Archive for April, 2009

Major codebase upgrade

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

This weekend we performed a major upgrade to FF’s codebase and I’m happy to report that things went according to plan (phew!). You won’t notice most of the changes because the main purpose of the upgrade was to lay the groundwork we’ll use to deliver advanced features and applications in the future.

The few front-end modifications that you’ll notice include:

  • Large image attachments are now displayed via Lightbox technology (click on any post’s chart thumbnail to see it in action).
  • Your member profile now has privacy options.
  • Your Buddy List and Ignore List are now on two different pages, and have a slightly altered layout.
  • Member profile comments have a new look and utilize Ajax.

    Given this upgrade was a radical change to FF’s source we expect to be finding and fixing bugs for the next week. If you notice anything acting funny please comment or contact us.

    Posted by Scot, Forex Factory Senior Developer

    Response to voter fraud allegations

    Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

    With all the commotion over on today’s very popular story, where the mysterious simonwilson5 accuses some FF news contributors of cheating the News voting system, the FF team feels some explanation is due.


    Forex Factory doesn’t have the same ‘multiple personality’ problem you’re used to seeing on other sites; at least not to the same extent. We’ve always taken this problem very seriously, and about a year ago we developed a sophisticated system called 1P1U (stands for one-person-one-username) that identifies and blocks multiple username activity by looking at more than just IP addresses. If you’ve ever tried to post/vote with a second username you’ve most likely had a run-in with 1P1U. The system is far from perfect but overall it does a great job, especially when it comes to stopping unethical behavior, and we are constantly improving it.

    The bottom line is you can be assured that FF news providers are not ‘cheating’ the vote by having one person vote with multiple usernames.

    Vote manipulation

    We are well aware that the vote is being manipulated by many news providers. And we’ve spent countless hours analyzing and investigating this. The primary way it’s being done is by providers telling their friends/fans/visitors/students/employees to vote on the stories they’ve posted on Forex Factory. We estimate that 95% of the unrealistic vote counts are a result of this method.

    Is it cheating? We don’t think so. Most of our commercial news providers want as much traffic to their website as possible, so we think it’s perfectly natural that they will ‘play the game’ to get more exposure for their news submissions. We take most of the blame for having a system that can be manipulated so easily that it creates a game-like environment.

    Work in progress

    Please know that we’re not at all happy with manipulation controlling which stories are the most visible. We realize that’s the current situation and it’s been bugging our team for a long time!

    If we knew a way to eliminate vote manipulation, without tight restrictions on voting, believe me it would be done by now. After a lot of meeting and discussions and trying new things out, we think the best solution is to increase community participation in the News section so that manipulation has little effect. The transparent voting initiative is part of our plan to increase participation, and there’s a lot more on the way.

    The goal

    Our plan is to tweak the News systems until we achieve our goal of having the most useful stories be the most visible. To us it’s all about getting the relevant news right in front of you and getting the junk out of sight. Sure we have a long way to go, but with some layout re-designs, vote formula changes, transparent voting, and policy shifts, we definitely think we can get there!

    Want to help? Vote regularly!!! A powerful community vote mutes manipulation and brings the best stories to the top! Submitting good stories you find around the Internet is also very helpful.

    I hope this clarifies a few things! And rest assured we are reading your feedback everywhere it’s posted!

    Posted by Sidney, Forex Factory Director of Marketing

    News votes now public

    Monday, April 20th, 2009

    Have you ever wondered who voted on a particular News story? Wonder no more – today we released a feature that names every Useful and Fade vote! You can see the list of voters by clicking on the vote statistics, as shown below.

    This feature is part of the transparent voting initiative I told you about in a blog post earlier this month. We have several related features rolling out soon, one of which is a ‘vote history’ that will show you a list of stories a member voted on. You’ll be able to see which of today’s stories your friend found Useful, for instance.

    I also mentioned in my previous post that you can strip your voting history by using a temporary link on your member profile page. If you aren’t comfortable having your votes made public please strip your votes soon because that link will be disappearing in a few days. After it’s gone the only way to undo votes will be one-by-one.

    We hope this added transparency improves your news reading experience! If you have any feedback let me know! Oh, and thanks for all the comments we’ve been getting on the blog! All of your feedback is discussed by our team and many ideas have already made it to our production list! :)

    Posted by Sidney, Forex Factory Director of Marketing

    Central bank rates launched

    Saturday, April 18th, 2009

    We just launched a cool product that gives you at-a-glance central bank rate information. Before you start thinking “Oh no…not another list of interest rates!,” at least take it for a spin! You can find the rates at the bottom-left of the News page (its beta residence).

    Features include:

  • Updated in real-time
  • Fully automated
  • Rate relativity bars
  • Links to last and next releases
  • Links to 9-year rate charts
  • Links to central bank websites
  • Do you guys have any ideas on how we can make this product better? On what pages would you like to see it? We appreciate all your comments! :)

    Posted by Sidney, Forex Factory Director of Marketing

    News votes are going public

    Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

    Hey news fans, the News section will be under construction for the next couple weeks while we implement several new enhancements. Upgrades started yesterday when we launched a news subscription system that enables you to subscribe to news comments the same way you can with thread replies. Like threads, you’ll be auto-subscribed to stories you’ve commented in, or you can manually subscribe by clicking on the “Subscribe to Comments” link. You’ll get email updates according to your preferences.

    The most dramatic change coming is that all news votes will be made public, allowing you, for instance, to see what your friends are voting on. We’re excited to make this change because transparent voting opens the door to bundles of cool features (many of which we’re working on!).

    Realizing that you might have expected your past votes to remain anonymous, and that many members don’t want their past votes made public, we’ve built a temporary feature into every user profile. Look for a link next to your vote count that says “strip all votes.”

    If you do not want your past votes to be made public, use this feature to erase your voting record.

    Remember, your feedback guides our future development! Let us know what you think!

    Posted by Sidney, Forex Factory Director of Marketing