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10:49 am on Sep 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Note: the following messages were split out from the Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2019 Thread [webmasterworld.com] so as to keep that thread on topic.



Can someone help me out here? I click "Follow Thread" but it still doesn't appear in the "My Threads" section unless I post in it. What's the point of "Following" a thread?

[edited by: not2easy at 5:22 am (utc) on Sep 6, 2019]
[edit reason] thread split [/edit]

4:56 pm on Sept 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Can someone help me out here? I click "Follow Thread" but it still doesn't appear in the "My Threads" section unless I post in it. What's the point of "Following" a thread?

@jmorgan See [webmasterworld.com...]

I've brought this issue up before. I would like to follow a thread and get notifications of replies but that is not how it works unfortunately.
1:35 pm on Sept 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Dear mods/admin of webmasterworld,

This is one of maybe two or three or forums that I visit regularly. The other one or two forums actually make an effort to regularly upgrade their forum to the latest forum software/technology.

WebmasterWorld, on the other hand, seems content to remain stagnant on their legacy software, trusting that their age/reputation will guarantee a steady supply of visitors over the long term. I can tell you, from personal experience, that this will not be the case.

If you want to continue using your own custom forum software, despite the fact that there are significantly better/improved versions of forum software out there, you WILL suffer the consequences (if not already).

It's up to you what you want to do. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Edit: From personal experience, you will probably have a small handful (maybe as much as one or two) whining about the changes but any overall positive improvement in a website will be beneficial over the long-term. Again, this is just my personal opinion, you can do whatever you want and I'll, personally, still check back regularly.
3:59 pm on Sept 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan

I've heard complaints about this forum software before however personally I have never had an issue with it, what do you find so wrong?

Incidentally don't forget that the late IncrediBill performed a massive responsive update a few years back.
4:51 pm on Sept 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@RedBar I just find it really ancient and clunky considering the massive improvements in forum software over the years,

All kinds of new features like (and not limited to) notifications, embedding of links, media, etc. This forum, on the other hand, seems stuck in the 80s/90s.
7:24 pm on Sept 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan ; why use an SUV in town centre when a bike may do as well, or even better?
Less is more.

.
10:08 pm on Sept 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@jmorgan ; why use an SUV in town centre when a bike may do as well, or even better?
Less is more.


Less is more - that also applies to UX and whilst im not massively bothered I do agree it looks like it needs a refresh, not just for asthetic reasons but functional reasons. For example having the quick reply and "full" reply as separate options seems clunky, having to go to a separate page (there not being able to read the posts whilst composing an answer) in order to get the editor with URL and quote buttons.
There are plenty of other usability glitches I have experience trying to get into certain forums etc that have basically discourage me from exploring much beyond the monthly google seo thread.
10:54 pm on Sept 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Updating software will not update the quality of discussions. I find the forum very easy to use and would change nothing (besides fixing bugs).
11:32 am on Sept 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan : very valid points!

.
5:06 pm on Sept 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I don't mind the interface but then I am old school and sometimes less clutter is better.

If WebmasterWorld wants to increase forum participation they should allow for notifications when you follow a thread. There are lots of threads I am interested in but may have nothing of value to add about it at the moment (as it could be something new I am learning about). This way when a new post happens I am reminded to visit the thread and one of the replies may prompt me to add a post that has some value.
6:40 pm on Sept 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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the tools asked for are mostly here already, just in different places than the "new" stuff uses.

Also, if you use the recent posts page as your log in you see all the new activity (and new replies) at a glance and set the number of visible to a larger number than the default.

What I appreciate most is WW works with all scripts turned off. As a privacy nut this is very appealing.
8:49 pm on Sept 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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whilst it may be the case some features or ways of doing things are possible if they are not obvious then for most users, especially new users, that that presents a friction point and it can certainly mean people leave a site. There is a UX book called "Dont Make me Think" which has a pretty clear message just in the title about a key aspect of usability and it is something that is more relevant year after year. This site might of course have a bit of a different audience than many standard sites and whilst I dont really care that much personally, I wouldn't see the harm in a bit of a refresh. All depends on the how much time and effort it would take and if that is available to the owner/owners.
9:14 pm on Sept 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Heh heh!

then again there is the other side that suggests if one is unwilling to look, one can't see.

It's all here (notifications, follow threads, etc) and anyone who looks can find it.

that is not an argument that things can't be improved, just an observation that folks are either blind, or "Don't Make Me Think" is all they know.
9:31 pm on Sept 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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As far as I can tell, notifications are only available if you start a thread or post a reply, hence my previous post.

