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Cunningham

forum structure suggestion

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This may be way too much of a headache, but just hear me out. One problem that arises over and over is the problem of duplicate threads. There's the camp that likes to have all the discussion in one place, and there are others who would like "splinter threads" for more specific discussions or new experiences, etc. I can see the benefits to both paradigms for organizing the forum discussions: it *is* really convienient to know exactly where to look for a discussion on a movie, but if there's only one discussion going, to interrupt up the one in progress to look at some other aspect of the movie can confuse the focus of the thread and be intimidating to someone who hasn't been here long. Here's what I would suggest as a kind of "best of both worlds" approach:

For each discussion, there be a collection of links to "related discussions." I would think that the ideal implementation would be a drop-down menu somewhere close to the header that would have the titles of any discussions deemed related to the one being made. What we would end up with (ideally) would be a parent-child relationship, or even a parent-parent one. An example of the parent-child relationship would be if would have a thread on The Passion and someone might want to start an in-depth discussion comparing The Passion to The Last Temptation, and someone else might want to start a discussion on historical accuracy of The Passion. Each of those sub-threads would be linked to the main thread (and eachother?). A parent-parent relationship would be where someone starts a thread on the soundtracks in Mel Gibson's movies. While it might not really be related to each of the children of the original thread, it might be something of interest to the participants (and readers) of that thread, so it would be in the "related discussions" list for that thread, but not for the child threads.

The reason this has been bouncing around in my mind was the locking of the Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus soundtrack thread. It clearly links to the movie thread, but I feel like it merited its own discussion. It also seems to link to the Woven Hand thread. So by my design, the soundtrack thread would link to both of those two threads, the Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus thread would link to the soundtrack thread (and maybe the Undertow thread). This could lead to some great experiences of exploring topics (similar to the amazing links all through Wikipedia). If it sounds like an administrative nightmare, it doesn't have to be. This could be a collaborative system. A member reading a thread could click a link titled "suggest a related discussion" where they would specify the URL of the discussion and a brief reason that it would be related if it's not completely obvious (say, "Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus shares a very similar, but fairly unusual, aesthetic with Undertow.") In this case the moderator might think that this is a too general, but if a general discussion, for example, "southern gothic aesthetic in film" were created, then that could serve to connect the discussions. There could be another link to "create a related discussion" so someone could start something related right then and there that I wouldn't think would need so much moderation.

Good idea? Dumb idea? Doesn't matter, it's impossible? Should have made this a poll smile.gif

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Here's a quick mockup of how I see threads relating to eachother. Only directly adjacent discussions would show up in the "related discussions" menu.

user posted image

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Yeah, it didn't make sense to me to write about the Searching For The Wrong-Eyed Jesus Music soundtrack in the Film forum. I don't read the Film forum and only wanted to discuss the Music so logically I thought it would be acceptable to start a thread about the Music in the Music forum. There is a lot of crossover with films like Searching.. where the music is an integral part of the film so I guess it's a bit of a gray area.

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