After blathering on a lot yesterday on this topic and then reading some of the latest replies, I came to the conclusion that substance is in the eye of the beholder, not in the length of the sentence or in how many words you can string together or whether your post garners thousands of replies or only a few. If people are interested in posting in the spark café, short or long or on new threads or old, they'll do it until spark sets up the site the way it wants to set it up by making official changes.
Fitness Minutes: (31,937)
3,656 7/6/13 5:34 A
I used to go on a site called Toluna (a UK site) and there were lots of opportunities to post discussion questions and give opinions. The points counted for something - you could get amazon vouchers or other vouchers after a very long time. But you only got points for answers over a certain length. Hardly anyone abused the system and wrote rubbish. Perhaps if in certain forums you could only pick up your points for answers of (say) 20 words or more it would keep the one word answer questions in the games site. And people who wanted to 'Click if they love Spark' wouldn't come to click in the café!
Fitness Minutes: (40,069)
4,472 7/5/13 2:46 P
Blazing Saddles??? KJ! How about The Treasure of the Sierra Madre! Bogey as the despicable Fred C Dobbs
we did use that one often when I worked for the convention contractor. Always got a chuckle - even from the most straight laced security people
"I wish they would eliminate points for posting. "
Make it like reading an article.. where you go to the article and whether you skim it or absorb and meditate on it, you have the option to "collect your 5 sparkpoints" at the bottom of the article. Do it like that with the forums... make it worth a few points to "visit" the forums each day... once you load up one of the forum boards, there's the box, click and take your points.
The idea is to encourage people to COME to the forums... ok, just doing that, will get them here. Then they might see a subject line that compels them to read further... and perhaps participate, perhaps just lurk-and-learn.... and if they only came for the points, they got them, and no actual forums were hurt in the process...
Fitness Minutes: (70,412)
1,551 7/5/13 12:08 P
I wish they would eliminate points for posting. Watch the one word posts disappear in a day and people who really took an interest (enough to read a thread) could get some dialog going.
I've always thought a message board where the last post is on the top is not a message board at all.
Thanks, Bunny, re your explanation re my gratitude thread. You are right and I don't take it personally.
KJ, I agree it isn't about free speech here but it is my opinion that Spark does make advertising dollars of our free use of the site, so a certain amount of free speech in the café especially seems called for and I think Spark does support that.
I get that they want the board policed by members to eliminate potential new one word threads, but to be honest the idea of people reporting posts because they might get short responses or for whatever reason they want to get them out of there before they get too many responses or just 'cause they feel grumpy that morning, creeps me out. The board has administrators and moderators and folks being encouraged to report posts for shallow reasons like that bothers me.
I think it is great that there is a report post button because to be honest, I have had some serious problems with a few sparkers over the years and these were very compassionately and skillfully resolved for me with the kind spark coaches' help.
It seems in cases where someone is openly attacking another poster, using hate speech, or whatever, that is what the report post option should be about.
I just honestly think reporting posts because they MIGHT have too many short responses, sorry, have to say it again, is creepy.
I never had a chance to read the post you were talking about KJ, or the reality show one someone else just mentioned. They were deleted, I guess, because someone reported them, not for having inappropriate content, apparently (?) but just 'cause someone thought they might get short answers?
Anyway, I like spark and don't want to be in conflict with the way the site is run lol. I really appreciate the free blog space provided.
So NOW shall be silent lol.
And stay outta the café unless I can say something long.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
306 7/5/13 11:39 A
I went to the men's Lounge one day and a woman posted saying, "guys, hate to crash your place but I have a question I want a man's point of view on." It became a very interesting thread. I'm sure the "guys" don't want a lot of those so I decided not to follow that woman's lead. It made me think of there are no men (or maybe one or two occasionally) in the cafe.
Maybe an SP coach can chime in but I think I remember a coach once saying that a thread cannot be deleted if it has too many replies but I'm not sure what the magic number is.
Also, SP is too big for coaches to go on search & destroy missions so they rely on us members to help police the boards which is why they have a report inappropriate post button for us to use.
It ain't about free speech here, it's about spamming up the boards.
As for my original post two days ago about academics I'll admit, I made it as DRY as possible and I made it's counter-part, in experiment only, thread about Reality Shows as juicy as I could. My hypothesis was that my juicy gossipy thread would fare far better than my thread of substance therefore proving that people who complain about simple-minded threads just ought to suck it up and post more emoticons of support (oh, and yeah, the reality show thread won by a 4:1 margin)
"Like my Reality Show thread, it had less than 20 responses so it was able to be reported and deleted before it got too big"
Huh how 'bout that. I didn't really see that as a "one word answer" thread-in-the-making... but upon reflection, yes, it very well could have become a 10,000-poster.........
