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    Less traffic since forum software upgrade?

    It's probably my imagination, but it seems as though there have been fewer posts since the forum upgrade. Has anyone else noticed that?

    I apologize if this issue has already been discussed, but I'm not crazy about the comment function. When I navigate to my last unread post in a topic, if I scroll up, it's possible to see comments that I haven't read. So maybe there is just as much activity but I'm missing it?

    #2
    I um under the same impression. The new platform is not as user friendly, and that may be the issue. One example I notice is that images don't show when using "latest activity"--you have to go to "posts" to see them. I don't know if it is a configuration issue or just that the newer software doesn't work as well. One thing I've noticed with software is that sometimes the designers do upgrades that downgrade performance--they think they know better than the users how it should work.

    Comment


    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      Can you give me an example where photos appear in the Posts view but not the Latest Activity view? I don't see that behavior.

      For example, I don't see that behavior when viewing this topic

      https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...aurora-classic

      in the Latest Activity view. Both gallery photos and inline photos are visible.

      Note that regardless of whether you use the Posts or Latest Activity view, there are filtering options in the toolbar that will affect what you are presented with.
      Last edited by Admin; 03-11-2019, 01:47 PM.

    #3
    User activity did drop off after the forum upgrade and I'm not sure why. I knew going forward that there would be resistance to any change, especially considering our age demographic, and expected some attrition, but it's not like there was a drastic change in the forum organization, posting methods, or the appearance.

    Regardless of whether one likes the changes here or not, it's the new reality and there's no turning back.

    Note that the user activity figures I have reflect all user activities including comments.

    You can view a topic with the comments stripped from their context in strict reverse chronological order along with replies by choosing the Latest Activity tab.
    -Admin

    Allen 965
    Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
    Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
    Hauptwerk 4.2

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    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      Interestingly enough, when I look at the daily number of new posts, there is not a significant difference. It's the number of replies that is down.
      Last edited by Admin; 03-11-2019, 01:57 PM.

    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Could it be that comments aren't counted, whereas replies are? I know you said they both count, but I've wondered, as the post count just under the avatar doesn't seem to increment with comments–just posts.

      Michael

    #4
    Thanks, Admin, for the tip about "Latest Activity". I had felt a bit lost, realizing that the order was no longer strictly chronological, but now I have a way out.

    One thing that I wondered about from the start was that in the old system, according to my questionable memory, there was more visual clarity to the forum page - that major headings were bolder or a different color or something. Now, when I scroll through the forum, the headings and subheadings don't appear as distinct.

    Otherwise, I like the appearance and overall legibility of the changes. I note the loss of automatic avatars for those of us who didn't choose our own. I guess it will just force me to find something on my own that I can use.

    When I see more or fewer posts, I just assume a normal cycle of activity and inactivity as we go through the year.

    Comment


    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      There are a dozen or so alternative skins from which to choose when viewing this site. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the style pop-up link on the left of the footer bar to see a list. Personally, I like the Dark style and would make it the Forum default, except I know from previous experience there'd be a certain number of people howling about it.

      The Gravatars (the automatic avatars generated off your email address) of the old site were provided by a plug-in enhancement that is not compatible with the latest version of this software and the current version of php framework, so I wasn't able to immediately restore that functionality. It's on my list of things to do, but I'd really prefer if people took a moment or two to upload their own avatar picture. The old adage about pleasing people applied to the Gravitars as well - I got more than a few complaints when I first introduced them.
      Last edited by Admin; 03-11-2019, 01:48 PM.

    #5
    I'm coming less and less. Mostly because the interface is a mess, forums that interested me have disappeared (pipe organ repair), a lot of forums that don't interest me have been added and I cannot just hide them. This means I just scroll and scroll searching for what I always visited, like Regeron mentioned, the structure isn't as visible anymore. On top of that the forum is so slow it makes scrolling not much fun. The comment function makes for a less structured thread.

    Ok, the changes are there whether we like it or not. But the difference is that this is not the banking application of my bank. This forum isn't something essential. So if it is less fun then I can miss it. So probably in a couple of months I won't be coming anymore.

