How good are you at predicting a thread's success?

When you see a new thread title that catches your interest enough to do a mouseover and get the impression that it’s just not your cup of tea, how often does that thread go on to get pages of replies?

How often are you right that it will die without response?

I would have done a poll but that would have defeated the purpose.

As you’ve intimated, there is a skill in composing a title and an OP that will draw people in.

For topics which I’m interested in - pretty good. For example, I predict that this thread will get at least one response. :slight_smile:

For subjects that I don’t enjoy - like sports - I wouldn’t have a clue. Looking at some recent threads, one titled Sons of anarchy 11-16 is meaningless to me, so I’ve no idea whether it will take off.

Thanks, my friend, for treating the subject with some seriousness. I find that my ability to predict is totally random. Many times the topic is only barely recognizable or of even slight interest so I will pass by on the other side, only to come back a few hours or days later and see that dozens to hundreds of others are totally wrapped up with the concept. Then there are those I would expect lots of interest and conversation about that are devoid of replies and have garnered very few views.

I rate my predicting skills as very weak. Maybe 2-3 on a scale of 10 (high)

Going by our joint past history, I’d say we are better at predicting which threads won’t succeed.

I’m really good at it. Generally I only need to comment once and the thread dies.

RIP How good are you at predicting a thread’s success? thread


I don’t know, amigo. I wouldn’t have given this one much of a chance! :slight_smile:

I’m excellent within a certain limited range. I.e. if I start it, it will die quickly.

There, there.

Some things are easy. Any thread title that refers, in any way, to the truth or falsehood of any religious belief will generate a many-page long thread.

Another factor is simply timing, when you post and how many are on to see the thread.

I remember a thread last year, the OP was puzzled as why his thread had only 2-3 answers/low views and a thread on the same topic(news story, I think) garnered many answers/ large numbers of views.

The first thread was posted mid-day on Thanksgiving, the second was the following morning.

Good points. I also sense that who started the thread may have something to do with how popular/successful it’s going to be. As a case in point, there’s a recent one called “Mike Hunt” that’s quite active. I’ve had the urge to start one like that with nothing but a trigger word or phrase as a title and hope that others would jump on board and contribute like they have in that thread. I even started to add to the list with some of my favorites but decided not to.

There’s also the notion of “an idea whose time has come” in play, I believe.

I never know, I started the can Prince Charles take any name he wants thread. I thought, “OK this will be answered in two or three posts, with a few comments about how he’ll never make king.” Total maybe 10 replies. It’s like three pages. Who knew that would interest people that much.

To be honest, I didn’t think this thread would get as many replies as it has.

On the flip side, there are those threads that I thought might get up to 50 replies (one page for my settings) so I have replied to them with some comment or other so I can keep up with their progress by way of a vanity search on my name. After they have moved into the third or more pages of replies I begin to regret posting to them because I wasn’t really all that interested to start with.

I have never “subscribed” to a thread nor fixed it so I would be notified when new replies come in. That might solve the problem for me in those relatively rare cases where I don’t care to see more about the topic.

Does anybody subscribe to threads? Can you “unsubscribe” when the boredom threshold is crossed? Can you fix it so a thread won’t appear in a vanity search?
Or is it your doom that if you have replied to it you’re going to be strapped with that for the rest of your time on the board?

Yes, I frequently subscribe to threads. There are some that I am interested in, but for various reasons, don’t want to participate in. And yes, you can unsubscribe if you want to.

Thanks! I may try that next time I see something I’d like to follow but don’t want to post to.

ETA: I don’t want to waste another thread, or even another post, but do you think there would be interest in a thread that’s just for posting random ideas that don’t follow some theme or another?

^ That’s pretty much what the MMP is for.

And, actually, I didn’t really think this thread would be bad until I noticed you guys assuming it would be. I think that discourages people.

In the 11 years I’ve been a member, I’ve never started a thread that got as many as 250 replies, and only had five that have exceeded 100 replies. So, I don’t need to mouseover a thread, or even read the title. If I see my name as the OP, I can predict its failue with >95% accuracy.