "master" unsubscribe button that I can click and be done with it? I subscribe to everything, then get stuck 5 minutes before leaving on a trip, trying to unsubscribe to 50 threads. Maybe I should just not be so ambitious...

There is no 'master unsubscribe', but I am pretty sure that if you switch off email notification in your message center, you stop getting all emails from TP (80% sure, not 100!)....

No - tried that and it didn't work. I haven't even retyped my e-mail address in my profile, come to think of it...

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Quoting Mel.

I have a suggestion inspired by Facebook and something Sam said about certain types of converstations not sitting well on TP.
What if there are threads that are owned by a person or a group to address hot topics such as religion, human rights and the rest of the trouble making group. A summery of the thread topic could be visible to everybody so that those who are interested could express an interest in joining and the owner of the thread could allow them access if they are serious about the discussion.
These threads would be monitored by the owner who would be allowed to delete unsuitable posts made and evict hecklers.
If there is no way to accomodate all types of travellers I think TP is in danger of becomming too much a site for mainstream travellers and the topics may become too bland to attract much attention. I think that may be partly the reason for the quietness that Sradwxi noticed when he joined.

One item that Sam intimated at but did not comment directly on - no one member owns the thread they originated. Yes, people will comment on what type of responses they want or don't want in the thread, but they honestly do not have that control. When it comes to content, postings and the decisions of what should/shouldn't remain, that is on the shoulders of the Moderators and Administation. Since TP is open to everyone, everyone has a right to post where they see fit (fun or informative). Once members are allowed to make those decisions and delete at will, TP would become quite user-unfriendly. As Sam mentioned, member would become very confused and ultimately leave in search of some other website. The issue of "ownership" of threads has been discussed many, many times in System Talk and basically, everyone "owns" each and every thread.

As for the quietness of TP - it is cyclic in nature. There are always periods of flurried postings and responses followed by lulls in activity. Members leave on travels, holidays come around, and some kick their addiction because real life taps them on the shoulder.

I subscribe to threads that may be of a sensitive nature or have the possibility of becoming problematic. I also subscribe to threads that interest me but unsubscribe when they have become no longer active. It keeps my e-mail a bit more uncluttered.

10. Posted by sradwxi (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

i think the usergroups idea is good for some forums but not all, adding a usergroup and making a certain section only viewable to people in that user group is easy enough, but, it does come with its problems if you allow the general users (those who do not always act in the best interests of the site) to stop people posting their opinion, or if you give the general users permission to delete or edit another members posts.
i personally would be very offended if a general member decided they didnt want to read a post id made and just deleted it for their own personal reasons, however if a moderator or admin decide that one of my posts is potentially harmful to the site then they do have to take that decision upon themselves and risk making a member unhappy
admin and moderators have to always act in the sites interest
members are there for their own personal gain or entertainment, or in the quest for knowledge
allowing members to gain moderator or admin access to posts (wether that member is the one who created the post or not) can and probably will result in lots of unhappy members
were not all adults and respective of others opinions
there are many ways of looking at it and its a case of weighing up the pros and cons on the idea
on the site i run, if im faced with a decision like this, i usually put it up to a moderator vote, and place myself in the role of a moderator rather than admin and give myself the same voice as other mods, we will all boice our opinion on the subject, and if there is any way whatsoever that the decision can cause major damage to the site, the idea will be declined
after all, in the eyes of the law, the admin are responsible for what is shown on the site and not the member who posted the comments
i recently removed my swear filter, after a vote from the general members
since then there has been very few instances of people swearing
beforhand, when the filter was active, people would constantly try to manipulate the filter,
things dont always work out as you think, i was in 2 minds whether to keep the filter or not, we do have children on there, although its mainly adults
but admin have a sense of responsibility towards the members, and to protect the site at all costs
the last thing i would like is an uproar over the way one individual treats the site

some very valid ideas floating round here, the discussion is how we learn why things are how they are
carl