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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I want to see the manager! » » Minimizing forum groups » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Servaas Koomen
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Regular user
138 Posts

Profile of Servaas Koomen
Hi
is it possible to minimize certain groups of sub-fora?

I have a certain amount of fora I follow, but not all, and there are so much I loose the oversight sometimes

servaas
"The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what" A.
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5077 Posts

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I'm not sure if this is what you want or not but if you click on Welcome to the Magic Café just under the main logo, all of the forums will be reduced to just forum headings. Now click on the one you are interested in, say "the workers" and that forum will be expanded to normal. If you want to return to normal, click on the main logo at the top of the page.
Where the magic begins
Bryan Smith
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New user
Korea
99 Posts

Profile of Bryan Smith
I agree that there are far too many boards here. I counted almost 130 different boards. Slightly more than half of those has not had even one post in the past two days! Around 18% of them hasn't had a single post this month!! Now, I'm new here, so far be it from me to go around telling people how it should be, but from my perspective, this forum, as it stands now, is more confusing than it has to be, and (worse than that) does not facilitate discussion as well as it could.

For a board to earn it's keep, it should get multiple posts a day. If a board isn't getting at least 10 posts a day, it should be merged. The advantage of making sure your boards have decent traffic will make people who post get more replies because people there for other reasons will see the topics, read and reply to them. That will make people want to post there more because they see that posts get responded to. That will result in more people in general contributing to dsicussions which makes the forum a better place for everyone. Why would I post on board that hasn't seen a post in several days? I know that almost no one goes to that board, so almost no one will see my post, so why post it?

This board could easily be condensed into a little over half its current size just by merging threads that don't even get one post a day. Then start looking at merging threads that don't get at least 5 posts a day or 10 posts a day depending on the threads' mergability. In no time, this could be a cozy, neat, manageable forum instead of the huge unnecessarily bloated one it is now.

Oh, and thanks for putting up these forums by the way. I don't want to denegrate your hard work or anything. They have been a great resource for me so far. I look forward to using them for some time to come. Smile
"I'm half drunk most the time
and I'm all drunk the rest"
--Tom Waits
MagiClyde
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Special user
Columbus, Ohio
871 Posts

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I would agree with getting rid of a forum that hasn't seen any postings for at least 30 days. If people aren't posting to it for at least that long, it indicates a lack of interest on the part of the members for that subject, which translates into wasted server space to keep it going. In other words, the forum is, for all intents & purposes, dead.

Deleting a forum because it doesn't get multiple posts PER DAY is a bit extreme in my opinion.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5077 Posts

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The Café is divided up into logical forums. Whether or not one has contributions over a certain period of time is irrelevant. We are getting new members everyday and who's to say that one of these new members may be interested in a certain area. Having a logical forum for them to go to is beneficial to that person and may spur interest by other members.

If a forum is "dead", then you wouldn't be going there anyway so your concern is really misplaced. Visit the forums you are interested in and leave the others alone.

In addition, some forums may not have recent contributions but have usable information from the past. Forums and posts are maintained for historical reasons and to help those that may have a specific question. Simply put, the Café is like a library. If you go to any library, I'm sure you'll find books that have not been checked out for months or possibly years but we don't expect the book to be removed from their shelves do we? The Café is the same.

As for taking up server space I can only tell you that it isn't an issue.
Where the magic begins
MagiClyde
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Special user
Columbus, Ohio
871 Posts

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Explained that way, Dave, I can see your point.

I think that the main reason for some of the concern is to help make things more manageable for you as well as us. A first timer to our little Café can find things to be quite daunting, hence the concern.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
hoodrat
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Veteran user
Southern California
384 Posts

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The library analogy Dave mentioned above is quite appropriate. I've been on and off these forums since 2002, and I've seen them grow and expand to their current number. I will admit that it does seem like there are too many forums at the present moment with some not having had a recent post in weeks. The library analogy made sense, though. A library can have hundreds of thousands of books, but not all are checked out or read by a patron on a daily basis. Some books may sit for years on a shelf before being checked out or read. Same deal here.
Bryan Smith
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New user
Korea
99 Posts

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All I'm saying is that there is a lot of overlap. You couldn't of course merge the "Clowning Around" board with the "Science of Magic" board. Those have completely different purposes and it wouldn't make sense.

You could, however, merge the "Gaffed and Funky" forum with "The Big and The Small" forum most likely though. The probability is very high that readers of each of those forums also has at least somewhat of an interest in the other. The latter of those, by the way, has only had 5 posts so far this month. There are other examples. That's just the first one I happened to spot when looking for an example.

