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Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Scramble » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:20 pm

Active Topics at the moment: showing 19 topics from the Lounge, and only 1 from outside the Lounge.

You've either got to somehow remove the Lounge from the Active Topics page, or kill that awful Lounge off (or at least suspend it for a while).
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby alexis » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:33 pm

Or ... a thread can only be displayed once in the New Topics listing, no matter how many recent replies it may have had.
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Dynamic Mike » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:20 am

I'd prefer to see just the last active topic in each sub-forum displayed.

The old forum used to display this information on the index page. That way you occasionally got drawn into posts in places you wouldn't normally visit. Sub-forums like 'User Reviews' often have great posts, but by their nature will always generate lower traffic.

[Edit: I was SO tempted to post this response one word at a time] :angel:
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Mixedup » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:15 am

alexis wrote:Or ... a thread can only be displayed once in the New Topics listing, no matter how many recent replies it may have had.

Yes, that's how I figured it should work — each time there's a new reply, it gets bumped to the top of the latest posts/active topics list. You can see so many more topics at a glance that way, and you lose... nothing as far as I can see.
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby blinddrew » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:47 pm

Scramble wrote:kill that awful Lounge off (or at least suspend it for a while).
Doesn't seem like a particularly wise move to kill off a page that is sufficiently popular that it's driving 19 of the 20 most recent threads...
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Folderol » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:15 pm

blinddrew wrote:
Scramble wrote:kill that awful Lounge off (or at least suspend it for a while).
Doesn't seem like a particularly wise move to kill off a page that is sufficiently popular that it's driving 19 of the 20 most recent threads...
Exactly! It is solving the wrong problem, or at least, masking the real one.
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:46 pm

The forum software is what it is, with relatively little flexibility in choosing what the default searches provide, but we have a request on the update list to explore the options... (at the moment the team is busy working on some aspects of the SOS shop functionality which has rather higher priority).

The bottom line is that a a relatively few people are spending a lot more time posting in the Lounge than everyone else posting more technical threads in the main forums.

I was going to write 'Sad but true'... but while it is true I'm not sure it's entirely sad. There is a healthy sense of community in the Lounge -- at least amongst the core of people who habitually hang out there.

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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:10 pm

There is much to like in the Lounge, and much to dislike too but I can just ignore the stuff I dislike and enjoy that which I like. I'm in favour of keeping it but I agree that there is probably a better way of managing the recent posts sidebar to avoid the Lounge from taking over.

edit:- Hugh posted as I was typing, the humour and sense of community he mentions is one of the things that keeps me coming back to the lounge.
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby ken long » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:32 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The forum software is what it is...

But the old software did not display the Lounge in "Today's Active Topics". I agree with OP. But I've just adapted my search habits. Instead of checking the active topics I just explore each forum...

...and proceed to scroll right down past the countless stickies! :D
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:27 pm

ken long wrote:But the old software did not display the Lounge in "Today's Active Topics".

True...the old software had been extensively hacked around. We're trying to avoid falling into that trap this time around. There may be an easier way of achieving something similar with this new system, but it will be a while before the team can turn their attention to this.

But I've just adapted my search habits. Instead of checking the active topics I just explore each forum...

Good idea...
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Scramble » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:59 pm

Thought for a minute that you'd fixed this. But no.
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:38 pm

Scramble wrote:Thought for a minute that you'd fixed this. But no.

Sorry. We can't determine who posts where and when, and there is a small group of people who like to bat the ball between themselves a lot in the Lounge... ;) What is needed is more people posting more interesting technical topics in the main forums... :D

Apparently the website development team have just completed the first phase of installation and tweakery on the new site, and are going to be lying down in a darkened room for a while to recover. When they return they will start on the phase 2 tweaks and updates, and in anticipation we have been discussing how we can improve the latest topics listings arrangements to show more threads and make them easier to use.

The difficulty is that we don't want to start making major code hacks to change the way the forum software works; we need to find ways of bending it to better suit our needs, rather than knocking bits down and rebuilding!

If you have any ideas or wish lists please let us know.

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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:15 pm

I've all but given up on 'The Lounge'...

WHY do we have it? I mean WHY?

