I disagree with this; there’s plenty of text content duplication in reddit during AMAs. Also any line of thought that begins with “no text reply duplication!” is deeply incompatible with what we’ve been building for the last four years.
What you proposed is probably a month of full time work for an engineer to implement. Much simpler to just:
disallow more than one “level” of replying, that is, the audience can only post questions as replies to the topic and cannot reply to any individual posts. Only the AMA subject can reply to individual posts.
enforce quoting by the author when replying, every time the AMA subject presses the reply button, put a quote in on their behalf. Error out if the AMA subject somehow tries to save a reply without a quote.
It is the difference between one day of work, and 30 days of work. It also gets you 90% of the way there in my estimation.
It also does not require readers to click expand a ton of times to see actual replies. If they want to see replies docked, they can, but simply reading quoted text is what Discourse is about in the first place, not enforced and hacked in multi-level threading.
@erlend_sh, it’s been a while, but do you remember how you did this on the front end? I can use the parameter username_filters to hide the post at the bottom but I’m not seeing a way to do that without a server call in any way.
For those interested, I have the category setting in place and it automatically expands replies.
This morning, I had an idea for a new approach to this that I think could work well for us.
The basic idea is to introduce a limit to how many open questions can exist at any one time. An “open question” in this case would be defined as any reply that is after the latest post by the original. So if the limit were 1, then the original poster would have to make every other post.
This would allow for a “continuous AMA” with the orgiinal poster, but with an implicit rate-limit. When they stop answering, people cannot keep asking.
Implementation-wise, there could be a custom UI behind the gear icon in the composer for a new topic to “create AMA” and set the open question limit.
Or, alternatively, perhaps it could be done via a site setting that associates a tag or category to moderate in this fashion (in which case, the open question limit would be site-wide).
The topic was started in advance so that others would be aware of the event - a link to a “in your timezone” site was provided in the post so others would know when it would happen
Members were allowed to post questions in advance.
The guests Trust Level was upped to exempt them from New member limitations.
I can’t speak for others, but my impression was that they went fairly well. They weren’t as “smooth” a discussion as a typical topic, but they weren’t as chaotic as a typical chat session. Kind of like “organized clutter”.
A rough analogy might be
a topic is a series of one-to-one posts
chat is a mix of many-to-many posts
the QAs were many-to-one posts.
The main feature req here is still to reject topic owner replies when they do not quote the post they are replying to. That is the absolute of death here, if the AMA / Q&A subject doesn’t do that, it will be disastrous.
Some other bonus stuff we could do:
Temporarily grant the topic owner more rights to moderate their topic during the Q&A.
Highlight the topic owner replies more than we usually do to make them stand out more.
Prevent people from replying more than once to the topic – since they should ask one “question” and no followups.
Prevent people from directly replying to any posts in the topic, because they should only reply to the topic itself.
Automatically expand “in reply to” at the bottom of replies. (Though this still leaves you unable to press the like button on the replies which I don’t… er… like.)
Yeah, I think that back and forth model sucks. I’m not spending that much time with people asking multiple questions. Either you asked a good question and you get a reasonable answer or… well, try again next time?