Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (Full Version)

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sharkboy -> Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 1:49:06 PM)

Those of you who were left pining for your edit buttons over Xmas will be aware that the Powers That Be have been doing some work on the code of the forum.  We have been advised that there may be the possibility of adding/removing a few of the forum functions while this work is underway, and we'd like to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to improve our online home.  Some of the ideas proposed so far are:
  • the addition of a spoiler button that automatically converts selected text to "invisotext"
  • the removal of the "Special Forums"
  • the removal of post counts/stars
  • the return of PM notifications

Some food for thought to get you thinking - give us your thoughts on these proposals or any other ideas you might have.

In parallel to the technical review, we think it's high time we had a look at our members' guidelines, and again we want your suggestions on how to improve the forum for its users (and, i'll add selfishly, its mods).  We're kicking a few ideas around ourselves at the minute which, once they've been tidied up, will be added to this thread for your thoughts and comments.

So how can we make this place better?  Does the 3-strike rule work? What about the Moderator Tickets? Should new members serve a probation period?  Can we better define what constitutes a breach of the rules? If so, what wording would you like to see?  This thread isn't just somewhere to highlight problems - you've got "Ask James" for that.  What we'd like to see is some well-thought-out suggestions from you!  All reasonable suggestions will be considered (so free gifts for new members is probably a non-starter!).  Some T&C however are sacrosanct , so don't expect relaxations on the display of pornographic images (sorry HIM! [:D]), or on the use of racist, sexist or homophobic slurs.

Remember, this is your forum (thanks to those kind folk at Empire Towers), and this is your chance to help make it the forum you want it to be.  Get your thinking caps on, get your ideas in and get discussing!  We'll give you until 15 March to make your suggestions, after which we'll try and come up with a revised T&C that reflects what's been agreed by all of us.

But before you even think of commenting on this part of the review, please read the forum T&C!(http://www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=631702)




homersimpson_esq -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 2:04:28 PM)

Spoiler tags would be a good idea, cos [ color=#F1F1F1] and [ /color] is a bit faffy to type every time.

(Reading that back it looks sarcastic, but I meant it genuinely!)

Never heard of Moderator Tickets...

Mods who can hotlink better would be good, cos that link takes us to the Online forum page, not the T&Cs.. [;)]

I quite like the post count, so long as it's not used as a justification of a better validity to an argument. ("Your opinion means nothing cos you only have 10 posts" sort of mentality.)

Oh, one major thing that bugs me - change the frickin smileys! I mean, what the heck are half those ones that are on the left anyway?! Either change them completely, or change them to the ones used most frequently which, I think are probably the following:

[:D][:)][;)][:(][8|][sm=augen14.gif][sm=happy07.gif][sm=huh.gif][sm=rolleyes10.gif][sm=w00t.gif][sm=whistle.gif][sm=wub.gif][sm=worship.gif][sm=angel.gif][sm=33.gif]




Squidward Hark Bugle -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 2:16:42 PM)

In the Film Reviews forum, when replying to an Empire review, we rate the film what we feel it deserves. This already exists, but viewing those posts in the normal forum POV, we can't see others' ratings. Any way you can show people's ratings in the thread itself?




sharkboy -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 2:29:54 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Mods who can hotlink better would be good, cos that link takes us to the Online forum page, not the T&Cs.. [;)]



I have no idea what you're talking about...[sm=whistle.gif]




homersimpson_esq -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 2:39:11 PM)

[:D]




DJ Satan -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 2:47:53 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: sharkboy
  • the addition of a spoiler button that automatically converts selected text to "invisotext"
  • the removal of the "Special Forums"
  • the removal of post counts/stars
  • the return of PM notifications

Agree with most of those. I find the post count quite useful to spot newbie members so we can be more helpful with them. (Also a few of the swap areas suggest a minimum post guideline for participation to help rule out passing users).

quote:


So how can we make this place better?  Does the 3-strike rule work? What about the Moderator Tickets? Should new members serve a probation period?  Can we better define what constitutes a breach of the rules? If so, what wording would you like to see?  This thread isn't just somewhere to highlight problems - you've got "Ask James" for that.  What we'd like to see is some well-thought-out suggestions from you!  All reasonable suggestions will be considered (so free gifts for new members is probably a non-starter!).  Some T&C however are sacrosanct , so don't expect relaxations on the display of pornographic images (sorry HIM! [:D]), or on the use of racist, sexist or homophobic slurs.

Do moderator tickets work? It would be nice to have a central location tickets can be sent for moderator attention rather than the current system of picking a moderator to PM and hope they are online.

I would also like to see some feedback on any complaints. If we make a complaint about a user and they are given a warning, no-one knows about it except for the user and mods. So it appears nothing has been done and you have been ignored. This means you are less likely to complain in future.




