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Joseph F

Setting up Activity Streams - Unread Content - To similar as before the forum migration tutorial.

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Admins: I wasn't sure where to post this. But this seems to be one of the major complaints of the forum is trying to find new content the way we did before. I tinkered around with the software for a bit and discovered you can setup your own activity streams and even set one of them to the default. Below is how to setup a content stream similar to before:

 

1. This is the default view. It is huge and displays the text and makes it hard to scroll through quickly.

1.PNG.ee07129310c9f9ee8fe163c00ae76282.PNG

2. Click Condensed:

2.png.065d22f0b3be3afeb9c30f985b2597e3.png

3. Click Show me, and choose Content Items Only.

3.PNG.76e7ee872c020ff692dcf1e03af9f5d6.PNG

4. Now go to Content Types and choose Topics, the default will be All Content. Notice that this means you can create activity streams for status updates, if you want to see them exclusively and enjoyed them before. Decide on what you want to see in your status update. I personally only want to see Topics as I check the gallery manually and I have a status stream now. However choose the options you want. Then Click Apply.

5.thumb.png.37556d96baa87080b7149a288eb8e23e.png

5. Now lets change the time period. I don't want to see anytime updates. I want to see the updates since my last visit. So I choose this option:

8.PNG.56d5d059c0a38c3fd1378f0ffe782ff7.PNG

6. Now our stream is completed. Lets save it. Notice the little save option appears above the condensed/expanded menu:

9.png.690463700edd6642c0874d4fe4ce80b2.png

7. Now Enter a new name: I choose: Unread - Last visit. Then Press Create Stream!

10.PNG.d0d265ca48fe9b5d5f5a35418905ac72.PNG

8. Unfortunately it goes back to expanded view, so if you don't like expanded. Choose Condensed again:

12.PNG.7bbd5aac5dc142ec873c8dae976fffb9.PNG

9. Now set this as your default stream by clicking this tiny little icon!

13.png.b5c367d1f923e16f66b8c21efa862918.png

Notice now that it replaces the previous button that wasn't really useful with your custom stream. So now the old Unread button is gone and your new Unread - Last visit button is the default.

14.png.823c1567cbddad10e4f18b2d49f41e82.png

If you want to create more activity streams like the status stream or image stream you can do the same thing, but avoid setting it as your default. You can access them all through this menu:

16.png.83264ec51f8868a6bca97fb10fbb16f7.png

Hope this helps everyone who has been having a hard time with the unread content button. It was driving me bonkers.  If you decide you want the old one back. Just click the activity streams tab and choose the Unread one then click the default check button and it will go back to the original.

Post any questions and I will try to help. 

 

 

Edited by Joseph F
RonSa, Pres, Judith B and 5 others like this

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I basically did the same thing so that I had a Status stream setup so I could go to Status quickly.

 

Once we get used to the system, it will work pretty well as it is as flexible as a rubber band:)

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Joseph, without you and RonSa and GEP and a few others, I'd be outta here right behind Old Lady (tho I hope she comes back when the dust settles) .  I suspect  this whole situation is at least temporarily affecting how--and how much less--people are interacting because the learning curve is at best deeply annoying, as are some of the non-intuitive changes and the aspects of "it ain't broke, please don't "fix" it".  

Another issue that may be adding to the irritation of those of us who are short on patience is being blindsided by the release of the new version.   Updating servers is one thing, but tearing up a site and not even providing any directions is a completely other thing.  A decent heads up and some community input first would have been nice, plus launching it in a  more thoughtful, user-friendly manner.   I can't even figure out how to find a topic again once it has been read based on my  reading of unread content--I lost this and had to noodle all over the place to get back here.  I never got lost on the former version.  And what's with this "Community Reputation" thing?  Where does it come from and "who sez?"  

Anyway--THANK YOU for the awesome step-by-step tutorial on these  "activity streams".  And I mean no disrespect toward the people who did all the hard work in revamping this--I have some awareness of how much is involved in such an enterprise and really do appreciate it.   

