Forum reorganization is coming soon, give us your feedback

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,827   +1,734
Staff member
Internally we've been talking about a reorganization of the forums for at least a couple years, shortly after we moved our community software to Xenforo. But since then projects have come and gone, we've gone through one minor and one total redesign, and the forum category breakdown has remained about the same.

With a server move in the works, I took it upon myself to: 1) evaluate if our old image gallery was going to make the cut (it didn't -- meet the new gallery) and 2) go back and review how we thought we should reorganize the forum and see if those ideas for new and merged forum categories have passed the test of time. After a new revision, this is what the TS Forums will look like in the coming weeks (with the chance of changing stuff based on your feedback, of course):

TECHSPOT CORE
PC Hardware
Labels: Graphics, Monitors, Storage, CPU, KB/Mouse, Audio, Laptops, Networking, Build a PC
Apps and Software
Labels: Productivity, Utilities, Media, Image Editing, (Others?)​
Gamers Hangout
Labels: PC, Mobile, Console​
Windows OS and Microsoft
Labels: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Phone, Office, (Others?)​
Linux and Unix
The Apple Corner
Labels: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch​
Google and Android
Internet and The Web
Labels: Browsers, Security, Social​
Electronics and Gadgets

COMMUNITY
Talk Amongst Yourselves
User Reviews and Tutorials
The Gallery

TECH SUPPORT
Free Tech Support and Troubleshooting
Virus and Malware Removal Help

EDITORIAL FEEDBACK
TechSpot News and Comments
Articles and Reviews Comments
Site Feedback and Suggestions

###

Partial notes:
  • Labels is a clever forum functionality that let's you filter specific topics within a forum
  • Yes, our intention is to merge all PC hardware forums into one. We believe those are more closely related than ever and will benefit from living under the same roof BUT with the option to filter by topic (CPU, Storage, etc) using Labels, so you can get the best of both worlds
  • We'll finally have dedicated sections to discuss Android devices, Apple, Internet culture and other groups of topics that currently don't really fit anywhere
  • Some categories remain absolutely the same, others are renamed, your suggestions are welcomed
 

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,827   +1,734
Staff member
I wouldn't mind if you put in a general chat option along with the option of private chat!!!:D

The current "General Discussion" is that place, we are thinking of renaming it to "Talk Amongst Yourselves" or "The Lounge" or "Off-Topic Chat"
 

Jad Chaar

Posts: 6,481   +976
Consider?
  • Linux and Unix
    • Desktops
    • Servers
  • The Apple Corner
    • iMac (that's the Mac desktop)
  • Internet and The Web
    • Web Servers
Yeah I think the MacBooks and iMacs needs to be separate labels.

@Julio Franco I think the Tech Support section should be split up based on OSes, hardware vs software, etc. Otherwise I think its fine.
 

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,827   +1,734
Staff member
Well, the "Mac" label would cover anything from Macbooks to iMacs to Mac minis or the Mac Pro. At least at this point we don't have enough Mac content that would need more granular separation IMO.

Separate hardware/software labels for the tech support board makes sense does make sense. Unless the person asking doesn't really know where the problem lies. Thanks for your feedback :)
 

St1ckM4n

Posts: 2,887   +628
Any way to add thumbnails to The Gallery? It doesn't work well for picture content atm, since we need to open every thread to view.
 

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,827   +1,734
Staff member
Any way to add thumbnails to The Gallery? It doesn't work well for picture content atm, since we need to open every thread to view.
I may not have thought this through 100% (other than wanting to drop the buggy and security troublesome old gallery) BUT I followed your advise and added small thumbnails which may be good enough. Instead of a dedicated gallery with big images it looks more like reddit's thumbnails which nonetheless work pretty well for them. Check it out.
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,186
I've been trying to jump into forum mode to edit/delete some posts and it sends me to an error page.
 

St1ckM4n

Posts: 2,887   +628
I may not have thought this through 100% (other than wanting to drop the buggy and security troublesome old gallery) BUT I followed your advise and added small thumbnails which may be good enough. Instead of a dedicated gallery with big images it looks more like reddit's thumbnails which nonetheless work pretty well for them. Check it out.
Much better!
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,003   +6,816
I think we need better smileys! (Still).

