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#1 2006-01-13 15:49:52

dtw
Forum Fellow
From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
Website

Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

In an effort to address the common situation of ten people posting about the same problem in ten different threads after major updates etc I have been considering some possibilities.

My first idea is to find a mod that will search and show most popular threads by date.  Currently the only/easiest way to search is simply by last post, not always useful.

My second idea is to find a mod that lists common recent searches.  This should again alert people to the fact that other people could well have the same problem and also impress upon them the usefulness of the search function.

Another thing that could work just as easily is a simple thread in announcements that provides links to the hot issues post big upgrade/release 0 of course it would be up to the FAs to maintain that smile

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#2 2006-01-13 16:28:11

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

Those mods both seem like good idea. I don't like the idea of having a thread linking to popular topics, but you could have a mod that posts the five most popular topics on the front page, under the announcements section, so they are automatically visible.

Another really simple thing that could be tried that I have pushed for in the past is FEWER FORUMS. We have 24 public forums! We get what, 100 posts per day? That's four posts per forum!!! A little over-organized I'd say.

Examples:
Do we really need four topics on AUR?
Why is security with announcments instead of network and protection?
Can Linux Discussion be merged with something else?
Pacman and Package Upgrade could go in with Arch Discussion. Pacman is integral to Arch.
Desktop Environments and Workstation User do not need to be separate forums.
Perhaps 'Other Architectures' can be merged with 'Kernel and Hardware'
Installation could be merged with 'Arch Discussion'

...and so on

Dusty

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#3 2006-01-13 16:31:02

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

I agree with dusty. I think a consolodation of some of the forum sections would be a good idea.
Not sure about putting installation with Arch discussion, but the particulars of the consolodation are not that important at this time.
I do think it would be a good idea though.


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#4 2006-01-13 17:00:06

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

I agree that some of these forums need to be consolidated, or at least do the UCB type thing with subforums.

I'd also like to suggest a mod that adds a  "search within this forum" box to the bottom of the post listings.  That speeds up searching alot.

The "hot list" of threads is a great idea though - it will prevent having 40 threads when there's an issues of some sort - like xorg7

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#5 2006-01-13 18:56:51

T-Dawg
Forum Fellow
From: Wilmington, NC
Registered: 2005-01-29
Posts: 2,734

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

I'd be for doing a hierarchial system that groups similar forums together into logical parents. It'll be easier to navigate and allow you to add more subforums as needed.

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#6 2006-01-13 20:31:36

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

Ya know, I got the urge to make another thread about this topic, just to be snarky 8)

As for the hierarchy, something like:

Discussion >
   Arch Discussion
   Linux Discussion
   Off Topic
Help >
   Installation
   Making Packages
Workstation >
   General
   Desktop
   Networking
   Multimedia
   Laptop
Low Level >
   Other Architectures
   Kernel
   Hardware

etc etc - just musing here

edit: formatting

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#7 2006-01-13 20:31:49

jerem
Member
From: France
Registered: 2005-01-15
Posts: 310

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

Well, I know some newbie friends often using the newbie section as an all-purpose place where you can post without making an effort.

A blinking 'Use the search function' banner would be a simple solution.

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#8 2006-01-13 20:40:20

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

Originally, there were far fewer forums. The problem then was.. things quickly ending up where they did not really fit. So.. more forums were created. It seems that we have swung the pendellum too far in the other direction.

I think it might be time to swing back the other way a bit.


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#9 2006-01-13 20:48:21

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

I disagree, cactus. I think we had too many forums to begin with :-D. We've shuffled things around a lot, but never really gone to a next level up.  I don't like the idea of hierarchical forums, it means more clicks. Of course, I use 'view all posts' anyway, so it doesn't affect me, so I shant complain too much.

If a forum only has one or two new posts per day or less, then it seems to me its practically redundant. That's probably a good measure of which ones can be consolidated.  The ones that seem important are Newbie Corner, Arch Discussion, and User Contributions.

