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Thread: Suggestions anyone?

  1. #1
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    Suggestions anyone?

    Hey everyone, just wanted to say that if you need any help in the Windows Mobile or HTC forums, feel free to PM me. I wanted to see if anyone has any ideas for how we can make all three forums run smoothly. What do you guys want to see happen?

    It has been pointed out that it would be beneficial to cut down on the overlap. Should the lines be more defined, or less?

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    Yes, gotta fix this

    Glad you posted for suggestions. Overlap is a big problem.

    You may need to bite the bullet and combine some forums, if that makes sense. I lean toward a hardware forum NOT liked to Carrier, and a Software Forum (eg your existing PocketPC) also not linked to Carrier. Why? Because if it IS linked to the carrier, you will end up with duplicate issues in both forums.

    Other ideas:

    1) add a Navigation (GPS, software, Maps, LBS) Forum, maybe subdivided into Installed Software (eg TomTom, et al) and Subscription Services (eg Telenav). Navigation and Location Based Services (LBS) are exploding in importance!

    2) add a camera phone subform (that Niknon forum is a real head scratcher).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_Eric
    You may need to bite the bullet and combine some forums, if that makes sense. I lean toward a hardware forum NOT liked to Carrier, and a Software Forum (eg your existing PocketPC) also not linked to Carrier. Why? Because if it IS linked to the carrier, you will end up with duplicate issues in both forums.
    With all due respect, what you're suggesting would be a MASSIVE overhaul to the structure of HowardForums. For the most part, the forums are organized by carriers and device manufacturers, with a few exceptions like the smartphone forums organized by OS. I'm not sure any of us are willing to go through the pain that such a huge change would require.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_Eric
    1) add a Navigation (GPS, software, Maps, LBS) Forum, maybe subdivided into Installed Software (eg TomTom, et al) and Subscription Services (eg Telenav). Navigation and Location Based Services (LBS) are exploding in importance!

    2) add a camera phone subform (that Niknon forum is a real head scratcher).
    I like the idea of a GPS forum, but I'm not sure it needs to be divided between software and services. If a GPS forum is created, I suggest we see how much traffic it receives before dividing it any further. Also, I'm really not sure about a camera phone forum... What phone today isn't also a camera phone?
    Note: If you need support for your HTC device, please contact HTC Customer Support. I am not a support technician and will not be able to help in most instances.

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    The Nokia 2610
    From the HTC Magician to the One X, I'm one of the HTC OG's.





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    I also agree that there is too much overlap.

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    No worries mate, we're brainstorming!

    I agree a Navigation forum should start small and slow. See what happens. It needs to include discussion on GPS, Maps, Navigation Software, and LBS (location based services), but maybe not devices. With Nokia buying one of the world's two digital mapmakers and HTC selling devices with TomTom Navigation pre-installed, the time is coming fast (or is it here?). Then there is ubiquitous Telenav, Microsoft Live Search, Google Maps, Yahoo! Mobile Maps ....

    On the camera phone, I am not so much thinking about hardware, but how you use the dang thing (GPS location stamping, uploading, sharing, tagging, etc.) and associated software. AT&T Tilt has a 3MPixel camera, enough for a recreational users sole photography needs (in my view). Others phones, with greater pixel capacity are coming.

    As for the devices independent of carrier, no doubt you raise a good point: it's a big change. But, to a certain extent, AT&T and T-Mobile are already device-independent, since the carrier's SIM chip can be popped into any (unlocked) GSM phone, and presto, it's works on the GSM carrier's network. Also, with Verizon's recent open network announcement, they are headed down that path too, e. g. Sprint phones working on Verizon, etc. And, the next FCC wireless spectrum auction requires a portion of the spectrum with open access for any device. Need we mention the Google phone? So, maybe forum overlap will become more and more a problem. We'll see!

    Dare I mention possible forums related music and video (software, syncing and such)?

    Bottom line, devices are becoming very convergent. So HOFO is smart to think about it. Who knows, maybe it's fine without any change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Strata
    With all due respect, what you're suggesting would be a MASSIVE overhaul to the structure of HowardForums. For the most part, the forums are organized by carriers and device manufacturers, with a few exceptions like the smartphone forums organized by OS. I'm not sure any of us are willing to go through the pain that such a huge change would require.



    I like the idea of a GPS forum, but I'm not sure it needs to be divided between software and services. If a GPS forum is created, I suggest we see how much traffic it receives before dividing it any further. Also, I'm really not sure about a camera phone forum... What phone today isn't also a camera phone?

