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This forum has way too many categories

     
11:25 am on Sep 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Some of them are so silly... but I guess that habits are hard to break.
11:32 am on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That is the first time I have ever heard that comment. Most run the other way into, "why don't you have my pet forum".

What if we break it down a bit more into unique sub-categories and make things one more level deep?

11:32 am on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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*Sigh* this should be posted in the Forum Categories Forum.

Mods please move.

;-)

What if we break it down a bit more into unique sub-categories and make things one more level deep?

I have to say I really do like WebmasterWorld how it is, it just works. Making it deeper just means I have to click through more layers, which means I can't look through it as quickly as I'd like when I'm after something in particular.

A deeper forum would presumably also mean much more work for mods what with posts needing to be moved around a lot more!

J.

[edited by: j4mes at 11:39 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2005]

11:35 am on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hehe... See my point?

Some people complained about my own (<snip>) forum having too many categories, but it only had exactly enough to cover the entire world of gaming, without leaving anything out.

However, WW seems to have many categories that easily could be possible to morph together neatly.

I think that this would have the positive effect that more threads are read, answered and that you more quickly get replies (yes, I'm impatient, but that's not why I suggest this).

[edited by: Woz at 11:39 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2005]
[edit reason] No Specifics please, see Tos#13 [/edit]

2:45 pm on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A bum [webmasterworld.com] (occupational choice), complainer [webmasterworld.com], and now a purveyor of advice. You are quite a renaissance man. :)
2:50 pm on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment or as an insult...
3:06 pm on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"why don't you have my pet forum".

We're getting pet forums here? Are you going to split that into subcategories like dog/cat/fish? Or leave it one big forum? 'Cause dog owners have a completely different set of questions and problems than do cat owners. Doesn't make sense to force them all into one forum.

[edited by: Hawkgirl at 5:09 pm (utc) on Sep. 25, 2005]
[edit reason] fixed quote tag [/edit]

10:45 pm on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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...is this advice from the same person who was asking us to create a "review my site [webmasterworld.com]" forum just the other day? ;)
10:54 pm on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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...is this advice from the same person who was asking us to create a "review my site" forum just the other day?

Maybe it's from the person who wants the "publicize my site" forum. ;)

11:35 pm on Sept 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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... or it's from the guy who wants a sane categorization.
12:03 am on Sept 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment or as an insult...

The TOS don't allow me to be rude. ;)

1:01 am on Sept 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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or it's from the guy who wants a sane categorization

Instead of merely complaining about it, why don't you offer your suggestions on how you think the categories should be organized instead?

1:38 pm on Sept 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi KimmoA,

If you find yourself criticising the design of a site which has been extremely succesful (in part due to the nature of it's very design), then you need to look at perhaps whether your own ideas of what makes a succesful site should be reconsidered.

You mentioned before in another thread that you consider yourself a "failed webmaster" because your sites do not make much or any revenue.

Would you consider revisiting your ideas of what makes a good website or forum, or do you rely on your own judgment to tell you what is right? Sometimes it's not a bad idea to re-evaluate. It sounds to me like you have ideas of "how it should be" which might suit you personally, but not the masses. That will reflect in websites you create.

I guess that habits are hard to break.

I think that's very true, but if your sites are not being succesful, then it's critical that you break them.

By the same token, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

TJ

2:31 pm on Sept 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This forum has way too many categories

That's what's so pesky about this business ... it's so darn complicated. ;)

Actually, the precision of WebmasterWorld's forums works to our advantage. If you don't believe it, take a quick dip into the one forum on this board that doesn't have a clearly identified role...the Supporters Forum. It's incredibly random in there. If it weren't for the veritable flood of people posting there to dodge the Adsense pre-mod, there would be no order at all.

No. Give me clearly delineated forums anyday.

cEM

8:32 am on Sept 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've been on board here since the very early days - I remember when Brett first snagged the domain name.

There's nothing arbitrary about the current line-up of forums. We started with a lot fewer, and then grew more as the membership began posting a lot of threads each of the in the specific topics. So the set up we have grew by community need and demand, and not by some arbitrary concept.

... or as an insult

It's very hard not to take YOUR subject line and initial post as an insult -- and since, as I just explained, the forums topics were essentially developed by the community as a whole, your apparent insult is clearly felt by the community as a whole and not just by some imagined "big brother" governing body.

Please, KimmoA, have some recognition that are real people hard at work here, and not just a pile of unfeeling code.

11:38 am on Sept 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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tedster: I'm sure that they are all used. What I'm saying was merely that a fewer amount of forum categories, more general, would mean many more "post reads" (I don't even look in certain categories), and so more replies and general activity.

Also, it would mean much less moving posts around that don't belong where they were posted.

I don't think you're a piece of code -- just saying that the number of categories feels a bit heavy. I mean... a special sub-category for Froogle inside the Google category? I hope you get my point somehow.

12:12 pm on Sept 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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a special sub-category for Froogle inside the Google category?

Nearly 3,000 posts indicates a need for one.

