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Tags: BW Citizen

posted 2011/11/07 19:13    Visibility: World


Hi all!

To introduce myself: I'm Gijs, (yet another) CS'er who decided to join BeWelcome, hoping to meet lots of interesting people here. It seems like a great place! And hopefully I can help a bit as well, once I get to know this community a bit better.

Anyhow, I'd like to comment on something that struck me about BW. My apologies if this is discussed to death elsewhere, in threads that I haven't found. The thing is: I like groups and group forums quite a lot as they add a great meetup function to a hospex site. This is one thing that I REALLY like about CS: you have the possibility of setting up or joining a random meeting with some interesting people far away from home, even if you don't stay at their place for the night! And I also think it's great for people living abroad for a while, or just for when I'm at home and bored :). Wouldn't it be great to have that here as well?

Now what struck me on BW, is that there is indeed a groups list, but there seems to be no order in it outside of just the alphabet. So it is really hard to find interesting groups unless you already know where they are.

Also, somehow there *are* groups about cities (like http://www.bewelcome.org/groups/290) but there are also forums about the same cities (like http://www.bewelcome.org/forums/kEU-Europe/cNL-Netherlands/a09-Utrecht)! This redundancy is really unfortunate, especially if people start using both the forum and the group for a same city, isn't it? It makes me think: which should I use, the forum or the group? The great thing about the forums is that they can be found geographically (continent -> country -> region -> city), but they don't have all the advantages of groups (like being able to join one). On the other hand, with groups it seems to be impossible to make subgroups, which could actually be a really useful feature.

So my question is (again, forgive me if this is a discussed-to-death kind of thing): is there already an ongoing effort to have a kind of policy on this, or work some kind of categorisation of groups and forums? It seems to me that it is a really high priority thing, because this kind of work will really get tougher and tougher and tougher as the number of active groups increases.

And if there is no existing project: is there a will to set up a bunch of people and start working on this? Either way, I'm a new user and I don't want to impose stuff on anyone, but if volunteers are necessary I would not mind investing a reasonable amount of time on this kind of project either...

Would be nice to hear some reactions ;)

posted 2011/11/09 10:05    Visibility: World


No reaction?

posted 2011/11/09 12:55    Visibility: World


silence = agreement? - could well be ;) 

On the BeVolunteer General Assembly last weekend the topic came up briefly (not as a GA topic, more as a general 'what needs to be done' issue), and everybody involved in the conversation said that the threefold 'structure' tags, groups, categories was a mess at the moment and a drawback. the question is, how do we change it. I mean each system has its advantages per se, I would not really like to give up one or two and just work with the other, but how can we combine them more effectively? 

In any case, I think it's good to start a brainstorm on this issue so we can come up with a good solution that might one day be implemented.

posted 2011/11/09 21:05    Visibility: World
last edited on 2011/11/09 22:34 by coolkodiak


We are much less on BW so the probability of answers is da same...
And "the so call spirit" (which to me was Mc Donald goin' to party) doesn't exist on BW (hopefuly). We are grown men and women so we play scrabble and bridge when we meet. We don't go party cuz our back is run down by the many travels we  have done around the globe.  We love talking about our ego and many others intersting topics (we are cultivated) such as travels and backpack timed-worn among others...

I say we, my ego and I of course.

That said, you re right, find a group here is a bit messy (easy to slag off too).

Vaarwel !

posted 2011/11/10 12:01    Visibility: World


Okay let's see what we have

  1. groups with no hirarchy (basic search)
  2. forum threads with tags and categories and locations

(2). Tag and categories are actually the same while creating a thread as you just need to use the right tag ... lets say wanna write in Technical Help so your tag will be Technical Help

Also forum and groups are connected which is really good but confuse some people.

So my proposal:

1. advance the search for groups

2. lets remove the categories and use the tags and locations

3. Later while having a group for all locations we could cancel also the locations, as group name is also the location

What do you think?

greetings

crumbking

 

 

posted 2011/11/10 12:20    Visibility: World


Hm, while I really like the idea of tags and groups, I still think some kind of hierarchy is missing. at the moment I only browse the forum with 'recent forum posts'. there I come across all the regional group talk of places far away I am not intending to visit soon, so not so interesting to me. so i have to scroll a  lot in order to find some threads i wanted to follow. that is a bit annoying for me.

posted 2011/11/10 16:02    Visibility: World


If I can give my 2 cents,

the actually system is insane for a new user. I use internet and forum for years and I (and some of my friends) continue to looking for the right utilisation. I want to create more activity on my group but I can ask to people to join the group and post on it if I can explain them how use it.

Finally, we understand that there are forum and groups, and you can post just in one, but it's better to post in the both (create a thread in the group and add localisation so that it appears on the forum too). But during some time, a lots of bugs give us a doubt about this process too, and make us crazy.

So, if someone can confirm this process and give us a link for report the bug, it could be amazing for us.

In the same idea, we again looking for a comprehension of notifications. When messages are in the group, it's ok, you have an option. The best will be to choose in the member settings the frequency or subjects that you want to send in your mailbox, but it's confort, not emergency. If threads are in forum, you can subscribe one by one, OK too. But, sometimes, we receive thread of forum witch we didn't subscribe, answer or consulted. Why ? It's a mystery ! So, like usual for us now, 2 possibilities, we didn't understand how that works, try again, or, it's a bug.

After that, I think a search engine to the groups is a good idea. Similary, if we develop some hierarchy to the group, you can find easily the continent, country, region and city groups, and the search engine can wait a bit.

I understand that can be good to have a look on the first forum's page and to see the actives threads, but yeah, all the city groups aren't interesting for everyone. If city groups become actives, it kills the interest of the  (it's a shame !). So, severals solutions :

- stop to "localise" the thread when you post on city groups --> but actually isn't possible to send a massmail to our area, so the forum give the hope that people find their active city group on forum first page ! Furthermore, I'm happy to see that others french groups are actives, it gives me hope too.

- divise the forum in two columns: geographic side and all the rest (General, BW citizen, Technical help and Politics). So, you can see the both in the first page and you just choose where you look

- or you make a hierachy for geography, with possibility to subscribe, not to notifications but to see the actives threads of the geographic category that you choose. For example, suscribe "France" permit you to see all the threads of France's forum and all the sub-categories of France's forum, like the city groups.

 

So, it's just ideas. I'm not developer so I can't help to built it, and I don't know if it's possible or crazy, but I need to find a way to shake it before desperate me. I'm sorry too for my english, like you read, I'm not a good english speaker but I try to give you my ideas in a common language.

posted 2011/11/10 19:27    Visibility: World


This is also a really important topic and i also made some efforts in the past to give the forums and groups some structure.

As this post is not related to a group and we don't have any working categories in the forum, what do you think about the idea to start a public "groups &  forums" task group, so it might be easier to find easier the communication and information after a while.

As the forum is designed now, it makes it really hard to find older threads. I think there are many people who can give valuable input, but i am afraid they just won't find this thread and after a while it will be hidden in the big pile of "recent posts"

@MaryCC: You english is really good, please keep on posting :)

posted 2011/11/10 20:58    Visibility: World


that's a good point, matthias. probably one of the reasons why there are so many threads with 0-2 answers. highly frustrating for the person who started the thread...

posted 2011/11/10 22:55    Visibility: World


I say merge all groups into forums to have only forums in the future and combine the best features of both. We wont be able to catch up with the big for-profit networks in terms of members any time soon. Let's at least give the members coming from there an appealing home on the BW website where they don't get lost in the labyrith of groups and forums.

posted 2011/11/11 10:06    Visibility: World


 

Glad to see that I'm not the only one who thinks this is important :)

Now Matthias said: "As this post is not related to a group and we don't have any working categories in the forum, what do you think about the idea to start a public "groups &  forums" task group, so it might be easier to find easier the communication and information after a while."

I absolutely agree with this! As long as you try to limit it to a compact group of people who actually want to contribute :). Then you can come up with a realistic proposal as well as a timeline and task distribution. Not that the public forum shouldn't play an important role, but maybe it is better to try to get some active volunteers together first? I'm saying this because in my experience, this kind of thing easily ends up as a LOT of talk and very little action if it's left up for a public discussion only. And since this kind of project can cost a large amount of time to implement, there is not much sense in discussing anything at all without volunteers to implement it, right?

So my question is indeed: are there people out here who want to form a group and DO this? Personally, I simply do not have the time and familiarity with the community here to be coordinator of this kind of project, but I would love to contribute actively to it. Let's favour action over talk :)

posted 2011/11/11 12:49    Visibility: World


+ one for a workforce group and action instead of lots of talks.

When the group is created we could add this thread and many other on this topic to a wiki group wiki page as an information resource.

 

What should be the name of the group? I suggest: "Groups and forum structure workforce" or GFS workforce ;-)

crumbking

 

 

posted 2011/11/11 12:56    Visibility: World


Before a while I tried to get the "information a bit "up" on the forum:

A quick draft you can see here...

 

But this could just be a start and I know Matthias had already some advanced ideas...somewhere in the forum :-)

 

posted 2011/11/11 13:48    Visibility: World


I think the problem comes from the "general forum" fonction, because of:

-the choice of each initial poster in attributing geo-localization, tags, categories, making of it a kind of 'chaotic' presentation of everything, where only parameter of showing the threads are time (the most recent at the top),

-combination with group discussions (most uninteresting in a global context),

-bugs...

 

Maybe the solution is: no publishing the threads (from groups or general) in a "general forum".

Each group has a discussion window, if we just keep the threads in there, the "general forum" shouldn't be anymore an useful tool for discussions, and can be maybe transformed in a "BW News Channel".

I agree that the number of members can be low for this kind of organization, but it will be higher at a moment (and even now for some cities), so why not to begin with this changes right now. And that points me to another thing: we can discuss long and have very good (or bad) ideas, but if the actions are not following, we risk to be quickly demotivated...

In any case, I believe that the forum discussions should be in groups (are some of you demand on this thread, also).

posted 2011/11/22 18:21    Visibility: World


Following 'crumbking' suggestion I've created the group "GROUPS AND FORUM STRUCTURE WORKFORCE". Feel free to join and discuss there all that related to the subject.

The link: http://www.bewelcome.org/groups/483

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted 2011/11/26 18:56    Visibility: World
last edited on 2011/11/26 19:56 by Haiku


gijsvs wrote: 

I absolutely agree with this! As long as you try to limit it to a compact group of people who actually want to contribute :). Then you can come up with a realistic proposal as well as a timeline and task distribution. Not that the public forum shouldn't play an important role, but maybe it is better to try to get some active volunteers together first? I'm saying this because in my experience, this kind of thing easily ends up as a LOT of talk and very little action if it's left up for a public discussion only.

 

I fully agree and I'll gladly join this group and offer my professional experience on Web 2.0 and Social Media tools. 

posted 2011/11/30 20:15    Visibility: World


To the left of all profiles there is an item named "Forum posts".

When you click on it you get all forum posts, but also group posts made from that profile.

The first line is always "Forum", and for group posts you have underneath "Group: groupname".

So BeWelcome considers groups a subtype of forums. How much more confusing can it get?

posted 2012/11/25 12:21    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/25 12:27 by ppec


Sorry for copy-pasting here from another thread, without having read previous posts. I'll read ASAP.

Short version: wording related (a group is a group, a forum is a forum, and Agora is a beautiful and possibly relevant word)

Longer version:

@Sitatara:

I couldn't agree more with your entire post.

I've just been disturbed by the wording of one sentence: "Get rid of the forum/group distinction. It makes the whole forum totally chaotic. Can't the forum (where organizational issues are being discussed) simply be one of the groups?" I think I 100% agree with the meaning, but the wording looks confusing to me.

Is the forum dedicated to organisational issues? In case it is, I presume that it is about macro-organisation, which concerns any member wherever they are, and not local informations/events -in this case, most threads posted there don't belong to it -which would seem logical to me, not to mention local informations posted once in several local groups, and which therefor end up appreaing several times in the ONLY linked forum (Explore / Forum).

Still, first there is wording (almost quoting John 1:1 :-D). People concerned with macro-organisation should have their group (meaning: "assemblage of persons together") (possibly it is interesting to keep gathered within a same group topics macro-organisation-related, to not segment/overspecialise teams' reflexion about the project), just like people interested to know what's happening in Casablanca or Sweden should have their group. But each group needs its own forum "An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages".

If people working on or concerned by macro-organisation want their forum to be named differently from the other fora, they can name it Agora for example ("The agora (Ancient Greek: Ἀγορά, Agorá) was a central spot in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly". The agora was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of the city.[1] The Ancient Agora of Athens was the best-known example, birthplace of democracy.").

posted 2012/11/25 13:00    Visibility: World


I found some more information about previous discussions on this topic in the wiki: http://www.bewelcome.org/wiki/Group_GroupsAndForumStructureWorkforce and also noticed the link to the "Groups and Forum Structure Workforce" group that has been posted here by BeGreat before.

 

posted 2012/11/25 13:05    Visibility: World


The way I see it, groups are part of the forum: when something is post in a group, it shows in the forum. 

 

I do really enjoy this forum feature, where it's easy to spot what's happening everywhere at the moment, and make everything more active. The main problem I see with the group option (and I've seen it happening a lot on CS) is that post stays in group, and most people won't see it. How can we have a community if there's no common place for everyone to talk together? 

 

I know it's just wording, but I really like "Agora". As ppec points out, this is a very relevant word. I really like this idea of this place where everybody's talking about everything. And as BeWelcome is trying to be as inclusive as possible, as democratic as possible, I guess it's really important to have this place to talk. The way it goes on CS now is that people are talking about the same thing everywhere at the same time, but not altogether. How many time I've seen all those same subject in all different groups… 

 

Now, we still have a "problem": as long as BeWelcome is not to crowded, and as long as there's not to many people talking in the forum, everything is alright. But as BW is still growing, there will be a problem at some point of to many post on the main page. 

 

So I think that at some point, the forum and the group should be split. What people post in group should not appear anymore on the front page. Group should be about all specific talk (place, subject, passion - hitchhiking, vegan, cross country, who like to dress as a santa for easter, etc…) and forum (Agora :) ? ) only about all BeWelcom aspect. Design, development, tests, update, suggestion, etc… 

posted 2012/11/25 13:32    Visibility: World


Does actually something like that make sense? 

So instead of having a link to forum and a link to groups in the menu, we have a link to Agora and a link to Groups. Then, we can still have subsection, even in the Agora part. A little while ago, JonJon make the suggestion of adding an option to show/hide post in subgroup in the group we are currently viewing. Adding this option would allow us to have at the same time subsection, and a place to see everyting. 

posted 2012/11/25 20:31    Visibility: World


Looks excellent to me! And the most surprising thing is that this very clear proposal seems to positively answer to all wishes I've read about this topic so far, how opposed they might have seem...

posted 2012/11/25 22:33    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/25 22:34 by wind


i have a problem with the idea to say, the forum is for all discussions about BeWelcome and the groups are for all the rest, so mainly everything concerning hospitality exchange.

but i think it's difficult to tell the people, where they have to discuss certain things. also in groups discussions about bewelcome might happen...

and even more important, i think the forum is a good place to discuss and announce things, that affect more people and not only persons from a certain region/ city....

in case i would organise a big meeting or camp, like for example the meeting in toulouse this year. of course i want the whole community to know about it, that means the forum. otherwise i would have to post it in a lot of different groups.....

posted 2012/11/25 23:13    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/25 23:15 by OctoberTales


@wind: I agree with you. Maybe I should just rephrase. It's not "talk are only about BW". Should read "The place where we talk about thing that concern all the community". 'cause yes, an open event, for example, definitely has its place in the forum/agora. This should be a place for global call, with some limit. I don't think it's a good idea to have political talk here. Or request to organize a postcard shower for my grandma 134th birthday :) 

Of course people won't listen to everything. Some will prefer to talk about a specific topic, in a random groups, with only 15 members. But then, they are misunderstanding the idea of a community that we're trying to build BW all together. 

 

(image link: http://www.bewelcome.org/gallery/show/image/12232

posted 2012/11/26 00:02    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/26 00:04 by karo


What I meant with organizational issues was "issues related to the organization of BeWelcome" - for example features, voting procedures, the working procedures of the volunteer teams etc. I thought that the intention of the forum was to be such a place. I might be mistaken. (sitatara)

From my point of view this could belong to "Agora" (@ppec: thank you for explaining it so nicely:]) I like OctoberTales draft a lot and I believe this division of the Forum into two parts can create more transparency and active involment of members into BW politics, possibly leading to more democracy as a whole. So whenever members subscribe to the categories e.g. "Politics" or "Technical Help", it will automatically be dispayed in the "agora" part of the Forum. Thus everyone is able to read about general discussions concerning BW matters and everyone is encouraged to participate and eventually vote on BW issues (at this point there must be a brainstorming taking place about a new decision making process)  You can get rid of the "General" category this way (what makes it also easier for moderators to overlook the topics coming in)

in case i would organise a big meeting or camp, like for example the meeting in toulouse this year. of course i want the whole community to know about it, that means the forum. otherwise i would have to post it in a lot of different groups....(wind)

What could be done in this case is that perhaps it is possible that you subscribe to any group you wish/you are part of and simultaneously given you the chance to subscribe to BW Citizen, for example (btw, can somebody explain again what BW Citizen stands for?). So my suggestion is to either offer another feature in the subgroups list that displayes your group threads to all other members as well (BW Citizen perhaps?), or to create another subgroup called "Camp International" or "International meetings" where you can post as well in order to address a considerably larger amount of members. Honestly, some members might not be interested in camps and big meetings (especially families I assume) and doing it that way will avoid posts being shifted to Agora where more general things will be discussed.

All in all, it's a fantastic idea to make the Forum more organised :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted 2012/11/26 00:12    Visibility: World


@OctoberTales: I doubt that if you connect the Global event/meeting section with Agora, everybody who wants to organise any type of meeting (although it might only be "local") is going to subscribe to this group because they wanna address as many members as possible....

