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Patrick.net Suggestions

By someone else following x   2012 Apr 2, 7:09am 56,513 views   90 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


This is the place to make suggestions for how Patrick.net can be most helpful to you and to discuss them.

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11   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 10, 3:39pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Patrick

Article about blogs that were sold for millions. Maybe that could be a monetization strategy for patrick.net. I'm sure the NAR would pay a million for you to stop blogging. That would be chump change for them.

http://techflesh.com/top-10-blogs-that-were-sold-for-millions/

12   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 11, 1:47am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I'd like to think I'd refuse millions from the NAR, but it would be an interesting test.

It would feel much better to sell it to some organization that is not so evil, maybe Zillow.

I wonder how you market your blog as being for sale?

13   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 11, 11:15am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


I wonder how you market your blog as being for sale?

My understanding is that you get as many readers as possible, and then the buyers come to you.

14   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 12, 2:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes, I think you're right.

So how to get more readers? I assume the main way is for people to email Patrick.net links to their friends. I've been trying to encourage that with the "share" box below each thread for logged-in user, but very few people have used it so far. Not sure why.

15   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 12, 5:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


but very few people have used it so far. Not sure why.

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that most users who are active (posting, responding, etc.) prefer to be anonymous and therefore don't send URLs to friends regarding forums where they discuss politics and such.

The casual reader, who probably isn't logged in or registered, is probably a future house buyer waiting for prices to drop. But that reader might be the only person he knows who's in that situation and doesn't have a reason to mail links regarding the housing bubble. Current owners still don't like to admit the bubble existed.

Perhaps a better way to expand readership would be to leverage StumbledUpon, Digg, Twitter, and Facebook.

16   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 12, 6:07am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

That's a good insight. Yes, active forum users might prefer to be anonymous.

I could make the email sender anonymous (it would just be p@patrick.net), but then the recipient might think I'm just spamming them. The known sender email is what proves it isn't spam.

StumbleUpon, Digg, Twitter, and Facebook are all pretty much like what I want the Open House Reviews itself to be. So it feels somehow counterproductive to post on those sites. Though I see that Digg itself includes Twitter and Facebook links.

I guess those social media sites have the advantage that when you just "like" something on them, it's not taking any attention from your friends directly, so it's not using up much social capital. Email, OTOH, is a direct request for your friend's time, so it's a bigger social investment. It's a risk that your friend will be annoyed.

I was just thinking about Facebook's purchase of the Instagram photo sharing site and see now that Instagram has good viral characteristics in that your friends almost certainly do want to see photos that contain themselves, so they will never blame you for taking up their time with a shared photo that they are in.

How can I apply that to property? Everyone lives somewhere, so everyone has a local interest in properties near themselves. But how to connect people with the reviews that are local to them?

17   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 12, 2:52pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


Everyone lives somewhere, so everyone has a local interest in properties near themselves. But how to connect people with the reviews that are local to them?

You could use an RSS feed that takes a zip code or address parameter. The RSS feed would send messages about new properties for sale in that area. The RSS feed could also take parameters for limiting the search to price range, sq. footage, price per sq. foot, property type, etc.

Basically, take the grunt work of checking zillow every week out of the search and get faster results, as soon as a property goes on sale.

18   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 13, 2:18am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

That's a good idea.

So I'd make an RSS feed that would show them some property that match their parameters, but also ask them for a review of the property. And show them local reviews.

19   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 3:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Thanks for the suggestions!

I am planning to incorporate FBI and census stats to I can easily display crime and school stats for any zip code. Haven't managed to do it yet though.

Does affordability mean low price relative to local wages? Or just low prices in an absolute sense?

In either case, affordability is invariably best where safety is worst. I can see that clearly in my own statistics. So in general you can have affordability OR safety, but not both. An exception might be very rural areas, where both safety and affordability are good, because there are very few other people around.

20   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 17, 4:40am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


Does affordability mean low price relative to local wages? Or just low prices in an absolute sense?

When I search for houses for sale, I want to be able to filter and sort by both absolute price and price per sq.ft.

Since I'm searching in a specific area, cost of living doesn't vary much.


An exception might be very rural areas, where both safety and affordability are good, because there are very few other people around.

Yeah, people suck. They drive up the cost of everything and increase crime.

I'd move to Antarctica if it weren't so damn cold, but then again, so would a billion other people.

21   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 5:02am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Maybe if global warming really gets going, then Antarctica will become more hospitable. Anyway, it's already quite a bit nicer than Mars. More oxygen, more water.

You can sort my collection of Craigslist forsale listings by price by clicking on the Price header:

http://patrick.net/housing/forsale.php?ob=price&d=asc

I can't do price per square foot because I don't usually collect it. Say, I should do that. I think most Craigslist ads have ppsqft.

