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Simplifying the Farm Hack Forums. A consolidated "Farm Hack Talk" forum?

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Looking over the ADABio forums (DIY Farmer folk from France http://forum.adabio-autoconstruction.org/) I got to thinking about our forum structure. The structure is very focused on what Farm Hack does: develop tools, host events, and the General category which acts as a place to route people into tools or events. There has been discussion of other forum structures and such but it's been hard to conceptualize how to structure content before it exists.

How about we consolidate all of the forums under "General" into a forum called "Everything and Anything" or "Farm Hack Talk" or ... who knows. Suggestions? Something that invites people to post content without having to think too hard as to where they should post it. It's not hard for people to move their own topic (or an admin) to another forum if needed. This also simplifies email subscriptions immensely. Instead of subscribing to a bunch of forums, there is just one and we're all in it together. The tool and event forums would still be separate, but I think that makes sense because people will want to be more selective about those things. A sign up for a weekly Tool activity digest might be a good way to keep one's eye on new tools and other tool activity that might end up being of interest.

jbd's picture

Do you have examples of other structures? I was thinking that each tool could have its own "forum", but you might need something like Organic Groups and a specialized content type to implement this.

R.J. Steinert's picture

Hi jbd - I actually pulled the trigger on this today because there wasn't any objections. We still have Event Forums and Tool Forums but every forum that was under the General section is now consolidated into one forum called Farm Hack Talk. It's generally the idea that you don't need specific forums for general talk. Instead I've added a "tags" field to topics so we can allow some what of a structure to start to grow organically out of how people think their topics should be organized. The tags don't really show up at the moment but I'll make tag clouds and such later.

For the time being, we now have nice list of consolidated topics that we've been talking about that don't fit into specific events or specific tools. I hope that people will find it much more inviting to post because they don't have to worry about posting it into the "wrong forum".

On the Organic Groups note, you are right, a Tool actually acts alot like an Organic Group in Drupal. You create a Tool and it has it's own content (wiki and forum topics) just like you can create Groups and add content to that group. I opted for not using Organic Groups because, at the time of coding this website, the Organic Groups module was undergoing a rewrite for Drupal 7 so it wasn't production ready.