Snowflakes: Mgoblog Site Suggestions

Submitted by sdogg1m on November 22nd, 2015 at 2:19 PM

--- I am taking a risk by posting this. Please don't hurt me mgo community ---

I just wanted to say thank you Brian for all your hard work in adding to our Michigan athletic experience as I look forward to your blog on a daily basis. I hope this post would not be misconstrued in giving the impression that I am ungrateful or trying to excessively burden you.

I want to present some further suggestions and updates that will hopefully help you. Also, I hope that you will address the community for any future plans or changes.

First, this has been discussed but I want to say again that site is virtually unusable during game time. It is also unusable during significant cfb events that affect Michigan. I had to visit 11 Warriors last night to discuss the MSU – OSU final moments as mgoblog errored out. I want to be able to give your site the hits and interact with this community. This is an ongoing problem that I think can be fixed by purchasing more bandwidth from the web hosting company.

Second, coming up with an interactive chat that will incorporate and bring together our community on game day. We are currently splintered (when the site is not overloaded) across two threads and an unofficial live blog. I am certain a solution exists to provide a fully interactive experience that would require minimal administration. The liveblog experience was not ideal because admins had to chose what comments were adequate and deal with complaints from those who simply just wanted to share in the excitement with other Michigan fans. I wouldn’t be surprised if the headaches surrounding the service has made the blog reluctant to continue it. I have recommended irc in the past as a solution. It allows for administration (banning of trolls, etc.) and fluid interaction. I am sure other solutions exist.

Third, the ability for admins to pin certain threads to the front page. This will allow admin content threads (such as gameday snowflakes) to stay at the forefront while user generated content gets pushed down. Forums current have this ability but maybe something can be coded for this feature on the main page.

There other ideas that are of a lesser importance to me such as an improved format. I am sure other posters have better ideas and solutions.

I know all of this means more work for you but if I may suggest that if you willing to employ coders (outsourcing) who can update the website or present the costs of more site bandwidth and submit it to the community then I, along with others, would gladly pay to cover the costs.

Thanks again for your work and how valuable it has been to our lives.

Comments

Seth

November 22nd, 2015 at 2:34 PM ^

We bought new servers last year. The site redesign was completed but Brian hasn't gotten to it yet and that causes a lot of the problems. Live blogging got way too expensive.

Feedback is appreciated, though this week of all weeks is probably the least effective time to bring it up. Just getting the core content out on Thanksgiving week is a crunch and it's Ohio State week.

GoBlueNorthside

November 22nd, 2015 at 2:51 PM ^

I've been looking into AWS lately to figure out if that'd work for hosting a server I need - is there a reason (that you can share) that you didn't go that route? I thought AWS was designed to handle load spikes, but on the other hand I thought they only billed you for CPU time instead of number of "active instances"

LJ

November 22nd, 2015 at 3:11 PM ^

Ugh.  It's all looks and no functionality.  This site may not be the prettiest, but it's ruthlessly effective as far as finding content fast.  There's nothing worse than having to mentally process 15 different giant images to be able to find the content you want.  11 warriors; ESPN; Maize & Brew all have that problem.  I much prefer this format.

sdogg1m

November 22nd, 2015 at 5:22 PM ^

Thanks for the input Seth and I am glad that the servers have been upgraded but still more bandwidth is needed. Consider also that Michigan has had few truly great season since the blog has been popular. I fully expect the traffic problem to get worse next year especially if the team starts competing for a shot at the National Championship.

If this is a money issue then please just let us know what will be the cost of an adequate server. I will donate anyway but when I know specially what I am giving for, I feel obliged to give more.

The rest of the stuff I would imagine is a time issue. I know Brian loves breaking down game film and I most certainly enjoy reading his UFRs. If the problem is finding the time to code while producing content then please figure out the cost to contract this work and I think you will find a most benevolent community.

I hope you have a great thanksgiving.

echoWhiskey

November 23rd, 2015 at 1:38 AM ^

Trust me the load issues are not this "bandwidth" thing you speak of. I promise if they could just throw money at the issue to keep the site up in periods of high load they would. Some issues are not easy to solve by just increasing capacity. Agreed that more investment in the site tech would be nice, but I'm just not sure the business case is there.

While I'm posting I'll put in my plug for a feature request: email notifications for replies to posts/comments that you make ala disqus . Would facilitate dialog within the threads (more page views too).

