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#27987 - 01/23/14 11:26 AM Default Display Options
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Is there a way get a forum or thread display option changed to 6 months rather than 1 month? Often when I enter a forum, there are only a few threads/messages showing, and I always want to see more from the past.

If you follow me…

I'd like to be able to have more threads appear (older threads) when I enter a forum rather than having to change it (to last 6 months, etc.) in the drop menu every time.

Keep up the good work and thanks for this forum. Very helpful for me.
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#27989 - 01/23/14 11:39 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Deleted after rereading OP. tongue

I don't see a personal pref; it would have to be a UBB pref that would affect everybody.


Edited by artie505 (01/23/14 05:01 PM)
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#27994 - 01/24/14 03:31 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: deniro]
cyn Online

Administrator

Registered: 08/03/09
There's a setting for each forum. Wouldn't take me long to change the defaults, if that's what people want.

Anyone else have a preference?
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#27995 - 01/24/14 04:22 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: cyn]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I'll opt for 90 days.

Thanks.
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#27996 - 01/24/14 08:01 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: cyn]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
No preference here. I'll go along with the majority vote.
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#27997 - 01/24/14 09:39 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: cyn]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
6 months is too long. 90 days? Hmm. What's wrong with searching for anything over 30 days? What are the practical reasons for needing to see more than a month's worth?
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#28000 - 01/24/14 10:35 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: Ira L]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Ira L
What's wrong with searching for anything over 30 days? What are the practical reasons for needing to see more than a month's worth?

At issue might be 'overview', seeing as many posts as possible with the minimum number of mouse clicks. An intermediate between looking for that 'recent' post you recall but for the exact title, and resorting to the Search function right away. But because that overview is also limited by the (user-defined) number of topics or posts displayed on a single page, a larger period displayed may still require mouse clicks, and not help much in that respect. Moreover, displaying more than the current defaults may increase page loading time. With the current posting frequency I guess 60 or perhaps 90 days might be a good compromise.
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#28001 - 01/24/14 10:41 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: alternaut]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Let's say I click on Audio, Video, Photography. It defaults to "active during the past month" and there's only one post. Mine.
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#28002 - 01/24/14 10:48 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: deniro]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Yes, I know exactly what you mean. That's also why I brought up the posting frequency, which might suggest different default settings per forum, depending on their 'popularity'. You've got to weigh such customization (I don't know offhand what it entails) against the inevitable point at which you as user have to adjust your display setting.
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#28003 - 01/24/14 11:26 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: alternaut]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I just went through the index, forum by forum, and found that an increase to a 180 day display increases neither the number of threads displayed nor loading time all that much with the exception of the Networking Forum, which grows from one page to two.

(Having a larger number of threads displayed in each forum index makes it look more like our reason for being here is being fulfilled [ tongue ]....may even make FTM look more attractive to potential new members.)

Edit: That said, I'll up my pref to a 180 day display for all forums other than Networking for which I'll opt for 90 days.


Edited by artie505 (01/24/14 11:56 AM)
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#28004 - 01/24/14 12:42 PM Re: Default Display Options [Re: cyn]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
I'm going to have to 'vote' for "active in the last month".
Anything older than that is easy enough to check out.

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#28005 - 01/24/14 12:57 PM Re: Default Display Options [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Sounds like a 56k modem is doing your thinking for you. wink
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#28006 - 01/24/14 01:00 PM Re: Default Display Options [Re: artie505]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Good points, both yours (180 days) and Grelber's (30 days). Unfortunately, they are mutually exclusive, perhaps suggesting a 90 day (?) compromise... shocked


Edited by alternaut (01/24/14 01:02 PM)
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#28007 - 01/24/14 01:20 PM Re: Default Display Options [Re: alternaut]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Since I'm guessing that grelber's problem with more than 30 days is due to a modem issue from which he, alone, may suffer, I'll stick with 180 days (90 for Networking).

My thinking is that the more new visitors see, the more likely they may be to hang around and explore, and we could really use some new visitors; FTM is starting to look like a Mac Users Group. frown

Sorry, grelber.
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#28008 - 01/24/14 03:14 PM Re: Default Display Options [Re: artie505]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Not really a (slow) modem issue.
I just find it tedious paging through dated materials.
If no one's had anything to add to a thread in 30 days, it's likely a 'dead fish'.

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#28011 - 01/25/14 04:13 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: artie505]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: artie505
My thinking is that the more new visitors see, the more likely they may be to hang around and explore....

IMHO, this the best rationale so far.


Edited by ryck (01/25/14 04:13 AM)
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#28013 - 01/26/14 01:13 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> I just find it tedious paging through dated materials.

Paging? It's totally visual, and with the red new-post numbers highlighting what you haven't already looked at, I don't see what can be tedious.

> If no one's had anything to add to a thread in 30 days, it's likely a 'dead fish'.

As far as you're concerned.
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#28014 - 01/26/14 02:46 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: artie505]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Yep. It's all just opinion.

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#28015 - 01/26/14 06:01 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: cyn]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

I rarely access older threads by way of individual forum indexes; that requires remembering which forum the snippet of thread I'm looking for resides in. Instead, I almost always track older references down via the Search page, so it makes no difference to my usage habits what the default time period for threads displayed in a forum index is.

I think the argument that "more threads displayed will make potential contributors more likely to stick around" is pretty specious. Speaking for myself, when a search for specialized information leads me to a forum site, my decision whether or not to utilize that site as a future resource is based entirely on my success at obtaining the information sought at the time, not on some speculation regarding potential usefulness based on quantity of old threads.

