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Author Topic: "Take to other thread" requests  (Read 12420 times)

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Tea Drinker

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2015, 07:17:48 PM »
I don't mind topic drift, but the advantage of the spinoff threads is that I will find discussions I otherwise might not. I'm not particularly interested in ghost stories, but probably would look at a spinoff thread about echidnas, if it was labeled as such. Someone else might be uninterested in the echidnas, but want to follow the spinoff thread from that, about knitting coats for pets.
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2015, 07:47:15 PM »
There is "polite" and there is "indirect". As we have had long threads about, being direct is not necessarily impolite.

Yes, saying "Take this to a new thread, this has drifted too far and not everyone cares about the mating habits of turtles," does come off as dismissive and snarky.

However, "Could the discussion of the mating habits of turtles move to a new thread?" I think, is a perfectly polite direct request.

At the same time, it's asking someone else (and not even a specific "someone else," but a general one) to do all the work to change a situation that the complainer doesn't like. Is it rude? No. Is the best way to get the desired result? I would say not.

There are a couple of problems with that request.
1. You're asking people to change something that they probably think fine as it is. If the people discussing turtle mating thought it would be better as a different thread, then someone probably would have already have made one. If they're continuing to discuss it in the original thread, they probably think that's a reasonable place for it. So you're basically asking people for a favor that would make you happier. Most people will probably be willing to help you out, as long as it's not too demanding...which leads into the second problem:

2. The discussion "moving to a new thread" isn't as simple as it sounds--someone has to make the effort to move it, and it's not always trivial to do that and have it still make sense. The majority of people discussing the subtopic are probably responding to earlier parts of the discussion, so their posts wouldn't stand alone as the OP of a separate thread. To start a coherent new thread, the OP would have to at least briefly summarize the discussion it spun off of.

OTOH, Benni's suggestion is much more proactive and asks a much smaller favor of other posters:
There is:  Folks, this conversation about the mating habits of turtles is so fascination, I just started a new thread about it - please go here to continue the conversation.  Now back to the subject of this thread, how to tell your DH that his cooking stinks - one time I....
Here, the person who isn't happy makes the effort to change things and only asks that other posters meet them halfway by using the (already-created) spin-off thread. Personally, I think that's both a nicer approach and more likely to actually get the discussion into a new thread (especially if the spin-off is a subtopic of the original, rather than a tangent).

Katana_Geldar

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2015, 08:33:10 PM »
Is it really too much to expect people to stay on topic? I'm not saying rigidly, but if I go into the SS thread I sort of expect to see the majority of posts to be SS stories. Yes, it will happen the topic will divert a little to comment on details of a story, but more or less it will (or at least should) go back to SS stores because that is what the thread is about and why people go there.

I understand people want to contribute to a conversation they have an interest in, but it does get tiresome when it goes on and on and I just want more SS stories. And then, when we get it back on track, new stories and someone brings it up again.

If a topic is that worth talking about, make a new threat. And it's not such a big deal to do so, really.

EllenS

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2015, 08:58:58 PM »
I think it would be very odd for someone who is not interested in the specific subtopic, to create a thread about it. If I'm not interested in turtle mating habits, I certainly don't want it popping up in my "new replies" thread all the time.

People can have opinions and make requests, but really it's all about consensus. I really don't see this request being abused on the forum, but perhaps there are threads. As pp's mentioned, normally I see this on threads where a specific post has generated a long string of brief jokes, or disagreements that could potentially get the thread locked, because they are straying into "hot topic" territory like gender politics.

I suppose if someone really objected to moving the subtopic to a new thread, they could refuse to do so. But to me, that's kind of like refusing to get out of the doorway when someone asks you politely to move. Yes, it's public property and you have the right to stand anywhere you like. But it's not rude to ask you to move, and it is kind of rude to knowingly block/annoy others.

