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Old 01-30-2016, 09:14 AM   #1
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Will Sprinter and B-van Forum ever get a thread hierarchy?

I ask this question knowing nothing about the limitations of forum databasing. As I write this, Sprinter and B-van Forum has 1,382 threads (well, now 1,383). Is it possible to retroactively re-organize those under sub-headings? There’s a lot of valuable content in there, but with it being lumped under a single forum heading, it has grown to become very difficult to search. Sometimes posters will ask a question and someone else will reply "that was already answered in [this other thread]" but it is hit or miss on searches even when one is motivated to be thorough. Much of the time, I have trouble referring back to my own threads even when I know exactly which keywords to use (I get hundreds of threads in the return when I use very specific search terms).

Sub-heading topics could include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following (similar to the trailer hierarchy):

Heating and cooling
Plumbing
Electrical
Batteries and solar
Refrigerators
LP gas
Sinks
Stoves
Electronics
Windows and doors
Vehicle-related issues
Maintenance
Quality control
Modifications
Winterizing
Boondocking
B van lifestyle
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:10 AM   #2
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While this isn't exactly what you're looking for, it is a good source for things Sprinter:

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/index.php
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:11 PM   #3
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It sounds like a great idea. I would love to see the forums organized into Motorized and Non-motorized users.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
It sounds like a great idea. I would love to see the forums organized into Motorized and Non-motorized users.
That is already true. Under the blue Air Forums banner, select the "Forums" tab, and you will see:
Quote:
Model Specific Section
  • Motorhomes
  • Trailers
I for one would not want to be the poor moderator who would have to set up the various subforums suggested by InterBlog, and especially not the one who would have to read every initial post in every existing thread to see which of the new categories each thread fits so it can be moved accordingly.

And I'm surprised that InterBlog didn't suggest the most important sub-categories of all:
T1N Interstates (based on the Sprinter 2500);
Interstate Grand Tour;
Avenue and B190 (based on non-Sprinter vans).
Each of these would be best split out from the majority of the Interstates because they have model-specific bugs and quirks (or as Microsoft would say, "features.") not present in the run-of-the-mill Interstates.
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
While this isn't exactly what you're looking for, it is a good source for things Sprinter:

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/index.php
I'm very familiar with it and have a link to it on my blog. By thread suggestion I was referring to those Sprinter-related issues that are unique to Interstates, or at least more likely to affect Interstate owners.
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
...
I for one would not want to be the poor moderator who would have to set up the various subforums suggested by InterBlog, and especially not the one who would have to read every initial post in every existing thread to see which of the new categories each thread fits so it can be moved accordingly.
Is the forum set up for the convenience of the Mods or is its main function to help people? At least for the past 16 months and for a bit beforehand, I wouldn't need to re-read any content to classify threads. I remember them. Now, how much time and machination would be required to reassign those - that I do not know, so I can't say whether it would be a reasonable expectation.

I suspect this singular forum was set up a long time ago, before Air Forums realized how the Interstate's popularity would escalate, with a corresponding increase in chatter. Otherwise they would have established something along the lines of what I suggested at the outset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
And I'm surprised that InterBlog didn't suggest the most important sub-categories of all:
T1N Interstates (based on the Sprinter 2500);
Interstate Grand Tour;
Avenue and B190 (based on non-Sprinter vans).
Each of these would be best split out from the majority of the Interstates because they have model-specific bugs and quirks (or as Microsoft would say, "features.") not present in the run-of-the-mill Interstates.
For consistency I was following suit on what Air Forums already has. They did establish model-specific forums, but the Restoration, Repair and Parts forums are topical instead of being restricted to certain models or years. It was from those that I scraped many of the suggested categories.

It would be good to have some model-specific options, but no hierarchy would ever be perfectly efficient for either trailers or motorhomes. For instance, most Interstates appear to have the exact same sink regardless of whether they are T1Ns or NCV3s. It would be of little benefit to have sinks discussed in both places.
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:35 PM   #7
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When I had my interstate in 06 or 07 there was very little info on the forums. In fact many times if I posted something about the interstate it was interpreted as an international trailer. So the forums then was not set up for interstates or the other bvans, the b190 ans avenue.
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:38 PM   #8
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For instance, most Interstates appear to have the exact same sink regardless of whether they are T1Ns or NCV3s. It would be of little benefit to have sinks discussed in both places.
I agree. There is no need to repeat your hierarchy for each model, rather the different model categories might replace your "vehicle-related issues" category.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:09 PM   #9
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My experience as an administrator on an automotive related forum tells me that even if you set it up that way from the start, people would not follow the basic instructions and many threads would wander off course.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
When I had my interstate in 06 or 07 there was very little info on the forums. In fact many times if I posted something about the interstate it was interpreted as an international trailer. So the forums then was not set up for interstates or the other bvans, the b190 ans avenue.
At least some of this is the fault of feeds more so than the Air Forums structure itself, is what I suspect. My email feed shows new topics without noticeable regard as to whether they are intended to pertain to motorized or non-motorized or individual model or whatever (it's in the fine print, which many folks don't always read). So if one clicks the link and goes directly to the thread but forgets to check the header, it's easy to assume that one is reading about trailers when one has really entered a motorhome sub-forum, or vice versa. We see that mistake over and over again. Somewhere in the Air Forums pages themselves I thought there was a summary page of one-liner thread topics that can also be confusing as to origin, but now when I go to look for it, I can't find it.


Plus on my mobile device, all I get is one-liners with no forum headings. It's easy to get confused.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
My experience as an administrator on an automotive related forum tells me that even if you set it up that way from the start, people would not follow the basic instructions and many threads would wander off course.
There will always be off-course incidents, but in some respects it's easier to herd cats if you have a finite selection of narrow chutes vs. one chute that is infinitely wide. I'm an industrial consultant and the most recent three proposals I sent out consisted of six, five and three topical sub-proposals apiece. The narrower the scope, the greater the likelihood of successful project execution because the better the focus. In an analogous fashion, most folks seem to follow the main Air Forums thread hierarchy reasonably well. It would be a dog's breakfast if there were no hierarchy.
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
At least some of this is the fault of feeds more so than the Air Forums structure itself, is what I suspect. My email feed shows new topics without noticeable regard as to whether they are intended to pertain to motorized or non-motorized or individual model or whatever (it's in the fine print, which many folks don't always read). So if one clicks the link and goes directly to the thread but forgets to check the header, it's easy to assume that one is reading about trailers when one has really entered a motorhome sub-forum, or vice versa. We see that mistake over and over again. Somewhere in the Air Forums pages themselves I thought there was a summary page of one-liner thread topics that can also be confusing as to origin, but now when I go to look for it, I can't find it.


Plus on my mobile device, all I get is one-liners with no forum headings. It's easy to get confused.
I was careful to mention I was talking about an Interstate, because there were so few, but the confusion was still there. Back then some people didn't know AS made a bvan of any kind. Thanks for the info.
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