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Please allow reverse post order in threads


Victoria Hopkins
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In my community, we tend to have quite long threads developing over days and weeks. We really need to be able to have the latest posts at the top of the thread. This is what people expect from their social media experience. I think people often can't be bothered to scroll to the bottom of the thread to reply to it.

Surely this wouldn't be a complex innovation.

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I'm curious how you'd see this working on IPS. I imagine it could be a complex innovation depending on how you'd envision handling replies between users who are responding to each other rather than the first post.

Facebook comments are sorted by the most relevant or newest, but they aren't a conversation as such. They are usually a direct response to the original content rather than a conversation between the users. Conversations between users typically take place in response to a single comment and are grouped under said comment. In the below image there are four comments that are a response to the post which are completely unrelated to each other. There are, however, replies to one of those comments where a conversation has begun:

image.thumb.png.f16d90024c1ae8e7dc5dac1d4879848d.png

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Just reversing the order in topics doesn’t solve anything. It’s like reversing the words in a sentence with the premise “you don’t have to read a sentence all the way to the end”. But it doesn’t work like that. The sentence doesn’t make sense by just looking at the end of it. Similarly, a linear forum discussion needs this linearity and the correct order, just like chats by the way, which are also not reversed. 

That being said, there is certainly room for im improvements in the activity feeds, which unlike topics are comparable to social media feeds. 

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On 1/14/2020 at 8:17 AM, opentype said:

Just reversing the order in topics doesn’t solve anything.

This has nothing to do with reversing any order, she's simply asking to have the latest threads at the top of her forum. Many times users revive posts and the latest "Could be in her situation" relevant information depending on her forums subject or premise it's based upon. Maybe the relevant latest posts have priority over older content, again, depending on her forums subject. There are other use cases that could be involved here also depending on her content matter. That's a particular situation where one size doesn't fit all. Many forums need the latest content up front and prioritized. It's actually a good idea for just about anyone that has a active forum.

Let me also mention if she wants the latest post at the top of the threads the same applies for revived topics.

 

2 hours ago, opentype said:

If you have no arguments, don’t mention me. 

It's a Invision forum, they make the rules, You posted so you're open game like you treat anyone else. What if someone made demands of you like that? We all know exactly what you'd say or have to say about that. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

 

6 hours ago, tonyv said:

My forum isn't a "social media experience," nor should it be.

My guess is she could care less about you or your forum. Just because your forum doesn't work like that doesn't mean hers is the same as yours.

 

BTW -- @Victoria Hopkins is a IPB Client..

@sunset Wow, a member since 2004 and only 37 posts. Good to hear from you.

 

Edited by DesignzShop
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43 minutes ago, DesignzShop said:

This has nothing to do with reversing any order, she's simply asking to have the latest threads at the top of her forum.

First of all: “reverse post order in threads” is even the title of this topic. And the post itself clearly talks about “posts in a thread”, “scroll to the bottom of the thread” . And that’s what I discussed as well. 

So you are wrong in saying it is about topics in a forum. Try to read more carefully before posting. 

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It's a Invision forum, they make the rules, You posted so you're open game like you treat anyone else. What if someone made demands of you like that? We all know exactly what you'd say or have to say about that. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Since you obviously didn’t get the point, here is the detailed version: it’s a discussion forum. A forum is about sharing and discussing arguments, facts, opinions. I’m happy to do that. A simple 👎🏻 doesn’t do anything and certainly doesn’t need my attention through the notification system. What am I supposed to do with it? If the user sunset wants to make a case for reversed post order, great! I am happy to listen and consider the arguments. Just as I tried to make a case for my position and not just threw a 👎🏻 unter the feature request. 

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My guess is she could care less about you or your forum. Just because your forum doesn't work like that doesn't mean hers is the same as yours.

That is actually a dishonest argument, since you suggest that what I said would just be based on the use of my own forums, which it is not. 

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BTW -- Victoria Hopkins is a IPB Client..

Same as above. Dishonest misrepresentation of my post. You suggest I wouldn’t want this user to speak, which is completely untrue. My position, again, is very simple: it’s a discussion forum. Anyone can present their point of view, arguments and facts. I have never suggested anything else. 

Edited by opentype
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Just now, opentype said:

you are wrong in saying it is about topics in a forum. Try to read more carefully before posting. 

AS you can see I added 

 

36 minutes ago, DesignzShop said:

Let me also mention if she wants the latest post at the top of the threads the same applies for revived topics.

So yea, I did get it, both ways..

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12 minutes ago, opentype said:

arguments,

That's what it's about exactly for you.. discussion vs arguments... hmmmm, let's see...

12 minutes ago, opentype said:

👎🏻 doesn’t do anything and certainly doesn’t need my attention through the notification system.

Then ignore it.. It was their reply which they can have. I understood it..

Edited by DesignzShop
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51 minutes ago, DesignzShop said:

Many times users revive posts and the latest "Could be in her situation" relevant information depending on her forums subject or premise it's based upon. Maybe the relevant latest posts have priority over older content, again, depending on her forums subject.

