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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
One of the ideas we have been thinking about is to offer communities different threadtypes, that would have unique attributes/styles.

The first one that we will be offering is for Professional Content; which will allow us to move away from Wordpress, and actually have professionally-written content articles be integrated much more nicely into the forums. This one is big for sites like AVSforum.com and WatchUseek.com where there is not a very good integration today between content & community.

We have a few other ideas:

Member Journals

•Member Journals / Build Threads are an important way for users to share their passions. In these thread types, users are documenting or journaling their experience. In an example of a car or motorcycle, they may be documenting their ownership history: from their purchase, to adding new parts & modifying their vehicle; taking it on a road-trip; right through to selling it, and buying another one.
•Members should be able to start these threads in a specified Journal section only (similar to how we treat Pro Content). They should also be called out in their Member Profile so you can track their various builds/ journals.
•In today’s forums, the main challenge with these threads is that they are hard to follow. Users comments & posts are inter-twined with the OP content. The main feature of this thread-type will be that you can see all of the OP content, and then “Click to Expand” all the replies for each post. Each post, will have nested replies.
•In this view, the OP would always be highlighted, so they could be clearly identified throughout the thread wherever they are posting.
•Should a Build Thread have a different subject per post; and a table of contents?
•Example: ('19+) - My 2019 Subaru Forester Sport - Let the modz begin!
Flat 6 Motorsports' Project Macan S

AMA "Ask Me Anything" Threads

•AMA’s or “Ask Me Anything” threads are a powerful way to have a guest speaker, popular personality, or expert, answer questions in a moderated or unmoderated fashion.
•In the world of forums:
•The AMA host would be the moderator of that thread. An AMA would be 1 thread.
•The first post would be an introduction to the AMA.
•Users would then post questions (arguably, these could be posted, but not displayed, in advance -- TBD)
•The software would display the questions to the AMA host, who could then choose a question to answer. At that time, both the Question and the Answer would go live onto the website. They would be nested together.
•The important thing would be clearly displaying the AMA host; and making the answers clearly nested underneath each question.
•Important: In this thread type, the Answers would determine the chronological order of thread appearance.
If a User has been an AMA Host, it would be included in his Member Profile

Q&A Threads

•Question and Answer (Q&A) Threads are the basic premise of almost all forum threads. However, for SEO reasons, and navigation of the community, it may be helpful to actually have Q&A sections.
•A Q&A thread would be limited to a Q&A section (similar to how Articles only appear in the Professional Content sections). In the future we may want to allow Q&A threads in regular forum sections. TBD.
•Q&A threads would have the Original Poster post up his/her question with as much accompanying information as possible. Consider whether we want some structured data (eg. Type of vehicle, Location, etc.) that would need to be site-specific.
•Future Functionality? We could consider offering a bounty on some questions (eg. A User is willing to pay $5 to have this question answered)
•The main premise of Q&A thread would be to have a Question, and then multiple answers; with some form of Voting (UpVoting) for the best answer. In this scenario, we may want to Sort the Replies/Answers by the most-voted upon answer; rather than chronological.
•Would we want to support back and forth between the Original Poster, and the Answers? If so, I would suggest that the conversations remain Nested, and not Chronological.

Classified Threads

Forums are full of Classified and Buy/Sell threads.
Some sites, like R1-Forum.com have great posts with very structured data. The subject is enforced and must include year, make, model, mileage, price, and location.
However, none of that is structured data stored in our database as anything other than plain text, which makes it much harder to search.
We could introduce fields for these threads like Year, Make, Model, Mileage, Price, Location, Payment Options, etc all to become structured data; while also allowing a "cover image" and a photo gallery with plenty of pictures. We could then have threadlist show "Items close to you" (based on Location) or allow you to search by make/model/year etc.
Ideally I would like to re-introduce some form of "Trader Rating" to allow users to rate their transactions with other users. We would also import old iTrader ratings for this purpose, include it on their member profile, etc.
Member Profiles could also show their current & past classifieds listings.
Classified Listings could have clearly marked prefixes for SOLD items that could also appear lower on the screen.

Photo Threads

We see a lot of "photo threads" on our forums. Would it make sense to offer a different browsing experience for photo threads that is more of a swipe to next type of experience, rather than combing through a long thread? Because these threads usually don't have a lot of text, the text of a post could actually just be the caption; and then you could see Comments on a per-photo basis.

Car of the Month / Truck of the Month threads

Similar to a Photo Thread, but with Voting. You could have submissions, and then voting. Still have to think through the dynamics, as most sites run their Car of the Month / Truck of the Month / Motorcycle of the Month / Home Theatre of the Month a bit differently, so it might be hard to get everyone to agree on a single format. But this would make it really easy to also feature it on the homepage.

