It takes a lot to get me riled up, but I have got to say these people have really done it now. I have never been on a forum that has been so frustrating with it’s frequent technical “updates” and changes to design, format, etc. And it is extremely irritating to be on a question or Take one minute, and the next when you try to go somewhere else a page pops up saying “GaG is taking a quick break.” Do you have any idea how incredibly upsetting that is? Especially if you just typed out an answer, response, or message that doesn’t go through, and you have to do it allllllllllllllll over again. What kind of website even does something like that? I have never been on any other forum that acts like this. What kind of cheesy, antiquated software are these people using to cause interruptions like this? It is not making sense to me.
Over the last few years GaG has lost many users, and I remember a time when there were users who used to post detailed, thought-provoking, or truthmnswers, responses, and Takes, even if you didn’t always agree with them. And it seems to be that even that kind of quality has declined. Maybe those users left because they got tired of the site constantly making changes, or maybe they left because they didn’t like the influx of newer users who don’t really give particularly thoughtful answers. I don’t know, but I do know that all the changes are not a good thing.
The recent messages “update”...
Recently GaG programmers did something where our inboxes are now split into two sections, ‘Inbox’ and ‘Other Messages’ and it’s just a mess to me. Because of it, I missed messages that came from people I talk to and only saw them by going into my inbox. I was never given a notification that a message or reply came, and even now I still am not getting any notifications of new messages. Here I was thinking that those people must not have wanted to talk to me, when I just never saw the replies. This new GaG addition is utterly ridiculous to me and is a complete waste of computer skills and time - this coming from an IT graduate himself. I have heard that some Gaggers like the new change - and that’s okay, but I do not believe the majority of us are happy with it.
The changes that GaG REALLY needs to make…
While site programmers favor a constant superficial focus on wanting to be cool with graphics and useless changes to things like what they did to our inboxes, they ignore things that actually make sense and could be a lot nicer for us. So I’m going to list my suggestions here - that some of you yourselves may not like - but they’ve certainly got to make more sense than what these programmers are doing. I’ve already noted some of them on two different questions from other users, but I want to put them in full here:
- Letting users edit or change their usernames
This one may not be accepted by everyone, but I think it could be useful for people who maybe decided that they don’t really like their name anymore and want to change it, or add something to it. Even every other site let's you change your name if you want. A user shouldn’t have to delete their profile just to start all over again with what they really want. I personally am set on being ManOnFire and have never wanted to change it and never will, but maybe someone else realizes they don’t really like theirs anymore.
And if the site wants to put a limit to it, they could do something where a user can only change their username up to 3 times. Or can only do it every 6 months or so. Sometimes people just want to change their name, maybe even temporarily, and they should be allowed to do it.
- Letting users edit their Takes
This is really important to me because I take my writing very seriously. It would be great to have the ability to edit our Takes if we put wrong information, links, or typos, or if we just feel like we could’ve improved on how we said something. Even other sites let you do that. I remember a few years ago GaG did have a short-lived feature where you could edit your Takes within a 24-hour window, and why they got rid of that I have no idea but it was helpful for me at that time.
- NOT deleting our old messages after a few months
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like anybody touching my messages and deleting things. From the very start of me being a member of GaG I have absolutely HATED that correspondence we have with other users gets deleted after so many months. This is also something I have never experienced on any other site. If we want to delete old messages then let us do it on our own time. If we want them to stay then we should be able to let them stay.
I personally do not delete many messages unless it really, really amounts to nothing or is from somebody who is just bothering me. Sometimes I like looking through old messages to see members I haven’t spoken to in a long time, or members I don’t remember who their names were, so referring back to old correspondence will prompt me to want to check in on them or jog my memory. I have done this on every site I’ve been on, and generally don’t care about how many messages build up in my inbox.
At the time that I left Experience Project back in February 2015, I had a loaded inbox of over 1,000 messages from hundreds of old users I chatted with on my time there. That was the only instance where I took the time deleting every last one over a period of 2 weeks simply as a way of closure for me leaving the site, and because I wanted one last chance to go back down memory lane and see old things I talked about with folks. Flirting and picture swaps with chicks. Emotional conversations about life with older women. Sex advice and tips on women from older men (and some older women, that turned into sexting lol). Social and political debates. Collected intelligence on pesky users. Conversations with users from other countries and what life was like for them. Many different things. But the choice to clean out my inbox should be mine, not the website itself.
- Marking blocked members so we know not to try to say anything to them
A lot of times we already know when we’ve been blocked, or we know when we go to reply to that person’s last message and we find out we’ve been blocked. But overall we should be informed of all users who’ve blocked us with some kind of indicator when we see them around the site, which would be particularly useful for users we’ve never even met but who blocked us because they were weak and couldn’t handle something we said.
Personally I do enjoy being blocked and exactly for those reasons, but at the same time it would also be nice if they had some kind of indicator by their name when you see them around the site on other questions or Takes that lets you know that person has blocked you, like a red check mark or the universal Blocked symbol, or highlighting their whole opinion/comment in pale red or something.
- Member search ability
Maybe you’re looking for a user but don’t entirely remember their name, only a part of it. It would be really, really great to be able to have a search bar where you can look up a user, have them pop up, and go to their page to answer a question of theirs you missed, or you wanted to send them a message, or simply add them. Even Facebook let’s you look up members, and Experience Project was super great about this when it was around, and so was Google+. Member search options would be a Gold Star addition to GaG and I have been saying it for years. Why they still have not done this, I do not know.
- A category for Poetry/Writing
If you’re like me and you like to write things other than just Takes, maybe short stories or poems, then you would find a section for this very useful. I have persistently suggested this to the admins but they reject it every time, saying ‘Well, you can just post content like that in the Arts and Entertainment category.’ Not the same thing, and most other users aren’t going to look at it like that either.
I think there are plenty of Gaggers here who are writers at heart and would love to express themselves in an extended way, as I also think a Poetry/Writing category would even encourage other users to make use of it and want to post things other than the same old bologna here on a regular basis.
Get to it…
So those are some of my ideas, and you may not support all of them and that’s okay, but I think they’re some better alternatives to what’s been done here already. I am pretty pissed off with GaG’s programmers and admins right now and I honestly am not ashamed to say so. I think they might garner more respect and appreciation from us if they heard us out more, and didn’t do things that are of little or no use to the site.
Having said that ManOnFire will now be ‘taking a quick break’ for today.