Setup ideas

TEMPORARY Forum to discuss the layout of the forums here. What should the top-level forums be? What sub-forums are definitely necessary?

Setup ideas

Postby slipkin » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:25 am

Hi all,

I have populated the site with an initial set of top-level forums. Each forum can have a set of sub-forums, etc.

Please suggest modifications to the overall structure. It's best to get things arranged quickly.

--SL
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby redaragorn » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:49 am

Yes, yes, but how does it work on my iPhone??? ;-)

Not bad so far...
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby redaragorn » Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:01 am

The generic forum FAQ up top seems a little clunky. Think folks may go there looking for a site FAQ or something. Just a thought.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby slipkin » Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:09 am

What additional FAQ items should we have?
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby AndySaunders » Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:38 am

Not sure about FAQ items, but I really like how things are set up at the moment in terms of top-level forums.

I really like this idea.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby millcake16 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:23 pm

Just saying this looks fine to me. I wonder what will become of livejournal now, since I'm guessing a lot of folks will merge over here. Doesn't really matter, I guess.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby redaragorn » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:41 pm

millcake16 wrote:Just saying this looks fine to me. I wonder what will become of livejournal now, since I'm guessing a lot of folks will merge over here. Doesn't really matter, I guess.


I would doubt the LJ community will change too much. This *may* divert a lot of the kvetchers off CGP, but it doesn't feel like it serves quite the same purpose as LJ, to me. Then again, I haven't blogged about Scrabble in so long that it hardly matters for me. :/
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby redaragorn » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:45 pm

slipkin wrote:What additional FAQ items should we have?


Hmma...now you're gonna pin me down, eh? I'm not entirely sure, but the basic impression was that that particular FAQ didn't have too much of value to me. I'll think about it some more and see if I have anything I *do* want to see there.

That FAQ just seems like it would be more aptly called "forum help topics", whereas if I click FAQ from here I'm more interested in community level ideas (i.e. "why do a bunch of Scrabblers have a forum"...or..."Oh! this is a bunch of Scrabblers???"). Just a thought...anyone else have an opinion??
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby millcake16 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:48 pm

redaragorn wrote:
millcake16 wrote:Just saying this looks fine to me. I wonder what will become of livejournal now, since I'm guessing a lot of folks will merge over here. Doesn't really matter, I guess.


I would doubt the LJ community will change too much. This *may* divert a lot of the kvetchers off CGP, but it doesn't feel like it serves quite the same purpose as LJ, to me. Then again, I haven't blogged about Scrabble in so long that it hardly matters for me. :/


True, "a lot" was an exaggeration, since just about everyone (even myself!) occasionally post about other stuff.

Speaking of other stuff, I've seen some forums that have an off-topic subject. Don't know if that would be necessary or not. If there's an unlimited amount of posting space, then I'd be fine with it.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby verbalobe » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:13 pm

1. There definitely should be an 'offtopic' area. Not sure if the current "Social" topic is sufficiently broad. A place for people to complain about the weather or celebrate a birth or what have you. It is minimally necessary for an adequately moderated board (so the admin HAS a place to dump offtopic stuff without actually saying "you can't post about that here"). (This is of course distinct from true porn spam or the like, which of course can be deleted out of hand.)

2. What is the goal re: moderation? I think you have to decide what level of moderation and approach you intend. More active? Benevolent dictator? Relatively hands-off? What happens if a single poster starts monopolizing a bunch of threads for their pet complaint? What happens when a poster directly tries to squelch debate or silence or intimidate another poster? Etc.

More detailed comments on topic structure to come.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby gplnd » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:29 pm

One thought - maybe consolidate the 'Color' and 'Wordplay' forums into some miscellaneous wordplay category. I don't see either of them being used so heavily as to require subcategories, and they may just become wastelands.

Someone mentioned a General/Off Topic forum, which is always a good idea.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby slipkin » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:39 pm

verbalobe wrote:1. There definitely should be an 'offtopic' area.


Done.

verbalobe wrote:2. What is the goal re: moderation? I think you have to decide what level of moderation and approach you intend. More active? Benevolent dictator? Relatively hands-off?


I'd like to hand off moderation responsibilities to somebody with more free time, but the goal would be to stay on top of things and keep the discussions civil.

verbalobe wrote:What happens if a single poster starts monopolizing a bunch of threads for their pet complaint? What happens when a poster directly tries to squelch debate or silence or intimidate another poster?


I'm not against banning/suspending people. Intimidation: you're out. Ad hominem attacks, beyond "you're pushing your agenda!": warnings. People need to be nice and to keep everything respectful. LJ is a pretty good model for that now.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby jcurley » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:43 pm

Would it be worth having a 'word study' section? (edit - i now see the 'booking up' forum)
Perhaps a 'beginners' forum too ?

