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Old 02-13-2006, 07:31 PM   #1
rickst29
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Default A forum dedicated to Mods / Upgrades?

Hi,

I think that it would be great to create a separate forum for TrailManor modifications. The "general" forum is very large, and thread topics are all over the place (people looking for other owners in their State, people posting "first trip!!!"), PLUS maintenance questions, plus the upgrade type things which would be separated by doing this. As with the tow vehicle forum, I think that the shear volume of info deserves a separation.

I suspect that there are zillions of great modification ideas hidden in the heads, and implemented in the RV's , of other TM owners. A separate forum might entice some owners to "show off" some really great ideas.

Thanks for considering this.
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Old 02-13-2006, 08:21 PM   #2
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Hi, Rick -

I'm one of the moderators (with Leon). As he said, we have made an attempt to set out separate categories for things that are naturally separate. Two years ago, the board was one big jumble, with only a few categories, and sure enough, almost everything was posted in the General Discussion category. It finally got so confusing that the webmaster and the moderators spent 6 months re-organizing the board, setting up new categories/forums, and manually moving thousands of posts into their proper place in the new layout. When we were done, most folks adapted pretty well to the new structure. But even today, a large part of the moderators' job is moving posts from General Discussion to their proper place. For example, there was a post earlier this evening looking for Solar Panel help - but it was posted under General Discussion, not in the Solar Power forum. Why? I don't know. So I moved it.

Do we do a perfect job of moving things? I'm sure not, but we tweak it as we have opportunity. I guess my point is that I'm not convinced that a separate "Mods" forum would be any different - people tend to gravitate to the General Discussion forum, and that's just the way it is.

There are two things that would really help keep the board clean and easy to use.
1. Choose the appropriate forum for your post. No big surprise here.
2. Before posting a question, use the Advanced Search tool to see if the question has already been asked, and discussed and/or answered.

In the end, you are right. My experience with the board has shown me that there are an amazing number of good modification ideas among our members. The problem is not in getting them posted, but in getting them posted in a way that is sufficiently organized that other members can find and use them, even six months or a year after the original posting.

Bill
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:39 PM   #3
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Personally, I think if I was looking for information regarding what someone might call a "mod" of the interior, I would most likely look under interior, as that is more specific, than a general caegory of "mod".

In reality, I don't have much trouble finding anything. I read all new posts nearly every day. So, I don't miss anything. After that, if I want to find it again I can do a search.

In the beginning (a year ago) the value of categories was higer for me than it is today. It seems to me that a good filing system into a good collection of categories is most helpful to new members or to members that visit a little less often.

Television is so bad these days that reading daily posts to TMO is so much more entertaining.

As I write this, DW is watching the Olympics.
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:13 AM   #4
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Hoo, boy -

After some conversation with Rick about a new Forum, I was reminded of some important access information.

If I browse the Board without logging in, I can see the collection of General Discussion forums - but I can't see any of the Technical Discussion forums! I don't even know they are there! But this is where the meat of the board is found - separate areas for Plumbing, Electrical, Frame and Running Gear, Appliances, several others - and yes, Solar Power.

To give me a taste of what else is back there, I can register as a Trial Member (free). I get temporary access to everything including the Technical Discussion forums, so I can see what I am missing. But this access goes away after 30 days. This may be where Rick got hung up - and probably other folks do as well.

Permanent access to these Technical Discussion forums is the carrot, the reward for becoming a Site Sponsor. If you like what you see, $12 a year is a pretty small entry fee.

Finally, regarding the Search tool. I routinely suggest that people use the Search tool to find info on a topic that I know has been discussed in depth. I have to admit that I don't like the basic Search tool. It is too broad, and returns too many hits. I always use the Advanced Search. It allows me to zero in on my topic, using multiple keywords, the name of the poster, the date of posting, or whatever else will narrow it down. This makes searching a lot more useful.

Does this all make sense to the new folks?

Bill
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:15 PM   #5
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Default ideas

It makes sense to search specific mods only if you have a specific mod in mind. When deciding whether we wanted a TM mods were important to me. Is the trailer good for such fun. I searched for changes and ideas in general, not radio, or table, or TV platform only.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:31 AM   #6
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Default Yes Bill, that was my issue exactly. FAQ needs fixing

The 'Sponsorship of the TrailManor Owner's Pages' FAQ says:

"Registered Guest - A Registered Guest has the same access as a guest, but is able to post in the Guest areas."

But this isn't correct... A person who has fallen into Registered Guest status can't even read the Forum Names, much less their Threads.

My vote is to correct the FAQ, rather than allow full read access as the FAQ now indicates. Our revised FAQ should list the "Guest Area Forums", and also list a bunch of the Forums which are available only to Sponsors and Trial Members. That way, I could have confirmed that I was missing a bunch of Forums, rather than guessing... and seeing all the categories of good stuff would have made me leap even faster.

I also think that "Forum Access and Sponsorship" would be a much better title, helping to attract people who think that there's something wrong with their access status.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:01 AM   #7
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Rick -

I'm with you. If the FAQ is wrong, it needs to be fixed. I'll contact the Administrator, who is the one who can fix it (moderators cannot). Be aware, though, that Chris is a busy dude (i.e., he has a life beyond TM) and cannot always respond instantly.

Thanks for the heads-up.

Bill
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:58 PM   #8
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BUT!!! When Bill asks, I respond! I'll change the wording around and make it better.
Ct..

PS: Bill is right. It's been really busy as a single dad. Life is getting back in order though. You'll be seeing more of me.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:55 AM   #9
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Thanks, Chris.

Rick, while Chris works on the FAQ, let's review the situation. BTW, I personally cannot log on as a Registered Guest, so I can't confirm what a Registered Guest can do. If any Reg Guest sees a difference between reality and my impressions as laid out below, please let me know by Private Message, and I will fix it.

My impressions are:

(1.) As a GUEST, I can read (but cannot post in) several forums. The forums that I can read include:
  • TM Reference Library (TM Info You Won't Find Anywhere Else).
  • Prospective Owner Questions (1 forum)
  • General Discussion area (5 of the 9 forums located there)
  • Buy/sell (all 5 of the forums located there)
  • Forum info (all 3 of the forums located there)
The FAQ is correct here, although it needs to define what constitutes the "Guest Area".

(2.) As a REGISTERED GUEST, I believe I can see all of the same forums, and I can post in some of them - perhaps only to Prospective Owner Questions? The FAQ is unclear here, too - where can a Reg Guest submit a post?

Here is the biggie! As a Guest or Registered Guest, I cannot read (or even see) the Technical Discussion area - 12 very valuable forums, dedicated to specific areas such as Plumbing, Appliances, Solar Power, and so forth! I don't even know that these forums exist! The FAQ should point this out, for benefit of people who aren't sure about taking the next step.

(3.) If I take the next step and sign up as a TRIAL MEMBER (free), I get full access, read and post, to everything. A taste of the good life, if you will, but only for 30 days. If I don't like the good life, I revert to Registered Guest, and full access goes away. The FAQ is correct about this.

(4.) If I like the good life and sign up as a SPONSOR, I can see all forums and I can post to all of them, for a year. The FAQ is correct here, too.

Is this all correct? I think so.

Bill
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