22   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 17, 5:34am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


Maybe if global warming really gets going, then Antarctica will become more hospitable.

If Antarctica become more hospitable then all of Florida and NYC will be underwater. Antarctica holds a vast reservoir of land-locked frozen water. If that melts, it will flow into the ocean and drastically raise the sea level.

When you live in Florida, that's the scariest thing about climate change, especially if you are thinking about buying a house. You know the house insurance industry isn't going to pay out for flooding caused by ocean intrusion. They couldn't even if they wanted to.

What will probably happen is that over a short-period of time, things will go from "global warming isn't real" to "the east coast is going to be underwater in 10 years and there's nothing we can do about it". Once that happens, insurance companies will add loopholes in their contracts that eliminate liability for global warming caused disasters.

I suspect that should that happen, Florida land will go from $500,000 per acre to $1000 per acre real fast.


Anyway, it's already quite a bit nicer than Mars.

Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it's cold as hell, and there's no one there to raise them if you did.


I can't do price per square foot because I don't usually collect it. Say, I should do that. I think most Craigslist ads have ppsqft.

Can't you get the square feet from the local property appraisal site? That's what I unusually do. You could write a bot or a scrapper to extract that info from various sites. The downsize is that you'd have to make adjustments for every county, so it's probably only worth doing for popular areas like LA and NYC.

23   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 6:28am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

Can't you get the square feet from the local property appraisal site?

Maybe from the county, but all the for-profit real estate sites except Craigslist are very hostile to being scraped. I talked to a lawyer about this years ago, and they assured me that I would definitely be sued if I tried to scrape, say, realtor.com. Terms of use and robots.txt both forbid it.

24   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 17, 6:37am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


all the for-profit real estate sites except Craigslist are very hostile to being scraped.

Since when has Craigslist made a profit? Or even tried?


I talked to a lawyer about this years ago, and they assured me that I would definitely be sued if I tried to scrape, say, realtor.com.

I think that only applied if you get caught! I don't know the legal stuff, but I know that a hell of a lot of companies scrape websites especially Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and they don't respect robots.txt file. Just think about all the blatant copies of the same text you find in Google searches.

Now I'm not advocating scrapping a site whose terms of use forbids it, but it definitely happens a lot. Also, I don't think spiders can agree to terms of service, so it's not breach of contract. And then there's Google cache. What happens if you just copy data from Google's cache?

That's why I'm glad I'm a developer and not a lawyer. Seems like law is about about political connections and who has the most money to spend.

Still, at least you are safe with county property sites. Government sites can't prevent scrapping since the Freedom of Information Act guarantees your right copy the documents. That much I do know.

25   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 6:58am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I've heard that Craigslist does make a fair amount of money off of its job boards. Maybe they would mind if someone scraped those.

I know there's a whole lot of scraping going on, but I'm a bit paranoid about realtors trying to shut down my site. I know some of them hate me, and I already got a threat from the NAR that I could not use "What your realtor won't tell you" as my tag line.

The problem with county sites is that there are 3,143 counties, and all their websites are unique.

26   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 17, 10:29am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Zlxr says

Patrick, I'm assuming you are able to figure out going rent rates for areas.

I guess instead of just affordable (since affordable means different things to different people) - you could have a questionaire where people could put in the low and the high of what they can afford to spend and you could list the areas they might want to search.

Yes! I do have a lot of data about going rental rates.

I could create just the sort of thing you mention, where people put in the low and high of rent and it gives them areas to look in, and maybe even specific rentals.

I like the idea of breaking up monster houses into shares. Might be a good compromise between being alone and having too many people around. I suspect the limiting factor will be bathrooms. Most people really want to have their own bathroom.

27   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 17, 5:18pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


I've heard that Craigslist does make a fair amount of money off of its job boards.

Did not know that. I thought the founder, Craig, wasn't even trying to make money off the site. He turned down so many offers to buy the site because he was more interested in performing the service to the community. But that was many years ago during the .com bubble.


The problem with county sites is that there are 3,143 counties, and all their websites are unique.

Yes, that is a problem. Which is what makes it a great opportunity. It's a barrier to entry. If a person did collect all the information from every county, then that person would have a unique data set that was more useful than the publicly traded data out there.

Pretty much, something has to be hard to be worth doing because if it was easy, many other people would be doing it already or soon after you did it.

There's an old adage that applies. Industry pays for increased value.

Still, there may be an easier way than scaping to get the data. You could fill out 3,143 Freedom of Information requests asking for a complete copy of their database as it is. Since the requests are all the same except for a few fields (address, name of county, etc.), you could automate a lot of that.

