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Connecting the Website and the Forums
#1
Quote:extherianToday at 8:11 PM
No way to like an article, comment on it or interact in any way short of signing up for the forum
[8:11 PM]
I imagine folks are used to it, but I think it puts people off joining the discussion when the two sides are so distant from each other
Extherian on the discord raised a good point about the website - there is no real way to comment on articles, or whatever. This then got me to thinking.

The Idea:
There could be a button similar to the share button next to every article. This would be called the Discussion button, or the Talk button.
[Image: image.png]
example

Where would this go?: 
Well, on Wikipedia, they lead to quite technical pages.
The problem is that my intention isn't just technical, bug fixes, notes, etc for these pages. Rather, "in-universe" it goes to a Wikipedia-style technical discussion page, but in reality it redirects you to a thread on the forum. These threads would be in a special category on the forums. (extherian said that it took him years to discover the forums - which is just him, but this could make the forums more noticeable in case we got readers like that?) 


What would be these threads used for?:
As I imply-mentioned before, they would be used for all kinds of technical discussion, bug fixes, notes and so on. And with the addition of informal conversations, comments too.
"Scientia Est Potientia."
       Knowledge is power.
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#2
(07-29-2020, 03:36 AM)Everything4404 Wrote:
Quote:extherianToday at 8:11 PM
No way to like an article, comment on it or interact in any way short of signing up for the forum
[8:11 PM]
I imagine folks are used to it, but I think it puts people off joining the discussion when the two sides are so distant from each other
Extherian on the discord raised a good point about the website - there is no real way to comment on articles, or whatever. This then got me to thinking.
Thanks for the suggestion, Everything4404-
so OA has a share (facebook, twitter, baidu, etc) button off to the right in the EG. does this not show up for you? 
but as for changing the interface to something similar to wikipedia's more decentralized comment/editing system, -personally- I don't think we need it.  
i've been editing the OA articles for a few years and I think our more centralized way of editing (posting changes on the forum, getting comments, then changing the article) works better, given the resources we have currently. Unless the number of editors and pace of commenting on articles were to radically, sustainably, change, I don't see that wikipedia-style commenting system as being helpful. 
As for making the forums more discoverable- 
the OA discord welcome has a link to the forum, the OA home page has a link and the redesign will make the forum more prominent, and the EG has a link under 'home' to the discussion groups. Has anyone else had trouble finding the forums ?
(probably better to ask the discord, rather than say this on the forums Tongue


Attached Files Image(s)
   
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#3
Yes, the share button does show up for me. Why did you think it doesn't?

I guess if you say so that the centralized system works better. Still I think even with that, there should be meta comments and maybe it could be useful for EG's "janitors" (on discord I, and drashner talked about getting people to clean up the EG). Say that a forum member sees one faulty article. He goes to the talk page and posts a comment saying "Hey, this should be cleaned up." And then it shows up in your "view today's posts" feed (if you're concerned about it clogging up other posts from other subforums, just make another section or I don't know), and you can proceed to review the article and clean it up. The article drafts, etc would however still stay in the centralized system.
"Scientia Est Potientia."
       Knowledge is power.
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#4
Usually this forum is the most efficient way of commenting on articles. The typos thread can be used for mis-spellings and grammatical errors; other, more complex issues can be discussed in their own thread.
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#5
Various thoughts here:

First, each page in the EG (and most everywhere else) has a Contact Us link at the bottom that takes the user to a contact form. The form gives them the option of either making a general comment or notifying us of an issue with the page. The result is emailed to us when they hit Send.

We get a fair number of these in any given day - mostly spam but also the occasional question, comment, artwork inquiry, or error or typo notification.

It's not the most obvious thing in the world, particularly for the longer articles, but it is there.

In the redesigned website, the main page and 'business pages (= non EG pages) will place the Contact Us link at the top of the page under the Participate button - which will be part of the overall controls, which will 'hover' at the top even if someone scrolls down. So a bit easier to find.

