Author Topic: Managing the forum  (Read 9648 times)

Offline PeterT

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3891
    • View Profile
    • PeterT's homepage in WikiWorks
Managing the forum
« on: January 06, 2008, 09:09:59 AM »
I think we need to be better at managing the forum in Phase 3 - this would include:
  • being better at sticking to the topic
  • archiving stuff more regularly (and probably not putting in redirection topics when we move topics into the archive cos that kind of defeats the object - which is to remove topics in order to reduce the amount of stuff folk have to look at)

I think we need to do some reorganisation of the forum before Phase 3 starts - reducing the number of boards/topics and archiving most of the existing stuff.

The question is what should the starting structure of the forum be?

To help us talk about this I have explained some terminology below:
* Category - a group of boards (eg Welcome - start here; General Discussions; Schome in Second Life)
   * Board - a group of topics (eg Introductions; Using this website)
      * Child Board - a board nested within a board! (eg Reflecting on Phase 2; Planning for Phase 3)
      * Topic - a discussion thread within a Board (or Child Board)

So the original question could be rephrased as - what starting structure do we need in terms of Categories, Boards and Child Boards?




Offline KitKatKid Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1467
  • Call me Kit :D
    • View Profile
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2008, 09:53:57 AM »
I think the structure of the forum categorys and boards would help the off-topicness and find it easier to navigate.

I for one, rarely click on a board, then a child board, then a topic. I just click unread messages and see what everyone is chatting about. I feel that if the forum was more structured it would be easier to navigate therefore finding the correct place to post something in.
KitKatKid Schomer    My Twitter

Offline KitKatKid Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1467
  • Call me Kit :D
    • View Profile
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008, 09:56:24 AM »
Just to add, The SchomeBase board hasnt been used in ages. I think the last post was in May. Are there likely to be anymore posts in there?
KitKatKid Schomer    My Twitter

Offline Kathy Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 665
    • View Profile
    • My blog
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 11:58:11 AM »
I find that a forum that is forced to stay on topic becomes incredibly dull, incredibly empty, or just has every thread locked almost immediately. For example, look at http://forums.secondlife.com/forumdisplay.php?f=189 - for the majority of people here who can't see that, it's the TG Linden Answers forum.

Most other posts will tend to veer off-topic, but not until the original question / discussion has been satisfactorily concluded. Should someone want to add something, they post something on the original topic and the thread reverts to its original purpose, whatever that might be.

I'm also not keen on obsessive archiving - it actually makes it harder to find things, given that  you end up with two places to look instead of one - especially given that the forum is essentially self archiving anyway. Anything that people don't have interest in eventually gets pushed off onto the second page, third page, etc. What benefit does archiving have here?

I think the forum is in need of drastic simplification, and the removal of the entire "archives" section on the basis it's redundant (failing that, compressing it into a single board in which anything that gets archived is dumped).

I think the structure should be something like this:

  • Schome
    • Introductions - please post here first! - move the "Using this website" board into this one, putting all posts there as stickies, and probably merging all the "Where can I get help?" posts
    • Education - merge the "Educational approaches, systems and thinkers" and "Educational Issues" boards, removing the largely defunct "ICT in Education"
    • Website Help - merge "Help" and its sub-board "SLog Help" into this.
    • Website Discussion - Rename "General discussion re schome" to this, as it seems to be primarily about the website.
    • Events - Same as "Other relevant events"
  • Second Life
    • Projects - Same as "Project Areas"
    • Government - Same as "Schome Park Governance"
    • Schome Park discussion - Same as "General discussions re Schome Park", but with the sub-boards removed/flattened (eventually).
    • Buddies - Don't like this being here, but can't see what else to do with it. :P
    • Help - Same as "Second Life Help"
    • Second Life in the Media
    • Events - Same as "Schome events"
    • Off-Topic (private) - Merger of the entire "Schome Park Private Area"

I propose the gruesome death, merger or archiving of the following boards:

  • Blikis and userpages
  • General discussion re ... - We have too many "general chats"
  • Nature Trails
  • The entire "SchomeBase" category
  • OU SLibrary

I think that's it, although I probably missed something. :P

(Hmm. This post took 20 minutes to write >.>)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 12:01:36 PM by Kathy Schomer »
Meep.

