Should we consider breaking up YA by country/region?

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by dark knight, Oct 12, 2022.

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Should we regroup YAs by where they play or some other new organization?

  1. Heck no - don’t fix what ain’t broke

    45.7%
  2. Yes - it’s way too crowded now. We should organize by country or region.

    7.1%
  3. Yes - it’s way too crowded now. We should organize by strength of league (big 5/6 vs the rest)

    24.3%
  4. Yes - I have a great idea for reorganize that I’ll post in the thread.

    4.3%
  5. I’m on the fence. If we decide to change, I’ll vote on which approach later.

    18.6%
  1. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    Your use of punctuation and emojis suggests otherwise. :)

    I'm really most interested in practical solutions because unless @bungadiri can convince me otherwise, I'm interested in trying something new here because I just think it's way too much noise currently. If you don't see the problem, I would recommend you advocate for a solution you do like or hate less.

    But like I said, the good part about making changes is that we can undo them if they don't work. For instance if cataloguing YAs becomes tons of busy work, it isn't sustainable.
     
  2. zlatan_but_a_car

    Botswana Meat Commission FC
    United States
    Oct 16, 2017
    The eye roll emoji was to point out how absurd it is to call the subjective nature of information categorization "emotional" as though there is a clear "logical" answer that benefits all. There isn't, unless we're ready to discuss the national team sized elephant in the room: why is it so important to cluster the threads for the "best" YA's? This is why I'm asking people to define what is "inefficient" about the current structure... people are just using subjective descriptors ("efficient", "noise", "clutter") and acting as though we all objectively agree about what they mean.

    Or, to restate my point within the context of your message, I see the "problem" you're bringing up, I do not see a "universal problem" affecting significant amounts of users. I think this is reflected by the poll results: the majority of users who care enough to vote don't want the structure to change, but the people who are advocating the loudest for change in the thread appear to only be interested in a solution that stratifies by either player quality or league quality despite only making up 25% of the respondents.

    I have given several suggestions for better organizational schemes:
    1. Standardized thread titles. We can even keep the puns (I like them) by doing something like [PLAYER NAME] @ [CLUB]: [joke goes here]. This allows users looking for a specific player thread to keep their eyes focused on the left side of the window and scroll rapidly.
    2. Broad regional sub-forums with their own PBP sections, but dissolve the player / academy distinction. This is more easily maintainable by not requiring lots of moves between sub-forums when club situations change (transfer, relegation, re-calculation of UEFA coefficients, etc).
    3. Better instructions for how to leverage "watched threads" and the "My Watched Threads" view in the profile. This allows people who only want to see updates about potential USMNT starting XI players to not have to "wade through" the "noise".

    Each of these avoids the subjective nature of deciding what it means to "organize by strength of league" or (strength of player) and avoids the increased in mod maintenance that will be required of a strength based categorization.
     
  3. FirstStar

    FirstStar Hustlin' for the USA

    Fulham Football Club
    Feb 1, 2005
    Time's Arrow
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I applaud the effort to make our experience here better and am grateful that you all care this much about it. Personally, the current format is fine - if there's a player I'm interested in who isn't on the front page, I just use the search engine.

    However, if you want to put in the work to create folders by region, that's great. It's one or two more clicks and that's a pretty low barrier to entry. I suspect it would be very good.
     
  4. zlatan_but_a_car

    Botswana Meat Commission FC
    United States
    Oct 16, 2017
    I also want to echo @FirstStar and say thanks to the mods for this conversation. As someone who has helped build the sites for other communities, I understand how thankless the job of moderator is. I know I take this stuff too seriously, and I don't want to come off as "ungrateful" or "combative", I just want everyone to think carefully before reorganizing, because it's not an easy or quick task to do or undo.
     
    dark knight, Winoman and Roblar repped this.
  5. Roblar

    Roblar Member

    Sep 15, 2000
    The 73072
    Thanks to all for the discussion. And dark night, if you're set on trying out something new, I think that's your prerogative. I'll keep coming here whenever I'm not too busy (and often when I am too busy :p).
    .
    .
    .
    That said, I'd like to chime in again to say that I'm with zlatan_but_a_car on this (excellent suggestions above!).

    :thumbsdown: If anything, I think subforums will mean that I visit fewer threads.

