Goodreads Feedback discussion

Suggestions & Questions > group folders, new navigation, and search!

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message 1: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
We launched a bunch of new features in the groups today:

discussion topic folders
Organize your group's topics into folders. Only the moderator can create folders and arrange their order, but anyone creating a topic can choose which folder it should go in. It appears we launched it a tad prematurely and there are a few bugs - our bad! We're working hard to fix them all.

New navigation
Now each group has a consistent navigation on the upper right side. Our testing showed a *huge* increase in group usability with this.

group discussion search
A top requested feature, and sorely needed - now search all discussion topics in each group!

message 2: by rivka, librarian moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

rivka | 12281 comments Mod
Speaking of bugs, currently "showing 574 of 576 topics" !!! on the main page of this group.

I'm thinking it's not supposed to do that . . . ;)

While there are some bugs, I have faith that GoodReads will fix them quickly. :) And I really like the new system -- or what I think it will be like once it's tweaked.

message 3: by Bree (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) | 124 comments I love the new navigation in the groups...excellent! And I like the folders, too! :)

message 4: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8949 comments The search discussion posts is a wonderful addition! Thanks.

EDIT: tried to post this in I think another thread (started by Otis asking for feedback that I can't find):

Wonderful to hear that the custom shelves for group books is coming.

I'm having a really hard time reading the time stamps (grayed out and not in easy to find order) and would also love an easier to way to find new posts than to have to check every folder (some groups might end up with many folders to check) to see the latest time a post was posted in every one of them/currently not in order of posting.

But, I'm willing to learn and also wait for some tweaks.

message 5: by Alexandra (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:19PM) (new)

Alexandra | 1262 comments I like the changes, thanks! But I miss the "my groups" link from a groups main page.

message 6: by bsc (new)

bsc (bsc0) | 82 comments I still think the group main page should just list the most recent posts, with just a tag that indicates which folder it was posted in, instead of listing the two most recent in each folder. It would be a lot more useful, IMO.

message 7: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) | 124 comments I'm with Janis...I find myself looking for that "my groups" link and can never find it, cause it's not there anymore. I miss it.

message 8: by Allen (last edited Dec 15, 2007 02:11AM) (new)

Allen Wright I & Worst (Audiovore) | 13 comments I loath this new 'folder' system. Its good in concept because it is merely subforums. But groups are not forums they are a small part(100s of people would be a incredibly small forum) of the goodreads community sharing a common interest, IE the groups themselves are already subforums. It makes the whole group thing in the end kind of annoying an inane. Its a shame because I have been pretty addicted to GR since I've joined, but but most groups in general are not that active, hell even the active ones are tame compared to a normal general forum, as this feedback group only has ~500 people in it. Most forums I frequent have thousands of members, and in turn have a post every hour when you consider ALL subforums. Now I am guess GR is about the same, if you consider ALL of the groups.

The one way to save my interest is if there was a preference that people could set in there account to 'ignore group folders'. Maybe...

To place this ramble it comes from checking the Building a SciFi/Fantasy Library group(which I joined) which had a last activity of 8hrs ago suddenly have SEVEN folders. The group only has 245 members! And I doubt even half of them check the group or GR itself more than once in a blue moon.

Groups are a cool and all, they are basically 'pick which sub forums you want to pay attention to'. Which is why the official GR ones should ignore 'membership' and just be generic service forums on the side of groups.

Damn I've rambled quite a bit... Time to finish my scotch and go to bed.

message 9: by bsc (new)

bsc (bsc0) | 82 comments I believe it is a good concept but there needs to be some tweaks. First, it is overused, which exacerbates the other problems. I would say the vast majority of groups do not benefit from folders. When there are more than two folders, it becomes hard to find the new posts. Also, it clutters the group home page and only shows a couple of posts from each folder.

I used to rarely go beyond the most recent posts on the group's home page, but I have to click all over the place to catch up. Make the group home page show the most recent posts and ignore folders, please. I see no benefit to how it is now.

message 10: by Gary (new)

Gary | 69 comments
I agree the new group folder system is confusing and discourages participation. And in at least one group ("What's The Name of That Book???"), the 'view all' option never works, so older topics essentially disappear forever.

message 11: by Lisa (last edited Dec 15, 2007 11:16AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8949 comments Gary, I basically agree about finding most recent posts now being more difficult, but, thanks to Rivka, some info on the What's the Name of That Book? group: If you click on "general" then all posts will appear. Just click on that name of the single folder. I was glad to learn about that because I had the same frustration with that group's posts.

message 12: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8949 comments I'm wondering about if there's any way to more easily find the new posts. I do belong to a forum that has folders (it looks different than this one - perhaps in general it's not as well designed, and there aren't many topics) and if you're a member and signed in, if there's a new post in a folder, that folder shows in orange, and then each new unread post also shows in orange until you've read it when you're signed in. Don't know if something like that is possible here, but it does make it easy to make sure you've read all the posts, if that's what you want to do. Thanks for listening.

message 13: by Gary (new)

Gary | 69 comments

It seems as if the volume of discussion in groups has gone way down since the implementation of the new folder system. Could it be that this new system actively discourages participation? Speaking for myself, I know I am less inclined to participate because of the difficulty of navigating groups. ... Just a Data Point.

message 14: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12281 comments Mod
Traffic certainly has gone down. But it has also gone down in most of the online communities I participate in -- probably mostly because of the time of year.

