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Tech Helproom


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A dying forum forum perhaps?


KRONOS the First

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Last post here before this thread was 7 hours ago. Very odd.

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rdave13

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I agree with frybluff . Newbie comes across this site from Godoogle and finds 'TECH' in the heading. Would run a mile.

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Forum Editor

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The thinking behind the 'Tech' addition was to increase our reach in Google searches. A lot of our traffic comes to us via Google.

It does seem to be a major beef with quite a few of the contributors to this thread however, so we'll take a new look at it. That's as much as I can say at the moment; we'll consider the pros and cons very seriously.

Editing your posts shouldn't really be a problem should it? You have a preview panel below the text entry box, and that shows you what you're sending to the server. We have traditionally avoided providing text editing because it was a potential problem as far as Speakers Corner is concerned. In a fast-moving debate it might give someone an opportunity to add or remove comments in the light of the reactions of other contributors. If you don't think it matters we'll re-examine that, also, but I remain unconvinced of the necessity for it.

We used to have a personal messaging facility, as some of you will remember. We stopped it because it was being regularly abused - people were getting unpleasant messages, and spam.

We'll think about what you have all said, and we'll get back to you.

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compumac

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Electoral voters can change government minds (eventually) and it is good to learn that the suggestions made with regard to this forum are being looked at - Progress!

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KRONOS the First

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I think you will find that 'looked at' or 'think about' does not quite mean the same here as you would think.

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sharpamat

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Must agree with Chronus on this

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LastChip

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"I think you will find that 'looked at' or 'think about' does not quite mean the same here as you would think."

Perhaps you're right, but I detected a distinct change of attitude, so let's just wait and see.

We must never forget, this is a commercial business that relies on advertising to survive. Part of the metrics that potential advertisers will consider, is how busy the website is. I don't think any of us need reminding how powerful Google is in driving traffic to a site and that would be a very serious consideration for any commercial operation.

So there is a potential dilemma; keeping contributors to the site happy, so content increases and traffic keeps coming and/or dropping potentially powerful key words, that may reduce Googles interest and therefore the sites rankings.

From what I've seen recently, I think key words within the Google ranking regime, are loosing some of their clout and Google are now using more sophisticated methods for ranking. So my own gut feeling is, dropping Tech is unlikely to have much effect.

As regards a text editor, I find sites that do have one useful. Yes, I agree you can see what you're posting prior to submitting to the server, but it's amazing how errors creep in that you don't always spot and it would be great to be able to amend them. Every site I've used so far with that facility, says the post has been amended and at what time. So it's not like you can hide behind a change and say it didn't happen.

The personal messaging I never found a problem and on occasions, very useful. Personally, I believe the benefits outweighed the problems and would love to see it reinstated.

And please, reinstate the old time stamp method and get rid of the hideous "posted * minutes ago".

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morddwyd

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FE

Just my own two pennyworth.

I don't see an edit facility as a problem. If you get it wrong (and remember, I don't have a "preview" bow!) you either assume people will guess what you meant (but make the most of any inadvertent meaning!) or you put in a PS.

As regards PM - I had very few offensive messages, probably because, like fm, my posts are all carefully reasoned and phrased!

The one bonus, which to me outweighs the others, is that every now and again one member could pass redundant parts onto another, instead of scrapping them.

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Forum Editor

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Chronus

"I think you will find that 'looked at' or 'think about' does not quite mean the same here as you would think."

You just can't resist the temptation to have a cynical little dig at every opportunity, can you? It must be awful to go through life with such a lot of negativity weighing you down.

If I say we're going to take a new look at something that people have complained about I mean precisely that. It means the same here as anywhere else.

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Forum Editor

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LastChip

I have to say I agree about the time stamp - I also preferred a clock time, although people who post from different time zones (and we have quite a few of them) don't agree.

"We must never forget, this is a commercial business that relies on advertising to survive. Part of the metrics that potential advertisers will consider, is how busy the website is. I don't think any of us need reminding how powerful Google is in driving traffic to a site and that would be a very serious consideration for any commercial operation."

Spot on.

Google-referred traffic is a very big factor indeed, and advertisers want to see big traffic figures. Our site logs show over 3.6 million page impressions in an average month. We are the World's Number One Technology Magazine Website for UK Audience (Nielsen Online), and we rank as seventh most popular magazine website in the world for UK traffic. Our forums are the most popular technology forums in Europe.

It follows that we are going to work hard to maintain and improve that kind of performance, and if sometimes we don't fully explain the thinking behind what we do it's my fault - I'm going to try harder to keep you all in the loop in future. We have always listened very carefully to complaints and suggestions, but we can't please everyone - not every suggestion is followed, and not every complaint is justified, no matter how much some people might think to the contrary.

We all have our personal preferences, and our bees in our bonnets, but if we tried to keep pace with everyone's likes and dislikes there would be no time for anything else.

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Forum Editor

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morddwyd

"I had very few offensive messages, probably because, like fm, my posts are all carefully reasoned and phrased!"

Your posts are usually exemplary - models of clarity. Like mine.

But to be serious...

There were some bad cases of personal abuse via the Personal Messaging facility. The other problem was that lots of people decided to conduct private help/advice sessions via that channel, thus denying other thread readers the chance to benefit. The advice given that way didn't enter our archive, and so we decided that on balance the cons outweighed the pros.

In truth we have had very little negative feedback on that subject. It can sometimes seem that a complaint is shared by lots of people because it surfaces a few times in a thread, and the topic crops up from time to time. It may be the case that in fact there are only ten or twenty negative comments, but because the people doing the complaining are vociferous about it a false impression can be created. We look at all feedback, both via email and in the threads, and we make judgements based on how many different people feel strongly enough about something to add a post in the forum, or send me an email.

The passing on of redundant equipment to other forum members might seem like a good idea, but I was advised not to allow it to happen via the forum or the Personal messaging facility after someone received an electric shock from a faulty PSU that had been passed on in this way. It was a rare event, but one which concerned us enough to put a stop to any further exchanges of electronic items.

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