Threads getting too long to make sense of

The more time I spend time trying to make sense of the thousands of threads out there, the more I get frustrated with how long it take to read through 20 posts to make figure out what people are talking about.

Is anyone else experience the same problem as I do?

Recently I haven’t had time to check out the forum, and when I do, the thread are just so long to read that I just though “you know what, forget it, it takes too long.”

I guess I am just starting this thread as a comment/observation, but now that I think of it, I really want to understand:

  1. Why are the threads so long?
  2. How many people stop paying attention to this forum because of this?
  3. If this continue, will the threads be so long that it lost its effectiveness in communication?

I understand that the people participating in those discussions usually can keep track of them. But for “spectators” who just want to drop in and take a look, I think it’s getting hard to keep track of everything going.

I am also interested in finding out, is there any sort of solutions for this situation? What happen if it get worse, and threads turn into 50+ post easily?

But I don’t know, this could be just my opinion, and I am too lazy. Well, we will see if no one reply to this thread, then that mean it’s just me.

-Ken Leung

Agreed. I think that a lot of threads are getting off-topic, too. I remember a time when I could keep track of everything on the forums. Now, it’s hard to watch even a few things, especially when they start getting long, drawn out, and off topic. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to fix the problem. As CD gets bigger, we’re just going to have to live with it. I would just ask one thing of everyone: before you post, ask yourself: Is there a good reason to post this? If you don’t have anything relevant to say, don’t say it. I know I’m guilty of posting useless garbage from time to time, but I think if we all work on it, we can at least make things bearable.

Yes, i know what you mean. The people here (no offense) seem to like to argue, and to talk about irrevelant topics, which isnt nessicarily bad, but i tell you that unless im really interested in a thread then i wont read it if its really inordiantly long.

I AGREE…

Some of us people here on CD need to keep our posts short and to the point…

I have seen too many threads where people post a page full of information that makes no sense or is hard to understand.

Use PM or we should have an option for a cascading the posts like in the yesteryear of CD. So if there is something off topic about something somebody said, you would hit “REPLY TO THIS POST” and it would reply to that post, and those of us who are following the whole thing can skip over that.

*Originally posted by JosephM *
cascading the posts like in the yesteryear of CD

You’ll have to check w/ Brandon on this one (Actually, the vB developers), but I think that this will be an option in vB 3 (whenever it comes out) :slight_smile:

And yes… I would be very nice. :slight_smile:

I’ve made a few helpful suggestions in the past, maybe this could be to.

Perhaps for those who have achieved the status of custom titles and/or senior members (By this I suggest because it means they’ve been around a while), could have a small link to “Request Lock” on threads that have digressed to far from their original topic and have become chatter-box threads.

I can think of a few threads that went on for 2 weeks or more of post-answer posting. (A correct or accepted answer to a question posted, then digressive chatting of items similar to the thread).

I could see it working much like the “report post to moderator” but instead of asking to remove the post due to vulgarity, etc., to have the thread locked from further rambling.

Perhaps a trial run at this?

Originally posted by Jack
You’ll have to check w/ Brandon on this one (Actually, the vB developers), but I think that this will be an option in vB 3 (whenever it comes out) :slight_smile:

vB3 will give the ability to view:[list=a]
[li]Linear (like now)
[/li][li]Threaded (like old one)
[/li][li]Hybrid (both! at the same time! woo!)
[/li][/list=a]

If you want to see how this is accomplished, check out

They have vb3 alpha 2 or something running, for testing/preview.
Its pretty nice. Will take a little bit to get used to, but still nice.

And – next year there will be a few more moderators, so their job will entail closing threads that have run their course & gone so far off topic. They could split any new topics off into new threads, also. There are too many new topics/threads/posts for me to do it alone, and I don’t want to go assigning moderators just yet… so for now, report to a moderator, and one of the few will get to it.

Thanks :slight_smile:

Brandon, nice job. Hope to see some topics get cleanded up al little more so they arent all just OT posts.

~Mike

[EDIT] OT = Off Topic [/EDIT]

all hail VB3.

I have to say that if threads are too long and i didn’t get in on them early i am often scared away from them.