TO THINK I CONTRIBUTED TO THAT! Shame on you for making me break the forum guidelines! (lol i am saying this in a light-silly tone, i'm not actually mad lol).
But back to the main point - gosh, Spark REALLY needs to look at making improvements to the forums so that moderation (thread "locking" and deleting) more possible. It's quite frustrating that new posts that are "alright" have to be DELETED "before they get too big"... i mean, there's lots of topics that are good discussion but have the POTENTIAL for becoming 1-word-behemoths.... that end up being lost pre-emptively before they have a chance to over-grow....
"Lol, I posted a thread asking what people were grateful for today and it was apparently (not sure, though) removed right away"
Yeah, because there is already an existing "grateful things" thread, with about 10,000 posts on it.... really, there only needs to be one of these, so don't take it personal! The old behemoth threads, as explained by Spark and some forum moderators, *cannot* easily be removed (if they could, they'd probably lock up and remove the 4-year-old threads and let your new "Version 2" take their place for awhile).
Yea, they do seem to remove some threads but not others. Lol, I posted a thread asking what people were grateful for today and it was apparently (not sure, though) removed right away. Yet some of the one word reply ones have gone on for years.
Dunno, I have a foot in each camp. I like less moderation and removing of things on an area like the café, think it should be kind of free wheeling. I like one word and "I Love Spark" click threads and ones with more substance.
I personally think if anyone wants threads of a certain kind with substance or that people want to discuss, they should and are free to post them. There are many intelligent and thoughtful folks in the café, zillions of them, yet only a few brave souls post "substance" type threads that call out to many of us to discuss.
Also, re the one word answer ones, I have been on and off spark for years and this time around I have been enjoying earning points because just doing the repetitive tasks for points relaxes me and I need ways to relax and be peaceful these days. I have tried the game room and it is kind of boring to me, not meaning to disparage anyone who likes those games.
In the early days of spark, there were all sorts of heated debates and interesting discussions on all topics here in the café. Then the team system became more encouraged. I like the teams and have had many wonderful memberships in them and still do find ones that interest me, but I have also found problems there with hostile members, or have gotten into problems because the team became too insular or mentally limited, or become inactive, so it seems to me that the general open community is the new wave of the future, with folks free to talk about whatever ... one word or (in this case lol as I'm talky this morning) a whole lotta words.
So I actually think spark is again changing from team based to open community based and guess I hope the café just stays what it is and all the community message boards flourish as well.
Spark is great and a lot of fun. I'll relapse into silence now lol.
Edited by: EMPRESSAMQ at: 7/5/2013 (10:48)
Fitness Minutes: (40)
992 7/5/13 10:34 A
I like what Bunnykicks said...if we want more interesting topics, we might have to start them ourselves. I still check in every day "just in case" there is a topic of interest. I don't come for points because they don't really "do anything" for me. I like to discuss real topics of interest, whether about health and weightloss, or something else entirely.
Fitness Minutes: (2,031)
1,730 7/5/13 10:18 A
I go off the post titles - some are of substance, and some like "Click if you love SP" are good for getting easy points.
I recently learned we're allowed to report posts that require one word replies or are games in disguise or are not to our liking but they have to be reported before too many posts appear.
Like my Reality Show thread, it had less than 20 responses so it was able to be reported and deleted before it got too big, same for my "Did you breathe today?" thread. SP wants us to report threads that are deemed not to fit into the guidelines.
This one fits that profile.
Fitness Minutes: (31,937)
3,656 7/5/13 4:23 A
I know what you mean. I still find quite a few interesting posts in the café - and then I whizz across to the games room to make up the rest of the 15 points for the day! I think the idea of taking off all the forums completely and starting again might be good if that was easier than taking down individual topics. It would then be easier to remove duplicated topics, or topics posted in the wrong forum.
And I'm probably Anarie's worst nightmare as, if I can't find anything interesting on the first few pages, I go to the very last pages and resurrect something! I only resurrect stuff that looks a bit interesting though - and it probably hasn't already got thousands of replies. And I won't do it any more since I've read some of Anarie's posts about trying to moderate this site!!
Fitness Minutes: (76,885)
2,953 7/4/13 4:32 P
When I don't see anything that interests me, I pick a random page and look for previous posts and I do have a group of people on my SP friends that I always check their blogs first.
