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Thread Closure Thoughts

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posted on Mar, 31 2014 @ 10:14 PM
Something I've been thinking about lately that I've seen here on ATS during my time here.

As we know (or should know), the rule is: No posting of the same subject more than once in the same forum, with the exception of Breaking News.

In other words, someone starts a thread about, let's say, a new animal die off that has occurred. If someone posts a thread in Breaking News, and another is in Fragile Earth, both threads will normally stay open.

However, if both threads appear in Fragile Earth, one of them will be closed by the mods.

Normally the way it is decided is: who ever posted first, will be the one to have their thread stay open.

Now, while I do understand that (no need to have multiple threads on the same news article, as discussion should be in a single thread), there is something that I have seen happening off and on here on ATS.

Many times, the thread that is allowed to stay open, is one that is minimal at best in it's OP.

We see in the OP a link to an article, a partial quote from it, and maybe a few lines from the OP. That's all they did to start the thread.

Later, someone else also posts a thread (they may not have seen the first thread in their search). Their OP not only has links to the article and some quotes to it, but will sometimes have a wealth of other information on that subject, links to other sources to help verify it, and several paragraphs by the OP with their thoughts on the mater, especially if they are a subject mater expert.

It will be the later thread that gets closed.

Part of me thinks: that makes no sense at all. ATS is dependent upon user content. The better quality that content is, the more readers it will attract. The more information there is in the OP, the more there is to discuss.

Should not ATS try to stand behind quality threads?

Or do we continue to reward those (by leaving their thread open) that would do nothing more than post a link, a quick quote, and a few sentences that boil down to "Ain't this cool?".

Sometimes those minimal OPs do not even return to their own thread they started!

I'd much rather read a thread that someone has put some effort into it, especially if they are adding a lot more information and background that may not be included in the link to the original article.

I do know that I might be asking the mods, who are over worked as it is, too much.

However, I really do hate to see hard work get punished, and laziness get rewarded.

I come to ATS to read people's work. Not regurgitated news links.

Any thoughts on this?

posted on Mar, 31 2014 @ 10:35 PM
reply to post by eriktheawful

I agree with your thoughts on this matter, for the most part.

For the reasons you've stated, I avoid the OP responsibilities. There are masters of threadcraft who are going to get to the topic in short order. Haste makes waste, my friend. Some, like me, learn by making the mistake of jumping in at the deep end.

Like you, my pleasure in this site is taken from participating alongside others. Sometimes I'll take the devil's advocate position just to get a topic fired up. Others have seen this as shilling, disinformation, whatevahs ... but I see it as keeping an interesting topic alive when it didn't get off to a good start.

For that reason, I think the staff should give consideration to the subject you've addressed today. I'd hope that the membership considers my POV and helps make every thread one that's a worthwhile read.


posted on Mar, 31 2014 @ 10:44 PM
I agree. Once I wished for a merge-two-threads-into-one-(and-maybe-even-split-the-flags) function for reasons very close to this one (and also just to have all the information about an item in one place).

posted on Mar, 31 2014 @ 10:49 PM
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

In speaking to just my time (majority) spent here as a member? I have no problem with the policy and I've been on both ends of it.

By that I don't mean staff. I mean I've had the short one stay open and I've had the big, well worked one closed. Not often...but it's absolutely happened. It didn't make me happy either. Not one bit on the latter. I was upset with myself after the initial little bit of shock to what I'd just wasted my time with. If I'd found the other thread, it wouldn't have happened. I mean that honestly too. I've had more than one, as I recall, taken down on duplicate issues and I worked pretty hard with them.

On the other hand, starting out, it made me feel pretty good when a new user type thread, like I was doing, would stay...and a longer one go. I recall it being encouraging in at least being a fair playing field.

It cuts both ways...

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Mar, 31 2014 @ 10:56 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

When a shorter one is chosen, and a well-researched thread is closed, I always hope that the OP of the better thread would just move their OP and other posts and research over to the open thread. Then, if that thread's OP doesn't come back, the other poster can take over as the lead person to keep the thread moving. Doesn't happen often though, and some really good OPs are left unread because they aren't transferred over to the thread that is kept.

edit on 31-3-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 31 2014 @ 11:02 PM
reply to post by Aleister

Well, I will say that in my own case? I have moved stuff over occasionally in that way. I also dropped tips a couple times to OPs in U2U which might help them expand on their own thread and leave me off it, after I found they had a topic I was looking hard at or cared about. It's all for the content, right? There are ways to get the same thing out and cooperatively when time conflicts are there.

posted on Mar, 31 2014 @ 11:10 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

I know! Awhile ago, when I was a younger ATSer, I was all in a huff because another thread had been opened on a subject that I already had a thread going on and, having "Thread envy", was irritated it was getting more posts and actually ended up on top of the front page while my thread spun around in the dust. During some of this that thread's OP and I were going at each other like cats and cats for awhile. Within a day or two we were good buds on the site, and teamed up once in awhile on different subjects. A good lesson for me, one I had to go through, and one I now recall fondly.

edit on 31-3-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 1 2014 @ 06:16 AM
I've been fortunate enough to not have any of the threads I've started closed (except for one or two here on this forum as the question was answered and the subject done). But then I normally do not try to create threads on hot button news events either.

What brought this home to me the other day was the news of the 4.8 earthquake that happened in Yellowstone. Two threads were created on this in Fragile Earth. One thread was not too minimal, however the other thread was created by one of our resident subject matter experts, and included a lot of information, detail, graphs, etc.

Unfortunately he posted his thread 5 hours after the other, so it was closed. He took it with good nature (at least he indicated as such in the thread that was kept open, and began participating in that thread, which I was happy to see).

I do know that it takes a while to make a good thread, and of course the more you try, the more experience you get and (hopefully) the better quality your threads end up being.

I just really hate to see people's hard work cast aside because they actually stopped and took the time and effort to create a quality thread OP, instead of just trying to be the first one to post something.

Of course it would help if the search function here worked a bit better (hint hint), heh.

Sometimes though I do wish we had some sort of "Thread Creation Class" here that new comers are required to take before they can start creating their own threads. Just yesterday I saw a person register here, they spammed 20 different threads with posts so they could get their 20 posts in, and then proceeded to spam one of the political forums with new threads, each one being an op that was nothing more than a single paragraph with no links or sources of any kind. And, due to the "flavor" of their posts, it was quite evident they were trying to "pick a fight" is the best way I can describe it.

Anyways, thanks for the responses. It just feels like at times ATS rewards those who can be the fastest, and not those who do the best work. Not intentionally, but simply because of how the rules for double threads is set up at this time.

posted on Apr, 1 2014 @ 06:48 AM
reply to post by eriktheawful

As with everything in life those who get there first get rewarded, it's a shame too because I have often seen some great threads shot down but the early bird catches the worm and all that jazz.

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