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Place 'Streams' - creating superficial communities?
Posted July 31st, 2013 - 12:00 am by from Wellington, New Zealand (Permalink)
Hi all,

early on I was a defender of the New place 'Streams' ( I won't call them a forum, as they don't function that way - more like a twitter stream ).

I think they do provide quick access to current info ; and are great for

a) I am here now - want to meet; posts
b) New members being able to feel they can engage and use the site easily.

However there seems to be a disturbing problem where any serious/controversial and or 'buzzkill' posts get sunk. This happens possibly because:

a) New members don't feel comfortable commenting on such things.
b) Place users form censorship rules and flag anything that makes them feel uncomfortable as abuse.

I've recently been involved in such a post on the CS Singapore forums; and had support involved - had the post restored twice, then had it sunk twice and eventually removed again (still waiting on an answer why as the third time was an admin - not the same one I was dealing with).

I had hoped that the place streams would get evolved into something more sensible but it hasn't happened.

Personally I would like to see several very easy changes made to them.

a) Only Subjects are shown in preview (in either mode)
b) Avatars/Pictures removed from the default place stream view (Appears to get used to make superficial sexual attraction choice.
c) Increasing number of historical posts in the default view
d) Clicking on a post/subject opens a Pane 70% of width of browser window but still showing other posts in remaining.
e) Threading response model
f) Adding 'My Posts' back into an easy to locate/use position in the dash board.

What are others thoughts?

Posted July 31st, 2013 - 4:38 pm from London, England
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Posted August 1st, 2013 - 5:13 am by from Wellington, New Zealand (Permalink)
Ok; so what constructive changes need to be made?


Having thought about this some more; the places stream should disappear complete as a 'post' and 'reply' system. What would be better is to turn the stream into automated content of local activity.

I.e: X is looking for Host
X just hosted Y
X commented on a thread in the forum -> All post and reply goes into subforums.

I have come to feel that the Places stream are a major safety issue as they currently are.

Posted August 1st, 2013 - 12:11 pm from London, England
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Posted August 1st, 2013 - 12:13 pm from London, England
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Posted August 1st, 2013 - 10:59 pm by from Oakland, United States (Permalink)
Hi,

Agreed, we need to improve the way new users are educated when they initially sign up. We introduced a first version of a new user experience (NUX) in the beginning of May. Now we're about to improve new user on boarding further.

We're setting up a beta panel specifically on this topic and I'd be happy to add you to it: please send an email to beta@couchsurfing.com

You may also want to look into this conversation with Tony (CEO) for more information.

Posted August 2nd, 2013 - 9:55 am from London, England
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Posted August 2nd, 2013 - 10:33 am from Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Posted August 2nd, 2013 - 1:26 pm by from Wellington, New Zealand (Permalink)
Hi Martina, yes I have read/discussed and defended changes with several dozen people and posts (both in CS groups, and without in other Projects; phpBB forums, ambs and moderators in the APAC region + others).

Given that this is now turning into a safety issue I would hope that it is given some very critical and judicious expedited review.

Whilst the original cut-over was a PR nightmare due to technical and communication issues; and rightly many moderators and forum curators felt completely dis-enfranchised - I have always spoken frankly and tried to advocate the positives from the places changes.

Personally having played devils advocate with many very pissed off amb's and moderators around the places streams I can very much say my current position comes from an integrated standpoint.

I would love to be part of whatever beta goes on, but personally think that place stream needs to simply be replaced with link based auto-generated content and forums re-elevated to their original standing, albeit with some tie in's to the Place streams.


Posted August 2nd, 2013 - 10:51 pm from London, England
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Posted August 5th, 2013 - 9:19 am from Helsinki, Finland
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Posted August 5th, 2013 - 11:28 am from Saint Petersburg, Russia
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Posted August 9th, 2013 - 9:29 pm by from Wellington, New Zealand (Permalink)
In the Moderated group forum days; each Regional group would get Mod's and Amb's together with Users of the forum and discuss posting rules and tolerances.

This gave each forum a particular cultural/geo specific level of tolerance built into it and that was good. For example tolerances of Inuendo in Latin american forums was way higher than say in Delhi.

The Place streams take away this inbuilt mechanism for dealing with both

a) Being able to kick repeat offenders permanently from a group
b) Build in moderation which was applicable for that particular forum.
c) Created a safety net around censorship of ownership for safety/meta discussions

The Places stream certainly homogenizes them - unfortunately not for the better.

Posted August 12th, 2013 - 8:43 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted September 9th, 2013 - 10:42 am from Tokyo, Japan
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