This may come as a shock to some people, but the current forum structure was kind of thrown together without much real thought and then evolved a bit over time. There are a few things that particularly grate on me and areas where I don't think the subjects work particularly well. 'Friends' is a bit vague and becomes a dumping ground, News & World Events vs Politics & Current Affairs is hard to decide sometimes, Child abuse is a scandal but isn't contained withing 'Scandals & Coverups' etc...
With a new forum platform imminent, it's a good time to solicit ideas to improve things. So, how would you organize the site? Let me have your ideas and suggestions !
Factors to bear in mind:
- Permissions are based on area and there needs to be a clear split between public and private (for members only).
- It will be possible to filter on main categories and have 'active topics' at any level (i.e. for the entire site or just view 'WatchTower Society' area which will include all subjects contained within it) so think about broad categories for the top-level and drilling down to more specific things.
- We're not limited to 2 levels - it may make more sense to have something like WT > Medical > Blood | Depression and others (so you could chose to drill down to *just* look at blood topics) but drilling down too deeply doesn't work well and is harder to get people to post in the right area - simple is good.
- Ideally, there is a place for everything and everything has a clear place to go. A 'Friends' catch-all is bad because it encourages dumping / lack of care where topics go ('cause it is suitable for most things)
- It would be good to be able to keep JW and non-JW related things separate. So topics on politics, current affairs etc. can be ignored by people who are not interested in them and vice-versa.
- The temporal topics ("Hi, how is everyone") would be good to keep separated as these are then more easily purgable or can be given a specific lifetime - using the forum for chat and silliness then is more pallatable.
- Practical issues such as money, personal finance should have a home.
- Maybe an area for newbies / exiting issues (as in leaving, not thrilling)
Here is the current structure to remind you:
- Jehovah's Witnesses
- Personal Experiences & Reunions
- WatchTower Society
- Bible Research & Study Articles
- Beliefs, Doctrine & Practices
- Scandals & Coverups
- Child Abuse Issues
- Blood, Medical Treatment & Depression
- Members Only
- Private Discussion & Support
- Apostafests & Get-togethers
- Adult & Heated Debate
- Politics & Current Affairs
- Jokes and Humour
- News & World Events
- Physical Activities
- Family & Parenting
- Dating & Relationships
- Forum Related
- Forum News & Announcements
- Suggestion Box
- Technical Support
- Links to related sites