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Culling the Forums - GIVE ME IDEAS!


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#1 Ken White

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 12:46 PM

I've just purchased the IP Boards software, that will run the TMU forums going into the future. The software switch will happen after the server move, to keep things easier. Between now and when I do that, I want to streamline the forum, get rid of subforums we don't need, emphasize useful subforums that are often overlooked, and generally get us where we want to be in the forum part of the TMUniverse.

I've done this a couple of times in the past, usually without deep thought or community feedback.

This time, it's new forums, rebirth of the community, blah blah, and I want some thoughts on this. Don't be a follower. Be a partner in this community, and help me make it what you want it to be.

So, give me you thoughts on this. A useful format would be:

Forum

Subforum
Subforum

Forum

Subforum
Subforum

Subsubforum

Subform


and so on. Give them names or use the existing names if we already have them. Try and look at it as somebody who doesn't know where things are, or a new member of the community. What do you want "in your face" and what can be in a subforum or a subsubforum. What's useful, what's non-essential?

We're not in a critical rush to do this. It's not something I need to do the instant the server move is complete. So think it out. And then share your thoughts. Not in a "we need this" or "maybe that forum should be here", but in an outline of thoughts, as above. Your concept of an ideal forum structure for this community.

Or, if it's too much work, you can just leave it to me and I'll give it my best shot, which may not be satisfactory to anyone except me. And really, nobody wants that...

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#2 thebiz

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 08:04 PM

This is a very difficult project as the current forums are large and unwieldy and its hard to think about a new forum without trying to figure out how the old one would fit the new one.

What Do I want - A good conversation. To be amused. To be informed. To be entertained. This one one is a bit abstract...

Working
Things in Production
Things being promoted

Living - Threads about life
Eating/Drinking/Sniffing Glue
Things I saw on the Internet

Dreaming
Ideas
Games
Stories


Here we are trying to be basic:

TMU
Site Announcements - Major Site Announcement, admin administrated
Site Problems/Questions
New Member Sign In

Movies
Production
Promotion

Radio
Shows
Audio Theater

Learning

Contests (not really an appendage but falls across the other three)

Dunces Corner (Where all else lives)



A quick count of things that could be archived....
2013 Site Initiatives
Indy Showcase
Market Place
MAchinimaWorld
Other (radio) Shows

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#3 Ken White

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 08:40 PM

I actually like the first one, but it's probably a bit new-age-ish, for lack of a better term. And though this IS a new age for TMU, it's NOT New Age TMU. We don't want new people to think we're a bunch of flower children, though some probably are...

Comparing the second with what we've got now...

So existing forums like General and Chatter and TMU General and Cinematic Ramblings would all go into the Dunces Corner? Does that somehow stick them away from the main part of the forums, which are devoted to the site, making movies, radio shows, etc.? And is that a good thing? (just asking)

I'll probably move the unused/unwanted forums into an old stuff kind of forum at the bottom of the list to archive them for those interested while making it clear they're not active anymore - I can even make them read-only, to keep them dead.

Good first pass (and yeah, I'll be making my own first pass when I'm done spending money.)

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#4 Ken White

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 01:40 PM

Okay, have sent the bad forum children to The Orphanage, at the bottom of the forum list, as I always threatened if they didn't prove to be popular. They can be read, but they'll never see another post.

Merged TMUnderground and TMOA Issues into TMUniverse Issues and got rid of TMOA Issues entirely.

Kept The Marketplace with the thought that the concept was still valid, and as we move forward and new people coming in, we might see some more activity there. If not, I'll send it to The Orphanage and some other community can adopt it.

I'll look at it some more, after I've touched base with Subhosting and Viewshark.

And all you folks out there...we had plenty of comments that the forums were too unwieldy and confusing to a new user. So put you typing fingers where your mouth is and give us some suggestions. The Ken and Biz forums are no more representative of the community's collective will than the Ken forums are.

I'm not a new user. I don't even look at the main forum page much, preferring to just use the Activity Stream to see what's being posted. So it's all the same to me. A thousand oddly-named categories is the same as five the way I use the forum. Maybe you do too. But if an old bastard like me can step out of my own mindset and look at this through a shiny new prospective member's eyes, anybody can.

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#5 thebiz

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 02:08 PM

3 more thoughts.

