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Suggestions for bikeportland

Subscriber Post by 9watts on October 5th, 2015 at 9:22 am

As a huge fan of this website and everything you do, and with an eye to the changes that the new subcriber model might permit us to pursue, here’s a short list of things that would be fun to see:

(1) a better search function. The button has drifted a bit lately, I’d like to see it in the upper right corner which seems like a typical location. When you do search, the results are not organized by date, or much of anything else as far as I can tell. Would it be possible to crib a more sophisticated search algorithm, perhaps even with ‘advanced’ features from somewhere? This would make mining the archives so much more rewarding.

(2) an edit button for the comments. Perhaps this is expensive (I don’t know) but I do know that many, many commenters have expressed a desire for this.

(3) Instead of the ‘we are not robots’ paragraph below the stories I’d suggest a concise summary of comment etiquette, or a link to that page where those rules and expectations are spelled out at greater length, and a radio button alongside the thumbs up button for flagging comments we might find problematic. ‘Tact and respect’ is a great start, but I think it could be fleshed out a little more.

(4) Revisiting or an invitation to discuss the merits of past features that were tried and then disappeared:
Friday review (I liked this very much, thought it was well received)
Comment of the week (every Friday without one is a bit of a letdown)
Reader guest essays (this bikeportlander thing instantiates this – yeah!)
Subversiveness Columnist (is Taz still game?)

I’m sure others remember features they liked particularly. I’m mostly thinking of a conversation about the prospects of bringing some of these back.

Thanks!

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)k1ndun9wattsHello, KittyAlan 1.0 Recent comment authors
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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin

Hi 9watts,

Thanks for the post…. Our first ever written by a BikePortlander!

You’ve made some great suggestions and we respect your feedback. I’m forwarding the site features stuff to our developer (Steve Bozzone of Bozz Media) and we’ll address them ASAP.

As for the comment edit function, my major concern about that is it could be very confusing in a thread if you’re allowed to go back and change what you said. It might be more complicated that we think and it might have some unintended consequences. I think there’s a plugin that only allows edits a few minutes or so after publishing — that’s something that makes sense to me.

We’re always trying to bring new voices to the Front Page and I’m eager to hire a new writer/columnist.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I too want an edit function, and I too am concerned about the possibility to change what you wrote in a way that is confusing or even deceptive. I think the solution is to have a function that allows you to see earlier versions of a post so no one can claim they didn’t say what they did.

Edwin
Guest
Edwin

5) More People On Bikes posts. Those ones where you post pictures of 30-40 people biking by on a given morning, afternoon or evening. So fun! Different settings, different times of day and year, different cities…

lop
Guest
lop

If you’re taking suggestions one thing that might make the comment section easier to navigate is if there was a way to collapse a comment and all replies to it.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Last week 9watts posted something I’ve been thinking about since the BikePortland Forums closed several months ago:

http://bikeportland.org/2015/09/28/monday-roundup-sfs-idaho-stop-rule-seattles-big-vote-163738#comment-6562359

These conversations make me think we should put together a little primer on common misperceptions (a.k.a., nonsense) about how transportation works. We could even name it after the infamous Bob Huckaby.
(Chapter 1) Idaho Stop and what yield means
(Chapter 2) Cyclists Must Pay Their Way and what gas taxes (don’t) pay for
(Chapter 3) Was She Wearing A Helmet and asymmetric focus on risk
(Chapter 4) Hi-Viz Garb and how responsibility is distributed in Vision Zero

(part 1 of 2)

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

I referred to two threads in the Forums quite often, “Should bicyclists pay road taxes?” and “Is riding a bike safe?” I and some others collected URL references in those threads, and I’d like to think that those references led to better, more informed discussions. Anecdotally, threads where I referenced those sources nearly always turned away from the “bikes don’t pay” and “bikes are dangerous” memes.

So, yes, I support 9watt’s suggestion for a single point of reference for those sorts of things, common bike discussions.

While I suspect I know the answer (“no”), I have to ask: Is it possible to recover the posts in those two Forum threads, or at least the URLs in them? They represent quite a bit of research.

[/ part 2]

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

I took out the phrase “(and select quotes)” after “references” and it posted. *shrug*

lop
Guest
lop
Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Thank you! (why didn’t I think of that? 🙂 Now scraped and locally stored. Nice google-fu tip, too.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

I’m getting that “error” message again trying to post the rest of my reply. No URLs or HTML at all. No obviously bad words. No other clue besides “error.”

k1ndun
Guest
k1ndun

From a quiet but avid reader: I’d like to request no animated ads. I totally understand that ads are necessary to support your business. But I find the rotating image carousels and other special effects to be so distracting that I can’t concentrate on your writing. I end up hitting my browser’s reader-mode button as fast as I can, before the page even finishes loading, just to avoid those kinds of ads. In the process, I miss other, calmer ads I might actually be interested in checking out. My suggestion would be to disallow ads with animations and special effects.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin

Thanks for your feedback on this K1ndun. I agree that those ads are not ideal and they distract from the experience of the page. I didn’t allow them at first but eventually caved into requests from advertisers (And potential advertisers). I will re-consider in the future.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin

Just want everyone to know that we have a working list of improvements and new features to add to the site. We are getting to them as we can. Thanks.