Forum idea: a "Talk" section on threads

yuyuyup

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Hi, I was thinking of how a thread can get derailed by disagreements sparked within the thread, some of which might be relevant but still digress from the original topic. Wikipedia articles contain the "Talk" tab, allowing the debate of the content within the article. Maybe an option where you can sub-comment a specific post, and have an expand/collapse button, etc. Maybe that would concentrate the relevancy in a thread. I would guess new features are a lot of work, but I'm just brainstorming.
 
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Urza

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No; the problem is that it's a bad solution.

As the name implies, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It consists of "static" content presented in an "objective" manner. This precludes discussion from the articles themselves, and thus a proper medium was required for such things (the "Talk" page).

GBAtemp is a message board. The entire site is already a medium for discussion as that is it's primary function. Having discussions within discussions does not, in fact, help you discuss while you discuss (despite what Xzibit has been telling you). All it would accomplish is to fragment conversation and overcomplicate things.

A more reasonable thought might be found in the closer analog of a news site, for example Slashdot or Reddit. They use tree-style commenting which allow users to branch discussion off and focus on separate aspects of the subject in question. This works well for such a site for two main reasons. One that the material or topics of discussion tend to be multifaceted. Here on GBAtemp the majority of threads are "the fuck flashcart do i buy for my 3ds" or "the fuck is a cios i want free wii games". These do not tend to promote complex discussion, and thus the added complexity of comment trees does not bring with it much benefit.

The possibly more blatant reason they use such a format is because the stories on those news site are temporary. Not in the sense that the content is temporary, but rather interest in the discussion. People may have an argument or two, then move on to the next thing that piques their taste.

Here, threads linger. Discussion occurs over a period of days to years. When you have a thread with fifty posts non-linearily going off in twenty different directions, it becomes pretty hard to follow. God forbid a more active thread such as the one discussing Smealum's Minecraft clone with two thousand posts. Good luck keeping up with that conversation.

So, what's the solution? The solution is already in place. There are plenty of volunteers who moderate the forum, and that works fine. If somebody if sending a thread too far off the course, report it. If something is so off-topic that you would insist on posting it in this weird meta-thread, you should probably just make a separate one anyways.
 
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Thesolcity

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We have a shoutbox and an IRC server. Pick your poison.

Disclaimer: I'm not responsible for you getting banned on either due to idiocy and/or butthurt people in power, please exercise caution.
 
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Sterling

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I had a similar idea like this, but I discarded it for above reasons. All that would do is give the mods more clicking to do.

EDIT: Besides, we have the P.M. system for that. Just open it in a separate tab and proceed to argue until one or more of the participants decide to ignore one or more of the participants.
 

Rydian

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I think the OP's complaint is more about arguments that are legitimate and thus would stay in a thread, but isn't something that all users want to see, and may continue on for a few pages while a more important thing is left in the dust.

An example being people talking about which flash carts run a pokemon ROM release best (and we all know that can go 5 pages at a time) overshadowing posts about what was changed from the japanese release. Both of those discussions are "on-topic" as far as the original ROM release thread is concerned, but could mentally be divided into sub-topics, which is why the OP suggested "branch" ability.

His idea, however, would likely require posters and repliers to do some extra clicking/selecting when making their posts, so on the forums I've seen it tried, it was rarely, if ever, used. Hell, part of what the XenForo software was made for was to drop features like that (such as per-post title/subject box) since they just added cruft to the code and more shit for the server and browsers to parse for no benefit.
 

Anon10W1z

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Hi, I was thinking of how a thread can get derailed by disagreements sparked within the thread, some of which might be relevant but still digress from the original topic. Wikipedia articles contain the "Talk" tab, allowing the debate of the content within the article. Maybe an option where you can sub-comment a specific post, and have an expand/collapse button, etc. Maybe that would concentrate the relevancy in a thread. I would guess new features are a lot of work, but I'm just brainstorming.
I agree. Arguments derail a topic, but a talk section would be for the topics derailed by arguments.
 

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