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Suggestion Megathreads that shouldn't be megathreads.

Discussion in 'Forum News and Staff Communication' started by 13th Fleet, Dec 7, 2016.

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  1. 13th Fleet

    13th Fleet Citizen

    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Specifically in Current Affairs, I feel that certain topics really shouldn't have dedicated megathreads. The Catastrophic Fires megathread, for instance, will end up lumping unrelated topics into a single thread. A discussion about a nightclub fire (Oakland Ghost Ship) doesn't have much aside from fire in common with a discussion about a bad wild fire (Gatlinburg, TN getting almost wiped off the map).

    Megathreads were put in place to prevent things like CA becoming the 2016 US Elections subforum, where almost every thread in it is about some single scandal or speech related to the election. A megathread for, say, the bad 2011 Japanese earthquake and its fallout and damage would be good, with maybe a separate thread for the Fukushima Plant, because it is all about one event and how it all shakes out. A megathread for all earthquakes is bad because if a pair of bad earthquakes happened in the US and China in a short period, the discussions of the damage and responses would likely interfere with one another.

    There is a happy median between "no megathreads and the subforum gets everything else suppressed when something big happens" and "megathreads stifling discussion on their topics because they're too broad." I think the forum is currently leaning too much towards the latter.

    TL;DR
    Please don't make megathread subjects too broad.
     
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  2. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    Hmm. Apparently any users can create a Megathread.

    Weird. Wasn't it originally a staff-only prefix?

    And while I don't fully agree with the OP, as some Megathreads on dispersed, yet recurring topics are actually useful (e.g. the Volcano Megathread), I do think the general point made has validity.
     
  3. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect What is Project Zohar? Director

    I don't believe so.

    Anyway users will as users do, but I mean personally I wouldn't make a megathread out of this topic and there's nothing policy based on our end that has anything to do with this.
     
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  4. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    There kinda is, though.

    If Megathreads exist, people will feel compelled to post topics in them even though it would perfectly fine for them to have their own threads.

    I mean, when Megathreads were introduced, there was a concern that they would curb or stifle discussion.

    In many ways, the point of the Megathreads was always to contain certain contentious topics from taking over the entire subforum or its front page, much like SB's Election 2016 subforum was, derailing other threads by repeating the same argument as nauseam (e.g. the gun control & police behaviour megathreads), or having to repeatedly explain basics of a topic (e.g. the volcano Megathread) or simply having some continuity and a place to post minor topics not worth having a thread about (e.g. the national politics megathreads).

    If none of these are actually a concern with a topic, why have a megathread for it?

    It's certainly worth spending a thought or two on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  5. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect What is Project Zohar? Director

    Up until literally this one thread - and I stress it is only one thread - that has never proven to be an issue. Mreover, the thread was started by @Ramenth, who I would hardly consider likely to fall prey to that sort of thing in the first place.
     
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  6. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    True. I don't think is a big issue myself. Peanuts, honestly.

    It's worth thinking about in general terms if someone else (and someone less smarter and reliable than Ramenth lol) does it and more examples occur, though, but I won't think bad of you if it's waaaaaaaay down on the priority list.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  7. Sufficient Juice

    Sufficient Juice A steady supply of vitamins

    Location:
    The carbohydrates
    Let me ask another question:

    Since there is no ban on thread necromancy (bless the Squishy), what's the difference between the Megathread tag and a normal thread that just gets brought to the front page again and again?
     
  8. Ford Prefect

    Ford Prefect What is Project Zohar? Director

    the degree of controversy it generates in policy discussions :V
     
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  9. The megathread is explicitly designated for that. The other thread would be happenstance.
     
  10. Sufficient Juice

    Sufficient Juice A steady supply of vitamins

    Location:
    The carbohydrates
    Good.
     
  11. At the time I made the thread, it seemed like there'd be a bit more discussion on the other three major fires in one week, and the plethora of massive and serious fires that had happened in the preceeding month, and that the Oakland fire was going to be much less devastating than it was. Turns out no one seemed to want to talk about Gatlinburg, and the Cambridge Fire (despite being 10 alarms and huge) was a non-story, while Oakland had 5 times as many casualties and a lot more back story than "Fire in warehouse."

    I'll defend the fires mega thread, because I think having a new thread for each major fire when 90% of them get maybe 5 or 10 posts is pointless, in the way we have the Volcanos and Earthquakes megathread. But, honestly, I kind of agree that given what happened with those specific fires I was wrong to make it a mega-thread preemptively.
     
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