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Chester Zoo Chester News Threads Announcement and Guidance

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by FunkyGibbon, 7 Jan 2018.

  1. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    We are changing the format of the Chester News threads.

    As a little bit of background, this has been something the moderation team has been looking at for a long time. It's based on the feedback of members as well as our own views. Basically the Chester News thread has become so large and unwieldy in recent years that it is almost inaccessible to anyone who doesn't follow it on a daily basis. This is obviously not what we want for one of Europe's major zoos. If you are reading this and thinking "But I love the Chester threads", then have a look at the Prague 2017 News thread here:
    Prague Zoo Praha - Prague zoo news 2017

    That's a bigger zoo than Chester, where all the major information, and discussion, has been confined to 4 pages. It can be read and absorbed in under ten minutes. Chester's four threads contain a combined 105 pages. Anyone wanting to recap the year faces a mammoth task, and anyone looking for a specific titbit is asking for trouble.

    Now the last thing we want is to stifle discussion or reduce people's enjoyment and use of the site. But we also want to the news threads to be useable by all members, not just a few. As a result we are introducing some Chester specific policies.

    Moving forward we are adopting a three-tier system:

    The premier Chester Thread will be Chester Zoo Headline News. This is for major news. In order to sidestep a highly subjective debate about what constitutes 'major', we are defining it as news which can be linked to, i.e. from the zoo's website, from social media or from other news sources.
    Chester Zoo - Chester Zoo Headline News 2018

    The secondary thread will be Chester Zoo Reports. This is for minor news, pretty much anything you have noticed when you visit the zoo. This is the place for things like a species moving enclosures or temporarily going off-show, updates on ongoing projects, and basically anything that doesn't make it into the first thread. These are all things that are of great interest to many regulars, but of little importance to many others.
    Chester Zoo - Chester Zoo Reports 2018

    We still expect discussion of whatever is posted in the above two threads to take place within those threads, however.....

    For everything else there will Chester Zoo Discussion, Speculation & Questions. This is for all the random, fun chat that makes the Chester Zoo community the most vibrant on ZC. Pretty much anything goes here!
    Chester Zoo - Chester Zoo Discussion, Speculation & Questions

    Please note that it is possible to quote from the Reports thread within Discussions and if you think you are starting a tangent then that's a good idea.

    Lastly, and this is something that has already started happening, if you have something specific you want to discuss you are encouraged to create a separate thread for it. This makes the forum easier to navigate and also gives each topic the space it needs to breathe and thrive.

    We hope that the new system will be reasonably intuitive. In the first few weeks we'll be moderating quite heavily in order to keep things on track, but things should settle down pretty quickly. The takeaway message is that anything you posted about Chester last year would still have a home this year, it just probably won't be in Chester Zoo Headline News :p
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2018
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  2. Charlie Simmomds

    Charlie Simmomds Well-Known Member

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    I can see why changes are being made but one question what about births, some are reported here before they are on social media for example the birth of a Sumatran orangutan which is very significant wasn't reported by the zoo for a few days but we all knew about it thanks to those who visited the zoo so which thread would that information be put into just for future reference?
     
  3. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    For simplicity, and clarity, in that example it would be reported in the second thread, Reports, until the zoo (or other body) releases the information, at which point it would be also posted into Headline News.
     
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  4. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    It seems to be a good system.
     
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  5. PaleoMatt

    PaleoMatt Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea. It will definantly be useful!
     
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  6. Zia

    Zia Well-Known Member

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    Good luck mods... seems fairly straightforward but being an online moderator myself, I know how much stuff like this can be like herding cats!

    Can I make one suggestion? That if a member spots something posted in the wrong thread, they simply report the post so the mods can deal with it - rather than pointing it out in the thread themselves I mean.
     
  7. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    That would be preferable, yes.
     
  8. cliffxdavis

    cliffxdavis Well-Known Member

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    A good system but do we want it to be Chester only? Is there is a page number trigger that splits out any location into three categories?
     
  9. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    For the foreseeable future, Chester is the only zoo that seems to require this approach. Obviously this is subject to change, and if the headline/report split is a roaring success then it might make sense to apply that more widely even if there isn't a 'volume' problem.

    To pick an exact number for when dividing the threads becomes necessary would be quite arbitrary, but it's definitely a lot less than 105 pages!
     
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  10. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    That's not a suggestion - it's actually a part of the rules!

    Let me reiterate what @Zia wrote a little more forcefully: PLEASE REPORT POSTS THAT REQUIRE MODERATOR ATTENTION - do not post about it in the thread, since the mods may not see it and we'd just have to clean up your posts as well as the problematic ones.
     
  11. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Just finished doing some stats and thought it neatly illustrated the reason we have implemented this approach for the Chester discussions and not other zoos:

    upload_2019-1-14_7-47-15.png


    upload_2019-1-14_7-47-44.png


    upload_2019-1-14_7-48-12.png


    ... Chester consistently gets 4x as many posts as any other zoo discussed on ZooChat!
     
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