Hello John (@ john.l.clark),
Thank you for coming back to this thread. I guess that “discussion forum” is a space dedicated to discuss some topics and, as I know, when somebody proposes a discussion topic, other people could read or not, comment or not, depending on a multitude of factors.
Some people just read and keep their reflections in their own minds, some are triggered to respond to something (in case they feel so), some people don’t use time to even read the posts, etc. The level of involvement differs and is not exclusively related to the content itself or to the person doing it, but there are many other factors that influence the presence, the involvement and the contribution in the discussion forum.
Well, if something could be done to help people to select the posts they are interested in, we can use some special tags to differentiate the type of content. Some people may want to just exclude some of the posts or even some people from the search results and they are free to do so. People could see who is making a post and avoid that person.
Regarding the content, is there an objective way to “classify” the post using some criterias. It may help some people find just what they want, but searching is a process to reach the information we are looking for. Even when we use Google to search, the returned proposals are not always the information we are really looking for, so we have to refine our search.
The philosophy of searching for what we are looking for may contain at least two approaches:
- How to exclude the posts we are not interested in;
- How could we find the posts relevant for us;
I guess the first is really difficult to do and it involves exclusivity, not inclusivity. For the second approach, we may establish a series of tags to categorize the posts and add that tag in the post.
Example of tags: name of the contributor, q&a, reflections, opinions etc. It’s difficult to eliminate any kind of subjectivity because there are so many, sometimes different, interests and approaches to share information and propose discussion topics.
Everybody has their preferences and I guess diversity of perspectives is a core principle of sociocracy. As I know, nobody stops somebody else to have more posts, be more present, share more insights if they have the time and willingness to do so. Let’s be wise and not transform this “discussion forum” optimization into a method to exclude somebody from sharing something.
I personally add on all my posts this invitation: “If you want to share your personal reflections on this topic, please feel free to do so in a comment below. Thank you.”
Is there a survey on this topic? How many people are, in fact, discontent of how they can use the discussion forum? Do they contribute with their views, opinions, perspectives, dimensions, etc. How often? Should we be the same? Does anybody prevent people from personally sharing their own contribution as posts or as comments?
I sustain the optimization of the discussion forum by creating new specific niches. Some people contribute more often with forum posts, some people are present by reading them and some people have more contributions in different ways in different other spaces. There is or should be a space for every voice. Or not
I’m looking for other feedback as well.