Author Topic: Ignore Board option?  (Read 6712 times)

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Offline Steve

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Ignore Board option?
« on: November 16, 2012, 02:58:17 PM »
With the recent spate of messages regarding the newly implemented "Ignore User" modification, it seems that we have a mixed audience here.

There is one camp that wants PM to be a pizza resource at a professional level. A place for serious pizza discussion and not much of anything else.

The other camp seems to be content with casual discussion of pizza, they want to pull up a bar stool, talk pizza, and socialize.

Catering to both groups has some serious issues. Professionals do not necessarily want to hear about a member's taste in music. They want serious discussion, serious answers, about pizza making. The chatter is distracting and creates an air of unprofessionalism here. We've lost a lot of members because of this. And the same is true for the socializers. We moderators try to clean up the chatter, but in doing so we usually hurt someone's feelings.

I want everyone to feel welcome here. So what's the solution?

How about I set up some social boards? And make them hidden (or ignored) by default? And if you want to join in the discussions then you'd have to make a conscious effort to flip the switch to see those boards?

Or is there another option that I haven't thought about?

I'm open to any and all ideas.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 03:02:25 PM by Steve »
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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 03:08:33 PM »
How about I set up some social boards? And make them hidden (or ignored) by default? And if you want to join in the discussions then you'd have to make a conscious effort to flip the switch to see those boards?

That would work very well.  How about expanding it to all boards, so that you can pick and choose what you see when you log in?  Would that be a lot of trouble?
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline I Have Feet

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 03:44:01 PM »
I'm still quite new here and I don't want to speak out of place, but perhaps I've completely misinterpreted this forum. While I've certainly noticed that there are some professionals represented in the forums, it has always seemed to me that the biggest focus was on pizza making at home, as a hobby. If you were to redirect the focus to professional pizza making, would you push away people like me who are wanting to learn how to make better pizza at home?

Just wondering, what exactly would the difference be between having private "social boards" and simply having the chit chat and off-topic food boards that exist now? If people don't want to socialize or engage in more general foodie discussion they don't need to visit those boards. Unless I'm wrong, no one is forced to read them? (Aside from you and Peter and Bill, but I assume that wouldn't change...)

I'd say it would make more sense to have a "professional" section where people who only want serious, no nonsense pizza discussion can go. I'd even suggest charging a subscription fee for access to that board to help cover your administration costs. If people see this board as a professional development resource then surely they can invest in their own business. The subscription would keep away the socializers and the pizza pros wouldn't have to interact with the lowly hobbyists who just want to share their passion for pizza and food.

Just my thoughts, not meaning to sound disrespectful.

Brendan
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 03:45:47 PM by I Have Feet »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 03:49:44 PM »
It seems like most of the social posting with content happens in Chitchat where it belongs. I’m not sure why another board would be necessary. Isn’t pulling up a bar stool, talking pizza, and socializing the point of the Chitchat board? I don’t know why it would need an ignore button. If you don’t want to socialize, don’t go there. Perhaps a way to exclude new Chitchat posts from “Show unread posts since last visit” would be handy for people that don’t want to socialize.

I think many of the posts without pizza-related content per-se (the “Good Job” sort of posts) have a purpose and are very valuable in building the social fabric here and encouraging people to come back and continue to improve. I don’t remember anyone having a problem with this sort of posting.

Speaking for myself, two things have been particularly annoying lately:  1) the exponential increase in “social” posts that have no content and no real purpose showing up in serious discussions throughout the forum. Some of this is understandable, but its gone way off the charts in the past few months. 2) intentionally writing like a 3-year old child talks. Some folks type fast and others don’t type well, that I get; trying to be cute with ridiculous spellings and deliberately poor grammar, I don’t.
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 03:56:02 PM »
Brendan,
You speak with much wise tongue....very good suggestions right there my friend. Very good indeed.
Probably only need 2 pro boards too. NY and Neo. And if it was a pay section I'll bet it would also work out to be pretty self governing....if any moderation required at all.(don't worry folks, you won't see me there)  ;D
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Offline Steve

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 03:57:40 PM »
Perhaps a way to exclude new Chitchat posts from “Show unread posts since last visit” would be handy for people that don’t want to socialize.

That's what the Ignore Board feature would do, it would hide those messages. Actually, it would allow you to hide any board that you have no interest in seeing.
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Offline Steve

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 04:15:09 PM »
I'm still quite new here and I don't want to speak out of place, but perhaps I've completely misinterpreted this forum. While I've certainly noticed that there are some professionals represented in the forums, it has always seemed to me that the biggest focus was on pizza making at home, as a hobby. If you were to redirect the focus to professional pizza making, would you push away people like me who are wanting to learn how to make better pizza at home?

