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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2012 03:52    Post subject: Board improvements or suggestions Reply with quote

Typical, innit? Get a theoretical extra hour in bed, then get a bad cough so you don't actually sleep that night. Sod's law.. anyway, I've reset the board clock, so there is that (if you've over-ridden it on your own profile, you'll have to adjust it to GMT yourself.)

Anyway, there are a few tweaks to the board we've been mulling over. First of all, when we migrated a few years ago we lost the Notes and Queries forum (it largely became The Human Condition, and the rest a kind of diaspora, merged and misplaced in other forums.) As it had been a very popular, one-stop shop for asking questions without having to trawl about, we're planning on bringing that back. It won't replace THC, and I'm not going to start shunting old threads into it, but it'll be within Fortean Overview, just before IHTM as it was in days of yore (edit - and lo! it came to pass. It's there now.)

Also, I've been investigating sub-dvision of categories - for example, corralling all the 9/11 threads together in their own area within conspiracy, all the manbeast ones and water monster ones within cryptozoology, polts, photos and classic cases within ghosts - you get the idea. They wouldn't be subforums as such - that mod is very risky on this version of the board - but it's relatively simple to make a new section to the board and put new forums within it, and create additional ones as and when we need to.

So, any other ideas? I'll try my best - bear in mind, some modifications risk taking the board offline for weeks (think last time we migrated) so I'll have to rule them out, but at least I can get some idea what we could do with.

Over to you.


Last edited by stuneville on 28-10-2012 05:34; edited 1 time in total
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2012 04:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of the top of my head:
Can we:

a) Fix the memberlist,
b) Fix search,
c) Somehow divide up the horrible mish-mash that is 'human condition (a bad idea IMO - it could simply encompass most of the board...),
d) Reallocate old Fortean News threads to their rightful home.
e) I wanted to separate Urban Legends & Folklore, but others weren't keen.
f) Put 'Fortean Films' & 'Fortean Books' Enclosures in place in Fortean Culture.

Question
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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2012 04:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK -

a) and b) - I'll have a look, but again both probably involve actual program mods, which almost never go well on here. But I'll investigate.

c) and d) yes, that's on the cards already. As I said THC will stay, but lots of stuff shouldn't be in there, so along with Fortean News stories that haven't had a replay in more than a year or three a lot of threads will eventually find a new home elsewhere. This will take time, though, fairly slog-ish.

e) - I can see both sides. Will post a poll in ULF to see if people want the two spliced or spilt (edit - done - it's here.)

f) possible. what does anyone else think?
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2012 07:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Enclosures' - yes, I often find, when looking to park a new story in an existing thread, that there are several possibilities. Many of them could be merged, in fact, but as this rarely happens Wink an 'enclosure' might be the next best thing.

The latest example I've come across was searching for Hotel* in the ghosts forum, which turns up 10 threads.

And looking for Pub* in Ghosts turns up 15 threads!

Search I find mostly adequate, but sometimes I could use a date limit. For example, if I'm looking for a particular thread that I know was started recently, but I can't remember the actual title, I could try a few keywords and search just the last week/month/year, etc. (Yes, I know I could do this via Google Advanced search, but it would be simpler to do it 'in house'.)

It would help, of course, if posters made thread titles more descriptive. So, rather than "My ghostly experience" use "Guildford Ghost, 1995" (or whatever - according to Search, there are no ghosts in Guildford!).
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2012 10:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't tried lately, but one issue I had in the past was being unable to view more than the first few pages of results. More are often indicated, but I can't get the pages to load.
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2012 15:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some miscellaneous notes ...

The main problem will be subdividing sections in ways that don't immediately become obsolete with the arrival of new items that don't fit within the existing subdivisions. Because Forteana can, by definition, be 'most anything', there's little clear basis for general and reliable subdivisions.

For example ... IMHO the only reasonable way to segment 'folklore' is by timeframe (e.g., 'old / classical' versus 'modern / urban legends'), insofar as UL's *are* folklore and have always been treated as such. Even this would be subject to dispute and confusions, because some UL's are latter-day extensions of much older tales / motifs.

