Fewer merges

There is a lot of thread merging going on. What if we stopped doing that?

Merging a new thread that is obviously the same as another because the poster didn’t do a search is one thing. But, when something that wasn’t obvious enough to be squashed in the beginning of its existence gets going and has its own life, just because it shares a bathroom with another thread is no reason to merge all of those posts just for the sake of cleaning house. Jack and Jill have separate rooms for a reason.

If we don’t nip it in the bud, eventually, there will be but a single thread to post in.

This rash of must-merge-everything is strange also because there still exist some threads that were obvious for merging from the get-go that aren’t getting merged. If we’re going to be merge happy, we might as well go full nit-pick.

One example of over merging is the in memoriam mega thread. An RIP thread for a specific newly dead famous person is appropriate. I’ve seen new dead people threads be merged away before the body was even cold. Unless you’re following the dead people thread, you’re not going to know who died. Maybe make an In Memoriam category, if the urge to merge is too great. Then they all can be corralled, but also visible.


I think it’s because there’re some threads people haven’t checked out yet.


Nah, there have been a few lately that if you squint and turn your head sideways maybe, possibly one of the threads is kinda related to the other.

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Personally, I’m fine with the amount of merging happening at present.

It’s very easy to do a search for a relevant name in a thread devoted to multiple famous people who’ve passed on. I’d personally rather not see a new thread for each individual person this might apply to.


I’m in favor of merging threads wherever logical. Far better to have a smaller number of solid conversations than a blizzard of largely empty threads. Sure, it sucks to come to the party late and so many of the threads you want to start are already here, but that’s how communities work. If you find yourself starting more than a couple of threads a day, then either you’re not listening to anyone else, or you just want to blather regardless.


:thinking: Such as…?

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This is the question we really should be asking:


I do.


Disagree with the OP - of late, I’ve been spending mornings just muting thread after thread because of the repeated topics (often posted by the same person, who is apparently not taking the time to look around).

Nope, I applaud our Mods efforts… and give them a hearty 'thank you" for clearing out the clutter.


I’m with @TheBindingPolymer on this one. I’ll be perfectly honest… I don’t spend much time on here anymore, and part of that is because “the conversation” is in threads of over a thousand messages. In those threads no one is talking about the original topic anymore, and it is a lot of work to go back through hundreds of posts to try to get the most recent general context for the thread. And there is something really depressing about being the 1,431st person to participate in a conversation. It feels a lot like Twitter… lonely.

One solution: add sub-subheadings into the structure of the forum that cover cases like In Memoriam, where you have a clear, logical means to easily sort posts by the person about whom they are speaking. It would be difficult to have an excuse to make a redundant in memoriam post when there is a subheading clearly marked for them.

We don’t want to do this for everything… the meme thread, what’s happening at work, things like that do not need to be a subheading, because they aren’t going to be easily classified into groups of posts. Maybe “Movies that need riffing” could be a subheading, with a thread for each movie (or group of movies) discussed.


Forums get messy. Cleaning them up is a good thing.


I think there’s only a handful of threads with messages in the thousands and more. I don’t try to stay caught up on those. I just dip my toe in once a week or so and leave it at that. I also don’t feel compelled to leave a comment if someone else has already said what I thought about saying. lol. I just bask in the affirmation of my genius and move on. :wink:


Following in kind. It has been an unusually large amount of merges but there has also been a particular member who is bombarding the Discourse with topics that have already been explored.

At least they are merges, which keeps the user’s participation alive. Moderators could have went “IT DONE DID HAPPUN’D!” and locked.

This isn’t the first time MSD3K had a member posting aggressively. And, hey, it’s showing engagement and participation and that’s really all the Discourse can ask. Yeah, members should be taking a moment to see if a topic already exists but, devil’s advocate, we’ve been creative writers in topic titles – they’re funny and clever but don’t always put the focus of the thread out in front so a search can pass them over.


Exactly, it’s not like they are wiping out comments from the forum, and the threads stay up, what for 7 days, and you’re redirected to the proper thread.

Now I know not everyone puts in this kind of effort, but I dig and search and search before posted a new thread. And If I’m still not certain because it seems like something we should have done in the past, I’ll write… please, by all means, merge if it’s a dup.

Oh, as for clever headers, that’s where tags help. If I’m being too cute, tag away, they can help with topic searches.


I’m kind of in the middle on this issue. For one thing, I’m with @TheBindingPolymer that there’s an excessive amount of merging happening. For example, the thread about themes and movies for the hoped for season 14 was merged into a far more generic thread on movies that should be riffed. These two topics are definitely related, but I don’t think merging them was the right choice simply because there’s a whole different focus to the original thread and the posts on that topic are now lost in the wash, meaning that the conversation that was happening has essentially been shut down.

However, I agree that there are a number of threads that have been started that are repeats of threads that already exist. And, being one who did start a thread like that once, it’s not always because the person didn’t search. I did search, but I didn’t use the right words and so the similar thread didn’t come up and I thought it hadn’t been done.

So ultimately, yes, I think merging is a good thing, but there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.


Sure, it happens that you can search but not search for the magic words that turn up an existing thread, but there is one user who has started so many repeat threads recently that it seems to go beyond “didn’t use the right search terms”. Heck, the user I’m thinking of has started threads that are duplicate to threads they had started a couple days earlier, so they should know that a thread already exists.


I don’t doubt it. I was meaning that it’s not just that the person isn’t searching. :slight_smile:


I’m in favor of judicious merging. The ones that I’ve asked to have merged were clearly a better fit for an existing thread. Some of these were of the attention: I’ve had a thought variety (and when those thoughts involve calling other users “idiots,” I’m less impressed). However, if a topic has a specific purpose and invites discussion, I’m all for it and will happily contribute.


Honestly surprised that this thread isn’t covered in Mitchell references.

I’m personally not all that concerned either way. I have seen some merges that I have wondered about, but not enough to really question.

The thought that does come to mind from my prior time as a Mod/Admin on other forums, is there been actual criteria in place or given to our Mods on when merges should be considered/used, or has it been just left to individual opinion?

Follow-up if there is criteria, does it require a review?
Follow-up if it is by Mods opinion, should a unified rule be discussed?


You mean…

You don’t say…

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