Site Updates

Turkey legs, they're a delicious, sobering, slab of meat on a stick, and they're now our karma currency. Before today, turkey legs were simply a cumulative total of a users activity on the site. You got one when you left a comment, 10 if you wrote a blog post, 5 if you started a forum topic. They didn't do anything. Now they do.

You still earn them by commenting, starting new forum topics, and writing blog posts. Now other users can award them by voting up your comments. The +1 system on comments had always been in place, but the two never worked together. Now they do. If someone posts a funny picture, witty reply, good statistic, something you like etc..., then give them a turkey leg. Conversely, if someone flames or wages a personal attack, then down vote. Do not down vote for disagreeing with someone's opinion. In general, vote up way more often than you vote down. Of the almost 20,000 comments on the site, I've read them all, there might be 10 I'd personally down vote, and those weren't from regular, active users.

If one function of this new system is rewarding thoughtful intelligent discussion, the other is allowing the community to moderate itself. We are growing, in November we averaged 10,000 views a day.

I noticed there was an increase of people who would register an account, leave their displeasure over a game, play, or player, then disappear. It was reactive, and it didn't add much to the discussion. Eventually, a user's turkey legs (karma) will dictate what they can do on the site. Right now it remains that any registered user can vote, write blog posts, leave comments, and start forum topics. However, I can customize the system to, for example only allow users with >=20 turkey legs to start a forum topic. Or, users with >= -25 turkey legs can comment. That functionality is in place, but hasn't been activated. I want to see how every takes to the new voting first.

If it all seems very reddit-y to you, it's because it is. I want to thank the guys at 11W (http://www.elevenwarriors.com/) for providing the custom module that tied the voting and turkey legs together (they run the same CMS as we do).

I think the community here is great, and wanted to thank everyone (if you have even a single turkey leg, that means you) for making a bad season on the field a little more bearable.

Real quick, if you know someone who likes to talk knowledgeably about Tech sports, tell them about the site and help them register. If you read an article or blog post that you think warrants discussion post it in the forums. And don't feel like it has to be about Tech football. I think most of us keep tabs on everything happening in college football (and maybe basketball).

What do you guys think? Any suggestions?

Forums: 

Comments

Great idea. That's what I thought the +1 system was for when I first signed on the site.

Also, I like the idea of restricting use... The lurkers that will just register and wait to badmouth the Hokies after a bad game need to be weeded out... It's thoughtless and wrong.

I believe in the Brew Crew.

Deadspin

All the +1s and restricted use reminds me of the Deadspin commentariat before Kinja, when starred commenters got all the attention. The way I just said that sounds kind of negative, but I wouldn't be opposed to it at all. It helps keep reader generated content at a high level, and doesn't give a soapbox to trolls. My only concern would be setting the turkey leg threshold too higher, but 20-25 seems reasonable. A couple weeks of quality discussion could net someone 20 legs easily once the system catches on.

RIP Stick It In

I'm still waiting on the ability to cash these turkey legs in for real turkey legs in Lane..

Kidding aside, great work, Joe. It's always fun to see new features added to the site. Hopefully the downvotes don't get out of hand. I love the positive attitude of everyone here, so hopefully that continues and the "-1" button only gets used against obviously negative posts.

Mobile App

But how would people feel about a mobile app? I'm not necessarily signing myself up for developing it if someone else has already started or has a greater desire to do it, but I would have no problem giving it a shot and coming up with something. It wouldn't be some basic amateur stuff though. It would have to be quality, giving a similar interface to the online site, but allowing easier commenting and tracking from a mobile device. Either an app or a mobile version of the site would work really. Thoughts?

THIS

Best idea I've heard all day

Ok, I'll give it a shot

I will probably start with an Android App first to get it working right and then bring it to Apple. I won't set a timeline on it since this will be more of a free time project to help all of you guys out, but I will do my best. Once I start it, I'll create a post that will ask for specific features people want, but my thought is that you can navigate through the main page, check "What's New?", edit your profile, navigate to articles and comment or +1/-1, and create new blog posts and forum topics. Other features, like the Recently Active Forum Topics, the Big Board, and things like that will come later once I get the most important stuff working. Of course, this would all need to be approved by Joe and any other staff of TKP to make sure they approve and will allow me to use aspects of their design.

