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RiotACT v3.0

Jazz 14 March 2008 188

“Everything changes, nothing remains without change.” (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

With that in mind, welcome to RiotACT v3.0.

Its been about 4 years since the last design iteration of RiotACT was released on an unsuspecting Canberra and we thought it about time to do it again. This version is the third and has been compiled based on a lot of the feedback we’ve had over the past 12 months and our own thoughts on where we want to go next. I must acknowledge that it’s taken far longer to get to a release stage than we would have liked, but some things just can’t be helped. We hope you enjoy reading the new

One of the most obvious changes other than the Title bar is the change to Navigation. Directly above this story you’ll see three big buttons to Register or Login/out, Post a Item and one for Posting Instructions. We had soo many questions on how to submit something on RiotACT we thought it deserved its own button rather than hidden away in the FAQ. Registering an account and logging in allows you to post articles and comment. We’re also now collecting a few demographic details in your profile. We’d appreciate if take a moment to update yours if you are a registered reader. Our use of your details is covered by our privacy policy.

As always on RiotACT you can return home by clicking on the title bar and, strangely enough, the Post an Item button will let you submit something.

The 5 Smaller icons below that are About, Join in, My RiotACT, Contact us and Advertising.

About – A bit of a history of RiotACT and what its all about. It also covers some details about posting articles, comments and moderation, Registration and User levels to name a few.

Join inJoin In is new to Riotact v3.0. We often fielded questions on how riotact worked and how people could get involved. Its a quick and easy reference to just that – joining in the Riot.

My RiotACT – My RiotACT is another new feature to Riotact v3.0. It is your Author profile page (if you are a registered member). It will show all the stories you’ve posted, a short biography about yourself (if you put one in), how many comments and stories you’ve submitted and your name and current rank. Clicking on anyones name on the site will take you to a similar page about that user.

Contact us – our very own special contact form. Use this if you want to get in contact with an admin and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Note that we get lots of submissions so may not be able to respond to everyone personally. We probably wont entertain personal gripes either unless we feel they’re valid.

Advertising – Has a whole bunch of details on the great advertising options on RiotACT. Naturally we’d prefer you to advertise here rather than the CT. Its cheaper, more flexible and will undoubtedly score you lots of kudos.

On the Front page we’ve got a bunch of new features.

Featured Post – The featured post is something that RiotACT admins want to draw particular attention to (a bit like this post). It stays on the front page indefinitely or until we replace it with another. We will consider promoting content submitted by members to featured status but its got to be really great to get more prominence.

Post Ranking – Every Post now has a ranking as indicated by a number of stars. Votes are awarded by Premium Members and those posts with higher rankings will stay on the front page longer. Its a great way of checking out the really interesting or informative stories. We’re also likely to award monthly prizes for the best post as voted by our premium members so bear that in mind when you’re submitting content.

Event Calendar – Its taken a while but we now have an event calendar for all those events that get submitted on RiotACT. Check out the posting instructions for how to give your post an event date. Mouse over the calendar to see what’s happening on a particular day.

Most Emailed – Every Post now has a convenient little icon so you can send the details to your Friends, Colleagues or Family. We’re sure you know a few people who will rally to your cause and put forward your side of the Riot. Those stories that are really popular will get a mention on the front page as well.

Recent Comments & Posts – Back by popular demand, Recent comments and Recent posts were one of our most used features and retain their place in this version. Its what other readers are saying and have submitted recently.

Categories – Click on any one of these to find all submissions in a particular category. Its also a convenient way of focussing on areas that are of more personal interest to you and skipping over those bits that aren’t.

Polls – We’re welcoming back Polls in this version of RiotACT. Always interesting, sometimes informative and otherwise a bit of amusement for your day.

The Weather – Just in case you are stuck in an office with no windows, our handy little weather forecast will remind you that your umbrella is at home, or that its really as hot/cold as you think it is.

But wait, there’s more.