This website was originally created to allow us amateurs to put our collective knowledge together so that we might learn the secrets to making restaurant-quality pizza at home. None of the professionals would share their secrets and professional-level cookbooks were virtually non-existent. So, in essence, I created this site in an act of desperation to learn. That was almost 10 years ago and a lot has changed since then. This site has become a magnet to both professional and amateur, and I believe that the site needs to evolve in order to cater to both camps. And it has to some degree.

One of my main concerns about the "social" boards is that some of the posts stray waaaaay off topic. I'm not going to say names, but one such topic ended up with a racy photo and a discussion of the attributes he finds appealing in members of the opposite sex. Clearly not pizza related. And clearly not something that I'd want my daughter, wife, or mother to see. And, probably, not something that a professional would want to see.

So now we are presented with a balancing act. What's acceptable and what's not? I know this site has brought people together and it has fostered friendships. And, for most of us, this is the only venue we have to keep in touch with those people.

So, how do we solve this dilemma? I want everyone to feel welcome here, I want my daughter to learn the art of pizza making. But I don't think she should see posts about the sexual preferences of the members. So, while we do have a chit-chat board, even that board needs constant attention by the moderators. And that's what is causing the frustration.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 04:17:53 PM by Steve »
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 04:27:12 PM »
I think many of the posts without pizza-related content per-se (the “Good Job” sort of posts)....

Craig,

Surprisingly, we occasionally get complaints when members--I guess you'd call them cheerleaders--praise the pizzas of others. See, for example, Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10437.msg129274.html#msg129274. Jeff Varasano also used to take issue with members praising the pizzas of others that he felt were undeserving of the praise.

Peter

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 04:42:41 PM »
IMO, positive feedback is just as useful as negative feedback.  Getting praise from those you respect and look up to is quite a heady feeling, and it can inspire you to greater efforts.   Makes you feel part of a community of like-minded enthusiasts. 

Also, I certainly don't see anything wrong with getting to know the people behind the pizza.  In some cases, you may not want to know that much.  So, feel free to skim for information.  *shrugs*

I'm not planning on filtering any boards, but I can definitely appreciate that others might.  If I don't want to read someone's post, I skip the topic until someone else has posted.




I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline I Have Feet

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 04:52:39 PM »
I am clueless as to the the technical aspects of running a forum so I don't know if this would be logistically possible, but what about some sort of system where people are able to moderate their own threads? If someone starts a thread strictly seeking specific, technical discussion about one topic then they could delete any replies that they feel aren't revelant or contributory. If someone else starts a thread with the intention of having an ongoing journal and photo-log of their pizza quest, they might choose to allow more general discussion, compliments, perhaps the occasional diversion from an off-topic jester, etc. Each member would have control over their own threads and could completely avoid (or engage in) banter as they desire. They could even block specific users from posting in their thread if they really felt that individual was not contributing positively.

I would think this would make the jobs of you moderators much easier as well. You would not need to view every single post, only each new thread initially to make sure it's in the right section and from there respond to complaints about members who's posting style is offensive, inflammatory, combative etc. (hopefully that doesn't take up toooo much time.  :( )

Again, just my thoughts. I stand by my earlier post where I said that if professionals are looking for a space where they can network with other professionals then the best way to set that up would be a private, subscription only section.

Brendan
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 06:29:13 PM by I Have Feet »


Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 04:55:21 PM »
Too bad you don't have more technical skill, Brendan.  I like the sound of your idea, but have no idea how it could be implemented.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 05:07:27 PM »
IMO, positive feedback is just as useful as negative feedback.  Getting praise from those you respect and look up to is quite a heady feeling, and it can inspire you to greater efforts.   Makes you feel part of a community of like-minded enthusiasts. 

Also, I certainly don't see anything wrong with getting to know the people behind the pizza.  In some cases, you may not want to know that much.  So, feel free to skim for information.  *shrugs*

I'm not planning on filtering any boards, but I can definitely appreciate that others might.  If I don't want to read someone's post, I skip the topic until someone else has posted.





+1
No disrespect intended but I think that some of these concerns are perhaps being a 'lil over thought. We are all humans..being. Difficult to moderate in this type of setting to be sure.But the commonality here sorta dictates/assures that things aren't going to go too wacky. Put up a disclaimer/warning on the "chit-chat" section that it is for adults...provide the 2 pay extra "pro" sections recommended earlier and relax. The people who are threatening to leave(or in fact do leave)because they want a perfect world can never be satisfied and you know that...
These are just my opinions .
Bob
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Offline mkevenson

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 05:09:24 PM »
Steve, your eagerness to accept all to this site is commendable. In the short time I have been here I see many many new posters each day. Many receive a welcome , some do not. It has been said that many do not return. Which ever way you decide to proceed to keep both professionals and armatures content, one suggestion I might offer is to devise a way for both the new members and the more established members to KNOW at the outset what the purpose of this site is and what is acceptable posting criteria. It may seem that these two questions would be obvious to all comers but it has been my experience over the years of using forums that it is not always so apparent, and, in fact in some forums the administrators have created one idea and a large part of the membership have joined for a different, although hopefully complimentary reason.

