[new members] Guidelines on mega threads

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HB
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#1: Post by HB » Mar 15, 2012, 9:24 am

TL;DR... Please see How do I ask a good question? for recommendations on how to promote more search-friendly and goal oriented discussions.
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I have noticed "XYZ owner" threads are popular on CoffeeGeek (e.g., the three year old The Baratza Vario Grinder Owner's Thread and the more recent La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread, Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread, Another DB Quickmill, etc.). On one hand, such threads collect a lot of information in one place. On the other hand, it also means a thread that is potentially over a hundred pages long and not very search-friendly. Those who join the conversation rarely read the thread in its entirety, so new participants inevitably ask questions that have been asked/answered before.

Since HB is based on phpBB, moderators can create a new thread by splitting an existing one when it turns to a new subject. For example, I split Best flush routine for Bezzera Strega? from the growing Owner experience with Bezzera Strega thread.

As of today, there's no stated policy or advice in the site's Guidelines for productive online discussion on mega threads. Speaking from my experience reading and moderatoring forums, I believe separate threads on a related subject lead to more thorough independent discussions than a large "collector topic" containing several parallel discussions of subjects related to a specific piece of equipment. Separate threads are also easier to search, which means visitors are more likely to learn from previous answers instead of posing the same question over and over again.
Dan Kehn