WTF Community

💬 WTFJHT water cooler - chitchat thread

We’ve tried that in beginning and then we ended up with a lot of stubs with like one comment and then the article would disappear into the void. The long threads came about as breaking news was happening as a place to put them. I read them as timelines.

I agree that we need to have an on ramp but perhaps we simply need to update the formatting for establishing topics and break them up by month if they’re long running issues, like immigration. That’s what I did with impeachment.

I had a “feeder” thread and then I divided content up by quarter or month depending on how much content was created.

The structure of the forum software that we use is very different than social media. The forum doesn’t serve up content that may interest visitors the way social media does, and if you’re new, it shows everything is unread and everything is the latest. Some can’t find the daily discussions that happen across multiple threads. I’m not entirely certain how we can change that but we can do a better job of teaching people how to use an old school online forum. It’s more like a library than anything else we should organize it like a library too.


Instead of Organizing around themes, what if we have subjects or sections like a newspaper?


Yes, to that. I like your direction.

It has been a maze of news inputs, and developing news areas which fall into specific categories, so yes, individual threads would be good.

Your newsletter recaps helps to isolate days and the heaps of ‘crazy’ news cycles, and keeping developing news events or stories within confined areas sounds good on the community feed.

You’re the super maestro -good thinking. :smile:

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That’s interesting. If that’s how the group sees this, then we should find ways of providing the equivalent of a card catalog for way-finding.

I personally don’t see a lot of “discussion” happening in most of these big threads – mostly it’s link dumping with pull quotes. That’s cool and has archival value, and maybe that’s what this should be, idk.

I do think we need to evolve this a bit. It could be more active use of the wiki post feature (i.e. update one post multiple times vs publish multiple individual posts). I think that’s what worked about the Impeachment thread in the end.

Right. I don’t think I’m trying to conflate the two – simply bringing up Reddit as an example of a forum-like experience that has both individual threads as well as mega-threads. That last point about the default state being “unread and latest” is, I believe, something that can be changed.

Definitely an idea and I’m certain we could nuance the shit out of that for a while :grin:

I would like to see whatever we evolve into maintain flexibility and openness instead of some super rigid structure.

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It’s hard to comment when sometimes the news stories are like really awful. I call it news gloom. I think it was easier for people to share what they were reading like a book club, rather than talk about how it makes them feel. Trump news is very upsetting.


Good point! Like, what is there left to say…?


And also the news sometimes comes very fast with lots of details. I think sharing those details helps people understand what to absorb besides rage. There’s is just such much news these days.


It makes me wonder then what we can do to better make sense of all the incredible curatorial work being done in this forum. If it’s less “discourse” and more “archival,” how might that change the framing of how we approach this?

For instance, this site (now defunct) was trying to make these sorts of timelines + lists of news that were cross-referenced (look for the inline “see also”)


I don’t know if they ever really “nailed” the format but I find it interesting nonetheless. It feels arbitrarily specific and rigid, but the cross-referencing and consistent structure to be a pretty good direction to consider. Maybe why I keep coming back to the Impeachment wiki


Slick formatting. I wish we could do something like that. I agree that it’s too rigid for this group, with various levels of tech savvyness. The quality of content shared of this forum is very high level but I learned from the impeachment thread that it was easier for the forum to create the content than it was for me to continuously organize it on the fly.

If we create an standard for topics, like, make the first two posts wiki, then you can create build a web through linking topics. When one thread becomes too long, just edit it into a reasonable timeframe and start a new one that links back to the previous thread.

I made an example



the news sometimes comes very fast with lots of details.


If it’s less “discourse” and more “archival,” how might that change the framing of how we approach this?

First off I would like to say how I really enjoy the interaction and the feast of information on WTF and thank you both and all the other contributors and commenters here for your tireless work. My 2 cents, for what its worth, is that another similar site which mainly concentrates on NZ politics, but is one of our most visited political blogs is The Standard.
There we have each day an Open Mike, where commentators can raise almost any issue that is giving them an itch within reason, and it is moderated. Best to take a look to see how it works. But over the years the format hasn’t changed much except Lynn, the developer of the site, has added a few more features over the years.
Other topics such as a Leaders Debate, a proposed Policy issue or current news are also designated spaces where a particular issue can be vigorously discussed.


this is good. i’ll revisit once i get today’s post published

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I would really like to work with Presterity to make it current, but that is easily a full-time job.

I like this feature, on @matt’s main site, there’s an early morning post, featuring the latest. I’d love it if we could have a campion post that community members could post to as the day evolves before @matt posts in the afternoon. It would have to be created and limited to each days news.

I’m west coast so some mornings, I wake up and half the days news has already happened. It just would be nice to have a place to share morning reads over coffee.

It would consolidate a lot of the story quotes and reactions, free up “space” for creating more comprehensive topics on important subjects. Like Trump in the hospital needs to become its own topic at this point. I have to go have a blood draw today, so I don’t have time create an example. If anyone is interested in this idea, I can elaborate later.


I think I’m picking up what you’re putting down – like a daily discussion thread of sorts.

The What The Fuck Happened Over The Weekend? thread should become a weekly thread – maybe with an index page/table of contents pointing back to each (or tags???)

I’m all for this and I think we discussed this once before (something about merging the daily thread into the WTF post?) and I’m all for it. I think we’d need to create some standard copy that goes in the main post that orientates and situations things.


We can easily divide up what we have already to make it easier to look up and comprehend. If you help me come up with reasonable time frames some of these threads, I can start working on paring down our most active threads to get a new work flow started. It’ll flow the same but better, hopefully.

Still at the lab… give me til tomorrow to create an example in the meta section


I started a sketch of what I’m thinking. It’s editable if anyone wants to hop on before I live link it tomorrow.

I figure as things come up under some of the populated threads we all use we could just cross post. Think of this format as a landing page that is created everyday. Gives a snap shot of the days news per our community and leads into some of the other discussion that happens in this space.


Hey I hear Tom Brady forgot what part of the game he was playing. Hard to feel bad about it, that guy is a tool.

Also, my son had off all week. It’s a holiday, but also one of his teachers tested positive last week so everyone would have to wfh till next week anyway. I’m glad his school is set up to operate under these conditions, but boy. It has produced the kind of parental joy only a 7yo cooped up in a tiny apartment for months on end can evoke and maintain seemingly indefinitely.


Seems to be a theme…anxiousness makes for poor sleeping. 16 days is a longish short phase of this endurance test.

Am definitely keyed up…weird sleep hours. :flushed:


I see incandescent light bulbs are political now because why not I guess! So here is a video from a funny guy who shocks himself a lot.

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