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EN World Two potential site upgrades

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
There are two potential site upgrades available that I'm considering. I am not married to either idea, so I'd be interested in hearing thoughts.

1) Threaded views. This is the ability to have threads 'fork' into sub-comments, like how Reddit or Facebook does it. You still have all the old functionality; this is layered on top. That way a sub-branch of a conversation in a thread can be easier to follow. The comments won't show in Tapatalk or any other third party app though, which might be a deal-breaker.

2) Blocking. Remember we had stronger blocking before? It's available for Xenforo -- and apparently without the bugs that made the old blocking system a PITA. You can still see the first post in a thread, so you can't be effectively thrown out of a thread, and the post numbering allegedly works fine.

Thoughts?
 

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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I don't know how many people use third-party apps, but you may have that usage data. I can see not wanting to leave those people blind/deaf/other sensory metaphor, especially if there are a lot of them.

I can see how stronger blocking might a positive for some people. If it doesn't leave people shut out of threads--especially reading them--I don't see much downside to it, especially if it's undo-able (both in the sense you can take it off the forums and in the sense that someone can unblock someone else they've blocked).
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
1. No. Threading, IMO, makes forums worse for purposes of conversation. And to the extent it's a close call, inability to support third party apps would seem to be a deal breaker.

2. Yes. I'm not sure what you're referring to (re: throwing people out of threads), but good fences make good neighbors.
 

vpuigdoller

Adventurer
1. No. Threading, IMO, makes forums worse for purposes of conversation. And to the extent it's a close call, inability to support third party apps would seem to be a deal breaker.

2. Yes. I'm not sure what you're referring to (re: throwing people out of threads), but good fences make good neighbors.
Agreed with this:
1. No threading, makes it very confusing.
2. Yes to blocking.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
2. Yes. I'm not sure what you're referring to (re: throwing people out of threads)...

On the vBulletin boards, we had a module for blocking. If a thread started, and the OP blocked you, you could then not see the thread at all, even if you had already posted in it several times, effectively throwign you out of the thread. This was seen as a hefty negative of the blocking feature.

I am not so sure it was that negative. If you want to keep active in a thread, then maybe you should more studiously avoid cheesing folks off.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
On the vBulletin boards, we had a module for blocking. If a thread started, and the OP blocked you, you could then not see the thread at all, even if you had already posted in it several times, effectively throwign you out of the thread. This was seen as a hefty negative of the blocking feature.

I am not so sure it was that negative. If you want to keep active in a thread, then maybe you should more studiously avoid cheesing folks off.
The bigger negative to the blocking was that it broke links to old posts, which made it so you couldn't even follow notifications when you've been quoted if one person in the thread had blocked you, even if they weren't involved at all in the quotes.

There's also usually been a pretty informal vibe that OPs don't own the threads they start here; being able to be blocked out of threads does a lot to curtail that feeling.
 

aco175

Hero
I'm not sure I like having the original poster being able to throw you out of a thread. Maybe I would like to, but everyone should be able to discuss, unless the mods have problems with violating policy.
 

Eltab

Hero
I want Blocking that understands the difference between Ignore Other Fellow and Evict Other Fellow.
I also want Blocking that cannot be pre-emptively used by poster A to keep poster B out of threads created by poster C, D, E, ...
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm not sure I like having the original poster being able to throw you out of a thread.

Well, that's okay, because I was explaining the past issue.

Everyone, read the top level post: Morrus has said that for the new version, "you can't be effectively thrown out of a thread".
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I also want Blocking that cannot be pre-emptively used by poster A to keep poster B out of threads created by poster C, D, E, ...

I don't believe that was ever an issue. Post numbering got messed up, so some links broke, but A could not keep you out of a thread created by C.
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
I dislike the idea of threading. It can make for a very confusing read, and when I do use Tapatalk, I wouldn't be able to see all of the comments.

Having no experience with blocking fortunately, I have no strong preference either for or against that idea.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
On the vBulletin boards, we had a module for blocking. If a thread started, and the OP blocked you, you could then not see the thread at all, even if you had already posted in it several times, effectively throwign you out of the thread. This was seen as a hefty negative of the blocking feature.

I am not so sure it was that negative. If you want to keep active in a thread, then maybe you should more studiously avoid cheesing folks off.

The module also allowed one to designate threads as friends-only. There was at least one instance where the OP created/was given control of a resource thread, got pissed at the site, and designated it friends-only a year later. Everyone was thrown out.
 


I like the idea of threading, but I'm not sure how it would be executed. If it were like Reddit's, that makes it harder to follow the discussion as a whole, but easier to read individual responses to posts.
Maybe have threading be toggle-able by the person who makes the thread? Or, have it so if you quote a person's post, it shows any quotes they used in their post? Would either of these be a good idea?
I think blocking could be a good idea. I vote yes.
 


Tonguez

Legend
So is Blocking a Mod only feature? I cant see the point otherwise

and also not a fan of threading - it makes things to jumbled to follow, so I stop
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I like the idea of threading, but I'm not sure how it would be executed. If it were like Reddit's, that makes it harder to follow the discussion as a whole, but easier to read individual responses to posts.
Maybe have threading be toggle-able by the person who makes the thread? Or, have it so if you quote a person's post, it shows any quotes they used in their post? Would either of these be a good idea?
I think blocking could be a good idea. I vote yes.
To clarify, I’m not writing the software. I can’t change the functionality of the upgrade or take requests. :)
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
As long as users can turn off threading I don't see why not. Otherwise, I prefer the current layout to that of Reddit.

As for blocking, as long as it is simply a shield then I see no issue with it.

IMO, the issue with the old blocking was that some people would wield it as a bludgeon, using it to punish those who disagreed with them (and often as a means to get in the final word). I realize that this sort of behavior was moderated, but IMO it's better to not hand out bludgeons to begin with, than to reprimand someone who misuses one (at which point the harm has been done and, at best, you're merely discouraging repetitions of the behavior).

That doesn't sound like it would be the case from your description though, so as long as it works as advertised I don't see much harm. To be perfectly blunt, I didn't use the block feature before and I doubt I would use it in the future, as I think there's the potential to learn from everyone. I could see it's value though in cases where someone is being legitimately harassed though.
 

I didn't use the block feature before and I doubt I would use it in the future, as I think there's the potential to learn from everyone. I could see it's value though in cases where someone is being legitimately harassed though.

I'm with you. People are generally terrible at expressing themselves in the written form. I choose to believe that most people mean well, even if their post 'sounds' unreasonable. I wouldn't come here to 'talk' about stuff if I wanted to only 'hear' things that I already think or already know. If someone is problematic enough that I'd want to block them, I think they'd have long since been kicked by a mod. (They'd have to be a terrible troll; like really really bad).

As for the threading - I have no idea. I don't think I frequent any sites that use that sort of thing. I could see it being confusing if it showed up in my play-by-post games, but I dunno - maybe I'd like it? I'd have to see.
 

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