Your wish list for ES in 2024

neptronix

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Howdy folks!
We're working on a ton of user experienced focused functionality this year, now that major technical underpinnings are complete.

For sure:
- After many years, a good knowledgebase system built around our specific needs.
- Move to ebikes.com
- A more up to date look that is a hair more compact in some areas.
- Bringing the same enhancements to dark mode
- More of those reddit-like sorting options
- Some tools to make moderation better because Xenforo's sucks. Better moderation tools = lower false positive rate for moderation.

Currently being debated:
- A new online marketplace system
- Stuff you guys want :es:


That being said, i'm interested in hearing what features and changes you'd like to see so i can plan out 2024. Lemme know! ✌️
 
I know this could open up a ton of risk, but could limited anonymous posting be a thing? Or if not that, a way to do a post + sign up in one go/process?

I know that for me personally, any time I'm looking for info and come across yet another forum that requires sign up to contribute or access more info/images/downloads, etc.....99% of the time I will just move on rather than signing up to yet another forum.

Cheers
 
anonymous posting

You mean posting that can't be attributed to anyone? So if a user abuses others and is removed they can just sign up again and continue? Or even make multiple logins so they can spam a thread or user?

The single-sign-and-post may be practical, though.
 
I know this could open up a ton of risk, but could limited anonymous posting be a thing?

that would be an impossible-to-control-spam-invitation, aside from the abuse issues brought up above.



Or if not that, a way to do a post + sign up in one go/process?
That would require removing all preapproval processes, and so also remove all spam controls.

That being said, i'm interested in hearing what features and changes you'd like to see so i can plan out 2024. Lemme know! ✌️

I'll just refer to you the thread in the mod forum for my list. ;)
 
I kinda get what you mean, CD.

Anonymous posting is not feasible because it would be totally unmoderatable.
Lowering the friction of signup is a good idea, so let's work it out.

We do get a lot of spammers trying to enter, so we have to have hardcore filters, which autoreject some, and require the rest to be manually approved. We see a lot of those spammers using gmail accounts, so the trust level of google accounts is low.

So there has to be some friction in the signup process.

The bare minimum of what we need:
- Some kind of location
- A username ( theoretically can just be their google/whatever username )
- A valid email ( we have to confirm this or this allows turbospamming )
- Prove you are a human ( solve a riddle/captcha )

Here's our current web form:

1709103159659.png

..after registering, you are asked for a confirmation email, and you're done.

A SSO could theoretically remove half of these fields, but i don't feel like this signup is very burdensome.


There are also a couple problems with using other websites to login:

- Got banned by that site or lost your login? can't access ES now. Lotta people getting hacked on facebook lately, so this possibility is real.
- Site decides to stop being a SSO provider? ( this apparently happened with Twitter ) can't access ES now.
- We tie part of usability of our site to a 3rd party provider whose sole mission is to consume as much internet traffic as possible from independent sites like ours. Seems like a deal where they get the upper hand.

I dunno, maybe we keep the fairly low curb in place, but instead, make up for it by making the site a better and more appealing experience. I don't like all the ways SSO could bite us in the long term.
 
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What is a reddit-like sorting option

It's the most useful part of reddit. Allows you to easily filter through a ton of content ( which we have )
Example: https://www.reddit.com/r/keto/
1709104929642.png

We have a similar feature we added already, but it can be improved:

1709105106575.png

and false positive moderation?

I'm referring to vetting signups. Currently it is a multi step process that isn't coherent and makes user error likely. It could improve pretty massively.
 
I suspect I lack the horsepower to even post in this thread, but I'll stick my neck out anyway.

1.) I'm no longer in favor of a truck load of shiney "new" features. Especially when they are launched all at once. For me, it's frustrating to start all over again to learn the tricks & pitfalls.,.. instead focusing on the subject at hand. Yup.. probably my age has something to do with it.

2.) FB & Mr G signin? Sorry,.. not a "feature" I care for. Let's just say I HATE annoying pop-ups, and tend to avoid sites that impose it.

JM not so humble opinion
 
I suspect I lack the horsepower to even post in this thread, but I'll stick my neck out anyway.

Not the case, i came here for member's opinions!

