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The gaff - time for a rethink?

Started by: alanjury
On: 23/10/2018 | 10:29
Replies: 50
Reply

by: woodyuk
on: 27/10/2018 | 10:29

Having followed this thread from the start one thing that amazes me is that when the question is asked "should the gaff stay in Contribute?",so many members have replied with answers along the lines of "yes because that's where it's always been".

 

With one of the fundamental founding principles of giffgaff being one of evolution and change to constantly improve the company quite literaly from day to day sometimes doesn't "it should stay like that because that's how it's always been" fly in the very face of the whole giffgaff ethos?

Message 41 of 51
by: ip633
on: 27/10/2018 | 10:55 edited: 27/10/2018 | 11:04

I must confess that I’m not an avid reader of the gaff, but I get how it serves a useful purpose in keeping people up to speed on what’s happening in the community, particularly if members haven’t visited the community for a long while. I’m not sure it needs to be stickied in Contribute to achieve that though, particularly as it doesn’t seem to generate any actual discussion (i.e. beyond the usual backslapping). Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that a lot of hard work goes into producing that newsletter, but if we could restore the functionality that allowed us to see the number of views that a post had received, I think that would serve as a better validation for the team’s efforts. As the Announcements section is essentially the news bulletin board, it would seem logical to post the gaff there. As others have mentioned, a suitable banner on the homepage would help to signpost members to that thread, so there shouldn’t be any concerns about it not reaching out to enough readers. 

 

Furthermore, I can’t help wondering whether presenting this kind of content as a weekly newsletter can sometimes put undue pressure on the editor to meet a deadline, particularly in a quiet news week, which might explain why the quality of content is now being criticised. By way of contrast, the O2 community has a monthly roundup of “Community Highlights”, which is perhaps a more realistic timetable to work to, and it might give the editor more flexibility on the actual date of publication. 

 

On the issue of kudos, and how they’re still being abused, I found it very interesting to have another chance to read through the discussion on raising the kudos limits, which was linked in Essie’s excellent post. What’s frustrating is that there was an opportunity to revisit that decision, when the community guidelines were revised earlier this year, and the current advice on “how to give kudos” promotes generosity in how we award them, but then as they’re not being used sparingly, it makes it more difficult for those quality posts to stand out. But we were told that it wasn’t necessarily a permanent change, and if the original justification was that the community had grown significantly since the original guidelines were written, then perhaps it’s time for another rethink now that forum activity seems to be in decline. 

Message 42 of 51
by: essie112mm
on: 28/10/2018 | 17:34

It really disappoints me that constructive debate and suggestions on how to increase the number of views The gaff gets each week and how it might be improved still further are interpreted as being about making a fuss and just batted away .

 

In this thread there has been a constructive discussion about a number of issues and reasonable suggestions put forward for consideration which include:

  • whether The gaff should continue to be stickied in Contribute
  • whether The gaff would be viewed more by members in a different forum from Contribute, possibly GD
  • whether it would be helpful to have The gaff advertised as a banner on the new platform
  • whether it might be worthwhile to review the Friday 6pm publication time to allow additional news from the week to be included or even consider a monthly round-up of Community Highlights which is the format the O2 community follows
  • how it might be possible to interest new members in The gaff. 

There has been acknowledgement that because the community is much quieter these days finding material to include in The gaff can be challenging. 

 

In spite of the differences between the two sides in this discussion there appears to be a consensus of opinion that The gaff needs to remain independent of the team. 

 

So it strikes me that this has been a useful conversation to have had, even if there has been no contribution from a member of the team commenting on any of the ideas. That being the case, I am going to mention @t_will and @alex_w as the subject matter comes I believe within their specialist areas for their thoughts on where The gaff might be placed when the new platform is launched. 

 

Lastly, on 17th August 2018 a thread was posted by willp789 on behalf of The gaff team with the title, "What can we do to improve?"  As it hasn't been referenced so far perhaps now would be a pertinent time for Will to come back to this thread with the feedback from the survey. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

27/08/2017
My @mentions are turned OFF
Message 43 of 51
by: jesi23
on: 28/10/2018 | 22:12

@revjonty @alanjury 

 

Because I currently host the CWC, I was mentioned in the previous week’s Gaff - because of the Creative Writing Challenge, and I (belatedly) responded with links to both the ‘entries’ and the ‘comments’ threads. There is a new topic for entries each month (hopefully) and further discussion is encouraged in the ‘comments’ thread.

 

Writing about ‘STUFF’ - There had not been a mention that there are Two threads - one for Entries, and one for Comments - and a few comments had to be moved to the correct thread - possibly because of confusion caused by only the one link being mentioned in the GAFF. 

 

If the thread were locked, it would have been impossible to make my post.

 

Personally, I think Contribute is an appropriate place for The Gaff; there have been different permutations of content for The Gaff, and some have seemed more appropriate than others over the four years I have been reading it. 