RiotACT wouldn’t be what it is without the robust, informative, and sometimes irreverent discussion so we’ve done a few things in that space as well.

The immediate thing you’ll notice is the change of layout. Its more in keeping with a forum style that RiotACT has evolved into from its humble blog beginnings.

Secondly you’ll notice that all the comments against an article are now numbered, and have a quote link for you to quote a particular comment. Don’t be alarmed if what comes up in your comments box is not the same number – its an absolute value against the comment you are quoting in our database, not the comment number in the story you are reading. You can now also preview your comment before submitting

There’s more, but you’ll just have to find that out for yourself.


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188 Responses to RiotACT v3.0
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zllauh zllauh 4:46 pm 28 Jul 15

it is different and i am loving it .

realityskin realityskin 12:37 pm 05 Apr 08

Browse by month would suffice !

el el 12:07 pm 05 Apr 08

I don’t care for forward and back pages much myself, but I thought the ‘Browse by month’ type deal was quite handy at times.

I probably should’ve mentioned it when you put out a call for suggestions, eh?

realityskin realityskin 11:55 am 05 Apr 08

realityskin said :

can we please have forward and back pages already ?


its REALLY hard to see posts made like, 3 weeks ago

Meconium Meconium 2:32 pm 30 Mar 08

sorry that was supposed to say Jazz and… any other mods who are listening 🙂

Meconium Meconium 2:29 pm 30 Mar 08

Hey Jazz and , if you’re reading this, I think you’d get a LOT more paying premium subscribers if you made the annual fee more reasonable. I’m happy to support you but don’t have $50 floating round, being a student and not receiving any Centrelink help.

But if you made it $10, I’d pay it to support the site. You’d get way more subscribers even if you asked for $20, but at $50 you’re just going to get the Rabble Rousers and Protagonists (and upwards, if there are any higher ranks).

More subscribers makes the thread rating system much more relevant too.

Hope you consider this.

realityskin realityskin 4:29 pm 27 Mar 08

can we please have forward and back pages already ?

Kieran Bennett Kieran Bennett 8:50 pm 26 Mar 08

btw, the TOC link on the registration form appears to be broken.

Kieran Bennett Kieran Bennett 8:43 pm 26 Mar 08

Is there any way to trawl the archives chronologically? I notice the search box and the next post and last post links at the bottom of this thread, but the ever important “previous” link on the main page is absent.

Good luck with the premium membership idea, hope it helps pay the bills. I gather you’re working on more features to the premium membership?

Meconium Meconium 1:03 am 25 Mar 08

Don’t know if anyone else said this, but some posts don’t have a horizontal line dividing them. It makes it easy to confuse two separate posts as coming from one poster.

Otherwise… any chance we could customise our RA colours/pictures (by selecting from a set), or does everyone have to have the same grey tones on their screen?

pierce pierce 3:06 pm 21 Mar 08

I like the tweak you made to recent comments – much better 🙂

Mælinar Mælinar 1:53 pm 20 Mar 08

Yay – I can see where to type again !

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 1:52 pm 20 Mar 08

(For the record I am far more tactful with feedback when I’m realworld currency paid to it)

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 1:49 pm 20 Mar 08

I know I know… Project work (with minimal staff) where I was paid to provide usability feedback review versus the unpaid one I wanted to do…

On the rating system (Bayesian weightings would let you prevent a one-vote article with five-star vote getting top billing, while the one with 100 votes an an average of 4.5 gets bumped to second), can it be made clearer if its a 1-star is Piss Poor, 2 is Slightly Bad, 3 is neutral, 4 is “I like it”, and 5 is “I Love it!”, or if its a matter of 5 Being “This is fabulous” and 1 is “This is close to neurtal but is okay”.
If it’s the latter, how the hell do we negative rate something?

Jazz Jazz 8:41 pm 19 Mar 08

Astrojax, not at the moment but you’ll note from my comment above that its on the to do list to sort out. If you want to browse older posts you can do so by category, or by searching.

