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Suggestion: View ALL New Content

23 posts in this topic

Posted

Can we have the option to "View All New Content" on the "View New Content" page?

Here's how it currently works

A visitor comes to a site running ip.board + ip.content (maybe more)
The visitor comes regularly, maybe every day, and wants to see ALL new content
They click the "View new content" link and it only displays new content from the last place they visited (Forums, articles etc.)

My concern that lots of visitors, like me, may not realise a "no new content found" result is only relevant to the last section they visited, and there may well be new content they would like to see in other sections. I only found out how it behaves after raising a support request thinking it was not working properly because it always doesn't show all new content.

I'm worried some may just assume there's nothing new to see and leave. Also, even if they work it out and fully understand the way it's set up, they have to manually click all the different filters to go through all new content.

I fully appreciate that for large communities, viewing ALL content may bring too many results or just not be desirable but please bear in mind there must be a significant amount of small communities that have quite modest amounts of new content. My own two sites running ip.content + ip.board have relatively small amounts of new content each day so being able to see everything that is with one click would be really useful.

It could easily be done by adding an extra "View All New Content" box at the top of the filters. It would be useful to many if members could set their preferences to view All new content, whilst still of course retaining the option to view it step by step.

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Posted

This has come up many times. While the suggestion is nice on the end-user side, there are many technical challenges that make implementing something like this extremely difficult on the backend.

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Posted

there's two third party apps that can do this sort of thing
super news feed and content spy
may be worth a look ?

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Posted

Thanks, I'm surprised it's difficult but you wouldn't say so if it wasn't.

What about the system at least remembering your last filters rather than usurping them with the last place visited? I would have thought the last filters a member actively set are a much stronger indication of their preferences than the last place they were on the site, which may have been a place they seldom visit.

Also, would it not be possible when loading the page to quickly check for new articles everywhere and display a small number at the side of the section or make the text link bold to indicate there is new content? It seems so clumsy to have to click on every link to see if there is anything new.

Eric Allione likes this

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Posted

The reason it is difficult is because all of the different databases store data in different *actual* database tables on the server-side. It is not a simple matter to combine records from multiple database tables into one listing (at least if you expect to have to paginate, which we do in this case).

It would be possible to remember filters, however the intention is that if you are viewing articles and click view new content, you see new articles; if you are viewing media and click view new content, you see new media; same with the rest of the community suite applications.

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Posted

I think the watchword is choice. The more choice administrators and users have, the more perfect the application is :)

avro and Eric Allione like this

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Posted

Even though there currently are technical limitations, this is a weak spot in IPS.

 

Its vital that users are confronted with all new content. Otherwise applications are under-used and new content is not as easily discovered. Blocks are already addressing this issue up to a point.

 

A new content portal would be of great value. Even if the portal would only show the latest X results for each content type, with a link to see all new content in the content type.

 

The data can be cached for guests. Big boards can apply Varnish, litespeed cache or similar.

 

Please consider if there is some way that such a new content portal can be provided. It really is a biggie.

Eric Allione, rastaX, avro and 2 others like this

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Posted

:) I'm sure something will be done since about it since IPS is completely redoing how the search works for ICS 4. :)

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Posted

 My concern that lots of visitors, like me, may not realize a "no new content found" result is only relevant to the last section they visited, and there may well be new content they would like to see in other sections.

Wow I didn't know that either.

I was surprised to hear what a technical feat this is because what originally made me fall in love with IPB was this exact feature on a very old version IPB (it would be about 9 years old now).

There was a a view all recent posts option where I could explore the full posts of everything that was new, and it would have a history going back a hundred pages. This beat checking the same threads over and over.

Recently joining a new IPB community, my biggest frustration has always been a lack of this feature; the larger a forum, the more valuable this becomes.

That being said, I have no explanation as to how or why an old IPB platform was able to do this perfectly. And unfortunately, that site is now offline.
 

there's two third party apps that can do this sort of thing
super news feed and content spy
may be worth a look ?


I will have to look at Content Spy but I can say firsthand that Super News Feed does not do this. If you want to see a working version of 'Super News Feed', I renamed it to "Activity Stream" and it's visible from a dro-down menu under the member's tab on my site.

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Posted

Ok so I was playing with the settings on Headstand's Recent Posts hook, and I set it to show the 10 most recent posts, which didn't take up all of my sidebar real estate after disabling all the other settings. It's still not perfect as it obviously be idea to be able to dig back as far as you want through posts in the most recent order, but this still makes it less suffocating and gives you a better feel of what's new:

 

 

recentPosts_zpsea21d1dd.png

 

 

 

 

In the settings, I found the post preview text only took up one line if I set it to a max of 44 characters:

 

recentPostOptions_zps68e818e1.png

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Posted

Blame the 2-hour editing window not me... 

