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IMPORTANT: New ATS Policy on Repeating Topics in Threads

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posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:14 AM
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Fresh threads = Fresh minds



It's becoming exceedingly clear that we (ATS) have become so large, with so many topics, it's getting harder and harder to discover previous threads on similar topics. Take for example, the War on Terrorism forum first page, it only shows 3 days of threads, making casual discovery impossible. And even with a powerful and fast search (that admittedly could use better instructions) finding older threads on certain topics can be overwhelming.

Combine this with the fact that we're getting an average of 10 new posting members every day who all have something to say. Unfortunately, all too often, the first impression these new members receive is a lock-down by staff (or heated replies from members) on their earnest effort to jump in and contribute because their topic has been previously covered. Now, this is fine if there is a thread fresher than 10 days, but if the odl thread is stale... it's just natural that new members may want to start with something fresh.

I think we've grown past the point where we can expect young members to be aware of stale threads... because of both our volume of posts/topics and the rate at which new people join. So we (staff) moving to take a different approach toward repeat topics, and are also asking our veteran members to follow suit.


Here are the new simple guidelines:

Freshly Repeating: Repeat or exceptionally similar topics with 10 days is our new guideline for topical thread closure. If the same or very similar topic was started within 10 days, the thread will be closed with a link to the previous thread.

Stale Repeaters: If a new thread repeats a same or similar topic more than 10 days old (from last post), we'll place priority on the fresh thread. If we (staff) can find the older thread(s), we'll simply post a link to older threads which can should be used as a reference for the new thread. We ask our veteran members to follow this little guideline as a means to help our new members.


Now, to be very clear, the 10-Day rule is a general guideline for board staff as we review new threads that repeat familiar topics. If we find that someone seems to be simply repeating old topics to have a bit of fun, that person may discover a posting ban.
Also, some of the most often repeat topics (Word Trade Center UFO for example) with dozens of existing threads may still experience thread closure (with links). And as always, abusive threads, or threads that devolve into a slugfest are always candidates for locking or trashing.


As we continue to grow larger and larger (with new efforts to expand), we will discover areas where older policies simply can't apply. I think, as we grew, our efforts of containing obvious repeat topics were important. But now we need to be mindful of just how gigantic we are, and how difficult it is for new (and even old members) to be aware of our thread history.


Thanks, in advance, for helping with this new approach.




posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:28 AM
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Great idea!


Just a reminder too, there are plenty of NICE ways to let a poster know that a topic is a repeat...such as something like the following.

"There is currently an onging thread on this topic here:
(insert URL of thread)
if you'd like to see the comments of other members, and feel free to contribute to the discussion on that thread."

It's much better than....

"Again? There are already 4 threads on that topic today alone!"

(and we've all been guilty of it)....

Helpful hint though, I wouldn't expect someone to honestly do a search before every new thread (though not a bad idea). BUT, one should at least scan down the page and look at the titles of the threads on page 1 before making a new post, ESPECIALLY on a news event of that day...



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:33 AM
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I know you guys hate the suggestion, and this won't happen, but it would be so useful to have a sticky in all forums which contained the title and link to threads that are going to be repeated time after time...Pyramids, Titor, 2012, etc......just a though.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:39 AM
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I was just thinking today, at some point there will be a thread for many things discussed that even maybe somepoint there will be a thread for everything and it's too restricitive not to allow repeat threads ...

Fresh Threads = Fresh Minds


let's see how it works!!



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by LadyV
I know you guys hate the suggestion, and this won't happen, but it would be so useful to have a sticky in all forums which contained the title and link to threads that are going to be repeated time after time...Pyramids, Titor, 2012, etc......just a though.


I agree. It would help new members if this was all up in their face....



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:01 AM
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Great idea
!

hopefully we can cut down on repeated threads now



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:09 AM
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Fresh threads = Fresh minds


excellent idea!!



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by LadyV
but it would be so useful to have a sticky


Like this one at the top of the War on Terrorism forum?

We're already doing that in some of the more popular forums... but it requires effort and time to maintain.



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:16 AM
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I know you guys hate the suggestion, and this won't happen, but it would be so useful to have a sticky in all forums which contained the title and link to threads that are going to be repeated time after time...Pyramids, Titor, 2012, etc......just a though.


