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Falkor 2010-10-24 20:26

Creating separate discussion threads
I created a discussion thread for the manga adaptation of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, which is a light novel series. The discussion was intended for the manga adaptation, and not the novel---and this was clearly stated in the first post. Today, Darknemo2000 made a comment on a future event that has yet to be revealed in the manga adaptation. I told him that posting about future events (and therefore discussing the novel with that in mind) was not the purpose of the discussion thread. I asked him to delete the spoiler; and so we had a little discussion.

I suggested that if Darknemo2000 wanted to discuss about the novel, it was better to create a separate discussion thread. But Darknemo2000 brought this to my attention:


Originally Posted by Darknemo2000 (Post 3313591)
Isn't this a combined novel and manga thread? It is pointless to create two separate threads of one title that isn't even very popular to begin with. In fact have seen moderators combining both manga's and novels into one rather than separating them.

quoting the following from the forum guidelines:


In general, we prefer there to be only one thread for each series, so do not create a new thread if one is already present.
However, I have read this before, and I have to say that it is rather ambiguous regarding this issue. Is it possible to create two separate discussion threads: one for the novel, and one for the manga adaptation that comes from it? it's not clearly stated in the forum guidelines.

I would love to elaborate more on why I believe there should be two separate discussion threads for this title, but I want to hear what the forum staff has to say first.

relentlessflame 2010-10-25 00:22

I understand the nature of the concern. Give the staff a chance to discuss this situation and we'll let you what we decide.

Falkor 2010-10-27 01:51

oh ok, but now that I look back at the opening post, I think I wasn't very clear on what I wanted to bring into discussion, nor was I detailed enough on my intentions.

The first issue, which my beginning post sort of covers, is with regards to the forum guidelines and the quote I pointed out. I have seen some manga that comes from a light novel; we can say it's a manga adaptation because they take the story and adapt it to a different medium. Examples that come to mind: Toradora!, Torikagoshou, Bungaku Shoujo, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, just to name a few. Strictly speaking, the novel and the manga are the "same series", but done in two different mediums; because of this, I also want to think of them as two different works deserving discussion threads on their own. The forum guidelines, if we read it as it is, does not allow two separate threads; rather, it's very ambiguous and does not quite address the situation I'm pointing out, which I think it's important considering that Manga and Light Novels share the same forum section, but are not the same thing---and more or so when it comes to this issue. I'm not sure, but it does give the impression that single discussion threads should serve for the purpose of discussing both novel and manga adaptation, which I think shouldn't be.

In addition, I've seen instances where separate threads have been created to accommodate the different types of discussion (Toradora!, Spice and Wolf, Mushi to Medama to Teddy Bear), which made me believe that creating separate threads was allowed under some kind of non-stated exception (or interpretation) to the rule; but I'm not really sure if that's the case, which brings me to the next issue---and is something that I want to know as well. What is the forum staff stance on this? do you prefer single threads to contain discussions of both light novel and manga? do you prefer to see them as separate? or do you let the thread starter decide how it's going to be? and should the kind of discussion (manga, novel or both) be indicated on the title and first post?

The next thing that I want to know is whether the Spoiler Policy can also apply to manga adaptations. I included a part of the policy at the beginning of two my threads (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai and Torikagoshou) in order to set the type of discussion I wanted to have, one without spoilers. But there's a difference between me saying that spoilers are not allowed and the forum staff actually enforcing the policy on manga adaptations. At the very least, as the thread starter, would my intentions be respected? if I say that spoilers are not allowed, and someone does post spoilers, doesn't that mean the person has overridden my intentions? let me rephrase that, would the forum staff allow me to have the kind of discussion I want to have, in other words, would you not force the thread I created with the intentions of discussing the manga adaptation to all of sudden include the novel (and therefore spoilers)? Since this is the impression I'm getting from Darknemo2000' posts, that if creating a separate thread is deemed impossible, I would have to allow the discussion (and spoilers) Darknemo2000 wants to have.

Lastly, I think it's counter productive to have two discussions (manga and novel) in one place. As manga reader, I feel the same way as an anime watcher when someone posts spoilers revealing future events from the source material. In a discussion thread combining manga and novel, sooner or later, it would irremediably ostracize those who don't want to read about the latest developments of the novel, given that the manga adaptation has not reached that far---being a manga reader shouldn't necessarily mean that you have to be familiar with the novel as well, especially when they are at different points of the story. I don't like that feeling at all. To me having separate threads seems like a simple solution, though I'm not sure if you guys feel the same way.

felix 2010-10-27 02:43

The way merging works around here is very mechanical. Two discussions can be in different planes, should they share some word in the title *bam* instant merge! The premise being "it's always better to merge". This might have been well and "true-enough" when the forum was small and only a year old, but right now however it does little more then promote cyclic/repeatable discussion everywhere; since who's going to shift though the prehistoric junk to get to the start of the current discussion? To make matters worse there's no policy for first posts, so you could have semi serious discussion where the first post is some uneducated 1-line-rant.

But the old ways continue. Notice how even now the answer wasn't the obvious make-everybody-happy solution "ok we'll make a exception *create two threads*" but rather "(we'll find a way to stick you both together in one thread since that will solve all the worlds problems)". :heh:

relentlessflame 2010-10-27 12:06

Actually, I think your original post was pretty clear, but thank you for the extra clarification.

The reason for the delay is that the staff have been considering your proposal, and are now close to finalizing the new policy (we're just working out a few last details).

The short answer is that we generally agree with you that manga and light novels for the same property should be treated as different works and should thus be allowed (but not required) to have their own separate threads. In such cases, the normal spoiler rules would apply (anything that hasn't happened yet in a given medium is inappropriate).

In general terms I would say that, even though we allow any member to create threads in the Manga & Light Novel forum (as with Games), we don't normally allow the OP (Original Poster) to change the "normal rules of operation". But in this case, since it appears that your request is in fact consistent with our usual spoiler policy, this new policy change to allow the two different threads will address the discrepancy.

Anyway, give us a bit more time to nail down exactly how we want this to work, and we will make a formal announcement in the forum soon (though this can serve as a sort of statement of intention in the meantime).

Falkor 2010-10-29 22:29

oh thank you for the heads up. I didn't quite imagine that my question will create a new policy, but I'm glad that you guys are trying to do something with this issue.

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