Why do so many new forums have too many sections?

Discussion in 'Community Organization' started by cheat_master30, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. insaneadmin

    insaneadmin Enthusiast

    A lot of people create a community because they feel they know what it should be like, especially hobbyists. When they start thinking about what could be talked about they start to add and add and add instead of starting small and adding as needed. Everyone does it unless they have read a guide or book about doing it right but that urge will always rear its head and pester you to add more than you need.

    Some people are just unorganised too, I've known and seen forums where a change to layout is made after a number of years and it doesn't work because it's doing something that is not needed at that time either.

    tl;dr: they plan for a future that's too far ahead and might not even happen rather than starting small
  2. Shimei

    Shimei Fan

    Right now my forums main page is under development. There is a two category list, adding sub-forums that pop up when hovered over. Should be done soon enough. Altogether though we have near 100 categories and sub-forums.

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  3. Z E E

    Z E E Aspirant

    New forum owners who create a forum with many subsections have no idea on how to run a forum. Feel free to show an example of a new site that opened up with numerous empty/sparse subsections that have taken off.

    Its the biggest new forum owners make. They think that their forum is so unique that it needs that....
  4. TheGamingRow

    TheGamingRow Aspirant

    My website / forum is brand new, it's a gaming and technology website. I've started off with 5 main sections:
    Off Topic

    I was considering adding sub-forums for the different platforms (PS4, Xbox etc) but from reading the replies in this thread it seems as if that's not such a good idea?

    Could someone explain why? - is it just too much to browse through for the user?
  5. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

    It's not a good idea to have too many sections because that makes the site look empty.

    Think about it, what looks more active? A site with five sections and say, 20 posts in each or a site with twenty sections and 1 post in each?
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  6. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

    Yeah, I just trimmed my forums down further today and got rid of two that will hardly be used
  7. Zero Numbers

    Zero Numbers Adherent

    That's obvious though. Certain factors will play in the user experience. The five sections can have more posts, but that doesn't mean the ones that are more active have something worth reading.
  8. BeyBrad

    BeyBrad Adherent

    If that's the case, the admin would have bigger issues to deal with than the number of categories.
  9. KimmiKat

    KimmiKat Enthusiast

    There are some established mboards that have too many sub forums on them. For example there's a Satellite mboard (Using Xenforo) that bazillion sub forums and it looks dis-organised.

    I made the mistake when I had my board up, then consolidated down to just the most popular areas and one catch-all forum.
  10. LordOfSpoon

    LordOfSpoon I Am Spoon!

    I guess people just get carried away with their shiny new board and create too many forums out of excitement. Then they wont have any engagement and wonder what is going on.
  11. Drastic

    Drastic Habitué

    Make sure you should have e-sports, not regular sports.

    One makes sense, the other does not.
  12. BeyBrad

    BeyBrad Adherent

    esports would already belong in gaming though. Plus there's a huge overlap between fans of game and tech and sports ...
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Neophyte

    We we moved to XF about a year ago, we went from a single forum to 4 sections. Additional sections have been added, in part, when users request them because they say it's too difficult to find content on a topic that isn't often discussed in an existing section.

    We also have sections available to only certain subsets of our population, and for the most part, I keep those hidden from the view of everyone else so that those who don't need a particular section don't see it.

  14. Drastic

    Drastic Habitué

    Very true. I'm one of those people.

    If I want game news, I go to IGN or something like that. Sports news, then I login to a fantasy site.

    I don't mix or match. The sports sites update by the minute, so no gaming forum will have current info/stats/fantasy sports info like a legit sports site will have.

    Might have a good chat going on, that's kinda cool.

    Gaming and sports seem like two very niched topics that are hard to succeed in. One of the first mistakes is adding too many topics and not having laser focus on the gaming niche itself.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  15. bigpapapascarab1

    bigpapapascarab1 Aspirant

    sorry to bump again but here is my answer. it is excitement. from experience when i would start i was very excited to get started and wanted to add as many categories as possible to try to appeal to all demographics. cut the newbies some slack :) :D :D
  16. Oldsmoboi

    Oldsmoboi Fan

    I have a ton of sections, but I've also been in operation for 16 years. That said, I regularly trim, consolidate, and reorganize my forums.... once in awhile (about annually) I add a section for archive stuff.

    If I were starting a new forum today, I would keep the section number very limited and break up sections when they got too large and disorganized.
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  17. Sal Collaziano

    Sal Collaziano Womanizer

    It's far better to have 2 forums with 10 posts each than 10 forums with 2 posts each. When somebody visits your site for the first time, and they land on your forum homepage, they're not going to bother going any further if it appears as if only the site owner has posted 2 messages in each forum. You want people to be curious about the information and conversations waiting for them inside. 2 posts in each of 10 forums looks like this in their imagination:

    Forum 1:
    - Welcome to the board!
    - What this section is for...

    Forum 2:
    - Welcome to the board!
    - What this section is for...

    Nobody in 2017 is going to click through to see that...
  18. Mesca

    Mesca Aspirant

    Many times when a member leave my community and start his own forum, he creates the same sections as us.
    He just doesn't know that our forum started with few sections then expanded in many.
    So he starts with so many empty sections....

    So they just make the same sections as a big forum they leaved and don't expand from one our two sections, don't take into account the history of the other forum.
  19. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

    That's actually a really good point. A lot of people are used to a larger forum they're part of, and ended up trying and failing to adapt that site's layout for their own one.

    Like someone wanting to make their own Amazon and starting with a super complicated marketplace setup with a million features rather than a simple ecommerce store they can expand on later.
  20. Zylantex

    Zylantex Fan

    I'm trying to get a new forum of the ground. I have one Off Topic and three core forums. My intent is to build up content in them via dummy posters until they look a bit busy and hopefully at that point genuine members will start posting. I will only create new forums when members ask for them and the need is justified. A few busy forums is much more appealing than a plethora of sparsely used forums.
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