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View Full Version : Wanted: BBS Reading Techniques



Truth
06-18-2007, 02:40 PM
Personally, I love the (relatively) new Bulletin Board system; however, I have found it somewhat difficult to effectively manage threads that go beyond 30-40 posts. Specifically, I experience the following two issues:

1) I find it somewhat challenging to quickly find new posts within a given thread, typically because they are hidden behind layers of "More replies below current depth..." links. (Perhaps this is attributed to my preference for viewing posts in "threaded mode.")

2) It seems to me that posts occasionally appear out of order. When I click 'next' - 'next' - 'next', the posts are not always displayed in the order they were written.

In addition to solving these dilemmas, any other helpful tips for quickly reading responses to existing sub-threads, as well as keeping track of one's own posts and subsequent replies are also appreciated... I am willing to change my display mode if needed. My main concern is maximizing the intake of all things DBR in as little time as possible.

In a nutshell, I'm interested in hearing others theories for the most efficient perusal of all posts within this system... all suggestions welcome!

DevilAlumna
06-18-2007, 04:34 PM
Personally, I read everything in the "flat" view, because with the hybrid view, I felt it was too many clicks to get to the ends of long sub-threads. If people are good about quoting (easy to do with this software) it's pretty easy to follow a conversation. And, you can set your view to show quite a few messages at a time, which makes for easy speed-reading through topics that aren't high-priority. (I personally stick with the board-default of 20 at a time, to avoid overlong load times.)

And THANKS TO FELDSPAR, I now can't live without the "Go to first Unread Message" functionality. On the listing of all threads, for the ones that have unread messages, there's a small, blue box with a downward arrow. Click on this, and it takes you to your first unread message within that thread. (Warning, you have to be good with your mouse, b/c if you miss hitting the little box, you'll either go to the first message in the thread, or the profile of the initial poster.)

-jk
06-18-2007, 08:25 PM
Personally, I read everything in the "flat" view, because with the hybrid view, I felt it was too many clicks to get to the ends of long sub-threads. If people are good about quoting (easy to do with this software) it's pretty easy to follow a conversation. And, you can set your view to show quite a few messages at a time, which makes for easy speed-reading through topics that aren't high-priority. (I personally stick with the board-default of 20 at a time, to avoid overlong load times.)

And THANKS TO FELDSPAR, I now can't live without the "Go to first Unread Message" functionality. On the listing of all threads, for the ones that have unread messages, there's a small, blue box with a downward arrow. Click on this, and it takes you to your first unread message within that thread. (Warning, you have to be good with your mouse, b/c if you miss hitting the little box, you'll either go to the first message in the thread, or the profile of the initial poster.)

And if posters quoting from several posts back will use the Quote button (rather than just hitting Reply) and leave the link-back code (the part at the very beginning), we can jump back to the original quoted message. As an example, in this message it's the part with DevilAlumna and the little >.

(Granted, if I'm replying to the just previous message, I don't quote at all.)

-jk

Clipsfan
06-21-2007, 12:20 PM
Personally, I read everything in the "flat" view, because with the hybrid view, I felt it was too many clicks to get to the ends of long sub-threads. If people are good about quoting (easy to do with this software) it's pretty easy to follow a conversation. And, you can set your view to show quite a few messages at a time, which makes for easy speed-reading through topics that aren't high-priority. (I personally stick with the board-default of 20 at a time, to avoid overlong load times.)

And THANKS TO FELDSPAR, I now can't live without the "Go to first Unread Message" functionality. On the listing of all threads, for the ones that have unread messages, there's a small, blue box with a downward arrow. Click on this, and it takes you to your first unread message within that thread. (Warning, you have to be good with your mouse, b/c if you miss hitting the little box, you'll either go to the first message in the thread, or the profile of the initial poster.)

I have to bump this because I'd never used the "Go to First Unread Message" button, but I love it! I was just going to the last message in the thread and trying to (most of the time) find my last post so I'd know where to start reading again.

Truth
06-21-2007, 01:54 PM
I have to bump this because I'd never used the "Go to First Unread Message" button, but I love it! I was just going to the last message in the thread and trying to (most of the time) find my last post so I'd know where to start reading again.

Thanks for the bump. I too am indebited to DevilAlumna for her advice on switching to the linear display mode in order to make use of the "view first unread message" button.

With that out of the way, does anyone have any suggestions on keeping track of one's own posts? Also, how about an automated way of knowing whether someone has replied to your post?

Truth
06-21-2007, 02:05 PM
And if posters quoting from several posts back will use the Quote button (rather than just hitting Reply) and leave the link-back code (the part at the very beginning), we can jump back to the original quoted message. As an example, in this message it's the part with DevilAlumna and the little >.

(Granted, if I'm replying to the just previous message, I don't quote at all.)

-jk

If you don't quote at all when doing a direct reply, am I right to assume this may cause confusion for users of the "linear display mode," since they won't be able to tell which message you replied to? (While you might get lucky and post sequentially, odds are that your posts on popular threads would wind up appearing chronologically after several intervening posts, and thereby several posts after the one which you had intended to reply.)

Secondly, can I take your original reply to mean that you're a fan of the threaded (or hybrid) display mode, and if so, how can you live without the "view first unread" button? Am I somehow overlooking a similar functionality in the non-linear modes?

-jk
06-21-2007, 02:09 PM
I would say that if you're quoting the message just above you're post, it's not needed. Otherwise quoting is very useful, and in some of the more contentious debates, absolutely necessary.

-jk

Truth
06-21-2007, 02:15 PM
To your point, how would I ensure that my post appears sequentially following the post that I replied to, particularly for users in "linear" display mode?

With your method, wouldn't my post simply land at the bottom of the pile to users of linear mode? (Or are all the posts appropriately re-numbered? Perhaps this is happening and I missed it?)

DevilAlumna
06-21-2007, 02:38 PM
With that out of the way, does anyone have any suggestions on keeping track of one's own posts? Also, how about an automated way of knowing whether someone has replied to your post?

To see which threads you've responded to, look at the right side of the thread lists, under "Ratings." There should be a little blue/white checkbox graphic. When you respond, you get "subscribed" to the thread.

(Question -- is there a way to have this "feature" of automatic subscription turned off?")

To set how you get notified when your subscribed threads get updated, check in your User CP settings for "Subscribed Threads." I believe "Daily" is the default notification. (Again, can this default be changed by the user?)

Within the Subscriptions folder/list, you can change the settings for each subscription. Check the box next to the thread, then choose an option from a drop-down list (it's default value says "Move to folder...") towards the bottom of the page. Within that drop-down menu, you have the options to delete the subscription, or get daily/instant/weekly email notifications.

And again, all credit should go to Feldspar for pointing out that first-unread shortcut!