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Off-topicness warning

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Simon, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. Simon


    Lately there's been a truckload of topics ruined by off-topic posts. From now on before you hit "add reply", ask yourself whether it's relevant. If not, do everyone a favor and click "back" instead.

    Some members will have to be put back into Trial phase and re-evaluated because of this.

  2. Quickman


    be attitude for gains Tech Member
    omg porjcet
    I think the definition of "offtopic" needs a little exploration here.

    The way I see it, if it follows logically from a previous post (perhaps adding to a quote, extending or countering a point...) it's not offtopic. That's how discussions work - they do jump from subject to subject in a logical fashion, following many branches of a complex conversational tree of dialogue.

    Offtopic posts are posts which don't have a logical connection to any posts prior to it, such as...

    Person A: I think I've discovered something in Sonic 2 beta, here's details... [blah blah blah blah blah porklord]
    Person B: I don't think that's a bug, more a feature deliberately implemented, here's my evidence of that... [blah blah]
    Person C: However... [counterevidence]
    Gerbil: *posts a "you're offtopic" forumpix*

    Person D was offtopic since their post did not have a connection with any of the posts above it. In Wetflame's rap topic none of the posts were really offtopic - they all linked to posts made beforehand in a logical fashion even if the subject deviated from the original topic. That's how discussions work.

    But then, that's just my opinion and I'm just a Tech Member so what the hell would I know? Just providing another view of the situation.
  3. Vangar


    I totally agree with Quickman. Posts that go "offtopic" Usually get there by many subtopics from the first one. Its only bad if someone just changes the topic right at the start.

    Anyway, that's just my opinoin...
  4. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    I actually think it's good Simon's doing/done this because the offtopicness thing was beginnning to bother me also. Meh I'm such a creep :lol:
  5. Simon


    Most of the "offtopic" posts don't jump out from nowhere. There's always something in the previous posts leading to it. It's just that most of the time, it gets blown out of proportion, overshadowing the main topic.

    We should take the following into account:

    - How important is the secondary subject to the first subject
    Even it may following logical steps, is it worthwhile to discuss something that doesn't matter when there's a more important issue at hand?

    - How much of the whole topic is spent on discussing the secondary subject
    If only one or two posts, and then it went back ontopic, then who cares.

    - How much of the first topic has been explored
    Maybe the original topic has been well discussed and exhausted, and we're exploring something else.

    - The topic starter's reaction
    When the topic starter comes back, is he gonna find what he's looking for, or some other useless crap?

    I won't try to define what offtopic is. It will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis. Although I'd say posts that challenge the topic itself should not be considered offtopic. That is, in a topic named "give theories on what Robotnik would do to the Master Emerald in HPZ", you can debunk it instead of providing theories.

    The bottom line is, instead of second guessing whether your post will be trashed, you can always start a new topic on it.
  6. Quickman


    be attitude for gains Tech Member
    omg porjcet
    Define "important". Surely that's a very subjective way of looking at it?

    If only a few pages, why does it matter? The board provides a handy link to jump right to the end of the topic.

    I'll grant this one. But then again, people could always talk about both things simultaneously. This isn't speech - some posts will come on different subjects at roughly the same time. Conversation is continuous but not necessarily contiguous.

    And all he has to do is say "back ontopic please" if he doesn't like it.
  7. Simon


    It is indeed subjective. Not everything can be categorized into "is" or "isn't" or be consistently assigned numerical values to it. The world isn't either black or white, and subjective judgement is needed to deal with it. This is the same for other rules, such as "don't be stupid" or "don't be annoying".
    The "importantness" of a post can be roughly gagued if you ask "how does this post contribute to the original topic".
    The board doesn't provide a link to jump to the next on-topic post. It's easy to scroll past 3 posts, but a hastle to guess whether the drivel ends at page 5 or page 7.
    Yes, I agree. As long as the post deals with the original topic in a "reasonable" amount and seriousness compared to other subjects that may come up in the same post, it's unlikely I'll consider it off-topic.
    It's a preventive approach. Besides, it's one of the most basic rules of using a message board anyway. You start topics that support/contribute to the forum you're posting in, and you post replies that support/contribute to the topic you're replying to. Of course, in a "casual" topic, I probably won't do anything if the topic-starter himself goes off-topic or implicitly OKs it.

    There're too many parameters to determine if a post is off-topic. Your best bet is to observe which type of posts I usually split into the Trash, and decide what is likely to be acceptable (to me anyway) and what isn't.
  8. Syren


    Teesside, UK
    If we put ourselves in the shoes of a guest or the person who made the topic, it's easy to guess what is offtopic and what is not.

    What is on topic:

    "Yes, I agree, Sonic rocks."

    What is not on topic:

    "Speaking of rocks, I have a pet rock. His name's Larry."

    Ofcourse, other factors come into it, like if the topic maker would mind. People went offtopic in Wetflame's "Okay...", but he just went along with discussion. I doubt he realy minded. On the other hand, if people went offtopic in one of Saxman's topics, he would ask us to get back ontopic. Like when we were talking about IPS patches in a topic advertising his meeting on IRC.
  9. magraimon


    A superficial anomaly of the human psyche! Member
    Speaking of off topic, I once found a topic chocolate bar that had been past it's date by 4 months >_<

    ^ OMGZ that's OFF TOPIC :o!!!

    ok I think this thread has got the message across. lock&sticky anyone :o?
  10. Kampfer


    Congradulations on bumping a month and a half old topic. <_<
  11. voice


    Make any joke you want, you know I look good. Banned
    45mins west of Chicago
    RSN2.0, PHP:IRC (A attempt at CGI:IRC in PHP)
    Congrats on replying to the topic for being bounced.
  12. Syren


    Teesside, UK
    If anyone congradulates anybody else, this topic about offtopicness will go offtopic. Leave it. :P
  13. But if this topic about offtopicness is going off topic, technically wouldn't that be on topic?

    And Voice, congrats on congradulating Kampfer for congradulating Magraimon who bumped the topic. :P
  14. Hayate


    Tech Member
    Hey, congrats on congradulating Voice for congradulating Kampfer for congradulating Magraimon who bumped the topic.

    LOL. I just HAD to continue that. Someone lock this before we all go mad :D
  15. Bleeding Cut

    Bleeding Cut

    Dr. Knuckles Member
    Or, how about you people try to control yourselves instead? :P
  16. Kles


    Congratulations for no one being able to spell the word right.