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Better orientation in forum

Started by JessyKa, December 12, 2010, 07:56:02 AM

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I didn't know where to post this. Moderators, please feel free to move it.

My question is simple:

What can you do to make orientation easier in a forum with many topics?

We have a forum with much content, well structured with boards. Yet to find a special post is quite difficult. Often you only remember that there was a good post but it could easily fit in several threads. So if you don't know the URL, you have to spend a lot of time in searching.
I found some options, tools and tricks to improve, yet there are still many questions. And I am searching for the "perfect" solution, since user complain about it  ::)

Ok, what can you do? Here are my few ideas:

- Avoid/remove off-topic post
This is a more practical thing to do and it is established, I just wanted to mention it.
- Search engine (1.1.12)
Especially this version only offers 1 find in every topic, not any. So you don't have a full result list. (This is no feature request, for I understand that providing every single search result could easily spoil the desired orientation).
- Sitemap
This is a good instrument for showing the index of the forum, but it only includes boards, no threads, or is there a possibility to also show them?
- Rate topic/ rate posts
There are several modifications on this. But as far as I see, they all only allow rating topics or postings. Beyond that it would be great to offer a new "best-of"-page based on the given ratings. Is there anything like that?
- Highlight-page (manual done)
I use a simple html-file to put it as a bookmark-page. Yet the selection of the listed postings is really subjective.
- Users profile
Single postings can be found by searching the user postings, but you have to know for certain which users wrote this post...

The "Perfect solution" for me would be a rating system for both posts AND topics, combined by an overview site to show lists of best rated topics and best rated postings - naturally based on the users access rights.

Do you face the same problems? How do you help yourself and your users?  Do you have any suggestions? How is the SMF 2.2 with respect to searches and sitemaps...?

Would be great to get some answers  ;)


your first suggestion is your responsibility... :P
second:  ???  The SMF search provides more than one result for a search term...
sitemap: several mods exist to do just that
ratings: I'd suggest that you ask in the specific mod thread(s).
There is a bookmark mod that allows users to bookmark specific threads for their own viewing/reviewing.
users profile:  I am unsure what you are trying to ask/request/discuss with this one.

Moving to "building your community"

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."