Rant – this message board is absolutely awful.
the quote font size thing SHOULD be a 5 minute or less change to one class in the css styles…
Reddan stepped up in a big way to volunteer to help us out. Thanks Reddan! ClickNathan is turning over a copy and keys in the next day or so. We can’t guarantee we’ll fix every single issue, but I think things will improve over the next couple of weeks.
Thanks Scott! Thanks Reddan! Thanks Nathan! I do appreciate everyone’s hard work on this.
scott wrote:Reddan stepped up in a big way to volunteer to help us out. Thanks Reddan! ClickNathan is turning over a copy and keys in the next day or so. We can’t guarantee we’ll fix every single issue, but I think things will improve over the next couple of weeks.
Crap, I’ve been outed. Was hoping to keep it on the down low, so Nathan could take all the flak when I make things even worse. :-)
I’ll do what I can with the various issues, especially the ones that involve backend PHP or database hackery. Keep in mind, I can barely spell CSS, much less modify it.
I might get around to fixing the couple of bugs I left in the last_read_posts stuff that no-one has noticed (or at least reported!) yet, too.
In a rare instance, all of our complaining actually got something done :P
Sorry to report that’s not really true. We’ve been trying to work on these issues for awhile. In fact Erok had emails out to people about this stuff days prior to this thread being started to see where he was on this stuff.
Also, (and this will be obvious to 99% of you) just because we don’t announce on the message board the subject of every email we write, and every phone call we make, and meeting we convene doesn’t mean we’re not working on something.
” In fact Erok had emails out to people about this stuff days prior to this thread being started […]”
And this thread was started four months after the board went up and the complaints started.
If this community being disgruntled and vocal about a poorly functioning site and message board for the last four months just happened to coincide with BikePgh working on it in parallel, that’s fine by me.
I don’t think anybody has claimed BikePGH wasn’t working on the problem, just that a) it wasn’t fixed and b) hiring a professional (at the very least for the site proper) would have eliminated these problems from day 0
I appreciate the work BikePGH does in general and that the site issues are being addressed; my first response was more like “yay, this is being fixed, unlike the car-centric culture that sporadically kills and injures cyclists”
Perhaps then, we were like the engine light, and BikePgh drove the forum truck to your mechanic shop
Part of me realizes that as the person who created this website, I should show some modicum of professionalism in replying to many of these statements. In that vein, I will attempt to refrain from being too harsh or specifically singling anyone out by name, except for Dan, who deserves large amounts of praise.
Since specific accusations have been made against me in a public forum, I will however need to reply to those allegations directly so that these “reviews” of my services are not unanswered on the web.
However, for those of you who don’t care and simply want to see some results, I proudly present to you…
Things which have been addressed:
#1. Shrinking your desktop browser to a very small window will no longer make the navigation disappear, and the bug where clicking a menu item took you to the menu item above it’s destination have been fixed.
#2. Pagination on the homepage has been fixed. You can now go up to 11 pages back on the home page, and once you’re on any subsequent internal page of that pagination, you can go back to the very beginning if you’d like.
#3. As for the forums search, it is the default search functionality provided by WordPress, modified to only show replies. It doesn’t show the most relevant result, it shows them in reverse chronological order. Right on the search results page you can run a Google search if you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for. To anyone who complains that they need to do a Google search to find something on the internet, please think about that complaint a bit further and I believe you will agree that your shirt should probably read, “I’m with stupid” with an arrow pointing at the closest mirror reflecting your own beautiful face. Let’s hope it’s beautiful anyway, because you’ll need something to work with in order to make it through this troublesome world where we are required to use a search engine to find content on the web. Additionally, the comments about making the forums search harder to find, why forum results are split off from the main search…this has nothing to do with a “web search”, ie searching from Google or Bing or something. This is specifically intended to allow people who want to search the BikePGH.org site search its 10,000 some posts or 100 or so pages without getting overwhelmed by the 120,000 some forum posts. Quite simply, if you can’t scroll a bit down the page to do a search you’re just being ridiculously lazy.
#4. Quote replies are now at the normal font size. I do realize that such a monumental change will no doubt result in the majority of you rushing home to make love to your spouses, resulting in a second baby boom, to which you can direct your great grandchildrens’ anger at the resulting lack of social security funds directly back to me.
#5. I’ve set the site to not log people out for a year. As a suggestion to everyone though, ticking the “Remember me” box is always a good idea.
Now for my own little rant, followed by replies to some of the more egregious replies to the OP.
So much of this is simply hilarious to me. Did you perhaps consider that a message board for you to play tag with and talk about where you’re going to drink beer after your next ride might simply be a nice to have and not something to direct complaints and in one case personal insults over?
To that personal insult: Am I embarrassed? For what I have until now seen as contributing literally, thousands and thousands of dollars worth of my time to an organization I (still) feel is doing something wonderful for my fair home city? No, I’m not embarrassed at all, in any way.
