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Thread: Do we really need all these sub-forums?

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    Do we really need all these sub-forums?

    Personally, I like a little bit of cross-pollenation between systems and there are several folders that don't even get one post in a week, and even the busiest take a full week to get to the second page of threads.

    The described intent of the various Campaign Resources folders seems to be better served by the Articles/Blogs section.

    (Also, there's a poll in the General Fantasy forum titled "Which do you like best and why?" Could we get "D&D" inserted into the thread title please?)

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    Let me just say that the following is my personal opinion. It is hardly a global representation of what the admins and other moderators personal opinion or future plans .

    While some sub-forums don't get a lot of "action" the forum is very well sorted. Users know exactly where to go to find information on what they are looking for. By generalizing subjects and topics it becomes much harder for users who do not frequent the forum to use the websites search function effectively. Even with the current system, I have had issues finding exactly what I need with the search function.

    The website has also only been around since the fourth quarter of 2006 so it is still very much in its infancy. As the website grows the sub-forums will populate and the need for further topic segregation will most likely arise. I think some things, internet forums being one of them, greatly benefit from planning for the inevitable boom its future will see. This website is furious about its advertising and word of mouth is probably the primary way new users come to reside here. The "boom" is inevitable in my opinion and I think the various sub-forums will become populated soon enough.

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    As Mulsiphix said, the current subforums allow those with specific interests (genres or game systems) to post questions, comments, and the occasional rant, without having to wade through other threads and posts. (I thought this was the point of "subforums".) The current segmentation may not be perfect -- what is Dark Future anyway? -- but it's workable.

    The D&D Forum has the lion's share of traffic, because most people play D&D; all others pale in comparison. If we created forums purely to balance content in each, we'd end up with "D&D" and "Everything Else", which would annoy those of us who play something else than D&D.

    For cross-pollenization, there's the "General Discussion" subforum under each genre, or "General Chatter" if all else fails.

    "Campaign Resources" were, in fact, the precursor to Articles and Blogs. I'd be happier if they were apportioned to the appropriate place, but maybe they serve as a historical reference.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Yeah, what is dark future anyway? It might be better than generic...

    Maybe somebody could swing by the sub-forum and tell me what it means to them.
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rabkala View Post
    Maybe somebody could swing by the sub-forum and tell me what it means to them.
    Your shame knows no bounds my friend

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    As Mulsiphix said, the current subforums allow those with specific interests (genres or game systems) to post questions, comments, and the occasional rant, without having to wade through other threads and posts. (I thought this was the point of "subforums".) The current segmentation may not be perfect -- what is Dark Future anyway? -- but it's workable.
    Training people to make useful subject lines can take care of most of this. I don't mind the genre divide, and maybe D&D could stay separate from the rest of fantasy, but no one hangs out in the M&M or Champions ghettos. (I assumed "Dark Future" was just someone trying very hard not to say Cyberpunk.)

    "Campaign Resources" were, in fact, the precursor to Articles and Blogs. I'd be happier if they were apportioned to the appropriate place, but maybe they serve as a historical reference.
    Even if the modly people would boot the threads that don't belong in here, that would be something. Yesterday, I clicked on a thread titled "Wondrous Item" and there was no wondrous item, not even a mundane one.

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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by TAROT View Post
    Training people to make useful subject lines can take care of most of this.
    Good luck training new members how to post. Good luck getting veteran forum goers to "change their ways". Enforcing strict forum posting guidelines would not only steer a lot of posters away but would be a tedious full time job for any given moderator

    Quote Originally Posted by TAROT View Post
    I don't mind the genre divide, and maybe D&D could stay separate from the rest of fantasy, but no one hangs out in the M&M or Champions ghettos.
    Not yet

    Quote Originally Posted by TAROT View Post
    Even if the modly people would boot the threads that don't belong in here, that would be something. Yesterday, I clicked on a thread titled "Wondrous Item" and there was no wondrous item, not even a mundane one.
    That is your opinion. Custom item/spell/magic/monster threads are extremely popular and are indeed campaign resources. How can custom creations not be considered campaign resources is my question to you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulsiphix View Post
    Good luck training new members how to post. Good luck getting veteran forum goers to "change their ways". Enforcing strict forum posting guidelines would not only steer a lot of posters away but would be a tedious full time job for any given moderator
    Set an example and people will generally follow. If a mod notices a thread with an ambiguous title, I think most people would appreciate a little edit so that they would have some idea about what they were going to click on. If something is posted to the wrong forum then it should be moved. I kinda thought that that was in the job description.

