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#64439 - 05/01/12 04:16 PM Changes to Gunks.com
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
This month, I'm laying the groundwork for a number of software changes to the site. These will include layout/graphic changes, and also some functional changes to the site. Among the changes I have in mind are these:

  • Calendar of upcoming events
  • lost & found (multiple lost & found listings) appear in forum and main page
  • searchable user profiles (will include your recent climbs, tick list, when you climb, whether you're looking for partners, etc)
  • multi-platform (mobile) compatibility
  • social networking integration (perhaps)
  • Upgrade of the current forum software
  • Better photo submission/display


While I'm pondering and creating these changes, I'd like to hear from you folks about changes you'd like to see. Before you comment, I'd also like to mention that I'll also be make some "operational" changes to the forums, moderating more regularly to make the boards more useful, and less of a "school cafeteria"-level of discourse, if you know what I mean. There will also be more regular front page content, which I hope will give you all more to talk about and more facts behind the stories.

Thanks for your feedback.


Edited by webmaster (05/01/12 04:19 PM)
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#64440 - 05/01/12 04:51 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
Mark Heyman Online   content
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
Fact checking of posted content would be usefull!

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#64441 - 05/01/12 04:58 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
Doug Online   content
member

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 176
Originally Posted By: webmaster
This month, I'm laying the groundwork for a number of software changes to the site. These will include layout/graphic changes, and also some functional changes to the site. Among the changes I have in mind are these:

  • Calendar of upcoming events
  • lost & found (multiple lost & found listings) appear in forum and main page
  • searchable user profiles (will include your recent climbs, tick list, when you climb, whether you're looking for partners, etc)
  • multi-platform (mobile) compatibility
  • social networking integration (perhaps)
  • Upgrade of the current forum software
  • Better photo submission/display


While I'm pondering and creating these changes, I'd like to hear from you folks about changes you'd like to see. Before you comment, I'd also like to mention that I'll also be make some "operational" changes to the forums, moderating more regularly to make the boards more useful, and less of a "school cafeteria"-level of discourse, if you know what I mean. There will also be more regular front page content, which I hope will give you all more to talk about and more facts behind the stories.

Thanks for your feedback.


Photo section improvements will be nice.

Regular front page content would be good too. Hopefully that includes resurrecting old items, like the "breaking into the grade" article (and maybe there was a "test pieces for the grade"?) There was a list of climbs by grade with rappel stations indicated that would be handy - are you looking to try and make the site "the" route database for the gunks? Leaving that to Mountain Project? Another article I'd like would be one covering the climbing areas of the Gunks. Rob had compiled a list of lesser traveled legal climbing areas. Fleshing that out, with issues on approach covered where applicable, would be nice.

In terms of moderation, a note on when/why threads were moderated would be nice. Sometimes huge chunks of posts or whole threads disappear. Usually it is obvious why, but sometimes it would be nice (and establish the tone for the site) if reasoning were supplied. It is also frustrating as I think in at least some instances people spent a lot of time on useful content that was only tangentially related to some flame fest had their entire post removed. That doesn't encourage spending time on future posts.

Regarding layout - I still think the huge photo banner on top hinders site utility. They look nice but are not functional. They push the actual content down the page which is especially annoying on mobile devices. I see no reason to have to scroll past the banner on every page. A large portion of the page is also a link to the front page since almost the entire image links there. Compare the "target size" of a link someone may be trying to click, like "food", to the homepage linking banner.

And if it hasn't come up elsewhere, hopefully the updates fix the readability of older content that includes replies. The text overlaps for me on them, like this

Hope that doesn't seem like too much complaining!

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#64446 - 05/01/12 06:26 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: Doug]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks for your efforts! I would love to see some ofthe older material again available, such as the route listings.

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#64451 - 05/01/12 07:50 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: Doug]
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
Originally Posted By: Doug
In terms of moderation, a note on when/why threads were moderated would be nice. Sometimes huge chunks of posts or whole threads disappear. Usually it is obvious why, but sometimes it would be nice (and establish the tone for the site) if reasoning were supplied. It is also frustrating as I think in at least some instances people spent a lot of time on useful content that was only tangentially related to some flame fest had their entire post removed. That doesn't encourage spending time on future posts.


The hows and whys of moderation seems to be pretty consistent over the last few years: A thread turns from it's subject into some kind of shouting match, where the subject is abandoned in favor of denigrating the character/intelligence/honesty of the person holding an opposing viewpoint.

