Poll

Do you think there should be more sub-boards for different topics on this forum

Yes
14 (60.9%)
No
6 (26.1%)
Don't Know
3 (13%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Voting closed: January 18, 2007, 02:46:25 PM

Author Topic: New Forum boards?  (Read 24340 times)

admin

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New Forum boards?
« on: January 04, 2007, 02:46:25 PM »
Following a number of recent discussions on this board and amongst the forum moderators, we would like to ask your opinion on possibly adding some new boards to the forum. To this end, we'd like to ask all forum subscribers to take a moment to post in this poll which will run for exactly 14 days and then close automatically. The poll's results will only be available after it has closed to try and ensure as fair and objective a result as possible.

If there is a clear concensus in favour of creating new boards, we will then follow this up with a second poll to allow people to indicate preferred board combinations and discuss a possible way forward.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 11:54:19 AM by Webmistress »

Lasse_C

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2007, 12:17:56 PM »
before any division into sub-sections is made, I suggest we all take some time to think about how many sub-sections we really need, what the sub-sections should be called and contain! If the sub-section headlines are too vague, anything might fit into them and they are useless. If they are too precise and limited, on the other hand, the number of specialized sub-sections will be so large that it is hard to keep track of - and useless for that reason.

A division into sub-sections should be made in a way that improves this forum, not making it difficult to use or complicated to navigate.

Just my little piece into the discussion.  :)

Lasse C

Usually, I find quoting myself to be ridiculously (is that the correct spelling? ???) self-centered, but sometimes I find it useful.
I just wanted to repeat this: Let´s think this over properly and not rush into anything. It is better to think it over one extra time than to create a structure that will not work and/or we will not like.

Lasse C


Willeke

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2007, 04:27:00 PM »
Lasse,
As moderators we feel the same and we rather move slowly but right than hurried and have to live with a mess.

Willeke
"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

Writer of A booklet on lanyards, available from IGKT supplies.

admin

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2007, 06:11:09 PM »
I just wanted to repeat this: Let´s think this over properly and not rush into anything. It is better to think it over one extra time than to create a structure that will not work and/or we will not like.

I agree. Time taken now will be well spent if it stops regulars having to repeatedly redirect newcomers to different boards to have their questions answered. The ideal solution would be intuitive, natural and simple but getting there isn't so easy.

Simple is good. Simple can be built upon without too much mess and simple means less bits to break down. I like simple.  ;D


squarerigger

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2007, 10:23:46 PM »
UUMMM - how do we vote?  There are no radio buttons on my window of the voting board - are they hidden somewhere?

Lindsey

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2007, 12:09:01 AM »
UUMMM - how do we vote?  There are no radio buttons on my window of the voting board - are they hidden somewhere?

There should be only three situations when the voting buttons don't display:

1. If you haven't logged in (only forum members can vote)

2. If you've already voted in this poll (only 1 vote per member)

3. When the poll closes (in 13 days)

You're obviously logged in, so No. 1 doesn't apply. Can you confirm that you haven't already voted? Does anyone else who hasn't voted yet have this problem?




squarerigger

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2007, 12:55:16 AM »
I had not seen the poll until today and had not previously voted on this poll, although I had voted on other polls.  Maybe some of those results were carried over? 

Willeke

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2007, 01:07:06 AM »
Lindsey,
Are you using Internet Explorer? If not, do you have an other browser that you can try?
I am not sure it has anything to do with the problem, but I have noted that a change of browser can clear but also create a lot of problems.

Willeke

PS, I have just tried the poll with firefox and no problems.
Did you also have problems with the earlier poll?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2007, 01:10:24 AM by Willeke »
"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

Writer of A booklet on lanyards, available from IGKT supplies.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2007, 07:32:55 AM »
An advantage to more boards & thus fewer threads per board is the more
likely occasion that threads of reference will be proximate vs. some pages
removed.

Quote
Is this forum system one that enables threads to be moved?  --thinking
that if there were a general landing zone so to speak on which some topic
was raised which topic nicely fit elsewhere it could be relocated there.
... which I wrote (and edit to quote) obviously before gaining consciousness
and looking a tad closely at the list of Topics (many which read MOVED) !!
Sherlock strikes again!

