Sep. 27th, 2011 03:57 pm
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
[personal profile] jennyst
So Delicious/AVOS broke a load of stuff. And fandom has sent in support requests, and AVOS are either frantically coding to fix it or possibly ignoring some requests - we don't know.

Fannish infrastructure like Delicious that relies on the goodwill of disinterested (or anti-fannish) parties such as AVOS or Yahoo is generally problematic - it's great to have free stuff while it's working, but it does leave us vulnerable. The OTW mission of preservation & access aims to help us in this sort of situation, but we don't yet have a full solution for all the things Delicious does.

This puts even more pressure on the bookmarks overhaul that AD&T are working on for AO3. And therefore more pressure on already overstretched coders and testers, so caring for our volunteers becomes more important. We have 21 improvements/bug-fixes planned for AO3 bookmarks, ranging from minor niggles to major new features. Which of those do you think are most urgent or important to the things you used to use Delicious for and can't any more?

I'm sure there will be an official OTW post about this later today, but I'd be interested to hear people's views.

Date: 2011-09-27 04:15 pm (UTC)
facetofcathy: four equal blocks of purple and orange shades with a rusty orange block centred on top (Default)
From: [personal profile] facetofcathy
I'll put in my 2 cents. I have one experimental project using AO3 bookmarks that is my recs for one fandom. It's about half external links and is very much a pain to make corrections to. I don't use the system at all for myself, and I won't until it will handle external links as easily as it does internal.

I know there's heaps of coding to do on the archive as a whole, and I hate to be a downer here, but I seriously don't think those few bugs are really going to make the bookmarks more attractive to users than they are now. They function okay as a list of AO3 fics for the user's benefit only, but they have little function beyond that as any kind of resource in the ways fandom used Old Delicious.

As a reader looking for fic on the archive, I don't even know how to go about using the bookmarks to find something to read, and I don't bother. I think a walled off tag system for bookmarks with its own tag cloud and filters would help, but right now, almost no one even uses tags when they make bookmarks and few people even make comments.

I do notice bookmark counts on stories, but really, they're kind of like extra-strength kudos from that perspective, not anything more meaningful.

Date: 2011-09-27 05:22 pm (UTC)
juniperphoenix: Bat-signal shaped like the OTW logo (OTW logo)
From: [personal profile] juniperphoenix
I think bookmarks, even more so than works, would benefit from a more lightweight display. What I mean by that is that I'd prefer for each individual bookmark to take up less space on the page so that one can view a long list of bookmarks at a glance and more quickly find the one that's wanted. (Basically, it's the usability difference between the old Delicious interface and the current iteration that only displays 10 tags at a time.)


Date: 2011-09-27 09:36 pm (UTC)
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
From: [personal profile] ursamajor
*nodnod* This is a huge usability thing for me with the new Delicious; at best, I can see maybe 2-3 bookmarks in the same amount of space I used to read 5-8 or so. AO3's bookmarks are hugetastic; if I can see 1-1.5 per screen (I'm on a widescreen netbook), that's about normal for me, whereas with Delicious fic bookmarks, even those that maxed out the 1000-character description limit, I would at least be able to see 3-5.

I kind of wish that AO3 bookmarks used the text of my choice where they have the summaries, rather than having the summary *plus* my text below, making a single bookmark take up an entire screen. Maybe this is something that could be partially fixed by me setting a smaller font size on my Archive skin somehow, but I haven't played around enough with settings to even know if there are such things as alternate site themes/customizing little things like font size in them.

Separately, re the making of a bookmark: wish there was a way to hide/show the list of usable HTML, so that the Notes box can be bigger; wish the Tags box was at least as wide as the Notes box.

Date: 2011-09-27 07:38 pm (UTC)
boundbooks: Zhang Ziyi (Default)
From: [personal profile] boundbooks
I love AO3, I've been using it for over a year, but here's the deal.

I don't even know if it's possible for me to sort my bookmarks by fandom. You know how you go to someone's works, and you can click the fandom name, and see all the things that they've written for that fandom?

