Categories and Forums Discussion

Discuss the policies of ePlaya here.

How do you feel about the current ePlaya structure?

It's great!
5
7%
Works for me, but could be improved.
10
14%
Never found it a problem.
20
28%
OK, but could use some work.
13
18%
It really needs work.
12
17%
What were you guys thinking?
5
7%
What day is it again?
7
10%
 
Total votes : 72

Postby PurpleKoosh » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:23 pm

Isotopia wrote:I guess what i'm saying is that there are (or should be) exceptions to erasing some older, more contentious threads just because they don't represent the best displays of character.

I'm particularly fond of the "freeze thread" option on LiveJournal - discussion can still continue under the original post, but if a particular line of comments gets too incendiary, the entire string is locked down, so you can't reply to any of the mud that's been slung. But it's still there, so people can see What Not To Do.
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Postby spectabillis » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:42 pm

Concerning the orig intention of this thread, I think Categories should be separated into another thread.

Forums is turning out to be an involved discussion into many areas of consideration. Categories might be a bit more straight foreward, and perhaps some progress can be made twords a decision.
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Postby synchronicity » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:43 pm

Shameless newby here. (Both to the site and to BM) I had been aware of the the existance of the event since the inception, but have never made the journey. (Hey, it's a long haul across Utah on a bad weekend) As I finally careen into middle age, I believe it is time. Designate a place where others like me can communicate in a (semi) risk free environment to share of obvious expertise that is here. If I'm gonna go, I want to do it right. Lets share the information on awesome cooler combinations, truly efficient shower arrangements (and the affect they have on water requirements) and the like.
Regional connections may help some, but to the best of my knowledge, there is not much out the Southwest Colorado way.
Sorry if this is thread drift, but it seemed like the place.
And to all who are making it happen - Thank You - This is a nice place.
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Postby spanky » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:49 pm

spectabillis wrote:Concerning the orig intention of this thread, I think Categories should be separated into another thread.

Forums is turning out to be an involved discussion into many areas of consideration. Categories might be a bit more straight foreward, and perhaps some progress can be made twords a decision.


Well, I think the discussion here is threads and not categories & forums. Categories is just the "folders" with forums in them. The threads are what are in each forum.

So we have a Black Rock City Category, with an Announcements forum in it. This is what this topic is supposed to be about. Are there too many forums? Should some be removed? Moved? Consolidated? Expanded?

I've stepped back from this thread a bit, but we need to push it along if we're going to make any progress on making changes next week. It seems that the actual structure of the forums seems OK with folks. (There is a discussion happening re: Lost & Found)

So maybe we can all revisit the first post in this thread and talk about whether we need to make changes?

~Spanky
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Postby spectabillis » Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:04 pm

spanky wrote:Well, I think the discussion here is threads and not categories & forums. Categories is just the "folders" with forums in them. The threads are what are in each forum.~Spanky


Sorry Spanky, completely overlooked that and juped too quick without looking around more.
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frustratedddd

Postby earthmama007 » Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:36 pm

:evil:
I have not been able to post a damn thing since I've resistered. And I look up the FAQ on how to post a message and it sais, "Easy-- just go to the relevant ..." nya nya nya, like rubbing it in your face that that person knows how to do it (obviously- cause they set it up) and you don't .

Well, what's 'relevant'??? that's not very descriptive. it doesn't even mean anything. I can't find anything that's relevant. I can't find anywhere to post anything, or a reply, until finally HERE, and i don't even know how I got here.
I'm not dumb or computer illiterate. Can someone please back me up here, if they've actually found wherever HERE IS??
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Re: frustratedddd

Postby spectabillis » Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:30 am

earthmama007 wrote:I have not been able to post a damn thing since I've resistered. ...I can't find anywhere to post anything, or a reply, until finally HERE, and i don't even know how I got here.... Can someone please back me up here, if they've actually found wherever HERE IS.


I understand your frustration: things are in a bit of transition so there is a certain ammount of confusion.

If it helps, you can start with the boards announcements - http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewforum.php?f=62

From there, the most relevant info available is the initial explanation on why things are in its current state - http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=8286

A quick overview of the current status - http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=8290http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=8298

An explanation of the current areas that you can post to - http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=8298
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Postby Burnboy » Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:17 am

Isotopia wrote:
people say things in the heat of emotion that they probably wish they hadn't upon reflection and additionally, there is no need for someone to stumble upon those words at some point far in the future and breathing life into a long-dead horse.


