@Molly K wrote:
What we would like to do eventually would be to give users the ability to tag the threads with various information - ie. product, version, application, question type, expertise - and then dynamically the community can categorize and filter all of the information without actually moving any of the threads or dividing up the community.
In the meantime, we are considering launching some custom filters to help those users who are interested in PDA, FPGA, RT, and DSC so they can find threads throughout the entire community. Do you think this would be helpful?
Well, there are several issues here.
First, if it was possible to tag the posts\threads and to allow users to have custom views where each user could subscribe only to particular conditions and have the system parse that into personalized "folders" or "boards" based on rules (kind of like what outlook can do), than that would probably be the best. Combining that with the current interface would be great. That is, I could have my own personalized boards. This will be an optional settings. The standard boards will continue existing.I assume that for the moment this can't be done with the current software.
Second, there needs to be a division between several use cases. First, there are people who ask questions - it would probably be best for those people to post in a specialized board. Then, there are the regular contributors. Again, when it comes to topic-specific questions, specialized boards would probably be the best solution for those contributors, because there won't be a need to hunt down those threads. This will be especially beneficial to contributors who cannot handle the mass of threads posted to the LV board. The third case should be when someone searches for something. In this case, the suggested filters do sound like a better option, assuming they can be implemented in such a way that they will return quality results. There may be other use cases I haven't thought of.
Third, as you pointed out, there is the matter of the community. Dividing this up would persumably cause people to see less posts, but I don't think this will affect the regulars, because I assume most regular contributors would continue following the LV tag, where most questions will be. The advantage in dividing the topic comes when you're trying to find topic-specific information. Finding threads about the PDA module is much easier if you have to go through the PDA board, with a 1,000 posts, and not through the LV board, with 150,000 posts.
Also, I have noticed that most people asking topic-specific questions do have questions which will not usually be answered by regular LV users because they usually do apply only to the specific platform.
Molly, since you're already posting updates now, how about this?
The custom filters are not as useful as a board. I checked it out today and noticed there were some PDA posts I missed. Maybe if I used an RSS feed for the search it would help, but I don't think I will.
We are continuing to work with the forum developers on new categorization techniques that are emerging in an attempt to provide a dynamic solution that will address the concerns of the users and community. With the current architecture, it's not easy to move things around and/or dynamically categorize them based on a particular users' (or group of users) preference.
Thanks for keeping this on our radar!