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What determines the amount of posts there are in a thread?





Wynand
What determines the amount of posts there are in a thread? I gave this some thought and came up with the following analogy:
1. Obviously the longer a thread exists the more chance of a post it has.
2. Threads that do not require much thinking have more posts than threads that require some thinking. For example a thread with the topic: what is the colour of your hair will have many posts.
3. Threads with topics that explain the data in the thread are more popular. You do not want to waist time by going into a topic that you do not have anything to say about or to add. So if you can not see what a topic is about, you ignore it.
4. Topics that ask questions are also more popular.
What are some of the reasons that you think?
crdowner
Most of your observations appear to be correct. The only one I would attempt to argue with is the first one -
Quote:
Obviously the longer a thread exists the more chance of a post it has.


You can find a lot of old posts that have no responses and a lot of new threadsd that have lots of responses.
Hogwarts
crdowner wrote:
Most of your observations appear to be correct. The only one I would attempt to argue with is the first one -
Quote:
Obviously the longer a thread exists the more chance of a post it has.


You can find a lot of old posts that have no responses and a lot of new threadsd that have lots of responses.

That's wrong.
The longer a thread exists, the more likely it is to have posts in it.

There are always people who go around the forums and revive year old topics from the grave. The longer a post exists, the more likely it is that somebody stumbles upon it, the more likely it is brought to the front page and it is posted in.

I'd have to add one point, though.
5. The threads title has alot to do with people posting in it.
Why?
For example, I see a thread with a title in full capitals, no matter what it says, I will deliberately ignore it as it's most likely by some attention-seeker.
But, if a post has an interesting title, which is properly punctuated I won't think that it's just spam, and will read it. (I read maybe 100 posts per every time I post... I don't just choose any random post and waffle on in it.)
Daniel15
I agree with all your observations Smile

Usually,"common" topics that anyone can answer will get the most posts. For example, topics such as "What is your favourite TV show?" or "What is your favourite song?" attract heaps of posts Smile
ZealousZ
a thread that already has many posts will continue to attract posts

if i see a thread thats gone to say 10+ pages, ill probably just click out of curiosity
SonLight
I usually AVOID topics that have many pages, because it is too difficult to follow the thought and avoid a me-too or totally irrelevant post. A good title and a good informational opening post encourage quality replies. Some of the other reasons may encourage forgettable replies.
knux
usually it all depends on whether it is a good thread and if people care, ofcourse there are the threads that people just flame the hell out of....
Liu
Topics created by well known users will get more attention as well.
deneb.star
Liu wrote:
Topics created by well known users will get more attention as well.


This one is quite true. I usually like to have a look at the thread opened by a member that I have read already somewhere else and appreciated his/her participation.

Quote:

a thread that already has many posts will continue to attract posts

I'm not sure this one is true. When there is too many post, I just tend to ignore because it gets to long to read... Guess, I could just write after reading the original post, but then, I won't say that it is a real discussion, is it ? More a case of gaining some few points...

I will add the fact that the subject will have to be quite general and international so that everybody in the world can participate.
Duncan Idaho
That's a confusing title, but what will determine how many posts there are in the thread, is how many posts there are. If, you mean how likely will someone to respond, then that is anywhere from 0 to 100+ posts.
hunnyhiteshseth
Besides points mentioned by you, I think the most important factor is the topic or subject of the thread. If the subject is very general then you will have more posts.
And you need not do any great research for this. Just look at our forum. The most posts are in general chat but specific boards like science etc. receive very little posts.
tidruG
Wynand wrote:
2. Threads that do not require much thinking have more posts than threads that require some thinking. For example a thread with the topic: what is the colour of your hair will have many posts.

I think this is the biggest factor. People hate using their brains. People also hate controversy. Most of them will post in threads on issues on which they have already taken a stand, rather than an issue which requires them to think and make a decision afresh.

Also, most of the threads that are extremely popular are the ones that require very short replies, although that's bad for the average post quality of Frihost.
nilsmo
How about looking at current long threads? Here are some of them:
[ Poll ] Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi (13 pages)
meaning of your username (10 pages)
[official] Thank the Frihost Staff (13 pages)
What was the most AMAZING thing you have ever done in life ? (18 pages)
Languages (14 pages)

All the above threads have easy, quick responses which seems to be the main factor in creating long threads. Here are sample responses:
I like Pepsi better because I hate red.
My username is my first name.
Thank you, Frihost staff!
--not a very quick response--
I speak French and English, because I live in France
snowboardalliance
Pretty much agree, though for me, I just skip threads that are over 2 pages and I have no real interest in. I mean, I don't want to make some post that has already been made and I won't take the time to read all the pages. The exceptions to this would be if I had already posted in the thread and had browsed through most of the pages.
Montressor
tidruG wrote:
Wynand wrote:
2. Threads that do not require much thinking have more posts than threads that require some thinking. For example a thread with the topic: what is the colour of your hair will have many posts.

I think this is the biggest factor. People hate using their brains. People also hate controversy.

General Chat: 3537 Threads with a total of 69946 Posts, an average of 19.78 posts per thread, with a large (anecdotal evidence) disparity between the popular threads and the largely ignored ones

Philosophy and Religion: 573 Threads with a total of 14308 Posts, and average of 24.97 posts per thread, with a similar disparity between the popular and unpopular threads.

I would argue that the people who like thinking are very prolific in their posting, and avoid the general "what color is your hair" threads, and the reason that you see so many pointless posts is that there are more people who don't like to think even though they have less affect on the community than those who do chose to think (per person). People (at least I) ignore the post that says "I agree, way to go", and search out for Indi's, Bikerman's, Captain Fertile's or (the sadly now absent) The Philosopher Princess's posts (as well as others)

As far as some of the more popular threads, nilsmo has been (I feel) slightly unfair in his or her selection so I chose to add a few:
Sticky: The Middle East Conflict - 33 pages
Sticky: [official] "God" - 14 pages
A question for all you monotheists. - 10 pages
science vs. religion - 14 pages
mantasx
I think it's something like this. If a person is like: "I just ate some food Embarassed ", and describe it, no one is going to reply cause they have nothing in common or they would feel embarrassed to post on such thread. On the other hand, if someone starts a thread to thank frihost staff, everybody is going to post, because everybody is thankful. If a thread has something in common with everybody, then everybody will reply.
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