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Old 09-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #11
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I agree! If anything, add a "Members planted tank showcase" or you can add to them and make it,
"Members planted tank showcase/journals"
Same for the salt section, I noticed a lot of people start build threads in the "getting started" section or "tank showcase section"...
Why stop there? What about a Cichlid tank showcase and old world and new world cichlid subforums. How about splitting the buy/sell, split it off into dry good or livestock, selling or wanting to buy? I could go on and on with subforums for every category and subforums for those subforums. It does nothing but clutter the forum and confuse new members who sometimes have difficulty as it is, what make it worse? Just adding in my two cents...
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by HUKIT View Post
Why stop there? What about a Cichlid tank showcase and old world and new world cichlid subforums. How about splitting the buy/sell, split it off into dry good or livestock, selling or wanting to buy? I could go on and on with subforums for every category and subforums for those subforums. It does nothing but clutter the forum and confuse new members who sometimes have difficulty as it is, what make it worse? Just adding in my two cents...
I agree that adding a subforum specifically for planted tank journals would probably be getting too specific, at least considering the amount of those threads we have now. But simply adding "journals" to the name of the showcase section wouldn't be too huge of a change, and encourage more people to place their builds/journals there as opposed to other subforums such as getting started.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:27 AM   #13
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I think this is a great idea. The reason that comes to my mind for doing this is clarifying the purpose of the thread. In the Planted Tanks subforum, most of the threads have one topic (someone explaining their situation and asking for advice). With journal/build threads, a person explains their thoughts, shows progress, asks for advice and sometimes gives advice to people. Basically, a "journal" or "build" thread seems to have a wider purpose than receiving advice. They also last for long periods of time compared to advice threads. This may also be a nice and designated place to look for inspiration on future builds, or see what others are doing with their tanks.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:56 AM   #14
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Just me again, but maybe a small section for different types of journals, subsection tabs such as breeding, live food, floating plant, rooted plants, etc. That would keep things tidy. I have basically kept a journial all summer of my adventures in raising fish in Kiddie Pools. I plan to do a wrap up and what I learned section. Next year I will do it again with different fish. Several people have expressed interest in doing the same thing and it would be nice to compare notes.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:13 PM   #15
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Just me again, but maybe a small section for different types of journals, subsection tabs such as breeding, live food, floating plant, rooted plants, etc. That would keep things tidy. I have basically kept a journial all summer of my adventures in raising fish in Kiddie Pools. I plan to do a wrap up and what I learned section. Next year I will do it again with different fish. Several people have expressed interest in doing the same thing and it would be nice to compare notes.
There most definitely is something to be said for some degree of separation, but I don't feel there's enough need for something like that yet. It may also "scare" new members so to speak, having TONS of sections - it makes the place seem much larger than it is.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:50 PM   #16
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We have to balance the need for new sections with how much traffic a particular section would receive. Having tons of subsections that get very little use or even only one or two entries a day or week is a turn-off to members. It can also cause a huge increase in work load for moderation. As it is, a large number of threads have to be moved on a regular basis because they end up posted in the wrong section because members either don't understand the existing sections or don't pay attention to what section they are posting threads in. Adding more subsections simply increases this issue. Neatness and organization has to be balanced with practicality. Previously we had two subsections under the planted tank area. In reviewing those two subsections it was discovered that tank threads and journals as well as general questions on plants and planted tanks were abundent in both. There was no way to sepearate the two without investing a huge amount of time, and no one was really clear on what should go in each. So in the end, we ended up merging the two subsections into a single section, our current planted tank section.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:04 PM   #17
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How would adding "journals" to the member's showcase forum title work out? I visited the fw showcase and found so many random threads that don't seem to belong there either. I just think better organization and clearer direction in where to post stuff would make things better... at the moment it seems very convoluted. Perhaps the recruitment of more moderators if it's too much to handle?
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:31 PM   #18
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Chiming in on this one having lots of forum experience in other genres.

A forum is an organic experience; it grows, shrinks and changes and hopefully adapts based on the needs and activities of it's membership.

