Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

New Category/the 'info' tab

HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,457
edited April 2011 in Brickset.com
I've just created this category which I'd like you to use to raise questions/make suggestions etc. about the main brickset.com site.

I have a question I'd like to raise. The 'Info' tab on the set details pages was supposed to be used for people to add snippets of data, like prices or availability, that we might not otherwise record.

However looking at http://www.brickset.com/information/, which shows the latest info added, as you'll see it's full of rubbish and the most rubbish seems to be posted on sets which are not yet released.

So, what I will do is disable the tab for unreleased sets and delete anything posted about unreleased sets. That'll solve half the problem but do you think there's anything else I should do to improve its usefulness, or do you think the feature is not really needed?

Comments

  • vynsanevynsane Member Posts: 179
    The character limit is a bit... limiting (I guess that's the point).

    I added a note under the 'Info' tab for the PotC Jack Sparrow figure being offered with various pre-orders, to note that Amazon.com is offering a $10 credit, the minifigure, and their usual pre-order price guarantee (to illustrate that it could be the same OR a better deal than Walmart, etc), but couldn't really fit all that info into the space available. It came out as

    Amazon.com is also offering a $10 credit and this figure (along with their preorder price guarantee)
    which doesn't really explicitly state it's for the pre-order of the game. Just a few more words would've sufficed.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    How about making it so that info on future sets has to be moderated? Snippets of info about what figs are in a set, how many pieces, cost, etc. can be useful.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,457
    Most of it is just speculation by kids though. We have enough of a moderation burden already but I guess that's the only real way to solve the problem. If kids can't see their text appear straight away they probably won't bother posting it.

  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    I think we have a similar, but less severe, problem with 'bricklists' too. Too many "sets that I own", "sets that I want", "the best sets of 2004 according to me", "sets with great minifigs in", blah, which are basically useless to anyone other than the original poster. I go in & have a clear out about once a month ...
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    My personal opinion is that the idea for the info tab was a really good idea that failed in practice. So I think that a feature that accomplishes the aim of the info tab would be a good thing, if it is possible to do.

    The idea that came to my mind when I saw the post about this feature on the main page was a wiki like ability for people to add information. I think crowd-sourcing information for the database could make it easier to update the database with additional information. What might help make it work would be to structure the information being provided. Right now you can put anything up, from something useful like MSRP to something useless like "This is my favorite set!." However, if you structured the data you'd filter out the useless comments. So select a type of data to add and then be restricted to responses that match that category of information (e.g. numbers only for price).

    Another consideration is accuracy. You can use the crowd to your advantage. If you keep getting the same info repeatedly from different users, it is more likely to be accurate. You could automatically flag these additions for an admin to review before updating the database proper.

    In the future, you could even expand this information submission feature to get information you otherwise could not get. For instance, for new releases you could allow people to enter where they have found a new set and then aggregate that data to display a map of sightings.

    In summery I think the idea of having people provide database information is a very good idea worth exploring, but it would need to be more structured to get useful information.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    I'm sure I'm not the only one out there, I would be happy to moderate the info tab comments (and Bricklists or news comments)

    Matthew
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,457
    I've disabled adding info for unreleased sets and removed the crap that had been posted.

    I'll set up a moderation system in the fulness of time. I'm working on another cool little addition at the moment.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    I'm working on another cool little addition at the moment.
    The ACM, finally!! Like @brickmatic, I thought the info tab it was a good idea when announced, but in reality it was quickly filled with nonsense and I soon stopped looking at it. Moderation is one way to go, but have the mods really got the time, I'd suggest not.

  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited April 2011
    Moderation is one way to go, but have the mods really got the time, I'd suggest not.
    Division of labour. The current staff don't have to do it all; I think there are opportunities to recruit more Mods to do specific jobs. I'm sure there are others here who would be happy to contribute to the continued success & growth of the Brickset family of websites ... and, no, please, we aren't looking for volunteers at the moment ;-)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,457
    edited April 2011
    The ACM, finally!!
    Sorry, not just yet. DrD know what this is and is responsible for it happening. Should be ready in a few days. TBH it's not that exciting, but it will help link the LEGO community.

  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 255
    Can someone help an 'outsider' like me with the abbreviations like ACM and TBH?
    What might help make it work would be to structure the information being provided. Right now you can put anything up, from something useful like MSRP to something useless like "This is my favorite set!." However, if you structured the data you'd filter out the useless comments. So select a type of data to add and then be restricted to responses that match that category of information (e.g. numbers only for price).
    I totally agree with this.