I'd suggest subdividing cryptozoology into very general categories that all posters could recognize and leverage. For example: offering aquatic, terrestrial, flying, and humanoid segments along with a top-level / most general space in which 'everything else cryptozoological' might appropriately fall. Yes, there are certain particular topics (e.g., Nessie, Sasquatch) that might justify their own subsections, but I'd be very careful to avoid proliferation of too many such categories.

There are two general categories that aren't directly represented in the current layout - outer space (other than UFO-related) and medical - even though a substantial number of posts / threads deal with (e.g.) astronomical or medical topics.

I'd like to see some sort of subdivision within Earth Mysteries. One reason is that this category can cover so many distinct things. For example, I'd expect discussions of ley lines to be here, even if those discussions aren't limited to one or another cultural tradition. Another reason is that much of the archaeological discussions are focused on particular (e.g.) ancient civilizations / cultures. It may be that some sort of geographical subdivision (e.g., by continent) would help people find and sort out things without getting overly specific.

IMHO the 'Notes and Queries' should be limited to 'queries' (items posted to request guidance / info). If simple 'notes' are allowed, this will become a dumping ground for anything a poster might want to post. My attitude is: If you need to ask - ask here; if you want to comment / contribute - find the appropriate niche.
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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2012 15:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thaks for the thoughtful reply - I'm just about to go out, but very quickly:
EnolaGaia wrote:
The main problem will be subdividing sections in ways that don't immediately become obsolete with the arrival of new items that don't fit within the existing subdivisions...

I'd suggest subdividing cryptozoology into very general categories that all posters could recognize and leverage...

Yeah, I wasn't intending to try to shoehorn everything into such subdivisions - there would remain (in this case, for example) a "general" cryptozoology one. The sub-divisions would only apply for subjects that have a proliferation of threads, so my suggested "manbeast" one would have all the bigfoot / yeti / yowie / almsaty etc threads under one umbrella. One- or two-thread topics would stay in general crypto.

Fuller reply when I return (late tonight or early tomorrow.) It's all up for discussion, so keep 'em coming Smile.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2012 19:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been meaning to suggest something be done over in cryptozoology for a while.

If you're going to go ahead and bring in subdivisions for popular subjects such as manbeasts could we please have one for thylacines it's badly needed. We need a thread dedicated to comment and review for recent papers and thylacine anatomy, physiology and behavior, I'd also say we need a pre 1936 thread for discussion of the history of the animal and a post 1936 thread for everything else.

It's so convoluted at present that about two yeas ago someone joined the board to report a first hand sighting but no one picked it up and it just got lost.

As a more general point another way to organise the forum is to do it by region as BH did. When I say the forum of course I'm only talking about cryptozoology.
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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 29-10-2012 08:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnolaGaia wrote:
...IMHO the only reasonable way to segment 'folklore' is by timeframe (e.g., 'old / classical' versus 'modern / urban legends'), insofar as UL's *are* folklore and have always been treated as such. Even this would be subject to dispute and confusions, because some UL's are latter-day extensions of much older tales / motifs.

Interestingly, on the (admittedly only a day old) thread plus poll, two thirds of those that have voted thus far want to split the topics, whereas all those that have actually posted want to keep them unified. If more people that want them seperated would post maybe we could get a handle on it.. incidentally the poll isn't going to be the sole arbiter - I'm just using it as a convenient way to get some measure of opinion.

EnolaGaia wrote:
There are two general categories that aren't directly represented in the current layout - outer space (other than UFO-related) and medical - even though a substantial number of posts / threads deal with (e.g.) astronomical or medical topics.

Medical, of all things, really should be within The Human Condition - it's mentioned in the category description. Once we've finished shunting stuff about, I'll look at whether a seperate medical forum is a goer. Ditto for astronomical. The problem here is that it may just fill up with any medical or astronomical story - whilst cutting edge wonderment is fine in New Science (that's what it's there for), often the call is whether or not another story is actually Fortean - and however life-affirming, if a story isn't actually weird should it be here at all? That is, after all, what this place is titularly all about.