Then you either postal mail or email the request depending on which is available. Obviously email is cheaper and easier. Ideally, they would give you a URL where you could download an archive rather than shipping you a disk or flash drive and requiring that you pay the cost of that. Downloads should be essentially free and their database isn't necessarily that large. A few GBs could hold a lot of data on properties. I've done some ETL work in the past.

Speaking of ETL, that would be the final step. Unfortunately, you'd have to do it once per county. Updates would be easy, but you'd need to have a parser for each county anyway. Best case scenario, the parser's a simply XML file that maps fields and maybe defines some record splitting/merging or field manipulation. But doing anything 3,143 is a pain in the butt.

There are ways in which you could automate the generation of the parsers based on the contents of the data files you get. A sophisticated algorithm could reg-ex pattern match and statistically analyze the data in each field to determine the field's meaning and thus where to map it. So if your willing to invest time in developing that software, you could greatly reduce the number of parsers you'd have to write yourself to just a few to get started.

28   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 18, 9:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

Pretty much, something has to be hard to be worth doing because if it was easy, many other people would be doing it already or soon after you did it.

Very true. Though hard may just mean being in the right place at the right time. The Million Dollar Home Page was not technically hard, but it was hard to think of, and once it was done, it became impossible to make the idea new again. So really only the first guy could do it.

Dan8267 says

Still, there may be an easier way than scaping to get the data. You could fill out 3,143 Freedom of Information requests asking for a complete copy of their database as it is.

They may have to give me the information, but they can also charge. San Mateo County wanted $50 for a CD of fairly recent transfer tax data, from which you can figure out sales. Multiply by 3,143 counties.

It would definitely be a competitive advantage to have all that data though. Some corporation must be doing this. I think some place named Ameridata used to have it all.

ArtimusMaxtor says

Ok Pat here goes. Movie reviews. I suggest another forum or category let people put the movie up and review. It's Calfornia guy and its fascinating to us outsiders. Nothing fancy. Something like That. Just a category for movies. Here I'll start it what do you think of ............... Titanic?

I'm afraid that each new forum cannibalizes attention from the other forums. I already worry that I have too many and it's distracting from my "don't overpay for a house" message. Also, how do you make money from a movie review forum? I guess by advertising movies! So I bet that idea would work standalone, but it's kind of off topic for a real estate blog.

In fact, I realize it's a good enough idea that there is already a successful site that does it well: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/

29   DaveM_Renter   ignore (1)   2012 Apr 18, 9:50am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick, the estimated rents are just way too low when I tried to add a house. Why can't I edit the estimated rent myself? What is that based on? How come square footage is not even considered??

I was simply trying to enter the estimated rent based on the rates I'm paying myself... the values suggested by your tool were 30% and 50% below actual market rates for the two properties I tried to enter...

30   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 18, 10:56am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You can change them in the calculator and recalculate, but that doesn't change the default estimated rent I put in when I first scrape the listing from Craigslist.

That default estimated rent is just the median of the 40 closest rents which have the same number of bedrooms. Doesn't take anything else into account.

Should I allow users to enter new listings on http://patrick.net/housing/forsale.php?

That would also give me some way of getting square footage, which I don't have any good way to get right now.

31   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Apr 18, 10:47pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


Multiply by 3,143 counties.

Perhaps the Department of Housing and Urban Development has a copy of property records. I'm not sure what kind of information they have, but it might be worth checking out.

The Foia.gov site is a portal to all Freedom of Information Act requests directed at the federal government. It has a page where you can make requests for records held by any federal agency including HUD.

32   ArtimusMaxtor   ignore (10)   2012 Apr 22, 6:07am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


Also, how do you make money from a movie review forum? I guess by advertising movies! So I bet that idea would work standalone, but it's kind of off topic for a real estate blog.

Well I figure California. It's like a spin off Patrick.

33   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Apr 22, 10:37am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

OK, I'll make a movie review forum and we'll see how it goes.

Done. It's right above the Miscellaneous forum. Please write a review!

34   curious2   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 21, 8:08pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

If the search function allowed fields (e.g., thread title, hashtag, comment, user) and filters (e.g., date) that would help. Currently, it seems to combine title and OP text and hashtag, and then offers to switch to a comment search, both of which yield haystacks of results.

Also, if the "new post" function checked for "new" posts that include an already posted URL, or keyword (e.g. Hyperloop), that might help too. Tovbot tends to spew new posts without proofreading, e.g. two within six minutes today about the same article, and has posted more than a dozen different threads about Hyperloop, for example.

35   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 1:10pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Ironman thanks, that does seem to be a real bug. I'll work on it now.