BTW - as you can see I covered that also right off and re-iterated it before you posted. So you are wrong..

Edited by DesignzShop
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IYou can reference this third party plugin in the Marketplace for the time being: 

 

I would also be interested in hearing more from @Victoria Hopkins on why you think a reverse order is appropriate for forum discussion (versus navigating users to the last unread, such as the plugin above).  

I was watching an interesting video the other day on forum design, and one of the insights that stood out was incentivizing users to read.  This is, perhaps, the single biggest differentiating factor between a post on a forum and a post on social media.  In social media, your new post stands on its own - untethered to any other ongoing discussion. It's an expression of your individual thoughts.  In forums, posts are meant to be replies and responses to others -- leading to further conversation and commentary around a topic. But to do so effectively, you need to read prior posts to add to the discussion. 

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44 minutes ago, Joel R said:

 

 

In forums, posts are meant to be replies and responses to others -- leading to further conversation and commentary around a topic. But to do so effectively, you need to read prior posts to add to the discussion. 

@Joel R as for a short topic I Would easily agree. As for a large topic with 20 pages of posts I for one don't want to start back at the beginning. I would rather come back to where I last left off in said topic. I don't believe anyone wants to start over at the beginning on any topic to get to where they last left off. Pagination can be a help but in long topics this could lead into many unnecessary clicks of a mouse driving the reader to leave the topic.

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38 minutes ago, Woodsman said:

as for a short topic I Would easily agree. As for a large topic with 20 pages

That's tricky IMO.
I would be even more confused if the order changed between topics on the same board depending on their length:D 

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2 hours ago, Woodsman said:

@Joel R as for a short topic I Would easily agree. As for a large topic with 20 pages of posts I for one don't want to start back at the beginning. I would rather come back to where I last left off in said topic. I don't believe anyone wants to start over at the beginning on any topic to get to where they last left off. Pagination can be a help but in long topics this could lead into many unnecessary clicks of a mouse driving the reader to leave the topic.

So, let me ask you (and this is a very broad and open ended question for everyone), how would you incentivize reading of a long topic? How would you nurture and reward users for reading prior posts? Or are we resigned to people who only read the last 1 or 2 posts before giving an answer? What's the point of a 20 page or 50 page or 100 page topic that literally no one is ever going to fully read except for admin bragging rights? 

I've seen design that does actually nurture and reward reading.  The topic can feature a "reading length", that gives you a general idea of the commitment it would take before you start.  The platform can use signals intelligence of posts based on things like reactions, quality of posts, quotes and shares to summarize the top 10% of posts.  You should encourage long topics to be split to precisely prevent overwhelming and rambling topics that devolve into general chat.  

Forums have prided themselves as being the best platform for long form discussion, but I don't actually believe forums offer an evolved design that actually supports the reading that's required beforehand or encouraging long form discussion.  

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14 hours ago, DesignzShop said:

My guess is she could care less about you or your forum. Just because your forum doesn't work like that doesn't mean hers is the same as yours.

So, it's not okay for me to say what I said about my forum? No matter ... Thankfully, what she's asking for isn't gonna happen. (And I don't even work for Invision.)

Edited by tonyv
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4 hours ago, Joel R said:

So, let me ask you (and this is a very broad and open ended question for everyone), how would you incentivize reading of a long topic? How would you nurture and reward users for reading prior posts? Or are we resigned to people who only read the last 1 or 2 posts before giving an answer? What's the point of a 20 page or 50 page or 100 page topic that literally no one is ever going to fully read except for admin bragging rights? 

Topics evolve as they go, who's to say the evolution of a post shouldn't be at the beginning instead of the end, whose to say the end results aren't more refined due to the evolution of the post?

I guess one could contemplate here, why is social media so popular vs forums. Could it be because users get the information they need right up front thus saving themselves time reading through a bunch of material or making extra clicks? I have to wonder with all the money these companies have if they've studied which ways people want their content delivered and is most successful?

Maybe it's time forum software re-evaluates what people really want or use and why? Times have changed and so has the way people want their content delivered.

I myself agree with how forum software works however, that may not be the most successful way content gets delivered or the most accepted way the general public utilizes content delivery.. I can say my way seems to make the most sense and is reasonable, but the numbers do not show that. Do we want to be stuck in a retro way to do things or do we evolve? Again, the numbers say evolve or sit in the back seat like forums are doing now. Somewhere somehow a happy medium must be searched out for forums / topics and posts. 

Once a post gets over a page the fresh content starts to get buried and forces the user to click to the end of the thread. Why is that so? It seems to be the norm or standard now to try and make web-pages and content easily accessible instead of "down the line" so we don't lose their interest and have them walk away, why wouldn't those standards be applied elsewhere?

