Author Topic: Concept for combined update and discussion threads with per-post flagging  (Read 3266 times)

Offline StuffOfInterest

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Many of the topics I follow end up with an update and a discussion thread at some point.  There is always a constant struggle within the threads to keep the right information on the right thread.  There certainly isn’t a day where I’m not seeing meta-comments like “this belongs on the discussion thread” or “oops, mods, please move this over to discussion” or “saw this on the updates, commenting over here”.

I’m not sure how much control of the forum engine NSF has control of, but if it is absolute then perhaps this split personality issue could be solved with a flag on posts.  If each post had a flag for “update” and the thread has the ability for users to filter to just updates or all posts, then there wouldn’t be a need to move posts around anymore.

Perhaps Simple Machines Forum already has a plugin to do something like this or one could be written without too much trouble.

With the combined thread, if a post was flagged as an update when it shouldn’t be, all a mod would need to do is clear that flag.  If a user realizes they made a mistake, they could also clear the flag.

If someone wants to comment about an update, they wouldn’t have to copy and paste between threads anymore.  Just quote directly but don’t check the update flag (which should be off by default anyway).

The notification system for posts would need a tweak as well so that subscribes could choose to receive notification of all posts or just update posts.

I’m curious if this has been contemplated before or is even feasible, but figured that I should throw in my  0.0000023 BTC.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2019 12:10 pm by StuffOfInterest »

Offline Hobbes-22

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The advantage of the current system is that people with little time on their hands can follow the Updates thread, without having to wade through hundreds of discussion posts.

To achieve this in a single thread, there would have to be a 'show updates only' function.

Offline StuffOfInterest

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The advantage of the current system is that people with little time on their hands can follow the Updates thread, without having to wade through hundreds of discussion posts.

To achieve this in a single thread, there would have to be a 'show updates only' function.

That is actually what I meant by this:
Quote
If each post had a flag for “update” and the thread has the ability for users to filter to just updates or all posts

Offline Paul451

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If this feature is developed in-house (rather than something already existing as an add-on for the forum engine) I suggest an additional behaviour:

Allow any user (not the original poster, not a mod) to tick the filter-flag on someone else's post, which acts as a bat-signal to mods that the post is inappropriately flagged.

Note: not altering the filter behaviour for other users (the potential for abuse is too high), it is in effect an extra "this is wrongly flagged" flag that lets mods filter that topic by the "wrongly-flagged" flag to quickly scan for wrongly flagged posts. Similar to "report to mod" but less shouty. Optionally, also make the "wrongly flagged" flag visible to the OP, to help encourage them to self-censor, to reduce work for the mods.



Aside: This mechanism might also be broad enough to allow other useful features. For example, a pseudo-bookmark "keep for reference" flag that is visible only to the user who sets the flag, separate to simply "liking" posts, which then adds another criteria for the search function. "Hmmm, I vaguely remember there was a comment about Falcon 9's total RCS delta-v that I marked. So 'advanced search', select only the SpaceX forums, keywords 'reaction control' OR 'rcs', and set option 'flagged for reference only'..."

Aside 2: Topic creators might enable the update/discussion flag when the topic has people posting ideas (top level, equivalent to "update") and discussions. That would let new readers quickly skim through the top-level concepts without wading through pages of discussion. Eg, a hobby post with some people posting current projects with flag set, everything else is "discussion". Or a long thread where people mark a previous start of discussion so they can point to it when new readers bring it up again. A suggestions topic, where suggestions are "updates" and responses to suggestions are "discussion". Etc etc.
« Last Edit: 10/08/2019 03:05 am by Paul451 »

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