Cool feature for splitting off topics

I was watching an interview with codinghorror about Discourse online. He mentioned a feature that sounded pretty neat that’s not readily obvious.

When you reply to a poster, if you hit the arrow next to the icon on the top left, you get a few options. One is to write that person a private message, another is to simply reply as usual and the third is to split the topic into a new thread - reply as linked topic. When you click on that, it automatically starts the message with a link to the current thread and starts a new one.

I haven’t tried it yet, so I don’t know if you can copy posts to the new thread or not, but it’s a neat feature because it might give more people impetus to start a new thread when they want to do a sidetrack if they know that most of the work in linking it is already done for them.

If I try it, I’ll update this thread with more info on whether I can copy posts to the new thread.

Yes! Thank you for bringing this up! Small video demo of it here!

The logic goes something like this:

Hmm, I really want to address issue {x} by replying to {person}. I’ll press the reply button to begin.

type type type :keyboard:

Wow this is getting a bit off topic now that I think through it as I am writing my response, what should I do?

Answer: click or tap that arrow button at the upper left and automatically convert your reply into a new topic, which will also be linked to the other topic!

The auto cross-linking :link: between the new topic and the post it was replying to, will appear in the links area just below the post.

:bulb: another protip: if you have text selected when you press the reply button, any reply button, that text will appear in the composer as a quote.

Tried it out to create this thread: Fluvoxamine (Luvox) may be a treatment for Covid

ETA: Apparently we can edit thread titles ourselves too.

Thanks for trying that out and reporting back.

Just thinking out loud here, and not really related to your thread, but I’ve noticed in general that breaking out threads often leads to less participation in the new thread. For instance, there are several meandering topics in the 7 Jan 2021 thread that I thought about starting threads about, but I’m not sure they would go anywhere.

In general, is it better to have one long meandering thread or several smaller ones that don’t take off? I prefer the smaller ones myself, but how do other people feel about it?

Sometimes does. This time, not a single hit so far. But it’s the weekend.

I really appreciate the ability to turn a reply into a New Message. Great feature.

I feel like this will come in handy when someone says something offensive in a non pit thread.

Oftentimes, people will reply inappropriately in the non pit thread instead of starting a pit thread. Not me of course, bc I’m a freaking saint. But I’ve seen it happen.*

*Got modded yesterday for just that.

This feature is awesome. I’ve done this sort of thing manually a few times (start a new thread based off of an existing one) but this makes that process so much easier. :+1:

You alluded to the answer in your reply – it depends on the level of passion inspired by the new topic direction.

If people are like

YES! OH MY GOD! I find that so annoying too! Just the other day…

Then the new topic will have eager participants.

In general, it is better for the long term health of a community to have more specific topics, but it can also be OK to have some chatty topics that meander all over the place. Test things out and see what works for y’all.