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Bondings
For guests viewing the topics, I made a box with a few related topics to the one they are viewing. Would such a feature be of use for logged in users?

Or maybe simply a link to view related topics? It would most likely be a link to search results for the title (sorted by relevancy and not date).
redslazers
ya, it would be useful but only if it display slightly older posts as well and not just the new ones
adri
Bondings wrote:
sorted by relevancy and not date


Adri Wink
Bondings
To clarify, it show the most relevant topics, completely regardless of the date (so it could be one of the first topics on Frihost or one of the last).
mathiaus
Have you got a screenshot to give those of us who aren't at all creative an idea of how it would fit in?

The actual content sounds interesting and useful though Smile
Ghost Rider103
Why don't you just log out and take a look for yourself? He said that guest could see it.

I personally don't really care on this one. It would be ok to have, but then again I don't think it would make much of a difference. It would probably bring back a lot of old topics. Which isn't a bad thing, as long as they aren't spamming it and bringing it back for no reason.
ocalhoun
Ghost Rider103 wrote:
I personally don't really care on this one. It would be ok to have, but then again I don't think it would make much of a difference. It would probably bring back a lot of old topics. Which isn't a bad thing, as long as they aren't spamming it and bringing it back for no reason.


My thoughts exactly... it will create many zombie topics, but that isn't always a bad thing, and could increase traffic. It would be annoying in the busier forums though, because fresh new topics would be pushed below the others much more quickly.


Some suggestions about the topics to be in the 'related topics' box.
1- Yes, it should be a box. If it were a link to a page, nobody would ever use it.
2- It should search for related posts only in the current forum? (ie. related topics in suggestions would only show other suggestions, not general chat topics or old contests.)
2b- If this is done, then some forums, like contests, wouldn't benefit much from it. Certain forums are really only good for new(ish) topics.
3- Make the search use selected words from the first post rather than the title to search with? Though making an algorithm to choose those words would be difficult, it would give much more accurate results, as threads are often not titled well at all.
3b- Include a keywords section in a post, and use those words to search for related topics? Adding keywords can slightly increase the points/frih$ for that post.
4- Should definitely search for related threads when the first post is posted, and then 'assign' the relatives to that post, to save resources. Hopefully, its already written that way.
5- Time consuming and pointless, but fun to program: Related topics box includes + and - buttons. Users click those buttons to determine how well related the topics are. The system uses this feedback to learn and choose better search terms. Sure there are easier ways, but it would be cool to think of that system as an AI that learns from experience.
truespeed
I have just looked at it and it looks all right,the only down side, as has already been suggested,is old old topics getting revived.
deanhills
truespeed wrote:
I have just looked at it and it looks all right,the only down side, as has already been suggested,is old old topics getting revived.
I agree with Mathiaus, would be nice to see a screen shot, as I'm not completely in the loop here. Off the top of my head, if revival of old topics will be a negative consequence, then the locked old topics may be a real nuisance. Some of the old topics should not even have survived when they were first posted, and everyone thought a way to get rid of them is for them to naturally die as they move down the list and out of sight. Would be awful if they were to be resuscitated. Possibly the suggested system could only be a good thing if the topics are carefully vetted/deleted if necessary and locked topics moved elsewhere.
sonam
Related topics links are good idea especially for coding forums where people ask the same question from time to time. If is possible to hide "Post reply" button for topics older then one month and comming from related topic link then downside will disappear, otherwise Rolling Eyes is better without this links.

Sonam
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
truespeed wrote:
I have just looked at it and it looks all right,the only down side, as has already been suggested,is old old topics getting revived.
I agree with Mathiaus, would be nice to see a screen shot, as I'm not completely in the loop here. Off the top of my head, if revival of old topics will be a negative consequence, then the locked old topics may be a real nuisance. Some of the old topics should not even have survived when they were first posted, and everyone thought a way to get rid of them is for them to naturally die as they move down the list and out of sight. Would be awful if they were to be resuscitated. Possibly the suggested system could only be a good thing if the topics are carefully vetted/deleted if necessary and locked topics moved elsewhere.

Locked topics can't be resurrected, because even if they show up in the related topics box, nobody can post in them to bring them back up to the top.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
truespeed wrote:
I have just looked at it and it looks all right,the only down side, as has already been suggested,is old old topics getting revived.
I agree with Mathiaus, would be nice to see a screen shot, as I'm not completely in the loop here. Off the top of my head, if revival of old topics will be a negative consequence, then the locked old topics may be a real nuisance. Some of the old topics should not even have survived when they were first posted, and everyone thought a way to get rid of them is for them to naturally die as they move down the list and out of sight. Would be awful if they were to be resuscitated. Possibly the suggested system could only be a good thing if the topics are carefully vetted/deleted if necessary and locked topics moved elsewhere.

