Multiply Sucks!

Try as I might to accustom myself, I have to say this Multiply company sucks. Right now I’m staring at the screen, its cluttered, and all the dialogue boxes are in the wrong place. As for the interface, everybodies replies are counted as comments. This is just not gonna work.

Who agrees with me that we should swallow our pride and go to Yahoo Groups. Yahoo works. It is tried and tested and has a decent interface. Unlike Google though, it is not too simple, and can accomodate stuff like Penpals (through Database), and file sharing, etc etc.

Its obvious that Multiply will need constant effort to keep it organized, and while its nice to be able to bring all the old discussions back from the other website, it’s not worth killing new discussions in the future.

Anyway, so I don’t know if I should go ahead and create one until I get some more consensus. Do you agree that Multiply sucks?

(by Michael for everyone)

23 comments Add yours
  1. Anything Goes is a little less than halfway down the HOME page. Press the "view all" link in the upper right corner of the Anything Goes box to see — you guessed it — all the messages in that tag.

    Actually, I'm liking it more and more!

    sidhe
    who, with a broken right shoulder, has lots of time to press links with his left hand on the mouse.

  2. My only problem is that I still can't find how to sort threads by most recent reply. Settings that I think should work, don't quite do it.

    Example: Right now, on http://greggshorthand.multiply.com/journal (the "what's new" link from the main page), the thread "Penmanship Pointers" shows as newer than "Which Version do you Write?" Yet the most recent comment for "Which Version" is December 10, and the most recent comment in "Penmanship Pointers" is December 7. They are sorted by start date, not reply.

    Likewise, the home page lists the most recently started threads, but not the most recently replied to threads.

    In my personal Inbox, it varies. I read somewhere (and can't find it again to reference) that it will sort by most recent reply, but only until you've read the replies. Then it will move it to by date the thread started. Annoying if you realize later that you want to comment on a recent reply to a very old thread. If you delete a thread from your inbox, it's gone forever, even if replies are added.

    When you set it to email you, it only emails you replies you haven't already seen online, so my mailbox doesn't have a complete set sorted by reply either.

    The whole system seems to be set up for "initial statement/post, comments, end of discussion" rather than ongoing conversations.

    If anyone has a way that reliably sorts by most recent replies, please let me know.

    Whether this lack is a real problem or just something different is hard to say. For every proof I come up with that it's a problem, I come up with a "but does it matter?"

    I don't feel comfortable here yet, and won't recommend it to other groups (except for the archives) but I'm not ready to throw it out yet, either. Even if we do move to another site, I'd say not to move everything yet again. Move the most recent and most useful stuff, and leave the archives here.

    Does anyone know Multiply's policy on test groups? Sometimes it's tempting to create one for myself and play around, see if I can come up with solutions.

    Cricket

  3. Michael: When you say that the group sucks, what specific things related to the group are you complaining about? Or is your complaint about Multiply? Please be clear in your criticism. Like you imagine, there is a lot of work involved in putting this together: in getting used to the interface, in making sure that old stuff was migrated, and lastly in putting in new material. So before you cast aspersions on the group and give a final verdict that " this is just not gonna work" , I ask you to be specific, and to phrase your criticism constructively.

    I'm not sure which dialog boxes you are taking about, nor I'm following you as to your complaint about replies counted as comments. That was the same way it was in MSN, unless I missed something.

    I had the same feeling when I first started using Multiply. However, once I knew where to find stuff, it was pretty straightforward. It's just a matter of getting used to it. In fact, I'm liking it more and more.

    I have placed the boxes one on top of each other, because I find that easier than having boxes all over the place. All of that is pretty customizable. Just let me know what you don't like.

    Setting the group here is taking a lot of my time, and that was with migration support. As a test, I set up the group, both in Yahoo and Google groups (in fact, I have the names registered under my account). I find the Yahoo interface clunky and old fashioned, and you cannot add additional pages (there is only one discussion thread). The big killer for me was the inability to attach images to messages. I was leaning towards Google because of the searching, But since Multiply offers customer support in the migration, and everything is here (technically), I decided to stick with it for a while. And besides, I'm finding now more features in Multiply, for things that I was not able to do in MSN groups.

    Again, I don't want this to become a "Multiply" vs "MSN" debate: we are past that point (and Microsoft didn't ask our opinion, either). Nothing is going to be like MSN, and each forum provider has its pro's and cons. If there are specific things you want to see, either air them here, or use the MSN migration forum. We can always find a solution or a workaround.

    Chuck

  4. Marc: the biggest adjustment to the interface is that all posts are done in the blog, but that when you tag a message, it will go to the relevant section. That's how messages are sorted out. The "Anything goes" box is two boxes below the general box.

  5. Well that's right, I didn't make a thorough analysis. I understand it took you a long time to set up, that doesn't change that this is less of a group and more of a blog webpage. I know it took you a long time to set up, and even though we appreciate, the beauty of a cleaner interface eg. yahoo, is that you don't need an administrator to spend hours on it.

    My qualms:
    Design — Its a very thin strip of web page, with the right panel being completely useless, having some useless links, the group emoticon, and a huge advertising banner.
    SO what's left, a thin strip, where you have to scroll down for ages to get to "Documents" and where once you click on something, this list of subheadings disappears and you have to click HOME again before you can go into "anything goes".

