It would be really nice if this forum had a feature, as most traditional forums do, to show who’s currently logged on.
Why? What purpose would it serve? Is there some kind of real time chat room to direct these “online” people to?
Also note there is a “seen” stat on the user profile, e.g.
Live chat could be cool too
It’d be pretty neat
A feeling of camradery? Just to see who’s online with you?
It’s something every other forum I’ve been on (I’m pretty sure at least) has had.
The Yoyoexpert forums used to show who was logged on a number of years ago. There was also a live chat which at one point was rather popular. Unfortunately, over the course of time, the live chat became less popular and was thus eliminated from the website after having undergone improvements.
We do show when someone is actively replying to a topic, like so
That has zero to do with the OP.
How so? If someone is replying to a topic, that tells you they are “logged on? ? ? ??” per the topic title.
Perhaps you don’t understand. The OP would like to know at any given time when he’s logged on who else is logged on. Clicking on every topic to see if someone is replying isn’t a reasonable remedy to this. Hence:
But if you are in a topic and see people replying, you certainly know those people are “logged on? ? ? ??”
You’re just kind of repeating yourself Jeff…
I’m probably going to be in the minority here, but I can’t say I would like a feature like that, unless you’d have the option to turn it on or off.
Example: John is online but does not have enough time to reply to his friend’s, let’s call him Doe, message. Doe has been eagerly awaiting John’s answer and sees that John has been logging in several times per day without answering. Doe gets upset.
It may sound extreme, but people do get upset about these sort of things. Unfortunately, that’s how the world works now. It also adds a lot of pressure to do things when you’re a little obsessive-compulsive. Plus, some people are lurkers, and they enjoy it.
The current system allows “Doe” to see if John was online. Doe just has to click on John’s profile.
Mostly this can be filed under “bad ideas from 2001 era forum software”.
Old forum software kinda had the idea that spraying as much information on the screen as possible was … somehow … a goal. Never mind that this random, useless information got in the way of what you came there to read — the actual discussions:
I think the feature makes more sense if you are driving folks toward a chatroom, where presence is essential — or if your community is really tiny, on the order of 10, 20 people.
Online discussions tend to be great because it doesn’t matter exactly when specific people are around, the discussion itself is driving things forward because it is inherently interesting, and a variety of people stop by whenever they happen to be around to offer perspective, insight, thoughts in their replies.
Being disconnected in time — that is a feature.
Don’t ask the OP or me though. We don’t find it random and useless. But that certainly doesn’t matter to @codinghorror.
I would not say totally useless. I think it is far more useful if you are driving people toward a chatroom, because in a chatroom you expect near-instant replies. There is generally no such expectation in forum software, though.
Plus, I find that growing to have a large and diverse community more or less solves the “are replies flowing at a reasonable rate” situation. In that sense, leaning on presence to cheat is a bit of a crutch and an anti-pattern. You want to grow larger and reach a critical mass of community, not hedge your bets by asking a small group of people to all visit at the same time, etc.
That is very true. I don’t like that feature either. That information should only be available to moderators in case a seller hasn’t shipped an item and hasn’t responded to messages, etc.
There is an option in your user prefs that suppresses visibility of your user page and reply indicators, etc. So concerned people could turn that on as they desire.