New Forum Node Structure

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements' started by Mike, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    We have recently updated the forums, and this update is on-going. At this time, not all data is visible. We are in the process of consolidating redundant forums. During this time, some information will not be easily accessible. The format seen on the forum index are the permanent forums. Going forward, you will need to define the OS you are discussing as a thread prefix to post your message.

    • Members will submit messages on most forums based on operating system using thread prefixes.
    • We still know what thread prefixes belong to old messages, and are updating these messages.
    • You can search by thread prefix based on your preferences.
    • We believe this will relieve the need of "multiple forum nodes for every operating system".
    • We encourage you to use the forums even while the update is on-going.
    • Because the update is on-going, some material is not displayed at this time.
    • Those old messages will be restored as soon as humanly possible.
    • This will not affect your use of the site in a negative way.
    • We have updated the prefix update and it is occurring overnight now.
    • It may take awhile to get all of the information back into their proper areas.
    • All of this is being done to improve your experience.
    • If you liked our PONG page, while the site was down, click here!
    Thank you for your patience.
     
    #1 Mike, Aug 11, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
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  2. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Well that explains why I dont see the linux or OSX mini forums anymore.
    If that is a permanent thing I think it is a bad call, even on some of the linux forums I go to we have a separate section for windows or OSX.
    Even on some of the official forums such as the one for openSUSE allows discussion about other OS's.
    Lumping them under General computing I think is not a good idea as that can clutter things and make it harder to search out, I suggest making those separate to avoid clutter.
     
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  3. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522 Essential Member

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    For me personally, if this is a windows forum, then it should be a Windows forum and not some jack leg hodgepodge forum with everything under the sun. There are plenty of those out there all ready. For those who use other OS's and are having trouble, then they should go to a forum for that particular OS to search for there issue.
     
  4. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Well its not just about tech support.
    If it was just that I agree, but what about casual posting?
    Thats where I feel we can have some issues.
    Again I feel un needed clutter is bad, even for lumping the windows support questions into one sub forum.
    Lumping things can cause new issues such as people just giving up because their issue got buried in the slew of other topics.
     
  5. Teemocaptain

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    When update is complete?
     
  6. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522 Essential Member

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    This is a windows help forum...not for casual posting. You want to casual post...use any of the social media networking sites, that's what there for.
     
  7. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Most of the major updating is complete for now. We need to take things one step at a time. As for posting stuff about other operating systems, it can be done. For off-topic discussion, there is always The Water Cooler. Not all forums require you to define an operating system. But @bassfisher6522 said, yes it is mostly for Windows. For example, the Microsoft Products and Community forum, does not require the OS prefix. There is a concern that if we don't make the prefix mandatory, no one will use it, thus, for every message, it must be asked, what OS are you using. I suspect as time goes on we can experiment and loosen these restrictions. The tag is also important because it does add the OS name into the H1 HTML tag and increases search relevancy. It also prevents extensive dig-down and scroll-down.
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Click on the prefix and now the clutter is gone. That is our goal. As for Linux Forum... a "Other Operating Systems" forum is under consideration.
     
  9. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Don't feel hesitant about writing comments like these. Your feedback is essential. Thank you.
     
  10. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Yeah but the older structure was a little better.
    Sure you had may forum sections but it made sense to keep them separate .
    In fact may I ask why didnt this use sub forums instead of grouping things like most forums do?
    Why clump everything together causing backup and the possibility of having topics overlap?
    If this is supposed to be just a support forum then why make the water cooler in the first place?
    You see I am thinking this all though with consideration, I am not saying the change is bad buut I can see where it will cause issues.
    sure tagging things is okay but I really dont want people to get frustrated, support is one thing b ut having your ttopic buried under an armada of other issues can make one not want to come here.
    I just think this lumping is a bad call, I am not trying to start a fight but this lumping can cause issues with the intent of the forums.
     
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  11. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Yes like the one you had before, it befuddles me why you got rid of it if you are considering giving it back to us.
    Again I think I have some valid concerns here as i actually rather liked the old layout.
    I can understand wanting to cut down and use tags but sometimes those dont work out.
     
