Sub-forums in "Physical Systems" Category

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Sub-forums in "Physical Systems" Category

Postby GeoffSchultz » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:50 am

It's been suggested that to increase the number sub-forums in the "Physical Systems" category. Right now we have

  • Electrical
  • Electronics
  • Engines and Mechanical Systems
  • Plumbing
  • Rigging and Sails

Do people think that this is sufficient? Should we add more, and if so, what?

Personally I think that we should have a limited number of sub-forums as many times conversations start out on one topic and morph into a completely different conversation. If we pigeon-hole things too much, people might miss posts that they're interested in because they're looking in the wrong place. There's also the issue of having people place things in the "wrong" category and having too much moderator intervention to keep things correctly categorized. The search facility should allow anyone to find what they're looking for (yes, I know that cuts both ways.) And finally, general forum guidelines state that you should minimize the number of forums as people don't want to have to search through a bunch of forums if they're looking for new/interesting posts.

-- Geoff
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Re: Sub-forums in "Physical Systems" Category

Postby THATBOATGUY » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:49 am

Right now I think we are pushing the limits as it is. The reasons you state are valid. Maybe we should run along like we have it for a month or two and see how usage drives things?

One additional thing we might do is to have a user group accessible to forum moderators only where board issues can be discussed? John caught a mistake I made accidentally and had to pm me about it.

George
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Re: Sub-forums in "Physical Systems" Category

Postby Rick Simonds » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:22 am

GeoffSchultz wrote:Do people think that this is sufficient? Should we add more, and if so, what?...

Personally I think that we should have a limited number of sub-forums as many times conversations start out on one topic and morph into a completely different conversation. If we pigeon-hole things too much, people might miss posts that they're interested in because they're looking in the wrong place....

-- Geoff


Be careful of too many sub-forums. This site isn’t so much of a reference work as it is a dockside BS session. I at least look at pretty much all of it and click the “back” button when I’m not interested in a particular discussion. At some point sub-forums go past being “organized” and become an endless “click maze.” We’re not there yet, but, respectfully, I think I may be starting to see it from here… ;) (The RSS is a big help, though. Nice feature! I’ve never used that before.)

As an example, here’s a dive club I belong to. Everything is in 5 headings.

http://www.tallyscubaclub.org/forum2/

Just one man’s $0.02: Keep it simple. Perhaps a “reference material” area should be meticulously categorized but the “general discussion” area left intentionally wild and free-form.
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