I hate ads but you may want to leave space in the app (header or footer) for ad space to be managed by thekeyplay. AFAIK that's their only revenue source for funding the site and if mobile/app traffic eats too much normal traffic there needs to be an ad option to keep their revenues up.

Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Whitley, Hosley, Fuller, Exum

Good thinking

Since I know Joe knows his computer coding, if he's up for it, I may give him the framework once it's done and let him add what he wants to be able to allow for ads or anything else to help their revenue. Hell, I'd pay at least .99 for an app like this so that's another option!

Let me know if you need help with the app. We should do one for Windows Phone before the iPhone.

804

Good To know

When I write the Android version, I'll send you the code for you to move it to Windows while I work on moving it to iOS. If I run into trouble, I'll post something on the site as I'm sure many people would be willing to help. Getting it all together for one OS will be the most challenging part. Moving it to work on other platforms should be straightforward.

Mobile Apps

I think a mobile version of the site would be fantastic. Let me give you some background on what drives it. The CMS is Drupal 6 with a good amount of custom code. Drupal is a popular open source project that's versatile because of the development community supporting it and all of it's parts are decoupled in a nice way. It has a steep learning curve, but after three years of playing with it, I have a decent understanding.

Last year I found a services module that provides an API via REST (among others) that would allow a developer to interface with basic site functionality. I had written the guts of an iPhone App, then got busy with spring ball, and when I came back the API and Titantium (a cross mobile development solution) had updated and broke a bunch of stuff.

During this offseason I want to get the site moved from Drupal 6 to 7 (which is going to take some work because I want to start with a fresh database then import content). Custom code along with the theme will have to be updated. During the upgrade I was planning on developing a mobile theme. Basically you visit the site on your mobile browser, it automatically serves up the mobile optimized styles and layout instead of the desktop version.

I think this would be a better solution over multiple Apps for a few reasons. It wouldn't have to be approved by Apple (Google wouldn't be a problem). There are no sponsorships or ads on the site now of any kind (yes, I lose money on the site), but there will be. It would be easier to use Google ads across the board since they support mobile and I'd only have to track revenue across one stream. HTML 5 is pretty powerful. There would be only one codebase to maintain, which means less time, more functionality, and a lower chances of things breaking.

I sincerely appreciate that you guys have offered to help. Also, it's evident people want mobile functionality. Does anyone here have experience with Drupal, CSS, HTML5, mobile theming, etc, or any other thoughts?

......

I come on this site to relax, unwind and turn off my brain for the day. Thanks for giving me a headache Joe.

But a mobile app would make me feel like doing some David Wilson like backflips!

That would be tight. Can you send notifications to my phone when someone replies to a post?

Twitter me

People still say tight?

Just messing with you, but I'd have to look into what sort of framework TKP currently uses to see if it has the ability to make notifications for those things. The larger this becomes though, the more it will be a TKP community effort.

I still say tight

Can't speak for the rest of the country thought.

I'd love a mobile app, but I realize the need for a community effort. I know nothing about web/mobile programming, so I guess shouldn't be too greedy!

Twitter me

I'm here for the memes, I just stay for the football.

Great now I'm hungry. lol.

#VT4SEC

Haha, nearly doubling your turkey leg total in one comment.... Brilliant.

I believe in the Brew Crew.

Aye

Great work as always, guys!

And the +/- system is perfect for this site. Commence operation plus-storm!

"You know when the Hokies say 'We are Virginia Tech' they're going to mean it."- Lee Corso

query:

Joe, are you going to reset the turkey leg counters now that there is a new system, or just use current levels as a starting point? I haven't been over to the big board to check.

RIP Stick It In

I'm pretty sure it starts at your current level.

I believe in the Brew Crew.

I suppose it was right under all the posts the whole time. I feel foolish

RIP Stick It In

All good haha.

I believe in the Brew Crew.

I like this

This is great. I wonder if I can get more turkey legs from one comment than UVA had fans at their spring game

These people are losing their minds!

