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Old 15-02-2012, 12:36   #1
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Thread Format Change

It seems when threads get drawn out to any length it's hard to determine who the Original Poster (OP) was.
Others intervene and start asking questions and the next thing you know people are arguing over the answers not know who's question was being answered, if that makes sense.
And sometimes a second or third person will take over the thread, or the OP will not even respond to the replies, especially with new members, or a troll.

Can we get a signifier or color change attached to the OP's name while in their thread so we all know who's the real OP?
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Old 15-02-2012, 12:58   #2
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Re: Thread format change

del, that sounds like it would require a feature I've never seen in off-the-shelf forum software. Nice concept--but never seen it.

OTOH it isn't too hard to figure out who the OP is, their name will be on msg#1 if anyone really cares to look.

Who started this thread, anyway? <VBG>
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:10   #3
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Re: Thread format change

I'm going to register a new account named OP and screw you guys all up.
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:19   #4
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Re: Thread format change

I dislike the notion that the OP "owns" the conversation that he or she started. That surely wouldn't be the case if we were all gathered it a local sailors' pub and had a chat about cruising.

Long conversations are more likely to drift than short. This seems natural. Besides, if the original query wasn't answered in the first 50 posts, what's the chance that it's going to be answered in the next 50?
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:21   #5
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Re: Thread format change

delmarrey,

Here are a few "good netiquette" tricks to help with this issue. Hopefully other CF members will adopt them without an act of God (or at least some strong arming by moderators):
  1. When answering someone's post, quote ONLY THE APPROPRIATE PARTS (i.e. click the "Quote" button in the lower right corner of the post then delete text between the quote and end quote tags that does not apply). The name of the poster thus shows along with text being quoted.
  2. Use the name of the person you are responding to in salutation as in this post and hellosailor's above.
  3. When responding to a really old post that might be several pages back in the thread, include a hyperlink to it. In Windows, right click the post number in the upper right corner of the post then select "Copy shortcut". Paste that hyperlink into your text in the appropriate spot. For a trivial example: I am replying to your post #1 (Thread Format Change) in this thread. This provides an easy way for readers to get back to the post you are referring to.
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:35   #6
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Re: Thread format change

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
It seems when threads get drawn out to any length it's hard to determine who the Original Poster (OP) was.
You can find out in one click.

Quote:
Others intervene and start asking questions and the next thing you know people are arguing over the answers not know who's question was being answered, if that makes sense.
Does that make sense? not completely - but I think I get the gist. You want somebody / something else to do OP's job for 'em.....easy enough for an OP to hold a thread broadly on subject (if they can be bothered), just have to accept (and enjoy!) when things go off on a tangent. IMO stamping of foot is kinda counter-productive.

Threads develop, that's just how forums operate. A Blog would probably be better suited to keeping the subject on track and still allowing input from readers (with unwanted content being deleted by the OP for whatever reason they decided, but would probably attract less input for that very reason).


Quote:
And sometimes a second or third person will take over the thread, or the OP will not even respond to the replies, especially with new members, or a troll.
Sometimes an OP will abandon a thread (for whatever reason - including it simply being too much of PITA to continue . but that's just forums for ya )...but I would say that for some new Member threads the OP does get them pulled into CF proper simply from the fact that others did get involved, even if the price of that involves the topic wandering all over the place . Kinda hard not to when the usual thread starter is summit like "What's the best RTW Scatter cushion for the Lounge in my boat" .

In any event a contribution to a Thread is not written solely for the benefit of an OP (for that there is PM or E-mail) - also written for a wider audience, whether posting on the thread or not. and for self .

But most OP's just after some guidance rather than simple answers (and often confirmation of the answer they have already decided upon )....
obviously there are some who do want (need) simple answers: "What's it like to live somewhere else for 5 years - please only answer if you have brown hair, a 2002 Beneteau and have done exactly what I probably won't be doing". "Thank you for wasting your time - get a life".

Quote:
Can we get a signifier or color change attached to the OP's name while in their thread so we all know who's the real OP?
IMO it's more important to know what the subject is - and for a long thread there are often a number going on at the same time.....and which overlap as well as diverge from the original subject....so probably end up with a rainbow effect ...wrapped around nonsense.
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Old 15-02-2012, 14:15   #7
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Re: Thread format change

thank you for addressing this issue. Recently ,in the $500 thread, I came across some excellent info about hard dinks onboard. Fearing this info would get lost in a three thousand page thread, I went so far as getting permission from the member who had raised the topic to move the relevant posts to a new thread. Then i got distracted...

