Some Marketplace tweaks!...or not!

And with that, we come to the end of the noble experiment! I've set everything back to the previous state. Thanks again to everyone for their patience, and for the kind words along the way. Still lots of ideas in the pipeline, and hopefully more of them will work better for you than this one did. :)
Thanks for listening, Tim. You can't make all of us happy all of the time, but listening and explaining goes a long way.

Maybe some of the things people have mentioned could be feature requests to the people who develop the the forum software.
 
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Thanks for the effort and quick response to user requests!!! 🙌🏽

Thank you and everyone else for your understanding! I mentioned this when I added the larger YT embeds and should have mentioned here -- any changes you don't like will ALWAYS be rolled back!

I'm not here to enforce my aesthetic preferences. We on the admin side know more about what's possible, so of course we'll take advantage of that to propose some changes that nobody requested. I'm pleased that, for the most part, we've been able to make changes that are well-received, but hey, anything that doesn't work has gotta go.

You all, who know the Marketplace better than I do, are the only ones who could make the call, but the only way to make the call was to try it on for size first. There was no way to do it in Draft, so I should have been more explicit in my announcement that this was a public beta, if you will. Easily and happily returned to its original state!


Maybe some of the things people have mentioned could be feature requests to the people who develop the the forum software.

No maybes! EVERY SINGLE CRITIQUE on this thread is 100% on the mark. You're all right! The Articles format SHOULD work EXACTLY as you've all laid out.

Here's the thing. We mods have been kicking Articles around for months backstage, and you know where they work great? With actual articles! LOL I definitely want to do more with these. And it works so great with those that we got excited about trying them in lots of places -- and the place with the most pictures made the most sense to try. But you've all done a magnificent job pointing out the ways in which the format doesn't work well enough for the Marketplace. I'll be passing all of this along to XenForo devs, count on it!

One reason why passing along your feedback is so important to ME is that Articles are so important to XenForo. It's the biggest thing they've been working on, and they're planning to do more with it. I suspect some of it is coming from WordPress, both for the competitive pressures it exerts, and because so many web nerds are familiar with it and prefer some of the ways it works.

Me, I managed a forum running on WP, and would prefer never to do it again. WP is SO articles-focused that every FORUM post is structurally speaking an article, or a blog post if you will, and as a result, WP has a lot of problems with threading and some other core functions of forums that really shouldn't be compromised, but are.

So for now, I'll make the value-neutral observation that lots of folks are trying to crack the nut of mixing content types, and the results are, uhm, mixed. 🤣


We'll always have the glorious screenshots of the original post of this thread!

Haha! True, true. I do like how it looked, or I would have reset it rather than announcing it (I reset a LOT of changes that I attempt, so I definitely know how to do it 🤣), but like I said, I'm here to make things work more of the way you want, not less.

I do have a couple of earlier posts in this thread to respond to, and will in the next couple of days. Mondays are a bit chaotic in general, and this one a little more so than others, but I did want to at least reset the Marketplace and give a little context to the process before I move along to the rest of the day.

More soon!
 
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Honest - I popped on at noon during lunch at work at clicked on marketplace and it was all laid out pretty but did nothing for me.
I like a list much better. Looks like it is back to that format now. Much more to my liking from a usage standpoint !

Thank you - if back to the line listing. Much easier to navigate and see things at a glance..

The other while pretty, was not user friendly or at least too complicated to navigate, see everything at a glance from my point of view. I have enough stuff at work etc that is not user friendly or too rough on my brain processor

I have not waded through all the posts here - but added my quick 2 cents. If back to staus quo - Thank you !
 
Tim, the format looks nice, but I don't think it is as functional.

The old format in the Marketplace allowed me to scan the poster's name, the Item title, and I could quickly judge the date of posting. I would then open the item and look at the photos and information. And maybe check where the seller is located. (Rarely included in the poster's profile.)
It takes WAY longer to scroll through the items and open the ones that interest me. Or try to find and older item listing.

Questions: What determines which items get the large frame photo and amount of text showing, vs the thumbnail shots below?
Does the order change as newer posts are created? Can the order be gamed by bumping the post?
 
Questions: What determines which items get the large frame photo and amount of text showing, vs the thumbnail shots below?
Does the order change as newer posts are created? Can the order be gamed by bumping the post?
We've reverted to the original style, so these questions are no longer applicable (unless we decide to implement them again). The short answer to the large frame photo selection is: it's the first uploaded photo in the attachment list or the first photo embeded in the image. I am not sure that the order changes with updated replies like the original list view did, I don't think we got enough time with it to test that, but I don't think that it did - I believe the order was based on date of the original post (but I could be wrong). That's an interesting question about "gaming" the order. I suppose that any OP can do that by adding a "bump" reply in the original (and now current) list view, too, or am I misunderstanding your intent behind this question? I do recognize that there is some controversy about the "bump" activity anyway.
 
The short answer to the large frame photo selection is: it's the first uploaded photo in the attachment list or the first photo embeded in the image.

