IxDA Beta Overview

29 May 2007 - 10:34pm
397 reads
Jeff Howard

Hi everyone. Here's an overview of the new features of the IxDA discussion
list beta. It's designed to complement the e-mail version of the list.


* The core of the new beta is the threaded discussion reader. You'll find
a list of recent threads in the sidebar on the right, showing the names of
people who are participating in the threads. Select any name in the
sidebar to jump directly to that member's comment. Each time someone posts
a comment, that thread jumps to the top of the sidebar. Over time, less
active threads drift toward the bottom of the page.

* Most threads are categorized under one of nine different topics (by a
small group of IxDA administrators). If a thread is categorized, its
sidebar will contain links to other recent threads in that topic. Select
the topic name to browse the entire collection.

* Below each post in the main thread is a toolbar that allows you to flag
particularly good posts as favorites. When you mark a post, it'll be
highlighted for you (and everyone else who reads the list) to see so that
you can visually scan a thread for the best comments. Favorite posts are
flagged in search results and on the sidebar (in orange). Favorites are
saved to your profile page so you can easily find them later.

* Also in the toolbar is a link to forward a post to a friend by e-mail.
Use this to send interesting discussion list comments to people who aren't
on the list, or e-mail copies of certain posts to yourself to archive.

* At the bottom of every thread is a list of tags for that thread and
related threads that share those tags. Any member can add a tag to a
thread to generate cross-references. These tags also show up in your

* Search. Select any tag or use the search box to perform a simple keyword
search on thread titles or tags (no full body search). If you're signed
in, you can also search for members by name or e-mail address.

* Members can comment on any thread by using the comment form at the
bottom of the thread. The list updates every few minutes with new
comments. Any comments made on the website will be distributed to those
who read the list via e-mail and vice versa.

* There are several new RSS feeds for the discussion list. You can follow
summaries or full posts of every comment made on the list. Or there are
several subsets: Feeds for new threads only. Feeds for popular threads in
which five or more people are participating. Feeds for job postings. Feeds
for any member's comments.

. . .

If you're feeling ambitious, there are several years of archives waiting
to be tagged. Tags add value to the discussion list by generating
cross-references to related threads and aiding search. At the bottom of
the sidebar you'll find a link to browse the archives. Select any month to
load that month's discussion into the sidebar. Then tag as usual. When
you're finished, select the main discussion link in the top navigation to
return to the current discussion list.

As you use the IxDA beta, problems may crop up from time to time. We'd
like your feedback to help make this a better experience.

// jeff

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