Pretty sure you already do.

this is cool

i've always thought our all time scores should be displayed, and i've always thought we should have a -1 option.

i dont know about restricting new users though, yes i noticed the negative nellies who would fly by after a loss. like you said joe they kind of come and go and we shouldnt punish somebody who's new to the site because of what they might say. we rarely get flat out trolls.

even if i disagree with something someone says they normally have a coherent argument and whether i agree or not we're all hokies right? if i disagree strongly enough i'll argue back, if i'm not that worried about it i'll just ignore them. nbd

"I promise you I will keep getting back up as long as you keep pushing forward." -Michael Brewer
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

I think minor restrictions for new users would be fine, but maybe avoid some big deal for posting X number of times to keep people from spamming to "level-up"

love it

#Whitness

So your saying all my long badly written manifestos after losses calling out players and coaches incorrectly on topics that have nothing to do with what i am ranting about will be restricted?

A new season...new hope

Haha. No. Well unless you get something like 450 down votes, then yes. But I think most of us get your sense of humor.

I really don't anticipate the down vote button to be used all that much. And I'll be able to monitor all the votes cast if someone is just trying to abuse the system.

This just makes a good place even better, Thanks for the work you put into it.

Turkeys legs for comments?

Really dig the idea of Gobbler Karma .. nice work!

One suggestion: What about giving turkey legs (or partial turkey legs) for each comment a forum topic and/or blog post generates? That should help reward insightful commentary and discussion.

EDIT: If it's not clear, I mean that the blog/forum-topic author gets additional turkey legs for each comment the post accumulates.

I need to down vote someone just so I'll get it out of my system. There's always something about a new button that makes me want to push it.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

@VT_Warthog

UVA Football Rulez!

Can I get some pity up-votes for being the down-vote sacrificial lamb?

Awwwww man

This means I'm never going to break into the top ten now :( I R NOT FUNNEH ENUF

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

Like it a whole bunch

As long as there is no punishment for those of us who like to read a lot but only comment a little. Having a toddler and 3 grade schoolers with loads of homework keeps me pretty busy, so I won't be earning buckets of turkey legs posting snappy comments or in-depth analysis. This site is where I go to get the latest and greatest on my beloved Hokies, and I heartily approve having a system to keep the "flamers" at bay. ON! ON!

VTCC '86 Delta Derelicts, Hokie in Peru

Agree

I am in the same boat. I LOVE this web site, but struggle to chime in a whole lot due to family, work, etc. The Key Play is by far the best site for VT info and the absolute best for game analysis. My father and I look at this site and discuss the topics all the time. Keep it up!!

I concur

having been a long time reader, and then months later finally registering, and then months later finally deciding to add my 2c, I'm hoping to not get cut out of all the fun for being late to the party. TKP is a great site! Thanks for all your efforts!

No, there won't be. You won't lose any turkey legs that you've acquired over time or anything like that. The only way to lose them is by getting down voted. It's not about posting in bulk to jack up your count either, favor quality over quantity.

In my head I'm thinking it will work something like this:

Anyone with >= -38 turkey legs can comment. That means all new users who start off with 0 can comment, and gain points through up votes. Users with a negative balance can still discuss things and try to swim to the surface. Users who dip below this won't be able to do anything on the site, and probably for good reason. (See what I did there, -38-0.)

Anyone with >= 5 can vote on other users' comments.

Anyone with >= 10 can start new forum topics and write blog posts. This will eliminate heat of the moment post-game reactions from users who just want to get something off their chest and never be heard from again. It will also force the new folks to get their feet wet in the comments before taking center stage.

Does that make more sense?

Also, none of the restrictions listed above are in place yet. And they probably won't be before spring ball. And even if they had been, all 3 of you would have been able to post the exact comments you did because you're >= -38.

Makes more sense. Admittedly part of the problem may be that it's Monday and the >= a negative number wasn't processing well.

You probably have a better feel for it, but -38 may be excessive. Seems like someone's motives will be discovered before it gets to that, much like the outcome of that game was decided long before we hit 38...

But from a symbolic perspective, it's perfect. When the time comes to implement that'll do nicely.

