General discussion


What Do Members Want?

By John Connell ·
Lately, there have been a few discussion threads wherein a TechRepublic member has asked whether or not people use TechRepublic's discussion centers. As so many of our members know, the discussion centers are often crowded with commentary among IT professionals from around the world. Clearly, people enjoy the discussion center.

But, I'm curious. Are there things about the discussion center that you believe could be better? Are there features that are missing. Do you have needs not satisfiedby the current set-up?

I would appreciate any comments or criticisms here.

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How about a better interface

by Alex Griffiths In reply to What Do Members Want?

The discussion center is interesting, but the interface sucks. If I see a discussion that I'm interested in I find that others are interested too, that means there are lots of replies.

It's a pain to read these replies using the standard interface so I switch to "printer-friendly" format. This is a bit better, but I'm discouraged from replying since there's no easy way to do so -- if I see a message in the middle that I'd like to reply to I'd have to switch back to standard mode and keephitting "next" until I reach the message I want. That's what I wanted to avoid in the first place.

Also, there's to many "dud" discussions. Get rid of old inactive discussions faster, and have a more fine grained discussion topics. I may not be interested in NT networking at all, but I am interested in "Router Configuration" why is it all lumped in one group "Network Administration">


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better interface yes, but reduce spam

by T. E. Walker In reply to What Do Members Want?

But also, how many of these "discussions" are questions which should really be in Technical Q & A, and/or could be answered with a search? Recently one person posted: Job openings on Discussions; What is data warehousing on Discussions; and he was the "Does anyone use this site" poster. Its a pain to sort thru all those postings to get to one or two interesting ones.
I can think of two things which might reduce this kind of spam. Neither is that good a solution though: One, for first time posters, have them go to a default FAQ before they can post. Redirect them back at end of FAQ. Second, and there is no simple way to implement this - remove multiple messages (those people who hit submit multiple times), remove questions that should be in TQ&A and send them an email (auto-gen from template) informing them of their error, and yes weed out old messages.

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by stoker In reply to better interface yes, but ...

I agree that a better interface is needed, make it a little bit more like news. Maybe it could be an idea to set up your system to use a news server as its database, and let members access that news server directly if they want? A thread-tree overview would be nice.
Spamfiltering is not that difficult, filtering out postings which should have been in Q&A will probably create a lot of human work, and where is the line inbetween a "Discussion" and a Q&A? what is the definitions, is it not allowed to post a spesific problem on a discussion? even if the poster knows this is a known problem and would like sveeral peoples feedback on how it could be worked around?

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interface: agreed

by mike.keighley In reply to interface

I detest people who just post "me too", but:
me too.

I have two dislikes:
(1) it takes too long to repaint the screen for each reply clicked-on.
(2) although replies are theaded to the question, the questions are not threaded to the Discussions list. I keep having to go back to Home>Discussion centre

A news server would address this, and allow members to use the reader of their choice.

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Content and Polls

by aklein7987 In reply to interface

I don't have a lot of time in the day and I'd like to find the most germane issue of the day with a poll validating the issue. All of this personalized to my particular field.

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Weeds vs Flowers

by generalist In reply to better interface yes, but ...

Weeds to some people are flowers to others.

Weeding out old messages is fine, but sometimes those messages are useful.

For example, discussions on documentation, analysis and how to deal with people are things that don't change much. Call them perennial flowers that should be kept.

Other things, like how to deal with the latest and greatest technology, are hot today, lukewarm tomorrow and never accessed the day after. These could be weeded out if you assume that nobody will ever use them again.

Perhaps the best solution is to keep everything but move them to other areas by keyword list.

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I still say...

by Packratt In reply to What Do Members Want?

I would really like to see some real time discussions in here. With this wide variety of talent and this diversity of perspective it would be interesting to get into some chats about the issues that get brought up in TR.

By the way, I actually like the discussion interface myself. I know, it's awkward at first but you get used to it and it grows on you after a while. Despite those annoying double posts and spamesque messages this discussion area is better than most IMHO.

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it industry

by hallkimmie In reply to What Do Members Want?

i need infor on the it industry for my tech report for school can you give me any help

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