I still think that Ben's suggestion (which was made elsewhere as well) is a great compromise. Combine that with a secondary discussions page that sorts by folders, and I think it might be possible to make everyone happy.

message 15: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 207 comments My group is very happy with the folders. We have moved here from another space and it looks more like home. I agree that the time of year is a big factor in participation, but our group is going strong.

message 16: by bsc (last edited Dec 20, 2007 04:30AM) (new)

bsc (bsc0) | 82 comments Maybe I've missed it, but I'd really like to see a goodreads® response to the concerns some of us have with this design.

message 17: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Hi All,

We've made a number of changes lately, but I've noticed the slowdown in discussion as well, and want to continue addressing your concerns to improve the design.

Recently we made a change where only active folders (activity in the last 30 days) show up on the homepage. I think this will help.

However we have been considering having two views on the group homepage (folders and recent), where 'recent' is Bens suggestion. This would be a toggle that members could switch. I'm slightly reticent to implement it yet because it might just add more confusion to things (re: keep it simple), so please let us know your thoughts!

message 18: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12281 comments Mod
In favor. :)

message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8949 comments I would love it. I wouldn't mind explaining to any confused new users.

message 20: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 79 comments I love the folder system and most of the people in our group (constant reader) have commented in favor of it. We have a finite number of folders which the librarians control. If new people come on and add folders, the messages are moved to the existing applicable folder.

What I would like to see is a way to show messages that I haven't read yet within those folders. In the board that we used to be on, we had the option to mark everything read in individual conferences/folders so that we could quickly see new things that had been posted the next time we came on. Then, we had the option to see everything or just what we hadn't read yet.

Whatever the decision is, I will be here. This is a great place and I truly appreciate how open you have been to everyone's suggestions and input, Otis.

message 21: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 113 comments What Barbara said.

message 22: by bsc (new)

bsc (bsc0) | 82 comments The active folder change is nice. I'm sure whatever you decide to do will be fine after everyone adjusts. My main complaint is that it seems every group went crazy and created a dozen folders, which does make it harder to peruse the group for recent discussions.

message 23: by Allen (last edited Dec 22, 2007 02:33AM) (new)

Allen Wright I & Worst (Audiovore) | 13 comments If you implement the recent option, just make recent the default view. That will cut down on confusion as it will be the way it always was before(not to mention prevent newcomers from be scared away by folders).

I still think they should be done away with entirely as I said in my previous post. As I don't believe any group as significant enough discussion to warrant folders.

An issue I see coming up is when you have recent on and want to make a new topic, what folder to put it in? I will personally ignore whatever categorization the group has and merely put it in the folder they have on top, as I want my topic to be seen. This will probably end up being annoying as I will have to switch from recent to folders, then back.

In closing, I beg of you please oh please, just get rid of the damn things.

message 24: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 207 comments Please don't get rid of them. Our group has lots of conversation on lots of different subjects--reading lists, classics, poetry, short stories. It's not so hard to look at the folders and see what's new. If you create a group, Allen, then you are free to not add folders, but let the groups who need them enjoy them.

message 25: by Ruth (last edited Dec 22, 2007 08:37AM) (new)

Ruth | 113 comments Constant Reader is a large group. And, as Sherry said, we discuss many types of things. Without the folders it is almost unworkable. Someone who always skips Poetry, say, might find a poem at the top of their list whether they wanted it or not, someone who's only looking for Short Stories, would have to scroll through a long path of unrelated posts looking for things that could possibly be short stories, and where in heck has the Reading List discussion gotten itself to today?

Those groups that don't want folders are free to ignore them. But please, please, please keep them around for those of us for whom they are essential.


message 26: by Allen (last edited Dec 22, 2007 10:11AM) (new)

Allen Wright I & Worst (Audiovore) | 13 comments Ok, I believe a categorization system as seen at the link below would be far more useful, and please everybody. It could be ignored my those who don't care and utilized by those who only want to view certain topics. I am guessing that it maybe almost impossible to implement in a timely fashion tho...

PS- some basic html commands would be nice too.

message 27: by bsc (new)

bsc (bsc0) | 82 comments The problem is that the folders can not be ignored. I'm hoping for some change to make this a little less painful. The "optional" change Otis mentioned would be nice, but I'd be happy with just an easy method to see all recent posts. Preferably, this would be shown by default on the group home page. You can still have all your folder goodness in the full discussions view.

message 28: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Hey all,

Thanks so much for the feedback - that helps a lot! We'll add a few more votes for building read/unread status. In general it sounds like folders are a good idea when applied right. So we added some helpful suggestions for group moderators on how to use them.

In testing some more it appears its a bit easier to see new content from a group with 1 to 6 or 7 folders, as only active folders show up. For groups with more than that it does get a bit difficult to discern new content. Perhaps the read/unread flags will help or perhaps a different interface is needed - we'll keep listening and playing with things, so keep chiming in with what you like and don't like!

message 29: by Gary (new)

Gary | 69 comments
Is there a way to simply "see new responses"?

message 30: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Hey Gary,

Do you mean new as in recent or new as in since you've last checked? If the latter, thats the 'read/unread' feature thats been requested.

message 31: by Gary (new)

Gary | 69 comments
The latter.

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