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Jim's Lab Notes
— Site News, Baseball Talk, and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Call for Help

My father always told me to never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Well, we need your help.

Due to a number of factors, it’s been a while since we’ve undertaken any major site changes. Although the site seems to satisfy a still-growing number of visitors, there are a number of feature changes/additions we believe would improve things. That’s where you come in. We need your help improving the site.

What do you want?

From past experience, we’ve learned it’s better to garner as much feedback before implementing changes, rather than thrusting them upon you without warning. With that in mind, and since we’re just beginning the process, we’d like to solicit ideas for ways to improve the site.

What types of features would you like added? How can we improve the way things are configured here? What types of new content would you like to see? How can things be better organized? Would you like to see social network functionality (like some Facebook-type stuff) integrated into our design? Would you like a dedicated section for more off-topic material? Would you like blogs for every team? Again, what do you want?

Alpha/Beta testers needed

We’ve already begun tinkering with some ideas for improvement. Since we’re also sure you’ll be able to suggest nice ways we can improve the site, we’ll need more feedback when your ideas move into tangible features. We’ll also need people to try the stuff out to make sure it works properly. With that in mind, we’re looking for volunteer testers. If you are interested, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Team Blogs

Dan has been pushing the creation of enhanced team-oriented blogs for some time. We already have a few volunteer editors on board and we’re looking for more. So, again, if you are interested .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Baseball Newsstand

We’re considering moving the Old-School Newsstand back to its own domain, BaseballNewsstand.com, and expanding the links and content. We’re looking for ideas about the structure of the updated design and suggestions for links and RSS feeds that should be included. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Primer Blog

We’re considering moving the main blog onto its own domain and bringing back the BaseballPrimer.com domain. We believe by moving the blog over to its own domain, it will be easier to spotlight the best daily links. Plus, over the years many people have written to say they miss the old site name. We recognize the attachment, and hope you’ll welcome the return. What do you think?

Contribute a Few Dollars

We’ve appreciated your contributions in the past. With these tight financial times, we’d appreciate your assistance more than ever. We’ve always been dedicated to freely providing all of our content. With the depressed ad market and every-growing traffic, doing so has gotten harder and harder. What would we like you to contribute? Anything you could give us would be greatly appreciated and will help keep the site up-and-running.

Whether you can help out in these areas or just have time to post an occasional link or comment, we thank you for being part of our community and for helping to make this such a fun place for us to hang out.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2009 at 06:24 PM | 542 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Fresh Prince of Belisle Posted: May 27, 2009 at 07:51 PM (#3195847)
- Archives

- More of a demarcation between featured content and newsblog links so that the former doesn't get buried. This is especially a problem with Symborski's stuff.

- Some writers that aren't necessarily hardcore statheads.

- Some kind of chat thing and an audio feed. Symborski promised the latter and he hasn't done it. I see almost no Chris Dial or Mike Emeigh around lately. That's 2 important contributors who don't drop into discussions all that often and a 3rd who spends most of his time bogged down in glibertarian vs. progressive threads.

- Please get Repoz to post less political threads.

- Keep Kevin out. The site has been a million times better now that you guys actually got around to doing something about him.

- Do more highlighting of worthy blog writers. BTF has featured a lot of interesting up-and-coming bloggers in the past and I don't see as many of them as I used to. I like Beyond the Box Score and Statistically Speaking and others but they're not the portals that BTF is so I will sometimes miss things there. Drag some of these guys over here so that they can get wider exposure for their writing without having to please Good Burger Carroll.
   2. Dr Love Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3195870)
I'd like to see Game Chatters slimmed down. Unless it's Mets, Cubs or Red Sox they pretty much go untouched. I suggest giving those games and any nationally televised games their own individual game threads and then all the rest a big catch-all thread. For example yesterday alone: TOR/BAL (0), DET/KC (2), LAD/COL (0), ATL/SF (11), FLA/PHI (6), TB/CLE (0), CHW/LAA (0), SD/ARI (0), SEA/OAK (0), HOU/CIN (0), NYY/TEX (1) had a total of 20 posts. The Cubs game alone had 25. I don't think there is anything to lose by lumping those games together and you might gain some more chatter. I feel it's at least worth a try, people are more apt to post if others are going to read it.

- Please get Repoz to post less political threads.


Agreed. The Sotomayor threads don't even remotely attempt to relate to baseball. I'd add stop posting to articles in college newspapers as well.
   3. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:06 PM (#3195872)
Also, please stop forcing Ich bin ein Bill Conlin and his 20 posts to read every discussion thread.
   4. Fresh Prince of Belisle Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:10 PM (#3195883)
--Also, please stop forcing Ich bin ein Bill Conlin and his 20 posts to read every discussion thread.--

A lot of people who go to this website are more interested in reading analysis than making comments.
   5. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:13 PM (#3195894)
Good for you. Read the analysis, don't read the political threads. Some people here *do* like to make comments, and read the comments of others. Don't demand that Jim impose your tastes on others.
   6. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:17 PM (#3195908)
I used to post here quite a bit more before I decided to get married, have a kid, and finish school. For the most part, I like that threads can totally go off in their own direction, but it seems like random threads turn into political discussions and I would rather click on the Fark.com politics tab if I want to read that kind of stuff.
   7.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:19 PM (#3195911)
I don't think your argument is all that valid. You don't have to read the political posts, obviously, but a whole schwack of them do push other items off the page. It can be frustrating having to try and find something you want to read by filtering though 100 steroid threads that all say the same thing(s).

