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Jul 9, 2006 02:20 AM

How About Changing the Definition of Hot Posts

to any post that attracts more than a dozen replies. IOW make it hot as in: very active thread. very controversial thread. etc

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  1. the thursday july 6 post about restaurant names with 100 replies would be an excellant example.

    1. I wouldn't be in favor of that. My observation from other sites with similar mechanisms generally means people come for the "car accident" effect, to gape and add useless info to keep things going. Especially if things get controversial, that tool draws the trolls right to where they can fan the flames and make things get really out of hand.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Chris VR

        I have to agree with Chris VR.
        What I love abut the new format is how every board and topic gets equal time, and the most popular posts pop up more often anyway.
        I guess it wouldn't hurt to have a side "active thread" option though.

        1. re: Ida Red

          I agree. I love the new hot posts more than the old version. It is easy enough to scroll down and see the subjects with many replies. Anything else would be a popularity contest and good topics with little response would be even more ignored.

          1. re: theotherhalfofdh

            Really? I hate the new hot posts -- since it's not sorted by board I have to scroll through a lot of stuff I'm not interested in to find the stuff I am. Furthermore, without being sorted by board the topic headers are often confusing. For example, I'll see a topic about "Union Square" and then I have to look at the "small print" to see that it's Union Square in Manhattan, not in San Francisco.

            My "home" board is a busy board, so there are usually quite a few posts from it on Hot Posts, but if I were from a less active board I'd be even more annoyed. Instead of being able to quickly scroll past a whole board I'm not interested in, I have to look at all the small print for each post that might be of interest ("Late Night Thai?") to find out that it's not (nope, not interested in Thai in LA).

            Unless they sort Hot Posts out into boards again I'm probably going to stop using it entirely.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Why doesn't it work for you to use the dropdown box to only check Hot Posts on the boards you are interested in? I find that very efficient.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Reply to ChrisVR...

                Unless I'm missing something, you can only check one board at a time. I don't see much if any advantage in doing that over going to the board itself and reading it in either latest replies or date started views.

                The brilliance of hot posts is being able to skim it quickly and see what's going on on more than one board at one time, but I find that utility to be much diminished by the lack of sorting.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  My feelings exactly. It's way too time-consuming and I've already given it up.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I don't use hot posts either. I don't hate it, but for someone like me, who reads many boards, it is slower than clicking on the link to the board itself.

                    I don't think there would be much need for Hot Posts if the software allowed us to isolate new replies more easily (without seeing "old" replies) -- if we had that capability, I don't think I'd miss Hot Posts.

                    Barring that, then I guess the next best option is making the boards selected customizable, and sorting the results by board, not by time.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Ruth, I don't use Hot Posts to track the SF board. I refresh it a few times a day to keep track of everything else, and find myself skimming the titles looking for the small print of Gen topics, Site talk, Wine, etc. With the huge increase in traffic and not sorting by individual message board, its utility for keeping track of the whole site has been lost. Ironically, it's made me stick to the SF board more than in the past and not look elsewhere, just because I can use the "latest reply" sort on SF to stay abreast of what's new. Keeping more than three or four tabs open for different functions was too much toggling and tiring for the amount of traffic here.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Replying to Melanie ....

                        I don't use it to track the SF Board, either, since I no longer have to worry about not seeing new posts waaaay down the board.

                        Maybe the way I used the old Hot Post was idiosyncratic: I'd skim through General Topics to see if there were any posts I was interested in, then I'd scroll quickly past all the regional boards to the bottom and work my way up from NAF, through Site Talk and Home Cooking, maybe take a glance at the Southwest Board, and then scroll up to the SF Board and read it bottom to top in a rough chronological order.

                        With all the new boards I guess this wouldn't be practical anymore, but it was a very efficient way of keeping on top of the things I was interested in with minimal effort avoiding the things I wasn't interested in.

                        Traffic may be up, but my usage of the site is down, because following the multiple boards in any systematic way is too hard.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          Ruth, actually I used the old Hot Posts in nearly exactly the same idiosyncratic way. (vbg) When the new software came out, I had a different tab open for each of the boards I wanted to monitor. But moving among 6 different tabs was too much work. I have noticed that I have to clear the cache in Firefox every two days now when things freeze up, rather than about every 5 under the old set-up. While the new software is more efficient, the increase in traffic or the way I'm using the site is filling up the cache.

                          What I would like to see is a user setting where I could pick the 5 or so boards that I'd like cumulated in Hot Posts. That would help me scan faster. As it is now, the 300+ posts each time I refresh Hot Posts, makes them lukewarm for me.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            At least those of you on the SF board have only one "major" board to track. We in NYC have Manhattan, Outer Boroughs, and The Best. Unlike some of you, I'm not finding a system that works for me at all and I'm just getting more and more frustrated.

                            I skim Hot Posts for the boards I'm interested in and then have to stop the "eye scanning" to read the post title. More than half the time it's not a subject I want to read. Or worse, it's a subject I've already decided quite a few times that I don't want to read, but I have no way of knowing that. As Ruth Lafler said, being able to skim quickly and see what's going on on more than one board at a time is no longer possible. I miss that ability, and it's beginning to affect how often I visit the site.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              You know, at first I loved the new hot posts, but I have to agree with Melanie and Ruth and the rest of the gang: it is cumbersome.

                              On the other hand, I love the feature on the "main" page "Latest posts from the Boards" that shows what's hopping on all the boards, even the ones I don't really follow. So, even if you change the "hot posts" I still like the idea of serendipitously coming across something from any board on the first page.


                      2. I look at the RSS feed of Chowhound and it almost looks like the old board. If we could change a few settings like show title and poster only along with the replies and to be able to select only the boards we want and have messages sorted by board and date it would kick a**!

                        just a thought

                        - P.

                        1. After being away for three weeks and returning to the new interface, I'm finding I like the new Hot Posts feature better than the old.

                          It's taken a little effort to go through the five or so boards that I monitor on a regular basis (read daily) to catch up on things, but as I get through each one I simply click the "Mark All as Read" button to clear them, then when I revisit I only get the posts that have been received since the last time I checked, which is really helpful for the CA board for instance, which has quite a bit of traffic, even moreso I would think for the LA and SF boards.

                          The drop down menu is great for checking the other boards Hot Posts without having to scroll up and down a lengthy page.