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Too Many Groups!!!!! Answered

In some categories there is too many groups. For example if you look up knex on groups you get 11 pages of result. There is about 20 results per page so its over 200 possible knex groups you could join. What do you think?

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sev17 (author)2009-05-19
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sir-zeke (author)2009-05-19

people shouldn't start a group until they check if there already is that kind of group

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DJ Radio (author)2008-12-30

well, I dont participate in groups a lot, since they are mostly out of the way, and they are also buggy a bit (like it doesnt tell you if its moderated or not)

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FaqMan (author)2008-12-29

Yes there is a swift clean up with the groups would do but groups that have members and some insturxctables like yokozuna said could be combined so no meembers are left out and angered

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Kiteman (author)2008-11-29

You're right, and not just about K'NEX groups - there seem to be almost 1400 groups altogether. There are many groups that are duplicates, or near-duplicates, because the group creators did not search the groups before starting their own. It would probably be worth it if an intern were to be assigned to clear out the empty or un-used groups, maybe combine projects and threads of similar groups.

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KentsOkay (author)Kiteman2008-12-29

*feels terribly clever about having created several major groups*

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Lithium Rain (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

I can make a list of the duplicates/very similar groups. Give me a few days to do it though. I'd be willing to do all the clearing and combining, had I the temporary ability...

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Kiteman (author)Lithium Rain2008-11-29

In that case, I nominate you to PM Eric and volunteer.

It would be such a boring job...

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Kiteman (author)Lithium Rain2008-11-29

Let us know how you go, or if you need help.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

. ditto
. I have no problem with the Albums, Songs, and Music group I started being folded into another music group.

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Lithium Rain (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

I will. Thanks. :)

Assuming I get the job...

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Chicken2209 (author)Lithium Rain2008-11-29

I would help, but idk how much time I would have tomorrow...

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I don't think it would be a one day job.

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Masterdude (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

People should have to get permission to start a group so people don't start making groups out of control and filling up space.

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Kiteman (author)Masterdude2008-11-29

Or maybe just part of the process should be a reminder to search the existing groups, like you get when you write an ible? Either way, that doesn't clear the existing pile.

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Weissensteinburg (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

On digg, they do it for you. Before you submit something, they show you similar stuff, and if yours is unique, you can continue, but if it's been done, you just don't.

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Masterdude (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

To get rid of the existing pile someone could could go and get rid of empty groups or merge them with other groups which are like each other.

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kelseymh (author)Masterdude2008-11-29

Space (disk space) is essentially free. Multiple terabyte servers run about $10K nowadays (and my numbers might be out of date already!), and storing the text-only information (images are separate and merely cross-referenced) is extremely efficient (one byte per character :-). The problem is humans' ability to find the information.

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Masterdude (author)kelseymh2008-11-29

It doesn't have anything to do with disk space but with the many groups which you could join. When there is 200 groups on your topic and most have at least one other group which is nearly identical to it, it isn't easy to find a group to choose to be a member of. It starts to be hard to keep track of all the groups.

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kelseymh (author)Masterdude2008-11-29

It sounds like we agree. You had talked about "making groups out of control and filling up space." I was pointing out that space isn't the issue, just as you say.

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kelseymh (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

The database should have sufficient information to fairly well automate the process: if you plot contents (number of topics, or comments, or associated I'bles) vs. age, there should a fairly clear linear trend for "active" groups, plus a cluster at low (zero or close to it) contents independent of age. That would let the hypothetial intern make a cut and then scan the candidate "zombie" groups for dismissal due to duplication.

I don't think you'd want to clear out empty groups with unique areas of interest. Rather, those should maybe be flagged for "advertising" to encourage their repopulation (consider Plasmana's Physics and Astronomy groups, for example).

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Kiteman (author)kelseymh2008-11-29

Some groups will have low recent traffic, but be historically-important, because contest entries used to be entered into dedicated groups. I was working on the assumption that an intern given relatively vague instructions could probably achieve the task in the time it took to code it to happen automatically, because it's essentially a one-off job.

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kelseymh (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

I agree! I don't think you could automate this sort of thing at all (except maybe for the identically zero groups). I do think, given the huge number of groups in total, you need some level of data analysis to identify a subset to be reviewed. The plots I describe should be produceable with a single SQL query piped to |gnuplot| (probably takes about 20 minutes including debugging:-)

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Masterdude (author)Kiteman2008-11-29

I agree with you but it's the group which are nearly identical to many other are what I'm talking about. I think they should be put together as one group.

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Kiteman (author)Masterdude2008-11-29

Agreed.

It would be so much easier to pile scorn on avoid one KNEX group than 200

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Plasmana (author)2008-12-29

Yes, you are right, I think I will delete some of my groups...

What happens when you delete a group with members part of it?

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yokozuna (author)2008-12-28

As a somewhat newer user to the website, I think part of the problem may be that the groups are not easily found/searchable. I started an electric vehicles group a while back, however later found one already existed. I did a search for it before I started it, but unless you specify it as searching groups, it doesn't show up. I didn't realize the group already existed here, and started my own. Now, I'm left with a group that has several members, a nice collection of instructables, and is almost exactly like another EV group. What to do? I'm willing to have it combined, however as far as I know I don't have this happy power. As far as I'm concerned, the actual problem (even if just for noobs) still exists.

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I_am_Canadian (author)2008-11-29

Yes, there are millions too many.

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