?

where should info/intro sections be placed?

  1. at the top of the sections menu, so newcomers will see them before posting

    7 vote(s)
    70.0%
  2. buried at the bottom, where newcomers don't see them first

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  1. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    info/intro sections belong at top of sections menu, not buried at bottom

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by mammamaia, Dec 23, 2011.

    do you agree with me that the many misplaced threads we're seeing now are the result of the info and intro sections having been moved to the bottom of the page, where newcomers don't see them till it's too late?

    and that replacing them back at the top of the sections menu makes better sense?
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I voted: 'placed at the bottom so newcomers don't think they're entering a prison camp.':)
     
  3. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    New folk just have to scroll down once or twice, and they'll find all they need.

    Perhaps separating the more ambitious from the less-so isn't such a bad thing. ;)

    Else I've seen forums with 'introductions' at the top, and 'forum rules' etc at the bottom. That can work nicely too.
     
  4. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    The most logical place is at the top. Newcomers should become aware of the rules right after they join...
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    At the top. For the same reasons as Allan Paas just posted.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I also vote at the top.
     
  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    It seems to me that over the last few months the site has evolved from being (or appearing to be) a place where the members (and prospective members) are assumed to be kids (or idiots) to a place where members are assumed to be adults (or sensible.) I'm thinking of the lift of the swearing ban; discussions, in the lounge, being granted greater latitude; and, the demotion of the intro/rules section and the promotion of the publishing sub-forum.

    The idea behind might go like this: Hey, this is a writing forum and here we all are discussing, you know, writing and matters that matter to writers. And, since we assume you are not an idiot we're pretty sure you'll scroll down and take a look at the site rules and whatnot.
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^ The danger there is assuming all adults can be sensible. ;)
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    true!...

    and why start out handicapping newcomers?... do you really want agism and elitism to rule here, when this site was started by young guys and has always welcomed aspiring and beginning writers of all ages and not only ones who've attained a certain arbitrary minimum age?...

    are we to also make it difficult for those in their 'elder' years to find out how the site works, as well, so we won't have to be bothered with anyone joining but those who fit into some 'acceptable' age range and degree of 'writership'?... who's to decide on and set such limits?... sorry, but the reasons given for keeping the info/intro sections at the bottom just make me laugh at best, shudder at worst...

    ...why should any such 'culling' be even attempted?... and what does being 'ambitious' have to do with welcoming new and prospective new members in a courteous, helpful way, by letting them know what the rules 'n regs of the site are and making info on how to use the site readily available at the outset?... why make it hard for them to find and easy for any who're new to post stuff in the wrong places and/or before they fulfill the requirements that are being kept from them till it's too late?... how does that make any sense, or be in any way hospitable?
     
  10. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh dear. No one was being agist or elitist.

    Instead I was saying that not a great deal of work is required to scroll down, and check out every section of the site.

    The 'ambitious' comment was rather tongue in cheek, hence the smilie. You could replace it also with 'lazy', come to think of it.
     
  11. the1
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    the1 Active Member

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    The only reason the information/introduction section is at the bottom of the page now is because after all, this site is a writing site. It is logical to think that the first thing you would expect to see on a writing forum would be the writing sections.

    This is generally considered common practice on forums. You want your viewers to first view the content they came looking for. The easiest way to do this is to put the content they want to see at the top of the page and the 'not so' relevant content towards the bottom of the page.
     
  12. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I open up the main index, I see the first seven sub-forums. That's the entirety of "Writing Issues". The site information section contains three sub-forums. I hardly think that's going to detract too much from newcomers seeing what they came for. I mean, most of these people are using the internet, so I'm sure they know how to scroll.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there are many [19] sections showing when i open up the site [ http://www.writingforums.org/ ] and, judging from the much greater number of misplaced threads i'm seeing since the switch, that's what all those misplaced thread posters are also seeing... the info/intro parts don't show up till the newcomer scrolls close to 2/3 of the way down and many have aleady posted in the wrong places, having no clue to what the right ones are, thanks to the info not yet having been seen...

    newcomers need to know how the site works, so how can it make any sense to have them do it all wrong, before they get to the bottom and learn how to do it right, when putting that 1 section [site info] and its 3 subsections at the top would avoid such confusion and save our poor, overworked, [now] only major mod so much post/thread moving?
     
  14. the1
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    the1 Active Member

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    I vote mammamaia for moderator!
     
  15. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with this post, esp. the bolded. But how the hell do you see 19 of the sections when you open the index? There's only 22 in total on the entire board. How big is your screen resolution? 0.o

    As for Banzai, if he feels overworked, I'm sure he'll bring it up with Daniel and they'll work to get someone to replace Cogito. It's not like Banzai is contracted in to being a moderator. There's always the choice of leaving if it's too much work.
     
  16. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Quite so.

    Hitherto this place was a party invitation, the first lines of which read : 'Please be sure to take your shoes off when entering the house.' How cold! How unwelcoming!

    Now, it makes one feel all warm and fuzzy. A grand, appropriate, sensible decision.
    Well done Daniel! I, for one, appreciate your thoughtfulness and your efforts!
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's what i see when i click on the site in my favorites list:
    1. general writing
    2. publishing
    3. character development
    4. plot development
    5. setting development
    6. spelling, etc.
    7. reviewing
    8. the lounge
    9. rpg
    10. book discussion
    11. word games
    12. writing contests
    13. short stories
    14. poetry
    15. songs
    16. non-fiction
    17. scripts
    18. fan fiction
    19. novels

    ...after all that comes 'site announcements/suggestions and feedback/new member introduction'...

    ...and i'm sure from the ever-increasing number of misposted stuff that's what most newcomers to the site see, too!
     
  18. the1
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    the1 Active Member

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    Do you see all those 19 sections without scrolling is the question? If you can see 19 sections without scrolling then you must have a very high resolution. My screen is a fairly high resolution and I can only see 9 categories without scrolling.

    From the perspective of a webmaster, you would want as many visitors to come to your site. In order to get visitors to your site you need the following; (a) Good Content (b) Relevant Content (c) Something unique.

    Now this forum provides all of those things. However, when a user executes a Google search and then ends up on this forum, they are expecting to see what they searched for. In this case the first thing they should be seeing is anything writing related. At the present time, Daniel has configured the site to accomplish this. If users were to open this site and they were not firstly confronted with these sections they would most likely close the tab quite immediately and continue their search elsewhere as they did not find the criteria to which they searched (albeit all they would have to do is scroll down).

    Now this might seem somewhat pedantic to you, however, this actually does occur. Running a forum, running any website for that matter is all about generating new users and in turn generating higher income from such things as subscriptions and advertisments. The current layout of the forum is set to optimise these figures.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...sorry for the confusion... i thought you were saying there were only 9 sections before the intro/info ones... of course i have to scroll past all those 19 sections to get to the intro/info ones, which was the point i was trying to make...

    ...that all may well be, but since the site worked well all the years since it was established and attracted thousands of new members quite easily while we had the intro/info up top, and as we are now rife with misposts and confused newcomers, i still maintain that it's best to at least put the 'intro' section at the top, that includes within it a sticky for the basic site-using info... one single 'welcome!' section atop the 'writing' ones can hardly affect any of your perceived needs negatively, now can it?...
     

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