Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How would you like our forum to be set up?

Please let us know what you would like to see in our new forum.

Do you want different topics. For example, recipe swap, kitchen help, travel, gardening, cookalong, cookbook book club, general chit chat.

Or do you just want the one section like was on

I am a fan of sections so it is easier to find the thread you are looking for, plus will have to see if we can add a search option as well.

We are able to set up our own forum, and at the moment the 'partial moderation' style of forum is the popular choice in the poll on this blog. This is much easier to handle with volunteer moderators (that's you guys - whoever is willing to put up their hand to help out), we would need to do some sort of roster I think so the forum is covered 24/7 due to us being all over the world.

After seeing the changes to and realising our forum has had an untimely and sudden demise (I was hoping for a miracle!), we need to find an alternative way of communication. I am not a fan of the Nigella FB page - too many silly people on there for me, and could you imagine if the Nigella-body-lovers got involved in our threads. There is the Nigella Friends page which us FB users are finding great to keep in contact with each other but the discussions thread is not really like a forum or as user friendly as I imagine many of us would like. And of course there are the non-FB users to consider, which is my main reason for starting this blog in the first place.

Anyway I need your input. Let me know your thoughts.


  1. It's my own problem I know, but while I can now post on Nigella's official FB page I can't to the Nigella Friends page. I don't begrudge Nigella doing what she has done, but I would really prefer (for me) to keep in touch with the forumers from in a more easy to follow way. I don't want to join an existing site, nor do I favour a 'closed' site, I just want something easy to follow - I am a simple lass:P

  2. Coby, I have just edited this post to be more specific about how we would like a forum set up. Would be very interested in your views please. Going by the poll on this page, it seems our own forum with a partial moderation style is the popular choice so I am now working towards that solution.

  3. I am in favour for a new forum.

    I am on FB but I prefer to have FB and a food online community separately. I log on to Facebook to keep in contact with friends and family, not for discussion pages. I can see Nigella Friends up and running which is great but I think it'll fade away once the hyper had died down.
    I would like to have a food community somewhere else, like a calm place unlike the busy stream of traffic on Facebook. Plus it is fair for non-facebook users to be part of the community.

    I would love to put my hand up to volunteer as a moderator but unfortunately I don't have a permanent laptop right now, it is in the process though. I hope I can help out if you are still short staffed once the forum is running.

  4. i actually prefer just one section on a forum. i am a member of other forums and it always freaks me out to see so many sub forums and headings and most of the time a moderator has to go round and shift threads here and there.

    i've set up a forum before and god... it's not cheap. there are those free ones but not exactly nice to use and quite frankly, ugly. so what happened was my team collected an amount, hired a guy to help us design the new forum and it was really pretty. it was actually a forum base on a particular singer and in the end the forum caught the album company's attention and they eventually bought over the forum.

  5. I like the idea of a rather similar format to the one we just left. I suspect the only difference for my preference would be that we are more free to discuss topics other than food:) I hope we can all play nicely though. I think it's easier said than done for some.

  6. I agree with Katherine and Coby. I would prefer just one section like it was on "our old" forum. It feels more homely than those forums with many sub sections and is less confusing.

  7. I was not actually a fan of the format of the recent Nigella forum. I can see that it is easier to operate, but it's a pain when searching for threads.

    I would vote for sections in the forum divided into different topics.

    In addition, if we are to have moderators/contributors (not sure I know the difference at this stage!), I think the moderators should also merge common threads if a poster has created a new thread on an existing topic. For example, there should just be one thread on the Chocolate Loaf Cake rather than twelve different threads. I feel it is better to have people's responses for a particular topic contained to one thread. Otherwise, it's all lost information and it becomes rather tedious to have to repeat what you've said before in a new thread.

    That said, it should also be kept as simple as possible. Easier said than done, but if it's set up well to begin with, it should hopefully be easy going from there.

    Please let me know if I can help in anyway :-)

  8. Is anyone here a member of Nigella's Kitchen at the following site:

    I did visit it quite a while ago, before the recent Nigella forum was re-established a few years ago. Obviously, I would not suggest a layout/structure similar to theirs, but I do like how they have sections for recipes from particular books. Makes searching so much easier.

