[moving this thread to Forum Support....]
This actually came up recently in the forum of one of the members sending me a private message. This was my response:
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Actually I'm a little unsure how to proceed - the category "Events, Travel, Outdoors" was just supposed to define in broad terms what would happen in broad terms in the forums below which were divided into commercial and non-commercial. A better way to think it of it would be Events (which might also involve travel and the outdoors). But I can see that this original line of thinking wasn't very clear.
It would probably be better to remove travel and outdoors from the category if it is causing confusion.
Specific reviews of travel - hotels, transport. Interesting idea - what I have to be careful of is creating overlap (and therefore confusion). For example, if we specifically made a section for people wanting to travel to Switzerland it could also turn into some sort of travellers forum - and such people are just hear to get not contribute - the primary purpose of the forum was for people living here.
Willing to listen to suggestions about what such areas should be called, where they would be placed, and exactly what the descriptions for the areas would be.
I agree that Help & Tips is currently too general, but also want to avoid creating too many areas - the higher the number of areas the more chance that users will post in the wrong place and the more work for us.
One new area idea I've had is TV-related (endless talk about sky TV etc). Before creating an area there should already be a trend of more than a few messages on that topic in the other areas. This is how off-topic, Business and Language corner were born - the only 3 new areas since the forum started.
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So I'm still a little unsure how to proceed with it, but open to suggestions. I don't want to create additional confusion.
Let's look a little closer at some of the questions raised on this thread already:
Somewhere to take the kids on the weekend. Would this fit under travel? I don't really think it would? Nickj - Carmen started a thread Family Friendly places to visit in Switzerand
which is probably where you want to go.
Where to take visiting parents? Again, would this fit under travel, what if it were just in Zurich and you lived in Zurich? Wouldn't technically be travel would it? What about a short trip away from where you live? Would that be travel?
We should also remember that threads are not always single questions. For example "I want to take my parent to XYZ, any recommendations" could be a thread on it's own, but it would be more useful to have a thread like "Bored: Where to go on a rainy day in Zurich" (one of my favourite questions!) and a thread like that might be a good place to make a post about where to take the parents.
What I'm saying is that I'd prefer to see less threads with more posts on them than more threads which are often related (this means more work for me, and less chance that people find what they are looking for).
They key to a new section is the name and the description of the area, since this is the guidance to people as to where the best place for their message is (right Nicky?). So the wording has to be chosen very carefully so as not to create confusion or overlap.
Name: Short Trips, Travel, etc.
Description: Planning a quick get-away? Family visiting? Questions and tips relating to accomodation, transport, etc.
One disadvantage I can think of from the above description is that it might encourage messages like "I'd like to come to Switzerland, where should I stay, and what should I do when I am there". We've had a few like that already. (the answer by the way is: use google!). The focus of the forum is more for people living here or planning to live here, rather than a tourist service.
Still open to some better suggestions!