Titles should at least be 5 characters long to avoid 4 character words. ****
Absobloodylutely, I did that test in sandbox trying to max out and still didn't in 3 lines. Funny someone commented on my 'thread' and I said I should have explained so I did, saying what I said above, he came back and said yes it looks awful.
I am not a fan of minimum characters because it doesn't actually stop a behavior. If a person wants to use a smaller word, they will just add asterisks or exclamation points to get the minimum number.But don't feel desperate need for min, nor max. Just optional.
Ridiculous thread titles get moderated anyway.
I agree with the number of characters not stopping the problem. I have seen this issue many times on our forum and it always comes down to the member posting the thread. If it's a good member they will learn from having their thread edited and/or a warning or PM sent to them. if it's a troll member or one that does not feel they should follow the rules then no amount of edits, warnings or anything else will matter to them.I am not a fan of minimum characters because it doesn't actually stop a behavior. If a person wants to use a smaller word, they will just add asterisks or exclamation points to get the minimum number.
I prefer a more publicly visible approach and it involves the use a bit of passive aggressive moderation to discourage click-bait or otherwise stupid titles:
Change the title to something related to the thread but completely mundane and boring and then add a reply "Thread title not indicative of contents, title changed"
Usually only takes once or twice to get the message across to the poster and it allows for some transparency to the rest of the membership.
This is what forums are all about, we get most of our new members because they are google searching an issue they are experiencing, some will lurk for years before actually joining, had a recent small surge in lurkers posting in our welcome section saying how helpful the forum has been to them. A title like 'help' doesn't do much in a search engine, neither does a description that looks like War and Peace. I often shorten long titles and add info to a one word title (with a note), for that reason and so members know what the hell the thread is about and can effectively answer before they die of boredom."Help" is an effective title but it doesn't age well in search results.