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My top ten criteria for the new forums

Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2009 Feb 21, 2009

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This is my view on what the new forums should provide. This is what I'll personally be measuring the new forums against when we have a fully testable beta version.

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1 - The new forums should encourage the participation of new members, both to feel encouraged to seek help in the first place, but also to stay and become long-term contributing members of the online community here.

2 - The new forums should alienate the existing users as little as possible, as there's no point in having questions with no answers - though equally there's no point in having answers with no questions. A tricky balance to strike.

3 - Response of the forums should be no worse, and hopefully better, than typical performance here in recent months. If that means beefing up the hardware to accommodate the demands of more graphic-intensive software, so be it.

4 - The forums should look not unlike the majority of typical modern internet forums. This will not be favoured by those familiar with the sparse appearance of the present forums, but incoming new members expect to see something that looks more contemporary and familiar in style, even if there's a modest performance cost.

5 - They should function not unlike the majority of modern internet forums, in terms of the user interface and usable features. If you've got your first problem with Adobe software and you arrive in the Adobe forums for the first time, you don't want then to be confronted with something that looks like another problem and which takes time and effort to understand. The learning curve should be absolutely minimal. There should be a very low turn-away rate (potential users taking one look and backing off before participating or even complaining).

6 - The search function should be state of the art. If you have a good manual for the product software, a good user interface for it, and a good search engine for the knowledgebase and forums, the number of questions needing to be asked should be significantly lower.

7 - To support the regular participants it should be possible to list the discussions which have unread posts in any given member's selected forums, and within those discussions it should be possible to go directly to the unread content without scrolling around to find it. It should then be possible to go to the next unread post in the next unread discussion without first going backwards to the overall list.

8 - NNTP access, though a mystery to me, seems highly valued by some, and providing it does not seem to mess with what the rest of us see (setting aside the quoting problem), so let's have it.

9 - An effective mechanism to enforce the forum rules by restricting access by individuals who persistently break the rules should be provided - and there should be no simple way round it. Failing that, provision of an inbuilt method for users to ignore posts by other specified users is necessary.

10 - There should be a properly functioning list of banned words.

=================================================================

That's my top ten list of criteria - though in five minutes I'll probably think of some key stuff I have left out.

What's yours?

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replies 125 Replies 125
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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Dorothy - John's a bit busy now. He's got my list of issues, and those posted here. I'll wait til he has a demo ready.

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Guide ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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dave,
>um, where am i? sorry, i'm not following you.

My #49 refers to your #47. I was typing while you posted #48.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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ah... htere i am. :)

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LEGEND ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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I suppose people like Dave, Ann, Ramón and others, who have given 1000s of good answers over the years will have to start as newbies too!

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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>people like Dave, Ann, Ramón and others, who have given 1000s of good answers over the years will have to start as newbies too!

Some of those people just may not want to give their time to helping anymore in an environment that appears to be about to become a thoroughly unpleasant and unrewarding and time-wasting space.

I am not interested in "scoring points" and playing other kindergarten games.

If the Adobe Forums are no longer to be set-up for adult and professional discourse, I have no interest in being part of them.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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>Ann Shelbourne <snip> Do any of us really want to contribute<br /><br />>Chris Cox <snip> I'll wait til he has a demo ready. <br /><br />Rather than crying "the sky is falling" as some seem to be doing... let's do as others are saying and wait to see what the sky looks like when there is something to see<br /><br />We can all speculate on "Would'a Could'a Should'a" all day long... and none of it means anything until we have a product to test<br /><br />Once the preview forum link is announced I will look, and provide feedback in whatever forum is appropriate<br /><br />Until then, I will continue to enjoy the "over the top" commentary

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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>I suppose people like Dave, Ann, Ramón and others, who have given 1000s of good answers over the years will have to start as newbies too!

actually if the UID tie in worked, long time helpers SHOULD be credited with all their posts, no?

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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oh and there's some guy named jj, or john, or yoko who's answered thousands of questions in the ps win forum as well. i think he should be grandfathered, or mothered, or something. :)

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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> Until then, I will continue to enjoy the "over the top" commentary

Why don't people stop with these kinds of comments. It is also inflammatory. Have you been in these forums for 10, 15 years? I would think if you had you would feel you had something to say and might jump up and down a few times too.

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Participant ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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I believe that message counts will come over. But any point totals would all be starting from scratch because the system allows other users to give you points instead of just giving out points automatically for posting.

Message counts for those who participated only by NNTP on the Macromedia Forums will be starting over from zero because all NNTP users were lumped under one account "NNTP User" there. The same thing doesn't happen here because NNTP users here had to log in with their forum name/password in order to access via NNTP.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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>But any point totals would all be starting from scratch because the system allows other users to give you points instead of just giving out points automatically for posting.

OR we could (as in you could 😉 ) just turn off the whole points thing. i guess that's a corporate decision. please just promise us that you won't let too many guys wearing suits into that meeting! XD

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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John C:

Some 14 year to build these Forums into a standard for the entire industry and you are now prepared to throw all that away for what you have just described?

I can assure you that if you go ahead with these plans to introduce ridiculous and infantile "features" like Points and Avatars I will not be prepared to paddle in your KiddiePool.

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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Like I've said before, where the forums elsewhere I participate in have points etc, nobody seems to pay that much attention to them. In one where the points system was eventually scrapped, that too passed with barely a comment.

Points systems only matter to people to whom they matter, if you see what I mean. If we have it in the new forums, IMHO it will be a novelty for a couple of weeks and then for most people, it'll become a yawn. I'd be very surprised if it had any significant effect on whether most people participated or not - compared to other factors.

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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OzPeter:

I do NOT contribute to Forums that go in for Points and Avatars and that includes Apple (where I probably could make myself quite useful if I chose )

But I don't.

