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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I want to see the manager! » » Consolidating Sub-Forums (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

will lane
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It is no secret that TMC has a lot of sub-forums. I understand that the reason for having so many sub-forums (likely) is that we want to keep things distinct so that there is clarity of what goes where and so that topics do not run into each other. However, as someone who just joined recently, TMC's layout is more confusing than not. Rather than just being able to post about card magic, for example, I've got to define my topic from 5 separate definitions. Or if maybe I am not talking about card magic specifically but something surrounding card magic, I have 10 options to pick from including "The Museum of Playing Cards", and possibly even more options to have to choose from considering other sub-forums.

By giving so many options, it is confusing on where a simple thread on card magic is supposed to go, and it can be discouraging for a new user.

I did some counting of what I perceive to be two of TMC's biggest sub-forums, "Pick a card... any card" and "Show me the money". For "Pick a card... any card", aside from "The workers", there were only 25 "active" threads (postings within a week of today) between Deckless, Gaffed and Funky, The Big and the Small, Shuffled and not Stirred, and All in the Cards.

For "Show me the money", between the 3 sub-forums there were also only 25 "active" threads within a week.

Now mind you, these are some of our most active sub-forums and they only clock in at around 25 active threads. With these topics so segregated, it gives the appearance of a dead forum. Further, it makes navigating the forums a hassle. And then consider the many other sub-forums that I did not mention that are very inactive or dead entirely.

If the TMC staff is on board for re-organizing TMC, I would be willing to create a few suggestions on the sub-forums layout that we can present to the rest of the TMC membership and see what will work best for the majority. For example, I think "The Workers" should maintain its distinction but some of the other card sub-forums can be consolidated, making things less confusing and giving the appearance of more activity.

What do you think?
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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We think that since you have only been a member for 11 days, you haven't really given the Café a chance. Many of the forums and sub forums were created at the request of the membership. It isn't really that difficult to figure out where to post. If you read the description for each forum, it is pretty clear, for the most part, what type of topic should be posted in each.

Only using a week to determine what areas are active isn't a good test. There are many forums that lay dormant for weeks or even months and then all of sudden take off with new information or contributions by newer members. While we appreciate your interest and suggestions, the Café is what it is because of the way it is set up and operated.

In short, if you just take a minute to read the description of each forum as you try to use them, their purpose should be very clear. Over time, you won't have to read the descriptions and it will be obvious what the forums are about.
Where the magic begins
David_MacFarlane
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I'm with the OP. Too many sub-forums.
Dave Scribner
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The forums are divided into sub forums to make it easier to use each one. For instance we could consolidate all of the card sub forums into one called the Workers. Now instead of being able to go to a specific area of interest, a member would have to read through all of the subjects to find what they were interested in. If I were interested in tricks involving gimmicked cards, I can now go directly to the Gaffed and Funky forum and see topics only involving gimmicked cards. If that sub forum was combined into just one, I'd have to wee through all of the subjects to find what I was interested in. That's why all of the forums are divided into sub forums.

After being here for awhile, it's easy to determine which areas are of interest to you.
Where the magic begins
adrianrbf
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There are often several threads on the same topic. Discussions on the very same trick/effect/method can be found in the "Latest and Greatest" forum, the Reviews forum, and of course in the thematically suitable forum. This makes it a bit difficult to find the suitable thread, thus people will often open new threads on the same subject...
Dave Scribner
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We've suggested many times in the past that before a new topic is started, the poster do a search first to see if there are indeed topics already running but most don't take the time to do a search. They just start their own thread. If we see it in time, we'll move the new post to an exiting topic unless it is a complete duplicate of what has already been said.
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adrianrbf
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Quote:
On Mar 25, 2019, Dave Scribner wrote:
We've suggested many times in the past that before a new topic is started, the poster do a search first to see if there are indeed topics already running but most don't take the time to do a search.

I do. ;-)

My point is, given the forum structure, it is in fact legitimate to have several threads: I posted a review of "Pocket Pal by Reese Goodley" in the "Ebooks, PDF's or Download" forum, where a review belongs. There already was a rather active thread in the "Latest & Greatest" forum. There would be nothing wrong with a thread on the same topic in one of the close up forums. It isn't just laziness of the poster, it is the forum structure that encourages the opening of several threads.

What do you propose for discussions on topics that exist in the "Latest & Greatest" forum, but are no longer new: Continue to discuss them there? Start a new thread? Only start a new thread when the "Latest & Greatest"-Thread has been inactive for a while? Which while?
Dave Scribner
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In an ideal world, the latest and greatest forum should be used to discuss upcoming or newly released items as the description of the Forum explains.

Quote:
This forum provided as a place where folks can discuss the latest rumors, read announcements and speculate about the obvious hyperbole surrounding many of the upcoming products that are released into magicdom.


Once that product is released, the discussion should end and be carried on in the appropriate review forum. It has nothing to do with the Café structure. The only time a subject should be in two separate forums is when a product is released. Under no circumstances should there be a review of a product and a topic in the close up forum as you suggest. We expect members to evaluate their post and choose the most appropriate forum for it. It many cases it is the laziness of the poster.
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