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Forum tweaking

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Post by Chilli-head on 10th December 2014, 11:48 pm

There are a few things I've been itching to sort out for a while, a few minor things I've made a start on.  

I've de-stickied the old tea room threads, so that newer threads aren't pushed onto the second page - I propose we just keep the current month's thread sticky.  
I've also pruned out some out of date announcements, de-stickied some other old threads so that they can fall back into their chronological order.  I want to reduce the look of stagnation where possible.  To that end I also plan to "demote" any moderators who have moved on.

I think that the forum front page is too long, too many sections.  It is well known in web design that you need to excite someone on the first page, or they may not even bother scrollling down.  I think the "doing" sections need on the first screenful ideally.  

Current plan is:

Merge Growing spaces and The greenouse and gardens.
Archive Build it green
Merge Shopping, & Saving, Save Money, Save the planet and Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Merge Smalls talk and Health and Wellbeing into Family, health and wellbeing
Merge The family room section and the remains of Buildings, fuel and power into a The Home section

Any opinions, suggestions or objections ?
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Post by freebird on 11th December 2014, 8:18 am

Oooh, Sir, Yr'Honour (yes I've just seen that you're no longer a mod but Boss Man).

These all sound good to me. No objection at all. Regarding moderators, it always made me smile when I first joined because everybody who posted was a mod except me. Talk about chiefs and Indians!
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Post by Chilli-head on 11th December 2014, 8:44 am

Ah yes.  My "Chilli-head" in the "who is online" box up there seems to have ripened from green to red ! I think the "Boss man" was what Adrian called me after I jokiingly said I needed a promotion to be able to do some of the changes I wanted. But have a look at what Adrian has called himself. ..

I think that we have more people listed as mods than we have active members at the moment,  which is a bit silly.
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Post by freebird on 11th December 2014, 11:35 am

Ha ha, that's funny. I'll forbear to comment on Adrian's description of himself, having never met him.
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Post by Jaded Green on 11th December 2014, 5:10 pm

That allsounds good CH. I must spologise regarding sticvkies - I used to unstick the previous tea room, but got out of the habit.

As for merging - i think some of those are mine to moderate so I now have to concetrate on one area. When my life sorts out, i wil try to start some new thrreads,

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Post by Dandelion on 12th December 2014, 10:04 pm

I think JG has hit the nail on the head, in that for a few of us our lives are a bit more complicated now than they were a year ago. Which is one reason that merging some of the sections, and focussing what we concentrate on, makes a lot of sense.
The proposed new organisation sounds great.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 15th December 2014, 5:33 pm

I think I've done what I have the energy for, for now. I hadn't realised quite how tedious moving threads around could be !

I have poked Google and Bing to come and have a rummage. One thought came to mind. When posting, bear in mind that the subject titles of the posts will both help the search engines, and visitors, to find your posts. So, if it is interesting enough to warrant its own thread, it will be more visible if posted that way rather than tacked onto a "What did you do in the whatnot today" sticky thread. And it is worth thinking about the title/subject; words you might type into Google if you were looking for the sort of topic you are about to post are obviously likely to be best


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Post by Dandelion on 15th December 2014, 10:07 pm

Good point CH

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 16th December 2014, 8:42 am

Those are good points you raised, CH. A thought has just occurred to me now. It has always been that casual visitors were not able to see the tearoom. As we haven't many people who currently post, that is where most of the activity takes place. So any guest looking in would see even less activity than there actually is.

I think that perhaps places even more importance on starting new, relevant threads.
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Post by Dandelion on 16th December 2014, 10:38 pm

Another good point...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Jaded Green on 17th December 2014, 9:19 am

Indeed - very good points.
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Post by Chilli-head on 22nd December 2014, 9:57 pm

One of the things I've noticed rummaging through old posts to fix broken links etc, is that there are some pretty good threads which take some delving to find.   Now one of the things that persuaded me to hang on in with the forum format is that the threads provide a more enduring resource than a social network can.  But, as Dandelion mentioned,  the search is not so useful as it might be.

I've had an idea, to make a sticky post in some of the bigger sections, which would be an index of the more informative threads, each with a link and one line description.   Perhaps I'll just try it in, say, growing spaces, and see how much work it is
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Post by freebird on 22nd December 2014, 10:48 pm

Sounds like a plan CH - are there any jobs you can delegate, or is the onus on you to do everything?
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Post by Jaded Green on 22nd December 2014, 10:59 pm

CH, i'll try to do the same in the thread (s?) I moderate over Christmas
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Post by Dandelion on 23rd December 2014, 10:50 am

I'll see how you do it, then try to do the same with the low-cost recipes

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd December 2014, 1:54 pm

freebird wrote:Sounds like a plan CH - are there any jobs you can delegate, or is the onus on you to do everything?

I am usually terrible with delegation; I forget all the help available and try to do too much myself ! No reason at all why you can't do some, and I think it would look better for it. I can't remember if you need special powers ( Laughing ) to make a post sticky, but if so I can easily add the glue later !

I might not get round to it for a little bit though; I'm still making chopping boards for Christmas Embarassed
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Post by Jaded Green on 23rd December 2014, 4:32 pm

I can make stickies. Very Happy
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Post by Dandelion on 23rd December 2014, 8:16 pm

PLenty of stickies here - one of my daughters inadvertantly left a bag of frozen cherries out on top of the freezer last night. This morning there was a LOT of sticky on the floor, which being concrete wasn't easy to clean

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 7th February 2015, 9:05 pm

Something I've been mulling on.

We have a few of those perpetual threads - aside from the tea room, there is "what did you do in the garden today", now at 141 pages of posts !  I like the way these threads are somewhere to put the little things that don't merit a thread of their own.  But on the other hand, they aren't very easily searched - nobody will wade through 141 pages. And the ability to look back is one of the advantages of a forum over social networks.

We split up the tearoom into month chunks because historically the forum software couldn't cope with very long threads.  But I wonder - would this be a good way to go for other topics ?

I am thinking of the things which have a seasonal nature; gardening and recipies.  I wonder if replacing the "what did I do in the garden today" thread with a monthly "The February garden" etc might not build into a more useful gardening month by month resource.  Similarly a seasonal recipe thread might be nice and could build into a more useful reference. I think the seasons, and the food that goes with them, are something to be celebrated.  And as we are few, we need to make the most of our posts !

The downside I see is that other topics get pushed down the list more quickly. But we have over a year of posts to a screen in Growing spaces, so not too big a drawback.  

Any thoughts, pro or con ?  Would you prefer a month by month approach to the garden threads ? Would you want to have / be able to contribute to a seasonal recipe thread ? Or am I worrying about rearranging deck chairs Crying or Very sad
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Post by Dandelion on 7th February 2015, 10:03 pm

To organise the garden thread into months makes sense to me.
With the idea of recipes being organised into a seasonal order, are you thinking of rearranging the existing recipes too, or just new ones?

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 8th February 2015, 10:40 am

I agree that it would make sense to go seasonal or monthly.
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