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 2:59:16 PM)

I think the post count and stars should stay and as I don't see many people using it as a way to act like a big fish it doesn't seem like much of an issue.

If at all possible I would like to see some way for forum members to change their names as some folk may wish that they had put more thought into it....[:D]




richCie -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:11:34 PM)

i like post counts, and PM notifications are already back...
invisiotext would be very helpful.
i also like the smileys, although it is annoying having to open up a new window every time u want to use one not on the sidebar.

can someone explain what moderator tickets are?


i like the forum as it is to be honest.




sharkboy -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:26:06 PM)

Moderator tickets are the formal complaints mechanism for the forum - if you see a problem with a post or poster or if you're on the receiving end of unacceptable behaviour, you can generate a Moderator ticket to bring it to our attention.  The chosen mod gets an e-mail advising him or her that a new ticket has been raised and action is taken. 

DJS, if the complaint is raised through the mod ticket route, then it is generally the practice to respond to the person who raises the ticket.  I certainly have no problem with letting someone know the outcome of their complaint, even if it's only to tell them that action has been taken.

For those unfamiliar with the Mod ticket system, you'll find the link at the top of the page, just to the right of the search link.




James2183 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:30:02 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: DJ Satan
I find the post count quite useful to spot newbie members so we can be more helpful with them. (Also a few of the swap areas suggest a minimum post guideline for participation to help rule out passing users).


quote:

I think the post count and stars should stay and as I don't see many people using it as a way to act like a big fish it doesn't seem like much of an issue.


Sadly there have been cases where post counts have come to act as status on the forum. What if instead of having the post count under their names when they post on the forum their post count could be seen upon clicking their profile? That way there is still a post count for people to see and be aware of, but not so in your face?

quote:

If at all possible I would like to see some way for forum members to change their names as some folk may wish that they had put more thought into it....


I've got no idea how that would work (that's for people not as techincally challenged as me) but the one thing I could see that being a problem with is aliases and people who have been given warnings. How would we know who was who if people kept changing their names all the time?

quote:

like post counts, and PM notifications are already back...


I think what we mean by PM notification is being told whilst you are browsing the site and not when you are checking emails. Like the awesome little envelope on the orange place. [:)]






rikkie -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:38:08 PM)

I would be 100% against people being able to change their usernames. That way madness lies!




richCie -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:39:37 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: James2183

quote:

ORIGINAL: DJ Satan
I find the post count quite useful to spot newbie members so we can be more helpful with them. (Also a few of the swap areas suggest a minimum post guideline for participation to help rule out passing users).


quote:

I think the post count and stars should stay and as I don't see many people using it as a way to act like a big fish it doesn't seem like much of an issue.


Sadly there have been cases where post counts have come to act as status on the forum. What if instead of having the post count under their names when they post on the forum their post count could be seen upon clicking their profile? That way there is still a post count for people to see and be aware of, but not so in your face?

quote:

If at all possible I would like to see some way for forum members to change their names as some folk may wish that they had put more thought into it....


I've got no idea how that would work (that's for people not as techincally challenged as me) but the one thing I could see that being a problem with is aliases and people who have been given warnings. How would we know who was who if people kept changing their names all the time?

quote:

like post counts, and PM notifications are already back...


I think what we mean by PM notification is being told whilst you are browsing the site and not when you are checking emails. Like the awesome little envelope on the orange place. [:)]





could you maybe keep post count but get rid of stars?

and i see what you mean about PM notifications, that would be pretty cool. i don't think people should be able to change names, it seems that you get to know someone and associate them with their forum name. imagine the confusion if piles changed his name halfway through his top 300...




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:39:48 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: James2183

quote:

ORIGINAL: DJ Satan
I find the post count quite useful to spot newbie members so we can be more helpful with them. (Also a few of the swap areas suggest a minimum post guideline for participation to help rule out passing users).


quote:

I think the post count and stars should stay and as I don't see many people using it as a way to act like a big fish it doesn't seem like much of an issue.


Sadly there have been cases where post counts have come to act as status on the forum. What if instead of having the post count under their names when they post on the forum their post count could be seen upon clicking their profile? That way there is still a post count for people to see and be aware of, but not so in your face?


Oh I am sure it has happened in the past and may do in the future but for every forum member that does something like that there are many more that will tell them not to. Compared to some forums Empire is pretty welcoming.

Maybe instead of stars or post counts there was some kind of points system where posters who have made good posts get some recognition? That way the first time poster could get the same kudos as  the person with 12,000 posts? This could be a big help in the reviews section which can get swamped with those one post one sentence reviews leaving the good reviews bogged down (the Indy thread in particular was hard to read through and there were some excellent reviews in there)

Just throwing out ideas here. I do like the post counts tho - feels like you have achieved something (not sure what) by reaching another thousand mark(this is in not way connected to me almost hitting 4,000)




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:40:59 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rikkie

I would be 100% against people being able to change their usernames. That way madness lies!