There should be a basic structure that clearly directs members where to post and look for info. AA has this. There should be clear delineations where certain information is posted, AA has this too - but people will always mis-use and post in the wrong place, or hijack, or blend topics in threads - I am guilty of the later. I guess the truth is that people are going to use the tool however they want if they are not educated or controlled. I haven't seen much Admin action on this forum, but that is just my observation, and perhaps that is a good thing. There could be more stickys too that describe what each forum and sub-forum are designed for and what/what not to post.

Brian makes a good point, AA could always use more structure, focus and specificity to aspects of the hobby, like shrimp as they become more popular and democratized. Presently, AA is sort of a "catch all" type forum with broad appeal. Unlike TPT, SCAPE, Tropica and many others, AA is not specifically geared to any one aspect of "aquariumism" which makes it approachable and appealing to a wider audience; the same thing that makes it unappealing to serious enthusiasts that don't want to deal with neophytes and seemingly redundant/inane questions.

I think perhaps AA could look at a different hierarchy regarding showcase-type and member's build/jounal threads... I have struggled with this here too: should my build thread go Planted Tanks or Showcase?

Maybe AA could create a section under General Aquarium Forums called Member's Tank Threads and inside it create sub-forums that focus on FW, SW, Planted, Species-specific, etc. and move the current showcase threads that exist in FW and SW respectively. That way all this info is contained in one centralized, parent forum dedicated to member's tanks and journals, with child forums focused on specific areas of interest.

This is just my $0.02 from being on many other forums; some better, some worse, and all with the same issues. I'm glad AA has have active members like Brian that care to suggest how we could improve the forum, and the hobby, for the benefit of everyone. Finding stuff is always the challenge online, the better organized a forum is the more valuable and visited it will be.

Thanks Brian!
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #19
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How would adding "journals" to the member's showcase forum title work out? I visited the fw showcase and found so many random threads that don't seem to belong there either. I just think better organization and clearer direction in where to post stuff would make things better... at the moment it seems very convoluted. Perhaps the recruitment of more moderators if it's too much to handle?
I've added clearing out the FW showcase to my to-do list. If you guys see something out of place, feel free to report it. We cannot possibly see every post in every thread. If it is reported however, every mod/admin sees it and can take action. I don't frequent the dark side, err I mean, SW side often but if a post/thread is reported I will take care of it.

My thoughts on the whole journal subforum idea is simple, you are showing off your tank, it should go into the corresponding FW or SW showcase. I think going to crazy and subdividing everything would not be the best way. While we may have a lot of planted tank enthusiasts, an invert only showcase subforum would hardly get used and just add clutter to the list of forums.

The way I see it is if the tank has freshwater and you want to do a journal, put it in the FW showcase. The titles of the threads should be descriptive enough that you could A) search for "planted" in the FW showcase to see all FW planted tanks or B) scroll through and just click on planted threads.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:01 PM   #20
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I've added clearing out the FW showcase to my to-do list. If you guys see something out of place, feel free to report it. We cannot possibly see every post in every thread. If it is reported however, every mod/admin sees it and can take action. I don't frequent the dark side, err I mean, SW side often but if a post/thread is reported I will take care of it.

My thoughts on the whole journal subforum idea is simple, you are showing off your tank, it should go into the corresponding FW or SW showcase. I think going to crazy and subdividing everything would not be the best way. While we may have a lot of planted tank enthusiasts, an invert only showcase subforum would hardly get used and just add clutter to the list of forums.

The way I see it is if the tank has freshwater and you want to do a journal, put it in the FW showcase. The titles of the threads should be descriptive enough that you could A) search for "planted" in the FW showcase to see all FW planted tanks or B) scroll through and just click on planted threads.
Reasonable compromise... but I think more thought could go towards the original suggestion and overall challenge of how to better organize the forums.

If it helps, I can draft some stickys for particular forums/sub-forums for you to review and implement so we can "train" users on what belongs where and general forum etiquette.
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