TechSpot

New community features

By Julio Franco
Jul 15, 2012
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  1. Feature #1
    You can now tag users Twitter style. For example like this:
    Matthew and the user will get linked and alerted automatically (still testing this last part).

    Feature #2
    There's now a preview option in the quick reply box.

    Feature #3
    Topic starters are now marked on each of their replies.

    Feature #4
    Post count and likes are shown by default (except newcomers) next to each of your posts.

    Feature #5
    New spam protection layers added on the backend.

    Feature #6
    Profile shortcut links -- for own profile page and others, see the left sidebar below the avatar
    http://www.techspot.com/community/members/julio-franco.1/

    Feature #7
    User leaderboard -- most active users in the past 15 days showcased on the forum homepage and members list
    http://www.techspot.com/community/members/

    Feature #8
    User leaderboard & birthdays shown in the Community forum (right sidebar):
    http://www.techspot.com/community/forums/general-discussion.6/
     
  2. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    Awesome!
    Thanks for the those!
    It would now be easier for those requesting tech support to know they can trust the person helping them. Also, the preview feature helps in making a good layout.
    For some reason though, the 'Advanced' option, when used in editing, shows the post content in HTML, like <p> and < / p> not sure if it's a bug on my end, but it happens in Firefox and Chrome in Windows and in Ubuntu both.
     
  3. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    Just noticed, when I wasn't logged in and opened a thread, I didn't see the "Topic starter" starter I see when I'm logged in.
    To explain, here are some screenies:
    Screenshot - Sunday 15 July 2012 - 10:32:01  IST.png
    (When logged in)​


    Screenshot - Sunday 15 July 2012 - 09:51:14  IST.png
    (and when not logged in)​
    Is it just me or anyone else noticed it?

    I tested it both on Linux and Windows, Firefox and Chromium.
     
  4. Jay Pfoutz

    Jay Pfoutz Malware Helper Posts: 4,286   +49

    Nice new items! (y)
     
  5. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,589   +351

    Marnomancer, the topic starter not showing to guests is on purpose.

    Also, not sure where are the edit advanced options?
     
  6. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,589   +351

    Features #6 through #9 added! :)
     
    DragonMasterJay likes this.
  7. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 938   +44

    Wow, very nice Julio, I like the new "leader board" thing!

    Keep up the good work, you and your staff are kicking butt and taking names! :)
     
    DragonMasterJay likes this.
  8. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    Ah, I see. Just curious.

    Apologies, but I'm still stuck with the old vB terms a bit. I meant the "More Options" button. Somehow, when I reinstalled Flash last night, the problem disappeared! :eek:

    So all's well now. :D

    As Zen said, great features!
     
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,395   +169

    I see you recently changed the options under Forums again. I now see "Most Recent Discussions" along with "Recent Activity"
    • Is "Discussion" a new term? Is there a difference between "Discussions", "Conversations" and "Threads". Seems a bit confusing to interchange the use of all 3?
    • "Recent Discussions" also seems to conflict with terminology you see when you click it (I.e. you see a page titled "Recent Threads")
    • Personally, I simply like "Recent Threads" but at most stick to 2 not 3 terms?
    • Just curious, what's the functional goal/purpose of offering "Most Recent Activity" vs. just supporting display of most recent threads? Maybe (probably) it's just me, but the purpose and need for "Most Recent Activity" still eludes me
    /* Edit */
    OK, while I'm at it, I'll throw in some more feedback you can consider (or not :) )
    • Is there a need to call something "Most recent" vs. just "Recent". Latter seems more succinct and "Most recent" sounds unnecessarily redundant
    • Having just a "Join Techspot" tab seems confusing to those of us who already have a login. Click the join button to login?
    • Once you click "Join Techspot" you see these nice two prominent buttons on the left to join via twitter and facebook. Seemed harder to find those simple Login and Join links on the right (The display also seemed unbalanced in that respect, at least to me). Perhaps create some nice, eye catching colored buttons for Login and Join on the right to balance the ones on the left (and make them easier for the eye to catch when one first looks at that screen)
     
    Benny26 likes this.
  10. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,577   +47

    I hear that ^

    I've been used to the "What's new?" button for the past few weeks and now it's vanished :( ...Now I'm using "Most Recent Discussions" which I think is doing the same thing (?)

    I understand 'Conversations' though; they're like PMs although you can get other people in on them (think I'm right in saying)
     
  11. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,589   +351

    I hear you, too.

    Along with the addition of new features, I'm also shifting things around a bit. Unfortunately as we tweak settings and try to optimize the forum, mistakes are a given. In this case I agree it's not very clear what threads/topics should be named (we are inclined to say topics), so adding a third term simply makes things worse. So I'm correcting this ASAP.

    As Benny26 said, conversations are an improved version of the private messaging option we had before.

    "Join TechSpot" is certainly better than the previous generic "Login or sign up", especially if you are new to the site.
    I'm hoping that if you are already in, then you will know your way around and will bare with us as we make changes for the better :)

    In the coming week or two, we will add a hover action to that "Join TechSpot" button, so you will be able to login inline, without having to load another page. So as you can see, it will eventually make better sense.

