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Suggestion: Good Threads-widget (Thread)

I've been thinking a bit about how to breathe more life into the forum, and came up with something I'd like our staff to discuss.
I'm keeping this on the modboard so that people who actually lurk it might see it as well, as it might interest the whole community, but will link the thread into our skype convo.

To make the forum more attractive and inviting for people who don't lurk it every day, I remembered @Kirn's old CL newspaper with Colorless "news".

Like, totally hypothetically, having a flag-like feature, which users can use to mark good threads for reviewing by the staff to add them to some solid "great threads" list on the sidebar.

These threads could then be switched periodically, but unlike the popular threads, which are shown one at a time and mostly based on clicks, these "good threads" would have an additional layer of quality control.

This could on one hand make people notice threads buried deep down under the whole herp derp stuff and might also influence the overall quality, as people of course would like to get listed on the sidebar for all to see.

If we'd take such an experiment even further, we could even hand out badges to the thread creators, as the badge system gets reworked anyway to allow easier creation/giving from within the site.

All we'd have to do would get access to a sidebar list, make the "suggestion" feature clearly visible & introduce it to the community (including guidelines and criteria), maybe pick some threads to stock up the list for the first runs (like, to meet a limit of for example 10 threads) and then check the suggested threads like once a week, talking a few lines about them and update the list.

Alright, enough of the suggestion-side, let's discuss this one!

I remember having a thought on a list with "Recommended Threads" so I'm with you on this, though the sidebar box shouldn't show more than 5 different threads at once. I don't see any harm in it and if it increases the quality for the users by even the slightest, I don't see why not.

I personally think that it's a great idea and that it's definitely worth trying, in order for us to observe how the members are actually using it and if it's leading to coherent results.

we could even hand out badges to the thread creators

This might motivate users to create more diversified and well-constructed threads. A great way to awaken and encourage professional user-activity indeed.

All we'd have to do would get access to a sidebar list

I'm wondering if we should have weekly discussions about which threads, throughout the top-rated ones, should appear in this widget or if we should take turns, in selecting them by ourselves.

On the other hand, maybe it would be wise to implement an automatic approach which expose the Top 5/10 Rated Threads, automatically. However, like I've mentioned above, this should be applied only if the users are using the thread-rating appropriately.

I am also curious about what, we, the staff, see as appropriate. Are there certain threads that you would would all like to see there, more than others? As an example, would you encourage the presence of any thread that isn't part of the Spam or Random board? Or would any type of thread satisfy your views?

In parallel, I am guessing that it is also possible to implement the automatic appearance of the top-rated threads, while we can still issue modifications to them. In my opinion, this would would be the most time-saving method for us all. Then again, it also depends on the effort that it should take, from our Dev and/or @Admin, to set this up.

the sidebar box shouldn't show more than 5 different threads at once

The discussion for the number of included threads, should come after we decide on a specific sidebar model. Seeing how the website's sidebar is pretty slim, the attention should be focused more on how we will fit such content, on such a small width.

Of course, it is also possible to decide on a model, after we've decided on how many threads should be included. Whichever is more effective, is best. :)

Well, the amount of listed posts can vary in the end, the 10 is/was just an example.

The tag list is a good comparison, imo, as it links to different tags but also offers a "More" option, leading to a page with all tags listed.

Similarly, we could list all the past "rewarded" threads on a page, for people to browse.

However, I think we basically NEED to check threads and should not simply go by popularity.
Otherwise we'd have a lot of troll threads up there, or simply bad threads with horrible presentations who just are kinda active due to certain fans.

The "Spam" section should stay out of the picture; it's not indexed on Google for a reason, and such a feature should inspire good presentations, discussions and overall contribution to the community.

As for the "what we think is appropriate"-point, I think it shouldn't be too hard to check the list of marked threads once a week (we should have enough staff members around anyway, even during holiday seasons), talk about them and pick the top 10/5/X or suggest threads that haven't been marked and talk about them - maybe we could have like 10/5/X + 1 "Staff Picked" thread to give a good picture of what we think deserves the spot.

You get the picture. The exact details have to be laid out in time, but the idea holds potential (in my eyes, of course) and could be interesting to work out =)

Oh, one more thing (yes, I'm double-posting on purpose! 8'D)

Why we shouldn't base it on Hearted/Bookmarked threads:

These are personal "likes", to keep track of where people posted or argued, or are part in (like, groups).
We have often seen Trollthreads getting myriads more bookmarks than serious discussions.

Also, people wouldn't suggest threads by hearting them as long as they also serve as bookmarks.

If we, however, get the Bookmarks/Hearts split again, like already discussed, this could be a fine use for Hearts indeed - if the Hearts exclusively serve this one purpose.

Also, an unclear thread title without relation to the topic often gets more clicks/initial attention than those who describe a certain topic.
This is due to the specific titles already telling people "this isn't for you" while unclear names attract curiosity.
Clicks are too easy to manipulate for such a thing, especially if we're trying to get good threads that get too much attention into the spotlight again.

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