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Author Topic: Ideas and plans of theymos for the forum improvements  (Read 666 times)
lobcmt2
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April 09, 2019, 09:17:01 AM
Last edit: June 23, 2019, 08:12:54 AM by lobcmt2
Merited by Welsh (5), mprep (3), OgNasty (1), Daniel91 (1), LoyceV (1), hugeblack (1), Heisenberg_Hunter (1), cabalism13 (1)
 #1

Today, theymos made a post on the ideas to improve merit system for a decentralized forum. It's amazing to see admin sticked with direction to build up a decentralized forum. From that post, one crazy idea popped up in my mind that I would start a topic, in which I present all ideas and plans of theymos with intention to improve the forum, but have not officially implemented.
It is obviously that we all can trace back the post history of theymos to get them, but it takes time, and I doubt that not all members known about them and really stored them for later use (such as stored them in Excell spreadsheet).

In my opinion, it will help us to easier to follow the potential of changes on the forum in next few months or years.
Without such topic like mine, sometimes we forgot what theymos posted and asked for opinion from bitcointalkers; or even theymos forgot what he planned to to in his To-Do List.

1) Merit system improvements for a really decentralized forum
This thought occurred to me recently:

If you wanted to implement Merit in a decentralized forum (ie. one in the vein of Freenet's Frost or FMS), you could do it in this way:
 - Everyone can, from their own perspective, give unlimited merit to posts, and these merit transactions are put into files which each user publishes via the decentralized system. (Like a merit.txt.xz which every user publishes.) Unlike on bitcointalk.org, you can also give people merit without an associated post.
 - For everyone who has merit, you download their merit-transactions-list, but scale down/up all of the numbers so that the total merit that they send is equal to the actual sMerit that they own. It might or might not be useful to do this via some sliding time frame scheme so that merit transaction amounts aren't just continually diminished over time as they increase in quantity.
 - Apply the above step recursively, creating a web-of-trust-style merit network

Then every user has a subjective merit score for each post (sort of like the bitcointalk.org trust system, which was inspired by FMS). And if you wish, you can assign people to be merit sources from your perspective by sending them large amounts of merit directly; these might or might not appear in the merit-transactions-list which you publish.

2) Inline response of trust report
It's a good idea, already on my to-do list, but it requires other changes as well. If the person who made the rating can delete it as they can today, then they can also delete the response, which isn't good. My current tentative thinking on how it should work is:
 - Raters can retract ratings, but not totally delete them.
 - Raters can add a short addendum to their ratings, and this can be freely edited, but the original rating can't be edited. (The point is to prevent conversations via rating edits. A rating should be one particular issue, and the response should be a response to this issue. Not 100% sure that this is necessary, though.)
 - Additional limits on how often you can leave ratings may be needed.

3) Epochtalk (new forum software)
The software is substantially complete. The main period of development was a while ago; the current work is mainly just maintenance & relatively minor improvements. Try running it yourself and you'll find that it's working, fast, and nearly feature-complete.

The things blocking a transition from the current software to the new software are:
 - There hasn't been enough testing. I think that immediately after transition, a variety of small missed features, bugs, and performance issues would crop up. As a result, if the transition happened now (which is technically possible!), I'd expect the post-transition user experience to be poor for months while these things are fixed, which I don't want.
 - I am the only bitcointalk.org sysadmin and on-demand programmer, and I'm used to the current software. Furthermore, I need to frequently make changes to the current software, but each change I make might require alterations to Epochtalk, which is problematic.
 - The current PHP software, while ugly and sub-optimal in many ways, performs well, especially since I have extensively modified the backend to add features and improve performance. So I don't feel much urgency.
 - The data-transition procedure still has a few known minor bugs.
 
We continue to work on these issues. I think that ultimately I may need to hire one or more full-time people, since a big problem is that the full transition is likely to create a ton of work which I won't be able to effectively handle alone.

