Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I was just fooling around on the forums when I got to thinking "this is 2012 and forum technology has been the same for a long time. We click on a thread, read, click reply, type a message, click submit, wait, get a confirmation screen, etc.

It should function more like an interactive chat room. The conversation could be in real time, where the chat room name list could be the people viewing the thread. Want to see someone's signature? Hover over their name so it doesn't take up half the screen.

Instead of multiple pages, color coat the text you havent read yet.

Such poor ideas so I leave it up to you starfleet types to revolutionize forum technology. Go.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
06-10-2012, 05:05 PM
When I find the girl of my dreams on it, I'll be satisfied. Until then it could use more work.

What?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
06-10-2012, 05:23 PM
Directed towards the wrong folks.

https://www.vbulletin.com/

Knock yourself out. They just *LOVE* it when folks come in and tell them that they're doing something wrong and you want to make a suggestion on how to improve.

This is a support forum.

That's how they work.

if you want to host a chat room, why not do so?

edit: Also the legal costs are a lot less with a static site like these forums. With a chat room, you;re going to have to hire someone to monitor them 24/7/365.

reedit: I host 4 of these installs. They're paid installs with "support" worse than what you get here. I wish I could move them onto a different platform but all 4 clients are diehards on it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
06-10-2012, 05:37 PM
FWIW: If it ain't broke...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
06-10-2012, 06:01 PM
I didn't mean sto forums specifically, just general forum tech. Don't be a spoiler. I just want good brainstorming.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
06-10-2012, 06:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardassianNinja View Post
I didn't mean sto forums specifically, just general forum tech. Don't be a spoiler. I just want good brainstorming.
Just go use mirc, or some other irc, or stand in ESD and use chat. We already have 'live' updates if people want to use that kind of thing, forums work better because it is easier to review posts and catch up on something. Chat rooms are full of annoying spam that scrolls by quickly and everyone talking at once making it difficult to follow any particular conversation..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
06-10-2012, 07:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardassianNinja View Post
I was just fooling around on the forums when I got to thinking "this is 2012 and forum technology has been the same for a long time. We click on a thread, read, click reply, type a message, click submit, wait, get a confirmation screen, etc.

It should function more like an interactive chat room. The conversation could be in real time, where the chat room name list could be the people viewing the thread. Want to see someone's signature? Hover over their name so it doesn't take up half the screen.

Instead of multiple pages, color coat the text you havent read yet.

Such poor ideas so I leave it up to you starfleet types to revolutionize forum technology. Go.
Could you imagine how nasty or carried away people would get on anything forum based on real time? Diehard fans would be doing Mortal Kombat with words, there would be no time to sit back and think about your response or what the other person is saying.

Your suggestion would be good for role play sites thow.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
06-10-2012, 08:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardassianNinja View Post
I didn't mean sto forums specifically, just general forum tech. Don't be a spoiler. I just want good brainstorming.
I gave you my opinion and my experience. If you didn't want to hear it, you should have stated "Everybody but me" in your request. And if you don;t want to read someone disagreeing with you, well...

Considering you were talking towards "starfleet types" it reads that your comment is directed towards these forums.

You described a chat room. Many hosts and providers offer such. Many of them though are staffed 24/7, either due to legal concerns or customer service. Doing so is a very high expense. I used to do some consulting for a large scale host and staffing that chat room was their highest expense when it came to customer service. it also led to the largest number of complaints because it's too hard to do tech support one line of text at a time like that. Customers got frustrated and they complained.

A support forum works a lot better. You have space to describe your issue. Stickies that even though they're ignored quite often, they can be pointed towards so that customers can review the help in them. They're also searchable and indexable.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
06-10-2012, 09:43 PM
Before this gets too out of hand, I think the idea is less what can STO do with its forum and more why do a large majority of online forum software packages (vBulletin, phpBB, Invision, quicksilver, etc.) continue using the same design based on metaphors and ideas developed a few decades ago.

That said, it works and is something most folks easily understand and comprehend. It's not easy to introduce new UI or interaction methods and hope they gain traction, especially if the intent is to make it generalizable to any Internet community. Furthermore, as noted, the chat-style idea is basically already present in tried-and-true forms such as IRC and in-game features such as the zone chats (though, granted, they aren't set up into topics but rather areas in a virtual universe). There are times when asynchronous interaction, like here on a forum, can be superior to real-time. The two also present a drastically different, at least in some regards, style of member interaction and conversation. It's not easy to have a theorycrafting discussion on a ship build in real-time, for example.

This is of course compounded upon by folks just in the chat to **** around or mess with others. And then there's the valid issue of moderating -- while you definitely can log chat, it's nowhere near as easy to review and assess situations when needed unless you are present.


Personally I feel a better direction is to find ways to extend and/or enhance the asynchronous bulletin-board metaphore. These aren't new ideas but are not always implemented everywhere -- things like threading to show conversations within conversations, rating systems to filter content, and the ability to tie forum threads to a site's blog or news publications and features are things that come to mind first.

Specifically for this community? I don't know that more is really necessary, as a lot of the real-time interaction is handled in-game in the various social channels and in sub-group chats (some of which are also available out-of-game via IRC, for example) and instant messaging/whispers. Threaded views and ratings could be helpful, but at the same time folks do a decent enough job of quoting the post their responses are for when a lot of replies are coming in that it's not a huge issue here.


This doesn't mean there aren't other ideas we could come up with, but I suppose I am balking at the idea of taking this aspect of the STO community and making it more real-time. That said, there may be other communities where this is a very good idea.

For example, news-based communities may benefit from having live/semi-live updates of news stories paired with live user chat and commenting, allowing visitors to the site to both read news as it is published/reported and add comments and discussion on the same news with others while reading.

A community that is more closely tied to a geographic area can benefit from bringing in location-sensitive features. Tracking geo-location data in a post or thread could help connect the discussions to places and spaces within the community or townships / boroughs of the community. With the location information, it becomes far easier to also associate map visualizations with discussions and events in a community, allowing visitors to not only see what folks are talking about and join in any discussion but also place it in the world around them, or filter by locations of interest to themselves, and so on. More calendar features could also be appropriate. Location-specific features are still a rarity in online communities, though there are plenty of calendar-based plugins for vBulletin and phpBB for example.


Blah blah blah, I study HCI in my PhD program and love chatting about user interactions.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
06-10-2012, 10:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commadore_Bob
FWIW: If it ain't broke...
Patch it and break something else.
Reply

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