 

 

It turns out that Aiwa has mastered the dark secrets of how to make different databases communicate with each other. It's not IP.Content but if you follow his directions on moving the hook point, you can have all the most recent posts at the bottom of your forum: http://community.invisionpower.com/files/file/5888-kc-recent-posts/.

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Posted

Wow I didn't know that either.

I was surprised to hear what a technical feat this is because what originally made me fall in love with IPB was this exact feature on a very old version IPB (it would be about 9 years old now).

There was a a view all recent posts option where I could explore the full posts of everything that was new, and it would have a history going back a hundred pages. This beat checking the same threads over and over.

Recently joining a new IPB community, my biggest frustration has always been a lack of this feature; the larger a forum, the more valuable this becomes.

That being said, I have no explanation as to how or why an old IPB platform was able to do this perfectly. And unfortunately, that site is now offline.
 
I will have to look at Content Spy but I can say firsthand that Super News Feed does not do this. If you want to see a working version of 'Super News Feed', I renamed it to "Activity Stream" and it's visible from a dro-down menu under the member's tab on my site.

 

 

super news shows the latest forum posts, gallery additions  etc

my take is that all you need to do to reinforce a  "new content view" rather than an "activity"  one is just change the wording used on the links display and you will have something very similar to the current vnc 

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Posted

Looks interesting thanks. My concern would be though that many people visiting an ip.content ip.board would just click the "View New Content" link and see "No New content" when there is.

I still don't understand what could be so difficult about this. There are only really two forms of content 99% of people would be interested in, new forum posts and new articles. If I've created a couple of new articles most people clicking the View new Content link who had been looking in the forums the last time they visited will see there is NO new content - but there is - my 2 new articles.

Conversely anyone who read an article last time they visited will be told there is no new content when there is in fact several new posts on the forums.

All the system has to do is when someone clicks the "View New Content" link is produce a page with the new forum posts and the new article posts. At the very least it could work they way it currently does but at least advise there are no new articles/forum posts but there are some new forum posts/articles instead of relying on (and forcing)people to realise they have to change the preferences on the left side.

Eric Allione likes this

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Posted

I still don't understand what could be so difficult about this.

smile.png Lets try an analogy. Every type of content is put in a box. Posts are put in one box. Images are put in another box. Blog entries are put in another box, and articles are put in a separate box. Every single box is wrapped up in tape. The only way to access the contents of the box is to carefully peel the tape off. If you open it any other way then the box will explode. As it is now you can only access one box at a time. What you want is to be able to access all the boxes at once. If you try to do that then all the boxes will explode! That's what they mean when they say that the information is stored in separate databases and that accessing them all at once is not easy.

Was just an analogy though.. smile.png

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Posted

.. What you want is to be able to access all the boxes at once. If you try to do that then all the boxes will explode!


Hi smile.png I would expect it to access the boxes one at a time and present the results. If I go to the View New Content page it checks where I was last time (forums or articles etc) and fetches the latest content to match. If it shows content from say the forums and I click on Articles in the left filter box it instantly fetches any new articles. I'm not understanding why it can't simply forget worrying about where I was last time and just fetch new forum posts, display them and then either fetch new articles and display them underneath or at least count how many there are and display "x new articles" which can be clicked and fetched instead of just stating there is no new content.
adonismale and Eric Allione like this

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Posted

The thing is so many hooks have essentially accomplished this. The holy grail of this feature would be a portal extension that allows you to browse through all recent posts in chronological order. There actually is a working portal extension for that, but it's a complete tease because it will display all those posts but unformatted... However, if 3rd-party programmers can write hooks that dig through all the databases and retrieve the information unformatted, I don't see why IPS staff can't just make an formatted version. Especially since I've seen this exact feature on that IPB ~2.1 site. 

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Posted

Correction, that portal plugin only shows the most recent post from each topic but it still is able to retrieve something from each thread all in one place.

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Posted

Unless you have an intimate understanding of PHP and MySQL, our explanations will be pointless to the average reader, which is why we don't often get into the technical details.

 

At its core, it can be *extremely* resource intensive to fetch search results from multiple tables.  Further, even if you did run a search query against every area (and you can't just do topics and articles - that's all YOU may care about, but we have many clients and not all of them have the same opinion of the application priorities), there is no way to mash them up into one stream.  The end result would be multiple tables of search results on one page, assuming the page did not time out attempting to generate it (search queries can be quite expensive in terms of resources).

