Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

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amyntoros
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Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by amyntoros » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:22 pm

Thomas has indicated his willingness to add further Sub forums, so I'm asking here for additional input. First up, I pulled some quotes from Marcus' previous thread - How can we improve the main Pothos site?
marcus wrote:
Paralus wrote: Perhaps the site could do with a fresh face? Well though I realise it is devoted to the fellow Alexander III, it would appeal to more were it ever slightly widened. Sub-forums, on the main forum index page, which might deal with Macedonian history, Philip II, the immediate successor period, archaeological news etc as well as "off topic" might just widen the appeal.
I know what you mean. I'm not sure whether that's something I can do - the forum is all hosted differently, and it's probably something for Thomas to deal with. But we should certainly consider it. Or we change the main forum to "Discuss 4th Century and early 3rd Century BC Macedonia" :D
Paralus wrote:So, do you think we could manage, on this platform, the proliferation of "sub fora" related to Argeads; Greek / Macedonian history; Diadoch hisory; Hellenistic themes etc?
My thoughts on this are that we should leave the first forum on the page, as is - "Discuss Alexander the Great". A second forum on the Successors/early Hellenistic period is rather obvious as we already have members with a great interest in this topic (which does relate directly to Alexander), and it would likely bring in new contributors as well. But what about the earlier periods? A forum on Philip and early Macedonia makes sense, but this would exclude related people and events in the rest of the ancient world. Would a Sub forum on, say, Fourth Century BC Civilization be too general a topic? Within that subject header one would be able to discuss historical events or individuals in Persia, Asia, mainland Greece, etc., many of which shaped and affected Alexander and Macedonia in one way or other. And topics such as archaeology, society and culture could/would be included. But is such a title potentially open to too wide an interpretation? The idea of additional Sub forums is to expand on the subject of Alexander rather than to move away from him completely, so we would appreciate any and all input from our members.

I suspect that there are those who would like to see individual forums on subjects such as Ancient Persia, Archaeology, and so forth, but my personal concern here is that if too many Sub forums proliferate we may end up with several which will see very little active participation. On the other hand, the Sub forum heading which I suggested above would allow for threads discussing Plato and his philosophy, as one example. Not that there's anything wrong with debating Plato, but is a forum attached to the oldest (and best!) site on Alexander the Great the right place for such discussions?

We need your thoughts on this, Pothosians, so express your opinions and show your enthusiasm – please! :) Ultimately it will be Thomas' decision, but he (obviously) has the best interests of the forum and its members at heart.

Best regards,
Amyntoros

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Fiona
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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by Fiona » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:09 pm

I think that so long as the main forum is 'Discuss Alexander the Great', any sub-forums could be as specialised as you like. 'Ancient Persia' would be very interesting to read about. Myself, I would favour one that was limited to positive discussion of Alexander - a 'fan' forum, if you like!
However, the more specialised the forum, the fewer posts it would be likely to attract, and attracting more posts is the more desirable thing.
So I'd be in favour of at least two sub-forums, one pre-Alexander and one post-Alexander, where it was an understood thing that the topics could range freely over pretty much anything of interest from those times. I think it would be fine if it got onto Plato. Everything's connected, more or less, and I think it would throw up some unusual and interesting topics!
Thanks for asking, and I like your new avatar.
Fiona

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by sikander » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:22 am

Greetings,

While I understand the desire for sub-forums, I would like us to consider the potential need for increased moderation. I can see, especially under "Greek/Macedonian" history, a possible plethora of problems involving modern history, the Makedonians versus Macedonians debate, modern political ideolougues, nationalism, and more, as well as the potential for increased spam input.. so can we discuss this prior to making a decision? Or would it be set up so as to not be a concern? How would this work? Other moderators?

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by amyntoros » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:03 am

sikander wrote:Greetings,

While I understand the desire for sub-forums, I would like us to consider the potential need for increased moderation. I can see, especially under "Greek/Macedonian" history, a possible plethora of problems involving modern history, the Makedonians versus Macedonians debate, modern political ideolougues, nationalism, and more, as well as the potential for increased spam input.. so can we discuss this prior to making a decision? Or would it be set up so as to not be a concern? How would this work? Other moderators?

Regards,
Sikander
Very good points! I suspect that the such subjects would need to remain on (or be added to) the "forbidden list". Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that posts concerning modern nationalistic ideals and conflicts were banned not because they are/were off topic, but because of the fractious nature of the debates.

Any decision on Sub forums will be made by Thomas, based in part on discussion and input from our members. The subject was brought up in Marcus' original thread, but few people added their own comments before the discussion veered into other areas. Now, I know that we're quiet at the moment, but I thought that more people would want to contribute to this thread. (Thanks, Fiona, for your thoughts :) ) However, if most Pothosians aren't really interested then perhaps we should continue as we are?

Best regards,
Amyntoros

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Paralus
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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by Paralus » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:26 am

amyntoros wrote: However, if most Pothosians aren't really interested then perhaps we should continue as we are?
Not intersted? Hardly! It is a bit difficult at the present due to the fact that Telstra - that marvellous Aussie telco - whilst working on the copper lines in our street last Wednesday have cut my line. No line, no ADSL2. This is yet to be rectified - in their well known fashion. I am, therefore, limited to when at the office such as today.... a Saturday no less!

The modern Macedonian debate is well kept in check on this site and I doubt that extending the forum would encourage more.

I'd see a subforum on Successors / early Hellenistic history. Another might be on fourth century history "Macedonia, the city States and the East in the fourth century" or some such. I'd dearly love to go back to classical times but understand that is likely out of "range". The question posed by Phaedo about Alcibiades indicates an interest and the lack of such material elsewhere.

Time to get lunch and get out of the office!
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by athenas owl » Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:27 am

I've been busy, but I have given it some thought.

The Diadochi sub-forum would be excellent.

Perhaps one for Ancient Macedonia, prior to Alexander. I realise that it could become a problem, one that I certainly don't miss here. Perhaps have it as a "trusted user forum" or something. Though that can be a can of worms as well I guess. I love to discuss various ideas about this period. To be frank i rarely bring this period up, because I don't want to cause a ruckus.

Also perhaps another for the Persian Empire, India, the steppe peoples and all the various and sundry peoples Alexander "met" in his "travels".

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by marcus » Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:38 pm

Fiona wrote:Myself, I would favour one that was limited to positive discussion of Alexander - a 'fan' forum, if you like!
Wouldn't that get a bit boring after a while?

I have to say that I'm not in favour - not because I have anything particularly against "fan forums", but because I don't feel/think that's what Pothos is all about. Still, I might be a moderator but I don't own the site, so if people desperately want it I won't stand in their way. :D

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by Sandra » Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:53 pm

I too support further expanding in sub-forums. Especially interesting would be subforums about Diadochi and Hellenistic world...

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by marcus » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:03 pm

Sandra wrote:I too support further expanding in sub-forums. Especially interesting would be subforums about Diadochi and Hellenistic world...
Sounds good. The following, which have been suggested, sound very good to me:

1. The Persian Empire (which could be any aspect from Cyrus onwards, as it all ends up as part of Alexander's empire).
2. The Diadochoi.
3. The Greek world before Alexander (which I would see covering Macedonia as well as the city states).

The thing is, although I am fully in favour of adding sub-forums, I do think we should be careful about creating a plethora of forums that we can't actually manage (pace Sikander). The main forum should, really, be able to cover anything in the second half of the 4th century - including Athens etc. so there shouldn't be a requirement for a separate sub-forum on City State history. Likewise, surely we only need one pre-Alexander forum, and one post-Alexander forum. Persia seems to interest a lot of people, and it's certainly something I'm reading much more on at the moment, so I can see a need for a sub-forum dedicated to Persia.

Please, please, please can we not have a "fan forum". I'm sure there are plenty of fan-forums out there if you want them, and I sincerely feel that having one on Pothos would change the nature of Pothos. If people want to talk about the positives, the forum is the place to do it - and perhaps those who do not wish to join in could hold their cursors?

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by Fiona » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:06 am

marcus wrote: Likewise, surely we only need one pre-Alexander forum, and one post-Alexander forum. Persia seems to interest a lot of people, and it's certainly something I'm reading much more on at the moment, so I can see a need for a sub-forum dedicated to Persia.
I do agree that three is enough, and that it should be these three.
marcus wrote: Please, please, please can we not have a "fan forum". I'm sure there are plenty of fan-forums out there if you want them, and I sincerely feel that having one on Pothos would change the nature of Pothos. If people want to talk about the positives, the forum is the place to do it - and perhaps those who do not wish to join in could hold their cursors?

ATB
When I said I was in favour of a fan forum, I was not really expecting anyone else to be, it's OK! But also, I didn't mean anything like fangirl squeeing - as you say, we have other places for that.
(PM me, anyone who is interested...)
Perhaps fan forum was not a good way to describe what I meant.
I was talking about serious discussion - very suitable for Pothos - but where it was possible to express admiration for Alexander without getting jumped on. I wondered if there were people out there who would like to do that, if they felt safe to do so. There is a serious issue here - we say we welcome people at every stage of learning about Alexander, but I wonder sometimes if people just get frightened off.
Perhaps holding the cursors is the answer. I'll try it, and see!
Fiona

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by Semiramis » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:09 am

[double]
Last edited by Semiramis on Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by Semiramis » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:09 am

marcus wrote:
Sandra wrote:I too support further expanding in sub-forums. Especially interesting would be subforums about Diadochi and Hellenistic world...
Sounds good. The following, which have been suggested, sound very good to me:

1. The Persian Empire (which could be any aspect from Cyrus onwards, as it all ends up as part of Alexander's empire).
2. The Diadochoi.
3. The Greek world before Alexander (which I would see covering Macedonia as well as the city states).

