Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

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Hocketing Dad
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Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Hocketing Dad » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:30 pm

...

Alexis did something good today, starting a thread in current events that can be used to discuss terrorist attacks in general.

One of the pleasures of moving here to Davos was being rid of thousands of old, forgotten thread topics, but after two days we already see how quickly they multiply.

If we give more thought to entitling the threads broadly, then they can be used much longer, we'll have less scrapped threads (often with good posts).

For example, the thread where we ended up making hundreds of posts about Venezuela was entitled 'Opinion: Venezuela squandered oil riches, now faces default

Now that is a really terrible title (sorry Booklady), but we had several good threads on Venezuela/Hugo Chavez and I for one thought that I had to focus writing in one thread and that was it.

When you can build on a thread over time, I find it also motivates keeping up on the news, becoming more informed on the topic.

This is also a very important feature for attracting new members, I think.

Imagine that you look at a new forum and find that there are page after page of old threads with very few replies. That is unattractive, it is an eyesore. It discourages new participants.

But if you instead find a place where topics are arranged/entitled in well-edited way, in a more intelligible way - and that the (fewer!) threads are developing over a longer time... That would be far more appealing, or what?

I think already we could have the thread authors look at the new threads they've made, and ask the moderator to change the titles, if in some way that will 'generalize' broaden the thread topics.

This doesn't mean that the titles have to be bland and dull, just that they should not be so specific that they exclude the next post on the same general topic: for example "The Russia-China-USA triangle: Spengler at his very best?" would be better if it was entitled "Spengler at his best, or his worst?" and became one longer thread instead of many over time.

The starting of new threads unfortunately has been a way to get momentary attention, but we saw in the old forum what it led to...

Image

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Booklady
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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Booklady » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:36 pm

You're suggesting a minimalist approach? Ok with me, and I'm not offended by my Venezuela thread btw, because that was the title of the OP article. :mrgreen: But you do have a valid point about organization.

We have followed the Laissez-faire school of thread organizations, with some notable exceptions, at Spengler's. But, if I understand you correctly, you'd like us to use broader topic headings, which would be large enough to accommodate several permutations of the broader topic?

Like using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, in a way?
Last edited by Booklady on Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Doc » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:38 pm

Hocketing Dad wrote:...

Alexis did something good today, starting a thread in current events that can be used to discuss terrorist attacks in general.

One of the pleasures of moving here to Davos was being rid of thousands of old, forgotten thread topics, but after two days we already see how quickly they multiply.

If we give more thought to entitling the threads broadly, then they can be used much longer, we'll have less scrapped threads (often with good posts).

For example, the thread where we ended up making hundreds of posts about Venezuela was entitled 'Opinion: Venezuela squandered oil riches, now faces default

Now that is a really terrible title (sorry Booklady), but we had several good threads on Venezuela/Hugo Chavez and I for one thought that I had to focus writing in one thread and that was it.

When you can build on a thread over time, I find it also motivates keeping up on the news, becoming more informed on the topic.

This is also a very important feature for attracting new members, I think.

Imagine that you look at a new forum and find that there are page after page of old threads with very few replies. That is unattractive, it is an eyesore. It discourages new participants.

But if you instead find a place where topics are arranged/entitled in well-edited way, in a more intelligible way - and that the (fewer!) threads are developing over a longer time... That would be far more appealing, or what?

I think already we could have the thread authors look at the new threads they've made, and ask the moderator to change the titles, if in some way that will 'generalize' broaden the thread topics.

This doesn't mean that the titles have to be bland and dull, just that they should not be so specific that they exclude the next post on the same general topic: for example "The Russia-China-USA triangle: Spengler at his very best?" would be better if it was entitled "Spengler at his best, or his worst?" and became one longer thread instead of many over time.

The starting of new threads unfortunately has been a way to get momentary attention, but we saw in the old forum what it led to...

Image
I am all ears but it gets tricky no matter how you do it. The world and human conditions are a very complicated and messy things. Often they over lap in ways that are hard to classify before hand. Threads with tittles that don't give mush indication of what they are about are especially annoying.

The idea of davosman is to give the forum a general theme. Something to replace Spengler. Other wise I think we would have to agree on at least 20 or so topics to place things under. Like, war, economics. "earth, wind, and fire" so to speak a set of topics that don't lead to compartmentalization and the bigger picture lost.

So how about some open brainstorming as to how the above can be accomplished in the best manner?