Locked topics can't be resurrected, because even if they show up in the related topics box, nobody can post in them to bring them back up to the top.
Thanks Ocalhoun. Good point. It however still leaves us with those spam-equivalent dead posts that may be resurrected.

Agreed however that it could have some benefits. One that comes to mind is in the Religion and Philosophy Forum as sometimes discussions in a thread can be duplicated from one thread to another, so possibly that would bring up the related threads containing the duplicated discussions and provide some interesting and useful background information.
Diablosblizz
I think this would be a good idea, like everybody has said. There should be some limits as well:

- no posts over 2 months old (maybe more or less)
- no locked posts
- announcements in the topic shouldn't be shown

I think it would be a good idea, although some limits would defiantly be in place. A screenshot would be nice too. Smile
rvec
locked posts can't be posted in, spam posts will be either spamcanned or the topic will be locked and most announcements are locked. Don't see why those shouldn't be included.
AftershockVibe
rvec wrote:
locked posts can't be posted in, spam posts will be either spamcanned or the topic will be locked and most announcements are locked. Don't see why those shouldn't be included.


As a compromise you could not include locked topics unless they were stickied.

I think the major problem with this system is that to work well it will probably have to be fairly complex which means both a large server overhead (an extra search per topic) and Bondings time to program.

Also, given the usual brevity and/or quality of topic titles I'm not sure how relevant the 'related' topics would actually end up being. Something that works similarly to Google Adwords which took key words from the posts as well would be much more effective and be able to change as the topic progresses. This would be incredibly complicated and computationally intensive though.

On the plus side, if a system like this could be made to work I think its greatest advantage (for me at least) would be the linking to related posts in different subforums. I visit regularly enough to have noticed every topic in the ones I frequent but will often miss particular topics I find interesting in forums whose theme I don't have great enthusiasm for. If possible, I think this 'cross-linking' should be prioritised. After all, you've probably seen all the other post titles in the forum before you read the topic you are on.

Cool
ocalhoun
Bondings wrote:
For guests viewing the topics, I made a box with a few related topics to the one they are viewing. Would such a feature be of use for logged in users?

Or maybe simply a link to view related topics? It would most likely be a link to search results for the title (sorted by relevancy and not date).


So, have we come to a verdict on if this related topics box will appear for logged-in users?
Ghost Rider103
Now that I've thought about it some more I think we should have it for logged in users also.

I've used my BlackBerry some to browse the forums, and sometimes I don't logg in while using my Blackberry, and I personally liked having that box at the bottom showing the related topics.

Before it didn't make much of a difference to me, but after being able to experience using the feature, I'd like to see it for logged in users as well.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
So, have we come to a verdict on if this related topics box will appear for logged-in users?
I'm all for it, however can't quite picture it? Does it mean that that would be related topics from Frihost postings, or the Internet, or both? What would it look like?
Bondings
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
So, have we come to a verdict on if this related topics box will appear for logged-in users?
I'm all for it, however can't quite picture it? Does it mean that that would be related topics from Frihost postings, or the Internet, or both? What would it look like?

It would be related topics from these forums, not from the rest of the internet.

I'll be making a small box with maybe 9 related topics. I think it will be easier to give feedback when you actually see it and can use it. We'll also notice if it impacts the old topics and if it's a problem if they get revived. I don't think it would be problematic since most topics aren't that time-related.
deanhills
Bondings wrote:
I'll be making a small box with maybe 9 related topics. I think it will be easier to give feedback when you actually see it and can use it. We'll also notice if it impacts the old topics and if it's a problem if they get revived. I don't think it would be problematic since most topics aren't that time-related.
That would be awesome as if it is a new thread that is a duplicate, I assume the thread that has been duplicated will show up in the related postings, so someone would be able to notice that they have just duplicated a thread?
Bondings
I have added the related topics. I added 12 of them.

Do you think there should be more or less (or none at all)? Do you think they should be in a different place? And other remarks are also welcome.
adri
The position is good but you should decrease the size of your font, I think it's to big (or is it my computer)?


Adri Smile
mathiaus
I'm not sure what algorithm is used but I don't see any related posts, only unrelated ones.

Other points; less, maybe 9 would be better, and the font also seems to be quite large in comparison to the rest of the forums.
Ghost Rider103
I agree, I think the font size needs to be taken down just a little bit. It seems rather large.
ocalhoun
mathiaus wrote:
I'm not sure what algorithm is used but I don't see any related posts, only unrelated ones.

