Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

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Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:41 pm

Listening to what is being said in response to the changes that were made, I think the following might be a better option with regard to the Progressions and Advanced Techniques and the Bonsai Discussion forums -the other changes are seemingly fine. Please bear in mind that the exercise was largely to a) reduce the heavy flow into the old Bonsai forum which resulted in threads getting knocked off the page within a day; and b) to allow some separation out of potensai from finished items:

1. Bonsai Progressions etc. renamed as Finished Trees (for finished trees - single pics thereof or progressions that show a sequences that is start to finished item.)
2. Bonsai Discussion renamed as Works in Progress (for trees that have had some sort of work done on them - either a single action (eg crown development) or adding to an as yet incomplete progression). To an extent, this is the "potensai" board but not so named as the term is too contentious.
3. The word "general" being reinstated in the off-topic banter forum so that posts that have no real "learning point" can be located there. I'd include here posts such as recent ones about the weather.
4. we'd relocate threads about "here's my new xxxxx, what should I do with it?" and requests for virts into the Questions forum. (And we'd be very careful how we answered the "what should I do with it questions" Wink )
5. we'll use the Top Threads section (which hasn't been brought into service yet) for any thread we think is worthy rather than have an Advanced Techniques part.

Pros:
* it should make a clearer distinction between the two main bonsai boards
* it should reduce the traffic considerably into any one forum
* it will mean that posters can add to the progressions they start in Works in Progress and when they are complete, we can move them to Finished Trees.
* it will save "double handling" of moving a good thread from somewhere else to Advanced Techniques and then to Top Threads. Almost by definition if it merits a move to Advanced then it merits a place in Top Threads.



I'd welcome your comments on this but add the caveat that I am wary of prolonging this whole discussion on forum changes. This is partly because of the very valid issue that we won't please all of the people all the time, but also because as it stands, less than 2% of the membership has given any comments or suggestions and while that isn't a reason not to make changes, it does rather beg a few questions.

Deadline for comments is Friday 20th, 6pm UK time. Thereafter I'll make any necessary recommendations to the rest of the Moderator team.

Many thanks to those who have given excellent contributions thus far.


Last edited by fiona on Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  Tom Simonyi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:02 pm

Fiona....imho, these proposed changes make a lot of sense and I would welcome them....I sincerely thank you and the staff for all the hard work you have done and continue to do regarding the forums.

Tom

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  Poink88 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:19 pm

Fiona,

The proposed change makes sense and should help things get sorted properly. ThumbsUp I believe the silent majority support and welcome what ever enhancements you (forum team) come up with.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  Marco Giai-Coletti on Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:45 pm

Fiona, the changes are really good. It makes a lot more sense. Thanks for all your effort. As for the silent majority... You know what is said of no news!

Regards
Marco

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  ang3lfir3 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:39 am

my only comments are to take organizing only as far as it is useful.... one of the the difficulties in using other forums like BN is the insane amount of division in category for posts.... right down to sections for particular styles.... its ludicrous .... my favorite thing about IBC has always been its rolling nature and the idea that I could sort out what was new and exciting by just looking at the first page or so.... even without having to login ...

so my only comment said with a voice of lots of "been there done that" (having been a forum moderator and owner for several other larger forums on different topics) ... don't create so many different places to put things that its hard to figure out how to categorize a new thread ... what will end up happening is that you'll end up creating lots of work for yourself and some threads won't get the attention they deserve, etc .... my 0.02 take it or leave it .... given with great respect and appreciation

thanks for all your hard work... I know how thankless and tiring it can be ...


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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:13 pm

ang3lfir3 wrote:... don't create so many different places to put things that its hard to figure out how to categorize a new thread ... what will end up happening is that you'll end up creating lots of work for yourself and some threads won't get the attention they deserve, etc ....

Thanks for your input. In fact what we are trying to do here is not create new fourm boards but rename existing ones to get rid of any doubt over what goes where.


I'm still far from convinced that the silent majority are happy to along with changes. It would be good to hear from some voices who have not previously commented on this issue.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:58 pm

I think it might have been a thread I started that lead to all of this, for which I sincerely apologize.

