Talk about just about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean
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RadarScope1
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by RadarScope1 Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:07 pm

There's been some great suggestions so far, and I don't know that I have anything new to add but as a frequent user I will second some of the ideas I think are good.

- I do not really like the idea of a "hidden" forum space, even though I might be one to "qualify" for such a thing. What could happen is all the regulars might end up there instead of in the regular forums, which could mean a loss of quality there.

- I do really like the idea of having a certain post count before you can create threads. This is what happens on another big forum that I'm on and it works really well to keep things streamlined. It doesn't have to be a really high number, just higher than 0.

- dsheinem is all over the b/s/t stuff. He has good suggestions. An FAQ there is a must in my opinion. Sticky it and make sure people see it.

- An FAQ or READ THIS FIRST for the forums in general would also go a long way. The main thing is people need to SEARCH for threads before creating one. We recently three or four threads started about the Sonic HD thing this week. Another thing that annoys me is people are not specific enough in thread titles. I hate seeing "Saw this today" or "What do you guys think?" as thread titles. Tell us what we are clicking on!

- Breaking down the subforums under the manufactures by hardware sounds like a pretty good idea, too. Personally I use the "show new posts" function whenever I'm here but it could give people an easier way to search for some specific stuff.

- Definitely need to separate Whatever into two sections for gaming and off-topic. The community is large enough to where there's a lot of non-gaming discussion going on.

- I also agree that old-school news can go. At one time Racket suggested finding people to post news onto the front page. I'd be willing to pitch in on that if this is something you're still thinking about.

That's my two cents. Sorry I didn't have much new to add.
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RyaNtheSlayA
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by RyaNtheSlayA Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:17 pm

I like Dsheinem idea. Also I think we should keep all off-topic stuff from showing up on the new threads on the main page.
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Original_Name
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by Original_Name Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:02 pm

I think the General section needs to be split up a TON with a number of simple categories, then categories that'll attract more verbose, knowledgeable posters.

Some sample categories:

Games as Art - Discuss the merits of video games as a whole, or a specific title.
Programming & Engineering - Discuss your own projects, or particulars about existing titles.
Audio - Discuss your favorite and least favorite video game soundtracks, and what makes them great.
Lists - This is all about creating lists of favorite or least favorite aspects about video games.
High School Parking Lot - Can't agree - Sega or Nintendo? Liberal or Conservative? Paper or Plastic? Doesn't matter. This is where lengthy arguments will be redirected.
Basic Questions & Requests - Just starting a collection? Need to know how to turn your NES on? This is the section for you.
Philosophy - Talk about weighty topics such as art, music, politics, culture, and theology.
Whatever - Just want a nice idle conversation? Go here to talk about general life stories and experiences.

Also: I suggest putting the categories that're specifically about video games up at the top of the forum's home page so as to actually keep the site's focus as a video games site. More sections pertaining to specific genres would be a good idea as well.

I think one of the best things you could do is set high standards in the theme and descriptions of your categories. If a person just sees a "Whatever" forum that says "Talk about anything you want - just keep it clean", they'll do just that. If you have one category that says "Games as Art" and uses a bunch of loaded words and concepts to describe it and another one that says "Lists", I think the more knowledgeable people will be enthralled by a "Games as Art" or "Philosophy" category, and the simpler-minds will flock to "Lists", "Basic Questions & Requests", and "Whatever".
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aaron
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by aaron Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:41 pm

if there are too many sub-forums, it causes people to not choose the right one and just default to the general forum. it happens on every board that i frequent. i would assume this is the reason why the "whatever" and "buy/sell/trade" forums are the most frequented.
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J T
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by J T Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:26 am

I just posted about this over in your "favorite topics" thread, but it's more appropriate for this thread. I'll just cut & paste it. Sorry for the double post:


I'd like to see a sub-forum for gaming philosophy. I like topics that have something to do with game design, societal effects of games, how games effect us emotionally, values expressed through the gaming medium, etc.

I've been wanting to start a series of threads about how games elicit emotions. I want to start with some basic psychological definition of the emotion to map out the territory, then move into some case studies of games that manage to elicit that emotion, then discuss creative ideas for how the emotion could be better ilicited through gameplay than it currently is. The problem is, the only sub-forum that would really fall under now is the 'whatever' section, but what I'm thinking of writing would take some effort on my part, so I wouldn't want it to just get buried in the chatter. If I'm going to invest time in a thread, I'd like it to be read by more than 2 or 3 people before it slides down the page and disappears forever.

