cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Ideas for the next reshuffle

Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Ideas for the next reshuffle

The forum reshuffle this month, I think, has had mixed results. That was never supposed to be a final solution, and while what we don't like had been discussed in some depth already, I wanted to start a thread for suggestions as to what steps would improve things so that we make these a manageable, interesting and structured set of discussion forums. I've added some suggestions of my own below and would welcome everyone elses. At this point I'm not suggesting we decide on them here - I just think first it would be a good idea to collect a list of suggestions and get a general view. Then we can figure out a good way to debate and choose the ones we agree / disagree with as a community so we can then implement what works.
Ideas
1. A re-design to display sub-forums more elegantly. I'm certain these could work well if displayed right, especially if they enable sub-moderation of different groups. 

2. Lose the "Product Ideas and Suggestions" sub-forum for now. We used to have a great ideas section in the very old forums, but at this moment I don't think there is demand. I think this would be something could work on later a way to sort in line with future PUGIT developments.
3. Product / Service Announcements is just the same as what's on the front page of the community site, so do we need it?
4. I think the whole feedback forum might sit better second down in the list, With Community support top.
5. Could we merge Suggestions and Report Bugs sub forums and just keep the main community site forum.
6 Computers and Networking with its current sub-forums doesn't quite sit right. Perhaps we could merge in Web and Internet as a sub-forum, lose Hardware and Wireless entirely, and create one new "Internet Security" sub-forum in there for posting and discussion of security related information.
7. Could we merge Technology Discussions and General Discussions into one section with 2 main forums if we did the above?
8. Could we then put the gamers forum into that area on the basis that it's not Products and Services Discussion?
9. Is it worth purging the archives completely soon - Do they so anything other than confuse search?
10. Work with PUG to identify what they want to do to get their area right.
That's just my starter for 10. I'm off for some tea.
Ian
40 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,246
Thanks: 936
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

1. A re-design to display sub-forums more elegantly. I'm certain these could work well if displayed right, especially if they enable sub-moderation of different groups.  -[red]agreed[/red]

2. Lose the "Product Ideas and Suggestions" sub-forum for now. We used to have a great ideas section in the very old forums, but at this moment I don't think there is demand. I think this would be something could work on later a way to sort in line with future PUGIT developments.  [red]agreed as I think the PUGIT list does a good job[/red]
3. Product / Service Announcements is just the same as what's on the front page of the community site, so do we need it? [red] Yes - I very rarely go to the front page as my link is to unread posts[/red]
4. I think the whole feedback forum might sit better second down in the list, With Community support top. [red] I more or less agree but Community Support should be second after Product/Service Announcements[/red]
5. Could we merge Suggestions and Report Bugs sub forums and just keep the main community site forum. [red] I agree they don't need sub-forums[/red]
6 Computers and Networking with its current sub-forums doesn't quite sit right. Perhaps we could merge in Web and Internet as a sub-forum, lose Hardware and Wireless entirely, and create one new "Internet Security" sub-forum in there for posting and discussion of security related information. [red]At present I would prefer to keep the existing forum and sub forums under "Computers and Networking" and "Web and Internet"[/red]
7. Could we merge Technology Discussions and General Discussions into one section with 2 main forums if we did the above? [red] I don't understand this one as we don't have such forums at present. In general terms however I would always prefer to keep the technical separate from the general if only to avoid frightening off the technophobes from raising posts[/red]
8. Could we then put the gamers forum into that area on the basis that it's not Products and Services Discussion?
9. Is it worth purging the archives completely soon - Do they so anything other than confuse search? [red]No - if only because i find them useful for finding something I had forgotten - old age perhaps  Grin[/red]
10. Work with PUG to identify what they want to do to get their area right. [red]I like the PUG forum as it is but it does seem to be losing out in terms of posts etc. since the various Plusnet/Force9/etc. forums were amalgamated. I don't think that this is favoured by PUG but bringing the PUG forum into the main set would help get over this[/red]
That's just my starter for 10. I'm off for some tea. [red]my replies while part way through a glass of red wine[/red] Shocked
[red]Jim's comments[/red]
avalon
Grafter
Posts: 361
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

I'm pretty much with oldjim's views on those suggestions.  I'd say in response to 3.) and 9.) they should both stay as a searchable historical record of the Plusnet community and of any Plusnet announcements.  For an internet company priding itself on its community, and of being open and honest in its dealings with customers, it is good to be able to prove to those doubters that it isn't just a recent marketing fad but a genuine, long held part of the Plusnet way of working.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

make the rant zone a sub-section of chit-chat so we can rant about anything at all.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

