Threads being closed due a new Front Page post

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by Brookzy, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #1
    I'm sure this has been discussed before but I couldn't find the thread.

    It is incredibly annoying that threads get closed down with the placeholder "please continue the discussion in the news thread" every time an article on the topic is posted.

    The discussion in the closed thread is invariably more valuable than will ever be found in the front page thread because the responses are from people interested in the topic rather than just glancing at the homepage and posting some inane comment.

    For example, the recent incident with Linus Tech Tips' iMac Pro. The news article thread has still not reached the level of insight and analysis that was found in the thread that preceded it and which was locked down.

    There is no prospect of "continuing the discussion". You mean "too bad, go and start again".

    I understand the need to consolidate threads, especially when there is a particularly big story.

    A considerably more elegant solution would be for article writers to identify existing threads on the topic, and have the existing posts moved to the article's thread at the instant that the article is posted - then the discussion actually can continue.

    If there are technical issues in doing that, a stop-gap would be to disable the front page article and simply link to the existing thread.

    Frankly it is completely bizarre that this practice has gone unchallenged while the scope of MacRumors' article content has massively expanded. Every thread relating to ANYTHING remotely noteworthy in the tech sphere has the potential to be closed without warning just because an article is posted on it, and the discussion interrupted.

    Personally I often don't bother partaking in threads that I know could become notable because of the potential for it to be closed down mid-debate. And, since MacRumors writers tend not to work weekends, it can be days until the relevant article is posted, depending on the importance of the story.

    A discussion forum should be the last place debate is interrupted and shut down for arbitrary administrative reasons!
     
  2. I7guy macrumors P6

    I7guy

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    #2
    You have a point, however, the other side to this is that multiple threads are invariably created on the same subject in multiple forums. I can see the rational on why the administration staff might want to do this. However, what you mentioned is a good compromise, that is, moving the contents of the thread to main page.
     
  3. Brookzy thread starter macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #3
    I agree that there are times when threads must be closed. Generally when multiple threads exist they are merged or dealt with quickly, which is fairly non-destructive. News articles, on the other hand, can lead to threads with dozens of pages being closed without warning.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    It's MacRumor's policy to close threads of the same topic as those on the front page.
    Your example: Apple REFUSED to Fix our iMac Pro - Linus Tech Tips is the same topic as the news thread Popular YouTuber Says Apple Won't Fix His iMac Pro Damaged While Disassembled.

    That news thread is exactly the same as the iMac thread, and one reason for closing the iMac thread is because discussions will be duplicated. Centralizing the discussion helps with keeping the discussion organized in a single thread, and in this case the news thread.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    There are technical problems with doing that. If we merge threads, the oldest post becomes post #1, and that would push the news article post #1 out of position.
     
  6. Brookzy thread starter macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #6
    I think it is quite clear that I am criticising this policy? I'm not sure if you actually read my whole post, because it made clear that I understood the policy and why it is there, but am asking for a new solution to be considered.

    To emphasise myself... you understand:
    • that the news thread came nearly 24 hours later,
    • that the existing thread wasn't closed until a further 48 hours after the news article appeared,
    • that the policy resulted in the closing of the existing thread without warning,
    • that the news thread has still not reached the level of insight and analysis as the original thread, because it attracts a far different cohort,
    • that every thread that has the potential to become noteworthy has the potential to be scuppered at the whims of the editorial team, and that
    • by creating a new thread and closing the first, YOU are duplicating the discussion, not us.
    This policy is ineffective and is consistently destroying good debate. Which you might not care about - but the difference between good debate and not is the difference between MacRumors and something like Reddit.

    You could in theory just close down the news article's responses and link to an identified existing thread.
     
  7. triptolemus macrumors 6502

    triptolemus

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    #7
    I think @Brookzy understands what the policy is -- he was questioning the rationale behind such a policy.

    I've seen this on other forums, too. In some cases, an OP will break a story only to have that story picked up by the site days later. The site will close OP's thread and create new one -- which seems to be what occurred here with the Linus video.

    I've never understood this unwritten rule that discussions must be centralized and duplicate posts be abolished. Closing new thread coming after a news article I understand. But ultimately, what is actually gained by shutting down an active thread?

    /2c
     
  8. Brookzy thread starter macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #8
    It's a written rule, but it needs changing.

    (Honestly, describing shutting down a discussion and replacing it with a new one as "centralising" sounds like the sort of euphemism you'd expect from a violent dictator looking to suppress his subjects. Real "centralising" would be keeping the existing thread and doing away with the newer one, even if it is a news article.)
     
  9. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    #9
    Another issue is that the mods do not want PRSI commentary in the news thread (I agree with them) but then they want all post related to the article in the news thread.

    Both are mutually exclusive.
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    News threads that involve PRSI topics are usually placed in the PRSI forum at the outset.
     
  11. Plutonius, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

    Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    #11
    Agreed, but most news reported now have links to PRSI issues. I'm actually in favor of not putting the news article threads in PRSI (it means more work for the mods editing post) but then you need to let duplicate threads be created in PRSI so people can post their PRSI related comments on the news article.

    Note - In the long run it might be a better policy. The people who do not want to read PRSI messages when reading the news story comments, will not have to. The people who want to comment on the PRSI links to the new story will be able to in the PRSI section.
     
  12. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

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    #12
    "Steve Jobs never would have allowed this!"

    "Exactly."

    "Tim Cook should be fired!"

    "Apple is doomed."

    "Siri sucks!"

    You mean these aren't insightful comments? LOL.

    If I had gotten to the thread in time, I'd have posted: "That iMac Pro sure is snappy—in halfy!"

