[META] Open threads (and repository threads) are underutilized.

Recently, issues with the way open threads currently work were brought up. Open threads aren’t very visible and get crowded with comments quickly. This causes people to post things that belong in open threads in r/​discussion, to not post in open threads more than a few days old, or to ignore/​be unaware of new comments in open threads. I think we can do better.

Some possible solutions that were pointed out, or that I thought of are:

  • Put the most recent open thread at the top of the ‘Recent Comments’ sidebar.

  • Having open threads more often.

  • Put a link to it on the main page.

  • Make a new subreddit for open threads.

  • Create a new medium for open threads.

Note that not all of these are orthogonal.

Having them more often has the advantage of being especially easy to implement. Adding new links seems to be relatively easy to implement as well. As far as I know, making a new subreddit isn’t too difficult, but making a new medium would probably be a waste of development resources.

Personally, I like the idea of having a new subreddit for open threads. It would increase visibility, not get overcrowded, and have the right atmosphere for a casual open thread. My evidence for believing this comes from being familiar the way Reddit works. It seems like there is some resistance to creating new subreddits here, so I don’t expect this to be implemented. I would like to see the reasoning for this attitude, if it indeed exists.

There are similar issues for the repository threads. For repositories, having them more often defeats the purpose of having one place for a certain type of idea, and a different subreddit doesn’t seem right either. Giving them their own wiki pages might be a better medium, with new threads to encourage new ideas every once in a while. The main problem for this is the trivial inconvenience of going to the wiki, and logging in. It would be nice if there was a unified log-in for this part of the site and the wiki, but I realize this may be technically difficult. I might organize a wiki page for some of the repositories myself if people think this is a good idea but no one else feels like doing it (depends on if I feel like doing it too :p ).