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Old 11-07-2007, 07:02 PM   #1
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What's the difference between "best of the boards" and "early retirement FAQs" boards? The format each board uses may be different, but both boards are attempting to do the same thing - quick reference... Can they be combined?
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:14 PM   #2
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Gosh, I'd hoped the titles were pretty self-explanatory. "Best Of" threads don't refer to a bunch of other threads, they're just the best particular thread of a certain user-defined genre.

The FAQ archive grew out of this thread. The idea is to encourage people to read the old threads on common questions without having to subject users to the apparently onerous burden of coping with this board's search software. I could bitch about the users or the search feature but instead I decided to try a different way of indexing the info.

The two forums could be combined. The "Best Of" forum can only be posted to by moderators (not by me) but if the boards were combined then I'd just send a FAQ submission to the moderators like everybody else does.

Is there a compelling reason that they should be combined?

The reason I ask is that most posters don't read the threads in the first board, then read the threads in the second board, then read the threads in the third board, and so on. They read threads through an RSS feed, the "Portal" link, or the "New Posts" link. It doesn't matter to them which forum the thread is on, and so there's no particular reason to combine the forums.

In the same manner in which you may feel that there are one too many forums, others may feel that there's still one too few forums. I'm not sure that there's a compelling reason to go in either direction.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:13 PM   #3
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lucija,

Thanks for brining up this topic. I think we should place the threads in the Best of the Boards forum back in their "proper" home and then link to them via FAQs. I don't see a reason to keep the forum around for just 7 threads.

Thoughts from everyone else?
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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I really like the FAQ's with the links. Nords is correct about the "search function" being a pita and I definitely appreciate the information being put in an organized place where we can read it. I agree with Andy's suggestion.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Is there a compelling reason that they should be combined?
No, not really... I was just wondering. I tend to view both boards as "hand picked tidbits of really useful information" and I may glance at both of them before doing a search. Other people may view/use them in a different way.

For what is worth, I like Andy's suggestion, but it is not a must! I am not trying to rock the boat...
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucija View Post
Other people may view/use them in a different way.
Everybody processes information differently, and in the absence of cost/hardware/resource constraints I think it's better to provide as many different ways to access that information as is reasonably possible. Some will naturally gravitate toward a "best of" forum, others to "FAQs", and others to the portal or "new posts" links.

Then there's a whole subset who want to be able to read the board through cell phones, PDAs, or RSS feeds. If you don't use them, fine, but that doesn't mean that there's any benefit to offering fewer ways to access the info.

If the issue also involves a complaint that the "best of" or FAQs forums are dead, then I'd suggest that the thousands of posters & lurkers on this board get off their assets and invest a little time in sending their nominations to the moderators or to me. And heaven forbid that people should post their own material worthy of that elevated status.

C'mon, folks, you get back what you put into this experience.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:26 AM   #7
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I'm seeing two problems with these assets, outside the 'combine or separate' aspects.

First off, when I pull up the two subfori, they appear empty because the default is to show threads active in the past 2 days. While its easy to select a longer range, my gut tells me that a lot of people will click on it, see nothing, and click elsewhere.

Second, when I choose 'show threads since the beginning' I get nothing but the sticky thread at the top. My next granular option is "in the last year". So as far as I can tell, threads older than a year will be invisible to everyone.

Stickies seem to always display no matter what the settings are. Is there some other way to 'show all threads' in these forums when someone clicks on them?

On the combine/split matter, its been my experience that the more fractured a site becomes, the more confused people get over where to look for something or where to post something. Seems to me that the original intent of both subfori was similar...have a place where important questions/information can be presented without forcing a user to slog through 25 pages of search text.

I dont think I'd look to a "best of..." section as a new user to get information on common questions.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:55 AM   #8
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I also would suggest making a FAQ, and linking to the "best" posts that deal with the questions in the FAQ. I also view "Best of" and "FAQ" as very similar. I agree with CFB that the more fractured a place becomes, the more confused users get (particularly new users)

While I agree we should have many options for accessing content (RSS, search, different boards), these two particular boards rarely have new content, and I'd suggest they be combined.
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