In any case, my biggest issue, in all honesty, is losing my place when I have to log in! I find a thread I want to post to, I click "login" and after I'm logged in I'm taken to the home page, where I then have to find the thread again.

Also I can help in a technical sense if it's wanted/needed.
   8. Guapo Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3195919)
The four most popular threads on Hot Topics right now deal with:

(1) The NBA Playoffs
(2) Sotomayor
(3) Sotomayor
(4) Age discrimination / alcohol

Yeah, I know, small sample size.
   9. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:23 PM (#3195928)
More lasagna on Fridays.

Also the forums are very under utilized, there is even a political forum all of its own. Perhaps moving thread over to the correct forum with a redirect would be helpful. Also keep the Lounge unseen unless you are logged in and un-googleable.
   10. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:23 PM (#3195932)
Do something to keep the site from going down at totally random times. The nightly thing for 5 minutes - whatever. But crapping out on, say, the last day of the season for the entire day is LAME. And maybe if it was a one-time thing it would just be unfortunate, but the site goes out a lot, as the proprietors obviously know. So do something about it.
   11. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:24 PM (#3195934)
Don't demand that Jim impose your tastes on others.

Larry, chill, The Jim asked for suggestions.
   12. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:24 PM (#3195935)
At least we aren't linking to "Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat" videos.

Age discrimination / alcohol? Which thread is that?
   13. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3195937)
Oh and no facebook like stuff please. Jeez, lets not kill the site.
   14. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:27 PM (#3195942)
Oh and no facebook like stuff please. Jeez, lets not kill the site.


Which Cleveland Indian are you?
   15.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3195945)
It's easy, monty, just learn everyone's ID! I refer to you as number 336.

-#2279

PS: Not sure what Bernal means by facebook-stuff. If he means having "Friends" and "statuses" and whatnot then I certainly agree. But I wouldn't mind having the little "share on facebook" icon thing that you see on some other sites.
   16. Baldrick Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3195951)
It will always be Primer to me. But I'm not sure that officially changing the name or returning it to the old domain matters much.

Oh and no facebook like stuff please. Jeez, lets not kill the site.

Quoted for truth.

I'm probably in the minority on this, but I hate the random nickname-changing. I would like at least part of the name field to remain consistent so I know who everyone is.

Quoted for truth.

Oh, and ignoring threads would be a great solution if it's doable.
   17. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3195953)
I too think that the site is more pleasant without kevin around. The level of civility and discourse is much higher in his absence.

If the Phillies Game Chatter disappears, I won't be heart-broken. I can go months without posting in one, unless it's in the heat of the pennant race. The only reason I posted to the FLA/PHL last night was that I was on the computer researching health insurance for my son with the game on and the bullpen was trying to blow the best start that Joe Blanton will have all year (7I, 11K, 0R).

Per #7, how about in addition to bookmarks and Hot Topics, we have a "Last n Topics That I Posted To". (Or To Which I Posted to be all grammar-police-y).

Primeys were fun -- any chance of bringing them back?

I had been lax in contributing so I put in a contribution. We will be facing layoffs in a couple of months and I'm glad I could get a contribution in. I keep feeling for a target on my back -- I've dodged a number of bullets over the last few years but this time I just have the feeling that there is a bullet with my name on it.
   18. Repoz Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:34 PM (#3195960)
Please get Repoz to post less political threads.

I'll have you know...I didn't post any of the Judge Sotomayor articles.

But now that you bring it up...I'm off to Judgeywudgey.com to look for content!
   19. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:37 PM (#3195975)
I would like the search function to be able to find individuals postings based on user name
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:37 PM (#3195978)
I like the idea of more team blogs(not that anyone would be interested in my stuff but yes I wouldn't mind participating in that). I would also love to see more site created stories. And even a FAQ for common topics (strikeouts for hitters, rbi's etc.)

Personally I love the political threads, I learn a lot about posters personality from those threads and even learn some political stuff also. Just like I like it when a thread delves off topic into geekery, music, movies, cornbread or whatever happens to be interesting.

It would be nice if you could actually look at your profile and find your most recent posts. the link is there but it doesn't work. Especially right now, currently if you miss two days of Primer anything you posted on before is three or more pages back.
   21. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3195983)
I would like the search function to be able to find individuals postings based on user name


You already can under Advanced Search.
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:41 PM (#3195987)
BD--are you sure?--it doesn't work for me
   23. tribefan Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:41 PM (#3195988)
Would you like a dedicated section for more off-topic material?
That might solve the problem for people who don't want to read the political threads, but then you'd need to really moderate more to move threads from the baseball section to the off-topic, I've seen this done on other sites. Not sure it would work so well here since a)threads with off-topic content can still cover a lot of baseball and b)everyone hangs out in either the lounge or the newsblog, right?