Thanks for setting this up, I hope it turns out to work really well. When I first started playing a year ago I searched the web for a scrabble forum to no avail! I'm glad we now have one.

thanks
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby slipkin » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:48 pm

gplnd wrote:One thought - maybe consolidate the 'Color' and 'Wordplay' forums into some miscellaneous wordplay category. I don't see either of them being used so heavily as to require subcategories, and they may just become wastelands.


"Color" is supposed to be for "tourney reports"--stories--and "Wordplay" is supposed to be for items like "here's a rule for knowing which EAU words take -X vs. -SX vs. -S". Perhaps better titles for the forums, or better descriptive text? Suggest away.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby verbalobe » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:01 pm

Tournament Results

This seems like a good top level topic. However, not sure what goes here, since C-T itself has complete crosstables. Is it likely to be incremental reports during a big tourney, like "Smith leading with 5 games to go"? Or might it devolve into postmorteming, like "How did that cheater come in 3rd place?" Consider how to structure this narrowly to actual results, and how to cross-reference crosstables data.

Consider a top level topic for Tournaments, and put Color, Rooming, Transport, and Results under it?

Positions

Good top level topic. These have had mediocre, inconsistent success on Verbalobe, on LJ, and on cgp. Occasionally these flare up around the time of a high-profile tournament. Lots of people like these, but really interesting positions are tough to present. People don't always like spoilers -- consider a model for how to discuss solutions without giving away the "best" solution at a glance. Consider what to do with folks who will post "brags", like "I found this nine through disconnected letters."

Consider dividing sub-forums by lexicon.

Booking up

Good as is.

Strategy

Good, but may have overlap with Positions. Maybe a top level topic like Expert Play and sub-topics for Positions, Strategy? Other? Open to discussion.

Wordplay

Nice idea but I'm not sure of its usefulness. Some people (such as myself) like wordplay as an adjunct to Booking Up -- maybe move it to a sub-topic under Booking Up? Or just wait and see what gets traffic?

Color

Move under Tournaments? What about Club color, other events, Sam or Halbert travelogues, mall speed game demos, online experiences, etc.?

Rooming, Carpools

This is good; consider moving under Tournaments. Another comment: This is the one topic that's time-sensitive -- when people need a ride, they need a ride. A critical mass of visitors will determine if this is successful. Time will tell.

Rules

Good one. I think a moderator might, over time, divide this into sub-topics, depending on what gets attention. A sub-topic that might emerge here is "Cheating". Another might deal directly with the formal process of changing the rulebook over time, rather than individual cases, interpretations, or pet peeves. Ultimately a Rule Committee member (assuming there will continue to be a Rule Committee) could moderate, and launch mayfly sub-topics from time to time to (officially) gather comment on proposed rule changes.

Community

See my earlier comment about offtopic threads.

Lexicons

Good.

Events

As distinct from tourneys?

The Future

Okay -- but what about a top-level topic on Player Org and Representation?

I assume additional sub-topics would emerge here, and will cross-pollinate with Lexicons, etc.

Other

I would consider Topics like "Director Corner" (maybe closed except to Directors?) and "Developer Corner", although both of these also have Yahoo Groups. Maybe for a future expansion, subject to demand.
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Horse Community, for comparison

Postby verbalobe » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:14 pm

Worldwide Dressage Forum at http://www.ultimatedressage.com/forums/index.php

A very successful forum that may provide interesting data points for a nascent 'pro-am hobby'-focused forum.

Training and Instruction
  • 21,000 topics
  • 365,000 posts

This topic represents average volume -- neither the most nor least -- [added:] though, arguably, the topic that is closest to the real intended bread-and-butter of the site.

Observation Lounge (their off-topic area)
  • 67,000 topics
  • 1.2 million posts

By far the largest area.

An indication of how important it can be to maintain an off-topic area as a means of developing and growing traffic and loyalty. For most large successful forums, people want to go every day, because it is the topic they are obsessive about, but while there they will naturally want to include more about their whole lives. This IMO is a sign of vitality and not to be discouraged, though undoubtedly it will irk some elites :-) They don't have to go there.

Consider how this might develop if it gets the attention of the Scrabulous set -- how it might provide a new entree into tournament/club play for all those online enthusiasts.

Facilities and Transportation
  • 6,000 topics
  • 54,000 posts

One of the smaller areas.
Last edited by verbalobe on Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Computer elite

Postby verbalobe » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:16 pm

How about a Topic for Tools (e.g., Zyzzyva, Aerolith)?

A Topic for other online resources, game sites, etc.?

