Thanks for responding in one message. We can use selective quoting to start a new topic if we want to continue the discussion on one particular issue.
Actually, my list of issues were not specific issues with, or criticisms of, your paper. They are questions I am more interested in so they don’t deserve separate responses in this topic.
I really appreciated your paper because it shows the value of identifying reciprocal conversations. If you had also addressed any of the issues I mentioned then they would have obscured that important idea.
Now that I’ve had time to reflect on your paper, I think it is far more useful than I initially thought.
Your paper clearly shows how reciprocal conversations can make forum statistics look a lot better. But my unspoken question was are these reciprocal conversations beneficial? In other words, I assumed that more participants is better.
In my mind, I was sceptical that reciprocal conversation is actually good discussion. I originally saw the “break up” into highly-reciprocal threads as a “breakdown” of positive discussion. Fortunately I used the more positive phrase when I posted:
I had originally imagined two people in a conversation meandering off-topic with a lot of mutual ego-stroking. But I have changed my mind.
I now think that the vast majority of reciprocal conversations will be answering questions, resolving problems, focussed on the original issue or a relevant side issue, developing ideas in more detail, or of positive benefit to the feeling of community (e.g. as is happening right now in this forum with a conversation about tap dancing).
Now I can properly thank you for your very good work.