Suggestion Regarding Off-Topic Threads

Discussion in 'Beta Feedback [Archive]' started by Captain Oveur, Feb 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I'm sure this is a touchy subject, but in another place, threads that were off-topic from the start or eventually went there went to one or two other forums.

    Suggestion is to create a different level, sort of a 'Take It Outside" type forum, if and when the thread denigrates beyond repair.

    It's a little touchy given how the site is user content-driven and there's some subjectivity, but I wanted to offer this for your internal discussions as you build this great site.
     
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  2. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Not touchy at all. We had originally designed this with several variations of Off Topic. However, made a game time decision to go with a bigger box to begin with and once we know the volume and degree of exchange, we can easily then expand to our original thought process. Heck, we even considered what we would do if we had a Beta and no one came.
    As for the Take It Outside—you may have an idea there. Be a good idea if there was actually a way to take it outside. Take a few posts off and work on that idea! Thanks for the contributions.
     
  3. At VFT, we encourage off-topic conversations, as they are an integral part of a thriving community and often lead to new, quite interesting topics. Here's how we handle it:

    1. If OT posts are about a another topic or topics, a Mod will collect these posts and put them into a new thread in the appropriate forum: A new topic is born. More discussion, more community.

    2. If OT are not topical but simply chatter, jokes or whatever, those conversations will be moved into a universal OMNI thread, where the fun can continue.

    3. If OT posts are inappropriate, such as calling people names or fighting, they will be moved into a Penalty Box forum that serves as the forum's virtual trash can. The Penalty Box it read-only, not indexed for Google etc. and only visible to users who ask for access.

    We are very much anti-censorship, hence we very, very rarely delete any posts. Basically, we only delete spam, double posts and empty posts.
     
  4. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Thanks for both of the replies. flysurfer has a lot of what I was thinking laid out in his/her post.

    The 'touchy' nature, I feel, is two-part....the censorship angle (which I agree is not good), plus the definition of what is not appropriate or simply doesn't fit.

    I like 'The Penalty Box' name.

    Naming suggestions for Scenario 1:
    Departures Level
    The White Zone
     
  5. Mary2e
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    Mary2e Silver Member

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    I'm going to buck the trend and say that all off-topic threads belong in the single Off-Topic area here. Allowing off-topic threads in the core forums does nothing but remove the community aspect of the site. I know that I don't participate in any of them for no other reason than time. One of those threads can grow by hundreds of posts overnight.

    I made some very good friends in good-old Omni. People who I would have otherwise never met because they frequent different parts of the site than I do. That's what makes a community. We also learn different things from each other because of it.

    I would hate to see this new community splintered by people of similar interests posting in their airline or hotel program of choice forum.
     
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  6. essxjay
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    essxjay Silver Member

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    Stop pulling our legs. Srsly.
     
  7. brp
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    brp Silver Member

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    I agree with this. I'd rather see the various point/miles/hotel/whatever forums remain focused on those topics. Of course, a few OT comments in an on-topic thread are not bad. But pure OT threads are best kept in a consolidated area. I never did frequent OMNI on FT,and I won't be in the OT area here because that's simply not why I visit. Still, it is valuable to many, and I think having it is a great idea. I also think that collecting OT items there helps the various travel forums provide better information by staying on topic.

    Cheers.
     
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  8. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    There are pros and cons to each approach (all OT in a specific forum, or one OT thread in each forum). One advantage of the latter option is that it provides a community/chit-chat/meeting point for the members of that forum, a far smaller group than that in a pure OT forum. And the smaller group may make people feel more comfortable, more "at home."
     
  9. brp
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    brp Silver Member

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    Your point is well taken. The concern I have with this is that the forums provide a commonality for people to talk/meet. The OT threads are, well Off-topic, and the commonality is not there. However, there may be UA people.for example, that share the OT interest posted on, say, AA. But they might never see it. I think having a specific OT area opens the conversations to a wider audience with shared interests.

    It also helps keep the various forums more focused and informative. Some will come here for OT discussion,and they should have a place. Others come for information, and they should have a place as well, with a minimum of OT, IMO.

    But I also see the pros and cons to each approach.

    Cheers.
     
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  10. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I would agree that the AA discussion in your example should really move to the AA forum. If there is a clear home for a thread, it should be there, regardless of where it started.

    On the other hand ... a discussion about YYZ T1 express walkways (yes, this was a real thread on that "other" site) is not exactly on-topic for an AC forum, yet it is mostly of interest to the readers of that forum.

    I would be happy with some clear guidelines, but with a reasonable level of judgment allowed for each forum moderator (or whatever the moderators will be called!); I expect that the "right" threshold will vary by forum.
     
  11. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Completely understand and respect the points made from others.

    Allow me to elaborate on mine.

    At another content-driven site, there it didn't matter what the topic was, nor how or why the thread was moved over to OMNI. Mary2e has a great point in "keeping it real." And there are some good discussions that get sent over there.

    However, there are also discussions that get either too emotional, hot-headed and/or frankly, close to 'yo momma's so fat...' one-liners.

    I just think the balance of maintaining civility and Milepoint's great goal of non-censorship would be achieved by the extra options for destinations.
     
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  12. noam
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    noam Silver Member

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    I hope you didn't spend too much time on that. :)
     
  13. oklAAhoma
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    oklAAhoma Silver Member

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    [quote="flysurfer, post: 549" ]We are very much anti-censorship, hence we very, very rarely delete any posts. Basically, we only delete spam, double posts and empty posts.[/quote]

    I like this approach. One's posting history should be an accurate reflection of one's thoughts and attitudes. Imo the frequent deletion of posts can serve to make members less accountable, not more.
     
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