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JSF Forms changes: my proposal to the community.

Thursday, July 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

July
31
2014

In a couple of recent blogs (see “New forums to be added? Suggestions and feedback encouraged!” and “Follow-up to yesterday’s blog: JSF Forum changes are coming.“), I talked about a few changes to the JSF Forums that I have been considering.

John Stone Fitness

John Stone Fitness

There are nearly 1,000,000 existing posts on the JSF Forums, so I had to make my choices with that in mind. Clearly I can’t go through and start moving individual posts around. Also, I have no interest in closing down exiting forums or making some forums “read only”. I want folks to be able to comment on existing threads, even if they find it years down the road. Just because something is old doesn’t make it irrelevant. I make that statement with some amount of bias. 😉

So, in concert with all of your excellent comments and suggestions, I’ve taken my own ideas and come up with a tentative plan. This morning I’d like to present that plan to the community. While it would be impossible to please everyone, I do care what everyone thinks: this is your community. Speak your mind–this is not necessarily final!

  • Rename existing forum section “Main Fitness Forums” to “Fat Loss, Muscle Building & Body Transformation
  • Create new forum section “Participatory Sports
  • In “Participatory Sports”, create the following new forums:
    • Road Cycling
    • Mountain Biking and Cyclocross
    • Running
    • Triathlons & Ironmans
    • Crossfit
    • Sports Nutrition & Supplements
    • Sports Equipment, Repair & Maintenance
  • Move the existing “General Health & Fitness, Injuries and Sports” forum to the new “Participatory Sports” section
  • Rename “General Health & Fitness, Injuries and Sports” to “General Health & Fitness, Injuries and Other Sports

 

Love it? Hate it? Needs a little tweaking? Have some other ideas? Let me know!

John Stone Fitness Comments

13 Responses to “JSF Forms changes: my proposal to the community.”
  1. I like the changes, but it seems breaking down participatory sports into so many sub categories not only excludes participatory sports not listed but also assumes a certain level of forum traffic that may or may not exist these days. What if you just started with participatory sports and if the volume is crazy then break it into sub forums? Or, maybe just stuck with participatory sports with only a sub form for cycling (all cycling) since that is likely now a large percentage of your readership?

    You know your visit stats more than me obviously, but is there forum traffic to support that many sub forums?

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    • The categories mentioned are, based on feedback and the demographic information available to me, by far the most popular sports among JSF viewers. So we’ve got those, and then sort of a catch-all for everything else.

      As for starting off with just one forum and then dividing it up if activity warrants it, that’s not practical because then I’m faced with manually picking out and moving potentially hundreds or even thousands of posts. The most practical way to do it is the reverse of what you’re suggesting: anticipate the traffic, and if it doesn’t come then merge everything into one forum.

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  2. I LOVE this !!! Very well thought out as usual with your site. I will make one comment only (very rare for me). Don’t lump Cyclocross in with MTB. MTB is as American as apple pie and baseball, Cyclocross is from a bunch of drunk Belgians making a sport out of riding home from the bar in the mud and snow. Not that that is bad (I happen to like cyclocross), its just that, in my isolated opinion, they aren’t related “enough” to be in the same category.

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  3. I like it!

    So will the ‘Sports Nutrition & Supplements’ forum be in addition to the ‘Nutrition & Supplements’ forum that already exists?

    You know I was thinking the other day, have you ever considered incentivizing forum activity? But what meaningful measure or with what incentives I have no clue, I’d do just about anything for a t-shirt. 🙂 But it was a fleeting thought I had and was wondering your opinion.

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    • Dan, yes–I want to keep the existing “Nutrition & Supplements” forum, which is clearly centered around fat loss and muscle building. The “Sports Nutrition & Supplements” forum will be in the new “Participatory Sports” section, and it will be specific to sports performance and supplementation. There’s a huge difference between these two broad nutritional subjects, and so I think it’s a worthwhile delineation.

      As for providing incentives for forum activity, I have been thinking A LOT about that! I would love to give away free upgraded memberships and so forth to the people who contribute the most to the forums (with their posts), but I can see no easy way to do that without a huge amount of time and manual labor.

      One thought was using the forum reputation system (which is currently disabled based on a very close vote we took some years back) to gauge a user’s helpfulness. Even that is not fool-proof, nor would it be 100% automated, but it could possibly work.

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      • What admin capabilities do you have regarding the reputation feature? One idea could be only allowing people with a certain level of reputation attained to be allowed to rep others. You could designate people at the get go (call them moderators or whatever) to get the process started, and then it could go pretty seamless from there I think.

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  4. Roger, you’re about as subtle as a hand grenade to the face. 🙂 I actually wrestled with the very subject you brought up while I was coming up with my plan. I went back and forth a few times before deciding to combine MTB and CX into a single forum. I don’t particularly like doing it, but I wanted a place for CX enthusiasts to post, but I don’t anticipate there will be nearly enough CX posts to necessitate an entire dedicated forum. I’m already adding so many new forums (perhaps too many), so some compromises had to be made.

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  5. I like the changes overall!

    I would suggest breaking out Other Sports as its own forum rather than lump it in with General Health and Injuries. They aren’t necessarily more related than the specific sports other than they were grouped together before and you’re moving the specific sports out as well.

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    • I totally agree with you, but I can’t do that. That particular forum has been in existence for more than ten years, so it would be virtually impossible to manually go through the 23,000+ posts contained in that one forum and move all of the “Other Sports” posts to a new forum.

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