Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: Consolidation of New Forums discussions

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
One word of caution: Those who remember the ArsDigita BBoards probably remember when some bright bulb at aD went nuts adding more and more top level forums. There were easily more than 50. The vast majority went utterly unused, and many otherwise very useful forms (e.g., "CVS for Web Development") were more or less lost in the clutter. And the website stayed that way until for a long time, until aD finally shut down.

So, Carloline's call to get categorization working before or instead of spawning more forums strikes a real chord with me.

That said, Joel's and Malte's suggestions for top level and within forum categories do seem basically sound to me.

Malte, I bet your "Deployment" and "Howto" distinction will be ignored (or not understod) by many posters. If we're going to have distinctions like that we'd better have a cadre of folks with the ability to easily move a thread from one forum to another.

Ideally, we should also be able to rename, split, and merge top level forums and categories at will, as some forums will undoubtedly go unused, etc. - the forums and categories we want will certainly change over time.

Categorization should be very useful, but only if the categorization info is accurate and reasonably complete. Often the original poster gets it wrong, or new info in the thread merits an additional category. So we'd better have a good UI to let that same volunteer cadre (presumably the long time experienced users like all of us, basically) edit the categorizatation metadata for each post as they read it.