Author Topic: How do you feel about OT posts?  (Read 12098 times)

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.
“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 #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...

"— a thirst for life, for love, and for truth..."

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!)
"— a thirst for life, for love, and for truth..."

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... ;).