This New Forum
What is wrong with a forum that doesnt move, i.e. isnt covered in animated gif adverts?
Guys at STW, you are at serious risk of devalueing the site and turning it into a corporate gateway to hell, its possibly not the final article, and this may have been said before but the way yyou insist on bunching together all the forums into one is terrible from a userbility point of view.
For example in classifieds why not seperate FS, WTD, OT into 3 areas, you dont need go so far as bike magic as that is too detailled but this is so generic that the forum doesnt invite conversation as no one can find anything.
It just turns into loads of 40 something audi drivers giving sarky one liners about last years sleepless race to each other.
Thoughts and abuse welcome…..Posted 9 years agobigyinnMember
Bland i think you’re being a bit harsh.Posted 9 years ago
I dont tend to even notice the ads TBH. Yes there are a few of them, but so what? Do you complain about adverts on TV or in the papers? No. Someone has to pay the bills and ads do the job just fine.
With regards to the classified forum, its how it was before the great hack of ’08 and it worked fine then.
Give it a month or so and you’ll be used to it by then.freeform5spotMember
Its fine at the moment and getting more and more used to it now.Posted 9 years ago
I am sure that it will end up looking like the previous pre-hack version (which was pretty much bob on before it went down).
As for the ads, well its just basic economics. Websites cost cash to run – ads produce cash.miketuallySubscriber
I don’t like the ads, but more people click on the animated ads than on the still ones, so they’re probably going to stay.
Splitting the forum any further would be terrible. I actually preferred it when the chat and bike forums were mixed together, though I can get that from the front page of the forum now.Posted 9 years agocoffeekingMember
I got banned for criticising the ads…
I got banned for rick-rolling! 🙁
bland – I’m not keen on the new forum either, on several grounds:
1) The search is a pain to find.
2) The layout is horrible – you cant easily spot the start of a message – somehow it seems it would naturally be under the “underline” but thats near the end of the message. No like.
3) Adverts are a tad annoying, but necessary – as a forum admin and self-hosted person I know the need to get a little cash back if possible!
But separating the FS/WTD/EBAY into different forums WONT work IMO, it makes the for sale section work nicely but the wanted and ebay ones wont ever get a look in – keeping them mixed is good. Why would you want discussion in the for sale section?
So my recommendations for the site are:
1) Use the new-ish (before the git messed up the site) template but with the new (current) forum software, allowing edits etc.
2) Put the damn tabs back.
3) Put the search back at the top!
But it takes time to do these things, and the forums are an add-on for the magazine, not the be-all and end-all of the site.Posted 9 years agobombermanMember
I preferred the way that on the old site you could click on a forum and the threads would be arranged in the order they were made, and not by most recent reply. I like to look on the classifieds a lot but all i see at the top of the page are threads that i’ve already looked at – just that someone else has replied to. All the new (and potentially interesting) threads get pushed into oblivion. where do they go??!
having said that i don’t mind the ads. i don’t think this site would exist without them.Posted 9 years agoblandMember
Well i didnt want to sound like too much of a winging swine even tough i did get on my soap box a bit.
How about a regional riding group section, i.e. splitting it up into different regions, an overseas section, a ride guide section, a technical help section, a ride guide/route section, thats what i was referring to.
Information just gets lost far too easily and i as one dont bother looking for useful information here which is a shame as there is a wealth of it going to waste.
I just think that it moves too fast and no real discussion is ever started as the popsts just get lost in the mass of irrevelant discussion.
I know its as it has been but the old one used to drive me mad too. SOuthern DH and descent world have it right even though its full of Groms you can gain useful info on reviews, rides, races etc etc and topics remain in view for more than a dayPosted 9 years agobarneySubscriber
I suspect that this forum is very much a work in progress, thrown up in a hurry when the old one got hacked.
So it’ll not have many of the features that the guys eventually want right now..
But the ads, which pay for this *free to the user* service, are here to stay, I reckon.Posted 9 years agocoffeekingMember
I preferred the way that on the old site you could click on a forum and the threads would be arranged in the order they were made, and not by most recent reply.