Great--I deleted my own member stuff by mistake LOL

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21 minutes ago, LeeU said:

Another issue that may be adding to the irritation of those of us who are short on patience is being blindsided by the release of the new version.

Amen to that

21 minutes ago, LeeU said:

 A decent heads up and some community input first would have been nice, plus launching it in a  more thoughtful, user-friendly manner.

Sorry Admin, but speaking from experience that was amateurish on your part.

 

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1 hour ago, LeeU said:

"it ain't broke, please don't "fix" it".  

The old forum had developed a technical problem that we could not fix because the software version was so old. This is what prompted the upgrade to the latest software version. It was the right thing to do for the long-term health of the forum. We can now get much better tech support from the software maker. 

Edit to add: ACerS does not make this software, there is a third party provider. Please understand this means we did not design this forum or choose its features. We cannot switch to a different software without risking the loss of the entire archives, and a far more disruptive experience for everyone. We are listening to feedback and making adjustments as we go. We could not have taken your "requests" in advance, and we can't make all the changes that are being requested now. This is the best choice overall, and honestly I think it's working pretty well. 

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33 minutes ago, RonSa said:
57 minutes ago, LeeU said:

 A decent heads up and some community input first would have been nice, plus launching it in a  more thoughtful, user-friendly manner.

Sorry Admin, but speaking from experience that was amateurish on your part.

I disagree here. Sometimes things like this just have to happen. When upgrading software you have to move with the times. You can't keep a legacy system in place forever. As hosting changes and drops different versions of database languages and programming options, things must go. Also old forum software becomes extremely likely to be hacked or targeted as old exploits are found and are not updated because who wants to maintain old software forever.

The only thing I think could have went different was an announcement that a change was going to happen, but really that wouldn't have made the software any less confusing and everyone would have still had the same problems. Change is hard, but it isn't impossible and given time it will be ok. Sure people might leave, but people will come as well. I don't want to lose anyone, but people make decisions every day.  Sometimes they make good ones and sometimes they make rash ones. People are people, and that is what makes us special.

As far as the old website. It was getting slower and slower every day. The cloudflare DDoS screen loading 5-10 seconds everytime I tried to come to the website was super annoying. Half of the messages I posted errored out and I lost and had to try to retype them. PMs I sent also bugged out all the time. Sometimes the site would just be extremely slow. 

I think the small nuances of change drastically outweigh these issues. I haven't had a single error or slow moment since the software upgrade. 

I didn't like it at first either, but knowing a bit about hosting and managing forums/ websites from my past work as a developer I know these things are inevitable. 

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I forgot to add. This forum is free. The abundance of information available here is ridiculous and this website could easily be behind a paywall. You can pick the brain of a career expert or PM someone and ask a question and get a true and helpful response. I have personally used these forums to advance without any other training besides posting a question here and trying the solutions provided. It is like being a part of a studio membership with 300+ people who have expertise in everything ceramics. There isn't many places like this left on the internet that are free. Let's not try too complain to much about a slight headache learning something new. After all we are all potters and everything is test test test! 

Edited by Joseph F
JBaymore, Judith B and GEP like this

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Thank you Joseph! 

Could these instructions be posted or pinned to the "Forum FAQ & Help Topics" so if this thread gets buried in the future it will be easier to find?

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12 hours ago, Joseph F said:
13 hours ago, RonSa said:
14 hours ago, LeeU said:

 A decent heads up and some community input first would have been nice, plus launching it in a  more thoughtful, user-friendly manner.

Sorry Admin, but speaking from experience that was amateurish on your part.

I disagree here.

 

12 hours ago, Joseph F said:

The only thing I think could have went different was an announcement that a change was going to happen,

It seems we are on the same page Joseph

 

13 hours ago, GEP said:

Edit to add: ACerS does not make this software, there is a third party provider. Please understand this means we did not design this forum or choose its features. We cannot switch to a different software without risking the loss of the entire archives, and a far more disruptive experience for everyone. We are listening to feedback and making adjustments as we go. We could not have taken your "requests" in advance, and we can't make all the changes that are being requested now. This is the best choice overall, and honestly I think it's working pretty well.

