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POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

Pull up a chair, have a biscuit - discuss the site and general questions about the LemonFool
Lotuseater
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255726

Postby Lotuseater » October 3rd, 2019, 9:33 pm

I read posts every day but am far too frightened to contribute! Now if I use my normal entry route it says that I am not authorised. :(

stooz
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255733

Postby stooz » October 3rd, 2019, 9:53 pm

Please follow the instructions to join the group

Gengulphus
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255744

Postby Gengulphus » October 3rd, 2019, 10:47 pm

I've just looked at what a new user is able to see relating to this change. Two things strike me as badly signposted, in that an existing user who already knows about the set-up with regard to Polite Discussions will know what is going on, but a new user won't get any clue from what they see:

Scenario 1: Someone posts a link to a Polite Discussions post in a post on another forum. New user reads what they've posted, sees the link and clicks on it. They're faced with:

"Information
You are not authorised to read this forum."

without any clue being given even about which forum "this forum" is referring to, let alone how they can become authorised to read it... Indeed, the 'obvious' referent for "this forum' is the forum the post containing the link is on, which would be distinctly confusing to the new user in view of the fact that they've just read a post on it - the obvious first thought is "What on earth did I just do wrong to have my authorisation removed???"...

Scenario 2: New user explores the User Control Panel. They get to the "Usergroups" tab and they see:

"Discussion Group
This is a freely open group, all new members are welcome."

and they will probably find that they can join it and resign from it at will. What they won't discover without some very dedicated exploration of the site or asking questions (which many new users will be reluctant to do) is what difference membership of "Discussion Group" does - spotting that one extra forum appears low in the list of forums on the home page requires a great deal of attention to detail, and guessing that an announcement called "POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!" has anything to do with a usergroup called "Discussion Group" a good deal of inspiration...

A bit of work on the wordings involved could make this situation quite a bit friendlier to new users, I reckon.

Gengulphus

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255753

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » October 3rd, 2019, 11:38 pm

Gengulphus wrote:I've just looked at what a new user is able to see relating to this change. Two things strike me as badly signposted, in that an existing user who already knows about the set-up with regard to Polite Discussions will know what is going on, but a new user won't get any clue from what they see:

Scenario 1: Someone posts a link to a Polite Discussions post in a post on another forum. New user reads what they've posted, sees the link and clicks on it. They're faced with:

"Information
You are not authorised to read this forum."

without any clue being given even about which forum "this forum" is referring to, let alone how they can become authorised to read it... Indeed, the 'obvious' referent for "this forum' is the forum the post containing the link is on, which would be distinctly confusing to the new user in view of the fact that they've just read a post on it - the obvious first thought is "What on earth did I just do wrong to have my authorisation removed???"...

Scenario 2: New user explores the User Control Panel. They get to the "Usergroups" tab and they see:

"Discussion Group
This is a freely open group, all new members are welcome."

and they will probably find that they can join it and resign from it at will. What they won't discover without some very dedicated exploration of the site or asking questions (which many new users will be reluctant to do) is what difference membership of "Discussion Group" does - spotting that one extra forum appears low in the list of forums on the home page requires a great deal of attention to detail, and guessing that an announcement called "POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!" has anything to do with a usergroup called "Discussion Group" a good deal of inspiration...

A bit of work on the wordings involved could make this situation quite a bit friendlier to new users, I reckon.

Gengulphus

Are you Jeremy Corbyn?

Sorry my bad - well thought through post

AiY

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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255770

Postby Howyoudoin » October 4th, 2019, 7:20 am

Gengulphus wrote:I've just looked at what a new user is able to see relating to this change. Two things strike me as badly signposted, in that an existing user who already knows about the set-up with regard to Polite Discussions will know what is going on, but a new user won't get any clue from what they see:

Scenario 1: Someone posts a link to a Polite Discussions post in a post on another forum. New user reads what they've posted, sees the link and clicks on it. They're faced with:

"Information
You are not authorised to read this forum."

without any clue being given even about which forum "this forum" is referring to, let alone how they can become authorised to read it... Indeed, the 'obvious' referent for "this forum' is the forum the post containing the link is on, which would be distinctly confusing to the new user in view of the fact that they've just read a post on it - the obvious first thought is "What on earth did I just do wrong to have my authorisation removed???"...

