I get this new lay out, and think there's good ways to have structured discussions.
A half-formed thought though...
Wondering if there is any way to introduce some sort of live update (RSS feed?) as a split screen within the topics menu pages? this should show a live thread of recent content in the order it is posted, and there should be a separate one for both submissions and chat.
Ideally these would include a text entry box that will open/allow replies straight into the last thread actively posted.
Couple of reasons why this might be good...
- it will mean that newest submitted 'content' is immediately apparent when opening the menu page, and make the layout less of a drastic step change from the previous version. This 'straight to content' style could be a good thing for people who are logging on, especially newbies, as it will reduce steps to the user content, and make the whole thing seem less intimidating, and more inclusive ... otherwise there's a danger that the new format could (from the outside) start to look like a load of established private discussions between exclusive cliques.
- It could preserve a 'live' chat element.
- It could create the opportunity for 'crossed threads;, and 'mixed up' feeds, possibly with interesting and entertaining results some of the time, and - like the unintended humour derived from the goodle ads in old chatroom - this could be a source of entertainment and inspiration in its own right.
- As well as allowing focused discussions and targeted co-operations on specific topics (which the new structure should do more effectively that the previous one) it would still be good to have a way to get more heuristic stuff in as well.
Don't know if this is feasible, or if it is even desirable? Does anyone know what I mean? If so, please explain it to me!