Other Competitions could be renamed "Other Competitions and Festivals" and the three threads under "Machinima Festivals" could be moved under that subforum.

The Chatter forum kinda acts more like a TMUniverse Forum except for the "random chatter" subforum. Makes me think this would be a better place for the TMUniverse subforum (currently found under movies).

Then if we had an "off topic" forum (with a more clever name of course) we could possibly group "random chatter", "ideas are like", "cinematic ramblings" and maybe "Kens World" into this forum while moving marketplace into the "Movies" forum.

Mayhaps this is just drunken chess with blind combatants. Perhaps its an improvement. Meh.

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#6 kkffoo

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 03:33 PM

I like thebiz's ideas, especially the second set of wording.
The Green Room? (Aka dunce's corner).
PC still running after clearest yeah! Now noodling with Plotagon.

#7 Carver

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 05:51 PM

Even though it hasn't been active the past six months, glad the RSS Feed is gone. Never was a fan of it.


I like thebiz's ideas, especially the second set of wording.
The Green Room? (Aka dunce's corner).


Dunce's Corner gave me a chuckle but The Green Room seems to fit the theme.

#8 Ken White

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 06:06 PM

Yeah, the RSS feed was requested, but once implemented it became unpopular due to the volume of posts of limited interest to anybody here. In our "landing page" (mentioned elsewhere), we'll have some RSS widgets, and something like the former RSS feeds might go into one for those who are interest, but no more in-your-face posts cluttering the forum.

Right, so I've made a second pass on the forums, incorporating Biz's latest drunken blind chessplayer suggestions. It's good, because as we move things around and consolidate things, it brings other things more into focus, either for viewing if you're a new user, or for moving or consolidating if you're trying to wrangle it into shape.

Question: As things stand with the latest pass, we have a TMUniverse Central sub-forum in the renamed The TMUniverse forum. This is for general chatter about the site (as it is and will be) in all it's aspects. We also have a TMUnderground General sub-forum that's aimed specifically to general stuff about the THE MOVIE SITE specifically. I can move the threads over to TMUniverse Central, of course, but is that what we want to do (especially since I can do the bulk thread move automatically, but there's no going back except through manual thread moving. And staff probably doesn't want me to assign that to them - since I'm not doing it...) Thoughts?

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#9 Ken White

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:07 PM

So everybody is happy with the forums as they now stand, eh? And will not complain after we move to IP Boards, right? Under pain of death?

(basically, I'm quite familiar with the forum tools in vBulletin, so it's quick and easy to rename, reorder, move, etc. I'm sure IP Boards will be just easy, but different, and different means learning the differences, which means additional time. And frankly, by the time we make the move to IP Boards, within a day or two after the server move (which, btw, should happen pretty soon here), I'm also going to be ramping up to install Viewshark (new movie script for those who haven't been following that side of things) on a subdomain, get Tarison to start creating the database conversion scripts, and make sure Viewshark is running and working right out of the box. So I'd rather not mess with the forum much for a while, except for troubleshooting issues...)

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#10 thebiz

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 01:29 PM

Heres a few more recommendations. I recommend unstickying unused threads in the interest of making us look more active...Im down with calling the random forum "The Green Room". I also dont need to see the threads that have been moved from one place to another in both sections. Kinda makes it more confusing but then there may not be a way around this.

Im ok with leaving the TMunderground General Subforum alone. It makes sense once you get in there and see what kind of threads it contains.

Also of the belief that mod madness should be accessible to view by all (now it is only viewable to logged in members)



Cinematic Ramblings
Machinima Festivals - Move to Other Comps and Festivals

Random Chatter - Welcome to the Forums - Move to Sign in ?


Movies
Now Playing

Unsticky TMU Featured Collections and Monthly Top 10

Promotion

Unsticky Actors Sandbox,
Move "2011 Harb Passion Comp" and "Werecool's 3rd Horror Film Fest" to Comp section (Not stickied)


TMUnderground General

Move "2010 Ollies Post Mortem" to Ollies section in Comps



Other Comps and Fests

Unsticky Both Stickies


Edited by thebiz, 20 July 2015 - 04:57 PM.

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#11 Ken White

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 02:08 PM

Okay, have made some of the changes, and agree with pretty much all of the suggestions.

