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Reference Library?

Pull up a chair, have a biscuit - discuss the site and general questions about the LemonFool
nmdhqbc
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Re: Reference Library?

#185522

Postby nmdhqbc » December 8th, 2018, 8:16 am

Dod101 wrote:I am now sorry I started this thread and will not say much more but on my apparently 'snide' simile, it was intended to be nothing of the sort and I do not think it is, even on a rereading.


Well why not think about how other people read it. Add me to the few others who found it very snide and passive aggressive. And I'm not the person it's aimed at. Not the first time by any stretch. Why not make the point without not so subtly calling people bores. Particularly since you name one. Then deluding yourself into thinking you didn't because you did some phraseology magic that gets you out of it. It just distracts from the topic but you did it yourself by provoking.

Dod101
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Re: Reference Library?

#185528

Postby Dod101 » December 8th, 2018, 9:14 am

nmdhqbc wrote:
Dod101 wrote:I am now sorry I started this thread and will not say much more but on my apparently 'snide' simile, it was intended to be nothing of the sort and I do not think it is, even on a rereading.


Well why not think about how other people read it. Add me to the few others who found it very snide and passive aggressive. And I'm not the person it's aimed at. Not the first time by any stretch. Why not make the point without not so subtly calling people bores. Particularly since you name one. Then deluding yourself into thinking you didn't because you did some phraseology magic that gets you out of it. It just distracts from the topic but you did it yourself by provoking.


Really nmdhqbc. I feel sorry for you and your like. If you want passive aggression I could do that - you ain't read nothin' yet.

Dod

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Re: Reference Library?

#185538

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » December 8th, 2018, 10:13 am

I've only picked up a couple of the posts on this thread but shouldn't such posts just go in the board pertinent to them?

E.g a lengthy and explanatory post about an in-depth company analysis/valuation formulae should go here:

viewforum.php?f=93

However..... how about in the thread/topic listing we have an additional icon, i.e. like the star or padlock, but this time looking like a book or something? But having said that, how would one (with minimum effort) assess whenever the thread has earned "book-worm" status? Perhaps an algorithm to detect when a post's length exceeds a certain number of characters?

Matt

Clariman
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Re: Reference Library?

#185540

Postby Clariman » December 8th, 2018, 10:15 am

Moderator Message:
The point about having some kind of reference library has been well made, as has the general request for brevity. Let's leave it at that and I'll discuss the reference library/FAQ idea with Stooz. If you wish to continue bickering, please remove yourselves to Room 101. I will leave this thread open for other constructive comment for the time-being. Any furthering bickering will be deleted. Thanks. Clariman

tjh290633
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Re: Reference Library?

#185544

Postby tjh290633 » December 8th, 2018, 10:20 am

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:I've only picked up a couple of the posts on this thread but shouldn't such posts just go in the board pertinent to them?

E.g a lengthy and explanatory post about an in-depth company analysis/valuation formulae should go here:

viewforum.php?f=93

However..... how about in the thread/topic listing we have an additional icon, i.e. like the star or padlock, but this time looking like a book or something? But having said that, how would one (with minimum effort) assess whenever the thread has earned "book-worm" status? Perhaps an algorithm to detect when a post's length exceeds a certain number of characters?

Matt

Sometimes the post is relevant to a number of boards. My idea would be to leave the informative post in situ, but put a copy in the main FAQ or Reference Library board. That would probably appear at the top of all boards, as is currently the case with certain information.

It is not length that is the criterion, but usefulness. A short succinct post may win out over an epic thesis.

TJH

CryptoPlankton
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Re: Reference Library?

#185549

Postby CryptoPlankton » December 8th, 2018, 10:40 am

Dod101 wrote:
nmdhqbc wrote:
Dod101 wrote:I am now sorry I started this thread and will not say much more but on my apparently 'snide' simile, it was intended to be nothing of the sort and I do not think it is, even on a rereading.


Well why not think about how other people read it. Add me to the few others who found it very snide and passive aggressive. And I'm not the person it's aimed at. Not the first time by any stretch. Why not make the point without not so subtly calling people bores. Particularly since you name one. Then deluding yourself into thinking you didn't because you did some phraseology magic that gets you out of it. It just distracts from the topic but you did it yourself by provoking.


Really nmdhqbc. I feel sorry for you and your like. If you want passive aggression I could do that - you ain't read nothin' yet.

