In the past few months, a number of threads were pinned in the Spaceflight News forum. There are now 12 pinned threads, which is excessive. Having so many pinned threads suggests certain missions and programs are more relevant or important than others and gives them more immediate attention, despite how well the topics may be covered. Now all the dozens of other space missions are located further down in the thread due to the priority pinned ones are given. There is also inconsistency in what types of threads are pinned.
Priority is given to the manned US program by pinning the Orion and SpaceX threads. However, SpaceX is not the only competitor in the commercial crew/cargo programs and Orion is incomplete without its launcher, the SLS. Both the Orion and SpaceX threads do not get updated very often unless there is some major news or a launch. Those threads are not special compared to update threads for any other mission, whether manned or unmanned.
Two threads in the forum are excessive and redundant: the Progress and Soyuz ISS update threads. Both can easily be merged with the ISS UPDATES thread as the Progress and Soyuz launches are part of the space station's normal operations. If anything notable happens with any Progress or Soyuz mission, a separate NEWS thread can be created for the event until whatever happened is resolved. Unlike the Orion and SpaceX threads, the ISS is a very international effort and has more reason to be pinned.
What is proposed:
- Merge the Progress and Soyuz update threads into ISS UPDATES to reduce clutter.
- Unpin the Orion and SpX-2 through SpX-12 Updates threads. They will be updated when a major event happens like any other thread that is not pinned.
- Keep threads pinned that inform people on worldwide programs or answer common questions. The two inactive question threads can be merged into a more efficient, general Spaceflight Q/A thread which may gain more attention.
- The "Index list of all orbital launch attempts worldwide" and "Master Index of Spaceflight News Archive" threads are redundant and the latter is inactive, it should be removed.
- The "Recent space launches and events" and "Space Launches and Events pending next month worldwide" threads are inactive/similar to what's referenced above, so they're unnecessary.
- That leaves the Spaceflight Video Thread, which has no apparent issues. This makes four efficient, inclusive threads that are pinned. (ISS UPDATES, "Index list...", General Spaceflight Q/A, and Spaceflight Video Thread)
As someone who frequently checks the Spaceflight News forum and reports there more often than anywhere else, I would like to see better organization.