Can we have a more structured forum now?


Wally

I am a banana!
Staff member
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
3,173
Age
35
Location
Melbourne, Australia
The current forum isn't really structured well, why?

1. Moderating it is a pain, there's far too many sub-forums to have to poke into.

2. If we are to sell things, we should have an easy / less confusing place for customers to go.

3. People don't like scrolling so much :)

4. We have 2 Trading sections

5. There's sections that haven't been posted in forever.

Here's what i've put together and I think it works. There's probably some minor improvements that need to be made and the community can throw input in. I've left comments beside each of them.

Proposed New Forum Structure

News 

    - Official News  - This can cover Pandora, Pyra and whatever ED likes to cover.

    - Forum News - This can be specific to forum software if we need to cover it (It’s probably not required)

    - Software News  

        - Pandora

        - Pyra

    Branched this way because News should be all in one area, easier for those to select what they want if they use RSS feeds.

Pyra

    - General Discussion

        We rename it from General Talk to General Discussion as that makes more sense in English.

    - Development 

        Evidently we don’t need subforums as we had in the Pandora section, it just generates mess.

    - Knowledge Base  - As the Wiki is deemed as an Official Source of information, select people should maintain it so that we keep it consistent, clean and workable for our 

    customers. I am choosing to rename it to Knowledge Base as this is the ITIL standard and it makes more sense in plain english if we are to attract new customers. We can just simply refer to KB articles if required.

    - Support  Where people go to get Support for their Pyra

Pandora

    -     General Discussion - We rename it from General Talk to General Discussion as that makes more sense in English.

    -     Development     - We rid of all the sub-forums and merge into one. There’s really no need to have a separate section for everything (Android especially as we aren’t an                         Android Support forum and Android Support is quite limited)

    -     Knowledge Base - Same reason as the Pyra section. A unified KB would work well. 

    -     Support

Off Topic

    - General Off Topic     - Giving this a name that makes more sense in English

    - Site Feedback / Suggestions - This particular section

    - Other Consoles - As people really like this section, we should keep it as is!

    -  DragonBox Shop  - Keep the section as is but remove the ‘stuff’ as it looks more professional -Perhaps this should be in the News Section as it’s really promoting stuff that EvilDragon Sells and well the DragonBox Pyra

    - Trading (We rid of individual trading sections and make a single trading section as it’s CONFUSING.

    - Ask EvilDragon Questions -As EvilDragon is pretty busy with everything, perhaps we could possibly remove this and branch it out across the forums so it’s not specific to ED and the community knows most of the answers.

    - Staff Area - For those secret Staff Discussions

I intentionally left the Guest area out as people seem to be abusing it by continuously asking questions in there instead of signing up. Understandably there's no real area for those who have forum troubles which should somehow link to our support system / have an allocated email address so we can help resolve them ASAP.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

PowerGod

Forum Addict!
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
Messages
4,143
As far as I remember there weren't so many sub forums at the beginning, them where added to make easier searching for things when the topics became so many.... but it's also true that many became abandoned... I suppose that a poll is required !!  :D
 
 

comradekingu

Glowing ember
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
Messages
5,093
Website
portfolio.anotheragency.no
No matter how well structured, a hierarchical model will always fail on account of being out of sync with how people talk.

One topic can span across many categories and go into new directions from thereon. Managing that by splitting and other means is always very labour-intensive.

It seems to me that its not the forum anyone wants, and i dont think changing categories changes that.

Modern forums have adaptive categories, and focus more on whats current rather than displaying the structure someone thought might be good / adheres to.
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,684
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
Wally, as our representative mod in this thread, suggests simplifying categories will help, so I'll take his word for it.

Having tags instead of pre-defined categories is an interesting idea.  Not sure if this forum software supports it though.

On Wally's proposal, I'd vote against a forum news category.  I was against a merged official news category, but I'm not sure how many Pandora posts there have been since the Pyra news started, so perhaps one category and one feed is fine.

I'm not sure about renaming wiki to KB.  Everyone knows wikipedia; ergo everyone knows what a wiki is.  Although thinking on that, perhaps reminding everyone of wikipedia isn't such a selling point any more.

Otherwise, I tend to agree with your judgement on this.  I wonder what steps we need to take to translate all the old posts into this brave new structure though - is it all clear-cut?
 

TrashyMG

Sarcasm Dispenser
Staff member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
11,214
First off  wording of "[COLOR= rgb(50, 51, 51)]General Talk" is awesome...  every time I think of the wording my mind wanders to a skewed version of this saying: "That's just Pillow Talk, baby"[/COLOR]

Also I like the subsections in the development area, I can find specific topics easier that way as we know the search features on IPB can be abysmal.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,684
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
Development: general: 760 topics

Development: C/C++: 105 topics

Everything else: less

Odds are strongly in favour of everything you might want to search for in devt is in devt general, so I'm not convinced there's much value in it from that perspective.
 

