Profile photo of Andrew Normand

Hi Stu – you’ve given lots of detailed, constructive feedback – thank you! Let me know have a go at responding.

> 1)  Purple menu bar – I would find it easier if there was just “My Groups” and “All Groups” and that the latter had

headings to split the long list into the Hub’s four groups (at the top, to highlight them), the IoP’s groups, and the special

interest groups.

I’d be interested in others’ experiences before acting on this. What do other users think?

>  Furthermore, I’d prefer to see the special interest groups listed by categories (or at least alphabetically), perhaps

highlighting new ones.

Currently these are listed in the order that they are created, so new ones are at the top of the first page. It would be

helpful to be able to list them another way. We are trying to get tagging of groups, resources, topics, etc. working properly

 – hopefully that will do this for you, because you’ll be able to checklist some tags, and all relevant groups should then be


>  I’d also like to see the closed groups listed, so that people can at least request to join.  “Closed” shouldn’t be the

same as “secret”.

I agree, but they should appear already (as of about two weeks ago) – for instance can you see “Jon Clarke’s Stimulating

Physics Group”? That is closed, but should appear under all groups, or in any search.

> More generally, I’m unclear how the Hub’s four groups will work alongside the main interest groups.  I’ve just joined all

the interest groups I’m interested in and would more likely post things in the relevant one of those rather than the Hub’s

groups.  My preference would be that all posts to non-Hub groups require that the author ticks one or more of the 11-14,

14-16, 16-18, N&C, and that the post appear as a feed on the Hub — ie that the Hub’s four groups are really pseudo-groups

that present tagged posts from elsewhere.

That is a profound and possibly very powerful idea. We think it is important that there are groups that all automatically

have joined (the Hub), but your idea allows for an equivalent idea, given that all open group discussions can be accessed by

all. We are modifying the Dashboard (the bit when you log in that shows recent posts) so that one tab shows activity in all

open groups.

I think we need to see how The Hub works in practice, when use of the site picks up. Maybe review this in a couple of months?

> 2) Email notifications. For me, TalkPhysics will never be as useful as PTNC unless I am (at least given the option to be)

emailed the full message, as it is posted, in full.  I do not want time-limited snipets or digests.  I know that others will,

though, so we need to be able to select on a per-user, per-group basis.

I’ll check how many characters we’ve limited this too, currently. Maybe we can at least ensure it is a usefully large limit,

then see how many others would like a similar facility?

The ability to email groups rather than log in to post would also be a big advantage (although not as important as the


> 3) Log in cookies – Love them or hate them, cookies are useful when they work for you.  I’d like the option to “remain

logged in on this computer” — especially as this would make the emailed links work properly.

I have a “remember me” tickbox at log-in. Does this do what you want?

> 4) Editting posts – Maybe I’ve missed it, but there doesn’t seem to be a way for the author of a post to edit what they

wrote (eg to correct a spelling mistake.  That is a reasonably normal facility for forums and I’d like to see it here.  Like

I said, maybe I’ve missed it.

No, there is currently no facility. We took the editorial decision that people need to view their posts as being like emails

– once you hit send they have left your hands. This was to ensure that people can’t (deliberately or accidentally) disrupt a

discussion by deleting an early, crucial post. We’d like to add a facility that allows a user to revise their comment, whilst

the system retains the original for reverting if necessary, but that’s going to be a lot of development time.

What do other users think about that balance? We can simply allow editing again, but we risk losing important content.

> 5) Home page feed – Not sure what this is supposed to achieve — I don’t currently find it useful for anything and ignore it.  However, at the very least it needs to display which group a post has come from.  “Forum” isn’t useful at all.

We are about to start “seeding” discussions in the Hub, so you should begin to see activity there. We will also add another tab which shows activity in all open groups. Yes, I think we should change this so that it reports the group *and* topic from which a post comes.

> I’ve only used the groups so far and haven’t yet investigated the rest of the site.  However, it is really looking very good,

isn’t it?  So, my heartfelt well done to all involved!  I am very optimistic and excited by this site.

Thank you – interested users will be what determines whether this site thrives.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?