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Author Topic: When Unread Topics start to pile up  (Read 1326 times)
Lyonid
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« on: August 06, 2023 @435.49 »

Hey, here's yet another topic for you to read. :evil: When life takes over, sometimes you miss out on what happens on forums. Icons blink on for you to say hello to new people, and notifications just wait for you to reply. New faces are coming in quite frequently, and I feel like I want to keep discussions flowing, since this place has been fueling my brain with many thoughts.

I understand that we can't be everywhere at all times (yet), so here's a question for all frequent posters. How do you go about staying up-to-date with forum disccussion when life gets busy? Do you ever feel overwhelmed with new topics flowing in? I know how unfortunate it may feel when your own topic drowns among the others, so brushing over them never feels right to me. How do you break that, and detach yourself from the unfounded obligation?

This has been on my mind for some time because I noticed that the once clear profiles I had of members begin to fade when new faces come in. It's hard to stay focussed! Has anyone felt the same?
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2023 @534.29 »

I like to subscribe to the RSS feeds of forums so I can be notified and skim new posts until I find one that I'm interested in reading in more detail or replying to.
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2023 @582.04 »

I definitely feel the urge to reply to all topics because I don't want anyone to feel not noticed, but it's rare that I feel I have something of use to add to the conversation and so I end up just pressing "Mark All Messages As Read" and trying again in a few hours lol...  :dive:
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shevek
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2023 @582.26 »

My secret (:tongue:) to not feeling overwhelmed is that I actually have quite the opposite experience or view on the forum. I think it is not super active and very easy to keep up with even after days or a week of not visiting for me. I guess it gets more difficult after more time than that, admittedly.

I read quickly, skip threads with no interesting discussion (like the forum games, or some replies to welcome threads). On average I feel there seem to be 1-2 replies in some of the threads here per day where people answer the thread OP and not engaging with the rest of the replies, so there is not much back and forth that is created there, and usually the posts are short. People log in to post the answer to something and then go, and not hang around to repeatedly post in the same thread with eachother; that's usually how threads would baloon in size, and that's not happening here. I used to lurk forums that had 300 new replies in a day in one thread (their main discussion) because they used it like a more longer form instant messenger and had consistent dialogue over hours and days. That took a while to catch up, so this is kind of nothing for me.
There are extra clicks inbetween here, but otherwise, how quickly would you usually scroll past 8-10 new posts on other sites? That's kinda how it feels to me, especially when you use this view instead.
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2023 @673.89 »

back in the day™ when i was new to forums (and forums themselves were relatively new) i had a compulsion to reply to every thread i read.

i wasn't aware that this was compulsive behaviour, and probably couldn't have fully articulated what drove it, but i remember one particular confrontation in which i had replied to a philosophy thread with absolute waffle and the person who started that thread quoted my post to philosophise on how we Live In A Society™ in which people feel the need to appear more intelligent or perceptive than they are and will literally make stuff up if they need to.

this sparked a moment of self-reflection (appropriate, for a philosophy thread, and probably the OP's main goal, so good for him; sadly i never replied to the thread again and he never learned of this awareness he spawned in me). i questioned why i had felt so compelled to respond, why i had chosen to write complete nonsense rather than the more sensible option of not replying.

i had read the thread, and had this bizarre notion that everyone who had posted would somehow know i had read it; that if i didn't reply they'd know i hadn't; that i was obliged to reply because if i didn't they would all see me as ignoring them.

it was stupid. even in understanding that, i couldn't change the thought process, and continued to compulsively reply to everything i read. comically, i chose to control this behaviour not by not replying, but by not reading threads i felt i might not be able to reply to (which i had to judge entirely from the title).

i'm well over this compulsion now ([auto redacted] taught me the art of lurking) but i still choose which threads to read by the same judgements i had developed back then. does the title suggest a topic i'd be interested? can i expect to find something here which will teach me, or entertain me, or challenge me? is there something here i could meaningfully add to?

