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Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:41 am
by Blu
I think a mixture of isiolia and nemoide's pruning/reorganization of forums would be beneficial. Something that easily captures different topics.

I agree that we don't need both genre and platform / company-specific forums.

Archive posts that are older than "X" days without new posts. I feel like this could help around the culture that's been brought up about posting in existing threads.

Will ponder some more.

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:13 am
by Gunstar Green
Blu wrote:Archive posts that are older than "X" days without new posts. I feel like this could help around the culture that's been brought up about posting in existing threads.


That's a good idea. It's kind of annoying to see years old threads get bumped where I might even have posts I don't necessarily agree with anymore. It's better to encourage a new post if someone wants to say something on that topic.

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:48 am
by bmoc
Let me preface this by saying, I'm an avid user of the "Active Topic" button and the "New Posts" button. Whatever structure the forums take, it ultimately won't affect me much. I'm just throwing out one potential plan that I've been thinking about and some of it has already been mentioned. Hopefully some of it will be found useful.

Goal:
Promote healthy discussion on all topics related to video games with a heavy emphasis on retro gaming. Simplify the structure of the forums so that it is more welcoming to new and existing users alike.

Structure:

bold = section
underlined = subforum
italics = description of the subforum on the board index

General Discussion
    Retro Gaming: Retro specific topics. Loosely defined as X generation and below.
    General Gaming: Modern gaming and anything not retro specific.
    Games As Culture: The philosophy, art, and social influence of games. Well thought-out posts highly encouraged here.
    Game Preservation: All things related to game preservation including but not limited to emulation, game media backups/reproduction, and printed materials.
    The Showroom: Post pictures and discuss your collection, game room, and game related projects. Interesting finds are also welcome!
    Off-Topic: Talk about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean.

Community Endeavors
    Together Retro: Join in on our classic gaming club!
    Racketboy.com Articles: Recruitment for Racketboy.com article contributions. Only moderators can start threads here.
    Content Creators: External content from forum members: blogs, reviews, Youtube channels, indie game creators, etc.
    Technical Help: Need help with a gaming related project?
    Guides: Guides to jumpstart your retrogaming lifestyle.

Marketplace
    Buy/Sell/Trade: List your gaming goods here. One thread per user please.
    Game Deals: Post retail game deals here.

What about XYZ subforum?

Old-School Gaming News -> Retro Gaming
Podcast -> archive and lock
Game Reviews -> Retro Gaming or General Gaming if the content is located in a forum post. Content Creators if on an external site.
Game Rooms & Home Theater -> Technical Help/General Gaming for questions. The Showroom to show off your work.
Downloads -> Game Preservation
Videos -> Content Creators
Auctions -> Buy/Sell/Trade
Creator’s Corner -> Content Creators
Archiving & Repro -> Game Preservation
Hacks and Mods -> Retro Gaming/General Gaming
Emulation -> Game Preservation
Platforms Section -> Retro Gaming/General Gaming
Genres Section -> Retro Gaming/General Gaming

Why I think each subforum should exist.

Retro Gaming
This is the focus of the site. It should be the first subforum people see.

General Gaming
Contains discussion of modern gaming and serves as a catch all for anything that doesn't fit well in another subforum

Games As Culture
If you Google "video game forums", the top result is a top 30 list of game forums. Racketboy is #23. This subforum in particular was highlighted a one of our best features. Lots of good discussion happens here and I think it deserves to stay.

The Showroom
Who doesn't like showing off their stuff? I wouldn't mind a dedicated space for this.

Game Preservation
Basically this is the merger of the Emulation, Downloads, and Archival subforums.

Off-Topic
Despite being a source of drama, it is a great place to get to know our fellow members.

Together Retro
Even though I don't participate (mostly due to family life), I think it is still a great idea that encourages people to become regular posters.

Racketboy.com Articles
Just give it a slight name change from just "Articles" to make its purpose more clear. Otherwise not much to change here.

Content Creators
We have a lot of folks generating content across many forms of media. If we are consolidating subforums, this seems like a good area to do it.

Technical Help

Someone on the receiving end of help may be inclined to stick around if they are new here. I think this one still deserves a spot.

Guides
There is so much good stuff in here. It doesn't need to change in my opinion.

Buy/Sell/Trade
Merge it with auctions. People get one thread to sell their goods from whatever channel they like be it a posted list, ebay, pricecharting.com marketplace, etc.

Game Deals
I still find this valuable even though sites like Cheapassgamer exists. Lots of times I learn about deals here first - especially the retro-specific ones.

