Make Reading its own section

Hey what’s up. So when we first started doing them book clubs were pretty few in number and we only had like three groups doing them. Now we’re at like 6 recurring groups doing multiple books a year plus random miscellaneous clubs.

Each book produces like 8-12 threads, one per week. The reading section has now become the largest subsection of the Japanese language thread (at 1,500+ threads, compared to the next largest subsection “questions” at ~1,000).

There’s so many threads that it’s become difficult to actually use the Japanese Language section to talk/lurk about what it was intended to be about - the Japanese language. In addition, threads like “My Little Sister Dropkicked me and I Reincarnated as a Blobfish Vol. 1, Chapter 7” aren’t particularly interesting to anyone that isn’t actively engaged in the book club yet crowd out other discussion by virtue of taking up a majority of the space.

Basically, it’d be nicer and more organized if we could just create a new reading section and have the Japanese language section return to being a part of the forum to talk generally about Japanese itself.

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This is really the game changer too. Book club threads are like of 0% interest to anyone not in the actual club so it really just takes up space and offers nothing to a majority of the people using the forum. Maybe wouldn’t be a bad idea to get some of that organaminazationals up in here.

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There’s a Reading subsection under Japanese Language. You’re suggesting moving that up so it’s a separate main section (like Campfire)?

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I actually find the book club spam way worse than 60 posts and study logs for clutter. Even when I’m kind of interested in looking at old ones the threads are so spammy it kills of my motivation to even sit through the search.

I’m looking at one now and it’s like there are threads per chapter/week and the few I bothered to click have <50 posts per thread. It’s super excessive for small discussions.

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Except you don’t really know how much conversation there will be until a book is underway, and it often changes over time. When there is a lot of conversation, having one thread for the entire book would be a nightmare.

What do you mean by “spammy” anyway? Like there’s conversation unrelated to the book? That’s the only thing I can think you might mean.

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Yes. The number of threads is huge and it only very loosely fits under the category of “Japanese Language” considering that the majority of the discussion is in English and about the contents of the book, not the language. Now occasionally, we do get people asking questions about the Japanese text itself, but for the most part it’s discussion and impressions about the story.

For reference, here’s the kind of useful thing that occasionally gets crowded out Quick Contraction Reference
I feel like it would be more useful to the average member of the community if it was easier to find things like that without having to sift through discussion threads.

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It’s been ages, but I feel like the old threads were better about gauging interest. Now it just looks like everything is copying the format that might not be the right choice.

Spammy is not a great discriptor on my part, but searching the book clubs feels kind of like searching reddit. Part of that is discourse just being meh. It’s not the greatest platform* for trying to do this and I’m getting unreasonably upset at dealing with the side effects. I feel like it actually has the popularity and merit for getting its own category and that would make it slightly easier to deal with some of the browsing and search issues.

* In a rare case of missing old school forums, this is one of the few times I actually miss having a excess of nested folders instead of tags

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Gotcha. I’m not against Reading being its own section anyway. I was just trying to get a better understanding of what you meant. If this change was done, it would have to be made clear that the section is for reading in Japanese. It’s be unfortunate for it to get cluttered with non-Japanese books. (Perhaps there could be an English subcategory if it made sense based on the other categories.)

Any thoughts on subcategories? Perhaps just one for each difficulty level and then an Other section? Or perhaps based on the type of book, so sections for graded readers, manga, light novels, etc.? Hmm… :thinking:

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Difficulty is a tough one to try, rather I feel like LearnNatively handles that about as well is as reasonable. Subcategorizing/tagging by medium might actually be kind of useful, though? It’s not super consistent, but there is something of an increase in difficulty going up that list of resources.

Glancing at the master list it doesn’t look like a book club has hit this problem yet, but I could see some annoyance at works that have been adapted across mediums. I might be too much of a weeb here, but I constantly feel like I’m watching some anime adaptation of a manga I’ve read that’s an adaptation of light novel I’ve read that’s a rewrite of a web novel I’ve read…

I got sidetracked remembering that there were anime threads doing similar things and stumbled on what I think was another manga discussion in campfire. Idk, maybe there just needs to be some sort of catchall for discussing Japanese media consumption. I do feel like the book club threads are more productive/educational overall, but I probably just haven’t seen other ones being useful.

Well, for better or worse they are already organized by difficulty, in that the books are generally part of the Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced book clubs. And when they aren’t, the creator of the book club still has to assign a rough difficulty for the Master List. So I get your point, though it doesn’t really reflect how the clubs work here.

That said, I probably like organizing by media type better as well. You could argue that there should be a “Japanese media” section, but the book clubs are generally at least partly about learning. That’s not necessarily going to be the case or even the intent behind the other Japanese media threads (like anime threads for example). Perhaps if the section was generalized it would be used that way, but I’m not sure it would be worth it. At that point you’d need so many subcategories for all the types of media it would get a bit insane.

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@seanblue Is there like a staff member I should tag for this kind of discussion?

Probably just @Mods I guess.

Also, another thing to consider is that it may be hard to transition to a vastly different structure. When the #japanese-language:reading section was first added, there weren’t that many book clubs. So it wasn’t that hard to move all the threads to that subcategory. Obviously moving all 1500+ threads from the current Reading subcategory to a new top-level Reading category would be easy, but putting them all into appropriate subcategories sounds very time consuming.

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Could rename it “Book Clubs”?

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Yes, media types comes to mind. I mean, I’m now in 2 “book” clubs being about watching anime. I think it would be helpful with subcategories for different media types.

Some examples:

  • Books (beginner)
  • Books (intermediate)
  • Books (advanced)
  • Manga
  • Light novels
  • Games
  • Anime
  • Japanese TV (JP dramas, movies etc.)
  • Podcasts
  • Audio media (radio, audio books, drama CDs, music etc)
  • other

…something else??? :eyes:

…which brings me to a different idea about what Discussion clubs can be for: not just reading, but some kind of Japanese media consumption which people want to discuss in detail and try to understand better

Reading is great, but there is also need for other media consumption if you want to get better at Japanese. So, encouraging the pooling of knowledge to understand specific podcast series or JP drama series can be a great way to push listening comprehension as well.

(and just bring all these discussions under one roof, for easier browsing - trying to find something you want to get into :slight_smile: ).

So, yeah, Discussion clubs, is closer to what comes to mind for me personally for a new subsection on the forums, @Raionus ^^ “Reading” is a bit too narrow and unflexible.

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Maybe like:

  • Book Clubs (club master threads, group proposals, etc.)
  • Discussion Threads (For individual chapters/discussion days)
  • Misc. Section (anything that doesn’t fit into the above)

Would be easy to transfer stuff into subsections this way.

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That would certainly make the transition easier, though I’m not sure it would be a useful structure long term.

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To me it sounds like there needs to be a “Book Club” category. Would make it easier to talk/lurk in the Japanese Language category if book clubs were separate from the Reading section altogether. Not all the threads in the Reading section are about book clubs, after all. (Even if the vast majority is.)

In the beginning it made sense for the book clubs to be in the reading section, but now that book clubs have become such a big part of the forum (and probably won’t stop any time soon), it would make sense for there to be an own category for book clubs. Is what it sounds like to me from what I’ve read in this thread.

Suggestion for subcategories:

  • Absolute Beginner BC
  • Beginner BC
  • Intermediate BC
  • Advanced BC
  • Miscellaneous / “none”

I think moving BC threads from the reading section to another category/sections would be manageable if Regulars help out to make it a group effort, so the mods don’t have to do literally everything since that would take massive time and effort.

We could use the Master List of Book Clubs as a guideline since it contains all the links needed, just have to sort threads in each section accordingly. And we could assign people (volunteers) to move threads one section at a time, if that makes sense.

One thing to take into consideration, though, is that Regulars can only edit posts/threads a certain amount of times pr. 24h, so it might sound like moving all the threads would take forever, haha. Maybe mods could adjust that “certain amount of times” just for this project. The Big BC Transfer ProjectTM, hehe.

Anyway, just an idea :slight_smile:

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Anyone with access to the database should be able to move hundreds of threads easily with a few well worded regex commands or something. Most of the book clubs follow pretty specific thread wordings.

I know WK likes leaning on the community but this is definitely a project for management

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This is a great idea really, if the Mods are willing to delegate part of the job, it makes sense to crowd source the moving of the threads. After all, after threads have been moved to the new subcategories, it would be less effort for the Mods to do quality control of the result (at least if there are more subcategories than just a few).

I think making it more specific (in regards to subcategories) would help people find the book/discussion clubs suitable for their learning needs. ^>^ It’s also more logical than lumping too many things under the same branch.

I’m sure the Mods also have a few ideas about what suits this forum’s needs as well. :slight_smile:

Ah, I should have continued reading. I don’t really know the structure of this forum, so yeah, if it’s easy to sort this out, it’s of course best if the Mods do the work. But, my spontaneous thought was that it’s not as simple to sort out subheadings though. :eyes: That most likely requires at least some knowledge of the content of the discussion threads. Which makes this more time-consuming.

Depending on how much work it is, I think relying on the regulars to do work like this is a good idea. ^^

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I mean, not literally but you can write things to automatically sort the majority of things. Maybe 20-30% will need a manual look but it’s far better than just having people physically sort through all that by hand right from the start.