Not sure where these would fit -- taking suggestions.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby verbalobe » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:19 pm

The Future


Also consider, that eventually the future becomes the present :shock:
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Re: Computer elite

Postby jcurley » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:22 pm

verbalobe wrote:How about a Topic for Tools (e.g., Zyzzyva, Aerolith)?

A Topic for other online resources, game sites, etc.?

Not sure where these would fit -- taking suggestions.


yes, I was thinking just the same - also perhaps something for other 'technologies' e.g. Franklins. I'm still tyring to get hold of the code for my SCR-228 so i can access naughty words.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby edhorch » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:26 pm

I don't know anything about the inner workings of PhpBB, so this may not even be possible, but our little community seems like it could benefit from Slashdot-style moderation and karma. Mod the trolls down to the third circle of vowelitis, while those who post good stuff consistently earn good karma.

The last time I looked, which was a few years ago, most of the slashcode that handles moderation and the granting of mod points was freely available, minus some critical parameters that people could use to game the system. As I recall, it was only a couple pages of Perl.

For those of you unfamiliar with Slashdot, the moderation system works like this: When you post a comment, anyone with moderation points can mod it up or down based on a fixed set of reasons, up for "interesting", "insightful", "funny", etc., down for "flamebait", "redundant", "offtopic", etc. Your comment can have a score of -1 to +5 based on its starting score (usually 1) and the sum of all its moderations.

You also have a karma score, which is roughly the sum of all your moderations on all your comments. It maxes out at 50, and I'm not sure what the minimum is, but bad things happen when you hit it, on the presumption that your bad behavior is intentional.

From time to time, you'll be granted mod points, more often the higher your karma. You always get exactly five, and they vanish after three days. You use these to moderate other people's comments, but you can't moderate a comment in a thread in which you've commented.

Users can then set a point threshold for the comments they're shown, thus filtering out a lot of the noise.

There are other finer details of this which grew out of lessons learned over the years, but you get the basic idea. The whole point is that on Slashdot, the volume is way too heavy for even a large number of dedicated moderators to police, so the moderation system allows the community to police itself. It's worth noting, however, that the moderation system came into being when Slashdot didn't have a whole lot more traffic than CGP does now on a busy day.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby millcake16 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:46 pm

Maybe this fits under one of the existing topics, but how about a dreams and/or fantasy section. Some of these have been posted in the past, such as Jim Kramer's spectacular tournament stories. There are few others from the cgp archives that I'm sure I could dig out as well.

Great start so far!!
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Re: Horse Community, for comparison

Postby slipkin » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:19 pm

verbalobe wrote:An indication of how important it can be to maintain an off-topic area as a means of developing and growing traffic and loyalty. For most large successful forums, people want to go every day, because it is the topic they are obsessive about, but while there they will naturally want to include more about their whole lives. This IMO is a sign of vitality and not to be discouraged


Oh, absolutely! The Motley Fool, fool.com, started out as a purely financial site, but soon devolved into a site that was substantially social. I certainly want to encourage that.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby slipkin » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:25 pm

verbalobe wrote:Lots of suggestions


Mostly done. The whole thing is different now!
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby slipkin » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:27 pm

millcake16 wrote:how about a dreams and/or fantasy section


I think those could go under Tourneys/Reports.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby Wizard1 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:10 pm

The AA to ZZZ forum is a MUST!! Also I am a big proponent of free speech, obviously there are limits, but for the most part there should be an area where people cane discuss anything under the sun. I used to post on a St. Louis Cardinals forum and the anything goes section was the most fun because we had some great political discussions/philosophical debates there, then they started curtailing anything even remotely political and it became really annoying.

Anyway I like the way things look and hope this catches on and I absolutely love that you including the AA-ZZZ topic in there.

Good luck
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ISC?

Postby edhorch » Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:10 pm

Two questions: Should there be a forum for discussing ISC? If so, should it be considered permissible to discuss the jerks we run into?

OK, three questions: Might a forum for ISC be a subforum under general online play, with other subforums being established as needed for Lexulous, Scramble, PathWords, the Pixie Pit, etc.?

[Personally, I have no problem with ISC blacklisting, coming from the old school of Internet "frontier justice" (the original MAPS RBL, the Usenet Death Penalty, etc.). It was fun to watch what happened when people who abused the Internet incurred the wrath of the people who RAN the Internet.]
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Re: ISC?

Postby millcake16 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:24 pm

edhorch wrote:Two questions: Should there be a forum for discussing ISC? If so, should it be considered permissible to discuss the jerks we run into?

OK, three questions: Might a forum for ISC be a subforum under general online play, with other subforums being established as needed for Lexulous, Scramble, PathWords, the Pixie Pit, etc.?

[Personally, I have no problem with ISC blacklisting, coming from the old school of Internet "frontier justice" (the original MAPS RBL, the Usenet Death Penalty, etc.). It was fun to watch what happened when people who abused the Internet incurred the wrath of the people who RAN the Internet.]