Would you like blogs for every team?
There are already forums for each team, and almost nobody posts there. I think the general population will always fall back to the newsblog.

I think more threads in the lounge would help to divert off-topic stuff out of the newsblog, particularly stuff like the Sotmayer (where there is clearly no intent to mix in any baseball discussion). But I can see how a lot of people wouldn't like that either, since they may never hang out in the lounge.
   24. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3195992)
Yup, I do it all the time.
   25. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:46 PM (#3196002)
Oh, and ignoring threads would be a great solution if it's doable.
Concur. Especially if ignoring a thread takes it off your Hot Topics list and moves a different one onto it. Because it would such to have a Hot Topics list of ignored threads.
   26. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:46 PM (#3196003)
Suck, too.
   27. rr Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:49 PM (#3196018)
Just made a donation. Four notes:

1. I opposed banning kevin.
2. I don't see why political threads bug people; you don't have to read them, and it is easy to tell when one is happening.
3. It is easy to post news items if you want to see something discussed. I just did that with the NBA playoffs thread, which is at 1670 so far.
4. I appreciate that the site is free, so Jim/Dan et al should do whatever works for them with format, etc.
   28. Halofan Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:50 PM (#3196019)
A newbie explication page would be nice so that when Joe Fanboy stumbles upon here he doesn't ruin a thread with his ignorance nor is so castigated that he leaves for good embittered.

Quicker banning of incorrigibles. KEVIN was here about 18 months too long.

Like the Drudge Report, it is the volume of pertinent, breaking articles linked here that is your main draw and should be exploited. You might even consider Drudge's design: breaking news stories on top and consistent columnists plus news sources below.
   29. Gamingboy Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3196020)
I agree about the whole Game Chatter thing. With the exception of the playoffs and maybe the "big" teams, I think a catch-all Game Chatter would work. I just think back to the WBC Threads: When it was just initially single game chatters, they really weren't worth it, getting maybe a dozen or two dozen replies (with the odd exception) but when the chatters covered a day's worth of games they just seemed reasonably longer and active.

Wait, Primeys used to actually be given and weren't just nods to funny/insightful posts? Did you have an award ceremony at the end?

It's funny, but I've always thought of it as the Think Factory. Maybe because I became active during the Think Factory era. That said, it's all a bit of semantics. So long as the BaseballThinkFactory.com in my favorites directs here, I'm happy.
   30. rr Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3196023)
. Halofan

Quicker banning of incorrigibles.


Awesome.
   31. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:53 PM (#3196032)
Wait, Primeys used to actually be given and weren't just nods to funny/insightful posts? Did you have an award ceremony at the end?

It's funny, but I've always thought of it as the Think Factory. Maybe because I became active during the Think Factory era. That said, it's all a bit of semantics. So long as the BaseballThinkFactory.com in my favorites directs here, I'm happy.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOB!
   32. Baldrick Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:54 PM (#3196034)
You already can under Advanced Search.

Can you explain exactly what/how you do this? Because I would love this feature and just assumed it was broken/impossible.
   33. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:56 PM (#3196038)
Copy and paste the username into the member area, type in a keyword and go from there. The Copy and paste is key because it is very touchy. of course if someone changed their handle you are SOL.
   34. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:57 PM (#3196044)
I have to agree with those who have said just ignore the political stuff if you aren't interested.

One change I would like if possible is a larger posting count on a single page than the 100 limit currently in place(if that's something I can change, someone let me know please).

The other thing is it seems that a lot of the threads in the Newsstand border on trolling at times. It seems the "look at what this idiot wrote" threads outnumber the "here's a smart blogger with something to say" threads by a pretty substantial margin. I realize this is probably due in part to the ratio of dumb articles to smart ones out there but it seems like there is a tone around here of "we're smarter than everyone" which while true, gets a little tiresome on occasion.
   35. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:59 PM (#3196046)
Ahhh, I see now, it doesn't work on the mainsite but it does in the forums. Oh well.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: May 27, 2009 at 08:59 PM (#3196047)
The other thing is it seems that a lot of the threads in the Newsstand border on trolling at times. It seems the "look at what this idiot wrote" threads outnumber the "here's a smart blogger with something to say" threads by a pretty substantial margin. I realize this is probably due in part to the ratio of dumb articles to smart ones out there but it seems like there is a tone around here of "we're smarter than everyone" which while true, gets a little tiresome on occasion.

I'll second this comment. It seems that if it isn't a Pos blog, then it's a post put up there to ridicule a guy.
   37. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3196054)
   38. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:01 PM (#3196055)
OK, everyone but you is smarter than everyone else. ;-)
   39. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:02 PM (#3196059)
OK, everyone but you is smarter than everyone else. ;-)


Isn't it past your bedtime old man?
   40. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:04 PM (#3196065)
See?


" * Your search did not return any results."

Yeah, that's what I usually get.