Totally understood and accepted. but it shows that the Admins are disconnected to the forum .

 

When I first came on this forum I thought it was a great place full of great people  I still do.  But I'm finding that I need to step away from here for a few days and decide how I want to move forward.

 

 

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Joseph,

Thank for the FANTASTIC tutorial.  The effort you put in is greatly appreciated.

I was just looking about how to make a copy of it and put it in the Forum FAQ and Help  section.  Not sure I can do that.  Would YOU mind the whole thread getting moved there?

 

As far as the changes that have occurred.........  as Mea has alluded to above ... there was a lot of stuff that was happening in the background that lead to this change.   It wasn't a "hey, let's change things to change things" decision.  Some aspects we can't discuss in full here, including a few security issues.   Some of that stuff came up in us pretty FAST.  Some came up sort of in the middle of Admin/Mod discussions about fixing some stuff. 

It was found that the old forum software was out of date, not supported anymore by the maker, and there were no ways to "fix" some big issues.  So the new version of the same company's software package was installed.

I was a moderator at a MUCH larger user-base special interest, very international ,forum for many, many years.  We also 'hit a wall' with old software and had to change forum software.  We chose to go with another company's forum software.  It took us 2 years to get all of the data straightened out as best we could.  A lot of older material was still lost forever.  That forum was the full time job of one individual (there was a paid component of that forum), had a very heavy IT support team, and about 12-14 moderators.  And we put in a LOT of time on that changeover.  It was not fun for anyone.  And in the end,...... we lost data....lots of files.

Sometimes the list of decent choices is short.

We are working our way through this changeover.  As Pres said above, there is a lot of customizable functionality here that we did not have before.  With the help of the admins, the moderators, and the forum community we are finding our  way thru it.  It will take time.  When you first joined using the old forum software... all of the details took some time to learn also.

So please....... try to have patience.  And try to help each other out with the things you find about how it all works.

We like our old comfortable shoes.  Change is always difficult.  However, sometimes once those new shoes are broken in a bit, they are really nice.

best,

...........................john

 

 

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6 minutes ago, JBaymore said:

I was just looking about how to make a copy of it and put it in the Forum FAQ and Help  section.  Not sure I can do that.  Would YOU mind the whole thread getting moved there?

John your the boss man. I don't have any say in the manner. Move it wherever you want. I didn't know where to put it in the first place. I just figured people would want to know there was a way to get the old new content back to very similar as before. 

Glad it helped people. 

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@GEP I wanted to like your post but it looks like we can't like Staff's content. Thank you so much for all the effort the admins have all put in trying to make it work. 

While I understand adapting might be difficult for some people and I don't want to dismiss their struggles, I also want to take the time to thank you all and appreciate all the hard work and all the things you've been trying to deal with since that transition. Without you we wouldn' be able to connect at all.

 

I saw that some of the complaints had been heard (for example the Like button replaced the icons that some people didn't like) and I appreciate that you try to listen to what the community has to say

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10 minutes ago, JBaymore said:

As far as the changes that have occurred.........  as Mea has alluded to above ... there was a lot of stuff that was happening in the background that lead to this change.   It wasn't a "hey, let's change things to change things" decision.  Some aspects we can't discuss in full here, including a few security issues.   Some of that stuff came up in us pretty FAST.  Some came up sort of in the middle of Admin/Mod discussions about fixing some stuff. 

It was found that the old forum software was out of date, not supported anymore by the maker, and there were no ways to "fix" some big issues.  So the new version of the same company's software package was installed.

