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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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   201.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:18 PM (#3197375)
As I recall, Kevin was unbanned, but his first post back from unbanning immediately set off another flamewar (not kevin's doing, btw,) and I think that was it.

We're at the point where his very presense starts fires, so it's probably easier to just not have him around.

edit: Ah, I see it's already been described.
   202. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:22 PM (#3197380)
Personally, my favorite thread of all time occurred about six years ago, when a Padre/Brewer game chatter ran several hundred posts, as the conversation somehow drifted into Simpsons quotes.

As far as the political threads go, I rarely post in them, but very much enjoy reading what everyone's opinions and reasoning are. If you don't like them, don't click on them!
   203. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3197390)
the most active posters in those [political thread] conversations virtually never show up in the baseball threads

I'll speak only for myself, but I've regularly gone not only into Yankees threads (as BL noted), but also in countless non-steroid related HoF threads, a fair number of HoM threads (where steroids don't apply), innumerable threads that go into baseball history (greatest team threads, all-time best player threads, etc.), and others as well. I will match my own baseball interest and enthusiasm, taken in full context, with probably about 90% of the people on BTF as a whole, and about 98% of the people outside the Hall of Merit pages.

I'll admit this: I don't get much into are the hyper-technical sabermetrics threads that are largely conducted in the language of pure mathematics. And if that's all that is meant by "baseball threads," then I do plead guilty.
   204. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:28 PM (#3197391)
"I also find the "Ignore" feature puzzling.

Who goes to a site to share knowledge only to ignore some of that input?"


The only guy I've ever ignored wished that my parents would die because he disagreed with me on a point of discussion. I can do without "knowledge" like that.
   205. Obama Bomaye Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:28 PM (#3197392)
I don't know the specifics of why Kevin was banned, so I can't evaluate that decision. But I had a brief email exchange with him a few months ago, during the period in which he was transitioning from a BTF suspension to a self-imposed exile, and, judging from that exchange, he's not likely to come back even if his ban is lifted.

He did come back (unsurprisingly) and then got banned again. Complete with deletion of posts. The BTF Ministry of Truth denies Kevin ever existed.
   206. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:29 PM (#3197397)
As I recall, Kevin was unbanned, but his first post abck from unbanning immediately set off another flamewar (not kevin's doing, btw,) and I think that was it.

We're at the point where his very presense starts fires, so it's probably easier to just not have him around.


Eight people received warnings that day for specific conduct. Seven of them weren't Kevin. However, seven of them didn't have a phone book sized resumé of warnings and admonishments and seven of them weren't "on parole" after a long suspension, so only the eighth person ended up being expelled.
   207. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3197401)
I don't know the specifics of why was banned, so I can't evaluate that decision. But I had a brief email exchange with him a few months ago, during the period in which he was transitioning from a BTF suspension to a self-imposed exile, and, judging from that exchange, he's not likely to come back even if his ban is lifted.


He did come back (unsurprisingly) and then got banned again. Complete with deletion of posts. The BTF Ministry of Truth denies ever existed.

Who is this " " of whom you speak?
   208. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:33 PM (#3197403)
"He did come back (unsurprisingly) and then got banned again. Complete with deletion of posts. The BTF Ministry of Truth denies Kevin ever existed."

Gosh, what a shame.
   209. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:41 PM (#3197419)
He did come back (unsurprisingly) and then got banned again. Complete with deletion of posts. The BTF Ministry of Truth denies ever existed.


A number of people continually ask for the specifics of why Kevin was banned, and some of them (like Robinred) continue to insinuate that Kevin was banned unfairly. (Robinred's comments often seem to be a veiled accusation of some sort towards Dan, but that's just my impression so I could be off base.)

Regardless, despite the numerous requests for specific information as to why Kevin was banned, neither Jim nor Dan has seen fit to comment on those specifics, and I don't think we're entitled to the specifics, to be honest. I'm not sure why it matters so much to people.
   210. The Good Face Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:44 PM (#3197425)
the most active posters in those [political thread] conversations virtually never show up in the baseball threads


I also disagree with this pretty strongly. In fact, I can't think of ANY regular posters in the politics threads who don't also participate in baseball threads, although some more than others. I think also that some people only post in baseball threads that involve teams/players they're particularly interested in, so it's easy to miss them unless you read almost every thread. For instance, I tend to pay close attention to HOF/Yankee/Ranger threads, but may only skim (if that) stuff about the Chicago or West Coast teams.

Also, I'd like to see Kevin come back if only to enjoy the inevitable threadnaught of doom his return would spawn. Ok, I don't actually mean that. Mostly.
   211. BeanoCook Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:44 PM (#3197427)
Lots of good suggestions here. My request would be to add an ability to rate commentary. It could simply be a 0-100% grade, or 0-10 grade, or a thumbs up or thumbs down tally.

Also, perhaps to re-energize the game threads, allow people to see which, and how many, BTF members are in a room. Sometimes it just takes 3-4 people to get a game thread started, then it grows, attracting more people. You just need to know if there is anyone there waiting as well...
   212. RJ in TO Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:45 PM (#3197429)
I'm not sure why it matters so much to people.


Well, I can see a couple reasons. First, kevin had his supporters, and second, unless we know the specifics, it's hard to tell if we're also likely to cross whatever the limits were which got kevin banned.

This isn't my site, and Jim and Dan don't owe me anything, but I'd still like to know, since I don't particularly want to run into a suspension or perma-ban of my own.
   213. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:47 PM (#3197432)
Complete with deletion of posts. The BTF Ministry of Truth denies Kevin ever existed.

As I've noted before (and noted about 5 minutes after someone noticed), the deletion of posts was completely unintentional on my part. Why would I want them deleted? Having the catalog of his constant, ridiculous behavior to point at every time someone puts on some sepia-toned glasses and thinks Kevin was a contributor would be unbelievably useful.

This wasn't a situation of Kevin feuding with a few people, this was a situation of Kevin feuding with almost anybody who came along. It's one thing if someone gets me angry (I have a temper), but to actually get Mike Emeigh and Ron Johnson riled up? To actually be obnoxious to the degree that mainstream journalists and people in baseball that don't even post are motivated to write and say that one poster's behavior is damaging the reputation of the site? That's a person that needs to be supervised and if there was any error made, it was reluctance to do anything besides warning that merits rebuke, not swiftness.
   214. Gamingboy Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:48 PM (#3197436)
Part of the flavor of Baseball Primer is the enthusiastic topic drift.


