Forum Integration Committee

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Qhaberl
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Forum Integration Committee

Postby Qhaberl » February 25th, 2020, 3:59 pm

Good afternoon.

My name is Quinn Haberl. I am a member of the Streets MN board. We have formed a committee to look at the future of the forums and how they can be better integrated into the streets MN site. I am looking for people who are passionate about the forums.

Things we are looking at

Possibly migration to a better platform for the forums.

Having streets MN more activity involved in the administration and upkeep of the forums

Ways to tie the forums more closely into the streets MN blog.

I am the head of the Committee. If you are interested, please leave a comment below and I will send you a private message.


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Qhaberl
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby Qhaberl » April 13th, 2020, 9:32 am

As mentioned above, I am the chairperson for the streets MN forums Committee.

It would be greatly appreciated if anyone could provide me with some things that you may like to see improved on the forums.


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mamundsen
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby mamundsen » April 13th, 2020, 3:41 pm

Quinn,

I appreciate how the forums are a bit separate from the blog articles. I don't always read every article, but I do appreciate seeing updates on each project or discussion threads. I appreciate how the community of the forums is not heavily moderated.

What is the goal of your committee? To me, it seems the forums are operating smoothly.

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Nick
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby Nick » April 14th, 2020, 1:59 pm

I’ve been impressed by how the past two updates to Skyscrapercity have made their forums increasingly dysfunctional and difficult to navigate. Maybe we could do something like that

karlshea
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby karlshea » April 14th, 2020, 9:16 pm

I don't see a need for any changes whatsoever tbh

Edit: If you want to see an example of a good (imho) integration between long-running community forums and a blog, you could take a look at Ars Technica. Their forums (https://arstechnica.com/civis/) have been huge for over a decade, and they wanted to integrate the main site with them. They ended up adding a subforum (https://arstechnica.com/civis/viewforum.php?f=2) that drives the story comments, and the rest of the forum stayed as-is.

Their frontend is WordPress and their forums are now phpBB, but I don't know how much custom work they needed to do to integrate them. I would imagine it was substantial at the time, but it's possible there's a better way to integrate them now.

Edit 2: Unless this is an attempt to kill off a community that the main streets.mn site isn't interested in fostering any longer. In that case, full steam ahead.

Qhaberl
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby Qhaberl » April 14th, 2020, 9:39 pm

Here are a few things we are looking into, nothing set in stone, just looking at.

Updating the comment policy so that it aligns with Streets MN.

Updating the Mobile experience,

Updating and creating easier searching of the forums, especially on mobile devices.

Investigating the possibility of making a Streets MN App that would include the forums on it.

Continue to increase the diversity on the forums.

Make sure that the desktop and mobile experience comply with best practices for web accessibility.

Again, these are just ideas. Thank you so much to those of you who have provided feedback. All of your thoughts and concerns will be taken into account.


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Qhaberl
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby Qhaberl » April 14th, 2020, 9:44 pm

I’ve been impressed by how the past two updates to Skyscrapercity have made their forums increasingly dysfunctional and difficult to navigate. Maybe we could do something like that
Your post seems a bit snarky; or am I just reading it incorrectly?


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Cat349F
Metrodome
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Joined: August 25th, 2019, 9:45 am
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby Cat349F » April 15th, 2020, 5:23 am

Are you considering a migration to to a different forum software such as IP Board (not recommended) or Xenforo? (recommended)

Easier posting of pics from a mobile device would be mucho appreciated.
Unsustainable fossil burning fool.

Qhaberl
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby Qhaberl » April 15th, 2020, 5:25 am

We are looking into all options. Thanks for the feedback about posting photos


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talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby talindsay » April 15th, 2020, 12:53 pm

I was on Minnescraper back when that was a thing, and on UrbanMSP from its start. I don't want or need anybody's integration, board of directors, mission statement, etc. Frankly I don't read streets.mn on a regular basis. A "comment policy" sounds like a recipe for forums to become the StarTribune comments section. Just my two cents.

Qhaberl
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby Qhaberl » April 15th, 2020, 1:17 pm

I was on Minnescraper back when that was a thing, and on UrbanMSP from its start. I don't want or need anybody's integration, board of directors, mission statement, etc. Frankly I don't read streets.mn on a regular basis. A "comment policy" sounds like a recipe for forums to become the StarTribune comments section. Just my two cents.
Thank you very much for your feedback. Your thoughts and opinions Will definitely be taken into consideration.

birusan
Block E
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby birusan » April 15th, 2020, 1:18 pm

Thanks Quinn. Speaking as another long-time streets.mn board member, we would appreciate any feedback, like the comments above. They will help the board make decisions.

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Tiller
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Re: Forum Integration Committee

Postby Tiller » May 4th, 2020, 4:12 pm

Updating the comment policy so that it aligns with Streets MN.
Is there anything that this would change? The comments in the forum haven't gotten spicy in quite a while.
Updating the Mobile experience,

Updating and creating easier searching of the forums, especially on mobile devices.
I don't know if there's much that could be improved specifically on mobile devices. There are things that could be improved overall, though. Making it easier to access/search the forums could be nice, especially for newer users. Nowadays I just come to the forum and clear out all the red indicators from new content. But there's not really a good way to browse and access content overall?

Better integration and usability of media would be another thing. It seems like it's always been somewhat of a struggle to use images on the forum, let alone any other forms of media. Also emoji support instead of smilies? 🤔
Investigating the possibility of making a Streets MN App that would include the forums on it.
This could potentially provide an interesting platform, though I'm apprehensive of making an app just to have an app. That can lead to more ongoing cost and maintenance issues. Plus it seems like when a website makes an app, usually they try to push users into adapting it, which can be a pain in the butt for those that want to access it normally, adding more accessibility barriers.
Continue to increase the diversity on the forums.
What does this [tangibly] mean?
Make sure that the desktop and mobile experience comply with best practices for web accessibility.
Yes please for this! To translate for anyone who doesn't know the phrase, "Web accessibility" means making websites more accessible for people with disabilies that use alternative means for browsing the internet like converting text to speech.

Edit: imo, the forums have been working perfectly smoothly as-is, even though some things can be improved.


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