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27,794 7/4/13 10:10 A
I agree with you about most of the long threads, but I do like the "What are reading" thread because I am an avid reader, and I like to get ideas for future reads. It drives me nuts though when people just answer that thread with "nothing". I appreciate it when people include the author's name and a brief description of the book.
I also enjoy the "What made you smile today" thread. When I am having a bad day, it challenges to me really think about the fact there is at least one thing good in each day. And if someone says that nothing made them smile, I send them a Spark goodie. It feels good when sometimes, they leave a message on my Spark page that I brightened their day.
I try to scan the cafe every day, but I have stopped looking at the topic when I do my scan. I look at the number of responses. when I see one with less than 50, then I look at the topic to see if it is something I'm interested in. I quite worrying about sparks points ages ago, only do the spin so I get credit of "logging in"
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11,704 7/4/13 4:58 A
Glad to see your new post! I feel the same way.
Fitness Minutes: (220,454)
3,775 7/3/13 10:21 P
Well, I've never seen this one before. One thing I know, "the one thing you can count on is change!"
Fitness Minutes: (610)
19 7/3/13 12:31 P
I've been around on sparks back and forth for years and some of the threads were around then. There have been times in the past when I have come to the cafe to post genuine questions and had no responses because the page is just flooded with the likes of 'click if you like sparks'... erm of course we like it if we didn't we would have left right???
Ok rant over.. there must be someway to regulate the threads though.
I have felt the same lately....some days I don't even find enough good threads to get all my points, and I will not waste my time responding to the most popular of the threads. However, there are other rooms to go to like the "Guys Lounge," the Game Room, Motivation, etc. that offer up other types of conversations and fun threads. It all depends on what you want out of the boards -- points, fun, companionship, or sincere conversation about a variety of topics. I agree, though. If you wait a few days at a time, you will probably have enough to choose from for discussion purposes.
Fitness Minutes: (31,618)
218 7/3/13 10:50 A
Thanks for the replies...that makes sense. I will continue to sort through the posts and hopefully in the winter it will be better. I will try to be one of the few that sticks around. I do love spark people and I like some of the posts. I don't remember the guys name KS..... he starts cool posts. I like to read his point of view because so often I am surrounded by female perspective.
I just scan right past the thousand-response threads. It's been explained that Spark administration/mods are unable to remove those giant threads for technical reasons. And they do try to prevent newer threads from turning into yet more point-collection-station behemoths.
So... what's one to do? I just check in less often, so that it seems there is more "new" stuff when I do check in.
I don't know that it does much good to complain about it though - that's just how it is. If I wanted more threads that interested me - I could start more threads myself! But I'm not much of a thread-starter... i prefer to be a responder...
There's a few people that hang around in the Cafe that are good at starting "discussion threads" so I look for theirs. It's enough to keep me coming back around.
Though I sure have noticed a difference since January - back in January this place was hopping busy! And now, not so much. Which makes me kind of sad because what does it mean? A lot of abandoned New Years Resolutions, I imagine. The pack keeps thinning around me as I blunder on towards my goals. Sigh.
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2,273 7/3/13 10:44 A
Part of it is that in the Cafe forum especially, there are many threads with 1000+ (or even 10000+) that the mods can't delete because of the architecture of the site. Personally, I'd be ok with losing all of the data in the forums if it meant we could have a forum structure that was easier to moderate so that these massive threads wouldn't be clogging up the forums.
Fitness Minutes: (70,412)
1,551 7/3/13 10:37 A
Several of us have discussed this same thing over and over. It's a sad realization when it dawns on each of us. I have still managed to find friends and people I connect with here. I will even go back several pages to try and follow a thread out of interest.
Some people have gotten so bad they post a . That's right - a period. Or an emoticon - whatever- they get their points and move on.
This is not a race to the finish folks because then what will you do???? This is a healthy lifestyle and personal change opportunity to utilize to the fullest.
I couldn't agree more but I still continue to come back because I've been here long enough to know it's a cycle, some months like Jan, Feb & March are hot and the summer is always slow.
Fitness Minutes: (31,618)
218 7/3/13 10:31 A
I used to check in to the message board every day, but then I realized that it was the same posts every single day. And even when I was off the computer for almost a week, I came back and it was still the same posts.
Fitbit yes or no What's for dinner Do you make your bed Did you overeat yesterday What book are you reading right now And on and on and on
There are newer posts, but they are few and far between, and a pain to sort through several pages to find them.
I don't come in here often anymore, because there isn't a point in seeing the same posts I have already read and responded to over and over and over and over again.
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