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Old 2010-03-16, 23:35   Link #1
Solace
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Those Sticky Topics!

As part of a broader review of the various stickies of the forum, I'm opening this thread to take feedback on what our users think about the stickied threads in their favorite sections.

The reason for this is to help the staff get a better idea of what stickies are useful, what stickies our users are actually reading, what stickies could be improved, what stickies aren't useful at all....that sort of thing.

Why? As part of our never ending efforts in ensuring that our site stays clean and organized for everyone, we also recognize a growing problem with the various stickies on the site. Some are outdated. Some sections just have too darn many stickies. Some don't have enough useful ones. Some have too many unimportant ones.

So let us know what you think! What can we do to help make our stickies more useful to you?

Edit - Musing on this, I wonder if I should have added a poll to see if people think this thread should have been stickied or not.
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Old 2010-03-17, 00:56   Link #2
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So far, I don't recall any sticky threads that I felt shouldn't be, which means nothing is glaring wrong, but maybe I haven't read these "outdated" stickies. What I think would be most useful is a sticky with all the links to forum threads of anime in the Older Series forum. I recall seeing one before that wasn't being updated, but now I can't find it again.
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Old 2010-03-17, 07:29   Link #3
felix
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You use the main site for that. If there is a thread, the link should be there. And if the link isn't there you know what to do. ;D The thread you speak of is most likely xris's Series Discussion Index thread which he said he has abandoned some time ago (or was that the other thread?).

Anyway my own take on it,

First, having stickies in stickies. This kind of cluttered make-shift sticky just doesn't work well at all. Please treat stickies and particularly rules stickies as belonging to the forum and in cases like that one don't move and instead just go in and re-write everything or in the case of the second just use two stickies so its: (a) in one post or at least copy/paste into one and (b) tweaked so its all consistent and information not repeated. A inherit sub-problem with this I have is that the thread title (while cute by monir =P) is completely unintuitive, since obviously you have 3-4 threads there instead of one, which you should have. If you want to think of it another way: do you think its a good idea to start a thread with two topics?

Onto the second issue. I think not having a sticky limit should be considered as a problem. As has been mentioned several times in the past, "having too many" is a problem. And I will add, having too many is a problem regardless of section. My own guess at the ideal number would be no more then 3. If you can keep the number of stickies consistently on 3 in most sections that would actually be nice as well.

Third, as I mentioned earlier (partially), not having a consistent naming convention for stickies is less then ideal. I'm not trying to nitpick too much here but it seems such a easy thing to do. You do want the threads to be easily distinguishable in things like Today's Posts so if you could either use a naming convention or better yet the forum's own thread prefix system that would be great. Here is a examples:
  1. General Chat Thread Index
  2. [READ ME FIRST] Tech Support FAQs / Guides Index
A good naming convention in my mind for threads like that but also threads like Fan Creation Forum Rules and Index and others is to just call them: FAQ: Section Name (yes "FAQ:" there is a thread prefix). Note the intention there is to use "FAQ" (the modern word) not "F.A.Q." (ie. acronym for "Frequently Asked Questions"). Several advantages here: (a) you can stick a lot ton of stuff in the format of a FAQ thread, among others things cramming indexes with rules, series info if applicable, etc (b) people will intuitively know to look there (c) its creates consistency. And (d) its so very very friendly; just compare:Also you don't have to write "[read first post]" or "[READ ME FIRST]" or stuff like that for a FAQ thread, since its implied by the words meaning. For the dumb ones its not really going to make a difference if you write those bracketed warnings alongside "FAQ" in the end.

And lastly. I really do not get whats the purpose of all these locked stickies. What do you actually gain by keeping the sticky threads locked? this is a discussion forum after all. Note that for rule announcements the "Announcement feature" is probably a better choice, particularly with these situational rule problems that just seem to pop up in certain time frames, not all the time. If its really so noteworthy it needs to be mentioned in stone, then I think its best mentioned in Forum Rules rather then a thread. Though simple forum ethiques are good FAQ material.
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Old 2010-03-17, 08:54   Link #4
RWBladewing
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I think the rules sticky in the Games forum is worded a bit awkwardly. Specifically:

Quote:
This forum is for discussing Japanese games based on anime or which have an anime-like look and feel. This includes bishoujo and "ero" (hentai) games, as long as no explicit screenshots or other objectional material is posted or discussed in detail.

