Free State Project Forum

Archive => Which State? => Topic started by: George Reich on September 09, 2003, 10:36:09 am

Title: Merging threads
Post by: George Reich on September 09, 2003, 10:36:09 am
s
Title: Re:NH vs WY
Post by: JonM on September 09, 2003, 10:50:35 am
That's nothing compared to over 2000 replies!  Why not just merge EVERY single Which State? thread at this point?

I thought 53 pages was unmanageable, until I saw a thread with 135.
Title: Why these threads are being merged
Post by: JasonPSorens on September 09, 2003, 11:13:07 am
Maybe if all the pro-NH, pro-WY, and NH vs WY threads are condensed into three massive, unmanageable, unreadable threads, people will stop promoting states and start talking about factors instead. ;)

The ultimate goal is to have 10 threads on each of the states, as well as any additional threads for one-on-one state comparisons (NH vs WY, WY or MT, etc), then one thread for each factor, variable, or cluster of variables important for state choice.  We still have a long way to go, but this forum has already become just a little bit more navigable.
Title: Re:Why these threads are being merged
Post by: Tony Stelik on September 09, 2003, 11:35:01 am
Maybe if all the pro-NH, pro-WY, and NH vs WY threads are condensed into three massive, unmanageable, unreadable threads, people will stop promoting states and start talking about factors instead. ;)

The ultimate goal is to have 10 threads on each of the states, as well as any additional threads for one-on-one state comparisons (NH vs WY, WY or MT, etc), then one thread for each factor, variable, or cluster of variables important for state choice.  We still have a long way to go, but this forum has already become just a little bit more navigable.
No it is not more navigable. Important subjects disapeared and it is not helping to objectivly chose for the people who are not active here and just check this forum before voting
Title: Re:NH vs WY
Post by: JasonPSorens on September 09, 2003, 12:01:54 pm
Hopefully after the state is picked someone will start a new forum that is not run by control freaks.  :)

Geez, I thought everyone wanted this forum to be radically condensed.  If not, we can just split the threads back up.  No need to call names.
Title: Re:NH vs WY
Post by: JasonPSorens on September 09, 2003, 12:19:03 pm
Well, maybe there's some way to break down the really large threads into coherent medium-size threads.  Suggestions on that are welcome.  But combining and splitting threads does take a lot of time, so maybe I should just stop, given that the marginal cost to me might be greater than the marginal benefit to everyone else.
Title: Re:NH vs WY
Post by: Tony Stelik on September 09, 2003, 12:35:01 pm
Well, maybe there's some way to break down the really large threads into coherent medium-size threads.  Suggestions on that are welcome.  But combining and splitting threads does take a lot of time, so maybe I should just stop, given that the marginal cost to me might be greater than the marginal benefit to everyone else.
Wow. There is the COST involved? GREAT!!!!!!
This might prevent further thread manipulation.
It could be made managinable if the threads (all of them) and especially "which state" had the directory pull down just like main page in this forum. Than everybody could click on particular thread and go there directly. I was writing on similar forum and they had pull down directories on every level
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: JonM on September 09, 2003, 01:04:07 pm
I was keeping up with quite a few threads, but when some devolved beyong the point of usefulness, I ignored them unless they started hitting the top of the page, and then I'd usually just check in to see if anything useful was going on, unless it was a Hank Bump, in which case I'd ignore it and hope everyone else did so it would move back to the rear of the pile.

The mega-merge messed that up.  I'd hit "new" and be taken to page 53 of 135, where 90% of the messages were stuff I've read, but because some unread thread was merged into the middle, it became the new point, messing up my ability to just check what's new.

Now when someone posts a new thread that duplicates an existing thread, by all means merge it into the existing thread.  But there's no reason to take very large existing threads and merge them together so the flow of conversation is broken up and difficult to follow.  If you want to break stuff up into states, just make sub forums for each state.  The only problem with that is cross forum posting, or people just not reading postings of states they're not interested in.

Since there's less than 2 weeks more where this forum matters, why make radical changes now?
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: LeRuineur6 on September 09, 2003, 01:10:00 pm
Necessity is the plea of every...

How does that quote go again?
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: jhfenton on September 09, 2003, 01:17:00 pm
I have to agree with Tony and JonM. I'm used to fora with threads that come and go. I pick the ones I'm interested in and chime in. If I'm a newcomer, I typically ignore threads with 100+ messages as unwieldy. I simply don't have time to wade through them. Combining all the little threads into 10 state specific threads plus however many comparison threads makes the Which State? forum unusable. A thread is a conversation, not a comprehensive research archive. I go away and now come back to wonder where the conversations are.
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: Tony Stelik on September 09, 2003, 01:18:02 pm
Necessity is the plea of every...

