How to deal with multiple consecutive posts

Is there any chance of getting the “no more than two consecutive replies” rule loosened on the Making/Crafting/Creating thread?

Often I’ll make a few things in a week, and equally often the thread will go a few weeks without any other posts. I can edit in to earlier posts if necessary, but that gets a bit unwieldy after a while.


Sadly, that is not a per-topic setting.

However, if you start your own topic, you are not restricted to two consecutive posts.


Not for nothing but I really hate that setting. Some threads really lend themselves to multiple replies and having to edit a previous post rather than be able to trigger a new one really sucks. It can really kill the flow, especially on news-heavy topics.

Maybe the overall limit can be tweaked slightly?

(A feature request would be that the limit is smarter - where the consecutive reply limit also has a timeout. If the intent is to prevent a bunch of rapid fire replies, a cool down period would be a reasonable compromise.)


I’ve increased it to three, though I really feel like someone responding three times in a row risks increasing the chance of one user “dominating” a discussion, especially in contentious topics where we’ve seen instances of “everyone vs one outlier” type scenarios - in these cases, we really don’t want a user to feel like they need to reply to each and every poster separately.

We’ll see how it goes.


I think @ficuswhisperer’s timer idea is a better solution. 3 consecutive replies in a topic you didn’t create is a lot.

You know editing the last post always bumps the whole topic right? So being forced to edit the last post in the topic, rather than add yet another reply is not a big deal in that sense, in the context of “news”.


if you’re considering code changes, just rendering multiple consecutive posts by the same user as if they were one post is another option

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There is an existing staff function to merge posts with a few clicks/taps, but forcing it automatically is a bit too enabling in my view.

A timer also doesn’t address the “but it’s no longer a conversation” issue. The point is conversation with other people to get other perspectives, and that takes more than one person posting. If you want a topic you can update endlessly with your own news, create your own topic where you can do that.

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Is there a meaningful distinction between several “posts” by the same person and one big “post” ?

It’s all just text.

There’s no need to display an avatar and username multiple times if the speaker isn’t changing :thinking:

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Yes, there are a few goals

  1. reduce metadata noise (read six tiny posts or one larger post, all by the same person?)

  2. encourage conversations, that is, not just one person posting over and over

  3. encourage multiple people to participate rather than person X dominating the discussion with novellas

etc. this conversation could probably be broken out into its own meta topic @orenwolf

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And so it has.

I suppose you can do this by percentages or wordiness or something (I.e. a user shouldn’t have more than X% of posts once a topic reaches Y size), but the problem is, there are always edge cases (like @Wanderfound’s original case above.

I reduced the limit from 3 to 2 some time ago because 3 wordy posts in a row in a topic really does feel like a wall of text from a single user instead of a conversation.

And, as you point out, if someone really wants to do that, they just need to start their own topic where the limitation does not apply.


Would it be possible to share ownership of a topic with someone? Won’t work in @Wanderfound’s case, since the thread owner is anon63496581, unfortunately.


Ownership can be changed, but the issue is, that re-attributes the contents of the post, too.

I’m not against re-starting the topic, linking it to the current one, and then closing the current one, though, if @Wanderfound is so inclined.


In Faustroll Alfred Jarry introduced the character Bosse-De-Nage, a dog-faced baboon whose job it was to say “ha ha” at critical points to break up Faustroll’s longer speeches. (This was inspired by a similar rhetorical device used by Victor Hugo and Plato.) Perhaps Bosse-De-Nage could be persuaded to register at BB and interject a short post every so often in such threads to eliminated the consecutive post problem.

I for one would of course assume that any such posts came from the actual Bosse-De-Nage, and not a sockpuppet or 'bot created for the task.


How about differentiating between “consecutive posts in a thread” as such and “multiple answers to multiple posts in a thread”?

Sometimes, especially when I’m late to the party and scroll through a lot of posts already in the thread, I find that I want to respond to various posts/users, but would like to do so with several individual posts.

And get rid of the “have you considered answering to several users at once” message?
Yes, I do consider that. But ever so often this would just result in a confusing mixed bag of a post. A lot of topics have more than one aspect. And I like to keep things structured.


I thought a bunch of people were replying to me – it says “6 replies” now – and I hesitated to read the replies because I’ve already posted twice about the same simple idea, but now I see it’s that this new topic has automatically been set to Watching for me

that doesn’t seem right

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Can’t we flag that though? Then in low flowing topics ppl can.

Think of it like speed limit - in many states you can get “too fast for conditions” ticket even if under the speed limit.

I trust the community to step in if someone dominates :black_heart:

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while i understand what you’re both getting at in a way it’s not really addressing the original request. i realize a certain amount of “tunnelvision” is going to effect folks like yourselves who are taking a more global view of things, a more top-down view, but the original request didn’t have to do with a contentious post it was about the craft/making thread and the point was that it might be weeks between comments on that thread and if you happen to be someone with something to show off or ask or discuss it can be a wee bit irritating to set up a comment with text and perhaps pictures or videos and then click reply and be told you’ve made too many consecutive replies even though the last one was a month ago.

i liked the idea someone had above of having a timer on the consecutive reply limit so that if it’s only been a few seconds or minutes after your previous reply you can’t do it but if it’s been a week or two it’s okay. that seems fairly elegant although i have no idea how difficult something like that would be to implement.


