THE SITE IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL

Posted 19/07/2009 - 09:15 by follow_the_tao

What I wanted to do was...

Post a comment criticising those that post their speeches without offering an obvious way of responding.
The blog posting that attracted my attention was Gavin Brake's.
Free speech, one each. But this is getting ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. All I wanted to do was post a forum topic criticising those that post 'blogs' that obviously will invite appropriate comment, and that thus should be forums. Otherwise it appears that they are sweeping in, posting 'free speech, one each. and then withdrawing. Once again I wish to state that this is patently ridiculous.

I wanted to start a forum on this theme. I was a senior analyst-programmer in a previous life. I know I can find my way around any system if I dedicate enough energy to doing so. But I am a regular human being. I resent having to jump hurdle after hurdle to achieve a simple goal that is, I assume, a wish of many depositors.

This is a blunt criticism ng. I've designed systems, written user manuals, with success. The one thing I've always held on to. and the one thing that always brought success was simplicity. I've specc'ed systems where one key press alone was sufficient to reinitialise the system.........

All I wanted to do was start a forum for 'all groups'. As far as I can see this is virtually impossible. Why?

So I've started a blog..... but a blog goes nowhere.... just like Gavin Brake (and Mr Brake I'm looking forward to an in-depth discussion with you very shortly - )

I repeat.... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The level of complexity on this site is inappropriate for the user group it's targetted at.

I don't care if the technicians can navigate. I wanted to make a 'phone-call'. Not engage in a debate about user interfaces. I expect user interfaces to work. And that means any user is presented with a simple HMI. The HMI is spinning out of control, becoming 'inutil' to the members. Simple is beautiful. Let's get a grip.

I'm available on skype: david.morrison246 ... let's talk.

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NG - no criticism of you

NG - no criticism of you implied. In fact you have been the bulwark maintaining freedom of speech but under considerable pressure which is not acceptable if this is to remain truly a site for all DAG members.

Posted by Alastair on Mon, 20/07/2009 - 03:36
"censorship is another key

"censorship is another key issue" - I agree, but can I just confirm whether there's any implication there of actual censorship taking place? For good reasons I've done some minor edits recently, none of them hide nor distort the original posts (IMHO) and policy remains one of "free speech" and equal opportunities for all depositors/members/groups.

Posted by ng on Mon, 20/07/2009 - 02:48
David, I'm only surprised

David, I'm only surprised you've waited for Gavin's blog to raise this issue. The various blogs of Lucky Jim and the DST in the last 2 weeks have equally cried out for the chance to respond to the preaching and posturing but didn't offer add comment option. I agree with the comments for simplity and would add that censorship is another key issue.

Posted by Alastair on Mon, 20/07/2009 - 02:36
As an uninvolved but

As an uninvolved but interested party I've got to say that this is the most opaque forum that I've ever visited. That may well be because I don't get what you're trying to achieve, but if I was an average depositor then I'd likely have given up on this site.

The fact that I can't see FtT's OP when I'm replying to ng's post is just a minor example of the quirkiness.

Posted by Bromley86 on Sun, 19/07/2009 - 23:07
Why the site/forum structure

Why the site/forum structure is changing...

Noted, and I totally agree on the need for simplicity. However, perhaps we would not agree on needs analysis. Recent changes have been made for a very specific set of reasons, which I believe I have documented and referenced in such a way that the relevant information is easy to find. I may be wrong about that, but I've tried!

If you click the link (top right) where it says Write: Forum it will take you to this page - that page and other pages linked from there describe the reason for changes. I will summarise them here:

  • Many members want to see only summarised information. They do not want to follow all the in-depth discussion, indeed do not know where to find important information - invariably it's very difficult to find if it's buried in "general discussion".

  • In general, posting into All members is spam. Please think about that. It is spam unless the post is relevant and of interest to all members (or at least a majority.) There is a real problem in that our server has been reported as a spam source on more than occasion. If that problem proliferates, we could end up in a situation where many email systems reject mail from our site - that would shut down not only the notifications feature, but also important administrative functionality such as the request new password function and the member contact function. True, I could avoid the issue by disabling the notifications feature, but that would not address the underlying problem and in any case notifications are extremely useful, especially for those that want to receive only summarised information.

  • Some members have left (deleted their account) because they were fed up with the spam effect. I know this because they have emailed me. It's a small proportion, but I imagine that for every one who deleted their account there are ten more who are frustrated by the spam effect and perhaps disable notifications for All members - that significantly reduces the effectiveness of communication. If everybody turns off notifications for All members then there is no way to contact the DAG as a group to inform of important news, events, action needed - the only mechanism would be "forced" email (spam!) to all members.

  • Inevitably, sub-groups exist. All members is not a good place for them to be communicating (except to post summarised information) because inevitably there will be too much disagreement, leading to many comments and "fighting" and so exacerbating the spam effect via email notifications. So, sub-group activity needs to take place away from the All members area, and only summary information should be posted there.

Historically this system system was never really designed! It was thrown together over time to cater for evolving real-time needs. We now have the classic problem of a legacy system, how to maintain backward compatibility whilst catering for current and future needs. I maintain that this site is (should be, and should always have been) a teamwork platform and not a "chat" site. Furthermore a news site (or news area on this site) is a different concept.

I'll leave comments enabled here. This thread should probably be converted to a forum topic and moved into the IT people group, i.e. so that visibility can be limited to those who are interested in discussing site functionality. I will probably make that change later - without it this thread may become yet another contributor to the spam effect.

Posted by ng on Sun, 19/07/2009 - 13:56