Riding Advice sub-section

Perhaps something more along the lines of “Guides, Riding Advice, Tips & Tricks”.

That was my thinking. There are loads of historic and some newer events threads that would be good kept together for visibility.

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There are two ways to look at it: unicycle forum discussing are related to unicycling, so should be in the general unicycling category. Or, they are disjoint and should be in their own category.

One could further subdivide the general unicycle category: muni, trials, distance, basketball, etc and require people to post in one particular area. But that would loose people who just care about the overall topic of unicycling.

To answer your question: a discussion on the forum itself does seem appropriate to be in its own category, but “riding advice” does not deserve its own category.

Overall, the new forum is much better!

I honestly don’t know, as I haven’t used the forum much in the past several years. What I do know is that a lot of the old forum familiar users are now using Facebook unicycling groups instead. However, it is hard to quantify…as I don’t have a good mapping of forum screen names to real life Facebook names, unless I know the person in real life.

Regarding moving other people’s threads: If someone thought it was good to put a thread in particular area, then it seems good to leave it there (unless it is grossly misappropriate). In general, how do you feel about people arbitrarily moving your stuff? (Be it a virtual ‘thing’ like a thread, or something in real life, like your unicycle).

Things like this seem better suited to tags. Tag posts with “Riding Advice” and anyone can see all posts with that advice, regardless of category.

Honestly, I’d do the same thing for events. Post it in ‘general’ and tag it “Events”. People who want to see all recent events can filter on the tag.

Assuming this forum has such ability; it could be a #hashtag like Twitter/FB.

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So Discourse uses sub-categories. That’s not a bad shout for the riding stuff, but I think for events because of location and potentially some calendar functionality in the future I feel it’s better suited to its own category.

Videos is already a sub-category of the General category:
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Do you view the forum in just the general category then? I think the fact that I presume that the vast majority of people just visit and use the forum from the main page means that (at least in my mind) main categories make no difference to visibility - they just enable people to more easily filter the types of topics they might want to view.

I think this forum is organized very well – for both new users as well as for old contributors.

I like the “Latest” topics being featured prominently on the front page. Active users can easily check for updates on any topic without having to log in or click through categories. New users see the variety of topics discussed.

I like the “Categories” being on the front page. I gives new users an idea of what’s in the forum, and what different things one can talk or ask about – sort of like a guide. And as an active user I can choose to specifically look for certain things or ignore others.

I like the “Riding Advice” category. I might be just in the mood of answering or discussing the mostly typical questions of people asking for advice. On other days I can easily ignore that specific category. For some new users and riders it’s nice to know, that there’s a place where you can just go and ask.

I like that some people are taking care of the order! I might post to the wrong category – but someone makes sure it’s moved to where it fits. I like how threads are even split and merged – so far that has been helpful, and it’s also transparent what happened.

I like the search function a lot, it’s easy, good but also powerful if you are looking for something very specific. I don’t have a opinion on the best default search settings. Either I found right away, what I was looking for, or I set one or two parameters myself.

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I had no idea there was a Video subcategory; I’d also question why have such a subcategory.

I really only ever cared about the “General” category and bookmarked that page, and not the main homepage, so I rarely looked at it. With the new forum, I always just gave the homepage a quick glance over, and never really read the new categories – mainly because I don’t think there is a need for them; if it is about unicycling, just post in “general”. I don’t even recall if the old site had other categories (other than “for sale”).

Corbin

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Because it enables people to easily filter to view only that content. I suspect this is mostly a throwback to the old forum which also had a videos category, but perhaps people do come on here to browse the videos.
If you browse the user list and you see how many topics some people have read in the last week I can’t comprehend how they’ve done that unless it’s something like video threads…



Surely if categories didn’t serve a purpose then you would bookmark latest to always just see everything, as the old newsgroup was.

Isn’t this the big advantage of forums over other platforms? To not dump everything in one place but have information well organized? Many, if not most of the forum users do really like the categories and the easy retrieveability of information here may be one of the most important factors why people com back here from facebook and co.

I struggle a bit with your statements like:

You haven’t been here for … how many years? Come back here for the first days at a new software platform and question everything you don’t know after less than a handful of logins? (While we spent months with working out the best working organisation we could get out of the old database.)
Don’t get me wrong, i appreciate you being back. But I’d even appreciate it more if you would take your time to find out how this system here works before questioning everything.

The new platform software was a huge step up. Before, the forum was basically dead.

But doesn’t the new system (other than the old one) exactly the funcionality you’re looking for? On the main Page so see every thread listed chronically without needing to even think about categories. Click on “more” at the bottom and you’ll see them all.

It seems to me, that you’re complaining about the forum organisation just because you bookmarked the wron page. Sounds like: “I accidently bookmarked the wron sub-page, now please only post to this one so that i don’t miss anything.”

What you need to bookmark is: https://unicyclist.com/latest
And if you only use the forum via this page, you won’t even see any difference if an admin who went mad would change categories of your threads avery ten seconds.

