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Last Post by Dani
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How many forums is too many? Can you validate having 100+ forums if every one of them is at least getting a few posts per day?

Depends on your niche and topic really, there are certain topics which warrant subdvision into specialist areas where as others require you to have everything in one place. Usually IT/Computer related forums do have lots of forums as computer itself has a number of different issues so generalising them wont work.

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I think with hobby sites you can have fewer forums because it often doesn't require a level of expertise to participate in a certain forum over others. Therefore, members are more capable of posting in most of the forums. Subdivision isn't so necessary when forums target the same audience.

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I think if it is drawing the attention like your site does Dani - it's fine.

I have wondered ever since I built the MalwareTeks forum - if maybe we dont have too many forums to the point of confusing people....

Only thing of course is, it's going to appear that you dont have as many threads when it's all spread out - but in reality you do. :)

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>When it comes to forums, less is always more.

Whatever is best for business. While it is commendable to assume these forums are designed purely with the best interests of its users, we know there's also the money making side to it!

You're here to make money, if your sponsors or whatever, say less forums make their adverts more effective then what do you think you're gonna do? And will you necessarily be bothered if it makes it less streamlined for your users if you're getting paid bucket loads more?

Tee he he.

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If it becomes enough of a deterrent to site navigation, usability, and the visitor experience, the visitors will win out over the advertisers. Why? Because without the visitors, no one will buy advertising.

This was recently demonstrated in our two week trial with IntelliTXT. It was producing a significant amount of revenue. However, a good few of the moderators despised it with a passion, and in the end, they won. Is extra ad revenue worth losing a moderator team? I don't think so. Without the mods, there would be no site. No pageviews. No one to look at the advertising.

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>This was recently demonstrated in our two week trial with IntelliTXT. It was producing a significant amount of revenue. However, a good few of the moderators despised it with a passion, and in the end, they won.

Yeah, who's brainchild was that? It's implementation was god awful. But if it was generating extra revenue, can't you strike a compromise. Tone it down a bit so it isn't such an eye sore?

>Is extra ad revenue worth losing a moderator team?

I don't know I'd prefer it without the mods, sometimes they curtail my right to free speech. Tee he he. If there's no mods there is no site. Bummer. Got me on dat one.

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I actually have no problem with IntelliTXT. I didn't mind it at all. But a couple of moderators and regular members despised it with a passion. I tried to comprimise: I gave the option for all staff to disable IntelliTXT from showing up. I also gave all members the ability to disable IntelliTXT ads within their own posts. (Essentially, the IntelliTXT spider would crawl around posts of members with this enabled.) Unfortunately, even that wasn't a good enough comprimise it seemed. With members that against it, I had no other choice, despite the revenue.

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>I tried to comprimise: I gave the option for all staff to disable IntelliTXT from showing up. I also gave all members the ability to disable IntelliTXT ads within their own posts. (Essentially, the IntelliTXT spider would crawl around posts of members with this enabled.)

To me that sounds like a really good compromise. If you don't want to see then disable it,works for me. And what the moderators still told you no? Erm why, were their reasons justified?

Don't be such a push over Dani. In any case you know what's best. :surprised

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I've read bits, but I saw no real justification for their strong opinion, especially when you gave the mods the ability to hide all the intelliTxT links.

There may be other reasons however, other than just its nuisance value, as to why they wanted it disabled. Cut a long story short, if the masses don't like it, you got to do what the masses want. I guess that's what you discovered.

I'm out. Bye

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Danielle,

I don't think there's a number for this as long as it's clear as to what's on the site.

I'll tell you this about your own site though, through my own personal experience.

I found your site while searching for something on the net. This forum isn't what I was looking for, I just happened to stop because of something that I saw interesting. I didn't know that your site had different forums on it until about the fourth visit. I just thought that I had stumbled across a forum about 'Growing an Online Community'. To me, the top of your site is a little busy for someone (like me) that lands on a page and instantly scrolls down to see the discussion. There was nothing in my face that said "HEY, there's other stuff here too" After visiting this site for the fourth time, I finally stopped to browse around the site.

All in all, I think the site navigation is very functional, but from a perspective of a new user, it's not in your face.

So my answer would be 'No Limit, Just as long as regular users find the site easy to navigate, but there's enough In-your-face information for a new user to instantly catch on'

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Back on topic>>

Maybe rather than having many forums, having a system of filtering forums. For example a drop down menu when you post your message, selecting a sub-category for the post, could then be used in the same drop down box, for users to filter threads they wish to view in that forum.

A more visually obvious way to display to display new posts since last visit, like a Icon, would attract people to view the entire fourm page.

This would mean you could easily scan a whole page, of near related threads, rather than missing something in a sub-forum you might not of otherwise visited, but also choose to visit a particular sub-category if you wish. I know this is available via "Posts since last visit", but may be slightly more user friendly.

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I think it really depends on the niche. I know my site has well over 150+ forums but only because of the topic.

Otherwise if it's a new site try to keep under 10 I would think.

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Not only does having fewer forums make the site look more active, but it's much more convenient from a usability standpoint. Members can simply browse through a long list of threads without having to constantly navigate in and out of different forums. Additionally, it makes it simpler to figure out which forum to post in, which I would think would increase the postrate by cutting out the confusion and hesitation that goes along with that.

Of course ... you can get away with very few forums if you have a niche site or a site devoted to a singular audience. On a site like this one, where different forums target entirely different audiences, it's not something feasable.

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