1. A re-design to display sub-forums more elegantly. I'm certain these could work well if displayed right, especially if they enable sub-moderation of different groups.  - [red]agreed[/red]

2. Lose the "Product Ideas and Suggestions" sub-forum for now. We used to have a great ideas section in the very old forums, but at this moment I don't think there is demand. I think this would be something could work on later a way to sort in line with future PUGIT developments. - Change it to ideas
3. Product / Service Announcements is just the same as what's on the front page of the community site, so do we need it?  - [red]Yes we do need it[/red]
4. I think the whole feedback forum might sit better second down in the list, With Community support top.  [red]As Oldjim sed:  I more or less agree but Community Support should be second after Product/Service Announcements[/red]
5. Could we merge Suggestions and Report Bugs sub forums and just keep the main community site forum.  [red]As Oldjim sed: I agree they don't need sub-forums[/red]
6 Computers and Networking with its current sub-forums doesn't quite sit right. Perhaps we could merge in Web and Internet as a sub-forum, lose Hardware and Wireless entirely, and create one new "Internet Security" sub-forum in there for posting and discussion of security related information.  - [red]As Oldjim sed: At present I would prefer to keep the existing forum and sub forums under "Computers and Networking" and "Web and Internet"[/red]
7. Could we merge Technology Discussions and General Discussions into one section with 2 main forums if we did the above?  - [red]As Oldjim sed:  I don't understand this one as we don't have such forums at present. In general terms however I would always prefer to keep the technical separate from the general if only to avoid frightening off the technophobes from raising posts[/red]
8. Could we then put the gamers forum into that area on the basis that it's not Products and Services Discussion? - Keep it as is
9. Is it worth purging the archives completely soon - Do they so anything other than confuse search? -  [red]No - keep them I still look up old information from them[/red]
10. Work with PUG to identify what they want to do to get their area right.  -  [red]I would move PUG in to community forum and it will help with PUG's issues, plus it will be one less Server to look after![/red]
That's just my starter for 10. I'm off for some tea.  - [red]Yak, I am off for a mug of Coffee[/red]   Wink
[red]My comments[/red]
Woops As artificer sed: make the rant zone a sub-section of chit-chat so we can rant about anything at all.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

This is a good thread. I like good threads.  I saw it last night, but I was in such a state that I wasn't really in a position to reply.  So you lucky, lucky people have the joys of reading that something I feel quite passionate about and I'm wide awake now. Sorry!
Ian's raised a number of perfectly valid points.  Rather than taking the easy option of copy and paste like everyone else, I'm going to write my own diatribe. Huzzah!
Through the Comms role I had absolutely zero issues with the number of forums and sub-forums as I merely lived on the show unread posts button.  There was a bit of an issue where I log on using various different computers and lose the posts that I haven't read at that point, but that's not really something that's up for discussion here.
I'm not a fan of the presentation of the number of forums and sub-forums.  They don't look particularly nice and there's too much space between them all, making it a real pain having to scroll down miles and trying to find the specific forum that you're looking for.  I didn't have that problem in the old forum, because they were compacted nicely and didn't have an abundance of white space.  Remembering that less is more, I'm sure we'd have some way of customising the forum layout in a way to compact the empty space and making it easier to bring more information onto the same page thus negating the need to spend your time on the mouse scroller.
Get rid of products and announcements.  Like Ian says, we've got a good blogs section on the front page of Community and this forum is only serving as a duplicate, where it's more than likely items don't really get read because they've already been seen.  It's also extra unnecessary work being created for the Comms Team whenever something is announced.
DON'T put rants and raves in the chit chat area.  Whilst I'm not a great fan of the forum name itself (although I can't think of anything better) moving it to chit chat totally negates it's purpose.  It allows us to pick up complaints more easily and you *really don't* need a ranting sub-forum in chit chat.  Just rant in there anyway.  I mean seriously, you do it anyway, so it's not like you need another forum.
I agree that we don't need an ideas section.  It's under used and to be honest, most of the ideas will stem from Community Support anyway.  If need be, make Community Support more prominent.
Bring in a Community Feedback Forum.  That way you can kill off a few sub forums and have all community site and ccommunity forum related feedback, bugs and ideas in the same place.  Easier to find and you can reduce the number of forums.  Job done.  Everyone's a winner.
The whole PUG call is a tough one.  In years gone by, we made the point that PUG was independent of Plusnet because they had their own sub-domain and total control of their website along with Usertools (although the latter has barely been touched for ages because we poached the two people that ran it!).  I'm personally of the opinion that PUG should move their forums into Community for additional visibility - you don't need to sign up for yet another forum and along with the integration of PUGIT into Community would render http://usergroup.plus.net pretty pointless in my opinion.  Replace Usertools with Community Generated support and you have my answer.  But obviously that's quite an emotive debate!
I don't think we can realistically get rid of the archives.  Gary would probably have a heart-attack and then we'd have a manslaughter case to deal with.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