That is, if I google on a search phrase, and find useful information at Forum X, I may bookmark the site for future direct searching, especially if this isn't the first time Forum X has proven helpful. If I don't find useful info, though, I am exceedingly unlikely to peruse listings of threads to see if the site might be helpful at some future point; I just assume that if it is, I'll find it again during some subsequent googling. Life is too short to be cataloguing the thousands of search results which didn't answer my question.
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#28017 - 01/26/14 02:53 PM Re: Default Display Options [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
My thinking is that the more new visitors see, the more likely they may be to hang around and explore, and we could really use some new visitors; FTM is starting to look like a Mac Users Group. frown

Maybe, but when I see the last post on a forum was months ago that seems a clear indication that it is a dead forum and time for me to look elsewhere.
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#28018 - 01/27/14 01:48 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Perhaps but, if you find the answer you were looking for, why would you look elsewhere?

When I seek answers in places other than at the FTM site, which is not often, one of the things I look for is the amount of conversation there has been on the topic. There will be different answers to the same question and the conversation usually helps determine which is reliable advice and which is not.

If I arrive at a site and the question has one answer and nothing more, that is when I look elsewhere. FTM is the only place I will trust a single answer.

Persons with greater knowledge are better equipped to separate the wheat from the chaff when they visit new sites. However, I have a more cautious approach to advice and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person in the entire internet who likes to see some validation.

It's decidedly better than accepting bad advice only to end up with a problem much greater than the original.

There is another aspect to the idea and I think it underscores artie's suggestion. One of the things I dislike about other sites is that there is so much absolute drivel out there. Many people seem to want to post anything at all, just to appear knowledgeable, or just to be heard.

Whether or not the decision at FTM is to display more or less initial information is of no consequence to me personally. When I want to see more I just change the viewing parameter myself.

However, a new person to FTM, able immediately to read reasonable discourse rather than nonsense, might think this is a good place to visit.
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#28024 - 01/28/14 03:54 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Specious?

Great word! (Perhaps you'll even use it correctly next time.)

For the benefit, then, of those who can't relate to this thread's topic other than as it relates to their own experience, I'm suggesting that FTM stop hiding its body of knowledge.

Everyone who enters FTM through its front-door home page (There is one, you know.), and at least a percentage of those who enter through back-door search results, is going to look at at least one forum index, and, as things stand now, that index is going to be either sparsely populated or empty, not because of a lack of applicable threads, but because of a lack of recent ones.

FTM is not a late-breaking news site, and its body of facts and fixes does not go stale simply because of the passage of time; a 60 day old post is as likely to solve somebody's problem today - and make FTM look good in the process - as it was on the day it was posted!

And in the FTM context, an alluring thread title is far more compelling than an old date is off-putting (if even noticed).

We've bemoaned FTM's failure to do the business we'd so dearly love it to do; is it wise to pass up an(y) opportunity to (virtually effortlessly) change that?
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#28029 - 01/28/14 05:31 PM Re: Default Display Options [Re: artie505]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09


Originally Posted By: New Oxford American Dictionary
spe•cious |ˈspēSHəs|
adjective
superficially plausible, but actually wrong: a specious argument.

That is exactly what I meant.

FWIW, I just conducted a rough survey of activity among Guests in Who's Online. As always, the vast majority of these were Reading a post. Of the sixteen such threads I was able to load before the page refreshed, twelve were older than six months. I didn't have a chance to determine the referrer for these sixteen threads, but in a subsequent go-round with Who's Online, every single Guest (of perhaps two dozen) whose online status was Reading a post had been referred to that post from Google. (Interestingly, roughly half of those were from other nationality's Googles, with the UK and Canada leading the list and Germany also appearing multiple times.)

These observations support my contention that the vast majority of FTM non-member traffic comes from folks researching specific questions via Google search. Yes, some of those then look for other posts in (presumably) the same forum—7 out of 231 Guests were Viewing a list of posts—and some look at the Main Index—16 of 231 were Viewing a list of forums, although 7 of those occurred in a clump, intermixed with Registering a new user, which all shared the same first three parts of the IP address, making it clear that these were all part of an automated spam effort.

I certainly won't insist that none of those who explore FTM a little more deeply after the initial exposure decide to join (or not to join) on the basis of their perception, derived from the number of threads displayed in forum indexes, of the scope of the site's knowledge base; I just think it's likely to be quite a rare occurrence.

As I outlined before, my belief is that the overwhelming majority of people come here looking for very specific information as a result of a Google search. Those who don't find the information they're looking for move on to the next likely-sounding search result. Those who do find what they're looking for already have positive feedback for their visit that far exceeds the visual impact of a list of posts.

That said, unlike grelber I have no objection to the default time range being lengthened to the maximum since, as I said earlier, I normally look at neither the main index nor the individual forum indexes.
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#28085 - 02/02/14 12:11 AM Re: Default Display Options [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Your own post argues against "specious" being a correct description of my argument!

I've never attempted to estimate a percentage of viewers who may either benefit from expanded forum indices or simply find them useful, merely argued that there is such a percentage, and your post supports my argument...

Originally Posted By: dkmarsh
"Of the sixteen such threads I was able to load before the page refreshed, twelve were older than six months."

A coupl'a questions about visitors and referrers:

1. Can you tell with the tools at your disposal to precisely which threads visitors were referred, or can you tell no more than that they were referred by a search engine, i.e. do you know for a fact that the posts they were viewing during the moments of time in your snapshots are the specific posts to which they were referred, rather than secondary, tertiary, etc, views?

2. Can you tell the origin of viewers looking at lists of posts or the main index?

The answers to those questions will give us a better perspective on your post.
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Moderator:  alternaut, cyn, dkmarsh