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Tech Forums: Re-Organized

New Coke tried to appeal to the masses as well back in the '80s, and almost bankrupted the company.
Off-topic, so here:

No, it didn't. That was the exact response Coca Cola was expecting.

The corporation was facing heavy competition from Pepsi and other brands. In order to maximize profits for shareholders (which is the ONLY legal fiduciary responsibility of a publicly-traded corporation), they couldn't raise retail prices... so they had to reduce production costs. Coca Cola used sugar as the sweetener, as did most brands of soda in the day. However, a new sweetener was making waves: one that was far sweeter than sugar (thereby requiring less per serving); and was far less expensive.

High Fructose Corn Syrup.

The only problem Coca Cola had, though, was that their product tasted a little differently with corn syrup vice sugar. Simply switching them wasn't an option without a consumer revolt. The CEO and board of directors had a brainstorm: what if we introduce it as a whole new formula - a New Coke - and sunset the old formula?

They knew consumers would throw a fit and demand the original formula back. If they could keep New Coke on the market just long enough, however, their studies proved that consumers' minds would "forget" what the original Coke had tasted like. The company would then feign surrender to consumer demand, and introduce Coca Cola Classic (sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup). Consumers would feel empowered that they "put it to the man"... and corporate would have pulled off the greatest bait & switch in business history.

Now, it's not even that anymore... or anything close to the original Coca Cola. It's now called "Original Taste" as if that means anything to anyone.

Disclaimer: I'm not biased in this at all. In fact, I drink NO carbonated beverages of any kind and haven't for years.
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If I make a post using "ask a question", I'm not asked which subforum it goes in. Why is this? It could be about all sorts of different hardware and could be about any kind of problem. We have subcategories, why does this bypass them?
My initial thought is that the most important thing we want to do is encourage engagement right now. Typically, people come to forums to ask questions. I want to make asking a question obnoxiously obvious and this does it.

It does bypass our categorization now, but everything is in flux. Noted.
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Where does it go? Auto-pick a category? One particular category? A special category just for that function?

I really don't like these easy things they make nowadays, like Android phones where you've no idea where the file is actually saved, and the file manager shows you fakery instead of the whole disk like in Windows. Mind you "My Documents" annoys me - where is it? Most people have no idea it's in a stupid place like c:\users\username\whatever. MS seem to assume every computer is used by multiple users.
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Is that when they removed the cocaine from it? That was a very very bad move.
No, New Coke happened in the 80s and ceased to exist a few years later. Cocaine hasn't been used in 'Coca-Cola' since the 19th Century, so even calling it 'original taste' today is a lie. But the FTC has had no teeth for decades so should we be surprised they get away with it?

AS for not knowing where files are saved, need I remind everyone that I still have not found the 'secret' place Amazon Music saves purchased MP3's since the last few updates? It downloads of course, but is somewhere that no other music player sees it. I stopped buying music since that happened, since Google Play Music RIP there is literally no way to buy MP3 music that is seen by another player like the ones I prefer. I could buy it on Apple Music for Android but then I would be forced to use that crApp to play it.

Is making things frustrating the intent? I remember whenever updates were actual improvements. Not change for change's sake, often with a worse experience than what was there before. I can cite one good example, at work they don't make really good ferro-resonant chargers for golf cars anymore that can be repaired (if they even break) for pennies, they instead created this made in China crap that is disposable, weighs nothing, is guaranteed landfill in a year or two called a 'smart charger' basically overcompliating something that's supposed to be simple. It offers nothing beneficial to a customer, selling them only makes us look bad, but like i said before we literally have the illusion of choice. We would love to offer and sell cars with USA made ferro-resonant chargers yet nobody makes them anymore. Yet all the companies say they are helping the planet with the elimination of say, charging bricks for phones. But all this disposable tech laughs in the face of such claims.

if there is just no improvement to be made, leave it alone. why take something simple and tried and true and make it worse? How is the 2005 Saturn ION better than a '78 Lincoln Continental? It looks cheap, rides like torture, is full of easily broken plastic, and is junkyard fodder in a decade if that. I would love to buy a car like the '78 but they don't make quality like that anymore and worse yet, Obama pretty much ensured they won't exist as cheap used cars since Cash for Clunkers. It's the same problem with shutting down 3G, rendering so any wonderful devies I'd rather use as literally landfill fodder, and they have the gall to claim they care about the freaking planet?
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Buy music. ROFL!

