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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Too many categories Empty
PostSubject: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am

There are way too many categories and subcategories in this forum. If this place had 100 actively posting members, it would make sense. I recently skimmed them and realized that I missed a lot of good threads because the last post made, as visible on the forum home page, was so long ago I didn't bother clicking on it.

I would suggest deleting 3/4 of the sub-categories and maybe half the categories. Might make the Chatterbox busier, and make threads otherwise posted in those places more apt to be read.
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

Number of posts : 3827
Registration date : 2008-06-07
Age : 82
Location : Wisconsin

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 6:39 am

Good idea, LC.

It seems after being around for awhile, it is obvious which threads and categories are most popular, and which ones aren't.

Carol
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Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 6:51 am

The number of active posters on the forum is less than forty. However, since I advertised the new anthology on Goodreads, the number of visitors to the forum has increased quite dramatically. The variety of topics clearly visible are surfed by visitors who have no intention of making any posts. If these threads were moved to more active forums, they would disappear. They would still be available for search purposes but they would not be read by visitors.

_________________
Too many categories 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Too many categories 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Too many categories 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Too many categories 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Too many categories 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Too many categories 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Too many categories Empty
PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 7:05 am

Well, if your purpose is to have a bunch of moldy old threads available for easy viewing, then that makes sense. You say that the visitors have no intention of posting, but those threads being so old have a lot to do with that. And it doesn't reflect well on the forum.
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Malcolm
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Malcolm

Number of posts : 1504
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : Georgia

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 8:51 am

The thing is, LC, as active writers using a writer's forum, some of us (like me) have become lazy and are just hanging out and chatting in the busy categories rather than offering anything of value about our art and craft.

Really, why are we using so many words chatting about stuff that could go on a non-writing forum instead of actively using all the categories? I hope we don't get rid of the categories, but start using them as we did at the beginning when the forum was new.

Malcolm
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 9:26 am

Malcolm, good point, but I'll answer with this:

a) I don't personally view this place so much as a writer's forum as it is a place for people who met on a different forum long ago to continue their companionship. Even though the putative reason for being is "writer's forum."

b) The reality is that there are only about 12 active posters here, and there's only so much they can say in each of those categories. Especially when their work so heavily skews to the self-published. Which leads to:

c) Far better advice on finding agents and getting commercially published is available elsewhere.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 77
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 9:48 am

I agree with Malcolm. As an author with only one published book, I don't have the knowledge or experience to post advice on many of those threads, but I like reading them, and learning from them, but not necessarily about finding agents and getting "commercially" published. There are so many viable options to those venues today, and more and more open up all the time. It would be a good think if we could get back to hearing from those, like D. T, have been finding success in such innovative ways.

Ann
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 9:52 am

Well, I wasn't suggesting the categories go away, just that a lot could be combined.
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 10:11 am

For instance:

What is supposed to go in "Information" that shouldn't go in Chatterbox?

Writers Blogs/Talk about your books/ Book trailers - seems like there's a lot of potential crossover.

Pod and ebooks -it's not like there's so much info on either of these here that they couldn't be combined.

What's the newsletter? Why does it have its own category? Who talks about it?

Why so many categories in Marketing? Tips and Problems could easily share a board.
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Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 2:00 pm

The information board was set up because Jenny Woodall wanted a place where she could ask for information. It has proved to be a very useful board for the anthologies.

George Maciver asked for a board to post articles.

Brenda Hill asked for a place to post new book releases.

Mike Goodnow asked for a place to discuss concepts.

Lynn Jett asked for a WIP board.

Abe March asked for a Religion board.

Joelle Martin asked for a Supernatural board.

The members ask for more boards, not less.

The Newsletter Board could go; no one would miss it.

_________________
Too many categories 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Too many categories 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Too many categories 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Too many categories 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Too many categories 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Too many categories 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 4:21 pm

I never questioned the existence of a religion, WIP or concept board. I just think that combining some subcategories would make the forum easier to browse. There are too many links to click on. At least for me. Maybe I'm just lazy.
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Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Nov 17, 2009 4:31 pm

But you are the only one missing out. If the link is there and someone else clicks on it that's his/her gain. The fact that you do not is your loss.

_________________
Too many categories 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Too many categories 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Too many categories 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Too many categories 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Too many categories 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Too many categories 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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vampireheartauthor
Four Star Member
Four Star Member
vampireheartauthor

Number of posts : 356
Registration date : 2010-05-18
Age : 29
Location : USA

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 8:14 am

I would get rid of the posts that are least viewed or commented upon. But, if you want those to stick around, I would try making them more exciting for viewers to read...
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Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

Too many categories Empty
PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 11:38 am

As long as members here want to post, there will be a forum for them to post on. It has evolved since January 2008. This is one of the earliest threads on the forum:

http://www.publishedauthors.org/welcome-f1/hi-i-m-george-t9.htm

The suggestions board is really for how to improve the forum by additions not subtractions!

vampireheartauthor wrote:
I would get rid of the posts that are least viewed or commented upon. But, if you want those to stick around, I would try making them more exciting for viewers to read...
You would not believe the reaction if I dared to change any of the posts to make them more exciting! A former member asked me to delete all her posts (over 2,000!) I did, and it took several weeks with the member's post count going down daily. She claimed I was hiding the posts. Honestly, she did.

