Forum Feedback Discussion

Let me begin by thanking everybody who helped test out the forum, including a couple of “new” posters. I want to emphasize that the forum is going to be designed to bring more people to the discussion, which is basically designed to be like Twitter or Gab – talk about whatever.

I want to THANK Tonawanda for pushing this aspect IMMEDIATELY, because I want the forum to be a real forum. Patriots talking about WHATEVER. We will likely create subfora which may ask for either HIGHER levels of civility, or allow for LOWER levels of civility – basically being “The U Tree“, only not under the control of WordPressDotCom. We will leave The U Tree where it is, as a kind of lifeboat in case this whole site goes down, but otherwise, I want to move the “get a room” stuff back to this site – just in a back room.

Likewise, thank you to Bfly for BRINGING HOME THE BACON.

Our friend rayzorback also gets it. ANYTHING.

NOW – let’s get down to BUSINESS.

I want to start making this sucker more like what it’s supposed to be – to get it OUT of beta test mode – very quickly.

We have different formats – the default is THREADED, which is much like on our blog, with the wpDiscuz commenting system.

Threaded has INDENTATION of REPLIES to REPLIES.

Threaded ALSO seems to be the most popular of the formats:

Now that is SOMEWHAT not fair, because I put up a threaded forum first, and people gravitated to it. HOWEVER, I put up the other three formats fairly quickly, and they DID draw replies, but NOT new topics (or “posts” in some parlance), as the THREADED format did.

Based on my observations, the big hit was conservative cultural discussion using the threaded format.

The threaded format simply drew MORE participation.

The next most popular was PROBABLY the Simplified layout. This layout depends heavily on QUOTING. It’s linear with embedded quotes that refer back to prior replies. This is an older but very common style of layout.

The Extended layout is pretty much the same as simplified, only LOOOONGER. It also depends on quoting.

Finally, there is the Q&A layout, which is a bit like Reddit, and a bit like technical “questions answered” forums.

This one is weird and confusing, yet has strange charms. It’s easier to show you how it works. The most important principles are as follows.

(1) The title asks a question, which is fleshed out in a top-level “reply” which can be commented upon.

(2) Responses to the title question are also top-level “replies”, which are called “Answers”, which have changeable titles, and can be upvoted or downvoted, affecting their display order.

(3) All top-level replies, both the fleshed-out question AND the “answers”, can draw COMMENTS, which are next-level replies, to which one CANNOT reply or “like”.

NOW – with that understanding in mind, observe FOUR disjoint snippets from a single Q&A session, which illustrate all these features and limitations.


1


2


3


4


Now, there seems to be some love for the Q&A format, despite its weird limitations. But there is also a lot of HATE.

We are almost led to the idea – well – can we have MULTIPLE layouts?

The answer is technically YES. However, there are RISKS in breaking up the forum too much. But let’s set those risks aside, and assume we are smart and don’t succumb to the risks – that we can avoid them. Let’s assume we “break things up smartly”. The next question is – HOW can we do this?

What is technically possible in terms of mixing styles?

There IS some “hybridization” possible, where we BLEND into a single style. It is complicated and probably won’t be done right away. This involves taking features from one style and grafting them into others. The software is designed to allow this, but it’s not simple, and it’s LIMITED. Small features, yes. Big ones – only if possible, and probably not even THAT.

So let’s set THAT aside. What is still possible in terms of multiple styles?

It turns out that EVERY FORUM AND SUB-FORUMS of that forum must have the same style. In other words, if I set up a forum, any forums “within it” or “below it” must be of the same style. Basically, anything in a hierarchy obeys the layout above it.

I can have MULTIPLE forums, but whatever layout is used in the top-level forum, carries down to ALL subforums.

Thus, if we want a “Q&A” forum like on technical sites, where answers “compete”, which can also be viewed as a reddit-style forum, where trendy consensus moves to the top, then that forum has to be DISTINCT from the main “threaded” or “simplified” forum, which is more likely to be the consensus forum layout. Likewise, if we want BOTH threaded and (simplified and/or extended) forums, then they ALL have to be separate, parallel, forums.

NOW your are ready to see what we have – FOUR parallel top-level TEST forums.

This will all get modified when I take the FORUM (as a whole) out of “beta test” into production. I may keep these old forums and their contents for historical purposes, or change them into new ones, but this is where it starts.


SO – that is is.

What are your thoughts? SPEAK FREELY NOW!!!

