MIRS replaces vouching

December 1st, 2013

About six years ago the vouching system was implemented to help identify credible members. The idea was that traders can find quality information faster when there’s a visible indicator of the poster’s credibility, and while it was never a perfect system, it saved traders countless hours by placing an icon next to the username of vouched members.

We still believe in the idea behind the vouching system, but it’s clear that Forex Factory has outgrown it. Not only is the system built on hard-coded levels (e.g., 11 vouchers assigns top rank, 4 vouchers allows vouching for others), but it’s becoming a weaker indicator of content quality as the membership grows.

Today we’re happy to announce the vouching system’s replacement — the Member Impact Ranking System (MIRS). Here’s how it works:

  • Members are ranked by how many subscribers they have (both ‘Buddies’ and ‘Subscribers’).
  • Subscribers don’t count if they joined less than six months ago, or have been inactive for six months.
  • The 2% most-subscribed members are ranked ‘high impact’ (), the top 5% are ranked ‘medium impact’ (), and the top 10% are ranked ‘low impact’ ().

The MIRS formula is 100% transparent, allowing the system to be audited by anyone who’s willing. The detailed ranking formula can be found in the user guide.

The structure of MIRS has many advantages over the vouching system. It’s simpler because it’s based on existing subscription functionality, rather than relying on an additional user action (e.g., clicking a vouch button). It’s more democratic because it allows almost all members to affect the rankings, instead of just those who have four vouchers. It’s more scalable than vouching because the formula considers the current membership size, rather than hard-coded levels, and it’s more adaptive because rank is decreased as a member’s subscribers go inactive.

While MIRS and the vouching system rank members somewhat similarly, there were a few differences that stood out when we compared the two systems:

  • MIRS generally assigns higher rank to members with recent activity, whereas vouching wasn’t sensitive to last activity date.
  • MIRS credits members who have positive Trade Explorer returns, whereas vouching rarely included non-posting members.
  • MIRS quickly ranks new members who post high-quality information, whereas vouching was slow to react due to the small population of “voters” (i.e., only those with four vouchers).

No system is without limitations, but after putting a lot of thought, research, and analysis into it, we’re confident MIRS will not only make quality content easier to identify, but also raise the overall quality of information posted on Forex Factory. In the coming months we’ll be monitoring the system closely, and will make adjustments as necessary. Please let us know if you have feedback!


Posted by Twan, Forex Factory Trader Relations

Discover FF’s 275,000+ Members

November 28th, 2013

We’re happy to announce the launch of Members, a new page that allows you to easily find and discover Forex Factory members that interest you. It’s part of our initiative to facilitate content discovery, and it furthers the goal in a big way!

The page includes membership statistics, a master feed of the latest member activity, and a configurable list of members. The list provides three primary tools for discovering members…

Settings:

Filter:

Sorting:

Once the functionality is mastered, you’ll be able to quickly find members who share your approach to trading, discover members who post valuable content, or locate a trader to help you with a particular issue — and you’ll likely find countless other uses!

Oh, and if you’re wondering about those ‘Impact’ icons placed where the vouch icons would usually be… the explanation is coming very soon. ;)

If you have feedback or run into any bugs, please let us know!


Posted by Scot, Forex Factory Senior Developer

FF breaches top 1,000 websites

October 8th, 2013

According to Alexa, Forex Factory has broken into the 1,000 most-trafficked websites in the world! :D

There’s no telling if we’ll stay here, but we’re excited to have reached this mark for the first time. To all the traders who got us this far: your loyalty is greatly appreciated, and will be reciprocated with a continued commitment to supporting your pursuit of profits.

To the best of our knowledge, Forex Factory is the first forex-related website to break the top 1,000, so this milestone says as much about Forex Factory as it does the forex industry as a whole. Given the recent IPO and M&A trends, all signals point to an industry that’s bigger and stronger than ever.

Btw, we recognize that Alexa rank is an imperfect metric. Nonetheless, it’s arguably the most credible grading system for worldwide traffic and tends to be the most widely-quoted benchmark.


Posted by David, Forex Factory General Manager

Forex Factory is hiring in Tampa

September 26th, 2013

Forex Factory is still growing after almost ten years! We’re sitting at all-time highs in every key metric, and our team has never been stronger!

We just completed construction on our new development center in Tampa, and we’re looking to staff it with the best web engineers in the city. If you’re a top-notch LAMP developer who wants to work for a product-focused company, we encourage you to apply for the Website Engineer position.

