Brackets in Subject Lines?

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Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby Gill » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:53 pm

Why are so many subject lines appearing recently with words in brackets? Are the original posts being modified by the moderators?
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Re: Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby sscritic » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:58 pm

MBMiner wrote:Why are so many subject lines appearing recently with words in brackets? Are the original posts being modified by the moderators?
Bruce

Yes, but not the posts, the titles. If the OPs would write clear titles, the mods wouldn't have to mod them.

Edit:
Example.

Bokashi
Who what when where why is Bokashi? A Russian dancer? A Korean dish?
Last edited by sscritic on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby Gill » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:01 pm

That's what I suspected. I love the subject lines such as "Tax Question", "Annuities", "Portfolio Advice", "Trusts" and many others.
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Re: Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby LadyGeek » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:28 pm

MBMiner wrote:Why are so many subject lines appearing recently with words in brackets? Are the original posts being modified by the moderators?
Bruce

Sscritic is correct. The brackets [] indicate that it was modified by someone other than the member. If modification inside a post is needed (out of necessity...) I'll identify myself.

Here's why: Over time, we've gotten feedback from members that it's very difficult to decide what's in a thread based on a title. A lot of time is spent reading something simply because they didn't know what the thread was about. For example, what's in a thread titled "Help" - and nothing more?

For new member's, the retitling is extra important. Providing the proper title will flag the right members who can give guidance. "Help" will be turned into "Help [Portfolio, Asset Allocation]" so we know where to focus the effort. Since we have a lot of experience assisting military personnel or those with a medical background, I'll append [Military] or [Physician] on posts that should be read by those with the relevant experience.

In addition to retitling, threads are moved into the appropriate forums. Members tend to focus in the areas they know best. So, if a thread on how to manage a 401(k) plan shows up in the Investing - Help with Personal Investments forum, I'll move it to Personal Finance (Not Investing). We've also had some feedback on disappearing / reappearing threads, so I'll post in the thread that it was moved.

If members see a thread out of place, use the report post "!" button - one of the reasons is "Wrong forum."
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Re: Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby CABob » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:48 pm

Thank you Lady Geek and others that have added the brackets. One of my pet peeves is a subject that doesn't give even a clue as to what the subject really is. A post in the wrong sub-forum doesn't bother me as much since I look at all posts without regard to which sub-forum it is in, but, I'm sure others are helped.
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Re: Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby sscritic » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:02 am

Now if only someone would enforce policy:

We also require that you be considerate of our readers and:
use meaningful titles on new topics

I understand the word require. A thread without a meaningful title should be nuked immediately. :)
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Re: Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby Alex Frakt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:02 am

A couple of reminders from the forum policies -

From the General Etiquette section:
We also require that you be considerate of our readers and:
  • use meaningful titles on new topics
  • refrain from posting naked links - all links should include an explanation or excerpt unless its meaning is clear from the context
  • avoid profanities, obscenities, lewd and otherwise offensive words and remarks
  • avoid posting in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS or otherwise using distracting formatting
Moderators may edit titles, reformat or even delete posts that do not follow these guidelines.

From the Copyright Policy Section
Rights Granted by Authors
  • [...]
  • Post authors grant forum officers the right to edit or delete or insert comments in post contents (including post titles) that the forum officers have determined are in violation of forum policies.
  • Post authors grant forum officers the right to edit post titles for clarity and readability. ...
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Re: Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby Alex Frakt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:12 am

sscritic wrote:Now if only someone would enforce policy:

We also require that you be considerate of our readers and:
use meaningful titles on new topics

I understand the word require. A thread without a meaningful title should be nuked immediately. :)

Please keep in mind that nearly all of the moderating duties, including title edits, are done by just three people in whatever time we can spare from our jobs and families.

Anyway, you are welcome to report threads with non-meaningful titles if we've overlooked something. All three of us check the (private) reports page when we sign in.
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Re: Brackets in Subject Lines?

Postby Gill » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:50 pm

Thanks for the explanations. I suspected the moderators were editing the subject lines to make them a little more relevant. Hopefully it will make the posters a little more inclined to do this initially themselves.
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