M.A.I.L. Website Improvement Wishlist. Your opinions wanted.
View previous topic | View next topic >
Post new topic Reply to topic
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> League Business
   
Author Message

Joined: February 29, 2004
Posts: 1898
Submissions: 8
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Marxistchussetts

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:37 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Drax wrote:
I don't have much to add, except in the arena of articles. One comment (I think MikeB) on how some articles are meant for more advanced maillers, made me wonder if we could add a 'difficulty' scale to the article (1 to 5, or 1 to 10, or beginner/intermediate/advanced). That'll give some folks an idea of what they're in for before they click on an article link.


I like the three stage "beginner/intermediate/advanced" version personally. But that's just me...

Drax wrote:
Also, I'll re-submit my idea for using a labelling system for the articles. It's pretty questionable sometimes where an article ends up (either due to lack of a suitable area, or that it could fit in multiple categories). The labelling system would work like Gmail (google's mail system), where one article could receive multiple labels. For instance, an article on how to make a coif using an expanding circle could get the labels "patterns: coif" and "expansions - circle". That way, the article can appear in *multiple* categories, and I don't have to place it in only one.


Sounds good. My PDA uses a similar multiple labeling scheme for appointments and phone listings. It's very useful.

Drax wrote:
The only thing I wouldn't like so much with the donating content to all be under "mailartisans" is that the original submitter loses his or her name on the submission.


Could we arrange to have the author info stay with the article (etc.) and have a separate notation that it has been donated to M.A.I.L.? Then if modified have the 'by line' changed to 'Original article by Author, edited by Editor(s).'


"Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

My blog: The (New) Eclectic Dragonfly. Some of my stuff at CafePress!

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1819
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Jan 29, 2005 5:42 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

HerrBGone wrote:
Drax wrote:
The only thing I wouldn't like so much with the donating content to all be under "mailartisans" is that the original submitter loses his or her name on the submission.


Could we arrange to have the author info stay with the article (etc.) and have a separate notation that it has been donated to M.A.I.L.? Then if modified have the 'by line' changed to 'Original article by Author, edited by Editor(s).'


Yes. If we redesign things, that is exactly how it would work.

However, I think Drax is talking about Mari's interim solution suggestion of using the mailleartisans user for common articles. Yes, it'll work right now, but the database isn't set up to accept it. They way the database is set up, is that each item has *one* user assigned to it. It doesn't distinguish between author, reviser, or copyright holder. So, by donating content, it would no longer be hooked up to your profile, which stinks.

I think we should stick with the current system until the database is designed to handle common content, (at which point, if it's designed to do that, we'll go with the system I suggested on the front page because all we'll need to add to that is a checkbox in the submission form).

And Drax.. I had no idea the reject rate was 4 out of 5. I would've thought 1/5. Okay, I see what you mean by being lucky to get what you do sometimes.

Curious though, when you reject something, do they usually go back and rewrite it to make it up to standard, (and, do this 4 times before it finally gets accepted) or do they just dissapear? Meaning, are we actually losing 4/5 articles written for us?

Joined: December 03, 2004
Posts: 107
Submissions: 10
Location: Texas

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:55 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Here's some input from someone who has contributed articles but not posted on the forums here before...

I like the idea of labeling articles and tutorials with a "beginning/intermediate/advanced" distinction. With the understanding that "easy" and "hard" are pretty fluid, and some people will take to things more readily than others.

Cynake wrote:
I don't suspect the rest of the site is much compared to the forums.


Do you mean that most of the useful content is located in the forums? I'm not overly familiar with what's in the forums, but I've always come here to look for information in the "main" site. Would people who are new to the site think to search the forums rather than the articles? (Or do you mean that there's just physically more "stuff" for the search engine to wade through in the forums than on the rest of the site?)

As an article author, I'm wary of article submissions being collectivized and "fiddled with." This is slightly devil's advocate, since I understand the benefits of streamlining multiple articles on the same topic, and fixing up articles that aren't complete or well-written. I would just be concerned about making sure that people get proper credit for their work (and expertise - there's a certain level of pride in being "the one who wrote that tut"). And I'm wondering about the ramifications of letting people make changes to what's been written - would I want people tinkering with what I had to say? Would I want my name on it, when I no longer have control over what others can put in it? I don't mean to come across as a control freak, but those are things that your authors or potential authors might be thinking about.

I'm not sure what to say about the proposed ranking systems, but I'll just throw out my perspective for what it's worth. I haven't frequented these forums, mostly because I'm a member of five other jewelry-related forums and I already spend too much time on them. Smile TRL serves as my maille-related board, simply because I found it first and I'm happy there. So I'm not really concerned about how my post count stacks up here; I'm not in the forums enough to have a reputation based on a number, and I'm not as likely to rack up a large postcount to contribute to my ranking. That's not a slight to this community, just a matter of practicality on my end.

I have submitted articles, because when I write a tutorial I want to have it in the database here where people can find it easily. So I'm a "contributing member," even if people on the boards here might not recognize me. Does contributing articles carry more weight than posting regularly when determining ranking? Will I be back at "New Member" since I haven't reached a posting threshold, even though I've written articles? Just something to think about, how the system will account for someone who does contribute but isn't a big presence on the forums.

