Seeking Help Suggestion Where should StP go from here? (1 Viewer)

Matt Derrick

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Hey folks, I just wanted to start a discussion on where we should take things going forward for the StP website and it's community. Do you want to see specific features come to the website? A change in the layout? Add or remove sections? This is a pretty open ended thread, I just want to get some input and some ideas for where we can go from here.

A few things I personally would like to see happen...
  • streamline the website rules - I will be pulling together basically everything you need to know about the StP website and it's community into this thread. new users will get a very short introduction message/email pointing to that thread and it will be their responsibility to read it. it'll have the website rules, links to the help area, and general ettiquite we expect people to abide by. this also means that some of the more obscure rules (i.e. no asking for the crew change) will be moved from only being mentioned in the sticky threads to the main thread linked above.

  • revising the website rules - i think it's time we had a review and either included some new rules or removed others that were unnecessary. most importantly we're going to be adding some new rules that basically say the staff doesn't have to sit here and take people's abuse. there's been a lot of toxicity lately from folks that either are just straight trolling or just don't share the same (i.e. mostly anarchist/left leaning) ideals and want to debate about things most people here find offensive. also the elimination of 'rules lawyering' and other such nonsense. new rules would give mods the power to (officially) ban folks that aren't willing to play nice. the main concept is 'be nice or leave' with the reassurance that we as a staff try really hard not to let things get personal. meaning, we don't ban people for disagreeing with us, we ban them for either breaking the rules or for being a fucking asshole.

  • website redesign - I'm toying with the idea of a simpler, faster design with a focus on mobile devices. since almost 70% of StP members are accessing the site from a mobile this makes the most sense. I have something in mind using this template. That link is the default template, the end result would be customized to StP's needs, although I am considering keeping the blue/black color (instead of the green/black we have currently). of course your input is welcome :)

  • moving travel stories to a thread prefix - ive been thinking for a long time that it might be more beneficial to move all the stories from the travel stories section to other forums (i.e. train hopping stories to the train hopping forum and hitchhiking stories to the hitchhiking section) and then put the 'travel story' thread prefix on them so users can still sort out stories from question, photo posts, etc. i'd still leave the 'travel stories' section as a link that would link to all threads marked with the 'travel story' thread prefix.

  • re-organizing of the destinations forum - i'm considering a re-organization of the destinations section of the forums along the lines of what was suggested in this thread.

    Basically, sticky a 'general information and questions about ____ country' thread at the top of the list of threads, and then make all the threads below that about specific towns/places/etc.

    - Europe (category)
    -- Country 1 (category)
    --- sticky 'general questions' thread about that country (thread)
    --- normal thread about a specific place inside that country (thread)
    --- another normal thread of a different destination inside that country (thread)

    Would probably need to sort the forum sections by title instead of date. I also think we'd need a dedicated forum moderator for this area to keep it tidy.

  • removal & adding of forum sections - there are some forum sections that need to be removed, some added, some just changed slightly. the main forum i want to change is 'making a living' to maybe 'Jobs & Money' or something like that just to make it a little more obvious what to expect there. ideally I would like to separate out the music and art forums into their own sections, and maybe use this addon for organizing music discussion. eventually, maybe even add this addon for discussing travel movies? who knows.

    one possibly major change that i'm considering is adding a new 'off the road' section to the forums where topics that aren't quite so relevant/popular to traveling could be discussed? basically a place for the community to discuss shit that might not necessarily relate to travel, or might be related to things we all take interest in between travels.

  • why is no one adding anything to the resources section? - so i started the resource section a while back, as a kind of wiki-style place for static info that should be useful to folks here, but i don't think there's been a single addition to this wiki since it was started. I'm curious, why? Do folks not want to share information? is it hard to use? did you not know it was even there? Please let me know your thoughts as to why this isn't getting used.

  • making it easier to find other users - im curious if anyone has any thoughts on how to make user interactivity easier? maybe a map of recent users? new profile fields? etc...

  • community managers - i've always wanted to have each forum section have a dedicated mod, but i've always been told this is a bad idea. seems we have a hard enough time getting global mods much less mods that want to dedicate themselves to one (or more) individual subjects.

  • ways to bring the stp website and community into real life? just a vague thought as to how we can bring StP from being just a virtual space to real life interactions. one example might be finding some way to help travelers, maybe collecting travel gear to send to those who find themselves gearless and fearless? a bit vague i know, but i think it could warrant at least some discussion.
Okay, that's all I have for now. Let me know your thoughts!
 
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roughdraft

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some pretty cool ideas, as always appreciating yr work

from what i think i understand, a lot of this is very solid and logical, in other words objective, right?

i think we would all benefit from an expansion on what you call << "rules lawyering" and other such nonsense >> up there? because it's more subjective - so - touchy and challenging in that way i believe - for moderators and for users - i feel like we would all benefit from more clear terms on this, a civil discusson here - because I'd like to see "better" communication on here, i.e. 'where do we go from here?' that'd be my first thought, idealistic as it is.
 