    Comment


    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      Pipe organ repair had close to zero traffic, and it was just something else for most people to scroll past, something that you just complained about. I have not added new forums or channels, but have combined some, again to reduce the necessity of scrolling. I did add a list of links to the various forum groups to the sidebar allowing one to quickly navigate, without scrolling, to areas of interest. On the home page, these links correspond to the former collapsible sections. Within those sections the navigation sidebar shows an expanded hierarchical view of those sections and the channels contained within, making it very simple to quickly jump from topic to topic.

      I disagree with comments making a less structured thread. If anything, keeping a reply, in the form of comment, maintains the context of that response reducing the need to quote when replying. Less quoting means greater information density which in turns means less scrolling! However, if you want to view the forum posts in strict chronological order without the contextual information that comments provide, that's possible using the Latest Activity view rather than the Posts view. If you're scrolling adverse, the Latest Activity view has the advantage of being more compact as it strips off a lot of the repeated user information of the Posts view.
      Last edited by Admin; 03-11-2019, 02:01 PM.

    #6
    There was a difference, IIRC, in how threads were presented. Popular threads (with more than 300 views) were highlighted orange.
    I wonder if the slump has more to do with the time of year. I just haven't had as much time to post or respond recently.
    I like the new forum especially the chat format for the private messages. The only thing I miss from the old forum is the "related threads" links that were at the bottom of each thread. They made "rabbit hole" searches a lot easier. Definitely not a dealbreaker and I'm probably the only person who used them very often.

    Havoc, Have you tried admin's advice about subscribing to the forums/sub-forums you frequent? Any new posts (in my subscribed forums) show up in my notifications section. So, I can read through everything I want to. After that I might skim the "New Topics" for anything interesting that might not be in my subscriptions. I also made sure I selected the setting to automatically subscribe me to any thread I post on. After I'm done catching up, I "Mark Channels Read" from the home page which clears all of the unread threads in my notifications and in the "New Topics" page. It's not the same as is used to be but it works well for me.

    I do wish it were possible to "Like" comments to posts. Some of those are great in their own right.
    Last edited by samibe; 03-11-2019, 01:56 PM.
    Sam
    Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
    Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.

    Comment


    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      The "Hot Threads" icon designation was replaced by the Trending module in the sidebar. Trending Topics is based not only the number of posts in the topic, but also recent viewing activity. Trending Topics, then, are more indicative of the current interest in a topic, but I do miss seeing those topics with many posts being flagged with an icon, even though I never found that to be useful.

      You're using the Forum resources and your time most efficiently by using subscriptions and the New Topics functionality as you described. It is exactly what I do here and on the VBulletin support forum.

      Liking comments should be something that is possible, and I know that it is on the developer's list of enhancements for a future software revision.
      Last edited by Admin; 03-11-2019, 02:10 PM.

    #7
    Here is a posting where the attachment doesn't show on Latest Activity tab and the same post under Posts tab.

    https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...50?view=stream
    https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...50?view=thread

    Comment


    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      I've noticed that too, but wondered if it was a link that had disappeared.

      Michael

    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, in your post you said images don't show. Your example is a pdf attachment, but yes there is no link to the attachment visible in the Latest Activity view. I'll report that as a bug to the developers. Thanks for the example.

      It appears that the problem occurs with non-image attachments. I uploaded an image as an attachment, instead of using the Camera icon or editor button to insert the image, just the same way as uploading a document. The attached image is visible in both views. See next post.
      Last edited by Admin; 03-11-2019, 08:18 PM.

    #8
    This is a test to see if images added as attachments show in the Latest Activity view.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	Isis.jpg
Views:	174
Size:	62.5 KB
ID:	651993
    -Admin

    Allen 965
    Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
    Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
    Hauptwerk 4.2

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    • toodles
      toodles commented
      Editing a comment
      OK--this shows. I had problems with images not showing a while back, but they seem to show now. If I notice any other issues, I'll report them.

      Just my sense of things, but the new forum platform seems less intuitive. I realize the forum "can't go back" but the new software definitely seems harder to use--not just a matter of "comfort".

    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      They do. Bonus points if you can id the two pieces Isis is peering over.

    • samibe
      samibe commented
      Editing a comment
      I was just about to ask. No bonus points for me.

    #9
    OK--I found an older post (at random--I was searching for a specific topic) where the images don't show on the stream, but do on the thread.

    https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...bs?view=stream
    https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...bs?view=thread

    Maybe a bug? Maybe a setting?

