• UCAT results are out! Just kidding, I'm just testing the notices system. Cheers, Mana

How would you change MSO?

Stuart

Administrator
Administrar
Allowing new users to engage in conversation and get their questions answered (unless if private) is not going to help benefit the board and other users who might have similar questions.
I must admit I was concerned about that also. A very good point. However, in my case, this limited some of the new users from sharing their offers status anonymously (by PM-ing rustyedges, Ruth and/or myself).

This also increases the risk of users getting messages from bots. We've got to come up with a different solution.
If and when can bots post on threads/again access to conversations?

A solution I have thought of is staff members restricting new users to comment on their profile by limiting their settings.
That sounds feasible, although, I don't know if it's a possibility. Are you thinking something like "25 posts to gain access to profile status" - similar to the hatbox?

[offtopic]
Sherlock is a changed man after the award. So serious...
[/offtopic]
 

Stuart

Administrator
Administrar
I agree with @Sherlock here - questions should be asked on the forums for all to see and use the information from later. Private messages serve only to benefit that user and the information is then lost.

Perhaps it would be a good idea if the regulars would reply to (useful topic related) PMs by asking the user to post it on the forums instead of answering it PM (and I'm 100% guilty of not doing this).

I am going to see if it's possible to put a post limit on people being able to post on other people's profiles (as this is also largely lost, but weirdly enough, searchable). Even with a 5 post limit I think it would push people to ask their questions on the forums. Members with more than five posts would then be able to communicate privately through the already available channels.
Do you guys regularly get asked questions via PM? That has never happened to me, I don't think.

I think we should make it something like ten posts for the profile status. Also, why are people using that so much lately?
 

Sherlock

Breaker of order
Sherlock is a changed man after the award. So serious...
It's about time :) Dont worry, I will still be silly from time to time. Hard to leave old habits aside ;)

I must admit I was concerned about that also. A very good point. However, in my case, this limited some of the new users from sharing their offers status anonymously (by PM-ing rustyedges, Ruth and/or myself).
There is an easy fix for this. Just like how we've got anonymous survey for those with offers, we could implement similar surveys for other users to complete. It's even better because that way, the users stay anonymous from everyone.

If and when can bots post on threads/again access to conversations?
There are situations sometimes where a bot can easily get 2 posts and no moderators are online. 5 posts though not significant is still a better option.

That sounds feasible, although, I don't know if it's a possibility. Are you thinking something like "25 posts to gain access to profile status" - similar to the hatbox?
From my past experiences in other boards, I know this feature is possible, particularly in vBulletin and XenForo is very much compatible with vBulletin. It seems @Mana would be able to work on this one.
 

Mana

Registrar
Administrar
Do you guys regularly get asked questions via PM? That has never happened to me, I don't think.

I think we should make it something like ten posts for the profile status. Also, why are people using that so much lately?
There is already a post requirement to be able to send a private message (as not to get spammed but also so people post their first question on the forums). However, it seems that people are instead just posting their specific questions on the profile of a moderator or on someone who is in the course they are asking questions about.

Speak for yourself - when the offers came out this week I was answering questions via PM pretty much non-stop for hours.
 

Mana

Registrar
Administrar
I'm able to make it so that new users cannot see other users' profiles until a certain number of posts, yes. I am a bit worried that this might make some other functionality difficult (for example, a user having trouble messaging a moderator or admin with a request to change the real life name they put on their account can no longer PM and no longer post on the wall... heh...)
 

Sherlock

Breaker of order
I'm able to make it so that new users cannot see other users' profiles until a certain number of posts, yes. I am a bit worried that this might make some other functionality difficult (for example, a user having trouble messaging a moderator or admin with a request to change the real life name they put on their account can no longer PM and no longer post on the wall... heh...)
Hmm yea that would be a problem haha. I don't know if that's a solution anymore...

I think the best way to tackle this issue would be not to answer their questions on profile and instead link them to a forum or thread where they can ask the same question. It's a little harsh but that might be the best solution we have.
 

Mana

Registrar
Administrar
While it's quite a low-tech solution, I think it's currently the best one. Regulars, especially staff members, should direct users asking questions to ask them on the relevant threads.
 

Stuart

Administrator
Administrar
There is an easy fix for this. Just like how we've got anonymous survey for those with offers, we could implement similar surveys for other users to complete. It's even better because that way, the users stay anonymous from everyone.
That is a very good suggestion. I will have to try it out like what Ben did. Thank you!

Speak for yourself - when the offers came out this week I was answering questions via PM pretty much non-stop for hours.
You would need to stop doing that! (Haha.)

I'm able to make it so that new users cannot see other users' profiles until a certain number of posts, yes. I am a bit worried that this might make some other functionality difficult (for example, a user having trouble messaging a moderator or admin with a request to change the real life name they put on their account can no longer PM and no longer post on the wall... heh...)
Isn't that what the Miscellaneous folder is for?
 

Mana

Registrar
Administrar
Someone with their real life name wanting a name change is not someone who is wanting to post that name in a thread, even in the Misc subforum.
 

Stuart

Administrator
Administrar
Someone with their real life name wanting a name change is not someone who is wanting to post that name in a thread, even in the Misc subforum.
Isn't the profile wall public? If so, PM will only be the good way. Also, are we able to make a note about possibly thinking about what name(s) to use when signing up?
 

