I've closed some idle threads tonight...
Dec 15, 2007 at 5:00 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 77

Wmcmanus

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I sure hope I haven't offended anyone. For the record I didn't pay any attention to who started the threads that I've closed, who has posted in them, or how often they've posted, or of what quality those posts were.

In case they drop off of the face of the member's lounge Earth too quickly for you to see what has happened to them, here they are:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f11/po...oh-fun-210643/

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f11/ot...thread-263573/

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f11/wh...ht-now-270642/

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f11/wh...ht-now-274605/

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f11/a-254904/

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f11/wh...rt-iii-262321/ My goodness, how did I miss out on all of the enthralling discussions y'all had in parts I and II? Please don't dig those threads up or start Part IV, or at least not tonight!

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f11/wh...ng-now-260295/

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f11/wh...tching-269334/

I think that was about it. There were actually a couple other threads that were discussing the proliferation of these kinds of threads, and those I've removed from public view. Most of the comments in those threads were actually supportive of the decision I've made tonight to close down the ones listed above. In each case, I made the following post just prior to closing the thread in question, as a way of offering an explanation to everyone:

"I've been watching the member's lounge degenerate into a series of meaningless drivel threads that nobody reads. They just post in them. So I'm closing a bunch of them. Don't worry, you won't lose all of the posts that you've made in these sorts of threads. I wouldn't be that mean right before Christmas.

Please note, as well, that this is just my decision as an individual member/moderator who still likes being a member first and moderator second. It doesn't reflect the collective judgment of all (or any of the other) moderators, nor does it suggest that there will be any sort of "policy" or "rule" about these sorts of threads. It is, instead, just the way I feel about these threads which (of late) have really become noise pollution.

My fear is that if we allow the idle chit chat purposeless threads to proliferate we will be doing a disservice to our membership by dummying down the excellent content that this site has to offer. On the one hand, such threads do no harm, at least not individually. On the other hand, they cause (in my view and in the view of many other members based on the comments I've been reading of late) a general degradation of the overall quality of the site. We really don't want Head-Fi to become all fluff, or at least I don't want that result.

Sue me if you think I'm wrong, and my apologies (sincerely) to those who enjoy posting in these kinds of threads from time to time and find them to be both harmless and entertaining. All I'm trying to do at this precise moment is to sort of rein them in a bit. There is no reason to make more out of this than what I've suggested here. It's an individual decision made by a member/moderator that I hope you'll agree is being done with the interest of the site in mind.

Again, I don't want to be the Grinch, but at the same time I'd like to see the member's lounge start to regain its vigor and these sorts of threads, in my opinion, are holding it back.

The "What are you listening to now..." thread and others that are more audio related are fine. I just don't think that people really care about what you're eating now, where you spent your last dollar, or when you had your last bowel movement."

...

I want to point out and emphasize that normally these types of decisions are not made unilaterally by one moderator, but are instead something that we will discuss among ourselves and then come to a (more or less) consensus decision. But in this case, I really felt like I was acting as a member first (one who happens to have magic powers, and hey, thanks Jude for the vote of confidence) and a moderator second. Essentially, what I'm saying by closing these threads and now opening up the floor to your comments, is that I think it's time that we as members start to regain a bit of control of where this site is going.

I'm sure there are any number of reasons why it can be a lot of fun to just post silly little things in silly little threads, and I get in those moods myself at times. So please keep in mind that I'm not pointing any fingers, lest there be 3 more on the same hand pointing back at me. What I'm talking about, instead, is the degree to which we as members (and here's where you can help the moderating staff) ought to allow for this kind of silliness.

My personal view is that a little is a really good thing and it helps to promote a very positive and open dialogue between members. Sometimes I'll read something that another member has posted in one of these silly threads, and I'll laugh so hard I want to cry. More often than not, I'll then take the time to PM that same member, and quickly make a new friend as we begin to discuss all sorts of irrelevant things via PM (where irrelevant things ought to be discussed, so go ahead and knock yourselves out). In many cases, I wouldn't have had cause to communicate with that same member for any other reason, and thus I've made another friend all because of a silly comment that I really appreciated in a silly thread.

But isn't that what Facebook is for? Again, I'm not playing the "bad cop" here because I enjoy light hearted banter as much as anyone I know, and kind of specialize in it at times. What I'm talking about is when it gets to the point where all of the fluff starts to completely dominate the member's lounge and people are suggesting that we open a new forum (think about it!) just to have a place to house all of the fluff, such that they can better sift through the threads that might hold a gold nugget or two of interest to them! I kid you not, people are suggesting that we start a new, "What..." forum for the "What are you wearing/drinking/eating/buying..." types of threads. That kind of scares me, and thus my response by zapping a bunch of them tonight and opening up the dialogue in this thread for your views.

To my way of thinking, it's a matter of trying to strike the right kind of balance. We want the place to be both fun and informative. If it's all about information, then it will soon be no fun. But if it's all about fun (in the light hearted, empty headed - no offense - variety such as the types of threads I've closed tonight, which are posted in like crazy but almost never read) then one set of people's fun becomes a major annoyance to another set of people, and something needs to be done to get it back to a sense of normalcy. That's what I tried to do tonight, and I hope it will be taken in that spirit.

