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Should the forum rules be changed to require thread titles to precisely and adequately describe the question or topic being discussed?


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Poll: Should the forum rules be changed to require thread titles to precisely and adequately describe the question or topic being discussed? (23 member(s) have cast votes)

Should the forum rules be changed to require thread titles to precisely and adequately describe the question or topic being discussed?

  1. Yes (16 votes [69.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 69.57%

  2. No (7 votes [30.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.43%

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#1 Offline drtrmiller - Posted September 26 2017 - 6:48 PM

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Should the forum rules be changed to require thread titles to precisely and adequately describe the question or topic being discussed?

 

Proposition Rule 10:

"Threads should have precise titles that adequately describe the subject matter of the question(s) or topic(s) being discussed.  Moderators will have the option of modifying titles, and/or coaching users on how to best adhere to the requirements via PM."

 

Why do we need this rule?

Questions or topics with vague or misleading titles cause many problems for questioners and participants alike.  The issue is widespread—a recent analysis found that as many as many as 1 in 4 topics on our forum have imprecise, misspelled, vague, or misleading titles—that's 1,500 or more threads that are difficult to find, or whose subject matter is otherwise incomprehensible by reading the title alone.  Vague or misleading titles often result in lower participation, which can be especially disheartening for new or younger members, and can make topics of interest more difficult or impossible to find through search.  New and existing users should be coached and encouraged to precisely and adequately title their questions or topics as an ongoing effort to improve the quality of the Formiculture.com community.


Edited by drtrmiller, September 27 2017 - 8:20 AM.

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#2 Offline Reacker - Posted September 26 2017 - 7:56 PM

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Are you volunteering to do all of the policing on this? 

 

Otherwise perhaps we should invite antdude over and make him a moderator full stop


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#3 Offline drtrmiller - Posted September 26 2017 - 8:16 PM

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Are you volunteering to do all of the policing on this?


The forum rules are intended to foster an organized community of mostly serious individuals interested in learning about ants and archiving their observations and experiences. Codifying this rule simply promotes the idea that topics should be easier to find and glean the subject matter from the title.

Everyone is welcome to participate, and Formiculture moderators are tasked with enforcing the forum rules. No changes are being proposed in this regard. Established members here are familiar with the easygoing nature of this forum compared to most other ant forums, and this rule would not do anything to change that.

Edited by drtrmiller, September 26 2017 - 8:20 PM.

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#4 Offline T.C. - Posted September 26 2017 - 8:18 PM

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I'm not necessarily against or with this. But how do you intend we enforce it and who's to say what's an appropriate title or not? This forum already struggles with just enforcing the basics. You know... things like proper grammar and such. I doubt that would go well if we started changing everyone's threads, and warning them for not having "appropriate" titles. Not to mention, there is only a few active moderators here. I'm not saying myself or others wouldn't help, but I think it would be a frequent job. And let's face it, we all have jobs and lives to lead. I'd think it would be ok to do a trial. See how things go. If the majority of people don't like it though, then the rule should be immediately removed. Or if things are just getting too difficult and things aren't working anyway.

Edited by T.C., September 26 2017 - 9:00 PM.

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#5 Offline LC3 - Posted September 26 2017 - 9:58 PM

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I think this might reflect a larger issue on quality control. Most of all of this can be subverted if two of the rules are followed (6 & 7), the most common out of all the rules that I noticed being broken is rule #7.

 

 

"7. Post in legible, coherent English, without excessive use of emoticons, slang, chat acronyms, or instant messenger shorthand."

 
 

Particularly in regards to shorthand text and improper spelling (like "lo gn island" in a recent post) and misspelling of scientific names. 

 

In this case Drtmiller's proposed rule #10 can maybe be enforced under rule #6

 

6. No posting any deliberately false or misleading information. This particular rule pertains to the chat room as well.

 

A few other commonly found shortcomings in threads are wrong subforum or sometimes in ID threads, not following the ID template. 

Even then there is an entire thread explaining each subforum conveniently listed in the important topics thread. There's a thread for posting photos, and there's a thread full of handy links. In any case most of the important frequently asked questions are already existent in topic form.

http://www.formicult...-each-subforum/

http://www.formicult...-of-handy-links

http://www.formicult...-to-post-photos

 

This forum also lacks a FAQ page.

 

I would suggest compiling a megathread composing these threads, (Forum rules, subforum guide, ID thread guide, Handy links, and how to post images+other topic related stuff) and have it mandatory for newly joined users to read, or at least displayed to them somehow when they first join or compose a FAQ page.

I'd volunteer to compose this megathread/FAQ.


