How are the forum categories working?

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JerichoHill
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How are the forum categories working?

Postby JerichoHill » Wed May 30, 2007 2:27 pm

Just a general question? Are they meeting all your needs, or are we missing something? Please let us know here.

Also, I know the mods and JD haven't had to do a whole bunch in relation to the site, and that's a good thing. Keep in mind that this is a new venture here, but let us know what your expectations are. Feedback's always great.
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Postby jdroth » Wed May 30, 2007 3:20 pm

Thanks for posting this, JH. (I never know what to call you here -- I'll just call you JH.) Any feedback for how to improve the forums is always appreciated. I've been busy the past few weeks, so haven't been able to devote as much time to GRS in general, and the forums specifically, as I'd like. I'm pleased that you all seem to have seen fit to help each other out!

I'm still going to be pretty busy until August. I'll do the first GRS writing project then ("What's your best financial success story" or something simialr), and non-bloggers will participate by posting here, which should add a few more regular participants.

Thanks for hanging out here, everyone! Let us know if there are any changes you'd like to see!

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Postby nickel » Wed May 30, 2007 5:24 pm

I like it the way it is, but I've always been a proponent of simplicity. I really haven't seen individual forums go way off topic, and I doubt there's enough coverage of any individual subtopic to subdivide further (yet, anyway). It's certainly not overwhelming -- usually when I check in there are 1-5 threads in a forum with a new post, so it's not like anything is getting buried.

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Postby plonkee » Thu May 31, 2007 1:29 am

I agree with nickel, the categories are simple and there doesn't seem to be any topic that needs splitting off into its own category.

I think it'll probably be obvious when you should split off a new topic - perhaps an extension of using the force 8) :roll:
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Postby tinyhands » Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:17 pm

Nuts- I thought I had a good idea 2 weeks ago, but I've been so busy I can't recall. It'll come back to me.
Read my 'fiscal fitness' financial disclosures <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=176">here</a>.

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Postby Dollar Bill » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:13 am

I don’t have an answer, but I do have a few questions:

Would a Smack-down forum be appropriate for contributors who have need to resolve personal differences, rather than in the context of otherwise interesting topic threads?

Would such a forum become a free-for-all, further leading to the degeneration of all the boards?

In general, would one thoughtful post per contributor per thread (or at least per page) lead to more diverse, interesting and, presumably, beneficial analysis of topics?

With regrets to all who may take offense,

Bill

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Postby plonkee » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:37 am

In general, would one thoughtful post per contributor per thread (or at least per page) lead to more diverse, interesting and, presumably, beneficial analysis of topics?


IMHO no, it wouldn't. The best threads (in general) often have a few people having a conversation, learning from each other and clarifying what they mean. Quite often, if I've said something in response to someone else then I want them to comment on what I've said.

Would a Smack-down forum be appropriate for contributors who have need to resolve personal differences, rather than in the context of otherwise interesting topic threads?

Would such a forum become a free-for-all, further leading to the degeneration of all the boards?


Excellent idea. Unfortunately, I'm always of the opinion that my resolving of personal differences on a thread is never OT :wink: . I bet I'm not the only one who doesn't act rationally at the point where it might be most required :twisted: .
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Postby brad » Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:14 am

In every board or discussion group I've participated in, there's always a few people who are provocateurs and always a few people who take the bait. Vehement disagreements and even name-calling are inevitable. I think the issue of off-topic rants and arguments is handled here by the "General Discussion" area; in another board that I frequent it's called "The Virtual Pub." When arguments shift things too far off topic and get too heated, the Mod Squad can either lock the thread or move the entire thread to the pub or general discussion.

My view is that provocateurs and trolls are looking (whether consciously or unconsciously) for people to debate with, and the best approach is to ignore their statements that are designed to arouse reactions and focus instead on the substance of their argument. If they don't get the desired rise out of people they will either go elsewhere or stop trying to provoke a reaction. But there will always be people who cannot let an extreme statement go unchallenged and thus reward the provocateurs for their behavior, encouraging them to continue to provoke.

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Postby nickel » Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:01 am

Virtual pissing matches are best dealt with via moderation. For example, the recent pf101 vs. Rush showdown probably should've been locked before it got as far as it did. This is how we run things on the MBN Forums, and it definitely keeps things civil. While it's annoying to have to police things, troublemakers ultimately go away if they're not allowed to stir the pot too much.