Finally, I wanted to say that I didn't pick and choose the above threads by any scientific method. I just scanned the first 5 pages of threads in the member's lounge and made some judgment calls. There were several other similar threads that I thought about closing, but passed on, such as:

Rate the last movie you watched (because it seems to encourage actual discussion about movies, a good thing and what we're all here for)

Trivia thread (because it can go just about anywhere, and there is all sorts of cool stuff to learn and explore by actually reading other people's posts, again, a good thing)

So you think you're hot, Head-Fi edition (because people are having fun getting to know each other, and not just posting aimlessly about the next thing on their minds)

What headphones are you using right now (because... drum roll.. it's about headphones and not what you're eating/drinking/watching, etc)

What are you playing, right now? (same thing, except the focus is music, another good thing and totally relevant even if it's a stimulus-response type of thread, that's fine, we need some of that)

You get the picture. Ok, I'll shut up now and listen to what everyone else has to say.

One last comment: anything I've done tonight in terms of closing these threads is totally reversible in the event that our members and my fellow moderators all think that I've had a major brain fart and ought to be shot!
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 5:07 AM Post #4 of 77

nick20

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Redo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm happy with this decision ^^



Me too! Thank God...
biggrin.gif
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 5:09 AM Post #5 of 77

smeggy

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Whatever is good for the site is good for us all. It's easy to get sucked into these threads because they're an easy hit and with so many of them there's not much else to be seen as a result. They can be fun and fluffy, but like Tribbles, they can take over.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 5:21 AM Post #6 of 77

MD1032

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I definitely agree that the threads were meaningless and were actually degenerating the member's lounge more than they were contributing, but I'm not quite sure your actions, which you admitted were as a member first, and not a moderator, were quite right. Just because something is meaningless in your opinion does not necessarily give you the right to exercise your "moderating powers" and force your opinion. I think the important thing to note is that if people want to post meaningless drivel, there is not much you can do. It is undeniable that the popularity of this forum has increased significantly in the past few years, and as such, it is going to attract more and more people that will post in such a manner. I though of a possible solution that might make everyone happy and it involves opening an additional forum for such posts in which posts have no weight in terms of adding to postcount.

As for my own opinion, I say there's a lot of useless garbage on this forum right now, and the idiots are beginning to outnumber us. What you and our moderating force here does with this situation I will be interested to see, if anything. You guys are a great bunch and I'm hoping you can come up with a solution. I personally would love to see this forum take a turn towards a more educational atmosphere with less meaningless fluff.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 5:39 AM Post #8 of 77

Wmcmanus

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Thanks for the comments, guys. Keep them coming, good or bad, but please as always, respectfully. I'm listening, and I'm sure the other moderators will as well when they wake up in the morning and see the headlines! Jude will probably drop his newspaper into his coffee and scream out, "He did what!?!?" Nah, I'm just kidding about that. He supports us all the way, even in these (thankfully rare) maverick moves that involve opening up something like this to public opinion.

Just a couple of more thoughts before I (at least try to) go silent for a while and let everyone else speak:

1. Notice that in everything I've done by closing these threads, I haven't pointed any fingers and I hope that none of you do either. It's Ok if you want to point a finger (any one you choose) at me. I'm a big boy and I can take it, and besides, I've kind of set myself up for it. But please don't pick on any individual members whose posts, or threads, or polls you don't like. That's not what this is about.

2. I'll remind you that, as I mentioned at the bottom of my opening post in this thread, anything that I've done tonight in terms of closing these threads can be reversed. I (or any other moderator) can reopen any or all of them, so if there is a certain thread that you think has redeeming informational value, speak your mind. In other words, if I made a bad call, let me know. If you think the whole thing sucks, let me know that too.

3. Despite the posture that some of this may take, it's not about me at all. I don't really read any of those threads so it's no skin off of my nose if most people believe they should be reopened. In truth, none of them in any way violate our Rules/Terms of Use, so on an individual thread by thread basis, there was no reason for me to close any of them. Thus, if for the betterment of Head-Fi, you want us to allow these sorts of threads to continue to proliferate, I'll have no problem in reopening any or all of them, and I take no pride about being "right" in this matter. More than anything, I'm wanting to know your views and will follow your collective wishes. My gut feeling, however, tells me that I'm not the only one that feels this way.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 5:45 AM Post #10 of 77

nick20

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MD1032 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I though of a possible solution that might make everyone happy and it involves opening an additional forum for such posts in which posts have no weight in terms of adding to postcount.



I couldn't agree more, for those of you who "enjoy" making these threads. And the added bonus of the posts in a certain section and not counting the posts towards their total post count numbers is a good idea.

I THINK AVS has this kind of thing.. a "off-topic" forum where post counts don't add to your total.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 5:51 AM Post #13 of 77

vcoheda

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YES!!!

christmas has come early.

please members, anytime you intend to start a thread in the member's lounge and the title begins with "what" or "which" or some variation thereof, use your better judgment and don't start it.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 6:08 AM Post #14 of 77

uofmtiger

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I liked the "post the last thing you bought" thread just because it gave some insight into some of the members' other interests. Of course, some people posted that they bought a hamburger and that did nothing for me, but I found some of the other things like games, movies, retro razors, etc... interesting.

I am not as passionate about it being open as others are about it being closed, so I am not complaining...just wanted to make the point that I found it interesting.
 

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