Dindrane

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2015, 09:27:01 PM »
I think one important point about the Time for a Coffee Break folder is that the "off topic" nature of it doesn't refer to specific posts that are straying from the stated purpose of the thread they are in. It's referring to the fact that threads in that area do not need to be on the topic of etiquette. Elsewhere in the forum, there is supposed to be something related to etiquette in the topic of the thread. So it's off topic from the forum, not from the original post.

Another really important point is that I can pretty much guarantee that by the time one person posts a request to move a discussion to a new thread, there are at least half a dozen people or more who agree wholeheartedly and just didn't bother saying anything, or didn't feel comfortable speaking up.

In general, I think people should self-police, and create new threads when they realize they are dragging an existing one off-topic. However, I also think that it can be hard to notice just how far off-topic you've gone at times, especially if you're posting about something you find really interesting. A polite reminder that not everyone wants to read about the feeding habits of echidnas in the Special Snowflakes thread is really supposed to be a nudge toward the self-policing that we should all be doing.

Finally, the nature of a message board means that everyone who participates in a thread becomes something of a captive audience. Once I choose to post in something, it will show up in my "new replies" forever. Once a person chooses to be notified about a thread, all new posts will make it pop up until they stop following it. There's no way to say I only want to see new posts that are on topic, so every time a thread goes into substantial thread-drift, I have to at least look at (if not necessarily read) every post, or leave the entire conversation entirely.

That's different from an in-person group conversation, where two people who are more interested in talking about echidnas than special snowflakes will almost certainly drift apart from the group continuing the special snowflakes discussion naturally. And if they don't, the group that wants to keep talking about special snowflakes can drift away from the original group that would prefer to talk about echidnas.

The forum equivalent of the latter situation would be, basically, expecting people who want to continue to discuss the original thread's topic to abandon the original thread and create a new one whenever there is significant thread drift. Since the majority of people participating in any thread probably want to talk about its original topic (else they'd never have looked at it in the first place), it's not reasonable to expect the majority to leave. It is reasonable to expect the minority who want to talk about echidnas to either create a new thread or drop the topic.


PastryGoddess

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2015, 09:31:01 PM »
Etiquette focused topics get locked all of the time for going off thread.  I'm pretty sure that the Coffee break topics are not immune from this treatment either.  The Coffee Break folder is a place that non etiquette topics go because they don't fit anywhere, but that doesn't mean that they are free for alls either.  I think once a side discussion hits about 30 posts it's time to take it to a new thread.  Because to me its obvious that there is interest in the topic and warrants further discussion.  Some of the most interesting threads here have been spun off of side discussions. 



eta: I agree with Dindrane

JenJay

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2015, 09:47:37 PM »
Many times, I find the subject of the topic drift very interesting. I'm not bored at all. However, when I click on Ghost Stories, I want to read about ghost stories. When I click on Food, I want to read about food. Think about the excitement of thinking that you are getting a new instant-justice story only to find pages and pages and pages on chocolate. I love chocolate, but it's like false advertising when you're expecting justice stories.

This is exactly how I feel with regard to subject-specific threads. When someone posts "I'm moving soon, please tell me about the various cable companies in NewPlace." and they get lots of advice, then the thread turns into a discussion on relocating or sightseeing in the area, I think that's fine. Assuming the question has been adequately answered and the OP is fine with the turn their thread has taken.

oz diva

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2015, 09:47:58 PM »
When you type echidna too often it starts looking odd. Such gorgeous lil creatures. You can pat 'em, but you have to start at the head.

