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Kudos, Best Answers, etc. and Vanilla...

Started by: blackfive460
On: 10/11/2018 | 11:51
Replies: 72
Reply

by: ujo55
on: 24/11/2018 | 09:57
I totally agree with @blackfive460 and @ip633 on this.
We have the opportunity to change the forum design and structure for the better whilst migrating to Vanilla, and the more people who are aware and have the opportunity of expressing their ideas, the better the end product, or at least an end product will result that people will more easily buy into.
To in effect restrict the number of members who will have any knowledge or be able to influence the development I believe is a mistake.
Surely it is possible for @alex_w to bookmak a thread be it this thread or a new thread in contribute to keep track of the discussion.
Message 51 of 73
by: ip633
on: 25/11/2018 | 10:31

I hate to say it, but this is one of those situations where we’re missing out by not having a Head of Community  Smiley Indifferent

 

Focus groups seemed to have more relevance when Contribute was generating the kind of discussion that was often difficult to follow, due to multiple threads tackling the same kind of issues, and in some cases, consultations developing into megathreads. But we’re not seeing that kind of activity these days, and to be honest, the very idea of having smaller (sometimes closed) groups does seem to be counterproductive if we’re serious about crowdsourcing the best ideas. And they represent a time when everything was broken, and unless we want to continue being a “work in progress”, then we should have the confidence to go back to a more simplified approach with the new platform. Fewer sections would be easier to navigate, and more welcoming for newcomers. 

 

It may involve making some difficult decisions, but it would be a wasted opportunity if transferring to a new platform was largely seen as being a cosmetic exercise. 

Message 52 of 73
by: alex_w
community giff-staffer

on: 26/11/2018 | 18:23

It's probably best if I step in here and make my thoughts known directly, rather than relying on someone else to pass along thoughts I'd shared in a rush between meetings.

 

So, to address a few of the more recent posts since @guy_ow passed along what I'd said to him:

 

@blackfive460 wrote:

@guy_ow

 

That's not quite what I was hoping for.

 

I am quite sure that there will be a 'consultation' thread shortly before Vanilla launches but what I was hoping to achieve, admittedly somewhat pessimistically, was a discussion now, well before the development team's thinking becomes set in stone.

As has happened with every other major change to the community that I've seen, by the time anyone asks us for opinions, what we are going to get at launch is already decided upon and we are presented with a fait accompli, like it or not. That's what I wanted to try to avoid.

 

If any so called 'consultation' is only going to happen shortly before launch then I can't see the point in bothering. The time to ask us is now. Who knows, we may have thought of some changes to how things are that will be really good but if you only ask having already made up your mind nothing will change. It has happened before and it would be good if it didn't happen with this change which is going to be the biggest change this community has ever seen.

There won't be a last minute consultation. Or at least, not in the way that long term giffgaff members would recognise a consultation. There certainly won't be a single massive consultation shortly before release. We will, rather, be having a series of opportunities for members to get involved throughout the development process. Unfortunately we're not at that point yet, as mentioned in the update thread I posted a little over a week ago now (and thanks to Guy for sharing a link to that thread). To be clear: when we are ready to have a full discussion on what we can, and can't, do with Reactions - we will have that discussion. But we're not there yet - there are far bigger things for us to solve in the short term, and plenty of time yet to come back to take a full and detailed look at Reactions.

 

The right time to have the full discussion on Reactions will be when we can actually get members to use the system in a giffgaff context. Until then, having that full discussion will be a distraction away from what we need to be working on right now: which is getting that "giffgaff context" ready to be used by members.

 

Part of the reason I asked Guy to put forward the idea of relocating the thread to the Community Platform group is because I simply don't have enough time at the moment to browse through Contribute to find threads like this. If they get posted in the Platform group to start with, then I know that those new threads are something I potentially need to pick up on. As it stands right now, I simply can't dedicate the time filtering through Contribute.

 

@blackfive460 wrote:

The thing is, if this thread is moved to the discussion group, only a tiny percentage of the community will be able to have a say.

@alex_w While I'd not be unhappy to see a discussion or discussions there on specifics, I think a more general discussion is better right here and would be even better started by a member of the development team with plenty of staff engagement.

In any case, I see that this thread has had a mention in the latest gaff so moving it now surely isn't an option.

Anyone who is willing to click through a link, and click an extra button, can have a say in the Group. There's no restrictions on joining beyond the Group not appearing in the main navigation, and instead in a sub navigation. For any threads like this one, we would make sure that the thread is given plenty of exposure in the relevant places. Regardless, we won't move it without those involved in discussion here agreeing to do so. I just can't promise that any future, similar, threads will be picked up as promptly as they would be in the Community Platform Group (which I can promise to check at least once daily to pick up on any new conversations arising).

 

Re: the link in the gaff - the links are more intelligent than that. Any moved thread is still fully accessible from the old link.

 

@ujo55 wrote:
To in effect restrict the number of members who will have any knowledge or be able to influence the development I believe is a mistake.
Surely it is possible for @alex_w to bookmak a thread be it this thread or a new thread in contribute to keep track of the discussion.