Other ideas:
  • DIY Articles / Install Articles
  • Event Threads (for local or national events)
  • Deal Threads
  • Support Threads (eg. give us your browser info, what you were doing, etc) make it easier to help people
  • Product Reviews

I would love to hear your thoughts on which ones you think would be valued by the communities, and would increase user interaction & posting; and which would just make our lives easier or better :)
And even more so.... which are just plain bad ideas and we shouldn't waste our time!
 

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Definitely agree on all the classifieds stuff with the added ability to filter searches not only for the item itself but the ability to filter out sold prefixes or poorly rated sellers.

For "photo threads", maybe a tool that could be used in ANY thread that simply displays full screen images from within that thread one-by-one that can be swiped and optionally tapping on the pic would superimpose any text along with it at the bottom?

Have to chew on the rest for a bit... :D
 

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RE: Car of the Month / Truck of the Month threads

@Old Navy has started using an interesting way to feature the TOTY or (Truck of the Year) buy using the media option but I know a lot of users would love to see the ROTM/TOYM winners on the homepage again.

This section used to populate the homepage in the past to "Feature" the monthly or yearly winner.

I will digest this a bit more and share my input next week but I dig the concept.

Jeff M
 
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Jeff ask me to review this thread and give some input so here is my .10 cents. I am putting my thoughts here based mostly on the Ducati.ms site perspective (I think some of these ideas are fantastic).

-The Member Journals with the "click to expand" is a very good idea for build threads. Many would have comments and questions so that would be a must but highlighting the build without clutter is brilliant.
-The Ask Me Anything would be another great idea. We have fairly famous Race School owner (Keith Code) on our site that has a thread that has been very popular. Here it is for anyone that wants a look: Ask Keith Code!!
-The Q&A thread idea would probably not be something I see as that popular. I know some sites have a "Questions that don't deserve a new thread" so maybe this is an evolution of something like that however I am not getting the vibe of it.
-Any improvement to Classifieds would not only be welcome but could make all of the sites more popular. I like the idea of search my specifics including regions and localities.
-The Photo Threads is another great idea. Nice to swipe as opposed to scrolling and having maximum photos per post.
-The Car/Truck/Bike of the month thing has never caught on in the motorcycle sites so I don't find anything compelling about that. Maybe nice for really cool Auto and Truck builds but most bike guys just don't seem to want to show their wares off quite the same.

-On our site we do have a moderated forum called the "Hall of Wisdom" that is ONLY for technical facts, charts, manuals, how-tos and completed projects. It has a huge number of visits and has been wildly popular since the inception of the forum. I would like to see something like that across more forums.
Worth a visit and I really think it could work across almost all of the V/S sites: Hall of Wisdom
 

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Generally agree with Mike. Structured classified posts interests me greatly, we have a template system for our multi level classifieds, but as we all know not everyone these days is particularly interested in reading rules before acting. A no choice option has a lot of merit.
This is our generic template:
4188


Re pics, I detest the thumbnail option when it comes to pics that are part of something like a build thread or other situations where there is explanatory text above or below, 2 main reasons:
1. Detail is lost in a thumbnail.
2. Click on it to expand to see detail then you lose any explanatory text and need to go back and forth.
If any explanatory text were to be superimposed it would need to be outside the frame so as not to interfere with previously mentioned detail.

The rest I am still digesting.
 
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RE: Car of the Month / Truck of the Month threads

This section used to populate the homepage in the past to "Feature" the monthly or yearly winner.

Jeff M
Actually this is not the Home Page. This Forum is where all TOTM / TOTY Contests start, 1st with entries, then the poll(s). The "Home Page" that all our members want back, was located as the very 1st Page that you saw when you log on. This is for our 1stGen Site, but basically it looked the same for the 2ndGen site;
 

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Actually this is not the Home Page. This is where all TOTM / TOTY Contests start, 1st with entries, the the poll(s). The "Home Page" the all our members want back, was located as the very 1st Page that you saw when you log on. This is for our 1stGen Site, but basically it looked the same for the 2ndGen site;
Correct, the new homepage on new platform https://www.thenewx.org/ does no longer feature the ROTM however the sister site first.thexterra.org it does still. I think it would be nice to have that functionality back for you guys.

Screengrab from the way back machine but looks like formatting it not showing correctly:

Motor vehicle Tire Wheel Automotive tire Automotive exterior


Jeff M
 
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I think it would be nice to have that functionality back for you guys.

Jeff M
Actually AG can have their cake and eat it too... All they have to do, is have the TOTM / TOTY Home Page as the introduction page to the site, then when you click on "Next and/or Forums" your taken to the current Home Page and the rest of the story....
 

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Actually AG can have their cake and eat it too... All they have to do, is have the TOTM / TOTY Home Page as the introduction page to the site, then when you click on "Next and/or Forums" your taken to the current Home Page and the rest of the story....
I know there is some homepage redesign work in the pipeline so once we look at that we can see how the TOTM / TOTY can fit into this.

Jeff M
 
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