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Bronze Conversationalist

Any Hope of an AARP Community Redesign?

A few people in the last couple weeks have commented in posts and private messages how clunky and confusing this platform is to navigate. I had hoped it would just take more effort at familiarizing myself with it to reach an ease of use and ability to bypass all the unnecessary repetition. Sadly, that hasn't happened.

 

So I ask if there are plans to update the platform navigational design so that there are no longer pages upon pages upon pages of posts on song titles and other meaningless clutter to scroll through before getting to anything of substance? Is the clutter all that members here are really interested in? And where is everyone? Less than a handful participate each day. Most posts are months and years old, which discourages new comment.

 

While I'm at it, it would be great to have a way to filter out topics that are of no interest, and to block specific people from being presented to our individual views of posts. This would allow more vibrant discussion while also protecting the more sensitive from undesired commentary.

 

I can't be the only one to wish the forums were more lively and easier to navigate.

Social Butterfly

Friday - May 14, 2021

 

Yes, I was one of the few who private messaged you @DeahWA and thanks for being BOLD to post this 🙂 Hopefully AARP will LISTEN to you and @Rhymesometimes , TWO awesome LEADERS on this board. I am also over the folks who feel they OWN certain FORUMS and have the nerve to PRIVATE MESSAGE me to tell me I need to CORRECT my post???? Hmmm, did AARP hire you??? I do not see AARP in your PROFILE name/lol. Next, a certain poster is being ALLOWED to be abrasive by AARP. Hmmm, how about GENTLY reminding this MEMBER we are ALL here to ENJOY our experience. Time for ALL moderators to STEP UP and PAY ATTENTION to ALL the posts. A FEW do, and THANK YOU for being there for US ((hugs)) but it is a HUGE plate for just a FEW to moderate. Hmmm, would luv to find out if AARP are paying these AARP board reps or are they volunteering???? When POSTS are REPORTED, how about a RESPONSE to let us know you RECEIVED our report and what ACTION if any. SPAMMERS are having a party on this board, we report SPAM, lol, still in place!!!! It takes ALL to keep this board safe, respectful and fun. I take mini breaks from the drama when I find myself having to bite my tongue/lol. Each time I return, more folks have left 😞 😞 😞 Come on AARP, we get NEWBIES in, then they leave. Time to make some CHANGES so that folks are not bullied, insulted or spammed. Hmmm, old timers, you do not OWN this board, AARP does!!! Getting rid of the POLITICAL FORUM did delete some TOXIC folks, but we have some in OTHER forums/lol. In ending, MODERATION is key to ANY forum!!! The POLITICAL forum was NOT being moderated enough and could have STAYED. I am NOT a fan of politics, but if AARP is going to CENSOR AND NOT MODERATE = board is going to die a slow death 😞 Just my opinion all 🙂 🙂 🙂

Angela
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Silver Conversationalist

@EnjoyingMyLifeInVA I share many of your concerns. It seems there are a small group of people that are doing the majority of the posting.  I don't understand why more don't.  It can be fun and interactive.  There are a small handful that do give off a negative vibe or go on the attack.  But for the most part, people are respectful, welcoming, appreciative and thank goodness have a sense of humor. @DaveMcK demonstrated that in a wonderful way today with his awesome limerick and warm welcome to his forum.  @DeahWA and @ninaTx  are doing a wonderful job posting great information things and keeping a sense of humor.  There are people who have been consistently supportive like  @postman29  .  Please post people.  Signing off.  Christine

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @DeahWA

 

We really appreciate your thoughts and input and I am glad you posted. We did a site redesign at the post level in October. Here are some links that you might find helpful:

 

Online Community Refresh

How To Start a Topic

How To Reply to a Post

How to Expand the Editor Box When Replying

How To Use the Icons

How To Set My Viewing Preferences

How To Display Discussions in Chronological Order

 

We plan on doing another redesign at the forum level next. Then, one more large scale likely to follow.

 

Thank you for your input and we will take them into strong consideration as we look to make the community more user friendly and aesthetically pleasing!

Trusted Contributor

Hi MichaelP,

 

I'm addressing you because you are someone who has helped in this thread - but this is in response to everyone. 

 

I've been participating in discussion forums for over 25 years (yes, from before there were  Internet browsers).  I normally can catch on to a new and different format with a day or two of joining, and I'm pretty adept and finding the "settings" area and customizing things to my liking, and I recognize all of the formatting and linking and inserting commands. I think I may be one of the few people who's been adding photos to my posts, but I am new and you've probably not seen them.

 

BUT... this forum has flummoxed me mightily.  Now it may be that it's specifically designed for people who don't have preconceived notions of discussion board layout and arranging.  But I'm not sure about that. So that's just another comment about the layout.

 

About moderating. I've been a moderator in groups that have hundreds of posts a day. Moderating isn't easy, and it's time consuming. Having the whole "community" area divided into so many groups makes it more difficult to moderate and for users to track things. I'm amazing that anyone can moderate this thing at all. 

 

So from my possibly unusual viewpoint the problem is layout and functionality. I can't even explain what's wrong in my mind - because I've yet to see the logic behind what I'm seeing. But I'll give one example. I got an email because @Rhymesometimes mentioned me in a post. Terrific. I could click on that and find the thead. But then she mentioned, you  @AARPMichaelP and it took me about 3-4 minutes to figure out where you had first posted in this thread. That's not good. 