This is actually a common problem for messageboards. Creative topics often only fit in the 'whatever' section, but they get drowned out by the noise. This inhibits people from writing anything particularly substantive. A music forum I frequent came up with a nice solution to this though- they have a sub-forum for the classic threads of the messageboard. Only mods can add threads there, though everyone can comment once a thread is there. People can pm a moderator to request a thread be moved to the 'classics' section if they think it is worthy. This way there is a section for the threads that stand out for being particularly funny, creative, dramatic, or thought provoking; and it keeps those threads alive and thriving.
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J T
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by J T Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:32 am

Also, I like the console subforums, but find it strange for a retro site that there aren't sections for things like Atari, Amiga, Colecovision, etc. Or perhaps just a big lumped "Consoles of the 80's" or something like that.

Likewise, I enjoy the genre subforums, but I don't see why it's limited to shmups, fighter, and RPGs; other than those tend to be the genres that retain an old school feel.
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dsheinem
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by dsheinem Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:39 am

aaron wrote:if there are too many sub-forums, it causes people to not choose the right one and just default to the general forum. it happens on every board that i frequent. i would assume this is the reason why the "whatever" and "buy/sell/trade" forums are the most frequented.


I agree wholeheartedly with this. We should add only a very few new forums at a time if we are going to make wholesale changes to the list. Otherwise, it gets to be too much to read/sort through. I imagine it would be hell for the mods, too.

I don't see the point of breaking down the Platforms section into individual consoles or adding a bunch of new genre categories - the forum areas for all these get sufficient traffic now but not an overwhelming amount.

I also don't like the "HS parking lot" idea as a place to kick arguments. It is a bit derisive, and having one's discussion getting "moved" there would probably result in some hurt feelings or possibly people leaving the site. Unless you are engaging in out-right name calling/insulting or offering some other kind of argument without substance, I don't see why threads that engage in deep or heated conversation couldn't be a part of any of the forums. There is a report button and threads can be locked.

Based on what the other posts have suggested, here's what I think makes sense. New forums are marked with ***:

General
---------
***General Gaming (anything that doesn't fit elsewhere)
Together Retro
Game Reviews (I'd move this up the list as it deserves more attention)
***Games as Culture (the Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games)
***Game Rooms and Archiving
Downloads
Videos
***Off-Topic (topics not related to gaming)

Marketplace
------------
Buy/Sell/Trade (open to people who have been a member for 30 days or more)
***Game Deals (post deals, brag about finds, etc. - open to all)
***Auctions (eBay links and general discussion of auctions - open to all)

The Garage
----------
Technical Help
Hacks and Mods
Emulation

Platforms
----------
Sega
Nintendo
Sony and Microsoft
***PC
Other Platforms

Genres
----------
Fighters
Shmups
RPG
***Other Genres (RTS, FPS, Sports, Platformers, etc.)
Last edited by dsheinem on Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Niode
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by Niode Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:28 am

I think the Game Rooms and Archiving forums should be made into one forum. Since their topics often overlap.

I think some sort of post limit should definitely be applied to the BST. However, I think some sort of post review system should be put into place. Something similar to the Karma system on UG. I believe that this kind of system will stop people just posting crap to gain access to the BST. You could even make the BST forum invisible to all members under a certain amount of posts. This would achieve the same result without any external mods to the forum.

However I really think we should have some sort of karma system. Then we (mods) can see who is being constructive and who isn't and then we can take measures and act on it. To many people get away with spamming or just picking fights for no reason, It goes under my radar since I simply cannot check every single thread on the forum everyday. Just a simple flag on a nuisance post is enough to draw my attention to investigate the thread, however these very rarely happen.
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dsheinem
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by dsheinem Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:40 am

Niode wrote:I think the Game Rooms and Archiving forums should be made into one forum. Since their topics often overlap.

I think some sort of post limit should definitely be applied to the BST. However, I think some sort of post review system should be put into place. Something similar to the Karma system on UG. I believe that this kind of system will stop people just posting crap to gain access to the BST. You could even make the BST forum invisible to all members under a certain amount of posts. This would achieve the same result without any external mods to the forum.

However I really think we should have some sort of karma system. Then we (mods) can see who is being constructive and who isn't and then we can take measures and act on it. To many people get away with spamming or just picking fights for no reason, It goes under my radar since I simply cannot check every single thread on the forum everyday. Just a simple flag on a nuisance post is enough to draw my attention to investigate the thread, however these very rarely happen.


I like most of the suggestions here and updated my previous post accordingly.

That said, I prefer a time delay for B/S/T instead of a post number delay. I don't like the idea of that forum being invisible as we want people who have interesting retro items for sale but who aren't regular visitors to the site to know it exists and bring their stuff there. For the same reason, I think if we put in a time delay there should be an option for mods to allow early access to the B/S/T forum on a case by case request basis for the more interesting items.
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Re: Re-Organizing the Forum Categories? Thoughts?

by racketboy Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:39 am

I don't know if you guys have ever been to the Ars Technica forums, but their off-topic and a few other sections are read-only to non-premium members. You actually have to pay a subscription to be a premium members, but it actually works quite well there.

I wasn't a paying member, but I was still able to at least read a lot of good threads, but post in all the crucial sections.
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