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01

The Most Active Threads Since Friday

by Jeff Steele last modified Apr 01, 2024 12:22 PM

The topics with the most engagement over the weekend included picking colleges, Project 2025, childless weddings, and GDS college acceptances.

The most active thread since my last blog post on Friday was titled, "Let us pick for you…list acceptances" and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. For months I've joked about a group of users in the college forum who approach college admissions with the obsessiveness of dedicated sports fans, analyzing the most minute of statistics and debating various rankings and top college lists. I refer to this group as the Fantasy College Admissions League. This thread is the culmination of this phenomenon, the college admissions playoffs if you will. The original poster invites the parents of undecided college applicants to list their options as well as factors influencing their decision and allow others to weigh in. Just in case you doubt the enthusiasm of the College Admissions Fantasy League participants, consider that this thread reach nearly 40 pages in just three days. To be sure, there are some very knowledgeable posters in this forum whose advice is worth considering. But, there are others who appear to be primarily motivated by personal biases rather than the strength of their analysis. The problem is telling which is which. In some cases this is made easier by the amount of effort posters put into their responses. At least in my opinion, the replies that consisted of nothing but the name of the school were not particularly helpful because they didn't explain the reasoning behind the opinion. In contrast, posters who supported their response with substantive reasons for their choice tended to be more persuasive. On the other hand, those posters often opened themselves up to challenges from others who disagreed with their reasoning. Even so, debate between posters was discouraged in the thread with a Northeastern University booster being shutdown when she went a bit far in her advocacy. It is clear that the thread was meant to be lighthearted and mostly for entertainment. That is not meant to disparage the seriousness with which many of the thread's participants approached the topic, but I don't think many final college decisions were made as a result of a DCUM post. I think the highlight of the thread for me had nothing to do with the substance of the topic but rather with a poster who chose to respond with snark to the original poster, "thanking" the original poster for providing instructions because the responder would otherwise not know what to do. This response was on page 34, so clearly a number of posters had found the thread engaging by that point and the snark was not necessary. But the icing on the cake was that the poster messed up the formatting of their post and ended up including their response within the quoted content. The inability of this poster to quote properly suggests that they actually do require instruction. Snark kind of falls flat when it provides evidence of the author's incompetence.

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