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Today's Posts

  1. Nov 21, 2004 #1

    AKG

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    Can there be a "Today's Post" link at the top of the pages (where the "New Posts" link is) which people who aren't logged in can use?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2004 #2

    AKG

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    So, I guess the answer is no? Do people read these suggestions, or should I PM someone about it?
     
  4. Nov 26, 2004 #3

    honestrosewater

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    I'm reading, but I can't help :frown:
    I do think it's a good idea and should be easy to implement.
     
  5. Nov 26, 2004 #4
    Whats the advantage of adding this?
     
  6. Nov 26, 2004 #5

    honestrosewater

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    Advantage to visitors:
    Assuming it functions the same way as "new posts"...
    >Convenience. Those who visit the site regularly to read but not post can view the newest posts without having to visit each subforum separately. First-time visitors can quickly get a taste of the wide range of topics PF covers.
    >Interest-expanding. Visitors could discover a new field of interest by visiting a curiosity-peaking thread in a subforum they may otherwise not have considered visiting.

    Advantage to PF:
    >Your site is more valuable to users.
    >Provides visitors an extra daily incentive to visit PF.
    Man, this is harder than I thought it would be :confused:
    >The "quickly" and "all" in "First-time visitors can quickly get a taste of all PF has to offer." increases the chances that they will stick around for more than 15 seconds, increasing the chances they'll become return visitors, increasing the chances they'll become members, increasing the chances they'll upgrade their membership.
    >Assuming the link is at the top, you can catch the interest of those people who don't bother scrolling.
    >It suggests a highly active forum.
    >People like current information. :redface:

    Well, the first few weren't that bad :biggrin:

    Whew, I'm glad you didn't ask for a cost-benefit analysis.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2004
  7. Nov 26, 2004 #6

    Moonbear

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    I'm not sure that would be as simple as you're making it sound. For example, I just clicked on the "New Post" link, which shows all the posts since the last time I logged in, maybe 8 hours ago (so 1/3 of a full day), and it's already 5 pages long. I think the display of the thread with the most recent post in each forum in the index does a better job of this than something that would just list all of the day's posts, since that would get very long and someone not into scrolling would be less inclined to scroll through that long list.

    I don't think signing up is just a matter of sticking around to read longer, I suspect there are some frequent readers out there who have never signed up just because they've never wanted to reply to a thread so haven't needed to sign in.

    What might be more helpful is a more obvious link that says something like "back to Forum Index" so those who come to this site via a link somewhere else that takes them directly into one of the subforums would find the index. When I first started lurking here, I had no idea there was more to the site than just the subforum I was reading (someone had posted a link elsewhere to a topic under discussion over here that caught my curiosity). I eventually stumbled across the index (the "Forum Jump" bar is below the bottom of my screen, so I never scrolled far enough down to notice it). While I now realize I can go back up the various levels by clicking on the links at the top of the page, when I first came here, those didn't stand out very obviously as links to me.
     
  8. Nov 26, 2004 #7

    honestrosewater

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    Yes, those last 4 weren't serious. Sorry if I was being too silly. Lesson learned o:)

    Okay, you've killed it with the unmanageable number of threads with new posts per day.

    In my defense, he didn't ask for disadvantages. :devil:
     
  9. Nov 26, 2004 #8

    AKG

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    We have it over at PhilosophyForums.com. It's very convenient. One thing we do with our "today's posts" is hide the pseudophilosphy, religious scriptures, and political events sections so they don't appear in today's posts. I know there's a whole bunch of extra stuff here like news reports (I'm not sure if you still have that, I know that every day there would be pages and pages of news articles posted automatically) which can be hidden so as to make "today's posts" smaller. However, when I login in for the first time in a day, or sometimes a few days, I have to sift through pages and pages of threads anyways, so it's not like none of us can bear the today's posts feature.

    But one great advantage is that you can quickly what's been posted lately without logging in. When you login you see the recent posts. Then, if you log out and then log back in, you only see stuff since your last logout. However, if you just want to see quickly what's new without "losing" all of those threads when you log out, a search feature like "today's posts" which you can use without logging in would be very handy.

    Over at PhilosophyForums, I think most people would say either that it's a great feature or some might say that it doesn't make a difference. With all the crazy features this site already has, with all the huge number of threads and categories, I don't think "streamlining" or "maintaining the bare minimum" is the design philosophy, so it's not like "Today's posts" would be a bad thing, and I (and honestrosewater, amongst others perhaps) would find it to be a really useful feature. I know from experience that it is. In fact, I suggested this on another forum as well where (like in this one) the response was small (just one person) but who also thought it would be a good feature.

    At worst, there's no harm in trying it out. If it's not hard to implement, you can try it and if it really is problematic you can get rid of it, but I can only see positives.
     
  10. Nov 26, 2004 #9

    Moonbear

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    AKG, I just took a look at what PhilosophyForums has set up so I was certain I was understanding you correctly. I don't think they get nearly the amount of traffic we have here. The "today's posts" link lists every thread with a post in the last 24 hours there (not just today), and it's only 2 pages long. As I said before, here it was up to 5 pages just looking at 8 hours worth of posts. I can't imagine anyone wanting to weed through that many posts.

    I guess it would depend on how hard it is to set up whether it's worth trying. If it's just a matter of a few keystrokes, sure, some might find it useful, but if it's pretty labor-intensive, then it might not be worth it for the benefit of only a handful of people who might use it, especially since there are better features that accomplish nearly the same thing, like tracking the most recent posts for users and the ability to subscribe to threads to track ones you're especially interested in following.