What I think *is* important about the topic though is that it makes for some very interesting reading by people who might find themselves in a similar situation. In fact, i think its a very interesting snapshot of how some online group dynamics come into play around an issue that can by no measure be considered unique - especially for people contemplating a large camp. I guess what i'm saying is that there are (or should be) exceptions to erasing some older, more contentious threads just because they don't represent the best displays of character.

Just something to chew on....



If I'm understanding you correctly, I'd have to agree. We don't learn much from the experiences we don't let ourselves remember.

What ended up happening with the camp?
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:43 am

synchronicity wrote:Shameless newby here. (Both to the site and to BM) <snip> Designate a place where others like me can communicate in a (semi) risk free environment to share of obvious expertise that is here. If I'm gonna go, I want to do it right. Lets share the information on awesome cooler combinations, truly efficient shower arrangements (and the affect they have on water requirements) and the like.
Regional connections may help some, but to the best of my knowledge, there is not much out the Southwest Colorado way.
Sorry if this is thread drift, but it seemed like the place.
And to all who are making it happen - Thank You - This is a nice place.
Sorry, synchro, you caught us in a bit of an awkward place. We used to have a questions and answers forum here, but during the reorganization that's been turned off. Best guess is that that's gonna be one of the next things turned back on. Have a question for you. The shower question, for instance, comes up with some regularity. Some newby (shy or shameless) will post a question and get a bunch of answers about structures and ettiquette and evaporation ponds, then the interest will die down. A monthe or 6 weeks later, another newby will need to know the answers to the same questions and will start a new thread. Crusty, jaded oldtimers will chime in withe their answers, a link to the previous thread and links to the appropriate sections of the main website. I certainly wouldn't say that those of us who are here for community and entertainment reasons don't owe something to both the org and to the greenfoots interms of politely faciilitating good information gathering, but as you were looking for that kind of info, do you have any thoughts about how you might like that to happen. Is ask the question and watch for a few days for the answer a good thing? Is have the old thread "stickyed" or moderated in some way so it's easy to find on your first trip here so you can get a whole bunch of information from weeks and months of posting better in some way? BTW we were specifically told a few months ago to not bring the banter and snide remarks into that forum (which I hope makes it "risk free") and while my record there was not perfect, at least I tried to be aware of hte difference of status and comfort between my position and that of someone first signing up.
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Postby geekster » Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:22 am

Yeah, maybe having a sticky posting that points to some of the past pros and cons of evaporation ponds would be a good idea and is exactly what I was talking about in another thread about having some "sticky closed" posts in some topics (or closed to all except an owner who may edit them, but I assume edit is a global, not an attribute that can be assigned per user or per topic) that contain explicit pointers to other places on the website (to include other eplaya postings) that are helpful.

Evaporation ponds, for example, while they CAN reduce the amount of water you haul out, are useless if it rains or is cloudy so you can't 100% rely on them working. If you don't evap the water, you must still be prepared to haul it out somehow.
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Postby spanky » Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:09 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Is have the old thread "stickyed" or moderated in some way so it's easy to find on your first trip here so you can get a whole bunch of information from weeks and months of posting better in some way?


This idea has definitely been bantied about. We are seriously (with community feedback of course) thinking about "stickying" threads that are important or come up repeatedly. In fact it's on my agenda to open a topic in this forum about that.

What I'd like to see is a solid, and results-oriented discussion about whether the existing structure is OK or needs to be changed in some way.

Tancorix: how's that straw structure coming?

~Spanky
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:23 pm

Spanky, I know sort of what's going on community wise with the q&a forum, I just thought that since we had a newby asking what was up wiht the absence that it represented a gold plated opportunity to ask someone who's not acclimatized for a gut check on how it might best be done. STill waiting for the answer. . .
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Postby Martiansky » Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:29 pm

I'm not sure if this belongs here but,
Maybe some threads like:

Structures
Bikes
Food
Costumes
Checklists
Cool places to see along your drive
etc
etc

It would make it easier to find what you're looking for.
So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs
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Postby Tancorix » Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:34 pm

Spanky, it's a shower structure, not straw. And it's not coming along at all. I'm missing my creative inspirations which are locked up in the older eplaya threads.

