It’s been a while since I’ve consolidated my thoughts on what I’d like to see in the new community site, so I figured I’d collect them all again in this journal. Some are new, some are previously mentioned suggestions. Also to whoever would be handling it, if there is ever a beta for the new site, I’d be more than happy to give it a spin.
I also want to say, to whoever is working on the new site, we really appreciate your work and effort. I know it ain't easy to freshen up a house this old and so lived-in.
Feeds & Notifications
Currently, there is too much overlap between notifications and feeds. I’d like the option of choosing what types of content appear in each, or at least the ability to make something appear in my feed without getting a notification for it. There are many things I’d like to see passively in my feed, without getting a notification. Similarly, there are also things I’d like to get a notification for but not see in my feed. I’d like to see a facebook approach to this area. Passive content in the feed, with the option for specific things in my notifications.
A feed which shows posts and content that your friends or followed users have liked. It’s a great way to see what’s popular among your friends and the community as a whole. In the past there were many projects, artists, and events that I would not have even heard about if it wasn’t for this feature.
Tag Filtering For Feeds
The ability to filter out/in posts from the users you follow. Applied either to individual followed users as part of our follow settings, or to our followed feed as a whole. I think I’d prefer the latter.
The old site had a feature where staff could post their journals to a centralized news feed. Now any news posted on the site has to be done with journals, often by staff members many people don't know they should be watching. An official news feed would be great for bringing people back to the site by giving them a place to stay up to date on the latest from RT, rather than forcing them to visit twitter, Reddit, Facebook, etc.
Revamp "Popular Content" Feed
Not only would it be nice to see different types of content, but it would be cool to filter out staff posts and only see community content.
Final Confirmation on "Dismiss All Notifications"
When "see all notifications" and "dismiss all notifications" are so close, an extra “are you sure” would be nice.
Notification Time Stamps, Proper Sorting
I wish notifications had time stamps. Either an actual time & date or “minutes/hours ago”.
Notifications also need to be sorted with most recent on top. Currently, there is no rhyme or reason to the order.
Better Notification of Replies
Unless replying to a parent comment, subsequent replies do not trigger notifications. Meaning, if person A comments on my journal and I reply to that comment, and Person A makes a second comment in reply to my reply, that comment doesn’t send a notification to me. Or, more clearly:
-A Comment on My Journal (notification)
-My Reply to Comment
-Reply to My Reply (no notification)
Sharing on RT
Many times I see a friend’s journal and wish I could share it on RT. We need the ability to re-post journals within the RT site itself. Essentially the same thing as a retweet or reblog.
Journals, Posts, & Profiles
Save Draft Option For Journals
Similar to Tumblr, a feature that lets you save a draft journal or post. I like to write up journals over a couple days, so I end up having to save word docs on my computer.
The ability to preview what a journal will look like. Helpful in double checking layouts, image placements, etc. I know I would use it.
More Text Options
I wish we could use colors, underline, bullet points, and other text options in our journals. Especially the actual color black.
The ability for journal authors to select a comment to pin at the top of their comments section. Sometimes you have to add something to the journal after posting it, and would rather not edit it. Other times it would be nice to feature or spotlight a funny or relevant comment from your friends or followers.
Auto-Post on Other Social Media
The ability to make a post on RT, which auto-posts a link to it on other social media (twitter, facebook, etc.). It could take the form of checkboxes when submitting journals or images, with icons for various social media sites.
Twitter Feed on Profile
A small box next to a user's profile of their recent tweets (for a linked twitter account). Scrolling down can load older tweets.
Post & Profile Details
It'd be cool to see the precise date and time something was posted. Also views. Each person’s profile used to have a section that listed their total views for journals and photos. This was a great metric for seeing how much reach and engagement your content garnered. There was also the currently online indicator. When enabled, a profile would say “currently online”. It would also give a user's status. For example, in the corner it would say “currently browsing the forum” or “currently reading a journal” (or something similar to that).
The ability to see who likes or +1s our posts. Either on the post itself, or on a separate page for all of our posts. Seeing as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and other popular sites let you see who likes your content, it'd be nice to see this feature return. In addition, a breakdown of the individual mods on posts would be cool to see. A similar example is Facebook, which shows how many thumbs, hearts, or emojis a post got. In RT’s case, for a +45 post, it could be a mouse-over list that shows “+20 cool, +30 ditto, -5 lame”.
This was an old feature that let you see a two-week log of all the public activity of a user, including their recent journals, photos, and forum posts. It was a great way to gauge the activity and engagement of your friends. The feature is similar to that of other forum and board-based sites, which allow you to see the history of a user. One example is Reddit, which allows you to see the full history of a user’s public posts.
Stats & Milestones
It was cool to be able to go to a page that showed my lifetime number of journals, mods, photos, and forum posts. There used to be a page where you could see this. You really got a sense of your history on the site, and how much you contributed. There were also global site stats as well.
Milestones were also little awards that you got for participating on the site. Similar to Reddit's Trophy Case, it showed your achievements and history. I had a milestone for being one of the first 10,000 people to sign up on the site. There were also neat little awards that staff members could give you. The staff member would see your content, and choose to bestow upon you their award. Back in the day, everyone was on a mini-quest to get the founding fathers’ awards. You would try to post something cool on your profile or show a cool project you completed, in the hope they would see it and give you their award. The only award I ever got Gus’s, which was an icon of a whiskey bottle. I think I got it for my interaction with him at RTX 2011.