It's doing great in the groups section also, so why not simply shifting it over there? :)

posted 2012/11/26 00:21    Visibility: World


Forgot to add that the "Global event/meeting" can still be accessed by everyone who has not subscribed to a specific group but wishes to get informed about global meetings.

posted 2012/11/26 01:09    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/26 01:11 by OctoberTales


[just keeping the "Agora" name as it helps to make the distinction between forum (agora + group), group, and agora. Could have use "random_name_to_be_decide_later" but find Agora more friendly and shorter] 

What I mean about this "show hide subsection" feature is just to add something like that just bellow the header of the forum (link on the image for a bigger size). Basicly, you can see all the content and subcontent of the Agora if you want to, or hide some (or all) of it. 

 

@Karo:"What could be done in this case is that perhaps it is possible that you subscribe to any group you wish" 

-> That's exactly the problem. Doing so, it takes a lot of time to contact a lot of people. 

 

"Honestly, some members might not be interested in camps and big meetings"

-> And that's exactly the interest to have the possibility to show/hide the subcategory in the forum (so in both Agora and Groups). 

 

"I doubt that if you connect the Global event/meeting section with Agora, everybody who wants to organise any type of meeting (although it might only be "local") is going to subscribe to this group because they wanna address as many members as possible…."

-> Well, I think people are smart enough to make a distinction between a local event interesting only people in the area (weekly meeting, potluck at my place, let's go and watch the last Twilight Movie), a local event interesting people from everywhere (Festival of Light in Lyon, Grande Braderie in Lille, Nuit Blanche in Montreal who are all event that happens once in a year and that usually attract people from everywhere) and a global one (BeWelcome General Assembly, Tessalonice Winter Camp). The first one should stay in group, the second and third should go to a Agora > Global Event section. And for people who don't understand, and don't read the wiki, we have a friendly moderation team to explain :) 

 

 

"Forgot to add that the "Global event/meeting" can still be accessed by everyone who has not subscribed to a specific group but wishes to get informed about global meetings."

-> Actualy, if I understand what you're saying, we're kind of saying the same thing, in a different way. "Global event/meeting" should be a subsection of Agora (as is Development, Design Team, Suggestion, Test, Bugs Reports...) and therefore, member should be able to hide it or not in the Agora main stream. 

posted 2012/11/26 09:37    Visibility: World


just a minor note about the wording: forum and agora mean exactly the same thing, both were central places where people could talk about everything etc.  One is Latin the other is Greek, so personally I find it a bit strange to use both words for the same website. If you want to be 'extraordinary' and 'special' don't call it forum as everybody else, but call it agora, but why should 'agora' be a part of the 'forum', that to me does not sound logical...

posted 2012/11/26 09:49    Visibility: World


I guess the only reason for the distinction is that 'forum' also has a technical meaning. As 'Forum' and 'Groups' use the same software package it wasn't as clear what the differences are.

Using a different name like 'ἀγορά' (everyone except claudiab guess what that means :-)) helps with that.

So the 'new' structure just shows that a forum software is used to enable the two parts of the community discussions: 'Agora' and 'Groups'.

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/11/26 23:23    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/28 01:57 by ppec


I think Claudia is right (dammit, I had completly forgoten that the word "forum" had had a past). It reminds me an evening, in my early twenties: it was my first flat (9 m² at the seventh floor without a lift), and a friend came to visit me. I wanted that we ate something special, so I bought an allready cooked stuff which was called "Tortilla" -I supposed that it was some South American vegetables. And with that, I prepared to my friend an... omelette. She looked very surprised!  :-DD

But I agree with Shevek: with semantic evolution, the word 'forum' -especially if it refers to a part of a WEBsite- doesn't (to me) ring any bell of participatory decision process (except, maybe, for Porto Allegre fightors); just like virtually no one associates the word "car" (from latin carrus: four wheeled bagage wagon, and/or celtic carr: two wheeled chariot), no one today associates this word with a wheeled vehicle drawn by horses (despite this has been the meaning of this extremly popular word for millenia, and untill very recently). I have the feeling that if you ask to anyone chosen by chance in the street, (s)he will answer you that a car is a (motorised) car, and a forum is an (internet) forum.

So if anyone wants to refer to an "horse drawn car", (s)he'd likely better use the word 'coach' or 'carriage' or 'cart' or whatever (please keep in mind that my English sucks, so don't trust any of these), but the word "car" on its own is inapropriate and confusing to word that, and this I'm sure of (same for forum's topologic and political meaning).

However, locating the agora as a part of the forum doesn't fit, even on a chronological POV.

What about this: "So instead of having a link to forum and a link to groups in the menu, we have a link to Agora and a link to Groups" (quoting OctoberTales). Of course, both parts should be crossed linked.

Of course, we can also keep it this (all-mixed-in) way (i mean, including in the next version of the website -I rather think that we're here talking the future code-system, rather than about the actual code). To be honest, personnally I don't mind mess (at all), and since I'm mess-friendly I have my ways to find back things and while searching I allways find back some other things (hopefully funny ones!) which enrich my thoughts. However, just like some people don't like conflicts, some other people (the same, or some other ones) don't like mess. My only personnal concern about this topic is that, since I try to take people who don't like conflicts into consideration, I have to autocensor myself to not engage (I mean, not too much) into some conversations which could possibly interest me very much -and that's frustrating to me.

posted 2012/11/27 14:09    Visibility: World


I find the current display of the Forum a bit messy. To be honest, I don't get the idea to have a BW offered division of the Forum by category in: General/BW Citizen/Technical Help/Politics if every thread in any category is displayed in the main Forum page. I would assume then, that everything is general and no category would be required to choose from. Furthermore, so many group threads are going to be displayed also at the Forum front page, that I find a subdivision more than needed. 

It didn't bother me so much at the beginning, but once I stayed active in the Forum I noticed that it takes up too much time to make my way through all the posts....especially to find those posts that are topic-related, but on different threads which are even subscribed to different categories/tags. It would be helpful already to have a separation between BW (volunteer) related issues (dev, mod, tech, BV, wiki, etc.) and topics related to hospex (travel, host/surf/meetings etc.) only. In my opinion it's very important to make these BW policy themes more transparent and accessible to all members of BW. So if somebody wishes to contribute his opinion/ ideas, he should not be forced to spend hours in the Forum only to find the relevant post for a specific topic being discussed. So far the problem is widely handled by copying and pasting parts of posts from one thread to another, from one category to another, from a group post to a general forum post and the other way around or by crossposting topics from different tags into a new general topic thread, e.g. The more time I spent in the Forum, the more it  annoyed me actually. 

So my notes on "agora" before don't concern whether you give the Forum another (greek) name with more or less the same meaning, rather I think "agora" could stay for BW inner policy  and decision making process that would make it clear to everyone: "agora" = communally taken decisions maybe? (just copy'n'pasted it from another thread:) http://www.bewelcome.org/forums/s3597-Politics_on_the_Facebook_page_of_BeWelcome)

We do not need to start thinking about a new decision making process or more democracy in  BW in general, if the majority can't see clearly what and where things are going to be  discussed.

 

 

posted 2012/11/27 14:33    Visibility: World


What confuses me too: if you search Forum threads by the tag "politics" it is not clear what is meant: "International Politics" or "BW politics"? The 9/11 topic, for example, got submitted to the "Politics" category but I rather see it discussed in a group (named "International Politics" maybe? ;-]) I always thought that if you subscribe a thread to one of those 4 Forum categories, it is more of a general (BW) concern. "9/11" is, as well as the e.g. "Greece 'Crisis" very specific, I think. 

posted 2012/11/27 15:09    Visibility: World


To sumup what I'm suggesting: 

On BW, we have a place to talk about everything. The name for it is currently Forum. Groups are part of the forum, and that's confusing. 

The idea is to create an abstract entity, that will keep the name "Forum" because that's the way we usually call a place to talk on internet. This forum is accessible to member only (no Google here for exemple) and will be split in two parts : 

- The Agora is the place where we have all the talk about BeWelcome. "Agora" will replace "forum" in the "Explore" menu. All content in Agora is public. Anyone can read and write. That's the center of BeWelcome democraty and decision. There is category and subcategory in the Agora, to help order thing, and to help people to show/hide what they want/don't want to see. 

- Groups are the place where we talk about everything but BeWelcome. Groups are organized by category, subcategory, ... so that we can browse through them in order to find the groups we are looking for. Each groups has a different access setting, decided by the group owner (public, private, member only, ...). There is no place where all the groups post are showed all together. We can only see the post of the group we are looking at (and eventually, if/when the feature is developped, the subgroup). 

 

Wondering is I'm making sense :) 

 

posted 2012/11/27 20:44    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/27 20:44 by karo


+1 so far

 

I see a problem with this one:

Each groups has a different access setting, decided by the group owner (public, private, member only, ...).

 If only the group "owner" can decide about the access setting, then it must be better displayed to all the other members. I may not join a group because of a certain setting. It's much fairer if each group member can decide by himself about the setting when he/she starts a new topic/discussion within this group. By chance I saw that a member founded more than 10 groups at one day, being the only member so far. If we give the group founders the privilege to decide alone on the access setting for the entire time in BW, everyone is perhaps going to create its very own group with its very own setting, although there are many other groups available to join, but they don't because of the setting...Also I think that group founders should not be considered as group owners - they don't "own" the group, they've only founded it :) 

 

 

posted 2012/11/27 20:53    Visibility: World


@karo: That's actually the way it currently is already. Additionally you can always override the setting if you choose something stricter. So if the group is public you can go for members only or group only. If the group is members only, you can resort to group only. With group only I can't see why you wouldn't join...

@all: Is it only me who see the hiddin beautiy here: No longer thread in the forum that are visible outside of the forum?

posted 2012/11/27 21:26    Visibility: World


@shevek: thanks for pointing this out (but I knew before;]) OctoberTales post just made me wondering, because the way I understood it was that this wouldn't be possible anymore.

cheers :D

posted 2012/11/28 00:58    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/28 02:33 by ppec


Short version:

1st §: kicking google's robot out of the forum: +1!

next, 3/4 about an intermadiate solution which could possibly gather Wind's and Sitatara's agreement

and last quarter about the word Agora and what it can seem to say about those who use it, and therefor to whom it can seem to not address

 

Longer version:

Not inviting google's robots to index forum posts looks like an excellent idea to me, especially since Nara mentioned that those freaks would be working on lexicometry (a potentially very powerfull software tool to intrude into anybody's style).

"There is no place where all the groups post are showed all together. We can only see the post of the group we are looking at (and eventually, if/when the feature is developped, the subgroup)." (OctoberTales) This is where Wind and Sitatara disagree if I don't mistake. More precisely, if a member wanted to listen to what's hapening on the entire network, (s)he should then join all existing groups...

Maybe an intermediate possibility could be conceived: Places, for example, could be divided into 6 continents, themselves being divided into countries, etc, until the local towns where a group has been created. We could imagine that, at each level (continent, country, region, town), members are offered the possibility to listen to or what's happening in all sub-level groups, or only in the general group. Lets imagine that I am interested to read any local first-hand information from South America, because I think it's an extremly intersting area from which I don't get much information generally speaking. I could be offered the possibility to listen to the entire continent (which ain't, lets face it, that noisy here yet), without having to join each of its subgroups. Same could go for the 5 other continents. But, also, one could choose to not listen to an entire continent, but only informations posted on the continent-group. For example, informations posted in the Europ-group, and in the Bulgaria group (all Bulgarian subgroups included), and informations from Britony-group, all Briton subgroups included (not being interested about the informations from other parts of France, nor about the information in the France-group). Dunno if I'm being clear?

In the same kind of idea, the Interests could be divided into categories, for example Politics, Manual activities, Arts, Religions, Sports. Let's imagine that I am interested into Politics, more pricisely left wing, and even more specifically center-left (I've said, lets imagine!  :-D). But "debating" with like-minded members only would be the borest thing I can imagine: I read le Figaro and the Wall Street Journal mind you! So personnally, I'd like to be able to listen to all sub groups of the category Politics (except, of course, those who rule that non-members of their special subgroup cannot spy them, because they wanna keep it confidential and like-minded  :-DD -I laugh, but such groups can sometimes be usefull, to organise an action or something). 

So at the end, if a member as joined the six continents and the five categories of interests, ticking systematically "listening to all sub-groups included", he listens to all the groups except the private ones (example of private group: members only can read and post, and one can only join upon invitation, the group itself being completely invisible to non-members; that's the most private group I've been a member of, on CS, to take part to a solidarity action toward a member without displaying is privacy, and without him knowing that we were organising ourselves to help him).

Why should anyone listen to the entire network? Why anyone shouldn't? I don't really have an opinion about that (I definitly understand Wind's POV). What looks really important to me would be that members be offered the possibility to choose what they want to listen to, rather than being submitted to a global background noise that they can't control (except by switching off entirely, by not clicking Explore / Forum).

About the word Agora, we should keep in mind that the way we word things has also an influence on the things we word. I mean, by this part of the forum, we want to be as inclusive as possible to involve members into the decision process. But to word it by an unknown word can possibly be felt as exclusive, and discourage some members to engage in. I love this word and I think it perfectly fits what we need to express.

It is like 'forum' except that the 'forum' word has been emptied from any political and deceision-taking-meaning; a very, very long time ago, the word 'forum' named a place where people gathered, which was the center of democracy where decisions where communaly taken; today this word generally refers to a virtual stuff where you can write as much as you want, blowing in the wind; interesting semantical evolution which some might insinuate that it reflects a society evolution   :-D

On the opposite, Agora has had the luck to be forgoten, so it is not emptied from its political meaning, and this is why it could be very relevant for us to cease it. Yet there are two risks to be considered:

1/ it's a Greek word, while BeWelcome is international rather than European.

2/ using a word like agora, we face the risk that some members imagine that they don't have the level to post in, since allready they don't understand the first word in the first place. I really hate that idea (even if, as an individual, I dislike using general words (inpoverishing, thus, language and thought) when I think I have the precise word in mind). One alternative to Agora would be Assembly. We loose a lot of semes (meanings), but it is international (rather than universalist) and clear usual langage (or... what about Round-up? :-DDDD)

posted 2012/11/28 09:49    Visibility: World


really agree with your ideas!! I think the agora idea is quite interesting, whatever it will be called (personally i like it). And not being able to post in forum is a good idea. And Structure IS an AWESOME idea!

I still have no idea why i get some notifications and why i don't get others, neither where to post what. Structure, structure, structure!

(Like now, I guess i write partly because i want to express my enthousiasm, and partly to get some notifications from now on...)

posted 2012/11/28 11:55    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/28 12:22 by ppec


"A simple solution, suggested by jsfan on the dev mailinglist, could be implemented tonight:

  • the restriction to create new topics only from the group pages. (or add all new topics created from the forum page to a standard group called e.g. "agora".)
  • a preferences switch button on the forum page switching between all forum/(agora?) topics on one hand and topics only from groups where the user is member of.

if that's okay we can add it to the 1.3 release."

No it ain't OK, u kiddin or what? Each post should have its own permalink, as, anybody will agree with that, this is way more important than anything else! Ha! Ha! Ha! just playin' my spoilt brat here!!  :-D

Tonight???  :-))))

On Sunday I have pressed 100 litres of aple juice from my ancient traditional orchard. Buddies, I wish I could offer some of this to thank the development team...

posted 2012/11/28 13:15    Visibility: World


So the idea is that "yeah, it's great to have this Agora (Assembly, or whatever) with the possibility to have all the post on the same page, but we want the same for the Groups. Well… I don't really see any problem to have both. 

 

So why not developing it exactly the same way? The main page for Agora and for Groups would work like an RSS aggregate reader. You just have to select which information you want to display on this page. For the Agora, a little check box for each section and subsection, and for the Groups, a little check box for all group you are a member. That could actually be a separate page, kind of "Follow the community". 

 

I understand people who wants to follow a Group and all the subgroup. I don't see any reason to have in the "Follow the community" page two check box. The first one is "follow this group" the second is "follow also the sub group". The only thing is that if you check the second one, you'll still have to join the private sub groups if you really want to know everything :) 

 

About the idea of organizing groups in place, interest, etc…  I started to work on that a few days ago… might share something at some time ;) 

 

 

-----

 

About this Agora word: for me, there's still a difference between Forum and Agora. Agora is a greek word, and for me refers to Athen and the first democracy. Forum refers to Rome, as a Republic. As we want a direct real democracy and not a republic in BeWelcome (well, I guess that's what we want) then for me Agora as more meaning that Forum. Plus the fact that, indeed, forum has lost lot of meaning on the web.

 

Yes, Agora is an european word. Now, I would be really happy to call it Tinzaong if someone told me that Tinzaong is actually a vietnamese word, 2000 years old, referring to a place where people where freely gathering to take decision about absolutely everything that might have matter int he community. Would be even happier, because I would have learn a name in vietnamese, and I would have learn a little bit of vietnamese history too :) 

 

I agree with ppec that "the way we word things has also an influence on the things we word".

 

 

--- 

 

 

@ppec: " On Sunday I have pressed 100 litres of aple juice from my ancient traditional orchard. Buddies, I wish I could offer some of this to thank the development team…" 

 

Wish I was in the dev team ^^

posted 2012/11/28 13:22    Visibility: World


THinking more precisely about it:

"A simple solution, suggested by jsfan on the dev mailinglist, could be implemented tonight:

  • the restriction to create new topics only from the group pages. (or add all new topics created from the forum page to a standard group called e.g. "agora".)
  • a preferences switch button on the forum page switching between all forum/(agora?) topics on one hand and topics only from groups where the user is member of.

if that's okay we can add it to the 1.3 release."

The preference switch button on the forum page between ALL forum OR one's own groups looks like a great idea to me (there's no point at all to rename all the forum "agora"). Likely I will use both options.

"the restriction to create new topics only from the group pages. (or add all new topics created from the forum page to a standard group called e.g. "agora".)

