SOLVED Off title threads


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davehc

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This is not a complaint against indivuals, or the site, just an outlet for other views on the subject.

There is a marked tendency, more on this site than any other I have encountered, to wander from the thread title. I don't get stressed about it, but it is, without doubt, a good thing to be able to click on a thread and follow it up. I have been guilty, once or twice, myself, but try ernestly to avoid it.

For current examples. Today, after a twelve hour break, when I opened the site, there were seven threads under new posts. The last few posts, in five of them, did not, in any context, relate to the thread title. One, in fact, quite common again, had turned into a chat site.

Anyone with any views?
 
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draceena

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...well I used to have a pet budgie named nova....

OK OK I'll stick to the topic as I agree that there seems to be alot of topics created for a problem and somewhere along the way it becomes an entirely different discussion and yes it can be a little off-putting if you see a new answer to a problem and it has nothing to do with the problem (and could possibly be confusing to the post creator).

I agree that it does not bother me much but do wonder if we've accidently confused a newer member when they ask a question and get an answer that is not related to the question.
 
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I'm probably a bit guilty of it occasionly but if it's specifically a problem as opposed to newsy items then I think I try to keep it relevent. Forums are however a bit like people chatting around a table, it's just that we are not all sitting at the table at the same time. They evolve.
An alternative option if it is becoming an issue for members is for administrators to lock any threads as soon as they are marked solved.
 
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I will write my name on the list of contributors. :/

Do you think its bad enough that a traffic cop would be needed to keep the thread on topic? I know I get carried away at times as the topic drifts.

Perhaps a ***cough**cough*** and posting of the thread title. I know I wouldn't consider that rude.
 

davehc

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Maybe an odd reminder, not a bad idea.
There is a stirling example of what I mean, currently running:

https://www.w7forums.com/beware-rog...nd-internet-explorer-9-a-t7857.html#post58666

Now take the oiutside example of a googler seeking info on the horror. This type of thread, now that it has developed into chat (only the first two posts are relevant), could run into several pages. I just feel that a casual browser would probably not bother to explore further, but find a more relavant and informative entry elsewhere?
 

TrainableMan

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It was me, I did it! It's hard not to answer but I did try to slip in gems of wisdom every third post or so. To quote Monty Pyton, "Alright, alright, I apologize. I'm really really sorry. I apologize unreservedly. I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact and was in no way fair comment. And was motivated purely by malice and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you or your family."

Perhaps if you wrote it off to multi-tasking or A.D.D? Would you buy "Into every thread some superfluous BS must fall"? Maybe the moderators should separate diverging topics to another thread? Do you do that if it diverges for a single post or maybe if it only goes 3 posts or more.

What about people that say "that's just like my problem except ... that it's not". There is one yhread that is 50 pages long, nobody is going to read it all and I'm fairly sure they aren't all the exact same problem.

Then another issue; how do you deal with it when a post starts on topic and then diverges ... So should I start a new thread to ask about draceena's parakeet or is here a good place to slip it in? I'm thinking "What color was Nova? Could he/she do any tricks?" would only take a line or two to answer, definitely not worth a whole thread ... until Cat remembers the time his pet cat caught a bird that could use Windows 7 to dispense it's food ... he got the bird away from his feline but the program to dispense it's food was written for a 32-bit OS so Cat made the bird starve out of shear principle that all programs should be 64-bit.

See sometimes it just snowballs. To quote Monty Python once more, "[actor 1] You can't have egg, bacon, spam and sausage without the spam! [actor 2] I don't like spam!".
 
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Maybe an odd reminder, not a bad idea.
There is a stirling example of what I mean, currently running:

https://www.w7forums.com/beware-rog...nd-internet-explorer-9-a-t7857.html#post58666

Now take the oiutside example of a googler seeking info on the horror. This type of thread, now that it has developed into chat (only the first two posts are relevant), could run into several pages. I just feel that a casual browser would probably not bother to explore further, but find a more relavant and informative entry elsewhere?


Actually Dave I don't think that is a good example as the first post was the news item whatever you wanted to call it, imho it did not need further technical/relevent comment as it covered it all in the first post. Having said that I take the point you are making.,
 

davehc

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There are a stack of examples,maybe I did not choose the best one.
But, to draw a better picture, on another site, with a near match thread title and first post, the thread has just been closed with 18 totally relevant posts on how to recognise, deal with, etc - Good informative reading.
 
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On other forums I moderate we call this thread hijacking and I post a request to keep it on topic. If it continues, the thread is closed.
 

TrainableMan

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When I came looking for some answers to Windows 7 I saw some other forums and I didn't like them because they didn't have the friendly easy going nature that this one did. I think part of that is actually getting to know the regulars and I guess part of this is conversation/chatting.

Like me saying ...
Glad to see you Firecat, I know you aren't around as much any more. Hope school is going well. Your absence is noticed...
wouldn't be in line with this thread topic. Or the fact that I would have to tease him a little bit and finish it with ...
and APPRECIATED :p
... he would know the sincerity as well as the teasing humor because we have had more than sterile thread conversations.

A nudge once in a while would be fine. Or the moderators could move those posts to a new thread with a more descriptive topic.

I guess the way I look at it, we're here to talk about computers but we are still human and I for one don't mind it and have often participated.

And like you said, there are other forums that are more strict so I guess this way people have a choice for something a little different; a little less formal and a little more real. Real people with real issues trying to help others in an informal environment.
 
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One of the problems I have with splitting a thread is doing so without causing confusion. How would you split a thread that is so inner twined, that starting a new thread from a split conversation would leave you to wonder where the conversation originated from.
 
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TrainableMan

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One of the problems I have with splitting a thread is doing so without causing confusion. How would you split a thread that is so inner twined, that starting a new thread from a split conversation would leave you to wonder where the conversation originated from.
Yep, it's not easy. You would almost have to put a post in both "it moved here" and "it started here".

It's all subjective and I can promise you will never please everyone no matter what you do.
 

Nibiru2012

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I believe a lot of us are guilty of hijacking a thread on occasion, myself included.

Sometimes though the "hijack" will go on ad infinitum - ad nauseum!
 

Ian

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I think this will no doubt serve as a reminder to keep things reasonably on topic in a thread - but there's always going to be some drift as the thread evolves, but if things go off on a real tangent then a new thread would be better. :)
 
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As someone who has helped administrate sites like this for quite some time, I would caution against being too put off by this trend. What this "issue" really means is that the community is tight-knit and comfortable enough with one another that they are willing to engage one another in friendly, 'round-the-coffee-maker style, banter.

This is a very good thing. It may not be your personal cup of tea, but this is a leading indicator of a healthy community.
 

davehc

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I have marked the thread as solved. I have the input I need. The last postr has certainly helped to confirm my view that I think my own thoughts on the subject are very obviously out of step with the main contributers, so I will lay it to rest.
Perhaps a moderator would lock the thread?
 
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