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Proposed Forum Layout

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Proposed Forum Layout

Hi Guys,
We've taken on board the feedback from the previous discussion here regarding our new forum structure and we're now proposing something which hopefully accommodates all the points made. With the approval of the community via a vote in this post, we'd like to make these changes on the 1st October. This can either be permanent or if people prefer we'd be happy to trial it for a period of 1 month, at which point we will have another review and further vote.
We think this structure is about right, although we don't believe it can ever be perfect. There will always be a need to add further boards and remove or merge others as things progress. We've proposed a process for that too below, which we'd also appreciate your feedback on. 
We'll let the voting run until Sunday 28th September and if the second and third options add up to more votes than the first option, we'll go ahead with the change on the 1st.
So, onwards to what we've come up with.... Hopefully these will be fairly self-explanatory, but we've added some notes underneath to clarify a couple of bits. Please do ask if its not as clear as it could be - having worked on this for some time what is obvious to us might not be to everyone else.
* Products and Services Discussions
===================================
Description: Give us your feedback about anything relating to Plusnet. Note the rants sub-forum if you want to get something off your chest.
|- 1. Your Feedback
||-- Sub: Testimonials
||-- Sub: Rants and Raves
||-- Sub: Product Ideas and Suggestions [Note: Will be closely managed in line with PUGIT comments]
|- 2. Community Support
|Get help with any aspect of the service provided
||-- Sub: Broadband Speed
||-- Sub: Email and Webmail
||-- Sub: Web Hosting (including PAYH)
||-- Sub: Home Phone
||-- Sub: Broadband Phone
||-- Sub: Referrers Forum
||-- Sub: Internet Event Calendar
|- 3. Gamers Forum
|-- Later sub groups possible for different games / clans?
|- 4. Business Forum
|-- Sub: Partners [Note: Only available to partners]
|- 5. The Community Site Forum
|-- Sub: Suggestions (Community Site & Forums)
|-- Sub: Report Bugs
|--|--Sub2: Resolved Bugs
* Usergroup Discussion (Rules and Modded by PUG Co-ordinators)
==================================================
|- 6. Community Trials
|-- Sub: <Example board for Trial> [Note: Each trial board perms managed seperately so we can grant access to each trial individually]
|-- Sub: <Example board for Trial> [Note: Each trial board perms managed seperately so we can grant access to each trial individually]
|-- More Added / Removed on Demand
| 7. Usergroup and Usertools Discussions
|-- Sub forums on request - full control of PUG
| 8. PUGIT
* Technology Discussions
=======================
|- 9 Computers and Networking
|-- Sub: Hardware
|-- Sub: Microsoft Windows
|-- Sub: Apple Mac
|-- Sub: Linux and Other *nix
|- 10 Web and Internet (Including security)
* General Discusssion
============================
| 11. Friendly Discussion and Chat
Description: New or old - all welcome here

* Archives
=============
| 12. Forum Archives
|-- All Archive Forums with posts since migration
* Trusted Users Forums [Note:Only available to users with correct permissions]
================
|- Moderators Lounge
|-- Sub: Thread Storage
|- Sub-Moderators Lounge [Note: Sub mod include PUG + any others who agree to mod subsections of the forums]
|-- Sub: Thread Storage
|- PlusNet Staff
|- PUG NDA forums as needed

And there you have it - A plan that will take us from over 20 forums to 12, but which hopefully will also be better organised and easier to user as well as them being easier for us to moderate.

Notes:

Section1:

Hopefully fairly clear: this section is for feedback about Plusnet - the good, bad and ugly can go here. You will be able to post directly into the feedback main board, or into one of the three sub forums.
Section2:
Very similar to the current demarcations which seem to be working well.
Section3:
Initially a single board with the option that we can later split into newly created sub-boards if there is demand.

Section4:

A single board, with a single sub-board initially.
Anybody can post into the main 'Business Forum' as they can now.
The new partner subforums will only be visible to Plusnet Partners (managed by Mark Kelly from Plusnet currently)
Section5:
As now - bugs and suggestions for ways to improve the Community Site and Forums.
Section6:
A selection of boards, each one dedicated to a specific trial being run by Plusnet. Primarily moderated and run by the Plusnet Usergroup.
Generally these are 'invitation only' boards - if you are taking part in a trial, you get to see and participate in the board relevant to the trial(s) you are taking part in.
Section7 & section8:
A potential home for UserGroup and UserTools discussion boards.
We haven't included any specifics in our plan, as its entirely up to the UserGroup as a whole to make the decisions as to what might appear here.
Section9 & section10:
Fairly self-explanatory, can be expanded in future if there is sufficient demand for greater granularity.
Section11:
A place for the random mutterings and musings of passers-by!
Section12:
All of the archived boards from pre-migration to community site will end up here as there will no longer be a direct 1:1 relationship with the layout after the change.
Section13:
This section is inherantly a private one, with different boards for different types of discussions.
This is where we log our actions as moderators, as well as having discussions like how the layout might look in future.
Many will never see these boards, but they aren't a secret. Wink
Policy for forum changes
The following is aimed at keeping the forums fresh and relevant.