One thing I think would be a good idea is a hidden forum thread for all in our existing group to discuss such things kind of a guidance for the good of the forum topic.
The classes and the races to weak to master the new conditions of life must give way {..} They must perish in the revolutionary holocaust --Karl Marx

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Hockey Dad
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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Hockey Dad » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:30 am

Booklady wrote:You're suggesting a minimalist approach? Ok with me, and I'm not offended by my Venezuela thread btw, because that was the title of the OP article. :mrgreen: But you do have a valid point about organization.

We have followed the Laissez-faire school of thread organizations, with some notable exceptions, at Spengler's. But, if I understand you correctly, you'd like us to use broader topic headings, which would be large enough to accommodate several permutations of the broader topic?

Like using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, in a way?

Laissez-faire is to my liking - You don't know beforehand what new threads people are spontaneously amused by and interested in, and that spontaneity within the forum shouldn't be restricted. You also see that some threads with broad general titles often go nowhere!

The only category where I consider there is a problem is in 'Current Events'. Browse through the first 5 pages of the Current Events index at the old forum, for example. Those 5 pages contain almost all the new threads during 2016, and there are 60 threads listed per page = about 300 new threads. Among those 300 threads, 119 of them had 10 or more replies (97 of those had 20 or more replies) the rest might be called 'duds'.

I see the question as being "Can we weed out these duds, light-handedly?"

Perhaps we could consider a 'Reject Bin' where those current events threads which fail to gather 10 or 20 replies in a month are separated out?

(that might also for example quell Doc's penchant for starting many stupid new threads when he's feeling rambunctious, solving much of the problem! Ha-ha.)

;)

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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Booklady » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:19 am

Hockey Dad wrote:
Booklady wrote:You're suggesting a minimalist approach? Ok with me, and I'm not offended by my Venezuela thread btw, because that was the title of the OP article. :mrgreen: But you do have a valid point about organization.

We have followed the Laissez-faire school of thread organizations, with some notable exceptions, at Spengler's. But, if I understand you correctly, you'd like us to use broader topic headings, which would be large enough to accommodate several permutations of the broader topic?

Like using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, in a way?

Laissez-faire is to my liking - You don't know beforehand what new threads people are spontaneously amused by and interested in, and that spontaneity within the forum shouldn't be restricted. You also see that some threads with broad general titles often go nowhere!
It's an art, to find the just the right words. Moderators like Laissez-faire because we don't get a beating from the members. :mrgreen:
The only category where I consider there is a problem is in 'Current Events'. Browse through the first 5 pages of the Current Events index at the old forum, for example. Those 5 pages contain almost all the new threads during 2016, and there are 60 threads listed per page = about 300 new threads. Among those 300 threads, 119 of them had 10 or more replies (97 of those had 20 or more replies) the rest might be called 'duds'.

I see the question as being "Can we weed out these duds, light-handedly?"


Ah, get your magic flute, kiddo and see if you can convince the readers that their beloved thread is a dud and must go! I can see having a general agreement among all members here that in Current Events, and only here:

-- Threads that after one week have no response, would be automatically weeded by the moderators.
--Threads that contain similar content should combined under one overarching subject heading or topic.
Perhaps we could consider a 'Reject Bin' where those current events threads which fail to gather 10 or 20 replies in a month are separated out?
Well, these naturally go down the pike anyway. I'd leave these alone.
(that might also for example quell Doc's penchant for starting many stupid new threads when he's feeling rambunctious, solving much of the problem! Ha-ha.)
Many of us have this problem. :mrgreen:
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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Doc » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:27 am

Hockey Dad wrote:
Booklady wrote:You're suggesting a minimalist approach? Ok with me, and I'm not offended by my Venezuela thread btw, because that was the title of the OP article. :mrgreen: But you do have a valid point about organization.

We have followed the Laissez-faire school of thread organizations, with some notable exceptions, at Spengler's. But, if I understand you correctly, you'd like us to use broader topic headings, which would be large enough to accommodate several permutations of the broader topic?

Like using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, in a way?

Laissez-faire is to my liking - You don't know beforehand what new threads people are spontaneously amused by and interested in, and that spontaneity within the forum shouldn't be restricted. You also see that some threads with broad general titles often go nowhere!

The only category where I consider there is a problem is in 'Current Events'. Browse through the first 5 pages of the Current Events index at the old forum, for example. Those 5 pages contain almost all the new threads during 2016, and there are 60 threads listed per page = about 300 new threads. Among those 300 threads, 119 of them had 10 or more replies (97 of those had 20 or more replies) the rest might be called 'duds'.

