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Author Topic: Forum Concept..  (Read 2581 times)

jeremejazz

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Forum Concept..
« on: June 24, 2011, 11:02:45 AM »
Hi guys, nice to see you again.. sorry I haven't posted for a while because I'm busy in work now... for now I'm planning to create a blog site with a forums section.. I would like to ask your help with the forums structure.. here is tree structure..


-- Forums --


 Group : Code Free Area(c)

-Introductions/Rules/Greetings

-General Discussions

-Tech Talkies (technology)

-Softwares section

-Hard Wired (Hardware and Networking)

 

 Group : Coder's Zone (c)

 

 

-Desktop Programming(c)

  -C/C++

  -COBOL

  -Java

  -Visual Basic

 

-Mobile Programming (c)



  -sub-

  -Android

  -IOS

  -Java ME

 

 

-Web Development(c)

 

  -sub-

  -ASP.NET

  -CSS

  -Javascript

  -PHP

 

 

 

 

c - container .. can't post on them, used to contain subforums

-sub- - sub forums

 

 
so any  suggestions?

 
my other problem is that if I'm going to put them all in one page or separate the main groups in different pages

 
I'm also thinking which section I'm going to put SEO.,,  ;D

40hz

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Re: Forum Concept..
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 03:08:14 PM »
I'd suggest you arrange the languages (as separate topics) alphabetically under a single Programming Languages main heading. That would keep all the language specific discussions in one place.

Splitting them into categories like web or mobile or desktop is sort of redundant since most people know which environment each language fits into. I would suggest however you also have a sticky topic at the top of the language forum where you list everything covered under the topic, possibly with some notes on each. Almost along the lines of an expanded glossary for the benefit of absolute beginners.

Programming Languages/Platforms

   Topic00 What's covered here (sticky)
   Topic01 Android
   Topic02 C
   Topic03 C#
   Topic04 C++
   Topic05 COBOL
   Topic06 IOS
      ...etc.

Also try not to nest topics more than two deep off the main forum - or three deep at most. Most studies I've read concluded people are more comfortable with fewer category levels and more clutter than they are with many levels and no clutter. Something about how our brain works makes us better able to filter and navigate a mess than we are at negotiating nested categories and hierarchies.  I guess we'd rather make our own associative mental maps than have them handed to us.

So:

Topic
  Subtopic

Is preferable to:

Topic
  Subtopic
      Sub-Subtopic subtopic

And:

Topic
   Subtopic
      Sub-subtopic
          Sub-sub-subtopic

...is to be avoided at all costs.

Just my 2ยข :)

Luck! :Thmbsup:




 :)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 03:22:56 PM by 40hz »

mouser

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Re: Forum Concept..
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 03:53:40 PM »
My suggestion is always to start with fewer sections, and expand when there is too much overlap in topics.  the biggest problem i find with new forums is too many empty or near-empty sections, making it feel deserted and hard to keep track of posts.  a smaller number of sections makes for a feeling of a closer community.

jeremejazz

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Re: Forum Concept..
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2011, 09:45:50 AM »
thanks a lot.. this is going to be very helpful.. and thanks for the advice about categorizing too much  :up:

jeremejazz

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Re: Forum Concept..
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 09:50:23 AM »
 ;D right now I'm reading Managing online forums by Patrick O'Keefe .. it's a great book.. just bought it at a discounted bookstore :)

Paul Keith

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Re: Forum Concept..
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 10:16:08 AM »
My suggestion is always to start with fewer sections, and expand when there is too much overlap in topics.  the biggest problem i find with new forums is too many empty or near-empty sections, making it feel deserted and hard to keep track of posts.  a smaller number of sections makes for a feeling of a closer community.

This can't be overstated. Though I haven't managed a forum (a visited hosted forum at least), I experienced how expanding too soon kills off a budding community because near empty/slow sub-forums gives the impression to future visitors that they shouldn't bother registering. Hell, I've seen some forums with just the initial sub-forums and the forums are mostly dead even though you would think from the blogs, they were active. Independent games forum are notorious for this.

The necessity for categories may even go so far in the direction of the quality of sticky threads you are putting there rather than the organization of the categories. Maybe even getting a consistent back and forth conversation with one regular member just to keep the contents rolling although this is assuming you are starting literally from a 0 member forum.

P.S. I haven't read the book so maybe this is things you know about already. Forums are just such tricky things nowadays. I think it's easier to build a Facebook discussion page than forum nowadays even though I have a hard time regularly checking Facebook, much less scouring all the places where a discussion is going. Nowadays it's just a triple team battle from getting members of other forums to register, to them wanting to engage with blogs in the first place, to them feeling like they want to regularly check your forum over not only a more established one but ones where there's a huge crowd of Twitter/Facebook/Google Plus/LinkedIn users.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 10:19:39 AM by Paul Keith »