    I don't think the use of a wiki-like system would work, seeing all the youngsters spoiling the info tab as it is/was.

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,261
    Can someone help an 'outsider' like me with the abbreviations like ACM and TBH?
    ACM - Advanced Collection Manager; it'll be a way of capturing much more detail about your sets. When Huw finishes it !
    TBH - To Be Honest

  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    The ACM, finally!!
    Sorry, not just yet.
    Yeah, I was just kidding around, I know the ACM won't be ready until the end of next week at the latest. Looking forward to the new feature as always.

  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    edited April 2011
    Why not just replace the "info" tab with a "discussion" tab that links to forum topics on that set?

    I know, I know, this would require more administrative overhead, but I think it would be much more useful. Also, the topic links could be harvested automatically using a subject title search or keywords (if those exist in these forums - I haven't checked yet).
  • Endigo_VandaneEndigo_Vandane The NetherlandsMember Posts: 18
    snip - I have a question I'd like to raise. The 'Info' tab on the set details pages was supposed to be used for people to add snippets of data, like prices or availability, that we might not otherwise record.

    However looking at http://www.brickset.com/information/, which shows the latest info added, as you'll see it's full of rubbish and the most rubbish seems to be posted on sets which are not yet released. - snip
    What about a form behind the 'Info' tab that you can fill out.

    Store
    Location
    Price
    Availability

    Something like that should dissuade people from misusing that feature.


  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited April 2011
    Why not just replace the "info" tab with a "discussion" tab that links to forum topics on that set?

    I know, I know, this would require more administrative overhead, but I think it would be much more useful. Also, the topic links could be harvested automatically using a subject title search or keywords (if those exist in these forums - I haven't checked yet).
    I like that idea, it'd be like the News tab works on the sets, but it'd need to be read only I would think.
  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    edited April 2011
    I like that idea, it'd be like the News tab works on the sets, but it'd need to be read only I would think.
    Yes, very similar to the news tab. The content displayed/linked on the tab itself would be read only, but anyone could of course add new information by contributing to the discussions listed on it.

    To me the idea of an "info" tab is basically obsolete now that there is this great forum through which anyone (of proper age) can contribute information. Why have two completely separate functions on the site which overlap so greatly in functionality and will both need moderation of some sort?

    For that matter, and not to veer off-topic, I could see the forum replacing the current commenting functionality used for news stories as well. Again, less to moderate, and less to manage. Granted this blocks users 16 yrs and younger from commenting. But given that the motivation for keeping them out of the forum is to comply with legal obligations, I don't see how users of that age should be permitted to comment on news stories either. Any good lawyer is going to be able to establish an argument that those news story comments are effectively a discussion forum.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,457
    ^ If it was easy to integrate the two then that is something I'd consider. However there is something to be said about the immediacy of being able to comment on the news articles on the main site. Other sites, like Toys N Bricks, 'force' people into the forum in order to discuss an article and thus do not seem to get the same level of participation.

    At the moment I am fairly happy having this as a 'sister site' to Brickset itself, peforming a different role but strengthening the Brickset brand, and thus increasing traffic.

    You are probably right about the lawyer, but my counter argument, which probably wouldn't bear scrutiny in court is that only staff members can start 'discussions' so can ensure they remain uncontroversial (for want of a better term) and there is no member-to-member contact system unless users specifically opt in.
  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    Points taken, Huw. In fact, as I just related in another post, I actually like the UI for the news comments better than the UI for the forum discussions. :)

    However, back to the "info" tab discussion, to me there is very little value in keeping that seperate from the forum. That's just my opinion though. At the very least, I do think the set listing details pages would benefit greatly from a "discussion" tab. Perhaps it needn't replace the "info" tab, but it really would be nice to have it there either way.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,457
    edited April 2011
    "I do think the set listing details pages would benefit greatly from a "discussion" tab" I would agree but for the fact it would be overrun by kids.

