By Greg.

Having spent more time than usual on the forum last week (chatting about the new member roles feature), I now understand why Jenny and cciele keep reminding me that we need a simpler way to get to the unread posts. It is really hard to keep track!

So I spent some time this last weekend putting a simple system in place. The main new thing you will see is a status bullet for each conversation on the front page of the forum. The bullet can have three states, and clicking the bullet does something different in each state:

  1. No unread posts: clicking the bullet marks the conversation as UNREAD
  2. Conversation has new posts: clicking the bullet takes you to the next new post
  3. New conversation: clicking the bullet takes you to the first post

Number 2 is the real time saver. No more paging through conversations, hunting for the post that you haven’t read (thank Jenny for suggesting this one).

Conversation Key ExampleMark  All Conversations Read

If you want to get caught up without reading everything, just click the button at the top right of the front page.

Once you are inside a conversation there is also an indicator on the new posts themselves — the top of their enclosing box has a subtle red gradient. In a forum I often jump back a couple of posts to get context, and if you do the same then this indicator will help you to find the unread posts after you’ve re-acquainted yourself with the thread.

Unread Posts Indicator

Note that if a conversation sees no activity for two days then the system forgets its read/unread status. If someone then replies to this forgotten conversation, tracking will restart, but the old read/unread information won’t be available. So resurrected old conversations will look just like brand new, unread conversations.

Like most things this will become more clear after you’ve used it for a few hours. Please reply to the forum thread to let me know about any issues.