Author Topic: How do you feel about OT posts?  (Read 13113 times)

Offline serious crayons

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How do you feel about OT posts?
« on: January 05, 2008, 04:31:56 pm »
Hey folks! Lately, there has been more than the usual discussion about off-topic comments. The moderators thought it would be a good idea to ask people in the BetterMost community how they feel about OT posts. We'll use that info in deciding how to respond to them or to complaints about them.

Please pick one or two of the options above (they aren't all mutually exclusive). If possible, please comment more specifically below. For example, if you think some topics are more compatible with OT comments than others, or if you think some OT posts are more welcome than others, feel free to elaborate on what makes for good OT or bad OT.


« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 06:04:14 pm by ineedcrayons »

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2008, 01:29:36 am »
Heya Katherine,

I think that it's perfectly fine and even desirable for threads to occasionally go off topic.  It seems important to me that discussion should be allowed to be organic and grow according to the flow of responses.  And, I do think some topics lend themselves to going off topic more than others.  The main thing, though, is that I think the thread should - at some point- be brought back to the original topic.   If a new topic emerges out of an established thread that's so big and so interesting and good at generating discussion, then I think it should be split into a new thread so that it doesn't turn into a permanent distraction from the original question/ topic of the established thread.  I think it's only fair to the original topic of an established thread that it remain the highlighted issue for discussion in it's own thread.  I think it also helps to keep things organized so people will know where to find a place to post a thought they're having about a particular topic.  If all threads went off-topic too frequently or too permanently, I can imagine it might cause a lot of confusion.  Especially to newcomers to BetterMost or newcomers to a topic.



« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 02:07:59 pm by atz75 »
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Offline Lynne

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008, 01:14:50 pm »
I completely agree with Amanda.

It's fun and interesting to see what thoughts lead to others as threads develop...sort of a stream-of-consciousness posting - I'm very bad about it myself.  But then if there's enough interest in whatever new idea(s) are presented, the threads can be split/merged/etc to keep the forum tidy.

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Offline brokeplex

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 05:08:50 pm »
Either one of two solutions needs to be adopted:

1) clear rules involving off topic comments need to be established and enforced on all forums all of the time,

or

2) the OT rules need to be ignored and only personal attacks or hate speech needs to be restricted. 

Offline louisev

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008, 05:24:44 pm »
I am a regular at another forum called 'Rotten Tomatoes' and they have a rule against what they call 'Thread hijacking.'  If a discussion lends itself to meandering - like 'Heath Heath Heath' which is all about Heath no matter what it is - then the discussion is going to range widely.  However, if the discussion is about a particular political matter in Current Events and someone chimes in with a completely unrelated topic which derails the point that was under discussion, then that is a hijack - an interruption that may very well be intended to stop discussion or debate and make the topic fall apart as a result.  It depends a LOT on the topic - and I do think that the current events area should remain more focused than say the fan discussion or the blogs or other places.
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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2008, 02:39:21 pm »
IMO it' a good thing if a certain topic sparks a new tangent, but those posters should be encouraged to create a new topic, and then the focus shifted back to the original thread topic.  I personally hate wading through pages of off topic posts to get to something related to the original.

moremojo

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 02:53:05 pm »
Some off-topic tangents are inevitable in many and perhaps the vast majority of threads. It is just the nature of human discourse, and discussion and critical argument should never be discouraged, in my opinion, in and of themselves.

At the same time, it is reasonable to expect a modicum of respect for the original poster's intent and wishes in creating their topic, and off-topic posts should be kept to a minimum whenever possible. When a moderator feels the need to step in and remind members of this, I think it wise to emphasize that the worth of the discussion in and of itself is not at issue, but rather the placement of such discussion. New threads should be encouraged to preserve and foster discussion that has lost its pertinence in the threads in which it first evolved. I applaud the existing record of our moderators in doing precisely this.

Offline dot-matrix

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2008, 02:53:48 pm »
To me, these threads are like a discussion, a conversation if you will and they are organic, they should go whereever the natural flow of discussion takes them.  

I'm not talking about people chiming in suddenly, who have not been part of the discussion with something so OT is has absolutely no bearing on any point within the conversation.  That's disruption to natural flow of things and those people should be encouraged to start a new topic.  

Also those people who sometimes hijack threads like chat rooms to check in with one another, not cool... they need to start a chat blog or go to the chat room or take it PM.  
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 03:04:38 pm »
I am a regular at another forum called 'Rotten Tomatoes' and they have a rule against what they call 'Thread hijacking.'  If a discussion lends itself to meandering - like 'Heath Heath Heath' which is all about Heath no matter what it is - then the discussion is going to range widely.  However, if the discussion is about a particular political matter in Current Events and someone chimes in with a completely unrelated topic which derails the point that was under discussion, then that is a hijack - an interruption that may very well be intended to stop discussion or debate and make the topic fall apart as a result.  It depends a LOT on the topic - and I do think that the current events area should remain more focused than say the fan discussion or the blogs or other places.

I agree with Louise.

I've said elsewhere that one of things that I like best about Bettermost is that "conversations" are allowed to "evolve." I would not want to see a more restrictive policy adopted--which would probably demand more time of the moderators--as elsewhere I've seen people become afraid to say anything for fear of getting their wrists slapped for going OT. It also leads to sarcastic remarks about zealous moderators.  8)
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Offline souxi

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2008, 03:07:49 pm »
Either one of two solutions needs to be adopted:

1) clear rules involving off topic comments need to be established and enforced on all forums all of the time,

or

2) the OT rules need to be ignored and only personal attacks or hate speech needs to be restricted. 

I agree with you. There have been occasions lately, on some threads, where the topic has gone totally off topic and upset people. It,s ok to take it slightly of topic occasionaly, if it,s to make a point, but on the whole I think it,s better to stay on topic. Just my HO, for what it,s worth.  ;)

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2008, 03:08:25 pm »
I agree darlin', but if a topic is taken over by another, then what should be done?  Nothing?

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2008, 03:19:56 pm »
I agree darlin', but if a topic is taken over by another, then what should be done?  Nothing?

