We noticed two interesting things about the forum over the last few months. First, from time to time people need quick feedback. Often, they are about to go out and they want some input on their outfit (the “date night” scenario), but there are other situations too, like being in the middle of a closet cleanup and needing a quick second opinion on one particular item.

The second thing we noticed was that there is almost always someone online in the forum, and during much of the day there are several people online.

So we thought, why not make it easier to get immediate feedback for a quick question. And the YLF Realtime feature was born.

It is very simple to use. When you start a new conversation you will see the new “Realtime” option in the form under the heading “Ask for a Fast Response”.

If you enable this option then your post will appear in the sidebar, in a widget like the one on the right. People can view the photos, read your post, and reply to it, right there without changing pages. Only one realtime post can appear in the sidebar at a time, so only the most recent one is displayed. As a reader, if you reply to a realtime post then it will be replaced by the next one in the list.

There are a couple of other differences with a normal post. For one the post appears in the “Realtime” category. Also, the new post indicator will be magenta instead of green in the thread list.

As always, this is easiest to understand if you try it yourself. Open the front page of the forum to see the example post we have created. Type and submit a quick reply and watch the post disappear from the sidebar.

The Realtime Page

You can see all the recent realtime threads in one place by clicking the little clock near the top right of the forum front page (alongside the little heart that takes you to your favorites).

The “Speedy” Role for Realtime Replies

There is a new role associated with realtime replies called “Speedy”. If you reply to a realtime post within ten minutes of it being posted then you will receive a point towards this role. Five points over the last 30 day period and you will be awarded the role itself.

Realtime Limitations

Note that although realtime threads have the advantage of being highlighted in the sidebar, they also have a few limitations.

  1. Realtime posts must have at least one and no more than three photos. The requirement of at least one photo also means that you have to be an “active member” to create a realtime post.
  2. Replies to realtime posts can’t include photos.

Realtime Polls

Finally, you can add a Yay or Nay poll to a realtime post. In fact, polls are particularly useful here because they allow people to give a really quick response.

We’re calling this a “beta” feature because we expect to modify it based on feedback and what we observe. Be sure to let us know what you think using the feedback thread in the forum, or here in the comments.