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Why so many sub-forums?

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Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Boxman » Thu May 07, 2015 11:37 pm

Winston - why did you create so many sub-forums? You've got waaaay too many sub-forums for the # of the people visiting this site. This forum is so fragmented with unnecessary sub forums that it's sabotaging your success. Part of the reason so few people join HA is because most of your sub-forums are effectively dead, with hardly any posts getting updated daily. It gives the appearance of the entire forum being less active.

I mean for god's sake many of your sub forums have only accrued a few dozen threads in the entire time HA has existed! Most of them don't even get a new post every day. It's ridiculous.

There should really only be five or six sub forums on this site:

1) General Discussion --- this would include "News and Current Events", "Introduce Yourself", "Why Go Abroad?", "Conspiracies", "Religion and Sprituality", "Health and Fitness" and all those other non-region specific sub forums. Seriously there's about 30 different sub forums that should all just be consolidated into one "General" category, because individually none of them generates enough traffic to be worthwhile.
2) Asia\Pacific ---- should include the Australia\New Zealand sub forum, which is almost completely dead btw
3) Europe ---- should include the Russia\SSR forum; not enough activity in either one to be worth visiting)
4) Latin America\South America
5) Rest of World (should include Africa\Middle East & North America forums, neither of which generate enough traffic on their own)
6) Living Abroad --- this would include the Working Overseas, Business Finance Taxes, Visas & Immigration, Foreign Language, Meetups & Get Togethers sub forums, as well as the "Expat Living and Dating VIP Forum". Just combine them all.

Seriously you need to do this; you're losing out every day on revenue you could be making. People don't like overly fragmented forums. Not only does it make browsing the forum less user-friendly, it also discourages you from the posting or starting threads when every sub forum is practically dead. Why bother when hardly anyone is going to read or respond?

Notice I didn't even bother posting this in your "Suggestions, Feedback" sub forum. You know why? Because that sub forum has virtually no activity, so why bother posting there? No one's going to read it. Which illustrates my point.

Winston, I like you and I like what you're trying to do with HA, so I want you to succeed. But this place is in a state of decline, or stagnation at best. You need to fix it so please be open-minded to my suggestions.

And for the love of god don't move this to the Feedback forum; if you're going to do that, you might as well just go ahead and delete my thread instead.

Thanks,
Boxman
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Jester » Fri May 08, 2015 12:39 am

Havent reviewed the details, but basically its clear that the HA site has too many subforums, very poorly thought out.

For me, its

POLITICS
ANGLO BITCHES
WESTERN EUROPE / EU
EASTERN EUROPE
FSU
NORTH ASIA
SOUTHEAST ASIA
MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA AND SOUTH ASIA
LATIN AMERICA
DEEP METAPHYSICAL SHIT
OTHER STUFF
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Jester » Fri May 08, 2015 12:40 am

And OH YEAH the most important of all

COUNTRIES COMPARED
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby drealm » Fri May 08, 2015 5:27 am

Good topic, thanks for bringing it up.

I'm guessing one of Winston's reasons for organizing the site in such a compartmentalized way is for SEO reasons. Whether the site is easy to navigate or not is irrelevant to SEO.

I'm not much of a thread starter, so for me there's no organization needed whatsoever. It can just be a flat stream of topics and I would be happy. Ever since I was told about Latest 100 Topics, this is where I always go to read new posts. I never drill down by category anymore. I suggest this for anyone who just wants to view posts instead of starting threads.

One argument for having lots of sub-forums is that a topic may get more attention. For example if someone posts a "meet up", it will get quickly pushed down under the Latest 100 Topics. But under "meetups.." it will most likely still be at the top.

One structural consideration is that the forum right now has one trip report sub-forum (only 277 topics) but seven non-trip report forums about countries for people just to chat (and over 3000 combined topics). From a practical standpoint I find this arrangement disappointing. When I was researching Mexico I needed to go through a mixed forum to find reports and also rely on the search function. I did not find much so I had to supplement this with visiting Roosh and Thorn Three (Lonely Planet) for the bulk of my research. I don't know if giving more trip report forums would encourage sharing more trip reports.
Last edited by drealm on Fri May 08, 2015 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Ghost » Fri May 08, 2015 6:13 am

There are too many forums but it has never bothered me. We don't really need a Questions and Advice forum since every forum will have some element of asking questions and giving advice.
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby BlackKnight » Fri May 15, 2015 6:03 pm

drealm wrote:Good topic, thanks for bringing it up.

I'm guessing one of Winston's reasons for organizing the site in such a compartmentalized way is for SEO reasons. Whether the site is easy to navigate or not is irrelevant to SEO.

I'm not much of a thread starter, so for me there's no organization needed whatsoever. It can just be a flat stream of topics and I would be happy. Ever since I was told about Latest 100 Topics, this is where I always go to read new posts. I never drill down by category anymore. I suggest this for anyone who just wants to view posts instead of starting threads.

One argument for having lots of sub-forums is that a topic may get more attention. For example if someone posts a "meet up", it will get quickly pushed down under the Latest 100 Topics. But under "meetups.." it will most likely still be at the top.

