This forum has been structured as it currently is since dirt was new. Well, at least since the forum was conceived back in September, 2006.
We've been talking to the owners and they are ready, willing, and able to make some changes to update the forum to a more inviting look.
The owners are Motorcycle.com and they own a bunch of forums. They have a 'corporate brand' going on where all of the forums, at the home page, look the same. There are some things we can change there and some things we won't be able to change. Kind of like asking Ford to drop the Blue Oval, ya know? Have a look here to get the idea: BMW Luxury Touring Community - Powered by vBulletin
, Honda Goldwing Forums : Goldwing Owners Forum
Deeper into the forum, though, there are plenty of changes we can make. Right off the top of my head are some ideas that I shared with the admin staff when they asked "Sure, but whaddya mean, 'change the forum'?":
The 'Active Topics' algorithm isn't working for our low-traffic situation and perhaps needs tweaking.
The problem with the 'Active Topics' is that it often shows really old posts with just a few postings. It has to be something in the algorithm. What we need, I think, is for 'Active Posts' to either go away or for it to be tweaked so that it shows our most active posts in descending order of activity, post count, and recent. In short, they should be what a new visitor would find "Most Interesting".
I can't help but wonder if the current forum structure is optimal, either. I think is pretty much the way the forum was set up more than 10 years ago.
The forum layout goes back to the original owner, I think. I've been here 10 years and it seems it has never changed. Could be wrong on that, but the point remains. It would be nice to simplify it some so that it looks less cluttered. For example, we have a Ladies Lounge. That's nice and all, but the Ladies Lounge hasn't been used in years. At best we'd probably have one lady around, if any, and sh'e be lost and alone in the LL. Besides, we're equal. Get rid of it. Get rid of all of the under-utilized sub-forums for clean and uncluttered look.
It might be better if, instead of sticking posts at the top of sub-forums, we could have a sub-forum for what we have stuck in other forums.
We have, for a long time, 'stuck' stuff that we consider important at the top of sub-forums. Here's and example: 2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum . It's gotten to the point where all you see is stickies, so it looks like the forum is dead. We could take all of the stickies and move them to a sub forum that is only for stickies and call it "Important Stuff" or somesuch.
I wonder if there is a way to have the default entry screen be more functional and inviting.
Thing is, we want your input because it's your forum. We want your ideas on what would make it better because you're the folks that use the forum.
Please, chime in here with your ideas on what would make the forum better, more inviting, more functional. We'll put together a list and forward it to the site admin staff and get them working on it.