Author Topic: Double-posting discussion  (Read 475 times)

Offline Meridian

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2479
  • Die hard XCOM fan
    • View Profile
    • My Wiki
Double-posting discussion
« on: December 17, 2016, 12:29:36 am »
So, what exactly are the rules about posting multiple posts and merging?

I can't find anything...

Also, the above article would look MUCH better split into multiple parts... why merge?

PS: it's 21st century already... who the f*ck is still bothered by multiple posts? (unless they are less than 5 words short)
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 12:34:35 am by Meridian »

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 5719
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2016, 12:45:59 am »
So, what exactly are the rules about posting multiple posts and merging?

I can't find anything...

Also, the above article would look MUCH better split into multiple parts... why merge?

PS: it's 21st century already... who the f*ck is still bothered by multiple posts? (unless they are less than 5 words short)

I don't think this is the right place to talk about it, but I guess it's inevitable now.

There is a thing called netiquette. On every internet forum I have been on it was understood very well that double posting is wrong. It just is. Even if it's not written in the official rules.

Since I became a moderator, merging posts have been 99% of my mod duties. I have never been approached about it by anyone, including the admins, so I assume that what I am doing is right. I assure you, it brings me no joy to merge posts, I have more interesting things to do, but I am a moderator here and I consider it my duty.

If there is a problem with this, if you think this isn't right, please tell me so openly. We can change the rules - well, at least here in this subforum, since I have no power elsewhere - and talk about this kind of stuff, but since there were no special agreement, I adhere to the general rules of conduct, which is netiquette which says "double-posting is bad". (Also as a user, which sometimes is a pain.)

And I can see why in certain situations double-posting can be necessary or just better, but a short explanation would always be nice in such a special case. That's how I do it, too.

EDIT: I've splitted the thread, since we shouldn't talk about it in Poet's place.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 12:47:49 am by Solarius Scorch »

Offline Meridian

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2479
  • Die hard XCOM fan
    • View Profile
    • My Wiki
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2016, 02:30:04 am »
Hmm, ok then. Here's my view.

1/ Netiquette doesn't even exist. There is no even semi-formal definition of netiquette.

2/ I do accept and (try to) follow the "unwritten rules of netiquette"... which all basically go around the same principle "remember, there is a human being on the other end". Netiquette should be here for us, not against us.

3/ If an 11-year old spams a single smiley over 3 consecutive posts, he/she should be politely reminded and taught better.

4/ If an adult writes a meaningful multiple-posts-spanning article, he/she should not be "rewarded" with a meaningless merge.

5/ I don't really care if you merge all posts or not... I just find it a complete waste of time. Fortunately, it's not my time, so feel free doing it.

5b/ I noticed this merging here about a year ago and since then I have tried avoiding it as much as possible. When I need to change what I wrote (and more than 5 minutes passed), I even delete the original post and re-post completely... so that people can see it in unread posts (simple edits don't show in unread posts and in 99% of cases go unnoticed by people who already read the original). That's what the merging (indirectly) costs me.

6/ (I think) you have not been approached by anyone, because no one really cares... honestly, to me it looks like you are solving a non-existing problem. Commendable that you're so persistent... but maybe you could focus energy on some more obvious issues, e.g.:
- posting a 4000x4000 picture without resizing
- fully quoting a 2 page long post just to add one sentence at the end
- etc.

7/ English sometimes still install two taps: one with burning hot water and one with ice cold water... when I go wash my hands and ask why they do it, the answer is "because"... that's what came to my mind as association... I thought I should mention it, it describes my feelings about merging quite accurately

Final words: I don't care either way, but maybe it wouldn't be bad writing down what are we not supposed to do... of course not everything (that's not possible and the reason why netiquette was never written down), just things which happened at least twice in the last 3 years. I have no problem following the rules, just need to know about them.

Online yrizoud

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 987
    • View Profile
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2016, 03:53:52 am »
Solarius, if it's bothering and annoying you, then it bears doing something about it. You are one of the most productive and motivating persons of this community, causing you grief with a moderator job is a waste.
Possible ways to ease your task :
* automatic merging. There seems to be a SMF module for it
* have somebody else handle this part of the job (or at least reinforcement)
* block double posting entirely. Allow more attachment if necessary.
* find ways to better inform users (but there are new users everyday, so it's an endless flow...)
* change posting rule (assuming you're OK with the result - if you wince every time you see a double post, problem is not solved)

I think people double-post more because the netiquettte has shifted, not because of inconsiderate behavior. Double-posting WAS obnoxiously repetitive at a time when each message was separated by full user information, including a custom signature in the footer, (personal advertisement, ASCII art, image banner...).
But in a forum such as this one, the "user info" block is on the side, and people put personalization there, out of the flow of reading, not setting a footer signature at all. As a result, a sequence of posts from the same person are never an annoyance to read (IMO)

Offline CanadianBeaver

  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
    • View Profile
    • AwesomeGuns
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2016, 05:21:55 am »
Solarius Scorch, my 5ยข - the merging posts is not a good idea in many cases...

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 5719
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2016, 01:15:38 pm »
Thanks for the input people.

I was about to respond individually, but then I realized that it doesn't make much sense - I'm not setting the rules, I'm just a moderator. So I'll contact the admins and ask them for instructions.

I believe that another reason for disallowing DP is that it artificially inflates the number of posts, thus allowing you to increase in rank faster. It doesn't seem to be a problem at all here, but for some less mature communities it may get nasty.

Also, I fully agree that DP is not the only problem, and I try to react to things like excessive quotes too when I see it... But nobody ever reports these things, so I guess people don't care. If someone sees anything inappropriate, I'd appreciate a report, since I'm not everywhere, and I admit that some threads I have no personal interest in I only browse quickly, out of duty.

