Too many subforums?


Too many subforums?
#1
I've noticed that similar discussions are appearing in multiple subforums and that it can be quite hard to work out where a discussion should go (I've got this wrong and I had some say on the initial forum structure). This suggests to me that we may have fallen into the trap of overcategorisation that catches so many new forums.

I can't help but feel that in this case less may be more. I count 18 public forums which does seem a little like overkill to me.

This begs the following questions:

Are there too many forums and should we have fewer?

If so how many is enough?

And what should they be?

I'd like to open this one up to everyone so please have your say.

Tim
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Re: Too many subforums?
#2
> This begs the following questions:
>
> Are there too many forums and should we have
> fewer?

Yes I think there are.

> If so how many is enough?

Probably 6-8 public

> And what should they be?

Announcements
Help
Official discussions (for public access to SteerCo, LSC, Webmasters etc.)
General Discussion
Models (maybe a subforum for the OMR)
Rendering
Parts (technical, requests etc.)
General Software
Parts Software (most aren't interested in this)

[Hidden private forums]

Judicious use of sticky threads (that stay up the top) and tags eg. "[SteerCo] - Topic to be raised" should keep it readable while making location of the appropriate place easier

Tim
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Re: Too many subforums?
#3
> Are there too many forums and should we have
> fewer?
> If so how many is enough?
> And what should they be?

This is a tricky question. The General and Organization folders are about as compact as they can be. I also like the specificity of the Programs section. This allows the program authors of the most popular software to read and moderate their own forums. If other program rise to replace the current ones that are listed the the forum software allows us to movie topics around to create/destroy forums without losing data. I think the Public Announcements forum can go away though. This can be handled via sticky thread in the relevant forum.

One thing I think needs improvement is the theming. There is a lot of white space. This can be fixed and I intend to work on it.
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Re: Too many subforums?
#6
Orion Pobursky Wrote:
>
> One thing I think needs improvement is the
> theming. There is a lot of white space. This can
> be fixed and I intend to work on it.

Do the 'Announcements' really have to be on top of every forum? They are already there on the front page, they have a forum of their own, and then they appear on *every* subforum's first page. I could understand it if they were tagged for different fora, but if I have to see them all again and again on every page, I get quite tired of them :-)
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Re: Too many subforums?
#8
This is an easy thing to change. Anyone like it the way it is? I'll wait a while and if no one speaks up I'll change it.
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Re: Too many subforums?
#4
I do think there are a bit many indeed.

Some of my thoughts:

You could probably merge "Website Suggestions/Requests/Discussion" and "Help"

It might not be necessary to have all those specialized application subforums. Maybe 'editors', 'authoring', 'converts', 'viewers' etc is more useful (like the download sections on ldraw.org).

And I still think there should be a developers corner. (instead of or including the rendering subforum)
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Re: Too many subforums?
#5
Tim Gould Wrote:

> Are there too many forums and should we have
> fewer?

Probably.

> If so how many is enough?
> And what should they be?

You can't say a number, or what they should be. One *could* start in the other end, having just a few) subfora and then create new ones when deemed necessary and split off discussions at the time.

Most LDRAW programs could be managed with a single thread per program in a 'Editing Software' forum.

As for the start page, put the most important groups first - as it is now, we first have a list of announcements, then there's the long list of subfora, headed by 'Announcements' and 'General ldraw.org discussion' - it's a bit too much 'lugnet inspired'.

I would suggest something like:

Parts and models
Parts
MOCs
Official models
Editing software
Rendering (both techniques and images)
Standards

General discussions
Help
Off Topic (every forum needs this, to let off steam)

Administrative
General ldraw.org discussion (includes website)
Standards Committee

and so on
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Re: Too many subforums?
#7
There are generally two trains of thought when first starting new forums: Start with many sub-forums and then delete/consolodate the rarely used forums, or start with just a few sub-forums and branch off new forums as the need arises. Now, everybody would like to start off with the "perfect amount" of sub-forums, but this is rarely easy to pull off and invariable you'll end up have a few to many or not quite enough. Now, being fairly new to this community, I can't say for certain what's right for it. However, I've been involved with a fair amount of forums around the tubes, so I do have some insight into these matters. Also, you DID as for my opinion (you'll learn soon enough not to do that (Tongue)).

So what I'd like to see is the organizational scheme looking something more like this:

General:
- Announcements
- CoC *
- Help
- Suggestions
- General Discussion

Part Authoring:
- Part Standards
- General Part Discussion
- Part Reviewing
- Part Author Tools

Modeling:
- Official Model Repository
- MOCs
- Model Editor Discussion
- Rendering Software & Techniques

Organization:
Whatever super-secret discussion boards you already have here.

*I found it interesting that you guys don't have any sort of Rules or "Code of Conduct" forum or thread around here. Perhaps you feel that you don't need one. However, they're nice to have when some upstart punk comes in shaking up the status quo. You can be all like "Hey, didn't you read the CoC?!?"Wink


Anyways, that's my two cents.
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