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Postby ghijkmnop » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:48 am

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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby Matthew Notch » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:20 am

I'm not sure what you mean when you say threads have morphed to something beyond their original intent. I'm just spitballing here, but as an example, if I mentioned something about jellyfish in a post on a thread that really has nothing to do with jellyfish, are you suggesting that perhaps the thread would take a turn and suddenly become about jellyfish? Because, like, I understand why that would be frustrating, but on the other hand jellyfish are awesome. Look at this baloney:

Image

Image

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I'm not saying we should discuss them here, but jellyfish certainly do seem to merit discussion.
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby FaceTheCitizen » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:26 am

Starting threads over would create a whole lot of duplicates. It may also kill discussion if we gotta restart threads every eight pages and it'd be harder to keep track of who said what.
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby Australia » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:03 am

This is hardly the place for that kind of talk, Face. Back on topic, jellyfish have always been one of the creepiest creatures to me. Anything without bones is off-putting to put it lightly. Take the Blob for instance. It can swallow people whole, without the need for trachea. I'd suggest building a wall to keep out Blobs but it can eat bricks too.

How do we stop the Blob? Nuking it might only worsen the situation if it can just absorb the bomb and evolve. It's not like it has bones to reform, just a bunch of goo. Have you seen a bowl of jelly before? It always resets.

In conclusion, my favourite flavour of jelly is raspberry, followed by lime.
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby Dr. Ambiguous » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:28 am

There's no good reason to do this, and plenty to not. For starters, what do we do with the old threads? Nuke 'em? Lock 'em? Hope people don't use 'em? We don't nuke threads, the most we'll do is remove content that we DON'T want on the site (links to illegal material, or just porn, extreme gore, etc) and then hide the thread away in a mod only forum. It's pretty rare we do that, in fact, in the history of the forum we've only done it 4 times (I just checked), plus one time we did nuke a thread for nudity back in the olden days before we'd fully decided on policy. Locking, likewise, is pretty rarely used, and is usually done as a temp to cool things off, and sometimes perma when things just keep going to shit. I know there's other forums that handle things differently, and because of the size of those forums, it's sometimes for the better (other times, I just think it's a bad choice, but I'm not in charge there, so w/e). Hope? Yeeeaaaaahhhh that won't happen, and that's even if we have a simple and straight forward rule of "use the newest one."

On top of that, it just leads to forum clutter. We don't need 3 threads talking about the same thing, that's just going to lead to excess, a lot of redundancy in conversation, and probably make things a lot harder to follow.

But most of all, it's a solution to a problem that just isn't there. Yes, threads sometimes get off track, but that's when the mods should step in and either reign everyone in, or split off-topic posts if it's something worthy of continued discussion. And yes, sometimes we don't get to things right away, but it's far from a pervasive problem. I just had a quick skim over the most recent threads in GenDis, CAASS, LN, and a few other subforums, and none of them had "morphed far away from their original intent." Maybe one or two did if you scour all of them, but mostly they're still pretty on point.

If you don't want to read threads that are over 8 pages, then honestly dude, that's your lose. Some may go to hell, but most of them tend to get to that length because of productive discussion.
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby ghijkmnop » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:00 pm

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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby Marcuse » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:30 pm

It's pretty standard netiquette to keep discussion of a topic to one thread on a board, rather than starting a new thread every few pages. I also really don't know how it's easier to browse ten threads on one topic rather than one long thread, because the long thread organises them based on the time posted and navigating several threads would rely on the user to remember which posts were made when. We would also have to standardise topic titles, in order to be able to correctly identify the duplicate threads that related to each other, and people probably wouldn't like having to post titles so specifically. Some users may also make mistakes, thinking the thread is due for splitting, but others disagree, so the conversation would atomise into several threads all running at once.

Speaking from a moderation perspective, it'd make things harder to check, merely because we normally try to check every post on the board (at least I do) and the sheer increase in page loads would make it less user friendly for me to do so.

Sorry to rub it in ghijklmop, but I think the concept is inherently impractical.

1. People refer to posts in other threads without linking, expecting the reader (me) to slog through 80 pages to find their relevant post.


No they don't, except in passing. Usually when people want to refer to someone's post they quote it.
2. The search feature in this, and pretty much every other internet forum is terrible.


Okay, but that's not something we can change.

3. At 15 posts per page, it's too many page loads to get through a thread (which is why I chose 8 as the number of pages where I stop paying attention).


Adding several additional threads per topic would exponentially increase page loads.

4. I probably should have said "topic has apparently been discussed to completion, because now there are multiple pages of horse puns regarding Ann Coulter and Sarah Jessica Parker" instead of "morphed far away..."