You don't usually need to get disposable stuff, it's just when it's a 5th of the price you have to wonder if you're going to break more than 4 of them. I would never buy a DeWalt drill for example. Loads of money to alledgedly last longer. Yet a colleague bought one, and I had to solder a wire inside one of the batteries they'd forgotten to do at manufacture!

Newer cars are more fuel efficient. But they could be very fuel efficient if they'd stop weighing them down with health and softy crap.
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Another suggestion, could we please have the ability to delete our own posts? Certainly for the first 5 or 10 minutes they're there. What if I post something, then realise the answer was elsewhere anyway? Or post twice in a row because of a network error?

I wonder if I can delete it with the trick I use in Boinc forums. Change the post to two spaces and nothing else. No, I get told off for not entering a valid message.
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Buy music. ROFL!

You don't usually need to get disposable stuff, it's just when it's a 5th of the price you have to wonder if you're going to break more than 4 of them. I would never buy a DeWalt drill for example. Loads of money to alledgedly last longer. Yet a colleague bought one, and I had to solder a wire inside one of the batteries they'd forgotten to do at manufacture!

Newer cars are more fuel efficient. But they could be very fuel efficient if they'd stop weighing them down with health and softy crap.
I have yet to find any tool made today that could best the vintage ones I have acquired. At best, they're made out of mostly plastic and have stupid keyless chucks that don't hold bits properly, and tend to shut down when you need to work them harder. I agree with DeWalt. One reason I refuse to buy online is because I thought I got a good deal on a listed 'made in USA' DeWalt combo drill/impact set with two batteries for 299.99, but when it arrived, it was in tiny print on the label 'professionally made in China for Black and Decker corp.' "Professionally" made in China. What a load of crap. I have never had anything made in China that wasn't automatic landfill in a year or less, and yes, the drill crapped out a month later, the impact made exactly a year. After that and having been burned even when paying tons for supposedly 'quality' brands only to have them being more crap out of China I started replacing it all with vintage S-K, Sawtooth Craftsman power and hand tools, and other various brands that are labeled 'made in USA' and it shows. Nothing vintage has failed me.
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Hopefully, manufacturer categories can be further broken down... for example, "Samsung" could be cut into Galaxy A, Galaxy M, Galaxy S, and Galaxy Z subcategories. Even if we never get back to individual model fora (the proper Latin plural for "forum", prove me wrong), at least people could look at their model types for help.
I've been thinking about this a lot...

Now that we're rethinking channels, does it make more sense to:
  • Have "Channels" for specific products?
  • Have "Channels" for models?
It depends a lot on the product category, different companies, etc... but it'd be very helpful for a hierarchy that included:
Smartphones > Samsung > Galaxy Z > Product Name Here (ex: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5)

But how do we best organize that? Our current "tools":
  • Categories
  • Forums
  • Prefixes
  • Tags
  • Channels
  • Custom Fields
Sadly, I'm not 100% confident we'll get Channels back and Custom Fields in XF aren't powerful enough to do much with... so if we were planning this today, maybe:
  • Categories for Type (ex: Smartphones)
  • Prefix for Manufacturer (ex: Samsung)
  • Forums for Product Line (ex: Galaxy Z)
  • Tags for Model (ex: Galaxy Z Fold5)
  • Custom Fields for Variants if necessary
Using prefixes for Manufacturers would allow us to repurpose them regardless of Product Type (the same prefix set would be used for Smartphones, Tablets, Computers, etc...)

If we're able to revive Channels, we'd use Channels for Models instead of Tags, at which point that would open up Tags for a different use case. Potentially to include Product Lines?

The problem with this is that our list of Forums will likely again become so expansive that it slows down the site, especially on the admin end when doing anything relating to forum permissions.

I'm partially thinking out loud here but curious if anyone has any bright ideas or strong opinions!

My thinking is that if you've got the Google Pixel 7 and you're looking for a new phone, you might feel more compelled to look for the "Google Pixel" section and chat it up rather than "Google" or "Google Pixel 8 Pro" specifically...
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The more specific members can target their search for information, the better for everyone who would later benefit from it. Right now it seems like there's a lot of good information on Device-X... but it's scattered all over the place! @Rob you know the capabilities of the site infinitely more than I would, so I defer to your knowledge on how to best apply those capabilities to help sort all this awesome content into the most user-friendly format.
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