This would probably be an additional technical headache, but it'd be cool if users could embed their Twitch/YouTube streams on a profile tab. Profiles could have a "live" tab, or something. Such a feature could help users in establishing a home on RT. And if that's too much free rein, then perhaps streams could only come from urls/accounts linked to that RT profile, which can be approved by staff.
Old Content Carries Over
This goes without saying, but man I really hope all of our old content (journals, photos, profiles) carries over to the new site.
Collaboration on Albums
The option to share upload privileges within individual photo albums. For both individual users and within groups. Owners of an album could invite users to collaborate. Useful for events and projects.
There used to be photo galleries that users were allowed to contribute to. Moderation was probably a lot easier back then, but people were able to access public galleries for the various events RT was at and upload their own photos. There were galleries for RTX and other popular conventions in which RT had a presence. Since the RTX app has the feature of allowing users to upload photos, it’d be cool to see this type of feature return to the main site.
A New Groups Home Page
Groups need some love. I would also like to see a map regional community groups, or events calendar. A better group search is also sorely needed.
Group Admin Alerts
I don’t really manage any groups nowadays but when I did, I would have to keep an eye on the forum to see if anyone created a new forum thread. I could follow threads to get alerts on new posts, but I could not get alerts when someone created a new forum thread in a group I managed. It would be great if a group admin could get alerts for new forum threads in their group, or for other activities as well.
Forums, Threads, & Comments
A New Forum "Front Page"
On the forum landing page (which needs to be re-worked badly as well) there could be an additional section that pulls threads from every forum. The section would visually operate like a Reddit homepage; a sortable/filterable list of individual threads from the site's forums. Without hunting through each forum you could get an aerial view of the popular, controversial, and newest threads. Just a way to spotlight individual new threads, highlight what's hot in the community, and show people the threads that stay active over time across all forums.
Sort Function on Comments
I wish we had the option to sort the comments on posts. Newest, oldest, highest rated, etc.
Differentiation on Parent/Child Comment Threads
When scrolling through comments on journals, it’s hard to spot and differentiate conversations. A little line next to threads, similar to Reddit, would be cool.
Videos and Content
Personality/Game Sort Options
I’ve seen a lot of people mention this, so I thought I’d include it. The ability to sort/filter videos based on the talent/personalities in it.
And equally important (perhaps more important), sorting/filtering Let’s Plays based on the game being played. Both for title/franchise, and genre (puzzle, FPS, trivia, etc.). That’s a feature I know would get a lot of use.
Individual Blogs For Each Series
A blog section on each series page, where staff can put relevant news. Users could put it on watch, and get alerts for it. I suggest this for two main reasons.
First, to give the relevant posts a consolidated home. For example, Jon Risinger has routine journals for On The Spot. If you didn't follow him, you would miss it. Also I don't watch On The Spot, so as someone who follows Jon on the site those journals are irrelevant to me. Another example would be Eric Vespe. He write articles for The Know, but they don’t get posted anywhere other than on his profile.
Second, decluttering staff and talent profiles. I follow staff on this site because they’re interesting and funny. Not for commercial promotion of the various shows and videos (even though I do consume them). This suggestion also kind of plays into the sentiment of staff using the site more, outside of promotional purposes.
With Series Blogs the people who need that information would have a landing page, and the people who don't want that information from the personality get less clutter in their feed.
More Awareness of When Notifications are Disabled
Sometimes notifications are disabled. When that happens, it’s usually signaled by a small graphic near the notifications tab. But that goes away so quick, and is very easy to miss (especially on mobile). When this happens, I suggest something like a persistent yellow square with “!” in the middle where the notification number would be. Clicking or mousing on that could then bring up the message. This system could also be used when there are important site-wide alerts.
Service Status Page
Just like the XBL Service Status page, it’d be cool if there was a go-to place to see if RT is currently experiencing any disruptions in its various services or functions.
Community Perks for FIRST
The reason I originally became a FIRST member (back when it called sponsorship), was for the community site perks. We got stuff like custom text colors, access to profile stats, and more. Nowadays we get a little star next to our name (which is still cool), but it used to mean more to your site presence. It was a badge of honor. It signified your dedication to the community. And it gave you incentive to engage and use the features. I’d like to see a return of that. Features and functions on the site that are unlocked for FIRST members that they can use in their interactions on the site.
Better Staff Follow Functionality
Currently, if I want to find and follow a staff member I have to:
1. Go to one of two specific pages (cast or staff, which are hard to find)
2. Scroll through the cumbersome list
3. Click each profile individually
4. Click follow on their profile
Seeing as RT employs hundreds of people, it’s really hard to follow all of them this way. I think the process could be easier. Perhaps the list could have checkboxes next to each one, and a “follow all” function (a feature that would be cool for user searches too).
Furthermore, while I’m at it, it’d be real neat if the staff page listed people by the department/show they work in/on. Like for instance, if someone wanted to follow people involved only in live action (crew, actors), animation (animators, writers), achievement hunter (talent, editors), or even corporate/marketing.
Also please fix the edit bug. I wish I could edit an old journal without it notifying everyone.
Bug/Improvement Submission Area
We need a place where users can submit issues. Preferably with a way for mods and admins to review them and either act on them ourselves or escalate them to developer level.
A mobile app for the community. This would be the bee’s knees. Screw it, let’s have “stories” too. Everyone is doing stories now. They work. I think that could bring a lot of people back. Especially when paired with a mobile app.