Don't close the [blank's] Presidential Campaign threads

In this post, moderator Jonathan Chance announces the following:

Creating a new thread for the “stretch” doesn’t bother me in itself, but I believe this post exhibits flawed reasoning.

  1. If a thread is “approaching the end of its natural lifespan,” that is because participation in the thread is dwindling, possibly in connection with the event of the thread concluding. Neither is the case in this thread, in which participation is robust and the Trump campaign, one assumes, will continue for over a month.

  2. Closing the thread and creating a new one is not inherently “friendlier” for “new people,” since the old thread still contains pertinent discussion and may well be referred to in the new thread.

  3. “New people” can jump into the old one perfectly well, as they do in countless threads on this boards, and ignore or pay attention to previous discussion as they wish. This would hardly be the first time a long thread has seen an influx of new participants, despite (or because of?) its age and length. Closing an active, popular thread doesn’t inherently make anything “friendlier.”

  4. I think it is in itself a very bad idea to close thread with robust, active, and mostly civil participation unless the thread is clearing going off the rails, the trollish OP has long since departed, or it’s a General Questions thread and the question has long since been answered, etc. None of the usual thread-closure logic is applicable in this thread.

It’s not a big deal, but I wanted to say something. This is a minor decision, board-wise, but I think is an incorrect one.


I’m of the other mind.

I dropped out of Elections for a month or two. When I returned the threads had advanced some 20 pages. I resumed participating at the end. I never went back and read the intervening 20 pages. Nor did my follow-on participation seem to suffer from lack of context. With that unplanned experiment fresh in our minds. …
If those two threads close and two new ones pop up the next minute we’ll be fine. The folks who were intimidated by thinking they needed to read a 30-page thread before posting will be more welcomed. The folks who already read all 30 pages as they were written still have the context in their head (for what very little that’s worth). And anyone can quote from those threads of they desire.

Sounds like win-win to me.

Anyone who really analyses the content of those two threads will see it’s pretty much a play-by-play history of the news cycle for the last few months and the immediate tactical reactions by posters to what they see. The specifics of which pundit made what comment about which candidate statement back in May 2016 is 99% irrelevant to a discussion now, in almost Oct 2016, about what some pundit said this morning about what some candidate said last night.

Recognize also that these two threads were born out of the *de facto *clinching of the nominations. They in turn replaced earlier threads about the primary process. Thread replacement cycles are normal.
Bottom line: shorter threads are more inviting to people that haven’t been in the thread since the OP. Simple as that. That doesn’t mean we should cut off all threads at 5 posts. But maybe about page 30 (or 146(!) for Trump) and month 5 it’s time to retire the old tired one and launch a product refresh.

Two thumbs up for the mods taking the initiative and for giving a few day’s warning. That way there’s no accusations that either thread was shut down over some late-breaking development.

True enough, there are times when I want to engage a thread and then I see a large page count since I last checked in and just say fuck it, I’m not reading that. Especially since this is the dope and multiple page runs in a day or two are usually indicative of one person dominating the thread with garbage and several others arguing with him/her.

At some point you just think “ok, I’ll have to wade through lots of crap and chances are that few if anyone will notice my post.”

I suppose I should add, that even if would be “friendlier” to new people*, that is itself insufficient reason to close a thread with active, pertinent participation.

*Still unproven.

Unproven, sure, but here’s a data point:

The SRIOTD thread in the Pit is seven and a half years old, and has over 31K posts. Once in a while, to my great amusement, a newbie will join the board, hop onto the tail end of the thread, and respond to something that had been written on the FIRST page.

My hobby, when I encounter one of these newbie contributions, is to admonish the newcomer that we’re looking forward to his thoughts on each of the posts that have been submitted. And a warning that it may take him a bit of time. Trust me, it’s hilarious.

In hindsight, perhaps it would have been a good idea to start a new SRIOTD thread each year.

As for the thread discussed in the OP, I certainly have no intention of trying to catch up with it from the beginning, and in fact, I tend to only venture into it when it is referenced and linked to from another thread.

I’d also point out that by “newbie” I mean somebody new to the thread, not necessarily new to the SDMB. When I first notice a thread already 5 pages long, my reaction is generally “too hard for me”. Maybe I’m a minority of one in this, but I doubt it.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen here a decision by the admins to close down an active popular thread, that has already resisted/bypassed some attempts at shorter term threads, and then have the mods start their own replacement thread.

Same post in the Hillary campaign thread. So have John and tom finalized whether we have two threads or not? Or will the “stretch run” thread be expected to encompass both? Will the Johnson and Stein campaign threads also be closed? Personally, this comes out of left field. The “natural life span” of those threads would seem to me to be the entirety of the campaigns under discussion.

I agree with you. The threads that are going to be closed are still actively participated in, have for the most part remained on topic, and have a natural life span that extends a bit beyond election day.

This is pre-emptive modding that serves no useful purpose.

Well their stated reason is that it makes it “friendlier to new people” but that seems totally pulled out of their butt because I certainly haven’t seen way more new posters in short new threads than older longer threads.

I don’t think these campaign threads are comparable to years old mega threads like SRIOTD or even “controversal interactions with police” or whatever the hell it’s called. The campaign threads are about one ongoing topic that does indeed have a natural end date - the election. I know some people don’t like mega-threads and I get their objections. The objection to the campaign threads is “there’s only a month to go and this’ll attract new posters”, I do not get.

Already a thread started here. Reported for a merge.

And since when did we start being friendly to new people, anyway?

Moderator Note

I have merged two threads together since they deal with the same topic. The original thread titles were Thread Euthanasia in Elections and Don’t close the [blank’s] Presidential Campaign threads.

Hopefully this won’t cause too much confusion.

I agree with the decision and LSLGuy’s comments. Once a thread gets past a certain length, I tend to stop participating in it. I figure that unless I’ve been involved all along there’s not much point in trying to follow it. I checked out of both of those threads about 6 weeks ago.

I strongly support closing both the Clinton and Trump threads. They’re too long, which causes separate new threads to be opened on minor topics, adding to the glut of the forum

But that’s an argument against any mega-thread, an argument which has already been lost. For some reason these two threads are being made an exception.

Right, it is an argument against all mega-threads.

I find all mega-threads useless and don’t bother reading them. For instance, I long ago gave up on the thread about voter ID because it has become a stats battle between Bricker and Bryan. I respect both of them as posters, but find the thread of no interest whatsoever.

Same with the one about police violence, although it’s different posters.

I think both topics are of crucial importance, but have zero interest in trying to keep up with those threads.

As for the battle being lost, who knows? Perhaps the action here with these two threads suggests that the mods are re-examining the value of mega-threads. :wink:

And just how does that help to welcome newbies to the boards, or new posters to the thread?

How does that help to encourage posters to contribute?

Perhaps it’s a new policy direction … I agree with the decision … I’m not going to read 7,200 previous posts just to make sure I’m not posting something that has already been posted 2,000 times. These long threads just wind up being two sides relentlessly bickering with each other typically. Once a thread has gone down the rabbit hole nothing but force-feeding it mushrooms will change the direction.