Wally

I am a banana!
Staff member
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
3,173
Age
35
Location
Melbourne, Australia
First off  wording of "[COLOR= rgb(50, 51, 51)]General Talk" is awesome...  every time I think of the wording my mind wanders to a skewed version of this saying: "That's just Pillow Talk, baby"[/COLOR]
hahaha

Also I like the subsections in the development area, I can find specific topics easier that way as we know the search features on IPB can be abysmal.

Well I guess if we look at the stats here

Development Section

    - General Talk 

    Only Topic Active is GLShim, last post in other topic was 18 sept 2014.. by.. Me

    - Python

    Last posted 4th May 2012 by Trip

    -BennuGD

    Last Posted 16 May 2013 by Zip

    -C / C++

    Last Post  24th October by Ptitseb

    - Neon / DSP

    Last post 14th Jan 2015 by Steven Craft

    -Open GL ES / GLSL ES 

    Last Post 4th September by JonnyH

    -Sound / Bitmaps / Models

    Last Post 31st March by Sebt3

    - Game Creation Kits

    Last post 18th Feb 2015 by Ptitseb

    - .next Development

    Last Post 4th November by rSI

It's clear that nobody is posting in a lot of these sections, if anything the only things we should keep is General Talk, C / C++, Neon / DSP, OpenGL ES / GLSL ES but if people clearly posted the topic title with their intentions we shouldn't have problems with searching..
 

FaeMinx

Rainbow Liberation Instigation
Joined
Dec 11, 2010
Messages
3,131
Age
41
Location
outside looking in side looking out
I hardly ever navigate the forums other than 'clicking new posts', so my opinion probably doesn't stand for much here:

In the interests of simplification,

*Merge Forum News into Official News

*Merge Dragonbox Shop into Official News

*Remove Ask EvilDragon Questions (can this not be covered by general support and an FAQ?)

P.s. I'm not using the development section at the moment, but when I get stuck into Python, I expect I will want to find Python related threads easily, and post accordingly... if this will be easy with no subsections, then no complaints from me.
 

ible

professional vim user
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
2,581
Location
Seattle, WA
i think the simpler the structure the better.  i like the idea of tags but in a limited way:  allow checkboxes for Pyra, Pandora, or Other Console in most forum sections.  i suspect most subforums could benefit from using the device as a tag.  this will also be more future proof as more devices come into play :).

News:

  • Official News [tag posts as Pyra/Pandora/Other]
  • Software News [ditto]
Development

  • Hardware/Modding [ditto]
  • Software [could be further tagged as C, C++, python, etc., but as tags, not as subforums]
  • Other Creative Pursuits [Music anyone??]
Games and Gaming Devices

  • Games Discussions [tag posts along device categories (Pyra/Pandora/Other]
  • Gaming Devices [ditto]
  • Trading [ditto]
Support/Knowledge base

  • Troubleshooting (perhaps a pinned FAQ which could link to the Pyra/Pandora Wiki FAQ page) [tag posts with Pyra/Pandora/Other]
  • Pyra Wiki (can we allow any Forum user to modify, as this would be more in the spirit of wikipedia?  we can always ban bad users...), should include the FAQ
  • Pandora Wiki
Offtopic

  • Random Discussions
  • Site Feedback
  • Ask ED questions
 

comradekingu

Glowing ember
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
Messages
5,093
Website
portfolio.anotheragency.no
Edit: I like the creative categories. And i also think asking questions in the guest section is good, not signing up isn't abuse. It lowers the bar on entry, transitions easier, and has some form of anonymity.

------------------------------------------------------------------

News is a good example of why hierarchy fails. ED writes one post, when he finds the time. Often covering many topics, sometimes unrelated.

Hierarchy is neither fine-meshed nor pertinent to this. If you instead tag things with "pandora" "pyra" "retroPi" "event" etc, then each to their own rss feed thereof.

Free software

Syndication with a general focus on the current

Clean design, something that is welcoming to novice and general users

Statistics, gotta love em

Aggregation, customizable rss, ratings

Communication on all levels, email notifications, integration with IRC, bridge to XMPP

in that order of importance is what I want.

I think some of ED's requirements are

Integration with site landing page

Hardware support and interaction

Just werks, with available offloading to support shouldn't it just not werk

Attachments

It would be nice if we could have all these things, and more. It would need to exist as a software platform, and we also need some migration path to get there.

How about one of those charts to see what each solution offers?