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Postby jdroth » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:00 am

Yeah, I'm going to have to learn what the boundaries should be and when to enforce them. That's not something I've ever had to do before. I wrote a <i>huge</i> reply to Rush and pf detailing how they were both perpetuating the problem, but then I close the darn window. (Though I compose my blog entries outside the browser, I haven't learned to do that for forum posts.)

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Postby tinyhands » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:19 am

How about a "Case Studies" area that is reserved for detailed/in-depth analysis of a Personal (capital P) finance subject? Participants would need to use real numbers and investments with specificity. Caveat and disclosure of non-professional (where applicable) advice would have to be all over it. I imagine there would be a lot of question & answer (for details left out) requiring active participation of the questioner. At some point, I also imagine that the case study would need to arrive at a consensus decision (or summary of decisions) at which point the thread would be locked against further debate.

I'm reminded of the case studies I was doing in graduate school last year, as compared to some of the questions that get asked either here or in the recent rIRA comments. For example, an MBA case study would never ask simplified/generalized questions (Should I invest my Roth in XYZ mutual fund?) without giving the details of someone's overall portfolio, risk tolerance, timeline, etc. plus the details of XYZ mutual fund, alternatives, and other considerations. There are too many unknowns in many of the questions being asked now that I fear wearing out the "it depends" key on my keyboard.
Read my 'fiscal fitness' financial disclosures <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=176">here</a>.

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Postby plonkee » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:49 am

I fear wearing out the "it depends" key on my keyboard


Slightly OT, but wouldn't it be great to have this as a real key.
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Postby pf101 » Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:40 am

tinyhands wrote:How about a "Case Studies" area that is reserved for detailed/in-depth analysis of a Personal (capital P) finance subject? Participants would need to use real numbers and investments with specificity. Caveat and disclosure of non-professional (where applicable) advice would have to be all over it. I imagine there would be a lot of question & answer (for details left out) requiring active participation of the questioner. At some point, I also imagine that the case study would need to arrive at a consensus decision (or summary of decisions) at which point the thread would be locked against further debate.

I'm reminded of the case studies I was doing in graduate school last year, as compared to some of the questions that get asked either here or in the recent rIRA comments. For example, an MBA case study would never ask simplified/generalized questions (Should I invest my Roth in XYZ mutual fund?) without giving the details of someone's overall portfolio, risk tolerance, timeline, etc. plus the details of XYZ mutual fund, alternatives, and other considerations. There are too many unknowns in many of the questions being asked now that I fear wearing out the "it depends" key on my keyboard.


I think this is a great idea and personally I would love it since I love digging into the nitty gritty (particularly with budgets). It may be hard to implement though because some people just don't really want to go into that level of detail, particularly in a public forum when it's attached to a name that could be tracked back to them.

Would there be a way to make that one particular form anon so that people can ask questions/give details in a user name other than the one they use on other forums? I would hate to see the entire board have anon abilities because I think people should be held accountable for the things they say, but for just that one section it might be useful. Even the smartest people sometimes make stupid mistakes or need help, but they don't always want to admit that.

I've been posting on another finance board for years and I often used to get private e-mails from other regs asking delicate questions that they didn't want to ask in public.

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Postby JerichoHill » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:19 am

plonkee wrote:Excellent idea. Unfortunately, I'm always of the opinion that my resolving of personal differences on a thread is never OT :wink: . I bet I'm not the only one who doesn't act rationally at the point where it might be most required :twisted: .


I would be in favor of an Off-Topic area. General Discussion isn't approaching Off-Topic with regards to finances and stuff, we should just have a random chatter area.

That way, if discussions between posters start sidetracking a thread, we can move them over there to OT where their discussion continues, and folks can keep reading their discussion (could be interesting) but could choose not too as well.
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Postby JerichoHill » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:22 am

nickel wrote:Virtual pissing matches are best dealt with via moderation. For example, the recent pf101 vs. Rush showdown probably should've been locked before it got as far as it did. This is how we run things on the MBN Forums, and it definitely keeps things civil. While it's annoying to have to police things, troublemakers ultimately go away if they're not allowed to stir the pot too much.


I'd rather use my BANNING FIST OF DOOM on folks who aren't just passionately debating something where trolling could be occuring. Yes, it may have gotten a little crazy, but, they were still putting thought into the posts despite ramming heads together. Whether moderating a panel or moderating residents as an RA or moderating a forum, I've like to let things flow. Most folks just need to be told to calm down a bit.

And if not...



:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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