Well a year or so ago there was a constant turnover of discussion topics, they tended to attract a bunch of around 10 or 20 posts and then slip away only to re-emerge later. Opening the first couple of pages of the recent posts list gave you a very quick picture of what folks were talking about and you could pitch in when you liked. There were always up to ten lively discussions going on.
Now more than 90% of the first 5 pages of recent posts are vines. Any new discussions that get started just fall off the list in hours before others can pick them up and join in. So a lot of the fun forums just dry up. Just look in the list of forums and see how many have stagnated. I really don’t think it is because people do not want to post on forums any more; they just don’t know about them.
As I mentioned when I posted in November and others have now repeated, the neatest fix could be to stop classifying vines as forums or even to make a separate space for vines.
Maybe I am wrong in pinpointing this as the cause, but I do think it is a shame that so many of the discussion forums have stagnated
.....the vines showing up in the recent posts section. I constantly "rediscover" vines that I passed by the first time simply because a lot of chatter starts and I want to see whats up. Also, once I type this comment and hit "Post", doesn't this topic move to the top of the list? I really think that the major news topics, like new releases, tours, interviews, etc. are usually displayed on the front page of the site anyway.
However, I do agree that there is a lack of discussion from time to time on topics that deserve a little more attention. I don't really know the answer to that one. It is hard to say who should decide which topics are important. For instance, I really enjoyed the squirl discussion even though I didn't see that one coming. As stated above, I don't really feel the need to open the posts " when somebody posts photos of the ticket stub for every show they've been to", but I do enjoy the little suprises that constantly floor me on this site.
I know I have not offered a solution here, but I am glad to be able to add my two cents.
I'm looking into the separate-category option, which I think is doable. Please keep these comments coming, they're very helpful. Thanks!
There can be no doubt that the vines are the most heavily used forum topics, and I think that's the rub here. If there was a way to categorize vines as something other than forum topics, then the Filter By combo at the top of the All Recent Posts page could be used to filter them out for those who are interested in topics other than vines, or to include only them for those so inclined.
WRT new items in forum topics, once upon a time the Forums tree pages contained validly constructed URLs to both the "new" items (meaning posted since the user's last visit to that topic) as well as the last item posted in that topic and the poster of same. While the All Recent Posts page had similar looking URLs, they were improperly constructed, meaning that they did not support the necessary pagination to arrive at the page containing the items tagged as #new. As such, you would always end up on the first page of posts in that topic if you followed them.
In any event, none of that functionality survived the move to the new hosting provider, and I suspect that it's not only Badger that misses it. I know I don't have his bandwidth constraint issues and I would certainly welcome not having to do the mental math required to figure out which post on which page is actually the first one in that thread that I haven't yet seen. Not that it's really all that taxing, mind you, just kind of annoying to have to deal with. For users with limited bandwidth I could readily see how it would get very old very fast.
While there are many of us who obviously do our level best to keep up around here, I suspect that many of us are not bereft of other worthwhile endeavors, and that substantially improving the facility of navigation would likely be seen as a welcome enhancement by all.
Not that I'm purporting to speak for anyone else here, just voicing my suspicion.
Conversation is always more interesting than recitation, so speak your mind and not someone else's.
I'm one of those that usually monitor "Recent Posts" to keep up with the vine topics, and occasionally use the "Filter by type" to narrow down the posts (like when somebody posts photos of the ticket stub for every show they've been to). Incrementing through pages can be time consuming. Would it be possible to have "vines" made into a separate type, so they can be eliminated from a Recent posts listing of Forum Topics using the "Filter by type" function?
*The white zone is for loading and unloading only*
I think some things are more fixable than others, but I'm not sure which are which.
To address in particular the issue of the Vineyard: please deconstruct the problem for me a bit as to how it is allegedly killing off the thoughtful discussions. Is this simply a matter of Recent Posts running heavily to vines? If so, surely people scroll down and on to the next page in search of topics that interest them rather than simply ignoring anything that's more than four hours old. No?
While I heartily agree that the navigation could be a lot better hereabouts, I'm not seeing the particular issue here, but this is no doubt because every day, usually several times, I do exactly what's described above and hence find and follow the recent discussions.
Now I also recognize that people have different navigation styles, because when I occasionally put a vine somewhere else than in the Vineyard (an issue that's simply irrelevant to the Recent Posts navigation style) I hear about it within minutes. So some people go straight to the Vineyard, and I don't see how that adversely affects the discussion.
So if there's a problem to be solved here, can we define it a bit more precisely? Thanks.
On Nov 24 I posted some friendly ideas here about how to tweak a few things to make the site better. Well apart from the very nice feature about Billy K, there has not been much change I can see.
The really annoying navigation glitches have not been fixed...surely the 'go to most recent post' issue is not hard to fix and it would make such a difference, especially for those of us who are bandwidth challenged. It takes so many clicks and waits to get to where you want to go that it is a real disincentive to go looking for things.
If the tech people can find time to make clever flash graphics and secret messages on the front page then why on earth can they not find time to fix something that folks have been quietly requesting for over a year??????
MOST RECENT POSTS and VINES
I am sorry, but the Vines are now so totally swamping the recent posts that all other discussions are rapidly lost. The only ones that manage to surface on a regular basis are Spinning Free, Positive Vibes and the Faiths and Beliefs one, I have tried a few times to revive others but without success (and I think others have too). I have given up posting anecdotes, stories and jokes because the threads just die. It is not as if there are not enough people here, there are many more. You all know that I am a big supporter of the Vineyard, but it really does need a separate space here. It is a real shame we are losing all those other fun threads. I appreciate the desire not to rock the boat on the vines, but they are hardly a secret are they..and maybe it would be better if they are a little less obvious on the site.
Well it was nice to see Billy here, but what about the others? There is a big feature on the Dead with interviews etc in Relix magazine this month, but still nothing here. Is there a problem?
I keep coming back here, because I have friends here and have had so much fun here, but I am increasingly wondering why I bother. Well if it is time for the old guard to step aside and accept that things have moved on then so be it, but I think we are losing something precious in the process.
I said in November that I did not think my comments would make any difference... ..I would still love to be proved wrong
......YOU MIGHT KNOW ABOUT SOME PERSON WHO IS DEAR TO YOU AND ONE DAY THIS PERSON WAS GONE.WHERE?TO JAIL.....AND MAYBE THE SENTENCE THIS BEING RECIEVED WAS BEYOND ANY DESCRIPTION.WELL,WITH THE GENTLE HELP AND UNDERSTANDING OF MARYE THERE IS A NEW TOPIC ON THE NET.YOU FIND IT UNDER THE FAMILIES SITE AND ITS CALLED "LITTLE LIGHT-DEAD HEADS BEHIND BARS"AND IF YOU CAN REMEMBER SOMEHOW WHO DISAPPEARED SOMEHOW...OR IF EVEN A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY IS GOING THROUGH THIS,THAN THIS MIGHT BE THE SITE TO LOOK AT..WE ARE MANY,WE CAN LIGHTEN UP THESE PEOPLES DAYS IN HELL...........THINK ABOUT IT
Yes, and a little cherry garcia on top too!
well, since PK brought that release up here, I will say again what I said on the thing that isn't really the forum off the front page about that road trips thing:
pretty please with sugar on top!
I want (we want) MORE Views from the Vault, more concert film converted to DVDs!
pretty please with sugar on top!