This post is an example of why hierarchy and marking things OT: fails, its antiquated.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mr_Loon

Can't Remember
Joined
Aug 30, 2010
Messages
2,330
I intentionally left the Guest area out as people seem to be abusing it by continuously asking questions in there instead of signing up. Understandably there's no real area for those who have forum troubles which should somehow link to our support system / have an allocated email address so we can help resolve them ASAP.

Thoughts?

Is that not the point of the guest section? Had a quick look and can't see any signs of the stated purpose being abused, which is : You are interested but don't want to register just to ask a few questions?
You can do that here - and get answers from both community and team members.
 

EvilDragon

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
29,902
Age
44
Location
Ingolstadt
Yes, I plan to clean up the boards as well and will try to make use of the menu for archiving older stuff that's not used anymore, or even some different language forums (French and German are the most interesting ones).


We need to be careful with merging stuff though - we did that with the gp32x.de, and while merging dying forums sounds like a good idea at first, it can make searching for something in the archive VERY hard, as categories help a lot here.


Merging and abandoning categories that are rarely used and only have a few topics is fine, but old categories with lots of posts are better archived in the menu and hidden from the main forum view than merged together.
 
Last edited:

EvilDragon

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
29,902
Age
44
Location
Ingolstadt
Okay, I tried to restructure it a bit, I hope it improves things.


I'd be happy to receive some feedback and / or further ideas.


About the developer sections:
Although they are not actively used right now, the single sections have quite a few posts, so I'm not sure we should merge them.


What do developers think?


I made the developers section outside of the Pandora / Pyra section since developing for both will be similar. But for beta testing released, I created own categories inside the Pyra / Pandora sections. Good idea?


Pyra / Pandora sections:


I think they have everything that's needed now. What do you think, anything missing or too much?


Off Topic:


Not sure where to put the Ask EvilDragon area.


Right now it's being misused for questions about the Pyra, which should be asked in the Pyra sections.


The Ask EvilDragon area was meant to ask more personal questions, to get to know me and learn some new fun stuff, not for serious questions.


Should we create an archived area, where we move and close the EvilDragon asks section and maybe a few more?


What do you all think?
 

ekianjo

Hardcore Member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
8,261
Location
神戸市、日本 (Japan)
So "New Content" as it was displayed before is now completely gone ? It has become very very hard for me to follow up what's happening with the "unread content" view - it's just too messy and does not replace the previous  "New Content" function.
 

EvilDragon

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
29,902
Age
44
Location
Ingolstadt
All you need to do is set it up once to your likings, save it as default and then it's exactly the same as before.
 

Neelix

Insecticidal Maniac
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
3,282
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Not really, even in compact view the format is completely changed. I can live with it, but I don't particularly like it...  I'm still looking forward to when we can dump this POS forum software...


Is there any chance of changing the "General Discussion" forums to something like  "General Pandora Discussions" and "General Pyra discussions"  or maybe just "Pandora General Talk"  and "Pyra General Talk"  As it stands it's hard to tell the difference between them when viewing an activity stream.


-Neelix
 

PowerGod

Forum Addict!
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
Messages
4,143
is there some trick to save all my "likes" to actual bookmarks for the browser ? I have so many interesting things linked that way and I hate to loose them when topics will be moved away...


I suppose that if I save those locally, them I will just have to change the initial domain string to the newer one, maybe...


EDIT: well... I can't even find them o_O I'm lost
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Wally

I am a banana!
Staff member
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
3,173
Age
35
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I like it, maybe some more compacting could be done though :)


Few things I can suggest:
 


1. Make a Dragonbox Shop category and the relevant shop sections, point your shop forum here and allow guest posting for this section.


Why?

  • You can then remove the Sales Support Sections from Both Pandora / Pyra subforms 
  • People can help with shop enquiries if they want.
  • Ask EvilDragon will have somewhere to go but probably won't be needed anymore
  • It'd be a lot easier for you to manage as you plan on having french / german forums integrated as well.

2. Consider this, we move the Ticketing System to a sub forum and have an email plugin that adds all emails to a forum thread in Sales Support where people can ask questions as we have the capability of people voting answers up like in Site Feedback. I know it's hard for you to look at this and you tend to forget about it.


Only a few things that would need to be addressed:

  • Security of User Information - Perhaps Forum Staff / Select helpers can be utilised to sort through the stuff that's coming through and clean it up prior to public assistance.
  • People would need to be aware of the thread that's been generated and an email with the link is created.

This could bring some more members here :)


3. We probably can condense the developer section a bit more, Game Creation Kits / Creativity section are pretty much General Discussion and aren't very active.


4. Regarding archive: Sounds like a good idea but probably should be one massive sub forum that requires you to click it to look inside to browse.


5. For Mods, we probably need a Trash Heap that we can throw out topics that are considered Trash instead of deleting them as that's often frowned upon here. This probably means making an Administration area and moving the Moderator area there.
 
Top