Can I make a
proposal to the forum?
When ongoing news or similar stories break, on subjects I don't understand well, I start coming across some great articles on the web by people who really know their stuff, and there tend to be a half-dozen or so really good analysis essays that come out in the days surrounding a breaking story.. or some good round ups.
As much fun as it is to have a long thread back and forth, usually among people who are reading about the issue elsewhere, what i think would really be useful to a lot of us, especially for putting this stuff in context and being able to keep up with it, is if one or two people who were interested in an issue when it comes up, is to start a thread and keep the first post updated with a collection/roundup of these top insightful serious writeups about it by trustworthy knowledgeable sources.
Often when I'm making the newsletter i get depressed that we don't have a good authoritative thread on some issue that happened in the last month, collecting clear links to good articles were people can learn more.
This gets back to the idea of trying to make an effort of making threads that can serve as ways to learn about an issue.. Not every thread has to be like that of course, but I really feel the lack of them sometimes.
If someone visiting our forum really wanted to learn a breaking story i'd have to tell them to go elsewhere -- we simply do a very bad job of creating threads that will help people learn about a breaking issue. I wish we could fix that..
I think all it would take is when someone sees an interesting story that they are going to be following, create a thread whose purpose it is to comprehensively collect links to articles/essays that do a good job of exploring it.
Instead, what we tend to have is a thread with one link to an item and then a lot of back and forth random insider talk and noise, and an occasional useful link scattered in there.
I guess the bottom line is that I'd really like to see an effort to mix the insider one-liner back and forths with an effort to make the first post in the thread a kind of definitive balanced informative summary of the topic with links to good trustworthy articles to learn more -- an effort to make that first post a resource for learning more and updated nicely formatted list of of links to the latest articles, etc. With a good subject title that was easy to find and identify, etc. So that if someone said, i am interested in news event X, they would be able to easily identify the thread that's going to discuss that issue, and in the first post find all the links they need to go read about the story from all angles and educate themselves.
Yes, it takes more work to make such posts. Yes they are less fun to make. But it's the difference between this forum being a small clique of people bitching to themselves vs a place where everyone can learn about issues.
Sorry for being so grumpy today, i'm just in a mood