Feedback and feature updates for this forum

In this thread we’ll share updates we’re making to the forum (in comments below) + it’s a good place for you to share any feedback about how we can make things better.


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  • Comments (18)

    • 10

      Released some commonly requested features this week. Goals were to make it easier to see what’s different since your last visit, easier to skim through lists of conversations, launch a notification window similar to Facebook, and better highlight meaningful contributions and contributors.

      2020-12 new sorting

      Sort by active, new, and top

      The default / only view before was sorting by most recent activity. There are now options to sort by new, which ignores comment activity and sorts based on when the original post/thread was created, and to sort by top, which sorts by order of upvotes within the last 30 days.

      2020-12 new views

      Concise vs. expanded lists

      Some people like a “skinny” list that’s super easy to skim, while others like more information for each row/convo before deciding to click into it. Now you have a choice. This is what the “card” expanded view looks like:

      2020-12 card view

      Recognizing and rewarding great contributors

      Many people want to chip in to the main “knowledge base” articles on The Prepared, such as the big “best of” product reviews or checklists. Part of how we’re making this possible is by recognizing great forum convos as contributions to those main articles. 

      This works both ways. A forum convo might become a “related discussion” or source for a main article, so people reading the article can find their way into these peripheral / deeper convos that stem from the article.

      Now, when a forum convo is good enough to be associated with an article, the forum thread will show that reward and the article(s) it helped.

      The thread from Jonnie Pekelny talking about jackets for BOBs, for example, is now associated with the main bug out bag checklist article. 

      What it looks like on the forum thread:

      2020-12 sidebar evergreen

      What it looks like from the article side (under related discussions):

      2020-12 related

      People who make those great contributions get a reward badge/trophy

      When a convo is featured in the forum and/or contributes to a main article, the author will get a reward badge, probably a trophy or a star (we’re not sure yet.) Those trophies are displayed on your user profile. And we’re working on ways to reward those top contributors with free gear etc.

      An example of those stars on my profile:

      2020-12 stars

      Sidebar widgets for recent convos

      In the right sidebar of every forum page, there’s a list of recent convos from the entire forum, and another list of recent activity among the threads you’re following:

      2020-12 side widgets

      Site-wide notifications

      New activity on convos you follow, such as a reply to a post you made, will be shared here. This is separate from your settings about whether or not you get email notifications for the same activity.

      2020-12 notifications

    • 6

      I love all of the updates that have been made to the forums lately! Especially the notifications. I don’t have to search through all my old posts to see if anyone responded to me.

    • 4

      Are topic subforums being considered? 

      • 5

        Just to make sure I am understanding your question correctly, are you wanting to suggest a topic for people to talk about in the forum?

        Or categorizing forum posts into topics like fire/water/first aid?

      • 6

        The second option. 🙂

        Such as: food/gardening/preserving


        current events

      • 9

        Thanks for asking. Definitely considered, but for now we’re trying to avoid it because it creates a “Chinese menu” problem and the categorization can be awkward since many conversations fit in multiple categories, causing confusion/frustration for posters and readers. Here’s an example. Versus our intended model, something like the Preppers subreddit, where all convos are in a single area, with some narrowing tags/filters if someone wants them.

        What do you think between those two examples?

      • 6

        Ah, I’m not a fan of the reddit style. I prefer things more organized. 

        Maybe you’re gearing more towards the younger crowd? The promise of a politics-free zone is what drew me in, but I’m older, prepping for a long time and wouldn’t go on social media if you paid me. 😉 

      • 3

        That is helpful to hear, thanks. 

    • 7

      I appreciate this site and don’t want this to sound like a complaint, but I’ve noticed some whacky things going on with the time and date stamps of my posts.  For instance, a comment I may have just posted will be marked as posted 7 hours ago.  And a couple days ago, every single thread stated that it had been posted on Dec 31, 1969!  I’m not sure if it’s just me or the system, but wanted to bring it to your attention.

      • 6

        I appreciate the feedback! That definitely is not a complaint and something that needs to be addressed immediately.

        I have noticed both of those issues as well earlier today. A bug slipped in through new code a day or so ago and we are fixing it now.

    • 7

      I am still looking through the site and getting my bearings here.  One thing I would like to see would be a like button for posts, where I don’t have to reply to let the poster know I respected what they said.

      As far as why I’m here learning more about the site is I got really tired of the crazy conspiracy theories and political focus on the forum I have been an active member with for years. 

      • 5

        Welcome 🙂 If I may point out the upvote arrows on threads and comments:

        Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 5.38.50 PM

        Is it that you would like the author of whatever you’re clapping for to know it was you who liked/voted?

      • 7

        So the arrow up is a like, and down is dislike?  Thanks.  I think knowing who rated it is a good idea but this helps to show support for good ideas.

      • 6

        Yep. It’s the same essential mechanism, whether an upvote, like, star, clap, etc.

    • 11

      I am still learning how to navigate the forum so can’t point out too much right now.  I would like to say how refreshing it is to see it seems to be about prepping and is in a generally positive atmosphere.  I was involved with Doomsday Preppers Forum for a long while.  (If I can mention them by name).  It was the only other forum I’ve ever been involved with. In the beginning it was a good place but in time it evolved into nothing but a huge political and conspiracy theory fest.  The election seems to have brought out not only the worst in people but unbelievably craziness.  So to sum it up here, I am really grateful for a place to discuss real issues with grounded people.

      • 3

        I am glad that you found this website and are enjoying it so far. I too am grateful for and like hanging out on here because it is not political or full of crazy conspiracies. 

        Dog lover – Thank you for all of your great comments on the forum since you have joined us. I’ve enjoyed learning from you and hearing your perspective on things. 

    • 4

      One feature I’d like to see that can make things better is to automatically post next to one’s picture or in same space, basic geographic and topographic info of poster.

      Questions are asked that can’t be tailored because of some basic variables.  If someone, for example, write from rural north New Mexico regarding some tool maintenance question, it has little value to introduce good, but irrelevant, info on maritime corrosion products and low cost sources.  The vice-versa example balances this out.  It’s the same for clothing.

      Sometimes the same words are used in discussions but different meanings are assigned the definitions of the words.  For example, San Francisco is one of the world’s major urban areas. Yet San Francisco Bay is larger than the state of Rhode Island and has areas nothing at all “urban” about them.

      • 7

        Thank you for your suggestion. I can see the value of letting people know your location can be in receiving the best answer and advice to their forum post.