ROFL @ 38

Brilliant.

Achievement unlocked: All of the Fullers

thanks for clearing that up. im like a few others and don't comment much but i love tkp. its my homepage and i think this will be a great addition

tyrod did it mikey! tyrod did it!

Good call

Im just trying to boost my turkey legs!!!!!!!

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

At least you're honest about it.

Mmmmm turkey legs

Getting hungry. drool....

#Hokies

Couple more ideas

Would it be possible to embed the up and down voting system into blogposts and forum posts? I see it as if someone writes an absolutely fantastic forum post, that they should have the ability to improve their turkey leg rating even more so than the basic 5 or 10 points. This also allows negative blog/forum posts to immediately be realized and avoided by further readers.

And I don't feel like this is as important, but I don't think you should be able to +1 or -1 your own writing to boost your own turkey legs. Nothing is more frustrating that seeing a troll on the ESPN boards that likes every single comment they write...

Logan 3:16

In response

1. That's a terrific idea, and the new system supports it. I haven't activated it yet. But it'll happen.

2. You shouldn't be able to. It should give you an error if you do.

I can't :(

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

@VT_Warthog

Bonus Turkey Leg Suggestions

-Free turkey leg on your birthday (mine was this past Saturday by the way)
-Free turkey leg on your membership anniversary (1 for each year you've been a member)
-Free turkey leg(s) for subscribing via email
-Free turkey leg for updating information in your profile
-Free turkey leg for voting in the left side bar

#ALLTURKEYLEGSEVERYTHING

First time commentor

Hey everyone,

First time commentor. I have been reading the site for about a year and a half now, but finally decided to create an account. I always enjoy reading all of the commentary that TKP staff provides week in and week out. Also, the commentors do a great job of adding additional nuggets of information.

Exit Light, Enter Night....Go Hokies

Food for thought

They estimate a single smoked turkey leg contains more than 1000 calories.

Taking the fam to Disneyland next week and while not as good a Lane stadium, the turkey legs there are pretty awesome. Put me down for about 4000 calories....

Karma

-1

thank you

for typing -1 versus giving it out haha. i knew that was coming .

If this site is going to become more like Reddit, then I demand more pictures of cats!!!!!

twitter.com/weavez22

can we get rid of

subject lines for posts?

they don't add anything in this format, and only serve to break up a poster's mesage.

think reddit. they do tree/threaded style comment structure but they don't bother with subject lines for the individual comments.

Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Whitley, Hosley, Fuller, Exum

I agree

It seems like most of the time, if you're replying to something it is better to just write the reply.

I've been debating that for a while now. Does anyone else have an opinion on that?

I agree. They are humorous sometimes, but mostly just break up the conversation and don't add any value. Think of it this way: there are few headings that actually summarize the post enough that you could determine whether you do or don't want to read the rest of the post.

804

Agree. I think the subject line on the replies breaks up the flow of reading more then it helps.... my 2 cents anyways

Can you make them optional?

ie: Replies must have either a subject or a body, but doesn't have to have both.

Gamertags

Would it be possible to allow people to add Gamertags to their profile so that we can have a TKP network for everything from COD to NCAA13?

Much agreed.

When I was fixing my profile, I was slightly disappointed the only social network included was Twitter, since I don't tweet.

I don't know how difficult this is, but maybe a private message thing where we can send a message to an individual person. I only want this because I was giving my ticket away earlier this week and someone had to post their email as a response in order for me to send it. With a messaging thing it would be much easier.

Rip his freaking head off!

Hokies in the Pros

Love the site, guys; thanks for all the good work you do.

Have you ever thought about a Hokies in the Pros tab? Most guys are pretty easy to follow but I like to keep track of the more under-the-radar guys trying to make it big. Guys that come to mind include but are not limited to: Eddie Whitley, Ed Wang, David Clowney, Xavier Adibi, and Macho Harris. It's a little tough to keep up with them but you could set google alerts for them so when they make or get cut from a practice squad/CFL team, you'd know.

Just a thought; keep up the good work and let's kick some tail in the...Russell Athletic Bowl *sigh*