Author Topic: A new forum board to help new users & relieve experienced contributing members  (Read 2453 times)

hiccup

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After digesting and processing the most recent feedback and information; here is a new proposal for a possible structure for this new issues/FAQ board.

It is based on earlier suggestions, but tweaked for the possibility that this new board develops into some 'MegaFAQ'.
And I sprinkled it with some less-is-more seasoning.
Notice that therefor each topic is titled curtly.
Helpful descriptions to each topic can and should be added, but I am not stretching my brain for that at this moment.

There are a couple of things I have doubts about and some topics such as cd-ripping and file format conversion need a place, so input on improvement is welcome.

Each arrow represents a deeper hierarchy (child board)

---


FAQ

>   About MusicBee

>   About this board

>   Frequently asked questions and issues

        >    MusicBee program
                >    Installation and system requirements
                >    Updating
                >    Languages
 
        >    Additional features
                >    CD ripping
                >    Format conversion

        >    Addons and plugins

        >    Audio

        >    Bugs

        >    Interface

        >    Layout
                >    Display modes
                >    Panels
                >    Skins

        >    Library
                >    Audio files
                >    Library file

        >    Operating system
                >    Windows
                >    Other

        >    Playlists

        >    Portable audio players

        >    Suggestions and requests

        >    Tagging
                >    General
                >    Artwork
                >    Lyrics
                
        >    Technical issues

        >    Terminology

        >    Virus warnings

        >    Web services
                >    Podcasts
                >    Radio
                >    Last.fm scrobbling
                >    SoundCloud
                >    Other
Last Edit: December 04, 2020, 01:08:40 AM by hiccup

frankz

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For me, especially without a reliable search behind it, the structure above has too much stratification with too much drilling down required.  For example, are there really enough Soundcloud or Last.fm issues for any one of them to be considered common or frequently asked?  

Does virus warning need to be broken out from technical or program?  Aren't the warnings always related to either installing or updating?

IMO each plugin and addon does or could already have its own dedicated thread that's already a clearinghouse for questions related to it.

Sorry to have not been more involved to date. It seems I'm being critical and I don't want it to feel that way.  I'm slammed under IRL.  IMO this should be way flatter. We can always break things out later if the seem to become cross populated with unrelated issues.  If it starts out complicated it will be less likely to be be widely adopted.

hiccup

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For example, are there really enough Soundcloud or Last.fm issues for any one of them to be considered common or frequently asked?

The structure I suggested is how it could develop if this FAQ becomes filled with a lot of contributions.
I don't mean all these child boards should be created from the get-go. Most of them are probably never needed.

I used them
A. to imagine myself all the sorts of subjects that theoretically could reside in this board.
B. to help myself and others imagining what subjects each higher level topics would cover, so not to possibly oversee something.
C. as keywords that can be used for the subtitle/description of the main boards.

So it could look like this:



Or are you also skeptical about even having a structure of such boards under the main FAQ board at all?
Just have everything flat without any hierarchy?
 

frankz

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No, no I think having sections is smart.  I just think they should be fairly broad and relatively few for usability purposes.

Imagine you're a newer user who doesn't have a problem yet but does want to learn as much as you can about how other people are actually using Musicbee.  You go into the "Web Services" area (for example) that you have in your mock-up above. You're presented with some threads that show exactly what seasoned users think is important about the web services MB offers, including workarounds for common issues others have already run into.  That's really fun and informative vs. having to drill down into specific granular topics to get to information.  Drilling down requires specific interest, while browsing/scanning threads on a topic you're broadly curious about can inspire interest.

hiccup

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Too many child boards surely can be counter-productive, but too few can also make it more difficult for a new user.

If he has an issue with podcasts, he would probably be happy to see a child board named 'podcasts'
Or if he has an issue with lyrics, he would start singing if he saw a child board named 'lyrics'

But obviously that is not a realistic option for all possible topics.
The attempt here is to try and find some sensible middle ground.

Here is a suggestion for a more compact initial hierarchy. It conforms with my earlier notion that the amount of topic boards on one page should probably best be limited somewhere around the number of 10 so they are all in view on a computer screen without the need for (much) scrolling.


FAQ

>   About MusicBee

>   About this board

>   Frequently asked questions and issues

        >    MusicBee program
               installation – updates – virus alerts
    
        >    Additional features
               cd ripping – addons & plugins

        >    Audio
               quality – loudness – formats
  
        >    Layout
               display modes – panels

        >    Library
               organisation - playlists
  
        >    Portable audio players
              
        >    Tagging
               custom & virtual tags – tagging standards

        >    Terminology

        >    Web services
               podcasts – radio



Obviously other choices for categories and topics can be made.
This is still a phase of some juggling around with ideas and terminologies, and it will need some improvement and refining for sure.
For example I am not sure with this version where issues with e.g. keyboard-shortcuts, lyrics, artwork retrieval should go.

Any alternative proposals would be interesting to see…


edit:
What is also a factor to consider, is that in my mind the endpoint of these boards is always a thread that in theory only contains one post that contains all issues and answers on the topic. So that post would be constructed and maintained similar to a single document.

That is why in some cases an extra child board will make good sense.
E.g. if there was to be a board called 'Additional features' as above, it would make sense to have it containing two child boards: 'cd-ripping' and 'addons & plugins', because it would be a bit weird to have their answers and issues on them combined in one single post.
 
Last Edit: December 04, 2020, 03:11:42 PM by hiccup

frankz

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That's much cleaner, although I'm not sure that "Terminology" needs to be there as all terminology that would be used would relate to one or another of the bolded board topics.

