Who likes to the way the feed works and looks?

by daniel27lt 20 replies
When I get notifications via my email, I get redirected to the feed page. I have to say, I don't like it one bit. I prefer how it used to show the regular forum, not the feed. Is this just me or anyone else feels the same?
#suggestion forum #feed #likes #works
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  • Profile picture of the author timokeefe
    Originally Posted by daniel27lt View Post

    When I get notifications via my email, a get redirected to the feed page. I have to say, I don't like it one bit. I prefer how it used to show the regular forum, not the feed. Is this just me or anyone else feels the same?
    We have a fix for this planned - I'm hoping it can come next week, if not it'll be the week after.
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    • Profile picture of the author daniel27lt
      Originally Posted by timokeefe View Post

      We have a fix for this planned - I'm hoping it can come next week, if not it'll be the week after.
      Hi timokeefe, this would be great when this happens. Looking forward to it and also, thanks for the update.
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    • Profile picture of the author daniel27lt
      Originally Posted by timokeefe View Post

      We have a fix for this planned - I'm hoping it can come next week, if not it'll be the week after.
      I noticed today when I clicked on a link within an email from a thread I'm subscribed to, I was redirected to the original forum. It seems the plan has been rolled out, which is awesome now. Kudo's to you guys
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      • Profile picture of the author daniel27lt
        Originally Posted by daniel27lt View Post

        I noticed today when I clicked on a link within an email from a thread I'm subscribed to, I was redirected to the original forum. It seems the plan has been rolled out, which is awesome now. Kudo's to you guys
        I'm not too sure what's happening, but it seems I was mistaken. Today I clicked a link I was subscribed to from my email, but I was then redirected to the feed, which made not sense. Half the posts were missing and seemed confusing. So I had to go to my account to find the threads and read from within the original forum.

        So... I'm just wondering is this going to be a future plan to stop all redirects from subscribed threads from emails to be redirected to the original forum as it was in the past?
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        • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
          Originally Posted by daniel27lt View Post

          ...I had to go to my account....
          Interesting. This brings up yet another issue: When one is not logged in, it seems that one can't get to the normal view, even after manually appending "?view=classic" to the URL. (I found this out when I tried to send a thread to a friend who doesn't have an account here.) This seems a tad foolish, given that 23% of the traffic comes from search engines. (Source)

          In fact, I recall that I personally lurked here for several years before I bothered to get an account myself, (and had to pay for doing so at the time). I somewhat doubt that I would have been motivated to sign up had I not been able to actually read the full discussions.

          And yes, that does include my ability to see signatures, to a minor degree; some of them actually have value to the reader, even those who don't have accounts. Which brings up yet another point: I'm putting together a paid ad campaign, and am considering plunking down $60 (or whatever it is these days) for a signature graphic, but I'm not nearly as likely to do that if only 3% of this site's visitors can actually see signatures.
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        • Profile picture of the author timokeefe
          Originally Posted by daniel27lt View Post

          I'm not too sure what's happening, but it seems I was mistaken. Today I clicked a link I was subscribed to from my email, but I was then redirected to the feed, which made not sense. Half the posts were missing and seemed confusing. So I had to go to my account to find the threads and read from within the original forum.

          So... I'm just wondering is this going to be a future plan to stop all redirects from subscribed threads from emails to be redirected to the original forum as it was in the past?
          That was a bug which should be fixed now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    It would be interesting to see a poll on the subject. I'm pretty sure we won't, but it'd be interesting.

    If I had my druthers, I'd take the feed view behind the shed and put two bullets in its head.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Today I can't get out of the feed - cannot find a link to the "regular style" forum - can't find the search or other navigation I'm used to.

    Did someone decide "feed" is the only way to go? If so, I'm gone. I don't like it - it's hypy and not useful to me at all.

    Previously, when I was redirected to feed there was a link allowing me to access my way OUT of it....now that link can't be found.

    kay
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    • Profile picture of the author Isabella Afable
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      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Today I can't get out of the feed - cannot find a link to the "regular style" forum - can't find the search or other navigation I'm used to.

      Did someone decide "feed" is the only way to go? If so, I'm gone. I don't like it - it's hypy and not useful to me at all.

      Previously, when I was redirected to feed there was a link allowing me to access my way OUT of it....now that link can't be found.

      kay
      Check Creiben's guide on how to switch back to classic in this post: http://www.warriorforum.com/off-topi...ssic-look.html
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I found it but doesn't explain why navigation tools aren't visible on the feed - or why when I have deliberately switched to "classic" it shunts me back to feed every so often.

    Really no point in advising someone to use the "search" if they are on "feed" - is there?
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    • Profile picture of the author timokeefe
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I found it but doesn't explain why navigation tools aren't visible on the feed - or why when I have deliberately switched to "classic" it shunts me back to feed every so often.
      Would you be able to record the URLs when you're shunted back to feed? It should no longer do that unless the page you're on doesn't have a classic version, and there's only a handful of those.