I see the question as being "Can we weed out these duds, light-handedly?"

Perhaps we could consider a 'Reject Bin' where those current events threads which fail to gather 10 or 20 replies in a month are separated out?

(that might also for example quell Doc's penchant for starting many stupid new threads when he's feeling rambunctious, solving much of the problem! Ha-ha.)

;)
That is not a bad idea. But you will note I have not been adding so many threads since Hocketing Dad complained about it. It is a habit I learned in the dark days of 2014 when there were very few posters on AT/Spengler. I was just trying to keep it going. Nothing turns off potential posters like a forum where you can say "hello" and hear the echo 7 or 8 times.


There may be a way to move threads that get no respond after a certain amount of time. So how about this? We leave the heavily traveled threads in place and categorize the less posted threads and move them appropriately labeled topic after an commonly agreed to, by us, time?

Would that be agreeable to everyone?
The classes and the races to weak to master the new conditions of life must give way {..} They must perish in the revolutionary holocaust --Karl Marx

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Booklady
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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Booklady » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:39 am

Doc wrote:
Hockey Dad wrote:
Booklady wrote:You're suggesting a minimalist approach? Ok with me, and I'm not offended by my Venezuela thread btw, because that was the title of the OP article. :mrgreen: But you do have a valid point about organization.

We have followed the Laissez-faire school of thread organizations, with some notable exceptions, at Spengler's. But, if I understand you correctly, you'd like us to use broader topic headings, which would be large enough to accommodate several permutations of the broader topic?

Like using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, in a way?

Laissez-faire is to my liking - You don't know beforehand what new threads people are spontaneously amused by and interested in, and that spontaneity within the forum shouldn't be restricted. You also see that some threads with broad general titles often go nowhere!

The only category where I consider there is a problem is in 'Current Events'. Browse through the first 5 pages of the Current Events index at the old forum, for example. Those 5 pages contain almost all the new threads during 2016, and there are 60 threads listed per page = about 300 new threads. Among those 300 threads, 119 of them had 10 or more replies (97 of those had 20 or more replies) the rest might be called 'duds'.

I see the question as being "Can we weed out these duds, light-handedly?"

Perhaps we could consider a 'Reject Bin' where those current events threads which fail to gather 10 or 20 replies in a month are separated out?

(that might also for example quell Doc's penchant for starting many stupid new threads when he's feeling rambunctious, solving much of the problem! Ha-ha.)

;)
That is not a bad idea. But you will note I have not been adding so many threads since Hocketing Dad complained about it. It is a habit I learned in the dark days of 2014 when there were very few posters on AT/Spengler. I was just trying to keep it going. Nothing turns off potential posters like a forum where you can say "hello" and hear the echo 7 or 8 times.


There may be a way to move threads that get no respond after a certain amount of time. So how about this? We leave the heavily traveled threads in place and categorize the less posted threads and move them appropriately labeled topic after an commonly agreed to, by us, time?

Would that be agreeable to everyone?
Here's what I propose, Doc: An Archive Board for News, call it Old News, and we can move most threads there after an agreed upon time, that way Current Events, remains Current!

Also, mods will delete threads that have 0 response.
A saucer of cream will do for me, thank you for your kindness.

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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Hockey Dad » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:12 am

Booklady wrote:
Hockey Dad wrote:
Booklady wrote:You're suggesting a minimalist approach? Ok with me, and I'm not offended by my Venezuela thread btw, because that was the title of the OP article. :mrgreen: But you do have a valid point about organization.
We have followed the Laissez-faire school of thread organizations, with some notable exceptions, at Spengler's. But, if I understand you correctly, you'd like us to use broader topic headings, which would be large enough to accommodate several permutations of the broader topic?
Like using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, in a way?
Laissez-faire is to my liking - You don't know beforehand what new threads people are spontaneously amused by and interested in, and that spontaneity within the forum shouldn't be restricted. You also see that some threads with broad general titles often go nowhere!
It's an art, to find the just the right words. Moderators like Laissez-faire because we don't get a beating from the members. :mrgreen:
The only category where I consider there is a problem is in 'Current Events'. Browse through the first 5 pages of the Current Events index at the old forum, for example. Those 5 pages contain almost all the new threads during 2016, and there are 60 threads listed per page = about 300 new threads. Among those 300 threads, 119 of them had 10 or more replies (97 of those had 20 or more replies) the rest might be called 'duds'.

