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Paul

Changes To The Forums

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Following the upgrade to the forum software, we'd like to make some changes to the layout and content of the community forums, with plans to change some forum areas, remove a few and add a few too.

One thing we'd like to do is add a forum area solely for model output discussions, this will hopefully allow the current model output thread to grow into a variety of new areas and hopefully broaden the discussions surrounding it.

At the same time, we are considering the removal of the seasonal forum, to make way for a new general weather discussions forum with at least a couple of subforums for more specific debate (including regional forums).

As well as giving a broader scope for different discussions in both content and style, both these changes should separate the general chat and the model discussions further, and hopefully re-enforce the need to stay on topic in model related threads!

We'd also like to make changes to the learning area, tidying it up and creating some themed threads and discussion points to allow everyone from beginners up to experts to post questions and discussion points with the aim of learning more about weather and meteorology.

The photography area will be given a revamp, making it a little smaller than it is now by removing at least a couple of the subforums, making the gallery more prominent as it's a great place to post photos etc up which is a little under-used at the moment, plus we'll be bringing back the photo competition.

Another plan is to create more of a social buzz on the forums, making more of the retreat by creating and allowing members to create threads based on their own non weather related interests and hobbies.

And finally we plan to bring a new forum area online - a weekly talking point whereby we'll invite members to put their ideas forward for discussions which will run for a week, every week and can be based on any weather or climate related topic.

Please let us know what you think of these ideas and if you have any suggestions for improvements or changes to the forums.

Looking forward to hearing your views!

Paul

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Yep, good stuff Paul, looking forward to the changes! :good:

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Don't like the idea of the removal of the seasonal forum. This and the regional discussions were loved by everyone during winter!

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The threads from within the seasonal forum would be spread between the new model forum and a new general weather discussion area - so nothing would be missing, it would be just laid out differently.

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The threads from within the seasonal forum would be spread between the new model thread and a new general weather discussion area - so nothing would be missing, it would be just laid out differently.

So the regional discussion threads will not be forever lost, and re-opened in winter?

By the way, glad to see the post rep button as I suggested. I like it. :good:

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Yes, as mentioned in the original post :good:

At the same time, we are considering the removal of the seasonal forum, to make way for a new general weather discussions forum with at least a couple of subforums for more specific debate (including regional forums).

We're actually contemplating making the regional discussions a permanently open feature.

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Yes, as mentioned in the original post :good:

We're actually contemplating making the regional discussions a permanently open feature.

Excellent!!

Will certainly bring more enjoyment to the forum.

I can also see much more traffic coming to the forum, people will be encouraged to register to join in with discussions.

Looking forward to these changes, Paul. :)

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Excellent!

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One thing we'd like to do is add a forum area solely for model output discussions, this will hopefully allow the current model output thread to grow into a variety of new areas and hopefully broaden the discussions surrounding it.

During Spring/Summer the numbers are pretty low, even during any peaks on the model discussion thread there still isn't a substantial number on here compared to even a general day in winter. I can only see this been useful during winter, but even then most prefer to post in the same thread, we already have the Technical and Banter threads which aren't used regularly enough in the first place so what other discussions could be created?

At the same time, we are considering the removal of the seasonal forum, to make way for a new general weather discussions forum with at least a couple of subforums for more specific debate (including regional forums).

The topics created on the Seasonal forum usually don't last for more than a week before conversation dries up, so I don't really see the point when topics don't last very long anyway, if topics lasted longer then there would be a need but seen as it is only the model output discussion that lasts for a considerable amount of time there isn't much point.

We're actually contemplating making the regional discussions a permanently open feature.

There was hardly any posts during winter when there was milder weather, so I don't really know how there will be any activity during summer, there are usually around 3 posters from Yorkshire atm so not enough for the regional discussions.

....

The rest of the suggestions look good, although Ive never been a fan of the photography section mostly because there are too many topics with the only the specific users photos in. I would prefer there to be a "sunset thread" or "snow photos thread" to fit them all into one place as it takes too long to switch between each topic, and would generally make it more comfortable and easy to use

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One thing we'd like to do is add a forum area solely for model output discussions, this will hopefully allow the current model output thread to grow into a variety of new areas and hopefully broaden the discussions surrounding it.