The software is not vaporware (it's long existed in a runnable state, and is currently basically feature-complete), and is not abandoned (look at the git commit log). If anyone is unhappy with the progress, I invite them to take the Epochtalk code and create a competing forum with it; since they won't have to worry about the transition issues, they'd have a much easier time, and their testing will also end up helping us.

In short: If you want the software quicker, go run your own forum with it, and work to get any problems or missing features you find resolved via bug reports, etc. This would increase public interest, provide much-needed testing, and I might even hire you to work on bitcointalk.org when we're ready to do the final transition here.

4) Black screen when loading forum pages in chrome
I can't reproduce this on any of my devices, so I can't effectively investigate it. But I suspect that it's a recently-introduced bug in Chrome's hardware-accelerated rendering. Disabling hardware acceleration might fix it; maybe chrome://flags/#disable-accelerated-2d-canvas ? (NeuroticFish reports this isn't it)

If anyone can figure out exactly what causes it or whether I can change anything on my end to fix it, let me know.

5) Bitcointalk.org collectible coin
For bitcointalk.org's 10th anniversary later this year, I was thinking that it might be cool to produce a limited run of 50-300 coins and give them out (maybe all-expenses-paid or maybe at cost) to users who meet some to-be-determined criteria. I'm not a collector, though, so I'm not knowledgeable about this stuff.

 - Does this sound like a good idea?
 - What features would make the coin especially interesting?
 - What's the best way to get a coin like this made?

6) Badges for good reporters
I think that I'm going to add some badges for people who report a bunch of posts. Maybe one for 300 good reports, one of 1000, and one for 5000. Does anyone want to make or find these images? They have to be exactly 16x16 px (like ), and if you find them online, then they must be copyright-free.

7) Ideas for topic ordering in altcoin announcements
There's a strong incentive to spam replies to topics in altcoin announcements and a few other sections because there's a lot of activity and competition for eyeballs there. This spam should just be deleted, but I'd also like to remove the incentive by changing the default ordering of topics in those sections from "last post" to something new. (You'll still be able to click/bookmark something to get the old ordering.)

What are your ideas for new ordering methods? My current idea is:
 1. For each topic, get a list of the distinct users who posted there in the last 24 hours.
 2. Give the topic a score equal to the sum of each such user's total earned merit.
 3. Sort by topic score descending, and secondarily by the usual last post time.

With that, you still have topics with recent conversation listed first, but it requires more resources to manipulate, at least, and newbies have no influence. Maybe it'd give certain users overwhelming influence, though.

I want to think about it quite a bit more, so I probably won't do it soon.

8> LN support for forum payments system
Grin is new and clunky to use. I don't expect many people to use it, honestly. But I needed to rewrite the forum payments system anyway in order to support LN in the future and to fix some longstanding issues with the old code, so adding grin support worked out nicely.

9) Ideas of uncensorable DNS
Idea for uncensorable DNS
Has not the idea of uncensorable DNS been proposed before, while Satoshi was around?

bitDNS - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1790.0

I posted in that topic in 2010. Wink Still haven't given up on the idea.

The specific idea in that topic was basically Namecoin, but implemented sort of like a naïve colored coins thing on Bitcoin. Eventually it became Namecoin. In any case, it has the censorability issues I mentioned in my OP.

10) Ideas of an anonymous file-sharing system
Idea for an anonymous file-sharing system

11) Addblocker subscription for signatures
I've thought that it'd be interesting to publish an adblocker subscription for signatures. You can block individual users' signatures with eg. bitcointalk.org##.sig186520, and/or you can try to block signature ads generally with filters like bitcointalk.org##.signature table.



Userscripts are a good idea. Let me know if some small change on my end will help your userscript a lot.
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April 26, 2019, 10:14:38 AM
 #2

Bump for visibility of theymos' To-Do List.

I’m most excited about number 6.)




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April 26, 2019, 02:25:42 PM
 #3

5) Bitcointalk.org collectible coin
For bitcointalk.org's 10th anniversary later this year, I was thinking that it might be cool to produce a limited run of 50-300 coins and give them out (maybe all-expenses-paid or maybe at cost) to users who meet some to-be-determined criteria. I'm not a collector, though, so I'm not knowledgeable about this stuff.

