[b][red]This message was edited by Eric Tetz at 2004-6-25 10:1:59[/red][/b][hr]
I used to visit this site regularly to help out other programmers. I recently returned to find the site pretty much ruined by board overload, the community is spread out too thin.
For instance, there are now [italic]34[/italic] boards in the "C/C++" category! Imagine a beginning C++ programmer wanting to ask a question, and finding (just to name a few):
Beginning C++ Programmers
C and C++ beginners
C and C++ beginners board
Begining C++ and Begining Flash
Where should he post his question? Pick one at random? Post to all of them?
And imagine someone like myself, eager to [italic]answer[/italic] questions, and finding all these boards? Do I check all of them? No thanks. Too much work.
Pace is very important to a message board. If it's too slow, people lose interest, wander off, and the board dies. If it's too fast, conversations get washed away in the tide and only people with short attention spans stick around. The way to manage pace is to make sure there are the right number of boards for the population.
Here, users are allowed to create old board they want. Traffic is spread out among them, and they all wither. If you want a tree to bear healthy fruit, you must prune it.
I suggest the following plan of action:
[b]1.[/b] Existing boards that get little or no traffic are removed, especially if they are in any way redundant ([italic]most[/italic] of the C and C++ boards can go)
[b]2.[/b] A "New Board Proposal" board is created. Users can propose the creation of a new board by creating a thread here, and other users must "sign it" (by posting). A new board proposal that get N votes (100?) will be created by an administrator.
[b]3.[/b] New boards must be subject to a probation period. For instance, if after 1 month, the board's daily post average is less than N, the board will be removed.