Victoria

marcel

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 12:56:46 AM »
1. Under most circumstances, I think it's better for someone interested in the original topic to write their own post on that topic, rather than asking/telling others not to discuss the subtopic. If people are interested, then the original topic will pick back up. If that line of discussion has died, then it won't and it's time to let it go. I've see a lot of comments like "Can the [topic X] discussion move to another thread? I'm interested in the [original topic] stories" without actually offering any [original topic] stories. I personally find that quite irritating--if you want to discuss [original topic], then discuss it--don't expect other posters to change their discussion to entertain you. Unless the subtopic is flooding the thread so fast no one else can get a post in, there's nothing stopping people from posting [original topic] stories, so if there aren't any, it's presumably because no one has any to post at the moment.
I disagree with this entirely. Most of us do not encounter special snowflakes daily, so most of the time we do not have a special snowflake story to contribute to the special snowflake thread, many of us still visit the special snowflake thread to read others stories, and if it goes off topic, this is very nnoying and you can not redirect it if you do not have a new SS story.

More importantly though, regularly people keep on talking about the off topic subject aound other peoples on topic posts, so writing on topic posts simply does not help to put a thread back on topic, all it does is make a thread even harder to read. More then ones I have found myself skimming pages because they were all off topic, only to find out in a later quote that i havbe missed the one on topic post on a page.




There is:  Folks, this conversation about the mating habits of turtles is so fascination, I just started a new thread about it - please go here to continue the conversation.  Now back to the subject of this thread, how to tell your DH that his cooking stinks - one time I....

Then there is: Take this to a new thread, this has drifted too far and not everyone cares about the mating habits of turtles.

Anyone who posts like the first post I have no issues with.  The ones who post like the second, well it isn't quite polite is it?
The problem with the first option though is off course that it does not make any sense for the person who has no interest at all in the mating habits of turtle to start a thread on the mating habits of turtles and have that thread that they have no interest in at all pop up in their new threads every time they check on it. It is the people who are interested in the mating habits of turtles job to recognize that they are having an off topic discusion and should move it somewhere else.

I believe it is on the poeple who are are interested in the off-topic discusion to recognize after about 10 posts that there is enough interest in it to create a spin-off thread or to stop posting it. If people do not recognize this, I believe it is perfectly fine for one of the people not interested to point out that it is time to crearte a spinoff thread or stop discussing it.

As another poster already pointed out, by the timne somebody posts this request, there are probably already numerous other readers who have the same request but did not post it.
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sammycat

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 02:51:50 AM »
Most of us do not encounter special snowflakes daily, so most of the time we do not have a special snowflake story to contribute to the special snowflake thread, many of us still visit the special snowflake thread to read others stories, and if it goes off topic, this is very annoying and you can not redirect it if you do not have a new SS story.

More importantly though, regularly people keep on talking about the off topic subject aound other peoples on topic posts, so writing on topic posts simply does not help to put a thread back on topic, all it does is make a thread even harder to read. More then ones I have found myself skimming pages because they were all off topic, only to find out in a later quote that i havbe missed the one on topic post on a page.

I believe it is on the poeple who are are interested in the off-topic discusion to recognize after about 10 posts that there is enough interest in it to create a spin-off thread or to stop posting it. If people do not recognize this, I believe it is perfectly fine for one of the people not interested to point out that it is time to crearte a spinoff thread or stop discussing it.

As another poster already pointed out, by the timne somebody posts this request, there are probably already numerous other readers who have the same request but did not post it.

Snipped a bit.

I agree with these comments, especially the parts I've bolded.

It's very annoying to have an interesting topic derailed by a completely unrelated subject after only a few pages. Eg."How Do I Stop My Abusive Aunt From Turning Up To My Wedding"* turn into a thread about the best types of shoes to wear to a wedding. I may or may not have anything to add to the original topic, but I'm still interested in reading the replies. But if it turns into a different topic I'll eventually give up on that thread which may mean I'll miss some pertinent posts to the original topic.

It's even worse if I have posted in it and then it continually pops up in my 'unread' section and then I'm subjected to 10 pages on the thread drift each time I click the new notification.  Conversely, I might not want to read about the abusive aunt at the wedding, but would love to read about wedding shoes; a conversation I'd miss out on entirely if it's discussed in a thread that has no relevance to the OP.

I always appreciate it when someone does take the time to start a new thread on the off-topic discussion, either to bring the OP back to its original discussion, or to alert me to a different discussion that I am actually interested in.

