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Old 2015-01-11 , 09:41
Optimist Optimist is offline
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Question Future Forum influence

As we all know the Forum has become a lot quieter in the last few months.
Besides the obvious change due to how links are organised on the webpages, I'm of the opinion that a main component is the difficulty for all of us, Forumites and Mods, to deal with this environment, it's very challenging and requires huge amounts of patience and flexibility. So I'm not surprised at all that many don't stick it out.

But the Forum is still very valuable.
There's a progressive, go-getter type of Forumite here which is good regarding the advancements MC undertakes and wants feedback on, and none of us stand for nonsense so it's a very honest and therefore transparent platform in those respects.
The Mods themselves, all being senior managers always have a great opportunity to gain insight, have superior internal knowledge to share at times, and can better pass on grievances and suggestions than any other company environment I've ever encountered.

That said, I certainly still consider this Forum very valuable, and although not taken as seriously anymore IMO it still provides reasonable information as well (lots of room for improvement though).
But where to from here?...

I'll just make one suggestion, actually my main reason for starting this thread;

One thing still missed by some is the polling option. Yes, I know it nearly drove some of us mad at times, but it also did a lot for positive feedback about widely shared concerns.
It can be a dangerous tool though, there were too many hot-headed newbies making not-experienced-enough noise, and MC & co. certainly don't want us thinking we can tell them their business on the more extreme levels.

But there's another option - Forumite Frosty (Forum King) has occasionally used an external poll creator for some fun in the Lounge, and I don't see why we shouldn't sometimes make use of that possibility. It will be interesting to see if the Mods have anything to add to the idea.

For some reason we seem to often be representative here despite our small numbers, perhaps it's just simply because we naturally only react in crowd-form to the more obvious and widely disliked issues. So from that point of view this suggested counting method should surely be of interest to MC as well.

There's two threads which could do with such aid at the moment, one is about the loss of sport coverage of more casual games such as darts and billiards (and there's some interesting debate about the validity of small voting samples in that thread), and then there's the issue about the M-Group (M-Net & co.) synopses description changes of late.

Sorry for the long intro, it seemed necessary. I hope there'll be some good discussion on the broader Forum-growth subject at least, some of us feel strongly about having and continuing to have such influences here.
Old 2015-01-11 , 12:25
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Citanul Citanul is offline
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I think that the nature of the forum (i.e. one run by a business rather than a typical discussion forum) makes polls a tricky thing to handle.

I don't know whether it was the last straw in deciding to do away with polls, but this thread was an example of how polls shouldn't be used as the question had nothing to do with the thread topic and probably took criticism of MC a little too far. Because of this I can understand why they wouldn't been too keen on allowing polls, and it becomes a case of a few people spoiling it for everyone.

In addition, there can be a misunderstanding in how the results of any poll should be interpreted. The reality is that any poll where participants have to make an effort to vote will tend to attract those who feel most strongly about an issue.

For example, if a poll about whether SuperSport should show polo were to be created, all the polo fans would flock to it and vote Yes, while those not particularly interested in polo aren't that likely to even open the thread, yet alone vote in it. The result would be that the Yeses would dominate the poll and that would end up as being taken as support for polo's popularity when in reality all that can be concluded is that it's popular amongst those who bothered to vote.

And touching on the synopses discussion, I suspect that any poll would probably not go in favour of the current style as those who don't mind it might not feel strongly enough about it to vote.

In a normal discussion forum, polls tend not to be taken too seriously. However, given the topics that are generally discussed in this forum, there is a danger of too much importance being placed on the results with the assumption being that there are real world implications to the polls. So while I wouldn't mind seeing the poll functionality being returned, I do think there is some wisdom in not allowing them.
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Old 2015-01-11 , 14:01
Optimist Optimist is offline
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I find myself agreeing far more with your post than not, Citanul.

However, when we have had a good 100 or more pro results it is to me a good indication of strongly shared feelings on the subject, and I think it helps Forumites at least feel somewhat empowered in their efforts here.

All things considered that's why I'm not suggesting the return of polls, but rather the use of the option to use an external system.
And I suppose what I'm looking for is some sort of permission, in the past if a website has been considered too sensitive it has been marked to cause auto-moderation, not sure where this idea would stand.

So, in summary, a more casual and hopefully less likely to harm option, but its downside is the "effort" users would have to make to use it. Imagine, actually having to click elsewhere just to vote or observe
Old 2015-01-11 , 19:05
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MC Marietjie MC Marietjie is offline
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You can still create polls - you simply need to ask one of the moderators to do that for you.
Old 2015-01-11 , 19:09
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beetle bailey beetle bailey is offline
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Originally Posted by MC Marietjie View Post
You can still create polls - you simply need to ask one of the moderators to do that for you.
It's Sunday evening. Go home and relax. This subject can wait over till a normal working day. In my opinion anyway.
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Old 2015-01-11 , 20:09
Optimist Optimist is offline
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Originally Posted by beetle bailey View Post
It's Sunday evening. Go home and relax. This subject can wait over till a normal working day. In my opinion anyway.
Completely agree.

But thanks for the helpful feedback already MoM :-)
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