Author Topic: Locked topics  (Read 2871 times)

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Offline stevea

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Locked topics
« on: January 23, 2008, 03:09:47 am »
I have noticed that two topics have been locked recently. I thought the whole point of a forum was to provide debate, praise and accept criticism - with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure!  Everybody has their personal opinions and it is impossible to please all the time.  :icon_scratch:
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Locked topics
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 06:29:27 am »
I have noticed that two topics have been locked recently. I thought the whole point of a forum was to provide debate, praise and accept criticism - with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure!  Everybody has their personal opinions and it is impossible to please all the time.  :icon_scratch:

Hi Steve,

Many forum programmes used for community sites where discussion is moderated have the lock facility built into them. It enables forum moderators to lock a thread if it is felt that the discussion has run its course, or where it has lost the original focus following the introduction of other issues.

This was the case with the Welham Green by-election thread where it had moved from a thread about the event to a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of one particular party to the Heathrow crash. In that case I discussed this with the moderators. One felt it should be left open, but three of us (including me) felt it should be locked, so I took the decision to lock it anyway.

Usually, it's possible for moderators to split and merge posts in threads in order to start fresh discussions if other issues are introduced. However, in the case of the Welham Green by-election thread this was difficult because it would have meant losing a couple of posts. (I am still trying to figure out how to split an individual post so that parts of it can live in different threads).

I feel it is right to continue to allow the moderators to lock threads if they feel they have run their course.

However there is another issue. I have also set the options in the forum administration panel to allow individual users to lock their own posts (but not the posts of others). This option was used in the thread about the fox and the chickens. Forum users can:

Delete posts: This allows a user to remove their own post but does not allow a user to delete the first post of a topic. (Not all forums allow this)

Modify posts: This allows users to change the wording of their own post only. When they do, an edit time stamp is added if the edit is made after 300 seconds. This is so that people have time to change typos or the content. The time stamp exists to help keep a record of the changes in a discussion if there is reactive editing (edits made after someone else has posted a reply). (Many forums allow this)

Lock topic: Users can remove a topic they started. This is done if the person who started the discussion feels it has run its course or been sidetracked. However, moderators can still post in that topic and can remove the lock if it is felt that the discussion should continue. Other users can also request that topic is unlocked. (Not all forums allow this).

I am discussing changing the user functions with the team of moderators if users feel they should not be allowed to lock their own threads (we have an admin section and forum thread where we natter about theses things).

However I still feel it is valuable for the moderators to have the option to lock discussions if needed.

David
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Locked topics
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2008, 07:56:35 am »
Thanks for the information David.

In the meantime, if anybody criticises my topic - I will lock it - so there! ;D
 

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Re: Locked topics
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 06:50:43 pm »
Hi everyone,

Been discussing this with the moderators and the feeling is that it is unfair to allow someone who starts a thread to lock it after others have contributed, so we are going to change that setting and only the moderators can now lock threads.

So if anyone feels a thread has run its course or become fragmented by too many side issues, just post to say that and the moderators will consider the request to lock.

David
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline hilarycarlen

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Re: Locked topics
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 10:49:33 pm »
Stevea - I'm right with you about the importance of free speech, and the value of an open debate. 
If anyone tried to shackle the forum and stop people talking about whatever matters to them, I'd be up on the barricades with you.

But anyone can start a thread - I'm not trying to stop the "are chickens a pest?" debate or the "In Support of Foxes" polemic or the "are the outlaws of Oaklands Avenue turning to gun crime?" rambling.     I just don't see the need for this to take place under the umbrella of a thread whose heading, repeated at the top of every post, references a very miserable event in my life which I still feel utterly rotten about.  Anyone who wants to read the whole thread still can - I've only drawn a line under it, not deleted it! 

So what's the problem? Go ahead - start up a thread and take it wherever you want.  If so, I'll probably read it.  You have an interesting take on the world and you know a lot of stuff.  But that'll be YOUR thread and it won't hit me between the eyes every time I open the website!

Alternatively, if the moderators want to reopen the topic so all that all the above debates can continue to emerge and evolve in one uninterrupted stream of consciousness, then that's fine with me too, but please, let them give it a different heading!

Hilary
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Locked topics
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 05:26:14 am »
Dear Hilary
Your point is duly noted, however, I must emphasise that I was not the person to criticise or mock you.  I was the one to give you sound advice on the management of your chickens.
I shall go forth and commence a new topic which will avoid the heated debate of chickens and foxes therefore avoiding 'hitting you between the eyes'.
Steve
 
 

Offline hilarycarlen

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Re: Locked topics
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008, 08:52:39 am »
Stevea - thank you.  Undisputed.  Your comments were helpful and informative. And no embargo on the fox and hens debate (apart from at the end of my RIP-beloved-chickens-obituary).  (MikeL could then explain why he thinks chickens are a pest - I savagely cut the thread with that question still suspended in the air....  and have subsequently mused on it.  Maybe it's the clucking.)
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Locked topics
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008, 10:16:29 am »
 
Thank you Hilary. I wish you well and good luck with your chickens.
Steve
 

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