A good example of how fast a thread can go would be andy’s post yesterday about using your real names. It was upto 2 pages by the end of the day and now its on its 4th!

Its just part of growing as a community that we are going to have to deal with for awhile. The fact that things are always changing is the only thing that stays the same.

*Originally posted by oneangrydwarf *
** Its just part of growing as a community that we are going to have to deal with for awhile. The fact that things are always changing is the only thing that stays the same. **

This is exactly why I started this thread. We can either “deal” with the problem, or we can figure out something to solve the problem or make it better.

VB3 is definitely a solution I can see working well for a whole bunch of situations I’ve seen around here.

But other problems such as threads getting off topic too easily, or getting too large to keep track of is only going to get worst as more and more people know about this forum. I don’t have experience setting up forums for thousands and thousands of people while making sure its easy to read and make sense of, so I don’t know what kind of solution there is. Maybe someone have some ideas and will post in here eventually, but I just want to get people thinking about it.

Just think, when there are 1000 teams, and each team have 10 person knowing about this, that’s 10,000 users already. If something controversial comes up, and maybe 1 person on each team felt really strongly about it, that’s 1000 post in a thread already. Averaging 15 words per sentence, and 4 sentence per post, that’s 60,000 words right there, in the interval of 4~5 days.

Of course, it’s not going to be 1000 post per thread every time… I am just coming up with an extreme case that could get out of hand really easily.

Are we going to start deleting post when that happen? limit how much posts per thread? limit how many users per team? Those are probably not the best solutions neither.

Just think about it for a few days, and see if you agree with me.

*Originally posted by Gadget470 *
**Perhaps for those who have achieved the status of custom titles and/or senior members (By this I suggest because it means they’ve been around a while), could have a small link to “Request Lock” on threads that have digressed to far from their original topic and have become chatter-box threads.
**

This can easily be done by simply IMing or PMing a moderator. Does it really need a special button?

A good example of how fast a thread can go would be andy’s post yesterday about using your real names. It was upto 2 pages by the end of the day and now its on its 4th!

No my thread was a good example titled odd occurences. It started off with me and odd stories and then somehow segwayed into a discussion into about education.

Well…

From the vB 3 threaded posts thing, it should help to sometimes kill the extra discuession… But… I normally don’t like threaded forums because they get too hard to follow (as each branch breaks off to something else) Personally, I think that each extra thread in a threaded forum should just be a new topic and keep a linear style. Oh well…

The solution that i see is:

Mods will be using the “split” & “move” action a lot. In a large community, newer users just don’t know how to really keep a topic on topic. (And even older users forget that sometimes) The “Lock”, which might be the first idea, just makes the discuession go somewhere else. (At least that’s what I’ve found). Move it / Split it…

(Sorry, know the mod thing is still a little while off… but it’s the best idea i have)

I agree on the “threaded forums,” Jack. I’ve used threaded forums elsewhere, and I find them to be way too confusing for my tastes. I’ve always preferred the linear style CD has used the past two years. Maybe the “hybrid” vB 3 style will be a good compromise?

*Originally posted by Ken L *
**Just think, when there are 1000 teams, and each team have 10 person knowing about this, that’s 10,000 users already. If something controversial comes up, and maybe 1 person on each team felt really strongly about it, that’s 1000 post in a thread already. Averaging 15 words per sentence, and 4 sentence per post, that’s 60,000 words right there, in the interval of 4~5 days.
**

I know of forums that have on average 1000 people online. And those are horendous to try to keep track of everything. Usualy those have very strict rules for posting and the ‘chit chat’ type forums are just full of discussion.

Plus they often have more sub forums for more specific stuff to try and keep stuff organized. I think Brandon has done a great job of keeping a very up-to-date and useful list of sub forums and the forum should definately continue to grow in that area.

Just think, when there are 2000 teams what its gonna be like:)

I definately think that when there are more moderators that will help alot. Those big forums usualy have like 50 or so moderators to keep track of everything. We’ll just have to hold on like people said until we get more moderators.

In the mean time everyone should probably make a concious effort to make sure they are either staying on topic or start a new thread and link to the origional thread that made you want to post a new one.

