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Snooth User: dmcker

Suggestions to improve the Forum?

Posted by dmcker, Feb 3, 2012.

Just a couple of things that hit me today, again.

1) The edit function should allow corrections not only to the body of a post but to the headline of the original post, too. I wanted to correct some noun-verb agreement innacuracies after posting a new thread recently, but couldn't get to the header to do so.

2) There are an awful lot of subjects that get broached here time and again, month after month that probably hit many readers as same-old-same-old about already-discussed-so-many-times subjects, so people don't respond to them.The poster probably feels frustrated that they don't get any response, and discussion/traffic/general activity in the forum suffers. I'm thinking Snooth should have a separate box on the right beyond just a random sampling of 'popular topics' that could use a kind of hall of fame-ish approach at allowing access to old threads that either qualitatively (good coverage of certain subject areas) or quantitatively (all posts that go beyond a certain number of responses?) warrant a continuing life. Useful info can be revisited in a way where people can get their questions answered, and also join in furthering good discussion on the subject.

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Reply by EMark, Feb 3, 2012.

DM, two good ideas.  I particularly like any idea that encourages forum participation and your #2 is a positive move in that direction.

Here is an idea that might help new posters stay engaged when frustrated by non-response from "already-discussed-so-many-times" subect that they proposed.  I have found that the "Search the Snooth Forum" box off to the right does a pretty good job of research old threads.  I've even entered topics that I've wondered about but haven't seen discussed in the 7-8 months that I've been around.  I've pretty easily found old discussions from years ago regarding the exact thing that was bothering me that day.  Here is my pledge.  If I see a new topic that I know or suspect was discussed previously, I will use that "Search" box to resurrect previous discussions.  I will reply to the poster and not only include a link to the old thread but try to provide some sort of summary.  I might then throw in my 2 cents worth to shine my light on the topic.  I will of course ask other Snoothers to contribute and try to encourage the original poster to participate by asking additional questions, or give us his opinion.  

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 4, 2012.

Definitely like the concept of the hall of fame of posts concept, as for putting it into practice the idea of once the # of posts gets to a certain number, or if there could be a way to rate it or just elevated based on GDP's or the community's vote that should work. It seems there are a lot of topics in wine, but this would definitely help.

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Reply by Chris Carpita, Feb 8, 2012.

I appreciate the suggestions DM, thanks.  I like the idea of tallying the "karma" of all the posts on the thread, and sorting this way - I imagine it would filter out some of the best discussions.  Something to think about.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 8, 2012.

I understand how the second suggestion may take time to consider, but on a shorter time scale how about making the headers editable?

Back to the second issue, though, the problem I point to is a very real one. Even a partial solution like I propose should increase traffic/activity/relevancy sentiment.

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 2, 2012.

OK, so this isn't about the Forum but rather wine reviews. I rarely look at those by others, so am probably a bad boy, but when I did just go and look at Zufrieden's, I noticed *there are no dates* given for his tasting notes. WTF?! I then went to look at my skimpily few notes and saw that they were listed by month posted, but that wasn't actually the month posted but the month later edited.

Obviously the notes have less value if we don't know when the wine was tasted during its lifetime. Hell, I even want to know the time of year (and context, which is why I always include that in the few notes I personally post)!

So, uh, why are no dates (down to the day) given for the tasting notes?

Also, I found it hard to find Zufrieden from the pullldown tab menus. He used to be a 'friend' and now I assume he's someone I 'follow'. How do you search the list of people you 'follow'? I ended up having to go to the forum and click on his post, but would've appreciated a quicker route if I was outside the forum.

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Reply by scagan, Mar 8, 2012.

Not sure if this exists as a suggestion elsewhere, however, I would like to see a "print" option for articles/stories.  When reading about some great new wines to discover (or old ones to get reacquainted with) it would be great to "print" the whole story.  Having a printout (for those of us who may not have a smart phone/iPad to take with us) makes it easier when visiting local wine emporiums and exploring wines I want to try (of course, it is easier to call ahead to see if they carry what you want, but that takes all the fun out of it!)

 

Thanks!

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 9, 2012.

Perhaps if they were downloadable as PDF files that would solve the problem, both for printouts and for offline reading on electronic devices.

Separately, how come we're no longer notified when private messages arrive in our inbox?

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 9, 2012.

Yes, as I mentioned in another thread, but just want to emphasize how helpful downloadable PDF's would be for Snooth's or GDP's recommendations.

Will also 2nd the need for notifications (e-mails) for private messages, must have slipped through the cracks on the last modification.

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Reply by Chris Carpita, Mar 9, 2012.

Thanks for the reports, we're taking these comments very seriously and will be taking a harder look at site usability as we go forward, and fixing the bugs you mentioned

@dmcker if you go to snooth.com/publisher/ you can see click "Published Posts", where you can see all of your talk new topic posts and re-edit them, including the title.  I'll look at adding a button to the topic page that makes this more seamless.

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 12, 2012.

I wonder if there's any way to counteract these spam bots?

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 12, 2012.

