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Content Count / Post Count - Ridiculous. Needs to be changed quick.


JustinWh

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I was going to reply to the first thread that was made on this but it was closed for some reason. Forgive me for my lack of diplomacy but I'm a little pissed, to be honest.

I just added 350 images into a gallery in bulk (took 2 mins to do) and my post count or content count, whatever, increased by number of images uploaded. When you guys had your meeting to discuss IPS4, how the did the dummy who suggested this not get fired and thrown out on the streets?

I also read in the other thread that you can't accommodate a narrow market of people who are looking for a forum software with forum post counts, or something to that effect? I gotta call B.S. on that. I'll bet that 90% of your customer base is MOST concerned over the functionality of the FORUM, and everything else with it is bonus.

I don't care if you wanna make content count global but give us a checkbox in the Gallery, Blogs and Calendar sections such as "Do Not Increase Content Count for Images" or alternatively, show the counts as breakdowns from each section.

This is brutal. I'm tearing my hair out right now. Does anyone know if there are any plugins to fix this atrocity? 

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We've not made any decision and we said we'd be open to suggestions, but you've not provided feedback that would indicate you're not in the overwhelming minority. It seems to us that most would consider content to be content, whether it's a forum post or a gallery image. Clearly you want to isolate counts and we're not opposed to that per se if that's what the majority would like, but we're not going to go down the path of bloating the product with all sorts of little triggers and options based on how a select few previously used the software.

 Trust me bro. That guy is in the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY. It just makes sense. A user can sign up, upload 500 images in 2 minutes, and have the same count as someone who's contributed 500 quality posts to discussions in the forum. And I agree with someone else that said that you're basically making the decision for us and telling us what's best. My members are laughing at this and telling me to fix it ASAP. This is driving me nuts. I'm at the point where I'm about to drop another 500 bucks and switch to vBulletin or some other software. If you can't get the fundamentals right, all the over-the-top bonus stuff doesn't mean anything. Please fix this in the next release or I really have no choice other than to shop around and rebuild my whole site with new software, which will be a major pain, but my members hate this global content count thing, and so do I.

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The only fix I've been able to come up with is to really limit how many images Free and Premium Members can upload. I've maxed my free members out at 150 images and my premium members get 1000. This is still super lame though.

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Forgive me for my lack of diplomacy but I'm a little pissed, to be honest.

Knowingly being insulting and rude on a public forum isn't a lack of diplomacy, it's a lack of decorum and respect.  

 

When you guys had your meeting to discuss IPS4, how the did the dummy who suggested this not get fired and thrown out on the streets?

Because fortunately there's sensible heads that operate at IPS and a non world-ending decision like this probably doesn't warrant the over zealous punishment you desire for the individual.

 

I also read in the other thread that you can't accommodate a narrow market of people who are looking for a forum software with forum post counts, or something to that effect? I gotta call B.S. on that. I'll bet that 90% of your customer base is MOST concerned over the functionality of the FORUM, and everything else with it is bonus.

It's pretty clear that IPS have somewhat shifted the goalposts, they're looking beyond only people whom are looking for a forum but highly leveraging themselves towards people looking for a suite.  To me the forum is a "bonus" because the choices are wide and many, what isn't as abundant in choice is a well integrated suite.  Suite options like Pages have a greater influence on people choosing something like IP.Board over going with some other standalone forum than you may give thought to.

 

This is brutal. I'm tearing my hair out right now.

Hyperbole.

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This is a point that has been brought up before multiple times, and its a change that I fully support.  

Global activity count is perhaps the narrowest way of looking at suite activity, and it doesnt take into account the grand diversity of communities that treat and measure content with different weights.  As someone who normally and fully supports IPS in their suite-wide perspective (and why I ultimately chose them as my software of preference to build a wide ranging community), even I think this is a glaring error of omission.  

I think it's inevitable that IPS starts offering app-specific activity counts and lets us toggle which of those are included in the global activity count.  

