Originally posted by AshleyD
reply to post by SkepticOverlord
It's not a bad idea at all. I really appreciated your explanation about how the feature is supposed to help provide preventive measures instead of
reactive measures against 1 line posts. This will help the members see they need to add more content instead of submitting as is and later getting
The only thing I'm worried about are those who will do something similar to the 'this is not a one line post' circumvention and end up
filling their posts with randomness, emoticons, and spaces.
I have to say that I agree that there have been too many "I totally agree. Second line" type posts, but I don't like this solution.
First (and Ashley, I'm not fighting you, just responding to points you brought up that are thought-provoking but I don't agree with), there always
has been a measure to help members see that they need to add more content, or at least revalue whether their post makes a real contribution.
I've also gotten the screen that won't let you post a reply because it's only one line, and in many cases I have acted to circumvent it by adding
an emoticon or a brief quip. I'm pretty sure I even got an applause for one of those posts: a response to a member's question where I dredged up an
ancient Simon Gray post on the topic and just said: Here's what one of the owners had to say about it (with "Here" being a link to the old
In that sort of case, I really don't think it was necessary to say anything more. Simon's words said everything that I could have said about the
issue (I think it was bad language and censor circumvention, ironically), with far more authority and conviction than any summary by me would have
So that's my concern #1: simple responses to simple questions that really don't need long-winded replies. One suggestion: disable the minimum
posting requirements for BB&Q, especially since we don't get points here anyway.
Concern #2: things like "member introduction" threads. Short one-liners may happen either as the introduction itself (some people really just want
to say, "I'm new here and I'm trying to find my way around") and in responses. And in that kind of thread a simple reply ("hey, welcome to ATS,
feel free to u2u if you have questions") may be all that's needed. And to a newcomer, being inundated in an intro thread with too much information
might be confusing.
Concern #3: the Writer's Forum. This I know has already been asked by other members, but as Springer recently emphasized, the Writers are a jewel of
ATS. And minimum-character requirements put a pretty major limit on the sphere of creative writing.
Concern #4: circumvention. So many people have mentioned this. Yes, people will circumvent this rule. Some will circumvent it with some creativity and
humor, some will circumvent it simply by using one of the ways to "pad" character count, some will circumvent it by blathering on and on with more
meaningless drivel that adds nothing to the thread. But it will probably be much harder for mods to argue that a post with enough characters doesn't
add anything now that you've placed the emphasis on character count rather than thought.
You say you receive several complaints every day about one-line responses; I assume that you mean through the complaints form, not through post
alerting. Because honestly I think you should be receiving more like dozens of one-liner post alerts every day, and perhaps asking the membership to
help out by doing this would ameliorate the situation without introducing new problems, but technical and logical, of the character count. Perhaps a
strong warning on the "please use the back button on your browser and rewrite your post with more content" page, asking people to really reevaluate
whether or not to submit their post. And definitely both a higher point deduction and more strict enforcement would have been a good idea. With extra
penalty for thread openers who make minimal posts (nothing but "you have to see this" with either a link or a video, for instance.)
As you can perhaps guess, I will not in most cases have a problem with this policy: I tend to the prolix. But on the rare occasion that I find myself
with a simple answer to a simple question, I will be much less likely to take the extra step to help a fellow member knowing that I will have to "pad
out" my post with unnecessary and perhaps distracting information.