Posted by Little Paul, 2012-04-28 23:00 BST
While Jay has put his ideas across somewhat forcefully, I think I may well agree with some of his points.
I'm 100% behind the idea of a thoughtful, strictly on-topic section of The Edge. I like the notion of encouraging much longer "essay" style posts, and I believe this is the intention for Big Talk. It's still early days for The Edge of course, and ST is working out lovely, but I think a few tweaks and a possible minor refocusing of BT could get it the same amount of love.
What do I think BT could become?
I'm currently looking on BT as a blog, which any member can post to. ST is more like a fast messageboard or a slow chatroom (depending how you look at it) but many of the long format posts on BT so far wouldn't look out of place on a blog such as the IJA eZine.
I think if it's viewed like this, the format has potential. (I'm trying so hard not to talk about crowdsourced content!) However, I'd like to see a couple of tweaks...
Main post timers
Like Jay, if I come up with an idea I need to either make a start on writing it down immediately, or risk forgetting most of it and never getting it all down. Ultimately this might led to me not posting something, not because it wasn't important, thoughtful or witty - but because it was ephemeral and 24 hours is a long time for a thought to stay in my brain!
However, I do see a lot of value in encouraging people to read/edit/rewrite what they've written before posting it, and to encourage a period of reflection.
So I'd really like to see the ability to start composing a post immediately, while the timer ticks away. Perhaps then with an enforced "preview at least once after the timer has expired before posting" to encourage people to read what they've written at least once.
Why the "write it in notepad" approach doesn't work for me
That one is straight forward at least. Surprisingly often I'll use 2 laptops and 2 desktops in a day. That's 4 machines (and 3 operating systems) in a 24 hour period, assuming I don't pick up my tablet or hop on a mates computer. If I start a timer, and make some notes in notepad or something, I have to transfer those notes from machine to machine until my timer has expired. Clumsy and lame!
Sure I could email them, use google docs (although I'd rather claw my eyes out) or one of these cross platform cloud based note services... but why do I have to take that workflow out of the edge? If I can compose right away, it's all in the edge - no matter how many computers I use, or what they are.
Timers on replies. I'm in two minds about this. I either want *much* shorter reply timers (30 minutes? an hour?) as discussion should be encouraged and not stifled. Again, being able to compose immediately and review later before posting might encourage longer more thoughtful replies.
However, any timer at all prevents quick corrections. As an example, Orinocos reply to my chatroom post contains errors which I'd like to be able to point out immediately (eg pointing people towards #juggling rather than ##juggling) and a 24 hour timer really gets in the way of that!
So perhaps I'd like replies to be ST style?
At the very least, a way for anyone to hang an ST thread off the bottom of a BT post (perhaps via the tagging system, so they appear in a manner similar to threads related to juggling clubs or events appear on the respective pages?) would be helpful.
I have a feeling we had that at one point, but I may be misremembering.
Useful discussion being lost elsewhere
There has been very little BT activity on this post, although there are a reasonably large number of replies in progress. However, there is more immediate discussion about it happening over on meta. I'm holding off on talking about it on meta because it seems fitting to experience the frustrations reffered to while composing!
Variable length timers?
I think it was Dee that suggested perhaps that the more you post on BT the shorter your timers should be. I have mixed feelings about this. Quantity of material posted is not always a good proxy for quality of contribution.
However, The Edge does track/score interactions between users (although this functionality isn't really used at the moment) but with a bit of thought/work this could be used to derive a score based on how functional a member of edge society you are. Timer length could be related to this (although I strongly feel that if the timers stick around but become variable length, no one should *ever* get a zero length timer for a new BT thread)
In any case, it would need extremely careful handling to stop it becoming self perpetuating or elitist/exclusive/cliquey.
Timer length in general
24 hours is a very long time. Once or twice I've been surprised that a timer I set "ages ago" is still in progress - and that's because if (for example) I set it in the morning, go to work, come home, go out for the evening, come home... the timer can still have 8-10 hours left to run!
In summary, the intention behind the current timer implementation is sound and I 100% agree with the intentions. However there is room for improvement, and there appears to be a lot of crossover in opinion as to what that might look like.
"compose immediately, post when timer expires" would seem to be the most common suggestion.
I'm suddenly very aware that had some of the changes I suggest above (specifically ST style replies) this reply post wouldn't be anywhere near as comprehensive as it is.
Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by Cedric Lackpot, 2012-04-27 16:32 BST
Re: Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by fak, 2012-04-28 17:32 BST
Re: Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by Little Paul, 2012-04-28 23:00 BST
Re: Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by Orinoco, 2012-04-29 17:09 BST
Re: Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by It's Him, 2012-04-30 07:36 BST
Re: Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by fak, 2012-04-30 08:58 BST
Re: Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by Dave Cheetham, 2012-04-30 15:12 BST
Re: Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by Lorri, 2012-04-30 16:49 BST
Re: Big talk timers - they don't do the job intended, get rid of them by Cedric Lackpot, 2012-05-01 10:46 BST