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Proposed Changes to Message Board Structure

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  • #16
    If it ain't broke...

    Here is a thought: In private industry the general rule of thumb is "if it ain't broke, leave it alone". However, the Government goes by this philosophy: "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is".

    Please, leave it alone..



    • #17
      I think part of this may be getting overlooked, with the "new posts" feature things will be exactly as they are now, so I guess in my eyes they would be giving the best of both worlds, your choice!


      • #18
        I also like it the way it is. why not make the categorizing an option in the user cp menu?


        • #19
          It doesn't matter to me, as long as the New Posts button is still there.


          • #20

            Thank you for your feedback regarding our message boards.

            There are no plans to create categories beyond the handful we've proposed, and based on your responses, we may decide to reduce the number of categories we have proposed further. A few new ideas have come to light as well, so stay tuned!

            We do have plans to merge the two forums into one so there is only one sign in. Those who wish to stay posting within their respective forum can still do that. We will have at least two categories, one for projects and one for Motorsports (possibly renamed GearHeads). We will let you know more when we do!

            If you have more to add, please feel free to continue posting responses, we will continue to check back.

            Thanks much!


            • #21
              I asked on the other board, didn't see a response. What does "New Posts" get you? Is it based on a schedule (like - last 24 hours), or, as in some forums, is it based on cookies dropped on the browsing computer that track which topics have been read? I've tried through some empirical testing to see what it is, but don't see a pattern......


              • #22
                New Posts

                To be completely honest, I didn't answer your question as I myself was uncertain of the whole answer. From what I've observed, it seems to be all new posts since your last visit, and I also presume it is cookie-powered.

                We were discussing the topic just yesterday in a meeting. As a test, one of the people in the group logged in (who hadn't logged in for a long time) and they had 53 pages of posts. I tried the same today with my login (since I'm on nearly every day) and I got 17 posts total.

                We need to research it further to be sure of exactly what it gets you. When you are not logged in, it looks like there's a link that says "all posts". We could (probably?) add that link in addition to the "new posts" to solve the problem of people not wanting categories at all.

                We're still in the information-gathering and planning phase, so we plan to have all of our "homework" done before making concrete decisions and going live.

                Thanks for asking again!


                • #23
                  Thanks for the response - I know about the effort that goes into keeping the forums running (retired after 40 years in IT). I was really concerned due to the possibility of many more categories and finding which ones had new posts. I was also really intrigued by how you were going to handle the member classification issue - I still think it is useful to see how long a member has been on the forum and how many posts they have made, but as another member pointed out that by itself does not indicate knowledge and experience. ( I usually go back to the books, manuals or consulate my AWS certified son-in-law). In other forums, I participate in, it really is part of all forum members responsibilities to politely police bad advise (hopefully without the moderators having to get involved). Usually the squirrels get the hint...


                  • #24
                    Member Classification

                    Member classification has been a touchy subject. You're right, in its current state, it's helpful, but not perfect because it is driven by quantity, not quality.

                    We had discussed adding some mechanisms to better quantify a person's "reputation" within the board.

                    An example is on (click on any member's profile under "Started by"). While their example is wayyy more than we'd ever do, (and we're unsure about our software supporting it in the first place) we thought the basic concept it presents was interesting.

                    Related to that board, their members' reputation scores are comprised of the following:

                    * Connections: Your Connections Rating represents your drawing power and sphere of influence. This is essentially composed of the number of members who have saved your profile as one of their Favorite Members, as well as the number of Members referred, which are new members who have joined as a result of your contributions to the community. As an added kicker, being added as a Favorite Member by a member with a high Overall Reputation Rating provides greater impact to your Connections score than being added by a member with a lower Reputation Rating. Finally, the number of members that joined the community as a result of an invitation sent by you, is also taken into consideration when calculating your Connections rating

                    * Value: Your Value Rating represents the sum of ratings that other members have given your contributions. Similar to your Connections Rating, your Value Rating is positively influenced by a rater whose Reputation Rating is high. The higher that member's reputation, the bigger the impact to your Value Rating

                    * Participation: The Participation Rating is assigned based upon the number and frequency of your participation with The more active you are on message boards, in the games arena, with fantasy leagues and in contests -- the higher your rating. However, the quality of your submissions must also be high to get the greatest impact to your Overall Reputation Rating.

                    * Skills: Your Skills Rating represents how well you perform in games of knowledge and skills. These games include Fantasy games as well as Trivia Tower and CBS Games ratings.

                    Just some food for thought. Would you think that something along these lines would be interesting/helpful, or bad idea/just a waste? We hesitate at this idea because we don't want to make people feel excluded. Again I say, this example is more than we'd ever do, but...
                    Last edited by Admin; 11-15-2007, 02:50 PM.


                    • #25
                      Wow - I held back on a reply, since I'm a verrrry junior member of this forum and I really thought some of the senior members, who have invested a lot of time over the years might have had an opinion. I myself, even though I'm a lowly "hobbyist" (since I don't make a living by welding, even though some of the stuff I've done was pretty serious), have a pretty good idea who's got the good stuff and who doesn't, but there again (and no offense to the old timers) I wouldn't take any advise posted here as gospel - I'll use it as the starting point and then go back to known references (mfr manuals, AWS sources, my LWS and local authority) before I make changes that cost $$, could be potentially dangerous, etc. Again, my thoughts on the subject were for the noob, who just got dad's old tombstone and wants to build a dragster chassis and when he ( or she) posts a question gets an answer from some flash in the pan or even from an old timer who's tired of the same old questions and gives out a crap answer. I suspect that the rating examples that you offered would be feasible, but unpopular and since no one seems to care enough to comment, if I was you, I'd skip it....

                      I've been checking the new posts feature and it does seem to be tied to a cookie and the browser does flag each thread listed as read, by changing the color of the thread when you refresh.....


                      • #26
                        Just ideas...

                        Again, just an interesting concept we'd seen on the web, and I was curious to see what people thought...this was nothing we've got in the works or was seriously considering for the near future. I'm surprised no one responded, but maybe people are tired of the subject.

                        I understand what you're saying regarding not taking message board comments as gospel, at least until you've had experience with a particular member and/or had tried some advice they'd given you with success, etc.

                        I also agree it may be more trouble than it's worth?

                        Thanks for responding!


                        • #27
                          i fail to see the point to changing the board?? its simple, it already has 2 options, motor sports and or projects. as many have noticed, not too many seem to care if its one or the other, they just chose the people they prefer in one site or the other or visit both. there are plenty of project related post on the ask andy side. adding will just add to the confusion.
                          we like it as is. save us all some time and hassle.
                          step away from the keyboard,
                          do not hit the change key,
                          go directly to some other project.
                          feel free to collect the $200 as you pass GO.

                          ...did i mention i would like it to stay as is for my vote.


                          • #28
                            sorry forgot, as for the title. why not just make us all members ?? why do we need to be Sr. or Jr. ????just because i joined yesterday dose not mean i don't know what i am talking about, just as having been here for 3 years dose not mean i know it either ???
                            as i see it if you take the time to register and hang out here, you are a member. the Sr. ,Jr. stuff is just counting beans.


                            • #29
                              I agree with fun4now, the way the boards are now is just fine. I don't see how changing them could be of any benifit. For most of us, change would just confuse us. People get used to the way things have been for so long that they get confused when something different shows up. Just my opinion, I'm young but I still say change may be good in some situations, but I feel that this isn't one of them.


                              • #30
                                Yea but then you gotta consider the fact that 10,000 years ago in a cave somewhere in wherever dudes were grunting their dissatisfaction about the new thing called fire...prolly with their mouths full!!


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