But it's funny you mention that...I had a crazy idea of building a small strawman to take to Interfuse.
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Postby samtzu » Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:05 pm

I take a few weeks off and they bulldoze the bar....

... crap.....
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Postby sparkletarte » Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:12 pm

I can't believe you're actually asking people to start all over. A lot of the information that people want was here already.

Sometimes it's better the renovate the house that you have collectively built instead of knocking the whole thing down and starting over again...especially when a few people have knocked it down without consulting the others, and then you ask everyone else to build it all over again.
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Postby synchronicity » Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:08 pm

Sorry for the delay Cryptofishist -
I only seem to get on in the evening. Sorry if I jumped in the middle of something. I know little or nothing of the history of this site. Having never seen the original, I chimed in with what I hoped to find. On other boards which I am active, with a sharp learning curve, and the same old questions, it is handled as stickys which may be added to by anyone.
Ultimately, someone writes it all up in concise form and the thread is locked. (Gunsnet.net is a good example). What am I looking for - I am particularly interested in things that did not work out as planned, so that I can early on see the pitfalls. At other events which I frequent, there is no place to ask. But if asked, I could give expert advice on how to do a week in Town Park for Telluride Bluegrass. Now. I just need to figure out how to do it in style in the desert - while being the source of our own and others amusement.
How about a newby area, with threads devoted to the above mentioned catagories, and others to be determined. As the old answers are given, form them into a sticky.
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Postby spectabillis » Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:54 pm

This topic is for discussing the layout of the categories and forums on the new ePlaya. The results of this discussion will be implemented and rolled out after about a week.

Definately drifted away from this. Agreement on the Layout / General Structure needs to be made if you are going to hit the goal of implementing it within a week.




Layout

I dont think its very intuitive for a new user.
- No overview provided that quickly explains the structure
- Takes searching and following various links to learn and find info
- No quick introduction to rules/use

The titles of the top level forums confused me
- 4 Main - Black Rock City, 2005 Event, Community, Archives
- For someone new, they would not know what 'BRC' is
- '2005 Event' can be renamed to 'Burning Man Event'
- Community? Maybe thats ok.
- 'Archives' of what? 'Past Events and Helful Info'?

Presently, in each of the 4 Main top level forums there is only one sub-forum. From the Index page, how many sub-forums listed do you want under each?

There has to be a maximum, so some discussion is needed to make sure they are general enough for adding something underneath without having to restructure the entire Forum Layout. They also need to be clear and intuitive.

What are they?
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Postby Martiansky » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:14 pm

Martiansky wrote:I'm not sure if this belongs here but,
Maybe some threads like:

Structures
Bikes
Food
Costumes
Checklists
Cool places to see along your drive
etc
etc

It would make it easier to find what you're looking for.


I guess instead of threads I meant sub-catagories.
I agree with Spectabillis on this, I found the old board somewhat hard to navigate to a degree. I had specific questions about things like I mentioned above and they were spread out all over.
So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs
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Postby III » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:47 pm

>I had specific questions about things like I mentioned above and they were spread out all over.

would you care to propose a layout (for the whole board) that could accommodate this?

i see two opposing forces in this:

1) the desire for specific categories means there should be a lot of them. general categories means that things can get lost in them
2) when there are a lot of categories, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find the one you want. when this happens, people usually use the first available one.

another problem is that while it would seem to be simple to select topics, and organize them logically, nothing could be further from the truth. the short list you present left out many frequent topics, such as grey water, generators, alternative energy, lighting, drinks, el wire... deciding how to organize those categories without having to wade through several pages of topics is non trivial as well.

for similar reasons, i would advise caution with sticky threads. more than a pages worth of sticky threads renders the concept useless, because new threads will never be apparent under the sticky ones. keep sticky threads for those that deal with the actual management of a topic area, and maybe a faq, and leave the rest for the rest.
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Postby III » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:57 pm

my thoughts on appropriate categories i think this would probably fit on one page well enough:

+ Q&A: places to ask questions after you've read the survival guide and all other faqs.

+ The event: Discuss the event itself, including camps & stuff

+ Lost/Found & Missed Connections: places to post requests that will never get answered.

+ Year round: meet other burners regionally, or connect online.

