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99 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 114991 9-Mar-2013 14:41
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Sorry if this has already been brought up. I know this won't be implemented as I'm sure it would cause headaches for admins and I suppose isn't the way the admins want these forums to go based on how it currently is, but does anyone else feel like there are too many forums?

I made a post in a Surface Pro thread that I accessed through the front page trending section yesterday. Today I went to find that thread again and had a hard time, I started scrolling down the forum topics I saw the Gadgets board and thought it might be in there, nope. Next was Windows Phone and Windows mobile, I had a doubt with this one but checked anyway, nope. Then I saw Microsoft Windows, but figured it wouldn't be there as that is under the Operating System header plus I saw the Laptops and Mobile Computers section almost at the same time, so I went there first, nope. It was actually in the Microsoft Windows topic which I discovered after checking my profiles posting history. To me, this sort of confusion draws from there being too many boards with intersecting topics. I didn't know where to look for it and perhaps the original poster didn't know where to post it.

I just quickly edited the forum index page to show how it could be, this wasn't really given too much thought and I'm sure there are some oversights.



I think that there would need to be a slight behaviour change in terms of posting as well if something like this were to ever be done.  Just thought I'd put the idea out there.

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gzt

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  Reply # 777428 9-Mar-2013 18:08
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The number of forums does not really bother me but finding my own posts now and then has been a pain.

I used to use my profile page to find them but IIRC the logic changed there a while back to include more items.

[mods close your eyes here]

So, ahem, I set up a dummy account which does nothing but send me a mail when my regular account posts. Now I have a nice chronological record of my own posts for that purpose.

[mods open eyes again]

BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 777468 9-Mar-2013 19:32
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gst, there are three forms of viewing the forums you participate on. In your personal profile page (which is the one of the "new" logic) you see forums where you posted a reply or watched the topic. Any time someone posts there you will see it coming to the top of the lists. This is in effect exactly what you see in your emails, except that it's not in chronological order but in "most recent activity".

The second one is your public profile page which lists topics you initiated. It's not as complete as the previous page, but that's the public view (otherwise people would have an easy way of creating a complete picture of your interests).

The third one is looking at your personal profile page again and you will see a list (usually five pages long) with some of your "social" activities around here. These will be your forum posts, new friends and badges. This is in descending chronological order. We have this data going back three years, but only list the most recent activities for performance reasons. If you think seeing a bit longer is a good idea we can easily go back as long as you want.

Would creating a new option "Email myself when I post in the forums" be something interesting to help people keep a "transaction log" instead of having to use the stalk option on yourself's fake account?

To dazzanz: some of your suggestions are good and make sense. The problem is that we get a lot of new people here that post questions around without making it clear what ISP they are with or sometimes with a single word in the subject: "Help". Even old time folks do it, for laziness. They know making a better headline would help but they don't.

Anyway, for example HTPC is in a vague area with Home Theatre but they have specific issues that are not quite the same. Codecs and OS compatibility don't quite fit with amplifiers, projectors and screens. Igloo/Sky and Freeview have very different issues (one involve billing, accounts, discounts) the other involves regions, compatible devices, etc. So I really can't groups these things together.

Then broadband. The forums we have for some ISPs reflect the number of customers they have and many have specific questions. Orcon, Slingshot, Snap! Telecom, Vodafone, WorldxChange and others wouldn't be able to keep an eye in the forums if ALL broadband customers were all in the same forum. How could these folks possibly help people if a deluge of new posts came through a single forum? They'd have to read one by one to find out if it's something they should be answering.

From time to time I remove forums. I removed three forums last month. All Woosh discussions for example were moved to Broadband. The customer base size and the lack of discussions made the decision easy (either they don't have many customers or their customers are really happy with their services, or their customers have everything handled on the phone, or their customers don't know Geekzone exists).






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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777477 9-Mar-2013 20:17
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freitasm:To dazzanz.... 


Thanks for the reply. I can sort of see HTPC being a bit out of place in my example, I'd almost think about having that discussion in the Desktop section as well as most of the topics will be regarding hardware, drivers etc.

With the other examples - TV services and ISPs this is sort of what I meant by adjusting posting behaviour - eg including specific details in the title although this might not happen with new users.  I feel like that could be addressed with required board specific predetermined "tags" for lack of a better term. So for example, posting in the broadband forum you could select the ISPs name from a drop down, or something similar. This would add [Orcon] in front of the post title, or under it, could include a small logo or something as well. I'm not saying that is the answer, just the first idea that popped into my head. People could then filter the board view by these tags if they want to get specific. It would also mean that context is kept for each posts no matter what the audience for that ISP is in the future, rather than all merge in to the broadband forum as they currently do, with perhaps titles that don't let you know which ISP they belong to due to them previously existing in an ISP specific board.

Or maybe leaving the ISP stuff as it is if people like having their own boards but just cleaning up the other ones so it's clear where to go and post.

gzt

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  Reply # 777499 9-Mar-2013 21:25
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freitasm: gst, there are three forms of viewing the forums you participate on. In your personal profile page (which is the one of the "new" logic) you see forums where you posted a reply or watched the topic. Any time someone posts there you will see it coming to the top of the lists. This is in effect exactly what you see in your emails, except that it's not in chronological order but in "most recent activity".

The second one is your public profile page which lists topics you initiated. It's not as complete as the previous page, but that's the public view (otherwise people would have an easy way of creating a complete picture of your interests).

The third one is looking at your personal profile page again and you will see a list (usually five pages long) with some of your "social" activities around here. These will be your forum posts, new friends and badges. This is in descending chronological order. We have this data going back three years, but only list the most recent activities for performance reasons. If you think seeing a bit longer is a good idea we can easily go back as long as you want.