My favorite thread/topic/post/whatever of all time was the 2008 All-Star Game Chatter. Not because it was a great game, not because I started the thread, but because it covered pretty much everything but in the end was about a great Baseball game. It was the perfect example of topic drift, but it was also about Baseball.
   215. BeanoCook Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:48 PM (#3197439)
Also, what about the advance of technology? Tech trends evolve so quickly these days, I wonder if there is anything BTF can do to ensure it does not quickly decline due to inability to adapt to new tech.

Can BTF integrate Twitter into game threads? Where BTF members only, exchange thoughts of a game away from a CPU?

*not that I think Twitter is the be all and end all. I don't, but it has some mobile tech advantages.
   216. BeanoCook Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:52 PM (#3197446)
#216 is all new to me, regarding Kevin. I think this is all anyone needs to know and now that I know it, I'm glad Kevin was booted. BTF is private property and there is no reason the owners need to tolerate a poster acting like a vandal.
   217. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:54 PM (#3197448)
and second, unless we know the specifics, it's hard to tell if we're also likely to cross whatever the limits were which got kevin banned.


Is it, really? And is there a rash of people being banned from this site?
   218. SoSH U at work Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:54 PM (#3197449)
This wasn't a situation of Kevin feuding with a few people, this was a situation of Kevin feuding with almost anybody who came along.


Sorry Dan, but the thread that got Kevin tossed again was, as Ryan said, not one of BTF's finest moments. A poster whose past actually included turning Rob Base into a sympathetic figure made a typically offensive/insulting comment, the piling on began in earnest and nothing was done for half a day until Kevin finally responded. At the same time, he was participating in two or three other threads without incident.
   219. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 28, 2009 at 05:55 PM (#3197455)

Regardless, despite the numerous requests for specific information as to why Kevin was banned, neither Jim nor Dan has seen fit to comment on those specifics, and I don't think we're entitled to the specifics, to be honest. I'm not sure why it matters so much to people.


I've actually commented quite a bit on this.

second, unless we know the specifics, it's hard to tell if we're also likely to cross whatever the limits were which got kevin banned.


Here's a simple flow chart.

[HAVE YOU BEEN WARNED LIKE 10 TIMES ABOUT YOUR BEHAVIOR?]

[Yes]

[The possibility exists that you could be banned if you continually commit gross infractions of rules]

[No]

[Have you been spamming advertisements for your gambling or gaming site or your product?]

[Yes]

[You will be banned]

[No]

[You will not be banned]
   220. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:00 PM (#3197466)
Huh. That's weird. This guy is still a member.
   221. BeanoCook Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:01 PM (#3197468)
I seem to recall the deleted thread, I was posting in it, it wasn't all that wild, compared to others. Yet, I get the feeling that the negative feedback on Kevin from the BTF lurkers, non posting journalists and people in the game, took time to trickle in. It reached a point where Kevin was at 2 strikes and his third was larceny, not murder, but nonetheless batter is out at 3.
   222. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:06 PM (#3197483)
One thought ..

If the site is committed to expanding and opening up a whole new series of internal blogs and original content: try to get the new content up on a regular basis, put contributors on a schedule, if there's any slack off - have someone on top of things to seek out new contributors and/or new keyholders to the added sections.

This website has a proud tradition of starting up new blogs that fizzle upon arrival. Someone upthread mentioned this year's incarnation of the Gonfalon Cubs blog as an improvement, which . .. .a few years after it opened for business, it consists essentially of one guys posting one thing a week. That's not exactly a success.
   223. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3197492)
Sorry Dan, but the thread that got Kevin tossed again was,

I think you missed part of the point. It wasn't one thread that got Kevin banned. It was the accumulation of threads. Szym already noted eight people received admonishments that day, but for seven didn't have a history outside of that thread. Context matters.
   224. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3197495)
the piling on began in earnest and nothing was done for half a day until Kevin finally responded.

Kevin didn't commit the first infraction that day, but let's not sugar-coat his behavior. He gave as good as he got in those threads and went beyond simply defending himself (apparently, you missed his second post, which involved him mocking JC for being a Christian).

If a cop arrives at a barroom brawl and 8 people are engaging in fisticuffs, 7 with a clean record and the 8th a convicted murderer recently released on parole, the 8th one is obviously going to get the more unpleasant repercussions.

Everyone on this site is automatically assumed to be acting in good faith, even when tempers flare and are subsequently lost. Posts are moderated passively, not actively, so there's an inherent trust we place in anyone using this site, that they will at least try to conduct themselves responsibly as a general policy. Once someone loses that trust, their responsibility to attempt to engage in proper conduct becomes greater in order to participate, not less.
   225. SoSH U at work Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3197501)
I think you missed part of the point. It wasn't one thread that got Kevin banned. It was the accumulation of threads. Szym already noted eight people received admonishments that day, but for seven didn't have a history outside of that thread. Context matters.


My problem was with letting every regular, semi-regular and lurker post how much they hate Kevin, why he's an ass, why the site is better without him, etc., for 12 hours and only stepping in to clean things up after Kevin finally responded to that deluge.

As for the seven, if the guy who started it all had no history outside the thread, then someone wasn't paying attention.
   226. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3197502)
Huh. That's weird. This guy is still a member.

That guy was simply guilty of a crap article (I probably should have raised a fuss with whoever approved that one, but I was extremely occupied with projection stuff, which does happen in spells.
   227. Backlasher Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3197512)
but for seven didn't have a history outside of that thread.

They just insulted Kevin for the first time in that thread? They had no prior history with him whatsoever?

Szym already noted eight people received admonishments that day


How many admonishments were given out the day before Kevin returned?

How many admonishments were given out the day the day before Kevin was banned, but when he was being insulted in other threads?

How many admonishments were given out yesterday when TDF was being called an idiot?
   228. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3197513)
Seems to me that the fairest (i.e. most transparent) way to lead up to a ban is to post a public warning on the thread, which cites any offending post***, and warns all Primates who made those posts that any repetition of a similar nature will result in an automatic suspension.

I'll get specific about Kevin. IMO a public warning should have not just been issued to Kevin, but to the many people who have pre-emptively baited him in many threads. We all know who they are. And not once have I seen any public reprimand of any of those people.