The thing is, although I am fully in favour of adding sub-forums, I do think we should be careful about creating a plethora of forums that we can't actually manage (pace Sikander). The main forum should, really, be able to cover anything in the second half of the 4th century - including Athens etc. so there shouldn't be a requirement for a separate sub-forum on City State history. Likewise, surely we only need one pre-Alexander forum, and one post-Alexander forum. Persia seems to interest a lot of people, and it's certainly something I'm reading much more on at the moment, so I can see a need for a sub-forum dedicated to Persia.

Please, please, please can we not have a "fan forum". I'm sure there are plenty of fan-forums out there if you want them, and I sincerely feel that having one on Pothos would change the nature of Pothos. If people want to talk about the positives, the forum is the place to do it - and perhaps those who do not wish to join in could hold their cursors?

ATB
What Marcus said.

Especially about the main forum covering the things people are interested in. The more sub-forums, the less traffic per forum. And the topics seem to merge and cross over even in one thread. What might be good would be to make it clear that discussions regarding the different periods from Classical to Hellenistic and geographic areas from Greece to Persia to India are welcome. Perhaps add a sub-heading or description to the title of the forum?

Regarding the level of traffic, currently I find it quite manageable to check out the new threads and posts when I sign on. Would it be too messy to include these topics in discussion sans sub-forums? I am very much in favour of including these topics. Just not sure that arbitrarily dividing things into pre and post Alexander periods or geography would be the best use of time.

Lastly, I like that all positions and views on Pothos receive challenges to be backed up with logic and information. I ignored Pothos for a long time assuming it would be a fan forum, which is not something that appeals to me. But upon checking out the actual posts, was pleasantly surprised to find that the vast majority were rational and well informed discussions of history. I hope this part of Pothos doesn't change.

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by jan » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:44 am

Just for the record, I think that subforums are unnecessary. If one wants to discuss Persia, why doesn't a Persian forum become created? Just wondering... :oops:

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by derek » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:17 pm

My thought is that I like the forum the way it is. The main focus of posts is Alexander, but all and anything with the most tremulous connection can be the subject of a post, and threads regularly meander in and out of other subjects. That's fine by me. If the subject is something I'm not particularly interested in, then I'll skip it, but the range of subjects often has me reading and learning about things I'd never have come across were the forum strictly about Alexander and his life. If these other subjects were buried within sub-forums with titles that don't appeal to me, then I'd never enter the sub-forum and would never see them.

I say keep things as they are, and encourage the diversity of related subjects that crop up on the single forum.

Derek

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Re: Need your opinions on adding Sub forums.

Post by amyntoros » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:43 pm

Hi Derek:
derek wrote:My thought is that I like the forum the way it is. The main focus of posts is Alexander, but all and anything with the most tremulous connection can be the subject of a post, and threads regularly meander in and out of other subjects. That's fine by me. If the subject is something I'm not particularly interested in, then I'll skip it, but the range of subjects often has me reading and learning about things I'd never have come across were the forum strictly about Alexander and his life. If these other subjects were buried within sub-forums with titles that don't appeal to me, then I'd never enter the sub-forum and would never see them.

I say keep things as they are, and encourage the diversity of related subjects that crop up on the single forum.

Derek
I have no personal, vested interest in the creation of new sub forums because, try as Paralus might to encourage expansion of my horizons (bless his little cotton socks), my primary concern remains Alexander. That said, I think that at the very least a sub-forum on the Successors/Hellenistic period would be beneficial to the forum. We have several members already who actively participate in such debates, but to date they have been limited to the very early, post-Alexander period. Yet there's so much more which could be discussed, and which may well bring in more active members. Take the sons of the Successors for instance. (Someone, please, tell me once and for all if there is a correct or academically approved spelling for Diodochi!) Some of these sons are fascinating in their own right - John Maxwell O’Brien was thinking about writing a biography of Demetrius the Besieger before he turned instead to writing Alexander the Great: The Invisible Enemy! But as the forum stands right now, the connection to Alexander of people such as Demetrius is tenuous at best. However, if we were only to expand the scope of the existing Alexander forum my concern is that it would become more difficult for members to find threads covering their own area of interest. Semiramis asked: "Would it be too messy to include these topics in discussion sans sub-forums?" I do think that it might. Imagine a situation where there is more than one page of new responses to posts, yet a good many of them are not about Alexander, per se.

Sub forums would keep the forum manageable, as a whole, and if the forum concerned with a member's main interest should be quiet, there's nothing to prevent one from checking out the others. And yes, I tend to agree with those who have proposed two additional Sub-forums; one pre-Alexander and one Post. Not for personal reasons mind you - as I said, I'll likely still spend most of my time on Alexander – but I think the forum would benefit. Members come and go; some are very active for a period and then disappear for a while, only to return with a flurry of activity. And many members read but rarely post at all, this being the nature of an internet forum, so I feel that anything which might encourage new and/or more frequent participation ought to be encouraged.

It won't be my decision though. Am simply expressing my views. :)

Best regards,
Amyntoros

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