Scenario 2: New user explores the User Control Panel. They get to the "Usergroups" tab and they see:

"Discussion Group
This is a freely open group, all new members are welcome."

and they will probably find that they can join it and resign from it at will. What they won't discover without some very dedicated exploration of the site or asking questions (which many new users will be reluctant to do) is what difference membership of "Discussion Group" does - spotting that one extra forum appears low in the list of forums on the home page requires a great deal of attention to detail, and guessing that an announcement called "POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!" has anything to do with a usergroup called "Discussion Group" a good deal of inspiration...

A bit of work on the wordings involved could make this situation quite a bit friendlier to new users, I reckon.

Gengulphus


Or just scrap the changes?

If the PD board is such a drain on resources why don’t they revise the TLF subscription model so that only paid users have access to certain boards?

Much easier to understand than hiding boards away for everyone.

HYD

TheMotorcycleBoy
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255771

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 4th, 2019, 7:57 am

stooz wrote:Please follow the instructions to join the group

Exactly, it's easy! Just go to your user name thingy bob, go to "User control panel", choose "User groups", see the groups (the one called "Non-memberships" really gives the game away), select Pol. Disc. group and press submit. Then you can return to "new posts" or "your posts" (under "Quick links"). Simples.

This place is *just* an internet forum, it really doesn't bite.

Howyoudoin
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255783

Postby Howyoudoin » October 4th, 2019, 8:54 am

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:Exactly, it's easy! Just go to your user name thingy bob, go to "User control panel", choose "User groups", see the groups (the one called "Non-memberships" really gives the game away), select Pol. Disc. group and press submit. Then you can return to "new posts" or "your posts" (under "Quick links"). Simples.

This place is *just* an internet forum, it really doesn't bite.

I thought that was one of the best sarcastic posts i'd seen in a long time until it became obvious you were serious.

The fact that the number of posts on PD dropped off a cliff yesterday either means that people don't understand how to join the group or they do understand but can't be arsed.

Either way, I guess it's mission accomplished for the mods.
HYD

Moderator Message:
RS: There were over 40 posts on Polite Discussions yesterday.

Gengulphus
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255790

Postby Gengulphus » October 4th, 2019, 9:08 am

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:
stooz wrote:Please follow the instructions to join the group

Exactly, it's easy! Just go to your user name thingy bob, go to "User control panel", choose "User groups", see the groups (the one called "Non-memberships" really gives the game away), select Pol. Disc. group and press submit. Then you can return to "new posts" or "your posts" (under "Quick links"). Simples.

Yes, it's easy - once one knows there are instructions and where they are! Those who do should include everyone who is reading this topic - but that is almost certainly isn't everyone even now, when it's new and being discussed, and will probably be a smaller proportion of the TLF readership in say a year's time than it is now.

And by the way, for the benefit of anyone trying to follow your version of the instructions, you've slightly garbled them. People who get to the "see the groups" stage won't see "Pol. Disc." or anything that that's a reasonable abbreviation of. At least for the moment, the group they should select is "Discussion Group".

Gengulphus

TheMotorcycleBoy
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255800

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 4th, 2019, 10:22 am

Howyoudoin wrote:
TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:Exactly, it's easy! Just go to your user name thingy bob, go to "User control panel", choose "User groups", see the groups (the one called "Non-memberships" really gives the game away), select Pol. Disc. group and press submit. Then you can return to "new posts" or "your posts" (under "Quick links"). Simples.

This place is *just* an internet forum, it really doesn't bite.

I thought that was one of the best sarcastic posts i'd seen in a long time until it became obvious you were serious.

Of course it was serious. I use screwdrivers and spanners because I learnt how to use them. If people are clever enough to invest then presumably they join a group in an online forum. Do we really need the nanny state on TLF?
;)

stooz
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#255997

Postby stooz » October 5th, 2019, 12:16 pm

I take on board the difficulty finding the site.
And I love the idea you have to pay to get access :twisted:
I will work on making it easier.

