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Cross-posting-by-link is EXTREMELY VALUABLE! What else is as good?

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May 3, 2009 3:28:00 AM

I can't comprehend why the moderators here do not or can not grasp that there are certain tech support questions that unavoidably cross single-forum boundaries!

Right now, I've got an urgent problem that would be best posted in ALL the following fora:

"Motherboards & Memory" -AND- "Storage->NAS/RAID & Technologies" -AND- "Windows XP", all at the same time.

I've learned from decades of experience that there are plenty of gifted contributors or posters who could answer my question, but who focus almost entirely on a single forum and never read any of the others. Thus, if I'm going to get my problem solved as fast as possible, I need as many people as possible to read my post, without the gross overkill of posting it to all the fora. Those who dedicate themselves primarily to a single forum, and also those who read only one of the three relevant fora that apply to my problem, would never see my post if they don't read the single forum the mods allow me to post in!

I'm well aware that most moderators at most fora at most boards consider multiple or cross-posting to be one of the greatest crimes against humanity in all of human history (if I may so grotesquely exaggerate to make my point). "Oh my gosh! What about the extreme confusion that will surely lead to chaos and anarchy if that were allowed!", they'd shudder. "The resources wasted!", they'd declare. "Don't you know how much space it takes to store just TWO copies of a post? Why, a typical double-post would waste approximately 1.4 times 10 to the -19'th of a single typical 1T disk! Sure we have scores of 1T disks for our purposes, but still! The waste! The horrible, horrible waste!"

Thus, when I previously had an urgent problem that was appropriate to multiple fora and therefore crossed over forum boundaries, I thought that a perfectly acceptable compromise was to write a single post in one forum and then for the other fora, I'd just post a link to the full post in the first forum and ask the readers there to respond ONLY at the full post in the first forum. And viola! Both the confusion and the storage wasting issue could not logically violate ANY sane, logical rule in the spirit of the rule. I mean, only mindless authoritarians enforce the exact letter of a rule rather than apply reason and logic and calm judgment before determining whether something's a punishable violation of a rule, right? Right?

Alas, here at Tom's Hardware (and other sites), the mindless, robotic enforcement of the letter of the rule is paramount. Apparently, either moderators are ordered not to reason and make sound judgments, or they don't have the knack for it, or they're just authoritarians who get a thrill by flashing their badge and whacking the poor poster behind the knees with their nightsticks...

In conclusion, I ask The Powers That Be these questions:

(1): Why is posting merely a link in one forum to a single post in another forum so horrible and unacceptable?

(2): Is there any rule-abiding way to reach the readers of three different fora at the same time for an urgent issue? If so, what is it?

Thank you for your time spent reading this.

Best solution

June 22, 2009 10:56:14 AM

Hey ambush, I don't think there's a current system in place to do that. But it's a great idea!

If you're familiar with GMail's label system, I think such a system could work on this forum. Basically, you just "tag" posts with the relevant topics (up to three to prevent abuse). That will help a topic appear in all relevant areas, I think.
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July 2, 2009 1:11:24 AM

r_manic said:
Hey ambush, I don't think there's a current system in place to do that. But it's a great idea!

If you're familiar with GMail's label system, I think such a system could work on this forum. Basically, you just "tag" posts with the relevant topics (up to three to prevent abuse). That will help a topic appear in all relevant areas, I think.
Hey, thanks r_manic! I Gold-Cupped your reply.

As far as implementing my idea, the capability to do what I requested in my OP is already present here and all other message boards without any software or other technical changes at all. All we need to do is submit one full, normal post explaining our problem in the usual way: one OP in a single forum, followed by posting just a link/URL as an OP in all the other fora that are highly relevant to your problem.

Using the example in my OP above, I would submit a normal OP in the "Motherboards & Memory" forum, then post an OP containing only a link to that in the "Storage->NAS/RAID & Technologies" forum and another link-only OP in the "Windows XP" forum.

I would expect two arguments against the idea (weak as they are): (1) They'd claim that my idea would "waste storage space", which is absurd in the extreme in these days of very cheap multi-terabyte disk drives, and (2) They'd claim it might be somewhat confusing to interpret the replies in the multiple threads, to which I'd reply that to the small extent that issue is valid, let the Original Poster be fully responsible for reconciling all the replies. It's not like you don't have to deal with that issue even if you only use a single OP thread in a single forum.

Thanks again for expressing your support r_manic!
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July 2, 2009 3:07:24 AM

Sounds good to me. I don't usually delete duplicate threads unless they have no replies after a while or are in the same forum (and these are duplicate threads with complete OPs, not just links to another thread). If they have replies I typically close the thread with a link to the thread that has the most replies already.

The "confusion" does happen when the OP provides a complete post in each thread, because people in one section have no idea of what advice has been given elsewhere. The responsibility should be on the OP to post updates on what they've done by others' suggestions, but that rarely happens and it means you'll get the same responses in multiple threads, which doesn't even benefit the OP, it just wastes everyone's time.
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July 2, 2009 6:02:19 AM

randomizer said:
Sounds good to me. I don't usually delete duplicate threads unless they have no replies after a while or are in the same forum (and these are duplicate threads with complete OPs, not just links to another thread). If they have replies I typically close the thread with a link to the thread that has the most replies already.

The "confusion" does happen when the OP provides a complete post in each thread, because people in one section have no idea of what advice has been given elsewhere. The responsibility should be on the OP to post updates on what they've done by others' suggestions, but that rarely happens and it means you'll get the same responses in multiple threads, which doesn't even benefit the OP, it just wastes everyone's time.


Great! Thanks, randomizer!

Your logic concerning the confusion issue is sound, and I agree with what you write on that point.

How do you suggest I proceed? What I'd like to do is formalize it in the rules somehow so that all mods here are aware of the policy change, such that posters who use that technique do not receive warnings (which has happened to me in the past when I tried it).

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July 2, 2009 6:11:09 AM

The forum doesn't have a set of rules beyond the ToS that you can find here. As you can see, the rules are extremely broad and enforcement is pretty much up to the discretion of the moderators. Cross-linking is not against any formal policies, it's just bad "Netiquette" if you like, at least some would see it as such.

Send a PM to justinblue about this if you want. He's the admin here.
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