Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Signature usability

How come more and more people are adding a signature in their post body? Often they use a short handle sig that is identical to the automatic sig that is on the right?
Would moving the automatic sig to the rigth hand side make a difference?

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, August 04, 2003

Sigs are good & so are avatars because they allow people to quickly recognize the poster before they've read the post... rather than after.

The "sig" on the right side here doesn't accomplish this too well, which is one of the reasons I made mine stand out... Also so people can learn more about me by visiting my web page so that next time they read a post they have more familiarity with who I am.

Part of me suspect that the long sigs, in addition to what I've said above about increasing recongizability (sp?) and letting you know about the poster, are to add to their Google Page Rank.

Regards,
Mark Wieczorek
http://www.marktaw.com

If this page gets picked up by Google, then this post will add to my page rank... while just www.marktaw.com instead of a name won't...

www.marktaw.com
Monday, August 04, 2003

Dono.  I'm more likely to give out my URL than my email address on the general purpose Internet because my webpage has the email functionality spammer-proofed, whereas I can't always be certain that the forum will properly mask email addresses.  So it's independent of any desire for a better PageRank rating.

Of course, on this forum, I give away neither. ;)

Flamebait Sr.
Monday, August 04, 2003

I think the answer is Ego, and people like making they're posts individual.

People can mail me if they want more than I give here, and from time to time they do.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I need breakfast....

their = they're

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I've noticed that a few people visit my site after I've included my URL at the bottom of my post.

Google definitely indexes this forum:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=site%3Adiscuss.fogcreek.com+braithwaite-lee

--
http://www.braithwaite-lee.com/

Reginald Braithwaite-Lee
Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Sure,

giving out extra info can be a good reason, but I was specifically commenting on the identical sigs.
E.g. Let's take Philo's as an example:
Bottom added in message reads: "Philo". Auto sig on the right just below that reads "Philo". I'm nit trying to singe out Philo, as many more people have started this recently.
Why?

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Read the Clay Shirky article on communities that Joel linked to a while back.

This software doesn't provide an opportunity to "invest in a long-lived handle", so you have to work at it.

Personally, I think putting a byline at the *top* of messages (perhaps in the left margin) would fix the problem, as the current system makes it hard to identify the context of a message (author and date).  Right now, I generally try to read the forum posts backwards to get around this, but this just messes with my threading context...

Phillip J. Eby
Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Yes, I read that article. But while this board may lake in "investment" protection, I fail to see how putting "Philo" in the body end as a repeat form the  "Philo" in the auto right bottom sig makes up from that.
Do we have an instinctive need for signatures to be alligened with the left border, or is there more to this?

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, August 07, 2003

I've been signing my posts for ten years; I can't stop now. [grin]

Seriously, it's muscle memory - for my fingers finishing a post consists of crlf, crlf, philo, crlf, crlf, [action to post]. I almost *can't* not type it.

It's not a conscious effort to shove my name forth - it's simply a lack of conscious effort to change an old reflex.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, August 07, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home