Despite the paragraph above, discussions about games which are not directly related to anime (such as Final Fantasy or Command and Conquer) are allowed. Just remember that there may be better forums for discussing those kind of games than the AnimeSuki forum.
It seems odd to start the post with one paragraph and then immediately contradict it with the second, implying that the forum is specifically focused on anime-related games and then saying it isn't. Wouldn't it be clearer to just say you can talk about any game and then note that you may not receive as much of a response as you'd like if the game is not anime-related? Though considering that the biggest threads by far have nothing to do with anime, you could probably leave that part out too. Along the same lines is the description for the Games forum on the index, which also states that the forum is for discussing anime-related games.

It's not really a big deal but it could be pretty confusing for a new member and I know the WoW thread specifically has gotten several posts by wannabe mods saying "this isn't an anime game".

Edit: It'd also be nice if it clarified whether it is just for video games or also includes other types of games like card or board games. I've seen several users ask about this including myself and there are apparently conflicting opinions, as there is a Weib Schwarz card game thread going in the Games forum but I had previously been told by a mod that the General forum was more appropriate for my Magic the Gathering card game thread.
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Old 2010-03-17, 10:23   Link #5
monster
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Gundam Sub-Forum

1. Gundam 00 is licensed! should be deleted since Licensed Gundam series; Asking for them = BAN! can serve the same purpose, perhaps with any new changes to the rule added. Maybe the latter thread can even be updated for Unicorn and others.

2. Gundam Series, Complete Listing! and Information on ALL Gundam Series/Movies/Ova should be merged. Anyone can still quickly skim through the first few posts of the resulting thread if necessary.
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Old 2010-03-17, 23:44   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
The thread you speak of is most likely xris's Series Discussion Index thread which he said he has abandoned some time ago.
I loved this thread. There's almost always another way to access information, but I find this to be most convenient and fast, and worth a sticky.
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Old 2010-03-18, 08:00   Link #7
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
There's almost always another way to access information, but I find this to be most convenient and fast, and worth a sticky.
I have to disagree. For one, its very easy to search for it: "index", show threads, search titles, from a year ago and older: Ascending, Threads created by user "xris" (to name all the possible useful criteria). Or when you're searching for something a lot the option to tag it in place so as to tag-search later also works, though sadly the limit of tags we (normal members) may add to threads that are not ours is very low and won't potentially be of help.

Secondly, its abandoned and progressively getting old. Threads that aren't up-to-date (which I might add we have a lot in Download Help) should not be stickied since the potential for misinformation far outweighs any usefulness in having it there, particularly when said information is known to be maintained in other sources (eg. the main site or just simply the internet).

Also, I would think you of all people would not have a use for it, since in most cases where you would need the specific information you would always want to rely more on searching the forum then on another staff member which presuming he added said information there also added it to the main site as well, hence a sort of cyclic redundancy in what you are doing.
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Old 2010-03-18, 11:48   Link #8
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Well, it's pretty simple to me. Solace asked what stickies are "useful" and "worth reading." I've used that thread many times in the past until I crashed my bookmarks. So for me it's worth a sticky if someone takes the time to update it. But I do agree that if no one will update a sticky like such then it should go down. Still, it's the only thread I've ever bookmarked (I don't even bookmark the forum main page; I go through the main page).

And that Download Help forum looks pretty outdated.
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Old 2010-03-18, 12:46   Link #9
felix
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I bookmark http://forums.animesuki.com/search.php?do=getdaily.