Theresa (who ought to have racked up a few points with all that verbiage Smile)

Joined: February 15, 2002
Posts: 879
Submissions: 45
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:54 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Cynake, that brings up an interesting point -- a lot of the submissions I reject are what I term "board posts"... that is, they are short snippets of info that would be better suited for posts on the bulletin board (or I suggest that the topic be broadened further with more examples and such, but I don't think I've ever been taken up on that suggestion).

Sometimes I reject because of typos that cause errors in picture displaying (that happened recently), and those usually get resubmitted.

I considered typing up a page on what would constitute an article submission (versus a post on the bulletin board), but I'm not sure anybody would bother to read it, even if adequately placed.

As for ownership, I wouldn't worry too much about that right now. If we ever decided to alter stuff in some drastic fashion (that is, other than typo or flow editing) I'd try to contact people first. And if articles were consolidated, I'd make sure the original authors were maintained on who wrote what -- and we would try to work out something with the submission originator.

Joined: November 20, 2003
Posts: 2561
Submissions: 77
Location: Northbrook, IL

Reply with quote
Posted on Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:51 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

BUMP
edit: maybe this thread should be sticky?

Okay, I couldn't really tell whether Cynake liked my profile guestbook idea or not. First he said it was unnecessary and wouldn't be useful, then he says "guestbooks are for individuals, not communities", so I guess he won't care one way or the other as long as he's not the guy cleaning them out Coif LoL I do (and always did) think that the user should be their own maid and clean out their guestbook if it needs it, or turn it off.

So how is everything else going? Have we actually agreed on what to make, or just agree on what needs to be changed?

All the talking in the world won't get anything done!

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1819
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:31 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Hrm. Sorry, ran out of steam on this.

Umm, of all the changes that could be made to MAIL, I think adding a guestbook for each user is the least productive. Also, it's not the best solution for what you want. You don't want a guestbook, you want to be able to use your profile as a portfolio and such. You think a guestbook would help with that, but, if we decide that it's our goal to make profiles used in this way, we might as well figure out what exactly it is we want and do that instead.

Where do we stand on all of this now? Not sure. I was somewhat waiting to see if me becoming a mod gets approved first, was fielding quesitons over at TRL, and seeing if Mari was going to reply to my battery of questions.

Here's how I'm thinking:

1) Feedback is complete. Either form some kind of mass issue-poll, or, if the BOD agrees, we can skip that and just approve the changes. Approve concepts.

2) Write up specifically what it is that needs to be changed, and what we're changing, what the result will be for each.

3) Figure out what we're going to do in parcels, and what we're going to save for a redesign.

4) Put up a "Volunteers Needed" project somewhere.

5) Create a way for people to work on projects, so we're not waiting on the coders. Form discussion groups for each project. For example, the weaves restructuring. Get an admin to find out what our boundaries are, what we can easily do, what we can't. Get a hopefully more-automated way of submitting content that doesn't imediately go up on the site as volunteers churn in pages until we've got enough to switch over to ht enew system.

6) Get coders to implement the database changes that will allow for the content changes.

Most of it rests of the shoulders of the coder admins to make possible, and then everyone else to actually do the work.

Joined: February 15, 2002
Posts: 879
Submissions: 45
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:44 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Sounds good to me! Very Happy

A summary might be good before running a mass poll (or bypassing the poll). Or at least, I'd like to have an idea of what all is involved, if I'm going to throw in my hat to bypass a poll... I want to make sure we're all on the same page.

Joined: December 14, 2004
Posts: 169
Submissions: 1
Location: Hamilton Ontario Canada

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:19 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

i think that it should be easier to donate if the "donations" button was bigger. until I read this topic, i didn't even know it existed. Sad
you should put it apart from the other buttons, and make it larger. that way, whenever someone goes to the site, it'll be the first thing they see.

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1819
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:45 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Drax wrote:
Sounds good to me! Very Happy

A summary might be good before running a mass poll (or bypassing the poll). Or at least, I'd like to have an idea of what all is involved, if I'm going to throw in my hat to bypass a poll... I want to make sure we're all on the same page.


Look at the first post I made in the thread. That's the summary. I've heard mostly two camps in this thread. The first, thinking along our own lines, in agreement with our conclusions. The second, counter-arguements that I mostly agree with, but that we covered in the private committee, considered, and dismissed in favour of the points we made on the summary.

Most of those things have been generally approved before, and there was no strong opposition to them this time around either. It's just a matter of "Okay, now how do we do it?"

Some things aren't really dissagreable with either. Like, giving the option to donate content. If you oppose it, you just won't donate. We're still giving the choice.

Now, there's a conflict of interest here. I was part of the original group. I posted the list. I started this thread. And now it's supposed to be my "unbiassed opinion" that the list I posted is still the best, and that there hasn't been serious opposition to it, or reason to question any of the points. Gee, what a coincidence.