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Matt Derrick

Matt Derrick

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some pretty cool ideas, as always appreciating yr work

from what i think i understand, a lot of this is very solid and logical, in other words objective, right?

i think we would all benefit from an expansion on what you call << "rules lawyering" and other such nonsense >> up there? because it's more subjective - so - touchy and challenging in that way i believe - for moderators and for users - i feel like we would all benefit from more clear terms on this, a civil discusson here - because I'd like to see "better" communication on here, i.e. 'where do we go from here?' that'd be my first thought, idealistic as it is.
sure... i would personally describe 'rules lawyering' being something like "well, i didn't technically break the rules when i did A, B, or C" basically drumming up technicalities to defend your actions. you know what you did. we know what you did. just because it technically didn't break the rules doesn't mean we don't have the right to act on it. the important distinction here is that it's very important to me to not take action on people for personal reasons but rather, violating the 'don't be a dick' rule. the staff gets shit on a lot by people being assholes and then we're called facists or whatever for banning people that are openly attacking us instead of having a civil disagreement. it's not our job to sit here and take people's shit like some kind of customer service representative. that's my main concern in the rules changes, giving mods the official right to ban people that intentially piss them off, but being reserved enough in it's use to only do it when necessary.
 

Coywolf

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Hang in there, I feel I may become more involved in the StP community here coming up soon (the reason why I'll post about later).....so I have some unput:

new rules would give mods the power to (officially) ban folks that aren't willing to play nice. the main concept is 'be nice or leave'
So like, questions and disagreements are cool, but saying "FUCK YALL FASCISTS I DO WHAT I WANT ON YER WEBSITE!" Is not? Cause ya, StP has gone ove the "Yall arent a REAL anarchist website" way too many times.

although I am considering keeping the blue/black color (instead of the green/black we have currently). of course your input is welcome :)
PLEASE KEEP GREEN AND BLACK. I cannot stress this enough. I'm curious whawhat others think, but surfing StP at 3 a.m. on the back of a moving double stack or in a yard somewhere, green and black is the perfect night vision keeper/not bright. Keeps your phone on low brightness.....and I just fucking love green and black, because if I were to go full fledged anarchist, I probably would choose one of those factions...

might be more beneficial to move all the stories from the travel stories section to other forums (i.e. train hopping stories to the train hopping forum and hitchhiking stories to the hitchhiking section) and then put the 'travel story' thread prefix on them so users can still sort out stories from question, photo posts, etc.
I've been thinking about this, I think it is a good idea, especially to have subforums for stories in particular. I would also be SUPER down to give suggestions on reorganizing the train hopping section into subforums. Like one for current information on places/specifics lines/cop and homebum info....and another for train company specific info, like UP and BNSF news...maybe a foamer folder or something...I dunno just an idea.

adding a new 'off the road' section to the forums where topics that aren't quite so relevant/popular to traveling could be discussed? basically a place for the community to discuss shit that might not necessarily relate to travel, or might be related to things we all take interest in between travels.
Ya dude. I feel like I have been gravitating towards the General Banter section for the conversations you mentioned. Might be a good idea to create that area, or subforum the Off The Road/General Banter section.

why is no one adding anything to the resources section? - so i started the resource section a while back, as a kind of wiki-style place for static info that should be useful to folks here, but i don't think there's been a single addition to this wiki since it was started. I'm curious, why? Do folks not want to share information? is it hard to use? did you not know it was even there? Please let me know your thoughts as to why this isn't getting used.
To be completely honest, man. I totally forgot. I think this is many peoples reason as well. And I was one of the people pushing for that section. I need to get over there and post some info. If people start posting, it may get more traffic.

making it easier to find other users - im curious if anyone has any thoughts on how to make user interactivity easier? maybe a map of recent users? new profile fields? etc...
I'm kinda digging the fact people are making threads trying to find people. It gets those threads much more attention, being that they show up on the "new topics" feed, and mostly everyone checks that first when they hit ththe website. Mightbe able to just delete the thread after people find each other, or have a 30 day auto delete or something. I know you got that kinda HTM wizardry up your sleeve, Matt.
 

Coywolf

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@Matt Derrick

Could you tell me where on the site the "Locations" resources went? I'm trying to find it. Not sure if it is a desktop site thing as to why I cant find it or not.

I'm talking about like, "Texas: resources for Texas", or ""Austin: all Austin information should go here"
I thought that was one of those "where to?" Resource threads that yall started up a while back
 
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Matt Derrick

Matt Derrick

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@Matt Derrick

Could you tell me where on the site the "Locations" resources went? I'm trying to find it. Not sure if it is a desktop site thing as to why I cant find it or not.

I'm talking about like, "Texas: resources for Texas", or ""Austin: all Austin information should go here"
I thought that was one of those "where to?" Resource threads that yall started up a while back
I think you are referring to the former atlas section, which also no one used, so it was removed. The resources section I am referring to in this thread is located here.
 

brando

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Black and green are definitely great for night reading. Doesn't fatigue my eyes nearly as much as brighter colors...

Was just thinking earlier that I wish I could see who was in my area more easily. Some sort of search function that we can all choose to opt in or out of by giving a location. @Coywolf makes a good point on that subject though.
 