*Originally posted by Jeff Waegelin *
**I agree on the “threaded forums,” Jack. I’ve used threaded forums elsewhere, and I find them to be way too confusing for my tastes. I’ve always preferred the linear style CD has used the past two years. Maybe the “hybrid” vB 3 style will be a good compromise? **

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve always preffered the style used at this site. It uses the everything engine, so it’s probably not possible to incorporate that at Chief Delphi. But, just to point out a different style, the reason I like it is because it shows all the posts instead of just a link of the subject line that you have to click, but it indents the replys so you can logically follow the thread, and can skip sections that you don’t want to read.

Stephen

srawls…

That is also about the only way i like threaded forums…

Well… I took the time to look at vB 3 Beta, and here’s what i saw:

(Of course, it could change by the time final rolls around… but i think that it’s pretty set by now)

In the standard linear view, each top level post is displayed normally. Each sub-thread then has a

quote

message before

So… things look pretty much the same as now, except that there are a lot more quotes. Not bad… At least you now know the reasons behind a lot more posts now.

In the threaded view, It’s your normal threaded style… You have to click a million times to view a thread. Yeah… you can get through the crap easy, but it’s annoying with all the clicks

The new (and mabey biggest key feature from an end-user point of few… don’t know tho) is the Hybrid view

This view looks similar to the linear view. However, instead of displaying all the posts, it will only go three sub-threads deep

Ex:

Hybrid View is Cool
-Yep it is
-I like linear better
-Why do you
-because
-why because
-well, this is confusing
+More Replies Below Current Depth
-a simple reply

Well… That’s my attempt at explaining it. In hybrid view, it will only go so many sub-threads deep, while in linear, it will go all the way. If you then decide to click on a sub-thread, it will then start at that post and go deeper into a sub-thread.

In a way, this is cool. Here, you can see the beginning of discuessions, and then only if you think something is going to be valueble, would you look deeper. However, right now, the only way to navagate the sub-threads is through a box at the top/bottem. I hope that in the final style, there are links in the posts that would allow you to read the sub-thread from that post so you didn’t have to go to the top.

I guess the best way to really find out what you like is to go to:

You don’t need to register or anything, (i didn’t). Just pick a thread with a fair number of replys and try out the different views. One word though, the style you see there won’t be the final style. It’s quite messy right now, but I trust that the vB team is working hard on a good style to use.

So, which one do i like the best?

Well, first off, I will never use the threaded view. I just hate that. Now, between the linear and hybrid. I think it will depend on what forum i’m in. If I’m in a forum that i like to read everything, I’ll most likely use the linear view. However, if i’m reading a popular topic, that has lots of replies, I may use the hybrid view so that I can look through the thread quicker and find which posts I want to read, and which I want to skip.

I’m not sure how vB is handleing the mod part, however, normally, splitting/mergeing a topic is much harder in a threaded style forum vs a linear one. This is because the mod may want to merge the two topics at different “levels” and there will be fragments when posts are moved. Whatever the end result is, i’m sure it will be good.

Jack

PS: Now, i want to play with my phpBB and see how i could make a “semi-threaded” system :slight_smile:

well just like this thread itself is demonstrating, your always going to have that ‘problem’ of multiple users having varying or agreeing opinions that have concern with the matter at hand. Even if idle users only post concerns that have to do with the thread topic, there will still be a number of posts at any progressive and large forum such as CD.

I dont like to call it a problem, because it shows just how active and full of opinions and free speech forums are. There isnt anything particularly wrong with it. I suppose aside from forum software, the only thing that can be used to stop massive posting is self-discipline on the part of users; which can be difficult to word properly, and obviously cant be enforced. But again, this massive posting in my opinion isnt anything that should be discouraged. We should be happy there are so many people on CD with vaild opinions= )

i think the search functions need to be better optimized and more “Advertised” … . so ppl use search more often then just creating a new thread about the same thing again and again. . theirs been some issues dragged out in over 50 topics… . its crzy

but i know what you mean. . i have to check this regulary otherwise i get lost… i visit one day… two days later i check back on posts i made in a thread… and bam theirs 5 more pages… im like… whole crap…