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New Forum suggestion / Google Update

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8:18 am on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I am sorry to say but each Google Update seems to get worse and worse, and I am not talking about the algo but the Google News threads, the serious, the not so serious, the update has started etc. etc. threads that go on.

They become very long with people posting x has changed and then oh no it hasn't etc.

My suggestion is to put a new section in the Google Forum which just covers the updates and does not count towards users total posts (just like FOO).

That way all update discussion can go on in one forum, and people who wish to discuss other things can do so in peace.

EDIT IN

The title of the thread should read - New Forum Suggestion not No Forum Suggestion!

8:48 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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just a thought, and apologies if its not where the site wants to be going.

I suggest a lot stronger use of "locking threads" whether they be update related or not, this is usually only needed in Forum 3 which gets serious traffic numbers.

eg:

[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

are 2 threads which could safely be locked, as any answers which were hoped for have either been given, or pointed to another direction.

obviously there is a bit more to it, but I think this could be a good idea.

also once the "new site search" is launched, it will be a lot better to send members to previous posts if required.

at present I have absolute nightmares trying to find previous posts via site search.

Shak

8:56 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I suggest we keep Google update threads and related Google noise off the active post list. At least then those of us who are not interested won't be subjected to the costant barrage of new update posts appearing.

The whole Google thing is just really old...I know the mods are trying their best to control it, though.

9:22 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've been thinking about this since even before the two new forums were split off for Google IPO/Finance and AdWords, but now it looks like it's reached proportions where the needs of different sectors of the membership are being affected.

Judging by the topics that get a lot of interest and posting, it seems the following would be logical points to look at for division, should it occur:

1. Google Indexing
Whatever pertains to updates, everflux, fresh listings & crawling. Discussions about the algorithm aren't specifically related to indexing and inclusion in the same sense, those could stay in Google News unless they turn into a carbon copy of the update threads.

2. Google Linking Concerns, Page Rank and Penalties
It isn't even possible to think about ranking for Google without concern for PR and Linking. The two can't be separated, it's the nature of the beast. There's a huge volume of posting concerned with linking and how Google views it, and how it affects PR in one way or another, not the least of which is fear of penalties.

There's an awful lot of sincere newbie/novice concern, downright fear and volume about linking, Page Rank and penalties. Mostly repetitions because they get so buried under volume that it's almost impossible to find relevant info.

They're Google specific so they're in the Google News forum. To cut down on the clutter and sheer volume in this topic area, separating them out of the Google News forum could be helpful to a lot of people. We thrive on academically or theoretical type posts, those could be in Google News, which can be the repository for the more advanced type of discussions.

3. Using Google Search
This could have educational benefit, since not only is there a lot to using Google's search that a lot of people don't know about yet, but even though it's subtle, knowing how to use search also helps with optimization.

This could incorporate discussion on how search could be improved or what other features we'd like to see.

The biggie:

SPAM reports...in violation of TOS, contrary to the purpose of the Google News forum, specifically mentioned as being off-topic in the charter, and completely non-productive for the "Advanced Web Professional" which is exactly the sector WebmasterWorld is targeted to and committed to serving.

If someone sees what *is* genuine spam, the only thing that is productive is to share well thought out views on how Google Search can be improved - which means those would belong in a Google Search forum. If posts are about a particular site getting beaten out, or is nothing more than venting, I can't see where that benefits everyone.

Getting those out of Google News would cut back a lot of the unnecessary volume and repetition and make life easier for everyone including our newbies, who might not know where to post in the first place and probably have a harder time finding anything than we do.

It would make it much easier to be able to get back into some quality discussion and be able to find them.

10:04 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Any post that says "Google Update" is on my auto scroll list. I dont even give it the time of day to read. I am fairly aware of when google up dates without reading 100-200 crack heads posting the samething over and over. One post would be sufficent and the rest can be deleted.
10:42 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Splitting the Google Forum further will be difficult in terms of overlap and, at first, confusion. Marcia's and Alcogooglic's suggestion, basically splitting temporal and algorithmic discussion, sounds very promising.