If you do what's between (   ), I don't really understand the point. But in case you do, please name the by-defaut group where end up non-classified threads, please name it Wherever or General or Groupless or Dunnowhere or Wannaclassit? or Multivitamin, but please don't call this default-group Agora.

posted 2012/11/28 13:52    Visibility: World


@ OctoberTales: +1.

by the way: considering that you live 20 km away from my brother's farm, and that I don't plan to travel to Australia, dev team or not you're more likely to drink traditional Briton aple juice than some others  :-D

posted 2012/11/28 14:05    Visibility: World


If I may join in on this again: In my view this is still too complicated to understand for the vast majority of users as long as there are two or three different concepts.

If we really believe we need to have different names, why not "Discussion Forum" (or "General Discussion Forum") and "Groups"? Forget about Agora, which needs to be explained.

My recommendation would be to not have different types, but just to make the Discussion Forum one of the Groups (or Forums).

What I haven't seen dealt with are the location groups. Here is in my view where the need for some cleanup and discpline is. For instance at the moment there are three forums for Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris and 6 more by arrondissement which in my view is a segregation which has more disadvantages than advantages from the perspective of communication and sharing, unless there is a consolidated view of all the Paris posts in one view. "Virualtourist.com" is an example of a website which provides such a view of all subforum posts in the level above.

Whatever you do please make it simple and intuitive with the infrequent user in mind. And yes, please do away with Google indexing and let the user decide who can see his posts.

posted 2012/11/28 16:15    Visibility: World


+1 make it simpler :) just keep the groups and make a general group that everybody has by default  for the general forum.

posted 2012/11/28 17:21    Visibility: World


I agree that we want to keep it as simple as possible, but I disagree that we have to merge all in only one entity.

If we want people to get involve in BW, to participate in the discussion, to take part in the decision, then we do need a place just for that. Having groups spread all over will end up with people talking about everything everywhere, but never together. This Agora idea is not something different. It's just separate and public with a direct access. 

posted 2012/11/28 18:17    Visibility: World


I understand and agree with the objective, but I believe you have the wrong solution. There must be better ways of promoting the BW discussion group or forum without having a separation or name which few understand. Also, trying to prevent people from discussing BeWelcome on other BeWelcome fora seems like a futile undertaking to me. Instead, I'd create a  BeWelcome Discussion forum or group and point those who open threads elsewhere there, or perhaps give authors and moderators the tools to move threads to where they are more appropriate.

posted 2012/11/28 20:45    Visibility: World


"A simple solution, suggested by jsfan on the dev mailinglist, could be implemented tonight:

  • the restriction to create new topics only from the group pages. (or add all new topics created from the forum page to a standard group called e.g. "agora".)
  • a preferences switch button on the forum page switching between all forum/(agora?) topics on one hand and topics only from groups where the user is member of.

if that's okay we can add it to the 1.3 release."

Hey guys, as much as I think it's totally awesome how fast you react to requests from the community, please do not rashly implement the first point. The discussion here is going great but I don't see that we are at a point where structural issues (or even the naming of the structures) have been decided on. This decisions should not be prejudiced by the creation of new facts.

I would not mind a quick implementation of the second point though since that doesn't change any structures but just gives everyone an additional option to choose which topics should be displayed in his/her forum overview. 

posted 2012/11/28 20:49    Visibility: World


+1 for everything polyglot wrote in this thread today

posted 2012/11/28 23:11    Visibility: World


Hey guys, as much as I think it's totally awesome how fast you react to requests from the community,please do not rashly implement the first point. The discussion here is going great but I don't see that we are at a point where structural issues (or even the naming of the structures) have been decided on. This decisions should not be prejudiced by the creation of new facts. (sitatara)

True. Also, please do not rashly implement the second point. Although it might not change the structure of the site and only plays around with another tool yet to get implemented, it's going to be the same process of decision making that we had (still have?) on another feature, remember? Yet if you talk about "gives everyone an additional option to choose" I wonder why not everyone gets the additional option to hide his/her profile from others who don't get tracked. Instead you combined forced options only in the voting on the feature. I know that you, sitatara, also criticised the final "options" that were given to vote on, but this is exactly the reason why I think it is absolutely necessary to have a Forum (agora) for BW internal decision making processes.

I agree with almost everything what OctoberTales wrote in this thread. We must have a general Forum for general questions in order to keep it simple. We all want it as simple as possible, but if I read about all the options of groups and subgroups and what can be posted where under which preferences and access buttons I doubt that this will be more simple to handle for the rest of the members if it already sounds so complicated. 

@ppec: Why would anyone have a problem with the word "agora", if we use the word "democracy", after all? (please look up the origin of the word here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy)

About the word Agora, we should keep in mind that the way we word things has also an influence on the things we word. I mean, by this part of the forum, we want to be as inclusive as possible to involve members into the decision process. But to word it by an unknown word can possibly be felt as exclusive, and discourage some members to engage in. I love this word and I think it perfectly fits what we need to express. (ppec)

+1. To solve the other "problem" - although I don't really see any problem with the wording - we could just link it to the wikipedia page so ppl will understand? Perhaps those who oppose the word are confused because the meaning of agora also refers to a unit of currency in Israel? If this is the case, I think it's worth mentioning it. Besides, you'll always come across words which have different and multiple meanings. For example, if you use the word "assembly", in German it has foremost the meaning of 1. Morgenandacht - (religious) meeting in school; matins; morning prayer; 2. Zusammenbau; Fertigung; Montage - installation; assemblage; manufacture; fabrication/production. So I higly prefer the word agora instead of assembly, because it refers to a public open space used for public debates and (all kind of) assemblies. Apart from that, the Oxford dictionaries  (US English dic; British&World English dictionary) don't even mention the second minor meaning of Israelian currency.

agora: +1

public discussion threads with direct access: +1

open place for BW policy: +1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted 2012/11/29 04:01    Visibility: World


Coming in to this discussion very late.... but I thought I'd contribute my opinion.

I think the whole concept of Groups / Forums / Agora / Etc is too complicated. I would prefer just "Groups".  For those familiar with CS, I think their system of organising groups works just fine.  Using a similar structure, the BW development discussions would just be contained in a Group titled "BW development", or similar. 

The difference I propose would be to make all BW members automatically a member of the Location-oriented group corresponding to the place they list on their profile as their home town.  In effect, this is no change from the existing system that BW uses, except that when you browse a location to find members, you will be browsing through groups (each of which have associated members, discussion forums, events, wikis, etc) rather than just a feature-less list of place names. In essence, this involves taking BW's existing list of continents, countries, regions and cities, and converting each of these into a Group.

I wrote about this idea in another thread here, if anyone wants a bit more info:

http://www.bewelcome.org/forums/s3214-BW_Groups___Some_new_ideas__and_some_design_mock_ups_for_discussion_

 

posted 2012/11/29 05:01    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/29 05:04 by JonJon


Here's a diagram to illustrate what I mean a little more clearly...

MS-Paint FTW! ;)

 

The idea of the top-level "GROUPS" group is that you can go to this group and select an option to "display discussions from sub-groups" and would thus be able to view every discussion all at once (the same way you can if you go to the 'Forum' currently).

(Click image for full-size)

posted 2012/11/29 15:52    Visibility: World


@ karo: As I understand it, the implementation of point 2 would have absolutely no influence on any other user but the one who clicks the button. That's very very different from anything we discussed about the profile visitor feature. That's why is see no problem with that.

Anyway, I'm fine if there aren't any changes at all for now and we just take our time for a good and comprehensive solution to the groups/forum issue in general.

posted 2012/11/29 20:18    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/11/29 21:25 by ppec


THis time, rather than summing up, I'll bold.

@ Sitatara: I like your new proposal (direct link to Global events), and the general way you explain things. I agree with several others here that, as a website whose specificity (among 2 or 3 other ones only) is to aim communally taken decisions, a special area should be dedicated to this process -I mean, a differentiated area from the hundreds -possibly soon thousands- other groups (not technically differenciated though, as Sitatara has raised) by a direct link in the Browse menu (Explorer in French), and a by default suscribing. This seems very relevant to me, and further more it is nothing new but just an improving of what's allready existing: if I have understood properly, what's allready existing (Browse / Forum, so something directly linked from the menu) IS dedicated to BW's policy -simply it also largely used for everything else because there's no other directly accessible discussion area existing).

What would be the purpose of such a change?

  • to make the area dedicated to BW's policy and decision process more usable and less messy
  • therefor, to increase the number of persons taking part to it
  • to make possible conflictual talks without those to spread on the entire discussion area. I've regularly logged in here for... 3 months now. I've sometimes witnessed conflicts which looked like they would never end, and possibly could have lasted for months. What were they about? BW's internal policy, and politics (that one was only a very tiny little one because those who were interested in the topic have autostoped themselves). My guess is that most BW members are not interested, nor into the first conflict topic, nor into the second, so they should be offered the possibility to talk and read some less 'hot' topics, quietly and peacefully, because my guess is that this is what most people look for when logging in the website of an hospitality exchange community.

Possibly it would be too early to do that. Possibly we've not reached yet the activity level which would allow us to split the discussion area. Personnally I think we have, and my feeling is that not mixing every topics togheter could contribute to a global increasement of groups activity.

@Polyglot:

"What I haven't seen dealt with are the location groups. Here is in my view where the need for some cleanup and discpline is. For instance at the moment there are three forums for Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris and 6 more by arrondissement which in my view is a segregation which has more disadvantages than advantages from the perspective of communication and sharing, unless there is a consolidated view of all the Paris posts in one view. "Virualtourist.com" is an example of a website which provides such a view of all subforum posts in the level above."

Please read my post (somewhere above, 28/11/2012, 02:58 Longer version, 3rd and 4th §). I guess that the website you mention does what OctoberTales and I have expressed (OctoberTales in an even clearer way). I agree with you, and this is not only a geographical matter. That's dealt with, and no need to forbid and discipline the original dude who has created a subgroup Fourth dictrict in the group Paris: he can even create a subsubsubsubgroup designed specificly for the inhabitants of the 23, blvd Henri IV, the issue is dealt with, by the "follow also the sub groups" box (OctoberTales).

 

When writing my previous post, I did not want that the BW's policy discussion area (Agora) was the by-default place where ended anything that anyone hadn't taken the time to locate in the right group, because this would have meant no change from the actual version of the website (except the wording, but the word "forum" has allready been banalised and emptied from its meaning, so my feeling was that if it was to receive mess, we should keep the forum word). I imagined the agora in Athens, people debating there togheter about should we attack Troy or something, disturbed every five minutes by "Excusez-moi, c'est où l'Acropole?" or "I wonder if it is safe to hitchhike in Belgium" or "One shouldn't eat horse meet!" or "J'ai découvert une petite recette à base the cheval, hum!". My first feeling was rather strong about it: the BW policy discussion area should not be a by-default place.

Now I feel more relaxed about that: if people enter by error, it's OK to wellcome them and to orientate/relocate their thread in the proper area and precise group. So I wouldn't mind that much if the Agora was in a first time a by-default area (a long as someone actually does the work to relocate the "lost" threads posted there by error).

About the word agora. My guess is that no corporation would use it in its communication, because "Keep it simple" is the only rule in this area (and everything else is litterature). Simple, simple, simple. Pleasure, desire, relaxness. Easygoingness and laidbackness. Open-mindness of course. Simple. No one will ever search to learn ("learn"??? WTF? learn... Ha! Ha!) a new word. So if you use an unknown word, you'd better commit suicide -anyway, on a professionnal POV, it's the same.

We're not a corp, and this is why we can have this debate. Linguists say that in the process of thinking, there are not concepts first, for which we would, in a second time, search words; they say it works the other way around: you think with the words you know, the limits of your vocabulary limiting your thought possibilities; it happens that you can't find back a word, but if you're searching this word, it is because you have learnt that it existed as a WORDED concept. Linguistic is a very recent science, but this knowlege was allready shared millenia ago "At the begining, there was the word". If you follow this logic, you word the debate this way: we can a/empoverish the langage by using a general and unclear word or b/empower people by displaying a forgoten but very relevant concept. OK, that ain't the most neutral way to word the debate  :-D

Anyway, people who want to keep the wording simple may be right too. Agora or another word will give me no hard feelings. Please: Just don't use Roundup, because I ain't ready  ;-)

posted 2012/11/29 21:46    Visibility: World


sitatara, I very much like your last contribution :) Your example shows quite clearly that "agora" is not going to be just an ordinary group like any other on BW, where members have to sign up first, before they are able to contribute their ideas and opinions. If you set agora membership by default, please make sure that the aim of agora is explained not only in the group description but also at the Wiki Front page and the first (main) BW page after login. I guess your idea was also to exchange the word "Forum" with "Agora" in the Explore field of the menu and to add "global events" as another topic area in the Explore menu?

Perhaps my suggestion I will come up with now seems a bit out of place here... but I wondered if you also wanted to keep all the moderators (volunteers!!!) busy in the groups and subgroups as well? From my point of view I don't think it's going to be of great necessity anymore but in the agora group and "official threads" only. We've already discussed about moderators who wear "two and more hats" at a time; with the increasing number of groups and members I doubt it will be possible to moderate the whole group section - instead, current moderators could do what they really like to do in the first place, maybe? Hey, I'm not saying you should do this or that, but actually I prefer "free speech" in minor themes and topics (especially in the special interest groups) which are not related to BW as such. Eventually this kind of "freedom of speech" can lead to a better impression of a member by the BW community - in the meaning of: "let stupid stuff look stupid to others". For example, if ppl want to contribute something in the international politics group, they might not do that because they feel constrained into an ideologic concept called "political correctness" (uh, how much I h... it!), which is, from my poiint of view, conceptionally equivalent with a moderation of this group. Okay, too much off-topic now. It was only a little personal input to this discussion :]

 

posted 2012/11/29 22:14    Visibility: World


About the agora/forum/global event/keep it simple topic: 

Seems there's a lot more to add. Right now, I feel that the best way to explain my idea, is to do a mockup. I'll comeback with something clear that, the way I see it in my head, will make every one happy. Okay, I know that there's a nice blue sky with no cloud and bird singing in my head, but that's not the question ^^

@ppec: " About the word agora. My guess is that no corporation would use it in its communication, because "Keep it simple" is the only rule in this area (and everything else is litterature). Simple, simple, simple. Pleasure, desire, relaxness. Easygoingness and laidbackness. Open-mindness of course. Simple. No one will ever search to learn ("learn"??? WTF? learn... Ha! Ha!) a new word. So if you use an unknown word, you'd better commit suicide -anyway, on a professionnal POV, it's the same."

+ 1.439

 

@Karo: " but I wondered if you also wanted to keep all the moderators (volunteers!!!) busy in the groups and subgroups as well?" 

We (the moderator team) are active wherever we want to be active, as member. We are reading and writing on the topics that we are interest by, because we are interested. Not because we are moderator. We're just wearing our "moderator hat" when there's a problem somewhere. You can see us as volunteer fireman: as long as everything is okay, we are like everyone else. But if there's a fire somewhere, then we do our best to stop it. 

Most of the time, we are not busy. We actually had lot of free time on the last few days, that's the reason I was able to work on a couple of idea and mockup :) 

 

 

 

posted 2012/11/29 22:47    Visibility: World


Most of the time, we are not busy. We actually had lot of free time on the last few days, that's the reason I was able to work on a couple of idea and mockup :)

LOL !!! I may know the reason, hahaha. 

 

 

posted 2012/11/29 23:02    Visibility: World


@JonJon "I think the whole concept of Groups / Forums / Agora / Etc is too complicated. I would prefer just "Groups".  For those familiar with CS, I think their system of organising groups works just fine. " 

I don't really agree with that: the way they organize groups is fine, and I think we all agree that we need to do something the same when (groups, subgroups, sub sub, etc…). That works fine to organize place, interests… 

But when comes time to talk about the community? There is absolutely no global place in CS. Not a group where everyone can talk, share, say what they have to say altogether. After CS was sold, and then after the new ToU, there was thread everywhere. I end up talking about the same think in Lyon, Bordeau and Montreal. All talk were really interesting, but absolutely divided. It was easy for the staff to say "there's no problem, there's only a few people complaining". Because actually, they were right: there was 10 peoples complaining. In each group. The group protesting against CS becoming a for profit never really spread, because you had to know that it exists. And anyway, the casual members were not going there. 

Asking the question an other way: can we have a democratic BeWelcome, where everyone can give his opinion, if we don't have a global place? 

Is it so complicate to say "here is a global place, for everyone to talk altogether about BeWelcome, and there is the place you go depending on your interest"? I don't think so. And anyway… if we want to build something democratic, that's not going to be that simple. 

 

@karo: pure coincidence ;) 

posted 2012/11/29 23:27    Visibility: World


I do not want technical changes and improvements being implemented in a hurry, as OctoberTales is right (once more) that a more democratic structure (considering it "qualitative improvement";}) is never simple and always takes some time, for sure. But it's great to see that theoretical discussions about a better structured democratic access for all members are taken place more often lately.

Perhaps we can start soon to even talk about different statutes for BW? ;) I assume it's too soon to talk about it soon. 

posted 2012/12/01 06:39    Visibility: World


I don't remember anyone saying we shouldn't have a global place. Only that this global place can very well be within the same group/forum structure, just highlighted, linked and with default membership so that it is easy to be aware of and to use.

If on &cs policy discussions and protest is all over the place, it is not because their site structure wouldn't allow to centralize discussion, but because no central discussion place exists or is well-known enough.

posted 2012/12/01 07:21    Visibility: World


I don't know if a fix of the structure in the current software is realistic. We might just not have the man power for that. However, in a redeveloped version of the forums, I would also imagine all discussion to be within groups and people being auto-subscribed to certain groups on signup. That then gives everyone the freedom to opt out from whatever they want and if someone wanted to not know about groups and forums at all, they'd have the freedom to never be bothered. :)

posted 2012/12/01 21:54    Visibility: World


polyglot, I might be wrong, but isn't this exactly what OctoberTales pointed out before (concerning the last paragraph in your last post)???