Thank you for bringing these issues to lite.

Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline pizzaboyfan

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 05:13:47 PM »
No disrespect either, but maybe it's easier to give Bob his own section, and his fans can choose to read or not.

What's kind of silly about all of this is..why can't those that don't want to read posts just not read them.
New topics and post show up every minute, and I just don't click on those that don't interest me.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 05:18:59 PM »
Steve, your eagerness to accept all to this site is commendable. In the short time I have been here I see many many new posters each day. Many receive a welcome , some do not. It has been said that many do not return. Which ever way you decide to proceed to keep both professionals and armatures content, one suggestion I might offer is to devise a way for both the new members and the more established members to KNOW at the outset what the purpose of this site is and what is acceptable posting criteria. It may seem that these two questions would be obvious to all comers but it has been my experience over the years of using forums that it is not always so apparent, and, in fact in some forums the administrators have created one idea and a large part of the membership have joined for a different, although hopefully complimentary reason.

Thank you for bringing these issues to lite.

Mark
That is a good point Mark but it is Monday morning quarterbacking in this situation I believe. I'm sure that 10 years ago Steve had no clue this would turn into such a big thing.
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2012, 05:23:11 PM »
Brendan,

I am clueless as to the the technical aspects of running a forum so I don't know if this would be logistically possible, but what about some sort of system where people are able to moderate their own threads? If someone starts a thread strictly seeking specific, technical discussion about one topic then they could delete any replies that thy feel aren't revelant or contributory. If someone else starts a thread with the intention of having an ongoing journal and photo-log of their pizza quest, they might choose to allow more general discussion, compliments, perhaps the occasional diversion from an off-topic jester, etc. Each member would have control over their own threads and could completely avoid (or engage in) banter as they desire. Try could even block specific users from posting in their thread if they really felt that individual was not contributing positively
 
I would think this would make the jobs of you moderators much easier as well. You would not need to view every single post, only each new thread initially to make sure it's in the right section and from there respond to complaints about members who's posting style is offensive, inflammatory, combative etc. (hopefully that doesn't take up toooo much time.  :( )
We have many threads that are started by a member who leaves the forum but the thread continues and lives on. See, for example, the Mellow Mushroom thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg32937.html#msg32937. The member who started that post never posted another post in that thread, and the thread went on to occupy 92 pages with 1821 posts (to date). This sort of thing happens a lot. Members start things and then disappear.

Again, just my thoughts. I stand by my earlier post where I said that if professionals are looking for a space where they can network with other professionals then the best way to set that up would be a private, subscription only section.
Steve set up the forum as a free and open public resource. Also, legally it is set up as a not-for-profit entity. So, a subscription system may be at odds with those objectives. Also, the members who do all the work to create the content as unpaid volunteers may not look too kindly on the forum, and Steve specifically, getting all of the money.

Peter
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 05:46:01 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline I Have Feet

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2012, 05:29:18 PM »
Thanks, Peter. I hadn't considered threads started by members who don't become active on the forum.

My suggestion about a subscription only "professional" board wasn't meant as a for profit thing, merely as a way to cover the costs of running the forum. I'm not talking $29.99 a month or anything, just a nominal annual fee to cover costs. As far as I can tell you do have a class of membership where a donation brings added perks, correct? Why not make a professional forum one of those perks?

Brendan

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2012, 05:42:20 PM »
Thanks, Peter. I hadn't considered threads started by members who don't become active on the forum.

My suggestion about a subscription only "professional" board wasn't meant as a for profit thing, merely as a way to cover the costs of running the forum. I'm not talking $29.99 a month or anything, just a nominal annual fee to cover costs. As far as I can tell you do have a class of membership where a donation brings added perks, correct? Why not make a professional forum one of those perks?

Brendan
Exactly...and Peter's notion " Also, the members who do all the work to create the content as unpaid volunteers may not look too kindly on the forum," instigates the thought pattern of the very type of people that are causing a fuss. If they pay going into a "pro" section, how could they have cause for concern of their "free" advice?
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2012, 06:06:12 PM »
I think it is premature to be talking about a subscription model, if it is even a viable option from Steve's standpoint. Also, many users of the Internet have become accustomed to getting information for free, even if they have to give up a lot of personal information to do so (and allow themselves to be bombarded with advertising), and hence may be unwilling to become paying subscribers to this forum. And if subscription and advertising revenues fall short of costs, Steve will have to pay the unmet costs out of his own pocket, just as he did when he started the forum. It is also possible that the forum infrastructure cannot handle a subscription system.

Peter

Offline I Have Feet

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Re: Ignore Board option?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2012, 06:19:33 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Peter. Just thought I'd throw the idea out there for whatever it's worth. (Probably not much...)

Brendan


 

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