WE WANT YOUR INPUT: What content are you most interested in?
I like your concept of being a bit more disciplined about what goes where. I myself tend to go off topic. Now and then. 🙂
A bit more discipline along those lines might increase the size of our tent here. And perhaps some better organization.
Here’s the problem. Our long-lived discussions are hard to find once they stop being as active. They do exist, but they aren’t well surfaced.
Maybe replace column #1 with “most active discussion threads”, sorted by # of new comments in the last 3 days. And a top link that lets you search for keywords in the discussion thread list. Or something like that. Or maybe you can change the sort order: from “most # of comments”, to “most recently active”, to “most # of comments this week”, etc.
And maybe you can personalize. “Add this group to ‘my favorite discussions’ list.
Along with that, a change to site rules that says we should do our best to stick to the topic at hand in order to make sure we appeal to a wider set of people. And at the top of a discussion group topic, if desired by the poster, a gentle reminder of what is “in bounds” and what is “out of bounds” for this particular discussion.
What do you think?
Sometimes its the – idea that gets sparked and brought to light that is the most interesting and often in a cursery way very relevant. Want to stifle readership, membership and participation then too many rules and an admonishment “ thats interesting but off-topic so lets burry oops move it to a different spot.” Lets encourage new blood and if they arent perfect give em a break. The site is stuffy.
Yes, definitely like the ‘my favorite discussions’ list and better search suggestions.
While I hope sticking closer to on-topic of a given thread might also appeal to a wider set of people, that’s not really why I suggested it per se. A higher signal-to-noise ratio (noise=off topic/out of scope) should make it more valuable for new recruits and long-timers alike, IMHO.
And if ‘sandbox’ sounded like a pajorative label to some, it can be called something else. “Core” and “Other” perhaps, or something slicker.
To the clunkiness of the discussions here, I agree things could be organized more intuitively.
What has tied our hands in fixing this (over the past 1.5 years!) has been the interminable re-build of this site’s back end. While our IT firm has been preparing to migrate us from Drupal to WordPress, we haven’t been able to invest in making architectural changes to the current site.
That’s the bad news. The good news is we are mere weeks away from finishing this migration.
Once on Word Press, I’ll have more flexiblity to re-arrange the Forums threads. In fact, I’ve already taken a first pass at doing so on the dev site. They should be more intuitive to navigate — and if not, I’ll be able to react quickly to the feedback of this community.
And FYI: this site does still have a Controversial Topics Forum. If the majority strongly feels there’s a particular topic that needs to be relegated there, we can accommodate.
I totally agree, burying things is a bad idea. So is stifling discussion. That’s not at all what I’m suggesting.
What do you think of SP’s vaccine thread? It isn’t buried. At least, I don’t want it buried. And I’m happy its in a thread by itself. In fact, I want to track what is happening there. That’s why I’m totally with you – we should not “bury annoying comments in a thread-never-to-be-seen-again.” We should move them to a thread that people can add to their favorite-threads so we don’t lose track of them. So the comment would look like:
The comment was so important, it deserved a thread of its own. And the site provides a bridge to anyone who wants to track it.
There should be a “these are the active threads” list. And a “my favorite threads I’m watching” list, as well as the “here are new comments” list. Heck, maybe people can also block threads that annoy. They get removed from the list. That way Doug’s world could be kept clear of any topics he found disagreeable.
Threads could be in general topics – maybe investments, events, policies, each of the 3 Es. And we could have all our conspiracy stuff in “events”. Or in “investments”, for all of our suppression theories.
Gosh, I should be on the product team, queueing up work for the developers like this. Bwah ha ha…as a software guy, I take special delight in being on the “generating requirements” side for a change…
Seriously though, I think these would be useful changes. This way everyone gets what they want. More focused discussions, and nothing gets buried, and people can tailor things to be the way they want.
Dave I invite You and Adam, Chris and others to look at this differently. Many if you are quite similar, educated, articulate and like information in an organized fashion. Since I am not as articulate I am posting a Malcome Gladwell video that will help to get my point across.
If the mind doesnt know what the tongue wants then it also may not know what it doesnt know. Emotions tell a person their mind is made up about a particular subject and no new info is needed. If however a person is, by chance introduced to a new idea they may grow, seek more info and read further. Life is not neat and tidy like those wanting this site to be. And with everything in its proper place the serendipity of encountering an exsquisite new idea is diminished. Forcing a thread to follow a strictly determined topic makes it stuffy, predicitable and it loses some of its personality.
