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"User Activity" feature added to forum

What do you think of the user activity feature

  • I love it!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It's a worthwhile addition

    Votes: 8 32.0%
  • Don't care either way

    Votes: 12 48.0%
  • Don't like it much

    Votes: 4 16.0%
  • I hate it! Turn it off now!

    Votes: 1 4.0%

  • Total voters
    25

overscan (PaulMM)

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This feature allows you to see how many people are viewing topics from the index page, and when you click a topic, you will see the names of people who are currently viewing it.

If you find this feature interesting and/or useful, let me know. If you don't like it, let me know.
 

dan_inbox

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Hmm. It seems to violate the implicit promise contained in the privacy settings.
In settings/Privacy options I currently have
- show your online avtivity settings: Ticked
- Show your current activity: Unticked

However, on any given thread I'm in, it still shows "Users who are viewing this thread: dan_inbox"
(I can't verify if shows it only to me or to everyone, lest I'd create a second account)

I am not a big fan of the feature to begin with, but if it violates the privacy settings then to me it becomes a very big no-no.
 
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overscan (PaulMM)

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As the site admin, I can always see all users online status whether you set the preference on or off. However, user's who have turned off "show activity" are coloured differently from ordinary users. Therefore I believe ordinary users will not see your activity. I'll create an ordinary account to verify correct behaviour though.
 

TestyMcTest

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TestyMcTest account (ordinary user) does not show users who opted to hide their online status.

It says "and 2 more" to indicate 2 more users who've hidden their online status.
 

dan_inbox

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[edit]
yes it is, if it applies also to "Show your current activity", rather than only to "show your online status".
Thank you Paul.
 

Arjen

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I just checked/changed my privacy settings, then changed my vote from Don't-like-it-much to the nearest equivalent of Don't-mind.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I'm interested, for those that don't like it, specifically why they don't like other users knowing what topic they are looking at. I've always known about the "hide activity" setting but I never really saw why I would want to.

I can disable the setting, or if the number of objectors are low, advise how to hide their activity.
 

dan_inbox

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Let's put it this way: If every member was nice, friendly and decently mature, there would be little need for this feature.
But as things are today, with the current roster, I find it useful in some circumstances.
 

Hood

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I'll read what I want to regardless of what anyone thinks. I don't particularly care what anyone else is reading, we can all read the same things (barring the senior members section). 95% of people will all be reading the newest posts anyway and if you are reading an old post on page 96 of the Postwar board, then the chances are no-one will ever notice.

If people have time on their hands to try and stalk people through the forums then they have too much time on their hands and should go do something more productive.
 

Arjen

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I don't mind people being aware of me being online. I am slightly uncomfortable with showing the world what I am reading. I have had the occasional brush with other members putting words into my mouth, or alluding to my reading habits. I do not intend to help them with that. Ask me nicely, and I will tell what I am reading - by PM.
 

uk 75

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This is too weird for me. But if anyone is interested in my strange meanderings through the Board, I am happy to bring a little fun into their day.
 

dan_inbox

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One comment: Even if there really is any value in displaying who else is viewing the thread, it certainly has zero value in telling the reader that _himself/herself_ is viewing it. (OK it pads the list, but). And if the user had specifically requested that his activity should not be shown, why give him the impression of the contrary?
IMO if the user has ticked Don't Show My Activity, then just don't. Not even to self.

[edit] And the box "Users who are viewing this thread" not only doesn't help the navigation, but it adds 3 lines to scroll through before we can get to the navigation bar. Which is not welcome when viewing on a laptop with a small screen showing not too many lines to begin with.
Since it is an informative-only feature as opposed to a usability practical command, it should be below it rather than above.
 
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Schneiderman

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Although I couldn't care less about users seeing which threads I'm reading I really wonder what possible benefits the feature could bring to the forum. If someone browses but does not post, so what? It all seems rather pointless to me.
 

dan_inbox

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Although I couldn't care less about users seeing which threads I'm reading I really wonder what possible benefits the feature could bring to the forum. If someone browses but does not post, so what? It all seems rather pointless to me.
I suspect it's meant by the Xenforo developpers as a way for admins to brag "see how many users we have, we are where it's at".

The sad fact of the matter is that most other forum owners go for quantity over quality. Ad yield or ego trip, or whatever makes them ticks. We should appreciate our luck here on SPF.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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It's not a core Xenforo feature, its a popular addon by a developer we use a number of addons from, which replicates the function built into VBulletin, a popular forum system.

I just changed it to show avatars instead of names, which I think looks quite pretty. I guess it shows you that people are interested in a topic even if they don't post? But it seems like there's little positive comments, so I guess I'll turn it off.
 

dan_inbox

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Much better. And does not take up screen space anymore..
 

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