The world is changing, so is Blender. How should the forums adapt?

VDBs, mentaflow, geometry nodes, particle nodes, USD etc. So many things happening in Blender. But what about the forums? Creating a new sub categories for all of them? Or using a tag system? My two cents: There are not that many more places where Blender could evolve as it’s already very complete. The latest big thing is USD and nodes. And for nodes, besides physics and geometry, I don’t see where more nodes could be added. So if it was my call, I would create, in the support section, a geometry node section and later a physics nodes (only if they keep both physic systems). USD doesn’t really need it’s own section un less they make it fully customizable. What do you guys think?

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@fweeb Good input for our discussion on forum restucture!

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A post was split to a new topic: Galleries are missing on some subcategories

I agree with BlenderBob, a geometry nodes section would be welcome in the support section. What do you say Bart can we start one?

@Fweeb ? Geometry nodes is a complex piece of Blender, it might be relevant.

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Eventually we will have particle nodes, we have shader nodes and all fo this will be integrated together (hopefully) so instead of a geometry node forum, I would make it all nodes forum. This way we won’t end up with too many node forums. But I will take any forums at this point because it’s badly needed. :slight_smile:

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I’d still very much prefer to use the tagging system. Geometry nodes can be used for modeling, animation, and other assorted interesting things. Furthermore, as more components of Blender get “nodified”, we’re going to run into similar questions.

I’d rather keep support categories activity-focused. If you’re making a 3D model, it belongs in #support:modeling, regardless of whether you’re sculpting, procedural modeling, box modeling, or abusing some wonky combination of metaballs and dynamic paint.

By keeping our focus on the activity, the forum organization stays relevant, regardless of the changes that happen in Blender.

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But that will create a mess of tags and you will need to know which tab are available. I prefer the clean approche. I have a question about modeling, I go to the modeling forum. About nodes? I go to the nodes forum. Keep it simple. We don’t need an extra layer of stuff to search for something. :slight_smile:

The problem is that nodes can (and ultimately will) be used for everything. Having a nodes category would be a dumping ground for everything and within that category we’d have to rely on… tags.

Tags are how we keep things simple. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m hoping that we can actually reduce the number of categories on the forum and use tags even more extensively.

We have a long list of tags available, true, but the tag names are intuitive… they are what they’re called. With respect to geometry nodes, if you use #geometry-nodes or #nodes, you’ll basically have what you’re looking for. If you use those tags in the #support:modeling category, you can get things really specific to what you’re looking for (like this).

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the tags do work pretty well, I have been nerding out with geo nodes and the #geometry-nodes tag does a great job of filtering out only those topics. Trusted users have access to tagging all threads, so I have been trying to tag untagged topics to keep them relevant and organized.

So would that allow you to create your own tag? If yes, how are people ever going to find you if they don’t know the tag exists? What if someone tags modeling instead of modelling?

Perhaps the issue is more user education then? The one thing categories are great for is discovery: it’s easy to scan a list of categories and decide where to post. Tags are more obscure and new users might not immediately understand how they work or what they’re supposed to do.

As far as I know, tags are only created by the moderation team (and perhaps TL3 forum members). I periodically go through and try to keep the list clean of duplicates like the one you mentioned. That helps keep things clear.

Indeed. Definitely something that we should make sure we cover well in the FAQ… and perhaps even the @discobot tutorial.

Negative, only mods can add new tags. TL3 can apply tags, but not make new ones.

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the existing tags have decent coverage, and they are pretty discoverable, once you know where to look:
image

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So if I understand correctly, all the forums would be abolished and replaced with one forum to rule them all, working with tags?

Negative. The structure would stay roughly the same, but finding information on specific sub topics would be organized with tags, rather than having dozens of subforums.

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My impression is that the use of tags in a forum (or website) is muddy and slippery.
Unless everyone uses the same conventions, which is hard to achieve:

If people don’t use it properly now, you will have a hard time making them using it properly with all kinds of frustrations on both sides.
Just my thought.
(Maybe I am wrong, and don’t understand the role of tags on this forum enough).

One thing that may help here is that regular users can’t create their own tags, only moderators can. If that wasn’t the case, it would definitely be the wild west!

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How do you define and show the meaning of a tag?

With categories, it’s clear (visually and description).
For example, we see a category here:
Capture

Of which its subcategories give an impression of what the Main categories are about.
After clicking on a sub-category, like Blender Test, a thread on top describes what this subcategory is for.

E.g. Thread that describes:
Capture

But with tags, we see only a bunch of words:
Capture

How to make a user (moderator or not) clear what each tag is for (visually or with description)?