Well, it is possible to ignore a would-be hijacker and just carry on the conversation. ...  ::)

Too bad we don't have an "Ignore" button anymore.  8)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 05:13:03 pm by Jeff Wrangler »
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Scott6373

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2008, 03:20:33 pm »
Well, it is possible to ignore a would-be hijacker and just carry on the conversation. ...  ::)

Do bad we don't have an "Ignore" button anymore.  8)

It's going to make its triumphant return soon

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2008, 03:21:37 pm »
It's going to make its triumphant return soon


Did you just tell a secret "out of school"?
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Scott6373

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2008, 03:22:21 pm »

Did you just tell a secret "out of school"?

Probably...so shoot me...LOL

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2008, 03:24:25 pm »
Probably...so shoot me...LOL

Not my job, pal.  ;D

And, boyoboy, am I glad to hear it!

And speaking of job, I have to get back to mine. ...  ::)
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2008, 04:15:13 pm »
Either one of two solutions needs to be adopted:

1) clear rules involving off topic comments need to be established and enforced on all forums all of the time,

or

2) the OT rules need to be ignored and only personal attacks or hate speech needs to be restricted. 

So far, most voters seem to prefer some happy medium between rigid adherence to topic and total free-for-all. So if the preference is for something in between, what might such rules entail? "Off topic comments are allowed/prohibited unless ..." what? I'd like to hear any suggestions anyone might have.

However, I'll have to say that IMO the goal of their being established and enforced on all forums all of the time is a pretty high bar, considering the forums are moderated by different people, who do the job as part-time volunteers and aren't always online, and probably would each have their own individual interpretations of the rules.

As someone who occasionally posts OT comments myself, I'm not averse to some OT discussion. My biggest objection is when an OT conversation is interesting enough to deserve its own thread. If it's kept in the original thread, people who might like to comment on the subject, but who aren't following the original thread, won't find it.

Otherwise, OT posts bother me only when they're SO unconnected to the topic at hand, or even the forum they're in, but draw enough other comments or counterargument as to distract people from the subject under discussion, that the original conversation gets completely derailed.

But moderating to eliminate these would require case-by-case judgment calls.



Offline Penthesilea

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2008, 04:22:55 pm »
As someone who occasionally posts OT comments myself, I'm not averse to some OT discussion. My biggest objection is when an OT conversation is interesting enough to deserve its own thread. If it's kept in the original thread, people who might like to comment on the subject, but who aren't following the original thread, won't find it.

Otherwise, OT posts bother me only when they're SO unconnected to the topic at hand, or even the forum they're in, but draw enough other comments or counterargument as to distract people from the subject under discussion, that the original conversation gets completely derailed.

But moderating to eliminate these would require case-by-case judgment calls.


Amen to what you said sistah  :)



Offline nova20194

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2008, 04:59:26 pm »
Well, it is possible to ignore a would-be hijacker and just carry on the conversation. ...  ::)

Do bad we don't have an "Ignore" button anymore.  8)

I think straying briefly OT is OK, but it needs to be controlled.

I like the ignore idea, and I don't know how the "Ignore" button functioned, but you certainly don't need a button in order to ignore.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2008, 05:18:33 pm »
I like the ignore idea, and I don't know how the "Ignore" button functioned, but you certainly don't need a button in order to ignore.

I forget exactly how you set it up, but when we had an "Ignore" button, what it did was block out the posts of the individual or individuals you wished to ignore, so you couldn't even see the text of the posts.


So far, most voters seem to prefer some happy medium between rigid adherence to topic and total free-for-all. So if the preference is for something in between, what might such rules entail? "Off topic comments are allowed/prohibited unless ..." what? I'd like to hear any suggestions anyone might have.

Maybe figure out a way to phrase it positively--"You are encouraged to stay on topic"--something like that--rather than negatively--"Off-topic comments are not allowed"?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2008, 05:43:01 pm »
Maybe figure out a way to phrase it positively--"You are encouraged to stay on topic"--something like that--rather than negatively--"Off-topic comments are not allowed"?

Good idea! I like positive.  :)

How would y'all suggest distinguishing between posts that are OK-OT and not-OK-OT? Can anyone suggest any guidelines for determining whether a conversation has diverged too much from the topic? Or do you think it should be left up to moderators to judge -- with members obviously being able to contact moderators to express an opinion if they think a thread is getting too derailed?

The question is not disingenous. I think it is tricky to come up with rules about this. On the other hand, leaving it up to moderators does open the possibility for members to say the rules are being forced unevenly ("how come his/her post wasn't considered OT, and mine was?"). And enforcing the rules consistently across forums, as per brokeplex's suggestion, would be easier to do for if there were specific ways of determining where to draw the line.

What criteria could be used? Word count? Number of posts involved? How unconnected the comments are to the subject? Complaints from other members? Are there any ways to identify which kinds of threads that are more amenable to OT posts?

To get the ball rolling, here are some examples of topics I can think of where very OT comments might be a bit less welcome: games, Our Daily Thoughts blogs, perhaps TOTWs.

Let's hear your thoughts!  :)





Offline louisev

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2008, 05:49:35 pm »
Frankly, I think that the off-topic rule would not be applicable in Our Daily thoughts since it is the owner of the individual blog to determine whether the discussion is welcome there or not.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2008, 06:26:10 pm »
Frankly, I think that the off-topic rule would not be applicable in Our Daily thoughts since it is the owner of the individual blog to determine whether the discussion is welcome there or not.

True. What I was thinking was more the temptation I know I sometimes have to go onto someone's blog, take the subject under discussion, apply it to my own life, and launch into a lengthy anecdote about myself. Then I realize that if I'm going to do that, I should get my own damn blog.

But you're right, some bloggers may welcome the contribution.


Offline louisev

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2008, 06:42:26 pm »
speaking just for myself, I HAVE no "topic", so just about anything goes, at any time of day, including personal commentary by the friends who post there, so I really don't see how it applies.  I have never minded people sharing their own stuff in my blog and it has never been a problem as far as I can see.

I think with regard to "topics" perhaps the places that have specific topics would be appropriate to have an "off topic" rule, say for example in Current Events where a particular article or news story is under discussion, or in Fan Fiction where we have a topic identified for  individual stories.  These - I can see having an off topic rule.
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2008, 07:06:58 pm »
speaking just for myself, I HAVE no "topic", so just about anything goes, at any time of day, including personal commentary by the friends who post there, so I really don't see how it applies.  I have never minded people sharing their own stuff in my blog and it has never been a problem as far as I can see.

