I feel as if now might be the best time to bring up an issue I've been noticing on the forums. Before I start, I just want to say that I have nothing against anyone here, and that I appreciate the efforts in which users related to the issue at hand have been making in regards to both general media, and especially media of which is related to the Treehouse TV network in Canada.
The current issue at hand is what I will refer to as the "Treehouse Troubles". Now, as might be seen by other users that frequently partake in searching for Treehouse related materials, I've gone to notice a bit of disorganization regarding searches, whether it be mashing them together in threads, throwing them around here and there or, as in the case with My Special Book, unnecessary bumping.
Again, back to my prior note that I'm not pointing fingers, this is not a post targeting people. Rather, this is a post I'm making so that we can make our searches related to Treehouse more organized, and thus, more productive.
I'll be making an effort to start new threads regarding Treehouse shows that users of the forums here have shown interest in finding. My belief is that separating television shows into their own threads rather than by semi-conglomerating them into larger threads will help users be more aware as to the status of searches, as well as make the forums more tidy.
Apologies if I've caused offense, and I hope we can start an open conversation here to address the issue more thoroughly.
For the Treehouse thread that sparked this, I've moved it to the off-topic section. Feel free to proceed in starting specific threads for shows if they don't exist yet.
In terms of creating general rules out of this, that's where it gets trickier. Here's a couple examples of what I mean.
Here are two threads: "1973 Doraemon Expedition Recruitment" and "Doraemon 1973 thread". These are clear duplicate threads, as they have the exact same goal - "Let's search for Doraemon 1973." In cases like this I usually try to merge them if it's not going to cause overlapping messages (I didn't merge them in this case though, only because the latter thread would have added nothing to the conversation). But what about these threads?:
I wouldn't really call any of these duplicates, as they all had different goals. I was going to try and merge what I could, but the result would have made no sense. The first was posting a clip that got found, the second was about another clip that got found, the third was asking if there was any legitimacy to a certain rumor, the fourth was talking about yet ANOTHER thing that got found... the fifth thread is the first one where anyone made a general thread about the series, and even then, it's not a search thread, he's just asking a question about it.
The solution to prevent this from happening again in the future is simple. Add these rules in the Lost Media section...:
Please create only one thread per piece of media, barring very specific circumstances (such as the creation of this thread after the original ADWSS thread had been locked for nearly 2 years). Before starting a thread, use the search feature to make sure none already exist.
As the counterpoint to this, please include the name of the media you're discussing in the title of your thread, so that future users won't miss it when searching for it.
...and then these rules in the Found Media board:
This board is only for media that is 100% found. If, for instance, you've found an episode of a mostly lost TV series, create/use a thread for the serie as a whole in the lost media board and post your development within it.
If a piece of media that already has a thread in the Lost Media section has been recently found in its entirety, don't create a new thread about it here, as staff can move the previous thread to this section (you can either report the thread or message a staff member to do this).
...Both of which I think I'll do (after I take some time to refine them a little). But the current problem of multiple messy threads already existing will still be there. We'll still have 5 JBVO threads and not a single one intended to start a search about it. I can't merge those threads, and though I could create one standard search thread for JBVO, lock all the others, and leave them with messages directing people towards the new thread, that would only make it so that we have SIX threads on JBVO. Is it worth it?
As for bumping, we've addressed this recently here. If you see any offending bump messages, feel free to report them, these days I usually just silently delete them when I see them (passive aggressive as that may be).
A couple other stray thoughts:
If we had a rule like "Only one piece of media per thread" (the inverse of the rule I wrote above, done to counter threads like the generic Treehouse thread that started this), what defines a piece of media? Using Sesame Street as an example, the Wicked Witch episode and the divorce episode have two separate articles because they're both individually noteworthy enough to warrant them, and they both have separate searches. So if we lumped them together with everything else under one "Sesame Street" thread, that would follow this example rule, but would probably turn into just as much of a mess as the Treehouse thread. I guess a good general rule could be "if they have separate articles on the wiki, they should have separate threads", but then it gets complicated with things that don't have articles yet, and things that have separate articles on the wiki that shouldn't have separate articles. We really don't need 3 separate articles on Anthony Fantano's lost videos, for instance.
On the proposed thread title rule, there are definitely still ways to make bad/non-descriptive thread titles while still including the media's name in it. I don't want to police these too heavily though. Unlike the wiki where we enforce a strict title format, this forum isn't really the most formal of places, so just casually discussing things is fine... basically just do your best to make a descriptive title, and if the title you gave it becomes an issue later we can always change it.
Somewhat unrelated but still in the spirit of better organizing the forums - do you guys have any ideas of how to better separate the solved posts in Unidentified Media from the unsolved posts? I first considered locking solved threads, but this might be too harsh, and there's always a possibility of someone wanting to reopen an old case... another option would be to add [SOLVED] to the beginning of each thread title like on TOMT, but with them, the color coding is mainly what helps distinguish solved posts. We're stuck with all thread titles being the same color, so it might not work as well.