Question Period!

Posted by: | April 23, 2008 | 17 Comments

Hey gang!

I’m working on the new version of the site, and I’m wondering what you want to see out of it. Final decisions will rest with the editorial board but we’re open to suggestions.


17 Comments so far

  1. Sunshine on April 23, 2008 10:25 pm

    More gossip, please.

    I’m only half joking.

    <3 Sonja

  2. Hayles on April 24, 2008 12:22 am

    Oh god, this could take a while.

    Um, anonymous posting has got to go, but we’ve been over this before.

    I’d like to see more raw info. Having a depository for important documents, videos, whatever. You should have a spot to post the, say, Lighter Footprints bible, or the SUB Renew Consultation doc. The Bylaws and Code would be good, especially if you could start archiving old versions of code. Council minutes? None of that is really accessible through the AMS website.

    Basic info and history pages for each of the major decision making bodies around campus. An overview of BOG, Senate, Council, etc.

    More active filtering with labels. I’d like to be able to filter out all news related to, say, the Senate, if I happen to not really care about the Senate.

    More polls. Devils Advocate is waaaaaaaay better at polls than you guys.

    Clearer indication when something is a guest article. I love guest articles, but they should appear in a different colour, or a consistent disclaimer at the top or whatever.

    Threaded commenting. I don’t even know if WordPress lets you do this, but it’d be nice to be able to respond to particular comments, and expand and contract threads as needed.

    Clearer contact emails. I mean, I know they’re there on the front page, but they’re kind of bottom left hand. You should have a “Contact Us” page, and you should especially have a central submissions/feedback email address now. Youz guys are way big enough for one now.

    Mmkay, I’ll shut up now.

  3. maayan kreitzman on April 24, 2008 1:42 am

    Mr. Hayles, those are all really really good. I’ve wanted to be able to attach/upload documents for the longest time. And yeah, our labels and tags are a mess. I’m gonna sit down and figure out some sensible cetgories and eventually re-index all the old posts when gerald teaches me how. Right Gerald?

    I’m torn about primer-like background pages. They’re useful, but this info is all freely available if anyone cares to look. Shouldn’t we be adding value instead of just repeating it? Then again, I’m sure lots of students would find that type of info useful all in one place.

  4. Anonymous on April 24, 2008 2:21 am

    Silence my voice.

    – Anonymous

  5. Kyle on April 24, 2008 2:45 am

    I think Hayles has some generally great suggestions, but just out of curiosity, is it possible to somehow get ahold of the AMS Council minutes on their website? I thought they would be an easy and obvious thing to find but I haven’t seen them anywhere.

  6. Fire Hydrant on April 24, 2008 2:57 am

    Path to get there: , “Student Government” tab across the top, “AMS Student Council”, “Council Minutes” (menu, left-hand side). Code, Bylaws, etc. are under “About Student Government”, in a box lower right.

  7. hayles on April 24, 2008 7:53 am

    Weeee, people like me.

    Re: hosting docs. Most of that stuff is available on the AMS website, but available is not the same as accessible. I know people who know how to get it, but I also know a young student who came to me with concerns about how the referendum had been run, and I had to show him no less than three times how to get at the CoP, and eventually just sent them to him myself.

    Maayan, I think you make a good point about duplicating work that’s already been done. I do think it would be useful for students to have one page (or tree of pages) that could sum up the basic structure of the university. But you’re right, it’s probably not necessary. If you’re just worried about the workload, I can do it. I’ll be putting in a section for the Ubyssey and other campus media though.

  8. Stephen McCarthy on April 24, 2008 6:43 pm

    Matt – I think your comment about the inaccessibility of things on the AMS website is insightful (and true). I really see this as something the AMS should be fixing, not the Insiders… perhaps one page with easy links to all the AMS material could be done, but I don’t agree that, just because of a failing of the AMS to have an easy-to-use website, the Insider should start doing their work for them.

    That said, documents in general is a good idea – if the Insiders can get a scoop on a document, for instance, they should be able to post it. And your other suggestions are good as well.

    My suggestion would be a search function – if I want to find articles relating to the knoll, for instance, I don’t want to go to the categories and guess what category/ies knoll stories may be under, and be out of luck if someone forgot to tag a story. Any chance we could have search, Gerald?

  9. Anonymous on April 24, 2008 7:48 pm

    On the other hand, isn’t there something good about a group like UBC Insiders blurring the division between “the AMS” and the rest of students? The AMS are the students and vice versa so shouldn’t the corporate AMS encourage all students to take on part of its effective governance? Or is the only answer to pay someone? It seems to me that bringing the inside of the AMS into the light is very, very good.

    There’s more benefit to posting the non-confidential contents of the council package every two weeks and letting people see what’s going on than being engaged in a mini-pissing contest about resources.

    As for anonymity, I think taking down anonymous personal comments is a good thing but anonymity also has its benefits.

  10. Ashley on April 25, 2008 12:49 am

    My opinion on the anonymity is people will stay anonymous one way or the other. Even if we force everybody who posts to register an account, that isn’t going to stop someone from posting under a pseudonym, and I think thus it should be a moot point.

  11. Patrick Meehan on April 25, 2008 2:13 am

    Its a question of ease.

    A lot of the problematic anonymous posts are posted in the heat of the moment (in my opinion).

    The act of logging off and logging back in again would significantly cut that down if for no other reason than it gives a sober second thought to your actions.

    Sure, you can still get around it, but its more effort filled, something that only the most anger filled individuals will do.

    And as those of us in the know know, even Eden Hart eventually gives up his identity. Fakers become known eventually.

  12. Commodore Cuddles on April 25, 2008 3:09 am

    Eden Hart is real.


  13. Max Unger on April 26, 2008 1:12 am

    There were plans to do a lot of the features people have outlined here on the AMS website under Campus Issues, which would have included documents, detailed summaries of various issues relating to students, and some sort of blog or discussion forum for each issue.

    Brendon Goodmurphy and I laid out a lot of the groundwork for the section but actually getting it going was put on hold because just getting the AMS website up and running was the priority.

    Anyways, the tab is there on the AMS site and the company that designed the website left it open so that in the future the AMS could make a much more interactive section than the rest of the site.

  14. Kyle on April 26, 2008 2:08 am

    Thanks for the link to the minutes!

  15. Bruce on April 28, 2008 5:36 am

    I think it would be nice if you could make comments about the comments so that different conversations weren’t all mixed

  16. Gina Eom on April 28, 2008 8:57 pm

    Bruce that is an excellent point – let’s see if that’s possible

  17. Eden Hart on May 4, 2008 8:37 am

    Mr. Meehan, the difference between my posting, and those under the simple pseudonym of “Anonymous” is that there still looms over my head the possibility of accountability. Anonymous posters could be dozens of people under the same name, some positing intelligent insight, and others mouthing off like ill-tempered kindergarteners. However, all comments posted under the Eden Hart name, are all made and backed by Eden Hart. There is the complication of imposters, of which there has recently been a larger-than-expected amount.

    I do nevertheless, agree, that the few seconds between posting under a fake account vs anonymously, adds the precious seconds of rational thinking that may cut down on many of the comments that so plague this free exchange of ideas.

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