Unifying the Social Technologies of TNE

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#1
There's a global concept we're trying to improve for TNE, which is to make it one coherent social experience. Right now, because we can't afford to hire full-time programmers who will make a massive, brand-new TNE technology that unifies everything, we're left taking 10 different social technologies and trying to force them to work together. The problem is that they weren't made to cooperate together, and they don't. This causes a problem, because not only do the technologies remain separate, it also causes different parts of the site to become their own communities or entities rather than making them overlap and crossover. Which is really bad, because as an 'organization' TNE's mission statement is not about being a media coverage site. We're about being a social community. It just happens to be that content, articles, and media coverage helps give many people a way to engage and a center point in which to revolve around. It brings in many more readers. But our goal is always to 'convert' those readers into a part of the community, and the social experience. If readers don't 'connect' with one another or with the staff - we've failed. And this technology issue really hampers the entire goal of the site.

We've got the front page comments working with Wordpress. The forums are Xenforo. The chat is Chatango. The Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus communities are each pretty large by themselves, but they have no way of interacting with the rest of the site. The Skype groups are just on Skype. The streamers need to leave the forums and use Twitch independently. The Youtube content creators stick to Youtube. The people gaming together need to turn on their Wii U and find some way to chat together, even if the game doesn't offer voice chat. The whole social experience we're trying to create, to help gamers connect with each other - the technology doesn't make it easy.

There are so many people all over the site that try to participate and connect with fellow Nintendo gamers, but none of them like to leave the social technology they are used to. Right now, I'm working on getting a Xenforo-Wordpress bridge technology working so that at least the front-page and forums can work together more easily.

However, a new startup tech company called Spot.IM contacted us and said they are looking to select a few sites to work closely together with as partners for their new social technology. Their programmers will custom-make things to work with how our community likes it to be. Although the software, out-of-the-box, requires a social network to login, within two weeks their programmers are working on unifying the social logins with the site. Meaning, whether you want to post on the forums, the chat, or the comments on the front-page - you will only use your primary account on the forums to login. Notifications will work across the board. They are rolling out version 2 of their software, with many more features, within 2-3 weeks.

So, I know everyone is used to chatango, but I'd like if we can all make the switch over to Spot.IM so everyone can get used to the new software and the Spot.IM company will feel like we're worth it as a partner to work together with. If it remain vacant, they will give up on us. I know it's annoying to login to it before they implement the unified login system with the forums, but in order to show them that we're taking it seriously as a partner of theirs, I'm going to remove the chatango from the site for the time being.

A big caveat though: if I see everyone is not satisfied with Spot.IM after a month of use, we'll switch back to chatango. The only reason we're doing this experiment is because there's potential for it to be something really great in the future. But, if it turns out to be worse than what we're used to, we'll just switch back.
 

EthanGK

The blunder from down under
#2
Thanks for the breakdown man. I was wondering what was going on with the chat systems.
I don't like the idea of linking personal social networking accounts with something as public to anonymous viewers as a forum, so it's really neat to know that the new software is going to be integrated with the regular login.

For now to support the new software without giving up my anonymity (the anonymity thing doesn't bother me with the regular users of the site, just the potential unknown users) I guess I'll set up a twitter account or something as I don't use twitter anyway.

This new integrated design sounds genuinely awesome, I really hope it plays out well. The way we have now works, so it's good to have that as a back up, but it could definitely work a lot better. Good to see NE is aiming upwards and is as ambitious as ever.
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#3
^
Also, for now, I'd recommend just creating a fake Google account or Twitter account with whatever custom name and avatar you want for the chat.

I personally don't mind connecting with my real social network account because I've gotten to the point where I can't really keep anonymity on the internet anymore.
 

Lost_In_Translation

The Man Behind The Curtain
#4
^
I personally don't mind connecting with my real social network account because I've gotten to the point where I can't really keep anonymity on the internet anymore.
Yeah, this is the point I'm at as well. There's really not much I can hide, so it's like...whatever, lol.

I like the new system, though it's not always the easiest to navigate through.
 
#5
^
Also, for now, I'd recommend just creating a fake Google account or Twitter account with whatever custom name and avatar you want for the chat.

I personally don't mind connecting with my real social network account because I've gotten to the point where I can't really keep anonymity on the internet anymore.
I think there comes a point where once you've used your name once somewhere and you've become known, it's relatively pointless to not use it again elsewhere, the hassle isn't worth it.

