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Old 06-09-2009, 11:45 AM   #1
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Forum Organization Changes

I am trying to find a logical way to organize the forum and split off topics from the main Car Seats forum so it isn't so busy. At the same time, I'd like to find something that isn't overly complex in finding the right place to put on-topic posts. Obviously, there will always be some crossover in these topics, and that's generally OK. Some posts can go in more than one forum and others will simply be move if it is obvious that they belong elsewhere.

I've taken a look at some other forums dedicated to particular types of products and the common theme is a breakdown into forums made for specific brand names. With that in mind, here is a possibility. Please feel free comment or add suggestions. The manufacturer forums are not technically needed now, but it's a matter of time before some sort of re-org and expansion is needed, given the ever increasing volume of posts.

In addition to manufacturer specific forums, the other new forums include a Vehicle Compatibilty forum specifically for threads tied to specific vehicles. For example, there could be a thread for 2004-2009 Toyota Sienna Issues. The second new forum is a price check forum to split that off from Carseat Swap. The same permissions would apply. Swap itself could eventually be segregated to carseat types (infant, convertible, combo, booster) if it keeps growing, but I don't think that will happen now. There is also a new test forum to try out features, images, signatures, etc.



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Old 06-09-2009, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

how about pulling all the recalls into a subforum? especially since you're autoposting all that are related to children. it would be nice to have a comprehensive list without digging through the other news and media items.

Reviews, Articles and Media (Category Only)
--News, Press Releases and Media Coverage
--Product Safety Recalls
--Carseat and Vehicle Reviews
--Member Articles and FAQs on Child Passenger Safety

or maybe just make a recall prefix?
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:13 PM   #3
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Good idea. The automated feed is cluttering up that forum a bit. Granted, it is pretty slow otherwise.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Make sure to include "The First Years" under the Learning Curve umbrella (since that's the name on the TF.)
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

I think that all the sub categories would likely be overwhelming for a newcomer who has a quick, urgent question.

Threads often get lost because they "accidentally" put it in a subforum and can't find it. Also, many questions are really general install questions. Whether you've ever installed a certain seat or not, there is some trouble-shooting people can offer.

If there were that many subforums, I'd never open most of them because I've only owned four brands of seats and would not feel knowledgable enough to respond to unknown brands.

One possible sugggestion - have a sticky for successful installs with a certain brand/seat. Similar to the RN successful install thread, but more about tricks rather than just the make and model of the car that worked.

It would be good for newcomers to know that you almost always need a pool noodle or rolled towel for a RF Scenera install - or that a RN always has a steep RF recline - that stuff. Saves lots of blood, sweat and tears for a new buyer.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

I was thinking recalls should be stickied at the top of each manufacturer's page. Most parents won't be looking for recalls so they aren't likely to find them in the articles area, but they may see it in the 'Britax' area, for example, when they are there reading or posting about their Marathon.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbcleveland View Post
I think that all the sub categories would likely be overwhelming for a newcomer who has a quick, urgent question.

Threads often get lost because they "accidentally" put it in a subforum and can't find it. Also, many questions are really general install questions. Whether you've ever installed a certain seat or not, there is some trouble-shooting people can offer.

If there were that many subforums, I'd never open most of them because I've only owned four brands of seats and would not feel knowledgable enough to respond to unknown brands.

One possible sugggestion - have a sticky for successful installs with a certain brand/seat. Similar to the RN successful install thread, but more about tricks rather than just the make and model of the car that worked.

It would be good for newcomers to know that you almost always need a pool noodle or rolled towel for a RF Scenera install - or that a RN always has a steep RF recline - that stuff. Saves lots of blood, sweat and tears for a new buyer.

I'm with cleveland. I wouldn't view that many subforums and I fear that it would become much harder to do the "cross-seat" matching threads that so many are now.

And if someone asks a question about the Snugride32 under Graco, does tha tmean you can't offer a suggestion about the Chicco Keyfit in the same post?
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:43 PM   #8
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by unityco View Post
Make sure to include "The First Years" under the Learning Curve umbrella (since that's the name on the TF.)
Good point, thanks!
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:44 PM   #9
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

There could certainly be a master recall thread in each manufacturer forum, but having each recall be sticked would be overwhelming in some cases.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:49 PM   #10
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

The main Car Seats forum would still be for all general questions. You could certainly post about brand B in a forum for brand A, just not as a separate thread obviously.

I'm not sure how they keep it straight at a lot of these big forums that use a similar format. It's pretty common for stuff like autos, computers, and technology. Of course, carseats have unique issues that other products don't.

Like I said, the current format is adequate for now, but even as is, new posts sroll off the first page the same day in some cases. Eventually, there will need to be some way to split off more specific posts of one type or another from general questions.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:57 PM   #11
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Can we split "Special Needs" and "Other Transportation"?

