Surface and Orbit Authority

Thread cleanup and simplifying SOA

Hi folks!

I’ve got a couple of ideas in mind to streamline and de-clutter the forums, and to hopefully make it clearer how to become a voting member if you’re interested in doing so. These changes fall outside of anything explicitly regulated by the Charter, but they affect everyone and I believe they merit some discussion first, or at least an opportunity for people to give an opinion.

The first piece is pretty straightforwards: I’m planning on merging all of the “Server Admin” threads into a single server admin notes thread, and posting all future updates regarding the service to that thread, rather than starting a new thread for each update. In practice, starting a thread each time something happens makes it easier to find specific events, but also puts a lot of visual clutter in the forums.

Some alternative ideas I considered included a dedicated “Server Admin” category (that people could unsubscribe from) or a “Server Admin” post tag (ditto), but this feels like it demands the least work of both people who want to not see these posts, who
only have to mute one thread, and people who do want to see these posts, who only have to follow one thread.

The second is a bit more complex: I’m planning to create a single “welcome” thread, including a leading post laying out the purpose of the thread. Anyone who wants to be a member can join by posting in that thread. (I’ll consolidate all the existing “I join” posts into it, as well.) I believe this is compatible with article 3.2, but by having a single place to post, it should be clearer how to join. Someone who wants to cease being a member can also do it in that thread. The current approach requires people who want to join to work out for themselves how to do that - and I don’t think it happens often enough that people can imitate existing examples.

We already had one situation where someone who actively wanted to vote was unable to do so because the rules about joining prevented it. I’d like to avoid that in the future, at least as far as becoming a voting member goes.

I’m in no rush. I might execute on the server admin thread this weekend, as I don’t expect most people to actually care much, but I’d like to get some feedback on the second idea before putting it into practice.

This makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t see any reason why this wouldn’t work. It seems like it would be much more streamlined.

Seems sensible. Both of them.

The only thing I kind of wonder about is if conversation (“Hi so and so, chat chatty chat chat” or “Hey, about that server change”) would clutter up the threads too much?

It does look like any forum moderator (hi) should be able to split posts out into a new thread if they start to form a separate discussion. If you’re interested, it looks like this:

Ultimately it’s about tradeoffs, though. Right now - especially with the admin threads, but also with join posts - they’re scattered around and woven with other discussion. Centralizing them means other discussion might get woven into them, instead. My take is that that’s probably an improvement, but it’s not by any means unambiguous.

I’ve merged all the server admin notes into this thread.

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It took me an additional couple of months, but I’ve created a membership thread and pinned it

I opted not to move existing membership posts into it, as they’re spread across a number of threads and have substantial amounts of discussion attached that would be disrupted in ways that would make it hard to see the history. Instead, I compromised on linking each post.