I say "public" warning---meaning right there in the middle of a thread---for this reason: Citing private correspondence doesn't let us really know who said what, unless both sides of that private correspondence are released unfiltered, with no missing words. As it stands now, with all due respect it's a bit like a torture apologist saying "if you only knew what I knew, you'd agree that we needed that waterboarding."

Well, perhaps we would, but that doesn't address the transparency issue.

***with special but not exclusive emphasis on the person who began the personal attack; it takes more than one person to keep a flame war going

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

My problem was with letting every regular, semi-regular and lurker post how much they hate Kevin, why he's an ass, why the site is better without him, etc., for 12 hours and only stepping in to clean things up after Kevin finally responded to that deluge.

As for the seven, if the guy who started it all had no history outside the thread, then someone wasn't paying attention.


No kidding. Though in fairness to Dan and Jim, that would be a full time job in itself.
   229. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3197515)

My problem was with letting every regular, semi-regular and lurker post how much they hate Kevin, why he's an ass, why the site is better without him, etc., for 12 hours and only stepping in to clean things up after Kevin finally responded to that deluge.


Unfortunately, I wasn't around at the time of the deluge. By the time I saw the threads that had gotten out of control, there was no time to reinforce the levy, simply clean up the aftermath.
   230. Sexy Lizard Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3197516)
I think it would be useful to have a moderation system for the newsstand submissions themselves (not the threads or the posts/posters within). Or, rather, a moderation system to rate the linked content. Fairly often there are submissions that only get 8 or 10 responses, but each of those is some variant of "Great article. You should read it." Unless you're someone who clicks on every article you'd never know it, because it won't spend much time on Hot Topics. There could be something as simple as a button each (logged in) Primate could hit to say "I liked this article", or something like that. Then the user could filter by articles at +5 or +20 or whatever, or maybe each submission could have a + symbol beside it when it crosses a certain threshold. This would make BBTF more useful for people who are interested in it more as a baseball article aggregator.
   231. SoSH U at work Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3197518)
(apparently, you missed his second post, which involved him mocking JC for being a Christian).


Well, I certainly missed the part where that's ever been considered anything but pretty commonplace here.
   232. Lassus Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:22 PM (#3197520)
Hell, even this thread's been ruined by kevin.

Dan did a great job with that whole situation, and as far as I'm concerned deserves to be commended rather than indicted. Not commended for the BANNING, but commended for his HANDLING. Even if the kevin Sea Scrolls were lost.


- I'd like to see more team blogs, definitely. I think a newer recruitment drive would help with this. I've had some Mets ideas myself, but I'm not as much of a numbers guy as most.

- I love the HOM and threads, but they need their own sidebar, as it takes up space knocking off some of the more standard Newsblog things that get posted.

- I wouldn't mind a re-design of the home page, but really, it isn't exactly NEEDED. I just like change.

- An archive for comprehensively finding one's past posts would be beyond awesome. How are we supposed to reference how brilliant we were when we said that Ollie Perez was better than Derek Lowe? I WANT PROOF! Seriously, though, is this not possible?

- The search feature is crazy bad. I'm not even sure what Ryan means when he says it works. Hell, I wouldn't mind being told how I'm using it wrong, but if I'm looking for something about a balk or interference, and I search "balk" or "interference", the threads where that word exists, most recent first, would seem the most logical thing.

- The name changing is a non-issue in my opinion.

- I like the chatters just how they are. I would like MORE chatterers, but I don't see the point in changing them at all.
   233. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:24 PM (#3197523)
The name changing is a non-issue in my opinion.


Vindication. Yessss!!
   234. RJ in TO Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:26 PM (#3197531)
The search feature is crazy bad. I'm not even sure what Ryan means when he says it works.


All I mean is that it seems to work for me, in that I'm almost always able to find what I'm looking for. Perhaps it's just a matter of luck, or perhaps it's just a matter of searching for some particularly unique strings.

I've heard enough complaints about it to recognize that I'm definitely an outlier, in terms of my satisfaction with it.
   235. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:35 PM (#3197543)
As I recall, Kevin was unbanned, but his first post back from unbanning immediately set off another flamewar (not kevin's doing, btw,) and I think that was it.

We're at the point where his very presense starts fires, so it's probably easier to just not have him around.


This is probably true, but it's a crappy attitude, and a pathetic way to run a website, especially one that fancies itself as being intellectual.
   236. zonk Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:35 PM (#3197546)
Hmmm...

Seems pretty obvious that the most obvious need is more threads on Kevin.

Anyway, I think most people just want 'the story' more for gossip purposes... There have been what.... 2 bannings in the last 5 years? As Dan said, all indications are that the bar to get yourself tossed is somewhere north of even Big Z's blowup yesterday.


I also disagree with this pretty strongly. In fact, I can't think of ANY regular posters in the politics threads who don't also participate in baseball threads, although some more than others.


Ditto. In fact, I find the overwhelming majority of poli-thread posters are quite good at 'leaving it in the thread'. I know there are plenty of with whom posters I've had strong disagreements that I often see in regular threads... and I'm continually amazed at how they are able to clearly see the overratedness of Derek Jeter as well as I can, but not of a flat tax plan.

Anyway... on the contributors angle -

How about an idea like this:

What about offering some sort of 'premium membership' that would allow a poster to have his (or her, if BBC is interested, I guess) own blog on the site? If you're looking for original content - and perhaps also more revenue streams - providing some sort of 'diary-esque' outlet similar to DK/RS/similar sites. It's a good way to have a content farm system. It's true - most attempts straight-up internally authored content portals have fallen flat. By giving everyone the opportunity to do it (for a minimum price), you'd get a good sampling of writers that might end up becoming regular contributors outside of the user diaries.

There are multiple posters, that, if they had a portal where they'd post even irregularly, I'd certainly read. You could even weave end of year votes to graduate such posters to regular features.

I suppose you run the risk of someone penning daily Pavement manifestos, but I would think that if you charged a nominal fee -- you'd limit that.


Also on the content angle, and I suspect this idea is probably in the political thread/Kevin team photo -- I'd really like to see a rotisserie/fantasy portal. I know a lot of people really hate when posters threadjack with roto questions and posts, and I get that... but I suspect a large portion of primates play roto baseball and I suspect a lot of us would love to have a place on BTF to take such discussions without disturbing other threads. Yeah, yeah, lounge it -- whatever.
   237.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3197547)
I would love to have a complete make-over, with new search feature, better archiving, better hot-topics, live preview that actually works, etc. etc. I would also love to help with this make-over.