Sometimes I really don't understand the way of thinking of some critics:( The way some complain about a future open centralised discussion place lets me think that you are sick of the current Forum altogether. I'm convinced that an open place for discussions is an elemantary feature for any democratic structured organisation/entity. Why would there exist a Plenum in (German) Bundestag, after all? Why a plenar hall in the french National Assembly? (http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/histoire/images/PalaisBourbon-r_UK.pdf)

For sure other institutions/nations/organisations have also Plenums, because it is the place were all members commonly decide about politics. Regarding BW politics, probably not all members have an interest to join discussion, but at least all have the opportunity to see openly what is on the agenda. As a matter of fact, those who would be interested in BW general issues are likely to be confused that general issues are not going to take place in a general place but group place only (although it's on default). Well, if it's on default anyway, discussions shouldn't be exclusively for a minor group of ppl, right?

posted 2012/12/01 23:52    Visibility: World


Karo, you must have misunderstood my post as your response to it doesn't seem to make sense.

Let me reword like this: The reason why on Couchsurfing policy discussions are all over the place is that no central place has been identified or designated for it, but that has nothing to do with the site or group architecture or technology, or with the names used to describe forums. 

posted 2012/12/03 23:49    Visibility: World


polyglot, I understood what you wrote before ;) Still, isn't it exactly the problem this thread refers to? 

If on &cs policy discussions and protest is all over the place, it is not because their site structure wouldn't allow to centralize discussion,

I was never talking about the site structure that couldn't allow to centralize discussions (technically), for the simple reason that I don't know altogether what is/can be allowed. 

but because no central discussion place exists or is well-known enough.

Well, I thought I had made it clear that this is exactly what I'm concerned about: that a general Forum /agora place must exist in order to become well-known and an important tool for important questions and issues (thus, in order to have as many participants as possible in future polls/votings)  

sitatara, I do get your idea in your last note, only wonder if you don't find it important or preferable that members who join discussion should know what has been discussed before? I see the problem only insofar as that discussions are going to split up and a lot of off-topic themes from the original thread will occur. There will be a lot of confusion in the end, I guess. Maybe we can have a test run on this for a couple of weeks and see how thread discussions develop?

 

 

 

 

posted 2012/12/04 01:05    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/12/04 10:23 by OctoberTales


So! Now I do have images to explain myself, and to show you how simple it could be. The idea is to talk about my proposal for reorganizing groups. If you want to comment the design layout, please have a go here instead

Statement: all the name are using are just suggestion. "Groups", "Agora", "Community", "Forum" etc… are all open to discussion. But to make it easier to explain my ideas, I had to choose name. 

Statement: Groups and Agora work exactly the same way. The only two differences are that a new BeWelcomer is automatically a member of all Agora Groups and that members can not create new Agora Subgroups. 

Statement: In the menu "Explore", both "Forum" and "Groups" disappear. They are replaced by only one link: "Community". When clicking on "Community" we arrive on this landing page: 

[click to enlarge] 

This page actually works like the current "Forum" page as we can see and browse all the last post. The main difference is that it's now split in two.

The posts that are displayed in this page are decided via the two settings page. There is a setting pages for Agora and a setting pages for groups. 

Let's have a look to the Agora settings page first:

[click to enlarge]

I guess it all makes sense. The whole structure of the Agora is displayed here, so that any member can easily understand how it works and where to go. The structure has only two level of subgroup, to keep it as simple as possible, and to be able to understand it easily. I'm definitely not displaying a final structure here. This should be discussed. From this page, you can easily update your mailing notification, and if you want an Agora Group to be displayed on the main page (the previous mockup). If you check "instant notification", "daily digest" or "show on my main page" you then have the possibility to check "including subgroups". Clicking on one of the image or group name will direct you to the group page (maybe this should be a little bit more obvious). 

As you can notice, THERE IS NO "LEAVE THIS GROUP" option. All BeWelcomer are member of the Agora. You can not reject your right of giving your opinion (but you can definitely not use it). If you're not interested at all about the Agora, you just have to uncheck notification and "show on main page" option, and you'll be happy not knowing anything. 

Now moving to the groups settings page: 

[click to enlarge] 

As you can see, it's exactly the same thing, except that there's no hierarchy on this page. All the groups you belong to are separate. You can individually change all the setting, and yes, you can leave groups from here. You can also find more groups from here. 

So… that's a lot of explanation, but for nothing. For me doing it this way make things really easy to understand, easy to use, comfy to use and efficient. 

 

[Note: I actually just realize that there's also the possibility to subscribe to only one thread. I'm to tired now to add a view of the thread you're subscribed to in the Agora Setting and Groups Setting pages, but I'm sure you can imagine it :) ]

 

posted 2012/12/04 09:19    Visibility: World


Hey,

The last image (My groups settings) is not clickable.

Thank you for this huge work! I like it, very much.

posted 2012/12/04 09:40    Visibility: World


Hi Octobertales,

do we really need two places to show what's going on in my groups? Because we have the 'My groups' menu item anyway. So I would move all group stiff there and have a clear community page which only concerns BeWelcome stuff.

Cheers, shevek

PS: As always nice ideas.

posted 2012/12/04 10:00    Visibility: World


Nice work, Octobertales!

 

The direct reply feature I don't really miss so much - I think you can always make a clear reference by using @username. If people don't do this, they might not use the direct reply either. I often find the tree structure of forums quite messy and prefer the neat design we have.

What I would find WAAAAAY more useful is a feature that takes me to the first unread post of a thread. That would save me soooo much tedious scrolling and searching...

Also a link to 'my posts' that would lead me to the threads that I have one day replied to and shows the thread with the most recent activity first.

And then the general 'recent activity'. But that we already have :)

Being a nosy person I would also like a general 'recent activity in groups' - not just one for MY groups. Of course the 'group only' posts would not be displayed, but I think it's a way of making groups attractive for members.

posted 2012/12/04 10:56    Visibility: World


@ppec: now it's clickable. 

@shevek: I guess that the "My Groups" in the "My account" menu could disappear. Or send to the same "Community" page. The idea of the "Community" page (forum landing page) is to be able to see everything on one page instead of having to check two different places. 

@claudiaab: for the direct reply, the tree structure and the jump to first unread, we're talking about that in the "Update design" thread. Yep, I will end up schizophrenic at some point I think ;) 

I agree that a "My post" place would be nice. It's useful to be able to follow our own post. I guess that we can also have a "Recent activity in groups" for people who like spying are curious ^^

posted 2012/12/04 10:57    Visibility: World


I agree with Jon Jon completely, there is no point in making these different kinds of groups, whatever is already there is sufficient.

 

It'll just consume more time and is of no greater value

posted 2012/12/04 11:51    Visibility: World


@claudia: I wholeheartly disagree on the reply thing :-) If I come late to a discussion but want to add to something that you posted in the beginning of the thread that wasn't yet commented on a reference like '@claudiaab' will not help much. Additionally if I reply to more than one post at once I have to use two or more @names. And I guess most people would stop reading after the first @name and never realize that I addressed them as well.

So being able to have a reply to a post button and to be able to quote from the post I'm replying too would be great.

Regarding the messiness there are examples that deal with that problem :-) One can show only the structure of the discussion and show only the post that is highlighted in the structure.

There is the 'Forum Posts' link on your profile. That's only sorted by time and not by the threads posted. But isn't that what you want? Or do you want to know if something is happening after you posted?

@Octobertales: If we get rid of the my groups page we need a way to subscribe to groups on the landing page. Additionally as the page is called community I'd like to see the agora first.

posted 2012/12/04 12:59    Visibility: World


@octobertales, so I don't need to post it in the other thread, right?

@shevek, yes, I want to follow what is going in threads after I posted. I can usually remember WHAT I posted, so a link to my posts only does not help me a lot.

As for the reply issue, for the scenario you describe it would still make much more sense to have an add quote feature. You collect all the quotes you want to reply to and then can do so in a much neater way, I think. 

posted 2012/12/04 13:16    Visibility: World


Just update the mockup (by changing the files instead off uploading new one, so scroll up to see the last version ;)). 

 

Landing page: 

- move Agora on top of Groups, on shevek suggestion (I actually agree with that ;) )

- add "my own activity" displaying my last post, on claudiaab suggestion (the forum posts in the profile is an other debate I haven't get involve into, so don't have any idea where this one is going)

 

My Agora: 

- change to a vertical tree as it seems to make more sense this way

- add a "discussion I'm following" as it's possible to (un)subscribe to single thread. 

- add a "have a look" link in each group (damn, forget it in subgroup :( ) so that this page is also a way to navigate through the Agora.

- Minor update in the way subscription is displayed under group name

- change the name of the page from "Agora and settings" to "Agora"

 

 

My Groups:

- add a "have a look" in each group I'm following 

- minor update in the way subscription is displayed under group name

- add "recent activity in all groups" on claudiaab suggestion (so that you can see all the last post from every groups who are not "members only"). This actually allow a nice overview of what's happening in groups. 

- add a "discussion I'm following" as it's possible to (un)subscribe to single threads

- rename the page to just "My Groups" 

posted 2012/12/05 11:24    Visibility: World


The new version upthere looks even greater to me!

Maybe the "Find more groups" bouton could be bigger, but that's really a detail.

posted 2012/12/06 21:15    Visibility: World


Would love to have more opinion about my proposal. BeWelcome is probably going to know an other growth in the next few days, and I think that it's going to be harder to follow the forum the way it is at the moment.

posted 2012/12/06 21:52    Visibility: World


@Octobertales: I general I like the ideas but the design consumes so much space :-)

The list of my activities should include a time stamp for the last activity in the thread as well (sorted by that activity) other wise it is just what we have now: a list of my posts.

 

posted 2012/12/08 11:32    Visibility: World


Just a quick post, after the mess CS has made of the groups etc it might be a good idea to ensure groups/agora here are prioritised.  We are likely to have a MASSSIVE influx of new visitors and members over this weekend and as such we need to work to enthral and keep them.  Less content is one thing - people will understand that as a newer site with less members less content will exist, but the agora/groups navigation needs to be sorted.

Not entirely sure what I can do to help on this, besides creating Geographical groups and assosciated info, but am willing to help - esp when it is raining and I cannot work outside.

posted 2012/12/08 11:57    Visibility: World


I wholeheartedly agree. The mess on CS shows how important it is to have an intuitive and easy to use group/forum system rather than one for which you need to study instructions first. CS is doing as a huge favor by self-destructing rapidly. Let's not miss this chance to show we are the better alternative, despite a budget of several hundred vs. 25 million dollars on their site.

So, with all due respect for the importance of reaching "consensus" can we please make it simple rather than too elaborate, and do it quick rather than in two years based on a vote of a dozen people?

 

posted 2012/12/08 12:03    Visibility: World


As I just answered a question how forum and groups are organized another +1 from me.

With all the groups for places that pop up like mushrooms at the moment the discussion topic aren't really visible aymore. So we need to act quickly.

The first step must be to make the separation of forum and groups visible. Which for me means that the forum page needs to show only forum posts! (I'll take the switch button that Mahouni showed earlier as well.)

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/12/08 12:12    Visibility: World


I also agree with the need for some quick action (while we can still go on refining the ideas for the complete overhaul that could be implemented in the new version):

  • separate groups and forum visibly (but allow users to see both if they wish to)
  • add a short explanation to the forum that it is a place for discussions which have relevance for BeWelcome in general (e.g. discussions about the organization and features, world-wide events, discussions about hospex in general etc.) - for other topis people should go to (and create) groups

Additionally, I think it would be great if everyone who's very active here plus the moderators help people actively to find their way around (e.g. directing them to groups if they post local information in the general forum; make sure people do not create the same groups etc.) Otherwise the forum is going to be a total mess within a few days.

posted 2012/12/08 12:37    Visibility: World


Hi all,

I am relatively new to BeWelcome, I became a member a few months ago, and there is one simple reason why I did not feel like I wanted to get active here. That reason is that the comunication methods used here do not make any sense to me.

BeWelcome uses both groups and forums, which is a simple redundancy, because for all intents and purposes these things are the same to me. There is no good reason to have both.

I personaly am a forum lover, so I would prefer there to be only forums, however I also know that there are people who prefr groups for comunication with others. The only thing you should not want is to have both.

I have been skimming over this thread, trying to undrstand why BeWelcome has both, and I have not seen a reason for it.

What I can find is that Currently the intention for forums is to discuss BeWelcome in general, and groups to discuss other things. The problem with that is off course that it is just as easy to discuss the other things inf orums as well, or to discuss BW in general in groups. If I am seeing this wrong, please enlighten me.

 

As it stands currently, I see that the forums have some (allthough not enough) organization in them, while the groups have no organization at all, and frankly are a pain to use, so my suggestion would be to just take the current forums, and reorganize them a little bit (more general and subforums to cover most subjects) and put all the group content in the forums.

You do not have to get everything right from the start, simply have a forum where people can discuss the forum themselves and which categories they believe should be added or deleted, so you can slowly create a nice general forum.

 

As another thing, it would be nice to have a forum that has the features you find on most modern forums, like a quote posibility, but that is less important then having a good way to comunicate with other members.

posted 2012/12/08 13:10    Visibility: World


Thanks so much, Marcel, for spelling it out clearly. It's what I have been trying to get across for almost a year now. As long as there are two systems, for no obvious reason, there will be confusion. I have not seen one compelling reason why discussions of BeWelcome cannot be held in a specific group or forum withing the structure of groups or forums, whichever is maintained. Or why the BeWelcome discussion forum, group or even "agora" couldn't be simply on everyones profile by default and linked to prominently to make sure all members are aware of it and have easy access.

One thing is certain: The current situation makes no sense and cannot last.

How do you want anyone to understand that the Forum is supposed to be for discussions about BeWelcome when the official description says:

"Forum

Get the latest information and discuss travel plans with other members."?

 

posted 2012/12/08 20:12    Visibility: World


The changes in C$ groups let me look at BW ones, and i noted that they are even worse than C$:
I found three errors:
one is very severe: if i go in the tree country/region/town i found a lot of duplicates. these are not just links, but different structures with the same tag. This is an error that shoulb be fixedd immediately, providing to collapse all the thread present in the various aliases in one. the earlier is done the faster is.
You could give some people access to database so everyone could fix his region, so could be fixed immediately. (also to join threads)
second: some areas are missing. for example following europe-italy-toscana there are places missing, such Figline Valdarno, Empoli or San Giuliano (while oddly there is Fornacette but not Calcinaia).
how one can add on the fly such places ?
The complete and correct list of places is readily available: why has not been used ?
third: why have not been used official names, possibly adding additional entry (but pointing to the same structure) for the names in additional languages (in this case would be more enties in the list, but all pointing to the same place, the contrary than now)

told about errors, that i would see clean in term of hours, since is this the moment when CS refugee would come. i would not see strange that they did the move in a moment of BW unstability on this field, i say about something to be done:
Make a standard structure for these local fora:
two standard threads (in alternative could be two structures with exactly the same structure, but separate):
Last minute requests and activity announcements. people could subscribe just to these threads, without other fluxes, while visitors could know directly where to go.

posted 2012/12/08 23:11    Visibility: World


the geographic tags are not groups

posted 2012/12/09 01:34    Visibility: World


Guys, groups is just an other way to show the forum. It's just actually sub forum. But as they seems to work differently (specially because of the tags) it gives the feeling that it's different. 

 

For me, the priorities are : 

- urgent priority number one on top of the list: organizing all the groups. Find a nice hierarchy, and put order in all that. 

- stop having the group post showing in the forum (or having the possibility to hide/show) 

 

Once will have that, it's already going to be easier to understand, and to really organize ourselves, specially with all this idea of an area dedicated to BW itself. 

posted 2012/12/09 07:14    Visibility: World



@ Octobertales,

Groups is not just another way to show the forum. the forum, they work separately. It may be that everything that is posted in groups, is posted in the forums, but as long as all the different groups are not organized  sub forums for the main forum, they are functionaly unusable as a part of the forum.

In general there is a confusing layout here, that does not seem to serve any functionality, but that does create confusion for all (new)members, where there are a few main forums an no sub forums except in the geographical areas, but the geographical areas are created twice (once in the forums and once in the groups.)

To give you a very simple example. I can go to the forums for The Hague, and I can go to the groups for The Hague. There is however nothing connecting these groups to these forums.

Considering the fact that groups and forums in general serve the same function (a place for members to comunicate with eachother) you have the problem here that comunication about locations will be split up between to spots that are in no way linked to eachother, so how can you say that they are the same thing.

If group is realy just another way to show the forum, then there is no reason for groups to exist, and you should do away with them ASAP.

 

The most important thing for a site like BeWelcome is that you need a good comunication platform for your members.

I came here from couchsurfing, because couchsurfing has decided to destroy its communication platform, while BeWelcome simply does not have a practical communication platform but a good chance that they will develop one.

 

In the end, groups forum or a combination of the two is not even the most important part. The most important part is structure.

An unstructured comunication platform can function if you have a small number of active members, but since this is a hospitality site, the site itself can not function with a small number of members.

If you want to attract a big enough number of active members to have a practical hospitality site, you have to give them a structured, more or less logicaly organized comunication platform, and that is what is missing at BeWelcome.

 

posted 2012/12/09 11:45    Visibility: World


«In the end, groups forum or a combination of the two is not even the most important part. The most important part is structure.»

If you read the previous post, you might find that I was suggesting a new structure for the forum, with the important (according to me) objective of highlighting the part about BeWelcome development. At the moment, we all agree that there's structural problem. The idea here is not anymore to say "there's a problem" but to find a solution. 

I do agree that groups in CS is great. But as a couple of members point out already, CS has no global place where we can talk about all the decision concerning BeWelcome. As we want BW to be as democratic as possible, we're trying to find a solution at this problem, not to simply copy CS. Feel free to come with solution to this problem :) 

posted 2012/12/09 11:52    Visibility: World


Hi MarcelG,

OctoberTales meant that technically forums and groups use the same software. So there is some confusion because group posts show up on the forum page. The confusion gets even bigger as posts to all groups show up not only posts to your own.

