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Thread starters summarise long posts
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:02
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Aug 16, 2007

(This one may seem similar to, but it has a different purpose.)


One often gets valuable answers to questions posted in the forums, but sometimes the answerers have a way of talking and talking and talking, and finally making just one point in their post. Other people may write a long (almost superfluous) explanation in addition to their answer. Or sometimes people write ambiguous things which need clarification, but you don't want to use the thread itself for clarification.

This makes the thread difficult to read for people entering the thread late, because they have to digest the long posts, or they may skip the long posts altogether even if there may be good stuff in it.


Allow thread starters to write/suggest summaries for long posts.

It works like this: The thread starter clicks a link "suggest summary" next to the post. He writes a summary of it. The summary is posted in a little box (a different colour from the quotes... perhaps pink or purple) at the bottom of the post, saying "The initiator of this thread, XYZ, suggests the following summary for this post."

In addition, the person who wrote that post has this text "Click here to accept or reject". If he accepts, then his entire post gets hidden and only the pink box remains visible. Users who want to read the original post can still do so by clicking a link. If he rejects, the pink box is hidden, but all users are still made aware that a summary had been proposed, and they can see it by clicking a link.

The person whose post is summarised, also gets an e-mail notification that the thread starter had suggested a summary of the post. The thread starter can also write a reason why he wants to summarise the post (the reason is e-mailed or displayed only to the person who posted, not to everyone).

Using the summary feature to guide the course of the thread should not be against forum rules... eg if a thread starter doesn't want to summarise all points, but allow only parts of the post to remain visible for the remainder of the thread's lifespan, he can use this feature too.

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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
a wonderful idea!! Aug 16, 2007

That is a great idea and would make the really interesting threads so much more accessible. Often, I want to read a thread, but when it goes on and on and on (and the posters go on and on and on), I just can't spare the time.

So, I won't go on and on and on, and I'll just second this suggestion!!

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:02
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Sounds complicated Aug 17, 2007

Would it be easier to restrict postings in the first place and restrict also citation lengths? I hate it when people cite whole postings, why on earth do they do it.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:02
Turkish to English
+ ...
I hear you Aug 17, 2007

I hear what you are saying but quite frankly I would not be prepared to devote my time to writing summaries of posts in a thread I had initiated.

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Thread starters summarise long posts

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