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Sub-forum overload?

**helen****helen** Mod malarkistPosts: 9,235 Listening Ear
Hey guys,
I've just been catching up with Mavis' useful thread on the pros and cons of the boards and was considering the point about sub-forums and the sense there may be too many these days...

We would be happy to consider merging some, but wouldn't want to do this without your more specific input (e.g. we wouldn't want to axe a sub-forum that a core of people feel really strongly about).

So, to help us start thinking about this, it would be great if you could let me know, the forums you feel strongly about keeping and why and the ones you wouldn't notice if we merged tomorrow?

Note, the forums that will definitely stay from TheSite's core mission point of view are relationships, drugs, politics & debate, anything goes, health & wellbeing, home, law & money and sex. Everything else is up for discussion...

:)
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Waste time needs to go back into anything goes IMO. Otherwise I think its ok.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Eep, forgot to say that work and student are also here to stay. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    Waste time needs to go back into anything goes IMO. Otherwise I think its ok.

    yeah agree, maybe volunteering and activism could go with work?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You could merge all of the chat & debate into one forum.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh dear, this is my fault :o

    Wot I think: Having a lot of sub forums made sense when the boards were a lot busier. That was when people came to thesite for thesite, the community was the draw. But now that forums have become more focused, having stuff like Net & Tech doesn't make much sense.

    There are devoted forums filled with people that have the niche knowledge to really help. Sticking with Net & Tech, you'll get a much better, more informed answer on a tech focused site. Ditto sport, you'll get a better discussion on a sport focused forum.

    So I think you have to be ruthless. Refocus the boards into what thesite should be. You have the core topics already, nuke the rest. Make all Sex, Relationships etc 'On-Topic' and turn Anything Goes into a catch all 'Off-Topic'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are far too many subforums, it spreads the traffic we do have too thinly.

    What needs to stay:
    anything goes
    work & study
    relationships
    health
    politics & debate
    drugs

    Introductions can go into anything goes, as can waste time.

    Style, food & drink, tech, shopping, travel, going out, sport and entertainment can all merge into a lifestyle forum.

    Parenting can be merged in with relationships, maybe with a rebrand to indicate it's about family and friend relationships, not just boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.

    Employment, volunteering and studying should be three separate sub-forums of 'work & study'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So I think you have to be ruthless. Refocus the boards into what thesite should be. You have the core topics already, nuke the rest. Make all Sex, Relationships etc 'On-Topic' and turn Anything Goes into a catch all 'Off-Topic'.

    that's just crazy talk :P
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    that's just crazy talk :P

    It's really not though. Look at how dead something like Entertainment is. You could easily just have the occasional book or tv thread in another more general forum. Some of the forums have threads from 2011 on the first page. If there was a big catch all off topic, more people would see, say, the book club thread and possibly get involved.

    I honestly think that it could be reduced to:

    Health
    Sex & Relationships
    Home , Money & Law
    Drugs
    Work
    Off-Topic
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    It's really not though. Look at how dead something like Entertainment is. You could easily just have the occasion book or tv thread in another more general forum. Some of the forums have threads from 2011 on the first page. If there was a big catch all off topic, more people would see, say, the book club thread and possibly get involved.

    I honestly think that it could be reduced to:

    Health
    Sex & Relationships
    Home , Money & Law
    Drugs
    Work
    Off-Topic

    Totally see where you're coming from in terms of a substantial overhaul, it does make sense and you give good reasons. We would probably make a few tweaks to the above and would welcome more thoughts - e.g. volunteer and student are still needed (they are on topic) but I can deffo see a case for merging sex and rellies and parenting.

    Off-topic isn't a cool title though, because it's not 'off-topic' - self expression and personal interests are a really important part of what TheSite provides in terms of community - the book club, the creative threads (photos and doodling etc), the sharing film & music interests are all important and to slide them into 'off-topic' neglects the fact that without them, this place would lose character. So I'm not saying we can't merge all this stuff, but we need a more substantial name that recognises the value, if that makes sense?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, there's already a header called 'Our Community'.

    A lot of forums I've been to favour 'The Lounge' as their off topic, general discussion board.

