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Old 02-15-2017, 08:17 AM   #1
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How do you feel about 'dump' threads?

Re: Title.

A 'dump' thread is a thread that everything basically goes into that doesn't have it's own thread.

Various examples of this being:

HP Questions that don't deserve their own thread

Official Video Thread

Official Book Recommendation Thread

New & Almost Rec. Fanfiction

Now, not all dump threads are bad, and in fact, a lot of them are great, because they stem the flood of individual threads that would barrage the forum.

But, at the same time, they have the potential to stifle discussion on subjects, simply because their content is invisible, unless you open them and go through the various posts of various subjects.

What this means, is that someone might post about a cool new story in the 'almost recommended thread' But because I don't look through it, I'll never know about it. Rather than someone posting a thread in 'For Review' where the title could catch my attention, leading me to read and comment on it.

I'm of two minds about these types of threads.

On one hand they save a daily deluge of threads spamming the forum for minor subject matter, on the other hand, they cause a significant amount of content to go missed due to the cloaking nature of them.

What is everyone's thoughts on the matter?

Do we need less of them? Do we need more?
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:31 AM   #2
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The way I see it, dump threads are a necessity. As you mentioned, it's impractical to have new threads for everything, most of which wouldn't generate enough discussion to warrant a unique thread.

At the same time, there exists the basic problem of things getting lost in dump threads. Much moreso for question dump threads (like HP Questions that don't deserve their own thread), what will often happen is that a question has been asked before but it gets asked again because surely no one is expected to go through all the thread, and perhaps all of its iterations, just to check if it's been asked before.

I think the Rec threads (such as for books, anime, manga, fics) are working as intended, and suffer less from the abovementioned issue.

Honestly, the issue with dump threads isn't one easily solved, and their necessity isn't going away anytime soon. I actually think DLP has hit a nice balance on their number; not too many as to be obnoxious or stifle promoting things, but enough to stem a deluge of useless threads.

One change that could potentially help, though I'm not sure how demanding implementing it would be, could be to add a sort of list to rec threads. Say that the OP has a list of what has been rec'd for later visitors to peruse, editable by mods or maybe the starter of thread, etc. It would help on rec threads of all kinds. Just a thought.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:58 AM   #3
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I think the combination of dump threads and ignore threads is golden and should be preserved. See the Second Amendment thread (and the happy that many of us have at never having to wade through another insipid gun control discussion).
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:21 AM   #4
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Like Pers said, dump threads on a specific subject, like gun control or politics are fairly essential. I don't think anyone wants that all over the forum again.

There may be a problem with the more general dump threads which do occasionally end up meaning all conversation on any subject brought up tends to get lost after a couple of posts as the next item posted derails the conversation. Perhaps we should just reassure people with a sticky or something that they can start their own threads on interesting stuff if they like. Perhaps being unsure on what constitutes as being 'worth' it's own thread is why people tend to just dump it in a general thread.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:04 PM   #5
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I can't speak for everyone, obviously, but having 'Dump threads' doesn't prevent me from making a new thread for things I feel strongly about.

I just use my own judgement when deciding to post in a dump thread or make a new thread based on how much discussion I want/expect to see.

For example, I've commented about several books in the "Official Book Recommendation Thread" in the past. The Emperor's Soul is one I recommend often, but since I neither (1) wanted specifically to start discussion about it or (2) expected other people to have read it and want to talk about it... I would just mention it in a thread.

When I first heard about Butcher's new Aeronaut's Windlass though, I made a new thread for it. I expected DLP to discuss it and I personally expected to like it and wanted to talk about it.

I could have put my question about Fictional Sport Creation into the 'RL Questions that don't deserve their own thread' thread, but I wanted to generate more discussion than that. I felt it would be worth its own thread, so I made one (and will be posting again in it fairly soon, I hope).

TL;DR? I think having Dump threads is overall a positive, but only to a point. They shouldn't be a 'catch-all' type solution, just a solution for quick questions, answers, and recommendations that wouldn't generate more than 1-2 useful posts if they were their own thread.

So far I think most of them are working. There are undoubtedly posts that go into these threads that would work better as standalone threads, but the reverse is true as well. Since it's partially a judgement call on the part of the poster I doubt this will ever be perfect.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:40 PM   #6
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I think we've done a decent job so far of excising/locking the threads that are pointless/redundant. The concept is fine; often leads to good discussions. That said, the counter is that we don't want a lot of pointless non-dump threads around that are redundant. A balancing act, but so far it's gone well.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:30 PM   #7
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@CheddarTrek of course you have enough capital on this site that nobody is going to accuse you of shitposting, or if they did you wouldn't care. Newer member or less frequent posters might have a touch more trepidation since mods can be perceived as coming down hard on shit posters. Of course, normally the poster as to be a persistent shitposter to get a mod ban but still. Maybe a clarification/reassurance that a genuine attempt at a discussion is not going to get shitcanned might encourage more individual topics of discussion.

Just saying it might be a factor in why people dump interesting topics in general dump threads, that or they just can't be arsed to make a thread.

Edit: Oh and I just realised I've been reading your name wrong for years, thought you were cheddar-talk, makes you avatar make more sense now >_>
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrows View Post
@CheddarTrek of course you have enough capital on this site that nobody is going to accuse you of shitposting, or if they did you wouldn't care.
That is true now, but it has not always been true. One could argue that I have capital on the site because I never made a habit of shit-posting.

Quote:
Newer member or less frequent posters might have a touch more trepidation since mods can be perceived as coming down hard on shit posters. Of course, normally the poster as to be a persistent shitposter to get a mod ban but still. Maybe a clarification/reassurance that a genuine attempt at a discussion is not going to get shitcanned might encourage more individual topics of discussion.
This is true, but I don't consider it a bad thing. We DO come down hard on shit-posters. This is where the age old DLP adage comes into play... LURK MOAR. If new posters hang around the site and read a number of threads before trying to start one, and have two brain cells to rub together, they should be able to format their post such that it is not considered a shit post.

Basic requirements are simple:
  1. Use halfway decent grammar and punctuation.
  2. Back up any statements you make with sources/arguments/proof if you are trying to start a discussion.
  3. If you are asking for help with something (like a story search) offer your own insights as well.
Since you used me as an example, so will I. Here's a thread that I made in 2009, back when I had zero clout on the site. I used halfway decent grammar, explained what the link was about, provided the link, and wrote some examples. Here's another one - in this case I had a horrible, nonspecific title that I would yell at myself for. But rather than simply saying "how do ip addresses work" I took the time to explain what I knew, what I didn't know, and tried to give enough information to allow the answers I got to be useful.

Being new is not an excuse for making shit-posts as new threads.

Now not every thread I started was good. Certainly some of my earlier ones were simple "here's a link to a video!" threads that I cringe to look at these days (though to be fair, we didn't have the "dump" thread for videos back then).

But because I lurked around the site I knew better than to make a thread like this...
Quote:
have you guys seen the statemaster site? it has lots of cool state stats like lynchings
That would have been considered a shit post, despite being on the same material as the first thread I linked. I don't feel that the mods are too hard on n00b posters these days, though different sections of DLP can vary in that regard (politics). Sometimes mods (and regular members) can be a tad harsh, but that's better than being too accepting.

Quote:
Edit: Oh and I just realised I've been reading your name wrong for years, thought you were cheddar-talk, makes you avatar make more sense now >_>
Hahahha, well, I'm glad you've sorted it out.
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