Dod

I think the trouble is that there are different approaches to these boards. The providers (as expressed by Clariman on the "Language" thread running concurrently with this) are aiming for an environment of respect, setting a positive tone for discussion. Hence they take a zero tolerance view of swearing as part of their mission to avoid becoming one of the "plenty of discussion forums full of abuse, spam and trolling." And I think there are still a lot of people who buy into the idea of keeping things friendly and polite - it makes the whole experience more pleasant.

Then there seem to be the people who are simply interested in getting their point across, for whom manners and common courtesy appear to be some outdated and redundant concept. If they disagree with someone or something, they sometimes also like to throw in an extra little dig. And, of course, there are those who just thrive on confrontation and/or stirring things up.

I think it's a shame, but believe the hosts are slowly losing the battle. I can't see what the problem is in trying to keep things nice and friendly - and have been prone to bite back when I see unnecessarily pointed remarks (especially when directed at me!) Until yesterday, I hadn't posted for six weeks because I was getting a bit disillusioned with the evolving culture (slightly ironic...). I too am sorry I posted on this thread - your final sentence confirms my time would be spent more productively elsewhere...

P.S. Sorry, I have just seen Clariman's comments - I hope that this will still stand as a plea for people to just try to get along nicely and make this feel like the community it was intended to be.

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Re: Reference Library?

#185559

Postby Gengulphus » December 8th, 2018, 11:24 am

TUK020 wrote:We are in danger of conflating two different points:
- a reference library of carefully crafted answers to points that arise infrequently
- brevity in posts.

I agree - except that it's not a "danger": the conflation is clearly there (and IMHO quite deliberately so) in the OP.

TUK020 wrote:Both are desirable. The site organizers can implement the first simply.
Not sure about the second. ...

I agree about the first, but not about the second: I think posts should be as long as is needed to be clear both to the person who originally asked the question or made the comment that it's answering and to the board readership in general. It's possible to misjudge (in either direction) what's needed for either of those, and even when one gets that right, it's possible that one requires greater length than the other. One cannot please all of the people all of the time.

In addition, readers have a very easy and simple remedy for posts they find too long: skip past them (and don't respond to them in that case - not unless they want to expose themselves to ridicule!). Posting complaints about the length of posts is basically a matter of responding to what one thinks is excess verbiage by adding yet more verbiage!

Whereas readers who get a too-short reply are liable to be left with further questions (not too bad - they can respond by asking them) or still confused (potentially much worse, especially when they haven't realised they're confused in the first place - e.g. about whether rights issues are offering shareholders a bargain).

So basically, I think that of the possible responses to a post that one finds too long, simply deciding "not intended for me - I'll leave those it is intended for to get on with it" is the one that helps the site run most smoothly. A principle I apply frequently myself in other contexts - for example, I don't post "why on earth is this worth raising on TLF???" responses to every thread started with an RNS announcement by GlaxoSmithKline or AstraZeneca about the results of some clinical trial: I know I don't have the expertise to comment meaningfully on such clinical trial results, and the near-total lack of responses about them (as opposed to general comment on the companies) indicates that just about everyone else also lacks either the expertise or the desire to comment on them.

TUK020 wrote:... Perhaps we can start asking the War and Peace folks to provide exec summaries.

Of course people can ask for exec summaries! That is however just like any other request people make to other site users: they're completely free to decide whether to spend their time on providing whatever is being requested. And in my case at least, I not infrequently quite specifically don't want to provide an exec summary. In particular, I'm often interested in giving people all the arguments and facts that I'm aware of and they should take into account in making their own decisions, not in guiding them towards any particular decision. (In such circumstances, I did spend the extra time and effort to provide exec summaries to my employer when I was employed, but there's a crucial difference: my employer was paying me to do so, whereas I post on TLF because I want to.)

Anyway, if the admins and moderators want to bring in rules/guidelines about posts not exceeding some length, or having to provide an exec summary if they do, or such like, I'll comply with them. But I will point out that there are multiple ways of complying with posting rules, the simplest and easiest of which is not to post at all...

Gengulphus

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Re: Reference Library?

#185563

Postby Gengulphus » December 8th, 2018, 11:35 am

TheMotorcycleBoy wrote:... But having said that, how would one (with minimum effort) assess whenever the thread has earned "book-worm" status? Perhaps an algorithm to detect when a post's length exceeds a certain number of characters?

