Home › Forums › Administration & Support › Website: Bug Reports, Feature Requests, Known Issues, and Changelog › FEATURE REQUEST: New *** GEAR SWAP *** Section at BPL?
Jun 6, 2016 at 11:11 am #3407358Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
This topic has been split from here.
It is being addressed more comprehensively now because we have identified this as a major component of site slowdown as part of our recent site performance audit.
After distilling feedback from a variety of sources and related to a variety of issues, here’s the basic digest of suggestions and observation that we are receiving from users:
1. The slowest part of our site is the forums.
2. A significant part of this slowdown is Gear Swap traffic.
3. Gear Swap usability is obviously also hampered by forum traffic, since Gear Swap is integrated into the forums.
4. Gear Swap has limited usability due to forum editing restrictions, lack of categorization/organization, difficulty in managing listings, etc.
5. Gear Swap posts appear in Recent Topics page but excluding them from this page significantly slows down the query that drives this page and increases load time of the page. In addition, removing Gear Swap posts from this (highly visible and used) page limits visibility of Gear Swap posts to the community (we think Gear Swap visibility is a good thing, but we can compensate for this by increasing visibility of Gear Swap elsewhere without slowing down this query).
The purpose of this thread, then, is to visit the Gear Swap as a whole and evaluate whether or not we should create a different Gear Swap portal at BPL that would increase forum speed, Gear Swap usability and features, etc.
Feedback welcome, and when you post, please let us know if you are a frequent browser/buyer and/or seller on the Gear Swap.Jun 6, 2016 at 12:51 pm #3407373Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
This sounds like a wonderful idea.
While I am not a frequent user GEAR SWAP, it sounds like this could be beneficial to all of us, regardless of where we spend most of our time.
Of all the time I have spent waiting for pages to reload, I could have gone on a nice hike somewhere…
MattJun 6, 2016 at 1:10 pm #3407378Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I am fine with either meathod, but all things equal I prefer gear swap to stay in the same place as the rest of the forums. I don’t use the “recent topics” tool though and never have. I used to be able to scroll through the main forum page and see if there were any new topics, but now since the “upgrade” that doesn’t work anymore, so I will just hit the most used forums unless I have a lot of time to spend.
I will say that I am glad we are moving forward with something as I have a real concern that BPL is withering away with forum traffic being so low.Jun 6, 2016 at 1:13 pm #3407379Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I will also add that while I do buy and sell some off gear swap most of my posts are not FS/WTB unlike some members.Jun 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm #3407382Kevin BabioneBPL Member
Yes please – separate Gear Swap from the other forums! Speeding up the overall system would be a nice benefit, but I miss not being about to easily see the recent posts in the non-Gear Swap forums. When I want to peruse Gear Swap I will.Jun 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm #3407387Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Like I have said prior. Move it off the main page, just like Chaff. It’s there if you want it. Hopefully it will increase discussions on the forum. As it is now things get buried pretty quick with so many posts currently being Gear Swap posts.
I have used the GS forum many, many times over the years. But I do post more in the main forums. There certainly a number of posters that seem to be running a business here with all of their posts in GS.Jun 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm #3407390Danny MilksBPL Member
@dannymilksLocale: SF Bay Area
@ryan – can you talk a little more about what a “Gear Swap portal” would look like? I fear that by removing it too much from the site means that people will visit the GS or the regular site, but not both. Thanks!Jun 6, 2016 at 2:24 pm #3407393Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
@dannymilks great question, just not sure yet what it might look like.
Some ideas based on feedback from people who sell a lot on it:
* have its own link on the site menu;
* have a featured listing(s) widget on the home page (but I’m not going to add that until the home page is cleaned up, I’m not a fan right now of how messy it is);
* provide some type of integration with the forums (I don’t know what this means, I need to explore this idea more with the person who originally suggested it);
* separate all of the “Commerce” forums into a dedicated and more useful “Shop for Gear” (current link) or “Gear Finder” section of the site with a new reader reviews system, Gear Swap, Gear Deals postings … integration with the business directory, gear reviews, gear guides, state of the market reports?
Another one of the more involved behind the scenes projects we are working on is the faceted search engine. We’re trying to build a site search that allows a user to drill down into exactly what they’re looking for based on attributes of the content. For example, articles may have facets of date, tags, category, author; forum threads could have facets of OP author, original and latest date, “activity level”, forum name, tags; similar search facets could be created for gear reviews, gear swap posts, etc. My search engine ‘dream’ is to have a single page of results that you then drill down to find exactly what you’re looking for, using JS/Ajax etc. so the page would not require a reload. Fast, faceted, comprehensive, and smart.Jun 6, 2016 at 2:58 pm #3407403Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: Olympic Peninsula, WA
+1 on the gear swap forum having it’s own link on the site menu. I’m happy to bookmark two links for when I want to visit BPL: one for “recent topics” and one for “recent gear swap”. I mostly respond to forum posts but occasionally list items for sale and very frequently scan the gear swap for good buys or things I may need. It’s also very helpful to see old pricing information and how long things took to sell in gear swap threads – this info helps a person gauge the going market value and demand for an item they either want to buy or want to sell. Knowing how well a piece of gear holds its value also helps when buying new gear, especially if the intent is to sell it after being used for a particular hike.
And +1 on search engine search, like maybe imbedding Google Search into BPL. Being able to do sophisticated searches that provide good results such as forum:myog + “zpacks” + “door” + 2015 would be excellent.Jun 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm #3407405rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
“* have its own link on the site menu;”
It already does on the side menu.