    The Community Lounge? Party Shack 2000? The Infinite Forum of Non-Specificness :p
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    I don't think it's a problem as it is personally, but I'm definitely opposed to P&D merging with AG. One is a board where people post crap and show how silly they are, and the other is AG.

    Joking aside, let's try and keep the most "serious" random discussion matters in P&D and the mainly silly/unimportant stuff elsewhere.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    I don't think it's a problem as it is personally, but I'm definitely opposed to P&D merging with AG. One is a board where people post crap and show how silly they are, and the other is AG.

    Joking aside, let's try and keep the most "serious" random discussion matters in P&D and the mainly silly/unimportant stuff elsewhere.

    Don't worry P&D will most definitely stay as it is :)
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Well, there's already a header called 'Our Community'.

    A lot of forums I've been to favour 'The Lounge' as their off topic, general discussion board.

    The Community Lounge? Party Shack 2000? The Infinite Forum of Non-Specificness :p

    TheSite Lounge? :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It annoys me that it's called Anything Goes and yet not everything goes there. Like you aren't really meant to post about self harm. Or indeed anything covered by other sub-forums.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    TheSite Lounge? :chin:

    Sounds like a nightclub in Ilford circa 1997, yes.

    :razz:
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,194 Skive's The Limit
    I remember when there were a lot less forums. Seemed to work then
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    One is a board where people post crap and show how silly they are, and the other is AG.
    :lol:

    I'm on the fence here, I like the boards the way they are. But the lounge sorta idea sounds good to me too.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    It annoys me that it's called Anything Goes and yet not everything goes there. Like you aren't really meant to post about self harm. Or indeed anything covered by other sub-forums.
    I thought that once but "anything else goes" doesn't sound as good to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Introduce Yourself, Anything Goes and Waste Time could merge into one and become "The Lounge".
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Sounds like a nightclub in Ilford circa 1997, yes.

    :razz:

    :yes: True dat.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru


    Introductions can go into anything goes, as can waste time.

    Style, food & drink, tech, shopping, travel, going out, sport and entertainment can all merge into a lifestyle forum.

    :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Call the offtopic bit "chillout zone" or something.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    While the word is broad, if you are looking to have people realize that relationship catagory is more than boyfriend/girlfriend, I'd be hesitant to lump sex in with it as it gives off the feeling of limiting it to that one definition.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As a survivor of sexual abuse I have to be in a good place to go into the sex forum as it can be triggering so I would not like to see it grouped with a forum about relationships that covers things like friendships etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    As a survivor of sexual abuse I have to be in a good place to go into the sex forum as it can be triggering so I would not like to see it grouped with a forum about relationships that covers things like friendships etc.

    I think we deffinately have to take things like this into account.

    I personally think the boards are fine as they are but there are quite a few subjects lower down on the main page such as 'Net & Tech' that don't attract much attention, maybe they should be the ones addressed?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Pretty much what arctic said.

    I'd merge intros into anything goes, possibly along with waste time. Net & tech seems to have had it's day with net and tech both being very mainstream now on one level and specialised beyond these boards on another.

    I'd also have another go at squashing the relatively happy/hug threads, and encourage people to post their own.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't care.

    I tend to read the "What's New" forum. The only regular use I would have for the fora is if I could filter what I see in What's New by the categories.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Pretty much what arctic said.

    +1
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    We're keeping introduce yourself because otherwise the off-topic space does risk getting cluttered and we're also planning on moving over some of the Anything Goes stickies and adding some videos with tips/advice on how to get started. This makes it a really clear space for community building/settling in etc. We already have one video created with the help of L1ttleOne for this purpose.

    So this is our suggested structure having taken onboard your input:

    Introduce yourself
    Free Time (Anything goes + other subforum topics)
    Politics & Debate
    Creative

    Health & Wellbeing
    Sex & Relationships
    Drink & Drugs
    Home, Law & Money
    Work & Volunteering
    Student

    We Need You
    TheSite - Problems & Suggestions

    So, as you can see, we're almost entirely replicating the navigation of the main site :)

    I won't start to make changes until tomorrow, so, if you have any real aversions to any of these decisions, this is your last chance to have your say. :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Looks good to me.
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