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Old 2011-01-08, 23:27   #1
davar55
 
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Default Soapbox Reorganization?

I hate to suggest this, but it may be a good idea.

Can the SoapBox be categorized?

In trying to wade through some of those discussions and information,
I've found it difficult to get through a long thread unless I followed it
from the start, which I don't always. And following our trains of thought
would be facilitated by organizing the threads within main categories
of topics.

How about a breakdown into soapbox-sub-forums such as:

News
Economics
Philosophy
Politics
Religion
Science
Whatever
Collected Wisdom (Miscellaneous)

Perhaps an interested mod could sort the threads into these categories
based on title and original post. This might even be fun, would help us
organize our back-reading, and make us think about thread titles as well
as categories of thought. I mean, sudden discussions of religious or
personal beefs in the midst of other sequences kind of throw us small but
noticeable curves. It would ultimately make moderating the soapbox
much more manageable.

Any other suggestions along these lines are welcome.

Last fiddled with by davar55 on 2011-01-08 at 23:29
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Old 2011-01-08, 23:53   #2
Brian-E
 
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While there are obviously benefits to categorizing threads in the way you suggest, we should also guard against too many sections in a forum because after a certain point it becomes harder to find your way around, not easier. I would suggest that this forum is probably close to its ideal subdivision of categories already. The addition of more makes it harder to spot new discussions and adds extra complexity to the forum generally.

One modification of your suggestion is to merely add an extra symbol to the text in the title of the threads - "P" for politics, "R" for religion, and so on. That would avoid making lots of new categories while possibly making the soap-box easier to navigate than it is now.
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Old 2011-01-09, 00:31   #3
davar55
 
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I agree that the top-level division of the mforum into sub-forums
is probably ideal right now. I was suggesting (and I don't know if
it's possible) that one extra level of sub-structure be added where
appropriate, such as in this kind of soapbox theme categorization.
While your suggestion (letter designations) would be a possible
implementation, it would not as I see it be esthetically pleasing
and would require mod monitoring to keep it all tidy. But I think
it's basically a good idea if done well. I saw a similar reorganization
occur over at Yahoo Answers a few years ago, and it really improved
the conceptual organization of the Qs and As coming in.
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Old 2011-01-10, 14:27   #4
davar55
 
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I just noticed that the Archived Projects sub-forum has precisely
the kind of structure I had in mind for the Soapbox, with of course
some discussion of an appropriate breakdown into categories.

This soapbox reorg would have the additional benefits of improved
self-policing and "flypaper". Let's help out the forum assistants !

Last fiddled with by davar55 on 2011-01-10 at 14:31
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Old 2011-01-11, 09:13   #5
davieddy
 
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The soapbox is more or less chaotic by definition.

What I think could do with some tweaking is
"Math". It is in the GIMPS forum, but is used for
all types of math, not always GIMPS related.
The alternative forum is entitled "Misc Math" but is notoriously
haunted by crank contributions from davar55, scienceman88 and cmd.

There is already a thread in the soapbox entitled "Useless posts
from davieddy.....etc etc", which mercifully seems to have fallen into disuse!
(Although if the chronological order hadn't been f***** up, some of the
stuff there would be worth a read/listen).

David

Last fiddled with by davieddy on 2011-01-11 at 09:18
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Old 2011-01-11, 21:09   #6
davar55
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davieddy View Post
The soapbox is more or less chaotic by definition.

What I think could do with some tweaking is
"Math". It is in the GIMPS forum, but is used for
all types of math, not always GIMPS related.
The alternative forum is entitled "Misc Math" but is notoriously
haunted by crank contributions from davar55, scienceman88 and cmd.

There is already a thread in the soapbox entitled "Useless posts
from davieddy.....etc etc", which mercifully seems to have fallen into disuse!
(Although if the chronological order hadn't been f***** up, some of the
stuff there would be worth a read/listen).
My contributions in Miscellaneous Math are definitely NOT cranky,
merely grumbling, especially because, as that sub-forum is for
new uncertain ideas too (as well as a repository for cranky math),
I had to place my unfinished work there.

And someone such as yourself (davieddy) with so many useless posts
is the wrong person to pass any judgment on a decent suggestion for
unchaotifying the soapbox. You are chaos, not us.
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Old 2011-01-12, 13:33   #7
davieddy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davar55 View Post
My contributions in Miscellaneous Math are definitely NOT cranky,
merely grumbling, especially because, as that sub-forum is for
new uncertain ideas too (as well as a repository for cranky math),
I had to place my unfinished work there.

And someone such as yourself (davieddy) with so many useless posts
is the wrong person to pass any judgment on a decent suggestion for
unchaotifying the soapbox. You are chaos, not us.
Boo Hoo. You've made me cry.
Not going to be friends with you no more.

SO THERE.
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Old 2011-01-12, 20:55   #8
davar55
 
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I know you're not a fool, and personalizing by you does show
a deep emotional problem, however I am trying to contribute
an important solution to a problem in this forum while you're
reacting clearly like a chikd.

Please see OP.
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Old 2011-01-13, 13:05   #9
Brian-E
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davar55 View Post
I agree that the top-level division of the mforum into sub-forums
is probably ideal right now. I was suggesting (and I don't know if
it's possible) that one extra level of sub-structure be added where
appropriate, such as in this kind of soapbox theme categorization.
While your suggestion (letter designations) would be a possible
implementation, it would not as I see it be esthetically pleasing
and would require mod monitoring to keep it all tidy. But I think
it's basically a good idea if done well. I saw a similar reorganization
occur over at Yahoo Answers a few years ago, and it really improved
the conceptual organization of the Qs and As coming in.
Your original posting suggests to me that the problem you experience is that we often don't know what threads in the soapbox are about without laboriously reading through them first. Is that a fair summary? I agree it's a problem but I don't think a particularly esthetic solution exists.

The fact that the sub-structure which you suggest does not change the top-level complexity does not in my opinion alter the fact that the forum as a whole is made less easy to grasp by the additional (sub-)categories. These categories would require just as much extra mod monitoring as any other new way of classifying the threads because the subject of a thread, especially in the soap box, very often evolves over time necessitating reclassification if we go down that road.
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Old 2011-01-13, 20:15   #10
davar55
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
Your original posting suggests to me that the problem you experience is that we often don't know what threads in the soapbox are about without laboriously reading through them first. Is that a fair summary? I agree it's a problem but I don't think a particularly esthetic solution exists.

The fact that the sub-structure which you suggest does not change the top-level complexity does not in my opinion alter the fact that the forum as a whole is made less easy to grasp by the additional (sub-)categories. These categories would require just as much extra mod monitoring as any other new way of classifying the threads because the subject of a thread, especially in the soap box, very often evolves over time necessitating reclassification if we go down that road.
Yes it's a fair summary, but I would disagree with your second
paragraph conclusions. My outlined categorization should solve
the thread evolution problem by the specific categorization titles
I selected for the sub-soapbox-level-sub-forum. A thread that
meanders can be split.

Last fiddled with by davar55 on 2011-01-13 at 20:16
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Old 2011-01-13, 20:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davar55 View Post
My outlined categorization should solve
the thread evolution problem by the specific categorization titles
I selected for the sub-soapbox-level-sub-forum. A thread that
meanders can be split.
Most of the soapbox threads are on topics that are at the intersection of multiple fields of life (science, politics, and religion, mostly). Your attempt to pigeonhole a thread is doomed to failure, regardless of the organization of forum. What you call "meandering" is merely the natural evolution of the thread topic as multiple perspectives are introduced.

Stop tilting at windmills.
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