"Decorative" & "Practical" are two pretty obvious candidates for consideration
as companions to "Chit Chat"--which pretty much operates as "Only", now.
Beyond this might be something we wait to see a need for?  One can think
of other divisions, but I'm not confident they'd be much populated.

--dl*
====
« Last Edit: January 06, 2007, 07:47:56 AM by Dan_Lehman »

DerekSmith

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2007, 06:32:02 PM »
Webmistress has asked me to post this proposal here, so here it is.

-----------------

There are a number of reasons for considering a serious restructuring of this Forum.  The reason which triggered the present interest - Sensitivity -  is important, but by itself it might not constitute sufficient reason to split off a tiny number of threads which could somewhere in their posts cross a PC line.  Equally, KC made the valid point that we do not currently have many posts per day, and splitting these across too many boards becomes a nonsense, he suggests that we should not consider more than half the number of posts the Forum takes in a day.  The Forum statistics show slightly more than 8 posts per day, so no more than four boards, which seems a sensible limit (I do not count the 'Feedback' board in this as that is purely an administrative board as is the read only 'Announcements' board - sensibly these two should be condensed into one 'Forum Admin' board).

Just splitting up the 'Chit Chat' board into some 'arbitrary' categories without a clear purpose is likewise a nonsense and will simply lead to us having to switch between boards to read all the stuff we used to find in one place - clearly a backward step.  I wouldn't want that and I am sure few would, let alone the extra work for Moderators, shuttling topics back and forth as their content meanders or splitting posts up into the 'right' boards.

There is however, an absolutely clear rationale for restructuring the boards, and that is:-  To promote greater participation, to encourage posting and to gently lead new members into becoming active Forum contributors.

An uncomfortable truth is that this forum is suffering a death by a thousand cuts - slowly bleeding away - and is not growing or regenerating fast enough to compensate for the rate of attrition.  The truth is that skilled knotters can be a grumpy group and often this forum can be seen as aggressive and very daunting to new members.  Worse still we have no 'Welcoming strategy' and no 'Helpful Grandfather/mother types' topped off with a group of Moderators who can be more evangellical than a Parking Meter Maid on heat.  For all that I love my hobby and care for this forum, it is loosing quality contributors too fast for any chance of a healthy future.  We need to promote new members into active contribution and there is a strong chance that the right structure might just help.

Consider then for a moment the Forum of the IGKT to be a grand and wonderful building.  Right at the front, behind the Grand doors is:-

    * The Foyer        -  The visitor or passer by is Welcomed here, full of 'Chit Chat' and beginners questions - asking 'silly' questions is approved and being critical or making fun of the newbies is not allowed.  There should be no greater goal, than attracting new folk to the Foyer and tempting them to stay a while.

Moving into the next Grand Hall you enter :-

    * The Showcase  -  Sharing, Showing and Developing all aspects of decorative knotting - many will aspire to this level of skill and expertise and will be asking for help from all our decorative experts.  Many will end their apprenticeship here and become Master Decorative Knotters, staying here to help others learn their skills.

As Apprentices grow in knowledge and confidence, they may be tempted to the hall at the back of the IGKT :-

    * The Workshop -  Where knotting Nerds can congregate, dissect and develop the tiny details of knotting knowledge science, theory and forensics.  Not to everyone's taste and certainly the hangout of the grumpy and cranky members of the cult, so be prepared to get your head bitten off occasionally - this allowed.

and of course, every Guild has its darker side, generally kept away from public and casual gaze.  Guild Masters will occasionally spend time in :-

    * The Dungeon    -  Nooses, Snares, Blood and Bondage - the darker side of knotting - don't complain if you don't like what you see here or the language used, it's part of knots at work and not necessarily fit for the dinner table.  NOTICE - Children and Newbies not allowed

It's worth saying again - the important reason to restructure is :- To promote greater participation, to encourage posting and to gently lead new members into becoming active Forum contributors.  If you were - or are - a newbie, could you see this structure as a constructive enhancement?

Derek

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2007, 08:06:02 PM »
I had not seen the poll until today and had not previously voted on this poll, although I had voted on other polls.  Maybe some of those results were carried over? 

