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"Featured Discussions" or just frihost news?





LukeakaDanish
Hi all",

The "featured discussions" box in the forum home isn't being used to its full potential in my opinion. Right now its being used to draw attention to important frihost news, mostly from the announcements forum.

This certainly makes the title inaccurate, as most of the posts cant even be posted in, never mind hold discussions.

I think the solution is to start adding some of the cool topics from frihost - maybe as much as one new every week - if the power to add featured discussions was given to moderators (I expect it isn't right now) then they could even be adding any topic they think is noteworthy / interesting.

Another possible solution would be to simply rename the "box" - however I think that would be a waste of a really cool possibility to make frihost cooler.

- Luke
mathiaus
Anyone who has the time and patience for rainboxing has my support!
It helps when the idea is good as well though Razz
m-productions
yes, i agree, if you look at all the old post inside that box, it use to be used for just that... but it has goten old in its old age... it does need to be brought back!
LukeakaDanish
mathiaus wrote:
Anyone who has the time and patience for rainboxing has my support!
It helps when the idea is good as well though Razz


Its all part of an elaborate hoax to get more points per post Wink (well in truth its because i thought no one would read it if it didn't look interesting Smile)

Thanks for the support to both of you Razz
ocalhoun
If I remember right, it has been said that it is a lot of trouble to add things to the featured discussions box...
I don't really see why that is... It seems to me that one should be able to make a simple php script that would make adding new items very easy. (Possibly even just a button on the thread viewing page, visible only to admins, that allows a thread to be put into featured discussions with one click...)
tidruG
You're right. Currently, there are not enough threads being added to the Featured Discussions.
I'll speak to Bondings about it. I think Junior Admins have access to the Featured Discussions, so maybe I'll try to update it with at least one new thread every week.

There are 2 ways to do this:

1. I could create a thread somewhere where people could suggest threads to be made Featured Discussions. The problem with this, however, is that there will very likely be a very large number of posts, and a lot of members nominating their own threads, etc etc. While allowing users to nominate threads is ideal, it's not really feasible.

2. I could just ask for inputs from the various staff members as they go through the forums. This is easier to implement and handle.

I'll see what I can do.
LukeakaDanish
tidruG wrote:
1. I could create a thread somewhere where people could suggest threads to be made Featured Discussions. The problem with this, however, is that there will very likely be a very large number of posts, and a lot of members nominating their own threads, etc etc. While allowing users to nominate threads is ideal, it's not really feasible.

2. I could just ask for inputs from the various staff members as they go through the forums. This is easier to implement and handle.


Cool my idea was of use Smile

I suggest option 2 - there is already a suggested featured topics in the top of the suggestion forum and it was, as you predicted, spammed like hell Wink - why not have a "recommend topic" button next to the "report topic" link so that users can recommend topics to the mods/admins - then if enough users recommend the same topic, the mods/admins could check it out and possibly "promote" it?
ocalhoun
LukeakaDanish wrote:
[ - then if enough users recommend the same topic, the mods/admins could check it out and possibly "promote" it?

Very good idea...
Just put in a provision to keep the same person from recommending the same thread over and over again.
tidruG
It's not a bad idea, either, but it isn't fool-proof either.
("5 FRIH$ if you vote for my topic!" or "I vote for ABCD's topic because I like him and he made me a sig!!!!" or "I vote for YYY's topic because he's a Moderator" Razz)

I'm still trying to think up a way where users can nominate some of their favourite topics without abusing this right.

One option could be a periodical locking of the "Suggest Featured Threads" topic, i.e. I lock it every Monday, and leave it locked till Thursday. I open it on Thursday, let users nominate topics till Friday evening, lock it up again, select one or two good topics, and add them to the list every Sunday. However, this operation would be manual, and highly dependent on whether I get time to access the internet every Thursday/Friday :P

Coding in the "Suggest Topic" button would require Bondings, and his schedule is jam-packed even without having to code this, ain't it? Razz
m-productions
or just a thought with the button...

This would reduce the "newer" people from just doing it to all of them... and others from doing it to a lot. make it cost frih$! We need a reason for frih$ and other than the directory, this might be the first. You see a topic you like and think would be a good "featured topic" then great! click that button and pay some frih$ .... I duno...what do you think.... Also... maybe limit it to people that have so many posts...

however, this would need coding as you said... so your idea might have to be the winner...

and tho your the one that can add them, if your not here, why dont you get a backup (another mod) so that if your not here thur/fri someone can still run it.
ocalhoun
It might not be abused too much if you make it clear that unworthy threads (like nearly all marketplace threads) will not be considered no matter how many times they are recommended...
That would at least minimize the amount of times you see things like "Ill give you $5 frih$ to recommend this thread." Also, any marketplace thread with a purpose like that (to get recommendations) would be locked. IDEA: Have another button for moderators that when clicked, will block all recommendations for any thread started by that user. That way, abusers could quickly and easily be stopped, and it would give them motivation not to abuse the system.
LukeakaDanish
ocalhoun wrote:
It might not be abused too much if you make it clear that unworthy threads (like nearly all marketplace threads) will not be considered no matter how many times they are recommended...
That would at least minimize the amount of times you see things like "Ill give you $5 frih$ to recommend this thread." Also, any marketplace thread with a purpose like that (to get recommendations) would be locked. IDEA: Have another button for moderators that when clicked, will block all recommendations for any thread started by that user. That way, abusers could quickly and easily be stopped, and it would give them motivation not to abuse the system.


Yea great idea - trust the community a little - most of us are actually not here to destroy frihost Wink

About the whole coding issue - how about this:

I'll code it! AND host it on my account - keeping track of some votes and some post id's really shouldn't take more than...lets say 30 minutes to code, and that really isn't a problem Razz
tidruG
ocalhoun's idea is not bad... with just one flaw... it requires coding Razz
As of now, I believe coding for an efficient Featured Discussions is pretty low on the priority list. So, let's focus on solutions that require no coding.
When Bondings can dedicate enough time to make the Featured Discussions more efficient, we can then find an ideal solution :)

@Luke,
Thanks for the offer to code and host it, but I don't really think we can accept Wink
ocalhoun
Just how hard is it to add a new featured discussion?
Do you have to edit a database? a file? go to the admin panel? all three?
Just making a small script to make it easy to add a thread to the featured discussions, and giving moderators (or if even mods are not trustworthy enough for it, junior admins) access to that script. Just warn the mods that abusing that privilege will result in their moderatorship being taken away. (The script would also have to note who added what)
Add to forum:
Code:

If ({user level} >= mod){
  echo "<a href='add_to_featured.php?thread=' . {current thread} . '><img src='add_to_featured_discussions_button.gif'></a>";
}

add_to_featured.php:
Code:

<?php
If ({user level} >= mod){
$file=fopen('add_log.log');
$fwrite ({user name} . " added " . {$_REQUEST['thread']}, $file)
//connect to database
mysql_query(QUERY TO ADD DISCUSSION);
//close database connection
fclose($file);
}
?>

There you go, just a simple little script.
tidruG
Actually, there's a pretty simple way of doing it from the Admin CP Razz
Bondings
You are completely right that there should be more featured discussions. And the problem is not that it's hard to add them. There is an easy form in the admin cp and it doesn't take long to make a topic a featured discussion - so that isn't the problem. I'll try to add some myself and/or maybe tidruG and the other junior admins will add some.
Arnie
Yeah Luke, I agree. Also, credit to you for using the forum's layout functions to their full potential Mr. Green

How about a forum stats page, like SMF has by default? Example
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