Should someone who donates their time be expected to get everything 100% right? Perhaps. I certainly don’t like that there were flaws in my work and, as slow to arrive as they may have been, I have worked to correct those flaws. But instead of looking at this as me doing pro bono, consider it an open source project. The website is built on an open source platform, I spent my time contributing to the project with no personal net gain other than recognition. How have you spent your time? You don’t know how to do web development? Curious, neither did I before I learned how to do it. I also didn’t know exactly how BBPress worked before I invested the time it took to get us to this point. Rather than complaining with your mouth, perhaps doing some research with your fingers might be the more appropriate solution.
As for paying someone to do this work, did you consider that this money you feel BikePGH should pay toward hiring a professional would mean that much less cash toward the kind of activism that results in the oodles of bike lanes, parking, etc. that the organization has added over the years? Or is your personal preference with font sizes more important than a city where it is safer and more realistic to ride a bike overall?
It pains me to take money from BikePGH even when they do make such offers. I would prefer those funds go toward improving your safety. While it is true that I do benefit from experience and a piece for my portfolio, I can assure you that I have no shortage of clients lining up and even being turned down. Said experience and portfolio piece could have been attained with a paycheck attached, and thusly the “pro bono” excuse is not an excuse, it’s a statement of why you really need to assess how your own little irritations might affect something much larger.
As for attacks on their organization as being “bad clients”, I personally apologize to every one at BikePGH because dealing with the headache of this thing must be taking a massive toll on a group of people who are undoubtedly more concerned about keeping you all safe on the roads a bit more than whether or not you understand the concept of ticking a “Remember me” button or not. To be clear, BikePGH are wonderful clients and in my opinion really great people.
The idea that you would criticize directly the people who are providing the service to you…you should be ashamed. Do you get invited to a party where the host offers you free food and drink to complain that they’re only serving PBR and pizza where you expected Stone and sushi?
These types of comments diminish the effectiveness of otherwise valid complaints around this site. Were I not a cyclist and came here researching cyclists’ positions on various real world matters, to see the viable complaints about unsafe drivers, etc. and then see this core group of users so utterly lacking in manners I would be one more for the “get off the road, assholes” column because, in fact, that is what has been portrayed here. Or, at least that’s what I would say if I wasn’t trying to keep this professional.
If I wasn’t so concerned about professionalism I might also add that I spend very little time in Pittsburgh and so I don’t reap the benefits of what BikePGH is doing as I’m no longer an active part of the cycling community there. If professionalism wasn’t a concern, again, I might state that quite frankly, I’m glad to not be a part of that community given the chance I might encounter such an unappreciative little clique within. Of course, I won’t say those things, as again this is all about how professional we all are.
do something well or don’t do it at all
Considering that, in the grand scheme of everything that has gone into this website, the complaints around this board are being made by a minuscule number of users regarding what adds up to less than 1% of the functionality of the site as a whole, your statement is a bit over exaggerated. In addition, while yes it has been a few weeks since I’ve found the time to address the latest round of life shattering issues (ahem, such as not understanding the concept of a “Remember me” checkbox), since the very first day this new version of the site was launched, I have been listening to and responding to complaints by users, many of whom were very happy to publicly trash my work but when contacted directly about some problem they were having with their particular version of some 2 year old Android phone, decided replying to my emails were unnecessary. Good on you, community.
I agree that what should be a simple basic board has seemed pretty badly broken since the redesign.
Really? Are you sure the adverb “badly” is appropriate? Or perhaps would “slightly” be better? Or maybe even just “I don’t like the color blue” would work.
When something works, why change it? It’s been a frustrating experience for all of us while Nathan and bikepgh work through the bugs.
The people asking this are clearly lovers of vinyl records, particularly broken ones. You have been told countless times specifically why the board was updated.
Blaming clients is the ultimate cop out.
To be clear, I never blamed BikePGH and they are a wonderful client and group of individuals in general.
I’m actually pretty bored of this now, my anger has moved to apathy and so I’m going to stop here. If I seem to have singled you out above it really is more that I don’t feel like replying to everyone and you raised your hands first.
So in parting, I have worked with Dan on multiple occasions and know him to be a very competent guy, who has also been quite generous with his time on this site already. And to those of you who were exceptionally polite while your peers proved otherwise, I would love to buy you a beer. PM me and, though I likely won’t be able to do so in person, I’ll see to it that your favorite watering hole sends a frosty free one your way.
Not in reply to nathan’s post… I’m glad for all the work he’s done so far. The new forums, despite the bugs, have been a massive improvement in usability for me. Having image uploads and working private messages are two of the big things I think are awesome.
I’ve still not seen the sticky posts on the main messageboard page at http://bikepgh.org/mb/. However, I do see the sticky posts on http://bikepgh.org/topics/. I’m hoping that reddan or whoever takes over the fixes for the messageboard may address this and get the stickys working from the main messageboard page. It’s my only real complaint about functionality at this point. It’s nice to have the introductions and 311 stuff at the top.
