Organizing Boards

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bflojoe
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Organizing Boards

Post by bflojoe » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:26 pm

I'm a newbee to phpBB. I'm trying to determine whether phpBB can meet my needs. I am planning on establishing a local, web-based, neighborhood focused Forum in my city. I would like to create a Board Forum for each neighborhood in my city, as close as possible to where the users live. There are 4,000 named blocks and about 75 'unofficial' neighborhoods (typically named by a major street intersection (Grant-Ferry) or characteristic (Medical Campus) in my city.

Is there a practical limit to the number of Boards phpBB can support? Can it support up to 75 Boards? Is there a feature where a user can enter a neighborhood Board and then drill down to their block name, or get there some other way efficiently? I have read much of the documentation on phpBB but I'm wondering if you can also suggest/link me to other resources that address these types of questions of organization?

Thanks!

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KevC
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Re: Organizing Boards

Post by KevC » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:37 pm

Some terminology first.

The whole thing is a board. You can have as many separate installations of that as your hosting will allow.

The board itself is then divided up in to categories, which contain forums that you post topics in.

Once you get to about 1000 forums you'll start to have big problems.

So, depending on how you want to arrange it, if you had 75 forums with 4000 posts in, that would be ok.
If you wanted 75 categories with 4000 forums in then that won't work and also would be a total nightmare for you to look after and your users to navigate.

You would be better off thinking on a much broader scale. For instance, there isn't much point making 4000 of anything if you found only a fraction of those people actually posted or used the board. Try and group it in to much bigger general sections and go from there. If you found one block in particular had a big uptake of members then you would make a forum or category for them and let them post in their own bit.
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Mick
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Re: Organizing Boards

Post by Mick » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:40 pm

You could always poll your users or have a topic 'where do you live'? Give it a week or two and see how many hits you have per neighbourhood then take whatever action necessary.
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bflojoe
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Re: Organizing Boards

Post by bflojoe » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:23 pm

Yes, I think terminology is a problem for me. Your comments were helpful. However, I'm still not sure of the difference between organizing a Board by categories vs Forums. Under what circumstances might I want to organize the Board by either?

Ultimately, I now believe I need to think in terms of larger areas, as suggested, and thus, I will have 75 different neighborhood areas that users can log onto, based upon where they live. For that structure, is it best to organize the overall Board by categories or by Forums, and why? Once I get this structure down, I can proceed with the next steps toward implementation.

thanks again

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Oyabun1
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Re: Organizing Boards

Post by Oyabun1 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:14 am

It really depends what you, or more importantly your users, want. Categories are usually used to group forums that fall into some broad overall subject together. Have a look at the phpbb.com board index page. PHPBB 3.0.x is a category, 3.0.x Support Forum is a forum, [3.0.x] Convertors is a sub-forum.

Topics cannot be created directly in a category only in a forum. A category is just a container for forums.

Forums can be converted to or from sub-forums or moved to other forums or categories quite easily, so it would be possible to restructure the board if you don't get it right the first time.
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unlocktheinbox
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Re: Organizing Boards

Post by unlocktheinbox » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:38 am

Sub-Forums might be the way to go for you.

Code: Select all

County 1
    - City 1 
         - Neighborhood 1
         - Neighborhood 2
         - Neighborhood 3
     - City 2
         - Neighborhood 4
         - Neighborhood 5
County 2 
      - City 3
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Oyabun1
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Re: Organizing Boards

Post by Oyabun1 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:15 am

But as Kevin and Mick suggested, start small and then expand. Unless you are going to initially place unique content in every separate block you probably don't need a separate category, forum, or even topic for them at the start.

That has long been the advice and even the phpBB founder has said the same thing:
James Atkinson Feb 13, 2004 wrote:I think the mistake a lot of people make as they start an online community is that they don’t start small. I’ve seen many boards with 10 or 12 forums, and maybe 20 posts between them. That’s no way start. Begin with 2 or 3 forums to really get the discussion rolling, then expand as needed.
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