VideoSift v3.1 Unveiled
In this, our first upgrade since our historic move onto our current platform, we asked and all you dedicated Sifters responded in great detail how you think we could best perform some home improvements. As always, we listened to you, the community that makes this homepage away from home the unique partying spot what it is.

Rather than simply adding some dull bug fixes and minor tweaks, our main focus ended up being largely based around adding features that everyone has been rioting for. Without further ado, allow me to introduce you in no particular order to the changes in VideoSift v3.1.

The Vote Box
The most obvious thing you'll notice is that we've changed the appearance of the video vote box. It no longer appears as a box, but just a simple pair of arrows around the vote count. We think it is a much cleaner, streamlined look and feel.

As an unfortunate side effect of modifying the vote box styles, all custom CSS on channels and charter profiles will need to be updated (add the desired color: to .votebox). Until that happens, the vote count text will appear the default VideoSift blue on all pages.

Recent Comments
We only became aware very recently of the confusion some Sifters have been having with the "recent comments" page. We've done what we can to make it as easy to use as possible by merging the drop-down of the listing for all users with that for individual users.

Advanced Search
We originally had the restriction on the advanced search form to include search terms because too many empty searches could slow down performance of our database. Due to popular demand we have gone ahead and removed this restriction so you may now initiate advanced searches without specifying any search terms, so very customized queries are now possible.

Comment Quoting
A new "quote" link is now available below comments on post detail pages. When you click it, the comment's body is copied into the new comment form and you jump down to it at the bottom of the page. Multiple comments can be quoted; each subsequent one is appended to the end of the comment form.

Stars for Comments
When we started the comment voting siftsperiment, it was met with a lot of controversy. It's become apparent over time that it is generally accepted and enjoyed by most users. We have decided to reward extra special comments that receive at least 15 up-votes with a star point. This is a high number, so such stars will be granted very infrequently, and only for the most overwhelmingly extraordinary comments.

Snipping Sift Talk and Blog Posts
From time to time you may notice extremely long Sift Talk or blog posts. This is not a strike against the submitter, but it does make for a more difficult browsing experience by other users. In order to help with this problem we have introduced a special keyword: [[snip]] (which is demonstrated in this post itself)
In any listing, all text from this special keyword to the end of the post will be replaced simply by a "more inside" link. On the post detail page, the keyword simply does not appear, but the entire body of your post does.

Channel List on Submit Forms
The layout of all the channel checkboxes on the video submit form has worked out very well. So well, in fact, that we've done away with the "personalized channels" and are now just listing all available channels on the form, and we're now listing them alphabetically in vertical rather than horizontal order for better visual parsing.

In addition, we've added the channel checkboxes to the Sift Talk submit form. This change might get a little bit hokie because of the way Sift Talk posts work, but basically when submitting a ST post, you must either select the "cross-post to main Sift Talk" checkbox, one or more channel checkboxes, or both. Posts will no longer automatically be included in main Sift Talk or in the current channel's Talk.

*Kill
This is a new invocation for members to use on their own video posts only. It works similarly to *discard except it is used when you want the video to permanently remain discarded. To that end, a *killed video also no longer has a comment form.

Submission from Any Video Host
The minimum required to post from any video host has been moved down from Diamond to Gold member status. This can easily be misused, so please take care and be sure you are submitting from sources that are reliable and likely to offer your embed longevity.

InstaBan
Instead of having a monopoly on the above ability, Diamond members now have the ability to instantly ban any non-starred members. This should only be done if you're absolutely certain the member has exercised gross violation of Sift guidelines. Available to Diamonds on all member profiles of bannable accounts is a link that allows you to perform the instant ban. A comment will be left by SiftBot on the banned member's profile. Note that an administrative email will also be sent to us so we can be sure none of our Diamonds go mad with power and try to ban anyone who doesn't deserve it. You can InstaBan only once every two days.

The Queue
Queue rot and an overfull queue have always presented a problem, and with a continually expanding community, it's only gotten worse. We have made some positive changes that should significantly help combat this. (Don't worry, we haven't raised the queue escape level!)

The first change was suggested by a Sifter (sorry, I don't recall who it was). Instead of a high votes-to-views ratio, the default sort order for the queue is changing to the fewest unique member views. What that means is that queued videos that have been viewed by the fewest members/voters will be displayed first. I don't know why this never occurred to us before, but it seems obvious that it is the best way to give all queued videos equal exposure and vote opportunities.

The second change, which has been called for by innumerable Sifters, is a change in the queued video lifetime. Instead of having 4 days before a video expires and is discarded, it now has only 2 days. This will serve to keep the queue as fresh as possible. *Requeue will still be permitted, but once every 12 hours instead of every 2 days, for obvious reasons. The "expiring soon" queue sidebar panel will display the highest voted videos on their second day in the queue.

*Promote Transforms - *Save Disappears
We foresee this as becoming a rather popular invocation, but may at first be a little unclear. We have removed the *save invocation (which was used to give a queued or discarded video another chance in the queue) and expanded *promote to do much more.

*Promote is now a Gold-100 ability. (That's right, we Gold-100s finally have a power of our very own!) To keep it inline with the new queue lifetime, it may be invoked once every 2 days. The invocation can now be used on all post types (videos, Sift Talk posts, and blog posts). When any post is *promoted, it will be floated up to the top of the corresponding listing for a specific length of time, after which it will descend back down into the listing. You can only invoke for posts by other users, but multiple posts can be floated simultaneously.

Here's an overview of details for each post type:
  • Published Videos - Floated for 1 hour; After 1 hour it moves down into the top of the front page listing
  • Queued Videos - Floated for 3 hours; Video's queue date is reset (a la the old *save invocation)
  • Discarded Videos - Identical to Queued Videos
  • Sift Talk Posts - Floated for 24 hours
  • Blog Posts - Floated for 12 hours
[edit]By the way, *promote no longer requires a published video to be 6 months old, or any age for that matter.[/edit]
Submitted by lucky760
Comments (showing 10 of 156)
dude - you rule
0  
written by jonny

lol, I didn't have to re-login. You saved all the cookies somehow during migration.
3  
written by joedirt

Thanks Lucky - for burning the candle at both ends. It's fab.
3  
written by dag

some good stuff in there. interesting to see how the new queue goes.

*kill is ACE, been waiting a long time for that one.

*quality
2  
written by MINK

Awarding lucky760 with one star point for this contribution to Sift Talk - declared quality by MINK.
0  
written by siftbot

[EDIT: I'm not being negative, just pointing out with the new sorting] If you can tell the video by the title.. do not watch it or open it in it's own webpage or it will get shoved further in the queue. Similarly you know the video is crap, instead of a downvote, just click the expand video twistee to move it to back of the line.
1  
written by joedirt

(Now if you could hide videos you have viewed, that would be sweet for the queue instead of forcing you to downvote to remove them from view.) not technically easy to do.
1  
written by joedirt

yeah i was trying to be positive but joedirt might be right.

and the "streamlined" upvote/downvote buttons are harder to see and click. cluttered. i'm just sayin.
0  
written by MINK

uber-gazillion-super-fun-gigantic-japanese-style upvote for joedirt's suggestion. please, please, please, let us hide the videos we have already viewed in the queue!
0  
written by jonny

2 days for the queue is too big a jump. wind it back like the Fed does.
1  
written by jonny


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