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What Does Everyone Think About The New Site Layout?


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#261 Gaiiden   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5274

Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:18 AM

Actually, now that I think about it, why am I getting ads when I'm a paying GDnet+ member? :blink:

You might see some if they are newly added, like the post separator ad was. If you see anything besides the leaderboard, box and forum-topper ads let us know if it goes on for a few days

Drew Sikora
Executive Producer
GameDev.net


Sponsor:

#262 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:23 AM

I really miss the active topics button. It was my bookmark to GDNet.

#263 achild   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1941

Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:31 AM

I really miss the active topics button. It was my bookmark to GDNet.


I think that's about the same as clicking "View Latest Content" at the top of it-looks-like-every-page, and then clicking the "Forums" tab.

#264 SiCrane   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9668

Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:31 AM

I really miss the active topics button. It was my bookmark to GDNet.

As has been mentioned a couple times in this thread already, the equivalent in the new forum seems to be the Active content page.

#265 Mike.Popoloski   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2931

Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:33 AM

i'm on a lot of technical other forums, where accuracy and correctness is needed. the only-plus rating system works very well.

and you can flag posts that are incorrect or inpolite. just report them. which i do on the other forums, too.

as said, it's a CHANGE. you can not YET say if it's for the better or the worse. but you could at least try it first, instead of going into attackmode. without trying it out for a while, we can't KNOW if it works, or not.


I'm not sure as to the origins of this sentiment that discussing problems with the new site is somehow equivalent to whining or attacking the developers, but it's patently ridiculous. When you support a software product, you don't consider users submitting feedback and bug reports as personal attacks, do you? I know for me, user feedback is ALWAYS appreciated, even if we don't always end up making the change the user wanted. So much so, in fact, that both at work as well as in my hobbyist projects I continually reach out to users to cajole them into giving feedback. Trying to put a damper on that here seems absolutely mind boggling.

As for the rating system, it's not hard to look at the new system and determine logically what the outcome of its effects will be. You don't always have to run an experiment to know the outcome of a process. Trying to dump off the role previously filled by the rating system onto the moderators, who already have enough work to do, doesn't sound like a brilliant move to me. It's not really their job to try to run posts through the constantly fluctuating filter of community standards, and even if it were I don't think they could do it with any degree of success.

Where would they draw the line? Profanity? How about if I just call you a stupid moron? What if I followed you around and after every single one of your posts, I also posted a followup "I think everything he just said is wrong."? I bet that would get me an even higher rating, since a few people might find it funny to rate those posts up, and anyone who finds it annoying won't have any recourse but to bug the moderators to censor me when the actual content of my posts isn't breaking any rules.
Mike Popoloski | Journal | SlimDX

#266 __sprite   Members   -  Reputation: 461

Posted 11 January 2011 - 12:32 PM

As for the rating system, it's not hard to look at the new system and determine logically what the outcome of its effects will be. You don't always have to run an experiment to know the outcome of a process. Trying to dump off the role previously filled by the rating system onto the moderators, who already have enough work to do, doesn't sound like a brilliant move to me. It's not really their job to try to run posts through the constantly fluctuating filter of community standards, and even if it were I don't think they could do it with any degree of success.

Where would they draw the line? Profanity? How about if I just call you a stupid moron? What if I followed you around and after every single one of your posts, I also posted a followup "I think everything he just said is wrong."? I bet that would get me an even higher rating, since a few people might find it funny to rate those posts up, and anyone who finds it annoying won't have any recourse but to bug the moderators to censor me when the actual content of my posts isn't breaking any rules.


That would get you banned, I suspect. And how is this different from the previous system? If users found harassment and trolling funny, they could rate it up in the old forums too. It's also still possible to ignore users if you dislike their posts that much.

I guess the moderators responsibilities include moving threads around and maintaining specific FAQs and probably other things; I can't find an FAQ that details the moderators job description. However, to a large extent I think applying certain standards IS part of their job (at least, that's always been my impression) e.g. closing threads which become abusive or contrary to the gamedev rules / terms and conditions, as well as dealing with users who break those. This happened in the old forums.

I feel that some things could be better about the new user rating system: ratings could perhaps be more visible, and individual posts could have down voting. However, I think it's rather extreme to say that because users lack down-voting, standards of posting will suddenly drop. If you want to maintain standards then make useful posts, and encourage others to do the same. If users are motivated to do this by a number, that's great, but if they're not I don't see why they would care any more about down-voting than up-voting.

#267 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 11 January 2011 - 12:47 PM

As for the rating system, it's not hard to look at the new system and determine logically what the outcome of its effects will be. You don't always have to run an experiment to know the outcome of a process. Trying to dump off the role previously filled by the rating system onto the moderators, who already have enough work to do, doesn't sound like a brilliant move to me.

But you ignore the problem with the old system. That a rating specifically designated to indicate helpfulness and technical knowledge could and was (no need to experiment there) lost for things unrelated at all to helpfulness or technical knowledge. It also had the problem of not being on the same page as the posts themselves, which has it's own bag of side effects.

The system as is now will see the cream rise to the top eventually. I think people are just upset that their ratings got lost, even though they were pretty arbitrary.

I do agree that flagging individual posts as unhelpful is important, but I don't think it should affect the user's profile negatively as they were just trying to help or voicing an opinion. As far as I know this is the same way stack overflow works but slightly less complicated?

If a person is conducting themselves in a way that hurts the community, then yes it should be the moderators job to step in. That's a large portion of their responsibility; to moderate. Entirely self moderated communities are usually trash because the community very rarely holds itself as accountable as a moderator holds themselves

Szecs suggestion might help some, but the new system is already implemented and will probably have the same effect.

#268 Mike.Popoloski   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2931

Posted 11 January 2011 - 01:15 PM

That would get you banned, I suspect. And how is this different from the previous system? If users found harassment and trolling funny, they could rate it up in the old forums too. It's also still possible to ignore users if you dislike their posts that much.


If it were that blatant then I agree, it would probably get me banned. But a more subtle variation most likely wouldn't, because banning someone is a blunt and heavy handed punishment; you either broke the rules and are forcibly removed, or you're not. There is no measure of degree. You can't just ban someone for being chronically stupid or unhelpful. As for how this is different from the previous system? I would think this would be obvious. With a downvote, users can "punish" me for my rudeness, which in turn drops my rating and can push me below rating thresholds that many users use when browsing the forums.

I guess the moderators responsibilities include moving threads around and maintaining specific FAQs and probably other things; I can't find an FAQ that details the moderators job description. However, to a large extent I think applying certain standards IS part of their job (at least, that's always been my impression) e.g. closing threads which become abusive or contrary to the gamedev rules / terms and conditions, as well as dealing with users who break those. This happened in the old forums.


Yes, it's the mod's job to enforce de jure rules. Is it also their job to enforce the de facto standards of the community, which are far more flexible and can fluctuate rather quickly? How would the mods even determine these "community standards"? In the old system they are an amalgamation of everyone's opinions, not determined by any one person or group of people.

I feel that some things could be better about the new user rating system: ratings could perhaps be more visible, and individual posts could have down voting. However, I think it's rather extreme to say that because users lack down-voting, standards of posting will suddenly drop. If you want to maintain standards then make useful posts, and encourage others to do the same. If users are motivated to do this by a number, that's great, but if they're not I don't see why they would care any more about down-voting than up-voting.


I'm not bothered by rating based on post. It was an oft-requested feature of the old system, and it lets you see which of your posts are making a good impression, and which aren't. Without a down-vote to counter up-votes though, they basically lose all meaning. As for why they would care more about down-voting than up-voting? Well, down-voting implies the loss of goodwill built up from previous work. With only up-voting, there's no need to worry about individual posts as much, since they can't ever hurt you, only help. You can throw out posts here and there without thought to how they affect the community's image of you as a whole; unlike in real life where everything you say will be held against you, for good or for ill.

But you ignore the problem with the old system. That a rating specifically designated to indicate helpfulness and technical knowledge could and was (no need to experiment there) lost for things unrelated at all to helpfulness or technical knowledge. It also had the problem of not being on the same page as the posts themselves, which has it's own bag of side effects.


I think this is a common misconception; I don't think the old rating ever denoted only technical competence, nor was it meant to. It simply stood for your reputation in the community. Each person has some opinion of you, and an idea how the rating system works, as he sees it. If someone decides that he will rate down people with poorly written posts, he's completely within his rights to do so, and your rating will reflect that little piece of his opinion of you based upon that. I know that personally I find language debate threads to be incredibly asinine and inane, so very often starters of such threads would find themselves rated down based upon that. It lets me express my opinion of such threads without requiring moderators to step in and ban people. I may not like such threads, but I don't think users should be banned for starting them either.
Mike Popoloski | Journal | SlimDX

#269 Nytegard   Members   -  Reputation: 823

Posted 11 January 2011 - 01:20 PM

As for the rating system, it's not hard to look at the new system and determine logically what the outcome of its effects will be. You don't always have to run an experiment to know the outcome of a process. Trying to dump off the role previously filled by the rating system onto the moderators, who already have enough work to do, doesn't sound like a brilliant move to me. It's not really their job to try to run posts through the constantly fluctuating filter of community standards, and even if it were I don't think they could do it with any degree of success.



But you ignore the problem with the old system. That a rating specifically designated to indicate helpfulness and technical knowledge could and was (no need to experiment there) lost for things unrelated at all to helpfulness or technical knowledge. It also had the problem of not being on the same page as the posts themselves, which has it's own bag of side effects.

The system as is now will see the cream rise to the top eventually. I think people are just upset that their ratings got lost, even though they were pretty arbitrary.

I do agree that flagging individual posts as unhelpful is important, but I don't think it should affect the user's profile negatively as they were just trying to help or voicing an opinion. As far as I know this is the same way stack overflow works but slightly less complicated?

If a person is conducting themselves in a way that hurts the community, then yes it should be the moderators job to step in. That's a large portion of their responsibility; to moderate. Entirely self moderated communities are usually trash because the community very rarely holds itself as accountable as a moderator holds themselves

Szecs suggestion might help some, but the new system is already implemented and will probably have the same effect.


I've stated before that I personally feel the ratings in the Lounge wasn't a great idea. But at the time, one of the moderators came back and stated that even if you removed the ratings from the Lounge, what's to stop them from searching every non Lounge post (which I can agree with to an extent)?

I've never made it any secret that I've never cared for the ratings system. I prefer the only rate up approach, with reasons that way2lazy2care stated. If a person posts incorrect technical information in a post, they'll be corrected, and at the same time, probably won't have a good rating to begin with. If a person is being a jerk and obstructing the community, then yes, it's a moderators job.

Excluding areas where a moderator should get involved, the rate down feature seemed in my opinion to be most used in Lounge topics dealing with opinion. I personally don't see how opinion is unhelpful towards the overall community. But if we're talking something like politics, why should someone's personal belief harm their overall perception with their technical knowledge? Right now, you can rate the post, which is how it should be. Politics? Unhelpful and avoid. But at least this way, it won't be "You believe in XYZ? Then obviously I'm not going to trust you, nor should anyone trust you, when it comes to the following C++ question." The typical response in the previous forums was "Well, if you care about your rating that much, avoid answering questions in threads that people feel passionate about". What about people who are passionate about such threads and also care about their rating though?

#270 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 11 January 2011 - 01:30 PM

I think this is a common misconception; I don't think the old rating ever denoted only technical competence, nor was it meant to. It simply stood for your reputation in the community.

It said quite plainly in the "rate this user" dialogue what it meant. I am sorry that so many people don't read the dialogue before clicking it or assume that it means something that it isn't meant to.

edit: I think rating people down also makes people more likely to become apathetic to the rating, which makes them less likely to change their manner of posting. In the new way, they are still encouraged to help even if they might have a controversial personality.

#271 Gaiiden   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5274

Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:35 PM

Let's all pause this conversation, read my blog post, and then come back.

Drew Sikora
Executive Producer
GameDev.net


#272 MarkS   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 887

Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:44 PM

Let's all pause this conversation, read my blog post, and then come back.


Well, I read your blog post, so...

I like the new site layout. The old one just looked old and clunky. This one appears far more organized and clean. I still would like to left click on a link and have it open in a new tab, but seeing as how that suggestion was so vehemently opposed...

I just noticed that I only have eight posts... That's not right...

#273 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 11 January 2011 - 04:10 PM

Let's all pause this conversation, read my blog post, and then come back.


Hai! Good entry. It pretty much reflects what's been discussed. I have a comment:


The analog of Active Topics as pointed out by SiCrane is

Active Content
http://www.gamedev.n...earch&do=active

not

Lastest Content
http://www.gamedev.n...earch_app=forum

I thought it was important to mention that cause many user are asking about it.

I've enabled the Bookmarks Bar in my browser and added a link to Active Content there to have it at hand.
I like the Walrus best.

#274 Gaiiden   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5274

Posted 11 January 2011 - 04:32 PM

The analog of Active Topics as pointed out by SiCrane is

Active Content

Oh right. That one is a little harder to find so I'll update the post with it

Drew Sikora
Executive Producer
GameDev.net


#275 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7558

Posted 11 January 2011 - 05:55 PM

If a person is conducting themselves in a way that hurts the community, then yes it should be the moderators job to step in. That's a large portion of their responsibility; to moderate. Entirely self moderated communities are usually trash because the community very rarely holds itself as accountable as a moderator holds themselves


No one is suggesting that the community be completely self moderated, however at the same time I maintain that the community should be able to indicate to someone that they are stepping outside of what the community wants.

The old rating system was brought in towards the start of 2005, some years before you joined it would seem, and I recall a very quick improvement in the overall quality of the forums as suddenly both positive and negative actions had some form of recourse from the community. This was a good thing, this has now been removed. As a student of human nature this worries me frankly.

As a moderator I see it as my job to control the more extreme problems which happen (such as when two people get into a proper slagging match), maybe a quite word to steer people back onto topic from time to time and maintain threads with regards to stripping out pointless or extreme posts which aren't helpful.

I don't see it as my job to try to enforce some sort of level of community behaviour (if only because my idea of what is acceptable probably doesn't match the same view held by many others) aside from the aforementioned 'extreme' cases.

#276 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:06 PM

No one is suggesting that the community be completely self moderated, however at the same time I maintain that the community should be able to indicate to someone that they are stepping outside of what the community wants.

If only there were a way for people to tell people that they were carrying themselves poorly. Perhaps this feature could be implemented in such a way that the thing that offended them could be included in how the offenders are told so they know specifically what was said. Perhaps there could even be a link to the original post in that so they can go back and look in context. To make sure they really feel the impact you could make it visible to the whole community. It should of course be closely tied somehow, perhaps it could exist in the same thread as the original post.

If only there were some way to have this sort of functionality in the new system!


The old rating system was brought in towards the start of 2005, some years before you joined it would seem, and I recall a very quick improvement in the overall quality of the forums as suddenly both positive and negative actions had some form of recourse from the community. This was a good thing, this has now been removed. As a student of human nature this worries me frankly.

Again it comes down to what you want the reputation to signify. Do you want it to be a number to stick on how agreeable and popular you are, which no person past high school should care about, or do you want a number that signifies how helpful or technically inclined you are, which isn't well served by negative feedback outside of moderation in extreme situations.



#277 Drilian   Members   -  Reputation: 1025

Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:31 PM

It said quite plainly in the "rate this user" dialogue what it meant. I am sorry that so many people don't read the dialogue before clicking it or assume that it means something that it isn't meant to.


You're right. It very clearly said something along the lines of "helpful or friendly" which is not, at all, just the "technical competence" that you have mentioned.

Overall, I basically agree with MikeP. While I do like the concept of rating posts rather than users, I feel like not being able to rate posts DOWN is, overall, a detriment to the community in my opinion.

#278 TheUnbeliever   Members   -  Reputation: 961

Posted 11 January 2011 - 09:41 PM

Having had a couple days to think about it, reading the rationale behind some of it, and with the UI tweaks, I think I can now change to 'Do Want'. Tenatively.

Tuppence on ratings: whilst I like the idea of being able to search for highly rated posts, and can see why that would be useful alone, I think there is utility in being able to downvote a post to indicate to other users (the asker, people coming via search engines) anything that's inaccurate rather than simply not so very helpful that it gets rated up from 0 - a sort of floor effect.
[TheUnbeliever]

#279 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 11 January 2011 - 10:13 PM

It makes me sad to see that haters won't be able to rate down anyone anymore when they feel uncomfortable with someone else's opinion.

I'm so sad...
I like the Walrus best.

#280 Josh Petrie   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3840

Posted 11 January 2011 - 10:35 PM

Frankly I couldn't care less about whether or not post votes influence reputation, but the inability to vote stuff down is stupid. At the very least you should be able to correct your own mistakes or change your damn mind.

Josh Petrie | Game Developer, Undead Labs





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