 

To my eye, this forum seems to be trying too hard to be user friendly and not hard enough to be logical. I think it's very attractive and visually appealing. But it just feels like the back end is over modified.  And maybe focusing on visual appeal is the way to go to attract an older, less "message board confident" crowd. I'm probably not typical.  But I think perhaps the powers that be underestimate how many AARP members participate in other discussion areas already. 

 

But I'm going to stick things out - for a while. I really feel like I'd love this place if I could only navigate more quickly (and quite short parts of a post because that's so helpful <hopeful smile>).

 

N. 

Social Butterfly

Friday - May 14, 2021

 

Hi @AARPMichaelP :

 

  1. Thank you SO MUCH for interacting with us 🙂 🙂 🙂
  2. Is there a MODERATOR for the RETIREMENT forum?

Thanks again,

Angela

Angela
Community Manager
Community Manager

Angela,

 

1. Happy to help when I can! 

 

2. Moderators oversee the entire community - that's a different aspect. Our team handles the conversations, promotions, marketing, etc...@AARPLynne is the primary person who handles those forums. 

Social Butterfly

Saturday - May 15, 2021

 

@AARPMichaelP and/or @AARPLynne I just checked the RETIREMENT FORUM and the 4/28/21 SPAM is gone!!!! You guys are just AWESOME 😉 Lol, I noticed a spammer had posted the SAME spam (NEW spam, not the same one I had reported for RETIREMENT FORUM) yesterday in 4 different forums. Hopefully folks reported it to you guys via the REPORT button on each post. Lol, I am backing up and focusing on Retirement Forum which I just luv. I had tried ALL forums as a NEWBIE October 2019. Everyone REPORTING spam in their FAV forum is the only way to keep SPAM off this board. Again, a HUGE thank you BOTH 🙂 🙂 🙂

Angela
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Social Butterfly

Ftiday - May 14, 2021

 

Hi @AARPMichaelP :

 

Thanks for quick response 😉

 

Who handles SPAM reports? You or Lynne?

 

We have reported a 4/28/21 post in the Retirement Forum using the REPORT BUTTON on this post several times. Received a AUTO CONFIRMATION that spam report was received.

 

  1. Would be nice to know why SPAM was not removed.
  2. The SAME post was created in the SCAM & FRAUD forum right AFTER it was created in RETIREMENT forum.
  3. LINK in both posts to a blog and book promotion about SCAMS.
  4. Hmmm, it would be AWESOME if post in RETIREMENT forum was removed.
  5. SCAM forum is the correct forum for this SCAM book. Lol, already posted there so no need for DUPLICATED post.
  6. Poster the last time I checked their AARP PROFILE has zero info about themselves and has only posted these TWO duplicated posts.
  7. Hmmmm, not an expert and not employed by AARP, but this looks like a SPAMMER to me.
Angela
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Community Manager
Community Manager

@EnjoyingMyLifeInVA The moderation team handles the spam reports. Lynne, myself and the rest of my team don't handle those. However, we do report them when we see them. That's the way to go!

Bronze Conversationalist

Hey @AARPMichaelP , here's another thought for the coming redesign of the post level function.  Can we delete the kudos becoming email notifications which quickly gets very annoying, and just have thumbs up AND thumbs down show up on each post? And maybe some icon that indicates a reply to a post has been read. It appears to me that people are using the kudos not really to praise a post but to indicate having seen it, or agreeing with it. More variety in acknowledging responses and content would be really great.

Also fixing the way photos display in the top level thread is really needed. We shouldn't have to click on "Read More" to see the whole photo. And maybe not giving display size choice but just setting that and having photos auto-resized on the back end to fit the set size would encourage more people to post photos, which would add a lot more interest to the forums. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

@DeahWA Thank you for more input!  Some of this we were already considering and we know the "Read More" experience could be better!

 

As far as the email notifications go those are actually settings that are customizable on a user by user basis under "My Settings". Here is a link to that: https://community.aarp.org/t5/user/myprofilepage/tab/user-subscriptions%3Anotification-settings

Bronze Conversationalist

Thanks for the link @AARPMichaelP . I think I turn off kudo notifications, but it was a bit unclear, so will see. That's a very long list of settings and the first time I went there I didn't scroll down to the end. My fault.

Silver Conversationalist

Deah, Sounds like great upgrades to me.  Christine

Silver Conversationalist

yabba dabba do, thank you @AARPMichaelP !  Really appreciate all the time, effort and heart your team has devoted, and will continue to contribute and invest to the on-line community.  Much appreciated!  Christine

Bronze Conversationalist

Thanks for the reply, links, and mention of further redesign plans @AARPMichaelP . I look forward to the new forum look and features, especially.

Silver Conversationalist

@DeahWA  If I could bestow upon you 1,000 kudos right now for your wonderful suggestions, I would do it.  I agree to every one of your comments above.  We need more people to get engaged, talk about something they are passionate about, support the people who do contribute, be kind, be respectful.   Deah, you go girl!  Hip Hip Hooray!

Bronze Conversationalist

Thanks @Rhymesometimes . Let see if anything happens. LOL!

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