I'd like to have an edit feature across the site. I don't know why it doesn't exist everywhere.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:05 PM (#3196068)
#31 is funny.

I would love to search by poster, or just an improved search function.

As someone suggested, I would like that logging in, returns you to the page/thread you were viewing. Not all of us auto-login.
   42. Cabbage Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3196069)
I'll echo the sentiments about highlighting the links.

I think the way in which the primate studies/featured articles and the newsstand links are displayed on the main page should be reversed. The links and comment threads are the meat of this site, yet they're given little real estate on the front page. It might be better to display the newsstand link and a few lines about the article much in the way that primate studies now showup on the main page; clicking through would reveal the whole intro, Repoz joke, and comment thread. The primate studies just need a link on the main page -- I don't need to see the first 15 words of the Detroit Tigers ZiPS thread to know what will be in it.
   43. fra paolo Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:09 PM (#3196077)
I'm not convinced eliminating some of the Game Chatter threads and not others is a good idea, nor having one big one. Suppose a year from now some die-hard fan of a non-Game Chatter team turns up and there's no Game Chatter for that team's games? It would annoy me if I was in that position.

Either eliminate Game Chatter altogether, or turn it into something where people can start a thread if they want, or leave it as it is.

The big thread idea will just end up with the 'big Game Chatter market' teams swamping the 'small Game Chatter market' ones. Look at the ratio of posts between Nationals' fans and Mets' fans in the current series.
   44. pv nasby Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:14 PM (#3196086)
We've covered this before how to use the search feature properly, and had it worked out for the most part.

Here is an example of me searching for Bernal's posts for the past two days.
   45. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:15 PM (#3196089)
"Agreed. The Sotomayor threads don't even remotely attempt to relate to baseball."

Sorry about that, guys. I posted the first one, not Repoz.

I just thought it was neat that the judge who ruled on the strike was up for the Supreme Court, though in retrospect I guess I should've known it'd go off track.
   46. Dr Love Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:17 PM (#3196092)
I'm not convinced eliminating some of the Game Chatter threads and not others is a good idea, nor having one big one. Suppose a year from now some die-hard fan of a non-Game Chatter team turns up and there's no Game Chatter for that team's games? It would annoy me if I was in that position.


He'd wind up talking to himself in a chatter, and then eventually get bored/annoyed that he's the only one and find some other place to go.
   47. Gamingboy Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:24 PM (#3196106)

He'd wind up talking to himself in a chatter, and then eventually get bored/annoyed that he's the only one and find some other place to go.


Or develop a split personality from talking to himself.
   48. fra paolo Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:26 PM (#3196110)
He'd wind up talking to himself in a chatter, and then eventually get bored/annoyed that he's the only one and find some other place to go.

I remember back in 2004 when I was the only one posting regularly in Expos' threads during the last two months of the season. I'm still here, even if the Expos aren't! In the last game ever at Stade Olympique a bunch of people turned up to join in, and seemed surprised to find someone there.

I believe I developed some competition between Rocky Biddle's ERA as a starting pitcher and Scott Downs' in order to pass the time. Such fun one can have.
   49. Dr Love Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:28 PM (#3196114)
Or develop a split personality from talking to himself.


Now that would be fun.
   50. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:43 PM (#3196129)
i dont mind having so many chatters, there in there own part of the site and dont take up much space. and why take the origional articles and make them smaller and less promiment? thats the stuff you want people to read and come here for, and the news stuff just being additional to it. really for the most part i dont see too much that needs to be fixed or changed on the site, execpt the nightly crash
   51. villageidiom Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:44 PM (#3196130)
I'll second (or third?) the following:

- ignore feature for topics
- Cabbage's front-page redesign suggestion from #43

I understand why kevin was banned, but in the future it'd be helpful if the posts of the exiled are not removed. Some old threads don't make sense any more - not necessarily because kevin's comments can't be seen, but because the renumbering that took place when his posts were wiped out causes any post-reference within a thread to be way off. If Larry were exiled, Cabbage's post #43 that I referenced above would become post #38, while #43 would be... this post? (EDIT: Gamingboy's post.)

(From what I understand this was an unexpected and unintended consequence of deleting kevin's account, and couldn't be undone. I'm just adding that I hope you can find a way around it in the future.)
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3196136)
I think the site is generally great and have only three suggestions:

1. Fix the searching feature.

2. Fix the searching feature.

3. Fix the searching feature.

I can almost never succeed in finding what I want when I do a search of past threads. Keyword searches don't seem to work well. And unless I'm missing something, we can't search for words written by a specific author. Sometimes I know I wrote something months earlier but I simply can never find it in order to link to it.
   53. villainx Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3196138)
No moving or new domain. Unless it helps with the cashflow. But going to more sites will likely decrease overall views/visits.