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:01 pm
by ElkinFencer10
bmoc wrote:Let me preface this by saying, I'm an avid user of the "Active Topic" button and the "New Posts" button. Whatever structure the forums take, it ultimately won't affect me much. I'm just throwing out one potential plan that I've been thinking about and some of it has already been mentioned. Hopefully some of it will be found useful.

Goal:
Promote healthy discussion on all topics related to video games with a heavy emphasis on retro gaming. Simplify the structure of the forums so that it is more welcoming to new and existing users alike.

Structure:

bold = section
underlined = subforum
italics = description of the subforum on the board index

General Discussion
    Retro Gaming: Retro specific topics. Loosely defined as X generation and below.
    General Gaming: Modern gaming and anything not retro specific.
    Games As Culture: The philosophy, art, and social influence of games. Well thought-out posts highly encouraged here.
    Game Preservation: All things related to game preservation including but not limited to emulation, game media backups/reproduction, and printed materials.
    The Showroom: Post pictures and discuss your collection, game room, and game related projects. Interesting finds are also welcome!
    Off-Topic: Talk about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean.

Community Endeavors
    Together Retro: Join in on our classic gaming club!
    Racketboy.com Articles: Recruitment for Racketboy.com article contributions. Only moderators can start threads here.
    Content Creators: External content from forum members: blogs, reviews, Youtube channels, indie game creators, etc.
    Technical Help: Need help with a gaming related project?
    Guides: Guides to jumpstart your retrogaming lifestyle.

Marketplace
    Buy/Sell/Trade: List your gaming goods here. One thread per user please.
    Game Deals: Post retail game deals here.

What about XYZ subforum?

Old-School Gaming News -> Retro Gaming
Podcast -> archive and lock
Game Reviews -> Retro Gaming or General Gaming if the content is located in a forum post. Content Creators if on an external site.
Game Rooms & Home Theater -> Technical Help/General Gaming for questions. The Showroom to show off your work.
Downloads -> Game Preservation
Videos -> Content Creators
Auctions -> Buy/Sell/Trade
Creator’s Corner -> Content Creators
Archiving & Repro -> Game Preservation
Hacks and Mods -> Retro Gaming/General Gaming
Emulation -> Game Preservation
Platforms Section -> Retro Gaming/General Gaming
Genres Section -> Retro Gaming/General Gaming

Why I think each subforum should exist.

Retro Gaming
This is the focus of the site. It should be the first subforum people see.

General Gaming
Contains discussion of modern gaming and serves as a catch all for anything that doesn't fit well in another subforum

Games As Culture
If you Google "video game forums", the top result is a top 30 list of game forums. Racketboy is #23. This subforum in particular was highlighted a one of our best features. Lots of good discussion happens here and I think it deserves to stay.

The Showroom
Who doesn't like showing off their stuff? I wouldn't mind a dedicated space for this.

Game Preservation
Basically this is the merger of the Emulation, Downloads, and Archival subforums.

Off-Topic
Despite being a source of drama, it is a great place to get to know our fellow members.

Together Retro
Even though I don't participate (mostly due to family life), I think it is still a great idea that encourages people to become regular posters.

Racketboy.com Articles
Just give it a slight name change from just "Articles" to make its purpose more clear. Otherwise not much to change here.

Content Creators
We have a lot of folks generating content across many forms of media. If we are consolidating subforums, this seems like a good area to do it.

Technical Help

Someone on the receiving end of help may be inclined to stick around if they are new here. I think this one still deserves a spot.

Guides
There is so much good stuff in here. It doesn't need to change in my opinion.

Buy/Sell/Trade
Merge it with auctions. People get one thread to sell their goods from whatever channel they like be it a posted list, ebay, pricecharting.com marketplace, etc.

Game Deals
I still find this valuable even though sites like Cheapassgamer exists. Lots of times I learn about deals here first - especially the retro-specific ones.

Yes, I absolutely love this suggestion.

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:55 pm
by Forlorn Drifter
Here's my thoughts.

For subforum setup-

Gaming
-Retro Gaming
-General Gaming (anything not specifically covered by retro, gaming news, genre and series discussion)
-Games as Culture (unchanged, except that I would personally move threads like the discussion about retro gamer vs gamer in to there- I'd argue that's more of a culture topic)
-Gaming Media/Creator Content (videos, books like the HG101 books, offsite articles. I'd put Showroom stuff here too, though maybe separate)
-Gaming Tech (emulation, hacks and mods, mini consoles, video solutions, etc)

BST
-General BST
-Deals (focus on retail, eBay moves much too fast for forums. May also be a place to discuss buying limited physical releases and imports?)

