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Your CNET forums wish list

Hey, all --

I've noticed a lot of complaints about the forums on this forum, and I happen to know that we've started some work on improving them. I cannot promise any specific features, or any IMMEDIATE changes, but since a lot of you are new to our forums, or forum experts in general, it would be great to get your feedback on what features you would like to see. Now, please don't take this as an excuse to post "w00t, the forums SUX0RZ!!!!!" over and over (not that you would, of course). I'm looking for constructive suggestions that I can pass along to an actual product manager with an actual team of engineers.

Thanks! Hopefully we'll all benefit! (I, too, have my issues ...)

--Molly

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#1 flat mode for each thread

In reply to: Your CNET forums wish list

the worst thing is having to load a page for each comment. the clicking on the forums alone is giving me carpal tunnel.

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Exactly

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

The "newsgroup" style should be left for newsgroups. The great thing about *most* forum formats is that all replies are listed under the main thread. This would be a nice change.

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Yes!

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

Let's not get Slashdot-style carried away, but being able to read the thread on one page (with reasonable limits on length of a single page) would create a much more user-friendly experience.

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Yes! Change to flat thread should be prioritised

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

The single most annoying thing about this forum is that you cannot read the whole thread without clicking all the reply links.

If CNET only change 1 thing about the boards, this has to be it.

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(NT) (NT) I totally agree

In reply to: Yes! Change to flat thread should be prioritised

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Stop Trying to "Fix" It, just replace it

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

Take a look at the TiVo community board:

<http://www.tivocommunity.com>

or the AVS forum:

<http://www.avsforum.com>

Those both run on the same software and have all the features I wish the c|net forum did. But if you can only "fix" one thing set it up so that a thread is flat and I can click at the top of the thread to go to the first unread post in the thread.

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Agreed!

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

This threaded business with having to click on each message is for the birds!

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(NT) (NT) I Agree

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

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(NT) (NT) agreed

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

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I agree

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

I don't read a lot of posts, because I get tired of clicking.

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Since my vote may count...I vote for the flat mode.

In reply to: #1 flat mode for each thread

The current mode is ungainly.

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Hmmmm ..

In reply to: Your CNET forums wish list

Maybe some inclusion of using our profile pics as avatars?

Allowing italics, bold, or underline fonts?


-Terry

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Homepages

In reply to: Hmmmm ..

Links to the member's homepage beside their name. Maybe like a little house icon beside their name to go that persons website, if they have one. I'd like to see some of the other memebers' websites. I'd also like to promote mine Happy

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Editing a post

In reply to: Your CNET forums wish list

I would like the ability to edit or delete a post, if only for a certain time period after it has been posted. Perhaps 5 or 10 minutes or UNTIL somebody else replies to it. Typos happen and sometimes we post something and discover a minute later a similar post was already made.

I understand the reasoning behind "no edits once posted" but there is definitely room for an open window on this one.

-Kevin S.

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(NT) (NT) aye

In reply to: Editing a post

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(NT) (NT) +1

In reply to: Editing a post

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(NT) (NT) i agree

In reply to: Editing a post

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(NT) (NT) YAR ! !

In reply to: Editing a post

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Surely

In reply to: Editing a post

Since we've been bitc*ing about this one, maybe we'll get it! PLEASE!

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I Agree

In reply to: Editing a post

I defintely agree about editing a post. And now that I've clicked through 10 messages with only subjects (which are required), stop requiring a subject for every post. And you wouldn't need to require subjects if you had a flat thread for each post. Wink

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Like the Digg comment system

In reply to: Editing a post

It could even just be for a couple of seconds, to look for typos, which I make all the tmie

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I agree, let us edit our posts

In reply to: Editing a post

I still remember the time I started a new topic by accident when I meant to reply to a comment, and it made no sense as a new topic and I felt SO STUPID!

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(NT) (NT) agreed!

In reply to: Editing a post

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How 'bout a little web 2.0-type action...