36   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 1:40pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

ok @Ironman it should be fixed now.

the problem was that i decided to use the exact same tabs on home page, search, and user pages.

when i did that, i changed the home page to use a single sql statement with an $order_by for sorting by tab. but that single sql statement looked only at posts created in the last 7 days (post_date). the fix was to use post_modified instead of post_date for the special case of the "active" tab on the home page:

// for home page "active" tab alone, order by post_modified so that recently modified old posts pop to top of home page
// for other tabs, just look at posts created in last 7 days (with post_date)
$timecol = $order == 'active' ? 'post_modified' : 'post_date';
$posts_sql = "select SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS * from posts where $timecol > date_sub(now(), interval 7 day) and post_approved=1 $order_by limit $slimit";

37   HEY YOU   ignore (7)   2016 Nov 25, 1:51pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

HEY YOU moved into patnet. There goes website values!

38   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2016 Nov 25, 1:53pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

curious2 says

and then offers to switch to a comment search, both of which yield haystacks of results.

The number one rule of searches is to always AND terms, don't OR them. ORing is worthless. If a search for "Yankees" gives you too many hits to scroll through including civil war results, then the search for "New York Yankees" is even more worthless if the website ORs the terms. The entire purpose of adding more search words is to narrow down results, not expand them.

If you feel you must support ORing despite all reasoning, then do so explicitly with the OR keyword.

Quite frankly, I never use the PatNet search feature because of the ORing. I just use Google with the site option. For example, immense hirsute lesbian site:patrick.net. Google does a better job indexing your website than you will. And it's trivial to leverage Google inside your website.

39   smaulgld   ignore (4)   2016 Nov 25, 1:55pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Some idea, suggestions

To Get Users You used to send out emails once a week of curated stories. That probably drove decent traffic to the site. Maybe start that again

Monetization: having anchor advertisers would help sell the site as well as google adsense (which sounds like is gone as an option)

Small Design Change- keep current layout but perhaps have a bar that lists say the top 5-8 general topics, US Politics, real estate etc that opens and shows only those posts, let people subscribe to topics (see above)

Add share buttons

Add real estate widgets- home valuation etc.

Write another book! I bought the first one

40   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 2:08pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@anonymous

No I don't think it's resolved, but I can't test because I don't have a Windows computer to work on, only Mac and Linux.

If you know any Javascript, you could just "view source" and also view the browser's Javascript console try to figure it out.

Sadly, Turtledove was helping me by telling me about some error in the Javascript console on her browser on Windows, but now I can't ask her about it anymore.

41   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 2:19pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

smaulgld says

Some idea, suggestions

To Get Users You used to send out emails once a week of curated stories. That probably drove decent traffic to the site. Maybe start that again

Actually reading and selecting stories (which I did for years) turned out to be so much unpaid work that I gave up. I could send out an email of the top-liked or top-commented links pretty easily though.

Monetization: having anchor advertisers would help sell the site as well as google adsense (which sounds like is gone as an option)

How would I get anchor advertisers? Maybe I should just sell Patrick.net swag instead: cups, hats, shirts Even if sold cheap, it's good advertising.

Adsense revenue kept declining, so I gave up on it too.

Small Design Change- keep current layout but perhaps have a bar that lists say the top 5-8 general topics, US Politics, real estate etc that opens and shows only those posts, let people subscribe to topics (see above)

Yes, I do want to customize the site so the people can get tabs for topics they are interested in, and subscribe by topic. Just haven't done it yet.

Add share buttons

I have my own share button, but no one uses it. Literally no one! Not sure why. Maybe because it asks for an email address to share with.

Add real estate widgets- home valuation etc.

I did have my own valuation calculator, but others do it better, esp NY Times rent vs buy. Anyway, I want to really be a discussion forum more than anything else.

Write another book! I bought the first one

Need inspiration! Thinking of something like "Ten Politically Incorrect Truths".

42   curious2   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 3:07pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rando says

Need inspiration!

The Medical Trap

rando says

Thinking of something like "Ten Politically Incorrect Truths".

That seems, perhaps paradoxically, too many and too few.

Please just keep in mind that while truth (meaning factual accuracy) is a complete defense to defamation, caricatures tend not to be truth. Technically correct may be the best kind of correct, but cherry-picking and confirmation bias can make a badly tendentious book.

43   c1561490   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 3:20pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

please put links to the next/previous/etc page in a thread at both the top and bottom of the page.

44   c1561490   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 3:32pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rando says

@anonymous

Sadly, Turtledove was helping me by telling me about some error in the Javascript console on her browser on Windows, but now I can't ask her about it anymore.

Consider using one of the js error collection services. When js errors occur, they get automatically sent to a service for logging, where you can then go and view them. I can't recommend any as I've always written my own due to corporate intranet policy, but I never build web apps without js error collection anymore - there's always errors you're unaware of, and collection lets you find them. Users will rarely ever tell you about your bugs, especially if they don't happen often/repeatably, so being proactive yields much higher quality webapps.

