Fanpop Suggestions and Ideas?

dave posted on Apr 09, 2007 at 10:57PM
Hey Everyone,

The guys and I thought it might be helpful to tap into the brilliant minds of our passionate community of users to make Fanpop a better place. Thank you all for all of your support so far, we really appreciate all the kind messages we've received and helpful feedback. Our goal is to make Fanpop the best place on the web to find content and community that you care about. I thought that maybe we could start a thread with ideas and suggestion on what you would like to see from Fanpop. I can't guarantee that we can implement all of them, but we always take our users suggestions very seriously. So feel free to post your thoughts here!

Dave
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over a year ago harold said…
OK, Dave! I'll bite. I like many of the changes that you guys made a few weeks ago, but some of the changes have raised new feature ideas for me.

For instance, I'd like to have a mouseover of the video links in a spot, similar to the mouseover that you get when you hover over a link in the list of links on the spot home. It would show who posted it, how long ago, their description, and a rating. Right now we don't have any of that information readily available without clicking on the video links one by one.
last edited over a year ago
over a year ago benji said…
I know it's not a suggestion, but could you explain how the top videos thing works? Seems totally random.
over a year ago harold said…
Here's a future feature suggestion (I know, I know - you have a pile of these from me already!): put a number on the top page of how many users are on the site. This is probably something that wouldn't be interesting before the top spots have 10,000 or more fans (remember when the Office spot had less than 50?), though...
last edited over a year ago
over a year ago PkmnTrainerJ said…
Something like a fan of the moment, as well as the featured fans bit.

Other fans could submit nominations and then that fan would be up for a month, or so, and have a small write up done about them.

I think hiro should get one of these for all his contributions really, and it'd make people want to work harder at making Fanpop excellent, to try and become a 'Fan Of The Moment'.
over a year ago papa said…
benji, top videos is for videos that have been rated well in the recent past. at least that's the goal. is there some other criteria or arrangement that would make more sense for you? we've also considered a more editorialized list, but with top videos it's based on what the fans are into.
over a year ago benji said…
Well it just seems that recent videos just go up there after a few votes because not that many people are actually voting. No issues with it.

The featured fans thing seems a little pointless, I'd say perhaps do something like 'most active forum member in last 12 hours', 'most active video uploader in last 12 hours' etcetera might be a better idea.
over a year ago PkmnTrainerJ said…
Having videos based on what the fans like works, but it needs to be done on a slightly bigger scale. As I was discussing with Benji over the phone, between us, we could have any recently uploaded video on the main page, as long as both of us rate it 5 stars. That's hardly fair to other people. I mean, it'll get more people to join our respective Pokemon and Tekken spots, but it's not really fair.
over a year ago Nav said…
What about seeing the rating on videos and links on the "Recent updates" or "Activity" pages in the member profile?
over a year ago Nav said…
And another suggestion (you asked!) is listing new forum or comment updates in the profile even if the person didn't start the thread or post the link.

Great job so far tho! :)
over a year ago harold said…
Just my opinion: I'm not in favor of a site-wide user recognition, since it would inevitably come down to which spots had the most fans. Even if, say, a spot of which I wasn't a fan had the most fans of all, it still wouldn't make me more interested in seeing the top poster in that spot. For me, I think that the medals that users receive in the spots are sufficient recognition for valuable contributions.

But here's another idea for a site enhancement I haven't mentioned before: implementing threads within the fora, so that conversations like this could be easily identified by users trying to read through the forum and either ignored or called out, depending on interest. Right now, a user has to read through pretty much everything, and it's hard to tell which posting a particular user is responding to. This has become an issue in several of the larger forum discussions, such as several in the Heroes spot, where the conversation has meandered several times way off the mark of the original post. Being able, as a reader, to identify which messages are responding to which other ones would be invaluable.
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over a year ago benji said…
Putting the sign-in box on the main page and/or allowing cookies to keep permanent sessions (so you don't have to keep signing in) would be nice.
over a year ago PkmnTrainerJ said…
An optional e-mail notification for when you recieve a message on Fanpop too.
over a year ago dave said…
Keep em coming guys, this is good stuff.

Harold: We've talked some about having more video data in a mouseover and we just want to make sure if we do it we implement it properly so it doesn't cover up the title, or obstruct the link etc. It can be kinda tricky, but I agree, a little more information would be nice.

As for threading, we decided early on that it was easier and simpler to have linear discussions. I know a lot of people really like threading, and we could argue this one til the cows come home, but we talked to a lot of people and it seemed that it was less intimidating to them to have single threads like Flickr does. It definitely has it's drawbacks, but we had to go with one or the other and we decided to go with single. Feel free to complain to Michael though. :)

Benji: I know it might seem kinda useless to have featured fans, but our goal was to show diversity of people's interests and let someone who came for the first time see all the things a person could find here at Fanpop. It also gives different fans more of an opportunity to be in the spotlight. We didn't really want to make it a competitive thing. And heck if we did do it that way, you and PkmnTrainerJ would be there all day every day! ;)

Nav: Yeah, we thought about adding rating to the recent updates/activities pages, but we don't have much space to really work with and we didn't want it to get too cramped in there. Some link titles can get really long and we figured if it was recent, they'd all probably just be 5s from the original contributor.

As for the new forum/comment updates that you didn't start, do you mean for any new forum update in any of your spots? I'm worried that might flood your updates section!