+ Trading post: Tickets, and other stuff. (commercials okay?)

+ Center Cafe: talk (nicely) about all kinds of stuff.

+ Gray water wrestling: no holds barred. politics, religion, and everything else you can't be civil about.

+ This board: discuss technical feedback and policy decision.
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Postby spectabillis » Sat Mar 19, 2005 4:32 pm

III wrote:
+ Q&A: places to ask questions after you've read the survival guide and all other faqs.
+ The event: Discuss the event itself, including camps & stuff
+ Lost/Found & Missed Connections: places to post requests that will never get answered.
+ Year round: meet other burners regionally, or connect online.
+ Trading post: Tickets, and other stuff. (commercials okay?)
+ Center Cafe: talk (nicely) about all kinds of stuff.
+ Gray water wrestling: no holds barred. politics, religion, and everything else you can't be civil about.
+ This board: discuss technical feedback and policy decision.



My Take

+ START HERE
- Board Structure and Overview
- Rules

+ Questions, Answers, and Help
- Survival Guide
- Ask Questions, Get Answers
- Archives of Past Events and Information

+ Burning Man Event
- Art
- Camps
- Event Resources and Locations
- Discuss the Event

+ Community
- Hangout Here
- Regional Events and Groups

+ Feedback
- Board Policy
- Recommendations
- General Discussion on Use
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Postby PurpleKoosh » Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:34 pm

III wrote:+ Lost/Found & Missed Connections: places to post requests that will never get answered.

:-P

The ex managed (and we still don't know how) to lose the necklace he wore my class ring on - and the ring. I got it back through the lost&found forum (from someone camped just down the road from us, who had found it in a "give a gift - take a gift" box).

</drift>
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Postby bullD » Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:38 pm

I like III's categories, seems like that covers everything. I also like Spectabills' idea of a "start here" category. perhaps a joining of the two or something very similar?
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Postby spectabillis » Mon Mar 21, 2005 6:52 am

bullD wrote:I like III's categories, seems like that covers everything. I also like Spectabills' idea of a "start here" category. perhaps a joining of the two or something very similar?


I like III's also. You dont see some of his listed in mine because I renamed them, but the layout is different.

The motivation behind the start-here, the majority of accounts on this board have zero posts. I imagine people just logging in/setting up accounts to look around and get info.

It would be nice to have them contribute - an intro and intuitive layout can help that.
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Postby Tancorix » Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:48 am

Zero Post users. I want to run with that a minute and go on a tangent. I'm on and off here at all times of the day and night and curiosity has me check out the new users who register. I've seen some accounts that link back to adult sites and spam stuff so some of those zero posts accounts may have been established for those purposes.

Ok, here's the tangent. First a disclaimer, it's not meant to single out Isotopia who is Badger's sock puppet. But the subject of sock puppets has caused serious tension in the past and I've been one of the guilty ones behind it. (But I'm far from being alone so don't sling all your arrows at me). So since the board is being revamped, I'm bringing this up.
1: Does the board want to establish a tolerant or anti-sock policy?
1a: If such a policy is established do we need to revamp the CG's to reflect it?
2: Are there technical solutions available in PHPBB for Spanky to implement that could restrict duplicate accounts if that's what the board wants?

Plonk is nice but it's not the total answer to fixing annoyances. Some of the most contentious times on the eplaya have seen socks in the middle of things (Bradley Green, Dunphy, etc),and so I'm wondering if now's the time to address this issue? Thanks for considering my request.
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Postby bullD » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:04 am

although for the longest time I had no idea what a sock was (slow), I figured it out because of the problems that tancorix speaks of. is there a need for more than one account? there have been cases where more than one account have been used in a very funny way, like for instance, the 4WotA and it's different incarnations.
I'm on the fence with this but tend to lean in the what the heck do you need more than one acount for direction...
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Postby III » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:44 am

i have done a couple of front page mockups:

this one is based on spectabillis's proposed layout.

this one is based on mine.
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Postby Tancorix » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:53 am

No offense Spectabillis but Trey's design has my vote.
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Postby geekster » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:55 am

I like trey's better with one exception. At the start of the survival guide topic, have a sticky closed post with explicit pointers to information on the website. Kind of like "Before you post here, please make sure you have read "this" and "this" and "this" and "this".
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