W

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barkerjim

I liked the original threaded version the best. Was the least confusing to me.

Linda

I agree. It’s the least confusing of all the formats. I also like the simple format, but I’m used to that format from other forums I participate in.

grandmaintexas

Just me, but I like one style rather than several. I am tech-challenged so a one-style forum just suits me.

That said, I will go with whatever you decide, Wolf. I’m easy…sometimes.  😄 

Thank you for all the work and thought you’ve put into it. I think it will greatly benefit whoever reads and participates.

Valerie Curren

I like that idea too. Keeping the Q & A in the back-pocket & using it strategically but mostly using the main threaded forum.

I’ve had problems accessing all 4 formats, though I obviously did so at some point. Where is the main jumping off point to access all your test forums?

What I’ve usually done is looking at where the “layers” of the forums show like
top > middle > bottom & then I click on the “top” one to see what else might show.

Oh I’ve also been clicking “unread posts” at the bottom of the page to try to find comments that I haven’t read yet, but that still keeps me mostly in the main threaded forum (but perhaps that’s because there aren’t many new comments elsewhere)  🙃 

Elize

You know where I stand, I like the threaded. Thank you for posting this for feedback and laying out the options.

I apologize for not keeping up the last couple of days. BLM has taken over the town my folks live in.

My husband and I had to finish log/wood cutting, we had almost 100 vegetable plants to repot/plant and he planted 105 perennials and 6 trees. So we’re finally getting some inside the house time!

scott467

What is wrong with the current theqtree website? It seems to be working very well now, except that I rarely get notifications when I have replies to posts.

When I do have a notification, it’s great that I can click on the link to be taken directly to that reply, unlike the original qtree website where I had to hunt for it.

But I also miss a lot of replies to my posts, because (I think) I only get notifications depending on how someone is using the forum, i.e., using the reply via the ‘bell’ icon drop-down box in the upper right hand corner of the screen, as opposed to clicking the ‘like’ button directly on the website ‘regular’ format, for lack of a better way to express it.

Linda

You’re lucky, Scott. I don’t get any bell notifications at all. And I turned off email notifications because they were filling up my inbox. I have to go back and check to see if I have replies.

But I think that it really isn’t an either/or situation with the blog/forum. Both are valuable in their own right. The blog is a great place to get all the news of the day in one place. A forum is where you can discuss individual issues in more depth and it is easy to go back and find things. If there is a thread for something and you want to find something related to it, you just go to the thread – you don’t have to search through months of blog posts to find it.

Linda

Yes, I have the black bar. But the bell is always gray and doesn’t do anything. I’m using my desktop computer, Win 10 operating system, and Firefox browser.

Linda

Okay, I’m not sure if I understand this. I’m always logged in. Even if I open a new tab and type in the URL to this site, it has me logged in when I get there. Also, doesn’t being logged in automatically mean I’ve allowed WP to access third party cookies?

Linda

Would you believe that suddenly if I click on the bell I can now see notifications? Not sure what changed, but I’ll take it.  😏 

Linda

I think it was yesterday, but I wouldn’t swear to it. I also let Firefox do an update since then, so maybe that had something to do with it?

Linda

Okay, I’ll try to get in the habit of using them, now that I have them. Will let you know if they go away again.

Valerie Curren

LIKES on the website DO NOT show up in JetPack notifications – but REPLIES do show up in JetPack notifications.”

I think you only get the REPLIES in the notification IF you Remember to click on the Bell to turn it GREEN before hitting “Post Comment”. If you forget to turn the BELL GREEN then you don’t get notified of replies & have to hunt for them…oh there is no way to change that bell to Green once the comment has posted either (that I know of)…

Valerie Curren

OK, thanks for the clarification. It took a while to adjust to minimal info on “likes” for it seemed like most of what I shared was not of interest in the New Q-Tree. But then scrolling down the page it’s possible to see some things are liked even if the Black Bar Bell doesn’t share them.

The replies there (on the black bar) make it easier to reply to others’ comments but also less comprehensible w/out the overall conversational context.

