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Where the BikeRadar team hang out. Discuss the website and the forums here.
Cab
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Postby Cab » Wed Jul 11, 2007 09:51 am

Gavin_Weeks wrote:It simply baffles me how some people can be so naive, phpBB as far as I have found has no feature to check PM's between sending, the ability to PM is switched on for everyone and cannot be switched off for individuals. It appears a lot of people are making up stories or simply being paranoid in order to fictionalise various "wrong doing's".


Thanks! I didn't want to leap to a conclusion that PMs are being screened, which is why I asked. I couldn't see a way of doing it without installing a pretty makor phpBB hack either.

We simply cannot be responsible for outside links, let alone to external forums. There are far easier and more appropriate methods of sending a friend a link to another forum if you are that unhappy with the goings on here (including the fictional allegations of PM moderating).


Careful with that. Links between people posting useful info are reasonable. Links to other interesting sites are reasonable. Don't back yourself into a 'no links' corner, to do so might give you some respite now but it'll backfire.

And again as I said before people are failing to see beyond the forums, its 3% of the entire Bikeradar site, by what people are saying and the amount of complaints we are getting I would think it was the only thing on here.


I certainly don't want to burn any bridges here, but there are some requirements that I have of a site I frequent. I'm sure you're the same. Prime among those requirements is that my name isn't changed for me.

(cut)
The interest of all the aspects of biking is a mature subject, how about a lot of you also take on a more mature attitude?


With respect, comments like that one there aren't going to help.

Capt. Jon
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Postby Capt. Jon » Wed Jul 11, 2007 09:57 am

PMs are being altered, so don't claim it is fictional. Whether mods/admins are actually doing it 'by hand' so to speak seems impossible given the coding of the forum. However they are being filtered - i presume through the same filter that posts go through. So, in effect PMs are altered and whether it is automatic or not is missing the point.
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KingstonWheeler
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Postby KingstonWheeler » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:19 am

Gavin Weeks wrote:The more complaints we have, the more we have to deal with them, the more spam we get to longer it takes to do the work. I've just spent 5 minutes writing this which I could have spent finishing the design work.


Gavin, you might not realise it, but complaints can be great for companies. It shows many people value the forum and that they're using their 5 minutes to sound off, to say they want it improved (or returned to the previous versions). So try to think of complaints as feedback instead of taking it personally. Remember, companies that ignore customer complaints soon wither.

Also, if it takes "5 minutes" to finish design work, I think you could be in for some more complaints. As I said above, it would really help to have an email / posting explaining what the plans are in more detail, instead of just reading "we're working on it".

Wolf
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Postby Wolf » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:25 am

Gavin_Weeks wrote:
The interest of all the aspects of biking is a mature subject, how about a lot of you also take on a more mature attitude?


With respect, comments like that one there aren't going to help.


Have to agree. Here comes M.Cole, as always doing a fine job as a concilliatory admin, and Mr. Weeks jumps in with his nose high calling everyone inmature. That is NOT the attitude to have in a forum, and that is why I am having problems with Bikeradar.
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Jaded
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Postby Jaded » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:26 am

Gavin Weeks wrote:And again as I said before people are failing to see beyond the forums, its 3% of the entire Bikeradar site, by what people are saying and the amount of complaints we are getting I would think it was the only thing on here.


Interesting. By what measure is this? It is interesting that so much Admin time seems to be spent on 3% of the workload. Most companies would dump it, rather than go through the pain.

Or maybe the forums are worth more than 3% to the owners?

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Gavin Weeks
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Postby Gavin Weeks » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:31 am

I think you misunderstand what I was saying, I wasn't saying it takes 5 minutes to fix the forums, I'm saying it takes 5 minutes out of my time management for working on the forums, as does every post i've made in response to various posts. So all in all about an hour so far today. It all adds up.

I'm also not saying we don't want complaints, as you say any company needs them in order to improve and better their services. What I was saying is that we are getting the same complains over and over. Its not going to improve us in the slightest by having to respond to the same problems repeatedly.

None of us are trying to p*ss anyone off or fob them off with unjust promises, we are a large team all working on a lot of things. We will get updates sorted, its just a case of finishing them before we can deploy them to the live site.

Please just be patient, throw us a bone or two (preferably with a little meat on) and we will have ti all sorted for you ASAP.

Capt. Jon
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Postby Capt. Jon » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:32 am

Jaded wrote:
Gavin Weeks wrote:And again as I said before people are failing to see beyond the forums, its 3% of the entire Bikeradar site, by what people are saying and the amount of complaints we are getting I would think it was the only thing on here.


Interesting. By what measure is this? It is interesting that so much Admin time seems to be spent on 3% of the workload. Most companies would dump it, rather than go through the pain.

Or maybe the forums are worth more than 3% to the owners?


