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Author Topic: Forum 2.0 Suggestion  (Read 11292 times)
alivingspirit
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« on: September 07, 2008, 09:01:00 PM »

The forum is, in my mind, an almost perfect form of communication.
It has the convenience of an email and it has the potential to reach everyone in the world.
I think it is time for someone  (DC Wink) to pave the way for the next generation of internet communication.
Something that combines the ease of email and the power of bookmarking.
A super-communicator not bound by the old ways.
 
Feel free to add things to the list.

Features I'm hoping Forum 2.0 will have.
  • All of the amazing features of DC forums: Unread/ Read, Emoticons, Code Highlight, ext...
  • The ability for the user to tag posts and threads.
  • The ability for me to mark a thread as always read.
  • Every post on one page.
  • The ability to cycle through posts as easily as photos on picasa.
  • Posts are collapsable like gmail.
  • Automatic collaps/ summary on posts that you've read.
  • Real time preview!
Edit:
  • Customizable themes
  • Powerful and easy filtering
  • Chat
Edit2:
  • Embed flash

I am not a web developer, so I have no idea what a project like this entails, maybe we are really far away from this.
What do you think?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 08:52:11 PM by alivingspirit » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2008, 09:15:56 PM »

I think these are really good ideas -- it's time someone really thought about next generation forums and your ideas are quite nice.

I'd turn this suggestion into a more general one:
Quote
The ability for me to mark a thread as always read.
What we are really talking about here is the ability to have powerful and easy filtering that puts posts/sections that you aren't interested in out of your way.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2008, 10:14:09 PM »

I believe most users call that "Ning"  tongue

Actually that's not true but many of the features you listed are already in Ning and there are quite some people who testify on leaving their traditional forums for Ning so Ning "lite" is a good base to start with, I think.

As for showing entire pages, AutoPager Firefox Extension allows one to load the next presumed page when you reach the end of the forum. It doesn't always work and many forums don't support it but it gives you the convenience of an entire forum without loading it all to begin with. (Try it on a popular blog like Lifehacker to see how it works)

Other feature that I would want is optional check box for integrating Technorati and Find in Forums results when doing a search.

...and finally this is probably more complication than it's worth it but it would be great if you can mimic Tangler's real time forum chatting with forum posts so you can either directly get a preview of the forum contents without leaving chat or view chat posts on a forum post without going to the chatroom but it's not really beneficial, just something that might satisfy the twitter generation of forum users.

There's also some things that are more technological innovations than features. Cases in point:

-Being able to participate in a forum through rss, instant messaging and Adobe Air clients

...which would lead to:

-Being able to participate in forums using a mobile phone as conveniently as while being in front of the computer

...which would be helped by:

-Better voice to text software
-Better text to speech software
-An application which allows you to write several offline posts that can be sent instantly to several forums at a designated time and which would crawl all replies back to that application like a rss feed only for forums only. This would majorly increase all spam though so an alternative would be an in-built cocomment for forum posts.

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sri
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2008, 10:25:19 PM »

Some of the forum scripts and hosted services that I have in my bookmarks:

http://www.lefora.com/
http://www.yuku.com/
http://www.jaia-interactive.com/home/
http://www.phorum.org/
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app103
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2008, 02:48:31 AM »

Be careful with over scripting the forum with too much client side stuff that would require a much more powerful PC than I currently own, please!

Otherwise I won't be able to post any more and I will be restricted to using Google's mobile version of it. (read only...all forms are broken, so no logging in or posting possible)  Cry

And I am sure I am not the only one that would appreciate it.
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psionics
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 05:10:30 AM »

nice topic  Thmbsup
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 05:27:23 AM by psionics » Logged
Darwin
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2008, 10:24:59 AM »

Quote
The ability for the user to tag posts and threads.
The ability for me to mark a thread as always read.

+ whatever we're up to now on these two ideas. There are threads that I have replied to once and have lost interest in. I'd love to be able to tag them as "ignore" or "always mark read"

 Thmbsup
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 10:28:44 AM »

Darwin those are the two features most likely to be seen on the dc forum in the near future.
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Darwin
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2008, 10:35:38 AM »

Excellent  Thmbsup
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Veign
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2008, 10:49:53 AM »

  • The ability for me to mark a thread as always read.
This I like.  Reason is there are threads that I may have posted a passing thought in but no longer want to follow.  It would be nice to not have it appear in my New Replies to My Post section.  Marking it as always read would handle that.
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Lutz_
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2008, 11:00:37 AM »

Nothing fancy:

a simple, elegant and space-saving design. In contrast to the standard boxy approach which is overloaded with features. Nothing against all the features and new features, but they have to be designed , hidden, properly to make them tolerable to the eye.

The by far best design in this regard is still the one from dpreview and this is 5 years old or even older.
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/
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crono
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2008, 11:36:26 AM »

I would love to have a Forum as a pseudo frontend to a mailinglist. I think this to should go hand in hand. I would like to reply to a post via email or start new topics by either using the webform or sending a email - maybe with some keywords in the topic. By subscribing to the list (maybe each sub-forum has its own) you would have all the info available offline.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2008, 10:18:16 PM »

Nothing fancy:

a simple, elegant and space-saving design. In contrast to the standard boxy approach which is overloaded with features. Nothing against all the features and new features, but they have to be designed , hidden, properly to make them tolerable to the eye.

