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Subform consolidation and closure

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    Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,100 johnnyskeleton


    Hi Folks, as some of you are aware, therr has been a fair bit of discussion around the subforums and whether they are still of use.

    We are going to try to return a lot of the threads into the main forum and ultimately be left with two, or maybe 3, subforums at the most.

    As a general plan, we would propose to do something along these lines:

    1. Northern Ireland and Political Theory may be be phased out in the coming weeks and so any new threads that would have gone into those forums can now be opened in the Main forum.

    3. Live threads can be moved over shortly and we can put tags on them if that makes it easier to see them.

    4. Any older threads in those forums can be moved over whenever suits the Admins (I understand for the larger subforums this can be a time consuming process). The older threads will not need to be tagged.

    5. Elections and Referendums will stay as it is, but will be intended to deal with topical referendums etc. So when people post general threads about, for example, the benefits of PR vs. FPP or the long running abortion thread, these will be put into the main forum.

    6. Because Irish Economy may be more difficult to merge, you can start an economy related thread in either the Main forum or the Irish Economy forum and it will be a work in progress.

    7. European Union and US Politics threads will be kept where they are for the moment but will eventually be merged into the new International Politics subforum, so in the interim any international politics threads can be started in the main forum or in either of these two forums. we may have to close them for the international forum to be opened as a new forum, or we may be able to pick one and rename it as international and go from there.

    That is the provisional plan and subject to change. But before we start chopping and changing, Posters' feedback would be most welcome. Specifically, if there are good reasons not to consolidate some of the forums now is the time to let us know.


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Comments

  • #2


    I didn't even know there was a Northern Ireland subforum.

    I hope Irish Economy never merges with the main forum; although maybe its name could be changed to "Political Economy", so it could better incorporate the the politics of the Eurozone, the global economy and international monetary policy?

    All of the various merges and closures sound good to me anyway.


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    Irish Economy and Northern Ireland were both formed because of high volume of posts and threads on those particular issues at one time or another. Going on post volumes that isn't an issue any more.

    Speaking personally, I can see a case for economy but the overall quality of posts isn't there to justify keeping it IMO. I also think there are a few regular enough posters there who don't post much elsewhere so moving it might encourage crossover to other threads. It would still be a popular enough category so would be visible in the main forum.

    That would be my reasoning on international, EU and US would have some prolonged quiet periods and might get a bit lost in the main forum so a separate forum would help. Russian, Middle Eastern etc. stuff would keep it active and topical enough.

    N.I. would be held to a much higher standard than the cafe, the cafe would be for those more interested in high volume, rapid fire stuff!

    Elections and Referenda would be for exactly those things, pretty dead other than those times but would help the main forum during those busy times.


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    PS. We'd be hoping to do a tidy up and big slimming down on the charter as well.


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    Would NI not justify its own thread?
    Or bebpart of 'International politics'?

    The main forum is so low traffic that NI stuff will dominate it.

    If NI is to be in the main forum, can the threads be flagged accordingly so as to make finding them (or avoiding them) easier?


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    If you mean a N.I. superthread, wouldn't be for that at all, topics would get lost.

    We'd expect a much higher standard than elsewhere, tbh I think the cafe is a better fit for most N.I. stuff due to the nature of politics there.

    As for where to put it, that's one it doesn't matter where we put it, we're on a loser on that anyway!

    Tags will be applied so that's sorted.


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    I agree with permabear

    Too many sub-forums spoil the broth (or something)


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    It isn't really just all about post volume though.


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    The Irish Economy thread is busier than the Mathematics and Economics forums, and nobody wants to get rid of those, happily.

    If you mix the Irish Economy and politics forums together, you will lose that political economy theme, and threads will tend to be even more consumed by political opinions and less of a positivist economic focus than they already are.

    I don't see the point of having a single busy forum. If you don't post in Irish Economy because you cannot be bothered to click, or because we your audience are too few in number, it's probably better if you keep to your economic opinions to yourself anyway.