TheMotorcycleBoy
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256016

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 5th, 2019, 1:13 pm

Gengulphus wrote:
TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:
stooz wrote:Please follow the instructions to join the group

Exactly, it's easy! Just go to your user name thingy bob, go to "User control panel", choose "User groups", see the groups (the one called "Non-memberships" really gives the game away), select Pol. Disc. group and press submit. Then you can return to "new posts" or "your posts" (under "Quick links"). Simples.

Yes, it's easy - once one knows there are instructions and where they are! Those who do should include everyone who is reading this topic - but that is almost certainly isn't everyone even now, when it's new and being discussed, and will probably be a smaller proportion of the TLF readership in say a year's time than it is now.

And by the way, for the benefit of anyone trying to follow your version of the instructions, you've slightly garbled them. People who get to the "see the groups" stage won't see "Pol. Disc." or anything that that's a reasonable abbreviation of. At least for the moment, the group they should select is "Discussion Group".

Gengulphus

Sorry Geng you're right, IIRC the string in select a group to gain entrance to was "Discussion Group", not "Polite Discussion".

As an engineer myself, I guess Stooz was just trying to minimise the level of verbosity in the implementation of the segregation of PD into an optional user group. That's a common practice in most software scenarios I've encountered, since typically the best implementations need the least documentation, since they should be intuitive. Well that's the theory, anyway.

stooz
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256038

Postby stooz » October 5th, 2019, 2:44 pm

I have renamed the group you needed to be a member of and added a sudo form which is a link to the control panel.
Hope that makes it more obvious

Gengulphus
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256147

Postby Gengulphus » October 6th, 2019, 9:23 am

stooz wrote:I have renamed the group you needed to be a member of and added a sudo form which is a link to the control panel.
Hope that makes it more obvious

Yes, it's a big improvement. But I think it might be improved a bit more, because if I try to imagine myself in the position of a user new to the site, I think I would react to the wording of the "sudo form":

"Polite discussion
To join polite discussion you need to join the group. Follow the forum name to your profile settings
"

with bemusement of the "What??? This site requires me to join a group to engage in polite discussion? Does this really mean that I'm required to engage in discussion impolitely on all the other groups?" variety...

I really think a bit more explanation is needed to help those who don't already know what's going on understand the situation. A first pass at such an explanation:

"Polite discussion
The Polite Discussions group is for polite discussion of subjects people often feel strongly about. To join or leave it, follow the forum name to your profile settings
"

I'm not especially attached to the stress on the word "polite" - I can see arguments for italicising or underlining it instead of emboldening it, or indeed not stressing it at all. A matter of exactly how much you want to emphasise the fact that it's not the place for some of the more heated types of discussion, I think.

I've also changed "join" to "join or leave" because instructions about how to join look a bit odd to someone already in the group. Not major, just a small improvement in my view.

Gengulphus

Gengulphus
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256155

Postby Gengulphus » October 6th, 2019, 10:08 am

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:As an engineer myself, I guess Stooz was just trying to minimise the level of verbosity in the implementation of the segregation of PD into an optional user group. That's a common practice in most software scenarios I've encountered, since typically the best implementations need the least documentation, since they should be intuitive. Well that's the theory, anyway.

Yes, I'm very familiar with that theory, from my former job in computing. It was primarily to do with technical development of microprocessors, but did involve a substantial amount of reviewing and editing the technical documentation as an important secondary activity - important enough to eclipse the primary activity at times. And the "best implementations need the least documentation" theory is entirely correct - but problems arise when it unconsciously gets interpreted by implementers to "I only need to produce enough documentation of my implementation to remind me how to use it, and if that is only a small amount, my implementation is a good one". That's very subject to confirmation bias, as well as appealing to one's wish not to be distracted from more interesting stuff more than absolutely necessary!