It depends some on how easy the topic is to search for... On the 'government ban on public smoking' topic, the results were very relevant.
Quote:

Other points; less, maybe 9 would be better, and the font also seems to be quite large in comparison to the rest of the forums.

The font could indeed be smaller... And darker or in bold...
The same font style as the 'edit profile' link up top would work well.

As for the maximum number, 12 should probably be the maximum... lower might be better.

And phpbb has a maximum topic name length... building the box with that in mind would avoid it looking messy when topics with long names get included. (Though the smaller font size might fix that problem.)

*edit*
Also, could the block be placed below the 'post reply' button?
Ghost Rider103
I don't think the links should be bold.

As right under the related topics box, there is the forum index links, which are the same color and bold. If you made the related topics links bold, I think it would look like there is too much bold text going on in the same area.

I think just lowering the font size will do just fine. It should also help fix those longer names topics that make it look a little messy at times.

It seems to work fine for me. Depending on the topic, there is more or less related topics.
deanhills
Thanks for fixing it Steve. The layout and font size are great as is. The relevant links box is great in the position where it is.

mathiaus wrote:
I'm not sure what algorithm is used but I don't see any related posts, only unrelated ones.

Other points; less, maybe 9 would be better, and the font also seems to be quite large in comparison to the rest of the forums.
I have to agree. I got the following results for the threads on the Amanda Knox Trial and on Berlusconi's Attack. Actually quite funny, some of the links are so on the mark from an entertainment relevancy point of view and maybe even true in a symbolic way, I actually like them Smile :

Quote:
Amanda Knox trial
Which is better Xbox or PC
Democrats at it again: Caught in another lie
How difficult is to be fair!
More front page news NOT on the front page..
Internet Explorer 7 (beta 2 preview)
Video Projects? They are not fair.
Why do you all hate God?
Do you know KNOX?
What do you experienced Frihosters consider fair rates?
fair/clean/high perfomance sport
I am broke
Discussion ABOUT “Political Phil: What is [Not] Fair?” topic

Berlusconi Attacked
berlusconi...the king
Marraige stirrs controversy in India, TV channel attacked
Server 2 is being attacked???
PLEASE HELP - Site has been attacked and marked as malicious
The Unofficial Jokes Thread
Why use IE?
MS Accepts Korean Site Attack
Nutty Hunters
Jackson - Not Guilty
Island Natives!!
Top Chinese General Warns US Over Attack
London blasts cause chaos on Tube
But as Ocalhoun pointed out, it works better with other topic specific threads like tobacco probably because tobacco is very specific. So if you have a topic specific thread, the more specific, the more relevant the related links would be.
sonam
Quote:
The font could indeed be smaller...


I am agree 100% with this think. Between columns maybe you can put little bit bigger gap (padding) and maybe in last column you can include relevant links from blogs. Of course if is possible.
Rolling Eyes

Sonam
mOrpheuS
In my opinion, the title "Related topics" is misleading.

It should be called "Similar topics".
Bondings
I have lowered the font size from 14 to 12, also got rid of the unneeded space at the top. I put it below the post reply link and changed it from 12 to 9 related topics. And I changed the name to Similar topics. Very Happy

What about now? Maybe change them into html lists, with bullets?

By the way, the topics are relevant/similar to the title of the current topic and unfortunately not the whole topic, since this isn't easy (and quick) to do. I simply search which topics (title and all posts) are the most similar to the current topic title. This could be improved by adding some important keywords of the current topic. Maybe I'll spend some time on this, but I'm not sure if the results would really be much better and at the moment I would rather like to spend my time on other things, like the competitions and a lot of other small issues/features that have been waiting for months or even years to get done.

So the relevancy really depends on the words of the title and what topics cover those words. In some cases this can go very wrong, although in some cases there really aren't any similar topics or the similar topics aren't using the same words. I mean that Bush getting a shoe in his face is similar to the Berlusconi topic, but an algorithm should be very advanced to find that.
saratdear
Glad to see you've added it, Bondings. Smile

Obviously, a really general topic like this isn't having too relevant topics, but the one above this (the domain for competition thread) is linking to most of the free domain threads, which is good.
Ghost Rider103
How about adding a small minimize button/link for the people who don't want it there?

It takes up a good amount of space, so I think it would be good to be able to minimize it.
Bondings
Ghost Rider103 wrote:
How about adding a small minimize button/link for the people who don't want it there?

It takes up a good amount of space, so I think it would be good to be able to minimize it.

