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Old 01-19-2013, 08:09 AM   #1
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Smile More forums?

One of the most popular requests received by the IRV2 Staff is a request for a new forum of some sort, usually one tailored to a specific group of Rvers. Additional brand-specific forums are a common theme, as are forums for a particular social or demographic group (geographic, age, handicapped, families vs singles, etc.) and forums for a style of RVing or some special interest subset. We have over 96,000 members and the number and variety of special interests is huge. I want to assure you that the staff actually discusses each and every new forum request and the decision to create one or deny the request is never taken lightly.

But there is an overriding concern in every case: we already have 88 forums (!) and many of them receive only very modest usage. And in the past when we have acquiesced to well-meant requests, we typically find a flurry of messages for a month or so, followed by near oblivion, with few or no subsequent messages. We also find that most members post in only a few forums and seldom bother to find the one that is the best fit for their question or comment. Your staff spends a lot of time every day moving messages to more appropriate forums or sending "Suggest Other Forum" messages so that members can move it themselves. So even though we may have a number of left-handed vintage pop-up trailer owners, chances are that a forum for their unique viewpoint would not be much used.

We also get a lot of requests for "stickeys", thread topics that are permanently at the top of a forum. Stickeys are handy for finding popular topics, but if there are too many of them they quickly lose their value as shortcuts. They also force people to scroll down the page to find newer content, thus exacerbating the very problem they are trying to solve. To make them useful, we try to limit the number of stickeys per forum to 4 or less, which again means that adding a new one often means deleting another.

There is a viable alternative to creating more forums, but few members take advantage of it. I'm talking about the SEARCH function, which can be easily tailored to find all messages of a certain subject, type, date range or even content. And you don't have to re-type your Search every time - you can save a search preference and reuse as much as you like. I don't know if folks are unaware of Search or simply too lazy to utilize it, but it could handle of lot of what people give as reasons for having their own unique forum.

We have reached the point where adding more forums is like adding weight to your RV - we are already heavily burdened and ought to remove one for every new one to be added. But nobody wants to have their favorite removed either. It would be interesting to ask those who propse new forums to also nominate the one they would drop to make room for it. Bet that would lead to some really heated debates if we submitted that to public discussion!

I'm not suggesting that members stop requesting new forums that they believe would be a useful addition to the site, but I did want to let you know some of the reasons why the staff often denies these requests. We really are trying to balance the wants and needs of all of our 96,000+ members!

Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #2
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Now that is a well written explanation and very understandable. The search button does work.


2009 Newmar 42 ft. Allstar 4188, Wheelchair Accessible, 400HP Cummins ISL, Allison 3000, Mastertow Dolly, '98 Riviera
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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Thank you Gary.

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Old 01-19-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
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That's a good explanation.
Thank you
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:05 PM   #5
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Wow, 96k members ?!? that's bigger than many towns ! and just as friendly as most - congrats !

but you calling me lazy cuz I'm in my recliner @ the rv park with my tablet on my lap and hot-toddy in my hand looking the for seat belt extension so it will fit around me ?!?! just kidding of course, but your 'concern' showed a bit there

Welcome to IT -
can't tell you the number of HOT projects that end up not being used...

That's why they sometimes 'sit' on a project to make sure you want it ....

but as long as I'm getting paid well for it... I'll dig that ditch and fill it in !
'11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT RR10R pushed by a '14 Jeep Wrangler JKU. History.. 5'ers: 13 Redwood 38gk, 11 MVP Destiny, Open Range TT, popups, vans, tents...
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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I'm with you Gary. Way too many members are careless as to where they post. We have enough forums. The search feature works quite well.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:32 PM   #7
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Nice explanation and very infomative as well. Thank you for doing a good job.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:53 PM   #8
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Does that mean I can't get a Europa forum started ??? Just kidding,, you all run a very nice site. I should take time some day to explore more of your forums, but like you said, I usually stick to a few. Thankyou.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:12 PM   #9
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So does this mean I have no hope of you starting a Cobra Sunrise forum?? So that all the other Cobra owners like me can join? I'm just kidding, the company has been out of business for 20 years and there are very few of them/us left.

I do stick to just a few of the forums too. There is just so many of them. Thankfully you have that box on the side of the web site that tell which forums have had the most recent posts. If I see something in there where I think I can help I will. I try not to be a pain when people are asking for help. Either I will try to help or I will not post to them.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:20 PM   #10
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Thanks for a very well written and thought out explanation as to what goes on behind the curtain Gary. There are many who really don't know and don't understand what goes into running a forum of this size and scope.

The "Search" function works really well, and I use it all the time. For those who haven't used it, often times it is the fastest path to finding an answer to your question. I would rather spend a little time searching the forum for the answer and find it right then, than post a question and sit back drumming my fingers on the table top waiting for someone to respond. Chances are very good that what ever the issue is that you are experiencing, it's already been experienced by someone else and written about here. After all, there are evidently some 96,000 of us!
Craig & Donna
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:29 PM   #11
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Thanks for the post. Sure makes sense, and Thanks also to all the staff, sure enjoy IRV2...

But you still think the "Retired Coast Guard Owners of 13 year old Georgie Boy pushers" forum has a good chance of getting through.. Right??
Hooligan, Pensacola, Fl -U.S. Coast Guard 1956-1985
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:42 PM   #12
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So now we find out the moderators have a bias against left-handed vintage pop-up trailer owners and openly admit it. So in essence we are trying to whine our way to the forefront looking for another forum to screwup. You guys run a hard ship but stay the course some of us need it.

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