But I think this would make more people unhappy than happy. Change doesn't seem to be received very well here.

mocking JC for being a Christian


The initials here greatly confused me for a moment, Dan. :-P

This is probably true, but it's a crappy attitude, and a pathetic way to run a website, especially one that fancies itself as being intellectual.


Maybe, but only if you also believe it to be a crappy, pathetic way to run a society.
   238. Craig in MN Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3197548)

Seems pretty obvious that the most obvious need is more threads on Kevin.


Fewer meta-threads, more meta-meta-threads!
   239. zonk Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:41 PM (#3197557)
There could be something as simple as a button each (logged in) Primate could hit to say "I liked this article", or something like that. Then the user could filter by articles at +5 or +20 or whatever, or maybe each submission could have a + symbol beside it when it crosses a certain threshold. This would make BBTF more useful for people who are interested in it more as a baseball article aggregator


This is an excellent idea. An RTFA for the lazy. I probably read through less than 25% of the newsstand articles that are actually linked to -- and even then, I find the discussions generally better than the article that spawned them. A simple rating system would be great... I wouldn't put too much time into the system - as Judges put it would great... a simple recommend (maybe adding in a "don't go there" option?) and running tally would be SUPREMELY useful.
   240. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:43 PM (#3197564)
I think it would be useful to have a moderation system for the newsstand submissions themselves (not the threads or the posts/posters within). Or, rather, a moderation system to rate the linked content. Fairly often there are submissions that only get 8 or 10 responses, but each of those is some variant of "Great article. You should read it." Unless you're someone who clicks on every article you'd never know it, because it won't spend much time on Hot Topics. There could be something as simple as a button each (logged in) Primate could hit to say "I liked this article", or something like that. Then the user could filter by articles at +5 or +20 or whatever, or maybe each submission could have a + symbol beside it when it crosses a certain threshold. This would make BBTF more useful for people who are interested in it more as a baseball article aggregator.

That's a very good suggestion. There are times when it seems as if the number of comments an article elicits seems completely unrelated to the quality or importance of the article.

Prime example. Here we had one of the best---I'd say the best---defenses of Barry Bonds that was ever written, and it drew only 23 comments (of which only 18 are shown on the link, and for whatever reason comments were cut off), even though the author posted several lengthy comments of his own.

Given the somewhat dense methodology that the author used, I can see why the comments were sparse, but if Judge's "I liked this article" option were there, perhaps it might have encouraged people to post more serious links like this, as opposed to all the Bob Feller and Mariotti pinatas.
   241. zonk Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:47 PM (#3197567)
The BTF article rating system:

- RTF Article
- DRTF Article
- Pinata Article
- Certain to go off-topic Article
- Ideologue catnip Article
   242. Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2009 at 06:53 PM (#3197575)
I just popped in to check on the thread. I appreciate all the comments with suggestions. When I have a little time, hopefully tonight or tomorrow, I'll try to address many of the great ideas I've read.

As for the discussion about banning...if people want to rehash this oft-discussed issue, please create a forum topic and discuss it there. I'd really like to use this as an opportunity to get some construction discussion about site updates and improvements. Rehashing the Kevin banning really isn't appropriate here.

As for banning (and feel free to copy and paste this into the forum thread) there have been two people banned. So there is no confusion, here's what gets a person permanently banned: 1) Give a lot of members a hard enough time that many of them write and complain; 2) When approached by a moderator to cool it down, don't take any responsibility and blame everybody else; and 3) Proceed to harass the moderator who contacted you. Now, I don't know what world some people live in but, if you go out of your way to harass people running something (whether it's a restaurant, bar, web site, or whatever), the operator usually decides at some point, it's just not worth the effort and aggravation and kicks the miscreant out. That's what happened to Base and that's what happened to Kevin. With the thousands and thousands of members here, it's astonishing that only two people have been banned. To me that just speaks to the quality of our membership. In any event, feel free to discuss this topic in a forum post as much as you like.
   243. SoSH U at work Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:00 PM (#3197585)
As for the discussion about banning...if people want to rehash this oft-discussed issue, please create a forum topic and discuss it there. I'd really like to use this as an opportunity to get some construction discussion about site updates and improvements. Rehashing the Kevin banning really isn't appropriate here.


Sorry if I derailed this Jim, but I think avoiding a repeat of the events that led to the second Kevin banning is a site improvement that matters to me and several others.
   244. Baldrick Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:00 PM (#3197587)
I stop by the Game Chatters on and off but there's no one there, so...

Given the number of other folks who apparently are in the same boat, I guess when I'm interested I should just start posting and perhaps other people will drop in, too?

It certainly would help if it was more prominently available from the main page. If you could customize your Hot Topics (as people have suggested) to ignore posts why not also make it possible to integrate relevant game chatters? Maybe the technical stuff to do that is complicated but if it could be done, it would be nice.
   245. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:03 PM (#3197594)
I should add that it's VERY difficult to predict what threads will evolve into something wonderful--the "Death of Derek Jeter" thread and the "Nomar rescues 2 women from Boston harbor" were 2 of the funniest ever, but you couldn't have predicted that from TFA itself, or from the first few responses
   246. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:05 PM (#3197599)
I do, to a certain degree. I will admit, however, that there are certain participants in the political threads whose other postings are heavily tied to a very limited thread subset (mostly, as noted, to steroid threads).


Joey B's the only guy that comes to my mind that's like that, but I think he also posts in Nat's threads.
   247. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:06 PM (#3197604)
IMO, if you want to develop new content sources that will enhance the site, be selective and willing to pay people for the effort.
   248. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:10 PM (#3197612)
I do, to a certain degree. I will admit, however, that there are certain participants in the political threads whose other postings are heavily tied to a very limited thread subset (mostly, as noted, to steroid threads).


Joey B's the only guy that comes to my mind that's like that, but I think he also posts in Nat's threads

IIRC I've also seen Joey B in a fair number of Yankees' threads.
   249. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:14 PM (#3197619)
IIRC I've also seen Joey B in a fair number of Yankees' threads.


