Site Talk forum: Lengthy threads (?)

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 29, 2014 9:16 PM CST
Sometimes I will happen onto a thread that catches my interest...only to find it has over a thousand (unread to me) posts. I can't slog through that much history, and also feel a bit like I'm not in the party so mostly just move on. Not sure what my point is other than an observation. (?)
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Sep 29, 2014 9:44 PM CST
Deb, what I generally do in that situation is to skip to the end, then go back one or two pages and read through the posts, and if I'm still interested, watch the thread (or leave a comment) ...

I know what you mean, though... and that's why I think it's really important to try to make people that are new to the site feel welcome! Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Sep 29, 2014 9:52 PM CST
LOL! Deb. It's not that we're not in the party so much as that we are just late to the party! I've actually slogged through some long threads and found that after a while they tend to veer off the subject and then later get back on it. Lots of side trips Smiling . I've spent too much time doing it and therein lies the problem. Still, there are forums with threads (and plants) that interest me and I've avoided tackling them knowing I can't spend the time. Maybe this winter.
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Sep 30, 2014 2:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Sep 29, 2014 10:18 PM CST
After reading some lengthy threads, I feel as if I've gotten to know some of the people I didn't know before...which is a positive thing for me! Smiling
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Sep 30, 2014 4:06 AM CST
I do what Sandy does because of what Donald said about the thread veering off track. If the last couple of pages are still discussing the original topic or maybe even something better :smily:, I'll jump in. Bev has a good point about getting to know people in those long threads. So many conversations lead to other discussions.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 30, 2014 5:07 AM CST
Since I only follow 6 or 7 threads I have this problem a lot. Over 80 threads would need to be read...whew, where are my glasses?

I agree with Weedwhacker; just read enough to get the gist. If there is something specific you are looking to find in the long thread you could use the Control F which will highlight specific words or terms, but you have to do it for each page.

Taking time to read through entire threads you do start to see a pattern emerge. Certain members appear as positive voices offering kind statements and encouragement, some as negative or argumentative, some have inquiring minds and throw more questions into the mix. It's all good - especially on a cold, rainy winter day.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Sep 30, 2014 6:34 AM CST
Control F does need to be used for each page, but I keep my preferences set to 500 items per page.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 30, 2014 6:57 AM CST
@Seedfork, thanks! That was helpful and I will re-set my preferences...100 items per page will be enough for my old eyes.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 30, 2014 12:10 PM CST
I've often wished for a "bookmark" feature indicating how far I've actually READ in a thread.

Right now, "jump to the first unread post" assumes that you always read the thread all the way to the end once you open that thread.

I guess I could use the "Star" feature to mark where I stopped reading, and immediately edit that star so I could find it again, by putting "BOOKMARK" or "###" in front of the star comment.

But, in the spirit of always asking for more than seems possible, it would be nice to have an in-thread button, perhaps on the left-hand menu bar, for "specify THIS post as my last read post".

In Cubits, I would sometimes keep notes - stop reading at the bottom of one page and write down which page was next to read.

>> slogged through some long threads and found that after a while they tend to veer off the subject and then later get back on it. Lots of side trips

I have to plead guilty to a veering approach to online discussions. I try to curb that, especially in any thread that is currently following a specific topic, but "TRY" is the operative word.

Some long threads are candidates for a "Reader's Digest" version, where all the off-topic posts were removed, and parts of posts that were not on-topic were edited out.

If there was some way to get consensus from the on-topic contributors, they could even be turned into articles.

More likely, it might be possible to get agreement that includes agree-to-disagree, or agree-to-have-different-perspectives-or-goals. Then the "digest" would include several points of view and "yes THAT is true, but also ..."

Of course the biggest downside is that someone would have to do all the selecting and editing, even if it WAS possible to get agreement on what was "right" or important to each contributor.

Besides: there is already a good mechanism with all the advantages and none of the disadvantages. If someone thinks "this would have been a great thread if it didn't keep changing focus", they could write an article from scratch using the information they agreed with and considered most important, cutting down the number of words by 90% or more, but keeping what they thought was the "meat".

Or maybe share authorship of the idea with the original contributors.

An Article or Idea has more potential to be like an encyclopedia article than a thread does. Threads are like conversations.

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