Writerly Rant #24
The Redundancy Setting
Writerly Rant by M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor. Freelance Writer.
Social networking dramatically advanced with the inception of LinkedIn and the idea that business professionals (and individuals apart or entering similar fields) could reach out and connect with one another. A wide variety of groups sprung forth from the loins of social media and their members have been wailing ever since.
Yes, wailing. When I first entered the LinkedIn scene I was extremely naive and a virgin socialite. The writing, editing, and literary groups I joined all seemed to have a wealth of information to help me navigate the writing and publishing world. One of the first tools I noticed is the last one many others have yet to find: the Search Threads button.
I can’t keep count of the number of times the exact same topic is brought up – and it’s not the same thread revisited either. Brand new threads show up asking the same questions over and over and over again. Now, it’s one thing to ask for feedback on an idea or a concept you’re working on to see how to approach something in a new way – I get that. I even get the thinly veiled self-promotion of blog articles that show up on a regular basis. I have been known to check them out on occasion and have found some extremely relevant information in them.
No, I’m talking about those members who just don’t understand the layout of the system – they don’t rationalize that they might not be the first person to ever ask a particular question. Threads are archived for a reason: to avoid redundancy. If we’ve all been particularly forthright and witty, the next time a similar thread appears we’re less likely to be nice, if we even bother to respond at all.
Realistically what the developers of LinkedIn need is a Redundancy setting. One of those helpful little selection options for group leaders to choose that will disallow a topic that exactly matches an existing thread. A little notice can pop up and let the repeat offender know that what they’re wondering about has already been archived and to use the search button linked to the group to find it.
Think about it, by simply reducing the number of repeat queries, our email in-boxes would be less crowded and we’d be more inclined to look over the daily or weekly digests sent to us. As it is, half the time I delete the automated digests because the lead thread is just another repeat – and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m willing to risk missing a new and practical thread just to avoid dealing with matters of redundancy.
This is just another piece of evidence to show that common sense, common courtesy, and common knowledge are ideals of the past.