Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions  (Read 39823 times)

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« on: July 15, 2012, 09:57:20 AM »

At the time I am composing this post, there are 16,258 Posts in 721 Topics by 728 Members.

That is a lot of posts and a lot of topics.  They aren't all worth reading, although I have, in fact, read them all at least once.  I've contributed a large number of posts myself that aren't worth reading; they made sense or seemed apposite at the time, but are now nothing but chaff.

I have recently recruited some "Global Moderators" whom I have asked to experiment with winnowing the Forum so as to make it a better resource for newcomers.  I have the feeling that we may be able to create FAQs (see, for example, "FAQ: Itasca smoke signal") which would contain required reading.  Any new threads on such a FAQed topic will be closed and locked with prejudice, since they will indicate that the questioner failed to do a rudimentary search to discover what has been posted so far on that topic.

"There are no stupid questions"--but it is not a sign of great intelligence to ask the same old question that has been answered a dozen times in the Forum already.

This experiment may not work.  Perhaps it is in the nature of venues like this to wander around in circles endlessly.  It may not be humanly possible to disentangle FAQ material from its original context and make it fit coherently in a new summary thread. 

You can help. 
  • Please don't start a new topic unless you're sure it's a new topic.  Spend some time searching to see whether some other extant thread might serve your purposes--or even answer your question for you!
  • Please suggest topics that deserve to be FAQed, with links to the threads that contain potential FAQ material.
A discussion group with no discussions is no fun (don't ask me how I know).  But a discussion group in which the signal-to-noise ratio deteriorates is no fun, either.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Tom Swearengen

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 818
  • earhart monument, Hawaii
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 11:40:12 AM »

Marty---for what its worth, I too think its a good idea. We need members, and member that dont want to get into other discussions, but rather discuss the subject at hand.
Good for you!
Tom
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
Logged

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 11:56:48 AM »

Are the FAQ's going to get their own section or will they just appear in the topics that they were first posted in? If the latter and they are made 'stickey' to the top then they could clutter up the top of the topic area, just my opinion :)
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 03:24:53 PM »

Are the FAQ's going to get their own section ...

No.

Quote
... or will they just appear in the topics that they were first posted in? If the latter and they are made 'stickey' to the top then they could clutter up the top of the topic area, just my opinion :)

Most will remain in their original topics, if they are the correct topic.

They will not be sticky.

Eventually, I may make an Announcement with links to all the FAQs on the website, including those in the Forum.

That's down the road.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

John Hart

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 03:49:21 PM »

Marty,

I agree completely with your concept. I took your admonishment to heart and ceased/desisted till digging deeper and I have found,as you said, much of the ground I was replowing. You were too kind to call it spamming but essentially seems I was not really adding anything substantially new to the debate. For that I appologize. Feel free to consolidate or eliminate my posts as you see fit without fear of hurting my feelings.

But as a new guy I do have two suggestions that may not entail as much work and would have better helped me day one on the site. First ask new members to go post their intro. (old members need to do this too). Saves all the credentials swapping as people try to figure out who has what credibility. Then direct them to a "read this first" page which summarizes the major lines of debate and includes your info on searching the site. It may seem a little Nazi but you may potentially make site acceptance be contingent on those two actions.

It was, and is, daunting to try to find and digest the volume of data here as a newcomer. That does not absolve me of the responsibility of doing so before jumping in with my two big feet, one of which was in my mouth. I can't spend as much time as I would like so I will amuse myself with the effort and stop flying the same 157/337 heading till I run out of gas.

I will keep watching for good news from KoK and hope for a wonderful Discovery program in the future.

Regards to all as the world still wonders,

JB
Logged

C.W. Herndon

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 634
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 04:12:38 PM »

Great idea Marty. I have spent several months reading through the items in the Forum and I still don't have them all digested. I plan on going through them all again soon.

I have read only a small part of the vast amount of other information here and don't know how to even start to sort it all out. So far I have found parts of it by researching items of interest using "Search TIGHAR".

So much to do, so little time.  :(

Keep up the good work.  :)
Woody (former 3316R)
"the watcher"
 
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 05:21:55 PM »

... seems I was not really adding anything substantially new to the debate. For that I apologize.

No blood, no foul. 

We're all learning as we go along.   :)

Quote
But as a new guy I do have two suggestions that may not entail as much work and would have better helped me day one on the site. First ask new members to go post their intro. (old members need to do this too).

I won't make that a rule.  We have 700+ members.  Let those who want to introduce themselves do so.  Let those who want to be more private be more private. 

Quote
Then direct them to a "read this first" page which summarizes the major lines of debate and includes your info on searching the site. It may seem a little Nazi but you may potentially make site acceptance be contingent on those two actions.