Yeah, seems like there's more spam lately. 9Flights tickets to Cebu?! Keyon22's unformatted mess of a pitch for Asian escort services in NYC??!!  Don't see such on all that many other boards, and it seems someone besides GregDP should monitor the forum for such....

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 16, 2012.

Still not getting any notifications for new messages into my Inbox.

BTW, what's the character limit for single messages via that function?

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 17, 2012.

Notifications are back!

Just got e-mailed about a new PM.

Over and out...

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Reply by Chris Carpita, Mar 17, 2012.

Hey guys, I think I just fixed the issue with messages.  Also make sure to check that junk folder!

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 17, 2012.

Yeah, I've now received two notificaitons. Thanks, Chris.

 

One more thing about the messages. The dates on threads with other Snooth users only have months and days. Not years. This can be confusing when I have communications going back two or three years. Any way to add a year to the date, as well?

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Reply by Chris Carpita, Mar 17, 2012.

Fixed @dmcker, thanks for pointing that out.   The year is now shown for older messages, and we're showing the time of day as well.  Regarding your earlier post about editing the forum title, this is now accomplished via the "Edit" link for the thread owner.  Also we're showing the added date for reviews in My Wines now, in addition to showing all of your reviews (if you left more than one).

Agreed that finding people on the site is harder than it should be, I'm cooking something up as part of the product plan that will take this on.

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 18, 2012.

Thanks for the fixes you describe, Chris. It used to be damned easy to find people. How come you guys 'fixed' something that wasn't broken? ;-(

Along those lines, I just went and looked at my 'profile' for the first time in months. Again things have morphed in more complex directions, and again edit capabilities have been lost. One of my reviews that used to be for a 2000 Clos Triquedina New Black Wine is now, instead, for a 2000 Clos Treiquedina Prince Probus (next to a different review for the same wine). I clicked through hoping to change the 'title' (i.e. the name of the wine), but could find no way to do so.

You really need to make *everything* that we input as users editable by ourselves. You realize with all these changes, too, that navigating the site has crossed such thresholds of non-intuitive complexity that most of us just give up out of frustration after a few (for most users probably one) head-butting exercises.

BTW, how do you find among the menu tabs at top a master index of all the articles?? Your attempt to create 'channels' out of the menu tabs has really made simple tasks seemingly impossible! Would be curious to see if your traffic metrics show if they have increased user clickthroughs and impressions in any meaningful way, and proportions of that traffic for new users vs. repeat users past a certain threshold number of visits. To most seasoned users they seem to have limited our mobility. ;-(

Simple and best-of-breed-in-what-you-do are always best. You guys are getting your butts handed to you by WS and CT, and look at them.

And I'll hammer again on the need for direct crossover between article and forum content. *Not * that extra/separate-location-and-filter-and-complexity of the 'Wine Press'. A recent article on the Santa Ynez Valley would've gained immensurably from added, accurate content if it could've popped up in the Forum. Plus you'd have greater traffic in both directions to show! Better user-generated content and better activity sounds win-win to me!  ;-)

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 18, 2012.

Chris, as I asked above, what are the limits for PM length? I've been rejected six or seven times ('your message could not be sent') in the last two days, and it's starting to get a little old.

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Reply by Chris Carpita, Mar 18, 2012.

Dmcker - there are no limits for PM length from what I can tell.  If it happens again, can you note the exact time so that I can cross reference the logs?

The article channels do drive improved metrics - I think if you click "Top Stories" it shows all of the articles, actually.  How would you like to see articles included in the forum?  Inline with the other posts?  

The wine review issue happened on account of a false de-duplication, which I just undid.  On account of these issues, I set up the deduplication queue so that the data team won't touch anything that users have reviewed (starting about a month ago going forward). 

Wines and reviews can definitely be edited  - what edit capability has been lost?  

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 18, 2012.

Two days ago, when I was trying to send a lengthy post I got that 'your message could not be sent' box and nothing was posted to the interpersonal thread. Yesterday when I was doing the same things with a slightly shorter message I got the same box so chopped the msg into thirds and posted three more times. When I went to check later it seems the original msg had been posted even though I was told it hadn't been. Go figure. So I deleted the last three msgs and walked away mumbling about the extra time spent and confused messaging.

When you say 'drive improved metrics' do you mean actually improved volume of traffic, both newby and return, or do you mean segmentability and recognizability of that traffic? I'd be surprised if traffic is really all that better on a return basis, but then I've been surprised before. I suggest you add a tab for 'articles' the way you did for the Forum. Frankly, and you can poll all the certifiably return users in the Forum, the whole site and that slew of channel tabs is confusing and frustrating. Aside from you and Mark and a few others on the Snooth staff, I wonder how many people can navigate the current site with ease?

Yeah, feed the articles directly into the forum. You'll see increased response rates, for sure, and better info to the other participants in the article threads. Was nice to see Eric Guido actually feed his own article link in a Forum post in the past day.

As I said above, the problem was in editing the title/headline (i.e. the actual wine). I couldn't see how to do that, but then again I didn't spend a quarter hour trying to figure endarounds, either.

 

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