Forum layout: suggestions

A place for anyone to submit idea's and improvement tips for the site - 'obligation free'. - If on the other hand you want to become more involved, you are encouraged to join the MeCCG.net development team.

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Jambo
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Forum layout: suggestions

Post by Jambo » Wed May 26, 2004 4:30 pm

Firstly, I think this forum is among one of the best in the business in terms of looks and options available! Congrats.

However, one comment I do have is I think that there are perhaps too many fora for:
a) the total number of registered members let alone the active members that use the fora, and b) what there is actually available to discuss.

From my experience using gaming fora, one of the main reasons to have different fora was to prevent interesting and important threads and announcements vanishing too quickly from the first page. Other reasons include modding, multiplayer, etc. Nevertheless, rest assured, that unless we experience a sudden and amazing upturn in the number of MECCG players, then topics are not going to be lost rapidly from the front page.

Some of the topics listed could quite easily be combined, thereby focusing discussion and not segregating potentially similar topics. One wouldn't host a dinner party for 10 people and them split them off into different rooms depending on what they were eating.

For instance, Tips and Tricks could easily be combined with Decks, as quite often these two are interchangeable. Someone posting a deck might be interested to hear advice on improving it. Should a person replying with a tip or a trick then go to Tips and Tricks forum to do so? If not, then their Tips/Tricks will be lost in a topic in the Decks fora, never to be seen by others. If so, then the person posting the deck may never find the advice they were looking for?!

It's not just this fora though, other fora could potentially be combined without loss of functionality:

-Trader Central could be combined. With 8 and 2 topics respectively for the two fora, there hardly seems any reason to keep the two fora segregated. The topic titles alone should be enough to help guide browsers to what they're looking for.

-Likewise the two Community fora could be combined. If there is a feature to stick topics at the top of fora, then this should suffice for important announcements and FAQ. Or just scrap the community fora altogether and simply have a General forum. This could include ideas, announcements, off-topic chat, tournaments, FAQ, etc. With only about 50 registered people it isn't going to get too busy.

In short, we need to stimulate discussion not dissipate it across specialised rooms. Given that we have a comparably smallish community (at least at the present), my advice would be to focus discussion by reducing the amount of fora available. I mean, for instance, how many patrons are likely to stumble across this thread located in a forum that has a total of 3 topics (4 now :)), even though it's technically in the correct forum? Even communities for hugely popular games like Civilisation III or Championship Manager 03/04 have comparably less fora available and yet they will have far greater than 20,000 registered members.

Anyway, some food for thought, for those that notice this thread.

Cheers

Jamie

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Gwaihir
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Post by Gwaihir » Wed May 26, 2004 7:59 pm

Loosing topics from page one is just one reason to split things and indeed not one overly relevant here right now. Another reason is reading back up and reference: the forum is not a chat room in which some things are said and forgotten again just as quickly. It is also a place to read up later on a topic of interest, or to search if something might have been up before. Splitting in clear content areas eases that up.

Also it allows you to read only those content areas you are interested in. Personally I don't read up on each forum at each visit. Apperently you just have a broad interest?

I don't think it's hard to find (new) posts in different forums. There are new post indicators (though those could be better). There is a last post date out on the main page. There is an option (top right) to show all new posts in a list. You can use the search to show all posts made in the last 7 days / two weeks / etc. Is all that not sufficient?

As for 50 members. What did you expect? We've been up for just two months! We could throw everything together because of that now, but how are we to seperate all the data again later then if we do grow - which we definately expect? That would be an awful job to do.
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Jambo
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Post by Jambo » Wed May 26, 2004 8:35 pm

Hi Wim,

Thanks for replying. Like I said, I just think meccg.net might benefit from combining a few of the fora - to make it more of a thriving place and encourage discussion? It's certainly doing fine as it is and it wasn't my intention to suggest otherwise if that was the impression you got from the original post.

Like you say though, if the intention is not to make this place more chatty, then the way it is set out is fine.

Regards

Jamie

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Gwaihir
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Post by Gwaihir » Wed May 26, 2004 10:05 pm

Jambo wrote:.. it wasn't my intention to suggest otherwise if that was the impression you got from the original post.
I didn't. I just meant to say that the place was set up spacious by design and that I'm not overly worried yet if the party seems a tad quiet because it doesn't really fill all the room yet. It is still early in the evening :D
Like you say though, if the intention is not to make this place more chatty, then the way it is set out is fine.
Right, I hope it mostly to be something worth reading for most, not just an ongoing conversation of no interest to those not directly involved or reading up later. Then again, I've always been a quality over quantity person myself :D

Perhaps some of the other 48 users have ideas about all this too? ;) [there are 80 users right now actually]
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May the wind under your wings bear your where the sun sails and the moon walks -- J.R.R.T.

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Thrain II
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Forum layout: suggestions

Post by Thrain II » Thu May 27, 2004 3:42 pm

I personally don't think it is useful to combine the trading assoziated topics. There too many different questions and things we want to discuss, so I prefere to get some order to this. I never had a problem with the current way of managing the posts.

Thrain II
Admiral Thrain II, G.A.B. White Mithril Team Leader, Council of Elrond

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