I can make it an option on the Account page to either enable/disable it. And a "disable all these" kind of link at the bock. Do you think that's a good idea?
deanhills
I'm really enjoying the related topics and am totally bowled over with the many duplicate threads. Of these are quite old, and fun to read through, giving a comparison of different debates by different people at different times, some who are not around anymore, or have retired. If there is an option to enable or disable it, I would keep it permanently enabled. I find it very useful. Like providing an extra dimension to the threads.
Ghost Rider103
Bondings wrote:
Ghost Rider103 wrote:
How about adding a small minimize button/link for the people who don't want it there?

It takes up a good amount of space, so I think it would be good to be able to minimize it.

I can make it an option on the Account page to either enable/disable it. And a "disable all these" kind of link at the bock. Do you think that's a good idea?


That would be great.

I too would keep it enabled, but it's always good to have the option to minimize it as it does take up a decent amount of space, and some people may want it minimized.
Hogwarts
I think it's come into contention as to whether this is causing problems or being beneficial anymore; following discussion in the autoclose thread. Otherwise, it should be made so that things are more time-relevant.

In point of fact, of the nine posts suggested to me on a recent thread, one was from 2006, one was from 2009 (this thread, actually), seven were from 2005 Sad
Bikerman
I must admit to not using it much, but I do think it is worthwhile and should be kept. A simple flag option would be best, I think, so you can set it on or off...
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
I think it's come into contention as to whether this is causing problems or being beneficial anymore; following discussion in the autoclose thread. Otherwise, it should be made so that things are more time-relevant.

In point of fact, of the nine posts suggested to me on a recent thread, one was from 2006, one was from 2009 (this thread, actually), seven were from 2005 Sad
I do like the related topics feature, even with old threads. Every now and then I come across very interesting discussions from a long time ago. If I compare it however with the usefulness of the search feature, the search feature is of much greater value to me. "Related topics" is a luxury and optional, but any energy spent on adding bells and whistles to the search feature would be much appreciated, like for example adding filters for advanced searches.
Ghost Rider103
I myself actually do use the similar topics feature.

I often see a topic there that has a title that will catch my attention and usually gives me a good read. I usually don't reply, not because it's old, but more of the fact that I've never really been a huge poster to begin with and prefer to sit back and watch the conversation.

I only ever really reply when I see my opinion is truly needed and would contribute to something.

Maybe this would be a good thing to use the frih$ with. As new members seem to be majority of the ones who post in very old topics.

I think it would be a good idea for the "Similar Topics" feature to be enabled by purchasing it with frih$. This would make the feature invisible to any new members and help eliminate the issue.
ocalhoun
Ghost Rider103 wrote:


I think it would be a good idea for the "Similar Topics" feature to be enabled by purchasing it with frih$. This would make the feature invisible to any new members and help eliminate the issue.


Idea
Twisted Evil

This approach could be used to curb all kinds of noobish mistakes...

Requiring frih$ to reply to very old threads...
Requiring frih$ to start a new topic...
Requiring frih$ to post a link to a non-frihost site...
Requiring frih$ to make a post less than 10 characters long...
Requiring frih$ to use the 'paste' functionality in the posting page...
Requiring a small, additional amount of frih$ to post a new topic in the general chat section (encouraging people to post in a different section, if applicable)

It wouldn't be quite as evil if you started new members out with a small amount of frih$.
Ghost Rider103
Those are definitely some ideas we could use to put the Frih$ system to use.

It would also help in controlling spam more.

Good thoughts!
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Ghost Rider103 wrote:


I think it would be a good idea for the "Similar Topics" feature to be enabled by purchasing it with frih$. This would make the feature invisible to any new members and help eliminate the issue.


Idea
Twisted Evil

This approach could be used to curb all kinds of noobish mistakes...

Requiring frih$ to reply to very old threads...
Requiring frih$ to start a new topic...
Requiring frih$ to post a link to a non-frihost site...
Requiring frih$ to make a post less than 10 characters long...
Requiring frih$ to use the 'paste' functionality in the posting page...
Requiring a small, additional amount of frih$ to post a new topic in the general chat section (encouraging people to post in a different section, if applicable)

It wouldn't be quite as evil if you started new members out with a small amount of frih$.
Not so sure that I like it. It has too much of a "restriction and penalty" feeling to it. It may work counter to the free and "all is welcome" spirit of Frihost. It may also be confusing for newbies when they have to figure out why their Frih$ are going down, or into minus perhaps, and then of course result in a number of enquiries about "small stuff". I'd far rather have the opportunity to spend my Frih$ on purchasing a domain, or bells and whistles for Websites that are not available in cPanel, or more Website space. Focus being more on Websites, and Website functionality than on Administrative penalties. The latter being "small irritating stuff". In the end Moderators would still have to explain about the "paste function", and in addition explain why the Frih$ have gone down. I'm not sure the penalties are going to change posting behaviour.
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