Of course they are. Magazine sales are declining with the ever increasing popularity of the net. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that magazine and enwspapers all have their own websites. It's all about ad money. Ad money comes from visitors. If you've got a forum on your site you can increase visitors. You can even claim your site has 100,000 people on it! 100,000 emails are valuable to advertisers.
TyMBR



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"You don't get that at trail centres"

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Gavin Weeks
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Postby Gavin Weeks » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:36 am

Capt. Jon wrote:
Jaded wrote:
Gavin Weeks wrote:And again as I said before people are failing to see beyond the forums, its 3% of the entire Bikeradar site, by what people are saying and the amount of complaints we are getting I would think it was the only thing on here.


Interesting. By what measure is this? It is interesting that so much Admin time seems to be spent on 3% of the workload. Most companies would dump it, rather than go through the pain.

Or maybe the forums are worth more than 3% to the owners?


Of course they are. Magazine sales are declining with the ever increasing popularity of the net. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that magazine and enwspapers all have their own websites. It's all about ad money. Ad money comes from visitors. If you've got a forum on your site you can increase visitors. You can even claim your site has 100,000 people on it! 100,000 emails are valuable to advertisers.


Its just a shame we don't rely on emails in order to make our money :)

mc
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Postby mc » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:24 am

Gavin Weeks wrote:It simply baffles me how some people can be so naive, phpBB as far as I have found has no feature to check PM's between sending, the ability to PM is switched on for everyone and cannot be switched off for individuals. It appears a lot of people are making up stories or simply being paranoid in order to fictionalise various "wrong doing's".

I know that PMs can not be viewed or altered directly through phpBB, but it can be done.
Or are you telling us that nobody has direct access to the database?
And again as I said before people are failing to see beyond the forums, its 3% of the entire Bikeradar site, by what people are saying and the amount of complaints we are getting I would think it was the only thing on here.

But the forums are a very large part of the site. Without the forums, the site would only be a fraction of what it could have been.
I think the only resolution is to let us sort the forums out, design and functionality wise so we can make this place a much more exciting and peasant experience. The more complaints we have, the more we have to deal with them, the more spam we get to longer it takes to do the work. I've just spent 5 minutes writing this which I could have spent finishing the design work.

A better idea would have been to finish the design work before you launched the site.

Regardless of what anybody says here, it's become quite obvious that admin have got a severe case of tunnel vision, and nothing, short of being replaced, is going to solve that.

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Big Red S
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Postby Big Red S » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:26 am

mtb-rules wrote:The way I see it is, the powers at be have quickly realised that the enforcement (I feel roll-out sounds to organised) of BR has been one almighty disaster. But instead of limiting damage b...n if it's totally immoral, to prevent the loss of further users.

At the moment, all BR is managing to do, is create one hellish public image.

So pretend this is being done in the same way as the rollout of stitz was, when everything online and bike related at future was down for two or three months?
I'd much rather a works-but-isn't-perfect forum than none at all for a bit, personally, but If you wouldn't, you can always pretend there isn't one. Hell, you can even pretend you need to re-register if you'd rather not contact the admins.
And is Admin aware that the P, in PM stands for Personal?
And just incase they're having a bit of problem understanding what Personal is, here's the difinition-
per·son·al Pronunciation (pûrs-nl)
adj.
1. Of or relating to a particular person; private:


Now I'm pretty sure that doesn't include Admin reading them first to sensor them.

They're not. It's a script. I'd have thought that was quite obvious, given the automatic censorship on most other forums, and how easy it is to implement.

Gavin Weeks wrote:I'm also not saying we don't want complaints, as you say any company needs them in order to improve and better their services. What I was saying is that we are getting the same complains over and over. Its not going to improve us in the slightest by having to respond to the same problems repeatedly.

You're not making the responses that people want to hear, though.
When somene says 'when will you make the background a different colour' they don't want to hear 'we're working on it', do they? They want to hear 'thursday'.
Until there looks like there's anything approaching a coherent plan, I'm not sure you can complain that people are, er, complaining too much,
So far as I can see, there's no central place where you're keeping us up to date with what's going on. There's a lot of threads in the BikeRadar office dedicated to complaints, and if you trawl through them you might get an idea of what's been promised, but it'd probably be innacurate.

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Postby mc » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:36 am

Big Red S wrote:So pretend this is being done in the same way as the rollout of stitz was, when everything online and bike related at future was down for two or three months?
I'd much rather a works-but-isn't-perfect forum than none at all for a bit, personally, but If you wouldn't, you can always pretend there isn't one. Hell, you can even pretend you need to re-register if you'd rather not contact the admins.

That's not what I was saying. It was blatantly obvious within the first few hours of BR going live, there were major issues, but instead of putting it on hold (even just the forums), while the issues were worked out, it was decided to push it through.
And I did contact an admin, but they never replied.
]
They're not. It's a script. I'd have thought that was quite obvious, given the automatic censorship on most other forums, and how easy it is to implement.

