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Is it ok to redirect traffic from someone's comment thread?

+A.V. Flox from blogher has asked a very important question of g+ etiquette. She posted this a few days ago but I decided to give it a little time before re-sharing in order to reach a wider audience.

So what would your response be to Flox's question? I think it is actually great to have multiple threads of discussion for the same topic and hence trying to keep all comments in a single thread will be counter-productive.

However, if you know someone started a discussion thread for a certain topic, then instead of creating your own post for the same discussion, please try to re-share the post from the user that actually started the discussion topic.

In short, we should credit other +ers wherever necessary and at the same time encourage discussions across many different comment threads instead of trying to limit them to one thread.
A.V. Flox originally shared:
Say you post about something, some piece of news that's really hot right now, and you and people who have circled you start having a lively exchange. Suddenly, someone with a much bigger following drops a comment on your thread to let you know that he or she has started a similar thread and is having a discussion there. He or she does not summarize the points being made on that thread or contribute to any of the points made on your thread. All he or she does is say "We're having the conversation here" and drop a link. Do you consider this helpful or rude and why?

I am CCing +Ahmed Zeeshan, who has written some of the best etiquette posts as they relate to Google+.
Alida Brandenburg's profile photoSharon Strandskov's profile photoM Sinclair Stevens's profile photo陈知浅's profile photo
I consider that rude. However, if both parties link to both threads, that allows for more constructive collaboration than to simply hijack someone's thread.

My wife is calling to me, it's late, and I feel good things brewing, hopefully I provided some food for thought. Honey! I'm on my way!!!.....
Completely rude. Let people comment wherever they want. I see similar things in google reader with different comments in the same posts with common people.
A two-edged sword, this... I must think about it carefully. Of course we must credit the original poster, always.

However I turn the tables a bit: Let's say I share a +Robert Scoble post which has hundreds of comments and the thread is still growing. I many times link also to the original post so that people can have a look at what has been said about the subject.
But for some this can be a bit intimidating, to jump in such a thread. Maybe it's nicer to have a discussion within smaller circles? Then you know your opinion is heard.

But vice versa? Hmmm... Still: It is polite to use the permalink on a post when re-shared even by a bigwig. Especially if the original post has a good thread of comments going. Right? :-)

I also understand that a guru of some sort with a huge following might want to make his/her own twist on the post and pivot the direction of the discussion.

I have no complaints, though, everyone has been a perfect gentleman/woman when it comes to sharing my posts.
+Nithin K Prabu It has to do with giving some credit to the little guys.

If I post something and there's a good conversation going about it and it's picked up by someone with a large following and that person announces their re-posting, conversation at the original post might go dead.

At the same time, if the person with the larger following gives credit and actually reshares the original poster's thread, the original poster and his/her conversation buddies could benefit from a larger discussion. It may seem rude, but it could actually net the original poster with a smaller following a lot more input and, perhaps, recognition.

If the original post is completely original, with a lot of person touch instead of a mere link, then that's a very like someone with a loud speaker telling everyone to listen to what this guy has to say. It would be foolish for the original poster to not join the potentially larger thread and develop conversation there.

If it's a mere link and interesting conversation, well... no one really owns a link. If it's a completely original post, as long as the person resharing gives credit, it's all good.
+Jaana Nyström That's one thing Google needs to fix. If something is reshared, there should be a link directly to the post that's being shared. I've seen people share week old posts and it's buried.
+Nithin K Prabu because we are a community. And as with any real-life community, there are some things which are considered rude and some aren't. So we're trying to figure out what is acceptable and what isn't. Obviously these are not binding rules. They're more like guidelines.
+Edwin Perello Very true. That's why I use the permalink more often than not when sharing. Unless it's a Caturday gif... :-)
+Jaana Nyström As I've always mantained, quality content and discussion is the higher goal here. In fact the amount of engagement you can get on g+ is what sets it apart. Trying to limit that engagement is not beneficial then. Crediting other users earns you respect which is also important I guess.
I think there should be an option on a shared post to comment on the original. I'm not sure how that is going to work with multiple comments going from post to post, but it's a thought, (might not work with posts that aren't public)
+Edwin Perello as a common view " information" is always in a way to " take, give and advance" procedure , and there is mere influence for the individual who own it's credits?lets say some one started a thread discussion with mere facts on a certain topic , and when it's get shared and re shared, it might get wider diversion with advanced facts, however it doesn't have anything to credit who started that thread/topic?
+Aditya Gollakota I've felt ever since joining G+ that there should be an option to reshare to my circles without forking so my share is really just a pointer to the original.