Could be. I'm pretty Yankeed out living here in CT and don't go out of my way to read more stuff about the team.
   250. Backlasher Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:17 PM (#3197623)
Joey B's the only guy that comes to my mind that's like that, but I think he also posts in Nat's threads.

Joey is a heavy participant in the Beane threads.

IMO, if you want to develop new content sources that will enhance the site, be selective and willing to pay people for the effort.

That sounds like great advice.

Also, if you want to preserve your existing major source of content (the posters) then you may want to have clear and consistent rules about the type of content that is allowed, and not overly compartmentalize them with various changing rules about where they should post.

I think we should have Poster Appreciation Day and give folks like Andy and Nieporent ice cream. We can set up a thread to argue about what flavor is should be.
   251. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:18 PM (#3197625)
Joey B's the only guy that comes to my mind that's like that.

You're simply incorrect, whether you want to believe me or not. Yes, I get sucked into the Darren-trap political food fights, and I will admit to being very strong in my belief that athletes shouldn't be doing steroids and PEDs, but I post in plenty of baseball related subjects. I even still jump into the Game Chatters from time to time.

For some reason I'm not attracted much to the Hall of Merit discussions, and those do often tend to be the biggest non-political threads.
   252. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:24 PM (#3197636)
"live preview that actually works"

Works fine for me.
   253. Lassus Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:27 PM (#3197643)
Works fine for me.

Me too.
   254. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:29 PM (#3197645)
Mea culpa, JB.

One atta boy I'd like to hand out goes to NTNgod. When some guy named Martinez hurts his Johnson, he'll put the first name in parenthesis, which I find helpful. NTNgod will also aggregate links to a particular topic under one umbrella-thread. This way, you don't have to wonder which Jime Rice or Jeff Francouer thread to follow. He's like the Nick Johnson of this place. Doesn't get as many plate appearances as the Repozes of the world, but when he does, he's very good.
   255. Backlasher Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:32 PM (#3197656)
He's like the Nick Johnson of this place. Doesn't get as many plate appearances as the Repozes of the world, but when he does, he's very good.


Cool, if your handing out peerage, can I be the Jim Rice of BTF?
   256. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3197678)
Cool, if your handing out peerage, can I be the Jim Rice of BTF?


You are from Carolina, but are you feared enough?
   257.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 28, 2009 at 07:38 PM (#3197680)
Works fine for me.


It works in the sense that you can see your post, but if you try doing some formatting, it will lie to you about how it will look and the posted table/chart/whatever will look nothing like how it did in the LP.

And if we're going to play this (pointless) game, Backlasher, I haven't seen you around at all except for this thread and basketball. (And I just saw you in Sotomayer.) ;-)
   258. Repoz Posted: May 28, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3197752)
have someone on top of things to seek out new contributors and/or new keyholders to the added sections.

Early on I made an attempt at this...but the BS was too much to take, so I gave up.
   259. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: May 28, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3197768)
My two big comments, both somewhat addressed above but repeated here for emphasis are:

1. Reducing site shutdowns (that's the big one, no other site I frequent experiences so many outages), and

2. can we maybe move the nightly re-start to 5 AM Eastern or something? I mean, I'm kinda used to the fact that the site will be down for around 5 minutes at 11 PM my time, but it seems to me that it could be done at a less obtrusive hour.
   260. villainx Posted: May 28, 2009 at 08:23 PM (#3197773)
It certainly would help if it was more prominently available from the main page.

If the powers that be want to revive the game chatter putting it on the hot topics would likely do it. It'll stay up there while folks are commenting on their Sotomayer, Basketball, Francoeur, Palin, etc threads, and different fanbases can add a little something when the mood or snark strikes. I'm not sure what, if any, priority the game chatters have.
   261. BDC Posted: May 28, 2009 at 08:27 PM (#3197781)
It works in the sense that you can see your post, but if you try doing some formatting, it will lie to you about how it will look and the posted table/chart/whatever will look nothing like how it did in the LP

Could this be a browser issue? I work in either Firefox or Safari, and often the formatting of a post seems completely random once I hit Submit. Perhaps I am using the wrong tags.
   262. BDC Posted: May 28, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3197785)
no other site I frequent experiences so many outages

I don't find this at all. Then again, I work for the University of Texas system, where our library goes down for a few hours every week, our website for a few more, our file-sharing system on a daily basis, and our advising/grade-posting system is down more often than it's up :)
   263. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 28, 2009 at 08:34 PM (#3197793)
2. can we maybe move the nightly re-start to 5 AM Eastern or something? I mean, I'm kinda used to the fact that the site will be down for around 5 minutes at 11 PM my time, but it seems to me that it could be done at a less obtrusive hour.

No. There should be no nightly restart. That's not necessary, and the fact that it exists should be unacceptable to Jim.
   264.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 28, 2009 at 08:37 PM (#3197801)
There really isn't any need that I can think of for any nightly outage of any kind, to be honest.

It isn't like BBRef where you have to update the stats (and I don't think even BBRef goes down nightly...)

edit: What fly said.
   265. jmurph Posted: May 28, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3197819)
To me this is the one problem with the political threads- the most active posters in those conversations virtually never show up in the baseball threads and, even then, only in the steroids threads.


I'm the originator of that quote that about 10 of you have chimed in to disagree with, so I'll admit I could be wrong and won't defend my comment too much. Points taken. "Problem" was also a bad choice of words- I'm certainly not advocating banning, closind down threads, etc.
   266. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3197854)
Oh! I just thought of a technical request: I would like to be able to use the word "script\" without breaking URLs and Quote codes, and I would like to be able to use ampersands without the site automatically putting a semicolon at the end of D&D;.

Another technical request: Would it be possible to link pictures directly from one's computer (i.e. from My Pictures) rather than having to upload them on Image Shack first and then link from there?

Also, what exactly is the function of "code," "@", and "Close Tags"? I've never figured that out. The others are easy to use.
   267. RJ in TO Posted: May 28, 2009 at 09:11 PM (#3197861)
Also, what exactly is the function of "code," "@", and "Close Tags"? I've never figured that out. The others are easy to use.


"code" is just useful for things like formatting tables. If someone has blue text, that means they've used the "code" button. It's also a great way to accidentally break the page width restrictions.

"@" is just for embedding an email address.

