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more forum merging

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

We still have some rather thin forums with not a lot of activity so I'm thinking more merges could do good. I suppose it just wasn't such a good idea to start with many forums in the very beginning of the site (even when it was phpbb powered). When it's new it has to have only very few forums despite the topics it covers, and then expand from there.

So the idea is to merge all distro sections into "GNU/Linux distro help forum" or something similarly named.

There would be no more distinctions between Debian based, Slackware based, RPM based, source based etc. We usually just ask people asking for help which distro they're using anyway.

Most other sites make a forum for every distro specifically, ending up in a big number of forums. Smaller sites just end up having these forums barely filled while big sites are, well, big. We're nothing like that and this step might in fact be a positive differentiating step. As mentioned by AndrewB earlier, he rarely even goes to forum index. And the forum topics can be opened by just click on that orange button on homepage where choosing a forum is like choosing a category for post to fit in.

Some other merges could be done as well, perhaps.

What do you think?

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
OK, here is something that

OK, here is something that makes me smile and might have you smile too. Smiling

Even if we significantly shrink the number of forums, that is do alot of merging like this, we don't have to loose categorization flexibility. How? Through free tagging applied to forum topics.

I have just tested this ability and it works. All it takes to implement is combining features already present within this very installation of Drupal.

So what am I talking about. Well, when you open a forum topic you can now not only put it in a specific forum, but you can also assign tags to it, as you wish, whichever tags you feel are relevant. Then everyone can browse topics through these tags with a tag cloud that is displayed on the forum index. Smiling

So, even if some forums end up being a bit too general for some taste (like general GNU/Linux distributions forum) everyone is able to make more specific categorization by tagging it. We have essentially best of both worlds. This is also one feature that makes us more unique compared to other forums. LQ has something similar as far as I know, but not exactly the same kind of thing.

I'll tag this topic as "nuxified" and "forums" because it is related to nuxified forums specifically. Smiling Then you can go to forum index where you'll see "forum tags" block with "nuxified" and "forums" tags put in. When you click them you'll get this topic listed with standard teaser. When you click on that topic title you'll get the standard forum topic view. Smiling

What do you think?

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
That's great, then we can

That's great, then we can tag a problem with all related info: program, distribution, type of problem ("no sound")...

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Indeed. So forums then

Indeed. Smiling So forums then become pretty much just appropriate containers of these topics and don't need to be too specific. Tags do the specific stuff. Smiling

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
So what do you guys think

So what do you guys think about merging distro forums?

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
Will the merged forum be for

Will the merged forum be for problems related to configuration and package management?

If it's possible, then make sure to apply distribution tags before merging the forums.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Well, all general software

Well, all general software support goes to "software" support so yeah the new big distro forum would be distro related issues. Tags would discern which distro is it about.

And yes, I agree about tagging all distro topics before merging.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I've tagged all topics in

I've tagged all topics in former distro forums and merged all these forums (four overall) into one "GNU/Linux distributions" forum. It is much better to see one forum with 55 topics than four forums with barely 10 (only Debian forum had some 25 posts and the rests were near empty).

Now I am thinking maybe it would be good to throw "getting started" forum into the "GNU/Linux distributions" mix as well. We thought a separate forum dedicated to helping you choose a new distro would be something special, but it didn't quite turn out that way and since its topic perfectly fits to be part of the new "GNU/Linux distributions" forum I think it should go there.

It's sticky topic with instructions on what to do when choosing new distro will remain stickified.

After that is done, what's the next target? Sticking out tongue

Of the rest forums only "command line" and "games and entertainment" seem a bit too thin. I suppose maybe we could still leave them though to serve whoever might want to talk about these, still not too popular topics apparently. Smiling

In any case, the new situation with less forums and a tagging capability should make Nuxified forums more attractive and more powerful.

EDIT: I also merged OpenSolaris forum into "Other Free Operating Systems". After GNU/Linux and BSD, OpenSolaris barely comes in as third in popularity with only Nexenta seeing bits of potential. They can be discussed without a special dedicated forum. As for the *BSD forum, because of its overall popularity I will leave it alone in hope that our BSD forum will fill up more as we get more of the GNU/Linux crowd.

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
good idea

Good idea to get rid of bloat. Drupal's a great CMS.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Thanks. Since no one said

Thanks. Smiling

Since no one said anything against the idea I'll merge the "choose your distro" forum into "GNU/Linux Distributions" as well.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Done. I think that would be

Done. Smiling

I think that would be it as far as distro merging goes, for now. Sticking out tongue We're not a huge forum site to have a load of filled forums, but with our free tagging we don't even need those. We've got some nice general categories in forum section and for the rest we've got tags. Smiling

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
I suggest two more

I suggest two more merges:

announcements + questions and suggestions -> about nuxified
the nuxified lounge + introductions -> community

Especially the small number of introductions makes us look smaller than we are.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Good sensible ideas

Good sensible ideas there...

What do you think guys? Let's do it?

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
Sounds fine here.

Sounds fine here.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Done. All these forum

Done. Smiling

All these forum merges, the redesign that is going on the test theme (you can enable it in your profile by selecting "nuxified_new" as your theme, but be warned it's a work in progress) and then some other specific usability improvements will end up creating an almost brand new improved and boosted Nuxified.org ready to face the masses. Sticking out tongue

I'm reading that awesome site AListApart which provides some great top notch advice on how to do things not just by doing them, but by doing them right on the web. It's a bit of art too.. and not everyone's as succesfuly as someone, but you'd be the judge when all the improvements are done. Eye

Also the idea of doing more forum merges was inspired by AListApart.com article. Sticking out tongue

Cheers

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
new theme
libervisco wrote:

All these forum merges, the redesign that is going on the test theme (you can enable it in your profile by selecting "nuxified_new" as your theme, but be warned it's a work in progress) and then some other specific usability improvements will end up creating an almost brand new improved and boosted Nuxified.org ready to face the masses. Sticking out tongue

I've just enabled it. I'm shocked at how the change in header has seemingly improved things - I think it helps tie the page together. I also like the lightening of backgrounds. I can see there are still a few niggles (such as the poll block on the frontpage), but things are looking promising.

dylunio

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Yeah the lighter background

Yeah the lighter background of blocks are just something I've played with today, but not the end result yet. Smiling Most of the niggles are caused by the test theme not being in the main directory. I just isolated parts I am working on. When I reintegrate it back to the main theme it'll all fit together again. Smiling

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18
I did not have access to the

I did not have access to the site at the time, but yeah that is cool Smiling

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