First of all, this is not an attack on anyone. The mods do a splendid job overall, and should be applauded. I am just one man, and these are just my opinions.
I see 3 reasons why poker-related posts should rarely be merged…
It is somewhat disrespectful to the original poster. There are only a small number of people willing to take the time to write detailed and instructive content for this, a poker forum. Poker forums live and die by their poker content, new poker threads should be encouraged, not discouraged.
Merging lowers the ratio of poker to non poker content. Look at this at the extremes: a poker forum with no poker content is not a poker forum at all, one with lots of poker content is. Non-poker content, such as the numerous music threads, should be merged because that increases the proportion of poker content. Poker-related content should not be merged as often because merging decreases the proportion of poker content, and poker content is why new readers come to, and come back to, poker forums.
SEO (search engine optimization) If, for example, we merge a topic on “preflop range construction” with a topic about “postflop range considerations,” the merged content becomes invisible to search engines. This is because search engines only parse (read) and index the first 200 words or so of any content they find.
If we have several threads with “range” in the title, it allows us to “capture” a much wider variety of search phrases than it would if these topics were merged. Ideally, a search for “poker range” would feature the forum in as many results as possible, which would drastically increase the number of people visiting the forum.
On one level, the forum exists to capture these searchers. The forum acts like a funnel, and some of these people will go to the site, and some will buy chips. Thread titles are indexed by search engines, content buried within threads are not. Threads merged are lost opportunities for key phrase matching, lost visitors, lost revenue.
Yes, there are other valid reasons for having the forum. It creates a sense of community, thus aiding retention rates. It’s a place for Replay users to unwind and learn. There are other reasons, but, at the end of the day, Replay is a business, and having as many poker related threads as possible is good for business. Merging them all together is not.
I’m not in charge of the forum, even though I probably should be, but these are my thoughts on the subject. I do respect and admire the mods, I am not attacking them at all.
Offered as constructive criticism,