Unnecessary and thus harmful forum sub-sections

Yamato

Legendary member
9,840 245
Since I was recently asked for my opinion, I hope to help by posting this attachment here (see attachment below). In blue I marked both my comments and the forum sections and sub-sections that should be changed/removed/united.

I must stress, above all, that there are way too many sections/sub-sections in this forum. They should be reduced by approximately 75%.

I also want to explain my idea that the more sections you have, the more you divide people, and if people are made to feel alone on a forum, the forum disappears. Yes, it's good to give order and folders and drawers, so things are neat, but if you put so many sections and sub-sections, you just end up with a section having just one user talking to himself. I believe this is the case with the present structure of trade2win forums, at least as far as 75% of the sub-sections. People are forced into concentration camps where their ideas are first isolated from exchange with other users, and then are exterminated due to lack of visits. There's many such places spread across the dozens of forum subsections.

Look at these guys:
http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/

They've got about 20 sections (no sub-sections), and that's the way it should be: order but not so much order that people don't meet at all (let alone the fact that many subsections are incoherent and illogical).

And, finally, find within my snapshot, specifically the section titled "trading reviews". It has 550 threads for a total of 1266 posts. This means 2 posts per thread. Any ratio like that should be an alarming signal, immediately, of users/ideas/threads being over-divided into different drawers, and that is very neat (if it weren't for the incoherent categories), but you can't expect them to talke to one another and exchange ideas if you stick them in different cells like that. And what type of forum is this if people don't talk to one another? And I am sure it happens elsewhere on the forum. Now tell me: are 550 threads with 2 posts each a sign of people exchanging ideas?

I'd say: divide the forum as little as possible. Divide just as much as it's useful to group different people together, but not as much as to separate people who could benefit from collaborating. I'd say follow the simplicity of elitetrader.com and yet keep the useful/pleasant editing options and layout you have here.

Each section you create, defines a group of users and a community of users. Because we don't all go to all sections every day. Most of us, check out their favorite section to see the latest posts. If they find no new posts, that section dies. If you divided the journals into 3 different types of journals, there would be two updated journals per week, and the journal would all die. If you keep, as you keep, the journals together, then they live because people go check out the journals. The trading reviews are a non-existent community because of all the sub-sections. No one goes to that area and says "hey, let's check out what they're posting", because if they do they find posts that are usually one month old.

In other words, let me put it as a formula: you should make sure that at the end of the day there are no sections where there aren't at least 10 threads updated today (with posts added today), and that there are no sections with more than 25 threads that were updated today. Anything with less than 10 has to be merged and anything with more than 25 has to be divided. That's practical and efficient.

Here's some examples. This is a healthy section, with about 15 to 20 threads having been updated today (late evening as I write):
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/general-trading-chat/

This is an unhealthy section that should be merged, since it has only 2 threads that have been updated in the last... not day, but month:
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/software-reviews/

Can people go to it and say "let's see what's going on in the Software Reviews?". They'll go there once, and never go to it again. Can people post there and expect an exchange of ideas with other people? Nope. Can it be called a forum? Nope. It can be called a "message in a bottle type of forum".

-------

And now, one final example, "mechanical systems", which is my own favorite category, a very important one, and a section I check out on elitetrader.com but I can't check out here. Why? Look:

All threads on the first page are dead (latest thread updated is June 25th):
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/free-systems/

All threads on the first page are alive (oldest thread updated is June 28th):
http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=48

The oldest thread on the elitetrader.com page is younger than the youngest thread on your page.

How did you achieve killing such an important category with so many users on trade2win? Simple: too many categories. It's like building little houses far apart over the desert: there is no community anymore.

Elitetrader.com has one section for automated trading. You guys have these three sections (illogically divided besides being over-divided):
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/mechanical-systems-trading/
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/free-systems/
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/commercial-systems/

So, it almost seems like you do it on purpose. And now instead of having one lively "automated trading" section you have three dead "automated trading" sections.

After editing and adding all this stuff to my post I really have no doubts that there is a serious problem with the sections in this forum. Just do an experiment for me: merge those 3 "automated trading" sections and if the resulting threads updated on a daily basis are more than the sum of the daily updated threads on the 3 separate forums, then you'll know that I am right. Then you will follow the same principle in the whole forum, and you'll bring it back to life.

unnecessary_sections.gif
 
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timsk

Legendary member
7,136 1,911
Hi travis,
Thanks for the feedback - good to hear your thoughts.
(y)

I'm not totally convinced by your argument to cull the sub-forums to the extent that you imply. My reason being that if one thinks of T2W as a filing cabinet and each forum as a drawer, is it not then sensible to sub-divide the contents of the drawer so that members can easily find what they're looking for? Otherwise, different topics are all jumbled up together. To use one of your examples, it makes sense to me to sub-divide the Indices forum the way it is, as there are many traders of U.S. index futures who aren't interested in - and don't trade - the FTSE. That said, I'm inclined to agree with you that the forums are getting a bit 'leggy' and need consolidating in some way.

Does anyone else think the forums are too big and need to be trimmed back and, if so, how? Do you agree/disagree with travis' comments about the sub-forums - or do you have some alternative suggestions?
Tim.
 