The rating thing is the number of stars against each post. You can only vote on stories and give them a rating if you a premium member otherwise all your clicks will indeed do nada 🙂

Skidbladnir, thanks for your feedback however you should have raised them during the beta test when you volunteered for that. As it is, our limited budget and resources meant that a lot of the things that we would have loved to have put in, didn’t make it. Too bad eh? something for next time 🙂

astrojax astrojax 8:00 pm 19 Mar 08

“Look for in the recent posts listing on the front page of the site”

yebbut, that way still doesn’t get the threads older than the bottom of that list… does it? where’d they go and how do i find them? sometimes i remember an issue cause iu can trawl back through the list [previous page] and get somewhere i recognise and go ‘oh yeah..’ and post away

also, am i missing something? where is this rating thing? i don’t see no rating thing – apart from stars in the list of stories… and clicking them does nada… wha’??

GnT GnT 7:14 pm 19 Mar 08

After a couple of days of getting used to it, I’ve decided I LOVE the new site – much better than the old one. Of course, there are a few things that could be improved, but it’s a vast improvement. The best feature is the grey/yellow squares at the side of the comments. Now I can easily find where I was up to last time I was reading.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 1:19 pm 19 Mar 08

Okay, I am still needing to type this blind into a grey field with grey text on a grey background, and not knowing where the Post button is.
Fixing this specific bug would be a Great Leap Sideways.
Until its fixed, expect typos.



1) The “Highest Rated Posts” box has an information ocntent, but of lesser information content than either the Recent comments box, or even the Categories box. I suggest moving\replacing of Recent Comments with Highest Rateds.

2) “Recent Comments”: You’re replicating information a great many times within the one field, and its doesn’t scan to a glance easily.
IE: Maelinar on ZZZZ, Maelinar on YYYY, Thumper on ZZZZ, Maelinar on YYYY, Jazz on YYYY.

Possibly go back to the old ThreadName: Poster:Comment Poster:Comment Poster:Comment format, or go with ThreadName: Poster at Timestamp, Poster at Timestamp, Poster at Timestamp…
eg: RiotACTv3.0: Jazz at 1503hrs, Maelinar at 1502hrs, Thumper at 1430hrs, Local Man Immolates on Assembly Steps, Stanhope Applauds A Good Show: Stanhope’s Lawyer at 1500hrs, Maelinar at 1445hrs, Skidbladnir at 1442hrs

3) Your Recent Comments box is larger but less informative, than your Recent Posts box, which is located below and distractingly inside the confines of Recent comments. This makes getting information you want harder to find as they are similar (but not identical) in layout. The fact here’s a minor style clash is a bit of a problem to scan across in a hurry.

4) Your font size in RAv3.0 is huge compared to your previous v1.0 and v2.0 layout. Decreasing it from Arial@12point to Arial at 8 would allow you to see more content faster, and still sort through it and allow us with reasonable eyesight to read it, those with more mature vision probably have their text sizes set to Larger \ Largest or use text-to-voice anyway.

Rating system:
1) Highest Rating seems to only be using numbers from the 1-5 scale and an averaging of those values, to compare not an average of votes\post relative to an average or otherwise. Why not go for a Bayesian weighted system?
See for an entry level guide to what they do.

Locating Content:
1) I have no idea how to find what I want anymore.

Submitting content:
1) Can we have the Manage button brought back so we can remove from the Review Queue if needed?
The submit for Review step is damn fine, but it cannot be reversed, and nor can we re-edit things that have been submitted (which we could do for our own posts before).

CanberraResident CanberraResident 8:59 am 19 Mar 08

Chris, your post could potentially have identified another problem – rankings. You say you’re a newbie, and I have no reason to doubt, but it’s showing you as an Anarchist when you should be a newbie? Not sure.

PS I lurked for many years before I joined about a month ago too. It becomes a wittle addictive. Hehe.

el el 7:32 am 19 Mar 08

My only request is that you make sure that the font’s different! from both ABC and AFP websites.

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