I know ... I know ... but I wanted to cover everything.
I may try to group more things together a little later on (it's not like I've gone all out to publicise it as OPEN yet - it's very much a work in progress) - but the 50 character forum name limit kicked in for some of them, and the nomenclature/taxonomy sometimes precludes certain things from being lumped together as well.
I just decided to start moving forward with it, because I can sit here for months and months trying to get it all looking and working perfectly, but I might as well tidy it up as I go along and begin the XF learning process.
One of the next things I want to do is reduce the spacing between categories/forum to shorten the front page. With that many categories it needs to be tight.
I'm also really enjoying the simplicity of the XF templates - especially the in-template conditionals that run on-the-fly - very cool.
There's a lot to learn, and I'm behind the curve due to wasting months gassing in the off-topic forum, but I'm liking XF more and more as I play with it, and once I've got this one set up I can get the other two licenses into play.
Any other advice on layout/design that any of you can offer would be gratefully received ... it's always good to get other opinions.
Ok my suggestion for something to think over. Whenever starting a new forums, so many categories are always a bad idea. See stop thinking from an admin / site owner point of view and think as an end user. One of the main reasons why folks join a forum is because they see lots of people there. Showing an empty forum is the quickest way to force someone out. I would always suggest to start with as few categories as possible and expand as the need arise / time goes by. Obviously we have different approaches and I am not saying yours can't/won't work. Just my two cents.
No, don't worry - it's advice that is often given for start-up forums, and I appreciate it.
The category list I've come up with - and added to the forums - is a "covers everything" kind of set-up. I understand it will be overwhelming - not to mention full of tumbleweed too - so I will look to consolidate it into fewer forums to start with and expand as needed.
I just wanted to make sure I had the main bulk of the "technology/geek" arena covered.
I need to play with the layout some more too to make is more compact; the sheer length of it is a scroll wheel's nightmare, however I want to accommodate this many forums into the long-term future, so I do want to get the layout working with this many forums so that there is some small amount of future-proofing.
Thanks for the feedback though ... it is appreciated.