Which long comment/forum threads are worth reading?
January 7, 2019 4:04 PM   Subscribe

I know this is a weird ask in the era of don't-read-the-comments, but I'm looking for recommendations of long comment/forum threads to read. What can you suggest?

Examples of the sort of thing I'm looking for would include the emotional labor thread, but also sheng of the day (a magical 10-year-long thread on sheng puerh tea which takes place on a shaving forum, of all things).

I'm excited about delving into folks' intense articulate engagement on various topics, both heavy and light!

(On the other hand, I'm NOT interested in threads which consist of mostly jokes/memes or fighting about particular political candidates.)
posted by 168 to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Pretty much anything on Ask a Manager would fit your needs. You can start with this list of the most popular posts of 2018.
posted by SisterHavana at 4:48 PM on January 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

There are dozens if not hundreds of forums for every conceivable hobby or interest, such as music and/or specific musical instruments, tech, specific car models, cooking, knife making, knitting, house cleaning - you name it and there's a forum for it. I've followed a few and know that they can go into long enthusiastic discussions about the minutiae of their chosen topics. A Google search for a forum for your hobby or niche interest (for example "Nash Metropolitan forum") should turn up a few to check out.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:56 PM on January 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I loved the old Reddit thread: what's the creepiest thing your kid ever said to you?

Oliver Sacks wrote an article on migraines for the NYT, and the comment thread was 1500+ comments long and completely fascinating.
posted by jamjam at 4:58 PM on January 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

I can't say I've read the whole thing, but a while back I stumbled upon a thread on a Blu-ray enthusiast forum, specifically on Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition, Blu-ray North America. Last I checked, it was 760 pages long.

A gem from 441 pages in:
>This thread is getting out of hand, gents. Stop the insults, stop the attacks.
> If a post contains an insult or attack, please report the post so the member and the offending posts can be dealt with. To do this, click on the small red/white/black triangle icon just below a member's picture and info near the bottom left corner of the offending post. (When you highlight the icon, it says "report post.")
> Discussion about the tint is very valid, particularly in regards to the objective debate. If you have a subjective opinion of the transfer, please post it. Subjective opinions are very valuable as well. However, inciting other members is strictly against forum rules. The anger, outrage, vitriol and insults that are clogging this thread are UNACCEPTABLE.

posted by CrystalDave at 5:18 PM on January 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Crooked Timber?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:11 PM on January 7, 2019

The Toast had wonderful commenters. I present to you Desserts I Have Been Horrified By On “The Great British Bake-Off”.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:11 PM on January 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Two of my favorites:
Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa, in which a couple of people go on a serious road trip
The Miura project begins, in which a Lamborghini replica is built with great care

(These both possibly miss the point of the question a bit, as they are less discussions and more like blog posts that happen to be in the form of a forum thread.)
posted by actionstations at 12:42 AM on January 8, 2019

From the music board ILX:

"Every huge artist has their "New Jersey" - a huge event album that ultimately feels a bit hollow & signals a career decline"

It's a 2000+ post discussion about a supposedly common pattern in the careers of platinum selling artists. It's a little slow starting off, where people just propose bands and albums. Once they start to circle around the definition of terms though, and to argue about which criteria are the most essential, it turns into dialectical music nerdery at its best.

(Also from the same board is "Horrible 70s album titles like I've Got My Own Album To Do", which really is just a list. Incredibly compelling for seeing just HOW MANY of these awful things there were in the mainstream -- the well never seems to run dry).
posted by rollick at 4:38 AM on January 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

The blog Slate Star Codex typically has very interesting (often long) blog posts accompanied by long comment threads. The comments are moderated, and the quality of them is quite high (much much higher than the typical comments you find online). I actually try not to start reading the comment threads, because they can easily chew-up significant blocks of my time.
posted by alex1965 at 7:56 AM on January 8, 2019

I enjoy the "all time" archives of AskReddit, LegalAdvice, and Relationships.

The decade-old thread of "favorite student emails" on the Chronicle is also a fun one to browse.
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:34 AM on January 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

Reddit's Ask Historians forum is great-- pretty much any of the all-time top threads will have deeply well-informed people diving into a quirky and fascinating topic.

(Note that the emphasis on well-researched answers means it can take a while for threads to get going, which is why I recommend starting with the all-time top threads, rather than the most recent ones.)
posted by yankeefog at 9:09 AM on January 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is a really fun forum thread I discovered thanks to a Meta post in 2017: Mazdeuce fixes the grosh. This guy spends years remodeling his garage and doing other car/home projects, with enthusiastic commentary from other forum members.
posted by saturngirl at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

This Ask Reddit thread was A+
posted by clavicle at 2:53 PM on January 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

I saw these curated on Twitter, not archived in full -- two threads about extremely bad DIY renovations. Groverhaus, beatmstrJ.
posted by clavicle at 3:05 PM on January 8, 2019

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