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At one time IPS posted they would do a global count (as current) with individual app counts as well. I wonder if they shelved that idea. I would also like to see app count, and with group promotions, be able to include which app counts I want counted.

Also look in the post bit to the left.

3,941 posts

That is 100% deceptive. Yes, you post an image, but it should not be counted as a post. Post as we know it on a forum is a... post.

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I can remember some addons for both Gallery / Blog actually (older versions) that would increment the post number for each image / entry / comment... I think they were reasonably popular which may indicate partly why this change was made perhaps as the its the 'suite' now as such rather than applications.

Perhaps just the wording is wrong in the user info pane then. The hover card correctly states 'content count: x' but the user info pan (left side of the post) states 'posts', perhaps just changing that to 'content count:' or suchlike...

I see what the OP is saying though. I don't have much input on this either way.

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I see what the OP says albeit in a completely ruder and asinine manner...

That being said, I also see where IPS is coming from. They are more than just a company that sells a forum software and they do sell multiple products.

Saying that someone who uploads 5,000 images in 2 minutes...first of all

1. I'd love to have their internet connection it sounds blazing

but more importantly

I look at it as these are all contributions to the site. Regardless of how person A got to  his postcount by posting 300 times and person B did his by adding images or blog entries or whatever to the site, they are both contributing as such and I personally don't think they should be handled/judged differently so.

 

That being said, hopefully IPS will add a feature in to better manage this as per usual it is always something that people are literally melodramatic over(tearing out my hair). This is not as bad as the whole page numbers debacle or member's list debacle but close enough.

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I agree and I also think IPS is more willing to address polite and professional requests. I know they understand frustrations but a rude post can be counterproductive by nature. That being said, this topic has recovered well and has good input. 

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  • Management

The global count is remaining the global count, otherwise... well, it's not a global count. We're not interested in changing that functionality, sorry. We have said, however, we'll provide individual application counts and you, as the admin, can choose how to apply those. It's coming... there's no ETA. 

 

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I've calmed down much more today. I apologize for the rudeness. I'm okay with keeping the global count but I'd like to see a breakdown in the Userpane in the near future:

Total Content: #
Posts: #
Blogs: #
Images: #
Status Updates: #

That would be beautiful.

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The apps already work with overall counts, and I don't think there is any "overall" content count for the site and all apps. So the logic seems a bit skewed since the apps are treated this way already but for members it's all content.

Forum Statistics
Total Topics 178,720
Total Posts 1,356,207

Blogs
510 entries
14089 comments

Well looking forward to the changes Lindy mentioned. That will be great.

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  • Management

Why not simply add a new setting per app to admin choose if he wants to use it or not?

Because it's going to lead to confusion, inaccuracies and messiness - I can see it already - I've been doing this a bit longer than you have. :) User Dan has 2500 submissions. Admin decides he wants to start counting forums but not gallery... so he checks all other apps off. Dan was active in Gallery and wakes up the following day to find he only has 1200 submissions because the admin deemed his gallery contributions pointless... Dan is sad, so Dan contacts admin who then contacts us with "can we let members keep their content totals up to the point I changed the setting but then count appropriately after that." Well, admin, no, because at some point, you're going to need to recount your member totals and then you're back to square one."

This type of thing happens all the time - in fact, we have an internal discussion right now because a couple of clients have reported dissatisfaction with the fact that when they enable guest caching, it doesn't update the view counter and this confuses them. So, then we're back to -- well, it's not much of a cache if we have to update it constantly as guests sit there hitting refresh every second waiting for an update on a busy site. 

So, as you can see -- a little itty bitty change like this in your mind can easily cascade into something annoying, confusing and difficult to support for very little benefit. You don't need to understand all of the angles, what's involved, etc. - we don't expect you to for that's our job. We just ask that you understand when we say we're not doing something, we always have reasons that don't warrant constant explanations. 

 

I've calmed down much more today. I apologize for the rudeness. I'm okay with keeping the global count but I'd like to see a breakdown in the Userpane in the near future:

Total Content: #
Posts: #
Blogs: #
Images: #
Status Updates: #

That would be beautiful.

