CB Groups Discussion System Undergoing Changes!

Greetings Everybody,

Late tomorrow (Sunday August 23, 2009 PST, GMT-7) ChristianBlog.Com will be revamping the CB Groups to utilize a whole new Discussions system which will allow for concise and threaded discussions, rather than a 'free-for-all' method like the CB Groups presently use. The system will be similar to our present Open Discussions system, so if you are familiar with it, you should be able to easily adjust to the new CB Groups Discussion system.

Discussions With A Twist:

Being who we are we couldn't just leave a good thing alone - we had to go and change it up a bit to make things easier to navigate (for members that is) and to help make things easier to stay on topic.

We believe that a good discussion is a discussion that can stay on-topic. Unfortunately the way the present CB Groups system works it is very easy to not stay on topic about something, but everything being discussed is in a single thread.

With the new system we are introducing the ability to have unlimited amount of discussions - each within their own thread/post/discussion.

Here is what that part looks like, from within The John B. Abela Fan Club! Group:

As you can see it is identical in nature to the CB Groups.

Here is what you see when you click into a specific discussion:

Pretty much all the same there... but, with one small difference :wink:

This neat little addition IS the major difference from our present CB Groups Discussion system!

This new feature is what we are going to call "Comment Replies" -- in other words, "replies" to "comments" :mrgreen:

What's The Difference?

What we have decided to do is rather than have a single Discussion with a whole bunch of comments - some of which would be replies to previously posted comments - we have created the ability to directly add a reply to a specific comment!

We understand if this does not make any sense... but give it time and you will begin to understand.

How Does It Work?

There are three primary steps:

b Somebody posts a new Discussion. This is done on the main Group page.

b Somebody posts a comment to the new Discussion. This is done when viewing the Discussion.

b Somebody posts a reply to the Comment. This is done when viewing the Discussion.

and the results would be:

Something Import To Remember:

At this time this is what we call a "two-tier" system. Meaning there are two tiers below the original Discussion - those being: (1) A Comment, (2) A Reply to a Comment.

We are considering adding a third-tier to the system, but for now it is a two-tier system only. Even though we have a link that says "Reply To This Comment", it does not mean it will add a third-tier reply-to-a-reply (what exactly what that be called anyway?). We have the "Reply To This Comment" link there simply to provide our members a fast way of displaying the form to write their Comment Reply.

Discussion Activity Notifications:

Uggh, this has not - and will continue to not be - a fun topic.

From day-one ChristianBlog.Com has been fighting a battle with itself and its members (mostly with itself) on a way to notify those who are participating in a CB Discussion that new comments have been added to the CB Group.

With these new changes we have made this issue 3-times more complicated - because we now have three times more possible types of Content being submitted.

We will just be open-and-honest and admit that we do not yet have a solid method of notification of new Content being submitted to CB Groups. Over the last few months we have tried four or five different types of notifications, some of them flat-out-failed, one of them got us yelled at by almost everybody i and one of them was almost perfect - but in the end failed as well.

So, for now, here is what we are going to do, and we invite public feedback to help us in this matter.

(1) When a new CB Group Discussion is added we:

(a) Send the CB Group Owner a Private Message notification,
(b) We send an 'Alert Notification' (the little blue bar at the top of the website) to all members within the CB Group.
(c) We insert a Wall Notification into the wall of the member who posted the Discussion.

(2) When a new CB Group Comment is added to a specific Discussion we:

(a) Send the CB Group Owner a Private Message notification,
(b) Send the Discussion Owner a Private Message notification,
(c) We send an 'Alert Notification' (the little blue bar at the top of the website) to all members within the CB Group.

(3) When a new CB Group Comment Reply is added to a specific Discussion Comment we:

(a) Send the CB Group Owner a Private Message notification,
(b) Send the Discussion Owner a Private Message notification,
(b) Send the Comment Owner a Private Message notification,
(c) We send an 'Alert Notification' (the little blue bar at the top of the website) to all members within the CB Group.

Ok, if all of that made sense, which we doubt it does, you are smarter than we are... because even we don't understand that LOL.

What The Future Holds:

We like this method so much (well, everything but the notification methodology) that we plan on eventually rolling this out to the Blogging System here at ChristianBlog.Com!

Once we have been able to prove that this style of a system is something our members understand how to use, and once we are able to determine whether it has an increase or decrease affect on our server, there is a very good chance we will roll this Comments->Reply system into the Blogging System, so that our members are able to keep Blog Comments more on-topic as well.

A Few Thank-You's:

We would like to thank the following members who have provided feedback to us while we have been developing this new CB Groups Discussion System.

kreynolds - Extensive Testing & Feedback
blessings2you - Generalized Testing & Feedback
greybear - Generalized Testing & Feedback
kraftykatz - Generalized Testing & Feedback

p.s.: Everybody is welcome to explore this new feature between now and when it goes fully online by checking out The John B. Abela Fan Club! Group, where it has been under testing for the last week or so.

Thank you,

K Reynolds @kreynolds ·

Thanks for all your hard work in regards to groups. As a group owner of several groups, I really appreciate it! One of my groups has been trying out this new system as well. If you've been posting in groups, you will find this a bit different but be patient and play around with it a bit. When you are switched to the new system, previous posts within the group are archived so it is important for group owners to maybe get something up and started right away, either from scratch or perhaps jump start it by copying and pasting some of the entries from your group archive.

Figure out how to make the situation work best for your group. In addition to the group mentioned above, feel free to check out one of my groups, [internallink=http://www.christianblog.com/group/princesses-of-god] Princesses of God [/internallink] which is another group which has also been using this system.

Have fun!

K :princess:

John B. Abela @abelajohnb ·

I have now activated the new CB Groups Discussion System for ALL CB Groups!

Group Owners may want to quickly take the advice provided by kreynolds above on starting some initial discussions for your Group!

Also be aware that you can set some Discussions as "Sticky" (so they stay at the top) and you can also "lock" some discussions.

At this time Group Owners canNOT remove Discussions/Comments/Replies on their own. This is an issue I am working out and please use the 'CB Group Owners' Group for further discussion on this matter.

To all of you who are not Group Owners but are members of a CB Group, I HIGHLY value your feedback on this new system!

John B. Abela

Do not include honorifics.

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