EnolaGaia wrote:
I'd like to see some sort of subdivision within Earth Mysteries. One reason is that this category can cover so many distinct things. For example, I'd expect discussions of ley lines to be here, even if those discussions aren't limited to one or another cultural tradition. Another reason is that much of the archaeological discussions are focused on particular (e.g.) ancient civilizations / cultures. It may be that some sort of geographical subdivision (e.g., by continent) would help people find and sort out things without getting overly specific.

Yeah, I've been thinking abouut Earth Mysteries. Geographical division, whilst a good idea in principle, would generate too many subdivisions - as I said earlier, I want to keep the subs to a minimum, only really giving them to groups of threads that dominate. However, for Earth Mysteries, one thing I've come up with is creating a new forum alongside it, keeping leys etc in the original and placing historical and archaeological in the new one. There'd be some crossover, but should be relatively easy to manage.
EnolaGaia wrote:
IMHO the 'Notes and Queries' should be limited to 'queries' (items posted to request guidance / info). If simple 'notes' are allowed, this will become a dumping ground for anything a poster might want to post. My attitude is: If you need to ask - ask here; if you want to comment / contribute - find the appropriate niche.

Notes and Queries as a title is (culturally) a British thing, being a long-running Oxford journal and a column in the Guardian - the queries being queries and the notes being (often as not) replies Smile. Also, pre-2005 we had a Notes and Queries forum, with lots of traffic as it gave a focussed area in which to ask and (usually) get a quick reply, as opposed to on dedicated forums where they may be missed.
oldrover wrote:
If you're going to go ahead and bring in subdivisions for popular subjects such as manbeasts could we please have one for thylacines it's badly needed. We need a thread dedicated to comment and review for recent papers and thylacine anatomy, physiology and behavior, I'd also say we need a pre 1936 thread for discussion of the history of the animal and a post 1936 thread for everything else.

Again, that'd be way too many subdivisions. I'm trying to keep it as straightforward as possible - however, I'd be willing to create an ABC / Thylacine / other contemporary mystery quadraped forum, and then set up dedicated threads therein to cover pre- and post-1936 thylacine stuff. How's that?

All good stuff - do keep it coming folks.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 29-10-2012 11:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd be willing to create an ABC / Thylacine / other contemporary mystery quadraped forum, and then set up dedicated threads therein to cover pre- and post-1936 thylacine stuff. How's that?



Dedicated threads would do it nicely, thank you stuneville. Personally I wouldn't worry about a quadraped forum, as long as we've got dedicated threads for the most repeated subjects cryptozoology is quiet enough for any confusions to be addressed that way.
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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 10-11-2012 08:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Urban Legends / Folklore poll has one day to go - as it stands, I think we'll be keeping it as it is.

OK - work has now started on Cryptozoology. What I'm doing is conglomerating threads, sweeping up smaller, few-post ones into larger categories. For example, we now have larger abc, nessie, yeti, orang-pendek, yowie, skunk ape etc threads. These will be stickied while I merge disparate bits into them - this will take a while, by the way, there's lots of stuff to be ferried about. The plan is, once I have them all rationalised then I can then look to spilt them back down again, in some cases into more manageably sized threads, or if there are specific themes that deserve their own thread (eg the Patterson Film, which remains seperate): also I can work out what will get dedicated forums etc. So bear with me, please Smile.

I'll post this atop cryptozoology as well. After that forum is done, I'll move onto ghosts, then conspiracy.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 10-11-2012 14:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work you are doing, sir!
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James_H2Offline
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PostPosted: 10-11-2012 17:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make it so that when you click on 'view posts since last visit', ones you have already read are not listed!
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stunevilleOffline
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PostPosted: 10-11-2012 19:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mythopoeika wrote:
Excellent work you are doing, sir!


I thank you Smile.

James_H2 wrote:
Make it so that when you click on 'view posts since last visit', ones you have already read are not listed!


Would you like a flake and raspberry sauce with that too?

Seriously, probably not. It's another board modification which could go badly for this place, so I'm steering clear. For most posters New Posts works OK as is (I'm aware of the issue over a certain new-posts count, but that too is a DB problem I'm investigating) so I'm loath to bugger about with it to be honest.
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James_H2Offline
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PostPosted: 11-11-2012 12:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would be a serious improvement; reading posts that way can be very unwieldy and hard to navigate after being away for a week or so. Also, it's no longer 1997!
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