I was a moderator at a MUCH larger user-base special interest, very international ,forum for many, many years.  We also 'hit a wall' with old software and had to change forum software.  We chose to go with another company's forum software.  It took us 2 years to get all of the data straightened out as best we could.  A lot of older material was still lost forever.  That forum was the full time job of one individual (there was a paid component of that forum), had a very heavy IT support team, and about 12-14 moderators.  And we put in a LOT of time on that changeover.  It was not fun for anyone.  And in the end,...... we lost data....lots of files.

Sometimes the list of decent choices is short.

We are working our way through this changeover.  As Pres said above, there is a lot of customizable functionality here that we did not have before.  With the help of the admins, the moderators, and the forum community we are finding our  way thru it.  It will take time.  When you first joined using the old forum software... all of the details took some time to learn also.

So please....... try to have patience.  And try to help each other out with the things you find about how it all works.

We like our old comfortable shoes.  Change is always difficult.  However, sometimes once those new shoes are broken in a bit, they are really nice.

best,

 

I hear you John and I also have first hand and current experience with these things. 

There are a lot of options that this software has available to  make it feel more like, as you put it, old  comfortable shoes. The problem is the Admins only show up once a week to see to see if something needs to be done.    Staff   To me it sounds like excuses because they have better things to do.

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As long as the archive of forums stays put I don't mind what software we use. 

 

If you actually add 'read status' everything doesn't that work more like the older software? Did it keep the read threads in the old feed or am I making that up?

Edited by High Bridge Pottery
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1 hour ago, RonSa said:

  Staff   To me it sounds like excuses because they have better things to do.

Things that are getting done are ones that tend to hit the "top of the list".  One of the things that hasn't needed to be addressed right away is stuff like that "staff" list.  A lot of that list was simply "imported" with old data from the user database since the forums inception.  A number of those people listed there are no longer associated in any way with support of this forum.  Some may not even still be employed by ACerS of the software company.... don't know.  Yes, it needs to get cleaned up.  And it is misleading.  And it will get looked at eventually. 

ACerS staff is stretched VERY thin.   not just relative to the forum.  This forum is just one thing that a small number of people (the "art" side of ACerS) is juggling.  It is not that they have better things to do...... it is that they have too many things to do.  Like the rest of the ceramic art community.

So we plug away at what we can, when we can, as best we can.

best,

............................john

 

 

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21 hours ago, Joseph F said:

This forum is free. The abundance of information available here is ridiculous and this website could easily be behind a paywall. You can pick the brain of a career expert or PM someone and ask a question and get a true and helpful response. I have personally used these forums to advance without any other training besides posting a question here and trying the solutions provided. It is like being a part of a studio membership with 300+ people who have expertise in everything ceramics. There isn't many places like this left on the internet that are free. Let's not try too complain to much about a slight headache learning something new. After all we are all potters and everything is test test test! 

Joseph's reminder of how blessed we are to have a no-fee forum made me feel very grateful!! Now I wish I'd held back a bit instead of venting some frustration , since there was so much I didn't know about the complexity and the "behind the scenes" issues. I appreciate that these have been shared and clarified.  THANK YOU, truly,  to everyone involved in working on this and for providing such an awesome space for community dialogue.  

Oh-and two new questions: What are "warning points"?? Saw that on my Profile.  Says I have 0.  Zero warnings/restrictions about what??? And what is Community Reputation? Says I have 325....325 what and from who and how did I get the number and what does it mean?  

Edited by LeeU

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1 hour ago, LeeU said:

Oh-and two new questions: What are "warning points"?? Saw that on my Profile.  Says I have 0.  Zero warnings/restrictions about what??? And what is Community Reputation? Says I have 325....325 what and from who and how did I get the number and what does it mean?  

@LeeU

 No idea what warnings are. I assume probably something to do with negative behavior bordering on a banning from forums. But that is just an assumption.

However the community reputation is just when people "like" a post you made. It doesn't really mean much of anything. I just ignore it. 

The thing I liked about the old likes is it was a quick way of saying "Thanks, this helped me or what ever liked means to you at that moment." Currently it doesn't work that way because the author just doesn't know who liked it. Just that someone did. I assume this could be changed, but maybe it is this way for a reason. I have no idea. 