Question: When you say I also dont need to see the threads that have been moved from one place to another in both sections, what, specifically are you talking about?

Here's the deal with moving individual threads in vbulletin - you can do it two ways - leave a redirect or not, either a permanent redirect or an expiring redirect. The reasons to leave a redirect are: a) So somebody who is participating in a thread can find it if they go looking and B) so external links to the thread won't throw an error when clicked.

There may be some moves with redirects in the forums, but I generally don't like the "look" of redirects, and so I unclick them (permanent redirect is default, btw). If some are past moves lurking among the nearly-12000 threads here, I can take a look and probably get rid of the redirect if not warranted, which is probably the case at this point.
(I did happen upon one (Johnny's quicky comp thread) and though I can't actually remove redirects immediately, I can set it to 1 hour, which I did in this case, so it'll soon be without redirect.)

I've moved the mentioned threads, and none seemed to be needing a redirect. Will also mention the redirect thing in the staff forum, since some may not really be aware of it, and with permanent redirect being the default, some may just click "move" and be done with it.

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#12 thebiz

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 02:30 PM

One more I just noticed (sorry).

Unsticky the TM rescue Project (circa 2009) under TMUnderground General.

I get the purpose and need of the redirect for moved threads. I just find it irritating that it then ends up being listed in two places and causes more confusion than good. I think timed visible redirects (a month or two perhaps) are fine as long as they eventually dissappear.

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#13 Ken White

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 02:48 PM

Agreed - not sure how IP Boards handles moves and redirects, so we'll perhaps have to revisit it after the software move. (and I unstickied that thread).

If you happen to see any redirects that need to be changed, let me know and I'll change them all to an hour and be done with them.

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#14 Zeke365

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 09:25 PM

I was thinking an of idea for the new forums and what they should look like if your still taking in ideas and should be simpler to use for new users as well as bring out some some stuff upfront without having to use as many subfourms. To give you idea on the forum when we move the forum site here what I put together what user might see when they go to the forum page.

Im sure you will come up with some unique name for each section to.


1.TMunderground Main Fourm:
2.TMUniversity Main Forum:
3.Machinima Production Main Forum
4.Competitions and festivals Main Forum
5.Green Room Main Forum:
6.TMU Radio Station Main Thread


down below is an example of what under each forum

1.TMunderground Main Forum:
1.Intro to the TMU community
2.TMU general discussion
3.Tmuunderground issues

2.TMUniversity Main Forum:
keep the same

3.Machinima Production Main Forum
Introduction:
1.Helping new studios by Chris62 & Killian thread
2.Idea section
Now Playing at TMU:
all Movies just recently released
Promotion:
all movie in production
Education:
The Language of Screenwriting thread and learning the writings of screen play.
Tutorials:
1.Software tutorials (The Movies, moviestorm, Iclone, The Sims. ect.)
2.Post production tutorials:
a.Some Tips on Shooting Movies with Outside Editing thread
3.Software Help
Mods:
1.Mods under the each software name
1.The Movies Mods:
a.all Mods made with the Movies (ect. with other software)
Music :
any thing related to music production for Machinima movies
Voices:
So You Need a Voice? Casting. Thread
Voice Request

4.Competitions and festivals Main Forum:
keep that as is

5.Green Room Main Forum:

minus the idea section keep the same

6.TMU Radio Station Main Thread:
keep the same




tell me your thoughts

#15 TehPoptartKid

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 11:31 PM

3.Machinima Production Main Forum
Introduction:
1.Helping new studios by Chris62 & Killian thread
2.Idea section
Now Playing at TMU:
all Movies just recently released
Promotion:
all movie in production
Education:
The Language of Screenwriting thread and learning the writings of screen play.
Tutorials:
1.Software tutorials (The Movies, moviestorm, Iclone, The Sims. ect.)
2.Post production tutorials:
a.Some Tips on Shooting Movies with Outside Editing thread
3.Software Help
Mods:
1.Mods under the each software name
1.The Movies Mods:
a.all Mods made with the Movies (ect. with other software)
Music :
any thing related to music production for Machinima movies
Voices:
So You Need a Voice? Casting. Thread
Voice Request


Looks good to me. I think we could add three more subforums to the machinima production main forum. Collaboration, Audio, and Writing.