    As always, thank you for your kind feedback.
     
     
  12. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,589   +351

    Not a new feature, but we are parting ways with Xenforo's default behavior of forcing topic links to go to the last unread message. From now on, topic titles will simply go to the first page and first post of the topic. A new "fast forward" icon will take you to the first unread post if you want to use that shortcut. All unread topics will remain in bold so they are easier to browse.
     
  13. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,589   +351

    While we discuss new changes... FYI:

    We are parting ways with Xenforo's default behavior of forcing topic links to go to the last unread message. From now on, topic titles will simply go to the first page and first post of the topic. A new "fast forward" icon will take you to the first unread post if you want to use that shortcut. All unread topics will remain in bold so they are easier to browse.
     
  14. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    I'm currently having issues with my auto-pilot function.
    I keep clicking "Search Forum" for "Recent Activity". Too used to the location. The shift was unexpected. :D

    The one opening up a thread from Post #1 rather than the last unread feels a bit lengthy though. Can't find the Fast-Forward button. :confused: Sorry if I'm being a pain. :oops:

    The Most Recent Topics feature is not very different from the "what's new" thing, but IMHO it would be handier to have something which shows something like threads needing response, like recently posted w/ no replies, because the way it shows "recent threads" is similar to "recent activity".

    Solely my opinion though. :)
     
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,647   +323

    I don't like that method.. Liked the default behavior. It took a couple days of getting used to it because it was different from how it worked on the old board, but then I got used to it.

    It seems a superior way of browsing, you click the full link and it takes you to what you last read. In the odd event you want to read the entire thread over again you can click back to page one.

    This seems like a step backwards. I'm far more likely to want to read a thread starting with the first unread post than I am to want to read the entire thread again. Now it is 2 clicks and if the thread is multiple pages it will take another page load to get to where I want.
     
  16. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Yup, I agree. Liked the old way better.
     
  17. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,589   +351

    Recent Topics is the same as What's New, just renamed and relocated. What you describe is not an issue per se, but rather the adjustment it's taking you due to the change. I'm sure it will fine in a couple of days. As you can imagine, the forum transition (and unplanned server issues) were a big undertaking, so we tried to focus more on getting functionality right rather than getting fancy about the layout or those kinds of things. We are moving onto that phase now however...

    Before I had placed the What's New right below the Forums tab, so it was easy to pin down with your mouse. But I figured, if you are already in the forum, having it as the first option makes it as accessible and easier to notice to newcomers. What's New was also a bit on the generic side.

    I will look into an option for showing topics with zero replies. That's not stock functionality but I can probably add it somehow.

    If you can't see the fast-forward button, it's your browser cache. Please reload this on a new tab, then it should be visible:
    http://www.techspot.com/community/styles/default/xenforo/xenforo-ui-sprite.png
     
  18. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,589   +351

    I just merged two threads discussing recent forum changes.

    I recall SNGX disliked the XF way, until he adjusted. Let's take a couple of days and see where we land this time.

    If you can't see the fast-forward button, it's your browser cache. Please reload this on a new tab, then it should be visible:
    http://www.techspot.com/community/styles/default/xenforo/xenforo-ui-sprite.png

    So it shouldn't take more clicks, it's just not the default for the title.
     
  19. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 808   +51

    That was exactly my point. :)
    Yes, that it is. I'm used to the old way, new one will take time getting used to.
    Urm..actually, I'm not sure where to look for it.
     
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,238   +1,547

    Nice changes!! :)
     
  21. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,086   +84 Staff Member

    Marnomancer the fast forward button is to the right of user avatars.

    Screenshot 2012-07-18 at 17.48.png
     
  22. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,647   +323

    Yes, I did complain with the behavior when the new forums happened. But then I realized it was superior to the old way. Now we are going back to the old way and I'm not able to figure out why..

    Users want to click the biggest/easiest thing (thread title) and end up at the first unread post, at least I'm sure most of us want to do that most of the time. So making us click a small >> to get that result isn't the best way.

    If I don't click that, I end up on page 1 first post. Now, if the thread is more than 1 page, I have to click something else to get where I want, thats another page load.

    Another problem is if I've already been to a thread (like this one) and have left, then want to come back to comment, I have no way of getting to the last post quickly. The >> is gone (because I've read all the posts) so now I have to click the individual page number I want, or click the thread title and end up at the first post.

    What is the benefit of changing it from how it was?
     
  23. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,932   +126 Staff Member

    I agree with SNGX, I liked the previous behavior of going directly to the most recent new post better
     
  24. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,589   +351

    Essentially I never got used to it and that sentiment I believe was shared with some of the staff members. So when I proposed moving things back to the way they were it seemed like a good idea and I thought we weren't alone on this issue.

    I have another idea that could result in a good compromise for both sides.
     
  25. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,468   +327

    re Recent vs Most Recent:

    The concept of NEW allows us to find exactly that, posts with zero follow-ups.
    The Recent Activities differs in that these would be posts with one or more follow-ups, sorted descending by date, time and limited to X top results.

    Looking at the existing implementation, the Most Recent results also include non-zero follow-up counts.

    Personally, I favored the prior implementation
     


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