I disagree that each board should ideally only be one post, but maybe I don't understand fully what you're considering a "topic." For me, a topic is an issue.  Like under web services, there was an issue a while back about problems with Last.fm integration after changing one's user name.  For me, that's a topic.  Also, sometimes people have issues with scrobbles not being recorded back in MB correctly.  For me, that's another topic.  Then there's the question of what fields get sent to last.fm.  That's a third topic.

So in my mind it's Web Services as a board
Post: Cannot scrobble after changing last.fm user name
Post: Discrepancy between last.fm scrobbles and synched scrobbles
Post: Unexpected information being sent in last.fm scrobbles

Each of these returned as its own results in Google when searched with relevant keywords.  Of course, other topic or issues related to other web services would be mixed in.

It sounds to me like you want
Board: Web Services
Child Board: Last.fm
Post: Common Last.fm problems

Or, after your revision -
Board: Web Services
Post: Common Last.fm problems

I think these will yield what you want when it comes to us being able to copy and paste or point to an answer, but it will not accomplish much in regard to people being able to easily self-serve an answer coming in from the outside without our involvement.

hiccup

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I disagree that each board should ideally only be one post..

I imagined it that way because then you would have one single article on a matter that contains all related issues.
And it can be written and designed in a way that makes it easy to read and learn different aspects on the matter without the need to leave that post and find another one that is only pertaining to a single issue.
It could make it a nicer and more informative reading experience compared to finding one of many posts.

Google search can be a factor, but I am not so sure results will be better on separate article titles.
If there is one single post that is complete in addressing all related issues, and therefor will get much more hits and views than separate posts, it will probably be much higher in ranking.

edit:
And a third possible advantage is that this board will be maintained and populated by a couple of board moderators. (a lot I hope)
When there is one post that contains all relevant issues, that post will be viewed and reviewed a lot.
Chances that one of the moderators sees something in that post that can be improved on, by editing mistakes, adding content, improving the layout, etc. are high.
So I am guessing the quality of the content would be(come)  higher compared to when there are many different posts where you could miss some overview and not all posts will be viewed and redacted as frequently.

edit2:
My last brainfart for the day: separate posts might increase chances on duplicate or very similar posts, and perhaps more overlap with Tips & Tricks, Questions.
 
Last Edit: December 04, 2020, 05:35:52 PM by hiccup

frankz

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Well it'd be up to the editors to prevent duplicates and overlap.

I'd thought that the point was to be able to link users directly to the answer to their specific question.  This sounds more like linking them to a post that lists every issue related to that topic, among which is the answer to their question or issue.  That's only one step more granular than the monolith FAQ.

Now that I understand better what you're trying to accomplish, I've got to say that I agree with psychoadept that a wiki format would be better than forum posts to perform this function.  At least on a wiki you can section it out with links to each section.  Not saying the fandom wiki in particular because of the problems I listed before with the ads and tracking on that site, but a local wiki that only approved moderators could edit.

It's your baby, though, and I'm very interested to see how your vision turns out.  Whatever format it takes, It'll be miles better than typing "it's a false positive" every few days. :) 

hiccup

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It's your baby, though…

It's not my baby yet ;-)
It is still just considering putting one on this planet.
With the understanding that there are limitations to how well I am able to oversee all aspects and implications.

Yes, with the implementation that you are thinking of you could create a shortcut link to one specific post that focuses on one specific element of a larger matter.
With my suggestion the link would lead to a larger article that contains the answer. It will ask a little bit more effort for the person looking for the answer, but at the same time he gets presented with much more possibly interesting and useful information on the same matter.
And, the one creating the link can easily include the title of the paragraph or some relevant keywords from that article.
Both approaches will have there pro's and con's.


But...  we shouldn't do this at all if the enthusiasm and the confidence in it is low and people that would have to do the job see lots of bears on the road.
It will need to be a community driven effort, and at least a couple of influential and active forum members will need to be enthusiastic and motivated, and have their noses in the same direction.

Maybe it just isn't such a good idea and we should drop it.
 

Steven

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I have created the board and assigned frankz, psychoadept, phred and hiccup as moderators of that board. Anyone else who want to contribute let me know

frankz

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Unless I'm totally misreading the situation here, transferring 4 page 4 year old threads wholesale is not the intended purpose of this new section.

I thought we were supposed to post answers and solutions, not the entire sausage making process.

psychoadept

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If you're talking about the virus thread, I can't think of a better candidate for a "common issues" board, especially since that particular one seems to get equally divided between questions and bug reports. Exactly how to handle it is debatable, maybe the first post needs to be updated. And we don't have any child boards yet to file it.  But duplicating it completely seems silly.
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frankz

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IMO no matter what board or child board the "Virus Alert" post goes under, it should be something like:
==
If you downloaded Musicbee from the official site or from a link provided by the developer or a forum moderator, it is sure to not contain a virus.  Any alert you may receive is a false positive.

Musicbee contains binaries from the Bass Audio library.  Because of the way these DLL files are compiled, they frequently cause "false positive" results with various virus scanners at various times.

If you are having trouble installing or updating Musicbee due to these false virus warnings, try white-listing the entire directory where your MusicBee installation resides in your anti-virus software. Consult the individual anti-virus software's documentation for instructions on how to do this in your situation.
==

Wording to taste, but copying a 4 page back-and-forth forum thread to the "Answers" board and calling it a day seems antithetical to the mission here.
Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 06:17:27 AM by frankz

sveakul

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I completely agree with frankz's interpretation here--a blanket covering the whole "but my antivirus said.." issue in one concise post.  Suggested inclusion:
"If you downloaded Musicbee or one of its update patches.."

Steven

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