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Old 02-04-2005, 09:28 AM   #16
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Originally posted by Megamieuwsel
Ah yes ; T.K. and M.C. : "The Predictable Twins".
Condescending and reactionary as always....
That was kind of harsh... trickykid and MasterC (2 people for whom I have a lot of respect mind you, they've both helped me out) are simply giving their opinions - just like everyone else in this thread. Do us both a favor, if all you've got to say is something that will not help the discussion, and only start a flame war, please unplug your mouse before pressing "Submit Reply."
Old 02-04-2005, 09:40 AM   #17
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And the keyboard prior to hitting 'enter' just to make sure.

MasterC hit one of my big points: gimme a descriptive thread title and if I know anything about it I *will* see it and *will* try to answer. But these 'help!' and 'problem!' and 'strange error message...' titles aren't doing anybody any favors. That last one particularly drives me up a wall. Yeah, the drama of it all just has me dying of curiosity and I *have* to click. Wrong. Just post the freakin' error message as your thread title and say 'Gee, that's strange' in the post..

It's important to post in the right forum just on principle but View New Posts surfers won't even be as aware of that as the thread title - that's the single most important thing for getting responses.
Old 02-04-2005, 10:01 AM   #18
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I can understand the feeling of frustration that many people feel when new forum ideas is rejected. In reality folks, it's very messy and clutters up a site very very fast! I've seen forums that contain about a 100 subforums with 1 post each and it's awful to see that mess. If even 10% of subforum ideas are accepted then we would have a HUGE forum!

But I think the Installation issues subforum is a very logical extension to Software and would only enhance LQ and not clutter it up.
Old 02-04-2005, 10:31 AM   #19
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OK, couple things. Megamieuwsel, I don't think what either Drew or Chad said was in any way condescending. They both stated facts in a manner that was straight forward (and FWIW, both of them were correct). It's been proven through trial and error that the order a forum appears in has a large impact on the number of posts it receives. I also agree that getting threads in the correct forum with a good title would be one of the absolute best things we could do for LQ. On that note I am open to suggestions on how we can improve this. As was mentioned we have brainstormed and implemented a couple things, but there is always more improvement to be done.
On to the forum split. I think Linux - Software with a Linux - Software Installation subforum does make a lot of sense. The one caveat is that we will need to get people to use it. Any other subforums that stand out as good ideas?

Old 02-04-2005, 10:36 AM   #20
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Yes. Getting people to use the subforum would be difficult.

How about a regular main "Installation" forum which would cover both software *and* Linux installation?

Hm... Needs some more consideration, I think.
Old 02-04-2005, 11:13 AM   #21
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I don't think getting people to use an "installation" forum would be a problem. I think the problem will be getting the right people to use it. Initially, at least.

I predict that for a short time after it's creation, we will se a number of threads which say "3 weeks ago I installed something and something else has just stopped working". The Distro-Installation sub-forums had initial hits of wrong posting, but over time have settled into being, largely, correct.

Luckily, to a certain extent, LQ is self moderating - if someone does post incorrectly usually we see a few replies which say "this is in the wrong place, don't double post, a mod will move it".

I am all for this sub-forum.

Incidentally, if you do think a member needs educating on wording their thread titles and threads, point them
here and at ESR's "How To Ask a Question" (link in my sig block).
Old 02-04-2005, 01:04 PM   #22
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Random Thoughts....

Okay, I realize that I have little to no reason joining in on this conversation. With that said I agree and support the 'Installation' forum idea. Usually I can find answers by searching without having to post, but when I have, I experienced the same short-lived process as the original poster.

As for brainstorming, I realize that in the end it comes down to a user using the site correctly. MasterC is 110% correct here. You can't stop a poster from putting his/her shoe size in a field labeled name if they are set on doing it. Along this idea, the software forum has a unique property to it in that all (well almost all) posts have to do with a particular entity; a piece of software. What if there was a required field by the subject field labeled 'Problem Software Title' or something similar. Then this could simply be cat'ed to the front of the subject. This would give a uniform and hopefully easy hint at the post. At least people would know what software has a weird error message. I realize that the job will then be to get people to stop putting HELP in this field. You can't win them all though.