Shak:
> stronger use of "locking threads"

WebG outlined the slight change in attitude, and this is part of it. I think we're needing to ask not just whethere a thread is in itself particularly damaging, but whether it actually contributes to the forum.

I've had a few StickyMail replies in the last 36 hours from members who seem very willing to accept that the focus needs to come back; if we can encourage our experienced members to become extra-active on the forum, I think a return to the more professional tone is very achievable.

[edited by: ciml at 10:54 pm (utc) on May 15, 2003]

10:50 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So - I've been thinking about this quite a bit, which is hard, because I have a lot of work to do. Anyhow - here are some conclusions:

One thing I'm picking up is that nobody wants to alienate the newbies. We were all there once and it is one of the things that make this forum so attractive; you can come here and learn from the best and not be shot down in flames for asking a stupid question.

People will ask silly questions: "why am I a pr6 and not a 7 etc.". Well there is a saying that there is no such thing as a silly question - and at one point, none of us knew the answers. So they're legitimate questions and we should make room for them.

Should they be separated out from other threads? Well - usually on webmasterworld these questions get answers - probably from some kind hearted soul who pressed the "unanswered posts" button. Would they be answered if they were in a different forum which the more senior members avoided and taken off the active list? No. Probably not.

Also - splitting the google forum up into lots of different forums - will new members know where to go? They may or may not know the first thing about google - how would they know where to start? No - they'll go somewhere else. But we need these people. This is how I found webmasterworld and I know that many others found it this way also.

I get tired of update threads as well, especially this month, when it's been going on for two weeks. I was one of the first to second (that's quite a funny phrase!) this idea. But the more I think about it the more I worry about giving them these threads their own area.

If we do have an area like "new to google" - will I go in there and help out? Yes - but will I do it often enough? The solution at the moment is, perhaps, a stopgap solution but I think the mods and admins are doing an admirable job of keeping it clean. If we are going to split them then we all need to committ to doing what we can to go in there and answer the newbie questions - after all, we've all been there - not just leave it as an unregulated area for the mods to stress about where posts don't count.

11:00 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Iím for moving it or renaming it or taxing it.

That's IT! :) Require a credit card for registration, and bill 5 cents for every post in the Google forums, until the poster reaches Senior Member status... LOL

11:07 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>That's IT! Require a credit card for registration, and bill 5 cents for every post in the Google forums, until the poster reaches Senior Member status... LOL

WOOT! Google forum here I come! Free posting........ :)

Scott ;)

11:23 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>If we are going to split them then we all need to committ to doing what we can to go in there and answer the newbie questions

I agree completely.

The problem we are having is that much of what you fear is already happening. Much of our senior membership has abandoned Forum 3. That has led to to many questions from new members either going unanswered, or being answered incorrectly by another well-intentioned new member.

We need to create an environment that works for people on both sides of the fence. And doing that, requires participation from all involved.

11:50 pm on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You could make any post in an update thread a negative post. It subtracts one from your post count. I would imagine there would be a few people with negative post counts.
12:26 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thumbs up ^
12:33 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have thought this should be done for ages, but being shy I didn't want to rock the boat.
5:50 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Some observations:

1. It could be that updates remain semi-continous in the future.
2. If I understood Matt Cutts well during the Pubcon - penalties will come and go continously in the future as well.

Postings of 1 & 2 nature should therefore only increase in the future.
Forum 3 has become the webmaster help desk of Google.

3. This forum is serving the newbies as a place to vent and discuss 1 & 2.
4. This forum is seemingly dis-serving longer time and more senior members because of the posting consequnces of 1 & 2.

From what I see, many of the update posts do get "answered" or "discussed" by other members. In a way - if Brett can stomach the bandwidth - that means serving and building a community.

So the splitting up does make sense.

A seperate Google update forum could have a (monthly?) short and factual, permanently locked thread, always on top, where only moderators and admins can copy "the best of" and "Googleguy answers".

Add an "Update FAQ" in the top menu.

And yes, not counting update-postings, might limit the noise.

10:52 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Really liked edit_g perspective.