The forum is not about communication with other members in the sense you mean it but about BeWelcome as a whole. This might include talking about the event structure for say 'The Hague' in the forum and not in the group of 'The Hague' so separation isn't necessarily bad there. On the other hand the subfora aren't really usable anyhow. So we better ditch them instead of spending effort on something that is confusing.

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/12/09 11:52    Visibility: World


@polyglot: Where did you find that definition for the forum?

posted 2012/12/09 12:46    Visibility: World


@ Octobertales

"I do agree that groups in CS is great. But as a couple of members point out already, CS has no global place where we can talk about all the decision concerning BeWelcome. As we want BW to be as democratic as possible, we're trying to find a solution at this problem, not to simply copy CS. Feel free to come with solution to this problem :) "

I actualy disagree about the CS groups. I have never found them great, just workable (the user content in them is great, but they are set up awful, and dificult to comunicate in) so I agree that their system should not be copied blindly.

I do not howver understand the problem you are expressing here. BeWelcome does have a global place to discuss all issues and decisions concerning BeWelcome in. It is the groups or the forums. Ones you have either Groups or Forums with a clear structure with main groups/forums and sub-groups/forums etc. Isn't it simply a matter of designating specific (main) groups/forums as the places to discuss global BeWelcome issues in?

I may be completely missing something here, but I really do not see why this would be a big problem. I could be completely wrong, but I get the impression that the biggest problem you have right now is too much democracy. At some point you simply have to implement a system, and start working with that. As long as the system you implement has enough flexibility on reorganizing groups or forums, then at least you have something practical to discuss and work with.

 

posted 2012/12/09 12:57    Visibility: World


@MarcelG: As a member of BeWelcome there is no 'You' there is only 'We' as in 'Welcome'. :-)

And I disagree that there is too much democracy here. The whole idea of BeWelcome is that members have a say in things that happen to the site. That's why I like it here.

Regarding the central point for discussions about BeWelcome: I believe we have a central place but we still need to put that into focus. That's what we lack and that's what the discussion in here is all about.

The changes might not happen in the next two or three months but I'm certain we will all benefit from this discussion in the future.

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/12/09 13:02    Visibility: World



Hi Shevek,

I had noticed that group posts showed up in the forum, creating even less of a distinction between the 2 then I thought there originaly was. It was seeing this that made me post a question somewhere else yesterday that directed me here.

I have a problem understanding why it is necesary to have 2 different platforms (with diffrent names, though with a lot of overlap) on one site for comunications between members.

Whether comunications is regarding BeWelcome or comunications regarding travel plans or anything else. A platform that is used for the one, can just as easily be used at the same time for the other, all you need for that is main and sub forums/groups that make it clear what they are about, and some moderation for people that do get it wrong.

If BeWelcome didn't have these issues with lack of a clear communication platform, the september problems in CS could have drawn in a lot more people. Now again a lot of people will be looking for alternatives for CS, and since this time it is their comunication platforms being taken away by CS, the best way to get people here is to have a good comunication platform.

 

Cheers Marcel

posted 2012/12/09 13:03    Visibility: World


OctoberTales: "CS has no global place where we can talk about all the decision concerning BeWelcome. "

I suppose you intended to write "concerning CS". I'll repeat myself: The fact that they don't have a widely publicized global forum or group has nothing to do with the structure, but all with their strategy. They don't want users to debate about their website. But that's their problem and has nothing to do with ours, which is simply, which I believe we now agree on, that their is a lack of structure and the resulting chaos.

Is there any problem with having just one type, group or forum, and having a global BeWelcome Discussion group or forum which is on everyone's profile by default and prominently linked to? What would be the objections to that solution, which seems the obvious, most intuitive = easy to understand and use (at least to me and Marcel)?

shevek: "Where did you find that definition for the forum?"

Interesting question. At the time I posted it, I got to it through the menu. Someone seems to have removed it already. Are changes to the website logged?

 

 

posted 2012/12/09 13:18    Visibility: World


@polyglot: Depends on where the change was made. If it was in a translatable part of the website the translation tool would know about it. If it was in the backend of the website it has to happen via a commit to the version control system so that would be logged as well.

But without knowing the page you found it, it is hard to find out :-(

Regarding the central place for BeWelcome discussions: I agree that we do not need two separate entities but still think it is useful to have a clear distinction between the two areas.

@MarcelG: Communication between members is easily done within the groups. The interface could maybe be better but as long as you stay in the your groups you can communicate as much as you like and don't be confused with the forum postings.

While the groups don't have a geo structure it is still easy enough to find a group for your region or city or start one. (As soon as we get a geo struture in place if ever that needs to be consolidated anyway.)

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/12/09 13:23    Visibility: World


shevek: "I disagree that there is too much democracy here".

What Marcel obviously meant to say is that we have a problem making decisons within a reasonable timeframe. And that's unfortunately true. The decision process on the profile visits was both dreadfullly slow and not a model for democracy. People seem to confuse lengthy debate with democracy. But I'm sure we'll get better at that, now that we are realizing that.

We have a unique chance to finally reach a size, outside of the main locations, where people stop saying they like BeWelcome, but it is just too small and inactive so they will wait (for others to join) before signing up. We won't get this chance every couple of months again. The time is now.

posted 2012/12/09 13:26    Visibility: World


@Polyglot: «Is there any problem with having just one type, group or forum, and having a global BeWelcome Discussion group or forum which is on everyone's profile by default and prominently linked to?  »

That's exactly what I'm proposing with my design, and the different graph I've been puting here. As Shevek said, technically there's no difference between groups and forum. It's just the way it show. 


I can eventually try to rererephrase my proposition:

All the communication in BeWelcome is made using a Forum. 

This main Forum as two sub-forum: the first one is called Sub_Forum_1 and is dedicated to all talk about BeWelcome. This Sub_Forum_1 has other sub-forum : Sub_Forum_1_1 is about Design, Sub_forum_1_2 is about Development, etc... 

The second sub-forum is called Sub_Forum_2 and is dedicated to all talk that not concern directly BeWelcome. This Sub_Forum_2 has sub-forum too. Sub_Forum_2_1 is about all interests (philosophical talk, art, politics,....et) the Sub_forum_2_2 is all the Geography located discussion, etc... 

That's the base of the idea. 

Now, when a user join BeWelcome, he's automaticaly a member of Sub_Forum_1 and all the sub-forum of Sub_Forum_1. He can't leave those forum (forced democraty ;) ) but there's no need for him to read, write, or even show them on the Forum landing page. Then, he's also free to join and leave any groups he want from Sub_Forum_2. The post for all the sub-group from Sub_Forum_2 also appear in the Forum landing page, if he want to. That's exactly what I've been explaining for a little while, and what I show in the mock-up. 


Now, because "Forum", "Sub_Forum_1" and "Sub_Forum_2" don't seem really appealing for me, I use ppec suggestion to call "Sub_Forum_1" "Agora". I keep the name of "Groups" to call "Sub_Forum_2" and I show the link to "Forum" under the name "Community" because that's what we are. 


posted 2012/12/09 14:10    Visibility: World


Great. Now if we get rid of the unnecessary extra level which requires to have two sub-forums for no obvious reason (to me), we're there :-)

posted 2012/12/09 14:17    Visibility: World


@ Shevek

"And I disagree that there is too much democracy here. The whole idea of BeWelcome is that members have a say in things that happen to the site. That's why I like it here.

What Polyglot said.

I have always been active in diverse clubs etc. Also, The Netherlands also has compromise and discusion built in as an integral part of our culture. The problem for me is that I am a man of action, and in my experience, there comes a point where more discusion does not help, and it is better to do something.

What it looks like here is that we have passed the point where more discusion is usefull, and it is time to actualy do something. As long as an implemented platform leaves the option to change details like forum names, adding/removing forums, changing their position, etc. it can be made and implemented with the feedback and discusion as you can find it on the forums currently.

 

It is quite clear that Octobertales already has a practical platform ready, and that it is only the details of this platform that need to be worked out. However, if this platform is easily adaptable after discusion and testing, there is not much reason not to implement it.

 

posted 2012/12/09 14:18    Visibility: World


@polyglot: What's the difference of having an extra group with subgroups for the BW discussions and the subfora?

It only boils down to the question do we emphasize that there is a place for BW discussions or not. OctoverTales (and several others including me) say yes lets do that. Some others (including you) say no not necessary.

Maybe the only difference between the two camps is that one believes people will join discussions anyway (as they're interested) and the other thinks that a little push sometimes helps? If that's so the remaining question is: Does it harm to see these groups/subfora or not?

 

posted 2012/12/09 14:38    Visibility: World


@Polyglot:"Now if we get rid of the unnecessary extra level which requires to have two sub-forums for no obvious reason (to me), we're there :-)" 

Great. Show us what you're thinking about. Explain me how we can have a distinctive part to talk about BW without having a distinctive part. (quoting you too "Is there any problem with having just one type, group or forum, and having a global BeWelcome Discussion group or forum which is on everyone's profile by default and prominently linked to"). 

For what I undesrtand : 

Forum

  • Subforum 1 : BeWelcome
  • Subforum 2 : Places
  • Subforum 3 : Interests
  • Subforum 4 : etc.. 
Which is exactly what I propose, except that the "BeWelcome branch" is just a level lower in the forum. 
 
At some point, it could be nice not to only say "I don't like your idea" but to add "and this is exactly what I have in mind" :) 

posted 2012/12/09 14:49    Visibility: World


@MarcelG: OctoberTales doesn't have anything ready but his Photoshop :-)

But I agree that we are ready to step forward as soon as no one objects anymore or everyone says what the heck just do it.

posted 2012/12/09 15:09    Visibility: World


shevek and OctoberTales:

I have been saying since February what the solution is in my view, and it is not what you understood:

- Have one name and structure for communication: choose "forum" OR "group", not both. Stay away from names and structures that required studying instructions for use.

- Have one specific forum or group (depending on the name retained) for DISCUSSION OF BEWELCOME, which is highlighted on everyone's profile by default, easily visible and linked to.

Again: What is the problem with that?

 

posted 2012/12/09 15:28    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/12/09 16:26 by ppec


I think there's a consensus around OctoberTales' plan; I don't think I exagerate with this word, because the disagreeing (the only one, I think, which is not many) looks like a mutual missunderstanding to me.

So the actual issue would rather seem technical to me: what can be done (and when), considering our manpower.

"mahouni200000

avatar

 

Posté le 28/11/2012 10:23 Visibility:MembersOnly

 


from a technical point of view it is not very agreeable to work with the forums on the current website, improving the groups should be easier.

I think the Agora concept is interesting and there should be more brainstorming. The outcome should go to that page about the redesign of the website: http://trac.bewelcome.org/wiki/ProjectRequirements

A simple solution, suggested by jsfan on the dev mailinglist, could be implemented tonight:

  • the restriction to create new topics only from the group pages. (or add all new topics created from the forum page to a standard group called e.g. "agora".)
  • a preferences switch button on the forum page switching between all forum/(agora?) topics on one hand and topics only from groups where the user is member of.

if that's okay we can add it to the 1.3 release"

"

 

"improving the groups should be easier"

Since I'm not into coding, I don't know at what extent groups can be improved: can we organise them, meaning taking the group A and the group B and the group C and turn the groups A and B into two subgroups of the group C? (and then, say that the group D is now a subgroup of A, and E a subgroug of B, etc.)

Luxury: would it be technically implementable (short term, I mean before redoing the all webiste upside down) to, when clicking a group, display its subgroups alltoghether? For example I'm not going to make a Guipry (small town) group, it would be meaningless; I don't know if a Britony (region) group exists, but if it does, could it display Rennes' (main Briton city) posts?

Because it we (oops, sorry, I mean you, the developpers) can do that, it would be SO great in a first time (I mean: organising the groups the ones within the others as the main point, displaying subgroups being an inovating luxury).

I think we've now reached an excellent level of conceiving a revolutionary model of discussions online, features, wording, architecture, design: it looks great to me, far greater than what CS has ever had, and I doupt it can get much better.

Now we need to know what we (excuse-me, you, developers) can do on the short term, in case the great plan has to come in a second time. Mahouni200000, you still there?

posted 2012/12/09 16:28    Visibility: World


@polyglot: Well, that is exactly what I understood. Use one name only: Community.

Have a specific group/forum for BeWelcome: Agora (and display it prominently).

Have groups for everything else as well and show them as Groups.

Again: What's the problem with that?

I believe we just don't agree on the details and that shouldn't stop us from going ahead. Could we agree on that one? Or do you really think it would be harmful to have that setup if it is done in a way that doesn't make it necessary to read any instructions?

OctoberTales proposals fullfil that for me.

@ppec: Could you define short term?

 

posted 2012/12/09 16:47    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/12/09 17:01 by ppec


@Shevek: let me reword. Well, one morning I logg in and read: "A simple solution, suggested by jsfan on the dev mailinglist, could be implemented tonight:"

Is organising groups rather on the side of A/ simple solutions which could be implemented tonight, or is it rather on the side of B/ the technical nightmare so it'd be better to redo the all entire thing from zero?

In case the answer is B, how much manpower is needed to acheive that? (I apologise to word it so idioticly: I realise that between the absolute numeric genious super-specialised and experienced in precisely all needed areas champion's manpower and mine, it is difficult to estimate an average manpower of skilled persons and how efficiently they can manage to work toghether, etc.) I mean, could something like a range/spread be estimated (not in terms of period, but of manpower, the number of days one skiled person should work to acheive that, dividable -more or less, again, a range/spread- by as many skilled persons work in the same time)?

posted 2012/12/09 20:00    Visibility: World



I like the work of OctoberTales, and i think it should be develloped and released asap. This is an emergency now that CS is F^cked up. New members arriving should find something nice. (thank you OctoberTales for your work). The layout can be re-thinked later, if we don't like it.

posted 2012/12/09 20:04    Visibility: World


@beatnickgr: the new design is an other project, who is definitely not an emergency at the moment. I guess we can keep the idea, with the current CSS/design :)

posted 2012/12/09 20:38    Visibility: World


@ppec: As far as I can see OctoberTales only put elements together that are already there. So putting that on one page that shows them together shouldn't be to difficult.

So this could probably part of the next release. Or maybe a hotfix a bit earlier than that. That depends on the dev team I'd say.

Cheers, shevek

 

posted 2012/12/09 21:35    Visibility: World


@mahouni200000: Did you check the other threads (this and that) about the design changes? Because I'm pretty sure I saw a redesign proposal for that already.

While I liked the button idea at first I now think that it is better to get the aggregation into one page in one step.

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/12/09 22:19    Visibility: World


something like the notifications in facebook would be good!

instead of getting an email notification in case of activity in my groups, i would like to have a red number or something similar popping up in case of activity in one of my groups.

otherwise i don't know, how i can be up-to-date with all this activity here.

posted 2012/12/09 22:51    Visibility: World


To confuse myself even further, I checked out the blog article Revised Forum and Groups Rules at http://www.bewelcome.org/blog/jsfan/1511 dated 2012/11/18 08:24

It links to the new BeWelcome Forum and Group Forum Charter at http://www.bewelcome.org/forums/rules which would benefit from being dated and which uses all of these terms:

 

- the forum

- the forums

- the BeWelcome Forum

- The Group Forum

 

It also mentions the "forum moderator team" and links to http://www.bewelcome.org/wiki/Who_does_what

There we learn that all groups and forums are not created equal, and that groups aren't forums after all:

Forums

BeWelcome Groups

 

The main navigation menu lists "Forum" (singular) and "Groups" (of which there seem to be 803 at the moment)

How do we expect anybody to understand anything?

 

 

 

posted 2012/12/09 23:01    Visibility: World


@polyglot: The main point of this endevaour is that we don't think any one understands that anymore. So we want to change it :)

Groups do have moderators obviously someone thought it usefull to add these to the Wiki if the group seemed to be of higher interest for all members.

@mahouni200000: I didn't see something like that either.

If the aggregation page takes only a day or two to implement I'd rather go with that one. But I haven't check how complicated it would be to put the different parts together. (I'd prefer to work on the search and locations anyway)

The group search might need some attention as well. Today I search for a 'The Hague' group and couldn't find it. Searching for 'Hague' worked fine.

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/12/09 23:09    Visibility: World


@ polyglot: this is a misunderstanding. the forum moderators are responsible for the whole forum and all the groups. but mostly they get only active, if someone uses the "report" button.

these groups, you are listing there, are the different areas, where volunteering is possible. like in the translation team, in the support team, in the testing team.

and each of the teams has a coordinator, to coordinate the volunteers....

posted 2012/12/10 22:55    Visibility: World


@ppec: Can't really say. Dev team started to work on the package after the upcoming release. And seem to be quite eager to get some of the groups things done :-)

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/12/10 23:27    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/12/10 23:44 by karo


shevek and OctoberTales:

I have been saying since February what the solution is in my view, and it is not what you understood:

- Have one name and structure for communication: choose "forum" OR "group", not both. Stay away from names and structures that required studying instructions for use.

- Have one specific forum or group (depending on the name retained) for DISCUSSION OF BEWELCOME, which is highlighted on everyone's profile by default, easily visible and linked to.

Again: What is the problem with that? (polyglot)

@polyglot: The problem with that one (your suggestion) is, from my point of view, that you think it is required to study insctructions first, before using a general discussion platform. Why? Also you may don't know yet (or can't even imagine yet) how many BW related discussions will be going on at the same time in the future... I would like to have the possibility to choose by topics. In the "agora" section it would be easy to follow discussions in topic threads - only those who you are interested in. 

- Have one specific forum or group (depending on the name retained) for DISCUSSION OF BEWELCOME, which is highlighted on everyone's profile by default, easily visible and linked to.

Your suggestion would require to put ALL discussions of BeWelcome automatically on member's profiles, right? What a mess! I don't want my profile get spammed with loads of links to loads of discussion threads related to BW issues, how annoying this would be! If we want more members to join BW, the overall discussion volume is likely to increase. 

posted 2012/12/10 23:38    Visibility: World


@Mahoonii200000: thanks. I indeed forget to do a mockup for this one, which is actually a really important one. Well, if I understand well, that's the one you were missing. 

