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  1. Phil Shirley
  2. Forum Feedback and Help
  3. Thursday, March 30 2017, 08:53 AM
  4.  Subscribe via email
I just closed an old discussion about the IUG Forum so I'm opening this new one. Everyone's comments have been very useful, and we've tried to address them as much as possible.

What comments do you have about the forum? What things do you like, and what are some ways you think it should be improved?

Below is a list of improvements that have been made, followed by a list of a few possible improvements I've thought of. What do you think of these?

Improvements made

Email notifications
• There's no more long delay between posting and email receipt.
• The body of an email notification has less wasted space at top.
• The "from" field now has name of the sender.
• Subject lines have had the junk removed and [IUG] added.
• Email notifications of comments have been added.
• All subscriptions now include replies and comments.
• Contents of posts have been added to digests (they used to have only the subject lines).
• Replies and comments have been added to digests.
• You now get email notifications of your own posts.

Web site
• All posts, replies, and comments display email address at the end.
• On the page where you read a post, the comments boxes have been hidden (there used to be a big box to write a comment below the post and below each reply).


Possible improvements to make

General
• Remove extra blank lines inserted by people's email programs.
• If possible, come up with a more reliable way to remove quoted message supplied by people's email programs, rather than depending on the person to add "end reply" to have everything after that stripped out.

Posting by email
• Add addresses so you can post by email to other categories.
• Put these addresses in the "from" field so you can reply to an email notification to post for every category, not just Sierra/Millennium/Encore.

Web site
• Give a warning if an attachment is not allowed (currently it just doesn't attach it and doesn't tell you; attachment limits are 2 MB, file types gif, jpg, png, pdf, ppt, pptx, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, , txt, rtf, jrxml).
• Give useful error pages instead of displaying a 404, such as when a post has been removed, when you're viewing a private page and you log off, or when you're trying to view a private page but you're not logged in.

pshirley@cuyahogafallslibrary.org
Phil Shirley
Technology Services Coordinator
Cuyahoga Falls Library
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Mohamed Ragheb Accepted Answer
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Also, the user profile "card" for someone on the forum doesn't seem to offer a way for you to view all posts by that person. This is helpful when I'm looking for something and I can remember who posted it, but I can't recall the specific details of what they posted.

wosborn@clcohio.org


You can do that by clicking on Users then search for the user you like, you will see all posts, replies made by this user, or chat with this user if you wish. In addition to you can follow this user via RSS feeds.

http://innovativeusers.org/index.php/iug-forum/profile/6688-wosborn-clcohio-org/questions.html


Thanks

MRAGHEB@cuyahogalibrary.org

MRAGHEB@cuyahogalibrary.org
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Wes Osborn Accepted Answer
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Also, the user profile "card" for someone on the forum doesn't seem to offer a way for you to view all posts by that person. This is helpful when I'm looking for something and I can remember who posted it, but I can't recall the specific details of what they posted.

wosborn@clcohio.org
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Thanks for mentioning those things, Wes. In the past we have gotten custom programming to make changes like that, and I'll make a note of those for next time, though I don't think anything will get done until after the IUG web site project is done. Phil

pshirley@cuyahogafallslibrary.org
  1. Phil Shirley
  2. 1 week ago
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Wes Osborn Accepted Answer
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And if I edit my post on the forum, it puts my signature in the post body again.

Editing post to demonstrate.

wosborn@clcohio.org

wosborn@clcohio.org
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Wes Osborn Accepted Answer
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Here is another thing that baffles me about the current forum software. It will show that someone replied minutes ago and then it will say the last activity was 6 days ago. How is a reply not considered activity when it seems like replying would be the primary type of activity in a forum?

wosborn@clcohio.org
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Alison Pruntel Accepted Answer
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Hi Tom,

I think I had to initially open a ticket to III to subscribe, was part of our Sierra setup/conversion process. This was back in 2012, though, so maybe that's changed. The info. on the supportal (https://iii.rightanswers.com/portal/app/portlets/results/viewsolution.jsp?solutionid=160311093721934) really talks more about how to manage after you're subscribed. I would just open a ticket.

Alison

Alison Pruntel
Library Systems Administrator
Fauquier County Public Library
11 Winchester St.
Warrenton, VA 20186
540.422.8515
http://fauquierlibrary.org

alison.pruntel@fauquiercounty.gov
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Forum Feedback and Help
  3. # 5
Wes Osborn Accepted Answer
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I'll echo Alison's comments and thank you for all your hard work Phil!

