March 24, 2010 at 8:34 pm #95790
Govloop is a bookmark in my browser for a reason, and that's not because I want to see content that someone thinks I should see but because I want to see it.
I have no idea what a Govloop feature means, be it a featured blog post, a featured discussion topic, a featured group, whatever.
Further, if I want to see all Govloop content around a certain keyword, why must I type it in a million different ways -- when I can do a similar keyword search on Facebook and see all profiles, pages, groups, applications, etc in one view?
And while I'm griping, why are those green box topics opening new pages in new windows? What if I don't want them to open in new windows? I guess I won't click them anymore.
And, what's with the horizontal scroll on the top of the homepage? Oh right... that's a featured thing.
I used to like Govloop...a year ago. Since then, the layout has become overwhelming. I realize there are constraints with Ning, but there are other Ning sites with many more members that are far less visually distracting and more user friendly.
My two cents.
March 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm #95798
Hey Ari - You're never shy about expressing your opinion, are you? 🙂
A few points:
1. Featured Blogs/Discussions - I actually have a blog post in draft form that will address this issue. Hope to have it posted by Friday.
2. Rotating Carousel at Top ("horizontal scroll") - Used to have this on the right side of the page essentially. Now we highlight key content in that carousel. Plus, it adds a nice visual upon landing on the page. Makes it "pop" when you arrive. Larger faces welcoming you when you come to the community.
3. Keyword Search - every website that I visit has a problem with search, including Facebook. You can never get the term quite right. What are you searching for? Give me a specific example. I'll work from there to help you find a solution that will apply not only to that search, but to other searches in the community.
Aside: I wrote a blog on "How-To: Use Tags Like a GovLoop Rockstar" to help in this regard.
4. Green Box Topics - Those are designed to make GovLoop less overwhelming - again, tied to tagging, they allow members to gain access to content much more easily. In some ways, it's a solution to your search concern, hitting the most popular categories among members.
At the same time that I offer these answers, I would invite you to offer a solution or recommendation for every concern that you have articulated above. You certainly stir things up, Ari, and you and I know one another well enough that I can challenge you to not only point out issues...but to come up with some alternatives for fixing them. 🙂
Looking forward to your positive solutions!
March 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm #95796
How will I know your Friday blog post will be up? Will that be in the featured blog posts? 😉
I'm curious if other people like that "rotating carousel," in your words. I grasp your perspective for new users, but for people visiting every day or multiple times a day, it can be repetitive -- and better placed elsewhere.
As for search, suppose I want to know blog posts and discussion posts that match the word, "Boston." I can type the word in the top-right search box but each page of results shows so many profiles and one group; each result page is x number profiles and 1 group. The group makes sense, though I'd rather see all of them and not one per page. The profiles are meaningless as a name alone does not mean said person is living in Boston, working in Boston, working *for* Boston, etc. But that search box doesn't tell me posts. I know I can search blog/discussion posts separately, so how about combining the two into one search form?
The green box topics make no sense to me, as... again, if I want to search geographically (or by level of government, even), there's no way to sort. And try to rethink the auto-open in new windows.
March 24, 2010 at 10:04 pm #95794
Auto-open in a new window *is* annoying and probably best only for links that cause someone to leave GovLoop. Personally, I like the new featured stuff, and just look down lower on the page for the newest content. It was really bad when every new post automatically went front and center on the main page and I've noticed that the discussions are much richer now that great content stays up a little longer. GovLoop is feeling more curated, which we can thank Andy for.
March 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm #95792
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