    Not yet
    I'm just saying that if M&M was my only system in use, and I came here and saw two threads, one of them six months old, this site would not top my list of places to visit. If there is just a Supers group with a handful of active threads, I might check in once in a while. My suggestion was to wait for some traffic before dividing groups. Also, I use M&M, but not for supers, should I post by genre or system?

    That is your opinion. Custom item/spell/magic/monster threads are extremely popular and are indeed campaign resources. How can custom creations not be considered campaign resources is my question to you?
    Did you look at the thread? http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...ead.php?t=5177

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    Yeah, I've noticed your occasional post on RPGnet. Apart from a discussion of the [+] threads there, I've never noticed any guidelines on how to title your post, but when you look down the list, half the posts start: [Exalted], [Dark Heresy], [theory]; another quarter mention a system in the title; and another quarter are general calls for opinions, information or debate.

    Of course, with 150 threads active daily in Tabletop Roleplaying Open alone, if you can't tell me in ten words what the thread is about, I'm not going to go exploring because I spend enough time on the threads that are of obvious interest to me.

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    It might not be a bad idea to post a sticky showing 'best way' or 'expected' title creation. As the areas see more traffic, it will only get worse and nipping a problem in the bud early would be best.

    Taking down the folders will create more title issues. I fear, it will also create more problems with the thread hijackers and system elitists looking for a fight.

    I would say, in my experience, there are many who not only don't learn but refuse to adopt what is acceptable even when faced with guidelines and good examples.
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rabkala View Post
    It might not be a bad idea to post a sticky showing 'best way' or 'expected' title creation. As the areas see more traffic, it will only get worse and nipping a problem in the bud early would be best.
    Stickying the Posting Rules in the News section might not be a bad idea either, I eventually found them locked up on page two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAROT View Post
    Stickying the Posting Rules in the News section might not be a bad idea either, I eventually found them locked up on page two.
    That isn't a bad idea. It might not do any good, but it wouldn't hurt.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    You can lead by example but enforcing is a can of worms that would require deep commitment. If this were to be a requirement of being a moderator I would quickly resign my position. In general stickies are ignored. Most people use the search function or quickly browse. Very few actually read all the topic titles until they find something useful. Just look at the current problem with 4E bashing. We have a setup thread for it, it is stickied in the most popular sub-forum on these forums, and there are constant requests to move conversations over to that thread to people hijacking threads. Yet the problem is still out of control.

    Getting people to adopt a system would be futile indeed. I think finding information in a forum is up to the person searching and the original poster. I always try to give my topics informative titles so they are easier to find using the search function. Many people could care less if their threads are found. I think the majority of the forum is still used for quick questions from users who will never post more than three or four times. My suggestion? Let us decide on a system that we can agree is good for making searching easier. A thread will be created listing those guidelines and it will be locked. Then I'll add it to my signature which finds its way into most threads . I'll be happy to do my part by adopting the system and promoting it. Enforcement is something I'm just not comfortable with.

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    There is the concept of thread-prefixing, which is being incorporated into the newest version of vBulletin. Basically, what this means is that we can set it up so that when you post a message in a particular forum, you are presented with a list of general prefixes. These prefixes are searchable, sortable, and filterable. So, you will probably be seeing this as an option in the not to distant future.
    Robert A. Howard
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    How does that work for you TAROT? Sounds like a good fix to the title problems.
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


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