    I don't know how many others are like me, but I rarely go to the academy section (except to follow some coaching threads) or the play-by-play section (except when I can't find highlights to watch) when those showed up, even though I used to follow many of threads that got moved there. I totally get keeping play-by-play separate (especially for those planning to watch later), and I appreciate that many will like keeping threads for kids on trial or with 12yo youth squads out of the main forum. :thumbsup:
     
    dark knight and zlatan_but_a_car repped this.
  6. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    Club:
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I have no idea why you’re so amped up about this.

    My position is entirely rational and akin to having various folders in your email instead of everything lumped in a single inbox.
     
  7. zlatan_but_a_car

    Botswana Meat Commission FC
    United States
    Oct 16, 2017
    You have successfully described "watched threads" and the "view all watched threads" end-point: https://www.bigsoccer.com/watched/threads/all

    Meanwhile, you still haven't answered my first question: why is it important to separate the best 5-10 players from "anyone who touches a first team pitch" when the forum's MO is explicitly to avoid national team discussions? And I'm worked up because you dodge the question and then turn around and call me "emotional" and "irrational" for asking reasonable clarifying questions.
     
  8. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    If you want it, it's going to happen, one way or another.

    It's fine, we'll adapt.
     
  9. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    I think part of the problem with watched threads is you miss out on a lot - so it does require you to break the watched thread habit on occasion. I don’t think occasionally checking out a few forums to harvest more watched threads is all that different from one big inbox.

    It does seem like the Academy breakout hasn’t been as successful as we would have liked. So that probably needs a rethink as well.
     
  10. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise. I don't have any objections to your plan as you first stated it. I think it's a reasonable way to reorganize the forum.
     
    dark knight repped this.
  11. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    How does this proposed breakout differ from the Academy breakout? Seems like it has most of the same characteristics. This seems to discourage posting and reading about players outside the top 10-15 YAs. Clearly that's where the most interest is, but it's not as if people actually can't find the Christian Pulisic or Weston McKennie threads.
     
    zlatan_but_a_car repped this.
  12. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    Can you articulate why you would be against a change? Or are you saying we should just have one big inbox?
     
  13. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    Gonna throw out another option - what if we did away with some individual threads? Like a catchall thread for more obscure YAs. Just a thought.
     
  14. zlatan_but_a_car

    Botswana Meat Commission FC
    United States
    Oct 16, 2017
    "message" or "mail" comparisons aren't particularly useful here, because messages are often "one-to-one" or "one-to-many" relationships, while forum threads tend to be "many-to-many".

    I think this is where I'm confused. The problem is that there are too many threads in YA so "important" threads get "lost". But a solution where you very narrowly select which threads you want to track isn't desirable because users might "miss out on a lot". From my perspective, the threads that you don't want users to "miss out on" are the same threads that keep getting described as "noise" or "clutter". This is why I'm asking for a firm definition of these subjective terms...

    again, if we're dead-set on breaking up the forum, it should be broad regions. This ensures that users looking for the top-10 players (again, whatever that means to you) will also get exposed to more obscure players who might be having interesting careers. But again, I feel like this is currently happening, and we're searching for a problem to fit this solution...
     
    adam tash repped this.
  15. zlatan_but_a_car

    Botswana Meat Commission FC
    United States
    Oct 16, 2017
    If we were able to upgrade XenForo / the DB easily, they're is a well-maintained "thread tag" plug-in that can be used to categorize threads. Users are then able to filter forums by thread tags. But, again, this would require dev time and upgrades to BSF that I would assume the maintainers aren't interested in.
     
  16. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    This specific idea would be dramatically worse. It costs people the chance to go check in on how a specific player is doing if it's a player they only want to check in on every month or two.

    You've repeatedly described content that interests me, and that in some cases I post, as noise and clutter. So ... thanks.
     
  17. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    Apologies - I don’t mean to offend and I don’t mean it quite like that. I just mean I find it too cluttered to find what is of interest. One persons noise is another’s signal and I think the current setup makes it hard for people to find what interests them. People disagree with me - which is fine.

    I’m not saying I only care about top stars.
     
  18. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    But we take this approach in other forums - youth players to watch - MLS players of the week, etc. In threads that get minimal discussion it wouldn’t detract from your ability to keep tabs on a particular player. I’m not advocating for this - I’m just throwing it out there for discussion.
     
