Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

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Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 06 Jun 2019, 15:57

The Trouble with "Currently on the Forum"
The forums are starting to get active enough that the "Currently on the Forum" list is showing its limitations.

  1. It only shows newly created threads.
  2. It only shows five threads.
  3. It makes no distinction between types of threads.
All this means is that I've started to see more complaints about it. Play-by-Forum GMs are frustrated because their recruitment posts drop off the radar too fast. Tournament and new game recruiters end up making duplicate posts for the same reason. Play-by-forum games, which use one thread per turn for cleaner organization, end up swamping the list without intending to do so.

There are methods to turn off and on certain subforums that go in that list, but I think we need to brainstorm something more comprehensive here.

Low-Hanging Fruit: Active Topics
I think a good first step would be to replace "Currently on the Forums" with top threads from the "Active Topics" list, which is a built-in function here on the forum:

https://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/search.php?search_id=active_topics

That ranks threads by how recently they were posted to, rather than how recently they were created, meaning that threads with lots of conversation will naturally float to the top. And it's easier to exclude certain subforums from Active Topics should they become a bit too noisy.

Looking Forward
But I don't think switching to Active Topics alone would be sufficient. I think we need to brainstorm ways of balancing visibility of new forum threads and recruitment posts. What would you like to see?
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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby StarkAdder » 06 Jun 2019, 16:21

I'd like to see one section for "Play-by-Forum" games and one for "Suggestions and Other Topics." Still a limit of five each, with most recent at the top. That will let PBF gamers like me still see recent posts, and will also provide room for reports of cheating, rules questions and other issues to still reach wider audiences in a timely manner.
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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby AKFD » 06 Jun 2019, 17:33

StarkAdder wrote:I'd like to see one section for "Play-by-Forum" games and one for "Suggestions and Other Topics." Still a limit of five each, with most recent at the top. That will let PBF gamers like me still see recent posts, and will also provide room for reports of cheating, rules questions and other issues to still reach wider audiences in a timely manner.


As a PBF player, I agree with this.

Also can we have a similar ones for announcements? The current one only shows 1 topic, and if I am not mistaken, only SuperDipsy's posts can be seen. We can have posts from other admins in that list.

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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 06 Jun 2019, 17:59

AKFD wrote:
StarkAdder wrote:I'd like to see one section for "Play-by-Forum" games and one for "Suggestions and Other Topics." Still a limit of five each, with most recent at the top. That will let PBF gamers like me still see recent posts, and will also provide room for reports of cheating, rules questions and other issues to still reach wider audiences in a timely manner.


As a PBF player, I agree with this.

Also can we have a similar ones for announcements? The current one only shows 1 topic, and if I am not mistaken, only SuperDipsy's posts can be seen. We can have posts from other admins in that list.

AKFD :D


I’m not 100% sure, but I think the Announcements line picks up the latest thread from the Announcements subforum. Currently only Admins can post new threads there, but Dipsy tends to be the only one who actually does. If I had something that was important enough to be a front page announcement, for instance, I could post there, but it tends to be better to let one person be in charge of it.
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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby sinnybee » 06 Jun 2019, 18:34

What about moving the message display to the left column, having the last developer announcement on top as we do now, then the three newest threads (not including a repeat of what's above), then the three threads with the newest posts (not including a repeat of what's above).
It would change the display from this to this:
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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 06 Jun 2019, 18:44

StarkAdder wrote:I'd like to see one section for "Play-by-Forum" games and one for "Suggestions and Other Topics." Still a limit of five each, with most recent at the top. That will let PBF gamers like me still see recent posts, and will also provide room for reports of cheating, rules questions and other issues to still reach wider audiences in a timely manner.


+1
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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby sinnybee » 06 Jun 2019, 18:56

StarkAdder wrote:I'd like to see one section for "Play-by-Forum" games and one for "Suggestions and Other Topics." Still a limit of five each, with most recent at the top. That will let PBF gamers like me still see recent posts, and will also provide room for reports of cheating, rules questions and other issues to still reach wider audiences in a timely manner.

This is what you guys are agreeing on, but you don't explain how it would be accomplished.
We have five total listings now not including the developer announcement and you're saying to have five each. There is no room for ten! Unless you want live games and game ratings lowered by 7 lines while having 7 lines of blank space on the left column?
Even if you have those two categories done as my two categories, by moving messages to the left column and having three each, it doesn't address the OP concern of wanting to show new posts without only showing new posts.

You guys are all heavy hitting PBF gamers and are potentially biased in that direction.
However, NoPun has brought up the concern that sometimes there is a swamping of PBF threads.
Should we really show 5 (or 3) PBF threads at all times?
Why don't we just show the most recent stuff, whether or not it's PBF?
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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby Woolgie » 06 Jun 2019, 19:17

Take off PBF from the current list and give it its own list showing all currently recruiting games (be there 3, 5 or 76). Add a frame and a scroll bar when and if it exceeds 5 games.

For the remaining list a ‘5 new’ and ‘5 popular’ subsplit makes sense. But the question remains where to put it all.

The ratings section could be squeezed horizontally to fall within a column under the knife and letter graphic. That would open up a large space to extend the posts section down. The live games box would be pushed down a bit or if preferred moved left into the dead space below the chat box. I’m not a graphic designer or web designer but the first two points are what I really wanted to make.
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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 06 Jun 2019, 19:23

Note:

I think the whole front page could do with a redesign, so I wouldn't get too mired in whether something takes up too much space or not for a permanent solution.

However, for short-term purposes, choosing something that uses the space we have would make sense, assuming the change isn't too difficult.

(I'd welcome ideas on both long-term and short-term approaches.)
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Re: Improve the "Currently on the Forum" list

Postby sinnybee » 06 Jun 2019, 19:32

What about half-way between Woolgie's idea and my idea?
My idea with the addition of recruiting games and tournaments with a scroll bar when and if it exceeds 3.
(Or his idea, but reducing the numbers from 5 to 3 and moving messages to the left column.)

Our forum gets less posts per day than it used to; I really don't think it's necessary to have 10 threads shown not including sign-up threads.
Also, the more that's shown, the more likely players will be to ignore or to glance over it.
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