PkmnTrainerJ: We've actually had e-mail alerts/notifications ready for a while now, but since we didn't want to spam our users, we're waiting until we do an official launch message just to let them know that they can opt out. We'd rather err on the side of not sending out a lot of mass e-mails like other sites who tend to be really obnoxious about it!
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over a year ago Nav said…
About the link ratings, I meant mostly for the activity tab - that way I could see what my links scored or those of other users (in their profile).

Forum updates would be nice even if it's simply a line saying that so-and-so forum was updated. Maybe it could appear only when you press the forum tab in the recent activity, or maybe just mention if there was an update in the last day or so...?
over a year ago harold said…
Another comment on the recent redesign: I can see that, for many of the spots, having the layout put videos at the top makes a lot of sense. But there are an awful lot of spots that will rarely-to-never have video links, such as any spot in the Books & Literature channel or, for a specific example, say the Parenting spot. So, some way of adjusting the layout of such spots would be nice - either automatically based on the number of video links present, or moderator/spot creator selectable between two templates (videos on top, videos on bottom). I can say that, for our example of the Parenting spot, the one video link there is just in the way of the content I (and I suspect most users) actually want to see.
over a year ago Nav said…
Another idea is an option to "bookmark" forum posts, to get updates on it specifically.
I know I'm kinda stuck to the subject, but if I post something, I'd like to know if someone replied etc.
over a year ago PkmnTrainerJ said…
Something about the Featured Fans bit on the main page, what determines what spots show up next to the fan? I think it should sort it by most contributed, most popular or something, as seeing myself on there just now, they seemed rather random.
over a year ago tvman said…
We should have somthing that tells you what you won a medal for. I recently won a Dedication Medal for somthing in The Office section. I think I know what the medal is for but, I am not sure. It would be great to find out.
over a year ago PkmnTrainerJ said…
I saw Hiro explaining how the medal system works. It is based on submitting content which gets highly rated, so the more content you submit and the more it is rated, the more it increases your chances of getting a medal. Also, writing highly rated soapbox articles works, as well as starting discussions that are popular i.e. when lots of fans reply.
over a year ago benji said…
I call for a quote box on the add reply button!

"Yes I agree!"
"Good call Benji!"
over a year ago papa said…
These are all great suggestions. Lest you worry that they are falling on deaf ears, don't despair, they aren't.

That being said, we're currently in a big push trying to get some exciting new features out for all of you. Once that's done, we *may* have a chance to work on various tweaks and enhancements of the sort you've been peppering this thread with.

I just don't want anyone to be disappointed if they don't see anything they've requested in the next day or two. Ultimately, we can't field all requests, though we have had a history of being fairly responsive in the past. Two recent examples of features inspired by direct user feedback are the "my updates" module and the "list|gallery" view toggle for your spots. So we do listen, but we've also got a huge pipeline of other stuff that we're itching to do too (some of which won't happen either).

In the meantime, keep on fanpopping :-)
over a year ago harold said…
Here's a couple more ideas, which may or may not be attractive:

* limit the featured fans to users who have uploaded images for their profiles. For myself, I keep seeing users with a fascinating list of spots of which they are fans, then I go to their profiles and find that they haven't actually had any activity, so they are essentially ciphers. While it's great that there are many users out there who watch for updates in their favorite subjects, I find it hard to connect to such people - I'm unlikely to send a message or to add a user to my fanlist if they haven't contributed even comments...my thinking here is that people who've bothered to upload an image are much more likely to actually comment and/or post other content (but of course that's flawed reasoning, though it would add to the visual appeal of the top page). Maybe my suggestion should just be to feature users with some activity...

* How about sending messages to more than one user at a time? I don't want a mass-spam function, but it would be cool to be able to write a message to a couple of people at a time, if, say, I want to comment on a forum discussion without posting to the forum, or if I want to connect two users of whom I am a fan that I think would get along...

OK, now I have an issue that I'd like to present, which people may or may not agree would be nice to have addressed somehow: if I'm browsing the site and load the top page (which happens multiple times a day) I see the list of updated spots. But I have no easy way of knowing what has been updated in those spots when I look at them. Sure, I can subscribe to the RSS feed for the spot, and if I'm a fan of that spot I can look in the updates section of my profile, but just browsing the site and the spot itself, I can't tell if the recent update was a video or link addition without listing each of them in turn, then sorting by 'Most Recent'. My idea is that it would be nice if there was a quicker way to see this (maybe a mouseover on the top page?)...
last edited over a year ago
over a year ago tarobb1 said…
Got one!

Flash sites!

These update all the time, new features, news, etc. We need a way to share these updates. Any way will do, but I've tried to post about new features, and as I'm sure you know, flash sites don't have individual URLs. How can we update if we can't share that url again?
over a year ago benji said…
The ability to stab people in the eye when they don't use correct spelling or grammar. I dislike when my favourite websites get infested with text-speaking imbeciles :(
last edited over a year ago
over a year ago PkmnTrainerJ said…
In the 'My Updates' part on your profile, when people post a comment or make a response to your video/topic, it would be great if you could see who it was before checking, as if it were Benji posting on one of my videos I'd read it, however were it a new user called 'IHatePkmnTrainerJ', I may not want to read it.

There are actual good reasons for this, but it's 00:56 and I'm sleepy.

EDIT

Oh! I know! Similar to forums, that tell you if other users are reading the same topic as you are. It would be nice if we could have this kind of feature site-wide, as this would allow you to see if people who haven't joined up to that spot might be worth making friends with based on what they're reading/watching. :)
last edited over a year ago