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FlyingSoupDragon
6th September 2015, 12:22
Dear Moderators,

When threads are scattered around the sub-forums they make a mockery of the structure and complicate elementary searching. Surely it makes sense to tidy up and ask member to consider for a moment where they locate new threads?

It's a pain in the bum to execute, but this is how professional forums administer themselves.

Terry
6th September 2015, 15:08
Hi Norman;

I do agree but it is quite a task, so many threads move off and on to different subjects.

Maybe it would be OK if you copied and pasted any relevant post into new threads. I have done it before but have usually asked people if that's OK witch can be a bit hard and super time consuming.

Love Terry

FlyingSoupDragon
7th September 2015, 09:33
Hi Norman;

I do agree but it is quite a task, so many threads move off and on to different subjects.

Maybe it would be OK if you copied and pasted any relevant post into new threads. I have done it before but have usually asked people if that's OK witch can be a bit hard and super time consuming.

Love Terry

Hi Terry,

Within your post you demonstrate the need: done that way it would be a dreary task indeed.

Fortunately forum software simplifies the task by providing moderators with a set of tools. These are normally bundled into the moderators editor panel when they are granted moderator privileges by the System Administrator. Using these they can edit, move, merge threads and perform many other tasks. These is also a Moderator's Forum which resides (invisible to regular members) on the top level. Here the Mod Team privately discuss issues, mostly the contentious type.

By regular combing and sensitive, respectful guidance to members, moderators ensure that threads remain within their relevant sub-forums. So to answer your question, no, it would not take that long for moderators to return the forum to sensible order.

Example: Take a look at the 'landing area' for new members - Introduce Yourself (http://forum.mndassociation.org/forumdisplay.php?4-Introduce-Yourself). The title is self explanatory, but look at the range of thread/topic descriptions within.

Prerequisites for success? A Lead Moderator responsible for the collaborative design and evolution of policy. Moderators who are present on the forum and active in the execution of that policy.

All comments offered here in a spirit of friendly contribution. I'm past banging a drum, I simply want to see this place be an efficient resource for members who arrive skating a ragged, emotion edge.

Full disclosure (the basis for the comments above):
I have been part of a 6 person moderating team (founder member) within the British Airline Pilots Association (https://www.balpa.org) (BA section) for many years.
I am in the closing stages of a PG degree, MA (Online & Distance Education). (http://www.open.ac.uk/postgraduate/qualifications/f10)

Terry
7th September 2015, 10:00
Thanks Norman;

Yes it would be very dreary and lengthy task. Maybe the moderators could work with you in as much that you point out what you would like moved into the new sections etc.

It is hard because a new thread has started up in "Introduce your self" that perhaps should be in the technology area.

BUT PEOPLE don't stop posting new threads if you do not know where and how, Just post them anyway, we know forum posting is new to many people.

Love Terry

FlyingSoupDragon
7th September 2015, 10:30
Thanks Norman;

Yes it would be very dreary and lengthy task. Maybe the moderators could work with you in as much that you point out what you would like moved into the new sections etc.

It is hard because a new thread has started up in "Introduce your self" that perhaps should be in the technology area.

BUT PEOPLE don't stop posting new threads if you do not know where and how, Just post them anyway, we know forum posting is new to many people.

Love Terry

Hi Terry,

With respect this shouldn't come down to what I want, it's a matter of what the moderating team understand as being desirable i.e conforming to their guidelines. Policy and guidance comes from the mods leader. I suggest only what is known to work generally, member engagement and participation improves if there is order across the board.

New threads may end up in the wrong place due to member inexperience, they can be moved by mods to the correct place leaving a 'ghost' being which redirects every visitor to the relocated thread. Why do this? By relocating the thread visitors are able to visit a sub-forum and see within the content they're looking for. The fact that a ghost exists elsewhere is merely a courtesy to the original poster.
Mods may enter a short post at the 'move' point within the thread to inform the poster that this has taken place. It's here that the mods sensitivity must be exercised if the new member is to continue feeling included and valued. No barking at 'em, just friendly guidance.

