Site Talk forum: Sticky threads: Last Viewed

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 17, 2015 6:44 PM CST
Just a thought: I noticed some sticky threads at the top of a forum, where the "last Viewed" date was 2 to 4 months ago.

Would it be worthwhile to show the "Last Viewed date" for Sticky threads, instead? They aren't really designed to gbe replied to, and maybe even posts should have admin review before being tacked onto the end of the Sticky.

If no one is adding to them, and few people are reading them, maybe they could be moved somewhere away from the best real estate.
Like to the left or right-hand-sidebar, as a "FAQ" section or "Resources".

The thread format itself seems unsuited to the intent of Stickies, which are like reference sections.

Also, locating the "Reference Section" in the most-heavily-traveled spot also seems counter-productive.

I guess having a "FAQ Section" at the bottom or side of a forum is hopelessly old-fashioned. Maybe that appeals to be because I'm hopelessly old-fashioned!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Aug 17, 2015 7:04 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

What forum are you looking at that raised this question?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 17, 2015 7:50 PM CST
Let's see ...

Seeds forum
Permaculture forum
Annuals forum
Winter Sowing forum (4 months, but the other threads in that forum are also dead.)
Pacific Northwest Gardening forum (last week - not a good example of this issue. The "introduction" thread IS properly a thread, and it's OK that it's a sticky.
Heirlooms forum: (last month. I can't object to this one; I made every third post in it.)

I suspect that most forums that have a sticky, have not seen new posts to it in 1-4 months.

The situation that I'm trying to get at is using a sticky thread to store a resource (not an ongoing conversation). It seems to me that the desire to keep some reference material handy for everyone in a forum, and make it visible to new members of that forum, might be done some way other than occupying the top-slot. It lamost makes the first few threqads shown the OLDEST, most stale threads, instead of recent threads.

From hunting, i see that not many forums even HAVE a sticky. I'm starting the think that's the best way to use them - don't use them.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Aug 17, 2015 7:57 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I agree that stickies are kind of "old fashioned" and these days maybe there are better solutions.

Look at the Garden Art forum: http://garden.org/forums/view/gardenart/

They have some threads for FAQs, tutorials, lists, welcomes, etc, but those are not stickied. Instead they are simply linked to from the right-hand side. I like that.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 17, 2015 8:02 PM CST
If "gadgety and complex" were desirable, I would suggest a variation on the option to view "open" threads, "closed" threads, or both.

It could be a multi-select option with check boxes for
open
closed
sticky
(other?)

But if there's any desire for new members to see sticky threads, DON'T hid them behind a control like that. People might go for months or years without ever seeing the control or realizing what it does.

I was trying to think of what else such a control might be good for.

If there were an option for showing FAQ files or other reference materials, or links ...

open threads
closed threads
sticky threads
FAQs (files or flat text)
? biographies of admins ?
? introductory or tutorial threads?
? links to recommended podcasts and articles?
? videos ?
? recommended vendors ?
? sponsoring vendors ?

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 17, 2015 8:06 PM CST
dave said:I agree that stickies are kind of "old fashioned" and these days maybe there are better solutions.

Look at the Garden Art forum: http://garden.org/forums/view/gardenart/

They have some threads for FAQs, tutorials, lists, welcomes, etc, but those are not stickied. Instead they are simply linked to from the right-hand side. I like that.


Perfect. The Garden Arts forum is doing exactly what I was fumbling towards expressing. That's a great solution.

File this under the large category of requests for things you've already given us. Do you keep statistics on those?

