An honest conversation about Type ID

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Jared Benson's picture
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005 - 6:41pm
An honest conversation about Type ID
+7

It seems if there's an open input field on Typophile, someone is going to stick a Type ID request in it.

Don't get me wrong - I love a good challenge as much as the next Typophile, but I see all the Type ID requests getting in the way of more meaningful interactions.

Seeing as Typophile has always been more democracy than dictatorship, what say you? Is it a problem, or should I just get over it?

Shall we draft a policy together on when and where it's appropriate?

Please! Weigh in, as this affects us all.

//Jared

Rene Verkaart's picture
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Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 7:29am
+4

I understand the idea to have a Type ID board, but totally agree that it clutters the USP of Typophile. You could have the board on the site, but just don't let it show up in the normal feed. If you want to ID your type, just go to that board and you have focus only on that.
Personally I can do without a board like that. There are lots of them out there that do a good job. So why 'also do Type ID'?

Dave Williams's picture
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Joined: 6 Jul 2005 - 7:21am
+5

It’s almost as though before submitting a post, a user should be asked to tick a box saying “This is not a type ID request” and if they don’t tick it, it gets rerouted to the ID board and kept off the main feed!
I assume it would be too complex a development task to have the capability to move a post to the ID board after it’s posted? (I can imagine a scenario where if - say - three readers flag a post by hitting a certain link, it would automatically get kicked across...)
What’s almost as irritating is the perfunctoriness of many of them: they don’t say please in the request and they rarely come back and say thanks when it’s answered! :^(

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
+4

Very well pointed, Jared. Answering: (1) it's a problem; and (2) yes.
I believe that more than a policy, Typophile needs a different initial page. The main feed should focus on discussions and maybe just the last Type ID request could be shown – or none at all. Dave's idea is good and we need some restriction to avoid the forum to become mainly a Type ID tool and keep being the brilliant source of typographical information we know.
By the way, congratulations for the comeback. I am glad to see Typophile back.

Héctor Muñoz Huerta's picture
Joined: 21 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

Have a very visible case labeled "This is a type ID request". If checked, the post would be automatically relocated to the Type ID board.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
+4

It's certainly true that there a number of other good places to get type IDs. I've heard the argument that type IDs are a "gateway drug" :-) for more meaningful involvement in the wonderful world of type. In some cases that's true, but it's probably more often a way to end up with a pirated copy of the font... Some previous users weren't even shy about being "collectors", and willing to help people to that end. Watching this happen probably does more damage to meaningful participation than anything else.

At some point in the past IDs were moved to their own ghetto so the rest of us didn't have to watch. Personally I'd rather see the whole ID scene nixed from here, but I guess the ghetto is a decent compromise. The problem now is the Feed being infested with ID requests, which is inevitable. What I hope isn't inevitable is laxness in dealing with it. I suspect most people are simply not paying enough attention to not do that; they just need an alert, and directions to the ghetto. People who ignore a couple of warnings probably don't care about the integrity of Typophile, so they should be banned. Which BTW means no "guest" log-ins (at least not outside the Type ID section).

Thomas Phinney's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
+5

Yes, the fact that the "feed" gets the Type ID requests is a problem. I just want to never see the feed as a result.

Currently, the general look/feel/content is a turn-off. I'll stick with it for now out of love for what Typophile has been in the past. But I have to admit, TypeDrawers just seems far more functional right now.

Tamye Riggs's picture
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Joined: 12 Mar 2002 - 11:00am
+3

As excited as I was for the relaunch, I rarely visit. I was turned off by the feed-as-front page concept with its crazy stream of Type ID requests and "guests." Case in point, there is a Type ID request at the top of the feed right now that contains a huge image blowing all other content out of the water. When visiting the new Typophile, it's no longer evident there is great content or discussion to be had. I always valued the discussion forums and felt they built a great sense of community, but the front page as it stands is like a bad Twitter feed full of thoughtless people I didn't choose to follow.

