Re the "Volunteers needed to help with the community structure Posting of March 27 2019" by Dan S

just wondering if there was any progress on this

"

Hi,

My name's Dan and I'm working with the RSPB on a part-time basis to help improve the community. 

I'd really like to get a small group together so that I can ask you some questions and get a better idea about how the community is used by different people.

Don't worry, it won't be too onerous or require travelling, it'll just be a discussion group online 

If you're interested in helping, please follow the link below to a very quick survey so I can get an idea of your rough usage currently. For now at least, I'm really just looking for a handful of people, and for those with a range of interests - so for example, I'm keen to get people who are heavy users of the Loch Garten forum, but also people who aren't at all, hence one of the survey questions about this.

Please do bear in mind that this isn't directly related to the technical upgrade or any outstanding bugs/issues, so it's not going to be a forum for general feedback and questions, it'll just be about how the forums and blogs are structured to make everything as logical and easy to use as possible.

Once I have enough surveys completed, I'll send an invite to a few people to join the group. Please, please don't be offended if you fill out the survey and then don't hear any more, I only need a few people. I'll close the survey and this post as soon as I have enough, but being part-time it might still be open for a few days before I'm back to close it.

Thank you! "

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Cheers,

Bob

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobs_retired_now/

  • Hi Bob,

    Indeed, there was progress. We got a small number of people together with a variety of different needs and interests and discussed a few ongoing issues, options and potential improvements.

    All of the points raised and suggested have been written up and have been added to other work I'd already done in looking at ways to make the forum better and more usable for everyone. That work is still continuing behind the scenes and, although I can't give any timelines for now, it will hopefully go on to be part of a series of improvements to the forum in the not too distant future.
  • Thanks for chasing Bob, and for updating, Dan.

    I'm sure you're busy, Dan, and don't want to get into details. But, is the architecture likely to be changed?
  • I'm sure you're busy, Dan, and don't want to get into details. But, is the architecture likely to be changed?


    Hopefully, yes.

    Ultimately, the forum software is complex and the body of data that already exists in it is huge. Making major changes to the architecture is not trivial and any work we do will always have to be prioritised and scheduled against the vast amount of other work that the teams here do every day. But yes, there are definitely improvements that can be made, I'd love to see them done and I'm hopeful that it'll be possible.

  • This sounds good, thanks for the updates.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Thanks for the update. Are we allowed to ask for a general outline. For instance will it be as good as being able to select which groups we want to see appearing on a personalised homepage or will the Osprey/ Webcam posts be given a separate home? I can’t be the only person nots addicted to following webcams everyday and struggling to keep up with following the other areas as posts disappear so quickly from the Community homepage - one of the reasons I am taking a break from posting new threads.

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    Cheers,

    Bob

    My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobs_retired_now/

  • In reply to Bobs_Still_Retired:

    Bobs_Still_Retired said:
    Thanks for the update. Are we allowed to ask for a general outline. For instance will it be as good as being able to select which groups we want to see appearing on a personalised homepage or will the Osprey/ Webcam posts be given a separate home? I can’t be the only person nots addicted to following webcams everyday and struggling to keep up with following the other areas as posts disappear so quickly from the Community homepage - one of the reasons I am taking a break from posting new threads.

    No plans for a customised homepage at this stage, no. That would involve re-writing of the software itself at significant expense as it's not a feature that it has.

    But, that doesn't mean we can't try and make it far better for all users to find the content they want, whether they're (for example) osprey watchers or not. The plan is to try and arrange the various forums in a way that should give better visibility to different types of content, and make it far easier to navigate around - currently, people have to rely on the homepage more than they should because it's hard to navigate around easily.

    I can't promise the moon but I'm confident that the changes we want to make will improve things for everybody, and that includes you and the problems you're describing.

  • In reply to Dan S:

    Dan S said:

    Bobs_Still_Retired said:
    Thanks for the update. Are we allowed to ask for a general outline. For instance will it be as good as being able to select which groups we want to see appearing on a personalised homepage or will the Osprey/ Webcam posts be given a separate home? I can’t be the only person nots addicted to following webcams everyday and struggling to keep up with following the other areas as posts disappear so quickly from the Community homepage - one of the reasons I am taking a break from posting new threads.

    No plans for a customised homepage at this stage, no. That would involve re-writing of the software itself at significant expense as it's not a feature that it has.

    But, that doesn't mean we can't try and make it far better for all users to find the content they want, whether they're (for example) osprey watchers or not. The plan is to try and arrange the various forums in a way that should give better visibility to different types of content, and make it far easier to navigate around - currently, people have to rely on the homepage more than they should because it's hard to navigate around easily.

    I can't promise the moon but I'm confident that the changes we want to make will improve things for everybody, and that includes you and the problems you're describing.

    Dan, thanks for your response and I look forward to reports. Personally I prefer the centralised approach myself, where you can see posts appearing under groups that you would not normally visit as these can be very interesting and it would be a disappointment to have a system whereby Non Osprey/Webcamholics have to go looking in through the other groups just to avoid the Osprey threads. To me it would be much more user friendly to have all Osprey/Webcam daily updates under 1 daily entry, which would then expand when clicked on. This makes even more so when you take into account the fact that so many/most of the Ospreyholics use Bookmarks rather than the Community Homepage to get to their daily fix -the evidence for this is clear from the fact that the Ospreyholics generally miss any significant postings that appear on the homepage and often have TJ or Alan posting a link to one of the LG threads to alert them.

    Once again, thank you for your prompt response.

    Bob

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    Cheers,

    Bob

    My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobs_retired_now/

  • We will just have to wait and see what is in store for us.

    As an Ospreyholic, I do have many bookmarks but also daily, use the homepage to see what is happening.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • IMO, it is not just making things easier to find. If you don't know what has been written, you don't necessarily know what there is on the site that is worth reading or seeking out. I.e. The homepage needs to be simple, clear and not swamped by single interest stuff. That is essential to generating more participation. No point spending money and time unless the end result is more usage.