Did I miss something?
11:06 pm on Sept 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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hence my previous post.

This is my 3rd post in this thread. I clicked the email notification in my 1st post to test the feature and got no emails after my 2nd post, so I'm not sure it even works.

My first post has been deleted by a mod, so the reference to a previous post makes no sense, so ignore the
hence my previous post.
in my 2nd post.
12:34 am on Sept 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Actually works a treat ... can't tell you how many times over the years that I accidentally clicked that option (too close to the submit button) and had to spend DAYS making it go away!

If you aren't getting notifications check your junk/spam folders to make sure WW is not getting caught by accident.

AND, aside, where else would you indicate a desire to have notifications other than the thread you are in? Look to see if the check mark is still there ... just as you can turn it on by accident, you can turn it off the same way.
2:55 pm on Sept 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@tangor if I am understanding your last post correctly you are saying if you follow a thread you will get notification of replies?

That is incorrect. You only get notifications of replies if you are the original poster of the thread or reply in the thread.

Moderator engine confirmed this here [webmasterworld.com...]

You can also get notifications of new threads with forum list subscriptions but they do not send reply notifications.

Following a thread just flags the thread as followed and gives you visual cues on the site plus includes it in the Followed Threads list. No reply email notificaitons are sent.
3:09 pm on Sept 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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That is correct ... and if you want to follow it, reply and check the notification at the bottom. HOWEVER, that check mark will stay toggled and when you reply in another thread you will start getting notifications on that one TOO ... so remember to uncheck it!

Could it be better? Probably. Is it essential? Perhaps. Do I need it? No. My interests at WW are rather narrow and fairly easy for me to keep up with.
9:44 pm on Sept 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It's all here (notifications, follow threads, etc) and anyone who looks can find it.

that is not an argument that things can't be improved, just an observation that folks are either blind, or "Don't Make Me Think" is all they know.


Just because a feature may be there in some form does not mean that people are blind if they do not see it , or that the feature itself fulfills the functions as well as many might expect.
Keeping with the notifications as an example , it seems some are confused by them but even if you get notification emails I find that the format of those emails themselves are not formatted in an easy to read format. They are hard to scan quickly to see which thread they are from and look the same every time. So if you are subscribed to more than one thread and one of those is active, it is highly likely you will miss the update less active threads in amongst all the active updates. This in itself probably contributes to some threads becoming stale quite quickly or people just hanging out in the single monthly google updates thread only (which in turn means that goes off topic quite often and turns into a general discussion)
1:25 am on Sept 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Milchan ... I, too, would like mind-reading software. The computer on the Enterprise D was pretty close, but still no cigar. (humor)

Seriously, we are now taking about formatting, not content delivery and that's something different from function. Secondly, expecting email notifications to provide the same info as actually participating is not that realistic, either from a user standpoint, or the forum provider standpoint. At some point the user actually has to play in person, not by "long distance".

We get these "you need to update your forum!" comments from time to time. Over the years many changes have been incorporated by the VOLUNTEERS who man the helm at Webmasterworld. I, for one, appreciate every single thing they do. I might not agree with some changes, but then again, it is their sandbox. I'm just a visitor allowed to play FOR FREE and Mama taught me you are polite and follow house rules.

I also do not expect a Ford F-150 to be a Formula One, or a Cessna to fly as fast as a Boeing 767. Sometimes, you simply get what you get.

Aside: how many threads ARE you following? Do you log in every day for the updates? (Hint: Recent posts reveals all new traffic every twenty-four (24) hours day after day. Set your message shown number to 50 and see the new traffic for up to a week.

What exactly do you want notifications to do? That is a serious question. Most serious.
1:36 am on Sept 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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More info:

This is my login page for WW: [webmasterworld.com...]

Has everything NEW in a single page. I can change my view settings in control panel, click My Webmasterworld at the top of every page to configure.
8:30 am on Sept 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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yes, agree with Tangor.
I have the Recent Posts page as my landing page for WebmasterWorld.
it works for me.
2:49 pm on Sept 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Firstly just want to say that Im not complaining, but providing feedback. It doesnt bother me alot (got far too many real problems to care tbh) but Im just putting forward my opinion.

For the emails, yes we are talking about formatting (although also about function as some people seem toreport the follow threads function doesnt work/ work as expected) which actually means it should be an easy thing to improve.

I also do not expect a Ford F-150 to be a Formula One, or a Cessna to fly as fast as a Boeing 767. Sometimes, you simply get what you get.