Quote from: Jameseh
I don't think we can realistically get rid of the archives.  Gary would probably have a heart-attack and then we'd have a manslaughter case to deal with.

Jameseh, that maid me
Quote
The whole PUG call is a tough one.  In years gone by, we made the point that PUG was independent of Plusnet because they had their own sub-domain and total control of their website along with Usertools (although the latter has barely been touched for ages because we poached the two people that ran it!).  I'm personally of the opinion that PUG should move their forums into Community for additional visibility - you don't need to sign up for yet another forum and along with the integration of PUGIT into Community would render http://usergroup.plus.net pretty pointless in my opinion.  Replace Usertools with Community Generated support and you have my answer.  But obviously that's quite an emotive debate!

It looks like we are singing from the same hymn sheet on this one.  Wink
N/A

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

I aim to leave it to all you clever folk to sort out the details but I just want to add that I am no fan of the sub-forums.
To me it just makes the forum more complicated to navigate.
With regards to adding PUG, I do check the site from time to time and note that it is a little underused at the moment.
However, there is an awful lot of experienced members posting there and if it was more accessible it would surely be of benefit to other readers. If not added, maybe a link?
In summary, I prefer a very simple, uncluttered look so in gardening terms, a good (perhaps slightly ruthless) prune is what is needed IMO.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

i take your point on the rant zone jameseh.
for navigating a go up/go down button saves a lot of mouse and slide bar scrolling.  i'm going to go on bleating for that to be implemented.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,246
Thanks: 936
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

I have got round that problem by reprogramming two of the extra buttons on my gaming mouse to do just that - obviously not a solution for the average mouse.
Before I did that I used the "Home" and "End" keys to do it
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

What I'd find useful is if people make their suggestions as bullet points, then I'll collate them and we'll find a reasonable way to agree what we will and won't do.
I do think we can change the design to make it better, and solve things like the amount of scrolling (which I think is better since the restructure but agree isn't there).
In terms of merging General Discussion and Technical discussion into one category, I wasn't talking about forums, but the collapsible category areas, if that makes sense.
Ian

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,246
Thanks: 936
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

To bring it into one place
Quote from: Oldjim
Would it be possible to reduce the sub forum list to a single or double line so that it wouldn't do this when I go to the forum (this is on a 1680 x 1050 screen)
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

. Keep announcements forum
. A big yes for a security forum
. I agree that rants and chats shouldnt be mixed
I notice folks are (to quite a degree) ignoring sub forums and using the umbrella heading. it is very obvious in 'Computers and Networking' only the already well used 'Wireless' section is getting traffic.
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

Sub-forums in community support seem as busy as ever though.
As I say, I think we might just have a few too many in the Computers and Networking to start off with.
Personally, I think we could lose a few.
For those of you using announcements, can I ask what you'd think about moving it right to the bottom. It's a pain for us to post twice, but it's no problem if you need it - I just feel that most people don't need that information there as well as on the front page. What about if we had RSS from News items on the frontpage appearing somewhere on the forum view (like a latest news ticker or something?).
Ian
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,246
Thanks: 936
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Ideas for the next reshuffle

Ian,
You are making the assumption that most active users start from the Home page.
I am sure that a significant proportion don't go anywhere near it in normal browsing.
If it doesn't show up in unread posts I won't see it at all.
What is the purpose in moving it to the bottom - do you consider it to be less important than General Chit Chat - I would much prefer it to be at the top so that users starting from the forum index page will see it without needing to scroll down.
Much as I don't wish to imply an ulterior motive moving it to the bottom could be seen as the first stage of getting rid of it altogether.