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If you look at TayNZs thread where he asked about work in an area, I made him a maps from Google maps with info and diagrams. I later was talking to rough draft and mentioned it be cool if people made there own maps with info, of places they know, explaining things that could help others, there could be an archive of like underground info maps (not talking bout crew change train stuff) made by people via paint an google maps. But like ya said we don't always have computers to use, and it can be a bit odd to do some editing stuff on other devices for ppl.

Another thing, ya could host like comps, where people vote with a poll, and there may be a prize or something, this stuff is sometimes done to promote activity on forums/sites, like people build a house outta there vans and all share, or people see who's hitched hiked the furthest, or whatever else. There could also be titles awarded to people under there user names for there achievements.

Saltycrew and others on his thread have started giving advice bout cars and that, there could be a area for "skills" but that kinda just goes into everything else anyway.. Ya know so yeah dunno bout that actually maybe ya can work with it.

The lay out of the sites alright it's better then a lot a other forums and has features like reaction score which others don't really. The green an blacks alright too, black and blue, black and yellow.. Ect could too, heaps of colours look good together.

And ok yep, to other things mentioned.
 
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Brodiesel710

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My only suggestion at this point would be to figure out how to make the ridesharing feature work better. It seems like it's really hit or miss, and 95% miss?? So much of us travel a lot, by car too, theres got to be a better way to connect. The ride offers/ride needed posts I've been a part of so far seem like such a hail mary and don't pan out most of the time. I did end up giving a lady a ride out of Florida, to Mississippi back in September. But she was 1 of many users who just make an account 1 single time, JUST to get a ride, that one time. Just something I've observed....

URGENT -- NEED RIDE FROM PENSACOLA TO NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI | Squat the Planet - https://squattheplanet.com/threads/urgent-need-ride-from-pensacola-to-northern-mississippi.39181/
 
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Hi Matt:

Just my suggestion, you may agree or disagree, how about changing the wording when someone gets banned instead of; I'm a d-Bag and I got banned to: I'm a idiot and I got banned OR I'm a sh*t bag and I got banned OR I'm a A**hole and I got banned? Just my suggestion that's all!
 

Brodiesel710

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Hi Matt:

Just my suggestion, you may agree or disagree, how about changing the wording when someone gets banned instead of; I'm a d-Bag and I got banned to: I'm a idiot and I got banned OR I'm a sh*t bag and I got banned OR I'm a A**hole and I got banned? Just my suggestion that's all!
Dude, I love "Im a d-bag and got banned" makes me laugh everytime!!!! Why don't you like it?
 

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Maybe there should just be a "this is a traveler website and while other topics of conversation are allowed, we reserve the right to shut down any tangents that have nothing to do with traveling" rule. As far as I can see most of the "problem" threads have very little to do with travel and are often started by people with new accounts and an obvious agenda. Just my two cents.
 

Brodiesel710

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Maybe there should just be a "this is a traveler website and while other topics of conversation are allowed, we reserve the right to shut down any tangents that have nothing to do with traveling" rule. As far as I can see most of the "problem" threads have very little to do with travel and are often started by people with new accounts and an obvious agenda. Just my two cents.
I agree but theres kind of a "travel culture" gray area, traveling isn't ALL about specifics on how to get from point A to point B but also how we as people we relate to one another and the world. So sometimes these heated personal/political discussions seem relevant to our traveling community as a whole. Even if someone does have an agenda, it gets people thinking, or maybe just annoyed? Regardless, we should always forever be presenting each other with new ideas and experiences.
 

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Why do you need a rule that you can ppint to to ban someone? I'm sure y'all talk about stuff, but why not make it official, require approval from like more than two thirds of the mods or something, while paying attention to the demographics so it's not all mods with the same kind of background jumping on someone for something they don't understand? And if what you want is just an excuse, forget it, take the L, an act like you own the place cause you do
 

Engineer J Lupo

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That template you linked looks so much more user friendly and just all around more efficient for everyone. I have suggested this site to a couple friends who would really like the site but neither of them stuck around because it was just such an unfamiliar format they couldn't get used to it. The suggested template looks a lot better. A lot of those other ideas sound really good too.
 

Engineer J Lupo

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How do you feel about revamping the seeking rides section? I feel like that's where we get the biggest amount of dead profiles from. I don't know how it happens but it seems like STP pops up in a Google search when people search "rides from truckers" or some shit along those lines. It's such a common thing for people to join the site just to post in rides wanted and they're always like yeah, trying to get from here to Gallop NM, always wanted to ride in a semi here's my number" and that's the last we see if them. Maybe we could lock it out until they've met X number of days as a member before they can post there? I think that would discourage it from happening but still make it a useful tool for actual members of the community. People who actually understand we're not a fucking skeevy trucker ride board. It's basically the settings we put on rides offered to discourage those truckers from advertising. I think we need it on both ends, those looking for rides as well. If you were to search the seeking rides and look at the people posting and their last seen date it's by far more often than not the same day they joined. That's just a bunch of fat we could trim off, those dead profiles won't even be created if they're locked out at first.
 

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