"I need a seat for my child with autism" and "What should I take on our cruise?" seem like completely different issues. The juxtaposition has struck me as odd for a while.

(Speaking of which, I really am working on that FAA Sticky/Airplane Travel article. I swear.)
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:59 PM   #12
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbcleveland View Post
I think that all the sub categories would likely be overwhelming for a newcomer who has a quick, urgent question.

Threads often get lost because they "accidentally" put it in a subforum and can't find it. Also, many questions are really general install questions. Whether you've ever installed a certain seat or not, there is some trouble-shooting people can offer.

If there were that many subforums, I'd never open most of them because I've only owned four brands of seats and would not feel knowledgable enough to respond to unknown brands.
.
I agree with this. I think dividing into subforums in this way is going to be WAY too overwhelming to a first time poster with no car seat experience.

If I were a new parent, I would see all those forums, click the little X-ey box and go ask my neighbor.

From my perspective, the number of forums upstairs right now is all ready a little too much. If I were going to change it in any way, I'd remove one. I definitely wouldn't add more.

I realize my opinion is more or less irrelevant and it's your ball park, but I thought I'd throw that out there.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:03 PM   #13
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Initially it was going to just be special needs. It will probably be split into two forums as it becomes busier. I don't like to create new forums just for the sake of it. The really need to serve a very unique purpose and/or have some amount of traffic. That would apply to splitting these, so it will probably happen at some point.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:04 PM   #14
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

The very first forum could be more clearly identified as the appropriate place for guests to ask questions.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:05 PM   #15
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbcleveland View Post
I think that all the sub categories would likely be overwhelming for a newcomer who has a quick, urgent question.

Threads often get lost because they "accidentally" put it in a subforum and can't find it. Also, many questions are really general install questions. Whether you've ever installed a certain seat or not, there is some trouble-shooting people can offer.

If there were that many subforums, I'd never open most of them because I've only owned four brands of seats and would not feel knowledgable enough to respond to unknown brands.

One possible sugggestion - have a sticky for successful installs with a certain brand/seat. Similar to the RN successful install thread, but more about tricks rather than just the make and model of the car that worked.

It would be good for newcomers to know that you almost always need a pool noodle or rolled towel for a RF Scenera install - or that a RN always has a steep RF recline - that stuff. Saves lots of blood, sweat and tears for a new buyer.
I agree with this.

Each model could be a sticky under the install section. You could even tie it in with the review.
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #16
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
Initially it was going to just be special needs. It will probably be split into two forums as it becomes busier. I don't like to create new forums just for the sake of it. The really need to serve a very unique purpose and/or have some amount of traffic. That would apply to splitting these, so it will probably happen at some point.
What about keeping the forum for special needs, and not having one for buses/planes/etc? It makes sense to have a separate SN forum since the answers are so specialized and unique to given situations (not to mention that there are specifically SN techs). But answers to travel questions are pretty routine, and don't crop up very often anyway.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:22 PM   #17
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Having a forum for unique or special topics also makes them easier to find.

It's a tradeoff between making it easy to find the right place to post and making it easy to find topics of interest. Many people simply don't bother with searching. On most forums, you'll have long-time members who spend most of their time replying to tell people to use the search feature first. We don't want to do that here, so we encourage people to ask questions, especially since searches don't always work well.

While some will certainly be overwhelmed by having separate manufacturer forums, others will see a forum for the brand that interests them and click it hoping to find information or to ask a post on that brand or model. In making it so that there isn't a single forum with a zillion posts a day, the goal is to make it easy for both the novice guest or the more internet savvy parent who is familiar with navigating forums.

I'm not exactly sure how to do that, but having a general forum on top and also having manufacturer sub forums seemed like a reasonable compromise.

I'll leave this thread going for some time to get more ideas, too.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:00 PM   #18
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
There could certainly be a master recall thread in each manufacturer forum, but having each recall be sticked would be overwhelming in some cases.
I meant what you just wrote...not having an individual thread for each recall. Just one thread for each manufacturer's forum, with recalls for just that manufacturer.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:47 PM   #19
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

I don't think having a "sticky" for ever manufacturer would work very well. That would give us 16 stickies, and frankly, most people don't seem to read stickies before posting anyway.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:05 PM   #20
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Re: Forum Organization Changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by UlrikeDG View Post
I don't think having a "sticky" for ever manufacturer would work very well. That would give us 16 stickies, and frankly, most people don't seem to read stickies before posting anyway.
I agree. Most of the time I just scroll right past them.
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DD1~13yrs old~Seatbelt

DD2~7 yrs old ~Cow Frontier 85 and Pink Monterey.
DS~30 months Britax Roundabout and Coccoro in Licorice/Carrot Cake.
Expecting a little surprise in January 2015
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