Consolidate forums?

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Miss Lonelyhearts
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Consolidate forums?

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:26 pm

This seems like such an obvious idea that it must have suggested and rejected long ago, and the recent birth of the Health forum is evidence that the trend is in the opposite direction. But all the time I spend starring at the Index page tells me it's worth reconsidering!

This forum has 3,843 members of whom 2,041 have 0 posts, about 3,000 have fewer than 10, and only around 350 have 50 or more. Most of the movement here is a group of ten or twenty people, but their posts are scattered across 16 different fora, some of which go dormant for days or weeks at a time. E.g., the Friends and Family forum (which is really the MBTI discussion forum) has only 93 topics in its history. This wouldn't be so bad if it were an accurate category, but it contains the Post Your MBTI type thread, INTJs in fiction thread, and How to Host a Frugal Wedding Thread--all valuable information, but not necessarily the first place you would look for any of these topics.

The current division seems overdetermined for such a small and culturally homogeneous group. Transportation, housing, health/fitness, work and education, your friends and family, and DIY skills all seem to me part of the ERE "lifestyle." Your relationship to money obviously is as well, but the vagaries of tax law, investment strategy and execution, and predicting global economic crises sort of justifies a firewall there. So too with ERE journals, introductions, and political discussion--all of these are either personal one-offs without much topic-churn or liable to be inflammatory enough to mar the spirit of reasoned discourse that prevails here. Everything else, though, seems likely to thrive in one big pot.

Lastly, wouldn't fewer forums contribute to the stated goals of a. taxing the software as little as possible, and b. optimizing mobile viewing?

And my apologies in advance if this idea has been debated and roundly rejected already.

slsdly
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Re: Consolidate forums?

Post by slsdly » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:32 pm

I use active topics (select from quick links in the top left) to read. Puts everything on one page nicely. I only go to individual forums when I *post* :).

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Miss Lonelyhearts
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Re: Consolidate forums?

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:54 pm

That is helpful. I have noticed that contra other forums topics don't get marked "read" unless I click the link saying to do so. Is that by design or a problem on my end?

jacob
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Re: Consolidate forums?

Post by jacob » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:48 am

@ML - Might be because whether something is read is stored as cookies instead of in sql tables which would be the default way to do that. If your browser is set to clean up cookies after leaving a site that information would be lost. The reason is that the forum is too big to handle the load on a shared server. You can also use New Posts or Unread Posts from the quick links.

I'm not really going to change the topics though. It's surprisingly hard to find good splits and once you throw everything in the same bucket it can't be undone. Another problem is that more than a few users just post in random forums---I've given up cleaning up after them. As for the 0 post users, most of those are probably fake, but some of them are just lurkers (this forum as a ton of lurkers ... estimate 10 lurkers for every active poster) who registered but never posted. I do delete people who never posted every few years.

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cmonkey
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Re: Consolidate forums?

Post by cmonkey » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:22 am

This does beg the question, what's the best way to 'keep up' with things? I suppose my method is the 'active posts' page coupled with scanning for things I might be interested in. There is really no way to keep up with all of it so don't even try.

enigmaT120
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Re: Consolidate forums?

Post by enigmaT120 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:52 pm

Open the subforums with that red thing to the left. Threads with new posts have red dots. I access the forum through several different computers though, so I have to just look at the date of the last post to see if I probably already read it on a different computer.

Some forums I frequent remember me and what posts I read across all computers from which I log in, but this one doesn't. It's nae bother.

jacob
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Re: Consolidate forums?

Post by jacob » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:58 pm

enigmaT120 wrote: Some forums I frequent remember me and what posts I read across all computers from which I log in, but this one doesn't. It's nae bother.
That's because of the cookie vs server tables thing. Tables were switched off because it overloaded the server.

JL13
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Re: Consolidate forums?

Post by JL13 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:03 pm

@cmonkey

If you want to see everything, you can subscribe to the forum in your RSS reader. You will have a LOT of daily posts though.

George the original one
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Re: Consolidate forums?

Post by George the original one » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:11 pm

I use Quicklinks, New Posts. Great for up to about 3 days absence, but beyond that you'll need to figure a different method.

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