Mana

Registrar
Administrar
Isn't the profile wall public? If so, PM will only be the good way. Also, are we able to make a note about possibly thinking about what name(s) to use when signing up?
Let me see if I can change that in the sign-up template.

Edit: Done. On the signup page it now reads:

"This is the name that will be shown with your messages. You may use any name you wish. We strongly encourage you not to use personally identifying information as your username (such as using your surname or using a less common first name) as once this is set, it cannot be changed."
 
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Benjamin

Admin (JCU MBBS)
Emeritus
Perhaps it would be a good idea if the regulars would reply to (useful topic related) PMs by asking the user to post it on the forums instead of answering it PM (and I'm 100% guilty of not doing this).
The way I have always dealt with this for the multitude of JCU questions that get PM'd to me rather than asked in a thread is to post the questions and the answer in my own thread. This way the person doesn't necessarily have to ask it directly on a thread/create their own thead/can ask things prvivately, but everyone can still see the answer.
 

Mana

Registrar
Administrar
The way I have always dealt with this for the multitude of JCU questions that get PM'd to me rather than asked in a thread is to post the questions and the answer in my own thread. This way the person doesn't necessarily have to ask it directly on a thread/create their own thead/can ask things prvivately, but everyone can still see the answer.
I've ended up copying and pasting answers as well, but I've also gotten a bit lazy because of the multitude of new threads now, heh.
 

LBoG

BMedSci/MD-JMP II UoN
Let me see if I can change that in the sign-up template.

Edit: Done. On the signup page it now reads:

"This is the name that will be shown with your messages. You may use any name you wish. We strongly encourage you not to use personally identifying information as your username (such as using your surname or using a less common first name) as once this is set, it cannot be changed."
"Unless @Mana is feeling lazy and you chose a name more than four letters long."

:p
 

Sherlock

Breaker of order
I've been thinking about making use of the trophy points feature on MSO of late to reward members for their contribution on MSO if possible.

We could make trophy points a system which rewards users who have contributed with quality posts on MSO such as articles and guides.

Would it be possible to make a new usergroup with a title something like 'Valued Contributor' with a different user colour?

For example, for every article or valuable post, the OP can be awarded 200 trophy points or something like that and there should be threshold of points before one can be upgraded to a new usergroup called 'Valued Contributor'. Lets say 2000 for example. I think this would be a huge encouragement for users to contribute with valuable posts to the board as well as a way to reward them.



We could also make a secondary points system for things such as competitions/contests/games where if a user wins, they get awarded certain amount of trophy points. However, these trophy points DO NOT count towards 'Valued Contributor' but rather a GOLD STAR. The host of the competitions/contests/games should be responsible for looking after the trophy points collated by each user. (Since we now have a option to make tabs, this should be easier to keep track of). When the user reaches certain amount of trophy points, lets say 500, they get awarded the GOLD STAR.

Whilst the trophy points from winning competitions/contests/games cannot to be used for 'Valued Contributor', someone who has won points through writing a valuable post can use their trophy points for a GOLD STAR. If they decide to use their trophy points for GOLD STAR, then their trophy points decrease.


Any feedback to improve this system is highly appreciated!!

@Ben @Mana
 
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Mana

Registrar
Administrar
I've been thinking about making use of the trophy points feature on MSO of late to reward members for their contribution on MSO if possible.

We could make trophy points a system which rewards users who have contributed with quality posts on MSO such as articles and guides.

Would it be possible to make a new usergroup with a title something like 'Valued Contributor' with a different user colour?

For example, for every article or valuable post, the OP can be awarded 200 trophy points or something like that and there should be threshold of points before one can be upgraded to a new usergroup called 'Valued Contributor'. Lets say 2000 for example. I think this would be a huge encouragement for users to contribute with valuable posts to the board as well as a way to reward them.



We could also make a secondary points system for things such as competitions/contests/games where if a user wins, they get awarded certain amount of trophy points. However, these trophy points DO NOT count towards 'Valued Contributor' but rather a GOLD STAR. The host of the competitions/contests/games should be responsible for looking after the trophy points collated by each user. (Since we now have a option to make tabs, this should be easier to keep track of). When the user reaches certain amount of trophy points, lets say 500, they get awarded the GOLD STAR.

Whilst the trophy points from winning competitions/contests/games cannot to be used for 'Valued Contributor', someone who has won points through writing a valuable post can use their trophy points for a GOLD STAR. If they decide to use their trophy points for GOLD STAR, then their trophy points decrease.


Any feedback to improve this system is highly appreciated!!

@Ben @Mana

Happy to implement a system provided that it does not rely heavily on the administrators manually adding or removing things. Automated points, yes - we could make an additional usergroup with a banner that says valued contributor if we just make it so that people who get say 500 likes automatically get that banner. Non-automated points - not really a very efficient use of our time.
 

Benjamin

Admin (JCU MBBS)
Emeritus
Happy to implement a system provided that it does not rely heavily on the administrators manually adding or removing things. Automated points, yes - we could make an additional usergroup with a banner that says valued contributor if we just make it so that people who get say 500 likes automatically get that banner. Non-automated points - not really a very efficient use of our time.
Not 100% sure how the trophy system works but might be able to implement it with another plug-in that gives people the ability to do more than just 'like' a post - i.e. allow people to mark it as 'informative' or whatever and then apply banners based on number of posts with ___ rating. Saw something that fits this description a little while ago and thought about adding it - will have a look over the next couple days after I wind down from night shifts.
 
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