I'll add a few details since we'll definitely be using this kind of layout elsewhere -- just not the Marketplace. :)

The screenshots in the first post tell the tale. The topmost image is full-width, the next four lines are two across, and the following four lines are four across. The pattern starts again on the next page.

I am not sure that the order changes with updated replies like the original list view did

That's a preference, and I'll always prefer it to behave like that. :) That said, the default is for it to not, favoring chronology. Appropriate for articles perhaps (again, not MY preference, but I understand why some editors/publishers would prefer it that way), but definitely not for the Marketplace. There are many OTHER reasons why the Articles format wasn't right for the Marketplace, which anyone can read above. :)


That's an interesting question about "gaming" the order. I suppose that any OP can do that by adding a "bump" reply in the original (and now current) list view, too, or am I misunderstanding your intent behind this question? I do recognize that there is some controversy about the "bump" activity anyway.

I'm not a huge fan of bumping for the sake of bumping. It implies that "we" are the problem somehow, and that if we'd only seen the listing, we'd have responded, whereas my assumption is that the Marketplace Mavens see all and know all 🤣 and that the problem is with the listing. So rather than a bump for the sake of jumping up the stack, I'd rather see some value added: new pictures, new sound samples, reduced price, free shipping, whatever -- something to provide a REASON to reconsider the offer.

That's just me. If the Marketplace regulars want to add some guidelines for bumping, or even rules, we're certainly open to that, but that's a conversation best held on its own.
 
I don't mind bumping st all. In fact, I prefer it. As the number of items grow in the Marketplace, older posts drop further and further, as new postings are placed. Resulting in maybe a dozen "Sold" or "Withdrawn" items sitting above the older item, towards the top. I don't generally look at sold items nor do I normally dig down past the first two pages of the listings.

Every time a comment is made about an item it is bumped to the top of the listings. I sometimes look at the listed item again to see what someone has commented.

So if you can't bump your listing up to the top again, you are pretty much out of luck for having it seen as it falls further down the list.

I guess the seller could reduce the price by a dollar to get the same result.
 
I don't mind bumping st all. In fact, I prefer it. As the number of items grow in the Marketplace, older posts drop further and further, as new postings are placed. Resulting in maybe a dozen "Sold" or "Withdrawn" items sitting above the older item, towards the top. I don't generally look at sold items nor do I normally dig down past the first two pages of the listings.

Every time a comment is made about an item it is bumped to the top of the listings. I sometimes look at the listed item again to see what someone has commented.

So if you can't bump your listing up to the top again, you are pretty much out of luck for having it seen as it falls further down the list.

I guess the seller could reduce the price by a dollar to get the same result.
Is is possible to archive sold or withdrawn items so the won’t appear at the top of the forum?
 
I appreciate all the work being done to try to make things even better for us all.
I’m with those who prefer the old version of the marketplace, but the new version does look fancy!
 
The only issue I have with the new format is that I now have to open each thread and scroll through all of it’s posts in order to see if there are any new ones since I last viewed the thread.

I'm glad you mentioned this, @Jan D because I completely agree. I'm genuinely not in the market for anything right now, but the comments are so often entertaining and informative that I personally, in my current condition, find them MORE valuable than the original posts! (Although I love those for the photos. :) )

The idea behind Articles is that they're more for outbound communication, if you will, rather than conversation per se, so even if an article generates lots of comments, the comments are considered secondary. That's generally not how we do things, which is another reason why the Articles turned out not to be such a good fit for the Marketplace.

As one comment fan to another, one thing I can recommend is Watching the forum, and when you select Watch, also select that you want to be notified for new MESSAGES, not just new threads. Selecting new messages does both, whereas New threads, which is the default, ONLY notifies you of the first post, and NOT the subsequent replies...which is what we're trying to watch!

I also like getting the notifications both in my browser and via email. Email notifications are one of the things this forum does best. EVERYONE should be getting these. Super clean, no ads, no spam, we NEVER EVER share your email with ANYONE. You will NEVER receive an unsolicited email.

Having subscribed for over 2 years, I can verify this, and as one of the people now with my finger on the button for emails, I can tell you that an unsolicited email will go out only over my dead body. I'm not kidding about this even a little. I take it as a sacred duty.

So for both you and anyone else hesitant about signing up for these, please don't be nervous, and please don't miss a marvelous way to stay in tune with what's happening.

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Of course, do what you want for whatever reasons you want, but for anyone who wants to stay up conversations, this really is the best way!

I guess the seller could reduce the price by a dollar to get the same result.

That's the thing. I LIKE the behavior that sends with posts with new content to the top. That's how forums should work!!!

I also don't think it's too much to ask to say to people, "Add some value to your bumps. Give me a reason to look." It doesn't have to be reducing the price. It could be adding a picture. It could be ANYTHING. Tell me a story! ANYTHING. But the word "bump" by itself in particular? That feels like borderline spam to me. There's no such thing as a "good" bump. :) Maybe goosebumps, but you don't get those from a goose honking at you. LOL Bumps as they are most often practiced aren't continuing a conversation. They aren't making the offer more tempting. They're literally an interruption.