Other
-Off topic
-Racketboy.com Article creation

Other thoughts- I don't know how it could be done, or if anybody around these days would be in a position to help, but maybe we could work with some smaller youtubers to be a place to discuss their videos without the toxicity of YouTube comments. Overall, I think discussion around videos could be good with how much of the retro stuff has pulled that way. A discussion of the new SNESdrunk video or MetalJesus beginners list could be interesting to someone on the outside.

And, while I have no room to talk on this subject, those of us here need to work on our engagement. I've been looking at at least two threads and meaning to write my bit and reply to others in them for over a week now, and that's BS, I should do better. I feel like a lot of us are posting in some threads more like blog posts than forum posts.

That's all I can think of right now.

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:38 pm
by ElkinFencer10
We should definitely have a more general/other sub-forum called "FLAKE FORCE, ASSEMBLE"

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:43 pm
by SamuraiMegas
I honestly didn't know people used the sub forums that often, I always use the active topics button.

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:11 am
by dsheinem
racketboy wrote:
dsheinem wrote:Anytime we have these conversations I wish we had some data. Before choosing some random new arrangement that might work better (or not), can we find out monthly/yearly stats on:

-Overall number forum visitors/views
-Forum visitors/views per forum/subforum
-Overall number of posts/replies
-Distribution of original posts/replies per forum/subforum
-Overall number of unique posters
-Overall number of new registrants
-Percentage of new registrants that post (and where)


Not without a bunch of number collection and analysis (and I don't have any real access to better numbers than anybody else with public access). Does that really matter when it comes to determining what makes conversation better and more inviting? I feel like this leans more toward art than science. And I'm somebody that actually enjoys spreadsheets.


I'm just thinking that we've done reorganization in the past (viewtopic.php?f=15&t=15685) and the current design is based largely on that discussion. When we did that redesign, we tried to tweak things that did and didn't work based on our "sense" of activity and interests. Many of the subforums we have on the site now stem from that discussion and, based on the number of posts in those subforums, it seems some of those subforums have thrived and others haven't.

I believe stats would be a handy piece of info for us to get a clear sense of, in the past few years, what topics/threads have attracted new posters, generated the most discussion (with the most unique posters), etc. Those would be the places that it makes sense to expand. Conversely, evidence of recent low numbers might give us a clearer sense of what to mothball. If we can't get them easily then it's a moot point, but I do believe they would help us make better decisions.

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:25 am
by Ziggy587
OK. Sorry for the late reply to this but I've been keeping busy.

I had two different schools of thought for a potential re-order. The first, less radical, is to respect what we have now but to try and improve upon it. This is what I'll post now. The second would be a radical change, and I will post that later when I have the chance.

Here are the current forums and sub forums, just for reference.

GENERAL
General Gaming
Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
Together Retro
Join in on our classic gaming club!
Old-School Gaming News
Discuss the latest happenings in the world of modern old-school
Podcast
Podcast announcements, feedback, and discussion
Game Reviews
Show your reviewing skills by collaborating with other forums members to review games of all ages.
Game Rooms & Home Theater
Games As Culture
The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
Downloads
You Can Post Game Downloads Here
Videos
Post game-related video clips here
Off-Topic / Whatever
Talk about just about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean

THE MARKETPLACE
Buy/Sell/Trade
Post Your Non-Auction Goods Here
Game Deals
Post deals, brag about finds, etc.
Auctions
eBay links and general discussion of auctions
Creator's Corner
If you're an indie dev or author of a game, book, film, or other production, this is where you can pitch it -- just don't be spammy!

THE GARAGE
Technical Help
Need help with your PC or Modding Projects?
Archiving & Repro - Game Media
Discussion of game backup, reproduction, burning, and ripping. Covers ROM backup, cartridge reproduction, optical disc ripping, burning, and storage. Focus on archival purposes and not deceptive selling.
Archiving & Repro - Documentation and History
Discussion of scanning, archiving, and printing things such as magazines, manuals, video captures, and game covers
Hacks and Mods
Discuss all hardware and software modifications
Emulation
Emu Talk Goes Here
Guides
Guides to jumpstart your Retrogaming lifestyle
Articles
Forum for the creation of front page articles for the Racketboy Site

PLATFORMS
Sega
SMS, Genesis, 32X, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast
Nintendo
NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii
Sony and Microsoft
Gaming on the Playstation and Xbox Platforms
Personal Computers
Windows, Mac, DOS, and all those-other personal computing platforms
Arcade
Arcade machines -- original or homebrew. Keep emulation topics in the emulation category
Other Platforms
Neo-Geo, Arcade, Portable, & Every Other Platform

GENRES
Fighters
Brawlers and Beatemups
Shmups
2D Shooters Invade
RPG
Level up here
Platformers
Like running and jumping? Discuss it here!
Other Genres
RTS, FPS, Sports, Adventure, etc.


