Justin Guitar Community

Social Area => Just Chatting... => Topic started by: close2u on December 03, 2019, 08:24:15 pm

Title: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: close2u on December 03, 2019, 08:24:15 pm
Hi all.
This is a general request for anyone with ...

Justin, LievenDV and close2u are going to be discussing the future shape of the forum - amongst other things - soon.

If you have any suggestions of any kind that could help inform any of our discussions then please post here or send a private message to LievenDV and close2u both.

Whether you have user-based comment or technical knowledge of the 'behind-the-scenes' stuff or any other relevant issue then please share.

I think this forum reflects the wonderful people that come here.
But as with all things, it may benefot from a bit of tlc, spring cleaning, polishing & dusting etc etc.

Thanks.
Richard

:)
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: CT on December 04, 2019, 03:42:11 am
OK, I'll kick things off:
1. We need to have avatars!!! Who/what do I want you think of me when I post a message? What do you want to convey about yourself to me when I read your messages? Avatars are a basic message board form of expression.   
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: close2u on December 04, 2019, 06:43:13 am
Thanks CT.
And thanks for the pm too.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: jono on December 04, 2019, 08:23:35 am
Less sections. Deciding where to post something is a bit awkward. A question about strumming in a song from the first songbook could currently fit into several topics.

Sent from my SM-N910F using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=93296)

Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: brianlarsen on December 04, 2019, 08:39:21 am
My two cents-

I don't do forums (fora?) so can't compare, but have found this one quite straightforward to navigate/use.
Whenever I hit a problem there's usually a thread dealing with it or the good folks on here are quick to offer advice.
I was drawn pretty quickly to the AVOYP area and dip in and out of the Chatting section, but can't speak for the rest of what seems like a sprawling affair.
I'm happy with the way it runs at present.

I would be interested to know what Clint would like me to think of him when he posts a message, so avatars would be good ;)

The only thing I find annoying is that you can't upload audio/video/photos directly to the page.
Having to upload it somewhere else on the web and then creating a link, means creating and maintaining another platform. I usually put them on my Youtube channel, but there's a lot of dross I share here that I would not particularly wish to subject my few family/friend followers to.
It would also sort out the irritating 'content no longer available' on older threads.

Come to think of it, if you made it more user unfriendly, maybe I wouldn't waste so much time here and actually practice!  :P

Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: sairfingers on December 04, 2019, 11:14:37 am
I don’t do forums - this is the only one I’m on so perhaps my views aren’t all that valid due to my limited experience. I’m of an older generation and more into ‘hard copy’!

I have to say that any advice/comments I’ve asked for/made have been replied to pretty quickly and the search facility is fairly good at finding if you are repeating a question, athough I agree there are far too many topic headings many of which are almost the same. I suppose if users could be encouraged to use headings with key words relating to their question rather than vague ‘help needed’, that would be beneficial. 

Regarding avatars. Do we need little pictures to help express ourselves? I’m not sure about that one. In my profile I’ve included a bit about my rig and guitar experience to help others judge the level of advice I need. Perhaps all users could be encouraged to include this rather than being totally faceless. Having said that, I realise many long standing members are well acquainted with each other but it would help less frequent users.

On a practical level, I would like a larger box to type into. I’m doing this on an iPhone have to continually try to scroll about to see what I’ve typed.

I agree with Brian about practise time!!

Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: OpsRes on December 04, 2019, 09:34:15 pm
The only thing I find annoying is that you can't upload audio/video/photos directly to the page.
Having to upload it somewhere else on the web and then creating a link, means creating and maintaining another platform. I usually put them on my Youtube channel, but there's a lot of dross I share here that I would not particularly wish to subject my few family/friend followers to.
I agree with Brian on this one. It would be very nice to be able to post directly. Also the ability to do some basic text formatting would be useful.

Glen
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: tobyjenner on December 04, 2019, 11:14:03 pm
First forum I joined and never had any issues once I got used to what was where but that was years back. The only other forum I'm involved with is a Soto Zen Buddhist one and its not too different to how this one works, so would find it hard to offer improvements.

Don't change what ain't broke.  8)
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: CT on December 05, 2019, 01:45:22 am
Quote from: brianlarsen
I would be interested to know what Clint would like me to think of him when he posts a message, so avatars would be good ;)

Probably a pic that conveys a sense of freedom or an innovative person that welcomes positive change. @tobyjenner has his avatar, he's good to go. :)

EDIT: Might be best after all to keep the message board unchanged. I'll stand down.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: stitch101 on December 05, 2019, 04:48:47 am
I think a lot of you guys are just lazy and want to add more work for
Justin and the mods.

Less sections. Deciding where to post something is a bit awkward. A question about strumming in a song from the first songbook could currently fit into several topics.

Sent from my SM-N910F using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=93296)
This is easy. It goes in the Beginner Song Book One.


The only thing I find annoying is that you can't upload audio/video/photos directly to the page.
Having to upload it somewhere else on the web and then creating a link, means creating and maintaining another platform. I usually put them on my Youtube channel, but there's a lot of dross I share here that I would not particularly wish to subject my few family/friend followers to.


To upload directly to the forum Jusin has to pay for storage to hold your videos.
Is it really that difficult to up load to youtube or sound cloud then post the link here?

Could the forum be updated? Yes and we will lose over 10 years of helpfull information
and posts.
To me it really doesn't matter. I'm not a beginner so the lose of all this knowledge wouldn't
really hurt me.
I will stick around as long as people still find me helpful.
But to lose of all that knowledge would be a shame.

Just my 2c

Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: glpguitar on December 05, 2019, 08:47:30 am
Fully agree with stitch.

EDIT (to be properly constructive, honestly thanks for the reminder that this might become a negative vibes thread):

First a disclaimer. I am mainly an observer on this forum since most of the time I have nothing useful to add on the threads.

Personally I think that the forum works quite good and is well structured. I understand the point of people wanting to have a direct upload function (and to be honest, storage space got extremely cheap) but at the same time even if you don't want to use YouTube or Soundcloud, there's still Dropbox and other storage facilities that allow you to upload your tracks and share them with people.

Secondly regarding the amount of possible locations where to post/search for things. The wall does look huge and it is possible to find it intimidating to decide where to post with all the sections people. But if you put some thought into it, I'm pretty sure that anyone can post in the correct section 95% of the time. Mods will take care about the remaining 5% (thanks again for all your work guys!).

I personally find it clear and easy to use. People search by hashtags on social media to find what they are looking for. People search for keywords to find scientific papers or posts on forums.

But sometimes you're not looking for something specific, you just want to see if anyone here is having a blast at a DIY project. Or maybe you want to check if anyone has the some problem with beginners course book CD.

I think there's an option to have an avatar but it's limited in size. 25MB seems enough for me but there are probably other better options for this.

Regarding a nice point that David brought on the table. I personally find a well written comment (even with a bit of wit) way nicer without any smiley faces but that's just a personal preference.

I cannot comment on the technical side of the things but from my experience, all the forums I've been using are similarly structured.

And I do find it sad how people prefer Facebook groups where it's impossible to find anything in the flood of uncategorized posts. And maybe forums are better because replies are usually written with some thought into it (okay, I admit that I needed a reminder to write a constructive comment) rather than less organised platforms where verbal diarrhoea is a big thing.

Thanks again for all the effort and time all of you put in this community to make it good. I am always a supporter of updates, upgrades and development as long as they are not there just for the sake of it.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: DavidP on December 05, 2019, 09:22:52 am
My 2cs worth, maybe not worth 2cs

This is the only Community Forum that I am part of.  I find it works fine for me.

Would be nice if the permission issue on the server was resolved to allow me to upload my User avatar. 

And would love to have some more emojis to colour up posts ... though maybe I just need to figure out what some other folk do who's range of emojis goes beyond the set I can click on.