I use web sites and Forums purely to learn facts, and to gather and share technical information.

I wish to be able to acquire and absorb that information speedily:

I expect to be able to see (in one quick glance) which topics (from a visible tightly spaced list of perhaps 70 topics) are new, have additional material or might be of interest;

I expect a Search engine that can find both Topic Headlines and relevant text within a message; and which works at least as speedily and effectively as Google;

And I would like to be provided with sufficient space in which to compose postings using a readable type-size.

Nothing else.

I don't care what other contributors look like, how often they post, or whether or not they have awarded themselves (and each other!) meaningless titles, decorations or medals of merit!

I have no desire to waste time in the sort of imbecilic environment that so many of you seem determined to create even in Forums that apparently are supposed to support sophisticated applications used by highly educated Professionals.

In other words, what i need and expect from a Corporation of Adobe's size and prominence are:

"The facts, Ma'am and JUST the facts!

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New Here ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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Why do people on Internet forums spend weeks describing how they are going to quit? Why don't they just leave? And why, if they do leave, are they always back a week later? It's an Internet forum, for crying out loud, not the Supreme Court or the House of Lords.

GAFL!

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Guide ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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Some jerks prefer to criticize users in the form of a question, "why do", etc.

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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Well that's a clear and straightforward manifesto, Ann. The more of those we get the clearer the picture of how users see things Adobe will have at a glance. (Bad English!).

> Why do people on Internet forums spend weeks describing how they are going to quit? Why don't they just leave?

We've not arrived at that point - yet. But every single person here is going to have to decide for themselves whether the new forums (as finally implemented) work for them with adequate effectiveness and efficiency in terms of both form and function, and therefore whether or not they will continue to participate - and perhaps that goes without saying and therefore doesn't need to be restated.

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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double post

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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> Some jerks...

That is too polite a term.

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Explorer ,
Mar 05, 2009 Mar 05, 2009

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Too many personal attacks again - let's stick to the brainstorming approach.

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New Here ,
Mar 06, 2009 Mar 06, 2009

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Anne said:

>I do NOT contribute to Forums that go in for Points and Avatars and that includes Apple (where I probably could make myself quite useful if I chose )
------

Again on the apple Forum, both Avatars and adding points, are optional.

It you the type person who thinks nobody's but your answers are correct, then you don't have to rate any answer.

The way the point system works on apple forums is you the person posing the question thinks the question was " helpful" then you can give the person whom gave the helpful answer a point. It say nothing about being the most correct answer based on classic text answer. It means helpful to the person asking the question or too someone else reading the question who happens to have same or similar problem.

From your experience and education, you may think the answer is awful and would like to wring the neck of the one posing the answer, because of what you know. But if the answer fixed the person's computer or software that was used by the questioner. That's all that matters.

Everyone seems be hung up on silly stuff. Avatars and a point system if done right do nothing to detract from the experience if its fast and there are no problems signing in and staying signed in.

That the two most important issues. Speed, and the most hassle free experience getting signed in and staying that way.

The first is besides the type software used, is based on the fastest most modern Servers availble. and the Fastest connection.

The second, is based on not messing with or screwing up sign cookies. So that they all have to be destroyed and started over.

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New Here ,
Mar 07, 2009 Mar 07, 2009

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Banning posters may be a good idea, but posting banners is not.

Based on the screen shot ...

Looks like too much following fashion and too little design.

Type is too small. Why override the default I've set in my browser? Only because fashion says type on the web should be too small to read.

Get rid of the user's signup date. I'm constantly confused on web forums because I see the signup date and think I've wandered into an old thread. More generally, don't display anything within the threaed about the user except name and link. If I need anything else, I can click on the link.

If there's no option to turn off avatars, I will set my site preferences to reject images from the site.

Ratings and points are useless.

One of the biggest pains in web forums (including the current one) is typing into a pinhole window, with no autosave. Newsreaders solve both. Hard to address in a web forum. I've seen one forum where there's +/- buttons below the composition box to change its size -- helpful but only in one aspect. This problem may be bigger than Adobe.

And a lot of what others have said ...

Edward

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Explorer ,
Mar 07, 2009 Mar 07, 2009

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Edward:

The input window in the present Adobe Forums version IS re-sizable (or it is on a Mac) by pulling the lower right-hand corner down and out.

The forum-set type size is far too small on a high resolution screen and I haven't found a way yo change that in my Account User Prefs. although Cmd Plus will do it on a case by case basis on the Mac.

Apart from that, I am in total agreement with your comments concerning:
User's signup date
Option to turn off avatars
Ratings and points

And also with your comments:
>Based on the screen shot ...

>Looks like too much following fashion and too little design.
>Type is too small. Why override the default I've set in my browser? Only because fashion says type on the web should be too small to read

Excellent points!

Why the hell is Adobe suddenly even thinking of "following fashion" in graphic design when it has always attempted to LEAD in the past particularly at a time when current levels of web site "design" are so abysmal?

Wasn't Adobe founded (and the reason that they invented PostScript in the first place) in order to introduce some sort of Typographical Standards into the fledgling digital printing industry along with creating some outstandingly good new Typefaces?

The proposed Forum design is unworthy of Adobe's standing in the world.

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New Here ,
Mar 07, 2009 Mar 07, 2009

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You can set (at least on Mac) the font size used both current replies and what font size is used when you type in answers by going to preferences in the little fine print at the top of each page you come to when you see a topic.

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Explorer ,
Mar 07, 2009 Mar 07, 2009

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There is NO setting in those Adobe/User's preferences that I have ever been able to find that directly affects the type- size in the "Post a Message" box.

The only way to do that is in your own Safari Prefs. under the "Universal Settings: "Never Use Font Sizes Smaller Than "

and that then mucks up the use of every other web site.

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