[Site Feedback] A plea: Please avoid closing or merging topics!

We have had that conversation openly and privately and we all have our opinion on that subject. I don’t agree with this generalized “don’t” I think we can use our sense to help us in making the right decision and must accept that we make mistakes.

I really got confused with all those tapping errors that have cropped up recently. Hydro has changed some titles and it helps, I did hesitate too.

But so many threads were created in the different language sections it was a nightmare.

I would just agree on a : “if you decide to … be VERY VERY careful.”

I think I have already argumented it in this theme.
I am not completely against it, but I think we have covered a very big range of issues.

Just because some people think merging is okay is not a good enough reason to royally mess things up for the rest of us by doing it. Just don’t.

Moving threads to a more appropriate topic is totally fine.

And when you think a new post is really just a duplicate of some other post that has more discussion already, you can comment with a link and say something like “I think someone already mentioned that and they’re discussing it over there, want to go there and add your comments?” People are pretty good about doing that, when it turns out you’re right, or pointing out that their post is different when it is.


Bumping this thread, because it just happened to me yet again!

Someone asked a specific question about specific words in a course I maintain… and before I could answer, someone else merged it into a generic “course forum” post. DON’T DO THIS.


It’s unnecessary each word to have its own theme.

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That is exactly my point, 3 threads for the same course now, each would require a thread? And the former two threads are still open.
Some courses have masses of anomalies, an English or Chinese section would be littered with threads of disambiguation with such approach.
The memrise courses are source of frequent flags, imagine if each case, among all 7 levels required a new thread every time.

ie :

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It is unnecessary for all issues about the same course to be lumped into one never-ending one-dimensional comment stream on a single post. It may seem okay at first, when this forum is new and the list of comments is short, but in the long run it will make things unmanageable. Having a separate post for each individual issue has many advantages:

  • The post topic can specifically and accurately reflect what the discussion is about.

  • When you search for a particular issue, you’ll find that post, and quickly and easily see the discussion about that issue.

  • Problem reports, questions about words, and so on, won’t get lost, hidden in long threads about many different topics. If someone asked a question about a meaning of something, for example, and nobody answered it for many months, but later one someone searches for the same thing and answers it, the answer will be right there, right next to the question, where everyone else can understand what people are talking about.

What’s wrong with having 3 threads for the same course, other than offending someone’s personal sense of order? There’s no limit to how many threads are here, and older inactive threads will scroll off the lists and won’t get in anyone’s way, but people would still be able to find them by searching. Anyone who wants to report a new problem can just start a new post.

It would of course be much much better if we could have a separate forum for each course. But memrise took that away from us. However, we always had lots of different posts, each with their own comment thread, for every course, and we can and IMO should continue doing that.

In any case, don’t close or merge other people’s topics! You may think it’s better your way, but all you’ll do is pollute all the posts with extra meta-discussion and confusion because of your actions.

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You are continuing to fight a battle that has already been lost.

Memrise management decided that all posts related to a single course should be grouped into one [Course Forum] thread, and explicitly directed us to do so. The moderators are simply doing as they were instructed.

Most of the people who have voiced an opinion on that decision agree that it is not ideal, and think that it will eventually prove to be unmanageable, but Memrise management does not see it that way as of now.

Although having a dedicated forum for each course would be ideal, the current forum is not structured that way.

The only thing worse than one long thread per course would be having a separate thread for each topic, issue, question or complaint, given the current forum structure that is not designed for it, which is what you are advocating.

Having multiple threads per course goes against the express instructions of management, and clutters up the forum home page. Complaining about the moderators who properly merge threads according to Memrise policy is unjustified.


Memrise sent out a vague email that made this suggestion, IIRC, but never thought it through, and it’s a HORRIBLE idea. Also, closing other people’s posts, or merging them, is nearly always the wrong move. I think it is you who are “fighting a battle that has already been lost”. If people continue to close and merge other people’s posts it will absolutely not contribute to making the forums any cleaner or better for anyone, it will only continue to cause drama and extraneous commenting. I’m definitely never going to acquiesce to it. If someone merges a post into something they think is the same when it’s not the same, I’m not going to contribute to combining separate things into the same post. If they won’t unlock the original, I’ll just make a new post and copy the text. Stop trying to force this icky and counterproductive merging on us.

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I also love how I’ve repeatedly given a number of good solid reasons why course forums are a bad idea and having separate posts per topic is better, and people who prefer catch-all course forums don’t bother to address those arguments or explain what the problem is with having separate posts. They just complain about having lots of posts as if everyone should just accept that that’s somehow a problem, when it is not a problem at all.

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Whether you think it’s a horrible idea or not, having a single [Course Forum] thread is the rule that Memrise established and communicated to us. We don’t have to agree with them, but it is their site and their decision to make.

It also happens to be the most logical way to utilize the notification features of the Discourse forum system that we have now. It is the only reliable way for course creators to receive immediate notification when users post problems about a course.

When users post comments about a course in another random thread, or create new threads about each problem they find, the course creator will never be notified. And unless every course creator checks these forums several times per day, they will likely never see those posts, or get the opportunity to fix the problems that users report.

Regarding merging posts, the two latest instances that you were complaining about, Maxine_Downunder’s posts about “conduite/comportement” and “la retraite”, both clearly relate to the same course - “Intermediate French by Coralie”, and both of them should have been merged into an official [Course Forum] thread for that course. Your complaint about merging those posts is totally unjustified.

