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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:34 am

Creating the new Big Bad Serious Forum got me thinking about how our site is organized, and I don't think that the sub-divisions we have make the most efficient use of space. When I first set up the new forum I copied the structure of the old forum, but that had been build up rather haphazardly by Admin Ady, who didn't really pay a lot of attention to the forum anyway. Since then, we've added to the forum a few times (mostly with sub-forums) but without looking at the whole picture. As a result, I think the current organization is uneven. Some topics have multiple forums for discussion, which spreads posts and threads thin, whereas other forums are dumping grounds for lots of different threads. My main thoughts on the matter are as follows.

  1. There's really no reason why we need two Hobbit Movie forums right now, since neither of them is getting a lot of traffic and we see "breaking news" posted in both of them. They would function just as well, if not better, as a single forum, and it would be easier to see all the Hobbit threads in one forum.
  2. The Tolkien and Silmarillion forums are both very small and sad and lonely. Sad Keeping them as they are takes up space on the front page (pushing the rest of the forums down and out of sight for people with low screen resolutions) and it doesn't look that good to see such low post totals. Because of this and because the topics they cover are related, I think they would work better combined.
  3. Ideas and Suggestions is a dumping ground for all sorts of threads in a way it was never intended to be, and as such it gets a disproportionate number of posts. We've already separated out the serious threads to the Big Bad Serious Forum, but half of the threads in I&S are spammy off-topic threads (the way we love 'em Very Happy) that fit more with the off-topic nature of the New Members forum and the other half are discussions of forum issues (like this) that have a considerable degree of overlap with the Board Announcements forum.


With this in mind, here is my proposal for how to reorganize the forum structure. I think it makes more efficient use of the space on the index page and I think it gives a more equitable distribution of posts in each forum.

MIDDLE-EARTH
The Hobbit (combining The Hobbit Movies and Breaking News)
The Lord of the Rings (more or less as it is)
Tolkien's Legendarium (combining the J.R.R. Tolkien and The Silmarillion forums)
Archive Forum (same as it is -- a link to the archive)

OTHER STUFF
Arts and Entertainment (Other Fantasy Stories, but renamed to be more descriptive)
  • User Fiction (the same as it is, it's not big enough to be its own forum IMO)
Off-Topic (combining New Members with the spammy threads in Ideas and Suggestions)
The Big Bad Serious Forums (as it is; it's growing fast and I think can survive on its own)
Site Issues (combining Board Announcements and site discussions in I&S)

As always, all thoughts, comments, suggestions, modifications, and improvements are most welcome. Very Happy I like this idea but it's really up to you, so please let me know what you think! Smile


Last edited by Eldorion on Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Baingil Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:37 am

I know it'd be a big change, but I like it. Very Happy
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Post by chris63 Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:58 am

Sounds good Eldo, go for it Very Happy
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Post by Tinuviel Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:03 am

I still think Silmarillion should be it's own thing, but otherwise I like it!

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:08 am

I can definitely understand that, though it's looking very sad and lonely by itself to me. Sad I think the topics of Tolkien's life and his life work (The Silm) are closely related, and I had been planning on mentioning The Silmarillion by name in the forum description to make it's importance clear. A combined forum could also give a clear home for discussions of Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-earth, and other lesser-known books. Whatever we decide to do now doesn't tie our hands for the future, of course, and The Silm can always get its own forum again in the future. Very Happy
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Post by Orwell Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:22 am

I actually agree with Tin about "The Silmarillion". Otherwise - you have my vote. Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:39 am

New Members is my only concern with the proposal- shouldn't it remain on its own on the main page to, well welcome New Members?

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Post by Orwell Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:23 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:New Members is my only concern with the proposal- shouldn't it remain on its own on the main page to, well welcome New Members?

Though New Members tend to ignore it. My kind of Members, come to think of it. Very Happy

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Post by Kafria Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:07 am

Looks good to me - I am having a little trouble from time to time relocating a thread as it's not in the most logical place, what it's like to get your head around as a newcomer I am not sure! Very Happy

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:32 pm

Orwell wrote:
Pettytyrant101 wrote:New Members is my only concern with the proposal- shouldn't it remain on its own on the main page to, well welcome New Members?