In fact, there is already one in place: posts of more than about 50k characters are rejected by the phpBB software. But it's a rather dumb algorithm, because (as far as I can make out) it just counts characters in the BBCode source: especially in the case of tables that have been carefully formatted to display as well as reasonably possible on different screen/window widths, that can be a lot more than the number of characters displayed on the screen.

Gengulphus

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Re: Reference Library?

#185576

Postby Gengulphus » December 8th, 2018, 12:57 pm

tjh290633 wrote:Sometimes the post is relevant to a number of boards. My idea would be to leave the informative post in situ, but put a copy in the main FAQ or Reference Library board. That would probably appear at the top of all boards, as is currently the case with certain information.

A problem with that "copy in the Reference Library" idea is that the post is usually written with a specific situation / question in mind, whereas to be a good source to refer to in similar situations in future, it often needs to be made more general. For instance, a specific rights issue might issue one right per existing share, and thus have an assumption that the numbers of rights and shares are identical built into it.

Another problem is that there may be multiple issues involved in the specific question, each of which deserves its own post in something that can reasonably be called a Reference Library. For instance, "what happens if a corporate action involves an M-for-N distribution and your holding is not an exact multiple of N?", "what differences might there be from how the company handles a corporate action and how it might be handled for your holding?", "what opportunities / risks does a rights issue offer to a shareholder?" and "what might be confused with a rights issue and are the significant differences from it?" might all be involved in a reply about a specific rights issue (the last if only as a warning not not to use it as a reference for an open offer).

Also, it will quite often happen that even a very informative post has some minor errors, ambiguities, omissions or just poorly-expressed bits that are dealt with in the subsequent thread - probably mixed in with quite a bit of other material that isn't applicable to its use as a reference. That makes taking a copy just of the single post less than ideal, and taking a copy of the single post and posts from the subsequent thread less than ideal in a different way. Just how badly non-ideal depends on a number of things, especially whether the post's author made a serious attempt to make it reference material in the first place (I've only done so once that I remember, in viewtopic.php?f=49&t=8769).

In essence, I think good "Reference Library" material usually needs to be edited from its original form. That doesn't mesh all that well with the way the discussion boards are generally (quite rightly IMHO) run. I don't know whether that would be best handled by dropping the wish to make it good "Reference Library" material in favour of it being a more normal discussion (in which case this might just mean that another name than "Reference Library" is needed), or by having a board that is administered in a rather different way to the others (essentially with the aim of improving posts' usefulness as reference material).

Gengulphus

Stonge
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Re: Reference Library?

#185595

Postby Stonge » December 8th, 2018, 2:03 pm

This thread highlights that the structure of this site needs revising and improving so that there is a focussed hierarchy arranged around the main objectives of the site which I understand to be to provide useful information and debate about financial, legal and practical matters.

Areas such as polite discussions should buried (hidden) at the bottom of the tree structure and optional within the active topics list as they provide nothing more than fractious squabbling and dubious entertainment.

tjh290633
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Re: Reference Library?

#185597

Postby tjh290633 » December 8th, 2018, 2:07 pm

Gengulphus wrote:
tjh290633 wrote:Sometimes the post is relevant to a number of boards. My idea would be to leave the informative post in situ, but put a copy in the main FAQ or Reference Library board. That would probably appear at the top of all boards, as is currently the case with certain information.

A problem with that "copy in the Reference Library" idea is that the post is usually written with a specific situation / question in mind, whereas to be a good source to refer to in similar situations in future, it often needs to be made more general. For instance, a specific rights issue might issue one right per existing share, and thus have an assumption that the numbers of rights and shares are identical built into it.

Gengulphus

The answer to that is to invite the author to edit his post to make it suitable. Alternatively for someone else to edit it with the author's consent.

TJH

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Re: Reference Library?

#185634

Postby melonfool » December 8th, 2018, 5:44 pm

Dod101 wrote:It seems to me that it would be helpful to have a reference point to which people can be directed to obtain the required information rather than have a @War and Peace' contribution, as Mel has referred to these posts.


Dod


Please don't pretend to quote me and misuse my comment - I was very specifically talking about a post with several embedded quotes, of which one was very long and was the poster's own post, with only about three new lines added. I have not 'referred to' long posts generally in that manner at all

I have no objection to long posts if people like to write a lot to explore something that is detailed and complex.

Mel


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