You would have to ask permisson in the same way we change our titles - make it a public request as well so everyone can see. And I'm not tech savvy but surely there would be some way of keeping dibs on who has changed what so they won't get away with trolling?




rikkie -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:47:11 PM)

Nah. I'm against any form of username changing. There are some things that need to remain constant - I fear change!




James2183 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:47:55 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rgirvan44
Maybe instead of stars or post counts there was some kind of points system where posters who have made good posts get some recognition? That way the first time poster could get the same kudos as  the person with 12,000 posts? This could be a big help in the reviews section which can get swamped with those one post one sentence reviews leaving the good reviews bogged down (the Indy thread in particular was hard to read through and there were some excellent reviews in there)


I think if the poster makes a valid point it shouldn't matter how many posts they have. We have people on here who have quite a few posts and still make silly comments. By doing away with the post count (or any visible sign of recognistion on the forum) it would make everyone equal, but at the same time keeping them as individuals through their titles, avatars and signatures.

quote:

Just throwing out ideas here. I do like the post counts tho - feels like you have achieved something (not sure what) by reaching another thousand mark(this is in not way connected to me almost hitting 4,000)


How do you feel about my suggestion a few posts up about keeping the number off the threads and in the persons profile instead?




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 3:59:37 PM)

 
Its not about valid and invalid points but more about acknowledging people making good posts be it one sentence or an essay. I'm sure it needs more thought than that but just something that can level the playing field and make the focus content. For instance in the Indiana Jones review thread there were some good one liners but an awful lot of it was "EMPIRE SUXXXXXX! 4 Starsss!!! Whatttt!" and I think it is a shame that those people that do contibute reviews, no matter how long or short, get shouted down in there. Maybe something along the lines of what amazon does where people will say if a particular review was helpful.

This sort of thing would only apply to the review forum.

quote:



How do you feel about my suggestion a few posts up about keeping the number off the threads and in the persons profile instead?




I suppose I just don't see this as being as much of an issue based mainly on the attitude of the vast majority of posters. However if it were to change then this would be a compromise I could get behind.




rikkie -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 4:11:59 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rgirvan44

 
Its not about valid and invalid points but more about acknowledging people making good posts be it one sentence or an essay. I'm sure it needs more thought than that but just something that can level the playing field and make the focus content. For instance in the Indiana Jones review thread there were some good one liners but an awful lot of it was "EMPIRE SUXXXXXX! 4 Starsss!!! Whatttt!" and I think it is a shame that those people that do contibute reviews, no matter how long or short, get shouted down in there. Maybe something along the lines of what amazon does where people will say if a particular review was helpful.

This sort of thing would only apply to the review forum.




We're actually talking about getting rid of those automated threads, so that only people who are members of the forum can post, as opposed to the one-post "BATMANS PWNS!" crowd who don't even know where the forum is.




Rgirvan44 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 4:17:31 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rikkie


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rgirvan44


Its not about valid and invalid points but more about acknowledging people making good posts be it one sentence or an essay. I'm sure it needs more thought than that but just something that can level the playing field and make the focus content. For instance in the Indiana Jones review thread there were some good one liners but an awful lot of it was "EMPIRE SUXXXXXX! 4 Starsss!!! Whatttt!" and I think it is a shame that those people that do contibute reviews, no matter how long or short, get shouted down in there. Maybe something along the lines of what amazon does where people will say if a particular review was helpful.

This sort of thing would only apply to the review forum.




We're actually talking about getting rid of those automated threads, so that only people who are members of the forum can post, as opposed to the one-post "BATMANS PWNS!" crowd who don't even know where the forum is.


Yeah that would certainly help things in there.

I also like the idea of being able to keep spoilers hidden. It can be a pain in some threads and being able to automatically hide it would be a big help, espcially in the tv forum.




elab49 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 4:41:30 PM)

I'm not sure I see the thing with post counts being any better if you 'hide' them if you think it is a problem - it is still there and the type of idiot that uses that argument will still use it. But it does seem to go down the route of changing it for everyone because of a couple of numpties that maybe should be being dealt with by either means, surely?

As noted above, I'm in the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it camp' - particularly given the regularity with which the forum falls over, messing about is doesn't seem likely to help. Spoiler text would be a useful button for newer posters who haven't seen the code helpfully included in some sigs - I do like Homer's idea though. It might speed up the opening of the more smileys window.




rikkie -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 4:45:14 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I'm in the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it camp' - particularly given the regularity with which the forum falls over


Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?




elab49 -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 4:52:33 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rikkie


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I'm in the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it camp' - particularly given the regularity with which the forum falls over


Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?