OK then, assuming other bloggers agree, I take that one back. I was just surmising, as a visitor, what the sentiment might be.

moremojo

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2008, 07:09:17 pm »
OK then, assuming other bloggers agree, I take that one back.
I definitely agree with this. I've never minded folks visiting my blog and sharing the information and sentiments of their choosing.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2008, 07:41:48 pm »
How would y'all suggest distinguishing between posts that are OK-OT and not-OK-OT? Can anyone suggest any guidelines for determining whether a conversation has diverged too much from the topic? Or do you think it should be left up to moderators to judge -- with members obviously being able to contact moderators to express an opinion if they think a thread is getting too derailed?

The question is not disingenous. I think it is tricky to come up with rules about this.

It's not a disingenuous question, and it is tricky--why I avoided going that far in my previous post.  ::)

Just to get things rolling:

"You are encouraged to stay on topic, or to confine your comments to topics closely related to the original topic."

Again, I just throw that out as a starting point.

I think we don't want to ask our Moderators to turn themselves into police officers, or to expect them to allow their Moderator duties to take over their lives, but I also think they must be left with some leeway to deal with situations as they arise. I don't think we should try to make this an exact science or something automatic, because it isn't.

I agree with Louise that on the blogs, what is and is not OT should be left up to the bloggers.
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Offline BelAir

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2008, 07:57:36 pm »
True. What I was thinking was more the temptation I know I sometimes have to go onto someone's blog, take the subject under discussion, apply it to my own life, and launch into a lengthy anecdote about myself. Then I realize that if I'm going to do that, I should get my own damn blog.

But you're right, some bloggers may welcome the contribution.



I thought I remembered reading that at the start of your blog you could specifiy whether you wanted comments or not (i.e. read only)... I think Phillip mentioned something along those lines when he started setting up the Child Boards, so people could have groups of blogs.  I tend to blab about myself on other people's blogs sometimes too... I sort of figured the owner of the blog would let me know if I was blabbing out of line...

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Offline BelAir

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2008, 08:07:08 pm »
random thoughts on the issue:

-simpler rules are better

-rules can sometimes be a tough word...  e.g. I was surprised to find that my current job calls policies 'rules'.  Makes me feel like a child sometimes when a new 'rule' is announced.  Maybe a way to avoid "wrist-slapping" when it comes to off topic posts involves making suggestions vs. rules...  (maybe that is just too much sensitivity on my part.  I personally quit participating in a different forum because of so much wrist-slapping about off topic posts). 

-Maybe the true topic oriented threads (forums?) could have some sort of announcement at the beginning - please try to be focused, if it comes to moderator's attention that thread is wandering, don't be offended if you get asked to get back on track.

(I don't like having to come up with rules... I'm glad I'm not a moderator!)
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injest

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2008, 08:07:59 pm »
99.9% of our bloggers welcome visitors to post on their threads...so feel free to stop by and visit anyone.

Don't be upset if someone does have a note to not post....usually those threads are devoted to artwork, not socializing... ;).

Offline LauraGigs

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2008, 08:34:50 pm »
OT posts have ruined some good threads lately, which upsets me.  (One case in point: http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,15185.0/all.html

This didn't seem to be a problem until recently.  Some Bettermost users may be entirely new to message boards, and thus unfamiliar with the basic etiquette.  But when just about every recent substantive thread on the film/book wanders to subjects such as gay-bashing, violent crime statistics in Australia, etc. it kind of grates. 

Well-meaning folks who address OT posts/questions wind up adding to the problem; that's how a whole thread gets derailed. In other words, the best way (for non-mods) to handle an OT post is to ignore it.


(An exception to all this may be the Current Event threads, which lend themselves more to diverse discussion. For example, a thread about the elections may naturally involve posts about the media, political history, one's personal philosophies, one's local political environment, etc.)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 02:36:13 pm by LauraGigs »

Offline delalluvia

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2008, 08:49:06 pm »
I am a regular at another forum called 'Rotten Tomatoes' and they have a rule against what they call 'Thread hijacking.'  If a discussion lends itself to meandering - like 'Heath Heath Heath' which is all about Heath no matter what it is - then the discussion is going to range widely.  However, if the discussion is about a particular political matter in Current Events and someone chimes in with a completely unrelated topic which derails the point that was under discussion, then that is a hijack - an interruption that may very well be intended to stop discussion or debate and make the topic fall apart as a result.  It depends a LOT on the topic - and I do think that the current events area should remain more focused than say the fan discussion or the blogs or other places.


Agree.  On another board I go to, to keep a semblance of continuity, if a thread goes too OT, the mods get a consensus amongst themselves before making a decision on whether to start slapping wrists, that way there can be no accusations of favoritism or lack thereof.

Now they also send PMs to warn those offenders.  And some boards I go to will ban someone for a specified number of days after so many warnings if they do not cease and desist.

What does BM plan on doing to enforce such rules if someone simply refuses to believe they're OT and keeps going after it? 

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2008, 09:53:42 pm »
99.9% of our bloggers welcome visitors to post on their threads...so feel free to stop by and visit anyone.

Well, even I didn't mean to suggest that people shouldn't visit or post at all on blogs. I just meant I thought perhaps they shouldn't go on to a whole different subject than the blogger him/herself was discussing, or make it into a thread that's all about me instead of all about the blogger. But I hereby officially withdraw the suggestion that blogs can't go OT.

Just to get things rolling:

"You are encouraged to stay on topic, or to confine your comments to topics closely related to the original topic."

Again, I just throw that out as a starting point.

I think we don't want to ask our Moderators to turn themselves into police officers, or to expect them to allow their Moderator duties to take over their lives, but I also think they must be left with some leeway to deal with situations as they arise. I don't think we should try to make this an exact science or something automatic, because it isn't.

Ver' good.

-rules can sometimes be a tough word...

How about guidelines?

Quote
-Maybe the true topic oriented threads (forums?) could have some sort of announcement at the beginning - please try to be focused, if it comes to moderator's attention that thread is wandering, don't be offended if you get asked to get back on track.

I like this.


Agree.  On another board I go to, to keep a semblance of continuity, if a thread goes too OT, the mods get a consensus amongst themselves before making a decision on whether to start slapping wrists, that way there can be no accusations of favoritism or lack thereof.

Now they also send PMs to warn those offenders.  And some boards I go to will ban someone for a specified number of days after so many warnings if they do not cease and desist.

What does BM plan on doing to enforce such rules if someone simply refuses to believe they're OT and keeps going after it? 