That's our plan. :) Further, the only reason I can think of where one would not want to count a user's contributions, regardless of app, is you want to score, let's say forum posts, higher than blog entries. That's not the intended purpose of the global count though some may want to use it that way. We are, however, doing reputation improvements - so you'll eventually be able to weigh different apps differently to suit the needs of your community. 

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I begrudgingly bow down to the blindingly brilliant argument by @Lindy that global activity count means ... activity from counting everything.  Fine.  

Some suggestions then:

1.  Profile - Perhaps in an "enhanced" profile, there can be a tab dedicated to Member Statistics which includes the breakdown per app of activity and reputation, when member joined, time spent on community, average forum posts per day, etc (with statistics that can be expanded by the Marketplace for extra stalking).  

2.  Hovercard - Since the Hovercard doesn't have that much room, leave global activity county and reputation.  

3.  Postbit - When hovering over the global content count and reputation, perhaps show a small window with breakdown per app.  The wording should also be changed, as 2,500 posts is simply wrong when it should reflect 2,500 content items.    

 

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Because it's going to lead to confusion, inaccuracies and messiness - I can see it already - I've been doing this a bit longer than you have. :) User Dan has 2500 submissions. Admin decides he wants to start counting forums but not gallery... so he checks all other apps off. Dan was active in Gallery and wakes up the following day to find he only has 1200 submissions because the admin deemed his gallery contributions pointless... Dan is sad, so Dan contacts admin who then contacts us with "can we let members keep their content totals up to the point I changed the setting but then count appropriately after that." Well, admin, no, because at some point, you're going to need to recount your member totals and then you're back to square one."

This type of thing happens all the time - in fact, we have an internal discussion right now because a couple of clients have reported dissatisfaction with the fact that when they enable guest caching, it doesn't update the view counter and this confuses them. So, then we're back to -- well, it's not much of a cache if we have to update it constantly as guests sit there hitting refresh every second waiting for an update on a busy site. 

So, as you can see -- a little itty bitty change like this in your mind can easily cascade into something annoying, confusing and difficult to support for very little benefit. You don't need to understand all of the angles, what's involved, etc. - we don't expect you to for that's our job. We just ask that you understand when we say we're not doing something, we always have reasons that don't warrant constant explanations. 

I understand the OP's grief. Users have had a forum post count for years. Suddenly after upgrading to IPS 4, the members who have loads of spammy blog posts and calendar dates and photos have twice the number of "counted stuff" as my most valuable members who have created 700 word articles and many forum posts. That's quite a surprise to have happen overnight and, TBH, not something I'd allow happen at my forums understanding the discomfort level of my members.

I can appreciate what you say, Lindy, but the Admin is the site owner. It's his/her site. If he deems gallery submissions not valuable then Dan can see it the Admin's way or hit the highway. As an admin, you can't make every member happy. The paying customer who runs the site is king and I would think IPS would want to give maximum flexibility to the Admin to do just that and run their site as they wish. And with adequate documentation and the forums, there shouldn't be a support question. It's clearly an all or nothing proposition and users can be free to make a feature request (if there are even a handful that will ask for this) and you can easily say "probably not."

Many moons ago I suggested something simple - a hover card which shows the type of content every user created when you hover over content count (which by itself, is slightly more useful than counting "actions" by users that includes page views, submissions, etc.) If you're not going to allow an admin to define what is important to them on their forum, then at least make this general content count meaningful and soon. Counting contributions by module is acceptable but should be standard and the hover card seems like a no-brainer. I respect that others will have another opinion. But I'm concerned that I'm having an increasingly difficult time keeping a good part of the status quo and having extremely little control over what seem to be pretty significant functionality on the site.