I see the question as being "Can we weed out these duds, light-handedly?"


Ah, get your magic flute, kiddo and see if you can convince the readers that their beloved thread is a dud and must go! I can see having a general agreement among all members here that in Current Events, and only here:

-- Threads that after one week have no response, would be automatically weeded by the moderators.
--Threads that contain similar content should combined under one overarching subject heading or topic.

Perhaps we could consider a 'Reject Bin' where those current events threads which fail to gather 10 or 20 replies in a month are separated out?


Well, these naturally go down the pike anyway. I'd leave these alone.
Among those 300 2016 Current Events threads on the Spengler forum, 37 of them had zero replies. So only deleting the threads with 0 replies improves the quality of the "Index Menu" a little, but not enough.

I'd suggest that all current events threads with less than 20 replies after a month get consigned to a new category at the bottom of the main forum index, call it "Current Events Rejects'. and put an additional lighthearted subhead on it to avoid people taking offense.

That would help much more to clear the deadwood out of the main 'Current Events' index;

Imagine that index is a little like a restaurant menu, your forum's main menu, its outward face, where you've removed what your customers don't like, and it is much easier to see what they do like.

Otherwise about two-thirds off that 'menu' will be constantly littered with the rejected stuff.

Doc
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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by Doc » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:05 pm

Booklady wrote:
Doc wrote:
Hockey Dad wrote:
Booklady wrote:You're suggesting a minimalist approach? Ok with me, and I'm not offended by my Venezuela thread btw, because that was the title of the OP article. :mrgreen: But you do have a valid point about organization.

We have followed the Laissez-faire school of thread organizations, with some notable exceptions, at Spengler's. But, if I understand you correctly, you'd like us to use broader topic headings, which would be large enough to accommodate several permutations of the broader topic?

Like using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, in a way?

Laissez-faire is to my liking - You don't know beforehand what new threads people are spontaneously amused by and interested in, and that spontaneity within the forum shouldn't be restricted. You also see that some threads with broad general titles often go nowhere!

The only category where I consider there is a problem is in 'Current Events'. Browse through the first 5 pages of the Current Events index at the old forum, for example. Those 5 pages contain almost all the new threads during 2016, and there are 60 threads listed per page = about 300 new threads. Among those 300 threads, 119 of them had 10 or more replies (97 of those had 20 or more replies) the rest might be called 'duds'.

I see the question as being "Can we weed out these duds, light-handedly?"

Perhaps we could consider a 'Reject Bin' where those current events threads which fail to gather 10 or 20 replies in a month are separated out?

(that might also for example quell Doc's penchant for starting many stupid new threads when he's feeling rambunctious, solving much of the problem! Ha-ha.)

;)
That is not a bad idea. But you will note I have not been adding so many threads since Hocketing Dad complained about it. It is a habit I learned in the dark days of 2014 when there were very few posters on AT/Spengler. I was just trying to keep it going. Nothing turns off potential posters like a forum where you can say "hello" and hear the echo 7 or 8 times.


There may be a way to move threads that get no respond after a certain amount of time. So how about this? We leave the heavily traveled threads in place and categorize the less posted threads and move them appropriately labeled topic after an commonly agreed to, by us, time?

Would that be agreeable to everyone?
Here's what I propose, Doc: An Archive Board for News, call it Old News, and we can move most threads there after an agreed upon time, that way Current Events, remains Current!

Also, mods will delete threads that have 0 response.
Not withstanding any objections of our esteemed Administrator I would propose that any posts that receive few to no replies not be deleted but moved to the attic(or basement) If someone, particularly a new poster, goes to the trouble of registering and posts something it would be better to encourage them to try again instead of seeing their post simply disappear. I have found (And I think it was true of AT/Spengler) that a large number of people only browse and never register. I personally simply browsed AT Spengler for several years.

So maybe a place them elsewhere with a sticky that explains why there, and encourages future posts
The classes and the races to weak to master the new conditions of life must give way {..} They must perish in the revolutionary holocaust --Karl Marx

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Re: Design new topic titles to reduce redundancy/clutter

Post by SteveFoerster » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:15 pm

As I do on every forum, I bookmarked the "Unread Posts" link, and just click that whenever I want to see what's new, so I don't have to care about any of this.
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