Having said that, my original thread was NOT asking for changes in the boards. Frankly I was happy with the boards as they were.

I thought I was asking for guidance and maybe support in how to deal with threads like "I have this great Bonsai" when the reality is what the person has is a stick in a pot.

I don't think that the changes will make in difference in that issue. The person who thinks they have a finished tree from Wal Mart will still post on the "I have this great Bonsai" board.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:24 pm

Thanks, Billy. The thread you originally started was indeed to do with the matter you state. It then became a request by other for changes including establishing a Gallery and some way of reinstating the old "potensai".

Regarding the stick in pot scenario - I don't think we will ever be free from that and to an extent it can be a good thing as it allows members to point out how the poster can start to develop better trees. Many of us started out this way after all, and many of us also benefitted from other people then taking us under their wings and educating us otherwise. To anextent this is what we do on here. The idea of redirecting the commonly asked questions and the SIPs to a bank of resources should make responses easier and one of the things we'll be including is links to articles on other sites that gives such advice, e.g. bonsai4me has a good article on Developing Mallsai.

What happens when, as has occurred many times, the poster "argues back" and tells us we're all doing it wrong? Patience and/or ignoring them I'd say. You can only take the horse to the water...


btw to update your statistic on your original thread: 65% of the membership has never posted (approx 2600 members) and of that some 420 members never visited at all after registering.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:27 pm

Also, to pick up Billy's other point about the old set-up, returning to having only one forum for Bonsai instead of two remains an option but gets us back to the problem of the volume of traffic into it.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  coh on Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:17 pm

fiona wrote:btw to update your statistic on your original thread: 65% of the membership has never posted (approx 2600 members) and of that some 420 members never visited at all after registering.
I was curious about this...because it seems that a lot of people join, start their one thread, then disappear after a few posts. According to the member list, there are 3987 registered members...and 3237 of them - that's 80%! - have 10 posts or less.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  Poink88 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:22 pm

coh wrote:
I was curious about this...because it seems that a lot of people join, start their one thread, then disappear after a few posts. According to the member list, there are 3987 registered members...and 3237 of them - that's 80%! - have 10 posts or less.
Chris,

I believe part of the problem is them receiving a less than warm welcome. Responses (or lack of it) to the first posts are really critical in determining whether they will stay or not. As I stated before...I myself almost left (not sure if that is a good thing or bad for IBC though LOL). A simple "welcome" post IMHO will go a long way.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:25 pm

Poink88 wrote: I believe part of the problem is them receiving a less than warm welcome. Responses (or lack of it) to the first posts are really critical in determining whether they will stay or not. As I stated before...I myself almost left (not sure if that is a good thing or bad for IBC though LOL). A simple "welcome" post IMHO will go a long way.
In essence, the Introductions forum is designed to get rid of the "first thread blues". We will be amending the activation message to encourage new users to make their first post into Introductions. That, plus better orientated boards, should ensure that their first "proper post" doesn't get lost in the rush of traffic which was one of the problems you experienced Dario.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  my nellie on Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:35 pm

fiona wrote:... ...Thanks for your input. In fact what we are trying to do here is not create new fourm boards but rename existing ones to get rid of any doubt over what goes where.
And the proposed changes (to fora labels/titles) do serve this purpose right, indeed!!!

One more suggestion from me, perhaps you might reconsider the order in which the fora are presenting on the index page.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:51 pm

Thanks, Alexandra. The current order reflects a mixture of the frequency of use (ie the Bonsai ones are first) and the perceived importance which is why Off-Topic is last. Would be interested to hear your thinking though.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  my nellie on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:40 pm

I am not quite sure..., but since you want
fiona wrote: ... ... We will be amending the activation message to encourage new users to make their first post into Introductions. That, plus better orientated boards, should ensure that their first "proper post" doesn't get lost in the rush of traffic ... ....
then, the two "Personal Space" fora might fit better to be set in higher order, perhaps just above "Pots".
You know it's just what our eye sees first.
Then, from "Pots" downwards there would be all the fora related to the bonsai tree itself.
I am not sure I have made myself clear... you see the language barrier... However, I hope you understand me.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:26 pm

Thanks again for your input.

