Today we are excited to announce a bunch of new features for Pinside!
- A feature to help you find the interesting stuff quicker: called Key Posts
- A mechanism to allow Pinsiders to drain posts
- A new post bookmarking feature
- The ability to tag members and games in posts using mention and game tags
- Introducing account verification
Read on to learn more!
Quality update - introduction
Pinside keeps on growing (both in number of users and daily number of posts) and that's great! Right? RIGHT? ..Well, yes of course, but it also provides challenges or the need for new functionality. We try to solve these with site updates such as this one, adding new features and fixing bugs.
The initial problem we set out to fix with this update is the increasing "noise level" on Pinside. Navigating the forums becomes increasingly difficult proportional to the growing amount of posts overall and with thousands of people posting their ideas and opinions, it can be a daunting task to get to the good stuff, if you will.
We mean to address the issues of noise on Pinside by giving more visibility to good content (see key posts) and less visibility to content that doesn't add anything useful to the discussion (see post drains). We try to keep you in the loop by letting you know if someone is talking to you or reacting to something you've posted (see post mentions/quotes). We also made some changes to the forum tabs layout to better divide posts, topics and settings (see improved forum tabs layout) and redesigned the bookmark functionality (see redesigned forum bookmarks). And finally, to combat throwaway/fake/spam/troll accounts we've added "account verification".
Pinside is a busy site! On average, we see around 75-100 new topics every day and around 1,500-3,000 new posts. One of the ‘complaints’ that we often hear about is that there is a lot of noise and it’s hard to find the *real* information buried between all the opinions and discussion.
…Enter Key Posts. These are posts, marked as vital pieces of information in a thread by Pinside staff and "editors". Key posts are posts that are essential in bringing a topic forward. They should always be factual / informative. By singling out key posts we hope to improve the quality of (the flow of) information by reducing redundancy (information that keep being repeated again and again because people can't locate it in the ever growing amount of posts to a popular thread).
"Pinside editor" is a special user status for Pinside members who applied to help making Pinside's content of better quality. If you have been annoyed by the amount of noise filling up certain well visited topics, here it finally is: your chance to do something about it. Click the link below to read more.
As soon as a post is marked as a Key Post, it will turn yellow.
Any thread with key posts automatically gets a key post index, making it much easier to locate those vital pieces of information:
The moderation team does a great job at keeping the forum clean of spam and the discussion civil. But with 1,500-3,000 posts per day, they can’t read every post made. The community, thousands of you browsing the site every day, together you can! If you see a post that contains spam or that is otherwise not worthy of your reading time, you can now drain it. Similar to draining topics, which was already possible, you will never see that post again.
And then there's auto-draining. If a large enough number of Pinsiders drain a post, Pinside hides it by default for everyone else. This is of course adjustable in your forum settings (for those of you with enough time, who want to see everything) but it should help in keeping noise to a minimum. Note: Auto-draining functionality is still experimental, in beta and under evaluation.
Post mentions and Game Links
Sometimes you might want to refer to someone or mention them in a post. Now you can! If you type an @ character in the post box, you will be able to enter a Pinsider's name.
When you mention a Pinsider, their name will become clickable in the post:
But more importantly, it notifies that Pinsider that he has been mentioned. A overview of all your mentions can be find on the front page in the new mentions section (see screenshot below).
In a similar fashion, you can now tag pinball machine names by typing the # character in a post, followed by the game's title, which can also be selected from a menu that appears as you type. This will add a smart links to machines in the game archive, which (in the near future) will help make forum posts more easily searchable.
Improved forum tabs layout
To allow you to more easily find relevant topics and posts, we changed the division of the tabs for topics (contains all views related to topics), posts (contains all views related to posts) and relocated other functionality (like forum settings, mentions, favorites and search) as individual tabs with recognizable icons.
Redesigned forum bookmarks
The bookmark button has been moved to the bottom left of a post and its functionality has been altered. Click it to bookmark an interesting post. You can even add a small summary for yourself and add some tags to help find back that one post explaining how to test a Tip122 transistor:
Note: The old behavior (clicking the bookmark icon to create a temporary bookmarker that helps keep track of your position in a topic) was removed, we are considering if we should add it back if demand for it is there.
Pinside is a tight-knit community and an important aspect of such a community is trust. Recent events (often caused by 1-day fake accounts) are not only attacking our site with spam but have also threatened the integrity of our site (spreading misinformation or placing scammer ads) and this is our answer to that.
In the nearby future, unverified accounts will have some limitations on the site. Verifying your account will lift these limitations and even grant a few additional perks.
And besides these new features, there was a lot of work done to make the site function faster, better and with less bugs. Lot of tweaks to simplify things and tweaks to the (mobile) responsive design as well. And also some pretty big UI updates like, for example, the collection screen was redesigned.
If you spot any bugs, you can report them by creating a thread in the Pinside > Bugs sub-forum. Or PM me. Hope you like the update!