Offline KitKatKid Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1467
  • Call me Kit :D
    • View Profile
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008, 01:11:32 PM »
I totally agree with you Kathy I just didnt want to spend (as you did) 20 minutes typing it out! :p
KitKatKid Schomer    My Twitter

Offline Baso Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1426
    • View Profile
    • Desfrites
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2008, 03:46:20 PM »
i agree also.....with both comments...(i wouldnt spend more than ten mins writing a post...id spend 10 mins writing several about the same thing :P)
!!Baso!!

Offline Marsbar9 Schomer

  • Coordinator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3588
  • :-)
    • View Profile
    • Homepage
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2008, 03:53:44 PM »
I think keeping boards as they are/exist already, and simply moving them about is a better idea.
-Mars

Offline Kathy Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 665
    • View Profile
    • My blog
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 04:02:48 PM »
But that doesn't actually achieve anything - except possibly even more of a mess than we have now.

And it only took 20 minutes because I spent most of them working out what I felt needed doing (and the forum got upset with my formatting >.>) :P
Meep.

Offline Explo Schomer

  • SP Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2386
  • Nice, eh?
    • View Profile
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 05:15:12 PM »
It certainly seems like a sensible reorganisation-looking in several different boards for the same thing can get annoying, to say the least, and the system looks simple enough to be an improvement. On the subject of archives, I must agree that I'm not sure they are effective. On the other hand, I can certainly see their purpose, as I often look back through old threads in B+PP and it is helpful to have only revivable threads there. I think, rather than archiving threads based on time, we have to archive them based on their potential for future reference-in short, although the current archive system isn't particularly effective, some form of archive can definitely be.
'I am the gadfly'-or at least, I'd like to be

Question everything, including this.

Offline Kathy Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 665
    • View Profile
    • My blog
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008, 05:35:48 PM »
There's an easy way to make threads non-revivable - lock them. Moderators should be assumed to have a good enough idea of the rules not to post in locked threads unless it's really necessary to do so.
Meep.

Offline Explo Schomer

  • SP Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2386
  • Nice, eh?
    • View Profile
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 05:40:43 PM »
The point is not to make threads non-revivable, but to move already non-revivable ones out of the way, so you don't have to look through them to find revivable or useful threads.
'I am the gadfly'-or at least, I'd like to be

Question everything, including this.

Offline Kathy Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 665
    • View Profile
    • My blog
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2008, 05:48:14 PM »
I suppose a system which allows (and, indeed, expects) one to revive arbitrarily old threads does fall apart here. However, in said system, how do you determine a thread useless?

I do concede that you have a point however - at least for the planning department.
Meep.

Offline Explo Schomer

  • SP Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2386
  • Nice, eh?
    • View Profile
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2008, 06:27:58 PM »
Quote
However, in said system, how do you determine a thread useless?

This is rather the difficulty, and I don't think we can quantify how useful a thread is, which is, I suppose, one of the reasons computer moderators don't work as well as humans (at least, in my experience).
'I am the gadfly'-or at least, I'd like to be

Question everything, including this.

Offline Baso Schomer

  • The Hawaiian Shirts
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1426
    • View Profile
    • Desfrites
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2008, 01:04:06 PM »
Personally leaving it alone is better.

Maybe locking it once it is deemed useless (ie it is irrelevant or old and the information is incorrect)

But otherwise, it does self archive, by getting lost in the threads, like going to the bottom, or to another page...
!!Baso!!

Offline Fox Phlox

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3228
    • View Profile
Re: Managing the forum
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2008, 01:37:17 PM »
Yes, that's why, although I spend a lot of my time moderating the forums, you never find me archiving. I do believe they self archive.

I think Kathy's suggestions for categories are good, and I agree that some of the little used categories - like SchomeBase and Nature Trails - could go.
Only the stoutest arm, the bravest heart, with a magic charm and a good head start can ever outfox the Fox