A new SIMILAR THREADS feature

bearded

Senior Member
Hello
In the German forum, starting this morning there seems to be a new feature, namely whenever one begins to reply to any existing thread post, a list of ''similar threads'' appears - as if you were a thread starter. I think such a feature is useless - and I frankly find it a bit annoying. What do others think - and Mr. Kellogg...? Thank you.
 
  • JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    I frankly find it a bit annoying. What do others think
    :thumbsup: I fully agree.
    "annoying" and useless.


    See here the list of ''similar threads'' appearing

    Screenshot_2021-03-23 Feature ''similar threads''.png


    What for :confused:
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    I saw it appear last night personally, and was about to thank Mike for it :D
    Actually, thanks to it, I see that it had already been implemented and discussed:
    Similar threads - not
    As mentioned in that thread, as it is conveniently placed at the bottom of the page, it is easy to ignore if you don't find it useful, isn't it?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I saw it appear last night personally, and was about to thank Mike for it :D
    Actually, thanks to it, I see that it had already been implemented and discussed:
    Similar threads - not
    As mentioned in that thread, as it is conveniently placed at the bottom of the page, it is easy to ignore if you don't find it useful, isn't it?

    Yes, I thought I'd seen that once before.

    I quite like it and since it's at the bottom of the page you can just ignore it if it's no use. It's inevitably going to produce better results on some threads than others, but if you have a thread title that starts "what is the meaning of ..." you can't really expect it to produce anything usable. :)
     

    mkellogg

    Administrator
    English - US
    Huh. I just upgraded an add-on without any intention of enabling this feature. With a little work, I could get rid of it, but since some people find it useful, I'll leave it for now. I am a bit concerned for the server load, but we will see.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    whenever one begins to reply to any existing thread post, a list of ''similar threads'' appears
    It seems that the list is there whether or not you reply?
    Before starting a new thread, one should already have checked what precedes.
    This is true, but
    1.) "should" doesn't always mean "does." :D
    2.) Sometimes I look for answers in existing threads. Sometimes a particular thread doesn't answer my question, but another one does. This list could potentially be a useful way for people in that situation to be made aware of, and quickly access, threads that answer their question.
    3.) It's possible some of the threads should be merged, but:
    3a.) There are many, many threads, and it would be quite an onerous task to sift through all of them and do all the merging that would be needed.
    3b.) Merging may sometimes be counterproductive as it may produce super-long threads that become hard to process/digest (unübersichtlich in German).
    3c.) In some cases, although threads are similar, they don't need to be merged, so the "similar threads" feature could still be useful even if nothing needed to be merged.
    4.) This feature might alert moderators to thread titles that need to be changed. If I, as a moderator, click on a purportedly "similar" thread and find out that it's not too similar after all, I may change the title to improve the SEO of the database.
    5.) There are a bunch of other things below the reply window, like the social media links, the "Contact Us" link, and others. Anyone can ignore what is not useful or interesting to them.

    All in all, I don't have any strong feelings either way, but my brief analysis above makes me think that the pros probably outweigh the cons.
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    3b.) Merging may sometimes be counterproductive as it may produce super-long threads that become hard to process/digest (unübersichtlich in German).
    :thumbsup:
    In the "French Only Forum", there are many super-long threads (due to merging threads which is sometimes counterproductive): some are much too unübersichtlich and might discourage more than one questioner.
     

    Nanon

    Senior Member
    français (France)
    I agree, super-long threads may be discourageing. However, refraining from merging some threads may produce equally discourageing super-long lists of threads with the same title in the corresponding dictionary page...
     

    mkellogg

    Administrator
    English - US
    I see now why I left this feature disabled. It uses quite a lot of resources and probably slows the server some. It basically doubles the load on the server.
     

    lauranazario

    Moderatrix
    Español puertorriqueño & US English
    I see now why I left this feature disabled. It uses quite a lot of resources and probably slows the server some. It basically doubles the load on the server.
    Then it might be a good idea to turn it off (disable it) again.
    It is not a particularly helpful feature; plus resources could be allocated to other functions. My 2 cents. :)
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Is it possible to enable this feature in some selected forums only? The similar threads are useful in the Dictionary error reports & suggestions forum. I typically remember all the previous threads, and merge threads on the same issues all the time. The similar threads menu is very helpful to see if there are other sections in the dictionary where similar error reports or suggestions have been made, to ensure a standardized approach.
     
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