Great feedback guys. AG and I went over the mockup, tried to clear up some of the text. I tried in opt4 to make it a little cleaner (for GE & III), incorporated some of the feedback about order.
One thing: I'm no apostrophe whiz, but isn't "Greeter's" right? It's the station for all of the Greeters, therefore it's possessive and not plural. Like I said, I don't know, but I thought I knew the rule. Correct me if I'm wrong (again)
Here is a link to what I call the Beta version. There seems to be a pretty good feeling about this layout, it incorporates as much feedback in a balanced way as possible. I hear the arguments towards III's design, but it seems to me that having some [more] roadsigns, especially for newbies is good. I think these latest titles are clear as to what should go in them and there's plenty of space for very freeform discussion. I am going to go over the rationale for each title below:
ePlaya Layout Beta 1
(keep in mind this one does not have the new header that I did today)
>>Greeters' Station: Start Here
Your first stop for learning about the ePlaya.
Overview of the ePlaya / Announcements
The "overview" section will have sticky posts at the top with text very similar to what I'm writing here. An overview of each forum and how it might get used. There will be links to the feedback forums for discussion on the policy, features and problems. Recommended reading. Links to CG & ToS. Possible links out of the board to the website. Maybe this area is ModPostOnly??
Announcements: this section is as it is now, announcements from staff about the ePlaya and hopefully more often, announcements about the event as well. We still rely onthe JRS and website (and survival guide) as our primary method of communicating to our participants, although personally, I would like to see some of the highest level messages get oushed down to the announcements as well.
>> All About Burning Man
Discuss Burning Man...what's it all about, anyway?
Get Involved! / Politics & Philosophy / Experiences at Burning Man
The general idea of this category is to discuss the nature of the event itself and not year-specific things, although aspects of each year are relevant and will of course fit in here.
Get Involved: This is the equivalent of "volunteer" or "participate" but in language that anyone can understand. Someone who wants to help out can go here and find possibly a few stickies about how to volunteer (link to the VolQ) and we can offer this area to the volunteer teams to work with if they like. No "list of all teams" here b/c that forces each team to represent and then have someone staff that thread. Maybe post-post moderated??
Politics & Philosophy: The place to discuss the underlying principles of Burning Man & BRC as a whole. Talk about Giting vs. Barter, Leave No Trace, etc.
Experiences at Burning Man: The old text is: "Share the sights, sounds and scents as well as rumors and truths found at Burning Man". This is for the "I had soo much fun" or "my neighbors stole my beer" or "I hate rave camps" posts.
A clean, well-lighted place for getting ready for Burning Man.
FAQ - Read Me First / Q & A, Tips and Tricks / Share Resources
FAQ: ModPostOnly(??) pulled from the Q&A section for things that get asked over and over. Sticky? Hopefully this area can flesh out into a really good resource.
QA, Tips & Tricks: This is like HowTo's, Lists, and places for people to ask questions. I;m sure we'll get a lot of redirecting people, but people really like to ask questions, especially in their own voice. We can make the really useful posts sticky (maybe a few good lists, structures?)
Share Resources: A forum for obtainium...not that obtainium.net (or is it org?) isn't a great site. People who have something and other people need it. NOT for selling, advertising. Those posts will be pulled.
>> 2005 Burning Man Event
Discuss this year's event, including theme camps, art and performances.
2005 Theme / Tickets / Art & Performance / Theme Camps
This category is all about the current year. The current theme, buy, sell, trade tickets. Art projects and performers and performances. Theme camp planning and ideas. Just like the titles say.
>> Year Round Connections
A place to connect with and stay in touch with Burners far and wide.
Lost & Found / Regionals & Events / Open Discussion
The year round community category.
Lost & Found: we will add the subfora as discussed in the other thread. i think a "missed connections" might be good in there too for trying to find people.
Regionals and Events: for discussion Decompressions, Flambe Lounges, other not-necessarily-BM-but attended-by-burner events, not to mention Regional events. Apparently the regionals aren't all that active with the ePlaya, but hopefully they will.
Open Discussion: Anyone got a better name? Maybe we break this into two areas (as subforum)? Open Forum and PortaPotty for the shitstarters? This is where the Bar and all the GenDisc go. Maybe we call it "the Bar" after that very popular thread?
>> ePlaya Feedback
Tell us what you think!
Policy Discussion / Feature Requests / Bug Reports
It is what is says. Feedback specifically about the boards. A place for discussion about the policies of the board, a place to ask for and discuss new features and a place for reporting problems with new mods or existing problems.
>> Year's Past
Archives of previous ePlaya posts.
2004 / 2003
Where we archive everything from the annual sections: Basically all of "2005 Burning Man event" and possibly archiving "Share Resources" each year as well. (??)
One thing I see missing is, like, "Getting There" or "Travel" or "Rideshare". Maybe that's just a thread not a forum? We have a rideshare on the website so maybe it's redundant? Ideas?
So, that's that. Please, let's all vibe on this for a bit so we can set to task tomorrow implementing it. It's not going to be easy to shuffle everything around and it's going to take a bunch of time and work. The quicker we can come to consensus the better. If you have suggestions for making the verbage clearer, or moving things around, or anything...I know there are some concerns about this layout, but hopefully we can all agree to come to a happy medium and satisfy the best of both worlds? I'm not trying to ram this one down, but I also realize that we're not going to satisfy every use-case or opinion. If you have a matter that you feel really really strongly about, bring it up now so we call all talk about it. Remember, in a consensus process not everyone has to agree, but everyone has to not completely disagree. I'm sure it's been phrased better than that by someone!
Thanks for all of your feedback, thanks to Trey and Spectabillis and everyone who threw in their coins. I think we can get this rolled out, barring any major disagreements, by tomorrow evening!