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Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

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Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby phreadom » Mon 06.01.2009 11:13 pm

I've been considering adding a bunch of new smilies to add some fun to the forum.

I'm sure many of you have seen some of these elsewhere, but I've gathered up the full collection, restored their original file names, and tried to figure out a good "translation" (or transliteration?) of the original file names to fit the image to use as a descriptive term to use for the smiley code.

http://thejapanesepage.com/onion-tjp-smilies/

I've included all the icons, their original file names, and a list of them below that along with the words I've come up with so far to use as the smiley codes.

I'm interested in getting feedback on the idea itself, on which ones we should and shouldn't use, and especially in trying to get a good translation of the filenames for some that I simply have no idea about... I believe the file names are in traditional Chinese, as are the hanzi in some of the actual icons themselves.

ImageImageImageImageImage

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!

EDIT: Just to be clear, these would not replace the existing smilies, but would simply add some extra ones that would be available when you clicked a small "show more" link below the current smilies that show on the right side when you're writing a post. They would also be available with codes like
Code: Select all
:wave: :bye:
etc.

Hopefully that assuages some fears. :D

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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby AJBryant » Tue 06.02.2009 3:16 am

Well, they look... um.... cute.

I generally don't like cute. They tend to look (to me) like the place is intended for 14-year-old girls.



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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby phreadom » Tue 06.02.2009 4:09 am

AJBryant wrote:Well, they look... um.... cute.

I generally don't like cute. They tend to look (to me) like the place is intended for 14-year-old girls.

Tony


Humorously that is precisely the kind of response I expected from you and a few others. ;)

However, given that this forum can be very intimidating to many, if not most, beginners... I figured it couldn't hurt to lighten up the mood a bit. There's no reason people can't have fun and learn at the same time. (This is why I also re-enabled signature images a few weeks ago as well. As long as people keep it reasonable, I think it helps personalize things a bit and lighten the mood up a bit. The whole forum doesn't need to be some strict, stuffy, bastion of academia with no room for personality and enjoyment etc.)

It's not like I haven't seen the admins themselves here inserting silly pictures from time to time when it suits them. ;)

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=13225&p=153362#p153362
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=12855&p=152241#p152241
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13082&p=152096#p152096
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2192&p=147522#p147522
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12606&p=146163#p146163
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11390&p=131331#p131331
etc.

To each their own, right? :mrgreen:

(And I ran this by my girlfriend and a few friends today, and they thought it was a good idea. They're in their mid-20s, and I'm 35, so it doesn't require 14 year old girls to appreciate some cute fun to lighten the atmosphere.)
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 06.02.2009 4:32 am

I on the whole like the new icons, but have reservations about them for two reasons:

1) They're pretty big. Maybe if you cut down the size by half?
2) I'm worried that they might make the board seem to 4-channy. ::shudder::

But overall, I always liked this icon set.
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby becki_kanou » Tue 06.02.2009 5:18 am

I have to go with Tony on this one. I think they're kinda cutesy and I don't really like animated smilies to start with. Maybe something in between what we have now and the full-blown animated smilies?
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby phreadom » Tue 06.02.2009 6:42 am

Just to be clear, these wouldn't replace the existing smilies.

These would simply fall under a secondary set of available icons that will show up when you click a link below the existing ones that says something like "show more smilies" or something.

Or you could type things like
Code: Select all
:wave: :bye:
etc.

The normal smilies will all stay the same and the posting window will look the same but with the one little link added below the current smilies to show the extra ones if you want.

And 4chan!? Image Oh good heavens no... never ever ever on my watch. *twitch*
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby keatonatron » Tue 06.02.2009 7:19 am

phreadom wrote:And 4chan!? Image Oh good heavens no... never ever ever on my watch. *twitch*


These smileys are huge! They shouldn't be any taller than a normal line of text, or else you get really amateur-looking page breakage. ("Why does that paragraph start in the middle of a sentence?? Oh, I see, there's a huge-ass picture at the end of the line")

I like the idea of adding more smileys, but the problem with the ones you've proposed is that they have TOO MUCH character. The original smileys (which won't be disappearing, I know) are neutral enough that if Tony uses a :cry: after someone makes a "im new heer datte ba yo" post it feels like a Tony-smiley, whereas in the same thread when the OP ends their post with :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen: it feels like a newbie-smiley.