 As mentioned above, there are no genuine restrictions other than visibility in the navigation - and that's something we can work around.

 

As far as bookmarking: yes, I can do that for this single thread. But as mentioned above, I don't have time to spend to filter through Contribute for everything that might be relevant to Vanilla development. My request wasn't just about this thread, it's also about being able to manage the full "Vanilla Development" conversations in a single place where they don't either get missed amongst the rest of Contribute, or (when we ramp up the discussions in the coming weeks) drowning out the rest of Contribute.

 


So turning to Reactions itself:

 

It's a very flexible system. It can be as simple (mimic Kudos) or as complicated (dedicated Reaction options across different boards) as we care to make it. We could, for example, use it crowd-source "Suggested Answers" (or whatever they might be called) in Help & Support; conversely, they could be used to hide "Unhelpful Answers". But those options need not be available in other forums. We could have a "I Agree" and "I Disagree" options in Contribute. For The Welcome forum we could have a "Welcome" option; and given I know Help questions often get asked there, maybe an "Escalate for Help" option, that would then flag the thread to members known to be active Helpers?

 

As I've alluded to in my responses above, however, we're not ready yet to go into any detailed design work on Reactions yet. Our priority at the moment is to get the new platform ready to invite some members to come and try it out (at which point, the initial testing focus will be on device compatibility). After that, we'll be working on ensuring that the new platform is ready to launch in a "feature parity" sense compared to what we have now. After that comes intensive development work on new features - of which Reactions will be one of the first. New feature work may or may not start before launch - while I can't share it with you, we do have a definitive date at which point the Lithium platform will no longer be available and our 1st priority is ensuring that when that day arrives we have got the basics right. Reactions - as beneficial as we believe they will be once ready - simply don't appear in the "basics" list at the moment.

 

As an example of something that is a higher priority right now, we're currently working through scoping out the work required to redevelop the Helpers Toolbox to work on Vanilla.

 

@t_will has been out on holiday last week, but now he's back he can hopefully take up discussing this with you in more detail (given he's not as directly involved in the new platform development as I am).

Community Platform Manager - Powered by coffee.
Message 53 of 73
Highlighted
by: blackfive460
on: 28/11/2018 | 09:26

Well, from reading @alex_w's post above it's clear that the discussion I was hoping to have isn't going to happen, at least not here.

So to avoid diluting any future discussions, consultations or whatever, I think it best that this thread be locked and allowed to slip away while we wait to see what giffgaff have in store for us.

 

 

Message 54 of 73
by: alex_w
community giff-staffer

on: 28/11/2018 | 10:58

@blackfive460 wrote:

Well, from reading @alex_w's post above it's clear that the discussion I was hoping to have isn't going to happen, at least not here.

So to avoid diluting any future discussions, consultations or whatever, I think it best that this thread be locked and allowed to slip away while we wait to see what giffgaff have in store for us.

 

 

Correction: a full discussion *will* happen. Just not right now - or at least, not with daily involvement from staff. Absolutely happy for you all to continue discussing amongst yourselves: there's value in us having a discussion between members that we've *not* been involved in to draw insights from. Why? Because there's a risk that when we do become involved, we can inadvertently introduce bias into the discussion and by doing so prevent some valuable opinions / ideas from being presented.

 

When we do start active work on incorporating Reactions into our new community, we will of course have a full discussion in which we will be fully involved. It's just too early to do that right now.

Community Platform Manager - Powered by coffee.
Message 55 of 73
by: blackfive460
on: 28/11/2018 | 11:59 edited: 28/11/2018 | 12:00

@alex_w

 

Sorry, perhaps I didn't make myself clear here or earlier in the thread.

 

The discussion that I wanted to start wasn't just about Reactions. I used that feature as just one example of something new  that Vanilla offers but I was also hoping for a wider discussion on other issues that might require a rethink of how other features are used or currently misused. 

It seemed to me that the sooner those issues were considered, the better.

 

However, I'm sure you will have noticed, as I have, that aside from a few stalwarts, there's no real interest here in discussing things among ourselves. Without serious input from staff, such discussions just fade away as this one seems to have done.

Message 56 of 73
by: ip633
on: 28/11/2018 | 12:21

@alex_w wrote:

 

Correction: a full discussion *will* happen. Just not right now - or at least, not with daily involvement from staff. Absolutely happy for you all to continue discussing amongst yourselves: there's value in us having a discussion between members that we've *not* been involved in to draw insights from. Why? Because there's a risk that when we do become involved, we can inadvertently introduce bias into the discussion and by doing so prevent some valuable opinions / ideas from being presented.

 

There's little value in talking amongst ourselves, when concerns are being raised, or if clarification is needed on something that's being discussed. No one was expecting "daily involvement", and even an occasional acknowledgement of those concerns would have gone a long way to restoring some confidence. Staff input (where appropriate) can help steer the conversation along the right lines.