We’re also seeking a sales professional with Internet advertising experience. Forex Factory sells display advertising directly to a worldwide customer base, so the position requires significant international travel to meet customers’ needs. Please apply for the Account Representative position if this sounds like the right position for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Posted by Jan, Forex Factory Human Resources

Member subscribing added to profiles

September 22nd, 2013

We hope you’ve been finding the new member profiles useful! Many thanks to those who provided feedback and reported bugs!

With the kinks now worked out, we’ve turned our attention to adding features and functionality to the profiles. The first major addition is ‘member subscribing’ — you can now subscribe to a member, just like you would subscribe to a thread or story. :)

This new functionality brings about several changes that may have you scratching your head without some explanation…

1. ‘Buddies’ are now mutually-subscribed members
Previously, buddy status was fairly inconsequential — you could add anyone to your buddy list without much effect. With the new system, however, a buddy relationship is automatically established when two members are subscribed to each other. Buddies can no longer be manually added; they only come from mutual subscriptions.

2. Old buddies have been converted into subscriptions
Most traders used the old buddy system to keep track of certain members. Since subscribing to a member has a similar intention, all old buddies have been converted into subscriptions to initially populate the new system. If any of your old buddies also had you on their buddy list, they will remain your buddy because the conversions will result in a mutual subscription (which results in a buddy relationship, as discussed above). The email alert for converted subscriptions was set to ‘None’, so you won’t receive email alerts from these subscriptions unless you change the settings.

3. Vouching was separated from the Network box
You’ll notice the Network box now lists ‘Buddies’, ‘Subscribers’, ‘Subscriptions’, and ‘Ignored’. The ‘Vouchers’ and ‘Vouched For’ sections have been moved to a separate box below the Network box. The motivation for doing this can’t be explained without shedding some light on our future plans. In short, vouching will be phased out in the future, and replaced with a system that’s based on the number of subscribers a member has. Separating vouchers from the Network box will make for a cleaner transition to the new system in the future.

4. Vouched-for members have been added as subscriptions
Anyone you previously vouched for has been added as a subscription. Since vouching will eventually be phased out, as discussed above, we want to carry the spirit of historic vouchers to the new subscription system. By duplicating your vouch as a subscription, the spirit of the vouch is not lost and will be carried into the coming subscription-based system that will replace the vouching system. To illustrate, a member who had 50 vouchers in the past will now have 50 subscribers, so when the vouching system is replaced they will still be highly “ranked.”

While the current state of member subscribing is transitional, you should find the new functionality very useful for keeping track of content produced by traders you respect. Gone are the days of visiting countless profiles to see what traders are doing — it’s now all in one place and easy to manage. :)

If you’re confused about any of the changes or have feedback, please comment or contact us. We carefully consider all feedback!


Posted by Michael, Forex Factory Product Developer

New member profiles coming soon

August 15th, 2013

Over the next several months we’re going to be changing what it means to be a Forex Factory member. All aspects of membership will be modernized; however, the focus is on content discovery, not “social.” It’s about making it easy to find and track content on Forex Factory, so you get the best information in the shortest amount of time.

The first phase of this initiative, a redesign of the member profile pages, is coming next week. While there’s only a few new features, this phase will usher in a completely new interface for member profiles, the private messaging system, subscriptions, and all member settings. This interface will provide the foundation for the various features and functionality planned for the future.

There are two things the new profiles will make public which are not currently public: your time zone and ignore list. If you don’t want your ignore list to be known publicly, please delete all entries. If you don’t want your time zone to be known publicly, please enable ‘Invisible Mode’ in your user options. While we hesitate to bring new information public, we’re compelled by the fact that it’s quite useful to know who a member is ignoring and what time zone they’re using.

The new profiles include an ‘Activity’ section that makes it much easier to see what members are doing in terms of posting in the Forums and News, posting on profiles, subscribing to threads and stories, vouching, buddy adding, ignoring, and creating Trade Explorers. Except for subscribing, all of the Activity information is already publicly available, it’s just time-consuming to find. And while subscriptions will be newly-public information, it won’t be shown historically. Only subscriptions made after the new profiles launch will be displayed publicly.