I doubt there's nothin we can do. (  ;D Kidding -- sorry, I just couldn't resist the opportunity to use a Brokieism.) But actually, I doubt there would be any form of punishment, even wrist-slapping. I think it might be something more along the lines of, the moderators post a polite reminder on the board. If it gets really carried away, they might PM the members and/or move the posts to a new thread. Just winging it here, it's not up to me to decide, but this has been the procedure in the past.



injest

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2008, 10:25:34 pm »
Well, even I didn't mean to suggest that people shouldn't visit or post at all on blogs. I just meant I thought perhaps they shouldn't go on to a whole different subject than the blogger him/herself was discussing, or make it into a thread that's all about me instead of all about the blogger. But I hereby officially withdraw the suggestion that blogs can't go OT.



I was just reassuring Bel Air, Katherine I do understand and agree with YOUR point too...*Jess ducking back out of the way*

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2008, 11:05:08 pm »
Well-meaning folks who address OT posts/questions wind up adding to the problem; that's how a whole thread gets derailed. In other words, the best way (for non-mods) to handle an OT post is to ignore it.

You can say that twice and mean it!

How about guidelines?

"Guidelines" is a good word: "We ask you to please observe these guidelines."  :)
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Wishes

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2008, 01:09:54 am »
I voted that some are OK while others, because of their subject matter are irksome.

I voted this because I have seen OT subjects become just a conversation between two or three select people and any posts put in by others are completely ignored. I have seen this on other boards, I don't mean necessarily here. It is irritating and kind of isolating.

Offline souxi

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2008, 06:18:42 am »

Agree.  On another board I go to, to keep a semblance of continuity, if a thread goes too OT, the mods get a consensus amongst themselves before making a decision on whether to start slapping wrists, that way there can be no accusations of favoritism or lack thereof.

Now they also send PMs to warn those offenders.  And some boards I go to will ban someone for a specified number of days after so many warnings if they do not cease and desist.

What does BM plan on doing to enforce such rules if someone simply refuses to believe they're OT and keeps going after it? 

I completly agree with you. Wether you like it or not, life is full of rules. You have to have some kind of rules/guidelines for message boards. When people repeatedly go off topic, it,s just plain bloody annoying. There,s nothing worse than having to wade through posts that have nothing to do with the original topic, to get to the point of the topic in the first place. Sometimes off topic posts can even start rows, and that really isn,t the point of BM is it? I,ll probably get shot for saying this, but I,m used to it... ;)  if you don,t like it, don,t post. Rules is rules, and we all have to abide by them wether we like it or not. We are all over 18 arn,t we? I,m sure we can cope. ;)
*lines up on wall and waits to be shot*  ;) :laugh:

Offline Kerry

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2008, 08:11:23 am »
When I enter a particular thread here at BetterMost, I imagine I'm entering a party, full to the brim with fascinating, exciting, exotic, interesting people, all of whom have a similar (though not identical) life philosophy as my own and are out on the town for a good time, to meet like minded people and engage in lively conversation.  :D

Imagine if one was rigidly instructed on entering such a party room that one could only speak about one particular topic and that if you strayed off topic, you would be bullied and harassed by the other party-goers and possibly even thrown out of the party by the host. Crikey!  :o

Having said all that, however, I do concede that no-one likes an obnoxiously opinionated, loud-mouth, barge-arse, on or off topic. Sometimes such people are unaware how excessively forceful they're appearing ( they may be discussing something they genuinely feel very strongly about) and need to be reminded to modify their behaviour and engage in a polite and respectful manner. On such occasions, I believe it is appropriate for the moderator to send a polite PM to the offending person (never a public reprimand). This should only be done as a last resort, however, and only acting upon a complaint. Oops, did I just go off topic?!  ???   ;)   ::)   :D
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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2008, 09:05:39 am »
*lines up on wall and waits to be shot*  ;) :laugh:

I am reasonably certain there will be no shooting...there'd be too much dumb-ass missing.  ::) :laugh: :laugh:
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Offline underdown

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2008, 09:22:02 am »
I have been slapped on the wrist, and have apologised. But I do apologise again, particularly on the points raised by LauraGigs. I was new to TOTW, and did stray 'off-topic'.
My undertanding was that BetterMost encouraged people to think about how BBM affected them, so naturally thought that TOTW was a means of raising different issues to promote discussion and reflection, in the spirit of a 'catalyst for positive change'. I also went a little further off topic than that should allow.
If TOTW is intended solely to disect the movie, then I would probably have had my fill of a weekly topic by week three.

If someone (anyone) had merely posted the few words 'Please stay on topic. We ask you to please observe the guidelines', I would have known that the thread had strict rules and I would not have not strayed further.

I did vote the way most people did. I also agree that there are better threads in which to discuss life issues stimulated by BBM.

'Crikey' is right, Kerry.

Rob  :)

Offline souxi

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2008, 09:45:07 am »
I am reasonably certain there will be no shooting...there'd be too much dumb-ass missing.  ::) :laugh: :laugh:

*groans* lol.   :laugh:
I suppose it doesn,t matter too much if a topic only strays  slightly off topic, if it,s to try and make a point, it,s when it goes RIGHT off topic that I don,t like. I,d give examples but then I,d definately get shot, so I,ll shaddup now. ;)

Offline Lumičre

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2008, 06:54:54 pm »
My take on this subject has been shared by others already..


For me it depends on what the Thread is about.     If it is a Blog area, then it should be open to anything.

It is about BBM specifically then it shouldn't stray far at all.

Some threads are more open in theme.  Common sense should be used.

But nobody should hijack another persons thread on a specific matter.  That is just rude.

Ditto.


I voted that some are OK while others, because of their subject matter are irksome.

I voted this because I have seen OT subjects become just a conversation between two or three select people and any posts put in by others are completely ignored. I have seen this on other boards, I don't mean necessarily here. It is irritating and kind of isolating.

Ditto again. 


Offline brokeplex

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2008, 01:25:53 am »
Arright, enough jawing, lets get some rules about OT and stick to 'em.

Offline LauraGigs

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2008, 02:10:12 am »
If it is a Blog area, then it should be open to anything.

It is about BBM specifically then it shouldn't stray far at all.

Some threads are more open in theme.  Common sense should be used.

But nobody should hijack another persons thread on a specific matter.  That is just rude.

I agree.  Personally, I'm not that persnickety about single OT posts.  It's just when a whole thread is taken OT that it's kind of a drag.

