Forum tools? Follow topics? Follow users? Email notice?

  • By Stily1 on at 06:33am 26 Nov 2011
  • Posted in: Feedback
  • Tagged with:

I'm not finding any ways on this forum to "follow" either certain topics/threads, or certain users. How about an option to be emailed is someone replys to a thread I've posted to? Am I missing something? Or is these things we can work toward adding? Perhaps the volume is not that large yet, but if things get going, it could be very difficult to participate in disucssions on here.

Replies

Thanks for your feedback Stily - we're working on this. There needs to be some improvement to the 'My dashboard' section which should allow you to track responses to your forum posts etc. Bear with us while we sort this out! And keep using the forum.

  • By Stily1 at 09:53am 01 Feb 2012

Still here! I think your forum is a great idea. I do wish it was a bit more popular, but all in due time.

  • By Stily1 at 12:07pm 03 Feb 2012

It would be very nice to be able to sort forum posts by date started, most recent post date, number of posts etc. As it is, we have to scroll through a long list just to see if anyone has posted after us.

Cheers,

-Seth

LCC still don;t seem to be improving this forum. Any dates in the pipeline LCC??

  • By Stily1 at 08:11am 18 May 2012

I'm very surprised at the seeming lack of attention being paid to this forum. This thread started six months ago. It's the only bicycling forum I know of that seems worth visiting, yet its.....well......not that worth visiting. Personally I don't find any of the other "content" to be very compelling, and the lack of attention to the General forum in terms of the basic tools offered on every other similar site on the web is, well, surprising, and dissapointing.

Does anyone know of a better site for London bicycling?

  • By JFK at 08:32am 18 May 2012

I agree with Stily1 . There is a huge potential here not being realised.

Is it a lack of technical skill or resource at LCC ? are you locked into paying someone else for updates ?

Or is it simply not seen as in-scope for the charity to work on developing an on-line community ?

Would be nice to hear from someone what the probem is .. you never know your audience may be able to help.

 

Cheers,

~John

Hi

 

Seconded that it is well before time these forums were  improved - understand this is on the way

 

My list of improvement includes ...

 

* slowness - I see 500 logged in?  Perhaps server or data pipe is undersized

*  lack of email notice of postings so I have to remember to come back to check postsas our main action is here - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/southwarkcyclists/

We'll be working on the forum in September, so any feedback now is helpful

  • By Barney at 10:37pm 08 Sep 2014

So how much changed last September? I can't see any way to get a list of threads that I've contributed to and check for replies.

Barney,

I share your view that progress on the LCC website has been much slower than one would wish. The website has some excellent functionality - a web novice like me can produce good-looking news articles (link) that invite others to comment underneath and start a discussion. It's a shame that there a few areas of weakness that are letting the LCC website down, because I think it's an important tool for 'activating' more members to get involved in local campaigning.

There's also a chicken-and-egg situation in which the discussion forum has few users because the functionality isn't great, and LCC HQ are perhaps reluctant to invest time and money to improve the functionality because it has few users.

I can understand that LCC HQ staff have many competing priorities, and I think the best way to make the the website a priority for this year is to pass a motion at the AGM - if you agree, please come along and vote for Motion 6.

Dominic

  • By Barney at 09:27pm 12 Sep 2014

My guess is that the forum tools haven't been substantialy improved becuase the resources that would be needed to do that haven't been made available - not because anyone in LCC doesn't want them. Motion 6 doesn't say anything about resource allocation, and I'm not personally well informed enough about LCC's resources to take a view on whether it should use more for web development.

  • By Barney at 09:35pm 12 Sep 2014

Here's a tip that might be useful for Stily1 and others - to see what you've posted to the site yourself, so that you can check if people have replied to you, you can do a google for your username on this website, e.g. stily1 site:lcc.org.uk.

Of course tools built into the forums could work a lot better than that, but it might be useful.

Dominic 

Your motion is very prescriptive. It's not obvious that these forums are the best starting point for LCC forums that everyone will use. Also, as you know, the theme isn't responsive (does not support mobiles). We really need forums that have integrated areas, locations and maps and cyclescape might make a better starting point.

What we don't know is how much it would cost to improve these forums to such an extent that other LCC activists would abandon yahoogroups. 

I will be voting against your motion unless it is amended and would urge other LCC members to do the same.

