Keywords... Filters & Sorts! That would be my way of dealing with this.
Right now you the admin needs to find a balance of broad topics and very specific topics. Too broad and you get a pit of off topic posts. To narrow you have one or two posters and or forums with no posts.
I have tried to explain this concept before. Here goes...
I setup a forum and with in it I should be able to setup a list of keywords that will help further define the topic the poster is making. Each forum could have it's own set of unique keywords. Also include a system that would allow for users to suggest additional keywords, make it simple for admins to approve and include them.
Forum = Software Installation
Keywords = OS X, Linux, Windows
As a user when posting in this forum choose keywords from the keyword list that are allowed.
this would be a new field or selection just under the Subject.
Now this post will appear in the forum because that is the forum they posted in.
Now as the role of a "reader" i click in to this forum. I should have the ability to filter the list of posts
to constrain it to the keywords,
Another example such as only to show topics related to "email and web" if in the list andd would instantly be filtered. (and you notice because it is a filter and part of the system it would be allowed unlike normal search that has issues with finds < x characters long... ie "web")
Now if I am in another forum all together perhaps there is a keyword that matches I would like to be able to see the relevant posts based upon the keyword from the all other forums. As section that says something to the effect.."You may also be interested in... xxx" based upon matching keywords.
This way it will help eliminate a the issue of creating tons of forums and subforums. And as a user am exposed to multipe forums that I may not by intent be apt to enter cause my brain may work opposite of how the admin set it up.
A good example of this is for me is that I don't want to have to create two forums, one for the Mac OS and one for Windows for each "forum topic" the users would simply identify their platform when making the post and the readers can choose to view or ignore the posts that they are not interested in.
That's the jyst anyway...
| Stephen Dolenski|
FileMaker 7 Certified Developer
FileMaker 8 Certified Developer
FM Forums.com Administrator