August 28th, 2009, 12:38 PM
Improving the organization of threads
I know I'm fairly new here, but I think it would be good if this forum started to standarize how book discussion threads are created. First I would suggest some sort of template for thread titles, something like: "Book Tittle (Series Name) by Author". Doesn't have to be that necessarily, but some standard naming scheme would be good, ex. "Empire in Black and Gold (Shadows of the Apt) by Adrian Tchaikovsky". If a thread title doesn't comform to this, then a mod should rename it accordingly.
The benefit of this is that even if other subtopic threads are created in the future, there will always be a main/general/parent discussion thread for the respective book. In the case of a subtopic thread being created, some sort of tag preceding the desired thread title with the name of a book series or the name of a book would be good in my opinion (though not necessary), like "Shadows of the Apt: Technology vs. Magic".
What this would also do, is not limit the "parent book discussion thread" to a single topic, since at times it gets a bit awkward depending on the topic of choice of the OP.
This help in various ways. First, I think the forum itself would look a bit better, more clean, and organized. Secondly, it should diminish the creation of unnecessary threads, and in the case of one of unnecessary thread being created, it would be quite easy to find an adequate thread to merge it to. Thirdly, as such it should reduce a bit of the clutter in the forum (quite evident when you're using the search function). Fourthly, it would improve the tool of sorting threads in alphabetical order to find threads of interests.
As an aside, it would be good to exhort members that when they create a book discussion thread to provide some relevant information in the first post, like the book title, author, maybe a picture of a cover, a plot description, some links for more information, etc. Other than improving the look of the forum, it would give threads a more professional feel and hopefully improve the discussions that ensue in the thread. I don't know, I think it's kinda lazy when people start threads like "I'm currently reading The Warded Man. Who else?" And nothing else in the OP. And as mentioned above, it would eliminate pretty much the awkwardness that some first posts produce in threads that over time have become the "general discussion thread" of a particular book/series.
Am I alone in this?
I realize that it can be a bit of more work for the mods, but I've worked with vbulletin before and renaming threads it's quite easy with the double click function (I don't know if this forum has that). With a bit of patience, in time I think the bit of work will pay off with the better organization and hopefully improvement in discussions. Think of it as leading by example, and as this behavior becomes more consistent other members should fall in line.
I also think that all thread titles should at least have the first letter in upper case, and also think that book titles, proper names, etc. should have proper capitalization. This is just a bit of a pet peeve of mine, but it does make the forums look better.
Thoughts, comments, ideas?
PS. I only frequent the Fantasy section at the moment. I don't know how other forum sections operate. And I hope this is looked as a constructive criticism rather than a complaint, since I've been enjoying my stay here.
Last edited by Bastard; August 28th, 2009 at 12:45 PM.