We're a community of punners from Cracked, it happens.
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby ghijkmnop » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:45 pm

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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby CarrieVS » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:45 pm

ghijkmnop wrote:Maybe the racism argument I got into a week ago where Tess pointed me to "the Trump thread" without any reference to where in the thread is an exception rather than the rule.

Pot, kettle? I can't say whether that was unusual, normal but unreasonable, or reasonable in the circumstances without seeing where that happened.

However often it happens, I agree that referencing a post without linking is annoying, but I'd say that if it is a common occurence, a different addition to the guidelines would be a more obvious way to fix it.

3. At 15 posts per page, it's too many page loads to get through a thread (which is why I chose 8 as the number of pages where I stop paying attention).


Adding several additional threads per topic would exponentially increase page loads.


Here is where we disagree. I have run multiple fora, and have found that 30-50 posts per page actually allows for conversations to flow better and longer, with a decreased risk of breaking context when a page changes. For example, if this forum broke into a new page every 45 posts instead of 15, the likelihood that an important post be buried by a page change has been cut by two-thirds, and additionally, the reader doesn't have to wait for two more page loads.


I think you're talking past each other here. You seem to be talking about having a higher number of posts per page in each thread, so that a 300 post thread would only take up 10 pages instead of 20. Your point there is perfectly valid, but not as a rebuttal to Marcuse's. Marcuse was talking about your suggestion of having more threads for a topic, not about more posts per page. I'm not certain about the increase being exponential, since each thread would have fewer pages, but if the post you want might be in one of several threads it would tend to make it harder to find.

Threads are allowed to continue well beyond their obvious end, and that they become a waste of bandwidth to read when this or the more-common occurrence of circular arguments begin.

If it's obvious to you that a thread has effectively ended, why not just ignore it? If it no longer contains anything interesting to you, why do you need to find anything in it?

Moreover, how sure are you that starting a new thread would solve this problem? My intuition is that starting afresh would make it even more likely that we just say the same things again, since it would be less obvious to posters that they had already been said. And you might well get pages of puns in each thread.
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby ghijkmnop » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:27 pm

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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby NathanLoiselle » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:49 pm

How can you say that Sarah Jessica Parker and Ann Coulter jokes are a waste of bandwidth? They're a national treasure.
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby CarrieVS » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:54 pm

ghijkmnop wrote:Like I alluded to earlier, it's more likely that by the time you hit 100 posts, the thread has become a circular argument, and when it gets to that point, it's time to call it a day instead of beating a dead horse.


In that case, I don't understand what it is you're suggesting.

You were saying you'd like it if we started over with a new thread on any topic that reached that point. Now you seem to be saying that in your ideal, after an arbitrarily predetermined length all discussion on that topic would be stopped. Could you clarify what your point is?
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby ghijkmnop » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:24 pm

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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby Bert » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:30 pm

I think I sympathize with ghij here in that I remember when I was new on the site, seeing these long chains of arguments on important topics but being too intimidated to enter the discussion. And later, when I did start posting, being referred back to past posts I somehow missed in the preceding epic of debate.

Maybe a more practical solution would be a time limit on combining duplicate threads? I'm just spitballing here but it seems that a discussion that took place six months ago could probably be considered separate from another on the same topic. I don't have a number in mind, nor am I particularly wedded to this as a solution, just interested in a real discussion on the problem. It may be there is no practical resolution but whatever, we can try.

Additionally, I'm moving this thread from General Discussion to Site Suggestions because that seems to be where it belongs.

Edit: The catchall thread problem is an interesting one, too. I wrote this post before I saw that.
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Re: Time to start over, IMO

Postby Marcuse » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:00 pm

On the collective threads:

The social justice one went bad, and we eventually locked it. We don't really have anything else like that, dedicated to adding new examples of a specific social phenomenon that are unrelated other than a similar ideology.

The Trump thread is kind of a different thing. Trump's presidential campaign is currently ongoing, and the posts are all related to this (more or less) whether that's about his character or about his policy statements or whatever. All of it is related to Trump and running for president. Similarly the US election thread. Both of these things are happening in real time, and I expect that they will fall out of use when the election finishes and the God Emperor of Mankind assumes his holy position as chief wall-builder and foreigner-insulter.

I feel in the former case, it's reasonable to say that we could probably do with individual threads about each thing that happens. In the latter, it seems decidedly messy to have 40 threads all revolving around Trump being an asshole or Hillary being an unlikeable Institute Courser. With those you kind of just check the last few posts and they give you the lowdown on the current event, without needing to read everything for context.
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