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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)
_________________________
evan marks
webmaster@gunks.com
I wish I could read every post...

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#64440 - 05/01/12 04:51 PM Re: Changes to Gunks.com [Re: webmaster]
Mark Heyman Offline
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 Offline
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: 2677
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.
_________________________
evan marks
webmaster@gunks.com
I wish I could read every post...

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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: 5977
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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