I know.

As I said, I would love for it to be a per-topic or per-category option, but it isn’t. I’m not a developer. I’ve raised the limit to try to account for the issue and suggested that @Wanderfound can create their own topic which wouldn’t have this limit. Those are the options available to me as an admin here.

Yes - I am constrained by the tools I have to use. The Discourse folks may opt to do something else with the issue, but that’s outside of my ability to change. What I can do is offer changes within the scope of what’s here today, which is what I’ve tried to do.


Why? That’s the sort of thing we want to discourage since it maximizes metadata at the expense of all readers.

That is fair.

Right but you can fairly easily edit your response into the last post, which also bumps the entire topic.

It is a fair point to note it is definitely more OK if a lot of time (multiple days, etc) has passed since the last reply. But that could still turn into industrial grade griefing on someone else’s topic.

I would say it’s a general net good for the community to encourage people to actively solicit others to reply to a topic – and if you absolutely must post lots of sequential replies with no restriction, start a new topic and be the topic owner.


Sometimes, especially when I’m late to the party and scroll through a lot of posts already in the thread, I find that I want to respond to various posts/users, but would like to do so with several individual posts.
A lot of topics have more than one aspect. Replying to severals users in one go as it were would more often than not just result in a confusing mixed bag of a post. And I like to keep things structured, and I’m not alone in this.

IME, it’s also more convenient to make separate replies to separate posts/users when I’m using a mobile device (tablet). (I usually commute to work by bus. Since they’ve put WiFi on the buses that means an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening snorkeling the web; mostly on the BBS. Unless I take a nap.) An amalgated reply to several users in a thread that already has a certain entries means a lot of jumping back and forth and back and forth. On a “real” computer this isn’t much of an issue as I have a large display and a mouse with a scrollwheel at my disposal.

No. Not in a thread that is a spirited conversation with several people at once on a multi-faceted subject.

Been there, done that, really appreciate the feature - but that’s not the point here.

Yes, since you ask, I rather would prefer six short posts (or three or eight or however many it takes to exchange views) over one large post from the same person. Things are clearer, better structured that way. Not noise - rhythm. Maybe even melody.

That’s basically the same point, badly argued.
From where I sit, encouraging me to enter into a conversation works best if I get a specific reply to a specific post/point in a post.
Posit: encouraging multiple people to participate works best by addressing them individually.
I don’t care if someone responds with one sentence or a whole essay as long as they have something to say. Some points can be made using a single word. Others require building up an argument from the ground up and providing additional background information. So what? You can’t standardize this. If I think a reply is too long, I can always come back later, ask for a tl;dr or just give up and scroll onward with a smile on my lips an a song in my heart.
Besides, if someone should post enormous empty word salads all the time - well, there is always the 'ignore’feature.

Amen, brother.
I think I could live happily ever after with a (resonable) time limit.


The users know they can reply to multiple other users in one post. There is a annoyingly passive-aggressive very helpful message to that effect popping up.
How about investing a little bit of trust in the users and give them a choice?
You can always bundle it with trust levels if you’re unsure about it.
This is the BBS. Anyone who manages to stay here for a while obviously has at least a minimum level of understanding how an exchange of opinions works. I know that quite a lot of the regulars are up to giving someone who derails or dominates a polite hint. And if that fails then there our bunting tossers to, well, toss buntings.


Counterpoint: if I reply to several users you can safely assume that I will use the same amount of words whether I put my replies in one combined post or several separate ones.

Another good idea! There are some topics where this would work nicely, I think. And sharing is caring, after all.

Heh. This could be made into another feature.
Say, TL3 users get to be our secret Bosse-De-Nage for a week at a time on a random basis, and wield the power to post a “Get on with it!” entry at their discretion.

No, it doesn’t. It’s probably meant as a convenience, but so are 99% of the format options that automatically pop up in MS Word. You get my drift.


That could be a solution that both works and be accepted by most of the users.

Yes, absolutely.
I can think of a couple of Happy Mutants that would be up to straighten me out if I overdo it, and in the nicest possible way, too!

Yes, this. And the rest of what you wrote in this particular post. I’d have replied/commented on it separately, but, you know…

Yes, but you are doing great things with what you have.
I really appreciate the effort you are putting into this. The thoughtful moderating is a major factor that makes the BBS what it is. Especially the effort that goes into it more or less unseen… it is somewhat one of those “if you do your job right, it looks like you’re not doing anything” scenarios, isn’t it.
And with all its limitations, Discourse is the best environment available.

Well, I think that about covers it from where I am, for now.
Have a nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon, everybody!