Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Site News: Message board suggestions?

I will be getting together with the web developer in the near future, and we will be working on a message board forum for the website. I have asked questions in the past about what you as readers/commenters want to see on the new website.

Today I want to be more specific, if possible. The Wolverine (and other Rivals message boards) just rolled out a new forum format; some people are pleased, and others are disgruntled. The most experience I have with a message board is at MGoBlog, which functions well but has a few glitches.

  • What message board formats/features do you like best? You can leave links to other forums in the comments so I can check them out.
  • Are usernames sufficient? Or are avatars necessary?
  • What are your thoughts on upvotes/downvotes? So far it seems I have had more people railing against voting on comments than people in support of it. I am indifferent as of now.
  • Other thoughts/suggestions?
As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your suggestions!


  1. Avatars I don't believe are necessary. I like that there are a smaller number of users here than Mgoblog, where usernames I recognize. Roanman (or whatever). Xsuduri (or whatever) and so on.

    When there are a ridiculous number of users, avatars are helpful to quickly recognize who is saying what. (Magnus, WolverineDevotee, and LSA2000's avatars are very recognizable on Mgoblog).

    Voting is nice. I think of it as constructive feedback. If someone has a -20 on a post, it's probably because it's a bad post. It would be nice if the voting scale had an effect on where the post would lie. Ex: if there are plenty of 1 point posts, have them appear in chronological order. If there is a 20 point post, have that be at the top. If there is a negative point post, have it be at the bottom. Similar to reddit's setup.

    In terms of a message board, I think it would be nice to have a few categories for posters to select.

    Michigan Sports
    Detroit Sports
    College Football
    College Sports
    Current Events
    Would Like to Discuss (potpourri)

    Right now you have a [Year] Offer Board.

    I think it would be nice to have divisions set up as follows.

    Offerred:Uncommitted (with two divisions within this list: who is actually on Michigan's radar, and everyone else) - Offered:Committed Elsewhere - Committed

    When you click on Committed - it will have links to the TTB write up on the player, highlights, whatevers.

    Just a few thoughts.

  2. One of the drawbacks to a voting system is that, regardless what the intent of the voting system might be, people are inevitably going to use it as a way of expressing approval or disapproval of the message contained in a particular post. That can stifle discussion by deterring people from posting even well-reasoned, respectful comments that express a minority viewpoint or draw an unpopular conclusion.

  3. Is something like disqus simple enough to plug in? Seems to work well and wouldn't require customization and upkeep

  4. I actually see the reverse on blogs with votes...it is a way of showing disapproval, but most go ahead and post their thoughts anyway. On the other hand, a few upvotes can be almost an "amen" corner...with the poster's message striking a unifying chord or theme. That positive feedback tends to unite, rather than divide, and proves the others are "listening"...that's good to know on most days!

  5. I'd like to see an interview with the B1G Ten Commissioner periodically, especially when it comes to things related to Michigan, e.g.., to discuss the schedule and their thinking in why it was constructed the way it was, to discuss bringing in of new school memberships and possible future members and thoughts on Notre Dame, conference thinking on alignments and possible re-alignments. The conference thinking on the development of super conferences, and the potential future of a National Championship format, (and if the B1G Ten championship format could change).

  6. ...and Oh by the way (I almost forgot) the B1G Ten Commissioner's thoughts on potential rule changes such as can we recruit (over sign) like the SEC teams, any transfer rule changes etc.

  7. Just user names please and while I don't mind up or down voting a comment, there should be no running totals where people accrue points. I think mgoblog creates a system where some new users try to accrue points fast. It also creates a caste system rewards useless jingoism and encourages a pile-on mentality.