Here's a list of what I'm talking about:

https://www.slant.co/topics/2615/~javascript-client-side-error-logging-services

They can automatically collect many errors via using the browser "error" event handler, so it's really easy & unobtrusive to install and use. But you get better results if you can wrap your code in special exception watching functions.

45   popsicle10   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 3:55pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Oh the Don has changed his hair colourDan8267 says

Trolls do well not to piss off admins. This must be a new species of troll: suiciders.

46   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 4:43pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironman says

I'm on Windoze and I don't have any problem with the "quote" function. I'm also using Firefox. Is it a problem only with Internet Explorer?

Thanks! Maybe it is only IE. That would be typical.

If you get a chance to check quoting on IE or Chrome, I'd be grateful.

47   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 4:48pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

c1561490 says

Consider using one of the js error collection services. When js errors occur, they get automatically sent to a service for logging, where you can then go and view them.

Thanks @c1561490 this is a great idea. Then I won't have to ask people about errors in their particular browser.

48   anonymous   ignore (null)   2016 Nov 25, 5:02pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Personal anecdote... when there is a post at the top of the page, that has the UNREAD icon signaling me to click it to pick up the conversation where i left off, and one of the new posts is by a user that has me on ignore, it sends me to the OP. Which is kind of annoying. You've toyed around a bit with the ignore feature, not sure where the bright idea came from for the user ignoring someone posts are not visible.

49   curious2   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 25, 6:00pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

errc says

not sure where the...idea came from for the user ignoring someone posts are not visible.

IIRC, that originated with Typhoid Marcus, who (mis)uses Ignore as part of a dysfunctional game of tag, even using another browser to check the comments of Users (s)he pretends to Ignore. As one would expect from that troll, combining "Ignore" with "Hide from" was a sily idea producing nothing but dysfunction and annoyance, which was the goal.

50   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 26, 2:35pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

c1561490 says

please put links to the next/previous/etc page in a thread at both the top and bottom of the page.

@c1561490 your wish has been granted.

Links to other pages of comments are now at both the top and bottom of a thread (aka a post):

"« First « Previous Comments 15-54 of 54 Last »"

51   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 26, 6:36pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

errc says

Personal anecdote... when there is a post at the top of the page, that has the UNREAD icon signaling me to click it to pick up the conversation where i left off, and one of the new posts is by a user that has me on ignore, it sends me to the OP. Which is kind of annoying.

@errc OK, now that should be fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

Here are the actual code changes, in case you're into that sort of thing:

https://github.com/killelea/patrick.net/commit/2a13bdda46f344d96ad29e422c668ddd9a5fcba9

52   anonymous   ignore (null)   2016 Nov 26, 6:42pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@patrick nice, thanks

What is the reasoning behind having a person who's on ignore, being blocked from seeing the posts of the poster that ignored them?

Seems all #Safespaceish

53   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 26, 7:05pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

errc says

What is the reasoning behind having a person who's on ignore, being blocked from seeing the posts of the poster that ignored them?

Ah, there is a reason!

I talked to a friend who worked at Facebook about this, and concluded that people are not comfortable with one-sided ignore. The problem is that if you ignore someone, but they can still see what you wrote, then they can respond to your writing with mockery and insults, and you will not easily be able to reply to them. Or even know that they are mocking you in public.

So it seemed that the best thing to do was to make ignore mutual. If you ignore someone, you simply disappear from their radar and they disappear from yours. If you really can't get along, that means one side or the other is not trying to get along, and so the best thing is just to chill out and not talk for a while.

54   anonymous   ignore (null)   2016 Nov 26, 7:23pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Meh, you blow up any semblance of Free Speech forum by conveying that kind of power to any one special snowflake. Personally, I'd fade anything I gleaned from anyone even loosely associated with Facebook.

And just because some pussy is afraid of what I have to say, doesn't automatically mean that I couldn't benefit from something that they have to say. Besides, with your approach, it's quite obvious that anyone so infantile as to engage in that crap here, can work up a two second work around. And your left with a less than working resolution.

55   c1561490   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 27, 12:02am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rando says

c1561490 says

please put links to the next/previous/etc page in a thread at both the top and bottom of the page.

@c1561490 your wish has been granted.

Links to other pages of comments are now at both the top and bottom of a thread (aka a post):

"« First « Previous Comments 15-54 of 54 Last »"

Thank you!

56   someone else   ignore (0)   2016 Nov 27, 5:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

errc says

Meh, you blow up any semblance of Free Speech forum by conveying that kind of power to any one special snowflake. Personally, I'd fade anything I gleaned from anyone even loosely associated with Facebook.

And just because some pussy is afraid of what I have to say, doesn't automatically mean that I couldn't benefit from something that they have to say. Besides, with your approach, it's quite obvious that anyone so infantile as to engage in that crap here, can work up a two second work around. And your left with a less than working resolution.