 

...there's nothing sadder than a missed opportunity   Smiley Indifferent

Message 57 of 73
by: alex_w
community giff-staffer

on: 28/11/2018 | 12:46 edited: 28/11/2018 | 12:47

@blackfive460 wrote:

@alex_w

 

Sorry, perhaps I didn't make myself clear here or earlier in the thread.

 

The discussion that I wanted to start wasn't just about Reactions. I used that feature as just one example of something new  that Vanilla offers but I was also hoping for a wider discussion on other issues that might require a rethink of how other features are used or currently misused. 

It seemed to me that the sooner those issues were considered, the better.

 

However, I'm sure you will have noticed, as I have, that aside from a few stalwarts, there's no real interest here in discussing things among ourselves. Without serious input from staff, such discussions just fade away as this one seems to have done.

Gotcha. Let me have a think - I don't want to have such a wide ranging conversation in a single thread. It would get ... messy, I think, with the result being that important things get missed. I'd rather have a series of smaller focussed conversations. But equally, having thought some more on it, I understand the conerns around the Community Platform Group not having the exposure that such discussions would require at this point.

 

I'll have a chat with the wider community team - there's an obvious solution that I have in mind, but it will need to be agreed with the full team.

Community Platform Manager - Powered by coffee.
Message 58 of 73
by: essie112mm
on: 29/11/2018 | 17:28 edited: 29/11/2018 | 17:30

@blackfive460 wrote:

@alex_w

 

Sorry, perhaps I didn't make myself clear here or earlier in the thread.

 

 

 The OP was absolutely clear: as well as mentioning Reactions it posed the questions relating to ranks and whether they should be retained, as well as whether kudos (or their replacement) and Best Answers should be retained for all the forums.

 

As well as the suggestions already put forward I would also have liked to discuss before the Vanilla platform is finalised whether we should continue with stickers or return to profile badges which provide information in a more easily read way, if there is support to bring back banners with announcements, and whether there is interest in bringing back features such as the number of views a post receives, which is a useful way to gauge member interest. This is basic stuff which needs consideration now while the consultation stage is still in progress, yet it doesn't appear to have occurred to staff that we might even have views on what might be included in the new website. 

 

Unfortunately this thread is an example of the best and worst about giffgaff. The best is that a group of stalwarts was willing to discuss a very important topic from which thus far giffgaff had not involved members. One had even gone to the trouble of contacting Vanilla independently. Assuming that behind the scenes giffgaff had concluded that there could and should be changes perhaps The Panel might be allowed to debate them, but if so - and given that many of the members (potentially even a majority) are drawn from people who probably have never visited the community / or visit infrequently- that would merely harden my harden my opposition to the initiative. The forum for discussion is here on Contribute where everyone with an interest can be involved.

 

The flip side of the above is that because there was no staff input until @blackfive460 invited staff to lock the thread a good discussion had lost its momentum. It was a thread crying out to be stickied, but it wasn't, and when it was featured  in The gaff really it was a tad late, because the discussion had already faded out. In any case, going by what I read in last week's The Gaff thread where almost everyone missed another major blooper, it's apparent that there is still a tendency to rush to post comments and GIFs about how good an edition is without actually reading its content properly, so probably very few even read the feature about this thread anyway. 

 

These days staff are so busy telling members off about every minor misdemeanour they can possibly find that when something is good hardly any of them has time or inclination to get involved in a discussion, or worse still they don't even read the discussion at all. Perhaps it's time for educators to review this policy? After all, 'good' behaviour will only take root and grow if it is fed and watered. More often than not the only way to get approbation now is to post in glowing terms what a wonderful idea giffgaff has just posted. This will earn kudos and warm thanks. Dare question a possible flaw in the idea or express any kind of reservation and more often than not your post will be kicked into touch. 

 

This is so shortsighted and counter-productive. It is a policy which fails to get the best out of people. It has further created an environment in which I - and a solid core of others - feel that all too often (although not always) our opinion counts for nothing any more, and spawned a culture of apathy and disinterest. As has been said before, as a discussion forum Contribute is a shadow of what it once was. 

 

This post is not about me having a pop at any one member of staff because that would be unfair. The fault is a collective one, and the belief that the community runs better without a Head of Community really doesn't improve the situation. Should anyone doubts the validity of my post then I can only suggest looking at these posts from two other live threads on different topics:

https://community.giffgaff.com/t5/Contribute/Run-by-you-awards-2018/m-p/22708831#M541427

https://community.giffgaff.com/t5/Contribute/NEW-IDEAS/m-p/22708586#M541422

 

Belatedly, Alex has promised to devise a way to get this thread back on course. But I wonder if the ship has sailed. 

27/08/2017
My @mentions are turned OFF
Message 59 of 73
by: alex_w
community giff-staffer

on: 21/12/2018 | 12:29

@blackfive460,

 

I've moved this thread to our new forum dedicated to the new platform.

 

Unfortunately, it appears that the link that got sent out in the notification email isn't working. Given the other issues we've been having since Dec 6th, I suspect this may be another instance of something going a little awry - hopefully that link will begin to work properly soon.

Community Platform Manager - Powered by coffee.
Message 60 of 73