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I, however, think that a good categorization of a forums will have a better appeal to our users and with good moderation will fill. I also think that we should not only moderate, but also create "buzz" on our forums. Moderators are not only there to help direct traffic (un-obtrusively) but also create "buzz" and discussion. If moderators sign up for the job, then they should commit to grow their forums and make them attractive for user appeal. If a forum has become silent, then it would be up to the forums admins to sit and determine the actions to market and help popularize it. This is more of an aggressive approach to growing a forums.

I've thought a lot about how much we "should" shrink the category list and I have talked to Bjoern a bit about it. At this point I'm heavily leaning towards the approach above by Marc. I read through all the previous threads and I can see combining a few things that were mentioned (such as OS X and Linux) but, I like the idea of keeping the components separate.

I think if this is our biggest concern, we're in good shape as it's a minor disagreement. Worst case if a section is never being touched, we can do one of two things:

a) aggressively start promoting it by moving relevant posts to the section that were previously in "general" or some other section

b) delete it

I'd prefer this approach over expanding to include new sections as we see the demand for them. This will result in a ton of users getting used to using the "general" section or some other similar section and then confusion when we grow the list and start telling them to post in the new section. Furthermore, for "helpers", they'll get used to just going to the general category and it may be a mess to get them to start individually going to sections (I could see open contempt, saying "it was so much easier when it was just grouped"). The idea is to make it practical, efficient, and helpful, keeping them separate I think accomplishes this.


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