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2008, 05:04:20 am »
I feel a little shy about saying this, but the kind of off-topicness that can shut me out of a thread is when two or three or four or more buddies take over a thread to tease and play around with each other, ignoring both the topic and the rest of the people on the thread.  Some of the threads here have pages of that.

I'm not talking about blog threads where people visit each other and have chat-type conversations, I'm talking about threads with real topics that turn into that goofy bantering post after post that is better saved for those chat-type threads.


Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2008, 09:54:24 am »
I feel a little shy about saying this, but the kind of off-topicness that can shut me out of a thread is when two or three or four or more buddies take over a thread to tease and play around with each other, ignoring both the topic and the rest of the people on the thread.  Some of the threads here have pages of that.

I know what you mean. I'd forgotten about those, but in a way they're the worst. Those make others feel not only distracted from the thread but out of the clique.


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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2008, 10:00:18 am »
I know what you mean. I'd forgotten about those, but in a way they're the worst. Those make others feel not only distracted from the thread but out of the clique.



I think those days are pretty much over so ya'll can just relax. I think those nasty banterers have either gotten the message or been run off one or the other.

Offline souxi

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2008, 10:15:03 am »
I feel a little shy about saying this, but the kind of off-topicness that can shut me out of a thread is when two or three or four or more buddies take over a thread to tease and play around with each other, ignoring both the topic and the rest of the people on the thread.  Some of the threads here have pages of that.

I'm not talking about blog threads where people visit each other and have chat-type conversations, I'm talking about threads with real topics that turn into that goofy bantering post after post that is better saved for those chat-type threads.



I totally agree with you. There are lots of threads like that on here. Whilst it doesn,t make me feel "left out" as such, it,s just irritating, that the entire thread, (and I just KNOW I,ll get shot for this  ;)) gets taken over with inane drivel, to put it bluntly.
Like I said, it doesn,t matter if it goes slightly off topic, if thats needed to make a point, but when you get pages and pages of stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual topic, it,s annoying. If users want to discuss things at great length that have nothing to do with the topic in question, they should start a seperate thread. Thats my input, for what it,s worth. Right, shall I line back up against that wall now ready to be shot?  ;) ;)

Offline Lumičre

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2008, 02:35:11 pm »
I totally agree with you. There are lots of threads like that on here. Whilst it doesn,t make me feel "left out" as such, it,s just irritating, that the entire thread, (and I just KNOW I,ll get shot for this  ;)) gets taken over with inane drivel, to put it bluntly.
Like I said, it doesn,t matter if it goes slightly off topic, if thats needed to make a point, but when you get pages and pages of stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual topic, it,s annoying. If users want to discuss things at great length that have nothing to do with the topic in question, they should start a seperate thread. Thats my input, for what it,s worth. Right, shall I line back up against that wall now ready to be shot? ;) ;)

I am sure nobody will be doing any shooting here, Souxi.  :)



What about the "Anything Goes" forum?  Can posts in there be really OT when anything goes?  ;)


Offline souxi

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2008, 02:40:10 pm »
I am sure nobody will be doing any shooting here, Souxi.  :)





What about the "Anything Goes" forum?  Can posts in there be really OT when anything goes?  ;)

Sure it,s called "Anything Goes" but again, if the topic strays too far off topic ALL the time, there isn,t really much point in having a specific topic to discuss in the first place is there?  Maybe there should be a "rabbit on about anything that comes into your head" section, then it won,t matter will it. Just a thought.
(listens for gunfire) ;)


Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2008, 03:15:17 pm »
What about the "Anything Goes" forum?  Can posts in there be really OT when anything goes?  ;)

The "Anything Goes" refers to the forum, not the posts. That is, you can start a thread on anything there. But once a thread has started on a given subject, people might be annoyed if someone starts talking about some whole different subject. After all, they can always start a thread on the different subject right there in the same forum!


Offline souxi

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2008, 03:18:13 pm »
The "Anything Goes" refers to the forum, not the posts. That is, you can start a thread on anything there. But once a thread has started on a given subject, people might be annoyed if someone starts talking about some whole different subject. After all, they can always start a thread on the different subject right there in the same forum!



That,s exactly what I meant... well I knew what I meant.  :laugh:

Offline Lumičre

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2008, 03:20:05 pm »
The "Anything Goes" refers to the forum, not the posts. That is, you can start a thread on anything there. But once a thread has started on a given subject, people might be annoyed if someone starts talking about some whole different subject. After all, they can always start a thread on the different subject right there in the same forum!



I know... It was meant to be a silly question.. ;D



Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2008, 03:33:47 pm »
I know... It was meant to be a silly question.. ;D

Oh. Sorry!  :laugh:


Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2008, 03:53:51 pm »
A lot of the concern about the OT seems to boil down to housekeeping and organization.  I think the biggest factor here is making sure that threads (with particular topics or titles) adhere enough to their topic that folks know where to post their ideas.  Or, so folks know where to look to read about a certain idea.  Otherwise things would get chaotic and confusing... I would think especially for newcomers to BetterMost who are trying get a sense of the terrain here.


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Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2008, 03:58:10 pm »
I know... It was meant to be a silly question.. ;D

Maybe we should have a forum called "Uncontrolled Mayhem."


Offline BelAir

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2008, 04:31:53 pm »
Maybe we should have a forum called "Uncontrolled Mayhem."



I want to say, "Yes.  Fun idea."  Then I want to say, "Make sure big brother doesn't catch wind of it, or we might get in trouble with the FBI (or whomever) for promoting uncontrolled mayhem."  But then I think, "That's being off topic in the thread about getting off topic."

Hence the problem, for me at least.  (Too much worry about off topic-ness and I stop talking)

 ::)

Above aside, I agree with Amanda... it seems to boil down to housekeeping and organization.
"— a thirst for life, for love, and for truth..."

Offline Lumičre

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2008, 05:08:09 pm »
Maybe we should have a forum called "Uncontrolled Mayhem."


 You're a mod... go for it.  ;D


injest

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2008, 02:01:26 am »
well it has taken over two hours to make 10 posts...but hey, at least no one is posting 'off topic' or engaging in too much jocularity!!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2008, 02:42:18 am »
.but hey, at least no one is posting 'off topic' or engaging in too much jocularity!!

Jocularity is OT and expressly forbidden!  >:( >:( >:( This is serious business!