Member: "Dave, I wish ATP could do THIS!!"
Dave: "Yes, it does that already, like this ..."
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Aug 17, 2015 8:08 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

As an added benefit, the moderators of each forum have the power to do this already and I am glad to assist as needed in the nuts and bolts. It's a simple bbcode enabled box over there so they can add links all they want. Shouldn't be hard to convert stickies over to the nice infobox-on-the-right-side links.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Aug 17, 2015 8:18 PM CST
Are the stickies really a problem? Do they take up that much space? Having them at the top of the forum post make them visible to everyone entering the thread. Many, if not most websites you visit place ads on the side of their pages (including ATP) and people tend to block that area out when viewing a page. I could see if a forum was posting numerous stickies that where taking up a lot of space, but none of those mention had more that two. The fact that stickies don't have a lot of replies should not be a problem since they were not designed to be replied to, but rather a place to store info that you don't want to get buried. As a matter of fact if they were on going threads that received a lot of replies there would be no reason to make them stickies since each new reply would bump it to the top.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 18, 2015 7:20 AM CST
Have a look at the Landscape forum...I think the answer is 'yes' the stickies take up way too much room. There could be a single 'sticky' (golly, how I absolutely hate that word!) and the sticky could be off to the right, perhaps just under the names of the moderators?

http://garden.org/forums/view/landscaping/

Edited because I spelled Sticky wrong.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Aug 18, 2015 7:21 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #931295 (9)
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Aug 18, 2015 7:23 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

We don't even have a moderator of that forum. I'll clean that one up.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Aug 18, 2015 7:28 AM CST
Thank You! I tip my hat to you.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Aug 18, 2015 7:34 AM CST
Wow. Super Dave strikes again with accuracy and precision. Nice cleanup; clear and easy to understand. Thumbs up Beautifully done. I bow down to your greatness! I tip my hat to you.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Aug 18, 2015 9:19 AM CST
I'm posting on this thread as part of my suggestion/question involves 'stickies'...

It has bothered me that the Welcome and Help Center is (in my humble opinion) in the wrong place. A visitor must first figure out to click on 'Forums' and then must scroll all the way to the bottom to see a welcoming word and an offer of help. If they get that far they face a short wall of stickies.

@dave, can you work some magic with this one? http://garden.org/forums/view/welcome/

I have a suggestion for the Welcome and Help forum. After each person has posted a question and has received help, it might be beneficial to change/edit the titles of those thread so other newcomers might find the same help. Also, (and this is going too far, I know *Blush* ) some of these same threads might be grouped together/merged to put similar help together and avoid duplication.

[ Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Sorry, *Blush* I didn't intend to come off sounding like the Queen of the Universe! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Just trying to help the newbies. ]
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 18, 2015 12:02 PM CST
It's true that only two stickies don't take up much of the screen, but it is the most 'active" part of the screen.

And when I use enough zoom that font sizes are easy to read, I get about 4 threads onscreen at a time. And 2 stickies are 50% of that first screen.

I should also plead guilty - I hit some forums so often that any new posts are going to be in the first 3-4 threads. If there were no stickies, the new threads would always be on-screen as soon as I opened the forum. It's not a big burden to page down, or page down twice, to see the new threads after the stickies.

I think the overall answer is that it IS very good that new members and visitors see some things easily and automatically without any learning curve Hence there is value in having some stickies constantly in everyone's face.

>> Many, if not most websites you visit place ads on the side of their pages (including ATP) and people tend to block that area out when viewing a page.

Sadly, yes. But I think that most of us tend to get tunnel vision even when not avoiding ads. The most usual answer for people asking Dave for a new feature is always that "we already HAVE that feature, it just doesn't jump off the page and thrust itself down our throats".

I think the long-term health of any website depends greatly on attracting new members, and they hardly EVER come to a new website eager to spend thought and attention on finding controls and navigation aids.

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Aug 18, 2015 1:21 PM CST
I knew there was a forum that I visit, where the stickies were taking up practically my whole screen until I scrolled down, but I couldn't think of what it was. It was the Landscaping forum, so thanks to Greene for pointing it out, and to Dave for fixing it up -- I think it looks a lot better the new way! Thumbs up Oh -- and to Rick for starting this thread in the first place! Thumbs up
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