How are you finding the community section?
I just wanted to extend a welcome to all our new members on the Rough Guides site. We re-launched Roughguides.com in late January this year and two months later we’ve just passed the 1,000 members mark.
We’re hoping this area will grow and grow and become a valuable resource for travellers everywhere.
We want to know though: what do you think of the Community section? What do you like best, and what are we missing? Are there more topics or features you’d like to see?
All feedback appreciated!
You need to add a lot more specific countries to your lists (why are so many places missing?) and display sections with each region/country too.
Also agree with the sentiment that there doesn’t seem to be much movement on here in terms of getting answers from other travellers compared to a certain other site.
Thanks Peter. The countries are actually added as questions relating to them arise, so this list should grow with time.
Agree about answers from fellow travellers. Again, hopefully this will grow with time. We’re working on some functional upgrades to the section over the next few weeks.
What are these functional upgrades Tim? Any hints?
Oh, and I hope it grows with time too, I really prefer the general look and feel of this site (despite a few needed tweaks) over a certain other one, but it does need plenty more people.
I’d like to recommend that the ‘country tags’ are reviewed a moderator and amended as appropriate.
At the moment it must be free text which is resulting in some misspells, duplicates (see Malaysia) and sentences in there which look a bit untidy (to the OCD minded!).
Perhaps there can be a sharp eye cast over the tags every now and again!
Agree with Jennifer Schilling Tim, categories such as “veiwing ceiling od Sistine Chapel” (sic) and so on are not needed. I would suggest the system that allows categories to be added as they are typed in is replaced by one where you simply provide us with categories. It may be more useful if your team simply added region and country categories yourself such as ‘South East Asia’, ‘Thailand’ etc and ensured that all countries are covered as per other sugestions.
Thanks Jennifer and Michael – we’ll clean those up. Will let you know about changes to the community soon!
Thanks for your feedback everyone. We’re working through your suggestions.
Jennifer Schilling – great idea. This is in place now, so hopefully those odd-looking countries won’t be in the destinations index for long. We’re also looking at a different taxonomy system longer term.
Michael – the developers are looking at another option for browsing by country and theme. You can currently click on the categories on the right hand side (or any tag at the bottom of a question) to have a look at topics by category, and click ‘see all country tags’ to get to the destination index, but there should be easier ways to get to these areas soon.
Also on the list: offering threads in either date or popularity order (to solve the chronological issue you’ve mentioned), adding reply functionality (so users can respond to an individual comment/answer & a few other minor things.
Autolykos – thanks for your feedback too. Will pass on.
Actual “we`re not blind and know spam when we see it, and, they know they`re spamming” needs to go away faster.
The previous answer of “they`re here every day” has flaws since spam is reported and is still hanging around too long.
It`s a blot on the site.
Like Stephanie L, I also have Himalaya treks following me. I posted on a thread and see that it is now at the top of the replies instead of down where it should be.
Thanks for the update Tim, glad to hear the country tag and the thread chronology issues are being looked at.
May I ask though what is being done to promote the site and get new posters, well, posting? I’ve mentioned it a little in a few places/other forums etc myself but it still seems very sparse as others have rightly said? (This isn’t a kick you when you’re down criticism, honest, I’m genuinely interested).
Maybe you should get a few more competitions or giveaways going for questions in general, the one for Morocco seems to be working! Fair enough none of them seem to be asking or answering any other questions and it’s obvious they’re just asking to see if they can get a freebie, but hey, the recent questions bit is finally moving!
1 or 2 gripey little things…
In this thread – http://www.roughguides.com/questions/is-it-possible/ — Someone found it necessary to click a green check mark on a post. This puts it above all the other replies. While it might be an ok answer, it does NOT answer the OPs question, in fact it would put him a couple of days away in travel from what his question was, and his time schedule does not support it. That`s not really good.
In another thread, one of the RG staff replied later and was bumped to the top (sans green checkmark). And it was an incomplete and fairly novice answer.
It`ll be nice to fix these 2 things. And I`ll hang around if you do.
Pirate, I asked about that very thing on this thread a little while back, (the same thing happens with those little arrows) and the OP Tim stated that they were looking at a way to keep the ‘like’ system (for lack of a better word) without jumbling up all the posts and keeping them in chronological order. That was a couple of months ago however and nothing has happened as of yet.
In fact none of the stated ‘improvements’ have happened as of yet as far as I can see.
This has a real potential to be a great forum, it just needs to grow, get some decent posters (some of the questions have been decidedly wtf) and fix a few niggly bugs as you say.
I don`t care about wtf opinions. I get very disappointed about wtf answers presented as fact, especially those that mislead or could be potentially unsafe.
Hi guys, I believe my answer is the one that’s been highlighted green by the OP that you are referring to above.
Going by what the OP had asked in his question and subsequently in a further comment made he said following on from Nepal he would be taking a 19 day trip hitting all the hot spots such as Taj, Golden Temple, Varanasi & Rajasthan.
All my recommendations are in Rajasthan so I don’t think that im sending this guy a couple of days off travel as quoted above. I think my recommendations are within the boundaries of the question that the guy asked and the further comment he made about his trip. Also, its an opinionated answer that I gave, I don’t think its written in stone now that he has to go see all the places I told him to.
It was also the OP himself that green arrowed my answer so it cant have been WTF or misleading in his eyes.
Rajasthan to Kerala and back to north Rajasthan is what I was speaking of. He likely has no concept of the distances. He will.
Both the Jaisalmer and Jodhpur forts are well worth the visit if you happen to already be there or are planning to. But roughly 2400Km back to where he`s already been would be torture.
As for the green arrow, it`s nice if they feel they need one. But to break the continuity of a conversation (which threads often turn in to) by rearranging the posts isn`t very clever.
definitely need country/regions sections. E.g. questions about budget, modes of travel, etc are going to be completely country-dependent.
Also, a meta-forum section, where questions like this particular thread can go, would be helpful to. How else can we ask questions pertaining to the community? like my question here, http://www.roughguides.com/questions/can-we-use-mark-up/
I had no idea where to place it.
Good idea MTL,
I agree with Pirate too, often questions asked on travel forums such as this can not have a right or wrong answer, people have questions and people offer advice and opinion, the whole ‘right answer’ thing doesn’t sit right. More to the point though what is going on with these changes and updates? Been a while now Tim?
Exactly my thought… The road to somewhere is paved with good intentions. Having a site primarily hosted by 3-4 people not even from the org that owns it isn’t close. Doesn’t take much effort to click it for new msgs every day at least.