Site Update

by
in pipedot on (#QXSJ)
A few interesting features of the site where silently introduced over the past year (like notifications), while others have long since been shrouded in mystery (like the stream). We also haven't had a meta update for while, so lets dig into some of the new changes:

Notification System

When someone replies to one of your comments or journals, you will now get a notification instead of a text message. These new notifications show comment replies in-line and can be used for other events that where not covered by the old system.

Numerous Small Pages

A summary page ([username].pipedot.org/summary) is now available for every user that shows you a brief overview of their activity. You can now monitor the computers/devices that have an active login cookie to the site on your “Logins” ([username].pipedot.org/login/) page. You can now see all feeds on the browse page. Feeds are also now organized into topics. Your published story submissions ([username].pipedot.org/submissions) now have their own page as well.

RSS Reader

Although the feed page ([username].pipedot.org/feed/) was added pretty early, many users may not realize that a full feed reader ([username].pipedot.org/reader/) is now built into the site. You can add your own RSS/Atom feed by URL, or select one of the existing feeds from the list of topics. You can even comment on articles or vote for your favorites.

The Stream

The stream is an attempt at simplifying the “link sharing” process. The traditional method of sharing a story is a rather involved process that may turn off some contributors:
  1. Find an interesting article for a story.
  2. Write up a short synopsis including a link to the article, maybe a quote or two, and possibly even a bit of editorial.
  3. Submit your scoop to the pipe.
  4. Wait as users vote up your submission.
  5. An editor reviews your story, makes any spelling/grammar/etc corrections they notice, and publishes the story to the front page.
However, with the stream, all you need to do is “vote up” an article that you see in your feed reader. Others will then see your article in your user stream ([username].pipedot.org/stream/) or the main stream.

Upcoming Pipe Changes

Speaking of story submissions and contributions, special thanks goes out to evilviper and zafiro17. Together, they have performed the entire submission process (detailed above) on nearly 500 of their own stories, as well as the laborious task of rewriting hundreds of poorly written (or incomplete) submissions to an acceptable quality level. The amount of effort required for these tasks is not inconsequential.

Suggestions to help relieve the burden of the editors mainly involve changing how the pipe operates:
  • Submissions could automatically be published after a certain number of up-votes in the pipe.
  • Submissions could get instantly published, but then have +/- vote buttons on each story to provide a “moderation” of stories. Stories with low scores could shrink to a smaller size or hide completely (similar to the comment moderation.)
  • The pipe could be populated with automatically created stories generated from popular stream articles.
  • Many browsers (Firefox/Chrome/nearly all mobile browsers) now support custom “share this page” buttons. These “Pipedot” share buttons could be an easy way to automatically create a story submission for interesting articles.
So what do you think? Where can we improve to make this site the best site for nerdy news?

Please let's focus on filling the pipe (Score: 2, Insightful)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2015-10-22 07:42 (#R8HW)

Love this site, and thanks to EvilViper we've had lots of content to read and appreciate. But when EvilViper doesn't post, write, edit, and submit articles, the pipe is otherwise mostly dry. That's this site's single weakness - on the technical side, it's unsurpassed.

If we could make it easier for people to submit articles we could fill up the pipe, get interesting content, and build the user base. But sitting down at a keyboard to write and submit is too much of a hassle, which explains why so few people do it. I'd even say it's a limited risk at this point to establish an email mechanism where you could establish a pipedot whitelist, establish an inbox that routes messages into the queue, and go from there. Point is, we've got to make it easier for people who like |. to populate it with interesting content. When you've got editors writing, submitting, and posting all by themselves, there's a problem.

Would like to reiterate my appreciation for the fact that this site remains focused on science and technology. I still read and like Soylent, but their content is increasingly wandering into social or even political topics that don't interest me at all.

Congrats Brian on a great platform - love the functionality of this site, and it's the only one I can stand to read on a small screen.
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