Again, I want marketplace offerings that people are talking about to float back up to the top. But if the seller is wanting to jump the queue, please do, but please also consider how to advance your own cause. Maybe we're waiting to hear more about the instrument. Maybe we want more pictures, or a sound sample. And yeah, maybe a lower price, but maybe not. Maybe it's the sound sample or the story or something else. There are countless ways to achieve every goal with a single post -- increasing the attractiveness of a potential transaction AND talking about instruments and playing in general, AND making a post that Google will bite into and share rather than ignore (which is what it does with what it deems low-quality posts) -- so why not set as a baseline for bumps, "Make it a GOOD post"?

Not my call, since I'm not in the market, and this isn't the place to have that conversation anyway, but the more I think about it, the less I like low-quality bumps. Bump on, but give me better bumps! :)

That's just me! If you who actually do the marketplace are fine with regular old bumpy bumps, don't mind me! Bump anyway you want. But I think I'm right that bumps that add value will also help sales. :)


I’m with those who prefer the old version of the marketplace, but the new version does look fancy!

You're the second person on this thread using the present tense after I thought I reset it! Can you please confirm that the traditional format is back in place? It should have been two clicks to reset it, but I bumped (see? Not a happy occasion!) into a XenForo bug that they assured me that they've identified and have already rolled into the next release, so I'm super-duper aware that it took me a couple of hours rather than a couple of clicks to set things straight again.

I'm happy to do the work, and again, am in complete agreement that this feature needs a LOT more work before it's useful for our purposes, but y'all are making me very nervous by suggesting that it's still around. 🤣
 
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You're the second person on this thread using the present tense after I thought I reset it! Can you please confirm that the traditional format is back in place? It should have been two clicks to reset it, but I bumped (see? Not a happy occasion!) into a XenForo bug that they assured me that they've identified and have already rolled into the next release, so I'm super-duper aware that it took me a couple of hours rather than a couple of clicks to set things straight again.
You know, I think it was just a refresh thing for me, but I do notice that while it's back to the list view for me, when I clicked on a Marketplace post after the articles AND after the "revert", the seller's information was still below the listing post, not to the left. It's sorted now, so I suspect just a refresh thing, but it was a weird hybrid thing for a bit today.
 
You know, I think it was just a refresh thing for me, but I do notice that while it's back to the list view for me, when I clicked on a Marketplace post after the articles AND after the "revert", the seller's information was still below the listing post, not to the left. It's sorted now, so I suspect just a refresh thing, but it was a weird hybrid thing for a bit today.

That's the bug I found, that converting the whole forum back didn't convert all the threads. I've done the past year and a half manually, but maybe I need to go back farther? Check the date if you see another, and I'll just go back some more. 🙂
 
That's the bug I found, that converting the whole forum back didn't convert all the threads. I've done the past year and a half manually, but maybe I need to go back farther? Check the date if you see another, and I'll just go back some more. 🙂
Oh gosh! Individually?

Yup I just jumped to the end of Marketplace threads and they all have that bug still.
 
Yup I just jumped to the end of Marketplace threads and they all have that bug still.

Oh for sure! Once I found the bug, that was never my immediate target. I'm willing to let the depths of the archive remain in the Articles format until the bug is fixed on XF's end in the next release, but I definitely wanted to get the first 30 pages or so taken care of right away. It doesn't seem likely to me that anybody will care too, too much about anything farther back than that for now, so I'll wait a bit before going all the way back into the mists of time. :)

It will happen, but I'm just trying to focus on the pages that people will be most likely to look at in the next couple of weeks while I wait for the bug fix to be ready to download.....and all the other jobs that need doing in the meantime. :)
 
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I definitely wanted to get the first 30 pages or so taken care of right away. It doesn't seem likely to me that anybody will care too, too much about anything farther back than that for now, so I'll wait a bit before going all the way back into the mists of time.
Absolutely. I'd say that's low priority. I wouldn't even bother past one year for now. If it's a fix I can help with let me know.
 
Yup I just jumped to the end of Marketplace threads and they all have that bug still.

All fixed! There's a batch tool, but a related bug is that it's very finicky and prone to crashing. They say the fix is already folded into the next release, but being impatient, I just broke the task into roughly 1000 posts at a time, with something like 15,000 total. It was a little tricky to keep track of where I was, but that's pretty much the state of my life. "Wait, where am I? What am I doing?" 🤣 Other than that, just a matter of grinding through.

One thing I noticed as I crawled through the archive is that the Marketplace is a LOT more popular than it used to be! That's kinda cool! I think it's a testament to how useful it is in its (newly returned) current state, and perhaps a testament to the ebb and flow of UAS as it reaches different shores. :) There's just a lot more ukuleles to choose from than there used to be, and it seems that very nearly all of the recent sales have been to make way for new ukes, increasingly customs. That was hardly ever the case in the earliest days of the Marketplace (which got going in early 2008).

Anyway, the whole process was very enlightening, and I'll be putting what I learned to use elsewhere for sure! Thanks again to everyone who joined our little side trip, and for patience while I got the trip back properly underway. More fun to follow!

Tim
Mod
 
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