At a big extreme, it may be possible to merge all the 'help' forums into maybe three or four total. Most of us that want to help are willing to help everyone, and those that want help don't care where they post. There are some different topics that people won't be interested in viewing (ie: some people may not have any interest in servers, or networking, or hardware, etc), but overall, I think its pretty good.

One thing I really appreciated was when the 'laptop' forum was created, cause it got all those pesky questions I know nothing about out of my way. So this is a good argument in favour of having *some* separation between forums.... perhaps not so much though.

I get the feeling I'm rambling, I'm sorry.

Dusty

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#10 2006-01-17 18:39:57

dtw
Forum Fellow
From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

Face facts guys - people don't read.  We have a billion different forums because we had to reduce it to the lowest common denominator.  If you have one forum for 6 things then you CAN'T explain what those things are in a fashion which is succinct enough to please most users and their nat like attention span for reading things that don't appear instantly helpful.

Also, four posts a day logic is flawed.  That's 28 posts per forum a week (you can view 25 a page by default), might not seem like a lot but we must assume that the forums will grow and that things will become more complex, not vica versa.

Case in point:

Why is security with announcments instead of network and protection?

It's not, that's security announcements, protection is in with networking...

It looks too many to us experienced users who check the forums 3 times a day but to Joe/Jane-newbie it shows clearly defined sections in which he/she may post.  You can write posting guidelines until you go blue but people will still post in the place that appears most obvious to them.  Also, what about the unspoken masses?  Surely they find it ok or they would complain - if it ain't broke it don't need fixing.

I'm not against consolidation of some, like the AUR section.  However, for me the addition of the sub-forums module would just muddy the main page without providing much in the way of hierarchical clarity.  I never saw any benefit on the UCB boards.  It just seems to add more graphical border chunks smile

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#11 2006-01-17 22:34:49

Snowman
Developer/Forum Fellow
From: Montreal, Canada
Registered: 2004-08-20
Posts: 5,212

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

I agree about merging some forums to reduce their numbers a bit. However, I don't like the idea about using sub-forums.  When I go to UCB, I'm always lost in the forums. When I want to go back to the main forum, I always end up in the sub-forum. There are to many links to click. And, BTW,  sub-forums won't solve the problem of posting redundancy: instead of having too many forums we'll have too many sub-forums. tongue

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#12 2006-01-18 00:35:19

T-Dawg
Forum Fellow
From: Wilmington, NC
Registered: 2005-01-29
Posts: 2,734

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

bah! forget you guys!  tongue

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#13 2006-01-18 00:35:54

elasticdog
Member
From: Washington, USA
Registered: 2005-05-02
Posts: 995
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

I don't like sub-forums either.  It just gets too confusing...

I think dibble is dead-on when he said that people won't read the posting guidelines, they'll just post where they think it makes sense...hell, I've read the guidelines, but never refer to them when I making a new post.

I think it would be good to consolidate some of our sections, as having too many choices doesn't really do anything but confuse people more.  My guess would be that most people read the forums by "View posts since last visit" or one of those other options anyway, so it shouldn't make a huge difference what category they're filed under.  As long as we had a few, blatently-obvious sections, we'd be better off...IMHO

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#14 2006-01-18 18:46:04

dtw
Forum Fellow
From: UK
Registered: 2004-08-03
Posts: 4,432
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

If some one can come up with a few solid framework for redefining the forums into more general but nonetheless specifically described sub sections then I would be interested to discuss it.  A re-jig of the current ones won;t really cut it I think.  Anyone want to propose a fresh approach?

Also, it has to be said, a plethora of forums doesn't seem to harm the gentoo boards!  I know they are way busier than ours but we must consider our growth!

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#15 2006-01-18 20:53:53

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

Hmmm, you bring up a good point - but I'm not aware of any phpbb-mediawiki integration plugins... but I haven't looked through phpbb plugins in a long time.

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#16 2006-01-18 21:40:02

jakob
Member
From: Berlin
Registered: 2005-10-27
Posts: 419

Re: Some ideas to reduce posting redundancy

i think this would technical absolutely doable...

i just know of a plugin which reduces the userdb from wiki + phpbb to one, so if you're logged in the one, your automatically in the other or so...

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