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forum reorganization suggestions.
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Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Way Too Many Branches! on 01/29/2009 23:03:19 MST Print View

I counted 39 branches! Almost all of the branches have "branch descriptions" that take up multiple lines -- some as long as seven! Taken together, this forces people to scroll or page up and down excessively -- and many of the branches down at the bottom suffer from poor reader traffic as a result.

Three ways to prune the branches:

1. Archive old ones (e.g. Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2005).

2. Delete 'dead' branches -- or merge them with others -- or fold some into others as "sticky posts". For example, under Forum Support branch -- make "User Testing" a sticky so folks who need to test can post there. User Testing need not be a branch all unto itself.

3. Limit branch description to one line. Example: G Spot - Gear Talk. No need for seven lines of descriptions!

Hope this helps.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
tabs on 01/29/2009 23:28:41 MST Print View

May be you can have tabs. Only main headings can be shown on the forum front page and ones has to either click or point at it for more details.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/05/2009 12:54:50 MST Print View

You have spoken and we have listened. Our changes are not complete yet but we are making progress in revamping the forums using some of the suggestions we heard in this thread.

1. Forums: The main forums page has been consolidated to shorten it up a bit and more changes are slated for it as well.

2. Last 50 Posts: Note when you click on the "Last 50 Posts" link there is now a drop-down menu with which you filter out the new posts pertaining to a specific area of the forum. Say you're only interested in looking for new used gear posted to "Gear Swap" you can now select Gear Swap from the drop down and the page will display the 50 most recent posts made to the Gear Swap forum.

What do y'all think thus far? Are we meeting your needs? Keep the suggestions coming. This is your community, Backpacking Light is your brand and we the staff are here to serve you.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/05/2009 16:50:25 MST Print View

Thanks Sam/BPL for responding. Obviously there's a lot of work in implementing some of the suggestions we've made.

The new drop down is a useful addition. I must admit though that I am more likely to use my bookmarked links to visit particular forums directly. The problem with the recent posts page is that it's only really good for catching up on the last hour or so of posts. After than there is too much duplication (from repeated posts in the same thread) and it takes too long to scan through several pages looking for new stuff. Easier to visit the sub-forum concerned.

On that note, is it going to be feasible to have an "updated threads" page? There's probably only 20-30 threads which are updated with new posts each day and it would be great to see them all in one place when I log back on in the morning. Might be tricky to implement depending on what forum software allows you to do though...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/05/2009 20:11:59 MST Print View

Updated Threads, instead of Recent Postings - I LIKE IT!

Cheers

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 11:45:25 MST Print View

An updated threads link/page is now available, click the "Recent Threads" link on the right hand nav menu.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 13:02:22 MST Print View

Awesome !
Could the recent thread link be added under the Community tab on the nav bar ?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 15:15:13 MST Print View

Can we have this link on the Home page please, under the 'Last 50 Posts' link! Yes, there is room for it.

Cheers

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 16:33:49 MST Print View

Great! Thanks BPL for your speedy response. I look forward to any of the other suggestions you're able to implement. Cheers, A.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 17:47:14 MST Print View

>Can we have this link on the Home page please, under the 'Last 50 Posts' link! Yes, there is room for it.

Sure, why not ; )

Check it out on the backpackinglight.com home page.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 20:56:33 MST Print View

Hi Sam

I doubt I will use the 'Last 50 Posts' link any more. This one is so much better.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 21:17:24 MST Print View

If you can add the number of new posts since your last visit in parentheses that would be even better!

eg.
forum reorganization suggestions (3)

to indicate 3 new posts have been added to this thread since your last visit. That would make it clear which threads are very active (lots of responses), and which new threads haven't received any responses yet.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 23:51:05 MST Print View

Roger - I've been waiting for the "new threads" link since I first joined BPL. It's a winner.

Ashley - We're on a roll, but don't fault us if we don't come through with every request ; )

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/06/2009 23:56:41 MST Print View

Ashley - We're on a roll, but don't fault us if we don't come through with every request ; )

Hehe I can keep wishing though eh? Great job so far though. Most websites take months to respond to these sort of requests (if they ever do). Kudos to the hackers who are making the mods... I know how much of a PITA it can be getting even "simple" things right.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"forum reorganization suggestions." on 02/06/2009 23:57:47 MST Print View

No suggestions I can think of!

Thanks SO MUCH TO ALL of the BPL STAFF!!!
You guys are awesome!
Keep up the good work!

-Evan

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/07/2009 00:07:30 MST Print View

Thank you all for your response. It means a lot to us to be able to act immediately to requests and provide the best user experience.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
forum reorg. on 02/09/2009 13:17:03 MST Print View

sam et al.

thanks for the New Threads button. beats the New Posts by a mile. (it's a little unfortunate that this thread hijacked a bit by this though.)

and thanks for moving gear up and admin down.

do you have any plans to condense/collapse/reorg the forum sections, as per my original post? there are still too many forums, some barely used and/or overlapping with others. this leads to people posting in the wrong places, or just dumping every in Gear Spot (rename!).

i assume it can't be much work to at least RE-ORDER things in a reasonable manner (e.g. why not put a Pre-Trip foruum BEFORE a Post-Trip forum?).

i realize that combining two forums into one (packrafting, fishing, and water travel all into one) might take more work. at least put packrafting back into water travel - it's BARELY posted to! (like some other forums.)

and please please please rewrite the forum descriptions as CONCISE descriptions of what should go into each forum. the current often very long, silly, inane, etc. descriptions don't help folks post in the right sections. shrinking them to one/two lines with a MORE link is a poor replacement for actually rewriting them to be accurate and concise.

thanks!

Edited by DaveT on 02/09/2009 13:18:09 MST.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
forum links broken on 02/09/2009 21:17:24 MST Print View

From the recent threads page, the forum names in the list of threads do not link to the forums. Instead you get the message: "The specified forum no longer exists or never existed." Checking the link shows that it doesn't actually seem to be pointing at a specific forum.

That's what I'm seeing using Opera 9.2 anyway...

Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: forum links broken on 02/09/2009 21:23:44 MST Print View

Thanks for noticing Ashley, it's fixed now.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
forum reorganization suggestions. on 02/10/2009 09:20:39 MST Print View

Dave the fixes we've made in the past week were initial ones. They were the technical fixes that could be made quickly and that have needed to be made for sometime.

A more serious re-structuring of the forums will take a bit more time. The writing of new descriptions and the combining of threads are time-consuming. On top of it the staff needs to determine the best course of action from our own perspective paired with the comments from the community at large.