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PS - If the word "content count" is to be used, then it should include private messages and comments, e.g. for files. And the word "content" is extremely awkwardly used:

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Your "content" or "your comment"? The latter is appropriate. The word "content" is a webmaster word. Most users don't think that way and can raise questions as to what this may mean. I already see that there is a "post count" in these IPS 4 forums so I guess that we can assume that this is just a Forum Post count? No... it's not. I just added a photo to the gallery and now my "post count" in the forums is 951 when it used to be 950. I can't even see what my "stuff count" is unless I click on my user name in the gallery, unlike here were I can see it immediately. And when I do click, I get "content count." So basically what we have is one big terminology inconsistency guaranteed to confuse everyone more than what the OP seems to want.

My goal is as follows - to have IPS 4 usable on my site so that my users aren't bombarding me with questions about understanding why things using my new IPS4 forum doesn't work the way they understand with IPS3 or any other place they visit. I peek my head in occasionally. I hope that I'm misunderstanding something at this late date and perhaps I am.

2015-07-16_16h20_19.png

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@Lindy

And with all due respect to you on this, you have to understand where forum admins are coming from as well. Most all of us run forum-centric forums. We've paid for the product we deemed the best to deliver a forum experience.

I've kept quiet (and on version  3.4.x) because I've been there, done that in past software development of reasonable size and I completely sympathize with the hailstorm of "you didn't do it right's!" and so on. I also know early birds get the bugs. However, the root of this particular issue did not just happen in a vacuum.

In all previous versions of IPB and virtually any forum software anywhere, posts has meant...well...posts. In forum lingo, that doesn't mean the accoutrements. It means something very specific as it developed around what a forum is, the very being if you will of a forum. I get that IPS shifted gears a bit and has developed one of the better - if not the best - suites. Like others here, that drew me to the software after the whole IB acquires vB fiasco. I get that the goalposts subsequently shifted, likely to keep up with the trends of social media where everything from a picture to a ranting post made while sitting on the throne counts as content. I know software indeed has to adapt and evolve.

But the very logic you employ to defend against the ad hoc addendum seems not to have been employed in the original decision. The fact of the matter is, that choice has already created a discrepancy for admins and seems inconsistently implemented in the software. One can look above and note that the postbit labels the item traditionally as "posts" and then labels the same count as "content count" in the profile area. Should a member who is not well versed in forum software start digging, the number may imply that posts have been deleted or counts are being artificially inflated. Obviously, this is not a mainstream scenario with major repercussions, but I trust you get my point:

There is already a discrepancy introduced by an IPS choice.

I love you guys and appreciate the hard work that goes into IPB for us small fish owners! However, one of the primary reasons your frustrations are starting to slip into your and your teams' posts are because a number of fairly substantial changes were made and were not communicated until after the fact. Now you're dealing with the fallout. I'm not here to tell you how to run an obviously successful and storied business because you can do that, but I will say that if, as a leader, you want people to follow your vision, then you have to give them some detail on the vision to be followed.

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  • Management

I can appreciate what you say, Lindy, but the Admin is the site owner. It's his/her site. If he deems gallery submissions not valuable then Dan can see it the Admin's way or hit the highway. As an admin, you can't make every member happy. The paying customer who runs the site is king and I would think IPS would want to give maximum flexibility to the Admin to do just that and run their site as they wish. And with adequate documentation and the forums, there shouldn't be a support question. It's clearly an all or nothing proposition and users can be free to make a feature request (if there are even a handful that will ask for this) and you can easily say "probably not."

Interesting twist of irony there, Esq. ;) As a software developer, we can't always make everyone happy. Everyone thinks they have the most significant and consequential must-have feature ever to face the Internet - it's perfectly natural as to them, that feature or functionality request is significant. As the software owner, we have to listen and absorb feedback, then make decisions -- some you won't agree with them but we're not going to change our minds just because a relatively minor vocal minority don't like it... likewise, if the product doesn't meet your needs, you have the choice of whether or not to find another that does. 

