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Forum Structure

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Currently there are two levels in HP Korean forum, the category level and board level. But most of boards have not enough posts (average Post # is less than 5). So I am considering to merge the boards in each product category. Then there will be only one board under a category. So there might no need to have two level.  

 

I want to hear your opinion:

Should I go ahead to merge the boards with low post volume?

Should I directly put the forum boards for each product lines under the Community level?

 

Thanks! I am looking forward to your opinion. 

 

Chao

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Honored Contributor

Re: Forum Structure

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Hey @Chao,

 

With regards to your question about merging boards that have low activity, "Definitely" Nothing worse than a ghost town board not only does it clutter the experience and potentially confuse users it also doesn't help showcase the activity of your community. You should look to review your board activity on an ongoing basis and merge or expand if quite or mega busy. 

 

On the 2nd point,I would generally say you shouldn't really have a single board in a category especially if you have lots of categories with just one board in it. Again this is likely to look odd and confuse users however If your community design is such that the categories help distinguish products/areas and ultimately aid navigation then you may want to leave them. 

 

As an example... In my community I have a TV category with boards that cover Movies, Tv shows, Equipment and our own Tv product, this originally was all in a single board but due to being popular spawned its own category and boards. On the other hand my Gaming category which has an xbox, playstation, etc boards are struggling and so im going to merge all these into a "Gaming board" and rather than have it on its own in a category im moving it within our "Computing n Tech" Category. 

 

Hope this helps 🙂 

Stephen

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Re: Forum Structure

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@Chao

 

As always, Stephen has provided excellent advice. I certainly agree with everything he has said and would encourage you to act promptly and perform your restructure as soon as possible. Visitors and members are much more likely to post if they see that there is regular activity on a board. Few people will post on a board that appears dead - they will think they are wasting their time and unlikely to ever receive a reply. You need to concentrate the activity you are getting onto as few boards as possible. Generally most community managers will suggest that you need 5-10 posts a day per board for a board to appear 'lively" and encourage users to participate. Only create new boards when there is so much activity that it becomes difficult for users to "keep up". 

 

Good luck,

 

Jason

 

 

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Re: Forum Structure

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Hi @Fellsteruk @JasonHill Very good insights! Your thoughts confirmed my idea. Thanks!

 

Chao

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Re: Forum Structure

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@Chao - In addition to what Stephen mentioned, you could also consider labels (Predefined labels) to refine your community and boards. Here is an example of centrify community, which had a few empty boards over the last one year, we recently changed its community structure and redesined the community and categorised them using labels, got rid of atleast 15 low activity or empty boards.

 

http://community.centrify.com/t5/Centrify-Server-Suite/bd-p/bd_1

 

Since then, it has really improved and has an increase level of activity.


Varun | Weaving magic with Lithium!

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Re: Forum Structure

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Hey @VarunGrazitti, so in your forum, there is no category level, only one board level. In the board, you use Label for the post categorization. It is a very good way! I was never using Label before. Thanks for sharing your insight!

 

Chao

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Re: Forum Structure

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@Chao - We do have categories, but the community structure which earlier had 10 categories, with multiple boards was restructured to have 4 categories, one each of which has an Idea and blog area each, whilst remaining 2 have their respective boards with Predefined labels, where we got rid of about 15 boards.


Varun | Weaving magic with Lithium!

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Re: Forum Structure

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@JasonHill Isn't your community also using labels to categorize? You have both setups, right?

@Chao There's some great insights here 🙂

 

Cheers

Wendy

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Re: Forum Structure

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@Chao

 

As @Wendy_S, on our new Workshop community we decided to implement labels as a secondary form of navigation/classification for users. It's a DIY and gardening community and we've started with just four very high level boards to concentrate activity. The boards will categorise by area (eg interiors or outdoors) But to highlight the depth of topics the site covers and to allow users to navigate by activity (such as renovation or plumbing or barbecuing) we have mandatory labels.

 

The site is currently invitation-only as we're in a soft launch period, but if you'd like to check it out please let me know and I can provide access details.

 

Jason 

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Re: Forum Structure

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Great advice about keeping traffic concentrated to have 5-10 posts a day per board. 

 

We are about to build a community for a product that is available on different software platforms, like iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, etc. We have to make decisions about design and community structure.

 

  • Should some categories be there from the beginning to provide a minimal navigation structure?
  • What are the pro's and cons for using OS systems as category names?
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