No special snowflake has any more power than any other user. Well, I myself can edit whatever, but unlike the Reddit CEO I don't do that.

Ignores are only person-to-person. The important thing is that no one user A has the power to block user B from talking to everyone else.

Yes, you can still view the comments of someone who has you on ignore by logging out, and you could reply by creating a new identity with a new email, but that is inconvenient. And that's the point. I'm just trying to slow down bad interactions, like the lead bricks they use in nuclear power plants to prevent the thing from blowing up.

57   BlueSardine   ignore (4)   2016 Nov 27, 6:59am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

This is not completely true if the ignored cannot see or post to the ignorer's thread.
Maybe ignore should just apply to individual comments and not thread viewing/commenting?

rando says

Ignores are only person-to-person. The important thing is that no one user A has the power to block user B from talking to everyone else.

58   BlueSardine   ignore (4)   2016 Nov 27, 5:00pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Nice compromise. Be interesting to see how it works out...

59   anonymous   ignore (null)   2016 Nov 29, 12:13pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@patrick

Doesn't seem to work at all. A thread pops to the top of the front page, I click either the icon that marks a new comment has been made, or the hyperlink to the last comment, and I'm directed to the Original Post. Tsk tsk, Patrick. Your "solution" is stifling Free Speech.

I'm forced to censor what I post, or risk offending some feeble minded sissy, because you empower other users to alter my experience.

If you want to enable the Anti-American Free Speech haters to have a Safe Space, you're going to lose more users. If you must assist those too weak to simply scroll past the comments of someone they do not like, then keep the ignore feature simple: if User A ignores User B, then User B comments are hidden from User A view. The End

No stupid suggestions from some Facebook loser about empowering the anti-free speech crowd, to adversely affect those of us who value Free Speech.

60   anonymous   ignore (null)   2016 Nov 29, 12:16pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Or, have all comments posted anonymously. No user names, No icons. Just words and thoughts. That way, there is no chance of those from the shallow end of the gene pool, cluttering the forum with personal attacks.

Isn't that kinda what reddit does?

61   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Jul 24, 11:08pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BuckState says
Thought there was value in seeing debate between iwog/others vs. a bit more of a one sided discussion these days.


Had no issue with iwog myself. This post seems strange to me though. He had an issue with posts being moderated and bailed on the site. As Patrick has mentioned and is commonly known, you can start your own site if you don't like this one. Not sure your point. Start your own site if you don't like it here and Patrick can help you with that.
62   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Jul 25, 12:44am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BuckState says
Totally get it- if you don't like what you're reading go elsewhere. And I'm aware of Patrick's offer to stand up other message boards for people.

My macro point (reason for the post) was that a DM feature might be nice to have on patnet, as if there were I would have just messaged a few people who have been here a while to ask: a.) Do you know if iwog still posts anywhere, would be interested in reading a blog/etc. Or b.) Where else do you go for debate / conversation.


Yes, I'd agree DM would be a good feature. A) I personally have no idea if/where he still posts. I kind of think this was his place, so not sure if the iwog lives on in another forum/site. He probably does, but he might not considering how open he was here. Who knows.

B) Logical debate or conversation? Good luck. I'm not sure where you can find that now a days.
63   CBOEtrader   ignore (5)   2018 Jul 25, 1:40am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
He had an issue with posts being moderated and bailed on the site


Iwog was angry at everything and the site bailed him.

His OP's were often interesting and insiteful, but reading his debates was just terrible. Wordgames, strawmen, misrepresentations, willfully ignorance of nuance... for hundreds and hundreds of posts. It was impossible to discuss anything substantively w iwog. He did however offer a sounding board for some interesting info dumps, such as Logan for example.
64   Onvacation   ignore (3)   2018 Jul 25, 7:01am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BuckState says
Thought there was value in seeing debate between iwog/others vs. a bit more of a one sided discussion these days.

Debate?
65   rocketjoe79   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 11:18am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Could we implement a way to like/dislike original posts? I only see this option on post comments.
66   LeonDurham   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 12:13pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CBOEtrader says
Iwog was angry at everything and the site bailed him.

His OP's were often interesting and insiteful, but reading his debates was just terrible. Wordgames, strawmen, misrepresentations, willfully ignorance of nuance... for hundreds and hundreds of posts. It was impossible to discuss anything substantively w iwog. He did however offer a sounding board for some interesting info dumps, such as Logan for example.


That's revisionist history there. Iwog left because he could see what was going to happen when Goran was chosen to be moderator of the politics forum. And he proved to be prescient....
67   Patrick   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 5:42pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rocketjoe79 says
Could we implement a way to like/dislike original posts? I only see this option on post comments.


