I think there’s something to consider in what @sam is suggesting here. It’s how I first assumed the feature would work and went looking for a category setting I couldn’t find.
I was considering adding a “Links” category to our site to experiment with and setting it up to be “links only” and “hidden from the latest”.
- There’s a place for people to share interesting links without adding clutter/noise to the main listing of discussion topics.
- People can feel free to share links without the burdens of:
- worrying that they are cluttering the site
- thinking about whether they need to editorialize with extra commentary
In other categories, the behavior would be discouraged (don’t just drop a link here with nothing else).
Now, we could still try this and enforce things by convention. Maybe we will… but I’m not sure yet. If we do, then I think there will be some guidelines to train people with that the software won’t be helping to reinforce:
- In the links category, please paste the link in the topic title. Feel free to create the post with that content alone.
- In other categories, it’s discouraged to post a link by itself without any explanation of what you’re sharing or why. Posts like this will be deleted or moved by the moderators to the links category.
And I also worry if we try this, many posts in the Links category will be created without the special link icon in the topic listing for this category because people won’t understand immediately that they have to paste the link in the topic title rather than the body in order for it to show up there:
The main motivation for having the checkbox is so it would be there to allow people the check it if they posted the link in the body (as opposed to unchecking it when they post it in the title).
This line of thinking is also what led me to my other idea above, where links could be gathered in one place and displayed in a consistent manner site-wide, regardless of where they were posted. I still owe you some mock ups for that…