It was much easier than following the new threads though, I marked 100 unread/barely answered ones from beginning of October to now, I've been meaning to get to all them them at once but stopped after 30, it's not very fun because they're scattered all over the place, you can't quote them all into one big endeavour, among other things.
Something really need to be done about the Intro forum, I thought it would have solved a lot of issues that existed previously, but it seems to have exacerbated the issues instead.
1) You have less of the regular members who actively go out to experience and discuss gear noticing/frequenting/answering these threads because:
2) In the case of people who do try to help, it becomes more difficult because of the diffused/scattered efforts throughout.
- It seems intimidating to answer thread after thread after thread, just too much work for a typical member to invest in regularly because they'd have to actively go out and search for threads (unless they stay on the Intro forums and only ever give recommendations out, that's another story altogether)
- A lot of members read through the forums the traditional way - by going into subforums of their interest, rather than shifting through the newest post feed. When you have an entire subforum really isolated off from the rest of the site, of course people are going to ignore it.
- There's also the problem of having the same old people going around these threads and answering. Everyone's breadth of experience is limited to some degree, and when you have people that spend more time on these threads trying to help, rather than to go back outside and attempt to garner some additional experience, broaden their horizons, become more open/aware to their shortcomings/perspectives, it just makes for a very limited experience in terms of variety. To put it simply (and nicely) - the same couple of people recommending the only headphones they've heard every time.
To sum it up, it's a very claustrophobic environment. People used to complain about the influx of noobs, and they still do. Now that we have them all aggregated into one subsection, it seems like we can simply ignore them, and I find this not to be very inductive of a community. That is to say, they needn't give out specific recommendations, just general help would do.
The single threads were more cohesive, they fostered more of a community where people could come together and help, regulars, the odd contributor or two.
3) This is sort of an issue for both the single thread/subforum medium, but it's very easily enforced with the single thread method, just that no one ever did it on our single thread in this instance - having a possible set of criterias to list when asking for help. A template, if you would. Not to mention a specific list of links and resources of existing information to fall back on.
- This would cut down on the number of threads started with people going in immediately afterwards asking the questioner to be more specific. I know for a fact that vague questions really deter people from attempting to answer them
- More often than not, the diligent people who try to ask the right questions on forums where templates are enforced, go about it in a flexible way. That is to say, it's not at all restrictive for when they want to go above and beyond in being specific. Templates are more for people who don't have the means to ask the right questions; sometimes imposing structure is the only effective way to juice it out of them.
- That being said, it'd be nigh impossible to enforce/spread this around without it popping up when one attempts to make a new thread, I'm not sure if this is possible on Huddler. The sticky attempt certainly does not work, it's visually cluttered and not nearly as assertive enough.
Now I understand the caveat of having just a single thread, and why administration would never reinstate it again. I've had many an argument with people on this matter.
- It becomes more difficult to search through previous threads for precedent, situations that would have been similar and would have helped their own. This really comes from a deep-rooted fear of the search feature, and of forum tools in general. Heck, this step could even mitigate the entire recommendation process (although it is more comfortable, I can sympathize, when you have people giving a gentle hand to someone who is plopped right into a foreign environment)
- It restricts the freedom of people who wish to create new threads. The reasoning for this can be numerous: they might believe that their situation warrants discussion that only an individual, dedicated thread just for them can accommodate: They might simply want to exercise that freedom. Most importantly, it's been a tradition of sorts on H-F. I was here back when the original Full-Sized Recommendation thread had just started, and it was a wonderous thing, but people were still adverse to adapting to it, they had been too set in the old ways. I still believe that a single-thread + a free forum approach can co-exist together, but again, I understand the administration taking this in a different direction.
After all that's said and done, I believe that the situation won't really change in the future, and while I might have some passionate spurts like this come across every now and then, I've mostly resigned to having this part of the forum slowly corrode away. It's a sign of the state of the forum's health, where apathy towards this area tends in lieu of other ridiculous aspects that this forum exhibits on a regular basis.