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Harry J. Fletcher




Location: Lost in Texas
Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Likes: 9 pages
Reading list: 44 books

Posts: 260

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Liven Up Discussion- bring in new members         Reply with quote

I have noticed that many discussions seem to die with people either just not wanting to make a comment because someone has posted what I call a thread killer or the discussions simply deteriorate into nothing. Other times a discussion becomes an argument over piqcayune details rather than focsusing on the general content of the argument.

For example I posted a topic on making sword stands with a number of people reading the post with no one posting in reply. Another topic was naming swords which was killed right away by someone's post stating they don't name swords followed by another post saying that it had been discussed before and here's the link. This was a real thread killer. Maybe it had been discussed 3, 4, or 5 years ago but new people members and visitors who might have liked some discussion of the subject which is really an interesting one if one has studied the history of swords. One topic which was reopened and generated some lively discussion was holding a Viking sword. This had previously been discussed people were still interested in the subject.

The point is that if more senior members can take the lead in directing discussions they can also kill discussions because of the attitude...been there...done that...ho hum..let's move on.

There are new people out there who might enjoy discussion of topics which have been covered before and who knows, new ideas or information could surface.

In short don't let inbreeding kill what is a very nice web site for sword enthusiats of every stripe.
Regards,

Harry

To Study The Edge of History
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hear you. Let me explain, in my own words, the culture of myArmoury.com and some of our fundamental intentions:

The goal for myArmoury.com is to be a source of good information. It's not necessarily our goal to provide good conversation.

I don't think that directing people to good information, be it in an older topic or even another Web site, is a bad thing. If it kills a new topic from separately continuing in the blind, then job well done. The people interested in the topic received the good information that they were seeking and felt complete enough not to continue with additional conversation on the topic. That is the epitome of learning.

Should more information be required or more discussion desired, nobody is preventing any party from continuing the conversation in the original (older) topic, adding new information, viewpoints, and further conversation. Doing this also has the added benefit of adding to our already-large archive of knowledge, expanding it further and adding value.

I also don't think that providing links to past topics or other places on the 'net with answers and information is a "ho hum, been there, done that" attitude. In fact, I'm going to emphatically state that it's a helpful, thoughtful, and well meaning act that solves the problem at hand.

myArmoury.com is, above all, intended to be a resource. It's a foundational goal of ours to have more signal and less noise. Is this different than many, if not most, other sites on the 'net? You bet. It sure is: and I am glad to know that.

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Ben P.




Location: Your Mind
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 200

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From my experience even people who post a link (usually it's two or three links and maybe some sources, citations and maybe a few pics) usually give helpful input and info as well
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
Joined: 02 Sep 2008

Posts: 239

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

nuff said...

For me myArmoury is a good place to stay and talk, but more to listen, for its serious attitude: nothing is worse than someone that, only for the sake of say something, write in a topic without even reading the previous post, or re-writing what another has said.

Can I add an example?
Onte time on a italian tolkenian forum we were discussing how much were "45 leagues". I presented a link to the international standards society with the exact measurement of a league in the various times of the history (around 5 klom)... Not two topic after, someone said that he doesn't have and idea of how much a league is, but "think that is around 1,6 km" (obliviously a mile). They are even now discussing the vague valor of a league...

On myArmoury probably someone around the second post would have presented a university's research of the valor of a league in history, and at the fourth about the (im)possibility to walk for 45 in three day... Razz

So thanks a lot to all experts who share their knowledge with us "bocia",,, I'm here to learn, I have a family and friends for small-talk
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,178

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry: As " THE ONE " who posted the link to that earlier Topic the intent wasn't to " be a BUZZ KILL " or to show up the poster as in " Hey this subject was already discussed " ! My intent was to supply information about a discussion where the question had already received numerous answers and to had my example of why and how I named one of my swords and why I would do it in a special case but not for all my swords.

Now, after reading that old Topic people have the option of continuing the discussion on that old thread or on the new one if they wish, but someone coming across the new thread in the future ( maybe quite a while from now ) could follow the discussion on the new Topic but also have the link to the older Topic.