And maybe I am happy because I know no better ... ignorance is bliss  ;D
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: brianlarsen on December 05, 2019, 09:26:24 am
This thread has the potential to generate some 'not-so-positive' vibes.

Richard is asking for suggestions on how the forum might be improved.
That is laudable, especially as it is a well-working free resource for anyone who wishes to use it.
It is what we, the members, make of it.
(Suggestions for improvements are not the same as complaints about the current state.)

@ Clint:
I'm sorry if my comment came across as a jibe- that was not my intention. I have a tendency to tease people in a humorous way, but never to hurt. I misjudge sometimes.
I hope 'I'll stand down' refers to this discussion rather than the forum as I enjoy your contributions more than most.

@ Toby:
Easy for you to say- you have a really cool Easy Rider avatar  :P (Aaargh... I just did it again!)

@ Stitch (& glpguitar):
You're an 'old-timer' stalwart here on the forum and must have seen so many of us beginners come and go. I appreciate the time you take to help others (I found the alternate base line picking advise you gave me last week really useful. Thanks).

We're not lazy or looking to create work for Justin and the Mods (name for a band there?), just trying to be helpful. 
I see this analogous to living in a lovely house and someone says: "Honey, do you think we should redecorate the living room?"

Take your pick- I'm closer to 3 than 2  ;)


Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: sairfingers on December 05, 2019, 01:45:45 pm
Bottom line. There are thousands of users therefore thousands of opinions. Best leave it to ‘Justin and the Mods’.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: CT on December 05, 2019, 06:15:54 pm
@ Clint:
I'm sorry if my comment came across as a jibe- that was not my intention. I have a tendency to tease people in a humorous way, but never to hurt. I misjudge sometimes.
I hope 'I'll stand down' refers to this discussion rather than the forum as I enjoy your contributions more than most.
Likewise, my comments can come off as terse sometimes. I like a good back and forth discussion with a playful jab and such. As long as folks that give it can take it as well, then I'm good to go.

I was prepared to talk about some of the "workflow" problems as well as functional and aesthetic issues with the message board software, but I don't see a will to accept change from members. That's the genesis of my stand down comment. People should really demand more from software. Case in point would be that if you did a "@username" on any up to date message board (as you did above) that person would get a notification. Here you will miss all personal call outs to @brianlarsen unless you happen to stumble upon one. I suppose the "get off my lawn" and "electronics blinking at 12:00" folks are glad that they aren't getting notifications.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: brianlarsen on December 05, 2019, 06:34:19 pm
That made me laugh Clint (or should that be LOL?)
You wouldn't get notifications from me anyway- Look at the way I leave a gap between the @ and username. Never knew this was for tagging. I just saw others doing it and presumed it was forum etiquette, so tried to assimilate.
Yup, y'all can call me B-Rex.
(I joke you not: my DVD player and microwave are both blinking 12:00 as I type  ::))
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: deadeye_ag on December 05, 2019, 06:44:36 pm
I think the forum works pretty well, somebody mentioned avatars, but you can already add one.

I mostly use the UnreadPosts and NewReplies features of the site to catch new posts, I rarely go through the main forum list and just browse for stuff.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: CT on December 06, 2019, 04:18:36 pm
I only have the option to add an avatar by url and no matter what I enter in it never gets saved.

Unread messages are only recent messages for that particular day. If you skip a day or two you will miss new unread posts using that feature.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: Majik on December 07, 2019, 03:18:56 am
Unread messages are only recent messages for that particular day. If you skip a day or two you will miss new unread posts using that feature.

Not in my experience. However, it is easily to miss new messages because of the way most forum software (including this one, I believe) handle unread messages.

It's actually impractical to keep a complete record of every single message read by every single user and use that to track unread messages. The data storage and processing requirements for this are huge and, on a busy forum, it could take several minutes to retrieve and process the data every time you click on the unread posts button.