The process of untangling this junk posts from those related to the subject at hand is a daunting process, both because of the limited functionality of the moderating tools, and the desire to keep a readable thread that doesn't include responses to posts that have been excised.

It takes more time than I'm able to put in. I certainly see your point about how discouraging that must be to people who've written out thoughtful posts. I confess that I probably haven't given those folks adequate consideration. Faced with carrying threads with 10% thoughtful material and 90% chaff, I've mostly favored hitting the delete key.

In the past, I've tried to keep the forums as inclusive as possible, and that's meant having people with radically different points of view. Moving forward though, you're going to see me insist on a higher level of discourse from folks at the extremes.
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webmaster@gunks.com
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#64453 - 05/01/12 08:29 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5968
Loc: 212 land
Originally Posted By: webmaster
Originally Posted By: Doug
In terms of moderation, a note on when/why threads were moderated would be nice. Sometimes huge chunks of posts or whole threads disappear. Usually it is obvious why, but sometimes it would be nice (and establish the tone for the site) if reasoning were supplied. It is also frustrating as I think in at least some instances people spent a lot of time on useful content that was only tangentially related to some flame fest had their entire post removed. That doesn't encourage spending time on future posts.


The hows and whys of moderation seems to be pretty consistent over the last few years: A thread turns from it's subject into some kind of shouting match, where the subject is abandoned in favor of denigrating the character/intelligence/honesty of the person holding an opposing viewpoint.

The process of untangling this junk posts from those related to the subject at hand is a daunting process, both because of the limited functionality of the moderating tools, and the desire to keep a readable thread that doesn't include responses to posts that have been excised.

It takes more time than I'm able to put in. I certainly see your point about how discouraging that must be to people who've written out thoughtful posts. I confess that I probably haven't given those folks adequate consideration. Faced with carrying threads with 10% thoughtful material and 90% chaff, I've mostly favored hitting the delete key.

In the past, I've tried to keep the forums as inclusive as possible, and that's meant having people with radically different points of view. Moving forward though, you're going to see me insist on a higher level of discourse from folks at the extremes.
I hate to see posts of the type, "you're a !!@@%$ *&^@!$#." Yet I don't think there is a 10%/90% split on the good and the bad -- more like the opposite. If the problem is lack of moderator time, allow me to volunteer as moderator.
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#64455 - 05/01/12 08:37 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: oenophore]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Get some moderators that actually are current users. Hasta la vista daryl512 and stevencherry.

And deep six any modules that require a second password <coughWordpressscough>

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#64478 - 05/02/12 12:48 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: Mike Rawdon]
LarE Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 45
As a ubiquitous lurker, I wouldn't mind seeing the level of discourse around here elevated somewhat. The one thing I would request is that you NOT integrate the site with social networking (i.e. Facebook). No particularly good reason; but Facebook is plenty omnipresent already, and they seem well on their way to knowing everything about everybody. Why give them another data set to mine for targeted ads? In any case, though I am a Facebook user, update my profile and have 'friends', the whole concept increasingly gives me the creeps. Let Facebook do their thing, and gunks dot com continue to do its own gunky thing.

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#64479 - 05/02/12 01:25 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: LarE]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
Concur. Quit FB a while back for the same reasons. Haven't missed it at all.

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#64486 - 05/02/12 03:00 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: ianmanger]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
I agree with what Doug said. In addition, item #0 needs to be some really heavy-handed moderation of accident threads. I tried to beat some sense into DJP (and I did it away from the accident thread at the time) but, alas, he seemed to get the point for about 3 minutes then went back to the regular monologue. So someone needs to step up as far as accident threads are concerned.

I'm on the fence but about to quit FB. Agree with keeping this site its own island. Enough with the "integration" already.

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#64501 - 05/02/12 05:38 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: Julie]
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
Just to pick up the FaceBook ball and run with it a bit: I didn't have any specific ideas about integration, and I'm no lover of their site/software. But it does have potential benefits to the Gunks site.

I'm thinking that FB allows us to reach more people more easily. They don't need to sign up in the forum, and FB provides a lot of exposure through it's 'spreadability'. Perhaps it's sufficient just to have a FB account set up for Gunks.com and still leave the .com site as an island of...tranquility? That can't be right.

How do you feel about Twitter?


Edited by webmaster (05/02/12 05:40 PM)
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evan marks
webmaster@gunks.com
I wish I could read every post...

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#64508 - 05/02/12 06:51 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
crimpy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/02/11
Posts: 330
Loc: Wawarsing
i prefer cave man gunks....but i am old.