They also should have a pointer from a reshare to the original share not just the original person's profile.
If I reshare a post that was brought to me by a third party I always try to mention them in my reshare.
What would be nice however is to have something similar to the groups in FB, where posts can be made and reside there. Making it possible to publicly share your circles would also sort this out. That way anyone in the circle could share there and everyone would look at the original post. I would call this "public circles"
Excellent question, post and comments. Being able to discuss these kinds of things intelligently is what I love about the community. Okay back to the topic.

I agree with what's been said above. Give credit in some way. If you mention your own post in a comment of someone else's post, you should link back to the original post (OP).

1. The least credit would be a + mention of the original poster's name. Anyone interested then has to dig for the OP.

2. A reshare is G+'s official method, but as other's have pointed out, it is flawed in that you can't easily find the OP to read the comments there.

3. The best way is to include the OP's permalink (the link in the timestamp) as well as + mention the name.

I've seen some people edit their posts immediately to add the permalink in the body of the post to remedy the reshare problem.

That said, I think we have to be understanding and realize many people haven't considered these issues, may simply forget or may be in a rush and not be as thorough.

Finally, it's important to acknowledge that etiquette is always debatable. We can't unilaterally decide what is right and wrong for everyone because a small group of us agree.
+Nithin K Prabu I'm thinking more along the lines of a G+ post which acts much like a blog post, taking a certain topic and expanding on it. It's all original thinking of the poster instead of a simple link and quick comment. I think the former is what users of G+ should aspire to. More content, less noise.

If someone like +Ahmed Zeeshan who has 6021 people circling him picks up a nice, thoughtful post of yours (or someone else with a only a few hundred followers) and hijacks your conversation with an invite to his reshare of your post, it may seem a bit rude, but it's also beneficial to all parties. The conversation in your original post can continue if people want to but there will surely be even more input in the reshare made by Ahmed. The rudeness can be blunted by the fact Ahmed credited your original post and if you mount conversation with his greater number of followers, your original ideas might flourish and you'd have a larger audience.

I know it would probably seem overwhelming since I'm definitely not used to that much conversation or critique over what I write, but it'd definitely open up a healthier marketplace if ideas to build on.

If anything, you can always add a comment to your original post indicating to those who follow you that you've moved conversation to that reshare.
+Edwin Perello if that is the case, then what about an idea like if some needs to share/reshare a public post , then only he could share/reshare by adding the original creator to his circle.Also already G+ have an indication on who created the "Original post" while we share / reshare
great discussion -- thanks to +A.V. Flox for kicking it off, and glad you continued it.

i think attribution and linking back is extremely important on a reshare. beyond that it's asymmetrical: if somebody with a much lower number of followers reshares something from a relatively popular person, in my view it's never hijacking -- it's creating a smaller and more personal conversation. going the other way, if the more popular person is also contributing to the conversation in the other thread, i typically don't see it as hijacking. but when somebody just shows up and says "oh i'm talking about it over here" with a link, then i see it as at best somewhat disrespectful.
If I'm starting a new thread which has been inspired by somebody else's post then I will make that clear at the beginning. After that the direction of the comments on my thread is pretty much out of my control. Threads often wander wildly off topic ... I've been guilty of doing this myself .... but I prefer to see where they lead rather than censor responses to keep it on a strict track
+Nithin K Prabu I think +A.V. Flox's original question was more along the lines of someone not crediting you in their own post, though. Say you got a hot item and someone with a zillion followers reposts it, doesn't mention you in their post, and just drops the link to their post in your original thread. If that person with the larger following doesn't mention you as the person who tipped them off, that's just plain and 100% rudeness and should be disapproved of.

At the same time, I can't imagine people would really pay much attention to the Little Person with a few followers complaining about not being credited by the Big Person with the large thrall.

It's customary for bloggers I read to give a hat tip to whomever inspired the post or shared information that led to that post. I don't know if this is customary at large, but it is in the political and economic blogs I read.
Ping Lu
Good question! Took some time to think about it, and I can't think of any good reason why to start two discussion thread on the same topic.... If you change the topic a little, sure, the new topic is under your share (and plz tell the original poster in your shared post).
Considering netiquette I would say, one should share with comments disabled whenever possible.... and if there is already a great amount of comments, just disable the comments below your share and give the original poster some credit! That is, if the topic stays the same and your not changing anything. Whatever you do give the poster some credit.

- Didn't do that myself since i never thought about it in the first place as i haven't got that may followers (to 'steal' any) and most of mine won't comment even if threatened. ^_°
Even though a larger discussion feeds creativity and development of the thread, I would find it rude. That person is free to participate in yours.
Here is my take on this discussion initiated by +A.V. Flox and thanks to +Ahmed Zeeshan for opening the discussion here by re-sharing.

