Half term thoughts

Rambling from the Sage of Oxford
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Charles
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Half term thoughts

Post by Charles » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:24 pm

At last, I am free of my students for 10 days and this has given me time to:

- read the last 6 copies of Autocar
- reorganise the pile of correspondence into envelope size order
- look at the house and write a list of jobs (for the Easter holidays at the earliest)
- and finally, read the threads on the forum in a bit more detail.

One thing that struck me was how useful it would be to have a rating system for threads in terms of the usefulness to other readers.

Now, before certain people think I am stirring it up after my recent post about moderation, think again and read my thinking below.

This forum is growing every day and searching for threads isn't the easiest thing in the world. The whole forum is littered with masses of useful bits of information but it is becoming increasingly lost in the noise. By introducing a rating for posts, members would be able to judge whether they are in the right place for advice - particularly if there was a specific "How to" section.

If I've done my sums right, there are now 17 threads about how to stop classic wheel centres from rattling, 33 winter tyre threads and heading towards half a century of threads about which brand of tyres would be best for "my B3/D3/B10/B5/B6/B7/B9/B11/B12" * (* delete where applicable).

Of course, such a suggestion comes with its problems - Neil loves it when I post such ideas as he groans about the potential work needed if anyone actually wants it - but I do feel it is healthy to look at what we've got and think about how we can reduce the noise.

So, if you have some constructive ideas on how we can evolve the forum and classify the content in a more effective way, then please let me know. No promises it will happen but you never know.

Take care

C
Charles
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Chas
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Re: Half term thoughts

Post by Chas » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:01 pm

Charles wrote:there are now 17 threads about how to stop classic wheel centres from rattling
But they still rattle :lol:

With regard to rating systems, I'd be with Neil on this one, but for different reasons. I know there are some forums which have inbuilt rating systems for posts, but I can't be bothered working them out. I suspect others can't be bothered either because I don't see them being utilised very much, if at all. I'm guessing if this forum doesn't have it already, we'd require a new host system to get such enhancements? That doesn't appeal because I'm a luddite and I'm used to this one.

I'm a great believer in keeping things simple and I don't think it's healthy to let ignorant plebs like myself make uninformed comment about the usefulness of posts made by those who are more intelligent. Who's going to review (or moderate) if I decide that one of my own inane comments is useful and gives it 5 stars?

My old E32 forum had a "Technical / How To" section where members would upload useful tips and Haynes Manual-type explanations with photos about common problems. This was very good and it was policed by the mods to keep it professional. That's as far as I'd go.

A 'Like' button could achieve much of what a rating system attempts and would eliminate all of those backslapping, bandwaggon-jumping additional posts which clutter up some theads. This forum isn't too bad for that, thankfully.

So that's my tuppenceworth. If you like what I've said, keep calm, raise a glass to my honour, and keep it to yourself :lol:

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Post by jamesa » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:14 pm

From one bunch of students to another then Charles ...

Do appreciate the thought but I`m happy with things as they are :)

Cheers :wink:
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Post by John_C » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:48 am

I think it's a good idea, but might be easier to achieve with an FAQ or a specific technical / how to subsection controlled by moderators. We had this on a forum I used to moderate and it worked well, you can't stop people asking the same question over and over but if you can point them at the answer it nips the thread in the bud.

This sort of thing:
http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=79
Posts are moved to this area by moderators and locked, it then acts as a knowledge base.

Also more generally a thanks or like button is a nice thing to have.

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Post by Hector's Dad » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:46 pm

Don't know if it's possible on here but on some computer forums, if you post a problem, when someone comes up with an answer which solves the issue, the original poster can mark it as solved. If you then have a similar issue/problem, OK, you still have to search the forum, but you only need look for threads marked as solved.

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Charles
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Post by Charles » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:19 pm

These are all useful thoughts, peeps - thank you.

I am starting to head towards a "Hints & Tips" section with recommendation from members about content which can then be moved in and additional content controlled.

However, more idea welcomed - so please keep them coming.
Charles
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Post by rcshott » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:29 pm

Charles... you shouldn't have asked!!! I'd like to see a 'pop up' window when the cursor is hovered over a thread topic to show the first few lines, this will vastly decrease the time spent looking through the forum and save the laborious task of opening every thread to see what the topic really is about.

I'm a little confused with three "search" areas at the top of the page. Are two of them exactly the same? The SEARCH words entered (for forum topics) must be quite accurate to what one is actually looking for. I've noted that thousands of useless non-topic threads appear. Could be ME, TOO!

I also see that things like the EVENTS CALENDAR, ALPINA NEWS and other info are a bit outdated, in fact the ALPINA OWNERS site map doesn't appear to work.

I also wonder about the list of forums at the bottom Right of screen, some, I suggest are outdated, no longer used or are doubled up.... such as "ALPINA wanted", "ALPINA for sale" and "ALPINA buying/selling". Also... "ALPINA forum", "General ALPINA forum" and "Forums" seem unnecessary. Or, maybe have a name change to better reflect their purpose. "Blog-tastic" does't work?

These are mostly minor but will clean it up a bit I think. I realise that time is restricted when moderators have to work to make a living, so I understand the difficulties. Otherwise, keep up the good work mate!
Jim
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Charles
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Post by Charles » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:40 pm

Some good ideas Jim and some good suggestions for tidying things up too - thank you.

Watch this space and hopefully some of it might well come to fruition :wink:
Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order ;)
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!

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