New feature: Key posts (+ Pinside Editors wanted!)


By robin

10 months ago


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  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Axl
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    #1 10 months ago

    TLDR

    "Key posts" is a new feature that allows for the highlighting of important/interesting/useful posts in a thread and which together essentially create a "topic index": a table of contents for the thread. Read on to find out more!

    Why do we need key posts?

    Challenges/problems:

    • The sheer amount of posts in a topic can be overwhelming and make you miss key information.
    • People asking the same questions over and over again, because they don't want to dig through hundreds of posts to find the information they are looking for;
    • People providing information that was already given a few hundreds posts ago, unaware that this information was already there;
    • Topics loosing direction or getting derailed due to lack thereof.

    Key posts are our answer to these challenges. Essentially, a key post is nothing more than the notion that a post is to be considered essential, the information it provides should be known by everyone who is interested in the topic. It's a piece of information or an update that brings a topic forward and will frequently lead to a whole new series of questions, opinions, and discussion.

    In a way, you could compare this to the index of a book. If you're looking for information in a book, you need an index to quickly find something that you're looking for. And you need the table of contents to get a feeling of the topics the book contain. Key posts are meant to work the same way; they should give direction and purpose to a topic. Ideally you should be able to get fully updated about (everything that has happened in) a topic just by reading all of its key posts.

    What makes a key post?
    Basically any post in the forum can be marked as a key post by Pinside Staff and "Pinside editors" (more about them below). When marking a post as a key post, the editor is required to give a short summary of its contents.

    Key posts have the following characteristics:

    • They should be essential information that's vital to the topic;
    • They should contain factual information. Opinions or suggestions are generally not key posts;
    • They should bring the topic forward. In practice, this means they will frequently continue or lead to new discussion.

    A list of all key posts linking to their associated posts, called the "topic index", will be displayed at the top of every topic that has them. This will allow reader to jump right in and start reading a topic at the spot they are most interested in. Or to quickly monitor a discuccion for new developments (e.g. "New pricing announced" or "New developments").

    Who gets to mark posts as key posts?
    As you can see, marking posts as key posts is a task that requires precision and a knack to discern the most important elements in a discussion. For the system to work, it's important that everyone who marks key posts follows the same guidelines. This is why, for now, we will only allow Pinside staff and Pinside Editors to mark posts as key post. Note that we take the task quite seriously; editors are hand picked by us. To ensure key posts are marked in a consistent manner, we ask all editors to honor the criteria set by us. That being said, being an editor doesn't require a lot of extra time or effort. Even better, you can do it while doing what you already love doing: browsing the Pinside forums. And now you even have a great excuse to do so!

    How do I become an editor? Pinside Editors wanted!
    To become an editor, send a PM to Robin or Martijn with a short explanation (300 characters at most) on why you would like to become one and what makes you a good candidate. Also, please let us know which section(s) of the forums you find most interesting or visit most frequently. This is to ensure that we will have adequate coverage throughout all areas and sub-forums. From the applications, we will select a small group of members to begin with. Once we get things running smoothly, we will expand this group based on the need for it.

    Note that this function is only the beginning, and if things work out successfully, there will be more privileges we will make available to editors in the future that will help make Pinside even better!

    How do I mark a post as a key post
    Just keep on doing what you're already doing and read the topics that interest you. When you see a post that meets all requirements of being a key post, you can indicate so by clicking the 'key post' button on the bottom left of that post (next to the 'drain post' button, only visible once you are an editor). Doing so opens a form where you can fill in a summary of the post and confirm your nomination. Note that if the post was already nominated by another editor, you will see the previous summary instead. You can edit this summary, if you see anything that can be improved (the idea being that editors work together as a team), or you can confirm your nomination without changing it.

    Can you give me an example of a key post?
    To make clear what we had in mind when we were developing this feature, have a look at this thread for which we marked posts we considered key post worthy.

    key-posts-2 (resized).png

    As you can see, the result summarizes the thread rather nicely, and gives a good idea of its contents, its progress over time, and indicates you where to jump to in order read about a certain aspect of the discussion.

    3 weeks later
    #2 9 months ago

    I like this feature and think it could be valuable if used properly. One suggestion though. The KEY icon usually indicates that something is locked. I'll probably get used to it, but so far I have found it confusing. Have you considered using a compass rose icon instead?

    #3 9 months ago
    Quoted from KerryImming:

    I like this feature and think it could be valuable if used properly. One suggestion though. The KEY icon usually indicates that something is locked. I'll probably get used to it, but so far I have found it confusing. Have you considered using a compass rose icon instead?

    There is a padlock symbol for a locked thread. I was confused at first when I saw the key symbol though.

