How do you access forums?

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I may just be missing something obvious, but how do I see all available forums in the system? At the moment, I access forums through the 'Most Popular' option, but that doesn't make much sense.

- Adam

Prof. Gad Yair

Under Resources> Advanced Search > Search for Discussions...

That's counter-intuitive. Forums should be easy to access. Unlike blogs (which should also be easier to access), they're also a shared resource  - they belong to the whole site, or to selected communities within it - and CoolCite should "brag" about them, advertise them and encourage users to participate. In other words, they should have an obvious link in the home page.

Another thing about forums - they should have nested reply options. That is, I should be able to reply-to-a-reply (in this case, to your reply) and not only to the main thread. I should also be able to change the Title.

Mr. Amnon Kruvi

Hi Adam,

I believe what you're referring to is not really "Forums", but discussion boards. The two are similar, but have distinct features:

Forums have a very set structure - threads with one common title, the sorting of messages, the display format, it's something very common on the internet, and very popular, so we've decided to use that as our form of mass-communication.

Discussion boards are a tree-like model, each message having its own independent title and connection to a parent. These are far less common, and considered more outdated, to a degree that many of them also offer a forum-like view of message threads.

Having both forums and discussion boards, to me, just feels a little redundant. What does one offer that the other does not, really?

As for accessing forums, the top forum discussions are listed in the "Most Popular" section of your homepage. Forums can be discovered by topic by visiting a Tag page (From your interests page, by clicking a tag, or through advanced search->tag search), and can be discovered by keywords using the advanced search->discussion search method. Since every person is allowed to make as many forums as they'd like, for different discussion topics, I'd imagine a page just listing all forums on the site wouldn't be very helpful.

All of this being said, I'll just note that these are my personal views on things - views that should not interfere with the development of the site to be as useful to the user as possible. So, how about having a page listing all forums on the site, ordered by the amount of discussions? A sort of "Top Forums" page which could be paged to view all forums eventually.

Hi Amnon,

Ah! I see your point(s). Me, I'm a message-board fan, but that's really a habit more than anything else.

The top-forums page is a good idea, assuming you're not interested in any form of content-management at all. In other words, if the forums are completely user-controlled, and CoolCite itself is not interested in promoting its own forums.

- Adam

Mr. Amnon Kruvi

I'll put message boards on the list. If you're a fan, and I'm guessing you're not the only one, then I'd like to be able to have that option in the future.

Of course we'd like every forum to have its free and equal shot at the top forums page. We may even use this as an opportunity to promote new ones that the staff likes, but couldn't make it to the list; a 'favorite of the week'. And if official CoolCite forums just happen to be marked in red, have a font size that's twice as large, blink, and have giant arrows pointing towards them, then it must be a bug wink

Mr. Amnon Kruvi

There's now a link on the homepage to view the Top Forums. There are only 8 at the moment, but hopefully we'll start generating some more discussions here.