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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:02 AM
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SSP:Local Vancouver (Beta)



We're going to launch a trial of a new forum expansion concept, dubbed SSP:Local, that is planned to provide a better-organized and a more comprehensive forum experience for major urban areas covered by SSP. What this means for our beta trial, which we are testing with Vancouver (you lucky guys (and girls), you!), is more forum subsections for Vancouver that include separate forums for construction discussions across the region, and separate forums for transportation issues, political issues, urbanism, food & dining, entertainment, and more. We call this the VibrantVictoria.ca model, and you can take a peak at the forum design that is used there by following this link.

When will SSP:Local Vancouver be launched?
We hope to have the SSP:Local Vancouver forum subsection operating by the 25th of September.

What sorts of changes can I expect?
Until (and if) we decide to create a separate section for SSP:Local forums, SSP:Local Vancouver will be located as a separate section within the Canada [edited] regional section. The section will include the following forums to start, and more can be added/edited as feedback comes in:

Construction and Land Development
>>Downtown and City of Vancouver
>>Suburbs and Fraser Valley
>>Urban Issues, Urban Design Issues, and Heritage Issues


Transportation and the Economy
>>Business and the Economy
>>Politics
>>Transportation and Infrastructure


Entertainment, Dining and Recreation
>>Arts, Culture and Entertainment
>>Food and Dining
>>Sports and Outdoor Recreation


General and Photography
>>General Discussion
>>Photos

We will test this forum setup to gauge how forumers participate in discussions that have a much more localized and customized selection of forums. This will hopefully lead to a better-organized and more informative forum experience for our regular Vancouver forumers and the visitors who pass through SSP. And quite frankly, even though we're mostly all building enthusiasts here, sometimes it's great to be able to discuss dining experiences or arts and culture issues without having to deviate from construction or development discussion forums and do so within one familiar forum environment.

We realize that change can also be a bumpy ride for some but we ask that everyone gives us a chance as we try this out and of course we welcome any feedback that you may have.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:15 AM
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Sounds like it could be a welcome change. I just wonder if there will be enough Vancouver interested forumers to support such a specialized division of forum topics. Things haven't been all that bustling as of late. But hopefully it will entice more Vancouverites to join the forum or influence those that have already joined but rarely comment to comment more often.

Either way, assuming the numbers are strong enough, it looks like it could be a successful change, especially based on the success of vibrantvictoria.ca.

One thing that might need a bit of altering though is the "Construction and Land Development" section. Things like "Surrey and points east" sort of overlaps with "Fraser Valley" for example.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:28 AM
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Yeah, actually we hope that more people who may be browsing or not posting as often will be enticed to comment because the variety of discussions will be larger and will affect a broader audience.

I think you're right about "Surrey and points east" and "Fraser Valley." We'll have to rename the Surrey forum to Surrey and Langley (if you guys think that's ok).
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:36 AM
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While I love the idea, I am concerned at the activity levels of the vancouver (oops, I mean British Columbia) section. I wouldn't want it to be considered a dead project because of a lack of activity in certain sections.

Therefore, by undertaking this change of structure, I hope management will realise that within certain sub-categories, sometimes things just don't happen for a 6-8 month period. As such lets not kill it if it isn't hustle and bustle for even a rather extended period of time.

Question: Did you choose Vancouver because the webmaster lives across the Strait of Georgia?

Also, I don't know if this is possible but; If we make a topic in one section, yet it relates to, or would also belong in another section, can we have an option to link a thread to that section as well?

For instance, a development in the Downtown Eastside would both fit under Urban Issues and Downtown Vancouver Construction. A topic about the Streetcar Network could also have the potential of fitting under Heritage, Transportation and Infrastructure, and once again Downtown Vancouver Construction. Could even fit into the Rest of Vancouver Construction category depending on whether the topic becomes about extending the network or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike K. View Post
Yeah, actually we hope that more people who may be browsing or not posting as often will be enticed to comment because the variety of discussions will be larger and will affect a broader audience.

I think you're right about "Surrey and points east" and "Fraser Valley." We'll have to rename the Surrey forum to Surrey and Langley (if you guys think that's ok).
Would work perfectly.

Also, might want a separate section for the Tri-Cities area, that way all of the Metro is categorized under a topic, and the rest of the Fraser Valley is simply the parts that aren't included in the metro.
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Mind View Post
While I love the idea, I am concerned at the activity levels of the vancouver (oops, I mean British Columbia) section. I wouldn't want it to be considered a dead project because of a lack of activity in certain sections.
I think that if activity were to wane in the BC section, we could bridge BC and Alberta as one forum. Certainly between those two there would be enough to chat about

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Mind View Post
Question: Did you choose Vancouver because the webmaster lives across the Strait of Georgia?
Yeah, we're HQ'd in Victoria, but we did it because the Vancouver forum is pretty active and has a lot of dedicated forumers. Of course it never hurts to be across the Strait if we need to yell at one of you guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Mind View Post
Also, I don't know if this is possible but; If we make a topic in one section, yet it relates to, or would also belong in another section, can we have an option to link a thread to that section as well?

For instance, a development in the Downtown Eastside would both fit under Urban Issues and Downtown Vancouver Construction. A topic about the Streetcar Network could also have the potential of fitting under Heritage, Transportation and Infrastructure, and once again Downtown Vancouver Construction. Could even fit into the Rest of Vancouver Construction category depending on whether the topic becomes about extending the network or not.
This is something that would be worked out by the poster and the mods. Typically speaking, when it comes to discussions on VibrantVictoria the most important aspect of a discussion dictates where it will go. Trolley's are an infrastructure issue, and even though they impact heritage, they are significantly more related to the movement of individuals than they are to heritage issues (even though the two may overlap). And if the topic spins off lots of side discussions, it wouldn't hurt to have a topic started in another section (like "Trolleys: heritage impacts") for example, which deals with completely different issues than the infrastructure topic would. I think given a few weeks people will generally grasp where discussions should be located and mods will provide a bit of help when threads are posted where they don't quite fit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Mind View Post
Also, might want a separate section for the Tri-Cities area, that way all of the Metro is categorized under a topic, and the rest of the Fraser Valley is simply the parts that aren't included in the metro.
Will do. So I'll add the Tri-Cities area up to the sections.