The proposed smileys are dripping with so much personality that everyone who uses them will start to appear to have the exact same personality, and the board will (逆に) become monotonous.

I think adding more smileys in the same style as the current ones but with more expression would be great. Not sure if there are any already designed anywhere or not, though.
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 06.02.2009 7:31 am

I don't like animated smilies; other than that, whatever you want to add is fine.
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby phreadom » Tue 06.02.2009 7:42 am

keatonatron wrote:
phreadom wrote:And 4chan!? Image Oh good heavens no... never ever ever on my watch. *twitch*


These smileys are huge! They shouldn't be any taller than a normal line of text, or else you get really amateur-looking page breakage. ("Why does that paragraph start in the middle of a sentence?? Oh, I see, there's a huge-ass picture at the end of the line")

I like the idea of adding more smileys, but the problem with the ones you've proposed is that they have TOO MUCH character. The original smileys (which won't be disappearing, I know) are neutral enough that if Tony uses a :cry: after someone makes a "im new heer datte ba yo" post it feels like a Tony-smiley, whereas in the same thread when the OP ends their post with :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen: it feels like a newbie-smiley.

The proposed smileys are dripping with so much personality that everyone who uses them will start to appear to have the exact same personality, and the board will (逆に) become monotonous.

I think adding more smileys in the same style as the current ones but with more expression would be great. Not sure if there are any already designed anywhere or not, though.


That seems like a much more persuasive argument against them.

I guess I just consider them to be something like an added occasional dash of humor, like the pictures I listed Tony posting.

I've seen that smite button countless times, and the exploding head etc.

And I suppose the main point is... what's wrong with them being newbie smilies? The whole point here is that newbies are intimidated by the intolerant elitist attitude of the forum. They are afraid of posting and making any mistakes etc, so they simply avoid posting at all. A number of the people who use the chat use it precisely because it's not like this forum. It's more relaxed and more fun. As I've said before, even I left this forum for a year when I joined because I felt the same way... afraid to post after my first time because everyone seemed way out of my league and intolerant of mistakes etc.

People need to be comfortable to make mistakes, to be newbies etc. The point of this forum isn't to be the exclusive bastion of advanced Japanese language learners and speakers, quite the contrary. This forum is meant for people to learn the language, and especially for beginners to come along and feel comfortable enough to not worry about making mistakes and being corrected in a friendly atmosphere. Not where they feel everyone is high level, serious, and so intolerant of newbie mistakes that they'll be openly mocked with the kind of condescending responses I've seen here just in the past few days.

This is a serious problem on this forum and it's one I fully intend to correct if possible. If silly little animated smilies make people smile, feel more comfortable, and feel like they can more easily be part of the group, GREAT!! THAT'S THE POINT!

It's not going to kill the rest of you, and if they bother you that much, you can always do as zengargoyle suggested and use AdBlock+ to just block them. :)
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 06.02.2009 12:30 pm

phreadom wrote: The whole point here is that newbies are intimidated by the intolerant elitist attitude of the forum. They are afraid of posting and making any mistakes etc, so they simply avoid posting at all. A number of the people who use the chat use it precisely because it's not like this forum. It's more relaxed and more fun. As I've said before, even I left this forum for a year when I joined because I felt the same way... afraid to post after my first time because everyone seemed way out of my league and intolerant of mistakes etc.

People need to be comfortable to make mistakes, to be newbies etc. The point of this forum isn't to be the exclusive bastion of advanced Japanese language learners and speakers, quite the contrary. This forum is meant for people to learn the language, and especially for beginners to come along and feel comfortable enough to not worry about making mistakes and being corrected in a friendly atmosphere. Not where they feel everyone is high level, serious, and so intolerant of newbie mistakes that they'll be openly mocked with the kind of condescending responses I've seen here just in the past few days.

This is a serious problem on this forum and it's one I fully intend to correct if possible.


