|What to do about those large quotes|
Now it's easy to just say that people have to cut and paste their own quotes. But in a linear forum it's sometimes hard to follow what people are referring to. And when a large segment of your users don't want to try and figure out bbcode, I'm considering creating a Reply with Quote button. However, one of my biggest pet peeves on a forum is when someone quotes a large post and you have to scroll way down something you just read only to read "HA HA HA", not to mention that it's an extra bandwidth hog.
So I'm considering two solutions and I'd like to see what you guys think and hopefully you can add a few more suggestions.
1. Creating a reply button on each post that says something like Reply with Reference. This creates a link at the top of their new post that goes to the post they are referencing. I need to think harder about the name of the button though.
2. Allowing a Reply with Quote button, but setting a limit on the characters you can quote. Of course when setting a limit, you have to be careful, because there may be a legitimate reason for needing to go above that limit.
I'm thinking about doing a combination of both and setting the limit pretty high. I will still have bbcode quotes as well. Any further suggestions or thoughts?
Some forum software defaults to putting a quote in the reply. This is a terrible idea, IMO, and I'm not even a big fan of making quoting easy.
From a community standpoint, quoting seems to be a way for an irritating member to compound the irritation by dissecting other members posts.
Personally, I often use Control C to grab a few words, and stick 'em right in the post. No BB code, and less temptation to quote the entire post. E.g.,
>>not to mention that it's an extra bandwidth hog<<
Readability of the thread suffers, too. I have no problem with putting the onus of identifying the post on the member creating the reply. If someone is going to reply "That's a great idea" to a comment from six posts ago, he needs to either say, "GoofyOne, that's a great idea!" or include a couple words to specify the reference.
Ditto everything. Have to dig to find 'the reply', the threads get long beyond their relevant content, storage issues, bandwidth, etc. I hate it - yet I see this in several forums - ergo, I visit them less.
I posit this theory: It becomes a 'forum habit' or standard. Kill it early. Kill it often.
Maybe have a list of 10 suggested ways a person can do the same thing without bulk quoting?
So you both prefer the tutoring of the posters approach. What about the Reply with Reference idea? Is there any merit?
I could put at the buttom of every post a "Reply to this Post" button. Then in the response, I would put a "This post is in response to post #x by ThatGuy" link at the top or bottom of the post.
If the tracking of who's replying to whom seems to be a problem in your forum, chadmg, consider using a threaded forum or one that lets users opt for a threaded view. I've become used to the linear approach from hanging out here, but many users swear by a threaded approach. It certainly clarifies whom you are replying to, although I'm not crazy about sifting though multiple branches in a thread to see what's new.
Sometimes I have a little trouble figuring out who's talking to whom, but this forum is much better than most linear forums. Members are much more attuned to how this thing works. I'm fine with leaving it alone.
>> Then in the response, I would put a "This post is in response to post #x by ThatGuy" link at the top or bottom of the post. <<
This idea would drive me crazy, linking back and forth, and opening browser windows. I hope you don't implement this one.