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JA forum day 3: Iteration, refinements, get the RSS feed

JA Team collaborating on day 2 of the Election 2012 Forum

Day two of the forum kicks off; Lisa and Nicole collaborate on the opening kick off banner. Photo by Denise Cheng.

This is a quick post for the community, reporting out real time on what’s been developing in the forum over the past couple of days. We convened the conversation in slices: Day one the forum explored editorial strategy and tactics, yesterday we dove into collaboration, today the final segment of this conversation addresses money. The content stream contributors are generously offering insights, curiosity, tools, experience, suggestions, hopes, and frustrations around the question in play.  And behind the scenes, crucially, we’re tracking how this is all unfolding. As we take WordPress to new levels, we’re pushing the limits and testing the possibilities. We are grateful for those of you who have offered specific feedback!

Thursday had a few challenges. First, posting was running slowly! In part that is because the thread is so long. We’re not breaking the thread because we don’t want to lose context, as well the pagination can wreak havoc in other areas (time stamps, placement in the thread, etc.) on the site.

We can and are doing a few things to improve the flow today and in the future. Our dev team reported page load times, with a few adjustments on the back end, should be in the 4 – 6 second range. Not as quick as we’d like, but we’re keeping a close eye on this today. We’ll be making a number of adjustments before the next forum slated for late January. For examplemoving forward we will start each new day with a fresh forum page. All forum pages can easily be cross linked but the length of the thread on our current live forum, we know makes quick scanning pretty hard. Check out the RSS feed accessible from the forum home page if this makes it simpler for you, or join in as we are scanning the page by watching “Talking about this post” on the right sidebar of the forum, as well as the “who else is talking” link at the bottom of this widget which opens the participant page. This shows everyone who is in the conversation that has joined in the forum over the last few days.

JA development team works on Election 2012 Forum

End of day 2 team huddle, comparing notes on how to best integrate the RSS feed without breaking anything. Photo by Lisa Skube.

We also got feedback that the incoming email was overwhelming. By next forum, we will completely revisit the email auto notification set up. For today, we’ve added a link from the forum home page so you can get a RSS feed. That’s designed to lower the barriers to participation.  The RSS feed allows you to follow along and scan easily, if you prefer this, it’s pretty slick. All this came out of several meetings Thursday across the development side, editorial and end of day a full team huddle. Fierce collaboration! Appropriate given the day’s topic.

We are very much in start-up mode, this is our second full throttle forum so we’re experimenting on the most useful way to bring busy publishers and contributing professionals together in conversation efficiently. Thanks to everyone who is bearing with us in this experiment, you’re ability to participate and have a good experience doing it is our prime objective. So don’t be shy, share your suggestions!