I saw that RT recently brought on a new person to work on the community side of things (welcome to the family @kickme444!). Seeing people talk more about the community site got me thinking about what improvements or innovations might be cool to see. So, I thought I’d share some ideas. Most of these y’all have probably seen around, here and there. So here's a smattering of ideas (and some stinkers I'm sure).
Right now, notifications and the feeds kind of do the same thing. It’d be neat if you could choose what shows up in either. For example, let’s say after you click the “Follow” button, you get a little switch with two options: notification or feed. Because some things I would rather see passively in my feed, but others more directly. And if that's overkill, then just some delineation would be nice.
Save Draft Option For Journals
Similar to Tumblr, a feature that lets you save a draft journal or post. I like to write up journals over a couple days, so I end up having to save word docs on my computer.
Group Admin Alerts
I don’t really manage any groups nowadays, but when I did, I would have to keep an eye on the forum to see if anyone created a new forum thread. I could follow threads to get alerts on new posts, but I could not get alerts when someone created a new forum thread in a group I managed. Perhaps that feature could be put on the admin privilege side of the group’s page. When I was in the thick of organizing for RvBTX, such a feature would have been great to have.
Collaboration on Albums
For users and groups, the option to share upload privileges within individual albums would be cool. Owners of an album could invite users to collaborate. Useful for events and projects.
3rd Party Auto-Post
It could take the form of checkboxes when submitting journals or images, with icons for various social media sites. Selecting the box enables the site to post on other social media, with a link to the post on RT.
Share on RT Option
Similar to the previous concept, but with the added option of reposting on RT. Many times I see a friend’s journal, and wish I could share it on RT. Essentially the same thing as retweet or reblog.
Return of Old Features
The ability to see who likes or +1s our posts. Either on the post itself, or on a separate page for all of our posts. Seeing as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and other popular sites let you see who likes your content, it'd be nice to see this feature return. In addition, a breakdown of the individual mods on posts would be cool to see. A similar example is Facebook, which shows how many thumbs, hearts, or emojis a post got. In RT’s case, for a +45 post, it could be a mouse-over list that shows “+20 cool, +30 ditto, -5 lame”.
This was a feature that let you see a two-week log of all the public activity of a user, including their recent journals, photos, and forum posts. It was a great way to gauge the activity and engagement of your friends. The feature is similar to other forum and board-based sites, that allow you to see the history of a user. One example is Reddit, which allows you to see the full history of a user’s public posts.
Friends’ Likes Feed
A feed which shows you posts and content that your friends have liked. In the past there were many projects, artists, and events that I would not have even heard about if it wasn’t for this feature. It’s a great way to see what’s popular among your friends and the community as a whole.
Personal Stats & Milestones
It was cool to be able to go to a page that showed my lifetime number of journals, mods, photos, and forum posts. There used to be a page where you could see this. You really got a sense of your history on the site, and how much you contributed. Milestones were also little awards that you got for participating on the site. Similar to Reddit's Trophy Case, it showed your achievements and history. I had a milestone for being one of the first 10,000 people to sign up on the site. There were also neat little awards that staff members could give you. The staff member would see your content, and choose to bestow upon you their award. Back in the day, everyone was on a mini-quest to get the founding fathers’ awards. You would try to post something cool on your profile or show a cool project you completed, in the hope they would see it and give you their award. The only award I ever got Gus’s, which was an icon of a whiskey bottle. I think I got it for my interaction with him at RTX 2011.
Various Post & Profile Details
The ability to see the date and time something was posted. This exists in some form currently, but not for all types of content and posts. Another detail is views. Each person’s profile had a section that listed their total views for journals and photos. This was a great metric for seeing how much reach and engagement your content garnered. There was also the currently online indicator. When enabled, a profile would say “currently online”. It would also give a user's status. For example, in the corner it would say “currently browsing the forum” or “currently reading a journal” (or something similar to that).
These were photo galleries that users were allowed to contribute to. Moderation was probably a lot easier back then, but people were able to access public galleries for the various events RT was at and upload their own photos. There were galleries for RTX and other popular conventions in which RT had a presence.
Other Miscellaneous Suggestions
Sort Function on Comments
I wish we had the option to sort the comments on posts. Newest, oldest, highest rated, etc.
Final Confirmation on "Dismiss All Notifications"
When "see all notifications" and "dismiss all notifications" are so close, an extra “are you sure” would be nice.
Differentiation on Parent/Child Comment Threads
When scrolling through comments on journals, it’d hard to spot and differentiate conversations. A little line next to threads, similar to Reddit, would be cool.
More Awareness of When Notifications are Disabled
Sometimes, like during high traffic periods, notifications are disabled. When that happens, it’s usually signaled by a small graphic near the notifications tab. But that goes away so quick, and is very easy to miss (especially on mobile). When this happens, I suggest something like a yellow square with “!” where the notification number is. Clicking or mousing on that could then bring up the message. This system could also be used when there are important site-wide alerts.
Search Button Changed to Not Red
The search button is a red square, as is the notification icon (when you have new stuff). Since they’re so close, I often mistake the search button for a notification alert. This is even more common on mobile, with such a smaller screen.
Service Status Page
The sheer amount “is the site down” posts on Reddit suggest this could help a lot. Just like the XBL Service Status page, it’d be cool if there was a go-to place to see if RT is currently experiencing any disruptions in service or function.