If applied to the real world, let's say in a work environment, I think there would be horrible friction and ill-blood among co-workers if one person takes credit for a job/task/assignment without givng credit to the originating colleague.

It is but curtesy, an etiquette of daily life as applied to google+ or any blog or online discussion. I wouldn't go so far as to say "it's rude" because the term rude has an ill-will connotation, which I don't believe g+ posters/authors do.

And let's not forget, there are times in the heat of long streams of discussions that one wants to put their 'two cents" in and this temporary lapse of etiquette could happen.

Of course, if this is the case, then there is always the wonderful and thoughtful option which Google has built into their g+, which is "edit", to correct any errors or change of thought in the post.
Thanks for this much needed reminder +Ahmed Zeeshan - but very few people really follow this, and it is now up to Google+ to actually make such changes where the re-share feature in not enabled, unless the person is credited, or something on those lines.
What I've noticed that G+ does is that if a post by Person A is shared by Person B (who's in my circles), and then I re-share Person B's post, only the Person A info is kept.

What I do then is thank +Person B, or say "via +Person B", so that they get credit for making me aware of the existence of the original post.

I think it only fair to give credit where credit is due.
Here are the issues that I have encountered with the problem:

Commenting on a thread (thread A) to let the people there know that you are having the conversation elsewhere (LINK to thread B), has a tendency to cause disruption. The commenters who are involved in thread A feel disrespected and tend to lash out at the commenter posting the link to thread B, which results in thread A being completely overwhelmed with comments about the propriety of posting a link in this manner. As a result, the conversation that was unfolding on thread A is lost. The ill will by some of the followers may manifest in their ignoring thread B completely and missing out on the conversation there, or retaliating, by posting annoying comments or bombing thread B with links to thread A.

Mixing groups of people can water down the conversation or effectively discourage commenters from participating. Say for example, someone who writes for a science network and has a science-heavy audience on Google+ and a columnist who has a varied audience on Google+ both post a link about an interesting scientific finding at around the same time. The conversation that develops in the thread among the people with a scientific background will be very specific, critiquing the methodology, asking more questions about future studies, reflecting on what the findings mean for other areas of research, etc., whereas the more varied audience may be more interested in how this applies to their personal lives and how this is something they suspected due to the amount of anecdotal evidence they have.

These two audiences create very different content, content that is valuable for different reasons. but which would suffer if we were to merge the threads prematurely. Anecdotal evidence is not something particularly embraced by the scientific community and might impede their desire to really get into details with people who clearly would not understand them, and the technical language used to discuss the finding would put off the varied audience who may not feel they have sufficient knowledge to express something intelligent about it.

Already in discussing this topic with people in my circles, people in +Alida Brandenburg's circles and those of you who commented here, I have seen a lot of incredible variation in suggestions and points. This thread, for example, has substantially more critiques of Google+ features than the other two -- and I wonder whether these would have been pursued at such length had the comments occurred on my own thread. Probably not. The joy of having varied audiences and being able to tackle aspects of a discussion is what makes this network great. Perhaps the best solution is to do what +Ahmed Zeeshan did here, wait for the discussions elsewhere to die down, and then bring the post to the attention of his audience to discuss further.

The matter of being able to find the original post from a reshare is of great importance, however.

If you are interested, +Alida Brandenburg's post is here:
And my original post is here:

The comments on Alida's post are exceptional, if you click to exit this thread at all, go there.
Thanks for the shout, +A.V. Flox! I'm glad your post is stirring up so much great discussion. Way to go Google+ community! :)
From my original comment on +Alida Brandenburg's post, which I still stand by:

While I understand why it seems rude, I would put that aside and see the helpful side of it-- you are being personally invited to join an already developed, more in-depth discussion with a broader user base. Your thoughts and opinions will get exposure and more people are apt to circle you and start up discussions on your posts. The polite thing to do is for the bigger fish to make some sort of remark about what you have to say to introduce you in their comments.

On a related note, I would like to see a feature to collect re-share discussions within your circles in one place so you can tab between all the discussions going on-- I despise having to go to five different places to have five different conversations on the same post, but appreciate that there are different discussions to have with different groups of people. (In one of my posts a few days ago I suggested this as well as the ability to +1 or comment on the original post, similar to what +Aditya Gollakota says here-- sorry if it is rude of me to hijack and link to it, but incase anyone has thoughts on it:
My answer depends a lot on intention. I encourage people to take a comment in my discussion threads (especially when they leave a long one) and start a fresh conversation, adding to the topic and sharing with their own audience. I love the way one idea sparks another.

But if someone came to my discussion and said, "Hey the party is better over at my place." I'd think they were pretty rude. There are times I leave a link to something related...but it is meant as a footnote -- an aside to people who show an interest in a topic. It's never meant to try to "steal" an audience.
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