I have rarely seen this intolerance towards mistakes that you mention. I have, in the past, criticized people for making mistakes in *responding* to questions that were clearly well beyond their experience level, because I feel strongly that the reliability of the entire forum suffers when people can't trust the answers they receive to their questions*. But I do not generally see people here criticizing beginners for making mistakes in their questions or attempts -- in fact, this is one of the most helpful forums I've ever seen for beginners. I think it's very unfair of you to make this blanket characterization when there are many people who spend a long time typing up posts to help people (beginners and beyond).

Perhaps it would help if, rather than making these veiled snipes at people, you would point out specific threads where the responses bothered you -- I would suggest opening a thread to discuss this issue publicly if it bothers you so much. I don't think adding some additional smilies is going to make people feel more comfortable about making mistakes on the forum if it really is as mean and serious as you seem to think.

I take some offense to your tone here; I've made over 5000 posts to this forum (second only to richvh) and I like to think that I have contributed to people's Japanese learning, and to have one of the site administrators make such vague, insulting characterizations of the long-time forum posters makes me wonder whether this site is really where I should be spending my time anymore.
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby phreadom » Tue 06.02.2009 12:55 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:I have rarely seen this intolerance towards mistakes that you mention. I have, in the past, criticized people for making mistakes in *responding* to questions that were clearly well beyond their experience level, because I feel strongly that the reliability of the entire forum suffers when people can't trust the answers they receive to their questions*. But I do not generally see people here criticizing beginners for making mistakes in their questions or attempts -- in fact, this is one of the most helpful forums I've ever seen for beginners. I think it's very unfair of you to make this blanket characterization when there are many people who spend a long time typing up posts to help people (beginners and beyond).

Perhaps it would help if, rather than making these veiled snipes at people, you would point out specific threads where the responses bothered you -- I would suggest opening a thread to discuss this issue publicly if it bothers you so much. I don't think adding some additional smilies is going to make people feel more comfortable about making mistakes on the forum if it really is as mean and serious as you seem to think.

I take some offense to your tone here; I've made over 5000 posts to this forum (second only to richvh) and I like to think that I have contributed to people's Japanese learning, and to have one of the site administrators make such vague, insulting characterizations of the long-time forum posters makes me wonder whether this site is really where I should be spending my time anymore.


This isn't an attack on you at all. :( I am honestly sorry if it came across that way. Almost everyone here is very helpful the vast majority of the time, if not all the time. Almost everyone is very friendly and goes out of their way to welcome people and be helpful etc. However, sometimes a few people people, even moderators themselves, happen to take jabs at newbies... maybe out of a sense of frustration, or they're just having a bad day... I don't know... but it happens.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13253

There's one from just a few days ago where I thought the response was rude and completely unhelpful, from a moderator.

They're not often that rude (and that one isn't terrible of course), but many do have the general air of condescension towards people making newbie mistakes, or not reading all of the FAQ, searching the whole site etc, before posting.

I know this is a recurrent theme, but it's one that leads to people being afraid to post anything because they feel like they must read everything on the site and become much more than a beginner before they can post without being reprimanded for making a common newbie mistake, or asking a question that is answered in some particular page somewhere on the website or the forum.

Both Clay and myself have received messages in the past from users who felt this way and who decided to leave the site permanently, and I've had several people say that they really only come in the chat anymore because of this general vibe from the forum, and these people are far more skilled than I am. One of them humorously keeps getting mistaken for being a Japanese native by other Japanese that come on the chat, even though Japanese is his third language, and English his second... and yet he still feels that bit of discomfort in the forum.

I didn't mean this to turn into a fight or spread bad feelings... but this has been a serious issue to me for a long time now. I understand that people think these icons are too big and too animated etc... but I'd rather focus on that than on arguing about who is at fault for what here. I feel uncomfortable feeling like I'm airing dirty laundry here.

If people really feel like these would be detrimental to the site then I guess I'd just have to figure something else out... but I'm trying to weigh the options right now and get a number of opinions.... and I guess my personality as a debater tends to creep in a little when it comes to defending my point of view. :P

Again, my apologies, I really didn't mean to offend you at all. :(

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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby AJBryant » Tue 06.02.2009 3:33 pm

My take:

I see those kind of icons on other language sites. Sites I *do not* participate in. The general tenor of such sites is "Squeee! Did you see that new Totchan video?! WAAAIIII! KAWWAAAIIIII!!!" And so on.