Would creating a new option "Email myself when I post in the forums" be something interesting to help people keep a "transaction log" instead of having to use the stalk option on yourself's fake account?


That email option would be a cleaner solution than a dummy account. Would anyone other than me find that useful?

My biggest single use is finding a topic posted to or created and without needing to remember/locate the forum I posted it to.

The existing default private feed on the public profile page might cover 75% of my needs. I could guess I missed it because originally I was looking for a list of only topics I had created (in chrono order I created them) for a use case where I want to return and update an older topic.

gzt

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  Reply # 777501 9-Mar-2013 21:29
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Btw, it is definitely a dummy account not a fake account. ; ).

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777517 9-Mar-2013 22:28
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phpBB forum has a nifty feature that lets you fold sections of of the forum by category group and it can remember how you had them folded for the next time you log in. Maybe that concept could be implemented here to achieve what you are suggesting? I know I would use it if the option was there. Just a thought :o)

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777519 9-Mar-2013 22:29
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gzt: Btw, it is definitely a dummy account not a fake account. ; ).

Email Notifications for Dummies? :-D

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  Reply # 777553 10-Mar-2013 07:36
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zANavAShi: phpBB forum has a nifty feature that lets you fold sections of of the forum by category group and it can remember how you had them folded for the next time you log in. Maybe that concept could be implemented here to achieve what you are suggesting? I know I would use it if the option was there. Just a thought :o)


I suggested this last week and he said he'd look into it.




Whatifthespacekeyhadneverbeeninvented?




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777571 10-Mar-2013 10:25
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zANavAShi: phpBB forum has a nifty feature that lets you fold sections of of the forum by category group and it can remember how you had them folded for the next time you log in. Maybe that concept could be implemented here to achieve what you are suggesting? I know I would use it if the option was there. Just a thought :o)


Sounds like that just hides certain categories, doesn't really help with the intersecting forum topics and not knowing where posts belong.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777632 10-Mar-2013 14:32
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dazzanz:
zANavAShi: phpBB forum has a nifty feature that lets you fold sections of of the forum by category group and it can remember how you had them folded for the next time you log in. Maybe that concept could be implemented here to achieve what you are suggesting? I know I would use it if the option was there. Just a thought :o)


Sounds like that just hides certain categories, doesn't really help with the intersecting forum topics and not knowing where posts belong.

Absolutely, and I was only attempting to address the topic from a visually-compact/minimal-scrolling perspective.

I didn't wanna touch the latter cos it's hard to stop myself ranting when I get started on that particular subject LOL
 
I'll just say briefly that no matter how many different ways you try and classify or organise a forum or online community by "category" there will always be users who will have a different way of ordering things in their own head than you do.

And even if you (in the role of forum admin) make the effort to write a half page explanation of what belongs in what category (which I came fairly close to on one of the forums I built LOL!) there will always be posts in places I never intended them to be made and at least half the work of the forum moderators will always consist of moving topics to where they should logically belong.

If you adopt the attitude that this is just human nature as well as being the natural way of how online communities tend to flow (take Trade Me for example, and how many auctions seem to be posted in categories that seem to make logical sense to you or I) then your blood pressure will a a lot healthier for it - and your sanity too!

I have the deepest admiration for Mauricio and how logically and calmly he seems to attend to the overall running of this place. For all I know he might be privately perched at the edge of his chair with clumps of his torn out hair scattered over his keyboard, (ROFL!) but I see no sign of it publicly.

Anyhoo, that was more than I intended to say on the subject, but a volume less than I could have.

Cheers :o)

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 777663 10-Mar-2013 16:11
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.... dupe sorry Embarassed

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  Reply # 781714 14-Mar-2013 15:57
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dazzanz:
zANavAShi: phpBB forum has a nifty feature that lets you fold sections of of the forum by category group and it can remember how you had them folded for the next time you log in. Maybe that concept could be implemented here to achieve what you are suggesting? I know I would use it if the option was there. Just a thought :o)


Sounds like that just hides certain categories, doesn't really help with the intersecting forum topics and not knowing where posts belong.


I know some forum software takes it one step further and actually makes it so categories also act as "rollup" forums for their child forums - basically you open a category and all subforum posts are automatically included in the thread list as well.  One example would be Stardock's forums - you'll see that some of the posts actually exist in subforums not the main forum, but they appear in both places.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 781730 14-Mar-2013 16:05
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Kyanar: I know some forum software takes it one step further and actually makes it so categories also act as "rollup" forums for their child forums - basically you open a category and all subforum posts are automatically included in the thread list as well.  One example would be Stardock's forums - you'll see that some of the posts actually exist in subforums not the main forum, but they appear in both places.

Hey that's cool, cheers for sharing and +1 to the idea Smile

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 782129 15-Mar-2013 09:46
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FWIW, I like having lots of forums to choose from. I think it's great to be able to have specialist topics rather than broad topics which would get jammed with too many posts not relevant to a user's needs.







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Master Geek
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  Reply # 782189 15-Mar-2013 11:28
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brad_p: FWIW, I like having lots of forums to choose from. I think it's great to be able to have specialist topics rather than broad topics which would get jammed with too many posts not relevant to a user's needs.


I think it is fine to have specialist topics, but I find some of the current ones are too close to each other that it's hard to know where to post for certain topics - the example being the Microsoft Surface Pro post I mentioned, it is currently in the Microsoft Windows operating system board, yet I imagine it is as much about the hardware as the software.

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