Speaking of ISC, would it be possible/preferrable to announce on there that this forum exists? Typically, when a major tournament is going on, ISC users are informed of the website when they first log on.

That might open up a can of worms, since so many are non-NSA players, and they might keep the moderators busy.
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Re: ISC?

Postby edhorch » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:05 pm

millcake16 wrote:Speaking of ISC, would it be possible/preferrable to announce on there that this forum exists? Typically, when a major tournament is going on, ISC users are informed of the website when they first log on.

That might open up a can of worms, since so many are non-NSA players, and they might keep the moderators busy.


I'm pretty sure there's a mechanism on ISC to send messages to group members, so we could send it only to the TPG group.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby mrmcpuppyduckle » Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:28 pm

I think the forums part of C-T is off to a smashing start. I have no suggestions for the forums as of yet but I wanted to say that I love the ones that have been created so far.

I do have one question: Is there a way to set my preferences so that I can see "all" the posts on one topic on one page? Or at least, is there a way to see more than 10 on one page, so that I don't have to click through 50 pages if there are 500 posts on a topic? Thanks.
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Re: ISC?

Postby slipkin » Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:43 pm

millcake16 wrote:since so many are non-NSA players, and they might keep the moderators busy.


I want people to come here who aren't already part of the NSA scene. More is better.
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Re: ISC?

Postby millcake16 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:19 pm

slipkin wrote:
millcake16 wrote:since so many are non-NSA players, and they might keep the moderators busy.


I want people to come here who aren't already part of the NSA scene. More is better.


Understandable. I just wondered why cgp was only restricted to NSA members, and that all others couldn't even VIEW messages. Maybe because those who subscribe via e-mail would potentially get offensive e-mails, whereas offensive messages on here are removable before everyone else can see them.

Speaking of cgp, why the delay on letting them know about this site? I know you told me not to, but they may eventually find this site on their own.
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Re: ISC?

Postby slipkin » Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:03 pm

millcake16 wrote:Speaking of cgp, why the delay on letting them know about this site? I know you told me not to, but they may eventually find this site on their own.


I wanted to talk to Sherrie first. Haven't heard back yet. I am ambivalent about "poaching". :-(

The best thing about CGP is that it's linear; if you post something important, people are likely to see it.
The good thing about these forums is that they're not linear; if two people go back and forth 100 times over a minor point, nobody else has to SEE it. I hope that some of the flaming can come over here EXCEPT that I will demand politeness. Dammit. :-)
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Re: ISC?

Postby millcake16 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:22 pm

slipkin wrote:
millcake16 wrote:Speaking of cgp, why the delay on letting them know about this site? I know you told me not to, but they may eventually find this site on their own.


I wanted to talk to Sherrie first. Haven't heard back yet. I am ambivalent about "poaching". :-(


I can't imagine there being an objection, but I suppose it's still wise to ask. If I were Sherrie, I'd be popping champagne about not having to monitor a mailing list anymore, along with changing e-mail addresses of subscribers, and all that other stuff.
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Non-Study Downloads and Swag

Postby GreatScott » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:00 pm

Seth,

I was thinking about a section for scoresheets, trackers, and things of that ilk that don't necessarily fall within the purview of "Study Aids" like Zyzzyva and so forth.

Then there's also Scrabble Swag like clocks, boards, and such, not to mention some of the more esoteric stuff like soup bowls, pendants and others.

Thanks to you and Cesar for kick-starting your duff into getting the forums going.

Scott K.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby cesar » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:11 pm

mrmcpuppyduckle wrote:I think the forums part of C-T is off to a smashing start. I have no suggestions for the forums as of yet but I wanted to say that I love the ones that have been created so far.

I do have one question: Is there a way to set my preferences so that I can see "all" the posts on one topic on one page? Or at least, is there a way to see more than 10 on one page, so that I don't have to click through 50 pages if there are 500 posts on a topic? Thanks.


i think this is a good idea too -- it's fairly easy to change the number of posts per page to like 20 or 30.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby slipkin » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:37 pm

cesar wrote:
mrmcpuppyduckle wrote:... is there a way to see more than 10 on one page, so that I don't have to click through 50 pages if there are 500 posts on a topic? Thanks.


i think this is a good idea too -- it's fairly easy to change the number of posts per page to like 20 or 30.


I just set it to 50. Comments welcomed.
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby listeme » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:26 am

Oh, I like 50 a LOT better. Thanks!
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Re: Setup ideas

Postby dwachtell » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:24 pm

Since we're all, you know, word nerds, can we change the name of this section of the website from "Forums" to "Fora"?

Just wondering...
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