I do not like that type of thing. I tolerate milder forms of that in the anime section here.

I feel, however, that the appearance of "kawaiiiii!!!" icons here will only PROMOTE juvenility, and so far I have been relishing the fact that people here are GROWN UP, even though we sometimes act a bit goofy.

Furthermore, the kids (literally, the teenagers) who post here *respond* to the "grown-up" level of the forum by not being all "squueeeeee!" themselves.

If these icons are introduced, it is the camel's nose in the tent, and I will not be happy.

Sorry, but I don't like camel's noses.


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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 06.02.2009 3:41 pm

Interestingly enough, they don't bother me at all. Perhaps a tad bit smaller (maybe 2/3rds that size) and they'd be fine in my opinion.

I also think those feeling offended by Phreadoms comments that they should take a small break, a big breath and reread his comments.. He's not saying "Hey! All you elitist jerks, You've made this a hostile environment and I want to tone it down!" But rather he's saying "In order to facilitate a less intimidating site, I'd like to give these a try..."

I've never once seen Phreadom take a snipe or any other selected attack on someone.. I'd suggest it was just misunderstood.../??
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby phreadom » Tue 06.02.2009 4:42 pm

AJBryant wrote:My take:

I see those kind of icons on other language sites. Sites I *do not* participate in. The general tenor of such sites is "Squeee! Did you see that new Totchan video?! WAAAIIII! KAWWAAAIIIII!!!" And so on.

I do not like that type of thing. I tolerate milder forms of that in the anime section here.

I feel, however, that the appearance of "kawaiiiii!!!" icons here will only PROMOTE juvenility, and so far I have been relishing the fact that people here are GROWN UP, even though we sometimes act a bit goofy.

Furthermore, the kids (literally, the teenagers) who post here *respond* to the "grown-up" level of the forum by not being all "squueeeeee!" themselves.

If these icons are introduced, it is the camel's nose in the tent, and I will not be happy.

Sorry, but I don't like camel's noses.

Tony


Tony, I do see your point, and that's what I've been really mulling over... I don't want this to turn into the kind of place I've seen elsewhere... but I do hear regularly about the intimidation factor of this forum driving people away from participating, people who are mature, interested in learning, and even intermediate to advanced level.

The main points I see are the size and the cuteness.

I was thinking last night... maybe we should introduce a slightly tiered approach? Have a specifically "beginners" subforum where people can be like that and not worry as much about repercussions for mistakes etc? I know people probably consider the "Introductions" forum to be that... but maybe something that specifically says "beginners forum - feel free to dip your toes in the water here and try your skills" or something like that?

two_heads_talking wrote:Interestingly enough, they don't bother me at all. Perhaps a tad bit smaller (maybe 2/3rds that size) and they'd be fine in my opinion.


I've tried them at 2/3 size, and I do think it's better. I'll see if I can resize them without wrecking them and show a couple here as an example.

I had tried 16x16 earlier but it was just too small. 33x33 looks pretty good and is a noticeably scaled down from 50x50.

UPDATE: 50x50px → Image 30x30px → Image 50x50px → Image 30x30px → Image
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Re: Need feedback on possible new forum smilies. :)

Postby kurisuto » Tue 06.02.2009 4:56 pm

I may not be in the best position to give my take on this subject (just take a look at the numbers under my non-existing avatar), but I think the idea of new smileys is not a bad one - you know what ? I even think it's a good one :)

Now, I also think the smileys you chose aren't the most appropriate ones. I personally have no problems with them, but elaborating on Tony's comment, it will only even more "newbify" newbies. It's clear that he, for instance, would never use them, but the point is that for the same reasons he gave there's a really good chance that a lot of other members wouldn't either. And then, if the new members are the only ones to use these smileys, well, it would be like "see, you're a noob, we're not. You can tell just by taking a look at the cute smileys you use". Right, they may not even notice the fact that they're in fact stigmatizing themselves, but sure the older members will see these smileys first (as other pointed out, there's also a size problem) and will tend to categorize them as... "the other guys".
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