No - I didn't carry over any results from previous polls although we do still have the voting results from those. Each poll is completely unaffected by any that have come before.

I've doublechecked the database backend and it would seem that you have already voted in this poll.


squarerigger

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2007, 12:20:59 AM »
Quite right - thanks for checking - mea culpa in having forgotten among the flurry of polls created (I was one of those creating a poll I recall) that I had voted here already.  They do all seem to blend together after a while and they look different after voting.  Thanks for helping me.

Lindsey

Dan_Lehman

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2007, 07:13:25 AM »
Quote
There are a number of reasons for considering a serious restructuring of this Forum.
The reason which triggered the present interest - Sensitivity -  is important,
I disagree:  this is having the (occasional) tail wag the dog.  For the case of a sort
of official "sensitivity"--i.e., having those "flash" postings which can have health
consequences--, I can see having a well guarded section to hold them.  But it
is not sensible to establish a separate spot for some supposed sensitive item
(which afterall is much in the mind of the beholder).  I don't see the history of this
forum indicating a need for this.

And I certainly don't want any nod or even discussion much of S&M/bondage here.
Again, look back over the history here (and at rec.crafts.knots, for that matter)--no case for it.

Quote
(I do not count the 'Feedback' board in this as that is purely an administrative board
 as is the read only 'Announcements' board - sensibly these two should be condensed into one 'Forum Admin' board).
Hmmm, it's interesting that there was at least this split and yet many post had to be MOVED
to it--i.e., although a proper spot for it existed, posters went elsewhere.  "Announcements"
maybe could gain meeting reports as a way to give it more content--and such content seems
in keeping with some of what is posted there.

Quote
Just splitting up the 'Chit Chat' board into some 'arbitrary' categories without a clear purpose
Hasn't been suggested by anyone.
To this point, I might question the initial division of General/Feedback, which I think could disappear
without harm and be one level cleaner?  (I don't really think of Announcements as being subsumed by
Feedback.)

Quote
There is however, an absolutely clear rationale for restructuring the boards, and that is:- 
To promote greater participation, to encourage posting and to gently lead new members into becoming active Forum contributors.
Frankly, I don't see that the current situation is much of a factor here.

Quote
An uncomfortable truth is that this forum is suffering a death by a thousand cuts - slowly bleeding away -
and is not growing or regenerating fast enough to compensate for the rate of attrition.  ... We need to promote
new members into active contribution and there is a strong chance that the right structure might just help.
If indeed we're losing members for some reason, then tinkering with Forum divisions is hardly the recipe for
salvage, as I don't think it is a cause of the loss.  --sounds like asking for a bigger pump for a tire deflating
from a puncture:  misses the point!

Quote
    * The Foyer        -  The visitor or passer by is Welcomed here, full of 'Chit Chat' and beginners questions -
asking 'silly' questions is approved and being critical or making fun of the newbies is not allowed. 
I muse about the sense (good/not so) about having all threads begin life in some "foyer" and then get moved
off to an appropriate Practical/Decorative folder by a weekly(?) maintenance sweep.  --point would be to have
a one-stop spot to see new (vs. the hardly onerous need to check two places vs. one, if one's interest were
so broad).  (looking "not so" at this time )

Quote
The Showcase   * The Workshop
NIce names, BUT, not obvious enough for quick newbie direction, unlike Pract/Dec ones.
Hmmm, I can see a happy compromise by fusion here:  Decorative Showcase,
Practical Workshop.  Though one could interpret this as "show my double-knitted
HydraHead here, reveal my technique there"--which isn't what I meant!

Quote
and of course, every Guild has its darker side,
No thanks.  You want darker?  Go to Darfur, to pick one spot of way too many.

Now, let's consider a real post we've seen in light of my musing about Practical/Decorative
split, and use of Announcements for meeting reports.  Andre van der Salm comes to post
notice/link to "a few new pictures on my website of our monthly knot tyers meeting in Rotterdam."
Since this has been of principally decorative knotting activity, should it go to that mused
slot, or ... ?  (I'd say slot it where meetings reports / announcements go; it can be referred
to (well, in this case it has only a URL to images, not images themselves).

