Categories and Forums Discussion

Discuss the policies of ePlaya here.

How do you feel about the current ePlaya structure?

It's great!
5
7%
Works for me, but could be improved.
10
14%
Never found it a problem.
20
28%
OK, but could use some work.
13
18%
It really needs work.
12
17%
What were you guys thinking?
5
7%
What day is it again?
7
10%
 
Total votes : 72

Postby Tiara » Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:17 pm

Also, I think most of the announcements that are currently in the Greeters Station area are outdated, and should probably be moved to an announcement archive somewhere within this eplaya feedback folder.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:24 pm

Actually, there are a lot of threads that could be archived. Perhaps if you put in a cut off date. 24 pages is a lot to wade through--most of those will never be active again.

IMHO>
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Postby spectabillis » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:40 pm

If anyone has any ideas please post them before the next meeting early next week. I plan on raising attention to them.
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Postby emily sparkle » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:59 pm

i wonder if there's a mod to make a shadow of the hello & introductions thread in all topic folders. they would all point to the same thread. i don't see a way to do this through the admin panel....
:) emily sparkle
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Postby emily sparkle » Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:20 am

ooh... i think i found a way to do this... :)
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Postby admin » Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:28 am

hey gang, i put a redirect link to the introductions thread in the greeters station. we could also do this in other forums or with the appropriate faq or not at all. let me know what you think.

:) emily
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Postby spectabillis » Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:16 pm

GuinivereElise wrote: I would really like to see it pared back, simplified, with just the titles, and perhaps the descriptions, on the index page.



Just curious, have you used the 'Watched Topics' feature?
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Postby GuinivereElise » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:41 pm

I have, SB, but it's not an issue of only wanting to see certain topics. It's an issue of being completely bombarded visually upon entrance to the board. I don't want to create a priority rating for the threads for myself, but instead want to not have epileptic fits when I look at the index page. I think it's highly uninviting, daunting, and confusing, even for someone who generally knows the basic flow of the board (I know that if I wanna discuss something like this, I have to find the feedback threads, but newbies may not).
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Postby Chai Guy » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:47 pm

I agree, I've been using these boards since they started in the current Phbb format and I've never had more difficulty navigating them than I have since the last roll out. I would love to see 5 or 6 main categories and then just let the threads fall behnind those. Something like:

Structures & Art

Theme Camps

Tips and Tricks

Discussion

Lost and Found

Regionals

Tickets
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:35 pm

Yeah, the problem is we have people saying both pro and con things about it, wiithout any clear consensus either for or against.

This is why I like the idea of each user customizing their own topic structure. If that is not possible, then a selection list of differenct structures?
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Postby GuinivereElise » Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:49 pm

I realize that my opinion is con-with-no-clear-suggestions-for-fixing. I apologize for that, but don't really feel adept enough to come up with something myself. I can harken back and say that of all the things I've seen so far, I still like Trey's mockup from before the eplaya went live again.

I like the idea of having something simple, perhaps with a one-line description underneath, on the index page. My personal opinion...
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:17 pm

Even though it seems an almost even split, I feel a bit guilty for my initial recommendation. I wish I had a better idea to fix it than seeing half the people upset on which side is chosen.
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Postby Chai Guy » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:40 pm

I realize that they put "Greeters Station" on top and even added "Start Here" but it still seems to me that a new user might not know what a "Greeter" is if they haven't been to the event before and might not click on it to get information.

Might that information better be done in a different format (like a sticky at the top of each folder?)
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:19 pm

About the naming, a lot of work was put into the development of the main site, and the intention was to have links from there into the relevant sections of the eplaya. Some of the naming and topics were specifically asked for by org peeps so they know where to go to answer any q's. I think bex is doing that with ticket info, and cameragirl recently answered something on rideshares. Thats why you see some shared naming.

The Start Here Topic was meant to be filled in with other relevant information, including the link you see to the "Hello and Welcome..." introductions thread.

What you mention with the sticky thread has been mentioned before, even by me. That idea was to have the overall rules and links (maybe site-map?) in the main Start Here topic, then a second sticky topic in each main sub-topic for specific info and rules that may apply to just that topic.

Your thoughts?
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:02 pm

GuinivereElise wrote:I like the idea of having something simple, perhaps with a one-line description underneath, on the index page. My personal opinion...


Feedback from Spanky, a strictly flat structure is not possible. Dont think a user selectable list of different structure viewing options are either.

