We're thinking about changing the forum summary page layouts (by layouts, I mean like the homepage and section pages like this one ) so that an extract from the actual post is displayed on the summary page.
The idea is that you get an idea of what the post is about before you click through.
You can see an example version of the homepage here.
Thoughts either way?
Personally I think you're current format is OK. I would say why fix what isn't broken. The titles work for me... just my opinion though, others may have a different one. Some guys enjoy change. Not me.
#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
New format looks good.
#3 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Yep too bulky, I would leave it as is.
Another idea that does work good is having it so when you hover over a topic it shows the first couple sentences. I know you can do this with vbulletin, not sure what you are using here and whether or not it is possible though.
To be honest, I'm not certain the new format would add much value, just take up more space. Half the posts probably start with variations on "Hi, I'm new to all this so wanted to get your advice..." which is a polite way of introducing their question but doesn't actually give the readers a clue what the question is about, so why display it?
Just my two cents.
Fondo: Let's be honest - we all know the majority of posts are the same 5 questions asked over and over, either by clueless newbies or by people too lazy to do their own research and, y' know, actually read any of the previous posts on the forum in which their question has already been answered ad nauseam. If you want to avoid them, you might as well avoid the whole forum (which I suspect is the heart of the whole problem: people getting fed up with having to answer the same questions on endless loop, and buggering off).
But my point still stands: regardless of what the intro actually is (whether it tells you they're a newbie or not), you still don't have a clue what the question is. The newbie could be asking a well-researched and insightful question (it could happen). The poster who doesn't start with "I'm a newbie..." that you'd therefore read, in your scenario above, might ask one of the 5 standard questions. You still won't be able to tell from the first sentence of most posts, which was my point.
hi friends, i think it would be great if those 'five common questions' perhaps got answered on an 'about' page. even if i have traveled alot i am still intersted in two of the basic queries, how spendy? and safety. naturally it is a variable but maybe just some simple notes re current conditions would be helpful. also just a note. same old question or not, its the first time for that person and congrats to them for heading out at all. i have so much appreciated the helpful forums of Travelfish, despite the old timers eye rolling. enjoy your journeys and thanx TF for being here.
#11 sapote has been a member since 12/10/2009. Posts: 27
Anton is right. Most bps dont put much thought into their trip and want others to plan it for them.
#13 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
@Geer - we do have FAQs, but some are quite out of date, like the visa ones. I'm on holidays for ten days from tomorrow and rewriting and reorganising the FAQs is one of my subprojects for the break (between snorkelling with manta rays
I mean make 1 thread called Thailand FAQ. Then inside that thread have a bunch of common questions with either answers or links to topics.
Questions like what is the visa requirement for Thailand.
How much does travelling in Thailand cost.
How long should I travel in Thailand.
What are some recommended itineraries for Thailand.
What are the best islands in Thailand.
What are the best treks in Thailand.
What are the best sights in Thailand.
That way a person can quickly look up and find answers to some of the more basic information all easily and readily available in one thread stickied in each subforum as necessary.
It would be a little bit of work to get all set up but would help reduce a few of the overly repetitive questions.
I think no matter what you have in terms of a FAQ section you will never cut down on people asking the usual repetitive questions about their own specific trip. I think this is partly because people get so worked up / excited about travelling that they want to write about it to complete strangers.
#18 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
You will always have somewhat specific questions being asked. The main thing that pops into my head is people asking how much it costs to travel and stuff like that. It is easy to have a really good write up explaining what you get for your money if you choose to travel for $30 a day or what you can get if you spend $50 etc. And if the odd person still asks you can easily just link to the writeup instead of writing it all over again.
Lots of new people that ask somewhat repetitive questions do so because they don't feel like searching forever and through all the non applicable topics, a good FAQ thread does minimize this as I have seen it work on other forums I have been on.