#16 Zeke365

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 12:16 AM

okay I have a few ideas, under which section would suit them best dont get me wrong but I just trying to keep it simple as possible for new users though sound effect section I do agree we need. Not gonna write the whole thread but put your suggestion in areas I think they fit best unless you would rather keep the separated?

3.Machinima Production Main Forum
Introduction:
1.Helping new studios by Chris62 & Killian thread
2.Idea section
3.Collaborations

Education:
Language of Screenwriting thread and learning the writings of screen play.
2.Writing Tips

Music :
any thing related to music production for Machinima movies

Sound Effects:

any thing related to sound production in machinima movies

Voices:
So You Need a Voice? Casting. Thread

tell me your thoughts

#17 Zeke365

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 04:05 PM

okay gonna update the machima main forum with few new ideas and where they should be put in and added some of tehpoptartkid suggestions in as well.

3.Machinima Production Main Forum
Introduction:
1.Helping new studios by Chris62 & Killian thread
2.Idea section
3.Collaborations
Now Playing at TMU:
1.all Movies just recently released
Promotion:
all movie in production
Education:
The Language of Screenwriting thread and learning the writings of screen play.
2.Writers R us
3.Writing tips
Tutorials:
1.The Creative Resource List
2.Software tutorials (The Movies, moviestorm, Iclone, The Sims. ect.)
3.Software Help
Mods:
1.Mods under the each software name
2.The Movies Mods:
a.all Mods made with the Movies (etc. with other software)
Sound Effects:
anything related to sound design for machinima
Music :
1.any thing related to music production for machinima movies
Voices:
So You Need a Voice? Casting. Thread
Voice Request
Post production tutorials:
1.Some Tips on Shooting Movies with Outside Editing thread

tell me your thoughts on the forum idea up above is a suggestion of the forum might look like when you click on the forum page, took me awhile to think of the best way and best format that both involves the community and new users these are just some of my own suggestions as well as tehpoptart suggestion in there as well.

#18 Ken White

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 02:47 PM

Don't worry guys, not ignoring the suggestions. Just putting out the Viewshark fires at the moment, but I'll get to these when things are calmed down.

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#19 Zeke365

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 04:37 PM

okay thanks kuroken for all your hard work for the community. Thought I re post the idea to give you a little better picture of the main forum and what it would would look like.

This is when a person clicks on the main forum what they might see

1.TMunderground Main Forum:

1.Intro to the TMU community
2.Announcements for the community
3.TMU general discussion
4.Tmuunderground issues

2.TMUniversity Main Forum:
keep the same

3.Machinima Production Main Forum
1.Introduction
2.Now Playing at TMU
3.Promotion
4.Education
5.Tutorials
6.Mods
7.Sound Effects
8.Music
9.Voices
10.Post production tutorials


4.Competitions and festivals Main Forum:
keep that as is

5.Green Room Main Forum:

minus the idea section keep the same

6.TMU Radio Station Main Thread:
keep the same


Now down below be what will pop up when a person clicks on a certain section well just in the Machinima Production Main Forum because everything will be left upfont for the user.

3.Machinima Production Main Forum

Introduction:
1.Helping new studios by Chris62 & Killian thread
2.Idea section
Now Playing at TMU:
1.all Movies just recently released
Promotion:
1.all movie in production
Education:
1.The Language of Screenwriting thread and learning the writings of screen play.
2.Writers R us
3.Writing tips
4.Editor Room
Tutorials:
1.The Creative Resource List
2.Software tutorials (The Movies, moviestorm, Iclone, The Sims. ect.)
3.Software Help
Mods:
1.Mods under the each software name
2.The Movies Mods:
a.all Mods made with the Movies (etc. with other software)
Sound Effects:
1.anything related to sound design for machinima
Music :
1.any thing related to music production for machinima movies
Voices:
1.So You Need a Voice? Casting. Thread
2.Voice Request
3.Collaborations
Post production tutorials:
1.Some Tips on Shooting Movies with Outside Editing thread

Edited by Zeke365, 03 August 2015 - 02:18 PM.


#20 Ken White

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 08:57 PM

And now that the forums have been moved over, let's take a look at them again, and see what we need to do to streamline them and make them look groovy in this new forum software....


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