Well, just a random idea. Thanks for letting me pipe in! I will go back to browsing the forums now.

Old 02-04-2005, 01:06 PM   #23
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Originally posted by jeremy
I also agree that getting threads in the correct forum with a good title would be one of the absolute best things we could do for LQ. On that note I am open to suggestions on how we can improve this.
As far as the titles, would it be possible to re-orient the 'Subject' tips and the subject input box. I'm not sure, but I suspect people might interpret the small left column as 'that stuff over there' and focus on the input boxes. If the 'Subject' tips were above the input box that might do something.

Subject:  | BOX
good      | Click Here BOX
bad       | note
could be
          | good and bad titles
Subject:  | BOX
          | Click Here BOX
          | note
Then again, I don't know how much success the 'click here' thing has and that's vertically oriented already. I suppose the best thing to do is simply point out bad titles and wrong forums. I suspect a lot of people pick up a lot of things just surfing. They're probably more likely to pick things up from incidental conversation about how LQ actually *behaves* than from official signposts, really.

The one caveat is that we will need to get people to use it.
Along similar lines, the best that can be done is for people to make a special effort to get into the new subforum and answer questions there. If it looks 'empty like no one will reply' it may not get used right away but if it looks 'empty like no one can possibly miss my post and I'll get an answer right away' it should be quite effective. But I suspect after a fuzzy patch, it will sort itself out pretty quickly, regardless.

Any other subforums that stand out as good ideas?
I still like the GUI-specific forum idea, but that's been shot down a few times. I can't think of anything else beyond the already mentioned idea that Newbie is largish and there's not really a good way to split it.
Old 02-05-2005, 03:40 AM   #24
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I agree with the idea that **some** forums would do better with further sub-forums or even break-offs from their original forum. The Wireless subforum for Networking was a great move IMHO. I'm not completely against change as my post may have come across. What I'd like to not see are so many forums that people will not bother to choose one, and just use Linux - General for all their posting needs (Linux - General is just a random forum pick that members may decide to use as their all-purpose forum).

An idea that I was just thinking about might be a drop down box. Keep the forums in the order they are in, but when creating a new thread, require the user to use a drop down box list of the existing forums, not necessarily in the order the forums are visually formatted. Let me try to explain this a bit better:
A user clicks on the first forum they come to, maybe it's Linux - Software, maybe it's Linux - Networking, really doesn't matter, and it varies depending on how they arrived. They choose to start a new thread, and click the button to do so. Upon arriving at that screen they are given the exisiting screen, but now added is a section that is required, a "Forum" section. There will exist a drop down menu (without a default forum being there so the poster will HAVE to choose one) with all the forums listed. As one is chosen, the forum description appears below it. The forums aren't listed in the same order they appear when viewing the forums from the start page:
But rather in something like alphabetical order, or something similar to kind of monitor if the upper most forum in that drop down is being selected simply because it's first. A user is prompted to choose a forum if one is not when they click the Submit button.

Seems like quite a bit of coding would be required, and might not make that much of a difference, but I figure I'd throw it out since it popped into my head

Would could always just resort to tazers, but I think we'd lose a few members after a while

Old 02-05-2005, 04:12 AM   #25
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A drop-down menu box to choose the forum to post new topics in is a great idea.

I think it can be worked out. There is already a dropdown for navigating various forums, so I think to incorporate it in the new topic dialog is not too difficult.
Old 02-06-2005, 02:37 PM   #26
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If a forum split is going to happen I'd tend to suggest having a seperate "Software->Server Software" forum. I see quite a few software questions posted in Networking where it is mainly a question about configuring apache/postfix/ssh etc, while networking isn't the wrong forum it possibly isn't the best.
Old 02-06-2005, 03:33 PM   #27
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And for the record, we once had an Installation forum, it was split into Software and Hardware.. I'd have to say 90% of the questions in Software already are about installing or configuring, so why do we need to split it off once again?


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