During Spring/Summer the numbers are pretty low, even during any peaks on the model discussion thread there still isn't a substantial number on here compared to even a general day in winter. I can only see this been useful during winter, but even then most prefer to post in the same thread, we already have the Technical and Banter threads which aren't used regularly enough in the first place so what other discussions could be created?

At the same time, we are considering the removal of the seasonal forum, to make way for a new general weather discussions forum with at least a couple of subforums for more specific debate (including regional forums).

The topics created on the Seasonal forum usually don't last for more than a week before conversation dries up, so I don't really see the point when topics don't last very long anyway, if topics lasted longer then there would be a need but seen as it is only the model output discussion that lasts for a considerable amount of time there isn't much point.

We're actually contemplating making the regional discussions a permanently open feature.

There was hardly any posts during winter when there was milder weather, so I don't really know how there will be any activity during summer, there are usually around 3 posters from Yorkshire atm so not enough for the regional discussions.

....

The rest of the suggestions look good, although Ive never been a fan of the photography section mostly because there are too many topics with the only the specific users photos in. I would prefer there to be a "sunset thread" or "snow photos thread" to fit them all into one place as it takes too long to switch between each topic, and would generally make it more comfortable and easy to use

Thanks for the feedback :yahoo:

I think you underestimate the numbers who do post here during Summer - it's not as manic as Winter but there are still a lot of posts on the board and active members - albeit in different areas to where they may congregate in winter time.

Re the model area - by having it in a sep forum it firstly gives a very clear divide between model discussion and gen weather discussion, so should help to keep things on topic. But also 1000's of people a day check the models on NW every day, there's a lot of interest in what they're showing and a lot of opportunity to discuss that beyond the usual model related stuff we already have. Q&A threads, threads following specific models/runs, longer range modelling, mesoscale modelling and model performance are a few ideas which may well work and I'm sure our members will have more.

I'm not really sure the length of time a topic lasts is necessarily the benchmark to use to measure it's success or popularity - as the weather changes, so the topics being discussed will too, so long as there's a relevant area for people to discuss whatever the topics of the moment are there shouldn't really be an issue as far as I can see.

The photography forum will be simplified - with the aim to have discussion in the forum areas with some photos within there but to try and encourage more people to use the gallery which has the sort of setup you talk about.

Cheers

Paul

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Can I add my tuppence worth...

I think if the regional threads/forums were left open year long then we would see more use as we are all basically tribal animals and we all like our own space dedicated to our own local area. I would be far more inclined to post up charts and my own (amatuer) take on the weather for the near/far future in a regional thread than I would be in the model discussion thread where I feel I can't actually add anything. For members like me who don't have good model interpretation skills it is very liberating to have a forum/thread where I can help others and be helped by others without feeling like I'm wasting the time of the Weatherati. With all due repsect to the model discussion thread it all gets a bit SE of England biased simply due to the weight of population. I'm not for a second saying that there's a problem with that, but some of the non-SE of England people get missed out by default.

Any changes to the learning area are also much welcomed, that is an area I quite often like to post in but I think it should be more prominent and more used. Usually a question posted there gets some good replys from the resident experts but it could be better used.

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Re the model area - by having it in a sep forum it firstly gives a very clear divide between model discussion and gen weather discussion, so should help to keep things on topic. But also 1000's of people a day check the models on NW every day, there's a lot of interest in what they're showing and a lot of opportunity to discuss that beyond the usual model related stuff we already have. Q&A threads, threads following specific models/runs, longer range modelling, mesoscale modelling and model performance are a few ideas which may well work and I'm sure our members will have more.

The issue I have is members always like to post in one place when it comes to discussing the models (be it model performance or specific models/runs), the banter thread has proved not to be that popular, on many occasions posts in winter had to be moved to the banter thread from the model discussion. Also discussion of the "longer range modeling" is usually discussed in the autumn/winter spring discussion (etc) so having two topics seems pointless.

Lastly, a number of topics could be confusing and mean that each topic would have considerabley less posts, this would generally ruin the whole idea behind the topics been a "discussion" as posts would at times be sporadic.