    The info tab may well be superflouous now and I'm happy to remove it if it's felt to have little or no value. However since I removed the ability to write speculative stuff on unreleased sets, activity has slowed down a bit: http://www.brickset.com/information/ and what's there is fairly useful.
  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    edited April 2011
    "I do think the set listing details pages would benefit greatly from a "discussion" tab" I would agree but for the fact it would be overrun by kids.
    Ok, but what I meant was a discussions tab that links to discussions here on this forum, not a seperate discussion system all on its own. Unless I misunderstand, and you are saying that you are concerned that providing such a tab will only further encourage children to ignore the rules and create bricksetforum accounts?

    I do understand your desire to keep brickset and brickset forums seperate, and the reasons behind it. Admittedly, these are things that a user probably cannot fully appreciate like a site owner can, especially a site such as this one with so many minor-aged visitors. It is a challenge for sure. In any case, to whatever extent they are logisitically feasible, I am in strong favor of any mechanisms that can be added to the site which foster the highest quality of information sharing and consumption. :)

    I should add in closing that you've done a great job so far. Keep up the good work!
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,457
    ^ Ah, Ok, understood
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited April 2011
    To me the idea of an "info" tab is basically obsolete now that there is this great forum through which anyone (of proper age) can contribute information. Why have two completely separate functions on the site which overlap so greatly in functionality and will both need moderation of some sort?
    I don't think the idea of an info tab is obsolete. I see the site as having three major functions: News, Database, and Discussion. News being editorial reporting of major topics of interest to LEGO enthusiasts, Database being a structured repository of information about LEGO products, and Discussion being a conversation between consumers of the site about its contents. I see the info tab as part of the Database function, not the Discussion function. I might be mistaken about its initial purpose, but for me the idea of an info tab allows expansion of the Database by allowing users to provide additional relevant information.
    For that matter, and not to veer off-topic, I could see the forum replacing the current commenting functionality used for news stories as well. Again, less to moderate, and less to manage.
    I think both serve the same function, namely Discussion, but I think they do it in different and unique ways. I have made it known before that I feel very strongly that the best thing to do is to keep both interfaces around but integrate the data so it appears in both the main page and the forum and is automatically synchronized between the two. This would be further facilitated by a single sign on.
    ^ If it was easy to integrate the two then that is something I'd consider. However there is something to be said about the immediacy of being able to comment on the news articles on the main site. Other sites, like Toys N Bricks, 'force' people into the forum in order to discuss an article and thus do not seem to get the same level of participation.
    I agree. I would be very sad to see commenting on the main site go. However, I don't want to lead discussion in two different places. Integration along the lines of same data, different interface, would be ideal in my mind.
    You are probably right about the lawyer, but my counter argument, which probably wouldn't bear scrutiny in court is that only staff members can start 'discussions' so can ensure they remain uncontroversial (for want of a better term) and there is no member-to-member contact system unless users specifically opt in.
    It is not about content. It is about collecting information of people 13 and under without parental consent. At least in the US, but I figure the wording is similar in the UK. And I think the US law actually applies as well. But I am not a lawyer.
    The info tab may well be superflouous now and I'm happy to remove it if it's felt to have little or no value. However since I removed the ability to write speculative stuff on unreleased sets, activity has slowed down a bit: http://www.brickset.com/information/ and what's there is fairly useful.
    I think having an info tab is better than not having an info tab, especially with you modification. I think there are ways of improving the info tab.
    In any case, to whatever extent they are logisitically feasible, I am in strong favor of any mechanisms that can be added to the site which foster the highest quality of information sharing and consumption. :)
    I concur, I am in strong favor of having as seamless and tight integration between to two site sections as possible. I would add that integration should be done in a way that makes locating information easy and does not burden navigation of the site.