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TheBramble

Legendary member
8,395 1,170
Does anyone else think the forums are too big and need to be trimmed back and, if so, how? Do you agree/disagree with travis' comments about the sub-forums - or do you have some alternative suggestions?
Structure of the forums plays absolutely no part in my use of the site. I check new posts and scroll through occasionally finding a thread title that offers potential. I'm sure I miss a few, but hey...

If I was looking for something specific, I still don't think the structure would be where I'd start - I'd use a search.
 

Lightning McQueen

Moderator
4,914 779
i think the vast majority of members use the new posts function and participate via that route. in all my days of "watching" i would say that sectional following would be in the minority and very few members actually sit and wait for new posts to appear in their chosen section, though they do, mostly in general trading chat. in short it matters not where the post is posted imo as it will be picked up by the majority and read.

areas are dead because there is little interest in that particular subject matter. i doubt combining anything will boost discussions in a dead section, there is either interest or there isn't, if there isn't then it carries on dieing wherever it's put.

fwiw i like the forum structure, can't you tell :cheesy:
 

neil

Legendary member
5,167 746
i think the vast majority of members use the new posts function and participate via that route. in all my days of "watching" i would say that sectional following would be in the minority and very few members actually sit and wait for new posts to appear in their chosen section, though they do, mostly in general trading chat. in short it matters not where the post is posted imo as it will be picked up by the majority and read.

areas are dead because there is little interest in that particular subject matter. i doubt combining anything will boost discussions in a dead section, there is either interest or there isn't, if there isn't then it carries on dieing wherever it's put.

fwiw i like the forum structure, can't you tell :cheesy:
I tend to look for new posts from posters I know and find useful. First posts from new members are looked at in case they can add to my knowledge. Overall I find that my list of trusted posters dwindles as the juvenile and "snakeoil" content rises and my expertise increases. Since I have, as many others have, been round the circuit of testing this or that indicator etc before eventually settling down to making a small steady income, I find less need or have the inclination now to spend a lot of time on the forums. In fact I am guilty now of looking in now and again and leaving the odd barbed comment; whereas, in the past I would normally be scouring posts,commenting upon, sharing research, and recommendations on sources of knowledge relating to trading. My opinion, at this stage of my journey, is that there are a very few good threads worth following; all of them involve detailed study and practice on behalf of the reader; and none relate to "sit on your bum and follow the magic signals/tips" type of thread. All of the foregoing is merely my opinion - thus you are welcome to disagree if you so wish and plough your own furrow.:)
 

Jason101

Experienced member
1,366 214
I disagree and actually think there is a missing category.

Statistical Trading, to cover trades such as…

Opening ranges, The Rumpled Ones type of trades, Positive and Negative Correlation Trading, Big Ben type, Seasonal Trading, Reactive Correlation i.e., gold following the DOW. Impacts of previous FX sessions on the next, Gap plays etc. etc.

I believe this is very important in its own right as well as in conjunction with your own set ups and because statistical trading does not fit into TA or fundamentals it is often over looked and deserves its own section.
 
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Yamato

Legendary member
9,840 245
Ok, the general viewpoint so far seems to be that no one really looks at the sections and sub-sections. But then, still:

1) why not do things properly? And furthermore, if no one uses them (as everyone here claims), why have a whole page with a long list of them anyway? Because you consider it important, to order and group posts by subject, but then admit to yourself you're not doing it right and that you've overdone it.

2) And another remark I have: don't you think that maybe people do not use sections and sub-sections precisely because there are so many of them, and that, precisely because of this labyrinthine structure, it's a hopeless task to check one's own favorite section (because it's spread across three sections)? I think so. By creating so many of them, you've made them useless. For example, if I want to go and see who's looking for or offering data, where do I go? To all three of these sections?

Snap1.gif

And if that's too much work, what else can I do? As the people posting here suggest, I could use the search page and end up with hundreds of hits, which is even more tiring. The answer is: I can't do either. So I give up, and don't even post my question, because there's no community, and no one will drop by and see my post. How is anyone going to see my request for data if, according to what people are saying here, no one uses sections anyway? And, then knowing and seeing that a section is dead, am I encouraged to post in it? Nope. And if I don't post, is this good for the forum? Is anyone really going to use the forum search and look for threads where others are requesting data? It's never going to happen. If instead there were a community, then people would drop by and see the latest threads. But there isn't one, so it's hopeless to ask for data on this forum.

The same applies to the automated trading section, which is my favorite section elsewhere (on elitetrader) but here it's dead, because it's been split up in three sections, all three dead:

Snap2.gif

I am sure I have a very good point. But no one seems to get it, or rather the fact that they don't get it is precisely the proof that the point is good, since they say "hey, who uses sections?". Of course: with all these sections, they've become so useless that everyone forgot what they are for.

What instead you should do, the powerful people who manage the forum, is create, like on elitetrader, 20 sections (by merging the abandoned sections, according to the formula provided in my previous post), so that users will gather and be grouped by common interests. Then things will be orderly and people will use sections for their original purpose.

