When you start a new thread, you'll now see a new text box labeled "Summary." If you so desire, the 150 characters or less you put in THAT box will never be seen on the board...but WILL show up buried in the metadata with the "Description" tag. What this really means is some search engines will return your Summary as supplemental text if your thread shows up the search results. Right now, we take the first few sentences or so of your post text and use THAT as the description.
For instance, where this thread would have shown up on Google as:
The W -- New thing with new threads 1 post - 1 author - Last post: Sep 24 When you start a new thread, you'll now see a new text box labeled "Summary." If you so desire, the 150 characters or less you put in THAT box will... the-w.com/thread.php/id=39021 - Cached - Similar
Will now show up as
The W -- New thing with new threads 1 post - 1 author - Last post: Sep 24 Because you can't have too many features, that's why! the-w.com/thread.php/id=39021 - Cached - Similar
[ Google slowly figuring out that this is a forum and doing its own magic to the results for our site is pretty neat, too, but I have no control over that. (As far as I know.) ]
I know that just about none of you (okay....three of you) will actually care about this, and it's totally okay to leave the Summary blank - things will act as they always have - but who knows? A well written summary might get one more set of eyeballs on your thoughts, and isn't that what we all want?
Originally posted by GugsHow much trouble would it be to have @The_W add these summaries, or parts of them, to the new thread tweets?
With only 140 characters available, Twitter just doesn't provide us with the real estate to keep things legible, and I HATE accounts that use more than one tweet for a link when one is probably more than enough. I'd rather provide the thread title than the thread summary. (I could MAYBE be persuaded to change this opinion, but I doubt there would exist a real groundswell behind the idea.)
(edited by CRZ on 25.9.09 1054)
EDIT: Oh hey look it worked! Here's an example of what threads look like to G with a summary (green), without a summary but using our default description (red) and not using our description at all, apparently, but somehow determining the start of the thread using GOOGLE MAGIC (gold):
I suspect it has something to do with people not changing the thread title after search engines have cached the old titles? What if you put a time limit on how long after you start the thread it allows you to edit the title? Maybe only a minute or so?