I personally think people would see the bonsai - i.e. tree-related posts - as the most important on a bonsai forum. It also makes some sense to me to keep the private forums (not visible to non-members) together and those are the bottom three currently.


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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  ang3lfir3 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:32 pm

fiona wrote:Thanks again for your input.
I personally think people would see the bonsai - i.e. tree-related posts - as the most important on a bonsai forum. It also makes some sense to me to keep the private forums (not visible to non-members) together and those are the bottom three currently.

absolutely ... tree related posts are the most important ... pots, stands, displays etc. are all at the same level to me but if you have to sort them out then they would be just slightly lower (as you need a tree first before those things are of any real use)

personally ... (and this is usually just me ) I would be fine without an "off topic" forum ... by its very nature it's name suggests that it doesn't belong (no worries I know every forum HAS to have one for some reason... )

more 0.02 Smile

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  coh on Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:18 pm

Disagree about the "off-topic" forum. It's nice to have a place to post jokes, non-bonsai stuff, etc - in my opinion, it helps people get to know each other. Plus you know that some of the off topic stuff would wind up in the bonsai forums if there wasn't a separate place for it.

Of course, it can be taken too far - one only need visit the ridiculous "karaoke bar" at Bonsai Nut to see that. There are plenty of places on the internet for those kind of "discussions" (very loose use of the term), no need for it on a bonsai forum. This place seems to have it just right...

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  Mike Jones on Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:07 pm

And I agree with Chris. Just perfick methinks.

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New Topic, please

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:55 pm

More than one time have found the suiseki catagori is much too heavy for most readers.....
Only 3 persons into suiseki is talking here...the moderator Peterbrod and I.

I think it would be a very good idea to create a topic for all those people who find funny and interesting stones, and sometimes want to make a very personal display with them too....these people will often find their way to the suiseki section. Quite often. And must sometimes feel let down.

The topic could be called.....funny and interesting stones of all sizes. ikebana. and display.
A guy like Sunip would be perfect as the moderator, as he is the master of small, interesting and funny stones.

Kind regards Yvonne



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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:02 pm

Thanks you for your suggestion, Yvonne. Everyone's thoughts are most welcome.

I don't visit the Suiseki etc forum very much, but I would have thought that such topics haven't have been discouraged therein. Is it that the items are so different from the mainstream that the poster feels they are out of keeping with the Stones forum? If so, they could go in a more general forum such as the existing Display one or even Off-Topic. Bear in mind we may be rebranding the forums again and a more obvious slot may be found for these more unusual and funny stones if the poster does not want to post them on the main Stones forum.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  marcus watts on Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:44 pm

hi,

mostly i see the renaming as a good way to totally clarify things perfectly - the new layout is great, really working well. I'm not sure that 'top threads' and 'advanced techniques' are completely mixable though - a top thread could be a great conversation about soil with 50 -100 posts but contain nothing at all advanced in it (just a really enjoyable chat about observations and personal experience), while a superb technique or a few really usefull tips could be in a post with only a small handfull of replies, especially as a technique often doesnt need a reply other than "thankyou" - i guess it depends how and who moves the threads though.

rerally appreciate the work gone into the improvements.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  fiona on Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:09 pm

I think we'd see Top Threads as a sort of repository of all the good stuff that has been posted, irrespective of what the topic is. That could, as you say be a soil thread, or it could be the one I've put up already as a for example. I'd see that forum as being the sort of Champion of Champions location.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  lordy on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:03 pm

Fiona,
I am fine with however you want to organinze. I concentrate mainly the top 3 boards regarding trees, and once in a while go to pots. Never look at suiseki, nor much else. I figure if I cant make constructive criticism then remain mute. I dont really have any problems with how it is currently arranged, and can figure out for myself fairly quickly if I need to open a topic, or if any additions to it need to be read.
Keep up the fine work, and thank you and all the other mods/admin for your apparently tireless efforts in running this site.

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

Post  dave fish on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:02 pm

My 2p worth.
I don't post much but I read lots. Maybe eventually I will take photos of my trees and we can all laugh!

The new changes appear to make sense to me.

DF

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Re: Possible Forum Changes Consultation Part 2

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