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    Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Politics is the art of the possible, so that possibility has not been foreclosed. At present there is benefit to closing some of the quieter subforums and trying to increase main forum traffic. If that works well we can look at further changes. If it doesnt work well nothing is irreversible.

    On the basis that subforums are beneficial to deal with sudden surges of traffic we should keep the elections & referndums subforum open, at least until after the GE.

    On the basis that there is a clear divide between domestic politics and international politics, and some people who have an interest in international affairs have no interest in domestic issues, we are going to merge US and EU and expand to cover all world topics, in the hope that the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.

    Irish Economy is a work in progress.

    But Theory is uncontroversial and NI will hopefully transition well.

    I like to use the expression folding eggs into a souffle, but Ive been told I would make a lousy pastry chef.


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    It's 2 forums really with E&R just for that.

    Plus if International is going to be that quiet, well it would hardly have much impact on the main forum.

    Anyway, will be easy to merge if needs be.


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    Preserving quality of threads should be the main focus for topics like the economy and politics. I notice the busier these get, they quickly descend into drivel.


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    I think the NI forum should be kept as is. The NI threads tend to be a trainwreck which is why they were given a seperate forum in the first place. I think the politics forum has been better off for their absence.


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    Don't see why it should be singled out.

    We can also move threads to the cafe.


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    I think the NI forum should be kept as is. The NI threads tend to be a trainwreck which is why they were given a seperate forum in the first place. I think the politics forum has been better off for their absence.

    I'd agree - the NI subforum was created for a reason, and the main forum benefited. That said, Politics Cafe exists now so may draw off most of it in any case. Closing the NI forum might actually assist in moving the "banter" to the Politics Cafe.

    I agree on merging the Irish Economy, Political Theory and European Union forums. I wouldn't merge the US forum. The topics discussed there will simply not get airtime elsewhere. Its low traffic, but interesting.

    I don't follow the logic of keeping the elections and referendums sub-forum to cover topical referendums. A topical referendum by definition is a topical political issue, so should be (and will be) discussed in the main forum.


  • #2


    Sand wrote: »
    I don't follow the logic of keeping the elections and referendums sub-forum to cover topical referendums. A topical referendum by definition is a topical political issue, so should be (and will be) discussed in the main forum.

    It stops the main forum being overrun during the elections. The alternative is to have an elections megatread/merge, but that is not fair. Usually there will be a dozen or more active debates around an election, and that could easily take up the main page of the Main forum.

    So the subforum is like a marquee to be used whenever there are additional festivities so that the regular bar trade is not adversely affected.


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    The only issue I have with NI related stuff, and ye know I'm usually in favour of incredibly lax moderation in general, is when threads about other topics get hijacked by silly IRA debates. Both sides are definitely at fault here (why using the deliberately provocative phrase "SF/IRA" to refer to all Sinn Fein politicians isn't banned is completely beyond me, tbh) but I feel that shutting down the NI forum would potentially compound this problem.

    To use a rather graphic analogy, if you put a guy with a hideously infectious disease through an aeroplane engine, you get rid of the guy but you spread his poison over a wide area. :pac:


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    It stops the main forum being overrun during the elections. The alternative is to have an elections megatread/merge, but that is not fair. Usually there will be a dozen or more active debates around an election, and that could easily take up the main page of the Main forum.

    So the subforum is like a marquee to be used whenever there are additional festivities so that the regular bar trade is not adversely affected.

    I see, but I don't agree. The main politics forum suffers from the popular topics being parcelled off into subforums. That's why they're being integrated again. I would just see the dozen active election debates as being just the focus of political discussions for that month or two.


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    Sand wrote: »
    I see, but I don't agree. The main politics forum suffers from the popular topics being parcelled off into subforums. That's why they're being integrated again. I would just see the dozen active election debates as being just the focus of political discussions for that month or two.

    Well its certainly an open issue and we can see how it goes. Maybe we will look at it again after the 2016 election?

