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Morning Poll: ARLnow.com Forums

by ARLnow.com May 16, 2011 at 11:02 am 1,868 11 Comments

Two weeks ago we introduced our new discussion forums section — a message board where the conversation isn’t limited to the articles we publish.

Now that you’d had some time to check it out, we wanted to know if there’s any way we can make it better. Namely, we’re wondering if the forums would be more useful if we did away with the eight discussion groups — News, Reviews, Sightings/Overhead, etc. — and instead put all discussion topics right on the forums home page. That way, users could easily see what people are talking about now, rather than having to wade into each individual discussion group.

Please feel free to share other suggestions in the comments.

  • Chris Slatt

    In my experience, you should always start a forum with a single category/discussion group and then let it grow from there. So start with a single section, and then if a particular topic begins to take over the whole thing, split that topic out into its own section. The surest way to strangle a forum from the outset is to start with too many topic sections.

    • Bard

      Was about to post the same thing — one free-for-all forum until particular topic-driven forums become necessary

  • Arrrrrlington

    I think having the “hot” topics right there on the forums’ front page would be best. This way the categories can be kept, but people can easily see what everyone is talking about at that time.

    The “hot” topics would be the 20 most talked about discussions.

  • charlie

    i think it is a bit too much. i looked it over and was like, eh, i don’t have time to be sarcastic, crabby and wistful about days gone by in eight different places. so i’m ignoring the forums altogether. i do have a day job. still. for now.

  • ArlG

    Start off with fewer forums. Have links to “recent” which shows the threads with the most recent comments and “hot” which shows the ones with the most comments/highest activities. Check out the forums page on dcurbanmom.com!

  • R0bespierre

    I find it distracting to have a banner at the top of the page with text that is changing at random times. In general I dislike pages that have any sort of movement going on (flash ads, etc) when I am trying to read.

    • jan

      me too

  • PhilL

    You need a way to mark the forum as “read”. When I see that little red icon indicating new posts, I have to click down one level to see the list of topics. Then if the red icon is on a thread I’m not interested in reading, I should be able to remove it, without clicking in to that thread.

  • Anonymous

    Will the forums have rules? I’d rather not view political views on Arlnow (See “Obama admin..”).

    • KalashniKEV

      I don’t think that’s possible, a lot of the articles, if not directly about politics, are infused with political issues.

  • 4Arl

    I wish the most recent forum post/comment section could list the most recent threads rather than individual posts. This is aimed more at comments on blog posts, but if there is an active thread it tends to dominate the most recent list, making it harder to see what other posts have had a comment added recently, esp. if the post is not on the front page.

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