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Suggestion

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Suggestion

Postby Socrates the Cyborg » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:02 pm

I have a suggestion to make regarding the structure of Textkit forums. I'm not sure how relevant this is given the idea of migrating to the the other format (is that still happening and when?), but I will give it a shot anyway.

Basically all that I want to suggest is further sub-forums. Basically, it seems that once you go into "Learn Ancient Greek" for instance, that there could be further sub-forums. I think this because it seems that the list of topics is really a mix of a lot of things, and many of the same questions come up over and over again. I know that even if you have a faq or stickies answering those questions, people will still ask them. On the other hand, it might make the forums both more readable and enjoyable. I can see that there would be disadvantages as well. For instance the older members might tend to gravitate to more specific forums and leave beginner questions to languish. I can also imagine that some might find the structure confusing, or more confusing at least.

None the less, a suggestion for the type of sub-structure that might help would be something like

--Beginners
--Etymologies
--Translation
--Grammar
--Current Publications/Reference Materials
--Reading (question of interpretation or criticism)

I don't think this change is desperately needed, but it sometimes feels that the discussions are a little random, depending on what provokes them, and often the topics that are on the top page of the forum seem disconnected, and are often repeated precisely because previous versions are quickly pushed off the page. It seems to me that some more organizations would allow discussion to develop more by providing more structure. Farmers and gardeners don't sow seeds all mixed together. They group the kinds of plants.

Anyway, this is certainly not to suggest that there isn't a lot of discussion or content on this site. Just that deeper discussions might result from such organization.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:48 pm

I think Socrates addresses a real issue. I have a notion that Jeff and others might already be working on such a thing, but I cannot say for certain.

I have a counterproposal to solve the same issue of topic organization: the cataloguing of topics.

I think we might do this within the present structure of the forum, without dramatic reorganization, or maybe any.

What I imagine is a sort of Textkit wiki, something that everyone could edit in order to collect all the various threads of related topics and put them together. There could be subheadings and such, the nesting of topics, much like Wikipedia.

If we could use Wikipedia itself, that would be fabulous. But in the meantime, we might start by — in each forum (just in Learning Latin, for example, or Learning Greek) — starting threads entitled, for example, "Latin Pronunciation Topics — Catalog," or "Latin Spelling (Orthography) — Catalog," or "Latin Authors — Catalog," that sort of thing. Then Textkittens, over time, could just post the links to old threads as they come across them that fit the relevant topic (there may be plenty of cross overs). This would compile everything into one spot for any given topic, and like I said, there might be and probably should be crossovers.

When a new thread is begun likely by a new member about an "old" topic already previousy discussed, seasoned members might reference and even directly link citations to the "...— Catalog" thread compiled from before. This would bring coherency and continuity to our discussions, and speed up, one would hope, our march out of the allegoric Cave and toward the Platonic Sunlight of Wisdom and Consciousness.

Thoughts?
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Postby Essorant » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:00 am

I tend to think the mix is a healthy thing because it often makes people look at different topics more, clicking links to topics more by curiosity than looking for something in particular such as "grammar" "translation" "beginner" etc. And then they find out something interesting or find out they may actually contribute to the topic and participate, where otherwise, they might just head to a room such as "Beginner" almost every time they come and no longer visit many other kinds of threads anymore. Just some things to consider.<pre></pre>
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:21 am

Essorant, I agree with you, that having different isolated forums for certain topics, altho' it might successfully keep certain threads from being repeted, would not be good for the fun mixing which results from having a more general Latin and more general Greek forum.

What about having "Catalog" threads to compile previous thread topics for the sake of future reference? Do you think that would work and allow the positive mixing we like?
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Postby Amadeus » Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:16 am

I have a couple of suggestions too. One is to keep the blog format of the New Textkit, so that members can start their own "seminars" (if one can call them that). For example, one might begin posting a series of helpful comments or exercises for each chapter of Athenaze, Lingua Latina, and any other major Greek or Latin course. The obvious advantage over the forum is that the original post and the user comments are on the same webpage and there's a lesser risk of getting sidetracked.

The other suggestion is to have a new section dedicated to "Recommended Reading Lists" (Like the "What are you reading this summer" threads of old, but in a fixed place) or "Book Clubs". You can imagine the possibilities for both of them.

Just my two cents. :)

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Postby Essorant » Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:17 am

I thought about the suggestion of catalogue-threads more and it seems like that may be very helpful in conjunction with discussions in the forums. Such a thing may use the "past" of textkit more fully by making it more readily available in the present.
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