 

We are discussing and researching other ways to accomplish this.  There are, effectively, two primary options - having a single database table that you can insert into for all applications (it would effectively be an activity stream table) that you can then pull results from, and using Sphinx to effectively emulate this (the downside being the option to get results from all apps would only be available for Sphinx).  We will be revamping search in the 4.0 Suite, but no word as to what exactly that will entail yet, I'm afraid.

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Posted (edited)

 
At its core, it can be *extremely* resource intensive to fetch search results from multiple tables. 

 

As long as it's a side option with its unique page, and is only used by a handful of zealous users, it can't be that bad. It's not like we're talking about putting it on the main index page in real time.

The mystery for me remains how an old IPB forum was able to do this exactly; I didn't dream this request up. I wish I could link it but it was a closed forum and has long been offline. It just had a feature on the side of the forum that let you read all historical posts, and you could choose exactly how many posts you wanted to load on each page. The default was 10, but I preferred it to be about 100. What it did exactly was list entire posts, fully formatted, in chronological order. It would also let you skip up to 10 pages ahead down at the bottom.

 

I'm sure my over-enthusiastic choice was very resource intensive, but I was certainly in the minority for wanting to speedread through its thousands of historical posts to get caught up.

 

Edit: resource intensive or not, the resources should be the client's to squander. I personally use over 60 hooks and only have a server load of 0.07. Smaller sites like mine which have virtually no traffic can afford some fancier research tools like this.

Edited by Eric Allione

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Posted

I appreciate it must be frustrating when non programmers expect things can be done easily but you do have to explain why something is impractical to be fair. It will be great if you can come up with something.

My main concern has always been about the ambiguity of the "There is no new content" statement given to users. The link promises to let users "View New Content" but it reports only on a specific type of content determined by where a user last visited yet gives a seemingly categorical "No new content" result instead of specifying no new "articles" or no new "forum posts" etc. It assumes all users know how the system works, but people who aren't knowledgeable about how ip works may well just see the no new content statement and leave.

Eric Allione likes this

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Posted

Hi :smile: I would expect it to access the boxes one at a time and present the results.

:) That's exactly what it does right now... :)

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Posted

 

As long as it's a side option with its unique page, and is only used by a handful of zealous users, it can't be that bad. It's not like we're talking about putting it on the main index page in real time.

The mystery for me remains how an old IPB forum was able to do this exactly; I didn't dream this request up. I wish I could link it but it was a closed forum and has long been offline. It just had a feature on the side of the forum that let you read all historical posts, and you could choose exactly how many posts you wanted to load on each page. The default was 10, but I preferred it to be about 100. What it did exactly was list entire posts, fully formatted, in chronological order. It would also let you skip up to 10 pages ahead down at the bottom.

 

I'm sure my over-enthusiastic choice was very resource intensive, but I was certainly in the minority for wanting to speedread through its thousands of historical posts to get caught up.

 

Edit: resource intensive or not, the resources should be the client's to squander. I personally use over 60 hooks and only have a server load of 0.07. Smaller sites like mine which have virtually no traffic can afford some fancier research tools like this.

 

The problem is, we have to provide technical support for our clients. ;)  If someone has this feature available and 10 users or 100 search engine spiders or whatever hit the page, and cause the server to overload, we get the ticket.  We then have to explain this particular feature is resource intensive and that it can be shut off, etc.

 

Ultimately, as I said, we are researching and considering methods that may account for this functionality, but truly and honestly it's not just a simple toggle, or a few extra lines of code.  We have clients with small sites and large sites, 1 user online at a time and 5000 users online at a time, and everywhere in between.  We have to accommodate all of our clients.

 

I appreciate it must be frustrating when non programmers expect things can be done easily but you do have to explain why something is impractical to be fair. It will be great if you can come up with something.

My main concern has always been about the ambiguity of the "There is no new content" statement given to users. The link promises to let users "View New Content" but it reports only on a specific type of content determined by where a user last visited yet gives a seemingly categorical "No new content" result instead of specifying no new "articles" or no new "forum posts" etc. It assumes all users know how the system works, but people who aren't knowledgeable about how ip works may well just see the no new content statement and leave.

 

Changing the verbiage is a simple thing to do, if you feel that will make a big difference.  Sometimes the easiest and simplest solutions are the first to be overlooked.

Eric Allione likes this

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Posted

I am very glad that you are looking into this. This feature would be a large step forward IMHO.

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