About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 47, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 47, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 47, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 47, No Sanction: 0
Post 0

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 11:05amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I would like to list many of the positive contributions of SoloHQ since the website is closing and the opportunity is passing (and since I have criticized certain aspects of its functioning but haven't yet given deserved credit):

This is about SoloHQ the meeting place, not Solo the wider institution. As a website and a discussion venue it is brilliantly designed in many important respects in a world of lame-o websites and discussion boards:

1. The comment/discussion pages: You can see all the previous comments and yours on same page by scrolling, just like you do in a blog. This avoids having to flip back and forth and allows you to see the flow and context of a topic.

2. The table of contents-like "unread forum posts" page which not only lists the threads but the first phrase of what’s in them...and you can click on it from the very top as soon as you enter the site. This provides immediacy and context and allows you to see quickly what you want to look at...just like a table of contents in a book does.

3. The info-packed main pages...you can see all the different options, things you can do (departments). As opposed to having to hyperlink yourself into a black hole or page back and forth and lose your place endlessly, as in 'thin' or too-much-whitespace websites.

4. "Real-time" Immediacy of discussion because things are posted instantly. This gets people to participate because of instant feedback and seeing immediate results. This can have a liberating, spontaneous effect, leading many people to do more unusual, personal, funny, non-cerebral, non-academic wrting and self-expression because of this.

[This aspect has pros and cons - sometimes it works, often falls flat, or descends into personal attack or trivia.]

5. The points and feedback system is a great idea, superbly executed. It gets people involved. The supportiveness and satisfaction of getting good feedback and seeing that people are actually reading what you wrote encourages people to have more to say, to be more active.

6. The idea of ‘Solo group leader’ of an interest area or field of endeavor or subgroup. The general division of labor, having an editor. The threeway partnership (too many Oist projects are one man who gets burned out). These all encourage people to participate who might not have otherwise, and they make it possible for more to get done than in a one or two man show.

7. The general layout includes lots and lots of features, departments, but the structure is pretty clear. The grouping of things into broad categories like activism, war room, etc.... and interest subgroups...the subgrouping of threads..articles, jokes, etc. is an excellent idea, especially for a site as active and with such a steady rain of posts as Solo.

8. The personal touch: the photos appearing next to the posts, and the bios and links people can post about themselves, and the ability to send emails to each other...all of this allow for a sense of real people, not disembodied intellects. (Some of them you want to get to know, some you don't ...but you can choose!)

9. Just the clever but simple and uncluttered layout of the pages...the posting pages include the post, the photo, the atlas statuettes, the ability to edit or post a reply, the email letter link, etc...all in a small space...but very easy to follow...with good graphics.

Overall, SoloHQ is a BRILLIANTLY-DESIGNED interaction/discussion type website!

It's an enormous technical as well as social achievement.

SoloHQ, because of this intelligent and thoughtful design (nothing happens by accident in website design) and ease-of-use, has been an extremely lively, energetic, passionate place.

I have posted on the downsides of the unmoderated, un-self-controlled personal attack aspects of this, but, overall, openness of this kind (combined with *some level* of moderation...and we can differ on how much) liberates energies and helps us discover good minds and interesting ideas. So -some form- of this is liberating and helpful.

It has been said as an abstraction that this is one of the best sites on the web in important aspects. I've now tried to concretize why.

Thank you, Linz, Joe, Jeff for your efforts.


--Philip Coates
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 11/29, 11:17am)




Post 1

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 11:26amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Excellent Phil.  This has been the greatest achievement in website disign I have ever seen.  I hope that as Joe and Linz go their seperate ways that the new sites will integrate many of the design elements used here(tailored to their individual needs of course).

Linz, Joe and Jeff-
Thank you for making this all possible.  Thanks also to Dean for some of the creative work he has done since joining the webmaster team.  This site will be sorely missed...that is until something better comes along, which I anticipate will be December 1st. ;)




Post 2

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 11:42amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I second Phil's post of appreciation. Thanks to Jeff, Joe, Linz and Dean for their work on the website. Having spent thousands of hours programming myself, some on user interfaces, I can imagine the amount of effort put into it.



Post 3

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 4:48pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Leave it to Phil to make me appreciate the little things I've completely taken for granted here.



Post 4

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 5:01pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I thoroughly agree. I have constantly been saying that Solo is a magnificent achievement. There is this technical part, but there also is much, much more.

Phil, thank you for putting some of these things into words.

Michael




Post 5

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 5:46pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Amen, brother!  (sanctioned)




Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 6

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 8:30pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Phil, you are so right. <bonk!> This site is truly amazing, and unless it is replaced by something similar, it will be sorely missed.

REB




Post 7

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 5:23amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
You are quite correct. The UI is especially well done.

Dean or anyone else involved on the website - I got the impression you were doing custom web development. What platform? Did you start with any common forum implementations (PHPNuke, DotNetNuke, etc.), or go completely from scratch?




Post 8

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 9:15amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
:) Thank you, and I'm looking foward to what comes next.

Adam



Post 9

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 9:40amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I agree with Phil that the site format is very nice.

So I probably shouldn't bring this up here ... but ... since it's a UI-related issue ... has anyone else noticed a problem when you're on Page 11 of a post's replies?  (At least I think it has to do with Page 11.)  If I go to the "Ayn Rand? Jealous?" thread, I can only see the second-to-last post that's been added.  But in the index of unread posts at the bottom, I see the first line of the last post.  When I click, I can't get to it yet.  It'll appear for me when somebody else posts again.




Post 10

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 1:04pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
As always, another great post, Philip. Thank you.



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 11

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 4:02pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Philip C' hits it on the head. Jeff Landauer is a pure computer genius. At the finale, my message to Lindsay, Joe, and Jeff is simple: Thank you!



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 12

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 4:04pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Yeah - it's been a hell of a bumpy road, but the scenery was fantastic...



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 13

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 4:46pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Aw, let's not get maudlin (sob).

In a few hours, there'll be two new sites, Joe's & mine, mine being the new incarnation of SOLO. I can't speak for Joe, but I expect you all to report in immediately! :-)

Linz



Post 14

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 4:54pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
All right Lindsay! KASS and take names!!

Jim




Post 15

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 5:07pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
> I expect you all to report in immediately! :-)

Yes Sir. Fearless leader, Sir!! :-)



Post 16

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 5:09pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Linz-
Oh Captain, my captain!
(Is quoting Whitman allowed here?);)




Post 17

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 5:12pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Jeez, I just realized in the last two days I'm creating all these threads because there were things I was going to say -eventually-

...one more coming up: I wanted to compare a successful website/movement with what I'd like to see in new websites (hint, hint). so a ***comparative thread***.... IN JUST A FEW MINUTES OR HOURS...

Phil

(By the way, Roger B had a story he never got around to telling us....Roger you have until midnight tonight....)

Is that NZ time or Pacific?

When does this site go down officially...at what exact microsecond?????!!!!



Post 18

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 7:15pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Jody:

Linz-
Oh Captain, my captain!
(Is quoting Whitman allowed here?);)


Quoting Uncle Walt is fine by me, especially given his association with one of my favourite movies. But you should assume the position nonetheless. :-)

Linz





Post 19

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 7:35pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Phil:

     You said everything I tried to say on the 'closing' thread, re the super-designed way this whole 'forum' was laid out.

     Kudos (and 'sanction', for what that's worth now) in your explicating the worth of the total (by whomever [sorry, whoever, for not naming you]) design-layout.

LLAP
J:D




Post to this threadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.