Damn.
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Postby Martiansky » Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:23 pm

Is it just me or is the time off the hour from daylight savings time?
So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs
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Postby GuinivereElise » Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:30 pm

spectabillis wrote:
GuinivereElise wrote:I like the idea of having something simple, perhaps with a one-line description underneath, on the index page. My personal opinion...


Feedback from Spanky, a strictly flat structure is not possible. Dont think a user selectable list of different structure viewing options are either.

Damn.


why?
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:56 pm

Wednesday wrote:why?


Sorry Guin, but the best answer I can give you is something along the lines of the current structure took a lot of work, and its not possible. That was the reason given, barely over that many words.

Not sure if I am having un-fair expectations on developers who are volunteers... in fact... not sure how I feel about a few things right now.
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Postby GuinivereElise » Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:08 am

spectabillis wrote:
Wednesday wrote:why?


Sorry Guin, but the best answer I can give you is something along the lines of the current structure took a lot of work, and its not possible. That was the reason given, barely over that many words.

Not sure if I am having un-fair expectations on developers who are volunteers... in fact... not sure how I feel about a few things right now.


no need to apologize to me, at all, SB. I wasn't trying to be a bitch... what I was thinking was that, if there is a reasonable explanation as to why it can't happen, then I'm fine with that answer.


i'm not sure how I feel about that answer, either, sb. not blaming you, of course. you're just the messenger.
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Postby Badger » Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:43 pm

With the limited number of threads i'm not sure where to post this link but thought it'd make for some interesting reading seeing as I've referenced them enough. The Well turns 20. Have a look:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/04/07/DDGSBC3OVG26.DTL
.
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Image
.
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Postby III » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:06 pm

>Feedback from Spanky, a strictly flat structure is not possible.

either he misunderstood the question, you misunderstood his answer, or someone (possibly, but unlikely me) doesn't know what they're tralking about. the plethora of existing bbs fora which do this (of which this is one example) should be evidence enough.

i have realized that, aside from the simplicity and allowing for organic growth factors i mentioned earlier, part of what drives me nuts about the current layout is the "too many pockets" effect. if i have 3 pockets in my clothes, they fill up with stuff, but i can find what i'm looking for pretty quickly. if i have a dozen or more, i get frustrated trying to find something that i had just put in them. even if half of them are empty, or don't have stuff i want, i still end up looking through them and get frustrated in the process. similarly, i can't find or remember where the interesting content here is, to the end result that i juts haven't bothered aside from peeking in on the "policy discussion" section maybe once a week. i know i'm just another data point, but the tangle of categories, even if they're all visible at once, obscures the content i want to get at underneath. it's like playing 3 card monte with half a deck of cards...
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Postby III » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:07 pm

>existing bbs fora

i meant phpbb fora. my apologies for not catching this on preview.
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Postby spectabillis » Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:03 am

III wrote: ... you misunderstood his answer...
could be.

... part of what drives me nuts about the current layout is the "too many pockets" effect. if i have 3 pockets in my clothes, they fill up with stuff, but i can find what i'm looking for pretty quickly. if i have a dozen or more, i get frustrated trying to find something that i had just put in them.
I can see that. But what about getting too many things accumulated under one topic? As an example viewforum.php?f=3 currently has 26 pages of topics.
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Postby spectabillis » Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:14 pm

From - viewtopic.php?p=155512#155512

theCryptofishist wrote: I'd say "anything pre-(chosen date) and more geared towards community and joking around. Useful threads are worth keeping nad threads about the philosopical yeas and neays of children (for instance) are issues that are gonna keep coming up again, so we may want to keep the old discussions and build on them. Maybe trying to prune to a pre-set number of topic pages (4 perhaps) would mean that we get rid of enough dead wood without killing the tree.


How does this sound for a start?

- a general date to start from for chatty or purely social topics
- need an understanding of what topics are important to keep intact

I need feedback from people on what and where before I touch anything.
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The Provinces are Jungles

Postby Captain Fuckwit » Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:20 am

The March 2005 Year Edition of the Eplaya Index is impressive. As imperfect as anything, the Hierarchy of Forums seems stable- Seven trunks, branching to one, two, or three arteries that then branch to the provinces of topics: The Index hierarchy encompass a lot of area without being too big. I see its elegance, perhaps, in the number seven- seven trail-heads. Humans innately like the number seven as well as the number three. We see the elegance in simplicity. Sometimes this is enough. Perhaps for these reasons, the Index page is intuitive. It really came out nice. This certainly reflects well today on the Eplaya Team whom did assemble it so. See the Index page for yourself. It does a good job.