Do any other of the 'sound' forums have space for this kind of stuff?

I guess the original intention was for a jolly, drop-in, 'after-work', relax, unwind, kind of place... Laudable though that vision might have been, except for a very few threads that ain't what we've got. Even the threads that start off in a more whimsical and 'let's have a chat about...' way are usually diverted into the predictable well-worn paths - often to the frustration of the original poster.

There are plenty of other platforms available to people to have their vents, 'look at me's' and to propound their 'interesting' theories... but WHY give space for that here? WHY?

... and I detect an acknowledgement in Hugh's latest response that if it's not happened yet then it won't be long before the tail is wagging the dog.

Yes; I know some of you will not trot out your usual, "but you don't have to read it" lines. I know and I don't...

... but if I wasn't such an old hand here, you know what? I'd look at the 'Active Topics' and think that I was in the wrong place.... this seems to be a 'platform' and 'speakers' corner' place with a bit of tech thrown in on the side... and I would probably be off elsewhere...

And before any of you suggest it, yes; I might just do that...
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:58 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:WHY do we have it? I mean WHY?

You know why, Mike. As you said:

I guess the original intention was for a jolly, drop-in, 'after-work', relax, unwind, kind of place...

Precisely. And it does still serve that purpose. Where else should we organise Forum meet ups? ;) If you recall, we did disband the Lounge for a while, but eventually brought it back largely due to user requests.

In my view, the lounge is not the problem, per se. The problem as I see it is that we have acquired a few contributors who prefer to post almost exclusively in the lounge, always on inherently contentious topics, and (it seems to me) with less interest in discussion than on personal grandstanding from entrenched positions. :(

While i feel that approach is against the intention of the forums and extremely unsupportive of SOS in offering these free forums... they're not actually breaking any of the current rules. And clearly many others do feel a sense of shared community in their own Lounge contributions -- which is one of the key aims of the forum.

So... Do we change the rules? No politics or religion, ever!? Do we restrict the lounge to people with a proven and ongong track record in contributing to the main forums? All suggestions welcome!

... you know what? I'd look at the 'Active Topics' and think that I was in the wrong place....

Yes, I agree. The question is what to do about it -- and ideally without throwing the baby out with the bath water? One earlier suggestion was to remove the lounge topics from the latest posts/topics listings. Unfortunately it doesn't appear that's possible in this forum software -- although we will investigate further. Another suggestion was to limit the latest posts lists to only include one entry per topic, which is a great idea... But again not something that appears possible without major code hacking, and we're keen not to go down that road if it can be avoided.

Nevertheless, the web team will certainly be tasked with taking a closer look at what options are available to us when we start phase 2 of the new site implementation shortly. And all suggestions are, of course very welcome.

In the meantime, can I suggest everyone keeps posting in the main forums so that my lords and masters continue to have a valid reason to maintain these costly forums at all.

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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Folderol » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:14 pm

My 2d - as a frequent 'Lounger'.

I post there far more often than to any other section, but I actually read most of the new posts in the others. The reason I don't post in those sections much is that although I find the topics very interesting, they are frequently outside my experience, so there is nothing I can add - not even an AOL mode "Me too".

With the lounge, I've learned to skim the contentious topics and very rarely comment on them - why talk to a non-listening audience? However, I do enjoy the fun bits, and of course any info on meets.

As for the activity list, I never use it. Even if there was no lounge content I still wouldn't use it. I find it much simpler to look in the main index to see which sections have new posts and then investigate the ones the look interesting. Occasionally I'll use the LATEST POSTS tab, which also filters by topic or author.
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby alexis » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:05 am

I've noticed some posters don't seem relaxed about what they post. I only bring that up because one of the stated purposes of the lounge is to offer a place to relax and unwind - angry posts don't seem to be in the spirit of "the rules". Also there have been a fair amount of personal attacks there (of the racist/fool/stooge-type) that I was surprised weren't shut down a while ago.

You asked for suggestions, Hugh: perhaps a rule that any personal attack is out of bounds (to include non-proven "facts" of the type, "Anyone who acts this way is an *epithet*") would cut down on the contentiousness and improve the :) - factor noticeably.