"Close Tags" is something I've never used, but I'm assuming it's meant to provide a quick and dirty way to check if you've missed the second half of a bold or italics command, so that it doesn't propagate down through the rest of the page until someone figures out how to close it off.
   268.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 28, 2009 at 09:13 PM (#3197864)
Another technical request: Would it be possible to link pictures directly from one's computer (i.e. from My Pictures) rather than having to upload them on Image Shack first and then link from there?


Not unless BBTF implemented an "upload form" which would require BBTF having to host them for you (rather than ImageShack.) And if the site is on such shaky hosting that it must "reboot" every night, I doubt it's going to happen. You cannot "link" to the files on your computer unless you have a web server installed on your computer and you open up the ports to allow access to it from anyone (I wouldn't recommend doing that)

The @ symbol is to make a nice link to an email address, like:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The "close tags" will go through your post and clsoe any open tags you have, so the whole thread doesn't wind up italicized if you missed one. Unfortunately, it only works if you used the buttons to create the tags, not if you made the tag yourself.

The "Code" is for formatting. If you want to show some stats it can help to use the code tag.

edit: Huh, looks the email tags don't work.

How about this: email me.

Yup that's better.

3rd edit: ok, looks like the original email link is showing up now. wtf.

4th edit: Aaand now it's not. Weird!
   269. villainx Posted: May 28, 2009 at 09:25 PM (#3197878)
[272] how about now? is it working?

The @ function is not much use as no one uses it.
   270. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 28, 2009 at 09:36 PM (#3197904)
Thanks, Shock and others.
   271. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3197919)
I will now refer to elements of my person as "@"
   272. UCCF Posted: May 28, 2009 at 10:21 PM (#3197941)
NTNgod will also aggregate links to a particular topic under one umbrella-thread.

This is wonderful, and it would be my #1 request for a change here. When the ARod steroid thing hit, there were dozens of different threads posted. Why not one thread, with new links to new articles added to the top, so that people don't feel the need to rehash points already made in other threads?

For those who want to participate in them, I have to think it would make following the conversation on a topic much easier.
   273.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 28, 2009 at 10:56 PM (#3197962)
Agreed.

And who can forget this great day...
   274. fret Posted: May 28, 2009 at 11:52 PM (#3198004)
Huh. That's weird. This guy is still a member.

That guy was simply guilty of a crap article (I probably should have raised a fuss with whoever approved that one, but I was extremely occupied with projection stuff, which does happen in spells.


There is still a link to that article at the bottom of the main page.
   275. phredbird Posted: May 29, 2009 at 12:55 AM (#3198054)
to be honest, i'm not tech savvy enough to think of any great ideas/suggestions.

i'm a newspaper art director, and sometimes think the site as a whole could be a little less clunky looking, a little more 'designed' but since it works perfectly well, and i'm no web designer, i don't think its that big of an issue.

i appreciate jim and dan's good work here, and look forward to many more years as a primate.

:-)
   276. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 29, 2009 at 01:01 AM (#3198060)
And who can forget this great day...

Yeah, that Rowand signing was a real rush for Giants fans.
   277. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 29, 2009 at 01:29 AM (#3198095)

Here's a simple flow chart.

[HAVE YOU BEEN WARNED LIKE 10 TIMES ABOUT YOUR BEHAVIOR?]

[Yes]

[The possibility exists that you could be banned if you continually commit gross infractions of rules]

[No]

[Have you been spamming advertisements for your gambling or gaming site or your product?]

[Yes]

[You will be banned]

[No]

[You will not be banned]


I was banned for pissing off Jim. And Larry and I were chastised severely for exploiting a loophole on the old site by posting pictures in out usernames.

Oh and Hillary Clinton.
   278. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: May 29, 2009 at 02:31 AM (#3198184)
* Make the front page three columns instead of two.
* Bring the Blogpen section up to the middle and have it "tease" just like the featured section on the left. Maybe even have the news stand tease.
* Bring the Game Chatter to the top right, and have the Newstand right below it. This will bring all of the original content areas into focus. People are going to go to the newsstand anyways, so it doesn't need to be as prominent on the front page.
* Make the Hot Topics section larger. 15 or 20 threads. Make the Bookmarks larger. 8-10 threads.
* Force Robinred to publish his lists ;)
   279. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 29, 2009 at 02:40 AM (#3198198)
I was banned for pissing off Jim.

I don't think banned means what you think it means!
   280. Jeff K. Posted: May 29, 2009 at 03:20 AM (#3198272)
I have been (literally) crying myself to sleep while clutching my arm and learning first-hand that nerve regeneration hurts like a ####### alien probe or in a drug-induced semi-comatose haze over the last 72 hours, so I missed this. Most of these are well-known and well-worn suggestions of mine, so I'll assume Szym has brought them up at some point or another in this thread or elsewhere:

1) Get a new host. It doesn't have to be Rackspace, though I offer again. I still have the contact info of the guy I negotiated the ridiculous deal through three years ago for hypothetical site "basketballlearner.com". The site being unavailable every single day for a 5 minute period at the exact same time is curiously stupid. The site going down under medium added traffic, noted by SQL errors, is or should be unacceptable. Is it better than it was four years ago? Probably, but that's not saying much, as you well know.

2) Forums. Get rid of them. They're not just underutilized, they're completely barren. Best case scenario would be to move the Lounge back to the mainland, given that Chatter traffic is virtually nil. I understand the reason that Lounge/Dugout were moved and the aborted "Game Chatter as chat" experiments were tried, but it's a different ballgame now. At the very least, just make the Forums the Lounge. I think the last post in a team forum is going on two years old. Scrolling past all that desolation is annoying.

3) Team blogs. I'd be more than happy to fire The Blogpark in Arlington back up if we can go back to the way they were in the beginning. I can produce two or three original pieces a month, plus 2-3 more short little blurbs that are original, and I can scour for Rangers news to link. I can't write 2-3 original things a week. We've seen basically all the team sites die on the vine under the increased requirements. Forget all the things we discussed (the ancillary incentivizing stuff, I won't mention it here, but you know what I mean), that's not your driver. Your driver is people who have stuff to say, but don't have enough that they want to enter the space all by themselves. I neither want nor have the ability to compete with Jamey. But I can provide value in my own space.

4) Primer for lizyfe.