 :laugh:


Offline tampatalon

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2008, 04:20:04 am »
So I don't stress over what I post is too off topic, I usually just hang out in my blog now
so I don't offend no one.

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Offline souxi

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2008, 08:57:32 am »
  


Awww that's a little harsh Souxi .... we're just people getting together and having some fun ... isn't that what it's all about?  And I remember the two of us getting sidetracked with a little bit of Hugh Jackman oogling once ... it was very nice,  and I don't think it did any harm.

Yes indeed susie, having fun is indeed what it,s all about, but I still stand by what I said. When there are pages and pages of  waffle, that you have to wade through before you get to anything remotely to do with the actuall topic, it,s annoying, and 9 times out of 10, if that happens, I won,t bother reading the thread. Rules is part of life, there is rules everywhere and we all have to abide by them, like it or lump it. btw, I do agree that looking at pics of Hugh is very nice indeed and  certainly doesn,t do ANY harm atall, well except maybe to my blood pressure. ;) :)
At this rate I shall be full of holes. Shall I jump off a cliff now to save anyone the bother?  ;)

Offline Kerry

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2008, 09:02:53 am »
Awww that's a little harsh Souxi .... we're just people getting together and having some fun ... isn't that what it's all about? And I remember the two of us getting sidetracked with a little bit of Hugh Jackman oogling once ... it was very nice, ;D and I don't think it did any harm. :D

You see, now that makes me sad Tampatalon.  If everyone starts worrying about posting Off Topic, we're all going to end up hiding away in our own blogs ... that's no fun!!  :-\


(Just a bit of common sense is needed that's all ... not rules)

Susie  :)

What Susie said!  8)
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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2008, 09:41:58 am »
I totally agree with you. There are lots of threads like that on here. Whilst it doesn,t make me feel "left out" as such, it,s just irritating, that the entire thread, (and I just KNOW I,ll get shot for this  ;)) gets taken over with inane drivel, to put it bluntly.
Like I said, it doesn,t matter if it goes slightly off topic, if thats needed to make a point, but when you get pages and pages of stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual topic, it,s annoying. If users want to discuss things at great length that have nothing to do with the topic in question, they should start a seperate thread. Thats my input, for what it,s worth. Right, shall I line back up against that wall now ready to be shot?  ;) ;)

I just wanted to say that I am very glad that you said this, Siouxi and Ellemeno too, because I totally agree with you.  Don't feel funny about saying it. 

In fact the reason that I think I stopped posting anyplace at all except for my blog, is that for a while it seemed like this stuff was going on all over, and well, I didn't like it either, I just found it annoying.

I don't think that threads should be moderated too much in terms of intelligent discussion that might be slightly off topic, but I also agree that the off topic nonsense should be discouraged as much as possible.



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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2008, 10:53:05 am »
well I can see this thread is going to make hurt feelings and people that won't want to talk to each other. I think everyone has pretty much said what they have to say....I dont think it is necessary to continue but if ya'll prefer...

I tried a little experiment this morning....posting where two people who on THIS thread complained about being left out were posting. Did they respond to me?

No.

Souxi, you dont like reading 'drivel'? well I consider this obsession with Hugh to be drivel...yet here we are talking about him....and it is ok with you. So your drivel is ok....just not everyone elses?

Cameron, Thank you for sharing that. Nice to know how you feel. Sometimes all it takes is to let people know how you feel.


Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #65 on: January 12, 2008, 11:01:57 am »
So I don't stress over what I post is too off topic, I usually just hang out in my blog now
so I don't offend no one.

I don't think anybody has to worry THAT much about it.

Some people post more OT than others, and some probably go a bit overboard from time to time. But I don't know of anyone who does it so offensively that they should feel the need to exile themselves from the regular threads.

I think this poll has helped to raise awareness, and clearly there are a range of opinions. But most people seem to fall somewhere in the middle, and rules about what constitute "somewhere in the middle" are hard to write and hard to enforce uniformly. In most cases, like Susie said, it just takes a bit of common sense.



Offline Sandy

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2008, 11:07:46 am »
it just takes a bit of common sense.

Agreed! 

I agreed with another new member that it is difficulty to know where to start with a forum, when it is as busy as this one.  There are sometimes 30/40 pages of posts since the thread was started, and much as I'd love to read through them all, I just don't have time and want to join in NOW!  So, keeping a thread on topic helps us new guys join in the discussion.  If it goes off topic halfway through, well, we're lost. 

Offline souxi

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2008, 11:21:11 am »
well I can see this thread is going to make hurt feelings and people that won't want to talk to each other. I think everyone has pretty much said what they have to say....I dont think it is necessary to continue but if ya'll prefer...

I tried a little experiment this morning....posting where two people who on THIS thread complained about being left out were posting. Did they respond to me?

No.

Souxi, you dont like reading 'drivel'? well I consider this obsession with Hugh to be drivel...yet here we are talking about him....and it is ok with you. So your drivel is ok....just not everyone elses?

Cameron, Thank you for sharing that. Nice to know how you feel. Sometimes all it takes is to let people know how you feel.



Deary me we are grouchy today. ::) I,m not obsessed with Hugh fgs, I just think he,s gorgeous. I might harp on about him a bit, but I don,t post endless pages and pages of stuff about him and take over entire threads about him do I?  And your missing the point. I only object to endless pages of drivel when it takes over the entire post and you end up loosing site of what it was about in the first place.

Offline Artiste

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #68 on: January 13, 2008, 07:03:12 pm »
I thought the one with I view... would be more Ok, but on second thought that too is limited!! So, I clicked on the last after that! And here is my explanation, oui, oui, yes, yes!!

I do not want Bettermost to become a con game for any member nor non-member; I want and demand FREEDOM!! Since we are in democratic countries, and for humanity!!!!

With free speech we, all of us, can advance further and further such as thruth, democraties, life, love...

Of course some words like mine are, at times,  be seen as irksome, at first; and, likewise is such from others too!! So far, from negatives, come out the richness to enrich the World on Bettermost: by and for gays and non-gays, female and ladies issues, straight or others, etc., for all subjects!!

It is better to understand when we quote Annie's story or the Brokeback Mountain movie...but  since we feel more confortable therin, we all (or many) of us learn and educate in wondrous loving ways as Ennis, Jack, and others did - with the exception of the murderers!! You want some samples?? Stability searched, and peace results in us all too!!