How does that quote go again?
invention? ;)
I quess BOD did not like adventage of NH contingent in successful promoting their state of choce :'(
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: jhfenton on September 09, 2003, 01:19:43 pm
I quess BOD did not like adventage of NH contingent in successful promoting their state of choce :'(

OK, I take it back. I no longer agree with Tony. ;)
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: jgmaynard on September 09, 2003, 01:29:35 pm
Yuck.  :-\

JM
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: LeRuineur6 on September 09, 2003, 01:45:19 pm
I would not want the job of a forum moderator.

Not only is it a lot of work but you have to measure necessity versus outcry, junk messages versus valuable research, and somehow meet a balance.

Perhaps it is easier to just leave the "boisterous sea of liberty" as it is.  ???
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: Hank on September 09, 2003, 01:49:47 pm
Jason,
Condensing threads is helping.
Longer pages of threads also helps a lot.
The way it was, was a mess that buried good information under piles of too often frivolous or redundant threads.
Did we need a dozen threads on "Escape to NH"?
Or a half dozen threads on borders and coasts?
Or a half dozen threads on gun laws.
Many of these with only one or two replies, if any?

A person wanting to find comments about state gun laws had to wade through eight hundred thread titles!!!!!
The search function for just "gun" and only in "subjects" (thread titles?) doesn't work.  It doesn't help that some thread titles are so obscure.
Example:
"Tidbits"
What can we assume is in that thread?

In hindsight, I agree with Jason, we should have had a few dozen threads set up ahead of time, one for each state and one for each major issue (like coasts, guns, drugs, etc.) and no free-for-all of adding hundreds of more threads.

If this was just a chat group, it would be fine to have thousands of threads.
Information is for naught if we can't find it.
"Which State" became a popularity contest governed by which state's advocates could out bump and out thread the other states. Meanwhile some serious questions about borders and coasts is buried way back there. Even Johnadams seemed to recognize the import of that long buried thread.

What happened on this forum is what happened in Clinton's impeachment. The really important issues were buried by the trivial stuff.

I didn't mind vacation reports when they included important answers or questions for "Which State".  But the inclusion of restaurants visits, and "what I did on the way to the restroom" (okay, an exaggeration) obscured the information about how a state legislator felt about the FSP.  That kind of irrelavant chatting was best for the crackerbarrel BS discussion, not "Which State".  Too often the chatting back and forth was an obvious attempt to keep a thread bumped. At least I tried to add something to the discussion or raise a question when I bumped a thread.  One word posts are blatant "bumps" for no other reason but that.

Can we do better in the other sections?

Somebody asked "Where is Hank" over in the strategy section when they finally noticed and bumped the "Political Experience" thread which had been dormant for months.  That it was dormant so long is a sad thing by itself.
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: Tony Stelik on September 09, 2003, 01:51:43 pm
I quess BOD did not like adventage of NH contingent in successful promoting their state of choce :'(

OK, I take it back. I no longer agree with Tony. ;)
OK iI take it back to. Just agree with me ;) We need every agreeable hand we can get :D
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: Leonard on September 09, 2003, 04:42:16 pm
Threads here were not intended to be mere conversations. Some of us assumed they were to help us answer the "Which State" question with research and other answers. Some that were supposed to be "comprehensive research archives" were hijacked by irrelevant conversations or other posts.  Other threads were "conversations" and flame wars masquerading as "research" or "information".

The medium may not be the message.  But it certainly shapes the message.  In our case we are constrained by what YaBB SE does.  Obviously, it is egalitarian in the sense that a substantial, quality post is not treated any differently than a flame, woof, or bump.  Therefore, de facto, what the forums are is conversation.  It is futile to expect them to be anything else, unless the group of people involved is practically unanimous in what they want.

Quote
how can research threads or sections be moderated to prevent them from devolving into "chat rooms", flame wars, and trivial irrelevant posts.

It's worth pointing out that the FSP as a whole did have a "research area" where casual bystanders couldn't "talk" - this was the main site State Reports (http://www.freestateproject.org/statereports.htm) area.  But it's certainly true that there was a pretty big jump from the permanence and prominance of that area to the forums Which State area.  It would be nice to have something in between.

When you add YaBB SE + moderator, more things are possible, as Jason's experiment shows.  I find the thread-lumping confusing.  Still, I think it shows that if someone had been willing/able to exert tight control, things other than usenet-style back-and-forth conversation might be possible.

If we were to do it again, I would suggest having a main, conversational Which State area for the majority of people to come to for community, conversation, a good argument, flaming, woofing, etc.  This should be loosely moderated as was done for us until recently.  But there should have been a research oriented Which State area that was more tightly moderated, including having one or more moderators that would remove posts and whole threads to keep the focus on just data and a certain amount of discussion about the data.  Threads deemed unsuitable could be moved to the "conversational" Which State.