Here are my thoughts behind my suggested changes:

I think the main problem is that there are too many sub forums. I think a lot of us would agree. The problem is if you ask 10 how to reorganize it you'll get 10 different answers.

I think the second biggest problem is that there are some situations that it might not be clear which sub forum to use, and there's definitely some overlap.

As for the overlap, I think it's mostly to do with the Platforms and Genres forums. I think we should have one or the other, but not both. For example, say I want to post a thread about Super Mario World. Do I post that in the Platformers sub forum? Or do I post it in the Nintendo sub forum? Or say I want to talk about Mortal Kombat II. Well, it's been ported to every home console, so I guess put it in the Fighters sub forum. But what if I wanted to specifically talk about the SNES port, should I put that in the Nintendo sub forum? And if I do, will people miss it because they searched for Mortal Kombat in the fighters sub forum?

Having said that, I think the Platforms forum should be rebranded to "Hardware" (working title). There are two sub forums under Platforms that make sense. Personal Computers, where we mostly talk about hardware and software that is exclusive to computers. And Arcade, which all of the threads are about arcade hardware and ownership. I think the only other sub forum under Hardware should be "Home Consoles," with the description stating that the sub forum is for talking about home consoles hardware, but not games.

Then the Genres forum could be rebranded to "Software" (working title), and all game talk is posted under genre specific sub forums. And although these two changes would mean that a LOT of threads would have to be moved to new sub forums, and that is often feared because of how tedious and time consuming it would be, but I think it can be done. I would volunteer my time to help reorganize. For example, a person could volunteer to tackle an entire sub forum, and flag each existing thread with what new sub forum it should go to. Or depending on how the forum software is set up, maybe that wouldn't be as beneficial as I think, but I'm sure we could come up with something.

Anyway, the Platforms and Genres sections is my biggest complaint.

The Garage forums are probably where I spent the most time at Racketboy. There are 7 sub forums though, and it feels kind of bloated. I also think merging any of them would be a mistake. But I think we could move some of them.

The Emulation sub forum is mostly about gaming. I know there's sometimes a technical side when it comes to setting up, but it's still mostly about gaming. So I think the emulation sub forum should be moved under my proposed "Software" group. Emulation gaming talk goes under the Emulation sub forum, and tech talk goes under Technical Help or Hacks and Mods, whichever is appropriate. I know this means that a lot of threads under Emulation would have to be moved, but I think that's OK. Any tech help in there is probably outdated anyway. New threads can conform to the organization.

Which brings me to the Hacks and Mods sub forum. I think it's fine, but the name has thrown me off at times. Sometimes I want to post a project that isn't a hack or mod, maybe it's something I've built from scratch. I post it in Hacks and Mods anyway because there isn't a more appropriate sub forum for other projects. A simple rename would fix that. "Hardware and Software Projects" for example. I would also change the description for Tech Help so that it's understand it can be used for ANY tech help and not just PC or modding projects.

The sub forums Guides and Articles, I can see how they make sense to be under The Garage, but I have a suggestion. I think there should be a new section, which I realize sounds a little counter-intuitive to my complaint of having too many sub forums, but I really think this makes sense. What if we create a new section called "User Created Content" and move a bunch of sub forums here. Guides and Articles, as I've said. But also the sub forums Podcast, Game Reviews, and Videos. All 5 of these sub forums are Racketboy forum member or staff created content. They all fit together nicely, I think. And moving them together under a new section would help to de-bloat some of the other sections!

The Marketplace is mostly fine. The BST and Auctions sub forums fit for sure. But Game Deals? I can see how it kinda fits here, but I think it should really be under General Gaming. The Marketplace is for forum members buying and selling things. Posting game deals about third parties doesn't really fit. If the Game Deals sub forum is for posting heads ups on sales or bragging about finds, then I think it belongs in General Gaming.