Increase the number of hot topics?
   54. villageidiom Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3196141)
and why take the origional articles and make them smaller and less promiment? thats the stuff you want people to read and come here for, and the news stuff just being additional to it.
If there were sufficient volume of them, it makes a lot of sense. But that's not the current state. At this moment there are original articles from over a month ago featured on the first page, with no new posts in about a month; yet there are other (linked) topics that have been posted today that can no longer be seen from the front page.
   55. Gamingboy Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3196143)
I'd also just like to say that as a general thing we need more topic choices in the news item submission. I might have mentioned (i'm not sure) this during March that I found it funny that we have an "Olympics" beat but not a World Baseball Classic Beat (sure, we don't need it as much now, but back in March it would have been helpful), and that we don't have a beat for the Caribbean that could have come in handy during Age and Kickback scandals.

I'd add to that the need for a "Crime" topic (covering everyone from jaywalkers to murderers connected to Baseball) and a general "Misc." topic for the bizarre news (Mascots, Uniforms, crazy quotes, anything that has to do with Celebrities, etc.)
   56. DKDC Posted: May 27, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3196144)
My main suggestion is to ignore some of the suggestions above: leave the game chatters alone. You never know when a great chatter will spring up, and I like having them organized by game.

I like the idea about ignoring topics, and maybe there should be a converse feature that will prevent a good topic from dissapearing on you. How about a separate "my hot topics" where the last 5 topics that I have flagged will stay until they get bumped off the bottom when another topic topic is flagged.
   57.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:02 PM (#3196148)
I'd like to add to Ray's post by saying:

Please fix the searching feature.
   58. phredbird Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:05 PM (#3196151)
I'm probably in the minority on this, but I hate the random nickname-changing. I would like at least part of the name field to remain consistent so I know who everyone is.


i feel the same way. i've been phredbird since, oh, when it was still baseballprimer. but i've lost track of other people, don't know if they are who i think they are ... wait, that's happening to me in real life too.
   59. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:06 PM (#3196153)
but i've lost track of other people, don't know if they are who i think they are

I'm backlasher.
   60.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:09 PM (#3196159)
Right, we already have the "tags" feature in place, so why not make them more useful by allowing users to filter out articles that are tagged with things they don't care about.

Maybe I could say in my preferences that I don't want to see basketball topics, and so any thread tagged with basketball is not shown on my newsblog page. You could even make it so the thread is tagged baseketball after-the-fact (eg a thread that has been de-railed).

Just a thought.
   61. Guapo Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:11 PM (#3196160)
More naked chicks. Also, you should expand to footballprimer.com and basketballprimer.com as well. Same concept, different sports. Might as well, it's inevitable. The regulars will jump between the sites and you'll drag in some new people (just don't mix up the content or you'll infuriate everyone).
   62. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:13 PM (#3196164)
Like "Jeff Francoeur".

Seconded. But that's why I can't suggest that we have less "stupid article" threads, because I really enjoy the hell out of each Francouer one. The whole trend way it's playing out is remarkable in its predictability.

And sometimes great discussions rise from awful, awful posts. So it's hard to limit anything.

I guess I would root for less overtly political threads, and more good/thoughtful items from independent sites. Even if those don't tend to get a ton of comments.
   63. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:14 PM (#3196165)
Like "Jeff Francoeur".


Or Jon Katz.
   64. villainx Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:16 PM (#3196166)
leave the game chatters alone. You never know when a great chatter will spring up, and I like having them organized by game.

That's true. At least if there were something interesting going on, it'd be easy to see if there are comments on that particular game, as oppose to going through a thread and trying to find comments on that particular game.

The game chatter had a brief popularity spell, but I suppose probably got siphoned off by the rise of individual teamsite liveblogs/chatters. It's a shame because it kills interaction with the opposing fans, and that's how I got to know a lot of people in Chicago and Cleveland and so forth.
   65. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:18 PM (#3196170)
I think that if people (Andy) change (Andy) their (Andy) screen name (Andy), they (Andy) should be required to keep their (Andy) original s(A)c(n)r(d)e(y)en name (Andy) in parentheses (Andy).
   66. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:21 PM (#3196172)
last time i checked i was meatwad
   67. The District Attorney Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:21 PM (#3196173)
Look, just decide if you want politics threads or not.

If you do, call the thread "Politics Thread." Then the "you know what it is, ignore it if you don't like it" argument would actually be sensible, which right now, it is not.

If you don't, then ban politics talk. And yes, this can be done, considering that the majority of non-politics-related boards have this rule.

I don't even care which one you choose anymore. Just pick one. This cutesy, half-assed "let's find an article where Obama said something about baseball, and then we'll all know that that's a political thread" stuff is the worst of all possible worlds. It keeps this dumb ambiguity going forever, and I can't imagine what actual argument could be made in its favor.

I also want to say that post #3 is really dickish. Please consider that anyone who is actually here and posting regularly, by definition, is probably ok with the way things currently are. So if you only listen to those people, you will decide to never change anything. That is not sensible. You should also consider those who don't post much, and those who don't currently post here at all, but who could have something to contribute.

Oh, and fix the search feature ;)
   68. Swedish Chef Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:30 PM (#3196177)
The game chatter had a brief popularity spell, but I suppose probably got siphoned off by the rise of individual teamsite liveblogs/chatters.

