What Do Forums Need?

Discussion in 'Help Requests' started by Ken Anderson, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    As you can see from previous posts in this thread, it is a collection of things that would be of help to the forum. These are not rules or even guidelines. They are simply things that would be good practice. Another, which is probably alluded to elsewhere, is that if everyone would take responsibility for threads that they start. By this, I don't mean that I expect you moderate the behavior of others but an occasional hint designed to keep the thread on-topic wouldn't hurt. Mostly though, what I had in mind was trying to keep the on-topic conversation going, the longer the better, but I'd love to see each thread at least stretch into a second page of posts. If you don't expect that whatever it is that you have to say will get any responses from anyone, then perhaps it should be a post in one of the several of the off-the-cuff threads that we have here, rather than a separate thread. That said, I know that you can't make someone respond to your new thread. I have started some threads that no one has joined in on. That happens and it's not something that can always be helped but, when that happens to me, I'll usually make a second post to my thread, to see if I can find a way to encourage someone else to join in.
     
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  2. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    Sometimes, letting a thread evolve to a new, yet related, subject matter, keeps the thread fresh and interesting............and longer. If someone has a thread about the color red, then someone else says they prefer yellow and everyone starts talking about yellow instead, I don't think it's off topic. It's the natural graduation of how a real conversation evolves. :D
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    In that event no, because the topic is color preferences. However, the natural course of a verbal conversation might cover a wide range of topics and, when it's done, no one can say what it was about without using plurals. Online forums aren't verbal conversations, however. For one thing, they involve people who are not all online at the same time, so it is important that someone is able to see what topics have been discussed if we can expect them to join in when they come along later. Thus, we take what might have been several topics and break them up by subject. If I am interested in one thing, I don't necessarily want to wade through a whole lot of talk about something else in order to see if anyone says something that I am interested in.
     
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  4. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    #154
  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    What forums need is people posting. It's really a simple as that. Please don't feel as if you have to have something important to say in order to participate in discussions here. If your brain found that it was worth thinking about, it's probably worth talking about here. Please, I mean it, don't feel as if what you have to say doesn't matter. Your thoughts and your words are what this forum is all about.

    It's fine to post links to news stories, to opinion columns, or to blogs, but your words are more important. Your thoughts are more important. For that matter, they don't have to be important on the world stage. This forum is about the people who participate in it. So please, don't feel like you don't have anything to contribute.

    Join in on discussions that are ongoing, start your own thread, and don't be afraid to resurrect old threads. Some of you are new here, and you may be familiar with other forums in which resurrecting old threads is frowned upon or even prohibited. That's not the case here. I like to see old discussions revived.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    There should be no end to new topics for this forum, as there isn't a whole lot that can't be discussed here, and most anything that you might be interested in should have at least one other person who'd be interested in it. Talk about your school days, jobs that you've had in the past, people you've known, and things that you have done.

    If you've read a book, watched a movie, or have taken an interest in something that you've learned of, these can be topics for a thread here. Whatever you might have expertise in can make for an interesting subject.

    If you have a favorite local restaurant or even one that you've enjoyed while traveling, do them a favor and write a restaurant review. We have a place for that here, too. Even if no one here ever visits it, if they have a website, you will be doing them a favor because unsolicited links will help their search engine optimization needs, which might bring help people who may visit to find them.

    If you've taken a trip, recently or fifty years ago, feel free to tell us about it.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Most importantly, think of something to say and say it the best you can.
     
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  8. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Very Well-Known Member
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    I've noticed on most forums and social media today cliques form and people get offended easily or only think free speech is for the chosen few.
    Not seen that here yet but although I like to get along with all people I can't go along just to get along. If I really disagree with someone I usually won't say anything. but if they disagree with me 'loudly' then I will comment back.
    What happens is people will PM each other and start talking even faalsely accuing those they disagree with. I refused to use PM for the first 6 or 8 years because of that. I still sldom use them.
    I make mistakes and sometimes forget what the subject is after so many replies. And I highkack a thread without realizing.
    I feel if we PM each other it shouldn't be about what some othrr poster did or didn't do.
    I'm opnionated to a fault and that gets me in trouble so I try to watch it more now.
    Just my take on things.
    II agree that the more topics the better and glad to have a place to come to now and then to post and enjoy debating with other.Thanks
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Most people, including myself, do that from time to time. It's just important to get them back on track again.
     
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  10. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    I think a very important consideration is to view the topic title and if not clear, go back and read the first post to try and see what the thread is about. Do this before you comment or answer a post to be sure you are not taking it further off-topic. I think maybe the original poster if still active, might toss out a reminder every page or so if the thread starts to drift way off. Sometimes I make a post in haste and then realize it was off the original topic, so I just immediately delete it.
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    There are times when you might want to make a brief comment in reference to something someone has said, although off-topic with the thread itself. You can keep from bringing the thread off-topic in this case by making a point of adding an on-topic paragraph or so at the end of your post. Of course, if the off-topic post is one that would make for a good topic of its own, it's best to start a new thread.
     
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  12. Marie Mallery

    Marie Mallery Very Well-Known Member
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    Good idea I'll start one soon.
     
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  13. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    Sometimes when people start a new thread from an existing topic, they'll put a link to direct folks to it.
     
    #163
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  14. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Veteran Member
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    I have a confession here - I like just having our main group of people posting. When you have been on board here for a couple of years, you get use to seeing the same people make posts and, well its like having family. I know we need new people, with different ideas to post and stir things up, but I just do not want to over stir pot ;).
    I am not sure what forums need really, I like this one pretty much like it is. Except I do wish there was not a new thread for every spur of the moment thought someone has. And that can be hard because there are so many to read through. @Ken Anderson . Is there anyway to perhaps remove posts from years ago , or at best cut them down so not that much to scroll through? Maybe take all posts from a certain years and group them together. Such as, not really interested in post from 10 years ago- things have changed, folks have died many are no longer active on here.
    Just a thought, hope that is not callous sounding.
     
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  15. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    For the most part, I agree @Gloria Mitchell. It doesn't bother me that new people join and post, but I do wonder if some of them are doubles of a former member that left for whatever reason or perhaps a double of a current active member.

    I also agree that I think long old threads should be closed and archived except ones that are still relevant and or personal and active like diaries. Also, any thread where the original poster is deceased or hasn't been active for at least a year.

    I also enjoy interacting with those that have been here for a couple of years the most, because they know my ways and I know theirs so having fun and joking around or making comments that newbies read as hostile or personal, they understand, but everyone was new here at one time and I remember how I got off to a bad start and lucky for me there were a few that weren't in any hit squad PM clique and encouraged me to carry on. I try to remember that and offer the same courtesy to newbies except I am a bit untrusting of ones that share nothing about themselves, no profile photo of them ever, no age, and never any photos of things they claim they have done.

    As I have voiced before, I don't understand the member status labels. The idea that someone can join and become a Veteran member in a few months by spamming the forum with posts (even great well-liked posts), seems silly to me and lessens the honor of those Veterans that have been here since 2015. I think two years minimum should be required for a veteran's status and every year maybe a star be added to their status if they are ACTIVE at least 10 times during the year. It is all just a game I guess, but forums offer these levels of recognition to encourage activity. Even us old folks like a little recognition for achievement and TIME invested. Just my thoughts on a way to keep long-time members more active.

    I do admire Ken for all the expense and hard work he puts into this forum and also the thankless job Yvonne does. I would have given up many years ago. I trust that Ken always does what is in the best interest of keeping the forum alive. It is definitely a great place especially in this day and time of censorship.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021

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