--dl*
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DerekSmith

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2007, 04:01:48 PM »
Hi Dan,

I have taken a number of comments from your reply to indicate that I have not been adequately clear in my post as to the underlying objectives.

First, the case for restructuring and expanding the Forum is by no means clear cut.  Your example with Andre's post, is an example that more boards simply incites confusion as to 'what goes where' and this is undesirable when the forum attracts a paltry 8 post a day on average.  Present levels of contributions do not in any way demonstrate a justification to restructure per se, unless you consider that the underlying goal is to attract significantly and consistently more than a mean of 8 posts a day and consider that the Forum structure may assist in achieving this goal.

Your comment about the need for "having all threads begin life in some "foyer" and then get moved
off to an appropriate Practical/Decorative folder by a weekly(?) maintenance sweep."  - Threads do not move through the halls - people move through the halls.  Consider the Foyer with all of today's light hearted 'Chit Chat' (and hopefully much more of it), but without any of the in-depth and occasionally borderline aggressive content from the likes of you and I.  Anything and everything would be discussed in there but in the context of the Novice with no prior expectations as to what they should or should not already know about knots.  Generally, the only input from Grand Masters such as yourself would be guidance and encouragement.  Essentially it is the IGKT 'Chit Chat' forum without grumpiness, criticism or arguments - its a NICE place attractive to novices and unchallenging to them, where they feel they can post on their new hobby without looking foolish.  The only time threads might get moved is if the language became too technical or 'dark' as to be inapropriate for an area frequented (hopefully) by children.  The guidelines for the Foyer will relate to maintaining its atmosphere, not to its content.

Hopefully people will with time become more confident in their hobby and will want to move on to the less densely populated and  more technically arduous Showcase and Workshop.  It is the person that moves, not the thread, although doubtless, when a Novice outgrows the Foyer, it is likely they will spend some time migrating between both halls, often posting similar threads/questions in both - Andre's post would quite logically have been posted in both the Foyer and the Showcase - nothing wrong with that.  The level, style and terminology used in the replies in different halls would reflect the expectations of the participants and the behaviour guidelines for each hall.

You propose the move to enhance the names to "Decorative Showcase and Practical Workshop", and here you highlight an important pitfall - that of over specifying a halls use and content.  If a thread starts in the Showcase about tying a fancy, then evolves into a technical discussion should it be moved? or should it be split?  The answer is - neither.  If you over specify an areas content it becomes unusable, instead of enjoying our hobby, we become obsessed with 'Should this be in this box or that box?'.  There are people who spend their life sorting the contents of boxes and there are people who enjoy tying and discussing knots - this forum is for the latter, not the former.  By keeping the guidelines for content fuzzy, any topic can be discussed in any hall, the only thing that differs is the rigour and 'tennor' of the discourse and the suitability for children and the dinner table.

This all moves the discussion away from content permissible in each hall over to behaviour permissible in each hall and from that into agreeing some guidelines for what that permissible behaviour should be.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: New Forum boards?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2007, 09:45:45 PM »

Consider the Foyer with all of today's light hearted 'Chit Chat' (and hopefully much more of it), but without any of the in-depth and occasionally borderline aggressive content from the likes of you and I.
From me?! ::)

Quote
It is the person that moves, not the thread, although doubtless, when a Novice outgrows the Foyer, it is likely they will spend some time migrating between both halls, often posting similar threads/questions in both - Andre's post would quite logically have been posted in both the Foyer and the Showcase - nothing wrong with that.  The level, style and terminology used in the replies in different halls would reflect the expectations of the participants and the behaviour guidelines for each hall.
I don't concur in any of this sentiment.    All this worry about appropriateness of some tone of response
is silly, IMO; we've handled plenty of "newbie" posts w/o special precaution (just common sense)
--with one sort of exception attributable to personal issues not affected by Forum management.

Incidentally, one of the indications that people do not move is the posting of Announcements
information in Chit-chat--in the (prudent) belief that folks don't give much heed to checking
Announcements much.  --WARNING & SUNDAY regular posts seem appropriate to A. vs. Cc..