Much can and need to be said on Bettermost, when you let us all FREE!!

Hugs!! Qu'est-ce sera, sera; whatever will be, will be... as your song and mine go on!!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #69 on: January 13, 2008, 08:12:48 pm »
I want and demand FREEDOM!! Since we are in democratic countries, and for humanity!!!!

With free speech we, all of us, can advance further and further such as thruth, democraties, life, love...

Well, with a couple of exceptions, there is freedom of speech on BetterMost. Those exceptions involve personal attacks, pictures with nudity and sexually explicit written material.

Aside from those things, you can say anything you like. What we're discussing here is not whether you can say something, but where.



Offline Artiste

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #70 on: January 13, 2008, 08:14:57 pm »
You mean: wherein??



Hugs!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #71 on: January 13, 2008, 09:25:50 pm »
You mean: wherein??

Yes, I mean that, too. They are synonymous.


Offline Artiste

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2008, 12:16:12 am »
Thanks!

There is something that needs to be done... it is like personal attacks, but they are not...most times or sometimes!!

Some are dominant!

Some persons are scared of certain words!! And others even demand refrain from certain expressions, justifiably or unjustifiably!!

It remains that everyone learns and educates on Bettermost, at least I do and see others doing so. It is scary at times, to open oneselves, and always or nearly so worth it!!

Hugs!!

Offline brokeplex

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #73 on: January 14, 2008, 12:29:46 am »
Well, at the risk of lengthening the discussion, I think Artiste is essentially correct.

Perhaps the best solution to this is to drop all OT restrictions. I am convinced that OT monitoring can not be done in a fair and equitable fashion. So lets just drop the idea that there should be any restrictions on posting content.

With the following exceptions:

1) hate speech
2) personal attacks

Any nude picture that appears should automatically go into an off site thread.
Any pornographic verbiage should also automatically go into an off site thread.

Offline Artiste

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #74 on: January 14, 2008, 01:05:41 am »
Wow, brokeplex, no nudes pics of gay men, you are breaking my heart!!

At least, cheek to cheek ones, let is be... as the song says!!??

Is sex now only for ilslam or such or others??

Hugs!!

Offline brokeplex

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #75 on: January 14, 2008, 01:11:28 am »
you are going 'Off Topic' Artiste, restrain yourself.

HUGS!

Offline Artiste

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #76 on: January 14, 2008, 01:26:52 am »
I do not think that I am going off topic.

The wet dreams I will soonest be having in my bed... that is off-topic.

May you and all have those too... ha! ha!

Much can be said yet on this thread question!!

Hugs! Sleep tight you lucky dud(s)!!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #77 on: January 14, 2008, 02:25:10 am »
Perhaps the best solution to this is to drop all OT restrictions. I am convinced that OT monitoring can not be done in a fair and equitable fashion. So lets just drop the idea that there should be any restrictions on posting content.

Well, except that the majority of people who've voted here have indicated they would prefer some kind of limitation -- that OT discussions either remain brief, or that they're more appropriate on certain kinds of threads. A fair number also have said some kinds of OT posts are OK, though it's not clear whether there's any agreement among those voters as to what kind would be OK.

But of 33 voters so far, there have been only 4 votes in favor of all discussions being entirely free ranging. And only one, as of this writing, favoring absolute prohibition on OT posts.

In other words, most who've voted in the poll have expressed a preference for something in between really restrictive rules and total free-for-alls. I don't know that there is any way to write hard-and-fast, absolutely equitable legislation of in-between policies regarding OT posts. On the other hand, are strict rules strictly necessary?

I would suggest that this thread may be the basis for people to use some common sense.

Would it be possible, without absolute rules, to argue that one person's posts were deemed OT while someone else was allowed to blather on? Sure. But remember that reminders of OT posts are not punishment or chastisement -- they're simply that, reminders. And in many cases, they're given for the sake of the OT discussion itself; again, many such conversations would be of interest to wider audiences but will be overlooked if buried in a thread on a different subject.



Offline Ellemeno

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #78 on: January 14, 2008, 03:05:14 am »
Here's something else I want to ask people's thoughts about.  When reading a thread, and you feel that someone in some way has crossed a line, either by being too off-topic, or by being hurtful or cranky, or something else that doesn't feel quite okay to you personally, do you ever PM that person yourself to let them know your impression of their posts?

I have done this, even before I was an admin.  I never meant it harshly, but more as an opportunity to let them know their post's effect on me.  Some people have responded very good-naturedly, some have responded as though I had slapped them.  Now that I'm an admin, I actually feel less free to write those sorts of PMs to people, because even though I overtly tell them I'm not coming from an admin perspective, but just as myself, I've seen that some people see me as an authority figure trying to squash their freedom to communicate the way they want to.

Anyway, do you ever let people know directly when their posts aren't working for you in some way?  I think it's a great thing to do, when done respectfully.  What kinds of responses have you gotten? 

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #79 on: January 14, 2008, 12:50:24 pm »
I have never PM'd a poster in reference to a post of theirs that I thought was out of line, but I have PM'd members who were the subjects of posts that I felt were vituperative, unfair, or somehow hurtful to let them know that I sympathized with them and supported them.

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #80 on: January 14, 2008, 01:24:36 pm »

     I have been pmd by a mod over something i had said.  Then someone else said to me.  I then thought I
was making what was a goodnatured response.  That unleashed the gates of hell.  It was the biggest
storm over a silly thing i have ever dealt with...
     I tried to get the name of the person making the complaint.  Which i was not given.  Therefor unable
to talk directly or even indirectly to the person that made that complaint.  Personally I thought that the
mod definately pushed me as the attacker, when i wasnt even making any kind of an attack.
     I dont think that people should make some report like that and then remain anonomous..
     The same thing goes for the way all the troubles here are handled..  Behind closed doors, with no
access made to us ordinary peons..We are handed decrees.  More like it is from the gods on Mt Olympus.
I dont think that is a very fair way to handle these situations.  Its not just you Elle...its the system...
There should be some sort of arbitor. and a confrontation on unbiased territory.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 06:33:30 pm by ifyoucantfixit »



     Beautiful mind

Offline Artiste

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #81 on: January 14, 2008, 01:56:12 pm »
We all need help!!!

To be understood is the most important!!

To be helped too is of importance!!

Mutual help is great and needed by all too!! WE all know that no one is an island!!

Keep on doing good work all moderators and all members!!

