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How do you feel about moderators moving posts around to keep threads on-topic?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by garsh, Mar 15, 2018.

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How do you feel about moderators moving posts around?

Poll closed Apr 14, 2018.
  1. I wish they'd do more to keep threads on-topic

    12.1%
  2. It seems about right to me.

    51.5%
  3. I don't really care.

    21.2%
  4. It bothers me at various times.

    15.2%
More threads by garsh
  1. garsh

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    As moderators of this forum, we try to keep the various threads on-topic. Some amount of organization is useful.

    Personally, I've found the moderators' efforts in this area to be just fine. Several of my posts have been moved, and it never bothered me. But lately, a few members have reacted negatively to their posts having been moved. I personally don't feel this way, so I don't really understand *why*. But I'd like to understand better! The last thing we want is for our actions to alienate our members! So I'm starting this thread to open a discussion and get some feedback on the subject.

    I also know that some people think we don't do enough to keep threads on-topic. So, I'm also throwing in a poll just to get some idea of how many people are on one side or the other.

    @Troy, I believe you've had some issues with posts being moved. Would you mind expounding on the reasons?

    @Archer, you seemed especially upset today at having a thread moved to a different forum. Can you explain why? I think I saw the thread after it had been moved possibly again, so the comment you made there didn't make sense to me.

    @avoigt, you talked about "hurdles and regulations". I'm confused by this comment. Anybody is free to post at any time. Only brand-new members' posts require moderator approval under certain conditions. Can you explain what you meant?

    @Deadbattery, it sounds like you get the impression that you've "messed up" when you see that a post of yours has been moved, and are therefore less likely to take part in conversations as a result. Is that accurate?

    And of course, anybody else who'd like to add their two cents, please do so. :)
     
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  2. TrevP

    M3OC Founder / Administrator
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    Something I implemented a long time ago is "suggested threads" when someone creates a new post or thread. The idea is to give people a list of EXISTING threads to help guide them instead of crating a duplicate thread or to keep things on topic.

    Perhaps people are not paying attention to it? Do I need to move it to the top of a new post or thread creation window so they get the message?

    Thoughts?
     
  3. garsh

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    @TrevP, the "suggested threads" unfortunately has a very low signal-to-noise ratio. I find that the suggestions are usually very bad, and I've learned to ignore them completely.

    If there's some way to raise the threshold for showing a suggested thread so that it's more likely to be relevant (and to only show a single suggestion instead of several - maybe two at most), that would help a lot.
     
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  4. TrevP

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    Unfortunately there’s very little control. It uses keywords only
     
  5. SoFlaModel3

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    #5 SoFlaModel3, Mar 15, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
    Great post @garsh !

    My personal take is that we always need to strive for the happy medium. Having threads go too far off topic can cause people to stop participating or get frustrated (especially the original poster who may see their intended topic drift further and further away from them). On the extreme opposite is being so rigid that friendly conversation becomes so restricted and hard that the conversation stops as well.

    Enter the happy medium. The place where discussions are logically moved because they’ll do better in their “new destination”. A little deviation from the topic is ok, but if there is a whole arc. Let’s say for instance in the Invitation to Delivery thread someone asks about autopilot and then 10 replies come in. Meanwhile we have a dedicated thread to autopilot — it’s going to serve a better purpose there and reach its target audience.

    Anyway I know you were asking for non-mod opinions there, but felt like sharing my viewpoint that we strive for a fun and consistent environment for everyone!
     
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  6. Spiffywerks

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    I think you guys are doing a fine job.