Quote
You propose the move to enhance the names to "Decorative Showcase and Practical Workshop",
and here you highlight an important pitfall - that of over specifying a halls use and content.  If a thread starts
in the Showcase about tying a fancy, then evolves into a technical discussion should it be moved? or should it be split?
The answer is - neither.  If you over specify an areas content it becomes unusable, instead of enjoying our hobby,
we become obsessed with 'Should this be in this box or that box?'.
"OVER specifying"?!
Again, you are raising molehills into windmills and then crusading against them!
In some few cases, the answer is "yes, split off a continuation of a thread to a better location".
There is a general problem of dealing with "hijacking" of topics, and some discipline in posters
is reasonable to call for and fixes such as MOVED serve a purpose of keeping threads grouped
for better access/finding/reference.  And at our level of usage, this should be no big bother.
(I recall back in the good ol' pre-WWWeb days of USENET groups when rec.bicycling got
split into, hmmm, maybe nine (!) subgroups (.tech, .marketplace (4 sale/ISO), .rides, .advocacy ...)
in order to make the use of that resource much much better--it was getting huge numbers
of posts daily, then.)

It does occur to me tha having the ONLY actual knotting-discussion area named "Chit-chat"
inspires other than great interest/respect from a new reader!  (Think of looking for, say, some
important medical advice from a university hospital and all you find is "chit-chat".)-:

Quote
This all moves the discussion away from content permissible in each hall over to behaviour permissible
in each hall and from that into agreeing some guidelines for what that permissible behaviour should be.
I see a choice of location (among likely few options)  to be natural and easier than your envisioned choice of
attitude or response disposition (which requires some presumption of some level of ignorance which itself might
be awkward to make).

Below are a couple of scans of the Forum's index pp taken some time ago when it occurred to me
to see how a break-up of "Chit-chat" might look.  I'll split it as per Decorative, Practical, & Other,
for simplicity at this time; "Other" might hold hints for a further specific heading.
(I'm going to guess at the subject of some threads; I've not read all ... .)

Decorative Designs & Showcase
Templates..how did they do it? walrus
Is there a calculation which gives the amount of cordneeded for a turks head?---Mrs_G_Chew
A shifting knot (150K worth of pics)---V.V.V.V.V.
How do I do what I know as multiple plaits?---Mrs_G_Chew
Newspaper article about Chinese Knotting demo in Dayton, OH---KnotMe
Decorative knot around a pole---Evan Plett
whipping for ship's wheel---arniesails
historical / maritime walled town festival---Andre van der Salm

Practical Lab & Workshop
Essential Knots?   « 1 2 3 4 5 Lasse_C
Beefed up KC Hitch---DerekSmit
A knot by Design---DerekSmith
Construction Knots---rosco rathbone
Tying the Blood Knot---DerekSmith
Double Dragon Vs. Double Tucked Perfection loop---Mike
Compact loop on a bight!?--
Fishing St. Maarten Blue Marlin Classic ---Andrew
Knots in movies---DaveRoot
Certified Rope Splicer---DerekSmith
monkeys fist  « 1 2 » --- edward
Power in VersaTackle  <<1,2>> ---KC
Lash-Seize-Whip: Distinction?!---Dan_Lehman

Greetings, Notes, & Miscellany
The Knotboxes are open DerekSmith
Sunday again« 1 2 »  Willeke
Is this the right place for intros? « 1 2 » --walrus
Triptease--Willeke
new pictures of knot tyers meeting in Rotterdam---Andre van der Salm
Des Pawson's Book(s) ---aknotter
Overs Index ---DerekSmith
new pictures---Andre van der Salm
Spooky way to find knots---DerekSmith
yet another name question---twentythree
New to knots---marieferry
archaic term for knot tyer?-- cricket
Rather tattered book-- Petr Stasa

Announcements
New forum is working. ---Willeke
igkt.eu ---patrick
Southampton & knotting---JustKnot
Spam warning---Willeke

Now, this isn't perfect, and there are arguable mis-classifications, esp. since
as noted I've not gone back to review each thread; and there can be yet
continual questions about slotting.  But is it overall a better system than
lopping it all under "Chit-chat" (or some better name) and being a one-slot
Forum (with clearly a range of topics)--I think so.

--dl*
====