Appropriate Forum Behavior

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Appropriate Forum Behavior

Postby DoctahDeane » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:24 am

Hi folks - something I have been wondering about and it does not apply just to this forum. I'm on a mandolin forum too and the issue is similar. What is recommended approach when (for example) I've got a post about say, solar panels and talking about installation and charging but then I've got another solar question that is not really related? I'm inclined to do a brand new post for the new topic but sometimes it feels like I'm hogging the space by doing so. On the other hand, if I continue within there already running thread, I feel as though the question might not get the visibility it would - maybe even to different audience. What is acceptable to the members here?
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Re: Appropriate Forum Behavior

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:55 am

It’s preferred to start a new post if it’s a different topic. That way when others go through the topic in a few months or years it’s much easier to read about what they are interested in, and searches work better. Your topic may help others too, but they won’t find it if it’s buried in something else.
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Re: Appropriate Forum Behavior

Postby swoody126 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:45 am

IMHO it would be appropriate to "mention" the deviation and the result(s) and include a LINK to a separate thread

this way you end up with the best of 2 worlds ... leaving nothing out

if the OP replies to the deviation w/ positive comments and the readers also respond positively then NO FOUL

FORUMS are for sharing and informing as well as learninng

the separate thread allows for the information/opinion to be found later on down the road

as long as as much information makes the trip to as many minds as possible w/o negative response from the OP it would fall within my personally acceptable parameters

just one opinion

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Re: Appropriate Forum Behavior

Postby John61CT » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:59 am

Yes +1

The goal should be efficiency for those coming along later on, stay focused on a given topic, strive to become a useful reference.

Plenty of short, less useful threads is fine, they disappear anyway
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Re: Appropriate Forum Behavior

Postby Squigie » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:58 pm

It depends on the forum.
Some forums, such as those for women with problems ovulating (or some car forums), often want every question, update, or bit of feedback to be its own thread, with the poster keeping an ongoing "diary" (or "build thread") of everything in a separate thread. This way, each discussion has a very clear focus, but each poster's "diary" can be referenced for background, comparison, and previous attempts at reaching the given goal.

Many other forums, however, do better with organic flow and looser standards for staying on topic. I believe TNTTT is a place where staying vaguely on topic is better than starting a new thread for every question.

Staying in the same thread for continuity and keeping the readers informed about the subject matter (such as different aspects of a specific solar charging system), is usually beneficial. People don't have to go back and forth for details on the system, and the poster doesn't have to constantly repost specs, diagrams, etc. I believe it is best to stick to one thread, unless the discussion is only theory, and does not apply to the specifics of a particular situation/application.

For example, if you wanted to know how and where best to locate your charge controller, and then also what gauge wire to use, keep the topics together.

But if the subjects were how to overlap your teardrop walls on the floor and frame, and also how to reinforce the suspension on the frame, those are usually best addressed in different threads (unless it's the build thread for the trailer).

I know some people think that every subject needs to be its own thread, its own question, and its own discussion, but that creates problems, too. It forces the poster to constantly re-hash details; clear up misunderstandings, because someone referenced the wrong thread in trying to find the details without asking; and it leads to discussions ending abruptly, because another question came up and crossing the invisible line in the sand meant opening a separate thread.

The most helpful threads are those with organic flow, even if the discussion meanders from the original question/discussion. Drifting well off-topic is rarely beneficial and might annoy some people. But staying vaguely on topic and keeping a discussion alive prolongs the time in which it can be discovered by someone that may have valuable insight, experience, or hands-on knowledge.

And when it comes to future discovery and searching old threads, I don't think it makes a difference. If people are searching subject lines only, they are shooting themselves in the foot.
Search whole posts, and display results as posts (not as threads). It makes a huge difference.
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