Posted by fak, 2011-10-01 05:16 BST
Thanks for the update about the planned auto html features (and for the reminders below the post box in Small Talk with the link to the sandbox - I don't see it here in Big Talk though).
I disagree that quoting text means that people skip reading posts. Teal deer 1 (which are the most likely creatures to be found in Big Talk) are always prone to be skimmed. I participate in a couple of debate boards on Rav (sign up, have a look round) and even though posts are threaded (and you can click easily to see the text of the post being replied to), I find it enormously helpful to be able to quote exactly which points I am commenting on. It cuts down on a lot of confusion. I also personally like to be able to refer back to the original text when composing a message (I have your post open in another window at the moment) so that I can check what has been said and that I'm not misunderstanding/misremembering/misrepresenting it in my response. But that may well be a personal preference.
So what's this all about then?
Replacing IJDb I think is a reasonable goal, replacing rec.juggling may be trickier. The IJDb can always be mothballed (put into statis if is isn't removed), but as long as usenet exists there will be rec.juggling and there will always be people who prefer using r.j. (for the reasons they have mentioned many times). Are you looking to persuade the people who like r.j to move over to this format? If so, how? If not, well r.j. will continue on. I don't mean to sound negative, but r.j. has continued despite many different sites trying to tempt people away. The only ones that I can think of that have been successful (i.e. are still going some time after launch) are the Gatto and WJF forums, and they are filling a niche with members still posting to r.j. for topics that fall outside that niche.
The Golden Path
This all sounds great. My personal priority to getting Small and Big Talk up and running well would be to bring in a way to see activity since last visit (I see it is on the list).
Best of Small Talk sounds a little like This Week in Ravelry (I warned you the Ravelry comparisons would be plentiful). On a regular basis (was once a week, now about once a month) a newsletter type thing would be issued highlighting things that had happened on the site. It might be a new group, it might include site updates, some tips on using the site, there was a forum funnies section, a fibrey agony aunt section. Personally I never bothered with it, but lots of other people seemed to like it. Something similar could work here (once everything's in place) with focuses on props, best videos, funniest Small Talk comment, most controversial Big Talk comment, highlighting a club, maybe an interview with a member, a festival review etc. Members could be encouraged to make submissions to minimise the amount of work someone else would need to do in order to pull it all together. This could also be something that brings people to the site, a sort of online magazine, but community generated.
I really like the idea of prompts as a way of generating Small Talk content, could it be something users can opt in/out of?
I guess I still worry that there is a gap between Small Talk and Big Talk that r.j. will continue to fill, but I've already mentioned that once so will stop harping on about it.
1: Teal deer - tl;dr - too long; didn't read