philryuh

Feedback Friday! (2020-02-07)

BGA

For those who are new, this is a weekly post where you can share your praises/complaints/wish features for our forum, game pages, content, etc. So, have at it and let us know your thoughts! (Sorry about the late post by the way).

Also, here's something more specific we could focus on for this week:

Some of our users have raised concerns on the current format of our forum, with the main issue around our forum's nature of aggregating all user posts. Because the general discussion and game-specific posts are all displayed on the main forum page, it can make it difficult to have a focused discussion around a specific game without generating threads that can go off-topic. To clarify, the main issue isn't that there are off-topic discussions happening, but that the nature of the current format makes it unclear when it's appropriate/desired or not.

Another issue that's been on my mind is that our current format isn't suitable for rapid growth in our community. If you think about how fast some of the posts can get buried even after a day, imagine how difficult it'll be to keep up with the pace if we grew 100x in size (and that's still nowhere near the size we want to be at).

So, here are some of my thoughts before I share my ideas for a solution:

  • I like the conversational/friendly nature of our discussions. Our community certainly has a different feel in comparison to reddit and BGG, and I enjoy that.
  • Our community is too small to call for a complete separation between general and game-specific forum posts. Assuming the game-specific forum posts could only be accessed/viewed from the game page, these posts will likely get zero traction/comments from users.
  • I do agree that there can be off-topic threads. I personally don't mind them, but I could see how if someone made a game-specific post to ask about different strategies, it wouldn't be desirable if we had loads of off-topic threads happening. Again, I don't mind as much because we have threaded discussions where you can hide the "trees" (and again, it's due to the nature of our small-knit community where a lot of us currently know each other and are on familiar terms). Also, as others have mentioned, the issue is usually when it's not 100% clear that a post is for general or game-specific discussion, either due to the description of the post not making that line clear or because of the structure of our forum not providing that clarity.
  • Even when I can't contribute to a game-specific post due to lack of knowledge or experience, I prefer to be able to see the post so that I could read others' thoughts on the topic. 

With that said, here are some of my ideas (please feel free to comment on this/add your own suggestions). Some of these ideas have already been discussed in the past and were going to be implemented in the near future:

  1. First, make it mandatory for all forum posts to be assigned to a "topic" page. This will help provide more organization. I will also need Trent to allow me to assign past forum posts to topic pages if they haven't been assigned to one already (or if they've been assigned to the wrong ones).
  2. As a side note, our forum needs a "Community Guidelines" section to make sure everyone's on the same page and for everyone to have one standard to point to if and when an issue comes up.
  3. Keep the main forum page as is but provide better visible cues on whether a post is for general discussion or game-specific discussion. OR, the alternative could be to add a checkbox to specify whether the post will be visible to the main forum or not. If we go with this idea, I could also imagine that if a content creator wanted to "catch-up" after finding out about BGA, they could have an option to post 100's of their links at once if they're okay with having them default to not showing up on the main forum page. I'm split between the two ideas because while I like seeing all posts in one spot, the current forum format isn't practical to house a flood of daily posts that will happen in the future. At the same time, a post that doesn't show up on the main forum page will likely get zero traction due to the current size of our community (how would you feel about this? I personally feel like it would be discouraging for a user to make posts if they never get a response).
  4. I think the best way for now is to keep the forum as is, but do two things: First, add better visible cues to distinguish between general and game-specific posts. Second, create a subscription based forum page view. You are currently able to subscribe to specific games, users, and in the future, to topic pages. This page will create a custom feed of content you're most interested in. This should be especially valuable when the community has grown much larger in size. I'd also imagine having an option to make this page your default. We could even consider having three separate views for the forum: (1) general discussion, (2) game-specific discussion, and (3) personalized feed.

Well, that's all I have for now so let me know what you think! 

Next week, let's focus on how we can revamp the game pages :D

1 point by philryuh - updated 49 days ago | 6 comments | report | subscribe

Marshwiggle92 Supporter49 days ago | 1 point[-]

After having thought about this for a bit I think I can say I like most of @philryuh's suggestions. Here is what I think I would do. 

  • Draw up some community guidelines. 
  • Make it impossible to post without assigning a topic. Related to that, in mobile, if posting from the main forum page, offer a drop down list of topics. 
  • As a default keep the forum page the way it is. But, allow users to unsubscribe to topics. When a new topic is created, everybody is automatically subscribed. This ensures that you choose to miss the content, it is not merely content that you didn't know about. Also, I used "subscribe" I don't feel like that's the right word. Not sure what the right words is, but some way of curating your feed. 
  • Lastly, reporting comments /posts. There is only one option right now. And I'm under the impression that it is for objectionable material. I wish there was a "spam" button that we could use to report spammy stuff.

Sliddell11 51 days ago | 1 point[-]

These are all great ideas @philryuh! One thing that might be a cool idea, is if on a particular forum post, every beginning comment of a thread that you have commented on would be highlighted. That way when you’re scrolling down the super long “what did you play this week” post, you know where to go instead of having to closely examine every line.

Another small thing I’ve noticed however, is that when I tap on the drop down tab up top (on my phone), then the “lists” link, it just takes me to my profile and not my actual lists. Not a huge thing, just something small that takes a little more effort than anticipated.

CaptainPossum Supporter51 days ago | 1 point[-]

Are there plans to make recorded plays editable at some point? Thanks

sdirrane Supporter52 days ago | 1 point[-]

I mentioned in another post, but I would love a way to eventually sort through my plays.  I will say that I used to never log plays because I felt it was cumbersome but now it's much better.  But it would be cool to customize it.  What did I play in 2019 for instance or 2020.  Maybe allow for color customization.  I'd especially love to see the option to give each game a color.  That way when you're looking at it there is some difference besides size.  And... circle graphs.

Skurvy5 Supporter52 days ago | 1 point[-]

Phil, as always, you are thoughtful and spot on with your comments. I think you’ve got the right idea with your plan in point #4.  Your suggestions sound reasonable and practical. Let’s give it a shot!

I know I’ve been guilty of taking Threads off topic, and I agree that we should be more careful of this as the website grows. 

I think the idea of community guidelines is a good idea. 

theDL 52 days ago | 1 point[-]

I agree, I like @philryuh's suggestion in #4 to have different views for the forum, and I love the idea of having a customizable forum "front page" with all of your subscriptions. I also strongly agree with #2 - we need guidelines for the forums. Both conduct roles and content/topic guidelines.

As for having content creators post a ton of links but having them not show in the general forum, I also have mixed feelings. It definitely sucks to spend time posting things and then have no one comment, or just have one person comment "Cool" just to get another point in the giveaway (not that I'm not guilty of that myself). But you're right - flooding the forum with tons of links wouldn't be good either. This would kind of change how the forum works I think, but you could set a rule that if they're posting links for more than X games in a day, the kind of build them all at once on one page and just got submit once. Then in the forum it would just say something like "TheDiceTower posted 800 links" (lol). Then that post could just have the list of links they posted with the names of the games they're associated with. This way only one part shows up on the forum instead of 800. This might be a crazy idea but I'm just spit-balling.

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