In reply to: Your CNET forums wish list

..up in he-yah! Seriously, when I hit backspace after reading several responses to the same post, I'm caught up in "response limbo" where I can't get out. The only way to survive the natural panic attack is to close my browser and then curl up into a ball and cry. Many other sites have the thread-style thing figured out. CNET just needs to put down the milkshake, tighten the suspenders and get working!

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Ajax

In reply to: How 'bout a little web 2.0-type action...

I think this forum could seriously benefit from Ajax. I like the fact that you can see a persons response to another persons response and so on. Ajax would greatly improve that, you wouldn't have to continually load a page.

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agreed and ...

In reply to: Ajax

next to each title there could be a + button which would unfold the post; and when you click a different + the maximized post can automatically minimize. Not my own idea, have seen that on some other forum, but it is really easy to use, and looks amazing.

Fez

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(NT) (NT) Same problem

In reply to: How 'bout a little web 2.0-type action...

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My thoughts

In reply to: Your CNET forums wish list

I figured I would throw all of my thoughts together in one post, although they have pretty much been mentioned by somebody else in this topic.

1) Editing posts - I would love to be able to go back and make little corrections in case I misspell something or accidentally leave a muddy point. A time frame would work nicely to help preserve the integrity of the current system. I would also like to be able to completely delete a post in case I respond just a hair too late and have duplicate information of another post. Again, time frame would work.

2) Viewing topics - I'm spending a lot of time on these forums now on a spotty internet connection or on a 7-year-old iBook (300MHz CPU), so it can take quite some time to sift through the topics one post at a time. I really like the easy-to-follow threading of topics here on CNET. If nothing else, it helps to make sure that tangents, regardless of how wild, can be contained and viewed as such. However, I would like more than one post to load at a time. I think that some sort of option regarding how to view topics would be great. You could have options like flat, thread, and I believe I've seen options for hybrid modes elsewhere. Hybrid mode could start off by looking like a flat view, but have posts indented to show the threading.

3) More tools - Let me explain what I mean by this. When you make a post here, you are presented with topic and body text boxes. That's it. I think more editing tools should be available to the poster. For instance, click a button and you are now typing bold (if tags are used, one click could be the start tag and the next click the end tag)[common practice]. However, I think the options should be limited. Bold, italics, underlining, and urls are about all that I would allow.

4) Change location and/or coloring of new topic and reply buttons - I haven't had a problem with this, but I think that just about all of us have seen when somebody clicks the wrong button and accidentally makes a new topic. New coloring, or at least different button positions should alleviate the troubles.

5) Avatars and signatures - having forum avatars is always fun and helps you to identify people easier. I think it should be separate from profile pictures. people should have the option to turn off avatar viewing, in case they are having problems loading pages. Obviously, size needs to be limited here. As for signatures, it would be nice to have the forums automatically add in my "-Ryan" that I always tack on. I think it should be limited to text and only x number of characters. There should also be a checkbox in the editor to disable the default signature in case somebody wants to make a different signature for one particular post.

Okay, I think that is about everything I have to add (at least for now). Sorry for the length, but I hope that everything is explained well enough to provide the best input possible.

-Ryan

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More Tools

In reply to: My thoughts

I agree, we need something that allows people to put some text and turn it into a hyperlink, or when someone puts in a link, it automatically gets turned into <link> or something like that.

I know we have talked about this before and some people still don't like the fact that I use TinyURL to create short URLs, BUT, it makes the pages look nicer and keeps them from going 10 miles across my screen, out of view.

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Read by SCROLLING not by CLICKING

In reply to: Your CNET forums wish list

I have a wheel in between the buttons on my mouse. Let me use it instead of always having to use the left mouse button.

Its as if the forums were made for single-button mice (mouses?).

Just let me see the text to all the posts in a thread all at once and let me scroll instead of clicking next, next, next ,next, next (you get the idea).

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