At the provincial level, where the list of topics is at, the Admins and Moderators should collar themselves at the no-slack end of a chain made of gold. An Admin or Moderator can easily break the chain, only to be seen as a mad-dog on the loose. At the provincial level, topic names will range all over the place, from the opaque and the inane, to the significant and the deliberate, to the pointless, the mispelled, the mischievous, to the normal, to the drab, to the functional, to the fab, to the fecund. And the numbers of Topics that a user will have to page through to scan it all will possibly range into the infinity of fear's oblivion. Unfortunately, it will be in our own fascist nature to want to clean up these provinces, to make order out of apparent chaos, to fence it in, for the good of everyone else. Some users will promote a much needed cleansing of this board with all the drama of falling down a hill! It's at these times that an Admin or Moderator should appreciate their being tied by the gold chain- The Admin or Moderator is no user's agent.

The provinces of Eplaya, by their own nature, will always be jungles. You can't tame a jungle, except by cutting it down to extinction . We very well know, that the lively life is in the jungle, where things eat and things get eaten. We're newbies every day . User feedback that advocates the taming of the jungle for the sake of the newbies is ignorant and harmful advice. We're here because we're self-reliant and because we want to be here. And regardless of all our engineering, we're still in a jungle of humanity where our crude nature resides. We can make a better BBS. But beware the fascist pipedream of creating a perfect order in concrete. The jungle is much more alive.

The Admins and Moderators can only do so much. Topics can and should be moved to their appropriate classes, if caught quickly enough. As far as pruning threads goes, that's a Fool's errand. Pruning topics borders on censorship. (Censorship is not an accusation, censorship is a dynamic of awareness of supression.) Pruning doesn't really do any good. How threads are born and die and live to die again is its own ironic mystery. At a point, it's better to apply Admin efforts toward the Search engine. The Search engine improves either by improving the software or by simply improving people's training to find and use the Search Engine effectively.

Sincerely yours,
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Postby Bob » Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:09 am

Since it's all gone to shit already for this year, here's a couple of suggestions for next year, or the next time you guys decide to screw around with the topic structure:

When I've told people how to find to a particular eplaya discussion, I've done it by giving directions rather than an encoded URL. It just makes more sense, by way of trying to help familiarize people with where to find information rather than spoon-feeding them a blind link -- or it did when the topic titles were shorter and punchier. IMO any location in the eplaya hierarchy should be able to be described on one typical line of email text (ie <= 76 characters). The URLs on the main website pretty much conform to this, btw. Note the difference between

ePlaya Forum Index -> ePlaya :: Burning Man for the other 51 weeks -> ePlaya Feedback -> Policy Discussion -> Categories and Forums Discussion

and

ePlaya Index -> Feedback -> Policy -> Categories and Forums

142 characters v. 59 characters

Also, I'm sure the multitude of chatty-cathy topics are great for fans of the eplaya as a chat room, but the "Q & A, Tips and Tricks" topic area is getting pretty crowded with more specific techie topics alongside the newbie posts. When there was a top-most newbie area, and a separate structures & camping tech area, it seemed to make more sense.
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Postby spectabillis » Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:58 pm

Bob wrote:. Note the difference between
ePlaya Forum Index -> ePlaya :: Burning Man for the other 51 weeks -> ePlaya Feedback -> Policy Discussion -> Categories and Forums Discussion
ePlaya Index -> Feedback -> Policy -> Categories and Forums
142 characters v. 59 characters


Good point, great example and I think there was a different reason for Burning Man for the other 51 weeks that was due to restructuring. I wish I knew what that was, because its an added 34 characters that completely throws me off.

the "Q & A, Tips and Tricks" topic area is getting pretty crowded with more specific techie topics alongside the newbie posts. When there was a top-most newbie area, and a separate structures & camping tech area, it seemed to make more sense.


Dont know what you mean by 'top-most newbie area'? Do you mean creating sub-topics under Q & A, Tips and Tricks?

I actually think moving the Hello and Welcome... What's your name? Tell me about You... newbie/intro sticky topic out of there and keeping it in theGreeters Station: Start Here would be nice.
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Postby joel the ornery » Tue Sep 06, 2005 3:23 pm

i placed a RIP Bob Denver in the wrong place

viewtopic.php?t=10571

can you move it to RIP
viewtopic.php?t=8376

in Open Discussion?


thanks,

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Postby spectabillis » Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:37 pm

Ok, there has been a lot of discussion around this and its currently open again. Chai Guy got some great feedback from newbs that the current structure is difficult to learn and navigate.

If anyone has comments, now is a better time than most to speak out.
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Postby spectabillis » Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:26 pm

hmmm... I cant imagine no one has something to say
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