Well, I'd like to think so. However, I encourage everyone who reads this to pipe in if they think I'm ignoring something or not being fair or my judgement isn't in the best interests of the community. So please do so now, otherwise, my vote goes with the list posted at the start of this thread.

.....

Oh, and the donations button thing has been brought up and debated lots before. In my experience, donation buttons are: A) Annoying, B) Ignored, C) Never used. There's the arguement of "Well, if we get so much as a dollar a year from it, it's worth it." I disagree. Like anything, it has to serve a reasonable purpose or it should be gone from the clutter. The only people who donate (and it was like, 8 people total, last year, most of them admins) are so active in the community they'd find a way to donate no matter what. I think we'll get 10 times the lower-level donations from implementing a dollar-club idea than by having a big obnoxious begger-button. (Which by the way, survives the header review as I recall, so don't worry about that).

Joined: November 20, 2003
Posts: 2561
Submissions: 77
Location: Northbrook, IL

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:46 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

So the current projects are

1. Header redesign

2. Front page redesign

3. Gallery restructure to include threads

4. Article restructure for... what?

5. Weaves restructure for... organization?

Yes, I think we need to say that feedback about this is done. Only specific elements should be discussed now. The arguing has been too widespread for anything to make sense. Get a large poll on this list or something (include purposes in the list) and then get a mod to sticky a separate thread for each. Then we have the whole thing sorted out for controlled arguing, aka debate. Then go on to your idea of having the community do some of the actual work with it.

Joined: April 15, 2002
Posts: 1819
Submissions: 1
Location: Calgary, AB. Canada.

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Feb 06, 2005 9:22 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Tesserex wrote:
So the current projects are


Nope. Current projects are:

---
1. Finish the new header.
2. Make front page more newbie friendly.
3. Re-organize articles section.
4. Change weave section to link to weave pages instead of just a picture.
5. Give people the option to donate content to M.A.I.L.
6. Re-design the gallery.
7. Add a "projects section".
8. Add a "Good, Bad, and the Ugly" forum.
9. Encourage monetary donations a "dollar club".
10. Change the member ranking system.
11. Remove/combine little used forums on the M.A.I.L board.
12. Re-organize the links according to content.

---

Well, those aren't projects so much, as proposed changes. Some of those are tiny conceptual changes, others will require huge projects to set up, figure out, and implement.

Tesserex wrote:
Get a large poll on this list or something (include purposes in the list) and then get a mod to sticky a separate thread for each. Then we have the whole thing sorted out for controlled arguing, aka debate. Then go on to your idea of having the community do some of the actual work with it.


Polls, generally.. are useless. You'll have 200 people see them, and 20 people vote, and then you try to go by that as being accurate on a readership of thousands? People've had a time for feedback. Most of these issues are old already, or have had polls. Maybe only 1 or 2 have not had long threads where we discussed them to death already. Part of the reason we talked privately about this so much was because we're at the point where no one cares anymore. They've heard it again and again. *This* was the time for opinions, about anything. Otherwise, what was the point of this?

I think the way the charter is set up, you go through the hassle of Issue Polls and such, if you want to try to force the BOD to vote. You don't need to, they can vote without being forced to. The BOD has seen these issues before, and they've read this thread. They're informed. They can just vote on their own now.

If/when they pass, if I'm not out of steam by that point, I'll hassle the admins for some details and write up what each project change entails. From there we'll figure out how to actually make the projects do what they're supposed to do. Make "to do" lists out of each of them. Pass that around a bit, then put it all into a big list for everyone to read, to see if there's anything with one project that conflicts or helps an aspect of another. When that's done, we call for volunteers, see what we get, and go forward from there.

Right now, I think we need the BOD to approve the future direction of MAIL. How many of these they think are good things to shoot for, how many aren't.

Make sense?

Joined: February 15, 2002
Posts: 879
Submissions: 45
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:02 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

I'll throw my stone in for a 'proceed' vote. I'm not sure how many other BOD members are checking this thread out, so I'll post a message in the admin section. Very Happy

Joined: February 15, 2002
Posts: 436
Submissions: 83

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Feb 07, 2005 9:53 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

I continue to support the proposed list of changes.

Joined: April 29, 2002
Posts: 3210
Submissions: 93
Location: Albany, New York

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Feb 08, 2005 4:52 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

I, too, bow before public opinion...


"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

George Bernard Shaw
___________________________________

Maille Code V1.0 T5.7 R5.1 Fhd MCu Wc Cd G2.03/.56 I9.75/3.25 Pn Dacdjs S97 CCi

Joined: September 02, 2003
Posts: 2016
Submissions: 8
Location: Sydney, Australia

Reply with quote
Posted on Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:50 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

I three support any changes to the site....if I don't like it when it's changed...i'll live with it. Smile

Siege


John Lennon once sang a song where he imagined a world with no religion at all, and how all the people would be living life in peace, which sounds like a pretty terrific philosophy to follow - but then again, John Lennon also sang a song about how he was an eggman and a walrus goo goo g'joob, so i'm not sure he was always 100 per cent reliable.

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Page 4 of 5. Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
All times are GMT. The time now is Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:32 pm
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> League Business
Display posts from previous: