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People not reading threads before commenting

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posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:45 AM
I have grown increasingly frustrated with creating threads only to rehash the same things over and over within the thread itself. In my view, people should at least read the first couple of pages of responses before they comment on the topic. That way they are brought up to speed with the thread and helps with only providing meaningful replies. It seems that more and more responses to threads are just a function of hitting the post reply button at the top of the first page without even bothering with what has been discussed already.

[color=YELLOW]SUGGESTION: Is there any reason why ATS can't remove just the button at the top of the first page? This would force people to, at least, scroll to the bottom of the first page before replying. In that minor scrolling action, they might actually see something that is important to the discussion and they also might see that they're comment had already been covered.

[edit on 20/7/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:51 AM
I have to agree, that threads are either over looked from the first couple of pages, or the thread itself is just to large to look at every reply. But I cannot see a solution to this problem. There has to be some solution, good luck finding one.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:58 AM
I'm with you.

On smaller threads, I think there is far less of an 'excuse', if you will. There are some threads on here that ar hundreds of pages long.
The bummer for me is that I really want to know what's going on, but apparently not enough to read through five hundred pages.

I know I'm guilty of reading the last couple of pages to 'see how it all turns out,' but I try real hard not to make myself look like an idiot by asking any questions. (as if that will help)

I've often thought that smaller text might help us get more responses on the same page, but I'd still have to read them all...

The funniest thing I saw was on a UFO thread a few days has a couple hundred posts..someone chimes in on the end and says something like.. 'just checking back, has this been debunked yet?'...and of course, someone provides a synopsis for him...

How to fix it?

Just checking in...has this been fixed yet?

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:59 AM
People are or are not going to read the thread before commenting on the subject. It is, unfortunately, a fundamental aspect of the internet. Unfortunately, it is why some profoundly interesting thread concepts with poor titles never have and traffic. It is also why some amazingly poor thoughts get tons of responses based purely on their subjects.

This behavior will continue even if a button needs to be scrolled to. Sadly, I must admit, I've done this, reading part of the OP, thinking I have the entire concept, scrolling down, commenting, and making a fool of myself.

It would be nice to think that if we "forced" folks to read by placing a button at the bottom of the post, the conversation would be more relevant. Unfortunately, this is not the case. OPs on popular threads often have to restate their obvious points over and over and over.

On a plus note, it means you get the chance over and over, to reiterate and refine your point to the level that it convinces people immediately that you're right... Assuming you are

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:02 AM

Originally posted by KSPigpen

Just checking in...has this been fixed yet?

But really, I'm more frustrated with the smaller threads. I understand it when dealing with 10s of pages of comments. What I don't understand is when the thread is only a couple of pages and it's the same thing over and over and over.

Read the first two pages this thread as an example: 'I wed Iranian girls before execution'

This is not the only example obviously... just the one that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:25 AM
No Denying

"I haven't bothered to read the thread so far, but that won't stop me from posting anyway."

As a mod, I must confess to being a "skimmer". When in "mod mode", I tend to skim through threads looking for signs of disharmony (insults, abuse, trolling, derailment, armed robbery, homicide, etc.), which involves looking for behavior patterns more than following the actual topic.

And sometimes I find myself getting wrapped up in the topic "by accident". Then posting about the topic. Then finding out I missed something important about three pages back. Then looking like an idiot. Then, to rub my nose in it, having one or more fellow members point out my idiocy.

Thus I can't really take the moral high ground on this, because I'm prone to sin myself (though I am trying to get better), and in light of just how massive and fast moving our forums are, I do understand the impulse to want to participate in discussions, even if we're not up to speed on them.

As for what to do about it, I have to agree with JJ that simply moving a button or other control changes are not likely to force people to read threads who are not in the habit of reading them.

There may be other ways to encourage more attentive reading and reading before posting, but other than leading by example, I can't think of anything offhand. Heck, I'm still working on the leading by example part.

Now, what was this thread about? Has it been fixed yet?

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:25 AM
In terms of solutions, there are a lot of possibilities ATS is not willing to consider because they raise the bar - and though quality is much appreciated, being an open community seems to be more important.

However, there are still things we could try.. For instance, I've seen some people 'categorizing' their thoughts, so they do not need to reiterate them, but simply refer (using a link, a word, a number, a symbol - anything works). If your framework of thoughts has been categorized nicely, people may feel invited to use these indications. As the level of the conversation gets a bit more abstract, newcomers to the discussion will often feel like they need to read up before they can even make sense of the conversation.

Of course it's quite a task to do the above - it would be easier if you could reply to a specific post in a thread, instead of to the whole thread (similar to the comments on YouTube for example). This way, you can easily see when someone is just replying to the idea in general - and when someone has a specific reply to a theory that derived from the concept of... you know where I'm going. I'm sure we could benefit incredibly from structured threads - we could even have complex voting systems to 'validate' or 'verify' a post's place in a thread, or tie two 'trees of replies' together when they hit the same point again, or w/e.

Either way, the crux to me is always present in two ways: 1. structuring the information in a thread so a reader can quickly get deep in it, and 2. coordinating the replies of new readers so they fit in the structure of the thread. If either of those fails, there is no structure, and the conversation in the thread will reflect it.

Not sure what to think of my thoughts.. how about you?

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:33 AM
I will agree that this is an extreme level of frustration with me, to the point of considering taking an extended leave of absence from this site. Is there a solution? I don't think so. It is community driven.

I joined ATS to get view points on fringe news topics. I occassionally still do, but the ignorance that goes on is just overwelming.

