Moving App Announcements Into Sub-Forum?

chris

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#1
As you've probably noticed, the developers have had their way with your iPhone Apps & Games section. For the most part, they are all in compliance with the current policy. That being said, it's overrun with app announcements, a detriment to actual conversation/discussions within that forum. In the past, we had an App Announcement forum. If someone wanted to be sandblasted by app announcements (welcome to the world of being an iPhone blogger), you could subject yourself accordingly.

I'm thinking of going back, but I want your feedback. I know moderators won't be pleased, since developers will typically post wherever they please. That being said, perhaps we have a zero tolerance policy. It's easier to delete stuff then to move to proper forum and admonish a developer who likely won't listen or return.

Thoughts? Feedback?
 

iphonewarrior

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#2
Get them all in a sub-forum. I totally agree, app devs have taken over those sections including the iPad apps. Are you going to make the iPhone and iPad app sections one forum, or two? I think you should have one section and have everything in there. The search function on this site is great, so it's no excuse for members saying they can't find anything... ha ha.

*I wouldn't delete the current content, I'll give you a hand moving it?*
 

fury

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Oct 23, 2007
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#3
Yes, making it a subforum would be great.

I like the zero tolerance policy idea. It is one thing to have them posting their apps willy nilly in a dedicated announcements forum. I don't know whether to call that a necessary evil or a capitulation to the inevitable (our arrows will blot out the sun!). But it's another thing entirely if they just don't care enough to read directions or participate in the forum in any way--if they just post anywhere they feel like, just to get some more eyeballs, leave it for someone else to clean up, etc.

It only takes them a minute to read forum policy and see the road signs pointing them at the correct forum into which to plop their copy pasta. If they won't even do the courtesy of that much, then they (and their app) most likely have very little to offer the reader in the first place and should be swiftly deleted. People can get app announcements anywhere (hell, there's even apps for that). They come to the iCafe for the atmosphere. (and them 15 pieces of flair)

Perhaps to help direct traffic, develop a detection scheme for iTunes store links. Some don't post iTunes links at all, and then some use URL shorteners/tracking links, but if it takes care of 90% of the wayward announcements, then it makes it at least 10% easier on the mod team.

Or an app promotion form to fill out that will automagically take their post and put it in the right forum to begin with. Something easy for them to use, like this relatively simplified modified XenForo new thread page I just whipped up in iMockups:
image.jpg


One of the greatest things about this place is how bereft of cruft it is compared to other forums (yes...I do read them on occasion...but other forums still suck!). That is, I think, a testament to hard work and good taste--knowing what to say no to. This site is like the Apple of Apple discussion boards, where others are the PCs. And it just keeps getting better and better. Thank you. You guys & gals rock.
 

chris

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#4
A form based input would be ideal, but I wasn't able to track down any existing add-on to do the trick. The more thinking I gave it, the more I thought about your "Apple of Apple discussion boards". First off, I really appreciate and love that analogy. If we're going to keep that up, we need to be better. I've got some ideas on how we can execute a better announcement system.
  • Announcements get housed in App Announcements. I think of when I go to a Starbucks and all the seats are taken by people not drinking coffee. I cannot do anything about Starbucks seating, but I can clean up the iPhone, iPad Apps & Games so that it's dedicated to people talking about apps.
  • In the interim, a new notification system will alert users who are visiting the iPhone Apps & Games section of the revised developer policy. As a regular user, you'll see it once and can dismiss it. Since most devs are new, it'll pop up the first time they go to post in the incorrect forum. If they miss the forum policy and the notification, they'll see their post deleted without any warning. This removes the impact of excessive moderating needed by the moderators. They along with myself will just delete.
  • The App Announcements posts will be removed from the What's New section. When you look at new posts, these will not clutter the forum.
I'm toying with the idea of a minimum post count for links. This however removes much of the ability of devs to post videos, images and iTunes links. It also makes it easier to combat spammers. If I can limit links to just this forum, that might be the route. While you don't see them, I delete 10-15 accounts per day who sign up simply to signature spam. Other forums let this happen, probably because they don't have the tools to see it or simply because they don't care. I take a personal offense by it and make it priority to remove them all.
 

fury

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#5
Sounds like a great start. :)

I did a quick Google search and found this addon, not sure how feasible it'd be to adapt it to the purpose of an app submission form, but one of the features is to create a new thread from the results: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/liquidpro-simple-forms.289/

Perhaps a simpler addon can be made that just hooks into the new thread function. I'll look into that when I get home; I've got a couple of XenForos I can mess around with.
 
Jun 21, 2009
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#6
this is why I love this place, a lot of us have a sense of pride towards this forum. I like the idea of consolidating them into their own section and putting some guidelines on them. It wouldn't make the developers feel extradited and also give the little guy with an actual good app to promote and maybe gain some footing but at the same time not make all us regulars feel bombarded by advertisements for new apps.

I say go for it!
 

chris

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#7
Waiting to hear back from the developer of Simple Forms. That might work. For now, I've done some light moving of threads into a new App Announcements forum. If a member has less than 10 posts and wanders into either iPhone or iPad Apps and Games, they'll get a notification to promote their games in the new forum category designated for developers (or their post will get deleted). I've set up App Announcements to not appear in What's New.

This will take some time to get developers into the swing of things, but should pay immediate dividends for readers. I hope we see some increased activity in the App forums, given the reduce of cluttered announcements and focus on user discussions.

We'll keep at this and I appreciate all the feedback.
 

iphonewarrior

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Apr 11, 2008
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#8
Waiting to hear back from the developer of Simple Forms. That might work. For now, I've done some light moving of threads into a new App Announcements forum. If a member has less than 10 posts and wanders into either iPhone or iPad Apps and Games, they'll get a notification to promote their games in the new forum category designated for developers (or their post will get deleted). I've set up App Announcements to not appear in What's New.

This will take some time to get developers into the swing of things, but should pay immediate dividends for readers. I hope we see some increased activity in the App forums, given the reduce of cluttered announcements and focus on user discussions.

We'll keep at this and I appreciate all the feedback.

I'm so glad you've chosen to do this... *huge sigh of relief*
 

chris

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#9
Now devs are simply post whoring in order to meet the requirement to post links. Great.
 

fury

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#10
Fire the ban cannons.

edit: is there no setting or addon that allows links without a certain minimum, only when posting in the App Announcements forum?
 

chris

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#11
Fire the ban cannons.

edit: is there no setting or addon that allows links without a certain minimum, only when posting in the App Announcements forum?
Might be... getting tiring dealing with an issue for one group, so they can self-promote for free.