    In other news, the Admin Destructor fleet is going to roll into town tomorrow and smash a number of the subforums into pieces. So dont be alarmed if strange things happen with threads being moved etc


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    In other news, the Admin Destructor fleet is going to roll into town tomorrow and smash a number of the subforums into pieces. So dont be alarmed if strange things happen with threads being moved etc

    Apparently the Dentrassi cooks have stopped to pick up some hitchhikers, so the scheduled demolition has been put on hold! Will update as soon as I know more.


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    Apparently the Dentrassi cooks have stopped to pick up some hitchhikers, so the scheduled demolition has been put on hold! Will update as soon as I know more.

    Planned for Tuesday now.


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    I think the NI forum should be kept as is. The NI threads tend to be a trainwreck which is why they were given a seperate forum in the first place. I think the politics forum has been better off for their absence.

    Better moderation will sort that out


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    The northern thread has been a disaster. Firstly, the immediate vibe it gives is "piss off nordie scum, real politics ends at dundalk." Perhaps that wasnt the intention behind it but that's what it does. My use of the main politics forum rapidly declined after it was imposed.
    Secondly, many, if not the majority of issues in it, are all-Ireland issues, not northern ones.
    Some people are complaining about the threads being trainwrecks and in the Cafe that's largely true because of the actions of a few posters. The main politics forum as we know has much stricter moderation and expects a much higher standard, so that should sort that out.
    The complaint that adding "northern" (and I use quotations because again, the majority of them are all Ireland issues) topics to the main forum will bring too much traffic is bull. God forbid there'd be a lot of discussion on a discussion board. If you've no interest in a certain topic you simply dont go into that thread. it's as simple as that.

    TLDR - The sooner it's gotten rid of the better


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    The northern thread has been a disaster. Firstly, the immediate vibe it gives is "piss off nordie scum, real politics ends at dundalk." Perhaps that wasnt the intention behind it but that's what it does. My use of the main politics forum rapidly declined after it was imposed.
    Secondly, many, if not the majority of issues in it, are all-Ireland issues, not northern ones.
    Some people are complaining about the threads being trainwrecks and in the Cafe that's largely true because of the actions of a few posters. The main politics forum as we know has much stricter moderation and expects a much higher standard, so that should sort that out.
    The complaint that adding "northern" (and I use quotations because again, the majority of them are all Ireland issues) topics to the main forum will bring too much traffic is bull. God forbid there'd be a lot of discussion on a discussion board. If you've no interest in a certain topic you simply dont go into that thread. it's as simple as that.

    TLDR - The sooner it's gotten rid of the better

    I disagree. The level of moderation was always high and didn't solve the problem. Those threads always end up as a slagging match with posters trying to one up each other and rarely stay on topic. They were dragging the main politics forum down.


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    I disagree. The level of moderation was always high and didn't solve the problem. Those threads always end up as a slagging match with posters trying to one up each other and rarely stay on topic. They were dragging the main politics forum down.

    Because of a small handful of posters. Ban them; problem solved


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    Because of a small handful of posters. Ban them; problem solved

    It isn't that simple. We can't ban someone simply for expressing an opinion barring racism, homophobia, etc. All we mods do is enforce the charter. Beyond that, it's up to the posters.

    I've only just started moderating Politics and its associated subforums. I don't have a huge amount of experience with the Northern Ireland forum but, like the marriage referendum it's a topic which is very emotional for some people. If you do see something that you feel breaches the charter, please do report it. It makes things easier for us and alerts us immediately when there is a problem.


  • #2


    It isn't that simple. We can't ban someone simply for expressing an opinion barring racism, homophobia, etc. All we mods do is enforce the charter. Beyond that, it's up to the posters.

    I've only just started moderating Politics and its associated subforums. I don't have a huge amount of experience with the Northern Ireland forum but, like the marriage referendum it's a topic which is very emotional for some people. If you do see something that you feel breaches the charter, please do report it. It makes things easier for us and alerts us immediately when there is a problem.

    Where did I suggest banning people for an opinion?? :confused:

    Im talking about taking a stricter view of things that are clearly not discussion. Deliberate attempts to wind up, insults, accusations that others are "bots" etc... basically all the stuff that takes the debate off into trench warfare territory.


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