Believe me, it's been batted around often, but the sticking point is always that it's simply too man-hours intensive to try and organize it, and because it's subjective as to what goes where, you can't automate the process...

If members take it upon themselves to do such a thing, and then request a sticky for it, then that's likely the best way that would happen... We're volunteers folks...


[edit on 10-3-2005 by Gazrok]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:26 AM
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Well....would it have to be updated? I mean you could find one or two threads with many replies and list it......I guess it would have to be occasionally updated. Hmmmmmm, I dunno.




EDIT: It probably wouldn't help anyway....Mods will list former threads and ask to please use them....and the repeat thread just goes on and on anyway. Sooooooo


[edit on 3/10/2005 by LadyV]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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index threads would prove to be a good idea, but since you cant edit threads now, you have to keep U2Uing mods to update things. Some tend not to read the index threads anyways....



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:33 AM
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EDIT: It probably wouldn't help anyway....Mods will list former threads and ask to please use them....and the repeat thread just goes on and on anyway. Sooooooo


Such threads would be more for reference than for posting more and more to the old thread I'd think...

At least now there is more of a clearly defined criteria regarding repeat threads, and an effort to reinforce that closing repeat threads isn't done to be mean, but to help keep things organized, and ensure that credit is given where it is due....in addition to providing more information on the repeated topic....



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by LadyV
but it would be so useful to have a sticky


Like this one at the top of the War on Terrorism forum?

We're already doing that in some of the more popular forums... but it requires effort and time to maintain.


Agreed, and very much so.
The archives in some forums are quite extensive -- some having over 40 pages (example: War on Terrorism has over 160 pages) worth of topics. Makes the process of compiling such an INDEX quite time consuming and a wee bit frustrating. The creation of INDEXs, IMHO, help significantly, but in some applied cases, over time, even they are ignored and threads that have been discussed are habitually created.

Gazrok has given some good advice on how to prevent overlaps of certain topics. As such, overlaps will occur. In those applied occurances, sometimes even I can react hastily to seeking a closure of a repeat topic. In a few cases, closure of such repeat topics was/were wrong, on my behalf.

The idea/concept presented by SO is fundementally sound and will prove itself over time, but it will require an honest, consorted effort by all of us.






seekerof

[edit on 10-3-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by LadyV
Well....would it have to be updated? I mean you could find one or two threads with many replies and list it......I guess it would have to be occasionally updated. Hmmmmmm, I dunno.


Its an individual effort of those forum mods, LadyV.
I have created a number of INDEXs in the Military & Government Projects Forum, and I do update them regularly. The one in the War on Terrorism forum will have to be maintained by a forum moderator of that forum. Not a hard or difficult process, but again, can be a time management issue and easily forgotten.

Personally, the INDEXs should be updated, as required or deemed necessary. Likewise, I would like to see the eventual superpower of "edit" be given or allowed by FSMEs.






seekerof

[edit on 10-3-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 12:01 PM
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*bump*



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
Great idea!


Just a reminder too, there are plenty of NICE ways to let a poster know that a topic is a repeat...such as something like the following.

"There is currently an onging thread on this topic here:

It's much better than....


beating them to death with a packet of pixy stix



I never get any fun any more



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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Personally speaking here (flame if ya like
)

I always tend to scroll through the past 24 hours posts before i make a new thread.
It only takes a few minutes and ya sometimes find something that catches ya eye that ya may have missed.

Just me trying to be good



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 12:34 PM
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I've been guilty of these kind of repeat posts, but on another message board at www.world.guns.ru they bitched at me for "ressurecting old threads"
so you can see my confusion!

But I think this will probably be a good thing



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 12:40 PM
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Seekerof, SO, Infinite, Gaz or anyone with mucho experience compiling reference threads and using the boolean search...

Since those searches can now be saved could we not just add a few of those to the forum stickies as self "updating" searches?

I mean some are obvious, but some are hard. Eh, maybe just as we do them for whatever reason, be sure to save any especially fruitful searches and post it somewhere.


[edit on 10-3-2005 by RANT]



posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
Personally, the INDEXs should be updated, as required or deemed necessary. Likewise, I would like to see the eventual superpower of "edit" be given or allowed by FSMEs.



Thats what i would like to see,
i had to make a second index thread cause i could not edit the first one.



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