In all seriousness/respectfully, how does anyone get worked up about what is in the lounge? It almost sounds like some people are being forced at gunpoint to read things that make them unhappy. I could understand that if people were posting illegal or immoral things, but shy of that, why not live and let live? What is the barrier to not reading a thread, or post by a member, that one knows will irritate them? "Just move on, nothing to see here ..." seems like a better way to deal with these things than almost bursting an aneurysm in anger and frustration.

My 2c.

PS - Even more than folderol, I am so far out of my league technically in this forum that I fear posting any more in the technical forums would drag down the quality noticeably (I'm open to the possibility that I'm doing that already). Consequently, I post little there, mainly in the form of questions. Once in a blue moon I'll post a factoid or observation that I think might be of interest, but also usually with a voice in the back of my head saying. "Really, you think there's a chance there's something technical these guys don't know that you do"? Anyway, that's a long way for me to explain why I don't post more there.
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby zenguitar » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:35 am

alexis wrote:In all seriousness/respectfully, how does anyone get worked up about what is in the lounge? It almost sounds like some people are being forced at gunpoint to read things that make them unhappy.

In the lounge they ARE forced at gunpoint to read things that make them unhappy. The problem is that they are the ones holding the guns to their own heads. Who would have thought that Russian Roulette could become the equivalent of Solitaire?

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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:31 am

alexis wrote:In all seriousness/respectfully, how does anyone get worked up about what is in the lounge? It almost sounds like some people are being forced at gunpoint to read things that make them unhappy. I could understand that if people were posting illegal or immoral things, but shy of that, why not live and let live? What is the barrier to not reading a thread, or post by a member, that one knows will irritate them? "Just move on, nothing to see here ..." seems like a better way to deal with these things than almost bursting an aneurysm in anger and frustration.


You miss my point... completely...

I've said I've now given up on the Lounge.... so there can be as much aggression and navel-gazing as people want... it's now passing me by...

My point/concern is that there are a disproportionately very large number of active topics in the Lounge compared to the 'main' forums.... and that's been acknowledged by our senior moderator.

If I was just strolling by I'd be thinking that this was a chat-room where the participants also had a passing interest in music and technology, but their main concerns were all to do with other stuff - all legitimate perhaps, but not here. And as a point of history... when I first joined the Forum there was no lounge... and a much vibrant place it was then than now. It was (re)introduced about six?? years ago in the last great reorganisation.

I say again, what other music-tech forums have this sort of 'whatever you want' space? Genuine question... I know of none. Perhaps someone can enlighten me...

A good and worthy idea has, perhaps inevitably, now become a Chimera. Time to slay the beast?

Whatever... I've had my say - twice! :D That's it.... nothing more from me on this topic 'cos I know others don't agree...

... now.... back to some track-editing....
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby blinddrew » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:11 pm

Not sure about other Sound forums (being a loyal SOS reader I would never stray elsewhere...) but the other online forums I do frequent all have their equivalent of an 'off topic' discussion area.
Not that that's a reason to keep this one obviously, but it does go towards answering your question Mike.
As a newbie to both SOS and the whole mixing/recording/etc world I'd be much more wary of getting involved (I probably wouldn't have come to the last sosauge meet for example) without the space of the lounge to interact with people.
Arguably this is as much a reason to close the lounge as maintain it ;¬)
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Re: Lounge swamping new Active Topics page

Postby Dynamic Mike » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:06 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ken long wrote:But I've just adapted my search habits. Instead of checking the active topics I just explore each forum...

Good idea...
Could the 'jump to' dropdown box possibly be moved to the top of the topics list for each sub-forum to facilitate this? It would save either scrolling down to find it, or going back to the main page every time. Or even just a 'next forum' button.

Regarding the 'recent topics' could this just not be set up to display what those who are not logged in see?

I like the lounge as it is. If I didn't I wouldn't go there.

Elsewhere I only really know about guitars, Cubase and Windows, and much like Alexis I'm acutely aware people like Andy, the Elf and Martin/Peter are much better qualified to answer on these topics. It doesn't mean we don't read them & appreciate the superior knowledge of others. We can't all be experts, some of us come here to learn and aren't too proud to ask for help when we need it.
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