The sub forum Creator's Corner makes sense, but the name is kind of confusing I think. When I hear "Creator's Corner" I think of user generated content like I was talking about in the above paragraph. If this sub forum is exclusively for devs to pitch something they're selling, then I think the name should be more clear to that end.

And that just leaves General. I suggested above that we move several sub forums out from under General. Everything that's left I think is fine. But I'm not sure if General should be the FIRST forum. I think there should be a more specific forum on top so that people don't abuse general. General is an "all else fails" category, so it should be featured prominently. Like the sub forum General Gaming - Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else, you should have exhausted "anywhere else" first. So the forums should be in an order where the better choices are on top. But I can also see having General on top because there are so heavy hitting sub forums there, so I will suggest two orders.

I think it would also help to have a very small section all the way at the bottom for forum help and feedback. Anything that is related to the forum itself.


So, without further ado, here's my suggestion for a merge, renaming and reorder of the sub forums...

SOFTWARE (working title)
Fighters
Brawlers and Beatemups
Shmups
2D Shooters Invade
RPG
Level up here
Platformers
Like running and jumping? Discuss it here!
Other Genres
RTS, FPS, Sports, Adventure, etc.
Emulation
Emu Talk Goes Here

HARDWARE (working title)
Home Consoles
Talk about the consoles, but not the games!
Personal Computers
Windows, Mac, DOS, and all those-other personal computing platforms
Arcade
Arcade machines -- original or homebrew

GENERAL
General Gaming
Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
Old-School Gaming News
Discuss the latest happenings in the world of modern old-school
Together Retro
Join in on our classic gaming club!
Game Deals
Post deals, brag about finds, etc.
Game Rooms & Home Theater
Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
Games As Culture
The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
Downloads
You Can Post Game Downloads Here
Off-Topic / Whatever
Talk about just about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean

USER CREATED CONTENT
Game Reviews
Show your reviewing skills by collaborating with other forums members to review games of all ages.
Videos
Post game-related video clips here
Guides
Guides to jumpstart your Retrogaming lifestyle
Articles
Forum for the creation of front page articles for the Racketboy Site
Podcast
Podcast announcements, feedback, and discussion

THE GARAGE
Hacks, Mods & Projects
Discuss all projects, hardware and software modifications
Archiving & Repro - Game Media
Discussion of game backup, reproduction, burning, and ripping. Covers ROM backup, cartridge reproduction, optical disc ripping, burning, and storage. Focus on archival purposes and not deceptive selling.
Archiving & Repro - Documentation and History
Discussion of scanning, archiving, and printing things such as magazines, manuals, video captures, and game covers
Technical Help
Need help with projects or repairs? Then post here! Just read the rules first.

THE MARKETPLACE
Buy/Sell/Trade
Post Your Non-Auction Goods Here
Auctions
Post your eBay links here
Indie Devs
If you're an indie dev or author of a game, book, film, or other production, this is where you can pitch it -- just don't be spammy!

FORUM HELP AND FEEDBACK
Forum Help
Post for help using the forum's features or general questions regarding the forum
Feedback and Suggestions
Post any feedback or suggestions you may have for the forum


Or, move GENERAL back on top but leave the rest of the order the same.

I also renamed a couple of things in the above spoiler versus my descriptions. And please excuse any grammatical errors, I typed this up in a hurry during my free time here and there over the past 2 days at work LOL.

Re: Hypothetical forum reorganization: what does it look lik

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:28 pm
by Ziggy587
So with the thought being that there are too many sub forums, I wanted to throw a suggestion in to that end. The problem here is trying to be considerate of what to do with existing threads. Manually moving every existing thread would be a huge undertaking that I feel like no one would want to even attempt. So that being the case, you would feel compelled to consider this while creating new sub forums. As in, sacrifice what might be BEST.

That being the case, I feel like if we truly wanted to simplify and reduce the sub forum count we would have to go big or go home. I don't know the inner workings of it, but I would volunteer to help reorganize all existing threads into the new sub forums. Or, the only other option would be to archive Racketboy up to this point and start fresh. Which might not be the worst thing.

So with all that in mind, let's put it this way. If I were to start my own forum and wanted it to have the same community as Racketboy, here's the list of sub forums that I would create. Consider the names as working titles only.

This is under the principle that less is more. And the idea that when there's too many choices it becomes harder to choose.