"Order" means "a state in which all components or elements are arranged logically". If you create a section for every single post you dilute your logic and utility to zero, and then you get "disorder".

Now is the time to do it, and you have nothing to lose. What do you lose? Dead deserted sections? Sections that are so many and have become so useless that here everyone has lost the memory of their original purpose?

It's time to open your eyes, and since you've asked me for advice, here it is. You have between 100 and 200 sections and sub-sections, and they've reached a point where they've become useless, as the posts above witness: "nobody uses them" means precisely "they're useless", and now you know why.

If you need help, I can reorganize the whole thing for you.
 
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Yamato

Legendary member
9,840 245
last try

Ok, here's my last try to get you to listen to me.

You have 3 similar "automated trading" forums, all 3 totally dead. Now there's a new lively thread I am writing on, and yet I know it will soon die like all other threads:
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/mechanical-systems-trading/129166-partners-automation-software-3.html#post1617436

It hurts me to see my energies wasted on a thread that will die because of your crazy forum structure, which discourages people with the same interests from gathering, because there's nowhere to gather, given that you've divided this whole forum into 200 sub-sections.

There's probably one thread alive per "automated trading" forum section. How much effort does it cost you to try this single experiment and see if reuniting all 3 "automated trading" forums causes the union of the parts to be bigger than the sum of the parts?

If you unify all 3 "automated trading" forums, instead of 3 alive threads, you will have 10 of them, at least. How much do you want to bet? People will flock to it, because a sense of community will be created. Three dead communities put together create one that's alive.

Like Jack Nicholson would say, "All right, Chief... Just raise your hand up one time. Show her that you can do it. Show her that you can still do it". Just group the "automated trading" forums one time, as an experiment. Show us that you can still do it. Show us that you're not paralyzed by the 200 forum sections you created and can't even get rid of one of them.

Come on, open your eyes. You have two hundred sections and most of them are dead. Come on, it's time to do something. Start from this small experiment, and eliminate these useless distinctions. I insist so much because I know I have not a good point but an excellent point.
 
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timsk

Legendary member
7,136 1,911
Re: last try

Ok, here's my last try to get you to listen to me.
Whoa, - calm down travis!
We are listening to you and we welcome your feedback (and everyone else's too). But please understand that we can't go around changing everything (especially something as fundamental as forum structure) on a whim without careful thought. Once we've collated as many views as possible, we'll discuss all the issues raised and then decide what action to take. These things take much longer than you might imagine. Rest assured, your suggestion is right up there - and will be given the consideration it deserves - all in good time!
;)
Tim.
 

the hare

Senior member
2,949 1,283
Re: last try

Three dead communities put together create one that's alive.
They'll remain dead until someone decides to bring one or all of them back to life, and I cant see the incentive for anyone to do that.

T2W was never particularly strong in this area, and it inst really the forum of choice for automated system developers.
 
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Yamato

Legendary member
9,840 245
Re: last try

Whoa, - calm down travis!
We are listening to you and we welcome your feedback (and everyone else's too). But please understand that we can't go around changing everything (especially something as fundamental as forum structure) on a whim without careful thought. Once we've collated as many views as possible, we'll discuss all the issues raised and then decide what action to take. These things take much longer than you might imagine. Rest assured, your suggestion is right up there - and will be given the consideration it deserves - all in good time!
;)
Tim.
Well, great: thanks. I campaigned all I could, in favor of reasoning and rationality. Now my conscience is clean. I have warned you enough. My suggestion is so good that it cannot be just a regular suggestion, and I had to stress it out, because otherwise you'll forget about it. I can sense there's someone not reasoning well in the management, and you needed a little push in the right direction, because the forum sub-sections are clearly out of control.

As The Hare said, people are going elsewhere (e.g.: elitetrader.com) if you keep on sub-dividing the indivisible. It is a pity because this forum's layout is better than elitetrader.com's otherwise (theirs is too dark and too few post editing options).
 

market_bull

Active member
188 6
Personally, when I first came here, I saw the structure and it made sense to me - but have to admit that I generally click on "New Posts" and follow the action that way... but, I personally enjoy the organized nature of the forum...
 

Yamato

Legendary member
9,840 245
Personally, when I first came here, I saw the structure and it made sense to me - but have to admit that I generally click on "New Posts" and follow the action that way... but, I personally enjoy the organized nature of the forum...
You talk about the "organized nature of the forum".

I will not go so far as to say that trade2win is "disorganized and disorderly", but, given that "order" means organizing coherently and efficiently, simplifying, synthesizing, grouping, arranging... let me just quote dictionary.com:
a state in which all components or elements are arranged logically, comprehensibly, or naturally
If "order" means "arranging logically, comprehensibly", then the forum sub-sections of trade2win don't have what it takes.

First of all, there's a problem of over-arranging: when you go to the extent of creating between 100 and 200 forum sub-sections you're actually doing very little "arranging". It's like putting each sock in a different drawer, which is what happens here with each thread that's not dead: there's one per forum section and the rest is all dead threads.

Regarding the "(arranging) logically" part, there's also a problem of logic, as I showed in detail here (the sub-sections are often incoherent):

unnecessary_sections.gif
 
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