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What improvements would you like to see in this discussion forum?

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Well Greg hasn't created the new thread on moderation yet so I'm just going to say what I was going to:

- The very best thing this forum can do to retain members on MLW is for Greg and Charles to treat posters with respect (i've seen no problems/complains with Michael Hardner). I've seen a big improvement in this since we all talked about it a couple months ago and Greg also fixed the reporting system, so I can't criticize you guys right now you've been doing a good job since then. But there's been a loss of some really good members over the past year or 2 (ie: smallc, punked), & some (smallc) have said it was the heavy-handed and/or uneven moderation on here. I've been on other forums where the mods were total jerks & only one ridiculous suspension or locking of a good thread will drove me & others away forever.

Also, yes people need to follow the rules but the punishment must fit the crime, suspensions that are too frequent or too long will drive away posters since while they're suspended they will go post on other forums like newspaper comment sections (which are far more popular than MLW) and never come back to MLW. So when suspensions are given over warnings they should be given with forethought of the pros and cons. Hopefully this problem has been solved but I think it explains why membership seems to have drifted the last year or 2.

I, too, have been waiting for the promised thread on moderation. I agree with most of what MG said above. Virtually all the cases I've seen or heard of which resulted in suspension could have been handled with a far lighter touch. The member could be ordered to change or delete the offending post, and told what he/she did wrong. Charles seems to assume the member is always aware of that, but that is clearly not the case, either with me or with others. One or two day suspensions could also be used more often.

To be clear, here is a line which is pretty obvious when crossed. If you call another member a stupid Motherxxx so and so, well, that's pretty damned obvious. But my impression is that's very rarely the case. Of course, I openly admit I only know of the people who have posted about it, or written me, or of my own cases. I have always wanted more openness in moderation. And I've never quite understood the attitude that this is something private to the other member. When you get arrested your name goes in the newspaper. And I don't know anyone who feels mortified because he got suspended for insulting someone. I'd actually like a separate group where posts which go over the line can be placed, and then discussed openly. Let the member defend his post if he or she thinks they can. It can be posted without a name attached, if that seems wiser.

I don't expect much to come of this discussion, however. Greg has been pretty blunt in the past that the board will be moderated however he feels like doing it, and input from the members is neither needed nor wanted. I think the last time this subject came up he closed the topic with (to paraphrase) "If anyone has a problem with the moderation they're welcome to leave."

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Well I guess I'll stick my neck out and agree. I was suspended several times last year for reasons I simply couldn't fathom ... but lately it's been ok.

I think moderating is a thankless job though ... so thanks for for doing it anyway Charles, Greg, Michael.

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I would like the option of a threaded view of the forum and to include forced back-links into each post except for Opening Posts obviously.

THREAD VIEW

Toggling the button ON will display the graphical lineage of an entire discussion in situ.

Toggling the button OFF will return to the current display.

BACKLINKS

When reading a post, this back-link will take you directly to the post to which it is replying. This is a non-editable feature such that in instances where the post does not contain a quotation of a previous post, the reader will still be able to navigate unambiguously to the appropriate post.

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BACKLINKS

When reading a post, this back-link will take you directly to the post to which it is replying. This is a non-editable feature such that in instances where the post does not contain a quotation of a previous post, the reader will still be able to navigate unambiguously to the appropriate post.

We have this today - or were you just explaining that ?

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We have this today - or were you just explaining that ?

What he's suggesting is a feature where you can link back to the post that a reply references even when there is no quote. Currently, the forum does not have a "reply" button for responding to replies within a topic. You can reply to a topic, but you can't reply to replies without using the quote button.

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Thank you, CyberC. That is what I mean.

Today, the backlinks are part of the editable text. They can be deleted. They can be copied and pasted. They do not appear unless the poster quotes a previous post. They also do not necessarily link back to the replied post --- you can have them backlink to whatever post you want in the entire forum even if it is not in the thread.

All of that is fine and should remain. I want more.

I want a forced backlink that can not be edited nor deleted by the poster.

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I, too, have been waiting for the promised thread on moderation.

Patience... seriously, I want this thread to stay on topic and not be about moderation.

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I think it would be fun to have our own opinion polls running in the right hand column. Perhaps it could occupy the space that is currently being held by the Upcoming Calendar Events box.

Whenever somebody starts a thread with the polling/voting function, the same vote and results will appear similar to the MLW home page without any replies or comments. Take it a step further and we could have images/videos associated with the poll too.

If somebody wanted to reply or comment on the poll topic, clicking on it will send them to the thread.

Anybody interested?

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No polls. Polls are useless and can be manipulated, just like the 'likes dislikes' thing. We need to focus on the forums instead of all the frilly stuff that does not really contribute to discussions.

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provide the time delay option before edit notification is applied to a post. Most/many edits are simply a result of format change/spelling corrections being applied. Some forums I'm aware of allow one to edit a post after it's submitted... for a 'minute or so'... before the edit notification is applied to a post.

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Polls are useless and can be manipulated, just like the 'likes dislikes' thing. We need to focus on the forums instead of all the frilly stuff that does not really contribute to discussions.

if they can be 'manipulated' on a sidebar, they can obviously be 'manipulated' within the thread itself. Me likee the idea of representing thread polls on a main-page sidebar.

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provide the time delay option before edit notification is applied to a post. Most/many edits are simply a result of format change/spelling corrections being applied. Some forums I'm aware of allow one to edit a post after it's submitted... for a 'minute or so'... before the edit notification is applied to a post.

