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    • #19099
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Me again.  🙂

      Okay, have got my head around The Hub and the Home page discussions feed.  Now that I have, I’ll try to explain why I couldn’t.

      Here’s how I thought I’d be able to use TalkPhysics, but can’t:  I like the groups a lot, and I now understand (but do not think necessary) the “special interest” label.  If I was going to post something specific, I’d definitely look for a group and post there.

      However, if I was going to post something generic, or something for which a group didn’t exist, I would want to do one of two things:

      1) create a group and post there.  However, no-one would read it, as the new group would have no members.

      2) post to a generic, general, single TalkPhysics forum, the way I post to “PTNC”.  I would not wish to be restricted by having to choose an age range, or decide that it was “News and Comment”.

      Either way, I would like to be forced (in order to post) to click one or more of four tick boxes to tag the post as 11-14, 14-16, 16-18 and/or N&C.  I would then like my post to appear on the Home page discussions feed, which users can filter by the same four tags as at present.  The point — the filtering should be done at the point of consumption, not creation.  (A consequence of not doing this is multiple posting — as Rick has done in both 11-14 and 14-16 this week.)

      This would have two main considerable advantages:  1) new groups are quickly recognised by the community and do not lie dorment or get lost.  2) the whole posting mechanism is considerably simplified.

      Indeed the entire structure is simplified: threads reside either within a group forum or within the default “TalkPhysics” forum.  “Group” forums effectively become an organised tagging system, but with the advantage that members can choose to log their interest, thereby being contactable en-masse by the group owner.  Closed groups are effectively partially-hidden threads.  Selecting “Groups I’m In” would then be akin to just overlaying one more filter on the torrent of posts, but with the filters well-managed and versatile, with their own “home pages”.

      I love the way GoogleMail takes care of PTNC for me — all emails are filtered into a “PTNC” folder (“label”) and threads are stacked.  I often then apply extra labels (“resources”, “revision”, “applets”) manually.  Posting via a TalkPhysics group would effectively add this label/tag at the point of origin in an ordered and unified manner, so that I wouldn’t have to do it manually.

      My suggestion in a nut-shell: users post to a single “TalkPhysics” forum or to a group forum.  Either way, disable the “submit” button until the author has ticked at least one of the four age/N&C tags.  The Home page can now filter ALL posts (inc groups) by these four tags (the default tab) or restricts to just some posts via the “groups I’m in” tab.  Navigating to the group’s forum page would be the finest level of filtering.

      I hope that all makes sense — it’s very difficult to articulate!

    • #19100
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Last paragraph — would probably still need a “TalkPhysics” only tab, too, on reflection, that excluded all the groups.

    • #19101
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      > 1) create a group and post there.  However, no-one would read it, as the new group would have no members.

      This should be solved by the new “all open groups” tab in the Dashboard.

      > 2) post to a generic, general, single TalkPhysics forum, the way I post to “PTNC”.  I would not wish to be restricted by having to choose an age range, or decide that it was “News and Comment”.
      > …2) the whole posting mechanism is considerably simplified…

      Yes, I understand what you mean, and (as I said in another reply), I think I’d like to see how this works in practice, then review it. You may well have pinpointed a structural difficulty that others will have, and may inhibit contributions.

      > Either way, I would like to be forced (in order to post) to click one or more of four tick boxes to tag the post as 11-14, 14-16, 16-18 and/or N&C.  I would then like my post to appear on the Home page discussions feed, which users can filter by the same four tags as at present.  The point — the filtering should be done at the point of consumption, not creation.  (A consequence of not doing this is multiple posting — as Rick has done in both 11-14 and 14-16 this week.)

      We will shortly have tags available, and searchable. Your idea goes beyond this by making them compulsory. Again, lets let this sit for a while.

      > I hope that all makes sense — it’s very difficult to articulate!
       
      It does, and provides an eloquent statement of why decent email software is so valuable. Let’s see whether we manage to emulate some of that functionality here, with the added bonus of everything else that the Web has to offer over email.

      Thank you again for your contributions! Jon

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