In the main menu along the top, “articles” has a drop down menu to allow you to hone in on the type of article you want to read. Doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to add a drop down menu to “forum” in the top main menu as well instead of having to click on ‘forums’ and then, after waiting for it to load, click on the specific forum you want. It would be an easy, quick way to get to gear swap if it’s moved out of the ‘main’ forums (as it should be).Jun 6, 2016 at 3:36 pm #3407409monkeySpectator
@monkeyseeLocale: Up a tree
I don’t use gear swap but do use recent topics, to me anything that will help clear up the latter from the former is good!Jun 6, 2016 at 3:38 pm #3407410brian HBPL Member
@b14Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
My main vote is for restoring / improving the search function. My 2nd is for whatever improves efficiency, speed and user-friendliness.
I am not a user of the “recent postings” page. I enjoy the forums, and frequent GSwap the most.Jun 6, 2016 at 4:12 pm #3407414Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
I use Gear swap a fair bit, but the other forums more so. Like others have recommended move it to a separate place.Jun 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm #3407415Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
As long as Gear Swap is easily linked to everything else, no problem.Jun 6, 2016 at 7:19 pm #3407448Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
I have used the recent topics link for years. Definitely remove gear swap from it, it clutters it up. Usually more than half the topics listed on each page are gear swap. Posters putting WTB or FS on the start of their title helps with that, but not all do, also, currently they can’t edit that (or maybe poor Roger spends heaps of time editing in WTB or FS?).
Under recent topics, could also have a “recent gear swap listings” button. So if you feel like partaking you can quite easily.
It would be good if there was an option for gear swappers to “archive” their thread once sold or found. Move it to a different forum topic, like, “archive gear swap”. The information is kept there for those who are interested. Would clear up the recent gear swap listings button too, and reduce (some) confusions for people, wondering if something is still available or wanted. Not everyone efficiently types “sold”. It also means that BPL doesn’t have to make the titles of threads editable just so that they can enter “Sold” or “Found”, it just gets moved to archive.
I’m guessing the functionality might not be there (for a thread creator to move a thread between topics), but a moderator could also shift a thread if the users write Sold or Found in the last post. Again, painful for a moderator, but BPL is advertising for more moderators…I’m sure there must be tons of Gear Swappers who could help out here!Jun 6, 2016 at 9:36 pm #3407476Adam KlagsBPL Member
@klagsLocale: Northeast USA
Sounds like the end product will be a more functional and better laid out/designed result, so I’m all for a new Gear Swap portal.
Are there any potential negatives?Jun 6, 2016 at 10:38 pm #3407481Stuart .BPL Member
No-one else has said it, but if you can monetize Gear Swap that wouldn’t be a bad idea. If, say, 2-3% of the selling price could go to BPL, I doubt you’d have many objecting. A flat fee, however, might not go over so well.Jun 6, 2016 at 11:42 pm #3407488Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Gear Swap use to be free, now you have to have at least a Basic subscription. BPL now does make money off swap.Jun 7, 2016 at 12:38 am #3407491Mole JBPL Member
It’s a simple fix and been obvious for years. Please, just remove Gear Swap posts from ‘Recent Posts’ like you did with Chaff. Job done.Jun 7, 2016 at 5:54 am #3407496Hoosier TBPL Member
Are there any potential negatives?
In my mind, the way I see this speeding things up is to have gear swap on a different domain (I.E. bpl.gearswap.com) so that it uses a different web server. This would obviously be transparent to us end users because it will just be linked on the main page somehow. This results in much less bottle-necking. The potential negatives I see are webpage hits being totaled for two separate domains might become tricky for the finance and marketing teams at BPL.Jun 7, 2016 at 6:06 am #3407498Kevin BabioneBPL Member
I don’t know how easily it could be implemented, but having two Gear Swap forums would seem to be ideal to me:
- Active Gear Swap – Shows only items that remain available for sale
- Historical Gear Swap – As soon as an “Active” item is sold it switches to this forum so people can see what gear has sold for
Part of the challenge with Gear Swap (at least for me) is that you often have to wade through a bunch of comments and/or questions only to find that the item was sold anyway. It would be really nice to pull up a forum and know that everything listed there is still available for sale.Jun 7, 2016 at 6:29 am #3407502JCHBPL Member
IMO Gear Swap is fundamentally different from the other forums in that it’s focus is the exchange of goods, whereas the other forums are (or at least *should be*) about the exchange of ideas. The former exchange involves money, or some type of payment in kind, while the later does not. Ideas are free. I also see Gear Deals as an exchange of information, albeit (potentially) leading to the exchange of goods. The only reasons I can see for Gear Swap to be a “forum” are historical, i.e, it was easy to create a new forum called Gear Swap and let everyone have at it. It’s success has now outgrown that simple structure.
I can see the allure of moving Gear Deals and the proposed “Reader Reviews” out of the forums, but I personally like the “robust” discussions on the pros and cons of a particular piece of gear, and ultimately find them much more valuable that a “reader review” from a single viewpoint written in a single voice. And after all, we have the BPL articles for that :)
I vote for splitting off Gear Swap (only) such that it is completely separate from the rest of the Forums.Jun 7, 2016 at 6:52 am #3407506matthew kModerator
JCH makes good points about distinguishing gear swap from gear deals and reader reviews.Jun 7, 2016 at 6:55 am #3407508matthew kModerator
Regarding the search issue, I can find whatever I need on BPL with a Google search. I don’t see the need to search via a dedicated site search and I’m concerned adding a new feature might slow the server down more. This seems like a low priority to me.Jun 7, 2016 at 3:19 pm #3407572Ben CBPL Member
I think almost everyone would prefer to have GEAR SWAP off of the RECENT FORUM TOPICS list. It’s been a common complaint I have heard.
- The topic ‘FEATURE REQUEST: New *** GEAR SWAP *** Section at BPL?’ is closed to new replies.