Make a Newbie Forum which will be for all the new members. Would help them to post properly. When i first came to this forum i also had difficulty in posting in the correct forum.

Separate out completely a Google update and Spam forum which will only deal with those issues. Posts should not count in this forum.

The update threads this month had some very good information in the beginning from GG and other senior members but then it sort of got lost. And yes the absence of regular senior members is felt in Forum 3.

10:53 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Wow I thought I was the only one who didnt read the latest update threads. I would much prefer some serious open minded discussion about other aspects of google than just the update.
11:11 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I agree, I used to come here and find relevant information about the update within seconds, This month however I just havent bothered looking as it is so full of nonsense I havent the time to waid throught it all.

Im totally confused on all this subject, I'll wait for a few months till it all calms down (if it ever does)

11:49 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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One additional thought - it would be nice (but perhaps impractical) to keep this new google update thread mania forum _off_ the recent posts lists.

At the moment the Recent Posts goes by so fast that its almost unusable unless you happen to hang out here all day (a luxury many of us can't afford :-)

A more general ability to show only recent posts of a collection of forums you choose would be really nice, but I would expect it might be a bit impractical.

12:27 pm on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The problem we are having is that much of what you fear is already happening. Much of our senior membership has abandoned Forum 3. That has led to to many questions from new members either going unanswered, or being answered incorrectly by another well-intentioned new member.

Newbies need a lesson in how to act in a forum. I have only recently figured things out, being a newbie myself, and not having posted too much in forums in my past. I recieved 'discipline' from both Brett and Nick, and let me tell you, when a post goes missing or you get that first sticky-mail and it's from Brett, you sort yourself out real fast.

So how about this as an add-on to any forum-splicing that may happen - a series of standard letters are written for:

  • When someone posts something with a poor topic title.
  • When someone 'hijacks' a subject with their own some-what unrelated question.
  • Something for when the conversation diverges to foo.

Have the letters sent by Brett, or the Mod, not some form sounding letter. It may take a bit of work, but I was completely unaware of forum edicate when I arrived here.
- Stuck in this room all day with my computer, my focus was finding an answer, edicate had flown out the window hours before to get some sunshine.


I would add this solution to the mix, 'cause for me, I had the 'fire lit under my *ss' when I had to deal with El Jefe, and then Nick, a moderator who I have great respect for.
2:00 pm on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I go for the idea of having some "sticky" posts at the top for FAQ questions such as penalties, spam reporting, freshbot/deepcrawl information etc. I know there are guidelines to read and follow before posting, but most people are used to other forums where those sticky messages keep things together, a bit ;)
7:09 pm on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Newbie with a view,

A couple of probelms have been described but I want to get my two cents in on "the google update thread"; to keep it valuable the good stuff must be seperated from the chaff. IM(Very)HO, either:

a)the posters self depreciate their post through an option pick, (unlikely),

b) the system checks for key words or a posters' rank (read # of previous posts), or

c) the moderators designate a posts value as they read through it.

Option a is unlikely to work. Nobody posts a message and then says it is this message is only a rant on my new rank, don't bother to read it :)

Option b costs money (the more complex the algo, the more money, searching for keywords complex and expensive, checking post count simple, less likely to work but cheap) but is low effort. Other side effects as mentioned, if a user can affect their ability to post they will jump through the hoops to do so.

Option c is labor intensive and not likely to work if they get behind on rating a threads' posts.

If using one of the above the posts could be ranked then a viewer could select viewing only posts in a certain category (serious posts only, posts from Mods, or real posts without "I lost my position!")

Without making the people do it (the poster or the Mods) the only option I see is to have the system categorize the posts in some manner. The question is then in what manner?

Options:

By posters' status (post count, time on forum, or a status requested and granted)
By keyword or key phrase recognition (very expensive)

Maybe more later .....

indoor soccer calls,
Shane

1:59 am on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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  • There are already 70 threads in forum3 dated May 16, 2003. Many of them have obscure Subject and Mata Description fields. One has to open each thread just to get an initial idea what it's about. So it takes more than an hour daily to make out what's going on here.

  • There is a red button in the left column entitled New, which tells actually nothing new, because the last column with dates tells the same but more precisely.