So most (probably all) forum apps "cheat" by only recording the date of the last message or thread you read and assuming that all message before then were read, and all messages after are "new". Sometimes they will do this for the whole forum, and sometimes they will individually track sections.

The down side of this is if you read a newer message, any older messages you've not read yet will then get marked as unread, and next time the unread list gets refreshed, those messages will probably disappear from it. IMO, if you aren't seeing all the messages in the unread list, then this is partly the reason.

Cheers,

Keith
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: Majik on December 07, 2019, 03:45:07 am
The only thing I find annoying is that you can't upload audio/video/photos directly to the page.

When it comes to video or audio, I tend to agree with Stitch: there's plenty of good audio/video sites out there you can use, and they integrate well with the forum.

IMO, uploading audio or video is typically only done when someone is posting a performance. That is enough of an effort that uploading it to Youtube or Soundcloud isn't that much more of a problem compared to if you could upload it directly to the forum. It also allows you to share your work wider than this forum which most people will want the option to do.

Also, as Stitch points out, the additional storage, processing and bandwidth costs to do this would be significant. Yes, storage is relatively cheap, but you would need a lot of it and it would continue to grow on a daily basis. I would estimate it may be 10-20 times more expensive to run the forum if all of the member-created videos were stored on the forum. That's a conservative estimate. The costs could easily skyrocket, making the whole forum untenable.

Images, on the other hand, I'm a bit more amenable to. I think these are different in a way: not only are they often not a "performance" as such, but they also may be things like screen shots, or images of music score, fretboard diagrams, and so on. In my experience these are a pain to have to push to an appropriate photo sharing site, share, copy the URL, and so on and I sometimes wish there was an easier way.

Again storing this stuff on the forum would raise costs, although not so dramatically as audio and video would.

A second aspect to this is security: uploading this stuff would require that the administrators kept a close eye on security issues with libraries and kept both the forum and the server OS and libraries up to date. There have been vulnerabilities with libraries (especially graphics libraries) which have allowed forms to be hacked.

A third aspect is controlling user behaviour: given the ability to easily upload images, some users would abuse this. Spam is a big problem on forums. When I was a moderator on a popular forum, 95% of or moderation time was spent dealing with spam. Images give another vector that spammers can use (and some of it can be quite offensive). There are methods to help with that, of course, and the system we have where a user has to post a number of times before they can post links could be applied to image uploads too.

I also think that the image size and types of image format should be limited to encourage large photos to be shared from photo sharing sites, and images disallowed in signatures.

Also an AUP stating things like no memes or images containing just text, no animated gifs, etc. not only to limit the cost of storage, but to prevent behaviour that annoys others. Also no copyright material.

(Copyright, by the way, could be a big issue).

The other thing to consider is, if image upload was easy, what might our annoyed "friend" Fresher do with  one of his sock-puppet accounts.

Things to think about...

Cheers,

Keith
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: hilts17 on December 07, 2019, 11:11:46 am
I think the forum works pretty well, somebody mentioned avatars, but you can already add one.

Pretty sure it's been quite some time since the avatar feature worked. Every so often somebody posts that they can't add an avatar and the response is usually that it hasn't worked for a few years. Even just now, I tried to change my avatar to no avail. Luckily, I added my avatar when I first registered over 5 years ago.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: CT on December 07, 2019, 05:03:27 pm
@Majik, better than an unread page that is user specific and expires in a day is a new posts page with pagination. It's a common forum feature.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: john256 on December 19, 2019, 12:32:46 pm
Being able to upload files like many forums do would be great.

In fact using a more modern forum software which supports pasting images directly into the edit box is SO useful once you get used to it.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: Endureth on December 19, 2019, 08:27:11 pm
No complaints.

This is one of the better forums out there.  The people are nice, the mods are fair, and the participation from users is high.

I'm not even a guitarist and I hang out here.

Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: close2u on December 27, 2019, 11:23:18 am
Unread messages are only recent messages for that particular day. If you skip a day or two you will miss new unread posts using that feature.