When these forums were first implemented, some of the moderators were inexperienced, and acted far too hastily to merge, close, and delete threads, and some occasionally still do, but that has improved with time and experience. Being human, they are bound to make mistakes, and when they do, there is nothing wrong with politely bringing it to their attention.

But being disruptive, and flouting the site owner’s rules about where posts belong is not productive, and should not be encouraged.


IIRC I had a longish discussion over PM with you about this so this statement does not agree with reality.

I came up with the idea to put a prefix before these kinds of posts and decided upon [Course Forum], which most everyone except cos agreed with. Memrise has been laissez faire about it, as usual. While I strongly disagree with @cos, he is the ultimate owner of his own posts so I would be careful about editing or merging or doing anything to his posts. Currently everyone on here is equal and no one has the right to dictate to anyone else what to do. The only thing we can do to control other members is to flag their offensive posts to let Memrise staff deal with those.


I also prefer not having a cluttered forum, however, there are many questions which do not pertain to some specific course forum thread (such as my own questions about various Mandarin characters/etc.) This quasi- compulsion for pushing various queries about some linguistic item (or some memrise feature) in some specific language course forum is damaging.

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I think @cos has made his point, and I am surely more careful in merging posts.

I can only follow the points made by @xvg11 and @Arete_Hime about the system that seems to come into place in the forum.
I will respect cos’ view if he wishes to keep some threads separate, but then I would suggest that he closes the thread when he has answered de disambiguation or mistake. As it will be of no use to anyone after.

In that sense I agree that having a very long line of posts in one post is tedious. But the forum takes care of hiding old posts which are likely to have been dealt with by the course creator.

I must say that it seems to work quite well. I am still amazed at the volume of new posts each day though. That’s why, I also wish, people would use the resources before starting a new thread too quickly.

Closing a thread is pretty much NEVER a good idea.

If nobody has anything else to add to it, the post will remain quiet and not bother anyone who doesn’t search for it.

If someone does have something to add, closing the post will upset or frustrate them. Then one of two things will happen:

a) They won’t make the comment they would have, and we’ll lose useful information, like a better answer, or a correction.


b) They’ll just start a new post, replying to the old post, and then we’ll have two posts with separate comment threads that should’ve been one.

DO NOT CLOSE POSTS. It cannot possibly have good effect, it can only cause harm.

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Closing a post forces your opinion that nobody has anything to add to that post, onto other people, even if they do have more to add to that post. But it does so poorly, because they can just start a new post. It’s both hostile to other users, and useless.

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Our long discussion focused on you not wanting there to be posts in under “latest” that pertain to specific courses without an easy way for users to know that those posts are about specific courses. That’s a much narrower subject than whether lumping all discussions related to a specific course into one never-ending post is a good idea (which it is not).

We both agreed that the topic of a course-specific post should indicate that it’s course-specific. You thought labelling them all “course forum” solves the problem, but I said that would mislead people in the case where a post is not a general course forum, so I suggested putting the course name in brackets. I think that works just as well. In language categories, though, posts about particular words or phrases would be of interest to anyone who’s curious about that word or phrase, or who’s familiar with it and can answer the question, so I think it’s more important that the topic include the word or phrase the post is about; that would do a better job of letting people easily skim topics for the ones that interest them. Of course that’s not mutually exclusive - you could have a title like “[Course: coursename] phrase and word” and that includes both portions of relevant information. I have no problem with that, and usually do something like that when I post.

However, none of that is about whether we must be forced to lump multiple discussions about different things into one comment thread just because they’re about the same course. Although you went much further than any other individual on this forum in actually talking about real reasons for things, you never actually addressed that subject. You never explained why we should not want to have separate posts for different topics, other than some vague language about “cluttering” the forum like everyone else. You never explained why the multiple and significant advantages I’ve pointed out for keeping posts separate, shouldn’t matter at all.

So yes, my statement does agree with reality.

To make it not vague and quantify the problem, you would have to do some number crunching, which I am not prepared to do. I made it as concrete as I could when I wrote:

I agree to an extent with your analysis. One remark I will make is, as I’ve said before, if a topic gets too long, no one is prevented from starting a …[part 2]. And you can get creative with editing the top post and referencing individual posts and quoting. (Also, you can just deal with the problem when you get to it. Now you’re imagining a problem and based on that imagination reject a solution. I’m sure if the topic has under 50 or a 100 replies you and any reader will be able to keep track of any issues raised in it. If it becomes longer just start a new topic. This is also how it’s done in another forum I sometimes visit.)

Analysis of the problem however is only one part of the thing. The other part is thinking of solutions. I favor my solution, as I am thinking from the perspective of someone visiting the forum who is not interested in seeing instead of the now 200+ course-forum topics with a clear prefix, hundreds more without a prefix, which is what you are proposing.

So here is another possible solution:

I also raised other issues with your proposed system. I could, reluctantly, continue discussing that. How about I move the posts from the PM to a new topic?

It’s not about the threads, it’s about the people who “own” them. Those threads are personal to them.
There always has to be a middle way, which I always prefer the best, it’s between a few general, and a zillion of small threads which will contain five posts and die…

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