Author Topic: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads  (Read 3443 times)

Online chopsticks

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Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« on: 03/23/2021 03:28 pm »
^^ As the title suggests, I'm wondering if there would be a way to mitigate non-update posts in update threads. I know this has been discussed before, and it's a constant problem where members will comment in an update thread. This leads to rebukes and rebuttals (often from the same people) and friction all around. I'm posting this here since it mainly happens in the Starship threads, but maybe it would be better suited here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=50.0

A few ideas have been proposed: only a handful of pre-authorized members have permission to post in these threads (Nomadd, Bocachicagal, etc.), however, can we rely on only a few people to post updates when others may see something interesting but don't have permission to post? I think it would be nice to give anybody the opportunity to share an update.

Question is: could an extra step before posting be implemented? For example, when typing up a post and someone has posted before me, I get an alert that says someone has already posted, and to check that I really want to post my message. In an update thread, could we have an alert like this that makes the poster double check whether their post is really an update?

Example: I type a message in the SN11 update thread, and when hitting post, I get a red box that asks "Is this really an update?". Or, you could have to check a box that says "Are you posting an update?" before clicking "post". From a web design perspective it doesn't seem to hard to implement, but I don't know.

What do you all think, including those in charge? Hopefully I've explained myself well enough.

Offline Herb Schaltegger

Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #1 on: 03/24/2021 10:54 am »
Example: I type a message in the SN11 update thread, and when hitting post, I get a red box that asks "Is this really an update?". Or, you could have to check a box that says "Are you posting an update?" before clicking "post"

These are good suggestions, though it might take some back-end coding so that when a new thread is created, there is a way to designate it as an Update Thread rather than discussion thread. That could be mitigated by a forum rule that only Moderators can create formal Update threads.
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Online Eer

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Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #2 on: 03/24/2021 12:59 pm »
Example: I type a message in the SN11 update thread, and when hitting post, I get a red box that asks "Is this really an update?". Or, you could have to check a box that says "Are you posting an update?" before clicking "post"

These are good suggestions, though it might take some back-end coding so that when a new thread is created, there is a way to designate it as an Update Thread rather than discussion thread. That could be mitigated by a forum rule that only Moderators can create formal Update threads.

Another variation is to (a) have update threads flagged that way on the back end, (b) permit only designated users to post to specific update threads (basically, an access control list), as well as (c) a check mark (similar to the "notify moderators" checkbox) on the non-update thread that allows a user not authorized to post to the update thread to PROPOSE the post be placed in the update thread upon review by some authorized person or moderator.

The ACL, if it doesn't already exist in the forum software, would be the biggest job to add.  But it's a common enough thing it might just need to be turned on and tested to see the performance impact it causes.  Just trying to brainstorm ideas using mostly available mechanisms.
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Online Mandella

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Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #3 on: 03/24/2021 04:28 pm »
I really like the idea of an alert box asking if this is really an update or not, with a link perhaps to take you to the associated discussion thread -- although that last may be impractical.

I know that I've inadvertently posted in an update thread while replying to others posting in the update thread, and a simple reminder would have probably stopped the whole business before it got rolling.

Of course, woe be to anyone who ignores the warning and posts anyway...

Online leovinus

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Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #4 on: 03/24/2021 05:17 pm »
I really like the idea of an alert box asking if this is really an update or not, with a link perhaps to take you to the associated discussion thread -- although that last may be impractical.

I know that I've inadvertently posted in an update thread while replying to others posting in the update thread, and a simple reminder would have probably stopped the whole business before it got rolling.

Of course, woe be to anyone who ignores the warning and posts anyway...

Sensable suggestion for backend change and reminder, and discussed previously, e.g., at Re: Current NSF Forum Feedback Thread 2

Offline CJ

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Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #5 on: 03/24/2021 09:00 pm »
My suggestion is to make update threads consistently look like update threads. There's currently a mix of "updates" in all caps for some threads, others only the first letter capitalized. IMHO, this adds to confusion (And thus some of the problematic posts). So, my suggestion is to have "UPDATES" in all caps for all updates-only threads.


Offline Hog

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Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #6 on: 03/25/2021 12:48 am »
If it really bother you that much, Report to Mod always works.
Paul

Online chopsticks

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Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #7 on: 03/25/2021 01:10 am »
If it really bother you that much, Report to Mod always works.

It's not a personal issue for me, but I know it bothers a lot of other users here and there is often arguing in the discussion thread afterwards, not fun! It seems like a simple warning or checkbox prior to a post in an update thread could prevent some of this friction and make a forum a happier place. That's all. I was trying think of a pragmatic solution that wouldn't require a whole pile of customization, coding, and work, and it dawned on me the other day that that extra step you have to do when posting after someone has already replied could be a simple and effective way of eliminating this issue.

I don't know how hard or easy this would be to implement in the backend, but since this sort of functionality already exists, I wondered how hard it would be to modify it a bit to always force the extra step when posting in an update thread. Someone in the know with this software and code would have to chime in with info on this.

Online StevenOBrien

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Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #8 on: 03/25/2021 08:20 pm »
If there is some sort of warning added before posting, maybe also putting something like "Please make sure the update you're posting hasn't already been posted previously by someone else" would be useful too.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #9 on: 03/26/2021 10:05 am »
A reminder/warning would be useful.  I know that, in my case, if I'm following a launch and I notice something I want to comment on, I'm usually keeping the updates thread open.  It's natural to just hit REPLY and make my comment.  I'm not intending on diluting the update thread, I'm just eager to share my observation.

It would save me time, in these cases, if the reminder that I'm about to post in an update thread came as the post form was loaded, before I start typing, not when I try to save my post.  Otherwise, it becomes more challenging to think through copying the text I just typed and pasting it into a comment in the correct discussion thread.  And, of course, if I'm gonna post my observation, I ought to see if it's been made already in the discussion thread, and if I should add my own take on it, respond to existing comments rather than typing up a "Hey, did y'all see that?" post when it's the 17th post on the event, that kind of thing... ;)

That's my $0.02, anyway.  FWIW.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Online wjbarnett

Re: Preventing non-update posts in updates threads
« Reply #10 on: 03/26/2021 11:30 am »
Also, let's remember, that during launches or EVAs or test events, or other breaking news, the update threads are getting lots of time critical posts from the people providing coverage (TY all!). So don't do anything that makes their jobs harder or slows them down.
Jack

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