And insulting your client’s end users on the client’s platform is what the professionals do? i’ve been doing it wrong for the last couple of decades then.
its fine to have an open and honest conversation about the work, and deal with the many valid, if sometimes impolite critiques. but this reply is so far outside the realm of professionalism that its mind boggling. your reply is incredibly condescending and all the personal insults are completely over the top. you seem to forget that your audience is, in fact, a)very devoted to your client and b)full of interactive designers, developers, testers, and all sorts of other advertising and design people with a ton of experience under their belt. your tone will not only potentially alienate your client’s most devoted user base, but will also echo throughout the fairly small and tight-knit interactive and advertising community in the city where you are trying to make a living. just something to consider before spending all your time calling everyone stupid for not agreeing with you ux or design choices or criticizing either the final result of the work or the process by which it was launched.
You can attack me all you want – the truth is that practically every single thing I do in life gets reviewed, criticized, and torn apart by others who don’t like or understand what I did. That comes with the territory of being a professional artist and musician. You get used to it. You listen and learn and grow and get better. You try harder next time. Those are the things that make me a professional – not what I post on a message board in my spare 15 minutes every day.
I’m done here.
I have just one thing to add to this conversation:
How many of you who enjoy using this messageboard, who may even depend on it for important contributions to your life, and who have voiced dissatisfaction with how it works, are members of BikePGH?
On the note of the navigation bar, at about a resolution of 1018, or if you make your browser smaller on a larger screen, the menu bar collapses into a “menu” button, which I just noticed. However, if you re-size the window, some condition causes the menu bar to disappear altogether. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
Also, when the menu button is there, I think it might be easier to navigate if the menu bar sub-options were nestled, rather than all being open, if that makes any sense. So rather than seeing all the About links, I think it would be easier to navigate if those links were hidden until I clicked on About in the compact menu bar scenario
“The idea that you would criticize directly the people who are providing the service to you…you should be ashamed. Do you get invited to a party where the host offers you free food and drink to complain that they’re only serving PBR and pizza where you expected Stone and sushi?”
No. I just bring my own (good) beer… sorta like I’m using the “em” to quote you rather than using that obnoxious quote-button. ;)
It’s like passive-aggressive bliss!
But, I’m just giving you shit. As stated above, I’m thankful to you and everyone who makes this forum possible.
@kbrooks , i like to assume the vast majority of regular posters (even the trolls) are members.
its no one’s business but, i have sustaining family AND business memberships myself…
EDIT: stef asked me to remove the amounts. trust me though, its not pennies.
anyway my above reply was directed quite specifically at the way Nathan has handled the feedback, vociferous or not. he has, by way of defending himself, routinely insulted and condescended to this community, which reflects poorly on him and potentially on the organization.
If Nathan was being condescending in his post, so have others during the past few months.
Nathan, thanks for doing the work you do and for justifying why you donate your time and energy to BikePGH. I’m thankful that your donation allows BikePGH to be able to do other awesome things with their money.
Whenever I look at other websites for bike advocacy groups across the country, I’m often really *unimpressed* by both style and content. I’m thankful that ours is fun, positive, colorful, informative, hip and makes bicycling in PGH look awesome.
Nate, your attitude is just shitty. You did a not so great job and you can’t own up to it.. And if you do, you reply with snotty comments. If only you would have owned up to it, i may have not felt so upset or even felt that I had to say something. About being embarrassed.. I would be embarrassed if I tried to pass off a barely functional eyesore as something that people would just have to live with for months. Most people here are wayy too nice about things. Nice effort, but you fell short, and when you were called on it, look at how you responded. If I did a shit job at work, people would get hurt, and I wouldnt have smug, snarky responses filled with excuses. Yes, this is a website, but had I not already been a member, I would not come back because it was a pain in the ass to use. Sorry, some of us don’t like using broken pieces of shit. And thanks for insulting everyone with that get off the road comment. Real nice guy.
rachel, it doesn’t matter how other people replied to him. he is, by posting on here representing his client. its beyond unprofessional to do so in the manner that he has. in my (somewhat long) career in interactive and advertising i have heard and read awful and unfair things about my clients and the work that i and others have done for them. i went and fumed about it on my own, either in real life or on my PERSONAL social media space. never in my professional spaces and NEVER in my client’s spaces. it wouldn’t matter how amazingly great the solution i provided my client was. i would be summarily dropped from the account, and most likely fired if i was at an agency, and with good reason. this is not how professionals behave. some of the critiques have been on point and some have been way over the top. users have been everything from helpful to personally insulting and immature (my wife, cough), but as a professional you dont have the luxury of sinking to that level. not on your clients platform at least.
I’m going to lock this thread for a few reasons. 1. It’s angering lots of people not least of which is me. 2. I’m sick of logging in and seeing the first thread talk about how horrible our message board is. Sorry that’s just about as bad as it gets for PR and marketing other than a hypothetical thread that says “BikePGH sucks!” Not good for PR and 3. I hate reading sentences about how our website is “an eyesore” etc. I don’t think that’s true at all and I’m not about to spend my precious time defending it.
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