@rocketjoe79 The up and down arrows next to the original post title are for that. They look like triangles, see them?
68   rocketjoe79   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 11:15pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Duh....I Got it
69   LeonDurham   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 29, 4:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CBOEtrader says
Then why are either of you still here? This temper tantrum routine you two do every few weeks is very childish.


lol--"temper tantrum". Just pointing out untruths.
70   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 29, 7:38am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

LeonDurham says
personal


I'd agree, but I'd guess I'm the moderator that marks the least personal or even deletes them. So I'll leave it, someone else can mark it. I liked the free speech concept for the most part. Doxing, outright racism, and over the top personal comments (like I hope your mom dies) should be whacked for sure. There's no place for that.

And don't get me wrong, minor personal attacks are annoying and derail some good conversation or arguments. But it honestly shows the true colors of people, at least their internet persona. And I know I'll get "hypocrite much" as I've tore off on some people (person) before in recent history. Generally though I avoid personal or seemingly personal comment 95% of the time here.

I think it's fair game to talk about since he's no longer here, but Iwog was very childish when he tore into people. Were they wrong most the time? Sure. Calling them idiots and the laundry list of other names though was kind of silly if you think about it. I miss his contributions for sure. At the end of the day though, Patnet doesn't really matter. Acting like it matters is kind of petty. That's not a put down on the site Patrick, more of a philosophical statement.

I can't remember if Patrick implemented it or not, but I still like the idea private or invited threads. Kind of like a facebook messenger setup. This way you could at least keep trolls out from what could have been a good conversation. Recent example is Bob's post on PR and Columbia. Comment 11. But here's the thing, still make the thread title/summary visible to everyone, but people have to ask to join it if they're interested in the topic. Commenter 11 basically trashed what was a well thought out thread/post and up until 11 everyone appreciated what Bob had posted.

Let's say I'm planning a trip and have seen that say 7 other people have mentioned traveling there. I could invite just them. And then if others see the thread they can ask to join in, but can be uninvited if it's a trolling attempt after a few comments. Maybe the person asking to join comes in with some good stuff, then they stay and an actual good conversation or trading of ideas occurs.

Or if you want to get in a fight, invite your enemies and be allowed to go after it, out of the public view of the site for new visitors. But if you're intrigued by the topic, you can still join if the thread starter wants you and approves it. I'd also say the thread starter PLUS the original invitees have the ability to say yes or no to an outside user that wants to come in.

And of course you could post something to the whole board still too. It's just certain topics are known to be trashed immediately just because User X started the thread.

Jesus I went on a tangent there. At least for once it was kind of in the right thread.
71   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 29, 7:51am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Aphroman says
Patrick knew the solution at one time. He banned Ironman. All these hoops to jump through just to facilitate a troll. Not sure why he changed his mind, but it was a horrible decision. Good forums have no problem with perma ban on obvious trolls


I'm gonna avoid talking about other active users here. I still think there needs to be private threads. Your Cannabis stock thread would be a great example. It's not even just one user, you know multiple users here will have a problem with it. Why not just be able to invite the people you know will want to discuss it? If others are intrigued they could still ask to be invited.

And again, the choice would be yours to post it to the whole board and make everyone able to comment on it. But it's visible either way. You can either just comment on it, or you would have to request an invite to that thread. The topic itself isn't hidden. I think it keeps the BS underground for the newbie that stumbled upon the site and sees some of the shit going on and runs for the hills.

The reason certain trolls stick around, and that's the key stick around, is that they have troll food. If they can't get to the food source, they get disinterested. Banning anyone won't work because of cheap as hell VPN services. The solution has to be troll proof the site as much as humanly possible.
72   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 29, 9:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

And just like the earth rotates, the cannabis stock post got dumped on by multiple..... well two people. This is what I'm talking about with invited/private threads. They wouldn't have a voice on that thread. If one of them doesn't have his ego masterbated, by another male, then he goes away. Simple as that.
73   CBOEtrader   ignore (5)   2018 Aug 29, 9:47am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Aphroman says
CBOEtrader says
Aphroman says
That's revisionist history there. Iwog left because he could see what was going to happen when Goran was chosen to be moderator of the politics forum. And he proved to be prescient....


That seemed to be at the heart of it, and as often the case, iwog was right, again

What kind of people are triggered by those who are right, early and often?


Then why are either of you still here? This temper tantrum routine you two do every few weeks is very childish.


Huh?

Who is having a temper tantrum?

I’m merely stating facts. Why are you so triggered by facts?


This is trollish and childish behavior. Why waste your time? Do something productive
74   LeonDurham   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 29, 10:37am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

LeonDurham says
personal


Wookie--

Can I ask what was personal in that post? I didn't think it was offensive at all.
75   LeonDurham   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 29, 10:38am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Patrick--

Are my posts automatically flagged now?
76   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 29, 11:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

LeonDurham says
LeonDurham says
personal


Wookie--

Can I ask what was personal in that post? I didn't think it was offensive at all.


