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Old 15th October 2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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Concerning off-topic posting and consolidated threads

It has as recently happened that threads with a specified topic have been subjected to off-topic posted – most likely because of the nature of the topics themselves. I also have participated in this and my apologies for that. It is easy to get swept away in these discussions because of our backgrounds.

Anyway to get to the point: the solution to prevent off-topic posting to ‘hijack’ a thread was to create consolidated threads specifically for this purpose. While a good idea in theory I think there are several aspects which make the consolidated threads highly impractical in their current state.

1. The most crucial point is that it happened in the past that topics that shared a theme with the consolidated threads were merged with the consolidated threads. Often these threads were 10+ pages and completely derailed the discussions on the consolidated threads and the imported threads as well.

2. The consolidated threads are no longer marked ‘sticky’. I am unaware why this happened. Some of the consolidated threads which cover ‘hot’ topics that as of recently have been subjected to off-topic posting are disappearing in the thread history. While ‘thread necromancy’ is not classified as against the forum guidelines, it is not considered desirable and forbidden any many boards for a good reason.

3. Too many and irrelevant consolidation threads. I think there were good consolidated threads, and also consolidated threads that completely missed their point (consolidated ‘looks’ discussion comes to my mind). Perhaps the abundance of consolidated threads led to the decision to remove the sticky status which is another point against trying to confine every regular occurring topic into a consolidated thread.

The primary responsibility lies upon the posters themselves to prevent threads from going off-topic but I think the consolidated threads were a good tool to encourage people from posting general issues in there. I find it disappointing that the whole concept seems to have derailed as I genuinely enjoyed posting in the old versions.

I do not expect or want a moderators response – I just wonder if there are others who agree that the consolidated threads were a good idea and whether they can be improved.
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Old 15th October 2013, 11:41 AM   #2 Moderator Moderator
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Our head moderator decided that sticky consolidated threads had to go, so they have largely gone. I began most of them while moderating alone in 2012 in response to member requests and because the 'similar threads' tool has been and still is broken. Times change and the current, more dynamic and refreshed feel is that desired by site management.

About the only consolidated thread which gets any play these days is the online dating thread and I'm planning to close that and start a new one if multiple similar threads on that topic become commonplace.

Thanks for the comments.

Edited to reflect closing of consolidated online dating thread.

Last edited by William; 16th October 2013 at 8:38 PM..
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