    As to fewer replies than posts--I'm not surprised at all. The new platform makes is less obvious of what the latest topics are. I've gone to using the "today's posts" to find out what's new. If I miss a day, I may never see those posts. The "What's New" button on the older platform was a favorite tool of mine.

    Comment


      #10
      Originally posted by toodles View Post
      OK--I found an older post (at random--I was searching for a specific topic) where the images don't show on the stream,
      This appears to be a bug. The html to display the image attachment is in the stream view, but is set not to display. This post is from four years ago so would have been migrated from the old software. The html for the image attachment above, from the current software, is different. It appears that the new software treats image attachments differently than file attachments whereas the old software didn't make the distinction and there's a problem with the current software displaying non-image attachments in the stream view. It looks like I can fix the problem with a simple style override, but I want to run the problem by VBulletin first. Thanks for the example.

      As to fewer replies than posts--I'm not surprised at all. The new platform makes is less obvious of what the latest topics are. I've gone to using the "today's posts" to find out what's new. If I miss a day, I may never see those posts. The "What's New" button on the older platform was a favorite tool of mine.
      I never found "What's New" particularly useful, but AFAIK the Latest Activity view on the top level Forum Home page is functionally equivalent.
      Click image for larger version

Name:	LatestTopLevel.png
Views:	154
Size:	333.0 KB
ID:	652016

      In addition, there is the New Topics menu item, and the Latest Topics module in the side bar. What is lacking in these alternatives compared to the old "What's New"?
      Last edited by Admin; 03-12-2019, 07:23 AM.
      -Admin

      Allen 965
      Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
      Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
      Hauptwerk 4.2

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      • Admin
        Admin commented
        Editing a comment
        I was able to get the attachment images to show up in the Latest Activity view by editing the post and clicking add thumbnails to the example above. Clearly, the new software handles attachments differently than the old, but I still consider this a bug.

      #11
      I always used the "unread posts since last visit" button when entering the forum, since it gave both new threats I had not seen and replies to older threads, which gives a good overview. There does not seem to be such a button in this new forum, or am I missing something?

      Comment


      • Admin
        Admin commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't recall that precise wording from the old forum, but the New Topics button on this forum does the same thing.

        You can also accomplish the same thing by clicking the Latest Activity view on the Forums home page (see https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...012#post652012 ) and by setting the Filter New Topics On. You can see all posts, including the one's you've read by setting the filter to New Topics Off.

        These same filtering options are available at the Channel level as well.
        Last edited by Admin; 03-12-2019, 12:43 PM.

      #12
      Well here's an instance where the pdf attachments are visible in both Posts and Latest Activity views.

      https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...an?view=stream
      -Admin

      Allen 965
      Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
      Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
      Hauptwerk 4.2

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        #13
        Not sure if it will help anyone, but my workstream is:
        • Click on Notifications;
          • Scroll to the bottom and choose to show all Notifications.
          • Open each notification in a separate window.
        • Click on New Topics:
          • Open any topic I'm interested in with a new window.
        • Click on Forums:
          • Scroll to the bottom, and Mark Channels Read.
        Rinse and repeat until nothing new comes up. It's been working for me (as far as I can tell), so I'll keep doing it until I find it isn't working.

        Michael
        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

        Comment


        • voet
          voet commented
          Editing a comment
          I do the first two, but not the third. I have the following comments and questions.

          1. When I log in, the "Notifications" button at the top will indicate if I have any notifications, so I don't have to click on it unless there are new notifications there. I am not sure if this is because of some setting. Does it work differently for you?

          2. I also click on New Topics and then go to the bottom of the page. If I have not seen the last item, I go back a page until I get to messages I have seen so I know that I am not missing anything. I always open any topic I want to read in a new window and delete it when I am finished reading it.

          3. I do not click on Forums, scroll to the bottom and Mark Channels Read, since anything I have read does not appear in New Topics the next time I go there. Is there some reason I should add this step?

        • Admin
          Admin commented
          Editing a comment
          voet Mark Channels read insures that the posts that you are not interested in reading don't continue to show up New Topics. If I understand your method now, each time you look at New Topics, you spend time finding the point where new posts in the list begin. If you marked the channels read, only posts that you had not seen before will appear in the list.

          You can mark channels read for all channels at the bottom of the Forums page, or for individual channels at the bottom of the Topics list in the channel.

        #14
        I hadn't originally intended this topic as a forum how-to or even a gripe session. I also don't want to offer any criticism to Admin, since he didn't write the forum software and was compelled to do the upgrade. I think he's doing a good job with difficult circumstances, and his patience his admirable. I also used to develop business applications and I know how reluctant users are to deal with any kind of change. Many times I have experienced pushback from users when upgrading an application they were very familiar with. They hated the new version. And then, some time later, when it was time to upgrade the same app again, they were angry. They LOVED the current version. It did everything they needed! It was easy to use! Why upgrade?!

        So I have tried to keep in mind my past experience "forcing" upgrades on people and I want to give this new forum software a chance. But... so far, I really don't like it. Perhaps I simply haven't found a way to recreate my workflow.

        On the main forum page, in the right-hand column where the last topic posted in is displayed, in the previous version, clicking the link took me to my last-read post in that topic. Now, it just takes me to the last post.

        I also really don't like the commenting capability. If I recall from the earlier version, the editing function for a post was disabled after a certain period of time. I believe the reason for this (and I'm probably paraphrasing) was to maintain the integrity of the thread. But what is commenting, if not a form of editing? If I want to see any activity which is new, I have to start at the beginning and scroll through to be sure I haven't missed anything. Yes, I know I can look at latest activity and see the posts in reverse chronological order. But now the comments are divorced from the original posts, and are now without context. Am I missing something or is there a different or better way for me to view all of the activity in correct chronological order without having go searching through the thread?

        Comment


          #15
          Originally posted by tbeck View Post
          On the main forum page, in the right-hand column where the last topic posted in is displayed, in the previous version, clicking the link took me to my last-read post in that topic. Now, it just takes me to the last post.
          The old forum had two modules in the sidebar, one listing new threads, the other new posts. Currently this forum only has the new threads equivalent of Latest Topics. I think the behavour you recall from the old forum is that of New Posts. You can accomplish what you want by using the New Topics menu item.

          Originally posted by tbeck View Post
          I also really don't like the commenting capability. If I recall from the earlier version, the editing function for a post was disabled after a certain period of time. I believe the reason for this (and I'm probably paraphrasing) was to maintain the integrity of the thread. But what is commenting, if not a form of editing? If I want to see any activity which is new, I have to start at the beginning and scroll through to be sure I haven't missed anything. Yes, I know I can look at latest activity and see the posts in reverse chronological order. But now the comments are divorced from the original posts, and are now without context. Am I missing something or is there a different or better way for me to view all of the activity in correct chronological order without having go searching through the thread?
          I expect that the commenting option will continue to be something people disagree on.

          Editing or deleting posts can affect thread integrity by changing thread content potentially making subsequent posts meaningless or non-sequiturs. Commenting does no such thing. A comment is no more a form of editing than is a reply to a post. The only difference is its physical position on the page.

          The old forum had two ways of replying to a thread. You could click the Reply button at the top of the list of posts in the thread, or you could click the reply link below the post itself. This forum has two ways of replying to a thread (new terminology is Topic): the Post Reply button at the top of topic (using the instant editor at the bottom of the page is the same thing) or by clicking the Comment link below the post. What most people don't realize is that on the old forum, the two ways of replying had different functionality, just as the two ways of replying have different functionality here. Most people used the default view of the old forum, the flat view, where either form of reply appeared to be the same and in chronological order on the page; however, the old forum had a threaded view in which replies made from the post link were visually associated with the post being replied to, just as the comments are associated with their posts here.

          The problem with old way was that most failed to make a distinction between the two methods of replying, rendering the threaded view worthless. Also, because replies to replies created another level of hierarchy, the threaded view could become unwieldy. with many branches. The distinction now is clear. Comments are associated with the post being commented on and Replies are associated with topic as a whole.

          I think there are numerous advantages to using comments, but there's always the option of not using them and/or viewing them as posts in chronological order.

          In the New Topics list, topics with new replies are bolded while topics with new comments are not.

          The best way, in my opinion, of following this forum is to subscribe to the channels and topics of interest. The notification system will then alert you to new topics, replies, and comments and take you directly to them. Doing this not only addresses most of the complaints lodged here, but is also more efficient.
          -Admin

          Allen 965
          Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
          Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
          Hauptwerk 4.2

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