Thanks.
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 12:52 AM
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How about a name change from one specifically to do with skyscrapers, to something that has more to do with cities and urban life in general? Maybe make the board a one-stop portal to VibrantVictoria type forums for just about every city in the world.
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 1:00 AM
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Good idea (and more on that in a bit). What we're hoping to do with the SSP:Local concept is to bridge the gap between building enthusiasts and urbanites since the two already operate on common ground (such as a love of cities, or something to that effect).

At this stage I don't think SSP should rebrand itself completely and I don't think the will is there to do so from the forumers, but certainly focusing on the "skyscraper" in SkyscraperPage may send the wrong message to individuals who would be more keen on the SSP:Local sort of discussions. We'll play it by ear, I suppose, and see how this idea evolves and how we need to react to it.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 1:06 AM
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I like your logo, but it needs more buildings to form a skyline in later versions. :p
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 2:28 AM
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I'm not sure if there's enough members for so many forums. Is there even enough Metro Vancouver news/developments to warrant so many sub-forums? There's only so much we can talk about, i.e. Vancouver politics.

I'm not quite sure if this is a good idea. I think it's going quite well right now, and it would be a shame to lose everything we have today (the traffic, the members, the interest) by splitting things up. I certainly wouldn't enjoy spending additional time each day going through each forum.

The vibrantvictoria.ca model is more suitable for a city like NYC.


Skyscrapercity is giving Vancouver its own forum, a sub-forum of BC, in the coming weeks.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 3:17 AM
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One of the primary reasons we're doing this is to grow the Vancouver membership of this forum. The more people can talk about, chances are they'll be more likely to participate.

I don't think we'll be losing any members or traffic by adding more discussion forums for a region. Probably quite the contrary as the VibrantVictoria model has successfully shown (even though it's not NYC ).
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 3:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike K. View Post
One of the primary reasons we're doing this is to grow the Vancouver membership of this forum. The more people can talk about, chances are they'll be more likely to participate.

I don't think we'll be losing any members or traffic by adding more discussion forums for a region. Probably quite the contrary as the VibrantVictoria model has successfully shown (even though it's not NYC ).
Hopefully, it does work. I'm just saying, you're gambling a whole lot we already have here.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 3:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike K. View Post
Construction and Land Development
>>Downtown Vancouver
>>City of Vancouver
>>North Shore
>>Burnaby and New Westminster [edited]
>>Tri-Cities [new]
>>Richmond & Delta
>>Surrey and Langley [edited]
>>Fraser Valley


Food and Dining
>>Cafes, Eateries and Take-Outs
>>Markets, Bakeries and Delis
>>Pubs, Bars and Lounges
>>Restaurants
>>General
I really think you're spreading those categories too thin. The construction and development could probably be combined all into one forum, or at most one for the city proper and another for the suburbs/valley. And the food/dining section can be one forum too. Otherwise, I imagine postings to each of the forums is going to be very slow.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 3:46 AM
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i don't really understand what's going on =S
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 4:43 AM
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I think it's a good idea and should definently be tried out.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 5:38 AM
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It'll take time, but sounds like a great idea to me!

VibrantVictoria has 386 members in just over one year (some more active than others!). At the height of the Victoria presence on SSP, it might have been 20-25 or so.

Vancouver doesn't have (at least that I'm aware of) a one stop Urban Experience message board (surely can't count DiscoverVancouver!) and neither did Victoria. It's a great place to have an intelligent (usually) exchange of information and ideas, and it will attract new people with other interest besides skyscrapers. Members on VibrantVictoria include a unsuccessful candidate for mayor, proponents of light rail, people mainly interested in restaurants, heritage buffs, etc. A good number of people moving to the city have registered to ask questions, as the site is becoming the go to place for information on Victoria.

Here's hoping all goes well, just give it a chance! I hate to see how the Vancouver presence has declined, and the Calgarians outnumber us 2 or 3 to 1!
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 5:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutterbug View Post
I really think you're spreading those categories too thin. The construction and development could probably be combined all into one forum, or at most one for the city proper and another for the suburbs/valley. And the food/dining section can be one forum too. Otherwise, I imagine postings to each of the forums is going to be very slow.
You may be right. Why don't we try
"Downtown & City of Vancouver"
"Suburbs/Valley"

and expand them as necessary. If surrey is speeding along, we'll break up the burbs, etc.

Ditto for restaurants, so we'll make it one section and expand it as need by.

Zoomer, you're absolutely right about those stats and going by the success of VV the expanded forum should theoretically grow a few members more than it would otherwise.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 5:46 AM
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Well, at least, some forums need to be grouped together.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 6:09 AM
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I've updated the list of forums, btw.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 7:37 AM
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I'm looking forward to experiencing this beta... I like the simplified categorization as outlined... too many categories can paralize a forum but the way it's laid out is simple enough to be useful. Wishing you all the best of luck in this seemingly difficult task of appeasing the masses. As always, should any of your SSP force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Good luck Jim. Please dispose of this post in the usual manner.
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Old Posted Sep 21, 2007, 7:41 AM
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I've updated the list of forums, btw.
this edited version is perfect.
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