What's the correct number? 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 1,000? Within six months we may have 1,000 groups. Do you want to join all of them? Should anyone be allowed to create as many groups as they want?
Cheers & with respect, Sol. (I realize it's difficult in these forums to express our smiles and good feelings along with a critique of some facet of the site, but you have both of those from me to go along with this little message) -
I think ten groups would be a far more realistic number, at the VERY LEAST. (Not including our ability to weigh in at TNBW Premium/Free, which (IMO) don't count as actual groups but rather a support area for the site.)
There are far too many genres and potential topics to limit the camaraderie to five rooms. I concede I don't really understand what limiting groups means on your end, but I trust there must be some logistical reason why how many groups we can join is being limited. However, I too am facing "I can't join yours, I'm all full up" as well as "you should join us!" along with my "I can't, I'm all filled already." I do see the logic in limiting how many groups people can create, but it seems poor logic to confine those who are active members eagerly in search of literary/writer conversation as a means to deter that grim percentage who may abuse the system and prove themselves in some groups to be dead weight. The site is set up with founders and moderators who can attend to such details on a group by group basis. If I have a group with two active members and eight hundred people who've joined and never taken part, I (once my moderator function recovers from the recent glitch) will be able to clean up that group by removing the members who are not present.
As for wanting to limit how many groups are created and left dead, could there be a sixty-day self-combust thing? I don't know if that's feasible, but I believe many would prefer to know that their groups will be deleted if inactive after sixty days, than to be told they can only talk to some people about some things.
I definitely get that you're looking at the potential 1000 groups of the future which may become madness if you don't set out limits, but with respect, the answer is not, IMO, to limit the discussion of the most vociferous folks on your site. The answer is to be more organized about the groups on your end -- meaning organize them by limited topic (such as genre, writing craft, etc), and make it easier to find what we want to join. Do you know what 1,000 groups is going to look like when 232 are historical rooms, 75 are science fiction, 18 are writing craft, 500 are fantasy, etc? Not pretty, sir, when there's no way to neatly find one another. But fifteen neatly presented categories, with the most active groups in that category at the top of the list for easy joining? That starts to look a little more manageable. There could be a mandatory drop-down list of categories as each group is created which will neatly file it.
The community keeps telling me they want everything simplified, except on the forums. What this is starting to tell me is that people just want it like it was on the old site.
What it might instead tell you is that people want more space to talk to one another, and the five-groups limit is proving deficient toward that end. Some are creating groups to link themselves by genre, but others just want a space to discuss writer craft. I might have never written a script and want to join a conversation in a screenplay group -- ask a question, for goodness sake. But I can't, because I have a noose around my curiosity.
I'm not suggesting that has anything to do with the excellent functionality on site to create private groups. I'm suggesting that the climate on this site is quite divergent, and some of us are more wide-sweeping in our extroversion. There are not many wonderful places like this, sir, where so many writers can gather and share our trials, our thoughts, our ideas about literature, our frustrations, our favorite books. We want to have the opportunity to share that with more than a handful of people, and not have it categorized and limited. If that's a logistical issue on your end, the fault is not in our disinclination to give up the old site. The fault is in a design which underestimated the breadth of our voices.