AO3 bookmarks are so broken that someone who's been using the site for a year (me), has no idea how to sort her bookmarks by fandom. I don't even know if that's possible to do. If it is possible to sort by fandom, it's damned unintuitive. :(

Forget pairing or tags or anything else. Until AO3 can make it really obvious as to how to sort bookmarks by fandom (aka so obvious that it's impossible to miss), AO3 bookmarks will be functional unusable and thus readers, as opposed to writers, are not going to be able to really use the site.

I can find a lot of stuff with the AO3 tags, but without functioning bookmarks I can't find it again. Right now I have 59 bookmarks, and every time I want to find one, I manually go through each page of my bookmarks and check each title.
Edited Date: 2011-09-27 07:44 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-09-28 03:01 pm (UTC)
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
From: [personal profile] havocthecat
Yeah, I agree. I appreciate the AO3 putting bookmarks back on their high priority list! But currently they're so broken that I'm not bothering with them.

Date: 2011-09-27 07:43 pm (UTC)
julia_beck: Rectangular cake with white frosting and yellow inscription "AO3= <3" (Default)
From: [personal profile] julia_beck
I admit I use bookmarks as a way to find recs, exclusively -- I don't use it similarly to Delicious at all. So filtering for bookmarks really would be my number one priority.

Date: 2011-09-27 07:47 pm (UTC)
boundbooks: Zhang Ziyi (Default)
From: [personal profile] boundbooks
This. Right now the way I use bookmarks is that if I'm on a page for, say 'Harry Potter' or a specific ship, I use bookmarks like I use comments or kudos numbers. The more bookmarks, the bigger the chance it's good.

I do not actually go and see who has bookmarked it, because I am unable to actually navigate that person's bookmarks in a meaningful way, even by fandom. Just getting an equivalent to the works page, where you click on fandom and get that list of what someone's written (but get a list for what they've bookmarked) would improve functionality about 2,000% percent.

Date: 2011-09-27 08:46 pm (UTC)
anenko: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anenko
Coming in from [community profile] ao3some.

I want to be able to sort my bookmarks by fandom, character, pairing, etc. the same way I can my own works. Right now, clicking on "Fandom Name" will get me everyone's bookmarks for that fandom. Which sucks.

I want to easily be able to edit the url field of offsite recs.

The AO3 external bookmarklet is a bit of a pain for doing a serious round of bookmarking. You have to input a lot of info. With delicious, I could simply tag something as "fic" and be done with it. The AO3 requires author, pairing, rating, etc. It's not ideal for the fan on the go, you know?

Date: 2011-09-27 09:14 pm (UTC)
false_alexis: Crashing fox is crashing! (Default)
From: [personal profile] false_alexis
I would say all the features and bugs relating to external bookmarks are the highest priority. Looking at the list, there seem to be a number of minor bugs that are incredibly frustrating, though I haven't played around with external bookmarks enough to run into them. After that bookmark filtering, absolutely, needs to happen.

Thank you for opening this up to discussion!

(Coming in from /report on Twitter.)
Edited (to add how I found this post.) Date: 2011-09-27 09:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-09-27 09:27 pm (UTC)
pixel: Dreamwidth: Home is where the heart is (dw: homeis<3)
From: [personal profile] pixel
At the risk of being tarred and feathered. May I suggest:

1) Make AO3 an OAuth provider (if its not already?)
2) Having AO3 expose some of the current functionality that the existing bookmarking stuff rests on as an API
3) Breaking bookmarks off to a separate service, maybe developed by AD&T, or a fraction of it, or recruit another group

Right now it seems like the biggest hurdle is getting new devs going, and the AO3 codebase is, well, pretty large, huge even. Bookmarks don't necessarily depend on every single bit of code already in AO3, and we're going to see a goup of people, pissed off about delicious, and we want to feed that *quickly* into passionate developers. I think that can be done better on a smaller, more focused codebase.

Also, this lets the services scale independently of each other, different databases (I get the feeling bookmarks might be a good usecase for NoSQL for instance) different servers, etc. Not to mention this means a new service can have a different (faster to start?) deployment schedule, can be BDD/TDD from the ground up and can take advantage of all the lessons learned on AO3.