Michael Yanega's picture
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Joined: 27 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
+2

As a typophile who is not a designer, my interest IS primarily the Font ID area, but as I do not get the site by RSS feed I did not realize that the ID stuff is 'clutter' to the rest of the community. The notion of being 'ghetto-ized' is perhaps an unfortunate use of the word, but I think separating the ID requests from other discussions makes sense. Frankly, the revived Type ID Board still seems struggling to find a format and a useful user interface. I think Stephen Coles ('Stewf') has done a nice job with his fontid.co site, and I had been helping there until I saw Typophile had been resurrected. Now I shuttle back and forth between the two sites. Typophile had an ID group that included many designers, but it seems that most of them have gone elsewhere, or are no longer interested in Font ID's. This is unfortunate, because as Hrant mentioned this site was a 'gateway' for me to meet designers who were generous enough to help with the ID Guides on my bowfinprintworks.com web site.

Rather than dropping font ID, I would like to see it restored to something more like its earlier form. If it needs to be cut away from the other discussions that would be fine with me, especially if it had its own feed.

- Mike Yanega

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
+1

Tamye, that's why my bookmark points to "http://www.typophile.com/communities/active".
After I check what actual discussions are happening I might go to the Feed.

Tobias Kvant's picture
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Joined: 15 Feb 2004 - 3:49am
+2

Compared to the heydays of Typophile (~2008) the current site is quite off-putting, unfortunately. All you get is spam ID requests and huge headlines. And you can't use it with your phone.
But I think these are issues that can quite easily be taken care of. The first step would be to ditch the id request, at least from the feed. I'm not sure these request people would check a "this is an id-request" box, however.
Also, I think the input field on the intro page makes people write short, not that well thought-out stuff.

Thomas Phinney's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
+1

Hey, the main Typophile page now opens onto a list of forums or topics or whatever they are called now. Yay! :)
(Happy to avoid the type ID stuff.)

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

So when we get something like this http://www.typophile.com/node/125124 those involved should be directly alerted, and kept an eye on.

Jared Benson's picture
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005 - 6:41pm
+2

We're listening, and switched it up. The top of the site now defaults to active communities/posts, allowing you to quickly see what's new and jump into a thread. The feed is still there; I'm intrigued to see how we'll figure out how best to use it to share updates.

I'm still working out a graceful solution to channel the Type ID requests, without penalizing our best members.

Keep the input coming! We'll address as much as possible.

//jared

Tobias Kvant's picture
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Joined: 15 Feb 2004 - 3:49am
+1

Much better already - thanks for all your work.

Jared Benson's picture
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005 - 6:41pm
+2

If you're playing the home game, here's what new in the world of Type ID wrangling:

I've created a few recipes that flag our engine, preventing certain Type ID posts from the Communities area.

To see the magic, try posting to any Community with the words "what," "font," "is," and "this" is any combination. (what is this font, what font is this, what this font is, what font this is)

There are some other recipes in play. If anyone would care to do the analysis, help me find the most common 3-4 trigger words or phrases and we'll add them to the engine.

Thanks!

George Thomas's picture
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Joined: 24 Apr 2000 - 7:46pm
0

Consider putting the Type ID forum name in larger letters or boldface. That might help.

Robert K.'s picture
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Joined: 30 May 2007 - 5:52pm
+1

Better yet, RENAME it. Type ID to some new user likely doesn't mean a thing. It should be renamed to something straight forward. Something like Identify typeface?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
+3

Does the HTML flashing text tag still work? :-Þ

Robert K.'s picture
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Joined: 30 May 2007 - 5:52pm
+2

Why not adding a button/checkbox below a post, that would say "Type ID post" and be done with it? Then just designate (frequent) users to see it and have it enabled (as if moderators) and it would be simple for them to move the post directly to Type ID board. Done.

Thomas Phinney's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
+1

Also, please please call it “Font ID.”
I know many of us—including myself—would rather call it Type ID. But that is irrelevant. What we desperately need is that the target audience recognize what it is and use it. So that means using the word “font” instead.

Robert K.'s picture
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Joined: 30 May 2007 - 5:52pm
+1

Well in that case just call it Font identification. It will also remove ambiguity about ID

Bob Evans's picture
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Joined: 18 May 2005 - 7:20am
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Thomas is correct in his thinking and I agree with Robert that Font Identification is the clearest title.

J. Tillman's picture
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Joined: 27 Sep 2009 - 11:31am
+3

Call it:
What font is this?
That's what the target audience can understand.

George Thomas's picture
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Joined: 24 Apr 2000 - 7:46pm
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Here's an suggestion for a secondary location. The type is more visible in the blue type than the black type at the top of the page, but I would also leave it at the top for those who are used to it.
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