5) Utilize tags. There's a thousand ways to do so (team blogs being one, which is already in place), here's just one idea: allow ignoring posters in threads with certain tags. If the Mets contingent is annoyed by levski hijacks, allow Sam to ignore levski in all threads with the NY Mets tag. Allow me to ignore Andy in all threads tagged "get off my lawn" or "safe haven for crotchety old fussbudgets". Create more tags. Allow people to ignore threads based on tags, and allow and encourage those with keys to add tags as the thread progresses. So if it starts out as a discussion of whether stealing home is a good idea and by post 80 has progressed into yet another Pavement circle-jerk, someone can go in and add the "Offtopic - Entertainment" (or music, or Pavement, however granular you want to get) tag, and from that moment on, people who ignore O/T threads will no longer see it.

6) The front page is way too busy. Cut it down. Use it to focus on the original content (Primate Studies, HoM, TO), and let those who are coming for the other stuff do what they already do, bookmark the Newsblog itself.

7) Bring login/credentialing off jimfurtado.com and onto bbtf.org or elsewhere. Minor quibble, but it lights up alarms in certain browser security/firewall setups, and I can't see a reason for it.

8) Newsblog should always, always, always have everything in the last 24 hours on page 1. I should never have to go to page 2 at 8 PM to see an article posted at 6 AM, because there are 20 0 or 1-comment articles in between. I'm not saying less threads, just don't bump stuff back a page before a day has passed.

9) Realize and congratulate yourself on the fact that membership keeps growing even without changes. Some long-time posters have left, the constituency of the average thread has turned over, yet member 10,000 signed up not that long ago, and as near as I can tell, growth is still geometric. ~1200 registrants when the move to bbtf.org was made, 4,900 about 2.5 years ago, now over 10.5k. And with the natural growth, the zeitgeist of the site has remained. Who'd have thought 7 years ago that Neyer, Ringolsby, Posnanski, and others would be more than one-time posters here?

10) Handle changes should automatically dump into the field in the profile. I can't keep track of what the hell dzop is calling himself these days, I have to think to remember Peng, Andy has some new thing every other week that I presume is from a 30s Geritol radio ad...if a change is made, just drop the old handle into the "Screen Name History" field programmatically.

That's it, off the top of my head.
   281. Swedish Chef Posted: May 29, 2009 at 05:26 AM (#3198319)
It would be nice to have a dedicated page with hot topics where more would be listed than could be in the sidebar. Of course, the sidebar would remain.
   282.     Hey Gurl Posted: May 29, 2009 at 05:27 AM (#3198320)
Heh,

Last time we did this, it was all "registration is eevvilllll!"

Now it's "I hate not knowing who is who, show us screen history!" The times....:)

But I agree with every word typed by Jeff K (get well soon)
   283. karkface killah Posted: May 29, 2009 at 06:15 AM (#3198334)
I like the idea of more team blogs

I enjoy Primer/BTF for many reasons, including politics, Pavement, and NBA playoffs, but I really like coming here to get analysis and info on teams that are not covered in the majority of media.

I enjoy a good shout-down as much as anyone, but information on, say, the Reds or Royals team/farm/organization would be something that I (as a baseball fan) would love to see more often.
   284. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: May 29, 2009 at 06:54 AM (#3198338)
Jeff K speaks truth.
   285. villainx Posted: May 29, 2009 at 07:00 AM (#3198339)
I enjoy a good shout-down as much as anyone, but information on, say, the Reds or Royals team/farm/organization would be something that I (as a baseball fan) would love to see more often.

Along that vein, a general minor league report of some sort would be nice, as well as college/hs standouts. Not sure who would or could do that however.

And, something that might be difficult, on the sidebar, last five comments of the login'ed in visitor made, or at least the last five threads of where that visitor commented. A sort of combination of hot topic with bookmark.

2) Forums. Get rid of them. They're not just underutilized, they're completely barren. Best case scenario would be to move the Lounge back to the mainland, given that Chatter traffic is virtually nil. I understand the reason that Lounge/Dugout were moved and the aborted "Game Chatter as chat" experiments were tried, but it's a different ballgame now. At the very least, just make the Forums the Lounge. I think the last post in a team forum is going on two years old. Scrolling past all that desolation is annoying.

I also advocated this, moving Lounge and Game Chatter to the mainland and onto an expanded Hot Topic. But whatever traffic or storage problem was eased by Siberianating these two features likely will return, if they are still problems, since the Lounge is a traffic and comment eater, and I expect Game Chatter to be restored to some vigor too.
   286. Jeff K. Posted: May 29, 2009 at 07:44 AM (#3198343)
Along that vein, a general minor league report of some sort would be nice, as well as college/hs standouts. Not sure who would or could do that however.

Emeigh. Notes in a Minor Key. He has been on a sabbatical from it (for far too long for those of us who relied on him because we're not prospect hounds), but still posts occasionally. I think it speaks to my #6 that you're member 1269, meaning you've been around at least since registration, and you didn't know this was there.

I also advocated this, moving Lounge and Game Chatter to the mainland and onto an expanded Hot Topic. But whatever traffic or storage problem was eased by Siberianating these two features likely will return, if they are still problems, since the Lounge is a traffic and comment eater, and I expect Game Chatter to be restored to some vigor too.

It was a traffic problem, in that the Lounge gets refreshed a lot, a lot more often than other pages. That's partly mitigated by the lower traffic levels these days, though obviously a return to the mainland would juice that at least a little. More notably, it's undeniable (just witness this thread and the major focus in it) that moving it did not solve the other stated major problem, offtopic threads. With the Lounge on the mainsite and people aware of it again, scores of the offtopic threads would disappear and the debate would be had there. Further, the fact that the page is refreshed so often means, or should mean unless Jim's got a weird deal with his ad company, more money (more impressions.) Exploit it, don't throw it away. If the host can't handle it, get a new host. If it costs more money that isn't covered by ad revenue (it shouldn't, as local caches should mean that browsers aren't fetching the page every time, and if they are then that's frankly a problem with EE), let us know how much. Even if the increased ad scrilla doesn't appear, I can't conceive the possibility that the net difference would be an amount even approaching levels that wouldn't be easily gathered for the purpose.
   287. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 29, 2009 at 11:41 AM (#3198361)
I am more than willing to comment on the Brewers.