Members soon catch on and enjoy the glow that comes with effective collaboration. At least that's what I have observed.

Note: There are many different forum software manufacturers, each tends to do things in a broadly similar way, but with their own variations in naming and execution.

Terry
7th September 2015, 12:24
Hi Norman;

I do agree with you but the moderators probably don't know what some of the stuff we talk about is and their experience with forums. They could probably do with a little guidance from us.

It will make things easier and better to access.

It would be nice to hear from the moderators on this and their views on it etc.

Love Terry

FlyingSoupDragon
7th September 2015, 13:21
Good moderators would eat this for breakfast Terry. How difficult can it be to split Medication from Living with MND etc? When it starts any member can flag an 'orphan' post and suggest a home for it.

Yes, let's hear from the mods. :D

Barry52
7th September 2015, 14:12
Hi Norman,

I'm convinced. You've got the job!!!

Barry

Terry
7th September 2015, 15:21
Norman's washing his hands of it Barry, LOL.

But it would be good to hear from the other side, we don't mind how good or bad they are, let's just work together to improve things.

Love, as always, Terry

john
7th September 2015, 16:40
As a member of a few years I am not sure what the problem is. If I want a particular topic I put it in the search engine and get answers. They may not been in the right area of the forum but the search engine does not care about that, finds them and shows where they are so they can be read. Is it important that they are under the right heading or do people trawl through sections looking for answers in every thread in that section rather than simply enter what they are searching for in the search box?
How many posts are there since this forum came into being? Is it necessary to read each post, establish it is in the right place and move it or move on? Sounds like a mountain to me.
Are we aware of people struggling to find information on here and having to leave empty handed?
I am of the "if it ain't broke then don't fix it" school but are others aware of the difficulty of trying to find something which exists here on the forum?

John

john
7th September 2015, 16:45
Looking at the forum statistics there are 49081 posts in 4371threads. Is it really a simple task for a moderator to sift through those?


John

Steve
7th September 2015, 17:20
As a member of a few years I am not sure what the problem is. If I want a particular topic I put it in the search engine and get answers. They may not been in the right area of the forum but the search engine does not care about that, finds them and shows where they are so they can be read. Is it important that they are under the right heading or do people trawl through sections looking for answers in every thread in that section rather than simply enter what they are searching for in the search box?
How many posts are there since this forum came into being? Is it necessary to read each post, establish it is in the right place and move it or move on? Sounds like a mountain to me.
Are we aware of people struggling to find information on here and having to leave empty handed?
I am of the "if it ain't broke then don't fix it" school but are others aware of the difficulty of trying to find something which exists here on the forum?

John

+1, not a major issue for me.

threads are organic and can cover several issues, creating new threads as the conversation changes is not practical or desireable.

Ellie
7th September 2015, 17:45
Members soon catch on and enjoy the glow that comes with effective collaboration. At least that's what I have observed.



Norman, is this patronising, condescending sentiment for real???

Thereís a HUGE difference between this forum and the BALPA forum. Sure, they both share information amongst members, but each set of members have completely different demographics and the ultimate objective of why people post simply cannot be compared.

Yes, sometimes people post under "wrong" headings; it happens in most forums. I would say this forum doesnít lend itself to pedantic pigeon-holing as threads can become very fluid.

I agree with John, it's just not an issue for me or many others, if the limited number of responses are an indication of interest. Iím much too busy trying to live with ALS!

Ellie.

Terry
7th September 2015, 17:49
Yes I agree Steve;

Maybe it would be nice to pick out relevant posts out of the threads and copy and move them. But finding relevant information can be hard for me sometimes.

But it would be so much easier if they were sorted for new comers and occasional visitors.

It's not a simple subject.