 - Does this sound like a good idea?
 - What features would make the coin especially interesting?
 - What's the best way to get a coin like this made?


I read it about first time and visited that OP and find that is only post of theymos in 8 page thread. Definitely does not fit in any way in "to do " list.

I am looking forward to reporter badges + new forum software.

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April 30, 2019, 07:11:28 AM
Merited by Welsh (3), Vod (1)
 #4

The to-do list is piling up all of a sudden. Back in 2017 when theymos got an idea to prevent spam, merit was one such idea in the list. It was implemented little faster and sooner orelse the forum would have become even more worse. Badges for Reporters isn't really a good idea right now, since there might be some kind of shit happening to get a badge by reporting 300 posts. I do agree, such badges might really create an interest among the new reporters but in the long run it wouldn't really make a difference. Here in this forum the reporters can cumulatively be assumed as good posters and people who really care about the forum and its well-being.

I am close to 1000 reports and would hit that anytime in a month or 2, but should that really be popularized by having a badge? Reporting is not a job, to reward the reporters for what they do. Funny thing is that, even if I don't post in a day I report a spam whenever I browse through the forum. I don't think this is really important to implement such kind of an idea right now.

Epochtalk has been in development for lot more years than expected, so I don't think we would be seeing them quite sooner in this Q2-Q3 probably.

Appointing of new moderators should be in the to-do list right now. We can somehow manage the forum with current moderation, but having additional moderators appointed would make the work a lot more easier.

New batch of moderators are needed, it was already suggested and even hilariousandco is open to that, especially on bitcoin discussion and altcoin board. Beginners and Help is a good starting point on building new moderators, at least they can be a patroller since I can see B&H is no longer the same shit when I first check that board and to be honest some newbies are complaining why their post are being deleted there, it is not iron hand, it is just what a reporter thinks we read every day. Quality posters are evolving, spammers too.
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April 30, 2019, 07:18:52 AM
 #5

Badges for good reporters are not bad ideas. However, to prevent any kind of abusements with report badges, all badges should not give any kind of benefits for reporters, whom qualitied report enough to earn such badges. Then, it will be good. People will keep doing their daily stuffs, reporting when they see spam posts, and someday, they earn new badges. That's all and fine because such badges only give them honor and fun, without financial benefits.
-snip all badges discussion-
I hope Epochtalk will be lively before the halving of bitcoin.
Quote
Epochtalk has been in development for lot more years than expected, so I don't think we would be seeing them quite sooner in this Q2-Q3 probably.
I think it is thing can not be discussed here. If theymos have needs, he will hire more staffs for our forum. One of bad things to find new staffs, especially in local boards is it's hard to find good users and qualify them due to language limitations of current mod team (I remembered I read admin / staffs wrote it). It's terrible if new staffs abused the forum, and scam others. Fortunately, merit system maybe helpful in such screening procedure to find new staffs.
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Appointing of new moderators should be in the to-do list right now. We can somehow manage the forum with current moderation, but having additional moderators appointed would make the work a lot more easier.
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April 30, 2019, 07:28:50 AM
 #6

My reactions to the list

1. The merit awarding sounds complicated, and therefore may not be used by most members without an agenda. I think it would lead to merit flowing to the wrong people

2. I'm not big in the use of the trust system.

3. I want to support this, and I apologise for not having created a forum yet. I hit a few problems with the installation, and I haven't had the chance to sort them out.

4. Use the Brave browser. It is another browser that has been developed from the old Chromium browser.

5. That sounds like a fun project.

6. I don't seem to be any good at reporting posts, so I've backed away from this a bit.

7. Altcoins - I'd rather discuss the merits and demerits and the prospects for a few reputable coins, than read about the latest pump and dump coin.

££&$$>  Find out about rail biking in the Jet Cash coffee lounge thread on the Ivory Tower board. <££&$$.
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April 30, 2019, 12:14:50 PM
Merited by Welsh (4)
 #7

Appointing of new moderators should be in the to-do list right now. We can somehow manage the forum with current moderation, but having additional moderators appointed would make the work a lot more easier.