Ironically, the Orange Bell on the forum is more tedious to manage by showing All the likes…but it’s nice to have the “clear” button so when you’re done w/ a batch of notifications you can start from scratch next time! 😉

Valerie Curren

Agreed!

bflyjesusgrl

All my Beloved Bacon memes are in ONE PLACE!! 🤸‍♀️😘🤸‍♀️

If you get a bacon Jones, you know where to go.😜

Concerned Virginian

Wolf Moon
I’d be whatever form is the least confusing to “people of a certain age”.
I think it’s a great idea to bring more posters in. I’m guessing that as part of the “moving forward” concept, newbies would be vetted to make sure they’re legit?

kalbokalbs

Perfectly happy with QTree. My primary go to site daily.

Looking forward to the forum taking shape. Expanded topics.

Preference. Threaded. One format. Simplicity.

Wolf, Thank you for everything,

gil00

Without having the time to have gone looking, on reading this your post, I will agree with kalbo. KISS. (But youre not stupid!)😊

cthulhu

I’d like one that I didn’t have to register for.

To be honest, it’s not really a site problem….it’s a farkin’ Google problem. The first Google identity you use a computer for attempts to take over your entire machine and taints it.

As an example, if I used “guanoloco1@gmail.com” on a computer, then started using “VoiceOfReason@gmail.com” on the same computer, all the outgoing emails would be routed through the guanoloco1 account via SMTP because it was there first. Wouldn’t show up on the recipients “From:” line, but would show up in the headers. Similarly, any browser I’d used would have guanoloco cookies and crap all over it.

I’ve got the tools and resources to combat this, but it takes time and focus to come up with appropriate schemes….and, in the meantime, my whole-house fan dies….

SteveInCO

Well, I can tell you this. If the damned forum doesn’t stop sending me e-mails, I’ll stay on the blog. If no one else is on the blog, then I guess it’s goodbye.

SteveInCO

Tried all of that. Just got another fucking e-mail.

SteveInCO

Never saw that with respect to the Forum.

SteveInCO

Yep, and all of them have been switched off.

SteveInCO

To be clear the e-mails are titled “you have been mentioned in forum post” and appear to be triggered by that “@Steve InCO” that the reply function automatically generates (I stuck a space into it just in case it does the same thing here). It’s not the reply itself that seems to be the issue, just that damn “at my name.”

SteveInCO

Here’s the text from the most recent one:

Hi SteveInCO!

You have been mentioned in a post on “Wolf Added A Test Topic” by Wolf Moon.

Post URL: https://www.theqtree.com/community/main-forum/wolf-added-a-test-topic/#post-382

SteveInCO

I have received emails for being mentioned in #409 and $10.

SteveInCO

6:09 and 7:18 mountain time.

SteveInCO

Got a notification at that time.

SteveInCO

No message.

(Well I got one but from something else.)

Yay!!!

SteveInCO

I was once a member of a forum where you couldn’t shut off “likes” except by shutting off everything. Which I thought was retarded; surely if someone says something to you you might want to respond to, that’s more important than someone hitting “like.”

SteveInCO

Oh, you noticed?

Buy an “android” based projector, load it with a bunch of photos.

The damn thing will insist on showing them to you in reverse order. Changing filenames won’t work, it will ignore them. “Touching” the files in the desired order (or the reverse desired order) won’t work. To alter this order you have to go in and change the time in the metadata, so that the first file you want to show looks like the newest.

This is because that’s how they’re ordered in phones.

SteveInCO

Try again. I just discovered that Let Reason Reign had some e-mail notifications turned on (including for mentions). That SHOULDN’T matter but maybe it does.

No emails set for any other site. But from what I could see, LRR is where i have to turn on notifications when someone replies to my comments here (via the bell). So that makes me suspicious.

Deplorable Patriot

I haven’t played with the forum formats enough to have an opinion.

When it’s ready, shout.

wheatietoo

I like the ‘threaded’ version, boss.
Seems simple and easy to use.
 😀 

Elize

Did you remove the forum bell or did I when I played with notifications?

I can like here again as I stated the other day but I still don’t get bell notif’s on the blog.

Elize

Reading the forums now, that answered my ?  😋 

wheatietoo

That bell for notifications is really nice, boss.
I hope we don’t lose it.

SteveInCO

Having griped, I’ll now point out the good things.

The threaded version works properly. It doesn’t put your reply at the top until you refresh the page. This quirk of the current system has caused a lot of confusion–I’ll read someone’s comment where it says “see below” or “see above” and it’s basically meaningless…because I can’t know whether that’s where to look now as I am reading the page.

The forum fixes this. Which is why I really hope I can get the thing to stop sending me “you were mentioned” e-mails.

SteveInCO

Wrong thread?