Forum categories and visibility assumptions?

I wonder if it’s time for forum categories to be removed?

A few times now I’ve noticed home owners posting questions in Owner Questions, Advice and Chat that have evoked quite a lot of ire. My guess is they’re posting thinking it’ll only be seen by other home owners, and get quite a shock when they receive indignant responses from sitters. I’m not sure if it happens as much the other way round?

This must be very uncomfortable for some OPs. It might be kind to warn people that their post will be seen by everyone, so that they can consider their wording (and maybe the underlying stance).

But as all posts are seen by everyone anyway, with no obvious categorisation in e.g. the ‘Latest’ list, perhaps categories have more cons than pros, and could be done away with entirely.

Thanks @Sunshine_G
I will leave your suggestion for @Jenny when she comes on-line.

Thank you, Therese :pray:

Hi @Sunshine_G

That’s an interesting thought - thanks for sharing!

I don’t think we’d look to get rid of categories altogether, but I hear what you’re saying.

They help @Carla and I organise discussions, in a way that makes them easier to find, as without dividing categories, it would be a bit of a free for all. The search tool would mitigate that, but not everyone will use it.

Categories act as a kind of compass, which directs users to the kind of content that suits them best, instead of them having to wade through lots of unorganised posts.

That being said, a Forum should always be looking for better ways of doing things, as an example we now have a Product Update category that separates out important updates from day-to-day posts. While there’s no current plans in place to make any changes at the moment, there’s scope for this to happen further down the line.

You make a great point about the divide between some sitters and owners. No member of this forum should be the target of anyone’s ire, and we try to implement our Community Guidelines which mention the importance of being kind and respectful even where opinions differ, and we’d always ask that members flag any instances where guidelines aren’t being followed.

I love the thought that sitters and owners could co-exist peacefully and learn from each other, but maybe there’s a case to be made for both having their own space. It’s something the Forum team can discuss, but at this stage, we couldn’t commit to or promise any changes would be made.

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this, and we’ll keep them in mind should we look at refreshing the Forum further down the line.

Take care,


Hi Jenny,

Many thanks for this. I can see how categories are helpful for you and Carla. I’ve often seen posts where home owners don’t seem to be aware sitters can also see their posts, so maybe just a flag that posts are visible to all users could help…

Warm wishes, Sunshine :sun_with_face:

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That’s a really good point @Sunshine_G - I wonder if we can find other ways to help owners to understand that this is a public forum.

I’ll have a think about it, and chat to @Carla, and I’ll see if we can find a way to make this clearer!

Thank you :slight_smile: