What if Pit threads didn't show up under "New Posts"?

I’m not sure if this is even possible, but what about if Pit threads did not display by default in the “New Posts” list. The Pit is fine for what it is, but not everyone here is into what goes on in the Pit. For someone who is just interested in general knowledge and mundane chatting, the Pit threads can be offputting. Even if someone stays out of the Pit, the threads are still shown in the “New Posts” listing.

An obvious response is that controversial topics are all over the board. While that is true, the threads are more about the topic rather than trading personal insults, put downs, cursing, etc. Even though those things are limited to the Pit, since they show up in “New Posts”, anyone using that feature is still exposed to them.

If someone isn’t into the threads that are in the Pit, they aren’t being forced to open, read or respond to them. Is there something about the thread titles themselves that are particularly offensive?

My thinking is towards board viability. Some people will find those threads offensive and they will have a lower opinion of the board and less desire to be on it. Some of the discussions in the Pit end up with people saying they’re leaving the board because of how heated the discussion got. If those threads didn’t show up in “New Posts”, those people may never have seen the thread, never got involved in the discussion, and never would have left.

Conversely, it can probably be argued that having Pit threads in “New Posts” keeps some people around. Maybe they like those kinds of controversial posts and are more likely to stay on the board longer. If the threads didn’t automatically show up, they might not go into the Pit manually and not be as engaged with the board.

My guess is that the board membership would be improved overall by making the Pit something that people had to manually go into in order to see the threads.

But I don’t think many(if any) have said they left because of how heated conversations got in the Pit.

I’d be curious to see how many users, particularly new users, browse the dope by going to the “New Posts” link.

I use the “New Posts” link exclusively. I also find that some of the most dynamic and interesting discussions occur in Pit threads. Personally, I’d be quite disgruntled if Pit threads were removed from the “New Posts” feature.

I’d like this change a lot. “New Posts” is probably the primary way I browse the SDMB. It shouldn’t be that hard to implement either. It looks like it’s just using the search function, which already has a way to filter by forum.

Exactly my position. The proposed change would disappoint me.

That’s how I do it. And then I look to the right. If it’s in the political debates forum or contains the name of a politician in the title, then I scroll right on down. I work hard to keep my blood pressure at a nice low set of numbers. I find it particularly easy to scroll on past something that doesn’t interest me.

Probably a lot of people fade away for a lot of reasons and they never mention it. But I can’t help that threads like these in the PIt turn people away who want something more lighthearted and casual:

I think it’s fine to have those discussions, but, to me, they seem at odds with the rest of the board. For someone looking for a place to hang around and have fun discussions, they may be turned off by seeing threads like those. It gives the impression that the board is more contentious than it is. If SDMB was the only board around they might stick around because it’s the best place to be, but that’s not the case anymore.

Also, showing them in “New Posts” might give the impression that those kinds of discussions are allowed everywhere in the board. While it’s true that the forum is listed on the right side of the “New Posts” listing, not everyone is going to check that. If they just scan the first column, they’ll see those threads in with all the other threads. Having those threads just show up if you manually went into the Pit would make it more clear that those kinds of comments are only allowed there.

I probably click New Posts and/or User CP 200 times for every time I click on a single forum. I much prefer it that way, especially since some of the threads that I read aren’t in forums where I’d find them otherwise.

However, there was at one point, I think, a way you could do what the OP was asking about. Some URL you could use that would give you all the new posts except certain forums (or the opposite, new posts from a set of forums). Then you can favorite it and use the bookmark instead of New Posts.

Here, give this a shot:


That should do a search of new posts, excluding the pit. Hover over forum names to get their number from the URL and add other forums to the end of that separated by commas.

The mobile view, at least in portrait mode, doesn’t include the forum column in the “New Posts” results page.

I would not support this change. I do not think the Pit is that much different from other forums that people need to be protected from it.

I would support a feature where each individual user could select which forums’ posts do or do not show up under New Posts. But I suspect this is not possible with the board’s software.

If you only want to see posts in certain forums, just go to those particular forums.


Copy and paste that link somewhere (if you do it in the URL, don’t hit ‘go’ just yet, unless you want to try it out first). That will give you new posts from all forums except The Pit. You can add other forums to it by getting the numbers and adding them to the URL with commas (ie …$exclude=5,13,41).
Once you have that figured out, you can bookmark the link and use that instead of the New Posts button.

This. If you don’t like a post because it’s in the Pit, don’t open it.

Having said this, I wonder how hard it would be for TPTB to enable a feature that lets you ignore an entire forum? The Giraffe Boards have that feature.

I would love to be able to specify which forums get included or disinclined when I hit “New Posts”. I would not be excluding the Pit, I’d be leaving off Game Room and Thread Games, which I simply don’t care about.

What skin are you using? They display just fine for me in portrait using Straight Dope v3.7.3.

Ooh, nice! :slight_smile:

Thread games is another forum some of us don’t want to follow–its forum number is 40.