I've set up two phpBB forums, and know my way around what you can and can't do through the scripting, and directly in the database. I would never consider editting, or deleting any PMs. In the 8years I've run phpBB forums, I have only seen PMs once, and that was while trying to sort out a database problem.
Gavin Weeks wrote:I'm also not saying we don't want complaints, as you say any company needs them in order to improve and better their services. What I was saying is that we are getting the same complains over and over. Its not going to improve us in the slightest by having to respond to the same problems repeatedly.

You're not making the responses that people want to hear, though.
When somene says 'when will you make the background a different colour' they don't want to hear 'we're working on it', do they? They want to hear 'thursday'.
Until there looks like there's anything approaching a coherent plan, I'm not sure you can complain that people are, er, complaining too much,
So far as I can see, there's no central place where you're keeping us up to date with what's going on. There's a lot of threads in the BikeRadar office dedicated to complaints, and if you trawl through them you might get an idea of what's been promised, but it'd probably be innacurate.

That I very much agree with.

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Big Red S
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Postby Big Red S » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:49 am

mtb-rules wrote:
Big Red S wrote:So pretend this is being done in the same way as the rollout of stitz was, when everything online and bike related at future was down for two or three months?
I'd much rather a works-but-isn't-perfect forum than none at all for a bit, personally, but If you wouldn't, you can always pretend there isn't one. Hell, you can even pretend you need to re-register if you'd rather not contact the admins.

That's not what I was saying. It was blatantly obvious within the first few hours of BR going live, there were major issues, but instead of putting it on hold (even just the forums), while the issues were worked out, it was decided to push it through.
And I did contact an admin, but they never replied.

What did it look like I thought you were saying?
I thought you were saying that the rollout of these forums has been executed rather badly, and you think they should have waited.
I suggested that the last rollout, for which there was two or three months of downtime, was met with much less consternation (even after the forums opened) and so it might be an idea that if people really don't like this current beta version, they could just wait for the stable release. That way the rollout would be as well executed as last time, but with a testing phase.
They're not. It's a script. I'd have thought that was quite obvious, given the automatic censorship on most other forums, and how easy it is to implement.

I've set up two phpBB forums, and know my way around what you can and can't do through the scripting, and directly in the database. I would never consider editting, or deleting any PMs. In the 8years I've run phpBB forums, I have only seen PMs once, and that was while trying to sort out a database problem.

So you /knew/ it was a script, then?

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Gavin Weeks
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Postby Gavin Weeks » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:52 am

Unfortunately my job as a designer/developer and forum admin is not to tell you when it will happen, that privilege i save for those above me in the Future ladder. Then they have to decide when things go live.

Its not all about making you happy with responses but more with the subsequent actions , although I do wish I could just say "hey its going to be live today".

Yes there is a lot of immaturity coming from a lot of the members in regards to the problems and the fact we are having to deal with a lot right now. Most of it directed at admins and even the moderators, who have no involvement with the design and functionality of the forums.

Again I will say just accept that things are being done, just be patient for more than 2 minutes and stop being so hostile or picking holes in all of our responses when there is absolutely no need. There seems to be a strong sense of paranoia on what is going on with the forums.

What would have been the point of delaying the forums? Simply due to design and layout issues?

louis winthorpe 3rd
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Postby louis winthorpe 3rd » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:04 pm

Not really.Im getting used to it. :?

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Postby lacuna » Wed Jul 11, 2007 14:01 pm

Gavin Weeks wrote:
Please just be patient, throw us a bone or two (preferably with a little meat on) and we will have ti all sorted for you ASAP.


no problem.

There were 3 forums with distinct design differences and social-subject areas. Now, you tried throwing everyone in together and apparently that hasn't worked. Of course the best way to rectify the problem would be to open the old forums. I see no reason as to why this is not acceptable, but apparently it isn't.

So, other suggestions?

-there are far too many subforums. Perhaps you could implement 2 seperate forums, one for road and one for mtb. I have no interest in riding on the road and would never use those forums. I doubt many mtb riders will use the road subforums and vice versa so why are they connected at all?

-colours. I would like autumn colours for the forum please.

To be honest I don't really care what you do with the site, you can't replace what you took away and you don't have to -as far as I'm aware none of us have a financial interest in the site and as such we can, and should, just walk away if we aren't happy. However, you say the forum represents 3% of the overall site which may be true on paper but I haven't looked at the rest of the site and I have no intention of doing so, same with the MBUK site -never looked at anything but the forum. I get all my mtb related info from the forum, perhaps that is somethign for you to think about.

Anyway, there you go, a bone with meat on.

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Gavin Weeks
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Postby Gavin Weeks » Wed Jul 11, 2007 14:28 pm

When someone says to throw them a bone is means give them a break - not reiterate the same issues which have been brought up over and over again :)

The Bikeradar forums are here to stay, there will be some design adjustments, but it will be within the Bikeradar brand (so no autumn design - at least not at this stage)

I will be closing this topic now because its just repeating itself.


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