...

Anyway hopefully it works, but atm I don't think NW has enough members (be it winter or summer) to support a number of new topics for each subject (model output etc), maybe in a few years time but not yet. If it doesn't work you can always switch back, so there is no harm in trying something new. :good:

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i like the changes you make paul keep the good up. and the best site and i do main that i been here sine dec 2003 :good:

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The issue I have is members always like to post in one place when it comes to discussing the models (be it model performance or specific models/runs), the banter thread has proved not to be that popular, on many occasions posts in winter had to be moved to the banter thread from the model discussion. Also discussion of the "longer range modeling" is usually discussed in the autumn/winter spring discussion (etc) so having two topics seems pointless.

As Paul pointed out, the site has 1000's of people looking in at the model output every day. One of the frustrations that gets commented on by visitors and members alike is the fact that detail gets lost when the Model discussion drifts off topic. During summer, we have always allowed the discussion to drift slightly due to there being fewer active posters but there has to be a line drawn as to what can be allowed. We would sooner any poster make their own decision as to where that line should be but sometimes we have to say enough is enough and have to delete, edit or move posts. By adding these extra areas, the hope is that we end up with an MOD thread that is a clear view of how members interpret the data the models turn out and any other discussion can be kept in associated threads. :rofl:

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Some very nice changes to the forum. I like the re-organisation of the main weather threads into their own sections. I think this will be very useful in the winter when the forum will be busier and it will be a lot easier and helpful for new members and older members alike. :rofl:

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Creating a sub forum for model output (and lots of other stuff, too) is a terrible idea. Honestly, at some point you can create so many sub forums and category's and just end up spreading yourself too thin.

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We've not created lots of sub forums Gavin, we've separated out the model threads which will hopefully be a positive move put all the weather reports back in one place, but aside from that there's nothing else with an extra sub forum.

We're hopeful that the changes we've made will be positive for the forums, but as ever time will tell..

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Any update on to when the regional forums will be open, Paul? :lol:

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The old favicon was much better as it was a small version of the site logo.

The current triangular one is meaningless.

I have only favicons on bookmarks toolbar.

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That's not by design - it's because it's currently using the invision default one, will change it back to the netweather one shortly.

Edit: Now fixed

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We've not created lots of sub forums Gavin, we've separated out the model threads which will hopefully be a positive move put all the weather reports back in one place, but aside from that there's nothing else with an extra sub forum.

We're hopeful that the changes we've made will be positive for the forums, but as ever time will tell..

whens the new radar getting an overhaul Paul?

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It's on the schedule Peter, it's only today that we've come off of the server move etc and back to 'normal' work, so we'll be cracking on from here.

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Welcome the idea of regional thread discussion forums. As noted last winter, these proved very popular and gave opportunity for members to discuss more localised conditions with other members located in close proximity.

I am often more interested in conditions in Scotland and N Ireland and NE England than in the south as we tend these regions share more characteristics with our weather.

Cumbria could warrant its own regional thread - Last November we had our own mini climate! and local topography often creates a micro climate very dissimiliar to other parts of the NW especially say Cheshire. Though due to population their are few members from Cumbria so it would probably be a very quiet thread..

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Like the idea on regional threads even during the summer, especially when it's a tad more active than present. I do enjoy a good read so the model thread alignment idea I like so I can drop in pick up the gist and then move on.

Keep it up.

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Welcome the idea of regional thread discussion forums. As noted last winter, these proved very popular and gave opportunity for members to discuss more localised conditions with other members located in close proximity.

I am often more interested in conditions in Scotland and N Ireland and NE England than in the south as we tend these regions share more characteristics with our weather.

Cumbria could warrant its own regional thread - Last November we had our own mini climate! and local topography often creates a micro climate very dissimiliar to other parts of the NW especially say Cheshire. Though due to population their are few members from Cumbria so it would probably be a very quiet thread..

There's maybe a case of adding Cumbria on to Scotland then as a "North-West of the UK" region (Northern Ireland too?). I would expect your weather is often similar to ours and then you could discuss it with a greater number of people.

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