I would like members to have the ability to remove their own post(s) completely.

This would save a little wear and tear on the part of the moderators in cases of double posts, ill thought out posts, and what have you.

I still have lost the ability to wrap common text in quotation marks. Nobody will tell me if it's my browser trolling me, or something has been deleted or corrupted in the forum software. This helps when you're trying to attach snippets from an article, in order to have a post make sense, without a forum member having to read the entire article.

(Yeah, I know you should read the entire article. But, it helps if you're only posting in the forum, and not on the front page).
 

SNGX1275

Posts: 10,606   +464
@Julio Franco No actually I meant a chat box!!!
We have an IRC channel for chat. Maybe there could be a link somewhere other than in a thread in Meeting Spot, but I don't personally think it is necessary. However, chat has been requested a few times over the years. I don't like the idea of having a chat on the webpage unless it is going to go to our existing room - and even at that, I can't imagine how much spam we'd start having to deal with as ops in there. Keeping it the way it is now eliminates the people that don't really want to go (ie- people that would just come in to cause trouble).

For just chatting with a member here, or a couple members, there is a Conversations thing you can initiate through their profile page.
 

Archean

Posts: 5,644   +98
The current "General Discussion" is that place, we are thinking of renaming it to "Talk Amongst Yourselves" or "The Lounge" or "Off-Topic Chat"

The Lounge seems to be the best out of these IMHO.

+1 to Captain's suggestion about ability to remove own posts, it always looks pretty embarrassing to see end up double posting due to whatever reasons.
 

mailpup

Posts: 7,710   +792
TS Special Forces
FWIW, deleting duplicates is only a tiny part of what I routinely do each day and isn't really too much much of a chore. That said, if we've been missing a few (or a lot), let me know.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,129   +6,432
As long as we don't have people devoted to only posting off-topic material, I don't see a problem with having the category.

Edit:
This is what happens when you have a mouse that double clicks and forum software is not programmed to filter out multiple clicks within a split second. I only clicked once, and for once there was no hesitation in posting. All three post rendered immediately.
 

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,827   +1,734
Staff member
We'll start to make some of the changes as explained in the first post of this thread. Based on positive/neutral feedback I think we are good to go, and it should be a few weeks until we reach the final form of the updated forum.

PS: Xenforo is supposed to have a feature to prevent double-posting but nonetheless I've just installed a new add-on that should further help to prevent them.
 

SNGX1275

Posts: 10,606   +464
This is concerning mods:
In the Moderation alerts there are options to Approve, Delete, or Do Nothing. If someone reports a post we can comment in there if one of us is handling it. This doesn't frequently happen but it just did so I thought I'd bring it up - A new guy's post just got flagged for moderation, it *looks* mostly harmless but includes a couple links, which is why it got flagged. Well, IMO it looks like this guy posted it on another forum, then copied what he posted there and pasted it here and the links got included. It doesn't 'feel' like spam to me. So I sent him a PM telling him whats up.

So, if I had the ability to make a mod comment in the moderation screen that I'm handling it (like there is for reported posts) that would be cool. Because right now, if another mod signs in and sees this, they may approve or disapprove based on their judgement, meanwhile I've already reached out to this guy. If he replies it was a mistake to include those links, then I can just remove them and approve the post. But if someone else has deleted it before I get a response, then, well the poster is SOL.
 

mailpup

Posts: 7,710   +792
TS Special Forces
As an interim solution, what if you were to include other mods in your PM to the new guy. Kind of like the idea of an email cc (or bc) but not exactly since our PM system doesn't allow for that. That would be one way we could see you are already "on the case." Of course, this requires that I check PMs before checking moderation alerts and there is a chance I might forget to do so but it might be worth a try.

Perhaps it might be too much trouble to do so in which case I can understand. What do you think, SNGX1275?
 

SNGX1275

Posts: 10,606   +464
Like the Conversations feature? Sure that would work. I noticed someone handled the guy in question (post #20 here) so now I don't know what happened to that post - the dude did respond to my PM and confirmed he didn't intend the links to be there it was just a copy paste.
 

LNCPapa

Posts: 4,315   +574
TS Special Forces
Oops... might have been me. I've been pretty heavy handed this last week with all the spam attacks going on. If it was me he probably got banned too.