1.) I'm no longer in favor of a truck load of shiney "new" features. Especially when they are launched all at once. For me, it's frustrating to start all over again to learn the tricks & pitfalls.,.. instead focusing on the subject at hand. Yup.. probably my age has something to do with it.

I hear this a lot, and take it into serious consideration when changing things here.

2.) FB & Mr G signin? Sorry,.. not a "feature" I care for. Let's just say I HATE annoying pop-ups, and tend to avoid sites that impose it.

Same here on both. Committed to continuing to have a low friction design.
 
Don't discount the years of people understanding "endless sphere" and "on the ES forums" etc.

We decided It will still be called endless sphere after the domain name. Don't worry bout that :)
 
My biggest request would be more powerful search functions. Search with booleans, sort by date/relevance, exclude posts based on criteria, matches on equivalent and/or misspelled words.
 
Would re-adding the option to also do google search be adequate?
 
We decided It will still be called endless sphere after the domain name. Don't worry bout that :)
So the new name will be ebikes.com.endlesssphere.com? Are we getting a new name?

Will we be able to test out the new features before they become permanent?

BTW I have never trusted the www to sort out what I want to read. You shouldn't either.
 
Would re-adding the option to also do google search be adequate?
No.

Adding the functions we had in PHPBB, at a minimum, along with the improvements that had been discussed for it, are pretty much required to find specific content here.

Google's searches leave a lot to be desired. When it can even find content, it does not allow you to do further searching and refining, and on most of the days that end in Y it just plain ignores some of your search terms even if they're in quotes, and decides which version of a word to search for even if you specified just one, and actually boolean'd out the others. :roll:

So...it's not all that useful. Pretty much just as useful as the Xenforo search. :/
 
So the new name will be ebikes.com.endlesssphere.com? Are we getting a new name?

ebikes.com/sphere is the plan, name of forum stays the same.
Will we be able to test out the new features before they become permanent?

We will definitely let yall test features, especially if they are big, change things a lot, or are controversial.

BTW I have never trusted the www to sort out what I want to read. You shouldn't either.

I agree, but..

The problem with getting started on endless sphere is sorting out the posts.. many people tell us it takes a year to get up to speed.. i personally took 10 months, and we have 3 times the content as back then.

I want some additional navigation options to help that process out by making the most popular content easy to find; we should pair this with a really good search system. Those options should be familiar with the masses.


re:google search addition
I don't know. I guess it would depend on the implementation. (i.e. could it be limited to results within ES.com?)

We'd implement it just like in the phpbb days, where you have an option to use google search, and it's restricted to endless sphere, of course.

AFAIK a lot of people used google search when we had it enabled.

No.

Adding the functions we had in PHPBB, at a minimum, along with the improvements that had been discussed for it, are pretty much required to find specific content here.

Google's searches leave a lot to be desired. When it can even find content, it does not allow you to do further searching and refining, and on most of the days that end in Y it just plain ignores some of your search terms even if they're in quotes, and decides which version of a word to search for even if you specified just one, and actually boolean'd out the others. :roll:

So...it's not all that useful. Pretty much just as useful as the Xenforo search. :/

That's a bummer that google search isn't an improvements in your eyes.

We definitely need a cost effective way to make search better. I imagine this job is a monster one, and we will size it up at the least.
 
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I know that for me personally, any time I'm looking for info and come across yet another forum that requires sign up to contribute or access more info/images/downloads, etc.....99% of the time I will just move on rather than signing up to yet another forum.
Me too. I like to look at pictures. My time is valuable. If I see a tiny picture and i can't make it big in one click. See ya I am gone. It's a big internet. I go somewhere else.
signing up to yet another forum.
I need more user names and passwords like I need memory loss and brain damage.
 
Sorry for sounding stupid but is our name going to be ebikes.com/sphere and not endless-sphere.com?

That'll be the address, yeah.
The forum's name will still be endless sphere.
 
Members have stated a strong preference for it to still be called endless sphere. If we rebrand it to ebikes.com, it wouldn't make sense to have sections for other types of vehicles, so we'd have an incongruity there. Now we have another issue.

So the lowest friction path is to just change the domain.

Primary reasons to switch to ebikes.com:
- Couldn't ask for a better domain, a lot easier to verbally transmit. Many have resorted to a QR code to transmit ES' name, that's rediculous.
- It makes Justin happy to give it away and i'd like to honor the request.
 
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