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

ryebreadboy

November 22nd, 2015 at 2:35 PM ^

We don't need to pin threads. We just need less "hot take" threads after games. Everyone thinks their opinions deserve their own thread instead of just using the snowflake threads (looking at you, uncwolverine).

LSAClassOf2000

November 22nd, 2015 at 3:13 PM ^

I've done it here and there but admittedly I've not been particularly vigilant about it - we can change the timestamps on threads to something closer to the present and put it back on top or near the top. That's about as close as we get to pinning as we get, but I plan to try this out with the OSU game just to see if it helps further. 

ChicagoBigHouse

November 22nd, 2015 at 2:42 PM ^

Best blog. Done my beveled guilt. Podcasts are my favorite. I do find that when I try to go to older forum posts after the game, when I try to click to the second page on the website, the forum posts go away.

Gob1ue22

November 22nd, 2015 at 2:44 PM ^

I can never get past the first page of threads on the sidebar. When I hit the next page button, the whole thread section of the sidebar disappears. Not sure if that's just me. Help!

MMB 82

November 22nd, 2015 at 2:50 PM ^

privately contact individual members of MgoBlog; obviously there would need to be privacy and other safegaurds in place like being able to reject attempts to contact, block specific members, etc.; maybe this would open a huge can of worms....but ¿es posíble?

Greyhound 96

November 22nd, 2015 at 2:51 PM ^

if we had an MgoPoll where we voted for the top 25 after every week, i don't know how it would be ran or what it would be ran with but it would be fun if it was done correctly and with the uncommon knowledge most have about the sport on the blog it would be pretty realistic

1329 S. University

November 22nd, 2015 at 2:59 PM ^

doesn't care quite as much about the message board as he does the content by the writers, which of course is why many of us are here. It's probably not going to get much better as long as he maintains independent, which he's said many times he will. If we have to sacrifice downtime after games for the ability to keep this site free and keep the great content I'm more than fine with this.

That said, Beveled Guilt mgoblog a ton of money and say it's for only site improvements and see what happens.

TIMMMAAY

November 22nd, 2015 at 3:04 PM ^

The biggest thing for me is keeping the site navigable on game day, and big events. That's really a black eye for this site, it just comes off as Mickey Mouse when it can't handle the traffic. 

Just speaking honestly. 

UofM626

November 22nd, 2015 at 3:09 PM ^

is to be able to start a DAMN POST FROM YOUR PHONE!!! Why can't we start threads from your Iphone. Everyone here uses there phones to look things up on the mobile site. That just kills me

ruthmahner

November 22nd, 2015 at 4:00 PM ^

This site could definitely be a better this or a better that.  But the fact is, it's the UFRs, Opponent Watch, Punt/Counterpunt, HTTV, and the rest of the front page writing that I'm here for (and I think maybe I speak for a few others).  I hope Brian and crew never get distracted trying to "fix" peripheral glitches.  The content is the thing.  Thanks, Mgostaff!

Red is Blue

November 22nd, 2015 at 4:04 PM ^

I understand the need to delete some comments, but instead of just disappearing it would be great if the offensive post could be replaced with a "original post deleted" comment. The responses to the deleted post would make more sense.

justingoblue

November 22nd, 2015 at 4:12 PM ^

When a post is deleted, all of the replies are deleted. Hitting delete on your post would also delete my reply. Between you, me, and the rest of the board, we don't do this too often. I probably average one per week.

There's an issue with the app where caved posters can post visibly, and if someone who isn't caved responds it will post to the site. This happens a lot.

Swayze Howell Sheen

November 22nd, 2015 at 4:48 PM ^

when you say that the problem would be solved by purchasing

"more bandwidth from the web hosting company"

you are most likely wrong - otherwise they would have just done that.

I bet it's more drupal/database issues which are much harder to fix. to support the load this site gets, I bet he'd have to change a lot of things ... (including much of the software stack)

 

victors2000

November 22nd, 2015 at 5:13 PM ^

that prompts you when someone has responded to something you wrote. That helps a lot more than going through previous topics on the forum to see what people thought about what you wrote.

UofMfanJJ (not verified)

November 22nd, 2015 at 5:58 PM ^

There's a few chat sites that you can embed to your website for free, when I was younger and more into shooters like Call of Duty we utilized this on clan websites.

Wado

November 22nd, 2015 at 7:33 PM ^

One thing I've noticed is that when I try to click to the second page of the mgoboard, it always starts showing diaries instead. Maybe it's a firefox thing?