      Really no point in advising someone to use the "search" if they are on "feed" - is there?
      I'm a little confused on this point. The main nav is the same across both versions and both of them have the search icon (or on mobile the first entry in the hamburger menu). I think the only difference is that the classic version has a subnav with "Search" labelled explicitly, in addition to the main magnifying glass icon one.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
    What I find interesting is that this question has been up for three weeks now, and not one person has raised their hand to claim that they do in fact like the feed.

    It should be easy enough to run a test on the logs: Compare the number of people who click anything that brings them from one format to the other.
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    • Profile picture of the author daniel27lt
      Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

      What I find interesting is that this question has been up for three weeks now, and not one person has raised their hand to claim that they do in fact like the feed.
      Yes, that's true. I've been waiting for a least 1 positive reply.
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    • Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

      What I find interesting is that this question has been up for three weeks now, and not one person has raised their hand to claim that they do in fact like the feed.

      It should be easy enough to run a test on the logs: Compare the number of people who click anything that brings them from one format to the other.
      David

      There was one but he got banned

      Jason
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    • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
      Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

      What I find interesting is that this question has been up for three weeks now, and not one person has raised their hand to claim that they do in fact like the feed.
      It's now been five weeks, and still not one vote for the feed.

      Further, there are multiple threads along the lines of:
      http://www.warriorforum.com/suggesti...ic-option.html
      and, most telling, this one, which is posted as a sticky at the top of the Main forum:
      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ssic-view.html

      The fact that this had to be posted there somewhat implies that there have been many support requests on this point.

      Then there's the request from nmcalabroso here, asking:

      Now, I'm curious what's wrong with the modern thread view from your perspective. Can you lodge a thread in Suggestion Forum so we can discuss further? Any kind of feedback would really be useful for us to improve the forum.
      It's sad to see that Management puts so much effort into something that no one seems to have requested, and that everyone here effectively says with one voice, "Kill it with fire!" I have visions of Matt Barrie personally demanding this feed, pointing out other sites like Reddit, (which we are of course not).

      As I stated before, you can use hard, objective evidence to prove this point, and finally put this discussion to rest:

      Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

      It should be easy enough to run a test on the logs: Compare the number of people who click anything that brings them from one format to the other.
      I'm serious. You folks have the raw, full site logs. (Y'know, the same logs that answer the question of why visitors and engagement had fallen so sharply over recent years.) It should be a real simple matter to count the number of people who change their site view, and compare those numbers for clicks in each direction. I doubt you're willing to publish that information, but at least take a good, hard look at the numbers yourselves, internally, and ask if this whole pursuit really is worthwhile. You could even show them to Matt to get him to finally shut up.

      Now, in pre-timokeefe days, this whole post would have simply been deleted, and I would have earned a one week ban. (Once again, for anyone who doesn't believe that, check the logs.) I'm hopeful that things have changed enough so as to allow respectful and (even more importantly) fruitful discussion.
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      • Profile picture of the author timokeefe
        Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

        It's sad to see that Management puts so much effort into something that no one seems to have requested, and that everyone here effectively says with one voice, "Kill it with fire!"
        Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

        I'm serious. You folks have the raw, full site logs. (Y'know, the same logs that answer the question of why visitors and engagement had fallen so sharply over recent years.) It should be a real simple matter to count the number of people who change their site view, and compare those numbers for clicks in each direction. I doubt you're willing to publish that information, but at least take a good, hard look at the numbers yourselves, internally, and ask if this whole pursuit really is worthwhile. You could even show them to Matt to get him to finally shut up.
        We definitely do look at this data, and without revealing too much, it's a much more mixed bag than you might imagine. The biggest surprise is that not many people switched back to classic after the nav change, which was not what I'd expected at all. Given some of the posts at the time and the posts that the mods and I were making about how you could change back, I thought we'd see more people switching than we did. The result of this is that impressions are now overwhelmingly in the modern view.

        Digging a little deeper, in terms of people who are actually contributing posts to the site it's a bit more even, and that's driven by most of the older and more active users preferring classic view. I don't think this would be too surprising to anybody following these threads. New user behaviour on the other hand doesn't look that different between the two views, although there have been some anecdotal reports that I still need to look at a bit deeper.

        My personal take on this is that new users and the people who didn't switch probably don't care too much between the two views, while the people who switched back to classic care quite a lot. So given this, why wouldn't we just switch everything back to classic? On balance, we'd have more happy users, and in particular our high value users would be a lot happier.

        The reason we don't comes down to four main points.

        Ease of development

        Put simply, our modified version of vbulletin is very difficult to work with, and that makes it extremely slow to improve anything or even fix simple bugs on classic (for those that are less technically-inclined, vbulletin is the forum system that powers the forum). This really really limits our ability to experiment and work on increasing signups, engagement, and other site metrics that are important. Now absent any other problems, this still mightn't be enough to cause us to make the product decision to rebuild a totally new view, but with the other problems it kind of forces us to go down that route.

        SEO

        Google doesn't like the classic view very much, and from what I've seen it doesn't seem to like forums much in general. Part of this is from the technical factors that we get from vbulletin, such as speed issues, html structure issues, and so on. Fixing these issues with vbulletin would be slow and error-prone, but we could do it if we focused on it as a longer term goal.