  12. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    There was a lot of feedback and direct analytic data that showed people did not like scrolling down the monstrous length of the page. There is also a problem in HTML known as the "dig down" effect, where the more a person has to dig around for information, i.e. by loading multiple pages, they become annoyed with the format and simply move on. We saw the thread prefixing as a way to remedy that, limiting the number of forums to a sustainable threshold, and keeping it that way. This was by no means a small task. The other format, which you described, involved dedicating an entire sub-set of troubleshooting forums, and numerous pages, to nearly every single Windows operating system. At some point, it was realized that not only was this a difficulty for the end-user, but for management purposes as well. Why have 3-4 Hardware forums, if they can all be in one Hardware forum? This was the thought process behind this change.

    (Fortunately, the process by which we accomplished this can be reversed; albeit with some difficulty, but whether or not people actually prefer this format or if it simply has no effect remains to be seen. It is true that the Linux Forum was lost in the transition but the messages were not and we certainly know where they are)
     
  13. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Oh dont get me wrong its understandable about the dig down effect.
    I just think sub forums would have been better, as like I said it would avoid clutter in one forum.
    A proposal I have is for there to be four main subforums:
    Windows XP
    Windows Vista
    Windows 7
    and Windows 8/8.1
    And maybe even server, but thats up to you.
    The containing forum would be the generalized windows support forum.
    Keeping the windows 8/8.1 merged makes sense as 8.1 is just a patch update to 8
    But lumping the other sections together with so many people possibly asking for support...
    Again this is where the tag idea is both a good and a bad thing.

    Dont get me wrong here, this isnt me just complaining about the loss of the linux subsection.
    Its more of an annoyance then a deal breaker.
    But I do wish we would have had subsections to avoid issues.
    I can understand wanting to keep digging down a non issue but this forum had so many sections and lumping them down to just a few I feel is a mistake.
    I can understand the motivations but the execution I feel could have been done better.
     
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  14. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Changes such as these take a long time to propagate across the Internet, especially the search engines, so any drastic change in the formatting now has been deemed by the admin team on the site to be heinously ridiculous. We have already changed it quite enough right now, and we are looking more at stability right now and making sure everything is working 100%. However, your ideas will be looked at for continued discussion.

    The problem with having one forum for each OS, like you suggest, is that now we need to have prefixes for what the problem is about. Otherwise it just becomes a jumbled mess. We chose to go with the subject route for forums, using a format we know works. The numerous number of forums you saw previously were the result of an enormous merger, which resulted in a tremendous amount of redundancy when it came to the number and type of forums that existed on the site.
     
  15. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Yes and I thank you for taking it under consideration.
    But for me its obvious the flaws of how the layout is are clear.
    Such as the amount of pages you have now, the help and support forum has 814 pages without filtering.
    Thats a heck of a lot of topics to get lost into.
     
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  16. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    I agree, but the alternative also has drawbacks. We will look at this again in the coming weeks to see if it is a success. Ultimately, though, you can filter by simply clicking on the pre-fix. A lot of what we learned is that people will always just post in the first forum, no matter what it is. But, with the filtering, we are seeing people answering and asking questions about things like XP for the first time in a very long time. Thanks for your comments.
     
  17. lorenkjr1

    lorenkjr1 Honorable Member

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  18. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    @lorenkjr1 If you're having difficulties with the editor in Windows 8.1 Preview, please use Firefox or Chrome. There will be compatibility for 8.1 as soon as it is released to the public.
     
  19. lorenkjr1

    lorenkjr1 Honorable Member

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  20. robinb9

    robinb9 Well-Known Member

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    I think your tops are all over the place and confusing for both windows 8 and 7 it should be something like this:
    Windows 8/8.1 news
    General support
    Windows updates
    Windows software
    Email Support
    Networking Support
    Tablet Support
    Graphics and Customization
    Browser Support
    System Security
    Office Suppot
    Chill room for off topics

    This way you are not all over the place like you are now, i also noticed the posts here are mostly older than a week, because there are other windows 8/7 forums you need an edge if you want people to stay here
    One of the other fourms i go to gives badges for those who answer questions to users. This is watched over by the administration
    Mike if you would like to discuss this further you can email me



    Sent from my iPad using WindowsForum
     

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