How to structure my forum?


(Uday) #1

Hi All,

Below is how I am planning to implement my forum. Could someone please guide me how to structure it?

  1. There are X no of states in my country. Each state has a seperate group and each group sub-divided into sub groups to represent cities.
  2. During registration user will enter his state and city. As per this he will be added to his respective groups and subgroups(state and city).
  3. Every group and subgroup has it’s own set of categories. Only users from the respective groups can work on those.
  4. Users from all the groups can work on few categories hosting wiki topics on the whole.
  5. When a user logs in, he should be able to see only categories that are related to his groups and sub groups i.e his state and city.

My doubts:

  1. Maximum no. of users a group can host.
  2. Maximum no. of groups and categories we can have?
  3. Can we have sub groups in the first place? If yes,what is it’s limit?

Could someone please point me if I am thinking straight?


#2

This sounds complicated! I’m not sure I completely grasp what you’re suggesting, but you can only have one level of sub-categories.


(Uday) #3

Hi @HAWK,

Thanks for taking your time to reply. I have edited the question a bit. Are you able to see through clearly now?


(Mittineague) #4

IMHO any “maximum limits” of the app should not be a problem for you.
Long before they might cause any problem, the forum would have become a problem for members due to it having too complex of a structure.

I can relate to wanting to have things organized. But I think you may be better off starting with a slightly looser structure and then modifying the structure as the community grows. I think Tags would be good for this. eg. Category - Subcategory - Tag(s)
Once you see that any tag is used very often, it could indicate that it would be a good candidate for becoming a subcategory.


#5

AFAIK there aren’t sub-groups, but the rest of your structure would work.

e.g. I’m from State A so when I log in, I’m allocated to the State A usergroup, which means I can only see a small number of the categories and sub-categories.

I do agree with Mittineague though – this sounds super complicated.


(Tom Newsom) #6

What if I live in state A and then move to state B. Do I have to stop talking to my state A friends?


(Uday) #7

I came across a topic that says a group can have maximum of 201 users in it. So, just wanted to be clear about the limit.

Using categories and sub-categories to group people? Is that possible?

From what I have understood till now, a category is used to group similar or related topics. Can we use categories to group users? Please correct me if I am wrong.


#8

You weren’t wrong. Categories group discussions. User groups group members. :slight_smile:


(Uday) #9

A user can be part of only one state at a time. He can still be a part of his native state’s group and follow it’s related topics. Or if he wants to join in newly moved state’s group, he will have have to leave old group and register in new state’s group.

This is the basic idea as of now. Have to think it through:sweat_smile:


#10

@ukankal
Correct me if I’m wrong but based on your name and your description of the issue, I’d guess that you might be talking about India. Even if you’re not, India serves as one of the most extreme examples because this structure looks difficult to manage. So how does this compare to your scenario?

Groups and subgroups

There are X no of states in my country. Each state has a seperate group and each group sub-divided into sub groups to represent cities.
During registration user will enter his state and city. As per this he will be added to his respective groups and subgroups(state and city).

  1. 36 groups
  • 500-7,000 subgroups consisting of some combination of:
    • 500 cities and 6,000 towns
    • 36 states and 717 districts

Notes:

Categories

Every group and subgroup has it’s own set of categories. Only users from the respective groups can work on those.
Users from all the groups can work on few categories hosting wiki topics on the whole.
When a user logs in, he should be able to see only categories that are related to his groups and sub groups i.e his state and city.

5,000-70,000 categories assuming ten categories per group (36) and subgroup (500-7,000)
2,500-35,000 if there are only five categories each

The hamburger menu would probably become unworkable with anything more than the 36 group categories.


(Uday) #11

@Remah,

Yes I am from india. Appreciate your groundwork on this topic. I didn’t know some of that info there,Thanks.

I will not be going that deep. At the most I will have 36 states and 50 cities, nothing more. Each city will not have more than 3 categories.

When a user logs in, as he is part of a group, he will be able to see only categories that his group is allowed to. Other categories will not be visible to him right?

Then the categories won’t mess up the menu. Am I correct? Please correct me if I am not.


(Mittineague) #12

That is correct. Category permissions can be set based on inclusion in a Group. If a member is not in a Group that has permission to a Category in general they will not see it anywhere. (Nor will any search engines.)


(Steven Dorst) #13

And here is where your proposed structure is likely to fail - on a conceptual level!

How will you handle people who live in cities on a state border, such as Kansas City, Kansas which is just across a state border (and a river) from Kansas City, Missouri? Together they form a single metropolitan area. People in both cities will want to be have access to the same discussions. And statewide discussions, in either state, will be of interest to people in both cities.

Regardless of how you might (or might not) be able to implement your concept in Discourse, you need to rethink this.


(Steven Dorst) #14

Do any of the cities span multiple states? If not, why not group by Cities only? Then, by city, select the appropriate categories.

50 User groupings by city. NO grouping by states. Manual assignment of which User groups can access each Category.

I still think your concept is flawed. As others have mentioned, what about the rural areas? And, while you haven’t mentioned the focus of your forums, you have envisioned a structure that totally disallows a user from participating in more than one area. What of the user that lives in one city, but works in another? Should they not have access to discussions allowed for users in both cities?