GENERAL
Retro Gaming General Forum
Talk about all things retro gaming here!
Retro Gaming News
Talk about the latest happenings in the retro gaming world!
Modern Gaming
Talk about modern games and consoles here!
Off-Topic / Whatever
Talk about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean

COMMUNITY ENDEAVORS
Together Retro
Join in on our classic gaming club!
Game Reviews
Post your reviews here.
Videos
Post your videos here
Guides
User Created Guides
Articles
Forum for the creation of front page articles for the Racketboy Site

THE WORKBENCH
Projects, Hacks, and Mods
Discuss all projects here!
Technical Help
Need help with projects or repairs? Then post here! Just read the rules first.

THE MARKETPLACE
Buy/Sell/Trade
Post Your Non-Auction Goods Here
Auctions
Post your eBay or other external listings here

FORUM HELP AND FEEDBACK
Forum Help
Post for help using the forum's features or general questions regarding the forum or community
Feedback and Suggestions
Post any feedback or suggestions you may have for the forum



But the above has a few problems.

I like the idea to split retro and modern talk, but the problem there is that modern will eventually become retro! So, what, it's someone's job to move individual threads once they graduate to retro? Also, with the less is more principle, maybe all gaming new and old should just be combined. That's how it is now, so it's not like it doesn't work. And my choice to have a "news" sub forum wasn't an easy one. On one hand, news threads could just be posted in the general gaming sub forum. But the idea to have a news sub forum is to make these posting more of a heads up to the community. Like, "So-and-so announced a new clone console" and stuff of that nature.

My "Community Endeavors" section might have too many sub forums. The thing is, I feel like the Racketboy forum members have really contributed a lot of useful content, and I wouldn't want to stifle that. So it would be a hard choice to not have so many sub forums in this section. For example, you could have one sub forum for ALL user created content (video, guides, reviews, everything) but then it would be harder to browse JUST reviews or JUST guides. So it might be a mistake to condense this section more. Also, I think these sections are all clearly distinct from each other. It shouldn't be at all hard to decide which sub forum you want to browse or post in, even though it would bump the sub forum count up a little.

The Marketplace can really just be one sub forum for BST, but I don't think splitting external listings is such a bad idea. Two sub forums under one sections isn't bloat.

Forum Help and Feedback I think is an important section to have. A lot of forums have the typical kind of forum culture that is to shun newcomers and yell at them when they don't follow the rules or unspoken community rules. Having a help sub forum is more welcoming, even if new comers don't use it they might still feel more welcomed. And suggestions is always important. The regulars on this forum have always been very vocal about suggestions and feedback, enough to warrant a sub forum I would think. It would help to organize the other sub forums that much better.

So all the above taken into account, my even more concise list of forums would look like this (this is my #1 choice):

GENERAL
General Gaming
Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
Off-Topic / Whatever
Talk about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean

COMMUNITY ENDEAVORS
Announcements (Only mods/admin can create new threads)
Community announcements and discussion thereof
Together Retro
Join in on our classic gaming club!
Game Reviews
Post your reviews here.
Videos
Post your videos here
Guides
Post Guides Here
Articles
Forum for the creation of front page articles for the Racketboy Site

THE WORKBENCH
Projects, Hacks, and Mods
Discuss all projects here!
Technical Help
Need help with projects or repairs? Then post here! Just read the rules first.

THE MARKETPLACE
Buy / Sell / Trade
Post Your Non-Auction Goods Here
Auctions / External
Post your eBay or other external listings here

FORUM HELP AND FEEDBACK
Forum Help
Post for help using the forum's features or general questions regarding the forum or community
Feedback and Suggestions
Post any feedback or suggestions you may have for the forum


And my feelings of the monolithic threads still apply! Say we post a thread in Gaming News, "Xbox Two Announced!" I think it would be OK to post updated details as they unfold, but we should only support the thread up until the the Xbox Two is released. Then we should stop using it. New threads should be created in the General Gaming sub forum, a thread for each unique idea.

And as far as all the existing threads go, if we went with my second spoiler tag I think we could simply merge all existing sub forums into the new ones.

edit: I forgot to mention another issue with the "News" sub forum. News is only news when it's new. After a week, a month, a year, it's no longer news. It's just an ordinary topic. You know what would be neat? If the forum software allowed to put a clock on threads in the News sub forum. After X days the thread is auto moved to another forum, or red flagged for a mod to manual moved. But yeah, the problem exists. For example, the Terra Onion Mega CD and TG16 Mini threads are currently news, but just a few threads down is my SimCity NES prototype thread. It's no longer news, and it's no longer appropriate for this thread to be in this sub forum. And if I were searching for this specific topic, I wouldn't think to look in the NEWS sub forum!