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    I hate catch-all threads that run 100s of posts
    Nokia 6110 -> Sony CLIE PEG-SJ20 + No cellphone -> Sony Ericsson P900 -> Sony CLIE UX50 + No cellphone -> Jornada 720 + Nokia 6800 -> Jornada 720 + Nokia 6820 -> Treo 650 -> Qtek 9100 -> Mio A701 -> Moto SLVR -> Qtek S200 -> Treo 750 -> HTC Touch

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    Well, if we were to look at this from the perspective of someone who may be logging on for the first time, I would think that the Manufacturer section should be more hardware related and the Windows Mobile section (etc.) should be more software related. It would be easy to append the name to Manufacturer/Hardware Section etc.

    Also, I don't think the Carriers section really has the same overlap problem as it primarily deals with dealer specific issues, which may or may not include a particular device.

    I also agree that a GPS section would be a nice addition.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_Eric
    Glad you posted for suggestions. Overlap is a big problem.

    You may need to bite the bullet and combine some forums, if that makes sense. I lean toward a hardware forum NOT liked to Carrier, and a Software Forum (eg your existing PocketPC) also not linked to Carrier. Why? Because if it IS linked to the carrier, you will end up with duplicate issues in both forums.

    Other ideas:

    1) add a Navigation (GPS, software, Maps, LBS) Forum, maybe subdivided into Installed Software (eg TomTom, et al) and Subscription Services (eg Telenav). Navigation and Location Based Services (LBS) are exploding in importance!

    2) add a camera phone subform (that Niknon forum is a real head scratcher).
    I agree that the carrier specific manufacturer subforums are a source of some overlap. However they have their own niches and purpose. If someone is coming to HoFo to look for help on a device they got from their carrier, they can find it there. Since it is carrier specific, the overlap in that instance is OK. If someone is coming to look for some help with operating systems, flashing, hacking, etc., they will probably end up in either the HTC or Windows Mobile forums. That is where the issue is. We need to decide where everything belongs within these three forums, and if there is a better way to have them laid out and organized.

    Everyone seems to be pretty interested in some kind of a navigation forum area. I will bring the ideas to Howard and see what he thinks will be the best way to implement them.

    I agree with the others that camera phones are too much of a staple to put in a catagory of its own. As for the Niknon Photography Discussion forum, that is an independent board from HoFo. Howard is simply promoting it via announcement here.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Strata
    ...I like the idea of a GPS forum, but I'm not sure it needs to be divided between software and services. If a GPS forum is created, I suggest we see how much traffic it receives before dividing it any further...
    Are you guys suggesting we need a windows mobile specific navigation subforum? Or one that covers WM, Symbian, Android, etc? Maybe within the Smartphone/PDA Forums ?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_Eric
    ...As for the devices independent of carrier, no doubt you raise a good point: it's a big change. But, to a certain extent, AT&T and T-Mobile are already device-independent, since the carrier's SIM chip can be popped into any (unlocked) GSM phone, and presto, it's works on the GSM carrier's network. Also, with Verizon's recent open network announcement, they are headed down that path too, e. g. Sprint phones working on Verizon, etc. And, the next FCC wireless spectrum auction requires a portion of the spectrum with open access for any device. Need we mention the Google phone? So, maybe forum overlap will become more and more a problem. We'll see!

    Dare I mention possible forums related music and video (software, syncing and such)?

    Bottom line, devices are becoming very convergent. So HOFO is smart to think about it. Who knows, maybe it's fine without any change.
    You are absolutely right about the open network phenomenon bringing need for change on the forums. I would suppose that over the next few years it will make quite an impact. For instance if carriers stop supplying locked phones, the carrier's manufacturer subforums might need to be merged with manufacturer forums. Who knows, we will see what the future brings.

    Multimedia discussion sounds like a good candidate for a subforum rather than a forum. Can anyone think of a good way we could integrate the WM smartphone and Pocket PC forums? Maybe all we would need to do is have a multimedia discussion subforum in one and have a redirect to it from the others. That way we could eliminate overlap.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by ed311
    I hate catch-all threads that run 100s of posts
    If you see one and have an idea on how to clean it up; splitting, merging, etc., PM me and let me know. I'd be happy to take a look at it.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Slider76
    Well, if we were to look at this from the perspective of someone who may be logging on for the first time, I would think that the Manufacturer section should be more hardware related and the Windows Mobile section (etc.) should be more software related. It would be easy to append the name to Manufacturer/Hardware Section etc.

    Also, I don't think the Carriers section really has the same overlap problem as it primarily deals with dealer specific issues, which may or may not include a particular device.

    I also agree that a GPS section would be a nice addition.
    I think you hit the nail on the head. I think program related threads in th HTC forum should be moved to a program subforum within its respective windows mobile forum. Really it is whatever all of you want. Where should we draw the line between HTC and windows mobile?

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    I think the most efficient way to redesign this forum would be by Phone company
    example:

    Nokia
    - 2754
    - xxxx
    HTC
    - Touch
    - Touch Dual
    Motorolla
    - Razr
    - Krazr
    etc.