    The whole watermelon stylesheet is an eyesore. Look at that confusing red graduated tint on the [useless] right hand sidebar.

    At least Yahoo, has all the different areas listed in the sidebar on the left, and you can access them whichever page you're in, and at least you can attach any sorts of files, and not just documents.

    I understand this is your baby, but I don't think you're looking at this objectively from an ease of use perspective for the member who just so happens to stumble on it, and wants to navigate around.

    Is this a better expansion on "Multiply Sucks". I tend to think that these two words sums it up quite well.

  6. Thankyou for the top navigation menu. A great addition. Thankyou for the cleaner theme. I enabled my ad blocker, but that still leaves the whole right bar completely void of anything useful, as you said this can't be fixed.

    Still a big improvement. If one we can now get Cricket's problem sorted out, then it would help people out.

    On a similar note, I like the way the messages are listed in the "All Messages" tab, rather than the General or Anything Goes Tab. This is simply because you can see many different topics on the same page. You really don't need to see the whole first post of every thread.

    Anyway thanks again and let's see if we can get the two things above improved as well.

  7. Thanks for your comments. I don't consider this my baby: I'm just administering the site. Everyone has contributed to it. I have no qualms on opinions — that's why I asked you to be specific.

    1. With regards to the thin strip of web page, that's a matter of which theme we use. I can change that, no problem. If the issue is that there is a lot of free space, I can look for one with less free space. UPDATE: All Multiply themes have the same style, with the same links on the right (or left).

    2. I don't have the advertising banner on my page. I believe that is due to the fact that I have an ad blocking software on my machine. So all I see is a clean strip, with additional links for the administrator.

    3. Lastly, I will put boxes together, to see if that helps in the navigation.

    I will choose another theme soon. Perhaps when you see this note, you will see another one. Let me know if that will work.

  8. Thanks for your comments. I don't consider this my baby: I'm just administering the site. Everyone has contributed to it. I have no qualms on opinions — that's why I asked you to be specific.

    1. With regards to the thin strip of web page, that's a matter of which theme we use. I can change that, no problem. If the issue is that there is a lot of free space, I can look for one with less free space. UPDATE: All Multiply themes have the same style, with the same links on the right (or left).

    2. I don't have the advertising banner on my page. I believe that is due to the fact that I have an ad blocking software on my machine. So all I see is a clean strip, with additional links for the administrator. Both Google and Yahoo have banners on the right.

    3. Lastly, I will put boxes together, to see if that helps in the navigation.

    I will choose another theme soon. Perhaps when you see this note, you will see another one. Let me know if that will work.

  9. You're welcome. The top navigation required some html/css programming, but it was not difficult to do (once I found how to do it, of course). In fact, a lot of the elements of the page can be customized by code. About the empty space, apparently there is a way of placing the menu on the right or the left side, or to have a scrolling menu (one that will drag along as you read on the messages). Since the important thing is to have something that people can navigate easily for now, I wanted to start with the top menu. Later on, I will attempt to make more use of the right space.

    Right now, I'm investigating how to change the default view of the tagged content boxes, which are the ones for "General", "Anything Goes", "Learner's Corner", "Documents", and "Jokes". It is not a switch that I can turn on, unfortunately. Though hopefully, it will be a simple change in html.

    About the new messages, a lot involves the use of the Inbox for that. It appears that one can pin messages and have default views as well, but that is only controlled by the user's end, not by the group administrator.

  10. I also added a What's new link to the top menu. To see the new messages as a list, you need to go to the Inbox, click on Preferences, and set View as: Table, also select "Show Last Post", and choose Sort by:Latest Reply.

    Now the Inbox looks like a table, with the newest messages on top. Same thing if you click the What's new? menu item, which filters messages only for this forum.

  11. Okay, who moved the enter key?

    http://multiply.com/info/faq
    How are messages sorted in my InBox?

    By default, messages are sorted by Latest Reply. When something new is being shared, it appears at the top of your Inbox. The first time there is a new unread reply to a message it will get bumped back up to the top, ****but it will only get bumped up once until you read the message again. This way, the messages that don't interest you will eventually fall off the page and out of your sight.****

    The part I put the stars around is the sticker. It means I won't see it the same way twice — always a bad idea. I wonder if it counts looking at a post from my own InBox the same as through the Group's InBox, or the list of threads on the first page?

    I also wonder how new members will see it. Will they even see the golden oldie threads we keep updating?

  12. On another topic:

    When I don't log in, I can't get to "What's New" — it gives me "Join Multiply". The other links seem to work okay. I suspect this is because it uses the InBox programs. The URL supports this theory — it points to my own inbox, with a few variables for sorting and filtering by group.

    Does anyone have a virgin account so they can see what new members would see? Do they see all the threads, or only those with replies since they joined? What does Google see?

    I like the new layout. There's less scrolling. All free services have ads, and a thin bar to the right is as good a place as any. I also like the list of links at the top.

  13. I see only two pages. The oldest one is "we are moving" (and the 2 year old one from Multiply saying how it works). I know I didn't "remove" 15 pages of threads. I wonder if your account got more because you joined before the transfer.

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