Do Long Threads Unravel Dialog?


This was too long, I just skimmed. ;p

Also, I like the long meandering threads like Not Feminism 101. Its a place for people to talk about anything tangentially related to the topic subject. Its fun in there, I like it! I dunno… if you want to engage in a thread engage, if you don’t then don’t… I’m not sure I fully grok the issue?


Yes, but this conversation is about long threads and discussion.

I am talking about a thread that not only has no discussion (multiple people commenting off each other on one thread), but has no commentary (original insights from the person posting).

I think the answer to a question about how there can be more discussion in these threads shouldn’t literally be “stay out”.


Perhaps @Wanderfound can join in here about his thread.


I am confused… I feel like the question is self contradictory?
People are talking too much so people can’t talk?

It’s always going to be daunting to newcomers to join in any already established community… I don’t know how to fix that, or if it needs fixing?


One person is posting too much, dominating the conversation.

Moreover, the posts contain no original content, dissuading me from reading them because I would have already read the same article somewhere else.


I totally agree! Wanderthread works great as Wanderthread. But as such it’s maybe not the best example for this discussion. Criticising an apple for not being an orange fails to appreciate the apple-ness.

ETA: I still don’t see the issue with long threads except (maybe) if one is forced to read them. But that’s not the case here.


It is the best example for this discussion.

I have no problem with long threads, or threads with no set topic or agenda, but long threads with no discussion and no conversation are useless to me.


It’s not very wise to just assume that the sole reason is because of the length of a thread, as opposed to it’s content.

I adore Wander as a member, but I stay out of that post because I’m constantly and actively fighting against malaise and despair; and too much focus on the metric fuckton of negative happenstance going on around us could easily trigger the onset of deep depression.

That said, I would never begrudge him an outlet to vent his thoughts and feelings.


I think we’re in agreement then, because it’s not the length of the thread that’s keeping me away, it’s that nearly 80% of the content comes from just one guy, and none of that content is the original synthesis of ideas. It’s aggregated news, like what I read anyway.

Same. I have nothing against him, I just don’t want anything to do with that thread, even though it covers the sort of thing that interests me.

Me either. But again, the title of this thread is, do long threads unravel dialog, and I believe that under certain conditions, they do. Wanderthread is a prime example of how this could happen.


In the Gawker network, due to the ephemeral nature of the articles, we used to use the Days of Kristin as a catch-all open daily forum. These days, Barf Bag fills that niche. I’m not sure how to strike a balance between informing, entertaining, and encouraging discussion on current events on a regular basis.


Yes, I am aware.

It’s my belief that they do not, because, freedom of choice.

Like @gadgetgirl said upthread, no one is forcing anyone else to read anything here; so the idea that the mere length of any given thread deters people from participating is flawed.

We each pick and choose which posts we comment in, based upon our own individuals preferences… and that’s just as it should be.


I want to be clear; my purpose in starting this thread was not to criticize wanderthread for its content or format, but just to point out that some threads are getting to the hundreds or even close to a thousand comments. Within those threads there are likely topics that were not explicitly in the scope of the thread, or perhaps were but might also be of a more general interest, and that others who have not followed that thread might not be aware of. If there is a way to bring people in on those topics, I think that would make this board more welcoming to new members. In the way that things are evolving now, I see only a more insular board developing, which I do not think is healthy. But if people want to have long conversations I agree that there is value to that, and I wouldn’t want to stop that from happening.

Also I want to name something that I didn’t think about when I started this thread; as an “admin” some may view me as having special powers or more weight in deciding how this board operates. Some may even think that my opinions are edicts. I do not consider myself to be of greater import than anyone else on this board, and my opinions are only that; opinions.

I know I said I’d stay out of this conversation, in part because I was hurt by some of the comments. But I wanted to clarify my intent, and also to support those who, at least in part, also see a similar problem.


I disagree. As far as I know, Wanderthread could be 100% posts from @Wanderfound, or 40%, or 1%. It might have a rousing discussion about halfway down about a topic that is not only near and dear to my heart, but something about which I might be uncommonly well-qualified to comment. I could go look and see, sure. I could scroll down and read all 1,842 posts at presstime. Discourse tells me it might take about three hours to do so.