For privacy reasons, Activity will only include historical actions that were easily tracked on the old profiles. For example, Activity will historically show posts you made in the Forums and News, because they’ve always been easy to track via the search functionality. On the other hand, Activity will not historically show when you added a member to your buddy list, as that information wasn’t easily obtained on the old profiles. Buddy adding will only be tracked on a go-forward basis.

The new profiles also includes a ‘Notifications’ section, which informs you about other members’ actions that relate to you. For instance, you’ll get a notification when your post is quoted, or when someone adds you to their buddy list. Keep in mind that other members will also be notified when your action relates to them (although reversing an action within an hour will delete the notification).

While these changes may take some getting used to, we’re confident that you’ll prefer the new profile design once you see the vast amounts of insight it brings. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.


Posted by Michael, Forex Factory Product Developer

Sorry for the downtime!

June 28th, 2013

If you tried to access the site in the past 24 hours you probably experienced broken applications and intermittent downtime. We’re extremely sorry for the problems! Reliability is one of the primary objectives at Forex Factory, and we fell way short here.

As for the cause, we were upgrading a load balancer and it set off an unbelievable string of problems for our internal network. The root cause was so obscure that it took our development team, along with several Rackspace engineers, working 20 hours straight to identify. It ended up being the longest non-hacker-related downtime we’ve experienced in over seven years. Sigh.

You can be sure we’ll be working hard to improve our reliability in the future. We learned a lot from this experience and will use it to make us better.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Posted by Scot, Forex Factory Senior Developer

Forums redesigned

May 29th, 2013

Over the past few months you may have noticed the Forums undergoing an extensive interface redesign. This week we rolled out the last of the major upgrades. :)

There were hundreds of changes made, and together they result in a product that’s simpler, faster to navigate, and more visually focused on content. Enhancements like the new thread pagination represent a breakthrough in navigation speed, and improvements like the new file uploading sequence, which turned a clunky 7-click process into a snappy 3-click process, make interfacing with the site much easier.

Another notable upgrade was the implementation of a new post editor, which will likely be celebrated by Chrome users since the old editor couldn’t visually display BB code. And if you’ve ever found it difficult to browse a thread’s attachments, you’re going to like the new tabulated attachment display.

We hope you like the new design! If you encounter any bugs or have feedback, we’d love to hear from you — please comment or contact us.


Posted by Scot, Forex Factory Senior Developer

A fresh face for the new year

December 31st, 2012

We’ve completed the rollout of Forex Factory’s new front-end. :)

It’s a lot more than a facelift! The new front-end utilizes the latest web technologies to load the site faster and make it more consistent across browsers and devices.

While the functionality of the site remains mostly unchanged, the design introduces a new “sticky” navigation that consistently keeps all FF products just one click away. The navigation also employs a wider layout to tap into muscle-memory, thereby reducing the amount of effort needed to get around the site.

Forget how the site used to look? Here’s a screen capture right before the new front-end launched:

We’ve already received some great feedback — thank you very much! We’re working hard to improve on issues that have been brought to our attention, and you can expect to see constant improvements in the coming weeks.

Like something? Something bothering you? Let us know in the comments or by contacting us. We carefully consider all feedback!

Thanks for helping to make 2012 another great year for Forex Factory! Best of luck in the new year! :)


Posted by Sidney, Forex Factory Director of Marketing

New FF logo; new front-end to follow

November 28th, 2012

Behold! Forex Factory has a new logo! :)

We stuck to our roots with a factory shape, but the new logo bears precision and meaningfulness that better represent Forex Factory’s ideals and design approach.

The old logo served us well. It was a simple logo, proudly guarding over the site for almost nine years. In 2005, its shape was used as an icon to convey the expected market impact of calendar events ( ) — a pioneering feature that would later become ubiquitous in the financial world.

In 2011, the logo mark was again used to communicate market impact in an innovative way — this time signifying the actual impact of breaking news stories. Through the years, after serving millions upon millions of traders, our old logo became one of the most recognizable forex-related shapes in the world.

Goodbye ole’ buddy!

The new logo is the first step in a larger design initiative. We’re currently working on a new front-end for the site that will change the way you see FF. Here’s a preview:

You won’t have to worry about re-learning Forex Factory, as the new design will leave the site’s functionality and layout virtually unchanged. The only difference will be that the site looks better, loads faster, and will be more compatible across devices.

And thus begins a new chapter in Forex Factory’s evolution. :)


Posted by Sidney, Forex Factory Director of Marketing