Let's have a brainstorm about ways ThinkAtheist could be improved!
Big or small, any thoughts are welcome! TA is a great site/community and I'd love to help it strive to maximize its potential. Who knows, maybe one of our ideas will get implemented by a Mod.
Anyway I'll start off with this:
The comments section in Discussions should operate more like Reddit comments, in which comments form a tree-structure, and entire branches of that tree can be minimized with a simple "[-]" button. This would make it so you can see a wider variety of responses more quickly, and follow the comment-threads that interest you. As it is, there is a tree-structure, but branches cannot be minimized, so people often reply to a reply to a comment, rather than replying directly to the appropriate comment.
Before this get's going you should all know that the administration of TA don't have free reign to make 99.8% of the changes that will be suggested. By and large, the way the various sections of the site are laid out and formatted is not up to us and we have no way to change it. We can only make certain slight changes to what is a template the site rides on.
Things like OP's suggestion of changing the way the comments are threaded are a case in point. The way the comments are threaded is just not something we have the capability to change, even while we might agree with the suggestion and wish we could.
If the people who administrate the site aren't the people who control the site, then who makes the decisions for the layout and design of the website?
Perhaps I could have been clearer. I'm not saying that the people that administrate the site don't have the capability. I'm saying that the capability doesn't belong to anyone.
It's not about who has the control. It's about whether the control is there in principle to be exerted by anyone. It's about what changes can be made to the platform and which can't, not about who can make the changes and who can't. We simply can't make changes to the way discussions are threaded, among many other things we cannot change.
I think Nelson means to say that TA uses some sort of pre-built software to run, and that pre-built software cannot be changed by TA admins, since either they don't have the rights to do so, or they are not computer programmers.
Fully understandable, and tbh I actually expected this. But what the hell, let's brainstorm anyway! At the very least it can affect decisions if TA ever needs to update its software.
I see. I just assumed things were more flexible than that.
Think Atheist is hosted on Ning, a turnkey provider of social websites. TA would have to switch to an independent provider and use Drupal or Joomla to get the level of customization you have in mind.
That would be difficult or impossible to do while still keeping the existing TA user accounts and content: classic vendor lock-in. Still, it's a nice-looking site and the overall functionality is good. No need to mess with it.
The one improvement I'd suggest: review the Not Suitable For Work editorial policy. I wrote to Morgan Mathew about this recently and got no response. So I mention it again here.
Which one would you cover with your hand when your boss walks in?
An article entitled:
Do you let your
guy cum inside you?
The image of a Tunisian apostate with a knife at his throat.
I posted the above on-topic image-- as a link to play a video showing the beheading-- and it was removed. But the off-topic article about where your guy cums is still up. I'm trying to make sense of that. I would appreciate a bit of discussion about it, here or in another thread about the TA editorial policy.
GM, much as with the law, the editorial policies of this site are clearly stated - also, much as with the law, the enforcement of those policies seem to depend on who is doing the enforcing.
I have no idea how many moderators there are, but they appear to differ significantly in effectiveness. Of three I'm aware of, one appears fair, one does little if any moderating, while the third appears to believe in applying tourniquets to hangnails. As Kurt Vonnegut was fond of saying, "And so it goes."
a separate "nsfw" section would fix this problem. Btw, I consider both of those topics nsfw.
@Sagacious - I know that in the case of my own site, I was offered a wide variety of choices of templates, I made mine, then replaced the graphics that were on the original template with my own graphics, but although I made many, many changes to the looks of the template, I had no means of actually altering the format. I believe that's what Nelson, in his own inimitable fashion, is trying to say.
This might be off of everyone else's radar, but how I found TA and how I see a lot of the posts is via my Android phone. When replying it brings you to a site named disqus, which no one here uses as far as I can tell.
Replying via the phone is somewhat difficult, but I won't put that on you.
Otherwise, I am thrilled with the content and appreciative that it exists. Thanks.
Hi Melvinotis, check out the mobile version of TA just add a /m after the .com so www.thinkatheist.com/m
At the bottom of a multi-page thread, there is the option to go forward and back through the pages. Only cosmetic, but can that option also be put at the top of each page.
Also, do I see a change in the number of Big Discussions shown on the right side bar? I could have sworn there were only 5 before, but I like 8 a lot. More is good.