Not a bad idea to lock the edit function after a certain amount of time. I can get behind that. Just found out I can edit my posts on Youtube now thanks to the horrible google+ integration.

I do look over my post after I post it and then correct grammar, spelling if I can. And those quotes.

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if they can be 'manipulated' on a sidebar, they can obviously be 'manipulated' within the thread itself. Me likee the idea of representing thread polls on a main-page sidebar.

We need to focus on the forums and increase the amount of threads. A poll won't do that, the sidebar won't do that. All the extra features dilute the main purpose of what forums are.

How many times have people used the chat part? Not really needed.

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How many times have people used the chat part? Not really needed.

I hope to use the chat function more... In fact, I'd like to book a few hours each week in the chatroom, so that anyone can ask me questions relating to the forums -- even questions moderation (publicly or privately).

I want to dispel the notion that I or Charles are secretly conspiring to rid the forum of a specific poster or ideology. I'm not saying that notion is popular or widespread, but rather I just want everyone to know that I'm open to input and questions you might have.

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I hope to use the chat function more... In fact, I'd like to book a few hours each week in the chatroom, so that anyone can ask me questions relating to the forums -- even questions moderation (publicly or privately).

Might be good for that kind of thing, then again, we can send you a private message.

I want to dispel the notion that I or Charles are secretly conspiring to rid the forum of a specific poster or ideology. I'm not saying that notion is popular or widespread, but rather I just want everyone to know that I'm open to input and questions you might have.

I do not think any of us are accusing you of that. In fact we might be upset that a few posters are still around after various multiple violations and blatant trolling while some others quality posters have left.

My concerns are just with the threads and the decline in debate and new added threads, nothing more. But with new members that should improve. Now how do you attract people who will positively contribute while keeping the troublemakers out? Not an easy task.

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No polls. Polls are useless and can be manipulated, just like the 'likes dislikes' thing. We need to focus on the forums instead of all the frilly stuff that does not really contribute to discussions.

Sometimes the frilly stuff adds to the atmosphere. Not everything has to be stern and serious.

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We need to focus on the forums and increase the amount of threads. A poll won't do that, the sidebar won't do that. All the extra features dilute the main purpose of what forums are.

How many times have people used the chat part? Not really needed.

People don't use chat much because there's rarely more than a small number of people on at any given time anyway.

Increasing the number of threads is pointless if there aren't enough people to carry on discussions in them all.

However, I wonder if we ought to limit the number of pages in a specific topic? Once you pass fifty or sixty pages, is there really much to be said or is everyone just rehashing old material? And suppose someone new shows up? Are they going to go through seventy or eighty pages of material in order to join in the conversation, which has probably drifted wildly back and forth over that time? Or are they going to just jump in and start making points someone already made fifty pages back?

If a subject is still really worth discussing then a new thread can be started...

Edited by Argus

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Argus,

I do not like your idea about limiting pages in a thread --- not that I expect anybody to care, mind you. I know many other forums tend to do that. I believe you under-estimate the value of old discussions. As a regular member and as a mod, I find great interest in digging up old discussions sometimes and reading them entirely. Sometimes there is great information there. Sometimes it is entertaining. Maybe I am odd in this regard but I think there is great value to letting threads free to evolve.

I interject here because I believe my idea of nested thread displays provides a great compromised for members like you. You would be able to easily skip all meandering aspects of a discussion. The rest of us could still get to read the entire script if we wanted.

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Argus,

I do not like your idea about limiting pages in a thread --- not that I expect anybody to care, mind you. I know many other forums tend to do that. I believe you under-estimate the value of old discussions. As a regular member and as a mod, I find great interest in digging up old discussions sometimes and reading them entirely. Sometimes there is great information there. Sometimes it is entertaining. Maybe I am odd in this regard but I think there is great value to letting threads free to evolve.

I interject here because I believe my idea of nested thread displays provides a great compromised for members like you. You would be able to easily skip all meandering aspects of a discussion. The rest of us could still get to read the entire script if we wanted.

There are some here who resurrect threads as an art form. There are all kinds of reasons to do so, and I think the way it's done here at MLW is another aspect of our culture here.

I like the idea of following a thread but I have my doubts that there's a way to do that. For one thing, if somebody posted without replying then the thread would be lost. Also sometimes the meanders are parts of the fabric of the discussion. On the 85 Richest People thread, BC and I went on a huge tangent discussing Doris Day as the poster child for the tenaciousness of the successful, and then Kimmy came in at the end and took one of BC's responses back into the heart of the discussion.

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I like the idea of following a thread but I have my doubts that there's a way to do that.

Have you tried the "Follow a Topic" functionality of the forum?

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Have you tried the "Follow a Topic" functionality of the forum?

My understanding of the above suggestion is that a 'thread' is a subset of a post or topic: basically if you and I converse on a topic, then our interactions constitute a thread within the topic.

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Ok, I see what you mean now. Hmm, that's not an easy thing to do. Let me look around and see what I can come up with.

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It suspect that I am being misunderstood. Scratch everything I wrote about my suggestion. Replace it with: "I dream of an extra template that looks like Reddit or My Little Forum while still retaining the motif and functionality of the current forum for those who like it the way it is."

Speaking of which, I would love to include links to the above sites sending you directly to see what I mean. Alas, my computer is on the blink. I have the misfortune of using a Microsoft box and what-MS-passes-off-as-a-browser just to scrape by and post this. I feel the pain of all you Microsoft clients.

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When looking for something you posted it tells you just the thread you were in, it would be easier to show part of what you said ,which every other board I have been on does. It is easier to find what you are looking for. And I am all for the +/-.

Edited by PIK

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