  • Could we replace this red button with a system of flags to designate the status of each thread? For example:

    Blue question mark means I'm newbie, I need a quick answer.
    Gray question mark means newbie's question is answered.
    Red question mark: I'm an expert, I have some difficult question.
    Yellow question mark: The difficult question is answered.
    Red 'D': Discussion. All comments are welcome
    Gray 'D': Discussion is closed
    It should be duty of Moderator/Admin to trigger the flag from bright to shadow form that automatically stops further comments.
    Then,
    Red 'I': I have some new info about Goo from outside world.
    And so on...

  • I believe if we introduce only ten different flags, we will save about 90% of our time, because everyone will be able to go directly to his/her/its subject.
  • 2:05 am on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I know it takes more bandwidth but what about the option of a preview pane?

    The first three lines of text shown of the first post. All Blanks and <CRs> removed to just show text?

    Cheers,
    Shane

    5:48 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Shame on all of you that have posted in the update threads and posted here. Its not all of you but I see several I recognize. I do not concur, but all the messages have been locked anyway. If you have such a large base of members then why are you succumbing to the few 'senior members'. This now a google news forum where we can't talk about the biggest news to happen to google all year. Sheesh

    I would imagine the senior members don't appreciate the update threads because they have HAD THE CHANCE to be through and post and learn in so many that it is old hat.

    Oh, and who gives a rats fart about post count?! (other than to make sure its not stuck on 666, cuz that would be bad)
    Now that thats off my chest, i think I will go punch out.:)

    6:13 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    they have HAD THE CHANCE to be through and post and learn in so many that it is old hat

    This senior member has learned two things, you've heard them both before:
    1. You can't draw reliable conclusions about what an SE is doing until their update is done.
    2. You can't build a successful online business based on traffic from one SE.

    This senior member just gets tired of the "noise" generated by people trying to draw conclusions in mid-update.

    6:19 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Keep to the subject, guys. During this dance Google seems to have two left as it did last time. Of course, I'm speaking from the perspective of my site but there were so many complaints I am inclined to think it is a trend rather than a coincidence.

    Google, you are a naughty boy!<g>

    7:26 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    This senior member just gets tired of the "noise" generated by people trying to draw conclusions in mid-update.

    Turn down the volume.

    As to my earlier post. I was under the impression that no more posts in any of the threads involving the update would be allowed. Happily, I was mistaken:)

    8:07 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    Powdork,

    I think most here would conclude that there is a need for update threads,
    but that these threads now tend(ed) to dominate the Google forum with many times premature conclusions, repetitions and me-to, etc remarks.

    The main question here is how to present/organise this phenonemon in a relevant way, whilst keeping everyone happy.

    I do not think this "update" is old hat, its just different, but is it different enough to warrant possibly thousands of postings?

    11:11 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    One relevant question for the ops: what % of the membership actually reads the monster update threads?

    Personally, I'll take a look when its starts, but once its past about 10 posts I know its not worth bothering with.

    3:59 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I do not think this "update" is old hat, its just different, but is it different enough to warrant possibly thousands of postings?

    So how to let people speak and the reader to find what meaningful information after the fact without either:
    a. the reader going through 1000+ posts, or
    b. someone having to manually summarizing the relevant information.

    This senior member just gets tired of the "noise" generated by people trying to draw conclusions in mid-update.

    Aren't these ideas which need to be debated by a group to validate them or prove them wrong? But also, aren't some posts are pure noise?

    Again, during the debate/discussion/frustration of update a post maybe relevent. Afterwards it is just so much more noise.

    So eiter the reader scans alot of posts of a screening mechanism is provided.

    In the end this forum adds value or we would not be here, we would be some where else. Part of that value is because everyone gets to and is encouraged to contribute.

    ..... Shane

    12:35 pm on May 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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    I heard this dance is worse than previous ones because engineers want to put an end to dancing and switch to constant spidering as FAST did.

    That might be a rumour because I am not that good in technical matters but it sounds like the truth.

    This 60 message thread spans 2 pages: 60
     

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