_________________
Too many categories 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Too many categories 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Too many categories 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Too many categories 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Too many categories 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Too many categories 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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vampireheartauthor
Four Star Member
Four Star Member
vampireheartauthor

Number of posts : 356
Registration date : 2010-05-18
Age : 29
Location : USA

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 11:57 am

Oh. Well, it was just a thought anyway. Too many categories Icon_smile That's why I'm watching my posts...I also make sure that what I post I want to leave on the forum...
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 2:13 pm

I think by "posts" she actually meant "categories." If so, I agree; all the posts are spread too thin through too many categories. I don't know why a forum improvement suggestion must only be one of additions, not subtractions. There are already plenty of tumbleweed categories.

I also think there should be a hidden forum for the most active posters. A pictures forum would be most suited for that. No one has posted in the current pictures forum as is for ages.
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vampireheartauthor
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vampireheartauthor

Number of posts : 356
Registration date : 2010-05-18
Age : 29
Location : USA

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 2:21 pm

It seems to me that once someone finds a favorite posting area in this forum (or any forum for that matter), they tend to stick to that forum and don't really post anywhere else because they might find it too tedious or even a bit old. Even me, though I haven't been on here for that long.
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 2:54 pm

I agree, and although Shelagh feels we're the ones "missing out," the result's the same: lots of tumbleweed categories. It's too much scrolling for too little posts.
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Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 3:17 pm

Maybe it is for some of the members. Recently, new members have pulled up old threads that have been added to. The old threads are full of useful information. The stats report shows that 23% of the forum traffic comes from searches (Google etc.). The threads are easy to find because they are on separate boards. If I doubled up the threads onto fewer boards, the threads would be harder to find.

_________________
Too many categories 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Too many categories 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Too many categories 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Too many categories 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Too many categories 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Too many categories 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

Too many categories Empty
PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 3:52 pm

LC wrote:
I also think there should be a hidden forum for the most active posters. A pictures forum would be most suited for that. No one has posted in the current pictures forum as is for ages.
I made the Chatter Box board private. When the number of new threads and posts dwindled to one or two per day, it seemed pointless keeping it private.

Members asked for a serious writing board so I set up the Writers' Cafe but it isn't used much.

Conversely, the Homes and Gardens board has been successful.

I brought the Society Category closer to the top of the board and that seems to have worked out well too.

_________________
Too many categories 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Too many categories 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Too many categories 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Too many categories 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Too many categories 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Too many categories 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 4:17 pm

Well, a pictures board, as I've seen it done on other forums, would be more as a "treat" thing for members with X amount of posts; not so much for chatter, but just for posting pics they might not want open to a larger audience.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 4:37 pm

Elsewhere (on a saxophone forum) we made up an acronym for this: YATAT, which means, "yet another thread about threads."

McLuhan was right.

Someone said this is not a forum for writers. If not, I need to leave and find one.

I sense a reluctance from many here to discuss the craft of writing. If it wasn't for Shelagh, I'd have bailed a long time ago. (That's called a YAGE.)

Well, maybe not a long time ago. I haven't been here a long time. Unless we're counting with dog years.

Anybody want to discuss slang, jargon, and cliches in dialogue in a period piece? Like, at the end of the day, that's a, y'know, concern of mine. Dude.
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LC
Five Star Member
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LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 4:44 pm

Al -not a reluctance, some of us read the threads but don't necessarily have anything to contribute on a particular one.

IME, the busiest boards on any forum are always the off-topic ones.

Re slang and jargon -start a thread! It's something I'm mindful of IRL, as it's very easy to date myself in front of my students.
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vampireheartauthor
Four Star Member
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vampireheartauthor

Number of posts : 356
Registration date : 2010-05-18
Age : 29
Location : USA

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyMon Jun 14, 2010 7:12 pm

Maybe a recipe section could be added and people could post their favorite recipes and why it's their favorite? There's another forum that I belong to, and even though that's all about archery/hunting, it has a recipe section and quite a few people post there.
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Shelagh
Admin
Admin
Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Too many categories   Too many categories EmptyTue Jun 15, 2010 12:22 am

You'll find recipes here, Kendra:

http://www.publishedauthors.org/homes-and-gardens-f39/what-did-you-cook-today-t4730.htm

_________________
Too many categories 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Too many categories 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Too many categories 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Too many categories 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Too many categories 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Too many categories 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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