  19. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    Much as I enjoy the word-play around player thread titles and am among the worst around for proposing terrible puns, one 1/2 measure might be to just create a naming convention that starts with the league. "Ered: Tillman @ PSV" "EPL: Turner @ Nottingham For(r)est" "Bund2: Green @ Furth" etc. That would allow a search to bring up all players in a particular league fairly easily, which, for how I consume footie, is the most convenient. Others clearly do it differently, so it might not help them as much.
     
  20. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    Barcelona, Spain
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    theres just too many players to keep track of at the moment....with current scheme of organization.

    not sure how to fix it but theres often interesting things going on with players on the 3rd and 4th pages of the forum, or even the first, which dont really get much traction.... which is a recent development....makes it harder to keep track of things

    for me, and i think for a lot of posters - we care about how possible developments cnnect to USMNT potential.....thats the real driving force behind much of the interest....whether some "purists" like it or not.....

    i dont know how to separate....but stuff that isnt relevant at all to potential usmnt....is something that I dont want cluttering up this page....for example, yanks that are ineligible for usmnt or yanks that play for other countries or yanks on clubs that are too small have any shot at us national teams are 100% irrelevant for me personally, and i would assume for many others (though not all)

    i think that could be a good way of splitting up the yanks abroad forum.....perhaps....theres a split between yanks with national team involvement and those without....separate the wheat from the chaff
     
  21. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    Club:
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I did not say it was important to separate our 5-10 best players.

    You’re a good dude but you’re worked up about something I never said. My point and implication is and was, our most trafficked threads and followed players are lumped into the same endless 500+ page catalogue of any YA who touched a 1st team pitch…. going back to 2002. Hence, cluttered.

    This is somehow controversial?
     
  22. zlatan_but_a_car

    Botswana Meat Commission FC
    United States
    Oct 16, 2017
    Your complaint itself is not controversial, but it is redefining the reason this forum exists outside of "USA Men". What is controversial is describing "content I don't find interesting according to my subjective use of the forum" as objective "clutter" which suggests it holds no value and creates significant organizational problems despite multiple users in this thread expressing contrary sentiments and data in the poll which shows that the plurality of users don't see this as a major issue.
     
  23. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leicester City FC
    I can't tell you how to feel but as I said above, I'm not trying to suggest what one person thinks is interesting is wrong - I'm saying that if our most popular YA ever is on page 4 then I think it all becomes noise.

    I get people don't like making a change - but again I'm asking for practical suggestions for organizational improvements. If you use watched threads, it barely has to matter no? Maybe you have to watch more forums or make an extra click on the rare occasion. But there can be some benefits too.

    What's the benefit of keeping it all in one place? I'm not clear on why some people think it's better as a big catchall forum. And if it's better, are you arguing to remove the Academy forum and put all in one place?
     
    twoolley repped this.
  24. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    Club:
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well again, you are responding to stuff I did not say.

    I have not once said or suggested I have an issue with any content in YA, or find any threads more or less interesting than others. I said certain threads are more trafficked than others- which is obvious, not that I have any more/less level of interest. Nor have I said any of this is a major issue.

    I enjoy and find value in following players across all leagues abroad at all levels. Less clutter should make it easier follow players across the various leagues/tiers.

    I'll request you either start responding to what I actually type and quit making stuff up, or just end the convo here.
     
  25. zlatan_but_a_car

    Botswana Meat Commission FC
    United States
    Oct 16, 2017
    I don't think I need to show benefit for keeping it the way it is, I think you need to show a significant problem that is only fixed through large-scale reorganization by "strength" or "popularity" or "importance". I'm just not seeing a problem in what you're describing... for one, I don't really consider Tim Ream to be "one of the most popular YAs ever", and two, if you're looking specifically for his thread, why wouldn't you watch it? Why is him being on page 2/5 that much more desirable than 4/500?

    Additionally, I don't think I've really advocated strongly for "keeping it the way it is", I've mainly pushed against any of the proposed reorganizations by "league strength" or "player popularity" or anything that requires a hint of subjective analysis. Broad geographic, alphabetical, or maybe "capped on a senior NT vs uncapped", but "league / country strength" or (much worse) "player popularity" is asking for endless meta-debates that already happen in USA Men every time a roster announcement occurs.

    But my number one suggestion has consistently been to normalize thread names. Whether you opt to break up or not to break up, standardized thread titles WILL make it easier to find specific threads, because that's just how humans like to take in large amounts of information.
     

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