Job's done now. As usual, waiting for comment :)

 

[click on the picture will make it so huge, that you're just going to be amazed and won't be able to give any negative feedback after that]

 

posted 2012/12/11 00:11    Visibility: World


Nude photography? Yeah yeah, I'm too conservative and very uptight, blablabla, but ppl can actually be very nonchalant when it comes to nudes, and still consider it as a very bad example for a hospex.

I wonder if a group that names itself sodomy/zoophilia will also have a future in a hospex community. 

However, group names and group intentions will hopefully be discussed in BW Agora soon.

posted 2012/12/11 00:27    Visibility: World


Karo: "The problem with that one (your suggestion) is, from my point of view, that you think it is required to study insctructions first, before using a general discussion platform. Why?"

Not for using a general discussion platform, but one which has two systems with two names. Simply because I don't think that I'm dumber than the average user, and because the feed back which I have received from many new members is that they are completely confused between groups and forums.

"Your suggestion would require to put ALL discussions of BeWelcome automatically on member's profiles, right?"

Wrong. We are talking about membership in that main group or forum by default (not action required by the new member), and a link to it on the profile. Not my suggestion originally by the way, but one that makes a lot of sense to me and which I support.

Good night.

 

 

 

 

posted 2012/12/11 01:30    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/12/11 06:47 by luna1


@ October Tales

That 'Find Groups' layout looks fantastic (....and very much needed!)

 

@ Karo - the 'Nude' has been a well respected genre of Photograhy since before the invention of photographic film.  It has been a respected genre of art since the first human drawings in caves.  No need for "moral decisions" to be made.  Make an adult decision instead - if you're not interested or don't approve then don't join the group ( when/if one exists) or read the posts.

Personally, I am an artist - with paint brush and with camera. The nude features frequently in my work.   Having a forum (group) where i can meet other artists (and models) to connect and discuss and collaborate would be fantastic.  Please don't seek to impose your "too conservative and very uptight"  beliefs on everyone else.   

 

I'm not sure how you make a connection between fine art photography and sodomy and beastiality. By the way sodomy is legal in most countries of the world and if practiced between two males is  an aspect of homosexuality - also legal and accepted in most countries of the world. I'm not homosexual but I would hate to see BeWelcome become officially homophobic - is that what you are advocating?  As for beastiality, that is illegal in most of the world as are depictions (photos, etc) of it.

 

posted 2012/12/11 05:46    Visibility: World


Hi

I wanted to join the discussion and looked for the wiki page that summarizes the issues at hand in this thread. I haven't found it. Can someone point me to it?

Or am I expected to read 130 posts?

Julien

posted 2012/12/11 09:30    Visibility: World


@sitarane: well, everyone else did :-)

But on a more serious note, the thread was resurrected. So the number should be less than 130.

@OctoberTales: The page seems to work well for Photography but how would we organize the geo groups. Continent (there's a discussion going on to dirch them in places) then countries then counties or something equivalent and then cities/towns/villages?

Additionally we need to make sure that there are never subgroups on the fifth level if I understood that right. That's fine by me. 

@karo: Could you try to focus on the topic?

@polyglot: I believe the confusion stems from the fact that forum and groups post are totally treated equally at the moment. Any posts shows up. And the geographic and category tags don't help either. But if we hide that behind to clearly separated lists for the different entities that should be fine. If not we can rethink. But I can't see a reason why not to try this.

Cheers, shevek

posted 2012/12/11 11:26    Visibility: World


I updated the design, with a geographic example, so it might help to stay in focus. Once again, the idea is to talk about the organisation of group and forum, not the content of the design. So please, I know that there's other province in Canada, and that they should be more subgroup, but I'm not suggesting a permanent tree model. Just a way to show it. 

I guess you'll understand we won't have the two browsing on the same page. The second one is just an exemple of what's going to happen if we have more than 5 levels. The stack on the left is a little bit fancy, but I like how it looks the different level and allow to navigate back. I guess it might be a little bit difficult to code, so maybe we can just make the left column "disappear" if there's more than five level. We'll stil have the bread crumb, under "browse" to navigate back if we want to. 

 

 

posted 2012/12/11 11:46    Visibility: World


@OctoberTales: Nice.

We'd probably should only offer to create sub groups from inside the groups (especially if the group is private).

For geo groups I'd add a line that groups can only be created at leafs (cities, villages, towns) as the structure is taken from somewhere else. Which brings up the question when is a geogroup created? I'd say as soon as someone signs up with a place that hasn't yet a group.

The fancy stack on the left shouldn't be to problematic if I understood the search results I got just now correctly.

We still should restrict at some level, shouldn't we?

posted 2012/12/11 12:29    Visibility: World


[just made an other quick update, removing the "create new group" and updating the breadcrumb 

 

@Shevek: 

« We'd probably should only offer to create sub groups from inside the groups (especially if the group is private).»

 

Agree with that. It makes sense for me. You have to be a member of a group to create a sub-group, so lets do it for the group page. That makes me realize that I don't have any sub-group view at the moment in my different design. Will add that to the todo list :)

 

 

 

« For geo groups I'd add a line that groups can only be created at leafs (cities, villages, towns) as the structure is taken from somewhere else. Which brings up the question when is a geogroup created? I'd say as soon as someone signs up with a place that hasn't yet a group. »

 

We'll need soon to talk just about the arborescence we want to give to all groups. For geographics, but also for other. I guess this should be discussed in a dedicated thread. I started thinking about that a little while ago. 

 

About the question "when a geogroup" is created, I think it's nice for people to be able to create there own group at different level. I guess we don't want that up to the country level, but then, inside country people should already be allowed to create groups. 

 

«We still should restrict at some level, shouldn't we? »

 

With the actual design suggestion, 7 levels could looks like. Adding an other one would makes think little bit more complicate. But design should not be the reason to choose 7. 

7 is a lucky number in a couple of country. Not sure it's an other good reason enough. 

I guess the biggest structure is going to be the geographical one. 

Groupes » Geographic » Continent » Country » States/Area/Province/... » City » City related topic » Sub City related topic. 

 

Don't think we'll really need to go any further from that. So 7 level is probably a good start. Even 6 could actually be enough. 

posted 2012/12/11 12:31    Visibility: World



@OctoberTales, that's a nice work, i like the layout.

 

I think it's a good idea to have subgroups that are in under more than 1 group. For example Turkey can be under both Europe and Asia. I think nudism was just a bad example (and out of topic) because it could be also a subgroup of camping. That doesnt mean that all nudist campers like photography, or that all the naked models like camping. Maybe it should be up to the group creator to place it under one or two or more groups, what you think?

posted 2012/12/11 12:40    Visibility: World


@beatnickgr

« I think nudism was just a bad example »

that was actually not nudism, but "nude" like in "nude photography" which is two completely totally different subject. I switch to geographic not because I though nude was a bad example (I do love David Hamilton work, and I do myself nude portraits, and that's definitely an amazing artistic way to explore the beautifulness of human bodies) but I need something with more level, and geographic was a good one :) 

« Maybe it should be up to the group creator to place it under one or two or more groups, what you think? »

When JonJon started making desgin upgrade suggestion a little while ago, he sugests to add "related to groups" link which is more or less the same think that having a group under more than one group. 

I do agree that somegroup can be related to more than one groupe. I guess it's technically possible to do it, but I would say that right now, it's not a main priority. This is something we should develop in a second time, as it involve a couple of little tricky thing (like "how to link a group to more than one group" and "one if my group is under a private group and a non private group"). 

posted 2012/12/11 13:16    Visibility: World


Anyway. let's put our clothes on and stay on topic.

Reading at JonJon's post again, i think that "hitch-hiking europe" should be a sub-group of "hitch-hiking" and "europe" (instead of "related link"), and the moderators of "hitch-hiking europe" should be the ones who decides where this group belongs, and be able to move it (if they decide they created it under a wrong group in the begining. I had this issue on CS, when creating "WWOOF greece", i didnt know if i should place it under "wwoof" or under "greece", there are also sub-groups on CS that were opened under a wrong group and it was impossible to move them after.

I dont think it's a minor issue, if we do this change, lets make it correctly from the beggining. And as i understand, this is technically possible.

posted 2012/12/11 14:22    Visibility: World


Huhu. Could we see all that in action on the server you posted earlier?

posted 2012/12/12 11:57    Visibility: World


"the subgroup system, the overview page and the geo groups are quasi ready."

Thumbs up to the persons who have worked and are working on those at all stages!!!

posted 2012/12/14 00:19    Visibility: World


OctoberTales,mahouni200000 could you provide any link to show how your work looks like now? Thank you!

Btw, can you please use another example than nude photography? This is still the main Forum and not a group discussion. 

posted 2012/12/14 11:02    Visibility: World


@karo: as I'm not a developer, but just a designer, all my work is only static jpg, so there's nothing more to see. There's no more nude photography. Not because you asked -I used it without thinking as there is absolutely nothing wrong, but the question is not here- but because I needed to use geographic groupes, who have more depth levels. If you still see the previous design, maybe you should clear your cache and reload the page. 

posted 2012/12/14 12:51    Visibility: World


The ability to create sug-groups is absolutely vital. It is one of the faults with the current CS mess.

The other major gap is the lack of a chance to create an specific event within an area with some sort of page of its own, with appropriate links to groups/sub-groups. It was this sort of architecture that has allowed CS members in Manchester to run a major invasion festival in the past with links to events within the main event, such as a set of city tours, boat trips etc.

So when are sub-groups coming on line please?

posted 2012/12/14 19:14    Visibility: World


Summary: unnecessary idea: greylighting edits to make them easilly noticable.

For sure this is not an emergency at all, but i've had an idea which maybe could be thought about.

I don't know since when there is the possibility to edit posts in BW. My opinion about it is rather mixed/lukewarm. On one side: sure it's great to be able to add a missing word which makes the entire sentence inunderstandable. But I see several other sides. Like says the sentence: words fly away when they are told, but when they are written they remain. With this feature, they don't necessarily remain, and that's disturbing at some point, because:

  • a side effect might be a too hurried posting, considering that in case you happen to disagree with yourself, you might change it later
  • without changing entirely one's mind and therefor the entire content of the post (which wouldn't fit to the netiquette I think), one might rightfully precise a point, reword a part, etc. But people who have allready read the original post will never notice it
  • what about a post meant to summ up proposals and their supporters, which would possibly include some missunderstandings? And what if people support later this or that proposal? Should the post be edited, breaking the timeline? Than it turns unclear; BTW, in Engligh, there's the mention: "posted 2011/11/09 23:05 by 
    last edited on 2011/11/10 00:34 by " but this mention does not appear in French, Italian, Spanish (haven't checked other languages). But even if the information of when was the last update is displayed, it doesn't look reasonable at all to imagine that a post will be read twice.

Idea: parts of the post edited / added after first posting could perhaps be, not highlighted (that could hurt eyes), but, one the opposite, greyed, like this. This way, when scrolling down a thread, one could see if something has been / what has been edited.

I don't know if technically this is an headache, and in case it is it's unlikely to be worth it, but since we're conceiving here the greatest online discussion-area I've ever seen, I wanted to share this idea.

posted 2012/12/14 19:38    Visibility: World


I believe this new discussion about editing merits its own thread. The beauty is, you can just cut and paste, erasing the post here ;-)

posted 2012/12/14 20:42    Visibility: World


@Polyglot:

Beleive it or not, the mysterious human-like part of the code has, kind-of, answered me: my post has turned into marble! :-DDD

So I can't erase it -by the way I'm not sure it's possible to do so, though usually I coul have emptied it, providing a link to the dedicated thread.

Whatever, feel free to copy-past into a new thread: that post is copyright-free  ;-)

posted 2012/12/19 00:37    Visibility: World


ppec, as long as editing posts is allowed only for an hour after being written, I don't have a problem with it. I think BW came to a good solution at this point. I'm editing quite often when I see that my posts miss a word or a whole sentence that would make my post more convenient to read for others.

Are you expecting members to write on their pc in Words first and to examine their text according to a) context, b) spelling, c) grammar, d) layout??

a side effect might be a too hurried posting, considering that in case you happen to disagree with yourself, you might change it later

In fact, I always post in a hurry because everyday life doesn't allow me to spent hours on end in BW and to reconsider my posting style beforehand; I mainly do the posting within the 2hs before midnight, so yes, I might have a typo somewhere in my post and if it annoyes me, I will correct it right after - where's the problem? 

without changing entirely one's mind and therefor the entire content of the post (which wouldn't fit to the netiquette I think), one might rightfully precise a point, reword a part, etc. But people who have allready read the original post will never notice it.

I doubt that discussion in a thread will have progressed that much that if "one might rightfully precise a point"  would have any impact on the topic or discussion itself. It will still be the original idea of the person who just edited the post. Also, if "people who have allready read the original post will never notice it" , why would they bother in the end? They wouldn't, because they didn't take notice of it;) Besides, one could argue that it's a result of hurried reading, maybe? ;D  

what about a post meant to summ up proposals and their supporters, which would possibly include some missunderstandings? And what if people support later this or that proposal? Should the post be edited, breaking the timeline?

A summary of proposals in a post is not of any value in itself. If the proposals are made to clarify a members standpoint towards certain BW issues, for instances, these point of views will be added in a wiki. Only proposals made in the wiki can stand for itself - everything else in a thread is still discussable and members may take up a different position in the course of discussion.

What is really worth to discuss is actually the phenomenom that BW allows members to change their user names. Why? A member in BW wrote some downright stupid stuff in a post some time in the past and since it's not possible to edit long-time-ago-posts, he would just change its username so nobody can follow up him anymore. The authenticity of that member is gone the moment nobody can read this members old posts under his new user name in the discussion, since he is only referred to his old username by other members. Fortunately his username still looks alike and I think ppec you know whom I'm talking about. I will start a new discussion about this right after submitted this post, btw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted 2012/12/19 07:04    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/12/19 07:06 by ppec


@Karo: the time during which you can edit a post varies impredictibly from a few minutes (sometimes less than 5 I think) to +++++. I can edit some posts I've written on the 18th of SEPTEMBER.

Since it had been requested by Shevek and Polyglot, and since you're interested in this topic, I've just written a dedicated thread about that in the group Brainstorm (mainly copy-pasted from 2 threads, + formatting + providing links + a few words to make the stuff cleanly packed, with a fast-reading-possibility), but since I'm not a member of this group, i could spend time writing my message BUT it got crushed when I clicked "post it".

And THAT'S a far more important thing that what I've just lost my time upon: if you can't post before joining a group, you shouldn't be able to access to the fields designed to write a post, post which will just disapear at the precise moment you find it OK enough to be posted. That is highly irritating and I think it can be easilly fixed.

posted 2012/12/23 00:50    Visibility: World
last edited on 2012/12/23 00:51 by ricardo_pt


Hej all. 
I just arrived last week. 
 
I am glad to see the the things are moving into a good direction. 
 
 
I had a hard time to catch up in this thread. I spent a entire afternoon reading it. 
 I don't want to make it longer, so, I created a new thread with a resume of what have been disused and I agree with, plus my sugestions:
http://www.bewelcome.org/forums/s4069?sidTB=7veaYC5Y6ghNnXBgxuJqkUcn016


So, to the ones that were active participating, I would like to ask you to move into this new  thread, what other conclusions did we get about the topic “Organizing groups and forums”. Or if not conclusion what is missing to be decided.
 
So, please (!) do no reply there to things out of the topic; if you want to talk “google's robot”, “greylighting edits” or “facebook like notifications”, create an independent thread. Those are important topic but not for the organization “groups and forums”. 
 
I specially want to thank OctoberTales and shevek.  You are doing a very good job.

posted 2013/01/14 09:52    Visibility: World


@Ricardo_pt « So, to the ones that were active participating, I would like to ask you to move into this new  thread, what other conclusions did we get about the topic “Organizing groups and forums”. Or if not conclusion what is missing to be decided. »

Please don't do that. Don't start a new thread, where you "sum-up" point and forget half of other people opinion, and misexplain others. That is really disrespectful for me. For example, in your new thread, what happens to pablob and polyglot opinion that having agora+groups was to complicate? 

Yes, that's a long thread, because there's lot of idea, lot of opinion, and everything. If you start a new thread, it's like starting the discussion again. Do I have to go to this new thread to explain my opinion again? What a waste of time! 

I understand that you want to make thing simpler by having a specific thread about structure talk. But this thread was already about that, and it's a bad idea to start a new one. 

posted 2013/01/14 11:17    Visibility: World


I agree 100% on keeping it to one thread, the original one here.

posted 2013/01/14 12:24    Visibility: World


@polyglot @OctoberTales: how about if @ricardo_pt would just edit the summary, you guys could probably help out?

This thread originates from year 2011. Good for you guys that you've followed intensely for all this time.

 

For me it's really utterly difficult to make differense what has been implemented from this thread so far, what's still on the plans and what has been decided to drop out. And I've done fare amount of reading to catch up with development. Poor those who just want to give quick feedback.

I did read all the thread, tho. Phuh!

posted 2013/01/14 20:06    Visibility: World


@mikael: reading all actually helped me to have a good idea of what was going on. It's also nice to see why someone suggest something. For example, if I just say "every member should be a member of all Agora groups, and should not be allowed to leave the group", then I'm sounding really dictatorial, and this only idea doesn't make many sense. Now, if you read my explanation about why I suggest that, I guess my idea make more sense. When you understand why a decision was taken or made, it helps to take decision about it. 

I do totally agree that it's a really long thread to read, but hey… that's quite a complicate subject too. So if we just sum up in an other thread, then people are going to ask "but why are you saying that" and we'll have to explain again, and again. 

So yes, I do actually feel lazy about explaining again my suggestion. Each time I've decided to join a discussion, I took the time to read the thread (some time just quickly) just to know what was going on, to see if other people already add the idea I was going to suggest. Reading other people idea also helps a lot to improve your own idea. How often did it happen to me that I start reading a thread, and had additional idea while reading. 

So no, sorry, I still disagree with the idea of creating a new thread. 

posted 2013/01/20 22:30    Visibility: World


Hi OctoberTales

As you can guess, my intention was not be unrespectful with anybody.

I understand your points and that is why I put the link back to the original thread and asked help from the other interventionists.

 

Unfortunately, I am a very slow reader and it took many, many hours to catch up what was going on here. It was a very hard work to me.

I don't think that anybody would need to add the same explanation twice because there is the link back to where the discussion started.

But that is fine to me. We can keep the other thread as my suggestion about the topic.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Other thing that I found not practical is that we use @TAG instead of a indentation in the text, when we reply to a post. This makes it hard to follow the core of the discussion. I create a separated thread for this topic.

posted 2013/01/20 23:49    Visibility: World


@Ricardo: « As you can guess, my intention was not be unrespectful with anybody.» 

 

And that's the reason I said, "that's really disrespectful" and not "you're very disrespectful". 

 

Still, it seems that you still want to post in your other thread, digging it out from where he was kindly going… adding the link to this thread on your first post is not a solution. People are known not to follow link. So they will just read what you write, which is a wrong sum-up of this thread, and ask question and make comment that was already made. So yes, there will be double post. 

 

I don't see any reason to start a new thread, as this one is already nicely going and followed. 'cause, yes, that's the other thing that's going to happen: all the people who reply to this thread have it, at least as a link in there own post, and they probably subscribe to it. So they can still follow how the talk is evolving in this thread. Not in yours. By creating a new thread, you're losing advice/opinion/question/comment, but also member who already participate… 

posted 2013/01/21 10:15    Visibility: World


@OctoberTales: +1

@Ricardo_pt: during the last 6 months, two other times some very long and very participatory threads have had an attempt of summarisation, and globally it couldn't work.

At this point, what would be usefull would be to write a wikipage about this thread. A wikipage is a serious and structured summary; it would be usefull (allowing people to (re)discover the wide diversity of ideas allready expressed during the weeks and months of this thread), but that's quite a long piece of work to do (my guess is one or two full days of work, rather two). Other than this tough job, anything presenting itself as a summary is missleading and doesn't really allow to gain time (because people will come with a "new" idea which has allready been talked about in 2012). My two cents. Pesonnally I won't write a wikipage because my feeling is that we've reached excellence allready; but I'd be thankfull to whoever does the job, because everything can allways get better; this is what human kind and human creations are about.

posted 2013/01/21 15:36    Visibility: World


Could some of you who've attended the discussion from the very beginning make the wiki summary? I suppose you really understand the whole picture here the best. Ping @ppec @OctoberTales @polyglot at least. I know you guys like to write long stories, but please keep it simple. ;-)

 

posted 2013/01/21 16:02    Visibility: World


I guess a wiki page could be a good idea at this stage, indeed. Hopefully, I'll find the time and motivation to do it in the coming days ;) 

posted 2013/01/25 22:20    Visibility: World


Ok, wiki page is filled with a summary of this thread now: http://www.bewelcome.org/wiki/On_Groups_and_Forum

Might still contain a lot of typos ... proofreading and correcting appreciated, I'm too tired to do this myself now.

I hope I've captured all the articulated problems and suggested solutions. If not, please add them!

 

posted 2013/02/03 23:13    Visibility: World


Thanks. For the duplicate groups, I believe the creators should be encouraged to agree between them which group(s) should survive (when in doubt, normally the most active one, I'd say). There are two Paris groups, for example, one with 160 members and one with 6 - this one's an easy call but others may be more difficult to agree on.

posted 2013/02/04 05:52    Visibility: World
last edited on 2013/02/04 06:12 by ArbabQaisar


Hello my Europian friends.I have given a quick reading to this discussion.Some of it I understand,some not.My opinion is that.

Please don't make it like another version of Facebook.

The basic Purpose of Hospitality should not be carried away by presenting brilliant ideas.

A traveler,after planning his path of travel is to cantact people living along his way,staying with them for a day or two and moving on,taking memories of his hosts with him.and recommending or condemning his host to other travelers.Make it simple,as  there are many other means to express one's self.

 

posted 2013/02/04 15:12    Visibility: World


I think it could be technically possible, before deleting a duplicate group, to move the posts, members and administrators from one group to the other. I dont think it's fair to completely delete a group just because "it's small".

posted 2013/02/04 17:03    Visibility: World


It's part of moderator super power to be able to move a thread from one group to an other. But it's done manually, so it can take quite a while if there's lot of post. But I guess it could be done if there's not to much thing to move :) 

posted 2013/02/04 19:05    Visibility: World


Shevek: "how do we decide the groups should be joined and who is allowed to do it"

I believe the main focus should be on location groups (I don't mind if there are two or more cat-lover groups, but a certain discipline and clarity is needed for the location groups). Here, ideally the administrators of duplicate groups should agree which groups should be merged into which, and all prior administrators can be administrators of the resulting merged group if they want.

If they cannot agree between them, perhaps there can be a team that helps make these decisions, and which decides if no agreement can be reached even with their help. The main criteria should be which group is the most active (number of posts and of members who have posted). On a case-by-case base the team could decide including other considerations as needed. I'll be happy to help.

 

posted 2013/02/04 19:17    Visibility: World


As far as I can see you can delete groups. I just wonder what happens with the threads?

I would check the threads first before moving. Some might be outdated. An option could be to switch the whole group to private and forums to group only. Admins could inform members via group thread to move to the other group.

To sum up there are several options ;-) It's up to the group members/admins.

posted 2013/02/05 11:53    Visibility: World


@polyglot, "the administrators of duplicate groups should agree which groups should be merged into which" It would be easier if the forum administrator does it, and puts the administrator of the old (deleted group) as co-administrator of the new one.

@Crumbking, i was thinking if we have a solution that does not require members or admins to take some action. Checking all threads one by one to see which ones are outdated will consume too much time.

@shevek, "We can just move all posts of one group to another with a single DB update." how do we do that?

posted 2013/02/05 12:09    Visibility: World


@beatnickgr: Well you are right with the time consuming actions if we do it. But this is not the idea as we are not the "watchdogs of the group structure". I doubt DB actions is not the solution here, either. We could merge all Paris group in one by admin actions but will this prevent us from future new Paris groups? And then we have to do DB actions again? Can't be the solution. Let group admins and group members explore the new features. They will find out what is the best soulutions for there groups.

posted 2013/02/05 13:18    Visibility: World


Of course we cannot prevent creation of new "paris" groups, but i think if the main "paris" group is easy to find with the link in "France" group, it's gonna be quite un-probable that somebody wants to create his own.

Maybe we should ask if admins of both groups are ok for having their groups merged, the only reason for NOT doing so is to create a separate spam group, like for example Merzouga has 4 groups of which 2 are from the same spammer...

posted 2013/02/05 22:36    Visibility: World


I've added to the wikipage the proposal of a consolidated view of groups, allowing to display -or not- the threads of its subgroups. This proposal makes this thread close to consensual I think, since it allows to:

  • possibly choose to listen to everything posted in all sub-sub-sub-sub groups of this continent/country or general topic (be it a village or a political-societal-whatever groupuscule)
  • but, without being submitted to a global background noise if you don't wish to; you would not need to join 52 groups to know what hapening next summer in region/cities/towns of this or that country, but in the meanwhile you don't need to be overflown with informations about what's happening on the 6 continents. Ain't that great?

I think this proposal (among a few other ones) makes this thread very inovating -even if, according to Polyglot, virualtourist would allready use this bright system of overview -dammit, it's getting hard to invent anything nowadays.

By the way:

I see that Beatnickgr is working hard on geographic groups. Architecture of those is pretty much consensual (continents / countries / regions / cities-towns-villages even maybe...).

What would be the architecture or thematic groups?

personnally, I'm interested in all subgroups of a general Politic group. Without thinking much, I had proposed to divide thematic groups into: politics / sports / religions / arts / manual activities. Someone had suggested to rather use CS categories. But very possibly at this point such an effort is not needed yet: possibly splitting on one side geographical groups / BW related threads / and everything else is enough. Then, just a big pot-group would be created, gathering all thematic subgroups not dedicated to BW.

posted 2013/02/05 23:37    Visibility: World


"possibly choose to listen to everything posted in all sub-sub-sub-sub groups of this continent/country or general topic (be it a village or a political-societal-whatever groupuscule)"

The result of this would be, that if you join Athens group, you automatically get messages of related group Greece, and also the messages of related group Europe, so you get also the messages of Russia, and of Asia, and of Kaliningrad. I dont see why I should be updated about Kaliningrad if i'm interested only in Athens.

"I see that Beatnickgr" WAS "working hard on geographic groups" I was using a bug, allowing me to make subgroups without having to join the groups, just by typing the url http://alpha.bewelcome.org/groups/xxx/addsubgroup/xxx This bug has been fixed, so i can't work anymore.

 

"I had proposed to divide thematic groups into: politics / sports / religions / arts / manual activities" I have some of this ready (on my computer), that's why i was asking for access to the database. Else if we can re-activate the bug, i can keep on working (asking for access to the database is to bureaucratic) :)

posted 2013/02/06 00:21    Visibility: World


@"The result of this would be, that if you join Athens group, you automatically get messages of related group Greece, and also the messages of related group Europe, so you get also the messages of Russia, and of Asia, and of Kaliningrad. I dont see why I should be updated about Kaliningrad if i'm interested only in Athens" -Beatnickgr

Thank you for rewording, because this is not what I meant, and I'm sure that many have missunderstood my last post. This proposal is very clear when it exists (or when you got the idea), but it is very difficult to explain without taking one or several example(s).

No: when you join the Athens groups, you're not overflown with whatever's happening in Kaliningrad.

Imagine that you're planning a trip to Paris. Of course you join/display the group Paris. Yes, but. In/next to the BW Group Paris, there are also (from memory, and I'm not going to check) 3 or 4 subgroups, related to this and that special districts of Paris. Some information you would be interested to read are not posted in the group Paris, and if you neglect to check each and all Paris' subgroups, you might miss them. So if you plan to visit Paris you'd benefit to use the "Display subgroups' threads" botton, which will allow you to see AND the group Paris, AND its subgroup (but not Paris' suburbs, and even less Kaliningrad, just Paris' subgroups).

Now, imagine that I want to travel to Greece for Easter (I've heard that it's an uncomparable time to visit Greece). But I don't know especially where to go. I'm interested into visiting Athens of course (especially when there's not the summer-heat), but also some over big cities (Thessaloniki for example -sorry for the potential typo(s)), but also an island and some rural villages within the earth, I don't know where, because i'm sure some places must be very beautifull and inspiring back there. In the case of this imagined travel, I wanna join the group Greece, Athens, Thessaloniki, and... Basically EACH AND ALL groups of Greece, since I don't have an agenda yet of where i wanna go. In this case, I could join the group Greece, and click the botton: display all subgroups (not getting spammed with informations from other countries).

This explanation is close to impossible to summ up in one or two sentences I'm afraid, but this is something I allready missed on CS where local groups (Paris to quote one I knew) were crowded with numerous, close to empty, geographical subgroups, splitting information into as many little pieces of not much. With its usual tact, C$ has finally solved this issue by erasing subgroups as far as I have understood, which is definitely a rude thing to do (since groups are also a way to display a part of member's "identity" -being a member of the group dedicated to the last popular district of Paris does not say the same thing than being a member of the group Paris, for example). But such an unpoliteness is not needed, thanks to this inovating idea :-)

-sorry to learn about the bug-stuff. 'hope it'll be solved (rebugged  :-DD) soon!

posted 2013/02/06 10:08    Visibility: World


to clear: there is a typo in my post so it was easy to misunderstand my statement:

"I this this one has been a bad move." had to be read as:

"I THINK this one ...." , that nis that i expressed my opinion.

compliment to meinhard that has worked overnight to make the function again available.

posted 2013/02/16 20:09    Visibility: World


It seems i joined BW pretty late and fall far behind what's going on already. It's touched to see so many people are working together to make BW a better community (I really like the word "Community", it's above "forums" or "goups").

I need to read through this long long thread before i know if i got something to add... At the end of discussion, will we have a poll for the finalized options?

posted 2013/02/17 00:32    Visibility: World


At the risk of raining on the parade I am getting VERY frustrated with BW.

Issues for me at the moment

1) I only get notifications on thid thread (amongst other via email, not apparentlyu via my account on here. As a result I get effectively spammed which is a big issue when you rely on a smart phone, and I have missed important work emails as a reult.

This could be solved is this forum was constituted a group

2) There is no capability to form a sun-group within a groupfor particular events etc.  This is a pain since I am involved in planning a hospex thing coming up soon at as it stands it is going to be via CS since they have the capability to do it! This is a massive own goal, as it would have got quite a few signed up on here if it had been otherwise.

3) This discussion has been rambling on for ages, which no hint of a reolution. a tree structure is simple and intuitive. I live in manchester and a beer drinking circle would be more of interest to me in manchester than elsewhere. Other interests may be world wide but could be searched for. However they search is not all it could be.

4) The search function is somewaht restricted. I just tried searching photgraphy and found a thread, but not a group although there was a reference in that thread to another group which did not show on photography. Searching groups for photography did show a (moribound inactive) one. Thread at

http://www.bewelcome.org/forums/s98-Photographers_of_the_world__UNITE

It seems the search funtion is not as good as it could be.

5) I just found the Manchester Wiki entry had been erased and a generic hospitality request put in its place. It seems to me a posting to a wiki needs to be via some form of moderator.

 

The sad part about all this is CS is still functioning, albeit not as well as it did but as a system seesm to be ahead in the game.

 

posted 2013/02/17 00:46    Visibility: World


@christopherneill: I will probably not be able to answer your 4 first issues, but I would like to comment on number 5: You say the Manchester Wiki has been erased, but I just looked into it and found it quite thorough and full of interesting info. Could it be you looked into the wrong wiki?

I am talking about this one here in the Manchester Group: http://www.bewelcome.org/groups/603/wiki  

By the way, moderating a wiki is against the idea behind a wiki. Luckily there is on every wiki a "revert" option to put back any info that was 'erased'.

 

 

 

 

posted 2013/02/17 01:46    Visibility: World


Christopher,

on 1) There is an "unscubsribe" button on the top of the thread which you can click on if you no longer wish to receive notifications of replies

on 2) my understanding is that an event creation tool is coming

on 3) prior discussion has shown that both tree hierarchies and non-hierarchical links have their advantages. It would be nice to have the advantages of both approaches. Ideally an efficient search tool would find groups independently from the group structure. If you search groups for "photo" instead of "photography", you find this one with 200 members: http://www.bewelcome.org/groups/6. The search tool may be better than the content. The content is for us to create.

 

 

 

 

posted 2013/02/17 09:11    Visibility: World


is someone set a wikipage for the purpose i can write the istructions on how to use the current group features to set an event, with almost all CS features..

then who has the power to change could just create a n 'event' section just using the forum code.

posted 2013/02/17 10:16    Visibility: World


"The search tool should have tags or key words, which will make that the "photo" group will appear even if we type photography."

It may not be a problem at the moment with the current number of groups, but I am not sure that is such a good idea. Even Google doesn't return "photo" when you search for photography. I prefer to get photography when I search for photo or photograph, as it is at the moment and standard search engine behaviour. The keyword "photography" could be set and picked up in the "photo" group, though.

 

posted 2013/03/05 12:52    Visibility: World


About the naming of "agora" we already have a name for that, is "BW citizen" a current category, see: http://www.bewelcome.org/forums/t299-BW%20Citizen

 

posted 2013/03/06 00:23    Visibility: World


Wow, this sure is a looooong thread; interesting but I'm tired and can't real through every single post. It's not the first time I read up on these issues, though maybe the first time I post on this particular topic.

Anyway, regarding the Agora-Forum-Discussion-Community thing, I would suggest PLATFORM - ACTIVITIES. 

I think Platform is universally understood as a "vertebrating" or fundamental element, even politically, as the base for offshoots, options and strategies, the "Sausage-making" aspects. So that would be the place to discuss or find platform or structural issues.

Activities on the other hand would be where the actual manifestation or realization of those policies take place, where the events are announced, discussed, scheduled, etc. Where the "sausage" is cut up, consumed, flung about.

Does that make sense?

My opinion on "Democracy"...  as with our current societies, it's not possible unless you have a well informed population, right? So we need the technocrats (pretty much you all) to decide, and then implement whatever is decided amongst you, and then you should elicit feedback from the end-users (through "like" "dislike" buttons) for those new functions, so they steer in some measure the next decisions or adjustments.

posted 2013/03/06 01:39    Visibility: World


By the way, regarding sub-groups, I've always found it so inconvenient to have to scroll to the bottom of the page to see or access them.

Likewise with the Reply button on the messages we get. Once I finish reading the message, I have to scroll down past the quoted text or other messages in order to get to the Reply button. Crazy. Why isn't there a reply button both on the bottom and on the top of the page?

Anyway, subgroups, please on top of the page, or on the left or right margins but toward the top, to avoid scrolling.

Here, too, after finishing the above text, I wanted to click on "send" or "submit answer" but the button is way down there. Maybe it has to do with my having a netbook whereas the designers are working with huge screens?

posted 2013/03/06 02:01    Visibility: World


OK. First off, as with half the discussions on this site, this one is no longer of manageable size: groups & forums are a very fundamental feature of the site, and most users should be able to contribute their ideas and opinions, but having to read and digest 60 posts to do so is not reasonable.

Second: I don't really understand the statement that the Unconference participants 'agreed with the wiki'... At the moment, the wiki page for that discussion is a mess of contradictory propositions and unresolved questions.

Finally, I strongly feel that the current forums/groups mess is one of the worst aspect of the current platform and needs deep redesigning (judging by most of my conversations with regular members, I'm not the only one thinking that). To do that, however, we need a much better decision platform, where each proposal can be clearly outlined, *drive-tested* and possibly voted on. Right now, I see absolutely no clear consensus anywhere (and I don't think the Unconference membership is representative enough of the community to be allowed more than a consultative role on the matter).