    I admit that I am sometimes part of the problem, but that's homepage news forum life. It's expected there. But I agree that the original posting should remain because the comments are inherently different. MacRumors should also give credit to the person who first posted about it in the news story itself and link to the original thread.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    The editors try not to put threads that are not obviously PRSI in the PRSI section so more members can participate.

    If there is a news article that is not in PRSI, and there is a PRSI aspect of that topic you would like to discuss, it is fine to start a thread in PRSI for that. Make sense? So your thread would not be the same topic, but rather a PRSI discussion of an aspect of the news thread topic.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2018 ---
    They do if that they see it and that is the source of the story. Here is an older post the Editor in Chief discussing that.

     
  14. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    #14
    Sounds good.
     
  15. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #15
    IMHO you probably should have let the Linus thread in the iMac section go and possibly renamed the front page article turned out just like we all expected hurr durr Linus There was never going to be discussion.
     
  16. Brookzy thread starter macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #16
    I hope that the site staff do take my suggestions seriously, because there is agreement that the present system is clearly sub-par, and better solutions, like the ones I suggested, are not beyond reach.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    As I mentioned, its to avoid having the same discussion in two different places which can lead to confusion. Its better imo to have one discussion for a given topic.
     
  18. Brookzy thread starter macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #18
    I wish you would engage with the points made.
     
  19. I7guy macrumors P6

    I7guy

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    #19
    Doesn't seem to be any viable options here. I understand why MacRumors wants the articles on the front-page.
    • A link could be provided to an existing discussion, but that discussion should probably be shut down to avoid duplicate discussions that may exist in multiple forums.
    • Technically merging posts doesn't work as @Weaselboy explained.
    What else could be done?
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    I mentioned that its to keep the discussion centralized. The number of times this occurs is rather small when compared to how many threads exist in the forum.

    That's a personal opinion, many will agree, other will disagree.

    You can continue the discussion on the topic in the news thread.

    That does happen when the news article mentions that a thread is the source of the story. When a story is from other news outlets it doesn't make sense to reference a different thread when the news article is already covering that topic.

    What do you find bizarre? Please expound, we've explained the rationale behind the action.

    What do you recommend in how to provide a notice that the thread will be closed?

    But without organization and management, discussions get out of hand and become an untangled mess.

    The thread you mention is exactly the same as the news story, what was in the non-news thread that you wanted to discuss but wasn't in the news thread?
     
  21. Brookzy thread starter macrumors 601

    Brookzy

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    #21
    In addition to linking to an existing thread, the news article's thread should be closed, so there is no duplication. If there are duplicate threads within the forums, the normal rules should apply.

    You are NOT centralising a discussion by closing a thread and creating another. Choosing one thing over another thing is not centralising.

    Special privilege is granted to Front Page articles' threads with no rationale. If anyone else except a staff member created a new thread on the same topic of an existing one, it would be closed. Yet if they do it, the existing one is closed!

    I see, so you think the "Siri sucks", "if Steve Jobs was still alive", et al. we find on front page threads is valuable.

    No you can't.

    I don't think you understand what continuing a discussion means.

    It means continuing a train of thought with reference to what was already said, with (as a minimum) the same people or more who were in the original discussion.

    If I ended a meeting early, rescheduled, but only invited 10% of the original attendees, and the original documentation and materials from the first meeting weren't brought to the new one, we would not be continuing the meeting!

    Are you suggesting that I should @ every person from the old thread, go to the old thread, quote all their relevant posts, and then bring it back to the new thread? That is ridiculous.

    It is impractical for me to reference what was already said in the old thread, or indeed to rely on others from the old thread moving to the new thread, hence I cannot "continue the discussion".

    You still close the thread.

    It is bizarre that MacRumors has grown exponentially, that the scope of coverage has massively increased, and yet the site staff are happy to use rules that are frozen in time and designed for a new era.

    It is also bizarre that as site staff you don't consider quality a concern. There are many other sites out there. The amount of ex-MacRumors members I see on Reddit is concerning.

    I recommend that you don't close it for arbitrary administrative reasons. If a MacRumors member beat site staff to it, then they were there first, and their thread should persist.

    You will still have ONE thread, so your centralisation desire is met. Every other moderating rule still applies.

    And you have the added benefits of not having destroyed a debate, of not having the "Siri sucks", "if Steve Jobs was still alive" brigade ruling the roost, and of not discouraging the creation of new discussion due to the fear of it being closed down without warning at some arbitrary time in the next 1-7 days because of the editorial desires of the writing staff.

    If despite all that you still think that the present solution is perfectly fine then I have completely lost hope.
     
  22. I7guy macrumors P6

    I7guy

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    #22
    Closing the news article thread on the main page probably is not an option. It’s not the way MR staff choose to run the site. (Not that they aren’t open to listening)
     
  23. yanki01 macrumors 68040

    yanki01

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    #23
    I agree with the OP. never understood why the original thread has to be deleted and then run it on the front page all while a discussion was being had in original thread. that's happened many times I've noticed.
     
  24. sracer macrumors 604

    sracer

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    #24
    It might have to do with which page they'd prefer to appear in internet search results. :confused:

    The productive conversation in those "backdoor" threads (even when they are created before the "official" news threads) can not continue on the news threads because of all of the "noise" of bickering and sniping going on. And so it goes. If moderators expect discussions to be centralized in those news threads then it would be helpful for tighter moderation in those threads to allow it to happen.
     
  25. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #25
    I understand with the logistics and logic behind having 1 thread to rule them all. It makes sense.

    Without putting words into the OP’s mouth though, it’s just discouraging and frustrating when time and energy is invested into 1 original thread only to have it locked up and to see the same old song and dance reset elsewhere.

    I don’t know that there’s a solution, but it can be frustrating.
     

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