I've said before, our client base is primarily comprised, from individual and enterprise alike, of those that want a streamlined experience where we've done the legwork, research, compiled all of the feedback and built software that's modern and provides a quality and largely consistent experience. I know some detest my Apple comparisons and to be clear, I'm certainly not saying IPS is Apple, however, the philosophies are the same. Mac provides an arguably more positive and stable experience because Apple largely controls the experience out of box. If you're a hardcore tinkerer that wants to control every aspect of the OS and environment with "maximum flexibility" (which also often equates to maximum confusion) and you don't want to use non-stock modifications - no, you're not going to be happy with Apple and the same applies to our software. I don't want to lead anyone on, so if you're waiting for IPS to randomly pile on infinite settings and toggles for every aspect of the software - it's not going to happen, I'll be frank.

Part of what attracts most to us is what actually puts a relative few such as yourself off. I know it can seem inconceivable to the enthusiasts that are in deep, have been around forums for years and run successful sites in the past, but most these days don't like too many options - that's not mere opinion, it's fact... the more options you give people, the less likely they are to buy/use the product and make good decisions. Years ago, things like power brakes, power steering and power windows were individual options... you could choose power windows, but not have to do power locks. As automotive technology progressed, they found people detested all of those choices and options, so they introduced option packages and made the decisions for the consumer based on the majority interests. I think we're all largely happier not having a 10 page order sheet when we order a car and it's more streamlined for the manufacturer as well. Yes, some old school purists were and are irritated over the fact that they can no longer get things like manual transmissions anymore... but most don't want it, so it's silly for the manufacturer to put effort into provisioning it to appease a handful of people that don't fit their demographic anyway (like putting a 6 speed manual in a minivan.)

We'd much rather do things that benefit the masses -- our Pages improvements. A full-on QA application. New content discovery features. New social features like groups, etc. vs turning back the hands of time, regressing and adding/changing things that go against the grain just because "it was there for years" yet served limited or unintended purpose.

 

@ChurchGeek - I really appreciate the honest and constructive feedback, as well as your kind words. I most certainly understand where you are coming from, but would note that the confusion caused by this change is short-term and actually provides more long-term clarity (though I agree, we need to make the terminology more consistent and I'll add this to our to-do.) While many still prefer just a forum, since we've allowed the option to not even have a forum, our IPS4 sales for Core + non-forum apps have really exceeded expectations. With that, what we've done here is actually correct an oversight that should have been addressed sooner as we evolved more into community solutions vs forum only.  

As for vision, I hope the above better explains our goal and purpose. Not all will agree, especially those that have grown grossly accustomed to doing things a certain way and want to upgrade, but not change anything. In this particular case, let's step back and look at the challenge -- a few admins want to manipulate a global counter for the purpose of essentially determining rewards and reputation. That's not at all the purpose of that number to begin with and an unintended previous use-case shouldn't dictate future functionality. Instead, we can provide independent numbers and introduce rewards and enhanced reputation features that works out better for everyone and with far less confusion than changing a global number that the admin wants to determine isn't exactly global. That's our job - to evaluate what you're asking, why you're asking it, saying no when necessary, but offering alternatives when available. Your job is to decide whether that's acceptable and if not, whether it's significant enough that you need to evaluate alternate products. 

Finally, in regards to frustrations shining through - I'm sorry for that perception. I think we've established that feedback is a large part of what we do. I think our current challenge is the same group of people who constantly insist that things should be now like they were then... because they were. :) It does indeed get frustrating trying to explain the shift in tide for community solutions to the relative limited few that don't like the direction. I know if I'm that unhappy with a product, I just stop using it - I don't incessantly try to get the company to change to conform to my specific needs. Nonetheless, I apologize if that frustration is spilling over into interaction. 

Thanks for the overall thoughts. With that, feedback has been provided (and thank you for the apologetic follow-up, Andrew - much appreciated) - noted and we will introduce individual counts (and included in profiles) in a near-future release for you to do as you wish. Reputation and rewards enhancements will also come in a future release (no ETA.) 

That concludes my lengthy dissertation and this topic. :)

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