/ Money, Technology, Which? Membership

Welcome to the new Which? Conversation

Fireworks

Welcome to the new Which? Conversation website. Read on to hear about some of the site’s new features.

Following feedback from our community, we’ve been hard at work redeveloping Which? Convo. I’m very pleased to unveil it today, and I’d love to hear any feedback you have. Here’s a brief round up of some of the new features, but I’m happy to answer any questions you have in the comments.

Finding conversations you’re interested in

There are now nine Which? Convo topics – find them at the top of the site or on our homepage. So if you want to chat about slow broadband speeds, head on over to Technology. Peeved about supermarket special offers? Shopping’s where you need to be.

Within each topic you’ll find communities of people interested in the same stuff, so watch out for car enthusiasts in Motoring or financial experts in Money.

Your own profile

Everyone now has their own profile, not just authors!

Sign in with your existing Which? Convo credentials, then have a look at your profile to find a list of all the comments you’ve made. If there have been any replies to your comments, you’ll be notified of them here too. You can even @mention people in your comments – try @patrick and I’ll be alerted!

You can add some information about yourself, including any hobbies and interests. This will help others with similar interests find you in our new Community Members search page. And if you find someone you like, you can add them as a friend – this means you can more easily see what they’ve been talking about by filtering by ‘My friends’ on our Recent Activity page.

Recent activity

What’s the Recent Activity page? Well we heard you loud and clear that you were fed up with only being able to see just nine of the latest comments on our homepage. So rather than just increasing the number of comments you could see by a small amount, we thought we’d let you access all the comments that have ever been made in the past five years. That’s what the Recent Activity page is for – you can filter by comments, Convos, what your friends are saying, and more. If you want to come back to one of those comments so you can reply later, add it as a ‘favourite’ then you can filter by just your favourites too.

Got an idea for a convo?

You can now share your ideas for new conversations in our Ideas lounge. And if you’re not feeling inspired, why not vote for the ideas others have shared?

We’ll regularly check out your ideas and will be interested to see how popular they are with the community. We’ll let you know whether we’ve picked one of your ideas and may be in touch to ask if you’d like to write it!

Much, much more

You now have the chance to edit your comments for 15 minutes after you posted them, meaning you can now say goodbye to those peskey pesky typos. If you feel so inclined, you can sign in with your Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account – that makes registration all the quicker and will use your name and photo from your chosen account.

There are all sorts of other new things that I’ll leave you to discover, but in short welcome to the new Which? Convo! I know it’ll take some time to get used to, but I hope you like it. Of course, as with any new site launch there will be things we need to fix, so if you spot anything, please just add a comment here and I’ll look into it. Finally, a big thanks to all those who were involved in testing the website – we couldn’t have done it without you.

If you need any help finding your way around the new Which? Conversation, we have a Help Getting Started guide as well as a Frequently Asked Questions guide.

If you would like to discuss the closure of Which.net, you can do so in this dedicated discussion area.

Comments

@jon-stricklin-coutinho

Being the weekend when people think sites are unmonitored, I see another lot of site spammers this morning with the same name. Can you ban certain words from IDs?

We can do, though that wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem (and would likely create similar objections to what we’ve seen with the content filter – not that we have a lot of people using those words as their name or user ID though).

At the moment these spam accounts are prevented from posting on the site at all without our intervention, and we’re sweeping through each week to remove them from activity feeds and elsewhere that they pop up. How they’re registering in the first place – and thus how to restrict or prevent that – is a solution we’re working on too.

You could add questions which would require some knowledge of W? to answer. Not a complete solution, of course; but that’s currently unachievable, I suspect.

Cass says:
14 January 2021

After recently adding a comment, I was taken to a webpage asking me to sign in, with email address and a user name. I put in my email, but the username was already filled in with ‘Beatrix’ – NOT my username, and the comment that ‘Beatrix’ could not be used as the name was already taken. I then abandoned, only to find that my comment had been posted anyway.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho Hi Jon – I see that someone has managed to post in the original Lobby, which had been locked: https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/the-lobby/#comment-1616179

And I was able, unwittingly, to reply to the comment.

And the log in process seems broken…

Hi all, just a quick note to say we are aware of the which.co.uk has a search error and we’re working on a fix for this. Thanks

Why is my comment at 13:41 awaiting moderation?
https://conversation.which.co.uk/scams/scams-tech-giants-failing-consumers-anabel-hoult/#comment-1622046

I can only presume it is because of the log-in problems that have never been fixed? I logged in to post, it took me quite a while to complete the post then I was logged out on that screen but still logged in on another screen.

As the post contained errors and I was unable to edit it, I will repost and the first one can be deleted.

A bit of an odd public announcement, but hear me out:

Please don’t use the Report button to reply to a comment.

We’ve had a dozen or so comments of late that appear to be intended as replies to other comments. Some of these are quite lengthy – one commenter’s given about 4 sizeable paragraphs about a scam experience off the back of another person’s comment. While these are interesting to read, they’d be better off posted in the actual discussion rather than in the moderation queue.

If there is something you need to report – a comment not meeting the Community Guidelines for example, or a spam comment or something totally off-topic, the Report button is the right way to do so. If not, please do aim for Reply!

Obviously posters (with poor eyesight) are hitting the Report button by mistake. Why not move it elsewhere?

That would be a good idea.

I suggest renaming the button because a novice might want to Report their consumer problem to Which? rather than Reply to previous comments, unaware that the correct choice is to post in the Join the Debate box. ‘Report this post’ would make its intended use clearer.

This has never come up before, so is it the same person/few people reporting instead of replying?

Perhaps a friendly email to them would be appropriate.

And, although I am the only person affected I imagine, on the Recent Activity page there is a large red “Delete” button just below the small black arrow that opens my comment. I don’t have a fat forefinger but it has occasionally made its way to poke the red button by mistake and annihilated the preview from the list. Like a red rag to a bull perhaps.