Agreed I don't know what the budget looks like for moderators but for a forum of its size we need more moderators. Whether they are paid or volunteered positions. Bitcoin Discussion is overrun by spam and a few other more niche sub forums like project development.

I am close to 1000 reports and would hit that anytime in a month or 2, but should that really be popularized by having a badge? Reporting is not a job, to reward the reporters for what they do. Funny thing is that, even if I don't post in a day I report a spam whenever I browse through the forum. I don't think this is really important to implement such kind of an idea right now.
I think you're thinking of it wrong you are thinking that is a reward when no it should be considered a incentive. Badges are nothing other than cosmetic and if it increases reporting stats by offering something as minor as a cosmetic badge then I'm all for the idea. There needs to either be more reporters or moderators I'm not sure if the current staff are overworked or if there aren't enough reports getting to them. Theymos knows and considering he suggested the badges to increase reports I'm thinking that there just aren't enough active reporters and the staff aren't overworked at the moment.
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April 30, 2019, 05:15:37 PM
 #8

The reason behind potential abusements on report badges is: If there is financial benefits with those badges, people might abuse it. They can create 100 account to spam, then use their main one to report all fake spams. In the second scenario, even real users might become report hunters, and might make their low quality reports. Some time people read fast, and don't care about general aspect of the forum.
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April 30, 2019, 06:09:02 PM
 #9

Here is something you can add, Theymos hinted at Lightning Network support for forum payments:

Grin is new and clunky to use. I don't expect many people to use it, honestly. But I needed to rewrite the forum payments system anyway in order to support LN in the future and to fix some longstanding issues with the old code, so adding grin support worked out nicely.


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April 30, 2019, 07:58:59 PM
Merited by Steamtyme (1)
 #10

The reason behind potential abusements on report badges is: If there is financial benefits with those badges, people might abuse it. They can create 100 account to spam, then use their main one to report all fake spams. In the second scenario, even real users might become report hunters, and might make their low quality reports. Some time people read fast, and don't care about general aspect of the forum.
I'm pretty sure that there are no plans for monetizing reports officially, and especially not with report badges. Yes, users could create unlimited accounts to generate fake reports, and contribute to the spam problem, but I very much doubt they would be willing to do that for just a reporting badge, especially when they could hop along into Bitcoin Discussion or the altcoin section, and report a mass amount of posts within a couple of minutes.

Generally, those that do report have very high percentages, and from my personal experience I haven't noticed too many users abusing the report function to benefit. Reporting badges are a good idea in my opinion because they encourage those that are already reporting to make more reports, but also rewards them without monetizing it.

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April 30, 2019, 11:05:17 PM
 #11

I knew I had come across one that would suite your thread it just took me a while to remember what it was. I would like to see this one come along sooner rather than latter, as it seemed mostly complete. I snipped out most of the post, but you can follow it to the topic.

Here's a draft of a welcome message for new users. The user will see it on the screen confirming their registration, and it'll also be available in the help center at any time.

Some text in the intro was obviously inspired by xtraelv's signature, which I really like.

Please provide your suggested additions/changes. However:
 - I don't want to put in a lot of exact numbers such as all of the merit/activity thresholds, since then I need to remember to update them.
 - I don't believe in creating definitive rule lists.
 - There's no need for this to be a complete explanation of everything on the forum. It's just the basics.
~snip~


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May 01, 2019, 08:36:10 AM
 #12

-snip-
I highly appreciated your help, and added it in my OP.
Reporting badges are a good idea in my opinion because they encourage those that are already reporting to make more reports, but also rewards them without monetizing it.
If the reporter badges still have been in To-Do list of theymos, it should be sticked with non-financial benefits from those badges. I believe theymos does not have intention to monetize those badges. People always try to abuse, so new things should be consider that their launches won't lead to new types of abusement in the forum.
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May 01, 2019, 08:42:44 AM
 #13

What is the benefit of reposting ideas that may be implemented several years later and discussed several times? As long as there is one developer I do not think that such topics will change anything.
If the topic is about the changes that have already taken place, that may be meaningful.