Strange, I hate that. Generally the threads that havent been replied to are not worth reading, but I just click through a few pages in case something catches my eye. I hate having to come back and scroll through an unknown amount of pages to find one I replied to a day or two ago to see if it has new replies.
I personally dont think people come on here for in depth discussion, whenever one occurs half the members moan that its boring, someone gets heated about something and people get banned. Its a bit like going to the pub and having a mate sit and explain the complexities of thermo/fluid dynamics over 4 hours rather than just point out that hot fluid sounds softer when you pour it than cold (it does, listen when pouring cold and boiled water from the kettle into the same receptical!).
Internet discussion is rarely based on truth and reality, its usually based on opinions. other than factual “here is how you clean an X” posts, most of it is just people regurgitating google results and pretending to know all anyway, in any forum.
I run a few forums (car and sport related) and all of the ones broken down into areas and tech help, chat on and off topic etc are a waste of time – the mods are constantly moving posts between forii as people got it wrong, one or two of the boards get the most viewings and people asking for help in one of the less frequented boards never get a response because people like to congregate in one area (like in parties, people tend to stand/sit in one room and have little discussion groups, rather than spread out into different rooms hoping for a more pure discussion.Posted 9 years ago
If you keep harping on about your ban Simon I’ll ban you again.. and we have some new very cool mod powers now too 😉
On a serious note it’s important to bear in mind that we are not at a finished product yet and there’s still lots to do and things to change. The ads you see here on this forum are the same ones you had on the old forum and as has already been said they are required and will stay. They used to run down both sides of the site and we switched them over to the right hand column only, albeit making that column wider, in order to reduce the visual impact. Of course doing that has to be balanced against the fact that visual impact is an intrinsic part of effective advertising. Oooh it’s all so complicated 🙂Posted 9 years agoDracSubscriber
How about a regional riding group section, i.e. splitting it up into different regions, an overseas section, a ride guide section, a technical help section, a ride guide/route section, thats what i was referring to
I like the simplicity of STW myself 3 simple forums, one for bikes, one for selling stuff and one for talking absolute drivel a bit like the other 2 but random drivel.Posted 9 years ago
I think we have a nuanced situation. When Chipps came to give the Bog Trotters a talk in 2006, he told me STW accounted for about 15% of ST revenue. Now, judging by the remarks made when the site was hacked, the proportion is a lot more significant. Although the Singletrack team provide support for the forum, their contribution to its content is quite small, and what gives the site its value is the contributions of the membership, yet we are told, because it is ‘free’, we have no say in how it is run, and are liable to be banned if we criticise some aspects of its operation (especially the moderation). I have no particular beef with autocracy, provided it is benign, but I think it might behove ST to admit that it is our use of the forum that is increasingly paying them, and stop pretending we are relying on their generosity. I’m grateful for the existence of the forum, it’s great fun, but I’m unwilling to bend to arbitrary power. Criticism has a useful function as a means of improvement.
I’m saddened by the fact that I had pause to think that I might be banned for posting this 🙁Posted 9 years ago
Our policy on how we run the forum remains the same Simon. We ARE very appreciative of the support we have got from readers of this website over the years but our moderation of the forum has always been wih the aim of preventing it from becoming like many others out there in terms of layout and organisation and also in terms of the content and how it is used by the readers.. There is a perception by many forum users (and I’m talking all foums and not just bikes) that you are free to say whatever you wish to say and that no one should be offended because, and I quote what has now become a cliche, ,’It’s only a forum’ or, ‘It’s not real life’.
Well we have always disagreed with that standpoint. This IS real life. What is posted here has the same impact on readers as if it was said to their face. More so in fact as the audience here is much MUCH larger. Our guiding principal and one which we fully intend to stick to, is that you say on here only what you are prepared to say to the recipients face, in the REAL world. There is NO difference as far as we are concerned. We add to that that thsi forum is to be considered as if it was a public place, such as a pub or cafe etc. You would not expect to be allowed to act in a way in a pub that would be detrimental to the pub itself. If you shouted in a pub that this pub was rubbish and there was better and cheaper beer down the road you would expect to be asked to leave. The principal is the same here.