Love Terry

FlyingSoupDragon
8th September 2015, 08:25
.
John,
When people arrive here many seem to be low on background MND knowledge and are stressed by their situation. Reading across the landing area (Introducing Yourself) this may be the first time they have joined an online forum or written anything so publicly, let alone opened their hearts to the world.
Searching using keywords is great if you know what you're looking for. As an established forum member of some years you 'know how', new members may not always 'know how' to search, or even know what they're looking for. They are likely to naturally apply the book metaphor - start looking through the Contents page beneath various headings making serendipitous discoveries along the way as you would within the chapters of any book.

Steve's possibly in the same boat, he understands his illness, the forum and can, as an established tech-savvy member,can search and interact comfortably with other member. He doesn't see the need for anything to change? (please excuse the assumptions Steve, they are illustrative).
'Thread creep' is natural but as mentioned below they all have a starting point, a question, a statement designed to flush out comment or a cry for help. That should really define where a thread lives. There are good 'catch-all' areas for general conversations like 'Living with MND'.

Ellie,
Fool that I am, I was describing how I feel during productive collaboration and after the discovery of new information. Particularly that which helps me understand something like this disease. I'm sorry if you felt patronised and found my words condescending, nothing was further from my thoughts.
There is (imho) little difference in the underlying needs of members of either forum, they have an area of interest, a desire to either read or converse. Of course I agree that individuals motivations and subject matter interests are very different but would suggest that the fundamental need for navigation across and through the information landscape is the important issue here.

I agree that threads, being essentially conversations, do tend to meander, but they all start out with a question or proposition of sorts. It is this that defines where they start out in the forum 'book'. The suggestion here is not that we should 'pedantically pigeon-hole' every thread, simply that medical specifics don't fit well within a welcoming area etc, etc. If someone has a gem to share around the financial support available for carers, guess where a new member would love to find it... That's all I'm saying here.

Terry, thanks for the support. Of course you're right, 4000+ threads and nearly 50,000 odd posts it would take months to sort and relocate them. What might happen is this process to the depth of a month or three, then as time rolled on, order would prevail. There may be a place for a Tips & Tricks area that offers advice on searching and other areas perhaps unfamiliar to new members (not condescending or patronising, just helpful and informative).

I quietly offered help with the task but after a week or so have received no reply. I have pitched an opinion out there elicited feedback but I will not keep banging this drum, in fact I will leave it here. Like Ellie, I have other stuff to attend to. My intention has been to offer ways that the MNDA forum might improve as a member resource - nothing more.

Terry
8th September 2015, 10:27
I know your intention is for the good of the forum Norman and you did email me when you started saying that you was a newbe and wanted to tread carefully, which you have done.

Not sure why there's no reply from the moderators but with Clair leaving and annual leave they might be short staffed. As we both have said we are happy to work with people and we are not worried about their ability.

Don't take much notice from the Chimp, she's used to things in a mess, her emails are all stuck in the bark around the tree, where I keep mine all tidy in different trash bins.

Love Terry

FlyingSoupDragon
8th September 2015, 12:21
I sense a smart mind behind the hairy face and lipstick Terry. I never take offence, she had a fair point and the written word carried plenty off opportunity for several interpretations depending upon ear tuning.

I also love debate, even when I'm fighting a rear-guard action to cover my goofs. ;-) LOL

Ellie
9th September 2015, 11:56
Hi Norman,

How astute of you!
Here's a selfie I took at 0300UTC waiting for a taxi.


411


Ellie x

Oops... is this thread creep? Sorry.

FlyingSoupDragon
10th September 2015, 09:16
Oh Ellie, you set the heart a-flutter, you shouldn't tease us so.
Nightclub restroom mirrors don't do so well for lippy work after 02:00 do they?

Good sport xx

willsandco
10th September 2015, 10:55
Ellie, you are so funny! That has really made me laugh! Love. Joycie xx

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