*writes a post about how i don't post on forums much any more*

*closes the tab without posting because it doesn't really have any value*

*cntrl+shift+t to post because the irony is just too good*
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Cele
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2023 @704.81 »

I don't read everything, I don't keep up and I have no idea what's happening here in whatever time tbh. I barely have the energy to live my irl life.
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Melooon
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2023 @23.95 »

Iv heard this discussed before and Im not sure what the best recommendation is other than don't panic!

Personally I skim the Recent Posts page and the RSS feed for posts that catch my eye - I actually don't tend to look at who made the post until after Iv read it and found it intriguing. Sometimes that can have funny results because people can join and have whole discussions about things that Im not personally into; I'll never notice them, and then suddenly ill be like WOAH who's that and why do they have 300 posts!?!  :omg: (though that happens less since post count is gone)

I enjoy that though; letting go and allowing different parts of the forum to live lives that are beyond any one individuals orbit is what makes a space feel alive and dynamic.
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2023 @252.27 »

When I first joined (earlier this week? late last week?) I cleared all my unread posts and have since only been reading the posts that are new since then! If it's a topic I hadn't read before I'll read the first post and latest reply to see if I'm interested, and if it's a topic I have read before I'll just read the latest reply. Unread Topics haven't been a problem for me here!  :dive:
Larger forums I don't engage in topics I haven't purposefully sought out, but Melonland is small enough that I feel comfortable reading it all. I think I actually wish there were more topics, but I haven't thought of any more to add yet... :tnt:
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2023 @285.43 »

I'd only worry about reading everything, if I get paid for that...

No trophy for completionist in a message board.

It's not worth the hassle.
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Grimlock
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2023 @314.18 »

i tend to keep up with goings on with the rss feed and a feed reader extension! i don't tend to have much to say but i like being kept up on stuff here.
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minttea
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2023 @359.02 »

Frankly, I never really feel overwhelmed by this board! Its a fairly slow steady stream of posts outside the forum games section. And some of the others above me, unless I really feel like I'll have something to contribute, I don't feel very pressed to read them.

That said if I do, I'll be thinking very hard on what to say until so much time has passed that I simply do not reply. An incredible feat of posting, if you ask me! Haha
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Lyonid
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2023 @549.55 »

Oh I am so very happy to read about everyone's experience with the board. It's always interesting to me how people interact with forums, and how they make use of the different functionalities and views, such as looking at skimming Recent Posts, or marking everything as Read. It's definitely something I need to adapt to since my only real forum life was solely the one of a Moderator! I always felt the need to understand it all, yet others could not care less. I think that's awesome and fascinating.

While our board has this slow pace, I just can't help it - it's tough for me! It might be the constant social fatigue from overstimulation, since forum interactions are social events that require social energy. (I would LOVE to think more about this kind of fatigue in the virtual space because it's definitely something people experience online!) There is this urge to just indulge in discussions with cool people, yet life will always get the better of me. Finding out about different strategies to loosen up and not care is something I want to think more about. Afterall, my goal is to decelerate when I am online.

I also believe that a day off from the forum is something that recently helped me with that! And oh wonder, I am so glad it's closed on Mondays.
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2023 @673.94 »

It's been a long time since I've used forums, but when I did I had specific sections or threads that I stuck to. Read those, skim the new threads window, and that was it. The experience here is slightly different because it's so small that not every section is consistently populated by new replies. In that sense, this forum has required me to look around more than I would. Right now, I mainly use the unread posts page or scroll through the chatbox for new threads made.

Funnily, the Monday closes have helped me to do something more productive on that day instead of reading online posts. Otherwise I would absolutely try to read every new post. I just like seeing other people's thoughts on things :ozwomp: 

There are extra clicks inbetween here, but otherwise, how quickly would you usually scroll past 8-10 new posts on other sites? That's kinda how it feels to me, especially when you use this view instead.

Whoa, never knew this sort of view existed! I'm gonna use this for a bit.
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