1. We will add a forum if one person from the community proposes it in the Community Site Forum and one other person seconds it. At this pointa mod will create a poll lasting for 2 weeks. At least  0.4% of registered users (Currently that would be 38 people from 9310) need to vote in favour of creation, and there must be a majority of yes vs no responses within that for the new board to be approved. It will then be created when next possible. Both the mods and Plusnet reserve the right to veto board suggestions at their discretion, although we'd expect to have a very good reason for doing that which would be made clear.
2. A forum will be removed if there are no valid posts from more than one person for a period of 1 month, or if it's clearly no longer required. A proposed removal notice will be posted in the community site forum by the mods and if there are more than two objections a vote will be posted where a straight majority must vote in favour of keeping the forum against removing it. No posts would ever be removed, but they may be moved if appropriate.
3. All registered forum members are entitled to vote once only etc and if foul play is suspected (eg multiple votes from newly registered free accounts, these votes may be discounted).
Do people think that proposal makes sense, and in terms of the whole suggestion we'd be very grateful for your votes. We are keen to keep this community strong and we believe these changes will go a long way to achieving that. If anyone does have any questions before voting, please fire away.
Regards
Barry
on behalf of the Community Moderators

EDIT James_G - added <|--|--Sub2: Resolved Bugs> in section 5
16 REPLIES
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,584
Thanks: 1,856
Fixes: 234
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

Yep like the look of the new layout.

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

Will these changes bring about enough change that the search functions become useful, or will a search continue to throw up all the archived posts and nothing within the last year?
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,584
Thanks: 1,856
Fixes: 234
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

If you specify the boards then the search works fine.

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,584
Thanks: 1,856
Fixes: 234
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

Only 2 votes after 13 views? Come on peeps, vote, vote, vote  Cheesy

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

Quote from: adiewoo
If you specify the boards then the search works fine.

If you don't specify the boards thenm the searches are a mess. That's the default setting.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,584
Thanks: 1,856
Fixes: 234
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

very true..

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,028
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

Would it be possible to customise "My Home" - as on TBB - so that the default start can be restricted to a limited number of groups or sub groups
For example my default would only be Sections 2, 9 and 11
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 26,703
Thanks: 1,629
Fixes: 123
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

That month of 'grace' provides people the opportunity to give it a visual appraisal and a good test drive.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead - Thomas Paine
hootiegibbon
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 24-06-2008

Re: Proposed Forum Layout


Looks good to me
Jase
Not applicable

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

Quote from: Oldjim
Would it be possible to customise "My Home" - as on TBB - so that the default start can be restricted to a limited number of groups or sub groups
For example my default would only be Sections 2, 9 and 11

I don't think this is possible with SMF, but I'll have a look around to see if there is a mod (add-on) that would allow it.
If anybody spots a mod that will allow SMF to function this way, let us know, and we'll get the guys at PN to see about installing it for us.
The same applies for other modifications too, if there are any that people think would be particularly useful, let us know and we'll review (as a community) to see if we want to add it.
snozboz
Rising Star
Posts: 404
Thanks: 13
Fixes: 1
Registered: 27-07-2007

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

Minor point: shouldn't the proposed "Community Site Bugs" have a sub-forum for "Resolved Bugs" as is currently the situation?  (Incidentally, please would a mod move the thread I last posted to in there to "Resolved Bugs" as requested.)
Major question: I think the separation of "Feedback" from "Community Support" could be a good and/or a bad thing.
Within the same thread and topic of discussion, one rightly gets both feedback and support needs.  Separating the two won't be possible sometimes.  So this could cause confusion about where to post, and where to find a thread about a particular issue. 
However, I can see that having this distinction spelt out will help PlusNet staff particularly, and may also help split the "I have specific problem x" threads from the "My experience of Plusnet shows that y needs changing" discussion.
My ideal solution to this: one forum for feedback & community support, but individual posts within a thread should be "tagged" with things like "needs support" "rant" "rave" "feedback" "question" within the thread topic.
I await the discussion on this, as I think a discussion is needed.  I've voted "trial and review" due to this.
Martin
Not applicable

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

The omission of the 'resolved bugs' board is an oversight - but it will be there for storage and seperation of resolved ones, as it now.
Will edit Barry's post to include it.
Re: Feedback/Support seperation, we aren't entirely sure on it ourselves, but thought it might be worth giving it a go. Ian actually suggested it as a tool for helping keeping the support forum more focussed on support, allowing other discussions and feedback to take place elsewhere. We expect there might be a bit of crossover and confusion, but better to try it an find out for sure if it works, rather than always wondering.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

i'd still like the 'go up', 'go down' buttons to aid navigation.
Not applicable

Re: Proposed Forum Layout

Thats nothing to do with the layout of the forums though, thats to do with the actual page, which is something that we [moderators] cannot change.
In the meantime, home and end are useful workarounds. Wink