OL--Yesterday and Today (structure)


Recommended Posts

I think OL's new format introduced last summer has badly damaged this site. Before it was easy to keep track of and contribute to as many as 40 different threads. Today mega posting on several threads tends to bury everything else in a few days. Contributions and contributors and I suspect readers have dropped off and out for that reason.

--Brant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brant,

I can't do anything about the new format right now. I wish I could.

The "Unread Content" button at the top right should help you keep track of unread threads. (There are more than it might seem.)

As to the mega-threads, that's probably my fault for my pro-Trump anti-corrupt-ruling-class leanings. But members are certainly free to discuss whatever they want. And it's still easy to start threads.

Traffic-wise, we are just as strong as ever, so people are reading the site.

I'm starting to futz around with video. I might make a screencast with a few suggestions on how to best get around on the forum.

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

I think OL's new format introduced last summer has badly damaged this site.

I can bring to mind the older iteration of IPBoard. I seem to remember that there was a page I bookmarked that showed me what I wanted:  current posts and topics. I can't quite remember if those topics were threaded (ie, if the latest comment in a topic also included previous comments).  What the updated version did last summer was give more options for a 'preferred' view or landing page. You can take one 'off the shelf' or modify it to your tastes. To illustrate, there are six built-in options:

00mystreamsoptions.png

So, me, I use http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?/discover/ as my personal landing page. I also have two customized streams I made for myself: http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?/discover/7/  and http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?/discover/8/ .

The plain-jane page Objectivist Living dot com URL resolves immediately to this, which is itself pretty plain-jane: http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php

What hasn't happened is any major changes to the databases which contain the content.  By database I mean tables of information, where each item is indexed and cross-indexed. That stayed the same, but the front-loading code changed, in two systematic ways. The first was more "Ajax" ... this is an acronym for Asynchronous Javascript & XML. That's how the dynamic parts of the site are handled.

In a nutshell, Ajax scripts and PHP code can query databases in real-time, rendering a web page that doesn't have to reload each time its underlying data-source changes. This is what happens when you are viewing the Discover page and a new post is made: the page updates itself without you doing anything.

The second change was in making the entire code-structure of the Invision products more 'modular.'  This is perhaps where some changes could be made to the first page that any new visitor to Objectivist Living dot com sees. 

Here is what may be key to rendering a 'landing' or first page that is as comprehensive as the old ways ... this is from the Invision site's Customization page:

Quote

01mystreamsoptions.png

I have a fair bit of experience wrangling databases using MySQL and PHP to render HTML pages, I use FTP and CSS,  and I understand the logic of Ajax and XML.  If Michael needs any help in customizing, I am happy to offer it.  I think I am not the only one with webmaster experience, so we could get a brain trust together to do it right (I am by no means an expert, just a talented amateur).

Quote

Before it was easy to keep track of and contribute to as many as 40 different threads. Today mega posting on several threads tends to bury everything else in a few days. Contributions and contributors and I suspect readers have dropped off and out for that reason.

I think Stephen Boydstun offered a plausible set of reasons which obtain for any Objectivish forum of OL's type. To oversimplify his notions, 'drop off' is a consequence of a wider personal-media landscape. Eg, Facebook allows a fluid and malleable way to socially-interact online, and Twitter is a single world-wide platform for instant messaging.  

So, there will have been a kind of drifting away to a more personal way of discussion, and an expansion of non-forum-style alternatives.  And of course, some folks drift away from a forum for personal reasons, and even a few for political reasons: they may  not have felt at home here any more, found little in common with the site's partisan direction.  

Look around at THE FORUM, Solopassion, Rebirth of Reason, Noodlefood ... each has either expired or been reduced to a rump group -- without sophisticated forum software updates.  (Objectivism Online is chugging along, though it too has had a code-rewrite that rendered it less accessible to me, lazy me)

I think OL has maintained its leadership position in terms of numbers, members, current posts and so on, compared to 'sister' forums. I note that new members register here every day, and that non-bot real Guests usually outnumber registered members five to one at a given moment. At any given moment there are usually at least 25 people reading, and the threads that they read are from the depths of the archives as well as current topics.

I  will look more deeply into the customization possibilities in the current iteration of the forum software. But it is up to Michael if he wishes to make any changes.   Maybe we can help him out by describing more or less exactly what the Ideal Page would incorporate, what particular format is most attractive or valuable to a regular consumer.

Here is the rock-solid data-delivery design at RoR, where the most recent activity is made into a modified hierarchy.  I like that one can get a delimited view of everything recent:

03mystreamsoptions.png

Who is here right now?

online_Users.png

Edited by william.scherk
Added 'who is here' image ...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't on topic but instead is about the RoR screenshot William included in the post above.

William,

When is that screenshot from?

It isn't current.  I just checked (first I've looked at RoR in a long while, maybe more than a year).

I'm sad to see on your screenshot that Teresa Summerlee Isanhart died.  I knew her distantly years ago via emails she'd contribute in a small friends list run by Karen Reedstrom/later Minto.  I liked Teresa, thought she was kind and wise and with a fun sense of humor.  I want to read the RoR thread for details on her death but I don't know how to find the thread.

Ellen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

This isn't on topic but instead is about the RoR screenshot William included in the post above.

William,

When is that screenshot from?

When I log in at RebirthofReason.com, that is the page returned.

18 minutes ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

It isn't current.  I just checked (first I've looked at RoR in a long while, maybe more than a year).

I'm sad to see on your screenshot that Teresa Summerlee Isanhart died.  I knew her distantly years ago via emails she'd contribute in a small friends list run by Karen Reedstrom/later Minto.  I liked Teresa, thought she was kind and wise and with a fun sense of humor.  I want to read the RoR thread for details on her death but I don't know how to find the thread.

She was a lovely woman in many ways, and was quite kind to me.  She could laugh at me and laugh with me. 

Here is the RoR thread started by Stephen Boydstun, Ellen: http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/GeneralForum/2077.shtml

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Merlin and William,

Thank you both for the link.

Stephen Boydstun's opening post gives the date of Teresa's death as September 6, 2016, but doesn't say the cause.  I hope it wasn't some horrid protracted illness.

So sad that she's gone, and at only age 60.  I can imagine her filling the bill of the Wise Old Woman archetype if she'd lived into her 90s.

Ellen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now