I just discovered a potentially useful forum tool that I thought I knew about, but totally misunderstood. At the bottom of the Original Post in any forum topic, there is a “Summarize This Topic” button. I mistakenly assumed this would allow for creation of a written summary by someone like admins or mods.
What it really does is filter the entire topic (with at least 50 comments) down to a smaller set of the comments within it. It’s a bit like getting a Cliffs Notes version of the topic.
The amount of filtering is controlled by values of Likes, Replies, Read Time, Bookmarks, etc. to “rank” all the comments. Those above some threshold (unknown to me at this time) are the ones kept for viewing when you select the button.
While viewing the Summarized topic, you can also expand select replies easily, if you see a comment and want to check out the related replies without expanding the entire topic.
If and when you need to dig into some parts of the topic, returning to full view is recommended. But you may be able to leverage the shorter list in order to target your deeper dive easier and faster. When you want to return to full topic viewing, use the “Show all” option in the OP or on screen when scrolling.
For reference, when I apply this tool to the recent Introducting AI FTP Detection topic:
- Regular View = 463 Replies
- Summarized View = 96 Replies
- So it makes for a more manageable read for those on a time limit. As with anything abbreviated like this, it’s important to recognize what you are and are not seeing.
I mention this because earlier this week, we had two users ask about ways to get to the more useful / important posts within these large topics we have. At the time, I didn’t know how this tool worked. Once I learned about this tool, it is at least a decent place to start a quick read on lengthy topics. I am trying to find those users and their original comments, but would love it if anyone notices those in their browsing, to share this topic and tool with them.
Here is a related Discourse support doc where I found the details mentioned above.