If I sound a bit hard: I really do value you as a person very much an all you are doing unicycle related, but this time yo got on the wrong track.

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What is tagging other tha categorizing?
And what is the click on a category other than filtering for this special tag?
The big advantage of categories over tags (or even hashtags) is, that they’re predefined and finite in their number. This makes it much easier to order and find things. We had tags on the old forum, they were a totally uncontrolled proliferation, a total useless mess. “Wurst” was the most used one, it’s the german word for sausage.

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Well, most of the time I’d be upset, with some exceptions. I’ve been using forums for 20 years and if a moderator moves my topic to the right category (and it have happened so often on meta.discourse.org that an admin had to told me to be more careful! :sweat_smile: !), it’s not an issue.

I agree! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Major changes can’t please everyone though, and what we consider good choices will be considered bad choices by some. But we try to make it so “some” is equal to “the fewest as possible”.

Tags are indeed an interesting feature. We thought about using them when we discussed the forum reorganization since this forum software supports tags. We decided not to use them with the exception of #offer and #search used in #trading-post.

My experience with tags in a forum context is that people tend to not use or misuse them and because of this it can be counter-productive. But my experience may very well be flawed and I’m no expert.

Plus, tags are now widely used on every major social network (not always for the better…) so people may be more comfortable with them nowadays.

It also adds a layer of “complexity” when using the forum, or creating topics since you have another field to fill or consider, where I personally like to keep thing as simple as possible. :man_shrugging:

Well, me too. This subcategory feels weird to me.

This is a case where a tag may fit better than a subcategory… Not sure though. :man_shrugging:

I agree. That’s the best feature (with the search engines!) that forums have.

Tags can be very controlled on our forum software. We can create predefined tags and prevent users to create new one, restrict tags or tag groups to certain categories, etc…

:laughing:

What I see are some very important people in the unicycle wold working out some issues. At first it was a little troubling but I see the temperature of this discussion cooling a bit. Thankfully creative criticism and the dialogue that insues is what makes thing better.
My thanks to all of you for your time spent here, youtube and on facebook your knowledge and experiences are invaluable to the community.

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Well, Facebook’s algorithms decide what content you see, whereas a forum is more un-biased and based on the simple premise of “newest stuff on top”. I think the forum works better simply because there is an order of magnitude fewer users, and people have to spend time to sign up just for that forum. Facebook makes it too easy for people to join numerous groups that they may not really participate in, and you get too much noise of information. I don’t think it is organization that benefits a forum versus a Facebook group.

I am a professional software engineer. I worked at Apple for 13 years doing user interface design and implementation. I wrote a lot of the base UI for the iPhone, and a lot of the UI changes in macOS from 10.5 to 10.12 or so. Assessing and working on UI design was one of the things I spent a lot of time on. Apple prided itself on removing all complexity and unnecessary elements to focus on what was important.

You are right; I haven’t used the new forum much in the past year – only a handful of times. In this way, it provides you forum managers a new look at something which you all may have already been accustomed to and haven’t questioned. Specifically, I think you have too many categories and information could be simplified and presented in another way to aide users (ie: tags).

I care about unicycling and participating in discussions related to it. Based on the new system, that is “General”, “Uni & Equip”, & “Riding advice”.

The rest isn’t important to me as it isn’t really unicycle related (Sales is, but one doesn’t normally care about sales unless they are buying/selling).

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…so, (“if I were king”), I would merge the there categories “General”, “Uni & Equip”, & “Riding advice”. And maybe add some well defined tagging system.

Categorizing means data is in group A, B or C. You can’t view the aggregate of say A, B.
Tagging (controlled specific tags), allows all data to be in one group, but can be filtered for tag A, B or C.

Corbin

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But playing devil’s advocate: Then why don’t we have more organization? Why not have categories for specific styles of unicycling? That way someone who only cared about road unicycling could just jump to that category.

Corbin

This one I can answer easily: Because we had to deal with the existing database of the old forum software that reaches back into the newsgroup era. Splitting topics is pure handwork. We just don’t have the manpower to read, decide and move thousands of threads. We did what was doable with the resources we had.

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That would indeed be nice. The problem I see is that all of the old stuff (99% of this forum) needs to be retagged. Any suggestions how this could be achieved? Is there any easy way to add the right tags to all of the existing topics?

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Some weeks ago someone moved a post of mine to a different thread, because he thought it was better suited there. I had no problems with it and appreciated his opinion. I could always have moved it back again if I disagreed.
I consider myself a long term user and as long as I’m into unicycling I will visit this forum. I think it is better than anything else out there concerning unicycling/unicycles.

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I don’t think you can accomplish that. If only doing it by keywords, there will be many posts that will end up with the wrong tags.
I think it is ok to create new categories, but then do it for posts going forward and leave old stuff the way it is. If people want to know something specific, they will use the search function and not care so much about what category the posts are in. Like if I want to know everything people say about Ultimate Wheels, I don’t expect many posts, but they will possibly be covered in multiple categories.
Tags could enhance the search results, like keywords… or end up polluting the results.

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