It had awful performance problems for a whole season, that scared off most chatterers.
   69. Obama Bomaye Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:34 PM (#3196182)
Andy might be the most identifiable poster. He's changed his name like two entire times, and it's pretty easy to tell that it's him.
   70. villainx Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:41 PM (#3196190)
It had awful performance problems for a whole season, that scared off most chatterers.

That too. And like the lounge, it wasn't too cared for by the powers that be. I think.
   71. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:42 PM (#3196192)
Hmm, regarding the game chatters, why not, you know, have an actual chat room, instead of a forum masquerading as a chat. You could have a nice little loungey style catch-all room, and if enough people congregate there, who want to chat about a specific game they can go off and create their own little room.
   72. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:43 PM (#3196193)
The other thing is it seems that a lot of the threads in the Newsstand border on trolling at times. It seems the "look at what this idiot wrote" threads outnumber the "here's a smart blogger with something to say" threads by a pretty substantial margin. I realize this is probably due in part to the ratio of dumb articles to smart ones out there but it seems like there is a tone around here of "we're smarter than everyone" which while true, gets a little tiresome on occasion.

I'll third this comment. It's the most irritating feature of the entire site.

Beyond that:

If you don't like off-topic threads, don't read them. It's that simple. Nobody's putting a gun to your head, not even in this NRA-controlled land of ours.

(And of course that can be equally directed to my above comment about the Chass and Mariotti threads. Though it's kind of fun sometimes to counter-troll them.)

I think that if people (Andy) change (Andy) their (Andy) screen name (Andy), they (Andy) should be required to keep their (Andy) original s(A)c(n)r(d)e(y)en name (Andy) in parentheses (Andy).

Tell you what: I'll do that when you and David agree to label your political posts as "(satire)".
   73.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:44 PM (#3196196)
More naked chicks


Really, we should be allowed to post porno. After all, if you don't like it, just ignore it. "It's that simple."
   74. bunyon Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:50 PM (#3196202)
I also vote for the ability to ignore threads and have them drop from Hot Topics. That would be cool. And a list of most recently posted in.

I obviously like the site. I come here more than I should and I enjoy engaging in baseball talk, political talk, cultural talk and just general shoot the #### talk. I'd hate to lose any of those types of conversation, though being able to ignore NBA talk would be nice.

I also vote to keep the chatters. One way they could be further used is as discussion after than fact. I often see a game I'd like to talk aabout - a cool play, a neat story, whatever - and have nowhere to discuss it (obviously, I could use them this way already and don't).

I would like to see fewer links to "crappy" writers. But that can be ignored and isn't such a big deal.

I'd also like to see more original material as I think the guys who do the original stuff do good work. But I get that it's a free site and they all have actual paying jobs their bosses enjoy seeing them at.

Yeah, I'd like Andy to call himself Andy. I worry he's getting old and losing it when he changes his name.
   75. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:50 PM (#3196203)

If you don't like off-topic threads, don't read them. It's that simple. Nobody's putting a gun to your head, not even in this NRA-controlled land of ours.



But they do have a good point Santy Clause. I went to the Obama chooses Sotomayer thread thinking it was about the Colorado Rockies. I had to get through 200 posts before I realized that it was about Civics. I could have spent that time reading about Ryan Spilboroughs WARP, then his VORP, then his ZIPS, then his DIPS, then his SPOCK.
   76. fret Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3196207)
Per #7, how about in addition to bookmarks and Hot Topics, we have a "Last n Topics That I Posted To". (Or To Which I Posted to be all grammar-police-y).

Yes. This is #1 on my wish list.

Other ideas from upthread that I endorse:
- after login, return to the page that you came from
- make it easier to keep track of handle changes
- fix the archives
- fix the search feature
- bring back the Primeys (even if we never see Werr on the mainsite again)
- give the option of ignoring threads

DO NOT:
- turn the site into Facebook
- emulate the format of the Drudge Report (seriously??!!)

New suggestions:

- Better integrate the forums with the mainsite. Maybe along the right side of the screen, have "Hot forum topics" as well as the current Hot Topics. When you click on a forum topic, the right side of the screen stays the way it is. That would make it a lot easier to navigate between the lounge and the news threads. "Hot forum topics" would only show up if you are signed in.

- Show the global Hot Topics list in threads like this one (Jim's Lab Notes, Dialed In, Primate Studies, Transaction Oracle, etc.) rather than the blog-specific list. Keep the blog-specific list for the team blogs and Game Chatter. Enable editing of posts and showing the last poster in a thread site-wide rather than just in the Newsblog.

Finally, the "Crime" tag would be great for Mariotti articles and other crimes against logic and the English language.

EDIT: Hmm, I see that you can edit posts here. Is it my imagination or could you not do this some time ago?
Also I vote for more good/thoughtful items from independent sites. The politics threads only get annoying when there are too many of them, like the steroids threads a year or two ago.
   77. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: May 27, 2009 at 10:59 PM (#3196211)
It'll be good to avoid some of the dross, but could we hold off on quality-post ratio (QPR)? I'm actually a season ticket holder at Queens Park Rangers (Loftus Road, London W12) who also subscibes to their mailing list and I doubt I'd be able to keep it all straight.