That's why I emphasized earlier how the names should be both similar but also unique. Take the following example. Which of the following is the manga thread: Break Blade (Broken Blade) or Break Blade? Even as a regular it can be tricky, because the hole process in your head is just awkward really (nothing logical to give you the answer). And this is somewhat situational since sometimes we just don't care very much. Of course in the case of the example we do have the forum rules concerning manga/anime discussion to deal with. And yeah you could say "can't you tell its the anime discussion?", for which my answer is: "not by the discussion". We are allowed to talk about the anime in the manga threads, and discussing the anime does happen, so its not really: "Oh its anime talk. Must be the anime thread." And of course your options are to worry about or make the mistake. I've even seen this thread naming issue go further where the threads had exactly the same name. Frankly, I think if the forum detects the name+prefix exists already you shouldn't be allowed to create it since its so annoying to have two threads with the same name.

Well, at one point I used to bookmark the User CP but I only subscribe to topics manually now, because auto-subscribe tends to be more a bother for its worth. And bookmarking the daily is what I do on most other non-vB boards. Consistency is easier on the mind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
Well, it's pretty simple to me. Solace asked what stickies are "useful" and "worth reading."
From my point of view you made it sound too much like a voting pattern. So I proceeded to sabotage your evil scheme!
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Old 2010-03-18, 13:00   Link #10
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Once upon a time, something like a group of people who would be given permission to add tags to threads (more than the current limit) was proposed, but that never took off. If this group was created, then they could make tag searching much more useful, and can tag manga or anime in threads too.
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Old 2010-03-18, 13:27   Link #11
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I'm still of the opinion (as then) that restricting tags to only pre-defined ones is the best way to go. Keeps expectations on the system low: "we have THESE, you can use them to find X, Y, Z", unlike the current "oh everyone can tag with anything and you can search them!" So what if I can search them and there are many? does google try to give as many results as possible at the cost of accuracy. Do I even want to make use of tags as just this search tool? These are just some of the easy problems that come from a lack of clear objective.

You can actually turn this wording from tags to stickies and the meaning is the same. In the current state there really is no consideration of how to use them and also how many things get in your way when you try to use them. I guess you could call that a usability testing problem.

I do find it funny how the reasons Solace highlights for changes in stickies apply so much more to tags. There doesn't seem to be any concern for tags though. I'll take it as moderators don't really use tags in general.
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Old 2010-03-20, 00:55   Link #12
Solace
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As far as stickies go, this thread is essentially to see what's working for people and what isn't. My personal goal is to slowly get these stickies updated and useful for as many as possible. Among some of the problems I've noted -

Some sections could use stickies removed entirely or condensed.

Some are just out of date and could use revamping or removing.

The format isn't universal across the forums, this makes it more difficult to distinguish between "Must read", "Useful but not urgent", and "this thread is bumped so much it may as well be a sticky".

So in addition to updating formatting, I'm also looking at going section by section and making the stickies cleaner and more relevant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
Once upon a time, something like a group of people who would be given permission to add tags to threads (more than the current limit) was proposed, but that never took off. If this group was created, then they could make tag searching much more useful, and can tag manga or anime in threads too.
Well, tagging kind of died out in general. Unfortunately the enthusiasm just kind of waned, and the moderators (myself included) just have no pressing urgency to revisit tags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
I'm still of the opinion (as then) that restricting tags to only pre-defined ones is the best way to go. Keeps expectations on the system low: "we have THESE, you can use them to find X, Y, Z", unlike the current "oh everyone can tag with anything and you can search them!" So what if I can search them and there are many? does google try to give as many results as possible at the cost of accuracy. Do I even want to make use of tags as just this search tool? These are just some of the easy problems that come from a lack of clear objective.

You can actually turn this wording from tags to stickies and the meaning is the same. In the current state there really is no consideration of how to use them and also how many things get in your way when you try to use them. I guess you could call that a usability testing problem.