The problem with long threads that ramble is that info gets lost. On whether hand, it is
alwayds possible to ask for the info again, and start over! That is also an issue... But I don't feel its a problem. A search for scatter cushions, if well phrased, using terms such as iinterior and upholstery will yield several relevant threads all of which address the matter in different ways.

That said, the rules do request members to keep their posts on topic
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Old 15-02-2012, 14:24   #8
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Re: Thread format change

delmarrey;
I agree completely with your post. I think that if people would bother to learn some "good netequette" we would not have the problem. People don't realize that they are hi-jacking a thread when they jump in with other questions and the big egos on the forum get into battles royal instead of helping to solve the problems.

John has some great suggestions. It really irks me when I see whole posts quoted time after time, including pictures. Just not necessary. I find it is often very difficult to find information that I know has been posted on the forum because of the clutter.
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Old 15-02-2012, 14:33   #9
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Re: Thread format change

Now, then DOJ, how's the dollar beer fund going?
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Old 15-02-2012, 15:14   #10
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Re: Thread format change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I dislike the notion that the OP "owns" the conversation that he or she started. That surely wouldn't be the case if we were all gathered it a local sailors' pub and had a chat about cruising.

Long conversations are more likely to drift than short. This seems natural. Besides, if the original query wasn't answered in the first 50 posts, what's the chance that it's going to be answered in the next 50?
+1

Most in-person conversation end up going in various directions and people should feel fine drifting around. A bit of irony in the free spirited cruising world wanting to keep threads rigidly adhering to a discussion protocol.
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Old 15-02-2012, 15:52   #11
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Re: Thread format change

Right, a little ADD never hurt anyone.
Quote:
That surely wouldn't be the case if we were all gathered it a local sailors' pub and had a chat about cruising.
I would rather think of a discussion forum thread as a knowledgeable discussion on a topic rather than a pub chat. Unless of course you post in the "Off Topic" forum or on the "Joke" forum. Just my opinion.
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Old 15-02-2012, 16:08   #12
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Re: Thread format change

I have no problem with a little thread drift or a momentary shift, or even a little humor along the way! BUT, when I looking thru the titles of threads and click on it, it seems after about 20 posts or more the OP's subject has been displaced or altered and others are capitalizing on the OP's statements or even totally ignoring his/her.

Like SaucySailoress stated stuff gets lost. When I do a forum search, a lot of the tiles have little to do with what I find.

If one not wants the OP to own the thread then that's the same as hijacking IMHO. If you pay a Cabbie to take you somewhere and he stops to pick up others along the way, would you object? Probably not if they are willing to help pay. But if they don't pay (bad to no-good info) then what do you do, get out? Which can be frustrating for those seeking info.

Sure it's EZ to scroll to the top but after 3 to 4 pages, one has to do it, just to remember who the PO was and to make sure the original question/statement is relative b/c the posts no long seem to have anything to do with the title.
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Old 15-02-2012, 16:26   #13
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Re: Thread format change

Doesn't hijacking and thread dragging happen after all useful information has been squeezed out of the knowledgeable people, and the others take over?

I see forum discussion more like open meetings sharing information with a few drinks afterwards.
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Old 15-02-2012, 16:27   #14
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Re: Thread format change

That's too organized for a forum--would take a lot of the fun out of it. I personally enjoy the digressions for the most part.

However, I do think it is often useful to at least revisit the first post to see what the thread was supposed to be about, before jumping in with your comments that are not related.

I am guilty of this, and I don't know how to solve it, but the main problem I have with very long threads is that if I come in late and haven't been following along I don't always read all 50+ preceding pages so it is entirely possible I will be revisiting old territory, but I still enjoy the conversation wherever it may be at that point.
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Old 15-02-2012, 16:32   #15
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Re: Thread format change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I dislike the notion that the OP "owns" the conversation that he or she started. That surely wouldn't be the case if we were all gathered it a local sailors' pub and had a chat about cruising.

Long conversations are more likely to drift than short. This seems natural. Besides, if the original query wasn't answered in the first 50 posts, what's the chance that it's going to be answered in the next 50?
Absolutely. Of course the OP's question should have been addressed but I have learned a lot from threads that drifted off into new areas far from the original topic. Would be a shame to lose that.
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