Currently all of our redesign efforts are focused on the main page and the 'business pages'. This because when we polled the membership about what changes they wanted made, nobody said anything about the EG pages. Well - other than me, and the changes I requested have all pretty much been implemented already.

That said - Trond and I have talked about this a bit already and once the current site redesign is complete, we will likely turn our attention to the EG. At that time, things like this kind of proposed change could be seriously looked at. But we don't currently have time and resources to make this change right now.

Speaking more generally - While I'm not flat out against this kind of thing, I find myself feeling quite leery of it on the principle that we have no interest in 'feeding the trolls' or otherwise making OA similar to the comment sections on various news websites or Twitter or the like where people can (and do) spout off whatever random nonsense comes into their heads - mostly because they can. While it's certainly not a major effort to fill out an online form or join the forum, that minor bit of work perhaps keeps some of the less pleasant aspects of the online world a bit removed from us. Something that wouldn't necessarily be the case if people could just post any random thought from any page in website.

Not saying that would definitely happen or that I'm definitely against this idea - but we would need to have a good think about it.

Todd
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#6
I should note that we also occasionally get comments and ideas on the OA Facebook page, which we reply to and act on, when appropriate.
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#7
My point in suggesting this on the Discord is that the Orion's Arm community isn't a fraction as active as it was in the early days of the project, and this is unlikely to change given the way the site and forums are structured now, which I feel is an impediment to future growth. While I would love this community to become more mainstream, I get that folks here are comfortable with the way things are and aren't particularly keen to change the status quo. And obviously, the idea was that people would still have to sign up for accounts to comment, just with a more direct link between reading articles and discussing them. It goes without saying that an anonymous commenting system would be unworkable.
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#8
(07-29-2020, 07:34 AM)extherian Wrote: My point in suggesting this on the Discord is that the Orion's Arm community isn't a fraction as active as it was in the early days of the project, and this is unlikely to change given the way the site and forums are structured now, which I feel is an impediment to future growth. While I would love this community to become more mainstream, I get that folks here are comfortable with the way things are and aren't particularly keen to change the status quo. And obviously, the idea was that people would still have to sign up for accounts to comment, just with a more direct link between reading articles and discussing them. It goes without saying that an anonymous commenting system would be unworkable.

These are interesting points
but as a more general question for the newer folks and maybe those who've been around since the beginning
could the higher activity actually have been due to lower barriers to entry, so to speak, or because all the low hanging fruit hadn't been taken yet? or other reasons? 
because there also wasn't as much consistency or careful editing as there is now, from what I understand. 

i'm curious if one of the reasons you "don't comment/edit on articles" because it's harder to comment on them, extherian? everything4044? (obviously you do comment and contribute a lot!)
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#9
I feel like the political development of the setting in particular doesn't get much attention these days. It's rare that anyone fleshes out a major historical event, and we don't see many people proposing new powers like the Arion Ascendancy or the Perseus Princes any more. A certain amount of this is probably low-hanging fruit, you're right, but to this reader it seems as though history has ended for the Sephirotics. They've learned to coexist, have solved every problem that could be of relevance to a lesser being and appear unthreatened by anything save for the Amalgamation. The Oracle War was good stuff, but that was posted all the way back in 2006!

Also, as far as I know we don't have threads for commenting on existing articles, unless you're talking about articles in progress on the EG subforum?
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#10
(07-29-2020, 07:34 AM)extherian Wrote: My point in suggesting this on the Discord is that the Orion's Arm community isn't a fraction as active as it was in the early days of the project, and this is unlikely to change given the way the site and forums are structured now, which I feel is an impediment to future growth. While I would love this community to become more mainstream, I get that folks here are comfortable with the way things are and aren't particularly keen to change the status quo. And obviously, the idea was that people would still have to sign up for accounts to comment, just with a more direct link between reading articles and discussing them. It goes without saying that an anonymous commenting system would be unworkable.

What - specifically - about the current structure of the site and forums prevents the community from being more active?

Please provide specific issues or reasons as you see them.

Also, what is the value - specifically - of people being able to comment on articles? What problem do you see this function solving?

Todd
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