However.... Since you asked, I'm still not a fan of this forum software and here are some of the reasons why:

- No markdown support
- For example in Markdown this would have been a nice bulleted list, it takes more work to do that in BBCode
- No support for pasting in a photo directly from the clipboard
- You have to upload/attach the photo instead
- No real-time preview of seeing what your post will look like as you type
- Lackluster mobile experience
- Not enough focus on the "real" content
- One culprit is too many unnecessary share features being prominent on the page (G+ ?)
- Subscribe via RSS
- Artificial distinction between comments and reply
- This makes it difficult to see post updates, you can't simply "go to the bottom" because the latest post might be buried in a comment to a reply
- Being able to reply to a specific post on a topic thread is great, but there are other ways to support that style of interaction
- Quoting content from previous poster is difficult
- Font size of content too small for reading on the website
- Focus on all posts being "questions"
- Accept as answer button is always shown in all categories
- Not capturing/removing all automated replies

IMHO Discourse https://www.discourse.org/ addresses all these issues and provides even more features and capabilities.

Discourse does have some cons:

- I can understand wanting to support integration with existing IUG account logins; Discourse supports SSO though so it is possible that folks wouldn't have to create new forum accounts
- Discourse is written in a different language, so if there is someone with IUG or a contractor that does PHP work for customizations, they won't be able to use the same skills for Discourse
- Discourse does have a very good / full featured theme engine. Basic colors can be tweaked with no CSS or programming skills.
- Poor support for email me a copy of my post
- Discourse supports a mailing list mode that allows users to receive an email for ALL posts on the forum HOWEVER if they only subscribe to ONE category on the forum, then if THEY post via email, they won't get a copy of their OWN message when it is ingested into the forum. They'll get copies of their message if folks REPLY to their message, but I know that this can sometimes leave folks wondering if their message ever successfully posted.
- Discourse does have a marketplace, it is possible that someone would be willing to develop this as a plugin for Discourse

Discourse does address a few things on your concerns list:

- Remove extra blank lines inserted by people's email programs.
- If possible, come up with a more reliable way to remove quoted message supplied by people's email programs, rather than depending on the person to add "end reply" to have everything after that stripped out.
> Discourse does a good job handling inbound email for replies and new posts; it has some trouble stripping email signatures, but that is improving in a release due in the next quarter.

Posting by email
- Add addresses so you can post by email to other categories.
> You can have per category email address for creating new topics via email.
- Put these addresses in the "from" field so you can reply to an email notification to post for every category, not just Sierra/Millennium/Encore.
> Discourse handles reply by email very well and can place the category name in the email subject for easier mailbox filtering rules.

Web site
- Give a warning if an attachment is not allowed (currently it just doesn't attach it and doesn't tell you; attachment limits are 2 MB, file types gif, jpg, png, pdf, ppt, pptx, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, , txt, rtf, jrxml).
> Discourse gives you a warning pop-up indicating that the file type is not allowed and reminds you of the allowed types. They also have separate settings for allowed staff/admin upload types and user upload types.
- Give useful error pages instead of displaying a 404, such as when a post has been removed, when you're viewing a private page and you log off, or when you're trying to view a private page but you're not logged in.
> Discourse error messages are easily customizable without any special programming knowledge.

Full disclosure, we use Discourse for communication within our consortium. We have ~500 users registered. In the last 30 days we've had 272 posts, an average reply time of 6 hours for new topics and we sent 30k emails.

Discourse was created by one of the founders of the StackExchange website (Jeff Atwood).

wosborn@clcohio.org
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Forum Feedback and Help
  3. # 6
Alison Pruntel Accepted Answer
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Thanks for all of the improvements you've made with the forum. I am guessing the listserv might not be as active in general just because people just post on the Sierra listserv. Your hard work is appreciated!

Alison

alison.pruntel@fauquiercounty.gov
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Hi Alison
How do you join the Sierra listserv?
Thanks
Tom

tom.avery@openpolytechnic.ac.nz
  1. Tom Avery
  2. 1 month ago
hi Tom

I have tried several times over the last year to join the Sierra (and Encore) listservs by contacting admin@listserv.iii.com. However, I get no response (I think the first time I was signed up to the wrong iii listserv). I don't know if this is because we are supposed to be using the forum now, in which case shouldn't the listserv groups be retired? I feel like I am missing out on a channel of expertise because the listserv is not available to me.

Thanks
Louise

l.simon@wellcome.ac.uk
  1. Louise Simon
  2. 1 month ago
Hi,

If you are having any trouble joining the iii listserv(s), I would suggest contacting III directly by opening a ticket in the Supportal. When I've had problems with my subscription in the past, this direct approach has gotten me pretty good results.

Good luck!
Joe Montibello
  1. Guest
  2. 1 month ago
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Forum Feedback and Help
  3. # 7
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