I was thinking about this the other day, as recently there was lots of xbox topics. Forumight sightless kombat knows quite a lot about the console, and it got me to thinking, why isn't there a way to mention people, using the at sign and then their username, which would then get them a notification?
So at the top with index, user list, etc, there would be a new notifications link and on that page would be a link that could say, username mentioned you in a post. Maybe it could just be a mentions link because adding a whole new notification system would make the whole forum have a different feel, and I'd rather keep the simplicity but maybe have this mention feature.
Also, if someone uses it too much then users can just ignore, which would just act like the mention didn't go through at all. Of course, the post itself will still go through regardless. Note: this will *not* block a user from seeing another user's posts. So let's go through an example:
So, I see a new xbox topic. I mention SightlessKombat in it, Sightless comes back to the forum, goes to the top, there is a link that says, "mentions (1)", Sightlessgoes in there and sees that I mentioned them in a post.
Now let's do the other side of the coin. Say I get really really really excited or angry, and start throwing mentions left, right and center every minute for 24 hours or whatever. Sightless has enough. So they go to their profile/setting page (I forgot what this was called) and adds me to their mention ignore list. Of course, from there, they could just toggle off all mentions altogether.
Now, if I mention sightless, that user doesn't get any notification and will have to find my post manually, just like it works now.
A few days later, I calm down. Sightless goes back to their profile page and removes me from the mention ignore list, and new mentions from me start appearing again.
Bonus: I've made a poll for people to vote in!
Well there are a few things that occur to me with this idea.
Firstly, is the programming question, since the board would essentially have to track when usernames have been referd to in posts and mentions, probably using the at sign or some custom bb code , so that for example if someone was talking about the Dark room game, I wouldn't get a bunch of mentions by mistake .
That sort of intelligent tracking could be a task to add I think, since while I've seen similar things used on blogs and such they don't tend to occur on forums, and even with things like blogs the intelligent tagging only tends to tag specific interest categories not usernames referd to.
then there is a problem of clutter. One of the things which i find problematic on so many blogs and forums these days is that the system of tags and references is sooooo over board you have to read through an entire page of them just to get to the bloody post. Similarly, if I had a huge bunch of notifications at the top of the board display or after every post there was a list of who was referd to when, i suspect I would find myself just skipping the system as extra clutter.
This is one major difference in screen reader friendly presentation and presentation to a sighted user, since it seems for a lot of sighted users the emphasis interface wise is to chuck as much at the screen as possible and let people scan, where as when using a screen reader you want to get to the information asap.
So, the system would need to be highly none intrusive.
Since as I said, the system would need to be triggered specifically by users when they want someone notified so that the intelligent user tracking didn't pull out a bunch of false positives, people would also need to remember when to use notifications correctly, since manifestly if your dealing in a topic where your having an ongoing conversation with someone, notifications would be a little pointless.
So, while I'm not against the idea I think it'd need to be considered carefully to make sure it did what was desired, I'm also not sure, if it takes custom programming whether or not something like this should be a priority over say adding a ratings system or ability to add reviews gamefaqs style to the db or having the ability to let people know when they get private messages.
So, a potentially interesting idea, but one which would need handling with care, and possibly a degree of setup too.
On the surface it sounds nice, but this isn't twitter. Were this forum to have its own client or desktop interface I would see it being something useful, especially if said client were cross-platform and one could take it with them on the go, but then we get into the subject of basically making an AOL/MSN/;pick your name messanger or chatter chatting social platform for the ag net community and essentially for blind and vision impaired users, which is what the majority of the audiogaming community consists of right now. Once upon a time, klango was pretty cool... And then it died.
Honestly, it pains me that we're so isolated from mainstream society, but I do not believe the answer lies in simply shutting our doors and creating a social circle we all feel comfortable with, which is one of the reasons I bought chicken nugget for twitter as well as an iOS device. It really doesn't matter now, since people seem to be leaping off the social media bandwagon as I know it and starting up profiles elsewhere, but the point here is that we have to keep up with the times. One of the reasons an ag net twitter account exists is for the sole purpose of promoting this website and its content on what is still a relatively poppular social media platform. While this forum is an amazing way to send and receive both brief and lengthy messages to one person or a score of individuals all at once, I have always seen it as good at doing what it does, which is promoting and spreading the awareness of audiogames, not at being a socializing platform or a replacement or substitution for such a thing.
For all I've stated above I must vote disinterest in such a feature... the forum is already good enough at being informative as is. If you keep up with your email you can quickly discover which topics are hot and which ones are not. If that doesn't suit you, the new posts option is just as wonderful. Should that not suffice, the active topics link exists as well.
@Dark and @Nocturnous I actually fully agree with both of your posts. I prefer the forum in it's current form and think a mentions system will be way too cluttered, even with stuff like the at sign. YOu'd see stuff like @dark @aaron @nocturnous hay mods, etc etc etc, and that's not really the best option. I was just posting the topic to see what others think, and I'm quite happy that people feel the same as me. I'm fine either way to be honest, as this is still the audiogames forum whatever happens.
@Nocturnus, were this forum a custom client or the like i probably wouldn't bother with it since I don't like social media that much anyway (even Klango I primarily used as a podcatcher when I bothered with it), and to be brutally honest, I'm not so interested in just chatting to blind people that much because they're blind.
Don't get me wrong, I do say hi to people in games and I setup an irc client just to use core exiles when i was a regular player, however the idea of joining a group which just exists because everyone has misfunctional eyebals doesn't appeal to me in the same way joining a group because everyone has similar interests does.
The fact that this forum happens! to have mostly blind/vi members is not half as important to me as the fact that this forum is where lots of people who talk about games, something I find very interesting :d.
So if the notification command is going in the direction of a custom client for this forum I'd not personally be a fan either for the same reason, that it does seem rather needlessly exclusive, though by the same tocan I might look at getting a twitter account later.
@Aaron, it's not such a bad idea in and of itself, it's just again whether it would alter the look of the forum, whether it would require some sort of custom client, how those things effect how the forum works now, and whether if we did decide it was a good idea the custom programming necessary to create it would be worth it.
fundamentally the forum works at the moment at the job the forum was intended for, ie, discussing games, rather well and thus anything new needs considering carefully.