    In closing, I really appreciate all the work put into the site. I have my opinions on which way I would like the site to develop and while people are talking about it I'd figure I would join in. However, at the end of the day I know it isn't up to me and I respect the decisions made by those in charge of the site. I just want to make crystal clear that I think this whole site has been wonderfully developed and managed, I appreciate all of the hard work that has been put in, and am thankful for its continued existence and growth.
  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    edited April 2011
    I don't think the idea of an info tab is obsolete. I see the site as having three major functions: News, Database, and Discussion. News being editorial reporting of major topics of interest to LEGO enthusiasts, Database being a structured repository of information about LEGO products, and Discussion being a conversation between consumers of the site about its contents. I see the info tab as part of the Database function, not the Discussion function. I might be mistaken about its initial purpose, but for me the idea of an info tab allows expansion of the Database by allowing users to provide additional relevant information.
    I definitely see value in thinking about the site as being partitioned into distinct function areas, as your examples demonstrate. At the same time, speaking from a practical standpoint, I don't know that it is ultimately best to segregate the database from the discussion. I do agree that the database should be kept as pure as possible, while discussion may at times be anything but. However, good discussion can make for good data too. Ultimately, whether you put links to the discussion directly into the database or not, you are still going to end up with people wanting to talk about the data. In turn, some of the resulting discussion will inevitably be of high enough quality to classify it as expansion upon the data itself. However, I would agree that the manner by which this process is allowed to effect the sites growth and the exact mechanisms employed in leveraging this organic process are secondary to the goal of harvesting and providing the best information. In the end I think we I agree on much, and at the same time we have to keep in mind the challenges that Huw and the staff face in this regard.
    I think both serve the same function, namely Discussion, but I think they do it in different and unique ways. I have made it known before that I feel very strongly that the best thing to do is to keep both interfaces around but integrate the data so it appears in both the main page and the forum and is automatically synchronized between the two. This would be further facilitated by a single sign on.
    That would probably work, although I can see it being somewhat inelegant to implement and non-robust from a maintenance point of view. And of course, there's this sort of underlying theme that what can be technically achieved may not ultimately be the best from a liability perspective.
    I agree. I would be very sad to see commenting on the main site go. However, I don't want to lead discussion in two different places. Integration along the lines of same data, different interface, would be ideal in my mind.
    Well, I happen to like the commenting interface much more than the forum one, so I'd be happy to see this place adopt that interface and then see the result just be integrated transparently back into the news comments. :) Though I am aware that this is not a technically easy task due to limitations in flexibilty of the board software.
  • vynsanevynsane Member Posts: 179
    edited April 2011
    Other sites, like Toys N Bricks, 'force' people into the forum in order to discuss an article and thus do not seem to get the same level of participation.
    I'm not sure if it effects participation, but it does effect what pages you visit. Most sites that have the same "comment in the forum" type of setup make me tend to just go straight to the forum itself, as opposed to entering the site at the 'homepage' and accessing the forum via the site navigation.

    That said, I've been doing the same thing with this separate URL situation, so maybe it's just a forum thing.

  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited April 2011
    I don't know that it is ultimately best to segregate the database from the discussion. I do agree that the database should be kept as pure as possible, while discussion may at times be anything but. However, good discussion can make for good data too.
    Oh I agree with you that people would want to discuss the sets themselves. I don't see and Info tab and a Discussion tab on the set pages as mutually exclusive. We do agree on much :) The main distinction I see between what I call the Database function and the Discussion function is structure. Discussions are unstructured data, in that people talk about whatever they want within the realm of the topic. They express themselves in whatever format suits them. This is great, but makes it hard to aggregate data or read it at a glance. The database is structured. There are specific categories and formats used to present data. I see the Info tab (as opposed to a discussion tab) as being a way to crowdsource missing or difficult to otherwise obtain data for the database. I see the discussion tab as linking to discussions which mention the particular set number, sort of like how you can indicate a user with @user and then create a list of all the comments he is mentioned in.
    That would probably work, although I can see it being somewhat inelegant to implement and non-robust from a maintenance point of view.
    I think you can automate it because essentially on the back end it is the same kind of data. The code to put it together might be a bit complicated, but the result would be very slick on the front end. As an analogy, it is sort of how you can use either a web client or a desktop client to read the same email. I like to read my email in Thunderbird, others prefer reading it on a website, but the option to use both is there either way and I don't have to worry about two different sets of emails.
    I'm not sure if it effects participation, but it does effect what pages you visit. Most sites that have the same "comment in the forum" type of setup make me tend to just go straight to the forum itself, as opposed to entering the site at the 'homepage' and accessing the forum via the site navigation.

    That said, I've been doing the same thing with this separate URL situation, so maybe it's just a forum thing.
    In terms of participation, consider that currently you have two separate places on Brickset where you can participate: main page comments AND/OR forum. Participation on the forum has gone up, obviously, since it didn't exist before. I'm willing to bet that participation on the main page will decline.

    Consider you're also splitting the audience in two. It's not like everyone can participate in the forum. And with less participation on the main page it might act as a disincentive to participate there.

    The real question: is overall participation on the site higher if 1) the comments page and forum are separate locations for participation 2) the comments page and the forum are effectively one location for participation.

    I think that in the long run option 2 wins.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.