        The thing is though, I think there's an even deeper content problem. The forum format and content are great for discussing, teaching, and learning once you're here, but it's not as good for answering specific queries, which at its core is what Google is built to do. On Warrior Forum (and forums more generally) when someone asks a specific question there will be a discussion that follows that may not reach consensus, and might even veer off topic completely as something new and interesting crops up. Compare this to Quora, StackOverflow, Reddit, and others, which are all built to directly answer Google's query by bubbling up the most popular answer/reply. If the same question were asked on Warrior Forum and on Quora, on WF we'd have a full discussion, whereas on Quora there'd be a direct answer (whether the answer is correct or not is another matter). A new user doesn't need to work as hard to get at what they asked on Quora, and so I think ultimately Google's algorithms will favour them over us. With the difficulty of development on classic view, there's not much we can do about this, but on the modern view we do have some options that we can experiment with.

        Additionally, for the high-volume generic queries like "internet marketing", we have an interesting challenge. The forum as a whole has a ton of great content, but right now if you google "internet marketing" you'll get high-level guides and local marketing agencies. Our competing page for this keyword would be our homepage or the MIMDF page, but again, we're not quite showing the right content for the new users coming from Google. The high-level guides to internet marketing, despite not presenting a diversity of viewpoints, do answer the implied question behind the generic search for "internet marketing", whereas we offer whatever is under discussion at the time. The user has to work harder to get what they want on our site, so Google will tend to favour the generic guides. We're working on addressing this issue by creating some hero content for various key search terms, by the way.

        Mobile

        This is part-SEO but also kind of its own issue. We all know that mobile's share of internet usage is ever increasing, and we need to be able to accommodate that. Unfortunately, the forum was never really designed with mobile in mind and shoehorning it in after the fact is pretty challenging. By contrast, we've been able to experiment with AMP on the modern view, and we have options for further work there.

        Dual Support

        If we had to choose just one view or the other we'd have a tricky problem, as we'd have to decide between pissing off all our high value active users versus being able to experiment and innovate to acquire new users. But the nice thing is we really don't have to choose. If we set the logged out view to always be modern, then we can develop and experiment rapidly to address our SEO and mobile issues, while giving you guys a switch between modern vs classic allows us to keep the view that you guys prefer. I don't think we've executed this perfectly, but I do think we're almost at a point where the modern vs classic debate won't be as important.

        I hope this helps to clear up why we've made the choices we've made. I'm interested to hear any criticisms or counterpoints to what I've said here as well
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        • Profile picture of the author vedremo
          Originally Posted by timokeefe View Post

          Additionally, for the high-volume generic queries like "internet marketing", we have an interesting challenge. The forum as a whole has a ton of great content, but right now if you google "internet marketing" you'll get high-level guides and local marketing agencies. Our competing page for this keyword would be our homepage or the MIMDF page, but again, we're not quite showing the right content for the new users coming from Google. The high-level guides to internet marketing, despite not presenting a diversity of viewpoints, do answer the implied question behind the generic search for "internet marketing", whereas we offer whatever is under discussion at the time. The user has to work harder to get what they want on our site, so Google will tend to favour the generic guides. We're working on addressing this issue by creating some hero content for various key search terms, by the way.
          I think this is very easy to fix.

          Landing page with guide/s, key discussions linked to above fold. Recent, noteworthy discussions, top voted comments, related war room products, link to start discussion etc.

          Url would be warriorforum.com/[insert keyword] e.g. make-money-online.

          Manual curation would be necessary for each keyword initially, but not complex at all.

          See how Shopify does it. e.g. /payments
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I didin't notice the magnifying glass on modern - and when I click to go BACK to 'modern' it keeps me in the classic version instead of switching.

    That's fine - I don't want feed anyway. Every change made seems to favor the "feed" version and revert back to that....but I also wonder how much testing was done.

    Can you view "all forums" in feed? The words are not linked and I couldn't figure out a way to get to that 'main' page.
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    • Profile picture of the author timokeefe
      We've changed the current setup so that once you've selected a preference, feed or classic, it'll try to show every page in that style. There are a few pages that can only work with one style, so those pages will obviously still show up in the style they work with, regardless of the preference you've set.

      If you're trying to switch between modern and classic now, the only way to do it is with the toggle in the menu. We did this under the assumption that most people would set their preference once and be done with it.

      The advantage of this approach is that you'll see your preferred view on almost every page. It also means that if someone sends you a link, you'll see it your way, not theirs. The intention behind this change is really to make it easier for you guys to stick to the classic view, rather than getting bumped back to feed all the time.

      Currently, there's no feed version of the "All forums" page, so it'll just show the classic version of that page. Once you click through to a forum it'll show that page in whatever version you've selected.

      Based on the feedback we've seen so far we'll probably make a few more changes to the nav. The team already updated the "all forums" text to link through to the all forums page, and we're looking at a few more changes to make it more usable.
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  • Profile picture of the author timokeefe
    That's pretty close to what the plan is.
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