posted on May, 5 2004 @ 07:22 PM
We are, without doubt, the largest single discussion board on conspiracy, cover-up, scandal, aliens, and related alternative topics. By this time next
year, at our current pace, we'll have over 1.2 million individual posts, and more than 70% of them will be ATS conspiracy topics.
For a smaller board, it's generally not a big deal to have several threads on a topic. In fact, to build a base of community and discussion, it's
sometimes even a good idea to loosely allow such practice. However, as we experience over 10,000 guests a day, and usually more than 60 new members a
day, we need to begin to be very concerned about the user experience that is ATS.
Bandwidth isn't an issue. Storage space, while not currently an issue, is also not really a problem. We will always make sure the technology of ATS
is in-step to support member demand.
But the user experience of a digital community discussion board is defined by the amount of diverse content within a narrow focus, and the ease with
which people can find the diverse content. If you were to click one-by-one from today's most recent post, through every page of every thread to the
first post on this current version of ATS, you would have clicked through 186,712 pages. That's a lot of content.
So, to actually answer your question, the reason we're beginning to be more concerned about recently repeated topics and/or dead horse
topics is this concept of the user experience. Yes, new discussion of a topic can add significant material to the brain trust, and this is always
encouraged. This is exactly why we're here. But this rarely happens as the new posts are very often rehashes of exactly the same material that
resides in pre-existing threads.
So, as a rule-of-thumb, we tend to prefer the following...
When you have a new thought on an old topic, pick up an old thread(s) and...
1- if it's too long (more than 10 pages) reference the thread or threads in your first post
2- if it's too old (more than 3 months) reference the thread or threads in your first post
3- If it's recent or short, simply pick up with the thread left off with your new thought
When new users find ATS, it is most often through a Google search. We tend to get 12,000+ people a day coming to this domain from search engine
searches. Very often, they find older threads. From a user experience perspective, it makes more sense to contain thread continuity through the
evolution of thought from original idea, to the newly discovered ideas.
Also, when any thread gets beyond 15 pages, it's time to consider if there needs to be a new thread spawned. Most threads at that length usually
contain two or more sub-topics with various involved members focusing on singular topics within a long multi-topic thread.
As members of a community where people come to find answers, it behooves us to make sure they find them with a minimum of confusion.