All are welcome. All are welcome to express opinions and chat and be respectful of everyone else who comes here. But as soon as you start to act in a way that contradicts those principals you will be asked to leave.
The rules we have in place are designed to allow the forum to be used by the widest possible range of contributors. That’s why you have to be mindful of what you post and how it will be received in exactly the same way you would moderate yourself in any public place. The fact you are seemingly shielded from the direct consequences of your posts on any forum is an attitude that all users of this forum must resist if they want to continue to use it.
These are our principals and they will remain so for the foreseeable future of this forum. We don’t think they are too much to ask really and if you summarise them down to a restriction of free speech and find them objectionable in that context then you are free to do so.. but it doesn’t change how we expect you to behave and use this forum.
We have never shied away from criticism and we welcome it, contrary to popular belief, but if that criticism has a direct impact on the existance of this website then we will remove it. Censor it. Moderate it. However you want to express it. But it is the way this forum has operated for years and we feel they are the reason that this forum beats the pants off all the other bike forums out there in terms of sheer volume of posts. Just look at the numbers at the top of the forum.
So Simon, I welcome your comments and because they are neither rude, disrespectful or threaten to undermine the ability of this website to pay it’s way in order to provide you with its functions, your post stays and this discussion continues.Posted 9 years agoaracerSubscriber
Nothing wrong with any of that sort of modding, Mark – IMHO it is one of the things which makes this forum so good, and I’ve certainly complained before about people thinking that because it’s a forum it doesn’t matter what they say and that it’s fine to bully people. The issue is that sometimes it has seemed to go a little beyond that in censoring viewpoints which disagreed with the corporate policy.
I should admit that in my former guise I too once got banned for a similar reason to sfb – though have to say that Mark et al were extremely responsive in sorting the problem I objected to whilst I was banned 🙄 Hope it doesn’t get me banned again to suggest that being banned from here once is a badge of honour a bit like being imprisoned by the Brits was for revolutionary leaders 😀
…and back to the new forum – IMHO it has many advantages to the old one, but still missing some things (which have mostly already been mentioned), like the tabs and the preview (edit isn’t quite the same).Posted 9 years agomr_struSubscriber
I, as a lurker, think the forum seems to operate pretty well compared to many others. Part of that is the moderation. It’s hard to build up online communities and the general evidence is that the ones that work well and last have a pretty strong ethos on what the community is about and what sort of place it should be. And enforce it. This is especially true of things like forums which have a very low barrier to entry.
So, you might not like some of the rules but I think the forums wouldn’t be nearly as useful as they are without them.
0: A good example of this is Flickr: if you go and trawl through the help discussion on flickr then it’s full of examples where moderators have stepped in to close stuff down that they see an inappropriate. Flickr and especially Heather Champ – their community manager – get a lot of respect for their skills at building a community.Posted 9 years ago
and I quote what has now become a cliche, ,’It’s only a forum’ or, ‘It’s not real life’.
oh yes, I agree about that. The medium of communication is irrelevant, except inasmuch as remarks shouted over a fence (like this) may be made with slightly less regard to the consequences. I think from time to time you’re a little precious about moderation, but I agree it is needed, and I can see that you don’t want to endlessly revisit the same arguments over it.Posted 9 years ago
I make no apologies (to you at least) for banning you. You pissed me off! So I picked on you and made a special rule just for you at that particular time. I’m precious about this place, yes. It’s a major part of my life and who I am. When people start to undermine it I get grumpy. Mostly because I have a unique POV in that I see the direct impact that this place has on the lives of everyone that both Chipps and I are responsible for. This is the way I am and the way I have always been, and I daresay I shall continue to be that way in the future. It’s YOU who has to get used to that, I got used to it a long time ago 🙂Posted 9 years agoAnonymous
I make no apologies (to you at least) for banning you. You pissed me off! So I picked on you and made a special rule just for you at that particular time
i think before i comment on this i’d better ascertain whether you’re serious, or if the smiley face at the end of your commentary was intended to cover every sentence contained therein.Posted 9 years ago
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