Maybe the button could be moved to the left?

I accidentally discovered that “Delete” button a few weeks ago. I thought it would delete the comment [which had become superfluous after a preceding comment had been removed by the moderator] but it only deleted the listing for the comment. I couldn’t see the point of having this facility.

It has been like that since then new Which? Conversation site was launched in 2015. Removing a comment can cause problems as we have often seen when an offensive comment has been made. Some of us have replaced our own comments with something like ‘comment removed within the 30 minute editing period.

I wonder if Jon has any news of when we might see Conversation move to new software.

As I just nearly pressed the report button instead of the reply button, would changing the order to
Reply . . . Share . . . Report work better?

@jon-stricklin-coutinho
Jon,
The log-in problem is getting worse. Whatever page I log into doesn’t recognise I am logged in. Opening another page and refreshing sometimes shows I am logged in other times I close everything down delete temp files, etc and try again. Sometimes that works.

Lately though, I can see I am logged in then my login vanishes, so I am not logged in and it won’t let me log in either unless I close all screens, clear browsing data in Firefox and try again.

I also experience this problem intermittently and it’s very annoying.

On this one as well (TBH I don’t think I’ve been off it in over a year now).

This is a continuation of our site caching issue: you are in fact logged in (according to the cookie stored in your browser), however the site isn’t triggering the refresh of the page to show you as such. We’re currently working on sourcing a new plugin to better handle the site’s caching needs while not recreating this issue for people using the site.

Clearing your cache does help this problem temporarily (on Windows I tend to open the Dev panel with F12, then right click on the refresh button and choose “Empty Cache and Hard Reload” before closing the Dev panel), as does navigating to a new page you’ve not yet been to in your current session. Annoying though, and one we’re (still) working on.

Nowadays, clearing my browsing history always works for me though at one time it did not.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho
Jon
Sorry to be a moaner this morning, but when are you going to ban the word testosterone from login IDs and possibly limit the number of characters? There are also the ones starting with qwq or something similar. Whatever, they all have something in common, their ids have the same format: the word ‘test’ followed by 6 or 7 numbers.

This site is being spammed, and just deleting what must now be hundreds of fake IDs is not really good enough when Which? is promoting scam awareness as these could IDs could point unwary users to scam websites for all we know.

No worries @alfa, I’m always around to listen. This one is one we’re well aware of and working on behind the scenes.

In this instance banning particular words in the username wouldn’t address the scope of the problem–the “testosterone” accounts you’ve mentioned are only one type of a few examples of spam accounts we’re currently experiencing. At the moment you should only see these accounts in the active users widget of the front page, and even then only temporarily: we’ve disabled these accounts’ ability to post on site, and each morning sweep through to flag and eliminate any that have popped up overnight. Meanwhile, we’re also testing out a solution that’ll hopefully enable these to disappear entirely.

I’m puzzled when I see the ‘testosterone’ and other logins where there are no posts. Are these users posting and their posts being removed immediately or are they just creating multiple accounts for some other reason?

Advertising?

Banning the word in the short term would put a halt to it until permanently sorted as it has been going on for a long time now.

I assume so, but possible solutions always depend on the capabilities of the software.

Probably closer to what @alfa has said with advertising. In creating an account they’re able to get a bit of extra visibility on the site which in theory could be indexable by search engines…for the short time before we mark them as spam and remove that from public view at least.

As far as we can see none of them have ever actually posted anything or participated in any other way.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho
Hi Jon,
I see the qwq*** ids were active earlier and as they have now gone, you have probably now deleted them.
Other suspect IDs this morning:
https://conversation.which.co.uk/members/sfwpexperts/ – advertisement
https://conversation.which.co.uk/members/realtorsophia/ – advertisement
https://conversation.which.co.uk/members/apollo118/ – possible advertisement
https://conversation.which.co.uk/members/imavillan/ – no posts
https://conversation.which.co.uk/members/elkmama/ – no posts
https://conversation.which.co.uk/members/rosiedei/ – no posts

The last 4 may be perfectly legitimate, but there have been some very strange names lately that appear overnight or at weekends and none of them actually post anything. When they are obviously advertising something, they do not necessarily point to a safe or a reputable site.

This site is being targeted by quite a few spammers at the moment and I agree with Beryl, the sooner they are removed the better, but preferably unable to spam at all.

Presumably, email addresses are fake so if these spammers were asked to confirm their email addresses they would not reply?

Is registering and confirming email addresses the only way to stop them?

Thanks for flagging these @alfa – I’ll have a look through now. Each of these accounts would have registered and confirmed their email address, so they would have had at least a temporary ability to confirm their account. There are other ways to stop them, and also to make the ability to register an account solely for the purpose of advertising less appealing, and we’re working on getting those in play.

Advertising or promoting a business in one’s profile isn’t allowed. It’d be hard to justify removing an account just because the person hasn’t yet posted a comment though. A majority of the people who create accounts on the site don’t actually post, or post very infrequently at best, so these people may have created an account to listen in on conversations or participate in other ways.

Just to flag up this afternoon (Wednesday, 31 March) we’re going to be testing some of the security mechanisms on the site. There may be an outside chance you might be temporarily locked out of the site when trying to login or navigate the site.

We’ll be very active in monitoring and testing this afternoon – if you do get locked out, bear with us and we’ll get you back on ASAP.

The non-posting Testosterone logins could be linked to an individual with a warped desire to cause aggravation and annoyance. The emblem ‘Testosterone’ is a common figurative expression of a need to dominate and, as with all spammers, the sooner they are removed the better.

See: http://www.pub.med.nchi.nlm.nih.gov – Testosterone and Dominance in Men.