Offline Slaughter

  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 175
    • View Profile
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2016, 07:24:18 pm »
Solarius, I see you're a old internet hand. Nice to know, those gen Zers with their stupid fagphones (he says, while typing this on one) get on my nerves sometimes.

Anyway, there used to be vastly less broadwidth on ye olde internete in general, and forums had less storing space. Double-posting, flooding, etc were serious issues back then.

Not so much now.



Enviado de meu SM-G3502T usando Tapatalk


Offline SupSuper

  • Lazy Developer
  • Administrator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 1997
    • View Profile
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2016, 10:46:56 pm »
I've never posted any official rules because, honestly, it's never come up. Up to this point the community has been generally very well-behaved without requiring banhammer intervention, for which I'm very proud of you all. :) Also I don't have time to enforce them and I'm an old hand myself, so I'm afraid I'd just be writing up some arbitrary old netiquette that might not be applicable anymore to today's youngsters. If you think some word of law would make you feel better though, let me know.

I don't really like installing forum mods because it makes forum upgrades harder, I realize SMF does not have the best moderation tools but forum software itself has become kinda archaic (we still support WAP!), so I'd rather not poke it too hard, lest it collapses.

Anyways I'm well familiar with old taboos like double posting, quote stacking, bumping, necroing, etc. In my opinion context is everything. A lot of that stuff was deemed taboo because most people were well-versed with forum software to wanna abuse and exploit it across the internet. That's not really the case anymore, everything can be used for good or bad, so I think moderators should always judge the intent before taking action.

Examples of good uses of double posting (makes threads easier to read and content easier to digest):
- Organizing big encyclopedic posts (eg. mod first posts). Multiple posts let you easily break content into sections and link to each one providing a lite "wiki" format.
- Reserving posts for future use, usually thread creators, because you plan to organize your content (see above) or worry you'll exceed the post limit in the future.
- Bumping a thread with good reason (new update, resolution to old problem, rediscuss an old topic with new information, etc). This also applies to old threads (necro-ing).
- Splitting a post because it reached a limit, is quote-heavy, or otherwise just ugly as a single post.

Examples of bad uses of double posting (clutters up threads and draws attention unnecessarily):
- Duplicate posts (accidental or otherwise).
- Talking to the void, soliciting feedback hoping eventually you'll figure out your goal. Think it over before you post. Remember there's a Preview button.
- Posting in quick succession when a single post would do. We already have a chatroom, it's called IRC. If you wanna edit your old post and bring attention to it, it's better to delete and repost it.
- No-content bumps. I realize the Mod forums can move fast and you wanna make your mod visible, but if your post adds nothing, don't try to force attention to it.
- Basically, any kind of spamming and attention-seeking.

Sorry if you were expecting a hard and fast rule. :P But I think we're people, not robots, and should be treated as such. Likewise, I hope you're moderating to make the forums a better place and not just out of blind obligation. After all, editing people's posts without explanation can also be considered rude netiquette...

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 5719
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2016, 11:48:42 pm »
Thanks SupSuper, this is exactly the kind of guidelines we needed.

And it's actually pretty close to how I've been moderating it, even though I may have gone too far somewhere. I'll do my best to keep it nice and fair, so don't hesitate to complain if you don't like something.

Offline ivandogovich

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2050
  • X-Com Afficionado
    • View Profile
    • Ivan Dogovich Youtube
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2016, 05:04:54 pm »
Great discussion!  Thanks Guys!

I wanted to chime in to agree with Meridian, about the "unread posts" thing.  Its how I keep current on the forum.  I refresh the "Show unread posts since last visit." link at the top, on average 1 to 3 dozen times per day.  I know I sometimes miss things because they are "edited" back into a previous post that I've already seen.  So a follow up post is best for someone like me, because I'll be able to catch the new information.

Also, I fully agree with the assessment on the maturity of this community, and the outstanding work that Solarius has done as a forum moderator.  Thanks to all for helping clarify this. :)
Cheers!

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 5719
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2016, 05:13:25 pm »
I wanted to chime in to agree with Meridian, about the "unread posts" thing.  Its how I keep current on the forum.  I refresh the "Show unread posts since last visit." link at the top, on average 1 to 3 dozen times per day.  I know I sometimes miss things because they are "edited" back into a previous post that I've already seen.  So a follow up post is best for someone like me, because I'll be able to catch the new information.

Yes, it is a problem... That's why I always remove my old post and then post again with all the changes.

Offline Mr. Quiet

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 529
  • Likes: Quiet things. Dislikes: Loud things.
    • View Profile
    • =Open_X_Com= Mods
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2017, 01:01:50 pm »
I like that we're mostly a mature community, for Sup's response. I enjoy lurking this place 8)

Offline The Reaver of Darkness

  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
    • View Profile
Re: Double-posting discussion
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2017, 04:00:50 am »
It can be good to merge grotesque examples, but if people practice netiquette in writing the posts, it often isn't needed.

One thing I've noticed on forums is that the regulars on the forum don't like threads about a topic that is frequently discussed. They don't like seeing several threads about the same topic. It's good to have a FAQ that lists the most commonly discussed topics, because the search option is often inadequate due to folks not always knowing what keywords to search for. But while many times new threads are started by lazy folks who can't be bothered to search, sometimes the topic is resurrected with a small variation because it's still relevant. So shooting it down simply because "it's been discussed before" can actually be a toxic attitude.

Basically what I'm getting at is I think it should be done on a case-by-case basis and the default mentality should be leave it alone. If it looks wrong but isn't hurting anyone, let it be. Perhaps posters will let the author know it has mistakes. Best for the mod to step in only when it's spam, it's bothering someone, it's completely redundant, or otherwise an actual problem.

=)