And just about any team. I am never short of opinions.
   288. Craig in MN Posted: May 29, 2009 at 11:56 AM (#3198368)
I like to think that since Jeff K apparently had some sort of nerve surgery on his arms, that he is typing his his (fine) suggestions with his toes.
   289. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 29, 2009 at 11:59 AM (#3198369)
I like to think that since Jeff K apparently had some sort of nerve surgery on his arms, that he is typing his his (fine) suggestions with his toes.


I think he hammered that one out with his pencil thin wang.
   290. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: May 29, 2009 at 12:11 PM (#3198371)
Shouldn't you be cooking a batch of porridge, or something?
   291. Jeff K. Posted: May 29, 2009 at 01:16 PM (#3198385)
Just my right arm, and no surgery yet. I have radial nerve palsy, which cost me the ability to raise my right wrist. Nothing terribly serious other than being unable to type or really use my right hand due to the nerve being so damaged that no signal was getting through. Good news is surgery is rarely required, bad news is that it went from numb to searing pain as the nerve regenerates. So I typed that long post with my left hand only, meaning it took about 30 minutes.

Joe, today is chicken nuggets and green beans. They're Bron Bron's favorite.
   292. zonk Posted: May 29, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3198407)
5) Utilize tags. There's a thousand ways to do so (team blogs being one, which is already in place), here's just one idea: allow ignoring posters in threads with certain tags. If the Mets contingent is annoyed by levski hijacks, allow Sam to ignore levski in all threads with the NY Mets tag. Allow me to ignore Andy in all threads tagged "get off my lawn" or "safe haven for crotchety old fussbudgets". Create more tags. Allow people to ignore threads based on tags, and allow and encourage those with keys to add tags as the thread progresses. So if it starts out as a discussion of whether stealing home is a good idea and by post 80 has progressed into yet another Pavement circle-jerk, someone can go in and add the "Offtopic - Entertainment" (or music, or Pavement, however granular you want to get) tag, and from that moment on, people who ignore O/T threads will no longer see it.


I think this is an area where the community could definitely provide some assistance. The tough part about building what is essentially a taxonomy is that one shouldn't just sit down with pen and paper and start dreaming up terms -- you need it to be dynamic and living enough to allow growth, but at the same time, ordered and prevent it from becoming unwieldy.

On the whole, though, I agree 100% with Jeff. The beauty of undertaking such an effort - and I think it would and should be an 'effort' - is that not only could it form the foundation for a lot of the new features (like ignore thread, as Jeff mentioned), but it can also be a really, really important building block for resolving a lot of the search issues.

The location I normally post from (a/k/a where I work) is in year 5 of a long-term project to convert terabytes worth of content into more electronic friendly format - but we've really only gotten serious about also taxonomically classifying that same data in the last couple. The difference between architecting a search mechanism, results filter, and user-side customizations over data we have properly classified vs. that we haven't is night and day.

I'd definitely be interested in helping out on such a project, and I suspect that I'm far from alone...
   293. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 29, 2009 at 01:51 PM (#3198422)
Are these overhauls to the site really that critical or is Jim looking the change things just for the hell of it?
   294. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 29, 2009 at 01:55 PM (#3198426)
And LBJ enjoys pizza and Mike and Ikes. Dumbass.
   295. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 29, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3198604)
Any way to get an auto-refresh function in the Game Chatters?
Not sure how it would work with the ads - are they called anew every time the page is refreshed? Or just when a unique visitor joins the chatter?


EDIT: Also - sidenote to the ads - if you are ever looking for ways to get new sources of ad traffic I used to work for an online advertising company, Booyah Networks, they might be able to meet your needs better if you are looking for changes.
   296. villainx Posted: May 29, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3198789)
With the Lounge on the mainsite and people aware of it again, scores of the offtopic threads would disappear and the debate would be had there.


The only other consideration is the horde of mainlanders invading the comfy confines of the Lounge. Or are there a lot of cross posting between the Lounge and mainland?

I'd imagine that the isolation experiment has meant the Lounge population have developed a sort of independent culture, with different snark and e-dialect. And may not adjust to or like the mass intrusion by the newsbloggers.

He has been on a sabbatical from it (for far too long for those of us who relied on him because we're not prospect hounds), but still posts occasionally.


Yeah, I enjoy Mike E's stuff on the minors, but I assume he was picked up by this or that magazine or this or that FO, and his content had to be replace.
   297. fret Posted: May 29, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3198952)
I repeat my proposal from earlier in the thread:

Show the sidebar on forum pages too. Have links on the sidebar to the hot forum topics (and maybe a permanent link to the day's lounge).

The only other consideration is the horde of mainlanders invading the comfy confines of the Lounge. Or are there a lot of cross posting between the Lounge and mainland?

I'd imagine that the isolation experiment has meant the Lounge population have developed a sort of independent culture, with different snark and e-dialect. And may not adjust to or like the mass intrusion by the newsbloggers.


Browsing the first page of today's Lounge, I see a substantive baseball discussion between Dial and dahlian. Independent culture, indeed.
   298. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: May 29, 2009 at 07:14 PM (#3198958)
Villainx, I am the unofficial mayor of the Lounge, and, as such, hereby invite everyone and everyone to participate.

Of course, there are a few I'd like to uninvite, but, as mayor, I feel that would be wrong. So, come, enjoy.
   299. Zach Posted: May 29, 2009 at 08:22 PM (#3199082)
I like the site pretty well as is, although I almost exclusively use the Primer section

1) The one feature I miss from the old site is the ability to post as (for example) Mike Piazza without changing your username for all time. It would be nice if you could use a temporary alias that would apply to one post and be persistent after changing your main handle. The link could even still direct you to the poster's account, if anonymity would be a problem. The ability to use one-off usernames gave the old site a freewheeling property that I miss, even though I enjoy the reduced trolling.

2) A catchall Game Chatter is a great idea. A lot of times I check the Royals game and see no comments. Having a guaranteed active thread to post in would increase traffic overall.

3) Having an unofficial catchall politics thread isn't bad. There will always be some tendency to political threads, since the site attracts argumentative people by nature. Having a semiofficial politics thread prevents other threads from getting derailed.

4) The site overall is in a pretty good place right now. There's no need to dramatically change the way people interact with it. A Slashdot-style moderation system wouldn't help and would probably make things worse by increasing the opportunity for mischief.
   300. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 29, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3199107)
Any way to get an auto-refresh function in the Game Chatters?

Yes. It would be trivial.
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