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#64512 - 05/02/12 07:09 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
timh Offline
member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 194
Loc: Delaware
Unfortunately, increased moderation of certain topics (i.e accidents) is needed. Perhaps each section could have varied levels of moderation?

Also how about an "ignore" feature so that posters who specialize in chewing up bandwidth with their own agenda could still post, but would be invisible to those who weren't interested in their "message"?
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#64514 - 05/02/12 07:19 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: timh]
Mim Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/00
Posts: 999
Loc: Gunks
Originally Posted By: timh
Also how about an "ignore" feature so that posters who specialize in chewing up bandwidth with their own agenda could still post, but would be invisible to those who weren't interested in their "message"?


Brilliant! cool
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#64516 - 05/02/12 07:31 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: timh]
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
Originally Posted By: timh
...how about an "ignore" feature so that posters who specialize in chewing up bandwidth with their own agenda could still post, but would be invisible to those who weren't interested in their "message"?


The problem is that the thread becomes difficult to read as some (other) poster allude to something the offending poster says, or quotes them directly.

I believe this ignore functionality is already available to you if you dig around for it....hmmm, perhaps it's not in this version of the forum software after all.


Edited by webmaster (05/02/12 07:38 PM)
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evan marks
webmaster@gunks.com
I wish I could read every post...

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#64518 - 05/02/12 07:40 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
Doug Online   content
member

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 176
You can ignore user's if you go to there profile and select the appropriate link. I'd attach a picture to illustrate if it were easy wink

Basically the post still shows up, but the text is replaced with
Quote:
*** You are ignoring this user ***
Toggle the display of this post


...with the second line linked to actually toggle.

I noticed you can't ignore "webmaster" though.

It also doesn't hide threads they create from the topic list. Not much of an ignore feature.

In any case, I never bother ignoring (at least via a forum mechanism) users even on forums that allow more robust blocking. If they are truly spamming then they can usually be reported/removed. If they are just annoying, I exercise my scroll wheel.

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#64519 - 05/02/12 08:04 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5968
Loc: 212 land
I'm thinking that FB allows us to reach more people more easily. They don't need to sign up in the forum, and FB provides a lot of exposure through it's 'spreadability'.

I wonder why you'd want this. It would only tax your server more.
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#64522 - 05/02/12 08:32 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
curmudgeon Online   content
addict

Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 466
Can't someone here at least set the clock to eastern standard time?

Still can't figure out which European country it's set to. grin

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#64523 - 05/02/12 08:40 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: oenophore]
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
Originally Posted By: oenophore
I wonder why you'd want this. It would only tax your server more.


The server has plenty of available bandwidth to host a large, vibrant community.
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evan marks
webmaster@gunks.com
I wish I could read every post...

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#64525 - 05/02/12 09:01 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
Doug Online   content
member

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 176
Regarding social media, I'd stop using the site if posting were tied to Facebook/Twitter/etc. I can see adding like buttons and whatnot to recommend articles (not per post though) to possibly increase site traffic, but I will continue to block them via browser plugins to at least attempt to minimize my profile in advertiser databases.

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#64526 - 05/02/12 09:14 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: curmudgeon]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5968
Loc: 212 land
Still can't figure out which European country it's set to.

UT (Universal Time), formerly Greenwich Mean Time. Look at the top of the shoutbox to learn to adjust this.
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#64527 - 05/02/12 09:17 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: Mark Heyman]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5968
Loc: 212 land
Originally Posted By: Mark Heyman
Fact checking of posted content would be usefull!
How?
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#64529 - 05/02/12 09:34 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: oenophore]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
Originally Posted By: oenophore
I wonder why you'd want this. It would only tax your server more.

Wouldn't a site owner want more traffic? If not, what's the point of the site? The best way to reduce server load would be to shut down the site, which I don't think is the point!

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#64530 - 05/02/12 09:46 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
Mark Heyman Online   content
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
This site had a purpose and real usefulness at one time. It was information that pertained to climbers and climbing in the area. Build on what you have and what you want to the site to be. You still have a small user base. Add pertinent content. My bet is that Linking to something much bigger than it will dilute what you have and hasten its demise. The things you mention just sound as if you want clicks to gain advertisers.

