Five years of BBS 📅


I get the sentiment. But I can say with utmost certainty that will never happen again.

maybe as part of our big upcoming redesign (shhh), we might talk with the Doscourse folk about some sort of pop-in comments that display when you expand them or something, but definitely no ”comments just there under the post” will return anytime soon.


That’s fair enough.

Must admit i hated it to start with, but i have got used to it.

Still seems odd to me, but it does appear to work so no actual complaints other than ‘it seems a bit weird’ :slight_smile:


Separating out the comments from the main article page is one of the best design decisions you folks made on this site for both yourselves and the users. I don’t think a modal window to display them on the FPP adds much benefit, either.


Congrats and thank you.


This KILLED me when it changed. I didn’t sign up for BBS for several months because I was so perturbed.

Now that I’ve had five years to cool off I think that BBS has some amazing features. Thanks to all that keep this show on the road.


100% agree. This is also a shadow flag, so I’m excited about that part of it because people don’t flag enough in general. Not just here but everywhere. Nobody wants to be “a rat”, I guess.

Given the low levels of current flagging, I am not sure “add even more flags to choose from” is the right approach.

@orenwolf might have more to say about that…

Then the guidelines weren’t clear; you’re supposed to address problematic behaviors, not specific users.

We measure actual read time not “viewed”. Like, in minutes and seconds.

Comments-below-the-article are almost universally a net negative to the world in my strong opinion. The ONLY exception is when a selection of the best curated comments are shown under the article. Some fancier newspapers do this and Ars Technica does as well.

Discourse can do this semi-automatically via the community by filtering for the top {n} percent most liked posts in a topic, and we already heavily weight staff likes in that calculation … but this does fall short of pure editorial selection and the Powers That Be explicitly said they didn’t want to go forward with it.


There was a time when one could simply scroll through topics and ascend the “trust” levels. That really wasn’t my point though. While someone who spends the time reading through topics is likely more engaged, it is completely divorced from how they engage. I wish I had a good suggestion for a qualitative over quantitative metric, but I don’t at the moment. I was just noting it is making a qualitative judgement (trust) , on a simple quantitative measure (read time).




I have. Thank you.


There may potentially be better metrics (maybe?), but reading is the gold standard baseline. Without listening, there can’t be anything interesting going on in the conversation.


Maybe trust isn’t the best word. Conflict can be interesting. As you mentioned above, there is no substitute for good moderation either.

You are measuring engagement in a sense, but not how someone is engaged.


Anyways you can refer to here for the actual requirements, it goes beyond reading


Okay, I’ll run through what is being used at the moment, again. I wasn’t asking for an explanation though. Trust is a fundamental concept that is important to communities. You can gamify it, or do other such things, but I thought there was more to discuss beyond why you made the decisions you did.

This isn’t an attack on you or discourse or your judgement either. Just a want to see things evolve.


That doesn’t seem to be how TLs work here.

I lost TL3 status despite well exceeding every requirement other than posts read. So, just quickly scroll through a few thousand posts in the various #games threads and later that day I reach TL3.

(And don’t get me started on how opaque this all was in the first place.)

Did my engagement improve? No. I don’t know if this is something specific to BB but it seems like a pretty silly metric.



The only thing I can think of distorting this is game topics where people are incentivized to post as much as possible. Since the required reading is 25% (capped at 20k). Have five or six “fun” topics with infinite posting and that could be an issue.

But doing the math for the maximum, 20k posts in 30 100 days is 666 200 posts per day. Up to @orenwolf if he wants to relax that in the site settings.


To my mind that really rewards quantity over quality, giving gadflies the edge over people who may be more thoughtful and have less time to flitter away just reading the BBS.

Not saying it’s wrong, mind you, but when I got to TL3 back in the day, keeping it felt like grinding rather than engagement.


Isn’t it 100 days?

  • of posts created in the last 100 days, must have read 25% (capped at 20k)

…wouldn’t that be 200 posts per day? Or am I mixed up.


I totally blame the original questions thread for me getting regular status.


You’re a regular to me and, I suspect, to many others. That’s a status the system can’t grant.


You are correct, it is 100 days. I edited my post to reflect that. I’ll highlight what you would need to read in a single day on average to keep TL3 status:

78 + 55 + 20 + 60 = 213 … so reading all four of these topics would be overachieving by 5% for the day by TL3 standards.

Also that is assuming the site has enough post traffic to reach the 20k per 100 days reading cap.