    I found myself quite entertained at some of the moderator edits on some rude comments on a couple threads where they put in stuff like "those people" instead of whatever was said. :)
     
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  7. Troy

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    #7 Troy, Mar 15, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
    Not exactly. I don't mind if my messages are moved to a more suitable thread. Recently there was some discussion about the Model 3 Delivery Estimator tool but it was in a different thread instead of the thread I had created about it. I didn't want to answer the questions there because then I would be contributing to the off-topic discussion. So I reported those and they were moved within a few minutes. I was impressed. :)

    The issue I had was different. It was related to losing the opening message of this thread after it was merged with an older thread. It was resolved quickly within a day and I'm very happy with the solution and how it was handled. I'm not sure if you want to know why merging the threads caused a problem but here are the details in case you are curious:

    The opening message in my thread has a few auto-updating charts that are linked to the invites spreadsheet. When somebody submits a new VIN using the Google form, all 4 charts update within 5 minutes. One chart shows total Model 3 units produced so far. Another one shows the current weekly production rate and another one shows VINs reported by buyers.
    • I needed the opening message because I wanted people to see the information right away. I think this improves the presentation. If people have to search around or check out the latest messages all the time, that doesn't create a good user experience. Forum threads, especially long threads are not very suitable to present data that is continuously changing. Using the opening message to show the latest data is a pretty good idea.
    • My thread had 237 messages. The other one had 17. After these two were merged, I lost the opening message. The new thread didn't feel like my thread anymore without the opening message.
    • The style of the first 17 messages was different. It looked too cluttered to me. On Reddit, when there is a discussion, I send people to the relevant thread here. I didn't want to send people to the merged thread because the opening section was too cluttered.
    • Nobody was using the old thread. It was already abandoned since December. Merging them didn't make anything better. It made a few things worse for me.
    In this instance, @TrevP's 'Suggested Threads' feature actually worked fine for me. I saw the other thread before I created mine but I decided to create a new thread because I needed to control the opening message. In terms of suggestions, here are a few things that I can think of:

    1. This add-on allows moderators to change the date of posts. When two threads are merged, the forum software sorts them by date. Therefore moderators can't decide who should keep the opening message. This would make that possible. The add-on doesn't have too many ratings but the author has over 100 add-ons. After the threads were merged, if it was possible to give me the opening message, that would go a long way.
    2. Make it possible to add wiki posts that can be edited by others. Vbulletin had this feature. I don't think Xenforo has it by default. In the other forum, they created this user called Wiki. If you check out the messages, all the messages by this Wiki user can be edited by others.
    3. Moderators could ask the two thread starters before merging threads. As far as I know, it's not possible to undo a merge. You can split the threads but that would require too much work if the dates overlap. Considering that a merge is difficult to undo, it would make sense to ask the OP what they think. Of course, asking every thread owner before a merge is too much hassle, which brings me to my next suggestion:
    4. I wish there was a flair I could set that says 'Don't merge'. I would prefer some of my threads not to be merged with threads by other people.
     
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  8. Twiglett

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    sometimes it bothers me, other times not at all.

    Personally I welcome moderation that excises offensive, inflammatory or plain rude behavior.
    Anything else is a pointless exercise that achieves nothing.
    Why is it so important to keep a thread on topic? What is the aim?
    It isn't to improve readability, when replies get dumped somewhere else with no context it just makes the moved reply pointless and hard to read, may as well delete them (or not move them)

    Most of the threads where this type of moderation happens are horrible to read through, for those I just click the last page as there is no thread left anyway.

    It all seems like way too much work for so little benefit other that some mad OCD need for neatness :)
     
  9. Deadbattery

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    Sure, so first, I know everyone cares, and nobody getting paid. so appreciate the care... Also, there are a LOT more folks here now than 2 years ago so this club is much older than my participation and I have no interest in changing what you have built.

    That said. There are three very active threads that have something to do with waiting for a car in some form of delivery, the titles are so specific as to lose meaning, and to me seem like a distinction without a difference. We all 2 years into this and like 4 of us have gotten a car and we all like where the cars at!?!? so regardless of the title of the thread that is the central theme for everything and everyone right now... to me.

    When I am reading a thread I no longer have the title of the thread front of mind and I don't think I have ever originated one. My posts have mostly been riffs or responses to posts already in the thread. Truthfully if you had not told me you moved them I would not have noticed. My reticence comes from not wanting to create friction, I have opinions, I like sharing them, but I also know that IF i actually had something useful to say, (unlikely) the chances of that being heard if I am causing friction are very low. The net result is that If I am posting such that the club feels I need to be moved, clearly I don't get the rules and should sit out.

    thanks for asking
     
  10. garsh

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    Interesting @Deadbattery, thanks for the explanation.