After a newsstory is proven to be false, people are still going on and on about it (H1Z1 for example). Links to government websites proving statements on a blog are wrong, and people still refuse to listen.

Take Obama Signs Executive Order Barring Release Of His Birth Certificate for example. The whole thread is based on lies, yet the original poster is receiving tons of stars, and no one seems to be reading the responses.

Like I have previously stated, extremely frustrating. Unfortunately, no clear fix comes to mind.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:12 AM

Originally posted by Majic
No Denying

"I haven't bothered to read the thread so far, but that won't stop me from posting anyway."


As a mod, I must confess to being a "skimmer".

Even skimming would be an improvement. I skim too.

As for what to do about it, I have to agree with JJ that simply moving a button or other control changes are not likely to force people to read threads who are not in the habit of reading them.

I'm certainly not advocating forcing people to do anything... just "encouraging" them.
Although I'm not a programmer, I would think that this would be a simple thing to try and it might help a little bit. If it doesn't then nothing's lost.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman

Listen, Iamonlyhuman, you cannot go around telling people what to do.

I didn't read the other posts in this thread, so there.

My problem is with threads like these. There is a thread entitled, "ATS issues" or something like that. Why didn't you post in there instead of creating a whole new thread on the same topic?

Jeeze - this is insufferable.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:18 AM
So, what was your favorite Michael Jackson Song? I like Dancing Machine. I also like Santa and the Wizard of Oz. Oops wrong thread... Delete Delete Delete

I am a proud skimmer and at least try to grasp the thread concept before I spout off incessantly. I always read the opening post and subsequent responses.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:49 AM
So you're going to fix human nature then?

Good luck with all that, very few people have time to wade through 15 meaningless pages of drivel.

But don't worry, we came up with a solution some time back.

Just read the posts with all the stars

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 12:03 PM
How you going to *Nanny* this?

Just let people comment and dig their own hole of ignorance when they make some ridiculous comment that’s out of context, or just asinine. It isn’t like it wont be obvious to the rest who do bother to read.

IMO - the last thing you should do is reiterate what you’ve already written.

If you keep spoon-feeding them over and over they’ll never stop their *skimming* habits...

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 12:05 PM
What's the problem? If the opening post of the thread contains the words "What's your opinion?" or "What's your take on this?", then why can't people just reply? That's all that's being asked.

Quite frankly, there are too many threads that do just that. If an opinion isn't wanted, then posters should stop asking for one.

Then, too, there are the threads that just scream to be posted on without reading every page... there's a few on the recent posts right now. You cannot expect people to read through 40+ pages of the same drivel without going nuts; as stated on an earlier post, reading the first couple pages should suffice... especially if you are reading the same stuff over and over in every post. With that, common sense (which isn't common) should tell you DON'T POST if you don't have anything to add.

Lastly, where in the threads are the meaningful replies? Should we have to read through one page of information, followed by three pages of bickering and going back-and-forth, a fifth page that has at least three removed posts, followed by an additional bicker page... and of course, the final page that has people griping because no one is reading the other pages or following links that don't work anymore.

Any good thread contributor will, on a lengthy thread, create a summary post. I used to do that, so have a few others... but you just don't see that happen too much anymore. Why is that? Would that take away too much time from you reading through all the pages? A summary page makes perfect sense... it recaps all what happened in a meaningful way, so that new visitors don't have to read through 10 pages of bull.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 12:11 PM
You shouldn't complain unless you can provide a solution to fix the

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 12:21 PM
On some really hot-button threads, I've sometimes wondered if this kind of behavior isn't sometimes intentional. I know that there are a few threads that I just got tired of repeating the same thing....... I would try to phrase it differently in an attempt to keep it interesting. I wasn't so much concerned with changing people's minds, but in keeping the flow of the discussion/debate going. You're in a discussion with several people and then somebody pops in and makes a very simplistic statement that belonged in the opening salvo, if anywhere, and the whole continuity is interrupted.

hmmmmmmmm. Reading back what I just wrote...... just sounds like I'm whining. Maybe that's the case.
It's my problem, so I'll just go work on that.

Good thread and questions, though, IAOH. I can't think of a solution other than just doing as you did -- referring the poster back to an original statement of yours.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 05:58 PM
Have you ever been to a town-hall meeting? Same thing there. Someone will stand up and shout, "What about the new sewer line you promised?" The council member will say, " Construction will start on X - just be patient." Five minutes later, someone will shout "HEY, what about the new sewer line?!?!" ATS is just like that sometimes. You gotta live with it; sometimes it can drive you nuts but it does allow everyone to vent and try to get their point across. Occasionally, you are going to run into some frustrations but, ultimately, I think it works best the way it does. Censoring people and deleting redundant posts is only going to chill the atmosphere.

Also, there are sometimes important questions and points that are never rebutted or answered in the original assertion. Those questions often bear repeating in the effort to clarify a statement or 'corner' someone that has made an untenable position. Other times, it may just be people that aren't that savvy with communication but they want their voice to be heard. That doesn't mean their points aren't valid just because they are parroting someone else who made the point more eloquently. They are still trying to participate in their own way and that ain't necessarily bad.

Give free speech its reign. As long as the poster isn't totally irresponsible then I say let them have their say.

P.S. How long before some wag repeats verbatim one of the previous posts? I'm betting ...ummm... 10 minutes.

[edit on 20-7-2009 by passenger]

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 07:32 PM
Read the entire front page of this post to see a timely example:

Life has funny ways of reinforcing what was already done and not paid attention to....

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