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With that thread we had a while back in which you asked for some suggestions for a possible new forum feature, I wondered if your backroom boffins had anything in the pipeline for the future.
Fair point; if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
an update forum for updates to drivers, programs etc. just an idea.
Games forum???? sorry.
there was a game forum a while back - went the way of the Saber Toothed Tiger and Wooley Mammooth
A Microsoft Office forum? In the far future!
An Excel forum which VoG could staff full-time!
(Just kidding, VoG; we wouldn't force that on you!)
A PC builders forum - I think it'd have the same kind of popularity as the webdesign forum. Only trouble is PCA as a magazine doesn't really focus on components that much (hence why I get into trouble by my other half for buying yet another computer magazine every month!).
I would be tempted to split the helproom in two. one for hardware issues and another for software.
for over five years now, and one thing that has become apparent is the folly of splitting the whole thing into too many parts.
We previously ran a games forum, but it wasn't successful. We had a 'Lounge' area for a time, and that will live in our memories as an example of what not to do if you want a peaceful, harmonious community. Along the way there have been all kinds of diversions - at one point we had a private forum where an invited group of people offered suggestions as to which direction we should take. A few people from that group are still with us, and I'm sure they would agree that - pleasant as it was - the committee method wasn't really a success. Everyone (including me) had their pet ideas, and we weren't ever going to agree on everything - or even most things.
From my point of view the most successful venture ever was when we got Sun Microsystems to commission us to carry out a consumer survey on Star Office click here
We ran a special forum for a fairly large group of invited forum members. Everyone was provided with a copy of Star Office, and I set a structured series of tasks over a seven day (I think it was) period. As each task was completed we all discussed the pros and cons in the special forum, and at the end of it all Guy Dixon and I wrote a feature for the magazine. Sun systems were extremely impressed with the way we all worked at the project, and they were delighted with the feedback we provided. We thoroughly enjoyed the process, and I think I can say that most of the participants did, too. I would certainly like to do something like it again, and I'm going to badger our new magazine editor about it.
Over the years we've experimented with different areas, and no doubt we'll do so again at some point, but not in the foreseeable future. I say 'foresseable' advisedly, because of course circumstances can change quite quickly. We'll probably run a dedicated area for Vista when it launches - it all depends on what kind of a reaction it gets in the market.
To be honest, I think we can handle PC building issues within the present structure - we don't get that many self-build questions when compared to some other topics. Much the same applies to MS Office I think, although it's true that we do see a lot of Excel/Word threads in the Helproom.
It hasn't been that long since we redesigned the site, and there are still some tweaks we intend to carry out when time permits. Rest assured that we're not just sitting on our hands - we know what it's like when you have a brainwave, you want to see it translated into action, but it isn't that simple. We're conscious of wanting to fulfil the expectations of the majority, rather than trying to cater to lots of minority interests; you certainly can't easily do both under one roof.
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