New system is nice, certainly far better than most ones I've come across, though admittedly I'm there for 5 minutes and my attention span goes elsewhere. Nice and sleek.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#7
The new system is great, and the interconnection it provides between the different communities of TNE is certainly a great thing. My first issue was the social login, which is really intrusive particularly in the permissions it requests from its users, such as posting on Twitter on the user's behalf; not to mention the lack of anonymity, which while not a problem for me, can certainly be a deal-breaker for several of the community members, particularly those I personally respect, and want to interact with, the most.

But since Spot.im says that issue will be fixed, especially as the new version of their software rolls, and since, I assume, other great features that will help us bring together the communities will make their way, I don't think it's unreasonable to give up chatango for a while to show commitment to Spot.im. I'll do my part in showing up to that widget more, expecting that they will deliver in the features they say are coming.

At the end of the day, though, what it comes down to, for me, is whether the other users I admire and am friends with will show up on it. To me, this community was started for people like them, and excluding them is not an option.
 

EthanGK

The blunder from down under
#8
Yup. Anonymity is definitely the key issue until that's solved. It was the dealbreaker for me until I read this thread so I just ended up making some twitter account with no details. It's obviously pretty weird to have to do that but it's only temporary.

Since I flit between multiple computers and always have everything set so it doesn't keep me logged in to things it's a little less accessible this way, but the only way it's gonna get better is if we all make that initial effort to try and get it active. The chat on NE is great and this could be great for it if we get it going.

Menashe said there is going to be a new version in a couple of weeks so hopefully the bugs and kinks will be improved somewhat by that point. Couple of things I've noticed are if you scroll to older messages you can't scroll back down. Also, sometimes messages seem to spontaneously disappear and then come back later.

There does seem to be some great potential, though. If you link to a thread it shows you who posted it and has a title and blurb. Also, the social networking side of it could actually be great for some users. I've already seen some people I've never seen in the original chat, so this could work out really well.
I guess in the same way some of us don't like having to use/create a social network login to access it there are others who didn't want to make a new chatango login when they already had a social network set up. It's also nice to have it tucked nicely away in the corner everywhere on the site.

Anyone being hesitant about using it, please give it a shot! NE chat is worth it! :)
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#9
True, Ethan. I think it will get more people to join the chat, especially people who didn't notice it originally. It's in an easy-to-reach spot for people on both the front page and the forums. Plus, they're going to make something akin to sub-forums, although it's more like a sub-chat group for each Enthusiast site. So, you can easily click on the PSE or TVE chat from within the TNE chat and start chatting with that group.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#12
I'm at this point where I don't care about anonymity. I've linked to my Flickr on my sig, which has my real name and face on it, so I couldn't care less about linking my twitter account with Spot.IM for the time being if it makes everything work well enough. I think the new Spot chat is nice, although it's missing some creature comforts, such as having a chime or something when someone makes a new post. Things like that.

Overall, I can understand why you went with a different chat system to be more fully integrated with TNE. I'm getting the distinct impression that, like Nintendo, TNE wants to be more unified with each other.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#13
I'm cool with this.

Tho unfortunately I won't be able to use it until it's able to use my forum account.

For some reason my fake twitter makes me re-sign in with every post.

Once we get forum accounts tho I'll be all up in that chat.
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#15
The forums are now sort of integrated with the front side of the site. I can create widgets for the sidebar or footer of the front page with the latest forum threads and stuff like that. And the front page posts now automatically create a thread in the Gaming News subforum and the comments on the post are added as forum comments and vice-versa.
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#16
I'm holding off on the new chat until I can use my site login. I have a gmail account I wouldn't otherwise mind using but it asks for permissions the scope and particularities of which I am entirely unclear on (offline account access). Is there an ETA on integration with the site login?
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#17
I have a gmail account I wouldn't otherwise mind using but it asks for permissions the scope and particularities of which I am entirely unclear on (offline account access).
Yeah this thing practically asks for permission to bang your sister. As far as I can tell they're not actually using the permissions for anything, and it's probably just a general license that the devs didn't customize or pay attention to, but it still means you're giving them the permissions.
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#18
I don't think they're actually using your account for anything other than chat integration, but if you're uncomfortable, you can either make a fake account or wait the 2 weeks until the account integration with the forums.

Also, you do know that if an app or site is authorized for your social network account and then does something you weren't happy about (like banging your sister, or Facebook 'poking' your ex), you can always revoke access, right?
 
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