Forums becoming too much

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Posts 665
Jim | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jun 7 2010 9:05 AM

I didn't look at my Logos Forum email folder for almost a week and ended up with over a thousand emails. I'm very happy that the forums are useful and that there is so much activity. I learn good things from those who ask and answer questions here.

However don't you (Logos) think it's time to get better forum software or at the very least organize this better as some of us have asked for in the past?

The current software seems broken:

  • I have not signed up to receive every post, just new threads, yet I receive every post.
  • I have RSS feeds set up to work in Thunderbird for L3 and L4 forums. It's hit or miss. There is no actual division between L3 and L4 in the content of the RSS feeds. (This has been reported elsewhere.) And for days there will be no feeds, then a slew of them.
  • The section in my profile that lists recent activity has always been empty despite my frequent posting.

The organization keeps me from finding useful information.

  • I don't want hundreds and hundreds of bug reports, crash reports and "what happened to xx resource" and "why didn't I get xxx" that are mostly issues for Logos or the "tech gurus" on the forum to deal with. Nor do I, at this time, care about the Mac or iPhone. I'm not unsympathetic to those users or to anyone having problems, the point is that I'd just like to not see those issues unless I want to.
  • The tag systems is pretty useless, but shouldn't be. It could be a great way to organize and find useful info if there was an enforced standardization of the tags.

The forum features are weird.

  • Marking an entire forum read/unread seems to have limited usefulness.
  • When I look at my unread list, there's no way to simply mark a post as read (when I'm uninterested) and there are so many that opening each one to get it marked read when I never cared about the topic anyway doesn't make sense.
  • I don't use the read/unread feature anymore for these reasons, I just get the emails.

Since December or so I've been looking at the forums several times a day, but  now I'm finding them less and less attractive because of the lack of good organization, half-working system and overload of content.

In my mind this says something about Logos.

Have a great day,
jmac

Posts 236
David Ladiges | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 7 2010 3:53 PM

Jim,

You have several good questions so let me try to go through at least some of the items behind your points.

Email/Recent Activity

One area that might be understandably confusing is the Site Options -> Activity Message Configuration section.

In your forum preferences (under Site Options), if you looking under the Activity Message Configuration at the Forum Activities check boxes, those check boxes control what gets added to your Recent Activity panel in your profile. They have no relation to what emails you get sent.

In fact, the only options with regard to email notifications are whether you are subscribed to a forum or thread and the options in the Email Configuration section of the Site Options (turning off all subscriptions, html or plain text, etc).  As far as I know, there is no option to get emails on only new thread creations.

So this may also be why your Recent Activity isn't updating as it should. If you have all the check boxes in the Activity Message Configuration section cleared, then nothing would update your Recent Activity.

RSS

The RSS feeds being buggy - there you have me. Those are buggy, even though I have stepped through those several times to figure that out and they always work perfectly during those sessions. I'll plan on spending some more time on that in the future, but that is one area I am well aware of.

Organization

As far as organization, not subscribing via email to the PC Beta sub-forum would reduce the number of crash reports, bug reports, and resource issues (as well as useful information of course). But that is one of the primary uses for that sub-forum, so it should be expected when subscribed.

With the Mac and Logos 4 tags being applicable to almost all content the tagging isn't quite as useful as it could be. But enforced tagging options kind of goes against the typical use of tags as most tagging applications have user created tags and are not limited to what we think are useful tags.

Forum Features

Marking entire forums read/unread was one of the most requested features when we moved to these forums, so apparently there is some use to this :)

 

Hope that helps explain some of the configuration and other items.

Posts 13413
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 7 2010 4:16 PM

Jim,

I bookmark two URLs and just check those. I don't both with emails:

 You'll probably find that checking those two pages daily gives you a good enough overview of what might be useful.

On the other hand, the biggest problem I have with the forum is the very poor search. Thank goodness Google indexes it very quickly.

Posts 236
David Ladiges | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 7 2010 4:27 PM

The search has gotten slightly better recently. Now, the main search page at least lets you filter by forum when searching. And it should be doing a little better job with handling search queries as well.

Posts 19139
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 7 2010 4:44 PM

Mark Barnes:

Jim,

I bookmark two URLs and just check those. I don't both with emails:

 You'll probably find that checking those two pages daily gives you a good enough overview of what might be useful.

On the other hand, the biggest problem I have with the forum is the very poor search. Thank goodness Google indexes it very quickly.

Ditto. I never subscribe to forums or threads anymore. I don't use the bookmarks Mark mentioned, but when I go to the Logos Forums home page, my work flow is as follows:

1) Click on Your Discussions to see threads that I've posted on to see if there have been any replies

2) Go back to the home page, mark all the forums I'm not intrested in as Read by clicking on the "Mark Forum Read" link to the right of them, then click Unread and work through the ones with subjects that look like they might be of interest to me.

And I'll echo Mark's endorsement of Google as a better way to search the forums. You can use the power of Google's boolean syntax (see my post here for some info on how to make use of that). Just include site:community.logos.com as one of your search terms and google will search the whole forum site for whatever you've constructed as your search. Read this post to see how to limit your search to a particular forum. See GoogleGuide to learn how to search more proficiently with Google.

Posts 8660
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 8 2010 5:44 AM

David,

Last week I needed to find a post in the pre-beta forum and was unable to since the search dialog for that forum is gone.  Any chance we could have it restored?  There's still valuable data in there to be mined.

Thanks.

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

Posts 236
David Ladiges | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 8 2010 9:37 AM

If you mean the PC-Beta forum, that  (and the Almanac forum) should be added to the forum search drop-down list today.

The old pre-beta forum probably won't be coming back.  While there probably was useful information in that, there was just too much information in there that isn't relevant to any current version of Logos 4.

David

Posts 8660
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 8 2010 11:26 AM

Oh. Well I meant the Private beta forum for L4.  Much of the information may have been superseded by now, but I still remember several posts, the gist of which are still useful.

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

Posts 665
Jim | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 11 2010 2:19 PM

Mark and Rosie, your suggestions are very helpful. Rosie, thanks for sharing your work flow, I studied it carefully and tried it out and I think it can work for me. Now I won't have to delete 50 to 100 emails every day. The activity seems to have jumped up quite a bit in the last month.

Rosie, it might be nice to have a Wiki page that summarizes the best way to set up and use the forums along the lines of what you shared here.

David, thanks for your thoughtful and patient reply. The explanation of what the settings mean was very helpful. You were right I was confused about what they meant, but have to say that they are confusing as presented.

I think part the problem I have is that the Recent Topics portion of the main screen is always off the bottom of the screen (I use a 17" monitor) so I tend to forget that it's there at all.

It would still be nice to be able to mark a thread as "Not Interested" (or Read ).

Have a great day,
jmac

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