  9. Hmm, the question of sections is a tricky one. As is cremebrulees suggestion of merging threads. I actually prefer shorter threads on the same topic if someone just wants to ask a quick question re. e.g. cooking times. When everything is merged into a long thread it can be confusing to know where to start reading - I've been on forums where there are 20-odd pages on a particular topic, and unless you start reading from the beginning you don't get the background. But, to be honest, that is something that can be worked out as we go - it's a moderation question rather than a fundamental question of design and functionality.

    I can see both ides of the argument when it comes to sections. I think they can be helpful for really specific interests that others may not share (e.g. gardening), but too many and it becomes difficult to know which section to post in which inevitably causes more work for moderators. I can see some sections working, like bookclub, cookalong, a section to alert everyone else when you post a new recipe or review, but I think it will be difficult to be too prescriptive about isolating the cooking-related chat from general chat. If we go with sections I would definitely suggest starting with only a few, very clear categories. We can always add more at a later date if different themes of conversation come up regularly.

    As I've said, one of the main things I would want from the new forum is the ability to maintain a profile page. Ideally this page would be where we can add our recipes, or at least a list of recipes we have added even if they are actually 'stored' somewhere else. The recipes need to be searchable by keyword and ingredient, and it would be great if they could be searchable by author/submitter too.

    I was interested in what Katherine said about hiring someone to design the forum. It would be fantastic to have a really user-friendly interface, and for it to look good too. Out of interest, katherine, how much did the forum you are referring to cost? I know a couple of techies who might be able to help out and wouldn't charge commercial rates. I for one would be willing to make a small contribution to establish a new forum that is well designed, easy to use, and easy to maintain.

  10. A good search engine would be a must for the new forum. I think we would all agree that the search function on the Nigella forum was terrible - you could never find anything relevant!

    I thought that was the reason why a lot of people just gave up looking for old threads and simply created new ones. It's true that some threads can run for too long, but that can also be a moderation issue.

    Maybe once some layouts have been decided upon, we put them to a vote?

  11. Baking Bunny - Are you looking at using one of those standard forum templates which are available out there? Or starting from scratch and having some IT person create one specifically for us?

    It might help to know what possibility or constraints we have in order to give ideas on whether we have different sections or discussion boards, or a similar layout to the old forum.

  12. mm BB and CC, I have a suggestion for the forum...

    You know how nigella had an opening page where she'd pick up a subject and write a prose. ..well i was just thinking, perhaps of having the forummers contribute a piece each week or whatever. There are some real literary talents on the forum and it would be lovely to read their thoughts on a food related subject...I also thought since this is a collective effort (as far as input), it makes for it being more so....You or someone could either nominate or have people send in peices...if you have a word limit then that keeps it easier...

    What do you think?? Obviously tank it if I am speaking rubbish, it was just a fleeting thought....

  13. For what they are worth, here are my ideas. I quite like the idea of sections, but not too many, as it could make the forum overcomplicated. Cookalong and bookclub obviously.
    Baking_bunny I also posted an idea on the facebook page somewhere about a notifications/status update section - if someone is going to be absent from the forum for a while then they can post an update and let us know, so we don't have to ponder where they might be if we don't hear from them for a while.
    After that, maybe a section for new recipe postings as suggested above but after that I can't really think of any others. On the old forum, I really liked the way that some of the threads would go off on tangents and then come back on topic, or start off talking about one thing and end up talking about another - very natural and showed the friendliness and familiarity of everyone on there. I wouldn't want that tendency to be cramped by the constraint of 'which section'.
    I love cmdsmith's idea of having forummers contribute a bit of prose now and then - that would be great fun.

  14. hi all, just wanted to quickly mention an idea i had today for when we have forums set up. how about having an 'add to favourites' function not only for recipes but for threads also. so that way if there was a particular thread you didn't want to lose, you could easily find it in your profile? let me know what you all think :)

  15. I love cmd's idea too! I love reading and esp reading bout food! ;)

  16. Just to let you all know I am making records of these suggestions and seeing what we can accommodate and how we can try to implement your ideas.