Alright, bear with me, for this is kind of a doozy.
At the time of writing, there is a thread on the front page that explains that Boards are not meeting their expectations, and this is due to both the users and Riot. It is a very well made post, and if you haven't read it already, I highly suggest you do.
However, one of our Mods, KempyreanPirate commented on the thread saying that he (and likely the entire Boards team) is stuck at how to improve the Boards from a technical standpoint.....and I don't blame him. This is not an easy issue to fix, and will likely take alot of brainstorming from several different people.
And this is where my idea comes in.......but do remember that it is just that: *an idea*. To be honest, I'm not even sure if this would be even possible due to possible tech limitations. I suppose the Boards are fairly simple from a coding standpoint, so doing something like this might be out of our realm....
.....but it doesn't hurt to at least try, right?
Anyway, this idea of mine is split into 3 concise changes, starting with the current system the Boards works under.
#The Current System
Of my 3 part idea, this part is by far the simplest to implement........because I'm basically changing nothing......at all.
Instead, all I am going to do is introduce a maximum character limit for both threads and comments......around the 2500 to 3000 character limit. This is much longer than you think, and should provide plenty of room in order to get points across in a concise manner. It will still have the upvote/downvote system it currently uses, the current comment system, and current formatting system.
Now, you might be saying "But...Electro....doesn't this hinder discussion, doing the exact opposite of what we're trying to achieve?", and you would be completely correct, but this is where my next part makes things interesting.
Back when Facebook came out, it had a "Note" system. These "notes" were meant to be *much* longer than your average Facebook post, allowing for a much more detailed conversation to take place. Unfortunately, it never really took off.
Twitter had something very similar pop up with Twitlonger. I believe that this was a 3rd party website that allowed Twitter users to easily send out a much longer tweet than what the Twitter system will allow. Unlike Facebook's Note system, this is still used to a fair margin by several people.
My "Presentation" system is very similar to this. These "Presentations" will be meant to be very detailed and *long* discussions on whatever the writer wants, just like a normal thread. However, unlike a normal thread, these presentations will have a *minimum* 5000 character limit. If your Presentation happens to be *under* that limit, you cannot publish it. But, it will have no character *maximum* limit, allowing you to write several pages on whatever you want. The comments on the Presentation will also have a minimum character limit of around 500......and this is much less than you may think. (Just this paragraph alone, not counting this sentence, has a count of 601)
These Presentations will not be showcased in the same way that threads currently are. Instead, they will have their own little section at the top of any sub-board. For example, on the Front page, you will have the top 5 current Presentations side by side in little boxes. In these boxes will have the first 500 characters of the Presentation, along with the title up above the box. If you are having trouble picturing what I am trying to explain, think of how Google presents it's "Top Stories" when you look something up.
######Blocked out the titles to avoid political discussions cropping up
It would look similar to that, except it will just have text. See where I'm going?
Now, to avoid the situations where someone will just spam the same thing over and over and over until they get to 5000 characters, these Presentations will first have to be approved by a moderator. In order to make it quick to where mods can sort through them quickly (in case that there are a *ton* of them), there could be just a simple button at the top of the Presentation saying "Approve" or "Deny". If any happen to slip through somehow, there will still be the report option.
Once the Presentation is approved by a Mod, it is then published in it's respective category that writer chose......just like a thread. Then, we come to how they get to that top spot.
#The Grading System
This system will be an alternative to the upvote/downvote system, and it will only apply to the Presentations (though, I am more than happy to talk about introducing this sytem *in general*).
Presentations will have an option of 5 "grades". To keep things fun, we'll follow the gaming grading system: S, A, B, C, D.
Each grade will have a point value attributed to it:
The more points a Presentation gets within a certain timeframe, the higher it will rise up the ranks. However.......there is a catch.
Each Presentation will have 3 different point scales: A user point scale, a Moderator point scale, and a Riot point scale. The point value I showed above is the *user* point scale, and each grade (except D) that comes from the user point scale gives the least amount of points.
The Moderator Scale
The Riot Scale
The reason why the user scale is the smallest, and the Riot scale can get to more than *double* the points that the user scale can give is because there are simply a HELL of alot more users than Rioters....so, they get a more powerful say in the number of points a Presentation gets.
I know, I know, you're now saying "But there are more Rioters than Mods, so, why don't the mods have more power than Riot?" Well, it's simple: Mods aren't Rioters. That said, they are, probably by a very wide margin, the most active people on the Boards. Very rarely do you see a thread that *doesn't* have at least 1 comment from a Mod. So, I wouldn't be surprised that every Presentation will get a grade from a Mod.
Now, how the Presentations will rise up to the front page will be determined by it's *overall* point score. That said, in order to get an idea of which scale is giving the most points, there will be a little graphic on the side (probably where the upvotes and downvotes would normally go) that shows How many points each scale is giving, along with it's overall score. For example:
One last thing I would like to point out....you might be wondering why the D grade is the same across all scales, and why there is no 0 point value. This is to avoid abuse cases, on all 3 sides (Rioter, Mod, and User). Yes, I understand that not giving a grade is the same as giving a 0 point value grade, but, there really is no way to avoid that. However, even if someone gives a grade, it is *guaranteed* to have *some* points, and rise slightly. Will it rise as quickly as a Presentation that is constantly getting S grades? No, but it will have some point value attributed to it.
And that's it! Yeah, I know......it's crazy.....but I warned you, did I not?
Like I said, I don't even know if this possible from a coding standpoint. If any mods would like to chime in on that aspect, please do. I'm genuinely curious.
As for everyone else, feel free to give as much feedback as possible. As I said at the start of the thread, fixing the Boards will not be easy, and it certainly can't be done by a small group of people. This would need to be a community project, spearheaded by the Mods. So, please, throw at me everything you got!
Sorry.....I'm not writing one.
I don't even know how I would write one in this case.