Can we simply agree to hold off on a decision and focus instead on articulating the different proposals on the Wiki page? e.g. "Proposal 1: groups and forums separate, things work like that", "Proposal 2: this and that"...

posted 2013/03/06 08:11    Visibility: World


This is still a major own goal.

 

Yhere was a major revolt against CS and it lead nowhere becauseBW is not up to numbers. The problem is that it is not that welcoming. The structre suits a few cranky people on the basis of an odd visit. It simply cannot cope with a large vibrant community. 

As it is the large group has two things going for it, one is numbers and the other is a site that allows things to happen. There could have been an influx this spring  bit guess what?

The inability to set up an event page stopped the Manchester Invasion being on here. A major Hosptality Exchange event remains on CS because the architecture of the site here does not exist in any meaningful way.

 

Now the question is do you all want to sit around and have nice debates about

agora/fora/platform?In which case it gets nowhere I fear.

Do you want to make a site that works for moree than a techy few? 

I am generally very hospitable and generally very dynamic but the inability to do much meanigful social stuff on here is frustrating to the point I am very demotivated and thinking of giving up.

 

posted 2013/03/06 14:23    Visibility: World


+1 "or on the left or right margins but toward the top, to avoid scrolling."

 

and when replying, "Below are the last few messages in this topic in reverse order." why is it in reverse order? that's still confusing for me, even after 100+ forum posts... imagine for new members...

The button "Reply" should just keep the current page as it is and add the reply form at the bottom (not on top).

We should also have a setting in "my preferences" for default visibility, i'm tired of switching from "world" to "members only" at every post.

posted 2013/03/06 14:54    Visibility: World


I agree with ignacio (even if he never returned my comment) . it is really annoying having to scroll down all the way to be able to reply to something that you have already read on e-mail, and even worste, not only on a smartphone or a netbook, but on anything less than a 19" scree, to have to yscroll just to hit reply after editing.  why visibility and language are not on the same line ? (at least in my scrren would solve the problem).

You are wasting a lot os screen spage with grey areas.

posted 2013/03/06 15:02    Visibility: World


I agree with Ignacio, even if he never returned my comment, even with a standar screen, not so big, it is annoying to scroll to find the reply button, for a message that you have already read on e-mail, and again to hit the submit one that is again off screen.

puttin visibility and language on nteh same line would fixsx the problem, wasting less screen space.

posted 2013/03/06 15:05    Visibility: World


still present another bug: if you reply you are not taken back to the l;ast page, but to the first, so it looks that your post have not accepted.

posted 2013/03/06 15:07    Visibility: World


About using groups for setting events: can you read and comment this page ?

http://alpha.bewelcome.org/groups/1313/wiki

posted 2013/03/06 15:46    Visibility: World


By 'contradictory' about the wiki page, I meant that the two main proposed solutions are entirely different things: keeping a clear distinction between groups and forums, or not.

Reading the different opinions and propositions, I think there's an incredible amount of confusion about the topic (not surprising given the scattered nature of the discussion): for example, I don't think anybody has ever been suggesting mixing completely what is currently group and forum contents: they could still occupy completely different sections and be accessed from different pages. Any talk of "merging" them, is merely ackowledging the obvious: there are barely any fundamental differences between groups and forums at the structural level. Their differences are only in very superficial details (that can be discussed and fine-tuned further down the line). From a development perspective, this means something along these lines: http://unknowngenius.com/temp/BW-groups.pdf (note: this is a purely speculative diagram for Welen, not any actual established plan). As you can see, the resulting structure is blindingly straightforward (and therefore understandable by any users without a Degree in Forum Browsing), yet allow for practically any configuration (such as different behaviour for different types of groups).

As for consensus: I am not sure I understand what it is supposed to be according to this thread or the wiki page, but my perception is that regular members are overwhelmingly in favour of any solution that streamlines the current design. I have yet to meet a single new user who isn't majorly put off by the redundant and scattered nature of the current architecture. But this perception is mine and might be just as biased as yours... Which is why my original point was that this discussion needs to be moved to a proper decision system, where both/all options are clearly and concisely presented and all concerned users can cast a ballot. If anything, such a decision-making component is the true priority imho.

Finally, can we try to keep all talk of superficial UI-level issues for a separate thread (possibly as trac ticket on Rox)? I fully agree that the current UI is a mess, but it is secondary to deeper structure decisions. Once the new system is rolled out (and based on a more sturdy MVC model than the current one), tweaking templates should be considerably easier.

posted 2013/03/06 16:09    Visibility: World


@DrDave:"I don't think anybodyhas ever been suggesting mixing completely what is currently group and forum contents "

Understandable that you miss this part, as there's so many post... but what you propose in your diagram is what have been suggesting for... quite a long time now. The idea is not to have two different structure/object/programming stuff. The idea is to have one global thing, divised in two easy to understand separate identity. Exactly what CS has just end up doing, very badly, by adding zendesk for all the support/feedback thing. That's really bad, for a lot of reason, one of it being that it's two differents forum, two different organization. 

Please refere back to some of the diagram I've been posting suggesting that. 

 

Still wondering how long this debate will go on... 

posted 2013/03/09 13:46    Visibility: World


How can I open a subgroup to a group? I cannot find a function for this and I think there should be one - to a certain extent. Or shall we contact a moderator to make him set up a subgroup? I think the site would be more frequented if there were more of such daily need subgroups where people can exchange thoughts, offers, requests. What I want to say is that they should be depending of the town groups, being in the "level" below.

 

posted 2013/03/11 14:41    Visibility: World


Although I started this topic, I have not commented for a while. I read most of the posts though, and I read the Unconference minutes. They say the following:

UNCONFERENCE MINUTES 5. On Groups and Forums

Participants: sitatara, tuscanhobbit, fhina, shevek, giabag, ALEXJANDRO

  • We reviewed the wiki page On Groups and Forum and agree with all suggestions.
  • As to the group/forum distinction: We would like to see this distinction implemented soon and don't have a preference as to how it is implemented. It should just be a very clear distinctions and the respective mock-ups look great. The only point which needs some more thought is the wording - "Agora" is not generally understood.
  • As to the group structure: We think that a hierarchical structure for location groups is necessary but no hierarchy for interest groups. Additionally, a much improved groups search is needed.
  • We would like to suggest to give this to the design team and devs for implementation.

 

Basically, I read this: "we think anything is fine as long as some devs ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT SOMETHING". I agree with that, I think enough discussion has taken place and something should be done now. There is not really consensus but there will never be 100% consensus anyway and I think we all agree that almost every option is better than the status quo.

However it is not clear to me who is in charge of development. So I think the really important questions are:

  • Who are the current developers?
  • Are they working on this?
  • If so: could they PLEASE give some kind of status update?
  • If not: are there others who are willing and able to take responsability?

Of course it is volunteer work, but I think it is also really important that something is done in the end. I personally do not have the time for that any more, unfortunately. Can anybody answer these questions?

posted 2013/03/11 15:28    Visibility: World


Beside the group&forums 'requirements' (frankly, I think it would still need a lot of refining, both for technical and UX purposes)... I can try to answer some of the dev-related questions (I understand the frustration: it's been a while since the rewrite has been decided and not much has happened yet).

Things are very much under way (not just groups and forums, but the whole site, although it will probably be rolled out by pieces). You can check the status and many other things on Welen's wiki at: 

http://redmine.bewelcome.org/projects/welen/wiki/index

A (very outdated, but soon to be updated) list of developers planning to help with Welen can be found here:

http://redmine.bewelcome.org/projects/welen/wiki/Team

Christian (jsfan on IRC) is now official coordinator for the project. I have volunteered to draft and maintain the architecture. We are currently hammering out the entire platform blueprint and should be done in a couple days. For the software-dev-inclined people, you can follow the detail progress of that blueprint here:

http://redmine.bewelcome.org/projects/welen/wiki/Wireframe

(we update each bundle with detailed models and interactions as we go)

As soon as this step is done (hopefully no later than the end of this week), actual coding can start.

If anyone feels like joining on any aspect of dev, they should definitely add their name, sign-up on the dev mailing list and contact us: we do not only need backend (PHP) coders, front-end coders (html/twig, JS) and designers (CSS) are also more than welcome!

Hope this answers your questions.

posted 2013/03/11 16:02    Visibility: World


"My planning would be to have that in the overnext release (1.7) latest in 1.8. (Given that we try to release every three weeks, that means either in around 4 or 7 weeks."

What happened to April, May and June?

PS: love the word "overnext"!

posted 2013/03/11 17:28    Visibility: World


"..., and still I am not really sure about groups and forum(s)!"   Neither am I. I mean I don't see the current distinction.

Now, I'm not sure if I mentioned it in this thread or another (regarding what I proposed as the PLATFORM - ACTIVITIES distinction), but I'll say it again briefly.

It seems to me there should be one section for Platform topic, this would be a discussion forum for stuff related to the site itself, and it would also encompass general discussion groups or forums. Or let's say the website matters would be a sub-group (and then within that sub-group you could have all sorts of sub-sub-groups. And then in a different section there would be the Activities where more "ephemeral" stuff would be posted, concrete activities, events, etc.

For example, if you like Alternative Economy or Non-Monetary Economy, you might have group discussing general aspects in the Platform section, but then if people in a particular city want to go to a film or organize an event, they would post and organize it in the Activities section.

So John Doe from New York, who is into the Alternative Economy thing might be an active participant in both groups in the Platform one, together with people from all over the world, and in the Activities one specifically for New York.  Marie Dupont from Paris, on the other hand, also interested in Alternative Economy stuff might not have the time, inclination, or language skills to participate in the Platform group, but could be in the Activities group of that topic for events, activities or more French-language based discussion on that topic.

posted 2013/03/12 00:05    Visibility: World


I want to say that at first i thought that having fora and groups ixed were a mess, but now, getting accustomed, i see a nice idea, since you can see at a first look all the activities.

maybe with more people the number of post could exceed, but i would like to have an oprion to select bioth groups and fora (one by one_) to be displayed, and also an option of autosubscribe to new groups as soon they are created (i say subscribe in the sense to see in the new posts, not in the e-mail)

 

posted 2013/03/12 00:49    Visibility: World


Why do I have the feeling that we're just turning around, saying all the same thing, or almost, just with slight differences... wondering if keeping talking about all that still make sense, as it seems that we're already going somewhere... 

posted 2013/03/12 12:51    Visibility: World


Thanks a lot, and good luck. Some may disagree, but in my view just not displaying group posts where they dont belong would already go a long way to reduce confusion. The wording "Recent Forum posts" on http://www.bewelcome.org/main would then also be correct.

But of course members should easily understand that beyond the forum, there is also much activity in all kinds of groups, and where these can be found (at http://www.bewelcome.org/groups). And an invitation to join at least the local group, if it exists. One or two simple lines of text at the top of http://www.bewelcome.org/forums would do the trick, I believe. With that, I think the time till the redesign on the new platform can be bridged well.

posted 2013/04/14 22:56    Visibility: World


One more reason to look forward tomorrow (the other one being Game of Trone episode 3 season 3 availability in streaming ;) ) . 

posted 2013/04/15 11:42    Visibility: World


Ok, it seems to be up, so I could point out the first problems to get this bashing started.

- It implements only the trivial fraction of the whole plan that was discussed above, practically only the splitting the first page to two parts. All the ideas for structuring the agora/forum/whatever are ignored.

- The My Groups page is still left under the My Account menu, in fact even more groups related pages are stuffed under it now.

- There are no direct links to neither forum posts or groups posts from the front page so everybody is forced to navigate through yet another page to reach the posts that they want to read.

- While the landing page has links to the forums and group forums overview pages those links are not clearly visible and it takes time to figure them out.

- The link on the headline of the front page recent forum posts widget points to the community landing page and not to the agora/forum/whatever overview as one would expect.

posted 2013/04/15 13:49    Visibility: World


I DISAGREE with the new way to display forumn and group: limiting to 5 itemps sticky ones get too much space. In the reduced display, where only the last 5 items of forum are displayed, sticky thread should not be sticky, that is appear only if they are really the last ones to be updated.

posted 2013/04/15 14:25    Visibility: World


Sounds like a good idea to me. If nobody disagrees I'll treat sticky threads as normal threads on the community landing page for the next version.

posted 2013/04/16 13:26    Visibility: World


That's definitely a good way to start, but there's more job to be done, I think, to make this a very useful and efficient page :) 

Just to remember, my suggestion is there : http://pourquoi-pas.info/bw/bw_5_1_comm_landing.jpg

 

Here is what I'm really missing in the actual landing page: 

- possibility to navigate through the post without needing to go to the Agora or Groups page. Right now, it's just showing the 5 first post in each, so just adding an extra click. Having a navigation will allow people to use only this page to browse groups/forum. 

- possibility to customize the number of item showed in the page. 5 is a bit small, I think.

- we'll have to build the Agora structure. At the moment, things posted in Brainstorm Group (or any other groups) are shown in the Groups. There will be a big cleaning job here! 

 

What I really like: 

- in the Agora, almost all the topics are linked to BeWelcome, and that's just great :D

 

Suggestion: 

- Maybe we can add a third part, just for sticky post. Before Agora, something like "Important thread" or something like that. This will make sticky post even more visible. 

 

Thanks :) 

posted 2013/04/16 14:36    Visibility: World


Just a quick thought - Does any one else agree that thread posts should be displayed latest first, as they are by 'reply'? It would avoid scrolling through pages of posts each time to get to the most recent post - this thread being a case in point.

David

posted 2013/04/16 15:28    Visibility: World
last edited on 2013/04/16 15:30 by lantti


@mountx: Theoretically you can click the arrows icon next to the thread name to reverse the order. It just doesn't exactly work as you expect and surprises you from time to time. But then you just keep clicking it again and again :)

@amnesiac84:
The design was discussed quite long there above and I want to follow the proposed design as much as my programming skills allow me, but here just my thoughts about it...

- Agora vs. Groups placement: If I understood the discussion on this thread correctly the Agora was intended to be the substitute for everybodys mother-in-law that shows up all the time and that you cannot escape. It is there every time you use the site to remind you that beWelcome is not supposed to be just fun and that there are the serious issues to discuss. If we didn't want to spam the members with it all the time it could just be a normal group... (Sorry couldn't help myself, the troll in me escaped :))

- Community news: It definitely sounds logical to have them on the Community page as well as on the front page if we still find some space where to fit them in.

-My own activity part: I also felt it as a fairly low priority thing. I didn't leave it out for that though. I just left it out for now because I couldn't find a way to implement it. In a perfect world I'd get back to implementing that too.

@Octobertales: At the moment I'm assuming your design represents the general agreement on this thread as the thread itself is too long to get a hold of othervise. I'm using your design in the way that I just pick up items from it that feel I'm able to implement. At the moment I'm just working with items that I can find from the existing implementation already and just customize them lightly to look a bit like the idea on the design.

I'll definitely look into somehow providing the user some control how many threads are shown in each list. Maybe even the pagination buttons (but don't they add an extra click too?). If this page would be used as the main way to look for forums posts then we would need to put the sticky posts back somehow, but I guess they could go back to their natural place at the top of the agora thread list and just increase the number of other posts respectively. The Agora structure I'm not even starting to think about. But having something like that would make me happy because I could get rid of the things in the sidebar...

All in all I never looked at this page as the main way to find posts. I was just told to clearly separate groups and forums...

posted 2013/04/16 15:36    Visibility: World


the best way for me is allow to have an individual setting for last-to-first or first-to-last .

posted 2013/04/16 16:00    Visibility: World


Actually there are two kinds of feedback I'd like to have from you right now. The first kind is the kind that I'm getting already. I mean the help for making this page eventually work. But there is the second kind of feedback that I'd like. That is do you think this page is better or worse alternative to the current latestposts view or the categories view? Should we offer this page to use at some point or is it still better to stick to the old ones until this one develops more?

posted 2013/04/16 16:14    Visibility: World


@shevek: at present last to first does not works if there is more than one page, since show the last of the first page. If you select last to first should begin with the last of the last page
so the option is not usable .

posted 2013/04/16 18:22    Visibility: World


@Shevek: «  The my last activity in the design proposal was actually a misunderstanding (I pointed that out a while ago :-)). It wasn't meant to show your last posts (we have the forum posts list on your profile for that) but to show activity in threads you posted to. So that you know about this without the need to subscribe to the threads. »

Thanks for remind me that. Looking to the design proposal, I was trying to remember why I put that here, thinking it was quite useless ^^ Now, I remember that it was quite useful. Great :D 

@lantti: « That is do you think this page is better or worse alternative to the current latestposts view or the categories view? Should we offer this page to use at some point or is it still better to stick to the old ones until this one develops more?» 

Right now, it's worst, because it's just the beginning and because there's not that much option. But with a clean Agora, and post in the right place, then it's going to be much better. So please, keep on your great work :) 

posted 2013/04/17 12:37    Visibility: World


I think this is really excellent work, thanks a lot for the effort! When people give feedback the imperfections usually get much more attention than the things that are good, but I think it's important to say that this is really good and important work. In particular, I noticed that some regional groups, i.e. Dresden, are now linked geographically to the forums, i.e. Europe->Germany->Sachsen->Dresden. This is a MAJOR improvement because searchability becomes vastly better.

I didn't yet have time to look into how this is done, and it isn't done for all the groups yet, even Berlin for example seems to be not yet linked. Personally I'm from Utrecht (http://alpha.bewelcome.org/groups/290), can this also be coupled to the geographical forum (http://alpha.bewelcome.org/forums/kEU-Europe/cNL-Netherlands/a09-Utrecht/g2745912-Utrecht/)?

posted 2013/04/18 11:44    Visibility: World


it would be really nice to have the option to select how many rows of forum and how many rows of groups are diplayed, or even better, to display n rows, the ones that have been updated since last login, with the costraint that 5