John

I am sure the motion will be debated and amended at the AGM, and we gave each item in the motion a letter (a to h) to make this easier. I agree that the motion appears prescriptive, but that's because we want it to be measurable; we want it to be clear whether the actions have been met. The actions listed were intended to be a minimum, and I would be delighted if LCC did more.

I have attended meetings at LCC HQ, before Amy joined and possibly before Ashok joined too, at which Local Groups gave feedback about what improvements they wanted to the website, but LCC staff have many competing priorities and demands on their time and money, and sadly many requests were never fulfilled. The AGM is where our organisation sets its priorities, and we think this year we should decide that improving our website is a priority because of the role it can play in reaching a wide audience and 'activating' new members.

I am personally ambivalent about whether the improvements to the functionality of the website are delivered by improving the existing software or introducing new software.

I would encourage everyone to join the debate at the AGM, amend the motion if desired, but only vote against it if you think the existing LCC website could not be improved or that improving the LCC website does not matter.

the software devised and used by the lfgss people seems pretty good - that forum seems very active..

http://www.lfgss.com

Dominic,

John Ackers and I intend to propose the ammendment to your motion as below. This is not in any way intended as a criticism of your initiative - we're grateful for the way in which you have brought the issue to the foreground of LCC thinking. It is just that we thinking a less-prescriptive approach is more likely ot produce a good outcome.

George

Amendment to Motion 6

Proposed by George Coulouris, seconded by John Ackers

Replace from "invest in and use its own website by" to the end with:

a) Identify key requirements and commission the revision or replacement of the website in order to:

  • reflect the full range of LCC's activities in a form that is easy to access and navigate 
  • provide a public record for centrally-generated material and news postings
  • enable the members responsible for activities to update and add to the content about them presented on the site.
    • the website should provide easily navigable material and feedback to members regarding the work of committees and local groups, but not necessarily provide the full internal communication facility needed for the conduct of such work.

b) Identify a path for the membership to move to a system to support electronic communication and forum discussions for committee work and for discussions in local groups that goes beyond the current Yahoo Groups infrastructure on which much of LCC's work currently depends to at least support the following:

  • enable members to receive notification of issues and discussions that may be of interest and to subscribe on an individual issue or topic basis
  • include a range of media in discussion contributions
  • provide mechanisms to control access to some discussions while leaving others open to wide participation.

c) Ensure that user's comments and experience are fed into the planning of these and other LCC internet systems. 

 

------

George and John,

LCC has been talking about improving/replacing the website for years. I attended borough coordinator meetings about this back when Gerhard was around. There are posts on the LCC website that date from 2011 asking for improvements that still haven't been actioned. The LCC officers are good but they have competing priorities, and improving/replacing the website will take time, money and effort. I get the feeling it has been seen as a bit of a sideline.

Can I encourage you strongly to put a deadline on commissioning the improvement/replaced website, and the move from Yahoo Groups onto the new website?  Otherwise I fear that despite best intentions, nothing will change.

Dominic,

Happy to set a deadline for the website though not sure how long it should be since I don't know what has already been done. If from scratch, 12 months should be achievable.

Moving the forums/discussion groups is a defferent matter. We cannot coerce the membership to switch, we have to provide something better than the existing provision. Even then it will be like herding cats.

There's definitely a 'chicken and egg' situation in which the functionality of the LCC website remains poor because members and officers are using Yahoo Groups, and the transition from Yahoo Groups to the LCC website remains almost unthinkable because the functionality of the LCC website is poor.

I agree that coercion is undesirable, but I would encourage you to consider items (f) and (g) from the original motion, or what other actions could help start the transition.

You are right to highlight in your amendment that 'notifications' are a valued feature of the Yahoo Groups.

Good luck in the Trustee elections.

Thanks Dominic. 

I'm thinking of the forum/discussion group functions being taken over by a separate software platform such as Microcosm, Cyclescape or Lumen (I would have made those hotlinks, but that is one of the many features of the current website that deoesn't seem to work). All of them have email subscription/updating to topics. With a bit of thought and effort I think we can make interworking between a more dynamic website and one of those systems very convenient, if not transparent.

We should not be sinking resources into developing another forum system and this one is nowhere near what's needed to supersede Yahoo groups.

Look forward to discussing tomorrow.

George

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