This irregularly-named page is necessary while the spam filter blocks the talk page or any subpage of Forum:Index. You can't even save this page's talk page. Robin Patterson 01:36, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

County talk forums[]

Robin's preliminary thoughts[]

These are up and running before anyone saw the need to discuss them on the forum index talk page (unless people tried that, as I did, and found the spam filter blocked them!). Clearly no stated opposition to the idea.

Now - how to get readers to them from the index page? I presciently added the links to help desk and watercooler at the top so that those would not get lost in a mass of thousands of county talk forums. (Can we try to have them all listed, or try a few and see what happens? Or will they just appear as soon as someone puts some actual content into one? If it's the latter, that's OK - sort of - once a forum has started, but I guess anyone wanting to start one will have to start at the county page where we have a link to the forum. I should try that, I suppose.)

When we get hundreds or more on the index page, it will be useful for browsing by people who have 13,000+ relatives in their files and want to see if any of the thousand counties they are interested in has any recent talk. Not much other use?

Robin Patterson 01:31, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Not showing up?[]

Now that Forum:Talk about Cumbria has had an item in place for many minutes, why does it not show in the list? --Robin Patterson 03:22, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Not sure I understand- messages show up instantly for me. Where is it that the message is not showing up instantly? ~ Phlox 07:26, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I did not mention messages, so your mention of them is not helpful. I said "it", referring to the forum, but maybe you took it to mean the "item in place". I expected the county talk forums to show on Forum:Index in the same list as Help desk and watercooler. That, as I tried to explain, is why I created separate links for those two above that list. Forum:Talk about Cumbria and its mates must be differently structured, not following the instructions in Help:Forums. Why? Robin Patterson 04:15, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

More a Bottom up communication mechanism, not top down[]

But I don't see it as a top down sort of communication, but bottom up. A user may land on our page via google search for a relative, be curious about where they lived/ were married, died, and in the article for that placename, promininently displayed is a Forum banner. They click on that, and can ask a question like- "hey if anyone lives nearby the flatbush cemetery, could you take a picture of my great great grandfather and grandmother's headstone?...." The response may not come back for several months, but I understand we can set up RSS feed mechanisms, so we should be able to work the notification bit out for them. ~ Phlox 02:00, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

How enquirers know about responses[]

Do we really need more mechanisms than the current system allowing email notification of any change to a watched page? Robin Patterson 02:43, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Ask it from the typical user's POV. Do I really want an email message everytime someone changes James I of England article that I may have edited once two years ago on a genealogy site I only vaguely remember? From the perpective of casual contributors, the default of watchlist everything that is edited is no good from the perspective of email notification. But changing the default to watchlist nothing doesn't work either- especially when they are active users of the site. They may not care in 6 months about changes to a template that they once intended to be the next biggest thing after sliced bread. But they really really will care if someone comes up with a photo of their great great grandmother that they have never seen a likeness of.
So we really are talking about two different classes of messages, one set immediate, and the other indicating a long term interest. So the long term interest messages must be in a different mode than the watchlist thing because watchlist email notification will immediately get shut off as a source of spam as soon as their interest in monitoring this wiki wanes. And no, when their interest in the site has waned, they are not going to edit their watchlist to only include the top 10 items they care about from the hundreds of pages they edited. Sorry, but that is reality.
So for these high priority family inquiry forum notes we need some special email notification or an RSS thing like what there is on history pages, except for normal people- the folks that don't understand how groovy it is to read wikitext change logs.
It is kind of a side point, because I have no intention of doing anything about that problem anytime soon. I am just saying it is a weakness. ~ Phlox 07:47, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
So you envisage a system of inviting contributors to click a thing that mentions RSS or a special email notification instead of clicking the "Watch this page" box? OK, I see no problem with offering that alternative. I can't set it up. Somebody interested in doing so is welcome to. Robin Patterson 04:25, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Arrangement of page[]

When the list gets long, some of the instructions below it would be better moved above it. Robin Patterson 01:31, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

No- Hidable infoboxes work now- so use them. Build some nested hidden templates with the hide option set to on.