One structural consideration is that the forum right now has one trip report sub-forum (only 277 topics) but seven non-trip report forums about countries for people just to chat (and over 3000 combined topics). From a practical standpoint I find this arrangement disappointing. When I was researching Mexico I needed to go through a mixed forum to find reports and also rely on the search function. I did not find much so I had to supplement this with visiting Roosh and Thorn Three (Lonely Planet) for the bulk of my research. I don't know if giving more trip report forums would encourage sharing more trip reports.


No, he copied the information architecture of other forums that were WAAAAY more popular. This forum doesn't have 30 regular posters so there is no need for 30 plus sub-forums. But he'll never do anything about that. He'll just say click: Latest 100 Topics
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Winston » Fri May 15, 2015 9:34 pm

You aren't making any sense OP.

Most people do not click on each subforum. They go to the latest 100 topics page or the view active topics page. Have you tried those? They make browsing a lot easier.

Even if you post in a subforum that doesn't have much activity, it will still show up in the active topics page and the latest 100 topics page.

The most popular forums out there have many subforums for many topics. I'm just copying their structure using categories I'm interested in.

I put the most important and popular forums at the top. They are ranked in order of importance.

Most subforums are active. Only a few aren't. Which ones are unnecessary?

The many subforums here aren't fragmented. They are structured and organized by category and easy to navigate and browse.

New users here see this forum as very active with a lot of members. I've made a long list of active members. The list became quite long. Have you seen it?

Some of the subforums were requested by other members. I don't create subforums unless there is some interest in them.

Why are you saying that we should only have categories about going abroad? Why not have categories for other topics such as religion or conspiracies or government or movies, etc? Those are interesting categories that many members like too. Why do you want to NARROW the scope of this forum? That makes no sense. Why not have a diverse and varied topic range?

The many subforums make this forum look busy and diverse. They also make it look more all encompassing and comprehensive, covering every topic. They also make us look like a community since a community has many categories.

Go to a public library and see how many categories there are. Even if some categories are hardly browsed, still they make the library look all encompassing and comprehensive. Make sense?

So I don't understand the basis of your claims. They aren't logical or true or accurate. And you're not making sense either.
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Winston » Fri May 15, 2015 9:54 pm

OP,
Why don't you turn this thread into a poll to see what most people think? You can click the edit button on your first post and set up a poll with the poll panel at the bottom.
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Winston » Sat May 16, 2015 3:58 pm

Mr S agrees with me about the subforums.

Mr S:

"Everyone has opinions about your website and how it should be run. If they dont like it tell them to make their own or join another one. The problem with less categories is it makes it almost impossible to find particular threads because there would be so many to scrolk through unless the search engine was working perfectly. Thats one reason i dont like the random section cause its too general and too many posts to go through so i almost nevet post there but some only post there and don't use the categories. It just proves the randomness and ficklness of human nature. No one can ever be pleased in their entirety."
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby BlackKnight » Sat May 16, 2015 6:14 pm

Winston wrote:Mr S agrees with me about the subforums.

Mr S:

If they dont like it tell them to make their own or join another one


Good idea.

See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=26959
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Winston » Sun May 17, 2015 4:27 pm

Do you guys use the Active Topics page?

search.php?search_id=active_topics

That's the only page you need to go to, to browse new topics or latest topics. The link to it is at the top. No need to open each subforum one at a time, unless you want to start a new topic in a particular subforum.

Try the active topics page and you will see how easy and convenient it is.

Also, if you are on a mobile device or tablet, try the mobile theme. It's very sleek and comfortable.

index.php?mobile=mobile
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Winston » Thu May 21, 2015 12:06 am

OP,
Check out the City Data Forum. It's one of the biggest forums in the world. As you can see, it has a lot MORE subforums than we do. And even has sub sub forums.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/

So you see, having many comprehensive subforums works. So again, you aren't making any sense.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby MrMan » Thu May 21, 2015 2:05 am

If you use the top 100 feature, it doesn't matter that much. If you want to post, the only problem is you need to decide what forum to put it in.
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Jester » Thu May 21, 2015 6:52 am

MrMan wrote:If you use the top 100 feature, it doesn't matter that much. If you want to post, the only problem is you need to decide what forum to put it in.


Talking to Winston is like talking to a brick.

Neither one listens to you.

Except the brick stays quiet, and doesn't keep spouting stupid questions.
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Re: Why so many sub-forums?

Postby Winston » Thu May 21, 2015 8:46 am

Jester wrote:
MrMan wrote:If you use the top 100 feature, it doesn't matter that much. If you want to post, the only problem is you need to decide what forum to put it in.


Talking to Winston is like talking to a brick.

Neither one listens to you.

Except the brick stays quiet, and doesn't keep spouting stupid questions.


Well at least I care about truth and accuracy. Why don't you? You're not a truth seeker? Why do you assume every false criticism must be true even if it makes no sense?

Why don't you respond to my points rather than attack my character for not listening to every random statement, including false ones?

But then again Jester, you think that the Bible is established history. So you aren't exactly rational or sensible either. Accuracy doesn't appear to matter to you. Very odd.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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