Your Ted talk was charming, totally worth watching. It highlights something that we in engineering have known for a very long time. If you ask the customer what they want, they will gladly tell you. But if you implement and deliver that product, they will – often – not be happy. Takeaway: customer often does not really know what they want. Chunky tomato sauce, and milky, weak coffee. Who knew?
Thus, the person responsible for requirements-gathering must listen to the customer, and also guess. Certainly the “clustering” concept that Gladwell talks about is pretty cool. It also makes complete sense. There is no “best” product – but there are a cluster of “best” products, which aggregate to happy customers. (And unhappy engineers – who do NOT want to implement and deliver 3 different products. But I digress) It does make total sense. This is something I haven’t seen before – but then again, I’m an engineer – maybe Adam-the-product-guy knows this stuff already. Clustering.
For us here at PP, what does this all mean? I totally get that the Dougs of this world claim that they don’t want to deal with disagreeable conspiracy theories about WTC-7 falling down in its own footprint after suffering an office fire (regardless of how physically unlikely it is for the first result to emerge from the second event), but – perhaps some percentage of Dougs – in their secret heart – really are happier getting information on just such a thing. Is that what you are hinting at with Malcom’s talk? 30-40% of Dougs really do want to hear about WTC-7, but they are telling you exactly the opposite?
Its an interesting concept.
What’s the truth? I have no idea. I’m just an engineer. I leave explorations of such truth to the product team. Yes. The buck has just been passed.
I still like the concept of having the ability of people to manage which threads they want to monitor, and the ability of people to cross-link between threads when that makes sense.
I agree with you Dave certainly there are times to move a post to another thread. Dr. Suess tells the story of Sam who hates green eggs and ham. He would not, could not eat them under any circumstances. Untill he tries one bite. A small step that opens his mind and bingo he really does like green eggs and ham. And so it is with people, they just know they are right until they come across something that allows them to open their mind just a little.
Information comes in clusters too. And it might just take a chart, Youtube, or graph and someone will open their mind. I would suggest that people dont want to hear about WTC-7 because it means they have to acknowledge that grade A evil preditors are alive and well and in our midst. They arent ready, yet to the reality. And thats okay, it took a while for a lot of us to acknowledge. But lets not hide the discussion away it needs to be front and center and in peoples faces, least we forget. Or we are attacked again. IMHO Kudos to Sandpuppy for his diligence and posts on the subject.
Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for the feedback Dave!
Those on this site with the capacity to think critically and objectively already have a pretty good idea as to which “conspiracy” topics are fact based and which are diversions.
Finally, it bears repeating – yesterday’s conspiracy theories often turn out to be today’s conspiracy facts. It’s easy to weed out the obvious fakes and plants (flat earth, Loch Ness, etc) and to focus on the more obviously soon-to-be-proved-as-true ones (WTC 7, Syrian gas attacks, Skripal poisonings, etc), which all share the feature of having solid scientifically valid facts that run dead against the current official narratives.
If you find yourself continuously put off by a particular poster there’s always the “block” function (works just fine). Perhaps having a function where a user could select a particular thread/topic that makes them uncomfortable and block it for themselves only might be useful for some? For instance, Doug could then chose to block all the 9/11 and Sandy Hook related content and just deal in the facts.
Most people don’t post here for various reasons, but I can tell you that everywhere Adam and I go to speak and reach out we bump into earnest, well-spoken people who tell us how much of an impact our work has had on their lives.
100% agree. Perhaps one reason some people post less over time is that rehashing certain “sensitive” topics with the same set of obdurate nay-sayers gets old? Seems like there would be some benefit to having these discussions readily available for new members to the site, so in that vein I’m all for davefairtex’s idea of a thread tagging capability along with a dashboard for quick reference to the same. Those expressing interest could be redirected to the appropriate thread a bit easier. Perhaps a “My Threads” board akin to “My Groups” or some such.
Another reason? Can’t speak for others, but sometimes it’s more useful to engage people on these sorts of topics out in the real world versus online. I’ve been surprised at the growing number of people that are receptive to discussing WTC7 and other “sensitive” topics over the past few years, face to face.
Not that there’s anything wrong with online debates.