Just a little tad of a one. Possibly. It certainly falls into the rather large category of 'well, I knew what I meant'.

If the fix means feeding the hamsters properly on Friday evenings, I'm signed up for that one. [:)]




richCie -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 5:09:19 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: rikkie


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rgirvan44

 
Its not about valid and invalid points but more about acknowledging people making good posts be it one sentence or an essay. I'm sure it needs more thought than that but just something that can level the playing field and make the focus content. For instance in the Indiana Jones review thread there were some good one liners but an awful lot of it was "EMPIRE SUXXXXXX! 4 Starsss!!! Whatttt!" and I think it is a shame that those people that do contibute reviews, no matter how long or short, get shouted down in there. Maybe something along the lines of what amazon does where people will say if a particular review was helpful.

This sort of thing would only apply to the review forum.




We're actually talking about getting rid of those automated threads, so that only people who are members of the forum can post, as opposed to the one-post "BATMANS PWNS!" crowd who don't even know where the forum is.


what about seperating them, cos i think those automated threads on the main page are a good way of getting new users on the forum, i can't speak for everyone but it's certainly where i started of.

maybe just should have a legitimate amazon account before being allowed to post? [sm=whistle.gif]

it would actually make my day if someone came in and said "yeh i heard thats what imdb are doing"




Olaf -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 5:58:26 PM)

Any chance of birthday notifications coming back?




Stewie_Griffin -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 7:35:45 PM)

I don't know if this is the kind of thing that Sharkboy was asking from us, and I'll probably get my bollocks cut off for saying this, but how about bringing in some new Moderators? I mean some of you have been doing this for years, and to be honest, It's a little sad. Time to give others a shot at this, don't you think?

Oh yeah, and bringing back Birthday Notifications would be sweet.




Rhubarb -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 7:42:22 PM)

I actually think maybe just cutting down the amount of forums there are. I can understand why, because its a big forum and things, but it kind of feels like, say World Cinema gets a bit lost and forgotten at the bottom of the Films bit, and the discussion could easily go in Movie Musings and would probably make that place a little smarter. Same with Golden Oldies - It never gets updated, but you'd probably get more people talking about Pre-1975 films if it was just a subsection of Musings, or integrated entirely.




Stewie_Griffin -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 7:47:36 PM)

Nobody really visits any of the book forums, I don't think they'll be missed.




Rhubarb -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 7:49:42 PM)

Well it feels like you could just have most of that stuff in Off Topic, or maybe just have two or three OT forums.

It'd also cut down on the 76 Your Unpopular Opinon Threads.




Spider -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 8:24:19 PM)

The main thing I would address is the Film Review and Movie News forums - ie the ones that generate content from main site. I believe that originally the idea was to make the forum and main site linked better, but I really find it stifles discussion. There's a lot of interesting movie news that is worth proper discussion, and if treated correctly the Film Reviews forum could be a place for good discussion rather than at the moment where it feels like no one is really reading anyone elses posts. Also, without trying to sound like a forum snob, most of the comments posted on the main site are of a fairly low standard.

Personally I'd get rid of the idea of having comments from main site posted on the forum. Hopefully there will be a gradual shift to use those forums a little more, I think the forum would be better with them.

There's also a few forums you could clear, though there will be a small amount of people who benefit from each, so I'm not sure there's really much point.




richCie -> RE: Review of the EMPIRE Forums - your thoughts welcome! (15/1/2009 9:07:18 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Spider

The main thing I would address is the Film Review and Movie News forums - ie the ones that generate content from main site. I believe that originally the idea was to make the forum and main site linked better, but I really find it stifles discussion. There's a lot of interesting movie news that is worth proper discussion, and if treated correctly the Film Reviews forum could be a place for good discussion rather than at the moment where it feels like no one is really reading anyone elses posts. Also, without trying to sound like a forum snob, most of the comments posted on the main site are of a fairly low standard.

Personally I'd get rid of the idea of having comments from main site posted on the forum. Hopefully there will be a gradual shift to use those forums a little more, I think the forum would be better with them.

There's also a few forums you could clear, though there will be a small amount of people who benefit from each, so I'm not sure there's really much point.


see my above point about it being a good introduction to the forum for new users, which to be honest i think it is.

i see rhubarbs point about combining movie musings with World Cinema and Golden Oldies (which are pretty sparse) but i can't help think that movie musings would become too chatoic, and threads would just as easily disappear to that dreaded second page (how many of you look at the second page?)

the book forum is sadly beglected which is a real shame...the empire book club was good for a awhile but there just werent enough people involved.

the book reviews adn game reviews forums at the very bottom seem pretty pointless though.who actually posts there?
also what is DVD club? it rarely if ever seems to be updated and i don't actually have any idea what its for...




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