Members here don't want 3,000 posts cluttering up other Google forums if they're not interested in Froogle.

Good forum design naturally follows user requirement.

many more "post reads"

Probably less, actually, reads by people that know about the subject matter and/or want to discuss it. The user/member needs to come first on a community site.

I don't even look in certain categories

Precisely. That's actually a good thing - for you.

TJ

7:43 pm on Sept 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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One thing for sure...you can't be lazy if you are a serious Webmaster in today's competitive marketplaces..

The way that WebmasterWorld (uh oh...did I just violate the TOS here!?).... has evolved by parsing out primary topics and then drilling down into sub-categories reflects well the complexities and issues faced by today's modern Webmaster....

Having Froogle separated from Google is absolutely correct...it is a whole other discussion in itself...

There is a tremendous amount to learn from this forum...I know I have gained some valuable information and have hopefully been able to contribute (though I am somewhat abrasive at times...just burnout...don't take it personally)...

12:43 am on Sept 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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you can't be lazy if you are a serious Webmaster in today's competitive marketplaces

I wouldn't exactly consider writing everything from scratch and thinking of forum categories when everybody else are out drinking and getting laid "lazy"...

(I've made some calculations and come to the conclusion that I cost ~$11/day in the worst case if I consider rent (including cable TV), Internet and co-location for my server to host my sites. If I eat at mum's place, I hardly need to make much more to survive. Not a very fun life, but it's possible. The "free" time would be spent working on the sites until they are big enough to survive on their own (basically). Then I can get back to doing things I actually like.)

6:57 am on Sept 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have no need for more or fewer forum but a custom page with the ones I like best on top would a very nice. If this exists, please tell me.
7:09 am on Sept 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I hope you get my point somehow.

So I gather your comment about "silly" was not a well thought out position -- apology accepted. And you are a member of the community, so your input is duly noted. Even if we did junmp all over it. You seemed to have touched a bit of a nerve. I hope there's some food for thought in the replies this thread has accumulated.

5:24 pm on Sept 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't agree with the OP that WebmasterWorld has "way too many categories" but I do think the site is large enough, and complex enough, that there is room for improvement.

Personally, I've found three ways of monitoring WebmasterWorld.

1. I go to the home page and skim the headlines to see if any of the "featured" threads interest me.

2. I go to the list of subforums/categories in the far right column of the home page, and methodically click on the subcategories that interest me the most, to see if they have any new threads that interest me.

3. I go to the "active posts" page, to see if any of the "active" threads of the moment happen to interest me.

None of these methods is perfect, but a combination of all 3 is -- barely -- sufficient.

Many of the threads I've found most helpful weren't "active" at a time when I was looking, and they were never "featured" on the home page. So, I've only discovered them through a topic-specific search, or by using technique #2.

Hence, technique #2 is crucial to efficiently keeping up with the site, but this technique has some problems. Often, when I click on one of the subcategories, nothing much has happened since the last time I visited, so I feel I've wasted a my time, and I'm discouraged from coming back again to see if there is anything new. Also, this is a somewhat random/haphazard approach, so I sometimes forget all about a particular section, or don't check it for days or weeks, and thus I fail to learn about a thread that might have interested me.

I don't think reducing the number of subcategories would solve the problem, although it would reduce the number of links people need to click (nooks and crannies they need to check) in order to look for interesting threads.

I think there is a different solution which would help solve the problem: you could enable users to create a "personalized" summary page.

In one part of the page they could see 10 or so active posts from throughout the entire site (updated constantly, just like the standard active posts page).

The remainder of the page would be devoted to small subsections which would list the "top" threads from specific subforums, chosen by the user.

Each of these areas could be quite small, so that a bunch of them could fit onto a single, long page. Each small area would only need to list the "top" 5 or so threads from that particular subforum.

Each time a member visits this summary page they would "see" the recent/active threads from the specific subforums they have chosen to include on the page.

I don't know how hard this would be to program, but I think it would help members take full advantage of the site without having to spend every waking hour monitoring the "active posts" page. :)

10:45 pm on Sept 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't exactly consider writing everything from scratch and thinking of forum categories when everybody else are out drinking and getting laid "lazy"...

"getting laid" ... what's that?
"drinking" ... what's that?

2:00 am on Sept 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A bum (occupational choice), complainer, and now a purveyor of advice. You are quite a renaissance man. :)

You know, I think lawman hit the nail on the head once again. KimmoA, I don't mean to look as though I am always attacking you, because I really am not. As I've said before, I wish you well and hope that you find success all around you. At some point though, do you think that things might stop being everyone else's mistakes, and a product of your own actions?

Generalizing this community would be a major step backwards. And that, is an understatement.

2:47 am on Sept 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have no need for more or fewer forum but a custom page with the ones I like best on top would a very nice. If this exists, please tell me.

Iframes work like a charm hitprof.

Try something like this in the custom code under your system prefs:
<center><IFRAME src="http*//www*yoursitehere.com/wws.htm" width="800" height="100"></iframe></center>

Create the custom page on yoursitehere.com and voila.