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OPINIONS NEEDED; Reorganization of Bioinformatics Forum

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  • OPINIONS NEEDED; Reorganization of Bioinformatics Forum

    Hi all...I wanted to share with everyone a possible plan to begin subdividing the Bioinformatics section to increase the signal-to-noise for individual topics. Feedback would be much appreciated. Candidate new subforums are below:

    **Bioinformatics General - if it doesn't fit below

    **Basics - There are no dumb questions. Unless you didn't google with "site:seqanswers.com" first.

    **Hardware / Cloud - AWS, Clusters, parallelization, how much RAM do i need, etc.

    **File Formats / Conversion (SAM, BAM, FASTQ, etc)

    **Community Software Packages - Centralize the discussion for very popular software packages their own subforums.

    Particularly looking for feedback if developers would find this type of segmentation helpful? I've had a couple requests if this was possible for new tools that are being developed and thought it was a good idea.

    I'm thinking for the most popular tools whose discussions are a major part of the existing forum: Bowtie/TopHat/Cufflinks, BFAST, MAQ, SAMtools, etc.

  • #2
    Mmm... I'm quite skeptic about forum segmentation... There will always be somebody who posts in the wrong place, there may be "mixed posts" and, more important, it would be more difficult to track posts and see if a question has already been posted.
    IMHO, I can imagine a "developers corner" where one can post his own new magic software/algorithm/format, but nothing more than that...

    Comment


    • #3
      I hear you...I'm just concerned that the main forum is flooded with more basic questions (how do i convert BAM->SAM), and very specific support questions (ie..which flags to use on BFAST, etc).

      Seems like these types of questions make the forum harder to keep up with in its current form?

      Comment


      • #4
        Personally I'd rather keep the bioinformatics in a single forum. I've not found the number of posts to be a problem - the email notifications are really useful for helping to manage this. Splitting into many subsections risks fragmenting the critical mass of people which make this forum so valuable. This would be especially true for a basics section - where you would really benefit from the more experienced members of the group.

        If many short basic questions are thought to be a problem could this be improved with a prominently advertised FAQ section - or pointing people to i.seqanswers.com?

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        • #5
          If many short basic questions are thought to be a problem could this be improved with a prominently advertised FAQ section?
          I know many people do not like FAQ, but I like it.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd rather keep it in a single section for now. Easy to zip through.. sometimes more informative subject lines would be nice, but the volume isn't so bad (yet) that a split is required.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am having difficulty going through all the posts, as the volume is just at my ability to keep up. Having a view of only new posts in one sub-forum (i.e. bioinformatics) and/or moderators specifically assigned to those forums could help. Fragmenting the forums reminds me of my early NGS folder hierarchies, and I would stay away from it. For individual tools, their respective mailing lists should be promoted to a greater degree.

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              • #8
                I agree with many of the above. Keeping it all together makes it easier to browse various problems and in a given day I don't believe there is enough traffic to warrant a separation of bioinformatic topics into their own sub-forums. I know when I post a question it's usually on the first page for a day or so even if no one responds to it. Also, mentioned is the fact that people will most likely ask their question in the wrong area and it will end up being unanswered or forgotten, when it could have just been placed into a general bioinformatics section.

                If it's not broke don't fix it, at least for forums.

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                • #9
                  My 2p
                  - I agree with the above about keeping segmentation of the forum at a minimum
                  - It would be useful to have a "posting guide" to avoid people submitting uninformative titles, hijacking threads, asking already answered questions etc.

                  Great forum anyway!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just some thoughts

                    Hello all:

                    It seems that managing signal to noise, organization, and archiving for valuable reference purposes are all very important tasks that can only grow along with this wonderful scientific forum. Perhaps this could represent a kind of intern opportunity for the purpose of culturing of a new and currently much needed form of science librarianship.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with just about everyone else.
                      Splitting the forum is not a great idea. A FAQ would also be very useful to hopefully avoid a few repeat posts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Right now the built-in search function filters out 3-letter words that would have been useful (such as '454' or 'sam'). Changing that might help with repeat questions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am also against splitting the forum. I appreciate very much the http://i.seqanswers.com/ principle where there is no subdivision whatsoever, just tagging, which prevents posting in the wrong place, and makes searching easier. It requires people to tag, and tag smartly, though...

                          Sadly, http://i.seqanswers.com/ is not generating a lot of questions so far... (contrary to http://biostar.stackexchange.com/, which seems to be doing very well).

                          BTW; can we have an RSS feed for new questions on http://i.seqanswers.com/ ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by flxlex View Post
                            Sadly, http://i.seqanswers.com/ is not generating a lot of questions so far... (contrary to http://biostar.stackexchange.com/, which seems to be doing very well).
                            One thing which would help is if you could migrate over the user accounts from the main seqanswers site to i.seqanswers. I've written a couple of replies, but found I couldn't submit them without creating another account - which is a pain if these are supposed to be two branches of the same system.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by simonandrews View Post
                              One thing which would help is if you could migrate over the user accounts from the main seqanswers site to i.seqanswers. I've written a couple of replies, but found I couldn't submit them without creating another account - which is a pain if these are supposed to be two branches of the same system.
                              Agree completely. This requires some custom coding that I cannot do myself, I am looking for the appropriate Django expert to help (for $$), I just haven't found them yet. Referrals welcome.

                              OpenID is pretty easy but I understand it's a different system and joint accounts would be ideal.

                              Comment

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