    Edit: I'll revise my argument. I just logged off to remind myself what is visible when you aren't already a member, and see that there is nothing at all resembling the "new posts" link if you aren't signed in. Now I understand the request.

    Nonetheless, I think it would be overwhelming and counterproductive to send someone to a list of posts that could be upwards of 15 pages long. Instead, what about a drop-down menu that says something like:
    Most recent posts:
    Last 1 hour
    Last 4 hours
    Last 12 hours
    Last 24 hours
    Since last visit

    You could do different time intervals than that...just an example. This way, someone could just look for really recent posts. It would also make the same menu useful for members and nonmembers (with non-members just not being able to use the "since last visit" option).
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2004
  11. Nov 26, 2004 #10

    AKG

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    Personally, I don't mind weeding through that number of pages, in fact, I'd much prefer to have to do that than having to log in every time I want to see posts (going from each forum to forum is not a great option). I don't always log in every 24 hrs. so a lot of the time I end up doing that (going through a large number of pages) once a day anyways.
     
  12. Nov 27, 2004 #11

    honestrosewater

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    Simply adding the option to sort the results by time or by forum would make the results more manageable; Users can skip over the forums that don't interest them.
    BTW I agree that having all the new posts in one list is much more convenient than opening each subforum.
     
  13. Nov 27, 2004 #12

    Moonbear

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    I guess the one lingering doubt I have is if all the new posts show up in one list, not sorted by subforum, then are guests and new members going to overlook that there are appropriate subfora for various topics? I'd be concerned this would add to the amount of posts in the wrong fora, especially since people then wouldn't see the stickies at the top of each forum providing instructions on appropriate posts.
     
  14. Nov 27, 2004 #13

    AKG

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    No. You can't post a thread from the "Today's Post" list, you have to go into the appropriate forum anyways. And I doubt people are stupid enough to randomly enter the first forum they click on and post there. We don't have that problem at the other PF.
    I wouldn't. And is that really a concern? Do you really think that this problem would arise because of the "Today's Posts" feature, and that it would be a significant problem? Do most people even read the stickies first (before making a first post)? And, of course, before someone posts, they would have to enter a forum, and thus the sticky would be there for them to see anyways.
     
  15. Nov 28, 2004 #14

    honestrosewater

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    The subforums ARE listed. Look in the "new posts" list. [Edit: I was assuming the new one would be modelled on "new posts". Also, you could make the "by time" and "by forum" options drop down from the "today's posts" link, so that people are aware of both options.
    Actually, even if you don't go with the today's posts idea, I think this option would be nice for "new posts". I think it's pretty easy to do- just sorting results by a column of info you already have and adding a drop down menu, right?]
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2004
  16. Nov 28, 2004 #15

    honestrosewater

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    Not seeing stickies is a good point. You could put a reminder on the results page to read the rules for each forum.
    You could add the reminder either as a sticky itself, or, if that isn't possible, in the cell where "Search: New Posts" appears.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2004
  17. Nov 28, 2004 #16

    AKG

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    Like I said, in order to post, an individual must first enter a subforum anyways (you can't post from the "New Posts" list, can you?). When that person enters, he will see the sticky, so what's the problem?
     
  18. Nov 28, 2004 #17

    chem_tr

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    I think RSS system will be sufficient, but I have not read the posts, sorry.
     
  19. Nov 28, 2004 #18

    honestrosewater

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    Right, you can't post new threads, but you can respond to posts. And the stickies contain rules about what is appropriate in posts (ex. in philosophy, posts discussing religious institutions, in physics, discussions including mainstream v. untested theories, etc.)
     
  20. Nov 28, 2004 #19

    AKG

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    I can't honestly believe that this is a real problem. From experience, (we have "Today's Posts" at philosophyforums.com) it's not a problem. How many people actually read the stickies? How many people who were going to post junk actually end up deciding not to post it after reading the sticky (people who want to post junk might think that their post is good enough according to the rules anyways)? How many people will respond to a thread on some philosophical topic with a post that has entirely to do with religious institutions and nothing to do with the topic at hand, and wouldn't have done so if they had seen the sticky (I don't think stickies deter people like this)? How many people will see a thread in physics and respond with an untested theory, who wouldn't have done so if they had seen the sticky? What makes you worry that this problem of inappropriate posts will increase significantly (or even at all) if we have a "Today's Posts" feature?

    In my experience, it's a nice feature, very convenient for a number of reasons I've listed, and has never given any of these problems you all seem so worried about. Has anybody who is in a position to do something about this suggestion actually considered this suggestion? If so, does it sound good or bad? Has it even been considered at least? I'm not going to waste time convincing the staff here that it's a nice feature, once they've made up their mind, that's that. I've given enough reasons in this thread, it's shouldn't be too difficult to decide whether you think it's useful or not, and I know there's no point in me trying to convince you guys that it is, beyond what I've already done. At this point, I'm just curious to know if the suggestion has even been considered. If you haven't considered it, please do. If you have and are undecided, please read this thread, I don't think it's a complicated issue. If you have decided, please share your decision.
     
  21. Nov 28, 2004 #20

    honestrosewater

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    AKG,
    The stickies with titles like, "Please Read Before Posting" (6479 views) and "Before you post that religious topic..." (4260 views) are, hopefully, likely to be read. Most people who post here are not abusive and will follow the rules if they are aware of them. Anyway, all stickies are there for a reason and should at least be seen.
    The problem may not be significant, but, if it can be easily avoided, it should. And, as I've said, to avoid the problem, put a sentence at the top of the search results. Easy as pie.
     
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