I think to respond to this I will refer you to jmorgans original post , wereby he was simply pointing out that not moving forward and just relying on past reputation ultimately will result in the site withering away. So for a site to have the attitude of "you get what your get" is its perogative especially when it is free, but it is pretty certain that people will leave for better options that dont take that approach. I have done this as a user myself for something that was pretty much the exact same problem - a long established site, that was outdated, relying on just reputation and then new better, free options came along and I started using those. I never go back to that old site now even though I used it for years.


Aside: how many threads ARE you following? Do you log in every day for the updates?

I am following 10 threads and I pretty much log in daily several times a day.But I find due to the format of the site I pretty much only monitor the current google updates thread and maybe one or two more, but find in general very few conversations seem to get people participating alot (compared to other forums) so you kind of stop bothering yourself after a while.

What exactly do you want notifications to do? That is a serious question. Most serious.

Be formatted in a way that makes it easy , at a glance to identify which discussion thread the notifacation is for and have a link that takes me to that latest comment.
Currently the emails come through with the FORUM title for example [Google SEO News and Discussion] and your own member name. Would be much better if it simply had the discussion thread name for example something like : "Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2019" New Reply from USERNAME
Have the top level forum name means if you follow a few threads in that forum (very common scenario Id say) then the subject line is useless in identifying / sorting them.We also dont need to be told our own member name everytime in the subject.
In the email text itself there is alot of redundant info that makes it harder to see at a glance which thread it is. For example this is a typical one:
---------
From
[webmasterworld.com...]
USERNAME replied to the following discussion:
[webmasterworld.com...]
Subject : Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2019
Description:
Forum : Google SEO News and Discussion, Google

Unsubscribe Thread: [webmasterworld.com...]
---------
Certainly do not need the first two lines containing From and [.......] as we know from the email were it is coming from.
The USERNAME replied to part is fine and should be first/ The following lines look conjested making it harder to see at a glance which thread it is.
It would be easy to tidy it up and make it more easy on the eye. Also im not sure we need the last 10 active threads list - I never read them to be honest, but at least they are formatted in a minimum way that makes sense.The unsubscribe link should also be at the bottom as I have clicked on that a number of times instinctively when trying to go to the discussion due to its placement.


Just to add also , I wrote this reply in NOTEPAD and manually added the QUOTE formatting boxes because I wanted to be able to read the thread whilst answering.Obviously that is not good UX. This is the only forum I know of that doesnt have the function of being able to reply with full functionality formatting and remain on the thread at the same time.
3:27 pm on Sept 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If there is no new content, then yes, sites fade away ... not happening here.

Pretty
is surface, content is the heart.

While an email that takes you directly to the new post would be nice, so far I haven't found any difficulty clicking the emailed link and then hitting the end button to jump down to the last message (the newest one).

As for composing in note pad so you can read the thread while replying ... you can also do the same thing typing the message in the reply box then hitting preview to do the formattingmark up. :)

DISCLAIMER: I use this site with all scripts disabled. My computer is set to high contrast (bad eyes) and looks like 1980s screens. My browser rejects all formatting for text and images (again, vision). Black White Orange and Medium green are the only font colors allowed. "Pretty" means very little to me and I have to keep reminding myself that others do not see the site the way I do---so apologies if my comments seem odd at times.
2:08 am on Sept 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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As for composing in note pad so you can read the thread while replying ... you can also do the same thing typing the message in the reply box then hitting preview to do the formattingmark up. :)


lol, yes of course, I started off in the quick reply window but realized it was going to be quite long so I just continued in notepad on a separate screen (I quite often bring up notepad for typing things out like snippets of code so I guess it is a habit)

and as for "If there is no new content, then yes, sites fade away ... not happening here. " - that can be the case but if there is/are a competitor/s that also have the good , regular content but much better UX experience then that can cause people to migrate away
8:45 am on Sept 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I do find WebmasterWorld a bit clunky, all the forums I participate in differ, they just are what they are.
11:19 am on Sept 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Mark_A ... clunky, or focused? What I see in the "other forums" out there is noise and more noise* interfering with the content. :)

Different strokes, of course, and always chasing a dollar. Whew!

* I don't see that, one of the script/ad blocker crowd ... when surfing personally!
11:37 am on Sept 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps clunky isn't fair. One of the forums I use is fully custom built and handles what we throw at it very well, there is advertising on that forum which I don't mind a bit, another without ads uses all the latest features of a forum software which permits embedding of tweets, fb content, video etc etc and on that self promotion is also not allowed, like here.

I do sometimes wish I could see the websites that members here are discussing. The proof of the pudding with respect to WebmasterWorld is that I continue to use it because there are alternatives out there for this subject. So I do find the forum here works as well as needed.