 

Edited by Joseph F

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1 hour ago, LeeU said:

 

Oh-and two new questions: What are "warning points"?? Saw that on my Profile.  Says I have 0.  Zero warnings/restrictions about what??? And what is Community Reputation? Says I have 325....325 what and from who and how did I get the number and what does it mean?  

So, the interesting thing about "changes" is that sometimes they cause people to notice things that were there all along.  "Warnings" and "reputations" were in the old forum also all along. 

The reputation business is I BELIEVE solely driven by the "likes".  But not having access to the algorithms that actually run that stuff... don't know for sure.  The warnings" I believe are solely a result of  things that mods and admins can do to affect them... and to my knowledge... we never used them in the past.  But again,..... don't know the full algorithms for any of the functions of the forum software.  When we've needed to deal with a "warning" of some sort... we've had direct conversations with people...... not just somehow mysteriously "flag" their account.

best,

...........................john

 

 

 

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I decided to go ahead and make a quick tutorial for adding status streams. These are exactly like the old ones, but much easier to read and respond to. The only difference is you have to go to your stream to see them instead of them being on the home page. The good news is reading them and responding to them is much easier. 

This tutorial is three steps and walks you through a different way of setting up streams.

Step 1: Click the drop down button called My Activity Streams: You will see something like this. Click the big "CREATE NEW STREAM" button at the bottom.

1.png.aaad9a559ec1b330809f33f7e9c69121.png

 

Step 2: This will open a page that looks like below. Name the stream "Status Updates". Then you only need to change two options which I have highlighted below:

2.png.66de2ac4e6828d12d4e513d0d1294da7.png

 

Step 3: At the bottom right corner you will see a button that says "Save Changes". I couldn't fit it in the screen shot, but its right below where this image cuts off on the right hand side. 

 

Step 4: You will now enjoy a feed that looks like this: It is big and beautiful and displays all the comments and updates and has much better formatting options.

3.PNG.dade93f90ede3599b7dee4b85d150c02.PNG

Enjoy! PM me if you have any problems and I will help as soon as I can. Pretty busy this weekend though.

Also just a quick FYI. If you wanted to set one up for images, you can do the same thing, just instead of checking "Status Updates" on step two, select "Images" and name it something different like: Gallery Images

 

 

 

Edited by Joseph F
JBaymore and GEP like this

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19 hours ago, JBaymore said:

Things that are getting done are ones that tend to hit the "top of the list".  One of the things that hasn't needed to be addressed right away is stuff like that "staff" list.  A lot of that list was simply "imported" with old data from the user database since the forums inception.  A number of those people listed there are no longer associated in any way with support of this forum.  Some may not even still be employed by ACerS of the software company.... don't know.  Yes, it needs to get cleaned up.  And it is misleading.  And it will get looked at eventually. 

ACerS staff is stretched VERY thin.   not just relative to the forum.  This forum is just one thing that a small number of people (the "art" side of ACerS) is juggling.  It is not that they have better things to do...... it is that they have too many things to do.  Like the rest of the ceramic art community.

So we plug away at what we can, when we can, as best we can.

best,

............................john

 

 

 

Thank you for confirming what I've been saying. If you do not want it to take two years for this forum to get back on track, by which time the software would be outdated again. I suggest that one of the moderators, one that is both willing and able to understand software, be given administration rights to the forum so they can make adjustments on a daily basis.  Without someone at the helm the four of you are floundering. If none of you are interesting in stepping up I would then suggest looking for a trusted member of the forum who is willing to take up the task.

 

14 hours ago, LeeU said:

And what is Community Reputation?

No fancy algorithms there, its just the new name for likes. Its as simple as that.

14 hours ago, LeeU said:

What are "warning points"??

Its when a member does something the Mods don't approve of and issue them a warning.  Think of them as demerit points that a school master may give to a misbehaving student.

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