 

I miss the weekly PM to which I subscribed before Lithium messed the feature up for us. I hope Vanilla has a solution … 

 

🤡

Please don't forget to come back after your problem has been resolved and select a best answer.
Also consider a kudos [+★] for any member who helped.
Message 44 of 51
by: revjonty
on: 28/10/2018 | 23:05

@jesi23 wrote:

@revjonty @alanjury 

 

Because I currently host the CWC, I was mentioned in the previous week’s Gaff - because of the Creative Writing Challenge, and I (belatedly) responded with links to both the ‘entries’ and the ‘comments’ threads. There is a new topic for entries each month (hopefully) and further discussion is encouraged in the ‘comments’ thread.

 

Writing about ‘STUFF’ - There had not been a mention that there are Two threads - one for Entries, and one for Comments - and a few comments had to be moved to the correct thread - possibly because of confusion caused by only the one link being mentioned in the GAFF. 

 

If the thread were locked, it would have been impossible to make my post.

 

Personally, I think Contribute is an appropriate place for The Gaff; there have been different permutations of content for The Gaff, and some have seemed more appropriate than others over the four years I have been reading it. 

 

I miss the weekly PM to which I subscribed before Lithium messed the feature up for us. I hope Vanilla has a solution … 

 

🤡

@jesi23

 

Sorry I'm having a bit of trouble understanding your post, but if the point is that you need to be able to publish the links to both the CWC, and the comments thread, and couldn't if the thread was locked, well the solution is simple.

 

Submit this information prior to publishing, and it can then be published in the gaff itself. 

Better all round I would think. Neater, and would get more exposure, rather than being buried amongst all the pointless posts. 

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Message 45 of 51
by: munglespoon
on: 30/10/2018 | 12:51

I find The Gaff not appealing because the layout doesn't work properly on all devices and this puts me off reading it.

@revjonty wrote:

@jesi23 wrote:

@revjonty @alanjury 

 

Because I currently host the CWC, I was mentioned in the previous week’s Gaff - because of the Creative Writing Challenge, and I (belatedly) responded with links to both the ‘entries’ and the ‘comments’ threads. There is a new topic for entries each month (hopefully) and further discussion is encouraged in the ‘comments’ thread.

 

Writing about ‘STUFF’ - There had not been a mention that there are Two threads - one for Entries, and one for Comments - and a few comments had to be moved to the correct thread - possibly because of confusion caused by only the one link being mentioned in the GAFF. 

 

If the thread were locked, it would have been impossible to make my post.

 

Personally, I think Contribute is an appropriate place for The Gaff; there have been different permutations of content for The Gaff, and some have seemed more appropriate than others over the four years I have been reading it. 

 

I miss the weekly PM to which I subscribed before Lithium messed the feature up for us. I hope Vanilla has a solution … 

 

🤡

@jesi23

 

Sorry I'm having a bit of trouble understanding your post, but if the point is that you need to be able to publish the links to both the CWC, and the comments thread, and couldn't if the thread was locked, well the solution is simple.

 

Submit this information prior to publishing, and it can then be published in the gaff itself. 

Better all round I would think. Neater, and would get more exposure, rather than being buried amongst all the pointless posts. 

I am also confused about the CWC. Maybe this is a discussion for a different thread but was it not decided as a group that the CWC would take a rest? Then a member decided to take control and handed it off to a friend. I don't think this was ever agreed or discussed with the wider community or those who used to take part and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. If you want your own community writing competition maybe you should keep running one but use a different name.

Message 46 of 51
by: stephenmiller
on: 06/11/2018 | 21:56 edited: 06/11/2018 | 22:49

Hiya. It's a quiet and windy Tuesday night and I was at a loose end, logged in here to check my messages for the first time in aeons and was directed here. 

 

I took a read over some of the comments and started to reminisce about writing The Gaff. Wow, how long did I write that for? But anyway I really wanted to talk about the start of it, or my point of entry at east. I don't remember the day but it was a few years ago and I was one of the more active members in community stuff and dare I say a little outspoken but only rarely to the point of causing offense...I think. It was after the announcement for contributors and Hazel roped me into helping with the HTML for the layout and what it should include. I don't know how we came about it but we sort of decided on the left hand side for news and the right for fun stuff. That was why the right side was narrower; to give it less prominence. The banner and the date was to make it resemble a newspaper in layout as much as possible even if it looked like a webpage. The original Gaff was much more newspaper with a proper masthead and everything and it might be fun to revisit that.

 

So the three tier approach going down. Hazel especially was adamant that it be a community thing not a corporate mouthpiece so we had the announcements; the headlines basically, which could be good or bad about giffgaff. Member topics; member driven discussions, projects, ideas etc. Anything we found that was good. Below that giffgaffs announcements and news. 

 

I'm still amazed to this day that the cat of the week stayed for so long. I literally never heard a bad word against it, which is odd because it literally came about because we had nothing else to go there. A little later on in the run I sort of made it my own personal section. There was a log of giffgaff in there and it was nice to have a spot for myself. It had XKCD comics, soundcloud widgets, TED talks. Hazel did the new members spotted bit, that was new people she'd seen around and chatted with. The poll was funny. It was always there and Zobia wrote it every single week but no-one ever mentioned it so I sort of tried to big it up a little. I think I went full on boxing announcer on more than one occasion.