We see how sites like FB, Twitter and Instagram for example utilize those standards but let's look deeper into other sites that are successful that utilize the same standards as social media. For example, and I think Disqus is a good example. Disqus powers some major hitters out there, top news sites like Fox News and Breitbart. When we look at Disqus's website we see for engagement
https://disqus.com/features/engage/

Disqus has found a similar major success in a standard thread and post as social media even though it's not. What about other methods like popular posts up top and everything else below that content? We see a popular post will be at top and people respond to that one post in real-time and threads like a forum post for responses. It appears to me current content AND popular content is preferred over stale content up front in most successful sites of today. 

Besides all this, most people don't have time between work and family to read through a hundred pages, or 50 or 25. The title content should explain the content of the topic well enough the end-users can make their own determination based on their time schedule on how much they want to digest, if digestion means getting to the end at the front and the numbers show that, then more than likely something to accommodate that should be considered. By looking at content delivery now, the preferred methods of yesteryear no longer can keep up or are very applicable to the needs of many. As I said above, who's to say the evolution of a post shouldn't be at the beginning instead of the end,?

Edited by DesignzShop
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My 2 cents about a solution, the topic and post mode need a little more enrichment, because the time is changed and our need demand innovation and enrichment too... 

 

We don't leave forum mode and concept... But it need innovation of new tools and features that let us growing with the age together 

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21 hours ago, Woodsman said:

@Joel R as for a short topic I Would easily agree. As for a large topic with 20 pages of posts I for one don't want to start back at the beginning. I would rather come back to where I last left off in said topic. I don't believe anyone wants to start over at the beginning on any topic to get to where they last left off. Pagination can be a help but in long topics this could lead into many unnecessary clicks of a mouse driving the reader to leave the topic.

Wouldn't a better solution be for clicking the topic title to simply take you to where you left off in the topic so you don't have to paginate and find your spot?

(Of course the little dot next to the topic title already does this but I understand some users don't realize that)

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6 hours ago, bfarber said:

Wouldn't a better solution be for clicking the topic title to simply take you to where you left off in the topic so you don't have to paginate and find your spot?

(Of course the little dot next to the topic title already does this but I understand some users don't realize that)

I can agree here if I am just getting into a topic from the beginning or if I am on a 2nd page out of 20. After this I feel readers will walk away if they have to start over or get thrown into a post no where near where you left off...

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The Breitbart model works and I'll explain why.

Breitbart forces intelligent posting by sifting through the garbage and using the community itself to do its dirty work. For example, when the topic is released everyone can post comments however, the one person who makes the post that best defines the topic is rewarded by putting their topic to the front page, top position. They get there through popular vote and they're post is voted on by the community. From here it forces others to respond to the post that best defines the topic cutting through all the other posts or comments that didn't hit the mark. In other words, posters can concentrate on the best response/comment/answer and work the topic from there creating a more intelligent conversation instead of needing to read pages of comments that didn't hit the mark or went off topic etc... 

This method also forces more in the community to be the one who makes that post that hit the mark, again, creating more intelligent responses so they can be the one who's rewarded with the best response. 

The way forums are now, that one good intelligent post gets lost on some page somewhere without never being rewarded and the post goes on with tons of replies bad or good that shouldn't be getting the attention of the one that really hit the mark. I'm forced to read everyone's thoughts, comments or shortcomings wasting my time and everyone else's. The evolution of a post could hit it's defining mark and be recognized quicker and not lost on some page but instead brought forth to create a more intelligent posting environment.

This model rewards posters and the community, posters for making the response and readers so they don't have to read a bunch of un-related comments or material to get to the meat of the matter. 

This model not only utilizes popular content but utilizes the most recent content upfront with no additional clicking.
This model does not use pagination either, it utilizes lazy loading of the comments thus removing unwanted real-estate which is also better for mobile users.

Just my opinion here, this is a more modern way to get to the end result faster, keep your most intelligent responses in the limelight and rewards both the posters and readers.

On another note, we look at features like pagination, is pagination something a lot of other sites utilize? It appears to me that's becoming a thing of the past too being overtaken of course with lazy loading of stored content. I personally have a hard time seeing the benefit anymore in pagination even though I do understand where it' use can have some benefits, but overall I feel lazy loading of information has more benefits.

Overall I feel this model encourages posters more so than the regular forum format being used today. Overall I feel it rewards posters and readers much more than the forum software of today. Don't get me wrong, I love IPB and what it does, I'm a hardcore IPB fan and find myself being very protective of it and the ideas implemented in it. I wouldn't trade it for anything else. There's a time however it should look at evolving in a way that best fits content delivery of today and the way people utilize content delivery. Unfortunately or some could say fortunately we live in a world today that revolves around the me factor. More and more people become less about community, that's really why FB, Twitter etc... has become so popular. IMO developers are sidelined with creating more features to compete with social media, that's wrong imo, it's the concept they should be more concerned about. The concept of individualism over community. 

I will say, the development of clubs was again in IPB's favor a very very modern way to address this issue. It addresses individualism in a way people relate to in the me era. IPB has always been ahead of the curve and this to me proves that yet again. I would however like to see that concept applied elsewhere like in forums at some point in time.

Just some food for thought. 🙂 
 

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