Your views and ideas on forum areas and organization?

by Simon 147 Replies latest forum announcements

  • Simon

    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:

    1. Permissions are based on area and there needs to be a clear split between public and private (for members only).
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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)
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Practical issues such as money, personal finance should have a home.
    8. Maybe an area for newbies / exiting issues (as in leaving, not thrilling)

    Here is the current structure to remind you:

    • Jehovah's Witnesses
      • Friends
      • 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
    • Social
      • Jokes and Humour
      • Entertainment
      • News & World Events
      • Physical Activities
      • Family & Parenting
      • Dating & Relationships
    • Forum Related
      • Forum News & Announcements
      • Suggestion Box
      • Technical Support
      • Links to related sites
  • prologos

    In Watchtower society, Bible --------and

    Beliefs and


    Child ABUSE


    the first two merit a special category. so might the latter 3

    different people in both interest groups. just thinking,

    thank you: p

  • fakesmile

    would it be possible to have a member only retarded thread? just a member only stupidity thread. not a joke place but just a say whatever ask whatever mumble whatever what is said here stays here type of topic heading? it would kinda corrall most unnessecarry posts and would be only availible to members. maybe jwn... vegas.

  • LisaRose

    Currently if you want to see if there have been new posts to a thread you have posted on, you have to click on your screen name, then click on topics commented on, this brings you to your oldest posts, then you have to click the last page (newest posts) to find out if anyone has posted on a topic you have been posting on. It would be nice to not have to do that many clicks to get there. Many forums automatically tell you if threads you have posted on have been updated, and it has a drop down menu from the main screen to let you click on the one you want. If that is not possible, it would be nice if it at least took you to your most recent posts, not the oldest.

  • fakesmile

    we need a golden calf. ASAP

  • ABibleStudent

    Hi Simon, Is it possible to do the following:

    • Have "Introductions" or "Introduce Yourself" forum at the same level as "Jehovah's Witnesses" and the other 4 major forumss to help people think to introduce themselves. I know that when I joined I did not think to introduce myself until I had posted several threads.
    • Include an "Empower JWs" underneath "Jehovah's Witnesses" for people to post ideas to help empower JWs to critically think for themselves. This sub-forum should be open to non-members.
    • Have a foreign language section for more popular languages like Spanish or French and add other sub-forums as needed or when moderators are able to read an added language.
    • Will there still be a "Best of Topics" Forum for those threads that are deemed significantly helpful?
    • Fix the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of every webpage so that site administrators/moderators will be sent a message instead of the following error message being displayed when clicking on the link; " Sorry, an error occurred while processing your request."

    I like your idea to have a sub-form for practical issues such as money, personal finance (investing), wills & trusts, budgeting, bargin shopping, etc that are slanted to the unique needs of JWs and exJWs.

    Thank you for your time to maintain and make upgrades to JWN.



  • steve2

    LisaRose makes a good case for being able to access one's recent posts first when logging on. It does seem a little unusual that one's posts always start with the very first rather than latest. It works well with Active Topics and would be fantastic if it were done for topics we've commented on or started - sorted by most recent. Appreciate opportunity to have a say.

  • slimboyfat

    You should have a section for Watchtower history. There are lots of posts about history, but no real section for them. They kind of awkwardly go in friends, scandals or beliefs sections where they don't necessarily fit well.

  • Simon

    Lots of good suggestions for features, many of which are planned or alread implemented.

    I'd like to keep this focused on the forum structure though for categorising & organising topics.

    We can discuss the other features in oherr topics soon.

  • Max Divergent
    Max Divergent

    I use 'Active Topics' view and see the forum name more as a category than an actual forum.

    I think keeping forums broard and spliting them up as much by 'tone' of the conversation rather than topic might address some of the perennial issues. So, support and discussion is open to anyone. Debates etc is open to those willing to sign up and log in. That lessens the 'It's a bad witness to wavering JWs to be rude to each other' consideration.

    And a lot of the 'fluff' is useful to people at one stage or another, so 'Life after the Witnesses' is intended to encompass everthing a JW needs to know about the world but couldn't ask an elder: politics, relationships, work issues, health, jokes, exploring new ideas etc.

    How about:

    • Open / JW / Life after the Witnesses (Support and discussion)
    • Open / JW / Personal Experiences & Opinions (Support and discussion)
    • Open / Watchtower / Beliefs, Doctrine & Practices
    • Open / Watchtower / Scandles, abuses and cover-ups
    • Open / Watchtower / History [thanks SBF]
    • Open / Forum / Messages
    • Open / Forum / Messages (auto delete in 6 months)
    • Members / JW / Life after the Witnsses (inc. adult, politics and debate)
    • Members / JW / Personal Experiences & Opinions (inc. adult, politics and debate)
    • Members / Watchtower / Scandles, abuses and cover-ups (inc. adult and debate)
    • Members / Watchtower / Criticism, activism, campaigning
    • Members / Forum / Apostofests and meetups
    • Members / Forum / Messages
    • Members / Forum / Messages (auto-delete in 6 months)
    • Members / Forum / Technical and forum support and comment (auto-delete in 6 months)

    Do music and You Tube threads (there are heaps) need their own forum? Or do they just fit into whatever theame the music or You Tube is about?Trouble is when the links break you get zillions of dead posts.

    Plus, have some comprehensive FAQs about how to post You Tubes and all that usual forum support stuff. Maybe some general articles (not threads, just articles, maybe crowdsourced) can be permenently posted in a prominant place summarising some of the ideas in the 'best of' threads on the topics that keep coming up... how to fade, how to reason critically, what logical falacies are, what evolution is, the 'must read' list for departing JWs, what alternative beleif structures exist and what each is all about: from Christianity to paganism to athisim, how to get an education and a good job etc etc.

    Having the option to post anything into Messages and have is go after 6 months (or whatever) whould let people put somthing short-term / trival up if they want without people being surprised by a clean-up later.

    Just my thoughts. Really I'd just be happy with a spell checker...

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