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#6 Offline dermy - Posted September 27 2017 - 12:38 AM

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Generally at the end of the day I think it comes down to the content in the actually post. A title is just a title, as long as the post body has good information [that's the real problem, people not giving enough information, especially in ID Threads] the I don't see anything wrong with a title that is least then optimal. 


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#7 Offline sgheaton - Posted September 27 2017 - 4:57 AM

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How would I learn otherwise? 


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#8 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted September 27 2017 - 6:36 AM

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I like how the title to this thread absolutely follows the rule it proposing :D  


Edited by TennesseeAnts, September 27 2017 - 6:37 AM.


#9 Offline drtrmiller - Posted September 27 2017 - 7:32 AM

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I like how the title to this thread absolutely follows the rule it proposing :D


One key benefit of this forum over Facebook groups, for example, is that topics are organized into designated sub-forums, and each topic has a mandatory title and optional tags. Asking whether the forum rules should specifically encourage users to make the most of this more structured format should be common sense, and not really a subject of debate.

It's also very easy for anyone to do. The intent is simply to encourage users to make topics easier to find for everyone in our community, and there's no one right or wrong way to accommodate that objective. For example:

If you're sharing photos of an ant you found, a more appropriate title might be "Photos of Crematogaster queen I found," as opposed to "Look what I found!"

If you're wanting to buy a Camponotus colony in California, "Want to Buy Camponotus Colony in Southern California" makes much more sense than a thread titled "Camponotus."

Finally, I would note that far more rigorous guidelines already exist in the "Ant ID Requests" sub-forum, which is fairly well-organized as a result. The proposed rule simply seeks to increase the threshold for basic organization to the forum as a whole, at least in the way of topic titles.

Edited by drtrmiller, September 27 2017 - 9:55 AM.

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#10 Offline VoidElecent - Posted September 27 2017 - 12:18 PM

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Generally at the end of the day I think it comes down to the content in the actually post. A title is just a title, as long as the post body has good information [that's the real problem, people not giving enough information, especially in ID Threads] the I don't see anything wrong with a title that is least then optimal. 

 

I second this. I do agree that more thought should go into titling a post, but too often do we see posts where the title poses a question and the body simply refers back to the title, or (in ID threads, like dermy mentioned) where the content is very weak.


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#11 Offline T.C. - Posted September 27 2017 - 12:49 PM

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Generally at the end of the day I think it comes down to the content in the actually post. A title is just a title, as long as the post body has good information [that's the real problem, people not giving enough information, especially in ID Threads] the I don't see anything wrong with a title that is least then optimal.

 
I second this. I do agree that more thought should go into titling a post, but too often do we see posts where the title poses a question and the body simply refers back to the title, or (in ID threads, like dermy mentioned) where the content is very weak.

Lol, yeah. You mean posts where titles are longer than the post itself.
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#12 Offline Martialis - Posted January 12 2018 - 1:32 PM

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Bump =) 

 

I think this is a change that should happen on the forum.


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#13 Offline Ants_Texas - Posted January 12 2018 - 1:43 PM

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I've always thought the detail should be expressed in the actual post, more than the title.


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My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK90shiLguOZBECXtwr1M7A

 

My Colony Adoption: http://www.formicult.../?hl=ants_texas

 

Colonies:

Brachymyrmex patagonicus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus discolor 

Crematogaster laeviuscula

Pheidole megacephala

Pseudomyrmex gracilis x3

Solenopsis invicta 

 

Wishlist:

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus sansabeanus

Camponotus vicinus

Myrmecocystus sp.

Novomessor sp.

Odontomachus sp.

Pogonomyrmex sp.

 

 

 

 

 

 


#14 Offline Martialis - Posted January 12 2018 - 1:51 PM

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I've always thought the detail should be expressed in the actual post, more than the title.

Indeed it should! But a post with the title "PLEASE HELP!!" isn't really descriptive enough, especially when the post seems somewhat panicky.


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#15 Offline Ants_Texas - Posted January 12 2018 - 1:52 PM

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I've always thought the detail should be expressed in the actual post, more than the title.

Indeed it should! But a post with the title "PLEASE HELP!!" isn't really descriptive enough, especially when the post seems somewhat panicky.

 

I can agree with this, yes.


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My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK90shiLguOZBECXtwr1M7A

 

My Colony Adoption: http://www.formicult.../?hl=ants_texas

 

Colonies:

Brachymyrmex patagonicus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus discolor 

Crematogaster laeviuscula

Pheidole megacephala

Pseudomyrmex gracilis x3

Solenopsis invicta 

 

Wishlist:

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus sansabeanus

Camponotus vicinus

Myrmecocystus sp.

Novomessor sp.

Odontomachus sp.

Pogonomyrmex sp.

 

 

 

 

 

 





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