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Where is IT going?

By Oz_Media ·
First off, happy 4th everyone have a good day(s) off, I'm sure you all need one.

I noticed today that 7 of 20 discussions were Q&A's. Several of the discussions, were information gathering projects and a few were actually IT discussions. I am the first to admit guilt when it comes to OFF TOPIC discussions but it seems to have taken over TR.

When I first stared visiting here, there were Q&A's, RELEVANT IT discussions and the odd off topic discussion (understanding that many relevant topics go off on tangents as the threads increase). This seems to have turned into a jumble of questions, discussions and off topic discussions and rants.

As a relatively new participant at TR, I must ask the veterans, has it always been this way and I just didn't see it at first? Is this a new side to TR or is it just that TR MAY need to moderate the site like the kiddie chat sites?

It gets quite frustrating when I decide to explore topics of disussion and have to sift through Q&A's to find relevant theories and topics of discussion.

on the other hand, when I visit the Q&A boards, I often see people gathering information that would be better suited as a discussion. It seems more apparent since returning to Vancouver after being home (on Van.Island not England)for a week, is it just me or did I just blindly amble through it before?
OM

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I think that the Q&As

by road-dog In reply to Where is IT going?

are becoming all too common in the discussion forum. I'd rather not have this whole thing become moderated, but there needs to be some way of bouncing these over the wall into the QA section.

Maybe a vote to bounce by registered members would bea good program to put into effect.

Maybe we should boycott those QAs that turn up in the discussion side except for a gentle reminder of the proper location....

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almost my point

by Oz_Media In reply to I think that the Q&As

Hi RD, I actually didn't mean to start another Q&A rant about postings in the wrong forum. It just seems to be getting worse and worse though. From what I see, there are few Discussions that aren't research for an article or a question posted in the wrong place.

BUT.....

It's not just the Q&A's I'm referring to specifically. It is also the fact that interesting discussions (other than those targeted toward security or scripting that may be of interest to some members)have become few and far between. The most recent discussion that I found interesting was the debate over the use of bleeding Wirless Access Points, which raised quite a few questions and some fantastic points of view. Even that discussion went on some wild tangents,possibly due to the lack of other intersesting or relevant discussions. I am as guilty as the next guy for taking these discussions on tangents but again I think if there were more interesting topics, the tangents would be reduced due to more relevant activity.

My question is still, has it always been like this? It didn't seem so when I first became a discussion participant. Is it perhapse an indication that more attention should be put toward what forums discussions are posted in or how they are displayed as new discussions. Perhapse "New discussions relating to..."?

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Solution at Hand?

by Oldefar In reply to almost my point

It sounds like you are simply going to the Discussion Center and opening New Discussions. The idea for a related to area is so good that it has been implemented for over a year. :)

Those titles in the center open only those discussions related (in the mind of whoever began it) to that topic. Network Administration is by far the most popular, with General Technology and Miscellaneous a distant second and third choice.

This does not address those who post specific technical questions that really belong in the QA section. I wonder if these are posters with no points to offer up?

Moving this to a technical discussion, it looks like a design challenge. Two user groups - infrequent users who are seeking specific information and regularusers stopping by almost daily. Sub groups based on experience in IT and possibly culture. The goal is a layout that insures most discussions, most articles, and most questions are intuitively placed in the correct area. A second goal is a layout sothat both infrequent and regular users intuitively seek the discussions, articles, and questions they are most interested in by topic rather than by the most recent filter criteria.

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I am familiar with topics

by Oz_Media In reply to Solution at Hand?

I know there are specific topics for discussion threads, these seem to be ignored most of the time, especially by new postees who accept the default check mark placed in the Network Administration box. Probably why it is the busiest discussion thread that covers everything from MSServer 2003 > Diapers (handy if your using MS products).

Perhapse instead of the check box being filled in by default, there should be a form check that asks what category best suits a discussion.

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Possible enhancement

by Oldefar In reply to I am familiar with topics

I like that idea. Forcing the topic selection to be a specific action rather than a default function might improve the validity of topics.

Perhaps a series of questions could be devised as well to guide the selection.

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Good point

by Oz_Media In reply to Possible enhancement

So where now? I assume someone has to offer a suggestion to the TR powers that be.

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Someone

by Oldefar In reply to Good point

This was your discussion, so I suggest you submit your idea to webmaster@techrepublic.com

I suspect most of the discussions are monitored and someone on the TechRepublic staff has noted the idea as well.

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