This url is for all unread messages regardless of date of posting.
I have it as my bookmark.


https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?action=unread;all;start=0
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: DavidP on December 27, 2019, 11:52:10 am
This url is for all unread messages regardless of date of posting.
I have it as my bookmark.


https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?action=unread;all;start=0

A useful bookmark, thanks Richard
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: close2u on December 29, 2019, 10:21:03 pm
Update.

Lieven and I have been compiling comments and suggestions with a view to picking over useful / practical / possible tweaks.

Also, I have spent a large part of today rearranging the forum. You will notice that many threads and sections have been moved.  Please let me know your initial thoughts - if you have any - on these changes. It is a work in progress.

:)
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: DarrellW on December 30, 2019, 12:51:05 am
Having had a good look (the first time for a while) I think that it looks much less cluttered and easier to navigate, well done!,,
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: jowidi on January 22, 2020, 05:39:13 pm
Please update the general forum FAQ! I'm new to this forum and I just spent a considerable amount of time trying to upload an avatar which - as I know now - doesn't work anymore. I even found a post telling me to resize my avatar to 80x80 which I did, to no avail. In the meantime I found many people asking the question "Why can't I upload my avatar?" Well, this definitely seems to qualify as a FAQ then  ;-)

Two other additions to the FAQ that I suggest are:
Why can't I post external links?
Why do I have to solve 15 CAPTCHAs to publish one post?

I have also seen these two asked many times. Meanwhile I know the answer to these questions (and a solution for the last two) but the 60 minutes it took me to find them would have been better used practising the guitar  :-)
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: close2u on January 22, 2020, 07:10:59 pm
@ jowidi - thanks and your suggestions have been acted upon already.

As to the captchas ... anti-spam measures ... do you literally mean you had to do 15?
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: jowidi on January 22, 2020, 08:39:19 pm
@ close2u - thank you, that was really fast.

15 captchas have been a slight exaggeration but when I preview a post I often find typos or several things that I want to change. As the captchas time out after a few minutes I had to solve about five or six of them for my first post. That still felt like way too much ;-)
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: Rossco01 on January 23, 2020, 11:54:56 am
Not sure if it's already been covered but I'd like to be able to "tag" posts and get notifications when they updated. At the moment it's a matter of using Unread Posts.. Thats fine if you get chance to look daily but not if you only get chance to catch less regularly. This functionality exists on most of the forums I use now.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: close2u on January 23, 2020, 12:37:47 pm
I'd like to be able to "tag" posts

That is on our list and would be a good additional function I agree.

Quote
get notifications when they updated.

We have this … click the Notify button … two along from the Reply button under the thread posts.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: Rossco01 on January 23, 2020, 01:41:31 pm
Thanks Close and how long have I been on here to miss that!
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: close2u on January 23, 2020, 02:03:05 pm
Thanks Close and how long have I been on here to miss that!

Ha ha  ;) :) :)

Coming up 6 years ...

Date Registered:January 31, 2014, 10:42:25 am
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: fabiospark on February 14, 2020, 10:05:28 pm
I'm Italian and I know at least a couple Italian songs that have lovely arrangements (acoustic guitar) made by some of the finest Italian guitarists: wouldn't it be possible to have a place around here where to share them and where to ask for some directions on how to learn or perfect them? I think that that even Justin would love them should he have the time to check them out.

To see what I mean, listen by yourself:
- Edoardo Bennato - L'isola che non c'è  (lovely intro and good all the rest) Arr. Lucio Bardi (Finardi, De Gregori)

- Fabio Concato - Domenica Bestiale  (again, lovely lovely intro and it keeps going for all the song, behind the vocals) Arr. Massimo Luca (historical guitarist of Lucio Battisti)

Thanks.
Title: Re: Help us improve the forum ...
Post by: close2u on February 15, 2020, 10:32:00 am
@Fabio

We have the Transcribing help & advice section here:

https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?board=99.0

:)