User concerns: merging threads and article/forum integration
Starting to dig Twins Daily, but I have a couple concerns from a user/reader perspective.
1) The big one is probably the number of topics with duplicate articles and threads. Right now there are two fairly generic articles about Mike Pelfrey on the front page, both linking to their own respective discussion topics in the Twins Talk forum, plus several other generic user-created discussion topics on Pelfrey in the same forum. The problem has been even worse for earlier signings and trades. It's a hassle to navigate and read, and it's probably stifling discussion -- I can't believe that I am alone in asking, where exactly am I supposed to post on the topic of Mike Pelfrey? Did I just pick the "wrong" thread to post in?
From a user perpective, I'd love to see some thread merging to solve this. Yes, that's work for an administrator or moderator but it really should be done. Otherwise I have no real confidence posting here. And front page articles with generic topics like Pelfrey should be pointing to the same forum discussion thread -- there is no reason why Seth's announcement of the Pelfrey signing needs a separate forum thread from Nick's analysis of the signing a few hours later. The discussion will be essentially the same -- point them both to the same discussion.
2) On another related note, I really dislike clicking on a forum thread for an article, and then being required to click through again to actually read the article. Not only is it an inconvenience for users, it prevents article content from being searched by the forum search tool. (For example, searching for "Baseball America" in the main site header search box brings up Nick Nelson's recent Mike Pelfrey article -- in two duplicate places, no less -- but searching for the same phrase in the Twins Talk forum does not return that article or its discussion thread at all, even though the discussion is ostensibly in the Twins Talk forum.)
If the article text was reproduced in the forum thread, that would obviously help. And if we are merging threads like my first suggestion, you could do some kind of top/permanent post for any articles linked to that merged thread. (I fully grant that featured author content should remain featured.)
Also, maybe the forum search tool should default to the same site-wide search parameters used by the main site header search box?
Hopefully this all makes sense. Sorry if any of it has been addressed elsewhere.