Though New Members tend to ignore it. My kind of Members, come to think of it. Very Happy

I actually have to agree with Orwell. Razz The New Members forum functions mainly as a general off-topic board already, rather than a welcome forum. I thought that we could put a prominent welcome thread in that forum a a sticky and mention it in the forum description, and that would probably serve the same purpose just as well. As it is, I could actually see the content of that forum being a little intimidating since most of it has nothing to do with new members.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:50 pm

A fair point- I was not so much thinking of the content of the current new members thread so much as the notion there should be one new members can find- it gives a welcoming feel to the place rather assuming people will just jump into an exisitng thread (even though most probably do just that) its more about the effect, if you get me.

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:03 pm

Yeah, I understand where you're coming from. I think that making the Off-Topic forum description to be "Introduce yourself or chat about anything" or something to that effect would have the same purpose if there was an introductions thread in that forum. We could make it a sticky or even a global announcement; in the latter case it would show up in all forums and be easier to notice. Wink
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:19 pm

You know the technical side of such things Eldo- I fully trust in your instincts here. Just so long as there is somewhere on the main page for newbies to go I'm happy, if its a sticky or incorporated into a more general topic no probs. Very Happy

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:14 pm

Thanks Petty. Very Happy Only issue I'm not clear on is The Silmarillion ... I really think that it and the Tolkien forum would work better combined, but if people feel strongly about it we can leave the title of the resulting forum as "The Silmarillion". Would that be a more satisfying solution? Smile
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:24 pm

"Silmarallion and other works" maybe? or "Other books by Professor Tolkien". Would give it a bigger catchment.

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:39 pm

The forums have been rearranged, which mostly just involved merging and renaming. It did a while to get through Ideas and Suggestions since that had so many different threads on various topics, but I did my best to put them all where I think makes sense. If you can't find something, or want it moved elsewhere, let me or one of the other mods know and we'll get on it. Smile
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Post by Kafria Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:38 pm

Looking good to me. Once again thanks for the work you (and others) put in to keep our little slice of middle earth evolving!

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Post by Amarië Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:40 pm

Ooooo! Eldo, that is awesome! I like this forum!
Well so my tall, blond and handsome man Finrod is missing his phone, last seen in... Croatioa or Italy I think? And there's some old outdoor furniture I'd *really* like to get down to the rubbish heap a bit down our road so we can burn it. So when can you guys get started? Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:52 pm

Good work Eldo! cheers Have a buckie on me! drunken (A rare privilege its free, well freeish, well ok its cost, but thats as good as the same thing)


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Post by Amarië Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:18 pm

(If I were to be serious I would have said that I really like the new more organized looks and that I think it was a wise and good decision. But since I am a alien from the Dark Planet I thought y'all might be worried you were getting too Respectable and Orderly, and decide to randomize everything and name the topics after cheeses or family pets. There's no need for that, really. It looks good now.)

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:27 pm

"and name the topics after cheeses or family pets"- Amarië

Very Happy Now your talking. The Big Bad Cheese Thread.

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Post by Ringdrotten Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:28 pm

What the.. where did Forumshire go? I must be in the wrong place! Seriously, though, the site looks great, Eldo Very Happy

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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:34 pm

I'm really glad you guys like it so much. Very Happy You're very welcome, Kafria; and I appreciate the, er, gift, Petty. cheers It was nothing, really, but I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking the forum looks better and more organized n ow. Smile
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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:37 pm

Amarië wrote:(If I were to be serious I would have said that I really like the new more organized looks and that I think it was a wise and good decision. But since I am a alien from the Dark Planet I thought y'all might be worried you were getting too Respectable and Orderly, and decide to randomize everything and name the topics after cheeses or family pets. There's no need for that, really. It looks good now.)

lol! Thank you, Amarie! I will confess that I did consider renaming the BBSF the Big Blue Cheese Forum but I restrained myself. Razz Hopefully Odo will appreciate the order now!
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Post by Eldorion Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:37 pm

Ringdrotten wrote:What the.. where did Forumshire go? I must be in the wrong place! Seriously, though, the site looks great, Eldo Very Happy

That was a short six weeks! cheers Good to see you again Ringdrotten, and I'm glad you like it. Smile I hope the shock wasn't too bad. Razz
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