I do find it funny how the reasons Solace highlights for changes in stickies apply so much more to tags. There doesn't seem to be any concern for tags though. I'll take it as moderators don't really use tags in general.
Well in defense of the forum, it is old. There's a lot of policies we used to employ that don't hold as much weight as they used to, like licensing, which have shifted our approach. Consider this the first toe in the water towards getting things cleaned up. It won't be something that happens overnight though.

I don't personally use tags, but that's just my personal style of browsing. I hardly use bookmarking either...I'm just weird like that. I can't speak for the other staff though, I'm sure they use more features than myself.
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Old 2010-04-06, 09:18   Link #13
felix
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I noticed Spring 2010: Your Expectations and Anticipated Series is now in Upcoming Series, how about moving Winter 2010 Anime Review Thread: Post Your Opinion and Grade from General Anime to Current Series since episodic grading of series is common and also you are likely to drop a show before its finished.

Alternatively you could move Winter 2010 Anime Review Thread to Older Series and create a new Spring 2010 Anime Review Thread: Post Your Opinion and Grade in Current Series.
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Old 2010-04-15, 09:43   Link #14
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This is a pretty useless sticky.
1) The site linked to in the OP doesn't even exist anymore.
2) Even when the site linked to in the OP did exist it was mostly used for trolling and rumormongering. Its replacement (fansubwiki.com) is somewhat more useful but it is questionable if it should be sitting in a stickied thread in the fansub groups forum.
3) Nobody uses the thread; it has seen no new posts for the last 8 months.
4) The purpose of the thread is very unclear. What is it supposed to be used for?
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Old 2010-04-15, 11:06   Link #15
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Note that the first post was from 2004. Before the advent of the Fansub Wiki (and predecessors) there was no good way of finding out which group would sub what. I think, anyway.

But you're right, that thread serves no real good purpose these days. I've unstickied & closed it.
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Old 2011-04-29, 11:09   Link #16
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So, any progress on this? I still think the Gundam sub-forum has too many sticky threads.
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Old 2011-04-29, 15:55   Link #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
You use the main site for that. If there is a thread, the link should be there.
On the still-current AS site, it's very difficult to find the discussion thread for a licensed series. The new beta site is better for this, since it includes both licensed and unlicensed shows on the current season page, but the list of completed series appears limited to unlicensed works. This is an improvement for finding the discussion threads associated with current licensed series, but it still doesn't help with older licensed ones.
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Old 2011-04-29, 22:04   Link #18
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
So, any progress on this? I still think the Gundam sub-forum has too many sticky threads.
It's still on the table, but it was pushed to the back burner for various reasons. So unfortunately, no progress just yet, sorry.
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Old 2011-04-29, 23:12   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
"this thread is bumped so much it may as well be a sticky".
I feel that these types of thread shouldn't warrant a sticky. The popularity and activity of the thread itself is enough for it stay relevant on the front page and near the top of the list. It doesn't need to be stickied or given preferential treatment over the other discussion threads.

Sticky sections should only have the most useful, important and informative of threads in the most minimal of amounts imo. Having anything else up there including "a thread so active it may as well be stickied" serves only to clutter the sticky section up, meaning more stuff to scroll through and less chance that people will pay attention to the actual stickies that you want them to (eg: rules and what not) due to information overload and/or tl;dr syndrome.
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Old 2011-04-30, 01:47   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
It's still on the table, but it was pushed to the back burner for various reasons. So unfortunately, no progress just yet, sorry.
Well, it's good to know that it's still on the table. Take your time and maybe I'll check again next year.
Quote:
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I feel that these types of thread shouldn't warrant a sticky. The popularity and activity of the thread itself is enough for it stay relevant on the front page and near the top of the list. It doesn't need to be stickied or given preferential treatment over the other discussion threads.

Sticky sections should only have the most useful, important and informative of threads in the most minimal of amounts imo. Having anything else up there including "a thread so active it may as well be stickied" serves only to clutter the sticky section up, meaning more stuff to scroll through and less chance that people will pay attention to the actual stickies that you want them to (eg: rules and what not) due to information overload and/or tl;dr syndrome.
I agree.
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