    Also a "General" section under each company can include general talk about that company (not the specific product)

    This way poeple will know exactly where to post if they need help... most people do not care about other phones, they are looking for help/questions about the phone they have.

  11. #11
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    I basically operate in two modes in Howardforums: search and browse. When searching, I use the search function to find what I need; forum organization is almost irrelevant in this mode. When browsing, I usually scroll through the top page of the HTC Manufacturer Discussion to see if there's any new threads that look interesting. Currently email alerts keep me on top of old threads that I've contributed to.

    From the way I use Howardforums, there's not much point to a lot of categories, i.e., lots of sub-forums and sticky threads. Just give me one HTC forum, an RSS feed that I can update once a day to see what's new in the forum, and maybe a way to make a thread or search result into a RSS feed.

    There's already a lot of WM related stuff in the Manufacturer Discussion, so there's really no point in breaking it out.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazen222
    I think the most efficient way to redesign this forum would be by Phone company
    example:

    Nokia
    - 2754
    - xxxx
    HTC
    - Touch
    - Touch Dual
    Motorolla
    - Razr
    - Krazr
    etc.

    Also a "General" section under each company can include general talk about that company (not the specific product)

    This way poeple will know exactly where to post if they need help... most people do not care about other phones, they are looking for help/questions about the phone they have.
    this would be nice but there is one problem, there is so many models by each manufacturer that even tho it would be nice some of the devices such as HTC products share common features and since they run on Windows Mobile .. most of the tricks and stuff like that can be used for more than just one specific model.
    Current Devices:
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    • Asus MeMo 10" Tablet - Rooted



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Strata
    ...For the most part, the forums are organized by carriers and device manufacturers, with a few exceptions like the smartphone forums organized by OS.
    There is certainly overlap, and many times the hardware is really the focus, but the discussion resides in the carrier's section. The AT&T Tilt is a good example of this.

    I'm just spitballing here, but...

    What would be helpful is to make a more definitive separation between carrier, OS/Software, and hardware. The caveat is that some devices are carrier-specific and/or unique to that carrier. In those cases, the carrier becomes the manufacturer and discussion could be directed to the hardware forum section.

    With the exception of ROMs and hardware-specific prog's or features (indicator lights, key setups, registry entries, etc.), most discussion related to software are pretty generic to the OS. With that, some tips/tricks/hacks will translate to other phones by the same manufacturer. It is helpful if some of those could be all in the same place. The Dash is a good example of this. Carrier-specific app's should remain in carrier discussion.

    Most discussions are arguably more specific to the device rather than carrier or software. It would be beneficial if moderators had more expanded forum permissions so that threads may be moved from one section to another. An example of this would be a generic Tilt question could be moved to HTC Hardware. This, however, may prove to be complicated.

    .
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  14. #14
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    I have the appropriate permission to move things to other sections of the forum. The problem, is that a lot of people seem to stick to their one forum. They like to be where they are comfortable. For instance, I moderate AT&T as well as HTC and the Windows Mobile forums. If I were to take a Tilt thread out of the AT&T forum, and move it here because it is a hardware based question, someone could get confused or angry. It is possible they were looking for a carrier based answer to their question. OR maybe they are more comfortable with the posters in the AT&T forum than over here. Who knows... The windows mobile vs. HTC forum is probably the area we could really work on. The two forums have a lot of the same people posting in them. Then you have to ask the question... what will happen once Android is being rolled out on a good portion of HTC devices? Then the best way to organize the forum could be different. The possibilities are endless... but that is why this thread is here. Give me some more specific examples of what you would move, to where and why. I'm more than happy to entertain any ideas. We just want to be sure to keep our niches within forums as happy and intact as possible. Thanks for taking the time to post your suggestion btw. The feedback is definitely encouraged and necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrangler3383
    ... The problem, is that a lot of people seem to stick to their one forum. ...
    I don't think how users naturally want to use these forums is the problem. I think attempts to go against the flow is. As a moderator, I know there's a natural inclination to stamp ones personal biases on a forum, and one way that manifests itself is by imposing an artificial classification scheme, one that probably won't reflect how members actually use the resource. That temptation must be resisted.

    Again, there are two ways most members most of the time will access a forum like Howard's: either looking for specific information or just passing time browsing. When looking for specific information, most use the search feature, which doesn't benefit at all from classification, except with very poor queries.

    When browsing, you're exactly right, most will scroll through the most recent threads in the default HTC Manufacturer Discussion. A thread in this discussion will get the most drop-by views and the most useful interaction. Threads outside this discussion get much less views and threads moved out of this discussion usually die lonely deaths.

    Instead of trying to impose order from the top down, why not let your users use the forum as they want. As long as they're courteous and follow the rules, what's the harm?

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