The dilution of the OT via the addition of new boards seems to be an inevitability, given the incessant clamoring for new boards by users, as well as an explicitly expressed interest in doing so from the admins. Two of the more popularly promulgated ideas for boards include one discussing music, and the other being reserved for health and fitness. While I completely endorse the introduction of new boards, and wouldn't oppose the implementation of either of the aforementioned boards, I feel that there is a greater need for a board that has yet to be mentioned; that is, one reserved for discussions involving Science and Technology.
You may scoff at the idea, but below I've detailed why I think that if one new board were to be introduced, it should be a Science and Technology board. The numbers speak for themselves.
I examined all threads started on the OT between 2/29/12 (12:00 AM) and 3/7/12 (9:00 PM). I went through each page and noted the amount of threads on topics involving either music, health and fitness, or science and technology. Enumerating those results yielded a total of 36
threads created discussing music, 41
threads created discussing a topic on health/fitness, and 77
threads created on topics pertaining to science or technology. When I have some free time, I will randomly select another week in 2012 and do the same to further corroborate these results.
So, what does this mean? Well, it means that, during this week, there were significantly more posts created on topics involving science or technology than on either music or health/fitness. In fact, there were just as many threads created on scitech topics as music, health, and fitness combined
Yes, it was only a week. And, as previously mentioned, I plan to update this post with an edit containing what will likely be similar results from another randomly selected week. However, I think the differential is significant enough such that one could generally assume that this trend is accurately microcosmic of the overall post nature of the OT, at least with respect to these specific topics. Post diversity and appeal to casual users.
Threads involving science and technology obviously allow for a greater diversity
of subjects to be discussed. With the introduction of a Science and Technology board, all of the evolution threads that intermittently suffuse Political Talk would finally have a home. The daily threads on the OT involving Apple, iPhones, iPads, Android, Google, AT&T/Verizon, would also have a home. All of those asking for tech help for their laptop, with Microsoft Word, Gmail account, Facebook account, or computer, etc, would have a select crowd to which they can pose their questions, without their topics getting drowned out from the WYHI and LNST threads and ultimately going unanswered.
I think a music board would be quite popular in the first few weeks, but I would question its ability to remain subsistent in the long term. It would have niche like following, but I would posit that it would experience relatively
little input from casual users. Similarly, I feel a health and fitness board would have a niche like following, particularly among lifters. As previously mentioned, the amount of health/fitness threads generated from 2/29-3/7 totaled 41. However, the overwhelming majority of these threads were specifically about supplements. Could a board persist in the long term where a sizable portion of the threads deal exclusively with supplements?
While a science and technology board would most certainly have a niche following, I feel it would have a far broader appeal than the two aforementioned boards, and would attract casual users who may only produce one or two posts per week. Simply put, there is a lot of new content every day to discuss in the realm of SciTech, which is why I think we see scitech topics discussed so frequently on the OT. While every board has a niche following, I feel a Science and Technology board would have a greater gravitational effect on the casual user.
So, while I'm not
opposing the introduction of either a music board or health/fitness board, I am stating why I feel a Science and Technology board should be strongly considered as a future addition to the site.
This post was edited on 8/1 at 5:05 pm