Anyway, at this point, water under the bridge.  But perhaps a similar sort of structure would be in order once the Free State is chosen - we'll want to have research ongoing into what laws need changing and other such things about the state.  

Incidentally, another thing worth pondering is ditching WaBB SE, at least for the research, and getting some other BB type system that is more systematically supportive of moderation.  I.e. consider a slashdot type of arrangement.
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: Dave Mincin on September 09, 2003, 07:58:37 pm
"WHICH STATE"  so this was or is or was suppose to be a discussion  were we talked about nothing but research and spreadsheet data.  So why is it called "WHICH STATE?"

Why was not this stated earlier and we could have had another discussion area were people could discuss "WHICH STATE?"  Real life is about so much more that just statistics!

Are we to believe in a Free State one persons words are more important that anothers?  Is this Freedom?  Statistics are more important than what people have to say?  My statistics are more important than your feelings?  Says who?

Is Freedom not about exchanging ideas as well as statistics?  Oh whoopee,  I did some research so I'm the man?  Real actions don't matter because I did the research?  

So the "Thread Police" decide to combine how many thousand posts into one thread, because people don't matter?  Just perhaps some porc's is undecided hasn't voted?  The "Thread Police" in there infinate wisdom have decided that people don't matter only numbers!  How can they look at the whole picture now, and make a decision?

Free State Project?  But only if you play by my rules?

Freedom!!!  When I say the word I tingle inside, but I also let my neigbor speak and I give him fair council, even when I don't agree.  Is that not what Freedom is?

Hey bottom line, real disappointed in the "Thread Police." because they have decided on there own that people don't need to see the whole picture!  People don't seem to matter.  I have all the answers listen only to me!

Is this a Free State Project or simply a place for the chosen few to set around in a circle and say how wonderful they are?

Freedom is about letting all the people speak!
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: JasonPSorens on September 09, 2003, 09:31:24 pm
On consideration, I think the surgery I started on this forum was too radical, and the right solution lies somewhere between the Hobbesian war of all against all everybody complained about before and the silence of confusion that has reigned today.  I started combining threads last night after Hank bumped many of them that could clearly be combined because they shared the same topic, and then "mission creep" occurred as I kept finding threads I could merge.  8)  But clearly, some of the threads are too large now for conversation to take place, so I'll start the task of splitting those threads back out.  But that will take some time, and much more merging still needs to be done as well.
Title: Re:NH vs WY
Post by: RidleyReport on September 09, 2003, 09:37:59 pm
libertarian40 wrote:

<<True. I'll go back and delete that post.>>

Thanks, lib...looks like the post is still there tho :(
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: revolutionapril19 on September 09, 2003, 09:55:06 pm
If you want an FSP forum that has much less moderation, less people, and no trolls (yet) you can find one here:

freestatecafe.org (http://freestatecafe.org)

Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: RidleyReport on September 09, 2003, 10:35:37 pm
Uh....today is the first I've heard of this thread- merging project except for maybe some brainstorming that occurred a while back.

I'm unsure this is worth a massive effort to re-shape the natural form of things.  But I will try to respond as appropriately as I can if people actively request that two or more threads be merged.  Just use the report key and be sure to leave me your e-mail.
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: Elizabeth on September 09, 2003, 11:35:37 pm
On consideration, I think the surgery I started on this forum was too radical, and the right solution lies somewhere between the Hobbesian war of all against all everybody complained about before and the silence of confusion that has reigned today.  I started combining threads last night after Hank bumped many of them that could clearly be combined because they shared the same topic, and then "mission creep" occurred as I kept finding threads I could merge.  8)  But clearly, some of the threads are too large now for conversation to take place, so I'll start the task of splitting those threads back out.  But that will take some time, and much more merging still needs to be done as well.

Jason, your time is too valuable to spend it splitting threads.  Chalk it up to experience, and move forward.  This forum isn't worth investing much time in, IMO, either for merging or splitting, because it'll be locked in a month.  If it really needs to be re-organized, get a volunteer to do it then, AFTER people are done actively posting.  Let Dada worry about threads that obviously need merging until then.

Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: LeRuineur6 on September 10, 2003, 07:36:30 am
"For Freedom's battle once begun,
Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft, is ever won."
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: Tony Stelik on September 10, 2003, 11:10:53 am
In NH there are silver $10 coins in circulation. I keep one of them since my attendance to "escape" :D
Title: Re:Merging threads
Post by: Dave Mincin on September 10, 2003, 03:03:17 pm
Please know that when this vote is over, that I take nothing that has been said personally, and hope others will feel the same.

But also note that I have learned a valuable lesson, that I believe well help me much as I learn to become a political activitist!

How a few, that have some control, can bury a massive amount of meaningful information.  How a few can hide information that other porc's might like to see before they vote.  How a few can cut off meanful dialogue, simply by hiding it.

Perhaps it is a lot easier to say the word Freedom, than it is to live it! :(