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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Where did the "Open Threads" go?

In an effort to de-clutter the front page, I have modified the dates on all "Open Thread" posts to 25 years prior to their real post date. Open threads will still be posted regularly, but in order to find them you'll need to click the open threads link at the top of the page, or browse the archives at the bottom of the sidebar for posts with dates in the 80's.


Anonymous said...


I couldn't see the link right away but then noticed a VERY small portion of it... I'm using IE 7 (maybe that's why?) :P

E-sidedave said...

All the text seems to have gotten smaller since the update. I'm using FF 2.0.

biliruben said...

I have a bit of a complaint, Tim.

This is the process I have to go through every time I make a post.

Write the comment.
Fill in the Word Verification (WV).
Fill in my name and password.
hit preview.
Because the WV is wrong (for some reason it ALWAYS, 100%, is - no typo), they as we to fill in a different WV.
Have to also fill in password again.
Hit preview.
Read over my post.
Hit post.
Respond to complaint that the WV is wrong by retyping yet another WV.

You can see why I don't post much anymore. Also, this is probably why your posting volume is down in general.

I'm using the latest version of Firefox.

Any suggestions to avoid that nonsense are welcome.

Great blog, btw.

Lake Hills Renter said...

I've had the same experience as biliruben. I can type the word verification exactly right the first time and it always asks me to do it again. And then again if I want to publish my preview. Rather annoying, but I'm not sure there's anything you can do about it if it's Blogger.

Lake Hills Renter said...

So does this mean even new open threads will only be available under the "open threads" link? If so, you might as well not even bother with them IMO. Very few people, if any, will go looking for them if they aren't on the main page. It would be a shame because there's some good conversation in those threads.

seattle long term owner said...

one of 2 things will happen... people will post the random comments on the topics page or will not post at all...

I personally think the open threads kept this blog going when the topics posted were not that interesting...

but I can see where Tim prefers we stick to the meat of the blog...

the open threads also moved the blog from being tim's blog to everyone's blog...

but if you don't agree, get your own blog (just kidding)...

I'll let Tim do what he wants, it's his blog... but thanks for keeping it alive Tim

The Tim said...


That's what I get for only testing on IE6 and FireFox. It should be fixed now.


What is your default font and font size? Go to Tools -> Options... -> Content. I noticed the text shrinking too (on my FF 2.0), but I figured it was because I had set the default font size smaller than normal.

Biliruben & LHR,

As an experiment, I'll disable the word verification for the time being. If I manage to not get buckets of spam, I'll just go ahead and leave it off, which will hopefully solve your problem.


I haven't decided for sure yet, but my two options are to only post open threads to the past and keep them off the main page entirely, or to just have the most current open thread showing on the main page, then change the date when a new one is posted. I agree with your concern, so I think I'll go with the second option for now.


It's not so much that I want it to be "my" blog, just that with the homepage limited to displaying 10 posts, nearly half of them were open threads. Given that the blog gets 1,000+ "unique visitors" per day, and only a very small fraction of those spend the time to make comments, I was thinking of the people that just read the front page stories, and how cluttered the front page must look with all the open threads. I personally quite enjoy them and I hope you all keep posting interesting comments in them.

Thanks for the comments everybody. Keep them coming.

seattle long term owner said...

we could probably come up with just one open thread for weekday and one for weekend...

that way it's not buried and there's only 2 per week..

my 2 cents... didn't mean anything by my comments but just pointing out an observation...

The Tim said...

I thought of doing something like that, but then the problem is for the people that do follow the open threads, the weekday open thread keeps getting pushed further and further down the page where it's unlikely to be seen. In the past when that has happened, people just start posting random links and off-topic comments in the topical posts.

I think for now I'm liking the idea of today's open thread on the front page, older open threads on the dedicated "open_thread" tag page, with the link right at the top of every page. Hopefully that's a good compromise between clutter and availability.

Oh, and I wasn't taking offense at your comments or anything, just trying to explain where I'm coming from.

Lake Hills Renter said...

Tim, have you thought about switching to using a discussion forum instead of a blog? Blogs are very uni-directional, good for one or two people talking and everyone else listening, but not so great for open discussion, which the open threads seem to promote. That may be the way you want it, and I don't have a problem with that -- it's yours afterall -- but if you do want more open discussion, a forum is the way to go. I'm involved in running one (NWhikers and it works pretty well for open discussion with little actual maintenance required. It does create more of an open community, however.

The Tim said...

Believe it or not, I'm actually already toying around with the idea of having a discussion forum replace the open threads. I've already created a phpBB, and was going to take some time to toy around with it when I get the chance. Unfortunately I've got a big project at work that has to be finished in the next few days, so it will probably be next weekend before I get time to really play around with it.

Lake Hills Renter said...

Very cool. PHPBB is what we use. It's very good software. The hiking forum has a custom addon or two that helps keep spammers at bay. I can get my hands on the code for you if you decide to go that direction.