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Will the Great

Enforce topicality, please!

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This sort of grew out of a discussion in Misc...but to cut a long story short, I for one would like to see better enforcement of topicality outside The Bronze. I'm all for wacky internet in-jokes, but when they detract from a discussion elsewhere, then, well, they detract from a discussion elsewhere.

This is my opinion, yes, and it may not be shared by other forumites. But then again, it may. Worth discussing at least.

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Do you have any examples of topics going off, uh, topic? You can PM them to me if you wish. I have no problem with trying to keep discussions on-topic, personally, considering the fact that we have an entire forum for zany topics.

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Enforcing "topicality" is something I think belongs more to the thread starter more than staff, in a way. No use in becoming strict authoritarians for no reason. And there's nothing saying that a member can't pip in and say something either. Self-moderating and everything...

In short, I don't think it's something that needs to always be enforced (which is a pretty strong word), but reminded once in a while. Say, when a thread dissolves into a page or so of short, nothing posts.

A lot of the time though, the stuff that ends up being discussed is more interesting than the original topic. Hence, why people are talking about THAT instead. Topics should be allowed to meander, unless the starter objects.

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Enforcing "topicality" is something I think belongs more to the thread starter more than staff, in a way. No use in becoming strict authoritarians for no reason. And there's nothing saying that a member can't pip in and say something either. Self-moderating and everything...

Self-moderation? I would be more inclined to accept that suggestion if we didn't have so many staff members.

Edited by Will the Great

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This isn't a riot going on in downtown Detroit... people aren't going to bite off your head if you politely ask them to stay on topic. Or they shouldn't.

You don't have to wait for a staff member to show up. You might be waiting awhile if they're taking part. And if they are, and no one else is saying anything, well, maybe you're in a minority who sees this as a problem.

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You're right that I shouldn't have to wait for a moderator to show up, especially given how many we have. Why is it such a big deal to ask the moderators to moderate?

I'm pretty sure this is a problem, despite your feelings on the issue, and given that you and I seem to lock antlers often, you'll understand if I would like to hear the opinions of other members of staff.

Edited by Will the Great

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I believe I have locked a few threads that had gone completely off-topic (usually only if the original topic had been a question and it had been answered). And I do believe I have waded in and asked posters not to stray from the topic. Personally, unless the thread had devolved into people just posting smilies back and forth, as long as some sort of meaingful conversation is taking place, I see no pressing reason to lock the thread or wade in and demand the conversation get back on topic. With the all around low level of activity we have been experiencing for some time now, any conversation is better that none, by and large.

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Exactly. As long as some kind of conversation's going on, and no one is still piping up on the original topic, I don't see why a thread shouldn't be able to go off in tangents. Especially if the topic's run its coarse.

You're right that I shouldn't have to wait for a moderator to show up, especially given how many we have. Why is it such a big deal to ask the moderators to moderate?

I wasn't saying it was a big deal, I was just saying that there were alternatives.

I'm pretty sure this is a problem, despite your feelings on the issue, and given that you and I seem to lock antlers often, you'll understand if I would like to hear the opinions of other members of staff.

Bah?

Edited by Morbo

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By and large, if a staff member sees things getting terriby off topic, I think s/he should make a comment to refocus discussion or, if a tangent has grown a life of its own, split the thread.

That being said, not every staff member reads every thread. I know I don't come even close, and I make no apologies for it. So if a topic that interests you has gotten off course you have a few options: 1) Post a reply asking that we get back on topic (the most expeditious choice on the menu). 2) PM a staff member and ask them to make such a comment (a.k.a. what you were unwilling to do yourself). 3) Whine about how no one on staff has leapt to do what you were unwilling to do for yourself.

As forst has said, we're in no hurry to shut down conversation at the moment.

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