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rise
07-11-2011, 05:32 PM
I realized that I posted a gaming-related thread in the Off-Topic forum. I moved it to the Gaming & Sports forum, but I realized that there are numerous threads about gaming in both areas. In addition, the level of activity is low in both places. The purpose of this thread is to determine whether merging the Gaming & Sports forum into the Off-topic forum is a good idea.

How do you, as a user, feel about combining the forums?

For example, the forum structure could be:

Off-topic
--The Holo Deck

Off-topic would be for general discussion, non-StarCraft disussion, and discussion about gaming culture in general. The Holo Deck would continue to be a forum child.

Reasoning


Too few people are talking about sport
Gaming-related threads are posted in both off-topic and gaming areas
Off-topic discussion is frequently about gaming culture


In addition, consolidating the two areas would make the general part of the forums appear to be busier.

How do you feel about this possible change? I'm interested in alternative suggestions or reservations about this idea. Note, an important purpose of this thread is to determine if there is some significant reason not to. Otherwise, it appears, IMO, to be a logical optimization.

Twilice
07-11-2011, 06:17 PM
I think we got to many "subforums" overall and the "general" ones are the ones most often used. So I see it as positive.

rise
07-11-2011, 06:33 PM
Thank you for the response, Twilice. I agree; I feel that we are spread too thinly.

I know the users, myself included, use the forum index and the latest post function of each sub-forum to navigate, so multiple sub-forums allow more posts to be presented on the forum index; I wonder how many other people rely on this?

It feels like a rehashed "above the fold" design debate. I imagine that forum users are able to click on a forum to browse it, and fewer options would make that easier.

Sarov
07-11-2011, 06:51 PM
I don't know why a Gaming & Sports sub-forum was created.

As for the Holo Deck, while I can't speak for anyone else, I can say that I thought it would be a separate part of the General forums rather than a sub-forum.

I believe that people stopped posting in the sub-forum when they realized that it was better to just post in the Off Topic forum. There are a few things I noticed:


There are people who admitted to posting their art threads in the StarCraft II Discussion Forum because it would get noticed.
More people visited art threads when they were in the Off Topic forum.


And the most obvious one:


The more sub-forums there are, the less people visit them.


Many people have brought up the fact that because there aren't many posts/threads or because it's a very specific 'topic', it doesn't need to be a forum. But if the amount of content is so small, why is it still a sub-forum? Why not just merge it with it's parent forum?

As to how this ties in with the topic of this thread: It's very confusing. Do you post the game thread in Gaming and Sports or Off-Topic? But what if it's not directly about a game? Do you post the art thread in the Holo Deck which is an Off Topic sub-forum? But what if it's solely/mostly StarCraft art?

rise
07-11-2011, 07:18 PM
Re: thread clarity

The thread title is about combining forums, and my post states that the forum would be Off-topic and the child forum would be The Holo Deck. I disagree that I have been unclear. I could be more clear, certainly, and I will look through my title and initial post again. However, I feel that this topic is straightforward and explicit.

Re: defining off-topic content

Non-StarCraft or non-StarCraft Legacy content is considered "off-topic" in the context of this forum. This definition includes everything from talking about the holiday you went on to the role playing game that you bought. I'm including a large range of areas in "off-topic" because there are (relatively) few people talking about non-StarCraft or non-StarCraft Legacy topics.

Re: The Holo Deck

I'm under the impression that the forum community lobbied for the creation of The Holo Deck, so I excluded it from the initial discussion of combining redundant forums. As a feature, it could be easily represented in a number of stickied and/or popular threads via the Off-topic forum, but I feel that it is a significant enough issue for a new thread. I'll begin that discussion of that momentarily. I'm working by a "case by case" basis.

The thrust of this thread is determining the utility of the Gaming & Sports thread and evaluating the ability to merge it with the Off-topic forum as a catch-all for "off-topic" content.

Sarov
07-11-2011, 10:06 PM
Re: thread clarity

The thread title is about combining forums, and my post states that the forum would be Off-topic and the child forum would be The Holo Deck. I disagree that I have been unclear. I could be more clear, certainly, and I will look through my title and initial post again. However, I feel that this topic is straightforward and explicit.

When I was talking about it being confusing, I was referring to the point of the Gaming & Sports forum since I didn't know why.

I should have been clearer about that.


I'm including a large range of areas in "off-topic" because there are (relatively) few people talking about non-StarCraft or non-StarCraft Legacy topics.

Then wouldn't it have been better not to have created the Gaming & Sports forum? If there aren't that many people discussing non-Starcraft topics, I don't see why we'd need another off-topic forum.


I'm under the impression that the forum community lobbied for the creation of The Holo Deck, so I excluded it from the initial discussion of combining redundant forums.

That's correct. I don't remember the exact details but I believe we asked for it back when there was a lot more traffic to the site. I remember one of the points being made that the Brood War section barely got any posts and many artists wanted their own place to post, similar to the Mapping and Modding forum. Unfortunately, most people I talked to didn't even realize that it existed or admitted to not checking the other forums because they were 'out of the way'.

rise
07-11-2011, 10:28 PM
Re: Gaming & Sports...?

I have had no involvement with the organization of the forum, but I presume that the administration created the Gaming & Sports area to relieve predicted stress caused by WoL. However, the release brought fewer users than expected, so the partitioning of the off-topic forum weakened the area. At this point, the reasoning is irrelevant. The objective should be decreasing the number of forums to increase the usability and activity of the forum.

I feel that The Holo Deck and the Mapping & Modding areas should be evaluated separately because they represent niche interests of the users. As a result, I've started a discussion about The Holo Deck here (http://sclegacy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13378).

Blazur
07-18-2011, 12:54 PM
I'm all for sub-forum consolidation. Neither forums attract so much attention that they can't be scanned for new, relevant threads in just a few moments. In the end it would be one less click and less chance they'd be overlooked.

Todie
07-26-2011, 11:47 AM
im all for reducing the numer of subforums.. otehrwsie, one of these days, SCL will have more subforums than it has active members...