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200POUNDQUEST SparkPoints: (2,468)
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4/19/13 10:22 P

It would be nice if the boards were a little better organized. I always click to sort something I haven't read before so the oldest is on top, but then if I go in to read something I've been in before, I often have to resort to get newest on top.

A board with threaded discussions and the ability to mark posts "read" would be nice and probably eliminated a lot of confusion.

I think there is also something of a unique situation with Spark boards because of people who post just to get points. Those folks often don't give a rip what the thread is actually about....or don't seem to :)

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
4/19/13 10:18 P

When i first started using Spark forums, I found the "upside down" threads really bizarre (any other forum I've participated on, has always sorted first-on-top and/or threaded).

But now I'm used to it, and sometimes when on other forums I find myself immediately scrolling to the bottom and reading upwards ha ha!

I do agree that the *extremely* long threads start to lose their purpose after awhile, and just become spam-bins really. But I'm not sure how one would go about deterring their existence. I honestly have never seen a forum with so many threads of 10,000+ posts before, it feels quite unique to this board.

ETHELMERZ SparkPoints: (216,429)
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Posts: 16,112
4/19/13 9:19 P

Sometimes, it would be a good idea to not let the old threads get so very long in the first place, people answer the same things, over and over after awhile. :)

ANARIE Posts: 13,120
4/19/13 9:17 P

I do think that a lot of the off-topic responses happen because the commenter is sorting "last on top" and doesn't know what the question actually was. I have always used the "first post on top" setting, myself. But as for making that the default for everyone... It's a matter of opinion which is better. If you post on the really, really long threads, you would want the last one showing so you'll know if the thread has gone off topic. If it has, a response to the first post can be just as out-of-place as the ones we're complaining about. And if it's a one-page thread, sorting last-on-top lets you see quickly whether someone else has already said what you're going to say. That's the drawback of how I do it; sometimes I just read the first post, answer it, and THEN see that I'm the umpteenth person to say exactly the same thing so my response is pointless.

So, yes, it's best if people read the question-- but it's easy to see why sometimes they don't, and you just kind of have to live with it. It's just a fact of internet life.

4/19/13 12:35 P

look at the top of the thread in the orange part. It author on one side then sort posts on the opposite. I just now made it so that the first post is now at the top.

4/19/13 11:12 A

I tried to post my opinion on a similar thread before, but was told by the OP that I wasn't "getting" their post. I don't consider myself ignorant, so if I can't understand what the OP wants, then there are probably others who can't either.

I try not to get too serious about the message boards. When OP's ask for specific information on health/fitness/diet, they usually do get solid and direct responses from most of those visiting the thread.

The YES/NO and one-word response threads -- I bypass without bother. My option.

I personally find it humorous when people do go off subject -- it's just like conversing with a group of people live (where the subject of talk is constantly changing). I see a lot of sarcasm and friendly jabs at some of the posters, which makes reading the thread fun. Many of the posters are familiar enough with one another that they will go off-subject (maybe or not related to the OP), which solicits further comments on the off-subject.

We have a choice to post on message boards or not to. Forming a team with only the Spark Members whom you wish to blog with is always an option.

I hope this comment is ON SUBJECT. I usually don't respond to threads like this anymore, because the subject always gets heated and nasty.

I remember a professor telling our class of nursing students something that has stuck with me since then. People, in general, respond to life and death only in the best way they know how.


CLRWILLIAMS25 SparkPoints: (34,625)
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Posts: 1,091
4/19/13 11:12 A

I agree with previous posters. I think the original post should be at the top, with subsequent posts listed below.

To answer the original question emoticon , I think responders should read the original post before adding to the discussion. Even if the posting has gotten off topic, it will help the new poster formulate a response that is still relevant to the original. I've seen posters be the 4th or 5th person and already way off topic, only because they did not read the original post first. I'd posted something in the recipes forum about travel foods for an upcoming trip, asking for dinner ideas that could be refrigerated and reheated at my hotel, or ideas for things I could keep in my purse. I got responses about what to eat on a car trip! Hello, we're already here!
[gets off soapbox]

Edited by: CLRWILLIAMS25 at: 4/19/2013 (11:12)
RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
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Posts: 3,116
4/19/13 11:07 A

I was happy to learn that you can easily see the original post even when there are thousands of responses by clicking the top right where you can read oldest first. I know it is not threaded, but at least it is easy to read the original post.

I_HEART_MY_FAM Posts: 1,809
4/19/13 11:03 A

I don't blame the people, I blame how it is set up. I think the original post should be at the top of page always, and then if they choose to read other replies they can scroll down. On a smart phone it isnt fun searching for first post. It would be much easier for everyone and less time consuming to have original post on top.

SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (9,269)
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Posts: 1,068
4/19/13 10:48 A

I love Sparkpeople, but I very much wish the default way that forums were set up would be:

Original Post at the top, and then threaded responses so you can easily see who responded to what, or who responded to someone else's thoughts/comments on the original post. Because of the way they are set up, few of us ever know if anybody even reads what we write, whether we start the original topic, or not.

On any topic that I am interested enough to respond to, yes, I make sure I read the original posting.

4/19/13 10:26 A

It's funny to me when I see folks suffering as I did about this very topic. I had started a raging campaign against mindless threads/responses etc...only to have an epiphany that I am unable to CONTROL OTHERS!!!!! (Though I wish I had the power of deleting posts as I see fit, lol)

I equated my efforts to me using a pistol to stop a tidal wave....think about it :)

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
4/19/13 9:31 A

I agree to a point. Some of the threads that i thought were about one thing turned into completely another since someone took it over. Some posts I read turned malicious quickly as well when opposite points of view were shared. But if the original poster did not get the answer they were seeking, they can always post it again in hopes of getting answers.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (493,631)
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Posts: 13,355
4/19/13 12:04 A

I know what you mean.

HEALTHY4UNI SparkPoints: (12,452)
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Posts: 325
4/18/13 11:48 P

Sometimes I read responses/replies to threads and the response has little or nothing to do with the actual intent of the post. From my perspective, to answer a question or to be part of a discussion without knowing what the question or discussion topic is about. Responses vary but when it comes right down to it, I believe that there are at least 3 reasons for a thread post.

1) First is so that others can reveal there opinions and perspective so that they can help the person posting the thread.
2) A person posting a thread might be seeking to help a reader/responder to do some introspective analysis so that the reader might be Sparked to better help themselves from the influence of what is posted. This would include being encouraged, motivated or called to accountability for their our purposes.
3) A third reason might be so that as other come and read what has been posted, they can glean from the multiple responses and be influenced to learn from what has been posted and use what they find posted to benefit themselves.

So in order to have productive threads and replies, do you think it is beneficial to read the original post and try to understand what is being sought by the person making the original post?

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