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Usage of the "follow topic" feature -- give us your feedback!


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Poll: Why (if at all) do you use the "follow topic" option? (40 member(s) have cast votes)

Why do you use the "follow topic" option

  1. To keep track of valuable topics for future reference (13 votes [17.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 17.33%

  2. To keep track of topics I want to continue to reply to (15 votes [20.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  3. To keep watch for replies to my own responses (16 votes [21.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.33%

  4. To keep track of topics that may degrade into an argument (5 votes [6.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  5. I don't use it because I see no use for it (10 votes [13.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  6. I don't use it because I wasn't aware of it (4 votes [5.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.33%

  7. To keep track of a topic I'm planning to respond to later, but aren't ready to reply to. (12 votes [16.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.00%

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#1 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17752

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:00 AM

To clarify, the feature in question is the "follow topic" button found in the upper right when viewing any topic, as highlighted in the following image:
follow_topic_button.png

Given the discussion currently being held in the topic "+5 for following" in the Comments, Suggestions & Ideas forum I wanted to get some actual stats on how you -- our community -- actually use this feature so we can make a properly informed decision.


Please also feel free to give your opinion on the matter being discussed either here or (preferably, so we can keep the replies together) in the linked topic, we'd love to know everyone's thoughts.


Thanks for your time! Posted Image

Sponsor:

#2 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2716

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:14 AM

Another reason: Because I too want the answer to the question (which hasn't been posted yet), or is at least vaguely interested in what responses might be, but have nothing to say (yet)

Edited by Olof Hedman, 13 November 2012 - 03:18 AM.


#3 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17752

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:28 AM

Thanks Olof -- I've added that option in case others want to choose it. Posted Image

#4 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2716

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:12 AM

Thanks!

I guess my reason was two.
Also if I don't really plan on replying, but is just interested to see how and what people will respond.

The post might be nothing special really, and will likely not be very useful, and will probably not become an argument, I'm just somewhat interested in either the subject, or the general forum response :)

Edited by Olof Hedman, 13 November 2012 - 05:15 AM.


#5 Shippou   Members   -  Reputation: 1471

Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:02 AM

I really do not have a use for it. Topics I find interesting, I bookmark, and than file accordingly. If the topic is really good, I save the text to my hard drive.

2 issues I have with "follow" in forums:
1:- They tend to spam the crap out of my Email box
2:- Random forum bugs and/or updates , can completely mess up "follows"

Edited by Shippou, 13 November 2012 - 09:23 AM.

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2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

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#6 SiCrane   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9498

Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:15 AM

I used to use the equivalent feature to keep track of answers to common questions that I could copy and paste when they came up again. Ever since I lost the bookmarks from the previous version of the site, I don't trust the feature for that kind of usage anymore. There doesn't seem to be a point to using something the staff has been clearly unwilling to support.

#7 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2716

Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:23 AM

I'd just like to add, that the main usage I have for it is to keep track of threads I've been active in, to follow up on replies and maybe reply again.
And that is a vital function I absolutely require of any forum I use, if there is no way to easily list my active threads, I tend to stop using that forum rather quickly...

I only need two tabs, "active" and "new", first go to active, check through those, and only after that (maybe, if I have time) check the "new threads".

I rarely go to the subforums directly

#8 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6974

Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:09 PM

I feel like I should clarify my "I don't use it because I see no use for it" vote: I'm not really sure what "following" a topic even does. I certainly don't want emails. There's already a star by topics I've posted in, and usually I post in the ones I care about. I've already got bookmarks in my browser for common GD threads/answers. For me, personally, it doesn't add anything that either a) I can't already do myself, and b) I don't need to be bothered to "come see new posts to GD" because I'm already here waaaay more than I should be.
[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#9 SiCrane   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9498

Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

I'd just like to add, that the main usage I have for it is to keep track of threads I've been active in, to follow up on replies and maybe reply again.

You don't need to follow threads to do that. On the top right of the page, click on your name next to the sign out button, and then click on the My Content link from the drop down.

#10 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1970

Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:57 PM

Personally, I don't use it but I would use it if I felt that it's essential that I be informed by email of replies to something. Currently though I can't think of any reason why I'd need such an update on a thread so urgently.

If I come across a thread or an article that I want to come back to later, I"ll just bookmark it.

#11 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12978

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

I can’t remember for sure if I have ever actually used it, but if I have I can certainly say that there was no result in having used it. That is, even if I actually did once use it on a topic, I never received any updates on said topic, which, assuming no bugs on the site, means that no one ever replied.

That doesn’t mean it should go away though. Every option counts, even if not everyone is using them.


L. Spiro
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I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
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#12 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17752

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

That doesn’t mean it should go away though. Every option counts, even if not everyone is using them.

To be clear, we're not looking at removing the feature, just making an adjustment: at the moment, explicitly "following" a topic gives a small reputation boost to the original poster, with the original thought being that they must have created particularly valuable or interesting content, but it's seeming more like a lot of people use the feature for other reasons.

#13 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2716

Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:33 AM


I'd just like to add, that the main usage I have for it is to keep track of threads I've been active in, to follow up on replies and maybe reply again.

You don't need to follow threads to do that. On the top right of the page, click on your name next to the sign out button, and then click on the My Content link from the drop down.


Ah, thanks, I had overlooked that option.
Then the watched list is just more convenient to me, since I can add topics to it without replying, and still have everything in the same list :)

#14 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3017

Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:57 AM

I seldom use the feature.
Even if it's there, I often realize I forget about it. Maybe it should get a big button like the top black reply.

I can’t remember for sure if I have ever actually used it, but if I have I can certainly say that there was no result in having used it. That is, even if I actually did once use it on a topic, I never received any updates on said topic, which, assuming no bugs on the site, means that no one ever replied.

Have you checked your notification options in profile settings? The default settings are a bit awkward in my opinion.

#15 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12978

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:45 PM

I see, but it is meaningless if it does not show me some kind of notification.
I don’t go to my profile unless there is a notification of some kind.


L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
L. Spiro Engine Forums: http://lspiroengine.com/forums




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