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Should we stay on topic or not?

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by MacFromOK, Dec 23, 2001.

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  1. MacFromOK

    MacFromOK Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,741
    There seems to be some disagreement as to
    whether we can "politely" stray from a posted
    topic in a thread, or whether we should always
    start a new thread for an "off topic" post.

    I don't have a lot of experience with discussion
    boards, and this is the first one I've seen this
    subject brought up on. I never dreamed it was
    a problem for some folks.

    I'm easy guys. If we shouldn't do it, then let's
    don't stray off topic. But let's either don't do it
    at all, or let's not gripe (or make snide remarks)
    if someone does.

    I've looked through several threads, and so far,
    every comment I've seen on the "rudeness" or
    "disrespect" of not staying on topic, has been
    made by folks who have done exactly the same
    thing. They've either changed the topic, or been
    a participant when someone else (other than
    the thread starter) has changed it.

    I'm hoping we don't think our own thread (do
    we actually own a thread?) is more important
    than another's.

    Maybe I just don't understand what a "Random
    Discussion" forum is supposed to be... :confused:

    Cheers, Mac :)


    EDIT - Just to clarify something, I'm talking
    about the RANDOM DISCUSSION forum. I fully
    understand the need to stay pretty much "on
    topic" when we are in the help forums trying to
    solve problems.
     
  2. Dark Star

    Dark Star

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,054
    Mac,

    Good point, I think we should stay within the frame of the thread topic. We tend to side track very easily and I am one of the worse offenders.

    DSD
     
  3. deuce

    deuce

    Joined:
    May 26, 2001
    Messages:
    7,530
    Now Mac that depends. If you are talking about the help boards... then you can stray but stay within some limit, (like, say stray to something remotely similar to the original topic or something that pretends to something the originator said) as long as the originator gets his/her question answered in a timely manner. If you are talking about the Reviews, Comments and Suggestions, and Tips and Tricks... then it might be best to stay on it when possible. If you are talking about the random board... then hell, anything goes. If someone wants to steer the thread back on track they can, otherwise threads are free game... hence "random". In the random board there aren't important things going on (I mean something that doesn't depend on a solution) it is just a place for us to come and sit back and relax and shoot the breeze and argue... and of course... to ramble. :D I am among the worst so you won't find me ridiculing someone for rambling in a thread. :)
     
  4. Wino

    Wino

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
    Messages:
    19,328
    If you can't walk and chew gum at the same time, may be you shouldn't be reading the RD section. Who cares where a topic goes - I know I sure as hell don't.

    Wino
     
  5. anglin_fool

    anglin_fool

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,100
    I'm the same way. If I were asking for help in the hardware forum, sure, try to stay on topic. But if the straying happens in RD, who cares? That's why it's called Random Discussion. I happen to think straying can make a thread better. It looked like the *vent on: mode* was about something that I wasn't interested in, but it got turned into a coffee break type deal. Very interesting reading, I must say.
     
  6. GoneForNow

    GoneForNow

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    Jul 22, 2001
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    I'm sorry, what was the question? (hehehe)
     
  7. eggplant43

    eggplant43 A True Heart and Soul - Gone But Never Forgotten

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2001
    Messages:
    17,198
    Well, I can see both points of view. I do think it's important to try to stay *on topic* if you are in an eliminate possibilities/find solutions mode, simply because it makes it easier for all involved, and keeps the new members around long enough to find out just how good TSG actually is.

    In RD, I think there can and should be more latitude. My observation is that there are three primary modes of discussion in RD. One is frivolous/fun/zany ie. "what Are You Having " "Rambling Discussion" and "Jokes". On the other hand, there are some topics that are IMO a communication requesting information about general topics such as : "What Software Do You Like", "Clarity of Vision", and "Terrorism". In these areas, there is usually a serious intent on the part of the person who starts the thread. The third area I see are ones that can go either way:" Favorite Sites", "vent mode_on?" where there is an exchange of both info, while playing at the same time.

    Perhaps the person framing the beginning of the thread could include in their prefacing statement a request for the temper of the post. You could do so by saying things like "This is very serious for me", I really want to know", "I find this of great concern"/"Just thinking about this makes me smile", "let's have fun with this one", or some humor itself in the intro/ no comment, "whatever you have to say", "let's learn and play together on this one".

    We also have the message icon that can be used to set the tone.
    Another thing we can do is to make comments to people that are OT off the board, just to let them know how we feel.

    I like to play just as much as the next guy, recognize that the medium is frequently non-linear, and want to be a good neigbor in this community. At the same time I believe in manners and civility, I see that they are frequently the social lubricant that make things work. So I hope we can all find together a way to be serious when called for, and to have maximum fun the rest of the time. I liked to know what the rest of you think about this?

    This is a very special place, and working together, we can make it even better. I'd like to thank Mac for starting this thread.
     
  8. deuce

    deuce

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    Thankyou... thats what I'm talking about.


    Eggplant... great post, point well taken. (you penned just what I was thinking but couldn't get together) I think if we all followed that post as general guidelines we could make this place even better and possibly eliminate or at least reduce the number of brawls that sometimes erupt.
     
  9. Wino

    Wino

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    Nov 30, 2001
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    IMHO, anyone that gets bent when someone goes OT in their thread is taking themselves too serious. I don't take myself or anyone else very serious - can find humor in just about any subject, regardless of how black/deep a subject. I take everything with a grain of salt, a lick of lime and a shot of good tequila - found that to be the best lubricant to get thru (in some cases) a lot of BS. A little levity at times can bring a topic back to reality.

    Wino
     
  10. deuce

    deuce

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    Wino... we need more people like you here. :)
     
  11. eggplant43

    eggplant43 A True Heart and Soul - Gone But Never Forgotten

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    Wino, there is much truth in what you say. It works much of the time, and makes this a better place to be. However, there are times, and places where levity can be used as a weapon, and simply sidetrack or destroy a delicate thread where emotions are running high. The secret is to know when to play, when to lighten and deflect, and when to stay OT. In that direction is maturity and wisdom.

    I'm glad Hewee got you here, and hope to see you stay for a long time. You've already made points with AcaCandy with your tequilla reference.
     
  12. hewee

    hewee

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    Oct 26, 2001
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    I think Random Discussion is just that.

    The other forums should stay on track to make it easy on us all and not get the person that posted for help mad. Do see a joke now and then in those treads and most of us here they are just that but someone new here to the TSG Forums would not see it that way.

    But here at Random Discussion I think it's open to everyone and anything if it's all and good clean fun.
    We even let Wino's post here.:D
     
  13. hamster

    hamster Guest

    Yeah I hate it when people just change the subject and go off topic. Anyway I'm cooking dinner, do i put salt and pepper on the porkchop first OR do I add it after the Crispy Juicy Pork Chop is cooked???

    What would taste better?
     
  14. Dark Star

    Dark Star

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    Jun 8, 2001
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    Me too hamster, before you cook it I would think but If you're not to hungry and can wait someone else will come along and throw in ther 2 cents worth......

    ......You could have started a new thread you know? maybe even a poll. Stay with the thread topic will ya. Sheeeeeesh

    ......my dad had a speedboat once. :D

    DSD
     
  15. LadyLisa

    LadyLisa

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    Messages:
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    hamster

    you probably already cooked but season it first. Now did we just go off topic here? ;)
     
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