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Really, three words could be said about solving the problems with the Social Groups

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by , 14th January 2013 at 11:03 PM (310 Views)

Of course, it won't happen. :(

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  1. Evil Figment's Avatar
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    One number could be said in answer to that:

    1850, which is how many groups there were. Even excluding those that we would have deleted for inactivity, that would leave over seven hundred groups. Considering that each of these group is in effect a small forum, it would take a lot more mods than we can possibly hire to cover them all.

    It just wasn't a feasible solution.
  2. System Error's Avatar
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    @Evil Figment; - Here's something can be said in answer to that answer: I have no problem with wiping out the old, abandoned, or superfluous groups, and I'm sure no one else would as well. You could probably get it down to like 300-400. And though that still seems like a lot on paper, remember: they're not nearly as active as the main boards themselves are, so they wouldn't require nearly as much attention. Combined with a gradual purge of the inactive (say, maybe half a year?), it could indeed work. It's certainly far better than the drastic extremes that, instead of getting it down to 300-400, would make it more like to 30-40.
  3. Evil Figment's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but 300-400 is still far too much to survey, given how social groups are set-up. It's basically the equivalent of patrolling 300-400 forums. Very low activity forums, yes, but still a lot of terrain to cover.
  4. System Error's Avatar
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    @Evil Figment - You're thinking of the Social Groups too much as 300-400 low activity forums and not enough like one big forum. Think of it this way. There tends to be only one "topic" on each group active at once. There's been about 14 of them active today. This is actually way less than some of the board forums get. Also keep in mind that not every one of those 300-400 groups is going to see activity every day of the week. If the varied chaos that is Outside the Box can be managed (many individual topics of which get more activity in a day than all Groups put together), then so can the Social Groups. :)
  5. Evil Figment's Avatar
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    I'm not thinking of them as one big forum, because that's not what they are.

    Yes, in terms of activity. But not in terms of how much work they are to monitor. With Outside the Box, you can check one page and see all recently updated threads in the forum on that one page (or on a handful of page if you include subforums). Two per forums at most.

    With Social Groups, while there are ways to see (some) recently active threads, it won't show you ALL recently active threads. Especially, if a group has two or more active discussions, you won't see all of them unless you visit the actual group's page. And since there's no way to know how many recently active discussions a group has, you basically have to check each recently active group manually. Much like you'd have to check every recently active forum manually if they were 300-400 little forums, to make sure that you caught all the new threads.

    I appreciate what you're saying about the activity level, but with the layout, that's just not how moderating social groups work.
  6. Evil Figment's Avatar
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    "You need to click into the threads on the boards too" - yes, but here you need to click into the social groups, then the discussions (threads). As I said, it's the equivalent in all ways that matter of patroling a large number of very low activity forum, and that require a large number of people.

    Factor in the fact that social group message are more complicated to infract (we have a direct button to infract a post for forum post; we don't for social group comments or blog comments), and it's simply too much to do without a sharp increase in staffing numbers. It's true that blogs are somewhat similar, and require a lot of efforts to keep in good order, but that's not a justification to keep two extremely effort-demanding sections alive: if anything, it's a justification to chose one of the two to focus one. We feel, in that light, that if we have to save one it should be blogs, because users in general get more out of them.

    We're aware of the backlash, and our view on what happens now is already posted. We may change significantly how and when groups get deleted; we'll definitely improve communication, and we may tweak slightly which groups are up for deletion, but we still feel the policy is, in the long run, for the better.
  7. System Error's Avatar
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    @Evil Figment; - Fair enough, I suppose. I do agree that the reform is necessary, but not to the extent of potentially killing the entire groups section. It's something that needs to be handled delicately, and I still think that either way, a couple of mods assigned specifically to the Social Groups could only help the situation. :)


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