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Forum Moderators: lawman
1) I'm rapidly getting frustrated with the limitations of the current message board system; having come from some big Slashcode sites (Plastic and Slashdot itself), it seems that there's not enough customizeability on the site (posts don't have their own subject lines) and some petty miscellaneous concerns (the substitute HTML tags are funny). Is there chance we might see a slash version of the site in the future?
2) While there's a good amount of interesting information crawling around here, it's poorly organized -- that is, it might be a good idea to have an organized FAQ of sorts. Has anyone attempted such?
>>posts don't have their own subject lines
The thread Title it the subject of the post in the thread. One of our primary goals is to keep threads tight and on topic. If there was the opportunity to subtitle individual posts it could make harder to stay on topic.
>>it's poorly organized
How so? The forums are organized by topic area and these topics have been discussed and molded by a significantly large group of moderators. We have an active list [webmasterworld.com] where you can follow the days most active discussions. We have the library [webmasterworld.com] with highlighted posts in it. We have a search [searchengineworld.com] function. Finally we've given you the ability to 'flag' individual posts for future reference.
The thread Title is the subject of the post in the thread. One of our primary goals is to keep threads tight and on topic. If there was the opportunity to subtitle individual posts it could make harder to stay on topic.
Hm, yes. I think that's actually a function of the posters' ability to do so; and to some degree is a function of the size of the posting audience (i.e., slashdot and Usenet were both better when they were small). Mercifully, this is a pretty niche topic, so I don't see that changing much in the near future. One reason I like slashcode is the ability to thread discussions as I see fit, with moderation to keep dumb/offtopic comments invisible.
>>it's poorly organized
How so? The forums are organized by topic area and these topics have been discussed and molded by a significantly large group of moderators. We have an active list where you can follow the days most active discussions. We have the library with highlighted posts in it. We have a search function. Finally we've given you the ability to 'flag' individual posts for future reference.
I'm not interested in sifting through the "me too" posts, the "please review my site" posts, the "google didn't crawl me¦google gave me PR0, boo hoo" posts, etc. Even if I have the ability to bookmark the individual posts, I don't want to have to sort through tons of these kinds of things. This to me shows up the limitations of the search engine as a presentation tool: while it can give you a gazillion results, relevance is still a substantial issue. This is why books have editors, and why I think there's a strong need for a FAQ here -- or a book.
That's generally the style with threaded message boards, and with those you have to go back and forth and click on the individual post titles to read each one individually. You can't just read through the whole discussion, or print it out. It's very time consuming, and as oilman said the title of the thread here is what a whole discussion is about. I've worked with threaded boards, and there are serious problems with them if a post ever has to be edited, which often happens.
Different people prefer different styles, and each one serves a different purpose, depending on the venue.
As far as organization is concerned, the forum as a whole appears to me to be like the table of contents of a book. Four divisions or sections - one section devoted to directories & search engines, broken down into sub-categories like book chapters. Another is about seo issues and methods, another for non-seo webmastering topics, again broken down topically like chapters; the fourth is local, which relates to the board and the membership in general, aside from the other topical issues.
Regarding FAQ for the detailed subject matter, I suspect that's the crux of what you're finding difficult - digging out detailed specifics. Using the book analogy, I'd liken that to an alphabetical index, or probably more aptly, like an appendix with back-references.
I can't disagree with the fact that the detailed specifics could be a bit easier to find; however, implementing it would not be an easy matter. It's been brought up before, in fact there was a discussion in this forum recently about that very thing.
>Has anyone attempted such?
Yes, as a matter of fact I have. I started to more than one time, but it's a time-consuming thing to put something like that together. I do have something in rough form about 1/2 put together, it just never got polished off. I basically did it for my own reference. I pretty much remember where most everything is, but categorizing makes it a lot quicker to find. Unfortunately, time is too often in short supply.
Thanks for taking the time to give your input, scareduck. Suggestions all do get attention, and as the description says, that's what this forum is for.
If you've got a couple of specifics you're looking for right now, let me know and I'll see if I've got some quick references to threads I can get to you.
The big bonus wmw has, IMNSHO, is its simplicity. It doesn't try to be all things to all visitors... and it doesn't try to give all visitors every possible option. It's very clean and to the point. Looking at the page layouts doesn't give me a vague feeling of being trapped in a hyperactive teenagers nightmare.