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News button

+ 3 like - 0 dislike
62 views

It would be very useful to have besides the FAQ a News button where news (new features, decisions agreed upon, upcoming elections, moderator changes, etc.) relevant to all users are announced, with a link to where this can be further discussed if desirable. (The page itself should not contain any discussion, just be a reverse chronological list of events.)

For example, since a few days (or perhaps a little longer, I didn't notice it at first), long threads are paginated, but the uninitiated user sees only the leading page. (There  was a Next button at the very bottom of these pages, but I never read beyond the answer box - now the button is better placed.)

asked Mar 24, 2015 in Feature Request by Arnold Neumaier (12,355 points) [ no revision ]
retagged Mar 24, 2015 by dimension10
Most voted comments show all comments

Oh ok I get what you mean, you mean a chronologically ordered list of significant-ish events users should know of in a separate page, linked from the news section, like an archive of everything that was ever in that box. Ok, sounds useful.

I'll try to make the page by today.

Yes, the second! But i'd prefer it to be a button on a par with the users or tags button. 

And with much more content than the current News box on the side bar, which shows news that is already months old, but didn't announce changes in moderatorship. 

The news box on the sidebar should then simply list the last 8 headings of the News page, say.

... and, status-completed : )

@ArnoldNeumaier I personally think the most recent important meta discussions (including titles of the meta posts) should be available from the side bar directly, such as suggested for example in my answer. Having to click more first in the news might have the effect that many people still dont click and are therefore not aware of the most important things going on and can then not issue their opinions, vote, etc ...

@dilaton: If the topmost lines contain links (as it usually should be the case except for ''stay tuned!" messages) and the topmost lines are mirrored on the side bar then the links come with it.

Making the news bulletin-board like and pointing to important discussions is fine with me. But I was also thinking of reporting smaller events with a significant effect on how PO appears, such as the one mentioned on my question.

@ArnoldNeumaier this is why I think it would be good to have both:

  • news: for short announcements about things that are already done, implemented, etc such as solved feature requests, things that change the appearance or navigation etc that do not need further discusion and voting
  • community bulletin: for still ongoing discussions, polls, etc that concern the whole community and for which community input by votes, comments ect. is still needed

@ArnoldNeumaier Regarding an extending button, I don't really see how that would be more useful than the current implementation, and would perhaps also signifcantly affect page load time (?) (which is already quite slow...). Or maybe it's because I'm a Microsoft fanboy and am in favour of screens rather than menus, hehe.

1 Answer

+ 1 like - 0 dislike

One of the easiest ways to achieve what this question seems to be asking for, is the implemetation of some kind of an SE type community bulletin, see fo example the topmost pink shaded (or whatever the color is meant to be) box in the right side bar of MathOverflow.  Which meta posts are linked to from this community bulletin, is determined on SE partially by an automatied algorithm based on votes, number of answers, activity, etc (I dont know the exact mechanism), and in addition posts can be made to appear in the community bulletin by adding a "featured" tag.

On PhysicsOverflow, such a community bulletin could for example be implemented in the right side bar for example below the news and above the tools for paper authors. For this solution, it would not even be needed that a new feature has to be developped (except in case the selection of relevenat meta posts to be featured should have an automated component too instead of being done manually only).

Implementing such a community bulletin in the right side bar would have the advantage that the whole community (including members that are almost exclusively active in the science sections) are aware of important issues and discussions that concern the whole community (such as elections, important polls, other moderation related issues, etc). Members who are not interested in any meta issues at all, could still ignore them and would not be distracted too much (depending on the colors used) by such a community bulletin.

answered Mar 24, 2015 by Dilaton (4,295 points) [ revision history ]

A community bulletin with updated links would over time lose its usefulness, because it would lose prominence (most users would see it as "just another meta thing with all those annoying moderators and stuff" : )). On the other hand, having a single "News" section will get more prominence on the issues that matter most (like elections, useful features implemented, milestones for the site, etc.). I think it will be counter-productive, therefore, to implement a community bulletin.

@Dimension10 I do not agree with this, I think the whole community should always be aware of the most recent ongoing meta issues, such that they can express their opinion by posting or just by vote if they want to. If most users ignore the community bulletin, this is fine, but those interested and concerned would have a better chance to be informed about what is going on.

This is why I also said to @ArnoldNeumaier that it would be good to have both features, the news and the community bulletin.

Do you remember that at the beginning, we did even include the meta category into the mainpage to prevent a splitting between the mainpage (science sections) community and the meta community, as it can be observed on some SE sites (I minority of political meta users determines the rules, policies, etc that affect the whole community)?

Such a split did happen on PhysicsOverflow, and a community bulletin would be a good way to alleviate it a bit, without having to include the meta section into the mainpage which might be distracting if meta is much more active than the science sections.

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