If there were two forums, one on horse breeding and the other on quantum physics, for example, you would be right when you said "Visit the forums you are interested in and leave the others alone." The two groups of people interested in those things are naturally fragmented. It is certainly possible that someone has an interest in both those things, but it's not inherently probable if someone has an interest in one that they will be interested in the other.

The divisions on this forum, however, are often an unnecessary fragmentation of the community. Such fine divisions would be a good idea in some cases. For instance if the forums became so popular that a new post was often pushed off the front page before a lot of people got to see and respond to it, breaking it up into two forums would be a way to fix this. This does not appear to be the case on this forum, though.

Of course keeping old posts around should be important, but moving those posts over to the merged board should be a trivial matter. If the forum software doesn't already have that capability, a half way decent programmer could write a script or program or something that could do it in almost no time, and there is probably a half-way decent developer on the boards somewhere who would volunteer to do it for free, it's so little work.

Just my arguments to try to make the board a little better. If you guys are married to the way it is, that's fine too. It's not my board, and it's still useful now. I just see that it could be even more useful if it were streamlined a little.
"I'm half drunk most the time
and I'm all drunk the rest"
--Tom Waits
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5077 Posts

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Bryan, long before you came here, the Café only had a few major forums. The card forum was simply "the workers" which covered every aspect of card magic including flourishes.

The members asked for some separation to make it easier for them to find subject matter they were interested in. Last month, Big and small had over 100 posts. In your example of "gaffed and funky" which is specifically designed for gimmmicked decks being combinable with "big and small" specifically for jumbo and miniature cards, that would mean that if someone this month was interested in a jumbo card trick, they'd have to wade through possibly 100's of post to find what they were looking for. Separating the forums narrows that search down to specific interests.

I disagree that moving topics would be an easy thing to do. What guideline would you use? No posts in 30 days, less than 15 posts in a period or something like that? What happens if a forum that isn't visited much this month is moved and next month it becomes more active? Move it back?

I have to come back to the Café forums being set up to make it easier to find specific subjects. Yes it means more forums but it's a logical set up.
Where the magic begins
Bob Johnston
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Inner circle
Philadelphia, PA
1251 Posts

Profile of Bob Johnston
Bryan Smith:
I am truly confused, perhaps you can enlighten me.
You have been on this board for 6 days, and you seem to be so knowledgeable about how it should be run better. Perhaps you could share with us your background as it applies to forums and/or magic. I am glad you have decided to join this forum, but I am confused by a statement like:
“For a board to earn it's keep, it should get multiple posts a day.”

Please tell me what you mean by “earn it’s keep”. There are lots of people here that contribute time and money as well as some ads that help. Its purpose is to give magicians (of all stripes) a chance to help others, get information, give some information and learn a lot. Tens of thousands are doing this, yet, in a few days and 6 posts, you seem to possess insight into how it could be better. You haven’t even seen the forums here that are restricted for you because you have only posted 6 posts. Did you notice the number of years that many of the thousands of members have been posting here?

There is a very good chance that you will be a contributing member here, I hope so. But perhaps you should walk around the Café more before critiquing it.
Bob
Gilgamesh_The_Librarian
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Elite user
408 Posts

Profile of Gilgamesh_The_Librarian
It always disappoints me that some folk get extremely defensive and then elitist when new folk make a suggestion.

The fact of the matter is that what newcomer Bryan Smith brings is a fresh pair of eyes looking at our Café. Whether he is right or wrong ( and he was very diplomatic in his views) I do think his views should be treated with respect and not some of the contemptuous replies seen here.
Steve Brooks
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Founder / Manager
Northern California - United States
4729 Posts

Profile of Steve Brooks
To Bryan Smith I would simply say that the Café is set-up the way it is for various reasons. Much of the thinking that has gone into the design and functionality of the board is based on personal experience plus ideas, suggestions and such from our community over the years. Simply put, the Café is designed this way because it works best for us. I am confident that should you go off and design your own community you will design it to work and function in the best interest of its members as well.

Gilgamesh_The_Librarian said; "It always disappoints me that some folk get extremely defensive and then elitist when new folk make a suggestion"

Defensive? Elitist? I don't see that at all. Member Bryan Smith joined the board and six posts later he's making suggestions. Perhaps it is the way he is making those suggestions? Folks simply responded back in kind, that's all. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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