Luton Town home this Saturday - Up the R's!!

(oops, it's Baseball Primer...)

Thnaks for the hard work. The site is a treat
   78. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:00 PM (#3196212)
"You might even consider Drudge's design"

I'd kind of enjoy an animated gif of the Chimp hand-cranking a huge siren.
   79.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:00 PM (#3196213)
I guess most don't agree, but part of the things I like about this site are the running gags. Number 79 made me laugh harder than it should have.
   80. fret Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:11 PM (#3196224)
I like the running gags too, at least some of them. Vincent, Ackbar, Piazza, #45 on this thread: good. Wieters: played out. Jack Keefe is great.

Speaking of Piazza, how about bringing back the ability to post as "ntr so-and-so"?
   81. Allan H. "Bud" Selig Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3196244)
For example. I just set up this account, and anyone can use it to post a one-off comment (username: allanselig, password: bselig). But as soon as the handle is changed, it changes the handle on all previous comments. Plus you have to log out of your ordinary account to use it.
   82. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3196245)
I don't post a lot, and tend to stay out of the political threads. I go to this one for baseball, and a different one for politics. Let's not mix them.

#76 mentions fewer links to crappy writers. If everyone on the site listed their choice for the three crappiest writers and we banned those articles from being posted, there would be nothing but a logo and a big white space left.

I wish there were more people posting in Chatters, although I've gotten out of the habit of posting in them myself. I'd go more often if their were more Rays chat, since those are the games I see the most often.

I love the running gags, although I'd like to see Matt Wieters go 1-23 his first week. Hilarity would ensue.

Please fix the search feature. I'm better off using google to find old threads on BTF. That seems wrong.
   83. Allan H. "Bud" Selig Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:27 PM (#3196250)
I think this site needs a salary cap, and more ignore features.
   84. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:33 PM (#3196267)
There should be two Hot Topics sidebars. One, on top, for baseball-related threads, that is the same as the one they have now. Below that, an "off-topics" side-bar for threads that verge into politics or the like.

The problem is that sometimes the politics threads crop up where you'd expect them to, but other times it evolves from something completely innocuous like "Grienke Fans 10 in CG Victory". Then, you're like, "WTF, how are there 180 posts in there?" and you go in expecting to find some cool pitchFX debate and instead you get a holy war over the merits of school vouchers.

This would involve relatively minimal commitment by any moderators. Once or twice a day, check really active threads, and if they've gone off topic (and I'm including music or movies or sci-fi or whathaveyou), they get bumped to the off-topic "hot topics" side-bar. Still easily accessible from the main page, just helpfully segregated from the baseball conversation.
   85. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3196278)
"If everyone on the site listed their choice for the three crappiest writers and we banned those articles from being posted, there would be nothing but a logo and a big white space left."

I dunno. If we only banned the top-5 vote-getters, and re-voted every year, I think that might be workable.

Plaschke and Mariotti would have to be locks, wouldn't they? Who else gets the hammer?
   86.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:38 PM (#3196284)
Plaschke and Mariotti would have to be locks, wouldn't they? Who else gets the hammer?


Griffin, Heyman, Chass
   87. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:39 PM (#3196287)
"Griffin, Heyman, Chass"

Not sure about either of those last two.
   88. Cabbage Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:42 PM (#3196294)
I disagree with the posters suggesting additional compartmentalization. I used to lounge, but I never really think about it now that it's off Hot Topics (and I understand the neccessities behind that decision). Splitting Hot Topics will convenience the few posters whose browsing interests happen to mirror the way the site is split up, but most people will end up ignoring parts of the site.

BTW, any chance of lengthening Hot Topics? If the front page turns into more of an old-primer style, then you might as well have the hot topics go way back.

<u>for everyone suggesting more bloggy, baseball-errific, stat-o-licious links</u>: just submit them yourselves.



I never use the search feature, but that is just me.
   89.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:44 PM (#3196301)
I wouldn't mind a replacement of the Hot Topics in some form. I don't think it's too effective. In the middle of the day topics can get bounced off of it very quickly and then they can be hard to find again. Compound this with stuff from Sox Therapy, HOM, etc getting added in and it's just messy in my opinion.

Has to be a better way.


Not sure about either of those last two.


Well, getting rid of Mariotti, Plaschke and Griffin would probably be enough, really.
   90. Swedish Chef Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:46 PM (#3196303)
I'd vote for allowing political threads though I think they're mostly worthless, the principals seemingly more interested in hurting each others feelings than anything else. But as long as they are kosher all the other valuable off-topic threads about food, film, books, history, drink, Pavement, music (non-Pavement division), etc are safe.
   91. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 27, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3196307)
The problem is that sometimes the politics threads crop up where you'd expect them to, but other times it evolves from something completely innocuous like "Grienke Fans 10 in CG Victory". Then, you're like, "WTF, how are there 180 posts in there?" and you go in expecting to find some cool pitchFX debate and instead you get a holy war over the merits of school vouchers.