The by far best design in this regard is still the one from dpreview and this is 5 years old or even older.
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/


No offense Lutz_ but that made my eyes hurt but dark backgrounds are just a no no for me.
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housetier
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2008, 08:46:59 AM »

I on the other hand like dark themed applications.
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alivingspirit
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2008, 11:09:00 AM »

Adding to the list:
  • Customizable themes
  • Powerful and easy filtering
  • Chat
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Darwin
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2008, 01:04:15 PM »

Adding to the list:
  • Customizable themes
  • Powerful and easy filtering
  • Chat

By chat do you mean a one-on-one private chat? Because there's always the IRQ channel, don't ya know!

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tranglos
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2008, 03:52:10 PM »

Another suggestion, probably easy to implement but a big usability step. Whenever a thread is split into several pages, the page navigation requires accurately clicking these smallish numbers:



It would be easier to have Previous / Next page links to the left (or on either side of) the page numbers. Mostly because it's so much easier to click a word than a one- or two-digit number; also because when following a thread I don't really care which page I'm looking at, my intent is simply to move forward.

Initially at DC I thought these links would do the job:



But they move between threads instead. Are they used often? (I.e., how often do people go to whatever thread is next, without seeing the title first?) In any case, it might be useful to rename them to "Previous thread" and "Next thread", to make their funvtion more obvious.

marek
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2008, 04:14:10 PM »

Tagging gets a +1 from Thmbsup
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alivingspirit
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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2008, 09:45:03 PM »

By chat do you mean a one-on-one private chat? Because there's always the IRQ channel, don't ya know!

Ask Paul. It was his suggestion:


...and finally this is probably more complication than it's worth it but it would be great if you can mimic Tangler's real time forum chatting with forum posts so you can either directly get a preview of the forum contents without leaving chat or view chat posts on a forum post without going to the chatroom but it's not really beneficial, just something that might satisfy the twitter generation of forum users.
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2008, 10:09:07 PM »

Another suggestion, probably easy to implement but a big usability step. Whenever a thread is split into several pages, the page navigation requires accurately clicking these smallish numbers:
 (see attachment in previous post)
It would be easier to have Previous / Next page links to the left (or on either side of) the page numbers. Mostly because it's so much easier to click a word than a one- or two-digit number; also because when following a thread I don't really care which page I'm looking at, my intent is simply to move forward.

Initially at DC I thought these links would do the job:
 (see attachment in previous post)
But they move between threads instead. Are they used often? (I.e., how often do people go to whatever thread is next, without seeing the title first?) In any case, it might be useful to rename them to "Previous thread" and "Next thread", to make their funvtion more obvious.

marek


Ditto on every point. A clearer/faster page navigation system would be nice.
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alivingspirit
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2008, 10:15:46 PM »

I just thought of another really good one. How about the ability for a moderator to mark really good posts on a long thread so if somone is looking at an archive he/she can just go strait to the good stuff.
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Lutz_
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2008, 11:02:28 PM »

Nothing fancy:

a simple, elegant and space-saving design. In contrast to the standard boxy approach which is overloaded with features. Nothing against all the features and new features, but they have to be designed , hidden, properly to make them tolerable to the eye.

The by far best design in this regard is still the one from dpreview and this is 5 years old or even older.
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/

No offense Lutz_ but that made my eyes hurt but dark backgrounds are just a no no for me.

Well, the color would be easy enough to change, although it is really not a problem.
The dpreview board is the most visited photography site on the web - I believe the elegance of their forum script, and the quick overview it allows over the entire thread, is the biggest reason for this success. The other site content is absolute average.
The overview over the forum is so good that it does not need most of the features that clutter other systems.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2008, 12:49:59 AM »

Well, the color would be easy enough to change, although it is really not a problem.
The dpreview board is the most visited photography site on the web - I believe the elegance of their forum script, and the quick overview it allows over the entire thread, is the biggest reason for this success. The other site content is absolute average.
The overview over the forum is so good that it does not need most of the features that clutter other systems.

Could you point out where the overview excels? I'm not disagreeing with you but I just can't see it. At best what I can see different from it from a quick skim is that it looks like Google Groups tweaked to look like a forum.

Quote
By chat do you mean a one-on-one private chat? Because there's always the IRQ channel, don't ya know!

This is one of the sample link but it can be slow to load.

The general idea is like IRC except recorded which is achieved through intense amounts of use with AJAX (biggest reason why the site can be slow) so it needs to be optimized but the end result would be like getting twitter results within your forum post if you replace the twitter users with the chat visitors that converse in DC.
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app103
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2008, 12:56:47 PM »

In the name of clutter reduction, I vote for moving some of the icons underneath our avatars to the profile page, and keeping them there. (starting to get crowded and unsightly)

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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2008, 09:00:40 PM »

Could you point out where the overview excels? I'm not disagreeing with you but I just can't see it. ......

Please have a look at the comparison screenshot (click on the thumbnail). On a much thinner slice of my screen (room for expansion?) I immediately get an overview over twice as many threads and immediately recognize which threads I have visited before, which posts have not been answered - all I need to know, while enjoying a much cleaner interface.
One advantage is that I do not have to stare at all the useless boxes and frames that are meant to seperate the posts but are superfluous optical ballast (OK, the frames are actually still there on the dpreview site. But they are so low key that they do not have any optical impact).
In my eyes bulletin boards scripts have plenty of room for improvements, less so in features, but predominantly in "humane" design.
The clutter usually seems to contradict all web design recommendations???

There are hundreds of photography forums on the web using the standard bulletin boards scripts - dpreview with its propietary script is the by far most frequented one (no hard data - this an estimate based on links to photography boards I come across) . Could be just by accident, but I do not think so.  Photography audiences and Coder audiences have vastly different geek factors obviously - my discussion was meant in regard to forums for a wider audience.

« Last Edit: September 11, 2008, 09:08:23 PM by Lutz_ » Logged
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