The correct interpretation along those rough lines is "I only need to produce enough documentation of my implementation to tell typical new users how to use it, and if that is only a small amount, my implementation is a good one". That is considerably harder for an implementer to judge for themselves - 'roleplaying' a typical new user when reviewing documentation is a skill one can develop, but it's not easy, especially when one is really expert about the things being documented oneself (which of course implementers usually are!). And even when one has developed a decent level of skill at it, new users seem to be very creative at finding ways to misunderstand the documentation that one never thought of... ;-)

All of which is why companies employ technical documenters as well as technical experts. Though that has pitfalls as well - notably that technical documenters quite rightly have a strong bias to simplify documentation, but that can easily become a tendency to unwittingly oversimplify it because they lack real expertise about the thing being documented...

Gengulphus

PinkDalek
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256273

Postby PinkDalek » October 6th, 2019, 11:49 pm

Gengulphus wrote: ... I really think a bit more explanation is needed to help those who don't already know what's going on understand the situation. A first pass at such an explanation:

"Polite discussion
The Polite Discussions group is for polite discussion of subjects people often feel strongly about. To join or leave it, follow the forum name to your profile settings
" ...


If we are looking in the same place (viewforum.php?f=47) I think the link (or whatever the correct term) takes one to "Usergroups", rather than "profile settings".

Dod101
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256274

Postby Dod101 » October 7th, 2019, 12:13 am

I do not understand the original problem nor the attempt to change it. Polite Discussions to me are mostly anything but and I can well do without them. I will not miss the never ending discussions (polite or otherwise) about Brexit which seem to have taken up most of that Board for the last few years. Nothing I say will change it so it is best ignored.

Like richfool, I am happy to confine my comments to investment topics and maybe occasionally to peripheral subjects.

Dod

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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256393

Postby csearle » October 7th, 2019, 5:19 pm

Dod101 wrote:I do not understand the original problem nor the attempt to change it.
Nor do I, but I don't have any strong feelings about it anyway.

I think PD will eventually wither as once the B topic is sorted the main contributors will have little to discuss and no new Fools will be aware of its existence.

The one saving grace as far as I can see is that as long as PD exists we can move totally off-topic posts there.

Regards,
Chris

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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256465

Postby Clariman » October 7th, 2019, 10:26 pm

Dod101 wrote:I do not understand the original problem nor the attempt to change it. Polite Discussions to me are mostly anything but and I can well do without them.
Dod


Fair point. The idea was originally raised by the Mods so that those who felt it was an unnecessary and fractious diversion from the main financial content of the site did not have to see it. There was also Mod discussion which included the view that users could ignore it anyway, that we shouldn't have the board at all and that the board was essential.

The owners of the site supported maintaining the board despite some of its challenges but agreed to make it an opt in board.

Some of the opinions expressed on PD had led to advertisers not supporting our site and even led Google to threaten to not allow us to display Google ads. That is one of the reasons it is moderated fairly robustly. Making an opt in means it will not be indexable by Google and it is also hoped that the board pruning will help improve site stability and performance.

Hope this explains it better. It demonstrates that the owners intend to maintain the board while minimising any potential negative impacts on the site.

Clariman


There

Howyoudoin
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256482

Postby Howyoudoin » October 7th, 2019, 11:57 pm

Clariman wrote:Some of the opinions expressed on PD had led to advertisers not supporting our site and even led Google to threaten to not allow us to display Google ads. That is one of the reasons it is moderated fairly robustly. Making an opt in means it will not be indexable by Google and it is also hoped that the board pruning will help improve site stability and performance.

Hope this explains it better. It demonstrates that the owners intend to maintain the board while minimising any potential negative impacts on the site.

Clariman


It does explain it much better and it's just a shame that it's taken this long to get here.

But if someone is paying £20+ a year to access this site, they don't really give a feck about Google and their threats, do they? That's not our problem, it's your problem.

HYD

PinkDalek
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Re: POLITE DISCUSSIONS Its still HERE!!

#256486

Postby PinkDalek » October 8th, 2019, 12:06 am

Howyoudoin wrote:But if someone is paying £20+ a year to access this site, they don't really give a feck about Google and their threats, do they? That's not our problem, it's your problem.


No-one pays to access this website. Any donations are voluntary as you well know.

I care if the founders' income to help run the site is potentially impacted by a potential lack of income from Google ads and such a restriction could well impact on all of us. Which would be our collective problem.

Why the aggression btw. I recall similar posts from you in the old place.


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