Why don't you start a thread in the FAQ area entitled "Welcome to the Forum!"  Write up what you think newcomers need to hear on arrival (with some links).  If it turns out well, we can pin the topic; if it doesn't turn out well, we can start over.  ::)
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 10:00:24 AM »

Is it just me or do the new forum “rules” regarding topics that are deemed flogged to death seem stifling and a block on open discussion?
I’m a member of many divers forums from Rock Music to Football (Soccer) to IT related to education and none of these larger in member forums impose such a policy.  Members new and old are free to restart discussions no matter how much they may have been discussed in the past, prompting open talk and new ideas.
What I object to is statements such as “I see no reason to run in circles on this topic any longer.  This topic will now be closed and if someone has any new verifiable details to offer, contact an admin or mod.”
You see no reason but what about others who do?
This makes me wonder what level of poster do I need to be to initiate fresh discussion or instigate a new topic? Do I need a doctorate or other such qualification? What credentials does the moderator have to be able to say that a topic is closed until new and starter ling “smoking” evidence is available?
I don’t own this forum in any sense apart from being an active and interested member (the life blood of a forum) who wishes to learn and expand his knowledge whilst passing on anything he feels that is useful to other members. I don’t want to cross swords or beat my own drum, I just want to participate in as democratic environment as possible.
After a sleepless night thinking about this I appear to have only two options, lump it or leave.  I don’t want to leave as this would be small minded so will have to lump it.
This situation kind of reminds me of the old forum when it was decided that only TIGHAR members could contribute.  I don’t feel that this is going to happen on this one though.
Note:
This is solely my opinion based on how I feel and doesn’t involve any fancy academic ideas, principles or philosophies. I don’t expect change unless my minority becomes a majority but as a democracy? I am stating my opinion.
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2934
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 06:53:16 PM »

Is it just me or do the new forum “rules” regarding topics that are deemed flogged to death seem stifling and a block on open discussion?

It's not just you.

I think more active moderation in any forum does tend to reduce discussion.

Quote
Members new and old are free to restart discussions no matter how much they may have been discussed in the past, prompting open talk and new ideas.

Where the only point of a Forum is discussion, that certainly does no harm.

Perhaps that should be the only point of this Forum.  I'm open to being persuaded on that score.

The alternative view is that the discussions here can turn up information that is worth having.  If so, freewheeling, repetitive discussions tend to bury those treasures--especially if I turn on the purge routine, which would simply throw away posts older than a certain threshold.

Quote
What I object to is statements such as “I see no reason to run in circles on this topic any longer.  This topic will now be closed and if someone has any new verifiable details to offer, contact an admin or mod.”
You see no reason but what about others who do?

They can ask for the topic to be re-opened--if they have some new information.

This would not be new information: "I agree with Gary" or "I agree with Andrew."

Quote
This makes me wonder what level of poster do I need to be to initiate fresh discussion or instigate a new topic? Do I need a doctorate or other such qualification?

You need to be a registered member of the Forum.

If it is a new topic, it will be allowed to follow its course.

If it is a rehash of an old topic, it should get merged with the old thread.

Quote
What credentials does the moderator have to be able to say that a topic is closed until new and starter ling “smoking” evidence is available?

It's a judgment call.  There is no Ph.D. in moderation.  People learn how to moderate by moderating.

Quote
This is solely my opinion based on how I feel and doesn’t involve any fancy academic ideas, principles or philosophies. I don’t expect change unless my minority becomes a majority but as a democracy? I am stating my opinion.

The Forum isn't set up to be a democracy.  It is a service provided to those who wish to register to use it by TIGHAR.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Dave Potratz

  • T2
  • **
  • Posts: 75
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 07:55:28 PM »

Quote
The Forum isn't set up to be a democracy.  It is a service provided to those who wish to register to use it by TIGHAR.

Props, Marty, well upheld!  I've thought that this is a key requisite oft misunderstood that all of us are here ONLY at the discretion of TIGHAR.  That's as it should be.

with appreciation,
dp
Logged

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2012, 04:49:36 AM »

Noted, I don't agree but i'm not going either  :)

Still seems awful stiffled to me at the moment.

Maybe Democracy was the wrong word to use but we get a degree of freedome to post before 'censorship' and are/were fairly free to have some discussion.

Still maintain that many forums alow regurgitation of threads as they get older threads drift or get buried but if you feel that you can maintain a series of FAQ's that newbies etc can be led to drink from then fine.

On a plus note the new sub catogories help  ;D
Logged

C.W. Herndon

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 634
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2012, 05:29:46 AM »

Jeff, I generally like the changes that are being made but moving things around has caused one problem. When a topic is locked or moved it shows activity which moves it to the top of the topic list. This means items that have not been addressed for quite some time are now at the top which makes it harder to find topics that have been more recently addressed. I don't know if anything can be done about it. Just thought I would point it out.

Keep up the good work.  :)
Woody (former 3316R)
"the watcher"
 
Logged

C.W. Herndon

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 634
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2012, 07:34:47 AM »

Great! Thanks. ;)
Woody (former 3316R)
"the watcher"
 
Logged

Ted G Campbell

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 337
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 05:25:02 PM »

Jeff. Iam trying to get a message over to Monty how do I do that?   I am asking how many monitors we have on this site?
Ted Campbell
Logged

matt john barth

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Matters of FAQ: distilling the essence of discussions
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 01:14:58 PM »

Can anyone tell me how the book Finding Amelia is? I love the book Amelia Earhart's Shoes, I have read it twice. I am finishing up the second time as we speak. Is Finding Amelia as good as Amelia Earhart's Shoes or better.?
Matthew J. Barth
 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 

Copyright 2018 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Powered by PHP