Hugs!!

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #82 on: January 14, 2008, 04:29:51 pm »

     I have been pmd by a mod over something i had said.  Then someone else said to me.  I then thought I
was making what was a goodnatured response.  That unleashed the gates of hell.  It was the biggest
storm over a silly thing i have ever dealt with...

Usually there are never any gates of hell to worry about around here.  The usual motivation moderators and admins have here in addressing complaints is to consider whether the person doing the complaining is being too sensitive, or whether the writer may have been too harsh in tone and crossed the line to the personal attack.  The usual procedure is to ask the author to tone it down a bit, or we contact the person complaining and suggest they are being too sensitive about an issue - sometimes we've done both.  We don't usually make this a punitive process, and accounts here are rarely in any peril. 

Quote
I tried to get the name of the person making the complaint.  Which i was not given.  Therefor unable
to talk directly or even indirectly to the person that made that complaint.  Personally I thought that the
mod definately pushed me as the attacker, when i wasnt even making any kind of an attack.
     I dont think that people should make some report like that and then remain anonomous..
     The same thing goes for the way all the troubles here are handled..  Behind closed doors, with no
access made to us ordinary peons..We are handed decrees.  More like it is from the gods on Mt Olympus.
I dont think that is a very fair way to handle these situations.  Its not just you Elle...its the system...
There should be some sort of arbitor. and a confrontation on unbiased terratory.

If the words in a post can be misconstrued as a personal attack by someone complaining, or a moderator, the best course of action has been to rewrite the post to make its intent clearer.  Nobody here sits around keeping lists of offenders or offenses.  The goal is the fastest possible resolution of the complaint, if it can be seen to have any merit. 

Prior experience with running debates between an alleged offender and the offended is not ineffective and usually doesn't resolve anything.  If one person could misinterpret it, often others do as well.  Only about 20 messages have been reported here since this community started.  About 1/3rd of them are unfounded overreactions, the rest have some validity, mostly because something could be read to be a personal attack.  Almost all are quickly resolved by changing a few words or deleting a sentence.  Anything that would prolong a debate or create a confrontation between residents over something that could be quietly and quickly addressed with a clarification of a potentially offending message would not be my first choice.

If you disagree with a moderator ruling, you can bring it up with Elle or myself in a PM.
You're a part of our family - BetterMost, Wyoming

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #83 on: January 14, 2008, 06:39:40 pm »


       Well my solution was simply to stay away from the forum that it was in and thus away from the
persons involved.



     Beautiful mind

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #84 on: January 14, 2008, 08:00:35 pm »
Its not just you Elle...its the system...
There should be some sort of arbitor. and a confrontation on unbiased territory.

On this I am going to launch a new poll to see if there would be an interest in an independent Ombudsman for BetterMost.  This would be an -elected- position and would be able to independently examine and provide an unvarnished opinion (minus any personal attacks) of the administration of the community, as well as be a contact point for people who feel their needs or problems have not been addressed and allow the Ombudsman to consider the matter and report back to both residents and the "town council." 
You're a part of our family - BetterMost, Wyoming

Offline Artiste

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #85 on: January 14, 2008, 08:03:34 pm »
Well said Phillip and others, and thanks!!

It remains that some persons, as members, got or felt offended, and now, do not talk (communicate) and stay in their corner (in their threads) to protect themselves or be careful ( maybe too much??)!! We all get hurt in life, at different times!!

Maybe this board, especially, this thread has and will help some to come back to more and varied communications?? I pray so.

More ways to help each other... can be found yet and thought about?? Hope so!! You all have helped me and be assured that I am very grateful and pleased, and seek your continued entraide (mutual help) !!

Hugs!!  Let freedom keep on ringingon Bettermost and thanks to all on it!!

Offline BelAir

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #86 on: January 14, 2008, 09:00:32 pm »
We all need help!!!

To be understood is the most important!!

To be helped too is of importance!!

Mutual help is great and needed by all too!! WE all know that no one is an island!!

Keep on doing good work all moderators and all members!!

Hugs!!

Artiste you make me think of this poem:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

and alas, I am probably OT...

(I am not trying to advocate any religion or anything, I hope I haven't offended anyone by using the word "poem")
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 08:14:48 pm by BelAir »
"— a thirst for life, for love, and for truth..."

Offline Artiste

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2008, 10:49:31 am »
Thanks BelAir!

I like that poem you added.

I do not like the sentence with dying in it... though. Death still puzzles me... as you maybe know.

Rather would like to live!! As you maybe noted in my threads and comments!!

So, I try to be an optimist. That is why I am on Bettermost... and like your efforts and those of others so we can get along and help each other, in wondrous ways.

Of course, my fears are there too. And I have expressed many which some members are puzzled about. Did you see that?

I still do not know what is OT posts... or did I figure it out a bit?

Always glad to see your news BelAir and that from others too,

Hugs!

Offline tampatalon

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2008, 06:25:38 pm »
On this I am going to launch a new poll to see if there would be an interest in an independent Ombudsman for BetterMost.  This would be an -elected- position and would be able to independently examine and provide an unvarnished opinion (minus any personal attacks) of the administration of the community, as well as be a contact point for people who feel their needs or problems have not been addressed and allow the Ombudsman to consider the matter and report back to both residents and the "town council." 

Question? How would this affect us in our indiviual blogs? I look at my blog like my house. Except
for breaking of the obvious no attack rule and other legal no no's, I would not want the "homeowners
association" telling me how "decor" the inside of my house. This may be an invalid question since
there is no "on-topic" in a blog.

TampaTalon^">
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injest

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2008, 07:13:02 pm »
Question? How would this affect us in our indiviual blogs? I look at my blog like my house. Except
for breaking of the obvious no attack rule and other legal no no's, I would not want the "homeowners
association" telling me how "decor" the inside of my house. This may be an invalid question since
there is no "on-topic" in a blog.

TampaTalon^">

I don't see this affecting your blog..blogs have always been the 'property' of the owners....so as long as you keep your trees trimmed and no limbs hang out over the other members blogs you should be fine!!

Offline BelAir

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Re: How do you feel about OT posts?
« Reply #90 on: January 15, 2008, 08:17:40 pm »
Artiste - "OT posts" means off-topic posts. 

i.e. when someone discusses something that is not directly pertinent to the thread topic.

make more sense?
"— a thirst for life, for love, and for truth..."