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A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: 05-04-2007

A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Evening all,
As some of you may be aware, the moderators are currently renewing efforts to draft up a new, sleeker, simpler forum structure for the Community. Most of the attention is being focussed on reorganising the support forums, but as a frequent user of General Chit-Chat myself I've had an idea for this board that I'd like to put to you all: to create an additional 'news stories' board for all those links to wacky BBC articles and the suchlike. My reasons for suggesting it are as follows:

  • They're often not quite proper forum posts as such - i.e. they're just a link to an outside source, rather than, say, a thought-provoking statement or question;

  • They can be known to take on a somewhat more serious tone than General Chit-Chat is known for.


My thinking is that if there were to be a separate 'news stories' forum, it would make the General Chit-Chat forum possibly more appealing for the people who aren't really interested in looking at links to and discussions about the news. Furthermore, in conjunction with that it would 'tidy up' General Chit-Chat by making it for 'proper' forum posts, which also might make people more likely to use it when they have genuine queries that won't fit in other boards. On the other hand, I appreciate that General Chit-Chat has quite a unique atmosphere, and that perhaps introducing a news forum would mean its current content would be spread a little too thinly to maintain that atmosphere.
It is for that reason that I'm putting a poll here rather than simply discussing it in the pre-existing thread about the forum redesign. General Chit-Chat has, to some extent, its own crowd of people who're used to the particular 'feel' of this board, which means you're all better placed to tell me (and the other moderators) how you feel about effectively having your board split in two. So please do answer the poll, be you user, mod or staff (you still use this forum so no reason you shouldn't have a say); I've set it to expire in five days after which time the results will be revealed.
Thanks!
37 REPLIES
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Thank you for the opportunity to vote. I'm not too keen on the idea as I like ChitChat as it is - just a pleasant mixture of anything that anyone wants to say without being frightened of putting in the wrong place.
It's almost 'anything goes' here and I like it as it is.
Community Veteran
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Its an interesting idea Be3G, however whilst appreciating your motives, there are times when the "news" link are amusing and quite in line with chit-chat's appeal, so where do you draw the line between serious news and not-so-serious.
So I'm afraid I must vote "not sure" but leaning towards "no"
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Surely the eclectic mix of the serious, the not so serious and the downright silly is what makes General Chit Chat so popular.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Euge
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

I pretty much agree with the above posts. I think some of the outside links lead down paths that wouldn't be possible anywhere else, especially a serious news forum and it's the interesting tangents of conversation that develop that intrigue me so.
Community Veteran
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Just to clarify a couple of points here:

  • The news stories board would be for all news items, whether they are humorous or serious.

  • The board would, I expect, receive the same moderating approach as this one - in other words, tangential discussions like those that take place in here would be similarly welcome in the new board.


If that means anyone would like to change their vote, please feel free to do so - it should be possible as I enabled the option to when creating the poll.
Quote from: jelv
Surely the eclectic mix of the serious, the not so serious and the downright silly is what makes General Chit Chat so popular.

The thing is, I'm not entirely certain this board is actually 'popular'. It's loved by the people who use it of course, but I would venture that that's quite a small subset of the overall number of users of the forum. And I do know there are some people who aren't too keen on the preponderance of links to news stories in this board... so I was thinking that by splitting those out, we might be able to increase the overall appeal of the board. But of course, I don't want to do that only to decrease the appeal to those who already use it!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

I appreciate the motive - but I agree with those who say the General Chit Chat is fine as it is, a mixture of mostly lighthearded banter. I know what may be hinted at - some of the political discussions such as the current Boycott Scotland which has turned into a criticism of  the USA thread has got a little heavy - but that is part of the mix.
I voted to stay as it is.
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Quote
And I do know there are some people who aren't too keen on the preponderance of links to news stories in this board...

Yes, I see what you mean Be3G and you are correct - I know of at least one user who considers that it gets a bit too political at times. Personally, I am not too keen on lots of news topics either (particularly politics) but it isn't a problem because I just don't follow them up.
It seems that many of the users do like this sort of thing so I don't mind this as there are other threads that do interest me and I am sometimes able to contribute to those.
198kHz
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Every point I was thinking of has been made - so just popping in to say my vote is for the status quo too.
Not young enough to know everything
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Yay! ... leave it as it is .... 
I`m not too keen on the
"get a load of this "  linky to bbc (or whatever news item) 
type postings....
as it doesn`t give any indication of what "this" is, until you have clicked on the linky.... also some of them are video links, and I feel that it is someone else directing my usage into video downloads I may not want to view...
Because of this, I usually ignore those posts on initial sighting, and wait until three or four people have commented, I can then get an idea of what the original post was about, and go back to it if I want to....
You don`t have to click on them.... mostly it is "curiosity kills the cat" that makes you do it...
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board


I agree that just a link is a poor idea, that's why I always either copy a sentence or two or paraphrase the story.
Community Veteran
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Quote from: Be3G
And I do know there are some people who aren't too keen on the preponderance of links to news stories in this board...

Each and everybody to his own. Nobody forces those that don't want to to follow the links or, indeed to read the posts that carry them.
If those that post news link containing posts were to add in brackets after the subject title (contains news link) then those that don't wish to follow the link can simply ignore the post altogether.
When you say "but I would venture that that's quite a small subset of the overall number of users of the forum" do I get the feeling that there's a move within Plusnet to close chit-chat down? How do you know there are those who feel there is a preponderance of news links, presumably they click the links...why? then complain afterwards, when most of them clearly state they are sourced through the BBC news, that should give anybody with a modicum of common sense that its a news link...so don't click it!!
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

Quote from: Petlew
When you say "but I would venture that that's quite a small subset of the overall number of users of the forum" do I get the feeling that there's a move within Plusnet to close chit-chat down?

Err, no - and it's somewhat frustrating that you're suddenly jumping on the conspiracy theory bandwagon. The news stories forum was, as I said in my initial post, my idea (albeit one I have discussed with the moderators); and as I also said in my initial post, I'm a frequent user of General Chit-Chat myself. Plus I've made it clear that the idea was in an attempt to make General Chit-Chat more appealing to users who don't currently use this particular board. What more do I have to say to preclude the creation of wild theories?
Quote from: Petlew
How do you know there are those who feel there is a preponderance of news links

'Preponderance' was my choice of word, which I used in a non-judgemental fashion to mean that General Chit-Chat often consists of a significant number of threads which are essentially news links. As for people who aren't keen on news links, take a look at the most recent page of the thread I linked to in my initial post.
Quote from: Petlew
presumably they click the links...why? then complain afterwards, when most of them clearly state they are sourced through the BBC news, that should give anybody with a modicum of common sense that its a news link...so don't click it!!

I think the issue is that the thread titles aren't always clear that the thread's just going to be a news link - so people click on the thread expecting to see some interesting thoughts or whatever and find it's just a link to a BBC article they've already seen. Which is something that your suggestion regarding brackets would help solve, if everybody was willing to do it.
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

I can't imagine that there would be any moves afoot to discontinue our ChitChat forum - it's the busiest one after all.
What is good about Be3G's proposal/suggestion is that it has got us all discussing the subject and airing our opinions.
It might mean that in future people will use it with a little more thought in areas such as news and politics.
Hope that you don't my mentioning one more thing though - tags?
Superuser
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Re: A proposal for you all - a 'news stories' board

I've also voted for the status quo.  I'm not a great fan of 'General chit chat' and usually just ignore most of the posts, so having two boards that compete in the same space  makes my use of the forum more tiresome. 
BTW Just because I elect to not use General Chit Chat much does not imply that I would vote for its removal - far from it. 
Maurice