Now I know hardware isn't cheap, and I don't have that problem worked out, but maybe the idea is worth consideration? There are a lot of awesome devs already working hard on AO3, and I would hate to see them get burned out over this. There is more than one option here.

Date: 2011-09-28 12:22 pm (UTC)
pixel: (h50: keepcalmtripplebanana)
From: [personal profile] pixel

I have, some ideas, involving providing basically, json access to various bits of works/tags/metadata. Basically it would require a survey of what the existing bookmarks stuff does, chop off the bookmarks functionality and see what sort of things would need to be accessed. The thing is, it's not something even that would be needed immediately, the main advantage is allows users to 'pre-populate' some tags when they create bookmarks on AO3 works.

Date: 2011-09-28 01:08 pm (UTC)
pixel: (h5o: steve tea is good)
From: [personal profile] pixel
I think that's got some possibilities.

Date: 2011-09-27 09:37 pm (UTC)
rageprufrock: beach (Default)
From: [personal profile] rageprufrock
I can't speak too much to the technical side of things, but in my attempts to use the bookmarking feature, it's been... a bit too baroque, I guess? It loaded too slowly and wasn't very nimble, and the level of complexity built into AO3 bookmarks (all of the drop down categories etc.) aren't really necessary for a bookmarking feature, which can flourish with just user defined tags, but I don't know whether or not that clashes with the goals of or erodes all the extremely hard work of the tag wranglers. I do know that it feels strange to have filled in pairings and everything and then to come across the "your tags" line at the bottom, when I generally associate my tags with the stuff I already filled in.

Date: 2011-09-27 10:24 pm (UTC)
torachan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] torachan
Right now there is zero searchability for bookmarks. I use bookmarks occasionally as a way to give the author another type of kudos (I use the heart bookmark), but if I want to find anything in my bookmarks, it's impossible. The page gives me a list of bookmarks in order of most recently bookmarked. Well, that's great if I have maybe less than ten bookmarks, but how on earth am I supposed to find anything I bookmarked after that? The only way is to scroll through page after page of bookmarks, which means I am never going to use them as actual bookmarks, because finding a fic would be easier trying to use the search function than just scrolling through page after page of lists in no particular order.

So for me the number one thing bookmarks need is some sort of organisational sidebar like the one we get for other works. Now, the sidebar itself is also pretty badly designed and often more trouble than it's worth to use, but at least it would be a step up from the nothing that is there now.

Date: 2011-09-27 10:52 pm (UTC)
copracat: The Wrangulator (OTW AO3 The Wrangulator)
From: [personal profile] copracat
About two years ago I tried to used AO3 bookmarking to masterlist a small fandom's works. I set aside the project waiting for bookmark improvements. Filtering will improve things.

However, I say don't rush it. AO3 resources are precious! Fandom will get by on pinboard, which seems to be welcoming (@pinboard recently tweeted that he wanted to attract fans because they were great bookmarkers.) and is dedicated to bookmarking. And diigo isn't too bad for those of us who don't want to give pinboard our credit card details.

Date: 2011-09-28 02:49 pm (UTC)
stungunbilly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stungunbilly
Just jumping in here (hi!) to mention that you can use Paypal and a fake name to sign up for Pinboard.

Date: 2011-09-28 12:57 am (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
Like other commenters, I use AO3 bookmarks mostly for recs (though I haven't used them often). This happened sort of automatically -hey, if I bookmark this it shows up right there on my page, this is cool for reccing stuff. I never even considered using AO3 bookmarks for keeping things in order for myself, because I prefer to keep fannish and other bookmarks in one service and because the AO3 bookmarking feature just isn't as slick, fast, and functional as dedicated bookmarking services. This never came across to me as a point against the AO3. It's a big shiny social library, not my personal bookmarking space.

*completely random idea that flew by just now, please ignore if stupid* How about making the bookmarking feature into a reccing feature instead? The coders may have better things to do than work to make a bookmarking feature that could rival external bookmarking services in functionality. I'd be all for a dedicated fannish bookmarking service, but that sounds like a huge extra undertaking. But as a useful reccing feature, I think the bookmarking feature is already halfway there. And we do like making and getting recs :)


jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
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