Twitter? Yeah I've heard of it. Not sure why I would look into yet another flavor of the day. Yes I am aware "everyone else is". We've seen MySpace and others get popular for a time. I bet I'm still counted as a member there though I might not even be able to logon easily. I'm on FB and (still) use it grudgingly. I try not to link anything to FB. I won't look at pages the auto-create posts though I have clicked on a few by accident. Apparently and unfortunately FB has the same rights to the information on my IPhone as I do. Add a contact on the phone and in a couple of hours I'll have a friend request for that person on FB. Wouldn't be hard for a company to serve the public better than FB which is completely self-serving. Guess that matches too many of its users too.

You still have a small but dedicated user base. The question is what is Gunks.com going to offer that a big better site isn't already doing - bigger and better? Anyway you don't need to ask what things need to be done, and they should be first, like fixing the plethora of editing bugs that prevent user form easily getting an edited post on the board. How do you post a picture here …

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#64532 - 05/03/12 01:09 AM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: Julie]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Julie
I agree with what Doug said. In addition, item #0 needs to be some really heavy-handed moderation of accident threads. I tried to beat some sense into DJP (and I did it away from the accident thread at the time) but, alas, he seemed to get the point for about 3 minutes then went back to the regular monologue. So someone needs to step up as far as accident threads are concerned.

I'm on the fence but about to quit FB. Agree with keeping this site its own island. Enough with the "integration" already.


I understand that some of you do not agree with me. And I don't know why you don't send me a private letter. Perhaps I should try and explain again what I am saying because I don't think I have made myself clear enough: What I am posting about or why I am posting this and that in the accident thread. There are a couple of things going on here.

First, I see in some of these letters that I am being taken out of context.

Second, in the thread we have: "hard to fathom, considering the preventability … A needless, preventable death such as this is beyond explanation." "nothing like this should happen, ever." Whether you want to admit it or not there is blame in the thread and the message is that the person that set up the top rope has blood on his hands. And maybe you are OK with that, but I'm not. I am sure the accident was not intentional; accidents do not have to be anyone's fault per-say. But it is the fault of the climbing community. And when these kinds of statements are made in the thread they need to be answered in the tread because family members and the people who set up the anchor will be reading them. Such thinking is misplaced. They refused to take into account that we are just as reckless as the persons who set up that anchor, and we will continue to be reckless, it is just on another level.

Third, this is not a legitimate climbing accident because these people involved were not any more climbers then they were mountaineers. It is more so an unfortunate chain of events and misconceptions that lead up to a realization of what rock-climbing is.

Fourth, there are a number of ways something like this could have happened that are easy to explain that would prove it was not the fault of the person who set up the rope. I went over all these at length to take heat off the party that set up the rope but now the heat is back on big time. We have yet to know what happened. What's up with that?

But I can tell you what will mean something, and that is if Stephanie's death is not in vain. That would be if we promise to talk to others on the carriage road and new climbers and remember Stephanie. Then there is a point in all these things and all these posts when Stephanie means something to all of us. Everything else is meaningless unless we can do something to help prevent the next accident.

Is this something we can do? Perhaps can we start talking to people and learning how to help them prevent accidents? If not, if we cannot be self governing, I would assume that sooner or later the state will need to step in and take over. The best solution however would be that the Preserve allow the AMC to require safety certifications for climbing as they did before. And I think today that the climbing community should and would support such certifications. And in this way climbing could be opened up again in places where it has been banned.

What do you think?
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#64534 - 05/03/12 01:20 AM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: Doug]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2468
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I am purposely not a FB user and would be very hesitant to post here if there was any linkage to FB that would allow them access to any of my personal data. I admittedly don't know how FB works in this context (does anyone really?) and so would tend to embrace discretion as the better part of valor.

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#64563 - 05/03/12 02:31 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: donald perry]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
Originally Posted By: donald perry

I understand that some of you do not agree with me. And I don't know why you don't send me a private letter. Perhaps I should try and explain again what I am saying because I don
[Damned broken quote function....]

Are you really that dense and unfeeling? It's not what you're saying that Julie et al objected to...it's that you decided to pontificate in the thread where people were offering their condolences, sadness, and well wishes to those who knew her. A thread that very likely will be viewed by members of her family, friends, partners, and the people she was climbing with. It is totally inappropriate to lecture people and take them to task in that context. That's what you're getting flack about. Eventually you did move it to a secondary thread, but not realizing that's what you should have done with your first post on the subject is the problem.

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#64634 - 05/04/12 09:50 AM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5968
Loc: 212 land
One feature in yesteryear's Gunks.com was inclusion of a poster's IP address. In that way, we could see whether that poster had more than one user name.
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#71106 - 01/09/14 06:42 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: oenophore]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
Bump.
Glad to see all these new changes to the site.

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