Or, I could just forget it. If Wanderthread happened to be Wander’s Category instead, in which were a shitload of threads, each devoted to perhaps a single press release, or maybe a subcategory of Wanderthread’s pet outrages like Trumpism, Brexit, Neckbeard Fascist Outrages of the Week or similar, then maybe I could find a sub-firehose from which to sip, or something I could comment upon and maybe engage in a conversation.

Instead, people like me see an undifferentiated 1800-post-long three-hour slog and simply won’t bother with it. We may not be missed there, but I do think it odd to just post that much material over four and a half months and not want to somehow engage it with an audience. Strikes me as pissing into the wind.

Still, I really don’t feel Wanderthread should take any form other than what Wanderfound wants it to be, like I said before. It’s just I feel that some more granulation would well-serve other topics of conversation.


I’m still not seeing what actual “problem” exists here.


Do lengthy threads somehow adversely affect how efficiently the site interface runs? Do they take up too much bandwidth, or something?

And if not, is there some kind of other ‘downside’ to a person posting stream of consciousness-like commentary that I’m just not seeing?

People can ignore or engage as they see fit.

That’s okay; I still likes ya just fine. :wink:

That would be that thar freedom of choice I was talking about earlier.

And I’m the same way:
I often opt out of posts that seem ‘TL;DR’, just depending upon what mood I’m in… but that doesn’t impact how much I participate on the site overall.

Long story short, (too late!) I don’t know what prompted this particular discussion, but it really seems like much ado about nothing to me.


It mostly is. @waetherman doesn’t need me to speak for him, but I think he’s just looking for another way to promote engagement here. And I suspect I’d find several nuggets within Wanderthread with which I’d like to engage, but it’s a haystack full of hay and a handful of needles, as far as I can tell. I think that’s a bummer, but it really is the mildest sort of bummer. And I don’t want to keep picking on Wanderthread specifically; it’s just a handy example.

I am not the world’s most organized person. See: my desk.

But nevertheless, behind me is a file cabinet. That file cabinet has drawers, not labeled, but organized more or less by category: tax documents, medical records, real estate documents, and one for things like birth certificates, passports, immunization records, pet records, car records, and miscellany. And each drawer has hanging folders, and each of those contains a labeled folder with the relevant paperwork therein. I don’t just stuff my papers in there willy-nilly, otherwise I’d never find anything and the cabinet would be mostly useless to me.

This is kinda like that. Keeping interesting and possibly useful stuff findable.


Not length in and of itself, but certain factors dissuade people from reading or commenting.


Sure, but that can happen with any thread.

If sometime starts a thread about the best way to brew coffee, I can’t contribute at all. I could start a parallel thread about tea, but that’s about it.

The same for much of the neuro non-typical thread – more for me to read than write in.

The same for virtually all of the gaming threads. Every turn of the dragoon highlander whatever it is I set to mute since I’m not playing.

And you know what? That’s okay. I don’t resent a single one of those or any other of the threads I cheerfully ignore.

Nobody here owes me entertainment. The threads I do participate in work done for me.


That does it, mandatory threading from here on out. Each member must create a thread off wanderthread each month or be forced to walk the plank.


I am talking about a thread that I want to participate in but is inaccesible to me.

The game threads don’t count, because I don’t play video games. The pet thread doesn’t count, because I don’t have any pets and never have had any. I will occasionally check in on those threads, but rarely, and I never comment there.

Wanderthread is a current events thread. I’m interested in current events, and would like to discuss them. I would like to hear new perspectives as well. However, the way this thread is set up, I am strongly discouraged from even reading it.

So, does the thread length discourage me from reading it? Not in and of itself. It’s more the format than the length TBH. But the length is a function of the format, and sure as shit doesn’t encourage me to read it.

Does the length discourage conversation? I can only speak for myself, but something is clearly discouraging conversation, because there’s none to speak of!

I resent this implication.

This is about a thread being interesting to me but inaccesible, which was the topic of this thread, after all.


How about encouraging people to post fun, inclusive threads?

I know wouldn’t mind seeing stuff like Associate, Associate revived, personally…

Totally agreed.

There’s no guaranteed way to “make” anyone want to participate in any given conversation, it’s all about individual choices.


So start your own posts about whichever current events that you specifically want to discuss; no one is gonna be upset at you for piggybacking off someone else’s commentary which happened to spark an urge to converse.

I really don’t understand the issue here, and frankly, I’d like to stop focusing solely on Wander’s thread, any time now; it’s starting to feel like he’s being singled out unfairly in a post that seems to be ‘a solution in search of a problem.’