 

The last thing was just below the masthead was a film quote; kind of an Easter egg and I think I had one or two people notice that there was actually some words there but no-one seems to have noticed that it does this in the search results

 

Screenshot from 2018-11-06 21-53-37.pngGives them a nice intro tagline before the date

Anyway that's enough from me, I got me some hot cocoa to drink.

 

I might as well add why it ended up in contribute in the first place, I don't remember who's behind it ultimately but it was kind of a philosophical statement about it being member created and not controlled or helped by giffgaff by way of putting it in the blog or a place only priviledged members could post. At least that was my take on it. And it's also that we weren't writing on behalf of giffgaff we were contributing content independently of giffgaff. Proper member led like. That ws probably Hazel then come to think of it.

Message 47 of 51
by: jeremylalou
on: 06/11/2018 | 22:58
I have never read it tbh
Message 48 of 51
by: ip633
on: 07/11/2018 | 09:01 edited: 07/11/2018 | 09:34
Click to reveal

@stephenmiller wrote:

Hiya. It's a quiet and windy Tuesday night and I was at a loose end, logged in here to check my messages for the first time in aeons and was directed here. 

 

I took a read over some of the comments and started to reminisce about writing The Gaff. Wow, how long did I write that for? But anyway I really wanted to talk about the start of it, or my point of entry at east. I don't remember the day but it was a few years ago and I was one of the more active members in community stuff and dare I say a little outspoken but only rarely to the point of causing offense...I think. It was after the announcement for contributors and Hazel roped me into helping with the HTML for the layout and what it should include. I don't know how we came about it but we sort of decided on the left hand side for news and the right for fun stuff. That was why the right side was narrower; to give it less prominence. The banner and the date was to make it resemble a newspaper in layout as much as possible even if it looked like a webpage. The original Gaff was much more newspaper with a proper masthead and everything and it might be fun to revisit that.

 

So the three tier approach going down. Hazel especially was adamant that it be a community thing not a corporate mouthpiece so we had the announcements; the headlines basically, which could be good or bad about giffgaff. Member topics; member driven discussions, projects, ideas etc. Anything we found that was good. Below that giffgaffs announcements and news. 

 

I'm still amazed to this day that the cat of the week stayed for so long. I literally never heard a bad word against it, which is odd because it literally came about because we had nothing else to go there. A little later on in the run I sort of made it my own personal section. There was a log of giffgaff in there and it was nice to have a spot for myself. It had XKCD comics, soundcloud widgets, TED talks. Hazel did the new members spotted bit, that was new people she'd seen around and chatted with. The poll was funny. It was always there and Zobia wrote it every single week but no-one ever mentioned it so I sort of tried to big it up a little. I think I went full on boxing announcer on more than one occasion.

 

The last thing was just below the masthead was a film quote; kind of an Easter egg and I think I had one or two people notice that there was actually some words there but no-one seems to have noticed that it does this in the search results

 

Screenshot from 2018-11-06 21-53-37.pngGives them a nice intro tagline before the date

Anyway that's enough from me, I got me some hot cocoa to drink.

 

I might as well add why it ended up in contribute in the first place, I don't remember who's behind it ultimately but it was kind of a philosophical statement about it being member created and not controlled or helped by giffgaff by way of putting it in the blog or a place only priviledged members could post. At least that was my take on it. And it's also that we weren't writing on behalf of giffgaff we were contributing content independently of giffgaff. Proper member led like. That ws probably Hazel then come to think of it.

Another member whose contributions (and dry sense of humour) are sorely missed. I had a quick google and dug out one from March 2013, and it’s interesting that the format hasn’t really changed since those early editions. I totally get the idea of it being “member created”, but staff are members as well, so I don’t see why they can’t get more involved with the production of that newsletter. The new platform that’s coming early next year, would be a perfect opportunity to freshen up that format, and present it to a new audience. 

Message 49 of 51
by: revjonty
on: 07/11/2018 | 10:57

@munglespoon wrote:

I am also confused about the CWC. Maybe this is a discussion for a different thread but was it not decided as a group that the CWC would take a rest? Then a member decided to take control and handed it off to a friend. I don't think this was ever agreed or discussed with the wider community or those who used to take part and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. If you want your own community writing competition maybe you should keep running one but use a different name.

I wasn't going to get into that @munglespoon, but as it's been raised.

I used to enjoy the creative writing competition, but I have been boycotting it ever since the aforementioned incident when someone jumped in, with absolutely no right, nor discernable talent for it, and decided to start running it, whilst the rest of us were still discussing how it should move forward after the very able polowoman stepped down. 

 

I'm sorry @jesi23 but even though you didn't act in that way, the very fact that you were happy to be gifted the running of it from someone who shouldn't have been running it in the first place, who to add insult to injury thought that not only was it OK to unilateraly take over, but then thinks they should also decide who should be next. Well, it's just not right, so until such a time as someone is in charge who is quite separate from that underhanded episode, I will continue to boycott.

 

Sorry for the rant. 

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Message 50 of 51