So, I'm just making the point that the intent was only to be helpful as Nathan mentioned. ( Oh, and having been around here for a while it's easier for me and others who also have been around for a while to HELP new posters find stuff. Wink Big Grin Cool ).

Oh, as to why some Topics take off or die with few replies it can be somewhat a mystery or just chance and depends on people having information or more questions about the subject: I have seen some Topics sort of take off a few days after they initially received little notice when someone makes an interesting comment.

By the way I took no offence at your comments and do not intend offence either: Just giving feedback on my intent. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Harry J. Fletcher




Location: Lost in Texas
Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Likes: 9 pages
Reading list: 44 books

Posts: 260

PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Jean - not referring to you         Reply with quote

No I wan't referring to you Jean, and really thought that you added to the discussion topic. I found your reply quite informative. Much as I would have liked others to have responded in a similar fashion but they didn't.

I do not regard a link to past discussion as non productive and enjoyed reading the various comments that were made. These topics tend to run in cycles and new information can come from them. I find nothing wrong with a little humor and some informal chat on a topic. Afterall who made the edict that history is not supposed to be fun.

I enjoy the study of swords and their development but more than that the reasons and methods for their employment. Having had close combat experience in small arms (and this is not bragging) I understand the serious side of their use. Killing is a serious bloody business. The worrry of being horribly maimed or killed can create a paralysis in a man. Which I do not delve into much in my discussion but for those who have never experienced it, can never hope to understand the effect it has on close combat. This is why I tend to keep my discussions on the light side. It would do well for people to remember that historical people who used the weapons under discussion were still people and functioned in a social milieu just we do today.

I confine my topics that are historically ambiguous to the Off Topic Forum such as making Sword Stands or Naming Swords which has historical significance if one takes the time to investigate. Although not using a sword in a man killing fashion, one can still relate personally to the qualities of a sword which was my intent in the discussion on naming swords. As for opening up a dicussion, I have seen others who just stopped contributing or making any reply after a more senior member made a snide remark. Then again, I have seen others who have been so wrapped up in detail that they seem to miss the central point of the argument.

Maybe it is because I am better educated and experinced that my interpretation is different but I think we can all learn from each other. If I am bored with reading a person's reply, there might someone else who is getting something out of it.

Regards,

harry

To Study The Edge of History
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,178

PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I agree that some good Topics get diverted when some small detail leads to digressions and the initial question gets lost in the shuffle.

At time the digressions can be interesting and end up worth while in themselves but unless the original Topic was truly answered or exhausted then getting back to the original question is a good thing after the diversion(s).

Anyway glad to know that you appreciated my contribution with the link and maybe we misunderstood or are still unsure about the point you are making ? ( Just need a little more elaboration maybe. Wink Big Grin Cool ).

Now maybe someone made a joke and it may be it that could be interpreted as a put-down but usually the moderators would have become involved if someone was perceived as rude or insensitive ? On-line communications are notorious for being tone deaf and humour or " friendly " sarcasm can come across as " snide " or less than friendly.

Certainly some comments can be less than useful in keeping the conversation going.

Ideally, all Topics would get useful and informative replies and many people replying and certainly encouraging more participation in discussions is a good thing. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 4:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also tend to post links to previous discussions on the topic, when I know of any. In general I also try to add a short summary of what can be found in each of these links, or at least state my own opinion. I find this can soften the tone of the post somewhat, and it gives elements of answer even if people do not click on the links or do not take the time to read them in whole. It can be intimidating when you ask a seemingly simple question and get referred to 60+ posts of discussion, it's almost too much info to digest...

The key problem in my opinion is that discussion forums are not extremely well suited to knowledge archival. In a typical discussion, even if it is very informative at the moment, there is a lot of back and forth going on, disgressions etc. This is necessary for the discussion, but following it all in one go several years after can be tedious. A discussion is informative when you are a participant, but is harder to read after the fact.

I once made one post about sword balance that was almost all links and a few comments, and looking back I doubt it was that useful to many people. Yet it opens access to great piles of information, but there is so much overlap, repetitions and redundancy accross the links that it would be daunting to follow them all. Not to mention that some of these discussions degenerated into arguments that are not always informative.

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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