You understand I wasn't talking about your post being personal, right? I get what you were doing and not using the personal button to get auto moderated, well now flag link. Was CBOE's post "technically" personal? Sure, mildly. There aren't enough moderators in the world though to help weed out trivial digs at other people. So I filter through them and get rid of the worst. At some point, two adults need to be... well.... two adults.
77   LeonDurham   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 29, 11:51am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
You understand I wasn't talking about your post being personal, right? I get what you were doing and not using the personal button to get auto moderated, well now flag link. Was CBOE's post "technically" personal? Sure, mildly. There aren't enough moderators in the world though to help weed out trivial digs at other people. So I filter through them and get rid of the worst. At some point, two adults need to be... well.... two adults.


I'm not sure what you mean--I didn't flag anything.

Also--was just asking you because it seemed like you had read it and I wanted your take on it. I didn't figure you had marked it.
80   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 30, 10:24am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

LeonDurham says
I'm not sure what you mean--I didn't flag anything.

Also--was just asking you because it seemed like you had read it and I wanted your take on it. I didn't figure you had marked it.


I think I see what happened. It's Patrick's new moderation system I believe. I never even saw the comment. I thought you literally typed personal but didn't want to hit the personal button (now flag) and potentially get auto moderated. I think that's where the confusion lies. My mistake.

Either way, we're all good and just having fun on Patnet, right? I hope so.
81   LeonDurham   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 30, 10:49am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
LeonDurham says
I'm not sure what you mean--I didn't flag anything.

Also--was just asking you because it seemed like you had read it and I wanted your take on it. I didn't figure you had marked it.


I think I see what happened. It's Patrick's new moderation system I believe. I never even saw the comment. I thought you literally typed personal but didn't want to hit the personal button (now flag) and potentially get auto moderated. I think that's where the confusion lies. My mistake.

Either way, we're all good and just having fun on Patnet, right? I hope so.


Absolutely. But, back to my original question--I'm genuinely interested so I can change my behavior, if needed. Can you tell what was offensive and personal in my first comment to CBOE?
82   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 30, 10:59am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

LeonDurham says
Absolutely. But, back to my original question--I'm genuinely interested so I can change my behavior, if needed. Can you tell what was offensive and personal in my first comment to CBOE?


There was nothing as far as I can tell. I was commenting on his comment saying you were childish.

Given the new implementation of moderation, I think some of this has been lost in translation. I think everyone here knows I'm chill. I'm not certain I can unwind this or care to take the time at this point. Everyone here is good by me.
83   RafiMaas   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 30, 3:58pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CBOEtrader says
This is trollish


Why is it people play the troll card when they don't want to answer a question?
84   Kakistocracy   ignore (1)   2019 Feb 22, 8:12am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Patrick - Any possibility of bringing back the tabs for Housing, Economics, Government, Politics and Miscellaneous - maybe the Music thread as a separate tab as well since there are a lot of links just on that thread.

6 tabs total.

Housing is starting to be a thing again, so is the economy.

Politics will always be a thing.

Would make it much easier to go to whatever someone is interested and avoid what they are not interested in.
85   Patrick   ignore (1)   2019 Feb 22, 8:14am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes, it's possible, but are there enough readers to make it worthwhile?
86   Kakistocracy   ignore (1)   2019 Feb 22, 8:15am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

That I do not know - not sure how difficult it would either to migrate everything to the appropriate tab but housing is becoming more and more in the news and will continue to be unless something miraculous happens.

Same with economy.

I think you would have the best access to daily hits etc. to see if it is justified.

If everyone would add whatever to the appropriate section - that would be great, maybe cut down on some of the other things as well.
87   CBOEtrader   ignore (5)   2019 Feb 22, 8:18am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says
Yes, it's possible, but are there enough readers to make it worthwhile?


If you ask the poster to choose from those 5 hashtags, then find w filter buttons or just use search the search function it would accomplish this goal
88   Kakistocracy   ignore (1)   2019 Feb 22, 9:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

There may be some difficulty trying to migrate things or look up things - a lot of the newer posts no longer have hash tags
89   Patrick   ignore (1)   2019 Feb 22, 6:03pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CBOEtrader says
or just use search the search function it would accomplish this goal


Yes, maybe there's some way to use search to do it. You could just put a keyword in a post, and search should find it. So I could move search to the top, and also have some pre-filled searches where you just click on a button to see, say, #housing.
90   CBOEtrader   ignore (5)   2019 Feb 22, 8:31pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says
#housing


If every post is categorized w a hashtag, it would work perfectly

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