Author Topic: Length of forum posts  (Read 3724 times)

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Offline Editor

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Length of forum posts
« on: November 26, 2005, 12:58:27 pm »
What do forum members think about having a restriction on the length of posts? A couple of forum regulars have posted suggesting this would be a good idea.


It is nice to see this Forum has short and concise posts. Please keep it this way!!



Hear Hear - I tend not to read the long posts anyway!!! ;)


I've set a word limit in the site's administration area. Let's see how it goes over the next few weeks. If it proves to be a problem we can reconsider.

David
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Offline supersonic

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2005, 01:48:16 pm »
I too have given up reading the long posts (4x4 and Drug Rehabilitation Centre threads particularly spring to mind), but that's my choice, and because I don't want to read them surely doesn't mean that they shouldn't be posted. Many of them are after all responses to other equally verbose comments, so someone must be reading them!


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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2005, 01:57:26 pm »
People can still post on any subject and make their point. It's just that limiting the word count might help them make that point sharper.

Interestingly, the admin section of this forum gives the option to set a limit or not set a limit. Against the option not to set a limit it says 'bad idea'.

 :)
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Max

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2005, 02:07:19 pm »
I suppose this is partly a dig at me, john fraser and jet!!

Personally, I fail to see how you can have an interesting discussion about anything if you limit the size of a post. If someone raises a number of points, it seems to me that if you are going to respond, you need to address each one. Me, I like to read long posts, if the subject is one that warrants it. Sometimes a discussion can get a long way from the point, but isn't that one of the things that makes a discussion fun?

I agree with supersonic that if you do not wish to read a post, you are under no obligation to do so, so I don't really see what the problem is.

David, if you have several points you wish to make, or to respond to, you can do this in a series of separate posts, and keep each one concise, but then, instead of one long post, you end up with three or four consecutive ones by the same person. What would be the point?
 

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2005, 02:13:10 pm »

David, if you have several points you wish to make, or to respond to, you can do this in a series of separate posts, and keep each one concise, but then, instead of one long post, you end up with three or four consecutive ones by the same person. What would be the point?


A limit of 200 words should allow most people to say what they have to say. I agree, consecutive posts by the same person are not a good idea.
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Max

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2005, 03:10:33 pm »
Yeah, but why would anyone care? If I see a post that does not interest me, I don't complain, I just don't read it. 

Oh whatever! I always used to post on the Guardian's talk section when stuck out here in the Gulf, but I changed companies, and Total's system blocks that site. This is in fact just about the only online forum that it does not block, and I was just using it to while away the hours when some technical problem stops us drilling and I have nothing to do for (sometimes) days on end. If it bothers people, I'll go back to walking in circles around the helicopter deck, which will be good practice should I come back as a hamster in my next life! Jet has given up anyway, so there isn't really anyone left to argue with!

 
 

John_fraser

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2005, 05:34:06 pm »
Quote from: Editor
It's just that limiting the word count might help them make that point sharper.
David, I thought as a serious journalist you’d be against sound bites

Jet has given up anyway, so there isn't really anyone left to argue with!
I'm still here! Athough I don't have time to post as much as I did, don't think that means you've won the arguement yet
Quote
 

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2005, 08:02:32 pm »

David, I thought as a serious journalist you’d be against sound bites


John, I am, sound bites are not the same as making a point sharper by using fewer words.

 ;)

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John_fraser

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2005, 12:06:46 am »
Possibly it is true that two hundred words are not a sound bite, but sound bites are the logical end of the process you are suggesting. Some of us may not be as succinct as we can or should be, but some points require elaboration in order not to lose the logic that underpins them. If people do not want to read – or dare I suggest, are too lazy to read? – longer posts then there is nothing impelling them to do so. If someone drones on needlessly at length their post will not be read and their point will be lost, but it is highly doubtful that forcing them to use an arbitrary count will cause them to sharpen their wit. Far more likely is that their point will be lost in its entirety as their messages will remain unposted.   At the same time eloquent posters with subtle arguments who may have put a great deal of thought into their post will have their post reduced to a Sun style Gottya type travesty of a discussion. On one is insisting on long posts, why force short posts?

(By my reckoning that’s two hundred words provided I add one more word.)
 

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2005, 06:58:21 am »
Hi John,

I'm sure a word limit could never reduce your posts to the Sun's style.

 :)

I've increased the limit to 300. Let's see how it goes. Many top news stories at BBC News Online fall within that word count, so it should be enough for forum members to express themselves fully. The forum admin page recommends against leaving it open. I guess this is to protect against the forum falling over if someone posts the equivalent of a book.

Here is what the admin section says ...

Quote


Maximum post length: (0 to disable, bad idea.)



If 300 is not enough we can think again.
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John_fraser

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Re: Length of forum posts
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2005, 08:30:55 am »
How_does_the_forum_decide_how_many_words_you've_used?
 

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