    Rest assured that having a post moved does not reflect poorly on the posts' authors. I've probably had more of my posts moved here than anybody else. ;)

    Interesting point about the notification. When moving a post, there's an optional checkbox labeled "Notify author of this action." I believe it's checked by default. Perhaps we should make an effort to uncheck it. The notifications aren't really that important. Mods, WDYT?
     
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  11. garsh

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    @TrevP just added a Wiki extension to the forum software. I find that a Wiki is better suited for reference information, while a forum is better for discussions. How would you feel about posting that kind of information to a wiki page? You could still have forum threads for discussing the information.
     
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  12. garsh

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    The goal is to keep a thread on-topic, so that people who are interested in the topic don't have to read through lots of off-topic discussions to find the information they want. Some of us like reading any discussion, and the topic isn't much of a concern. But others feel differently. So know that this type of moderation is not for you, but does benefit others. :)
     
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  13. Troy

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    @garsh, I'm happy with the way things are and nothing needs to change.
     
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  14. Michael Russo

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    Two points, I have gotten the practice to notify folks when their post gets moved so that they know where to go if they ever wanted to return to it; I also always indicate my name as the mod team agreed so people know who did it.

    In addition, I do want to emphasize that we apply care to move full exchanges that go OT somewhere else so that discussion is not broken.

    To @garsh ‘s point, the reason is to keep folks interested in the topic per the title. I can only underline that the best practice for posting is to try and find the most appropriate thread or create a new one. Most of the confusion appears to be around the Invite & Delivery thread which should be about factual news, the ‘Not yet Invited...’ thread where all impatience can be released (;)) and the Highest VIN one which is all about pics.

    Hope this helps.
    Mike
     
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  15. Mike Land

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    Just had to chime in and say you guys (and gal) are all great and do an absolute wonderful job keeping this forum a fun and friendly place to hang out. Thank you and keep up the good work! I don't care what you move or where you move it as long as you keep doing whatever it is you've been doing to keep this the place it is. I can only stand about 5 minutes in any other Tesla forum before coming back home to this one, guess I'm just spoiled by all the work you guys put it. It really does show!!!!
     
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  16. svusa11

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    Thanks for everything you guys do. Personally I dont care even if you delete my post. Only suggestion I have is sometimes topics are correlated so decision to move would be bit subjective.

    No one should feel offended for moving post to some other thread.
     
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  17. Lovesword

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    I’m going to bump this to say that I have zero problem with moved posts, but really don’t like when I get a post deleted that I think was intended to be helpful. Yes, it was off topic in the “invites...” thread that seems to go off topic way too often (which is probably really frustrating to the mods who constantly have to clean it up as there’s members here that are super connected to that thread for some reason) yet my post was a direct answer to someone unsure about what color to get, not a debate about which color is better.

    My post quoted the other member asking if I could take pictures of my car from certain angles to help them make their decision.

    It sucks to be having a shit week at work, post something I think is helpful on a site I visit to enjoy my time on and then just get it deleted.
    I’m gonna go stew for a bit now...
     
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  18. MelindaV

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    I believe this was the conversation you were thinking of... https://model3ownersclub.com/threads/decisions-red-or-white-or-silver.6436/ it has been resurrected as it’s own thread. :)
     
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  19. Michael Russo

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    I understand your frustration, even more so because you show empathy for ours... ;) Indeed, this thread has value for many who look for tangible signs of progress in invites & deliveries which is why a separate thread has been opened for all those who just need to express (understandable) impatience. Suddenly, out of the blue, somebody mentions he's torn on his color choice (again, I get it, yet here was about as OT as it gets :rolleyes:) and, within a short time, we've got 8 or more totally OT posts...
    When this happens, I have generally created new threads, or moved the exchange. Candidly, this morning, I just did not have the patience.
    Great, Melinda, you obviously had more staying power than me in this case. Good on you.
    True illustration of the value of diversity in the mod team... ;)
     
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  20. garsh

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    Yes, @Brokedoc has decided to do that from now on.
     

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