1) Merit system improvements for a really decentralized forum
-snip-
I did not understand how it works, can anyone explain it in a simplified way?

For bitcointalk.org's 10th anniversary later this year, I was thinking that it might be cool to produce a limited run of 50-300 coins and give them out (maybe all-expenses-paid or maybe at cost) to users who meet some to-be-determined criteria.
I have always loved such ideas but the coin must be in a digital form.

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May 01, 2019, 09:13:34 AM
 #14

What is the benefit of reposting ideas that may be implemented several years later and discussed several times? As long as there is one developer I do not think that such topics will change anything.
If the topic is about the changes that have already taken place, that may be meaningful.
Let me explain it more. I started with ideas that sometimes theymos posted excellent posts (as he always does), but he did not create new topics to do it, they are just posts. In addition, those posts ususally published in massive topic in Meta board, it means those posts will highly been burried with future posts from forum members. Overtime, people even don't know or forget that those posts exist in the forum. Consequently, discussions on such innovative changes are very limited.

That's is why I created the topic, to remind forum members that theymos raised something for us to discuss, and where to join those discussions.
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May 01, 2019, 09:39:30 AM
Merited by Welsh (4)
 #15

Badges for good reporters are not bad ideas. However, to prevent any kind of abusements with report badges, all badges should not give any kind of benefits for reporters, whom qualitied report enough to earn such badges.
I never said them as bad ideas. I have said those badges shouldn't be of higher priority right ATM. There are many more things to be implemented apart from badges like Epochtalk and moderators appointment. I remember hilarious saying such a quote last year when theymos had ideas of implementing reporting badges. It is good to have badges but it isn't really important now.

It's terrible if new staffs abused the forum, and scam others. Fortunately, merit system maybe helpful in such screening procedure to find new staffs.
Yes, I do agree with this. It isn't really easy to appoint a moderator who is trustworthy. The appointed moderator shouldn't be abusing his position by indulging himself in scams. This is a digital forum, where we doesn't know each other. In such cases, trusting someone just based on his past activities takes some time.

Agreed I don't know what the budget looks like for moderators but for a forum of its size we need more moderators. Whether they are paid or volunteered positions. Bitcoin Discussion is overrun by spam and a few other more niche sub forums like project development.
Here is a post of mine highlighting the pay for mods : Role of Moderator.

theymos has no problem in hiring additional moderators since there are enough reserves to run the forum and pay for moderators/volunteers. But trusting the appointed moderators is literally important than hiring him. We doesn't know how they might be after being appointed.

I have always loved such ideas but the coin must be in a digital form.
Digital Form?  Huh Please read Why a physical bitcoin? by casascius aka Mike Caldwell


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May 01, 2019, 12:03:32 PM
 #16

Two other things found (OP updated). They are both too long OPs, so I don't quote it here, instead I post links to two topics.
Idea for an anonymous file-sharing system
Idea for uncensorable DNS
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June 23, 2019, 08:07:49 AM
 #17

Added the newest plan of @theymos.

Addblocker subscription for signatures
I've thought that it'd be interesting to publish an adblocker subscription for signatures. You can block individual users' signatures with eg. bitcointalk.org##.sig186520, and/or you can try to block signature ads generally with filters like bitcointalk.org##.signature table.



Userscripts are a good idea. Let me know if some small change on my end will help your userscript a lot.
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June 23, 2019, 10:28:51 PM
 #18

I’m most excited about number 6.)
I haven't open the thread again about what is the design that will be used for the "Badges for Reporters" where the last time I checked I saw different badge designs created and posted it in the thread discussing what badge design that will be use later on if it's implemented. Anyway, in my opinion badge design is not that much important if I were to say where reporting forum users that is proven that they did not follow the rules or violating the rules is much more important than those badge designs but badge design can make the forum more lively than before.

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