Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Athens, Greece
Topic control policy
I couldn't help noticing that many topics with the same subject appear over and over again, for instance the dreaded "cambelt failure" topic. This is obviously because of the the forum's policy on topic control. On the other hand, in the forum where i am an administrator we have a different policy: we try to keep popular subjects in one topic each; especially technical subjects.
Which policy do you think is the best? Each has its pros and cons:
Many short topics policy
- Smaller topics, easy to read.
- More friendly to the new user.
- Gives people more chance to reply, even if someone said the same things in the past.
- Less work for the mods.
- Topics get buried to the 2nd page in very short time, so many people don't get a chance to see them and reply. I suspect that most see only the first page, even if they have unread topics in the next ones.
- Lots of information gets easily lost and you have to be very good at forum search to find it.
- A topic often gets very few replies before it sinks to the hind pages. This can be frustrating to its author.
Less long topics policy
- Information easier to find, you know which topic to look.
- Whole forum much more compact and easier to browse for something specific.
- Much less information duplication, easier to see if someone has already said what you're about to say.
- You can easily download & print a whole topic and study it at your leisure being sure that it contains everything that has been said about a specific subject.
- Much more work for the mods that will need to merge or lock/delete dupicate topics.
- Less new user friendly. Some users may be intimidated or even offended if the topic they started is merged, locked or deleted.
- Topics may become huge and reach hundreds or even thousands of pages, like the "Alfa Wave" one.
- Forum traffic gets much less with time, and many people may get bored and leave because they feel that they have said everything there is to say and read overything there is to read.
I'm not trying to suggest that AO's topic control is "bad" and should be changed, i would just like to hear some opinions.
"Black holes are where God divided by zero." - Steven Wright