The Corporate Masters are considering some steps to take ScienceBlogs more in a community/ social network/ Web 3.14/ whatever direction, and have asked us our opinions of various potential features. I have opinions on the subject, but they're ultimately less important than the opinions of you, the readers. So here's an attempt to generate some reasonably concise feedback (all of the proposed features would be totally optional-- they're not talking about mandatory registration, and I will fight it tooth and nail if they do):
What we would really like, of course, is to have a rank-ordered list of preferences, but I can't generate that with PollDaddy. In an attempt to kludge together a really rudimentary rank ordering, though, I'll put two more polls below the fold:
First, pick the one feature you would MOST like to see added. That is, which of the items being considered should be the highest priority?
Finally, pick the feature you would LEAST like to see added. That is, which of the proposed features would be the biggest waste of time for our crack technical team?
Thanks in advance for your feedback. Even imperfect feedback will probably improve the final product.
The most important principle of software engineering is to fix bugs before adding new features. And that's what scienceblogs needs to do. Preview is broken on several blogs, preview ruins html character entity references, long threads take ridiculous amounts of time to load , waiting for sb to reload a thread after clicking "post" takes much longer than loading the same thread from scratch, the site goes through frequent periods of unreliability ... I could go on all day.
Comment tracking would be useful - I don't usually remember to go back and check if anyone's replied to something I've said, and the go back and check strategy isn't useful for replies that aren't made for a while.
The other thing is better search. Specifically, it would be nice to be able to sort results by post date, or something similar.
\TeX \TeX \TeX !
Nice.. Ilove this page ;)
I'd second llewelly's comment about the time it takes to load pages - not just the long threads.
Also: threaded comments!
It's next to impossible to navigate in large threads in some blogs (*cough* Pharyngula *cough*).
Forums! (With LaTeX, of course). That would take care of most of the above. Especially if the comments for each post were taken care of by the forum software (and linked from/viewable in the posts).
A note on my vote against "polls and quizzes": polls are ok, and many of you make good use of them. Quizzes might actually make me come here less.
If they must alter it, the following (and nothing else) get my vote:
1. Proper search function integrated into the site (no more Google custom search please!)
2. List of allowed HTML tags and restrictions.
3. OpenID (although now that TypeKey is accepting OpenID login credentials this isn't so bad).
I don't want another Facebook.