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On locking "same subject" threads...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Just a suggestion/idea from a happy AI member:

I've noticed that, even if I'm totally interested in a thread's topic, I tend to completely steer-clear of threads with hundreds of posts. All of them have (seems to me) eventually degenerated into "chatting" rather than posting on the subject at hand. I'm not saying that's necessarily bad (I've done it, too), just saying that's what seems to happen eventually.

For example, I haven't looked at the MWNY predictions thread in Future Hardware for at least a week because I have a feeling there's nothing there, near the end of the thread. If somebody were to start a new thread with a similar subject right now, I'd be reasonably confident that they're posting on the subject rather than chatting or simply continuing the old thread right where it left off.

So my suggestion: just keep the length of the old threads in mind when you're deciding whether or not to lock a new thread. That's all. Some of the really long threads (like "post your desktop" in General Discussions) shouldn't have new versions started, so locking new versions of those makes complete sense.
post #2 of 4
This subject seems to be gaining more attention on the boards. In the "Kudos to the Admins" thread I posted a comment about how threads seem to wander off-topic.

Spotbug said that my post resonated with his/her own, so I'm going to post the main part of it here as well, to help bolster this point.

Please don't lock / close this thread guys!

We all know that a thread wanders off-topic, normally by the time it hits two pages. Most of us try to stay on-topic, but the forces of entropy will eventually have their way with any subject.

At some point, a member is inspired by the conversation to take a new slice at the same subject. They find a particular aspect of the discussion that has DEVELOPED OUT OF the general drift of conversation and decided to yank that idea up by the roots, knock the dirt off of it and put it up on the table IN A NEW THREAD. And here's why that is a GOOD THING.

It advances the conversation on a subject.
It is the "child" of the former topic.
If I come onto a board and a thread has 6 pages devoted to it, I'm going to assume that it has wandered far afield from the original topic. What if that thread's topic doesn't interest me....say it's about the color of the new iMac. If discussions are to be contained to similar threads, how will I know that someone has posted a discussion of a new plastic casting process that may be used for the coloring of the new iMacs which may affect the entire line of Apple products? That for-instance should spawn a new thread shoudn't it?

Okay here's a real for-instance:

I've read a lot of the PDA-related threads in Future Hardware. They all spin off into side discussions at some point. I was discussing the battery-life of the iPod with someone recently and got to wondering what kind of battery life we could expect from an Apple-branded PDA if it took on the same size factor as the iPod. So I started a thread on that subject, hoping to shed some light on how realistic such a device might be through the interpolation of the real-life performance of the iPod.

So I started a thread.

The next time I came back to check on it I saw that it had been locked. For the first time EVER (to memory) I'd had a thread locked! I was so surprised about this actually emailed Jamie asking him which thread I should have posted this discussion into...and he suggested that I search through any number of the existing threads for which to post this discussion.

Now how is anyone going to know that a discussion of the iPod's batter performance in regard to a new PDA is taking place in a thread with an entirely different thread topic...its only relation being the general discussion of PDA's?

So yeah, upon contemplation I'd say that perhaps some of these thread lockings/movings have been carried out a bit too hastily and without consideration of how threads spawn new threads that take an idea and expand that idea into a new area, along a different vector.

Just think about that guys.

Your terrible swift swords are sometimes used too hastily.
Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon @ drewprops.com
Oldest Member of AI (Jan 99) until JRC snaps to his senses and starts posting again. (the blackout borked my join date)
Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon @ drewprops.com
Oldest Member of AI (Jan 99) until JRC snaps to his senses and starts posting again. (the blackout borked my join date)
post #3 of 4
I don't think there's anything left that I can say besides: I agree.

That and one of my threads got locked(!). I did start a new thread but it may have been locked as well...

I posted a thread in General Discussion about Emagic getting bought out by Apple. I didn't know that there was already a thread in the WRONG friggin forum (Software). Anyway the thread developed into a conversation of what market Apple would go after next (3D, gaming, etc.) and Jamie came by and locked it anyway, pointed us at the thread in Software which had nothing to do with what market is next.

Maybe you should have just changed the title?
post #4 of 4
[quote]Originally posted by Spart:
Maybe you should have just changed the title?</strong><hr></blockquote>

There would be a lot of unhappy peeps if I went around changing their thread titles.

I've taken all the criticism on board and you should notice a newer, less lock-happy me around here!

J :cool:
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