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Surrogate Cosmic Variance Comment thread

  1. Jul 18, 2007 #1


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    the Cosmic Variance blog has changed format and eliminated a nice feature that used to keep discussion threads alive.

    on the righthand margin of front page, it used to list which posts had recent comments and, in small font, WHO THE COMMENTERS WERE

    so if some interesting people, such as Lee Smolin, Anthony Aguirre, Urs S, or Scott A, had recently commented on some thread---even if the thread itself was old---it would bring that thread to the top of a marginal menu and show the commenters' names. So you could go to the front page and quickly find interesting discussions you might want to follow.

    this sort of feature makes it more difficult for the blog-owner to direct people's attention, or channel it, and could mean more work if he or she thinks she has to keep responding to discussions that get started and "go of their own accord".
    Peter Woit has this feature on his blog Not Even Wrong, and I could understand if it may sometimes be a nuisance, but I think it adds to the vitality of that blog.

    Anyway in the past 3 days or so CV seems to have dropped that feature and maybe they will re-install it and maybe not.

    So since CV used to have a small number of interesting discussions that you could follow, which now would be awkward to do, what would you say for us to have a SURROGATE?

    For example, if you liked some discussion at CV we could put URL POINTERS to key comments, and we could continue discussing the ideas if we wanted, even though that particular thread has been closed, or has become hard to find.

    Does anyone like this idea? Maybe i should provide an example.

    UPDATE: CV latest post says the 'comments' module was acting up so is temporarily disabled. so it may soon be back and abled again, removing most of the motivation for a surrogate thread like this one

    there is still a slightly worrisome thing namely the finite life of CV discussions---a recent discussion about LQC bounce (and other vaguely related matters) came with a time limit saying it would be locked by August 1, or something.
    So regardless of what interest or new information, thread locks in two weeks and then it necessarily dies, because it goes down the 'recent comments' menu and quickly disappears from sight.

    by contrast, threads here, if anyone finds them interesting enough to post on every now and then, stay visible---no trouble to check for new action. So even if CV puts the 'recent comments' module back in action I am tempted to open a surrogate thread, to see how it works and if anybody else finds it useful
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
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  3. Jul 19, 2007 #2


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    UPDATE: the "recent comments" module at CV is back in action.
    It now not only gives the names of recent posters but quotes a bit of what they said at the start of their post.

    now the only botherment is the artificial cut-off date. for example the "against bounce" thread can only take comments for about 10 more days. it gets automatically locked around the end of July. this could be only a minor concern. Is it worth anyone's while to add a comment now when discussion will be cut off so soon?

    this could be of no concern---it might be that no one wants to continue the discussion there----or their might be some practical technical reason (especailly with quoting the start of everybody's post, the "recent comment" list takes up a lot of space and if there were too many active discussions it might OVERFLOW the area allotted to it.

    Here is something curious. The cut-off date USED to be around August 1 (which is why I said the thread has about 10 more days) but I just looked and it has been extended to August 15. Well let's wait and see what happens.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
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