Thread vs. Topic

Discussion in 'Managing Your Online Community' started by Wayne Luke, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Wayne Luke

    Wayne Luke Regular Member

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    Which do you use to signify a new discussion within your community? Which do you think is more recognizable and commonplace within the general population?

    The default in vBulletin is "Thread" so a lot of people use that these days. Not sure if its the issue of getting new buttons created and changing phrases but it seems to dominate.

    To me though, "Topic" would be more recognizable to forum neophytes wanting to jump into the conversation. I believe that phpBB uses Topic to signify a discussion. I am not sure about other systems.

    Which do you prefer? Which do you think would generate more participation and less confusion on your site?

    Should Community Owners revolt and get developers to adopt simpler terminology?
     
  2. David

    David Regular Member

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    This thread needs a poll!

    I prefer "topic" or "discussion" myself over thread. Thread sounds out of date and old to me and doesn't really reflect a conversation.
     
  3. kev

    kev Regular Member

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    It dont matter to me. But to people that might not know "how" to use a forum, the word "Topic" is easier to relate to.

    When I think about those 2 words, these are the first things that come to mind.

    Topic - something of interest, something that is being discussed.

    Thread - something you sew with, string used to attach two or more prices of cloth.
     
  4. Ryan

    Ryan Regular Member

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    I changed the text on vBulletin to say Topic.
     
  5. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Regular Member

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    The older people who sign up often ask "What's a thread?" I've changed my buttons to read "New Topic", but the younger members usually refer to them as threads, which does lead to some confusion.
     
  6. torque

    torque Regular Member

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    I prefer topic or discussion - that could just be me but just seems better than thread! haha
     
  7. Peggy

    Peggy Regular Member

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    I absolutely do prefer 'topic' over thread.
     
  8. 50calray

    50calray Grand Master

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    I agree.

    Topic or Discussion sounds much better than Thread.
     
  9. Ryan

    Ryan Regular Member

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    awww.adminaddict.net_data_MetaMirrorCache_b04ed1ded5e952a7667e6d2525d2ee0a.jpg

    OR

    awww.adminaddict.net_data_MetaMirrorCache_e7c5f4270f2528fc72d9c40d70030a3b.jpg



    Which would you rather have?
     
  10. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

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    Topic. ily Ryan, for making this thread deliciously interesting.
     
  11. kneel

    kneel Regular Member

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    hmmm..i would have to say I like Topic...but like said above..I guess alot of younger users would use the word thread...

    If I could I would change mine to say "Topic" also..
     
  12. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Regular Member

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    "Start a new discussion" would probably be least confusing to the older members, but I wouldn't want to try fitting that on a button.
     
  13. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

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    I like Topic or Discussion, but Thread has dominated and is used the most, in my observations.

    I think it would be hard to get everybody to convert to a single, universal term, but it would definitely be helpful in the long run.

    Thread doesn't really signify an ongoing discussion, and it is a weird word to those who don't commonly use forums. As somebody mentioned above, you will often see/hear, "What is a thread?".

    As for Topic vs. Discussion, I think Discussion is more appropriate. It easily describes what it is (a Topic can be thought of as a subject rather than a conversation) and there is no question about it.
     

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