Then there's the threads that I think will be about drunk driving and it turns out (when curiosity finally gets the better of me and I decide to click on it) that it's about hardboiled detective novels and I find out that I missed that convo.
   92. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: May 28, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3196330)
How about an update thingy that notifies us when our favorite posters have posted? I myself find myself going to threads I originally wasn't interested in if I notice, say, Harveys has just posted.
   93. dave h Posted: May 28, 2009 at 12:06 AM (#3196333)
I mostly read comments on the newsstand articles, and Sox Therapy entries. I would like more space for the newsstand articles, both on the front page and when on Sox Therapy. This would include more links available from the front page, and more info about each link (# of posts, last post, etc). For both newsstand and Sox Therapy I'm mostly coming for the comments, so it's weird that the formats are so different. The original content on the front page is interesting, but infrequent enough that it sits there forever while an interesting comment thread on a news article gets bumped off.

As others mentioned, I'd also really like to be able to see all the threads I've commented on, and also whether they've been commented on since. It would even be nice to mark a thread to follow, since a lot of times I'm enjoying reading the comments but don't have much to say in addition.
   94. realteamcoach Posted: May 28, 2009 at 12:32 AM (#3196388)
I agree with 94. If I see that Harveys or Mike Emeigh have posted something, I am there. I have been on this site for 2 years, check in on it multiple times every day. I come for a myriad of reasons, yet don't post. I occasionally have posted in Cubs chatters, but due to my job, am not around much during game times. I don't want the site to change much at all, and love when things get off-topic. It is very interesting to "get to know" people by seeing their thoughts on a variety of topics.
   95. zonk Posted: May 28, 2009 at 12:41 AM (#3196405)
- bring back the old URL, at least for the newsstand posts - your DNS alias thinks I'm stalking it.

- I think the 'ignore thread' - perhaps even adjusting your own hotlist for it - is a great idea. I'm very much on the "pro" side of the tangent threads, be they about politics, music, cinema, or the proposed HoF for generals. I can tell you that I'd find primer a lot less interesting without the occasional discussion on the Crimean War or what not.

- Another idea - and this would require significant re-architecture, but how about the ability to spawn subthreads somehow? I'm not suggesting a nested hierarchy - hate that - but even threads that stay on baseball sometimes veer onto wildly different topics. These sub-discussions aren't always bad, but it would be great, especially in longer threads, if there were a way to sort of 'take it to another room'. I don't know exactly how you'd do it, just saying that it's impractical to think every thread will become the Edgar Martinez thread of yore.

- I think the idea of team-centric areas is a good one -- perhaps tying the chatters into it. A team dashboard that gathers it's own content, related/tagged posts from newsstand, the chatters, etc.

- the ability to customize your view -- being able to make objects (Hot Topics, the Newsstand, the Oracle, Gonfalon, etc) more or less prominent.
   96. Allan H. "Bud" Selig Posted: May 28, 2009 at 12:56 AM (#3196438)
Primeys were fun -- any chance of bringing them back?

You'd need a gimmick. Primate who gets the most noms gets to have Repoz work him into an obscure intro.

"Primeys...this time, they count!"
   97. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2009 at 12:58 AM (#3196441)
All I want is a godd*mn Repoz translator. Since I am loathe to invest in heroin I need some other means of understanding what everyone else is raving about regarding his introductions.

As to the compliments above that is very kind of said posters.

What about a "rate the poster" function? I know this feature exists at other sites. You go to some portion of the site and rate a poster's contributions. And after "x" level is reached that poster has some degree of branding so that others know this poster contains some appeal.

This could be done for both good and bad feedback. And instead of observation or anecodotal the site admins would have a metric to use as reference when a poster was becoming a bit of a pain.

"Look, we have 183 hits on you being rated as "jerk"". Once you hit 200 you are banned. Got it?"
   98. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: May 28, 2009 at 01:02 AM (#3196447)
All I want is a godd*mn Repoz translator.

"The Annotated Repoz" would probably quickly become one of the more popular destinations. I for one was glad when I started seeing the occasional "I finally got a Repoz intro!!" post, made me feel slightly less dim.
   99. The Annotated Repoz Posted: May 28, 2009 at 01:38 AM (#3196583)
At your service!!!

(rarely)
   100. Jim Wisinski Posted: May 28, 2009 at 01:43 AM (#3196603)
I think you should avoid adding any more features that will make the site cost more to maintain or cause more potential for breakdowns. The basic site design could always use some tweaks and there's some good stuff in this thread but in general the site is good as it is. You're providing a great service to us all by spending the time and money that you have over the years and I wouldn't want you to take on any additional burden doing stuff that isn't really necessary.

I do support the banning of kevin (and Rob Base) and would like to see that kind of action continue in the future, but preferably quicker for the next problem child since they were both ######## for a long time before anything was done about it. I know they, especially Kevin, had their supporters and people that liked having them around but I just don't see why it should be at all acceptable for someone to continuously be an ####### to so many people and stir up trouble all the time (the former applying more to Base and the latter more to Kevin). It's not hard to behave in a civil and mature manner and anyone that can't be bothered to do so has no beef when people get sick of their crap.
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