Gettho-ising your discussions

I just realised something: I always knew splitting up your discussions like this: WebAIM Accessibility Training Forum was a bad thing. It’s better to keep the crowd (and the topics) mixed and, if you want to organise things, retroactively tag discussions with certain topics.

Now I know why: it’s the same reason why having a mixed mailing list is usually better than a highly specialized one: you’re turning your discussion into a sterile gettho if you separate everything out cleanly. Because that assumes people act like machines, are interested in 1 topic only, and so on.

0 thoughts on “Gettho-ising your discussions

  1. Another thing about comments and discussions: you get more of the tone of voice that’s there. If your site has intelligent discussions, people will tend to post more intelligent stuff. If it has silly questions, they will post more silly questions. (The same people!)

    They want to belong. More socially adept people will watch the sidelines and then tentatively post something similar, carefully trying to fit in. (This was a case study in “emotional intelligence” – book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553375067 ) And the same clearly happens on the web.

    Which is why I’m implementing advanced moderation for my CMS where post can be hidden out of sight, or floated to the top, to encourage certain behaviour.

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