    3 weeks later
    #4 8 months ago

    bumping just to say as someone that doesn't browse pinside often, this feature is really really useful.

    much thanks.

    edit; would there happen to be a place that only shows a list of newly added key posts for all threads?

    1 month later
    #5 7 months ago

    Feedback on Key Posts feature from an editor: It takes me several days to go through an eighty page thread. To help me keep the index consistent I use my browser tabs. One tab I have the index open, another tab I have the thread open where I am working. This lets me look at the index without losing my place in the thread.
    Some key posts describe a process in steps.
    Example: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration
    I think it's helpful to number the steps. A reader can then see if many posts cover the same process. I'm using the format step x of x right now but I think if all editors use the same format (whatever we decide is best) users will get the most benefit from an index.

    I also try to summarize the post subject and answer into one or two sentences. "Repairing Insert Ghosting - clamp overnight," is better than, "How to repair ghosting."

    I already see some of my earlier key post summaries I want to fix, lol. Soooo much good information in Vid's guides.
    Happy indexing everyone!

    2 weeks later
    #6 7 months ago

    What do you think about Key Posts including a button or link to the next key post, or maybe even a "view all key posts"? The thread below has over 140 key posts spread out over fifty pages or more. As the Key Posts feature usage grows there may be more long indexes such as this one.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration#

    Currently I simply scroll to the next yellow background post.

    I'm just thinking towards the future. User interface design can be complicated and @robin & @martijn do a great job. Maybe right now this would only be useful in such limited circumstances the effort required to build the feature outweighs the usefulness?

    #7 7 months ago

    It was brought to my attention that the index (at least in some cases) is showing posts on the order they were marked as key posts, not the order they appeared in the thread.
    Example: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-pinside-skit-b-predator-discussion

    @martijn is this by design? I think the index arranged by post number is the most helpful but I haven't thought much about it.

    #8 7 months ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    What do you think about Key Posts including a button or link to the next key post, or maybe even a "view all key posts"? The thread below has over 140 key posts spread out over fifty pages or more. As the Key Posts feature usage grows there may be more long indexes such as this one.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration#
    Currently I simply scroll to the next yellow background post.
    I'm just thinking towards the future. User interface design can be complicated and robin & martijn do a great job. Maybe right now this would only be useful in such limited circumstances the effort required to build the feature outweighs the usefulness?

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree it would be useful to be able to jump quickly through key posts using a navigation button. In fact we already thought of this, it just hasn't been added yet. Might be a bit of work indeed, will discuss this with @robin. I also like the idea of having a key post filter! Makes sense to add this as well.

    #9 7 months ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    It was brought to my attention that the index (at least in some cases) is showing posts on the order they were marked as key posts, not the order they appeared in the thread.
    Example: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-pinside-skit-b-predator-discussion
    martijn is this by design? I think the index arranged by post number is the most helpful but I haven't thought much about it.

    No, not by design. They should appear in posting order, so this appears to be a bug. We will look into this shortly.

    #11 7 months ago
    Quoted from Martijn:

    No, not by design. They should appear in posting order, so this appears to be a bug. We will look into this shortly.

    This has been fixed and should work properly now. Let us know if there are still issues with this. Thanks!

    #12 7 months ago
    Quoted from martijntest:

    This has been fixed and should work properly now. Let us know if there are still issues with this. Thanks!

    Quoted from Martijn:

    This has been fixed and should work properly now. Let us know if there are still issues with this. Thanks!

    Duplicate account!

    #13 7 months ago
    Quoted from Martijn:

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree it would be useful to be able to jump quickly through key posts using a navigation button. In fact we already thought of this, it just hasn't been added yet. Might be a bit of work indeed, will discuss this with robin. I also like the idea of having a key post filter! Makes sense to add this as well.

    This button has been added as well, btw. Apparently Robin had already added this feature on our development server, he just hadn't pushed it to live yet.

    #14 7 months ago
    Quoted from solarvalue:

    Duplicate account!

    Mhm, you hereby win the quickest-reveal-of-a-duplicate-user-attempt-achievement. I only need to implement this achievement now!

    Now, is there somebody aware of a way to dodge the moderators around here?

    #15 7 months ago
    Quoted from Martijn:

    This button has been added as well, btw. Apparently Robin had already added this feature on our development server, he just hadn't pushed it to live yet.

    Excellent feature, nicely implemented!
    Is there a way to see what threads are marked favorite by the most users? When deciding which threads to mark with key posts it might be helpful to prioritize the threads with the greatest number of favorites.

    2 months later
    #16 4 months ago

    Just a suggestion on the topics that dont have key post editors. It would be great to have the opportunity to flag as a key post.
    Then the people that kan make that post keyed can verify it and make it so.

    Added 128 days ago: @ROBIN

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