* Made up title. I don't think such a title name actually exists.

MariaE

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 04:05:50 AM »
I think it borders on rude if it happens after just 3-5 posts of thread-drift - often threads will drift slightly and then return back "home" again without any prompting. But most examples I can think of have at least 1-2 pages of drift, and in those cases I think it's perfectly fine to ask for the side-topic to be taken to another thread.

I don't think the 'asker' has any obligation to create a spin-off post him/herself. Like other posters have said, if I have no interest in the drift-topic, I have even less interest in having that thread pop up under my "New replies" list all the time.
 
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menley

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2015, 04:58:25 AM »
Sometimes it bothers me to see people post a request to take the side-discussion to a new thread, and sometimes it doesn't. I hadn't really thought about it previously, but I think the reason I am sometimes bothered is that occasionally someone will interject that after only 2-3 posts about a side topic. Certainly, if the side topic is the subject of 10 or so posts, that would be an appropriate time to ask for it to relocate (as there's clearly interest in the other topic, and it is likely distracting from the main topic) but if it's only a handful of posts, let it be!

cabbageweevil

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2015, 05:31:54 AM »
Maybe my tending to be bothered by the "take this to its own thread" issue, is an effect of eHell being run as a more "tight ship" -- both in its moderating, and in self-policing by the membership in general -- than other message boards on which I participate.  The other boards which I frequent, are perhaps a bit anarchic in comparison -- topic drift largely just happens, and people go with the flow.  I personally rather like anarchy, in not-vitally-serious-and-important areas of life; though I can see the merits of more strictly regulated scenes.

Etiquette focused topics get locked all of the time for going off thread.  I'm pretty sure that the Coffee break topics are not immune from this treatment either.  The Coffee Break folder is a place that non etiquette topics go because they don't fit anywhere, but that doesn't mean that they are free for alls either. 
And Lynn2000 writes: "I know sometimes threads get locked when they drift from their topic too much, even if the thread is really long and enjoyable."

From what I've observed, in actual practice on eHell, more latitude is allowed topic-wise by authority, on Coffee Break threads; than at the "sharper end" of the board.  I'm not aware of ever seeing a Coffee Break thread locked for going far off topic; at most, a gentle bidding from a mod, along the lines of, "Please, enough with the echidnas; or start a new thread dedicated to them".  In such a situation, I hope I would comply, however much I might have been enjoying the echidna discussion.

MariaE writes: "I think it borders on rude if it happens after just 3 - 5 posts of thread-drift -- often threads will drift slightly and then return  back 'home' again without any prompting. But most examples I can think of have at least 1 - 2 pages of drift, and in those cases I think it's perfectly fine to ask for the side-topic to be taken to another thread." menley says much the same.  I'd concur: some of what slightly peeves me about the issue, is that occasionally posters can be, in my perception, a bit officiously "quick on the draw" with the "please drop this, or start a new thread" requests.

A hang-up I have re the "take to a new thread" matter -- and which makes me loth to do that thing -- is, I admit, a personal very silly one.  A thing about message boards is that one never knows for sure what will happen hour-to-hour or day-to-day, or when people will cease to feel moved to post about a particular topic.  If I -- enjoyably taking part in, say, an echidna discussion which had grown up on the "Special Snowflake Stories" thread -- acceded to someone's request to start a new echidna thread, and then got no responses at all to that thread; I would feel like a complete and utter fool.  I'd "know with my head" that this is just the way things had happened to go, and that the eHell community were not thereby conveying to me that they thought me a total idiot; but as is often observed here -- our feelings are our feelings, no matter how irrational.  I suppose the only answer is, learn to be less thin-skinned...

Another Sarah

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2015, 05:47:01 AM »
Clarification: this concerns “Time For a Coffee Break”, generally seen as the “fun and relaxation” section of eHell; where being firmly on-topic is envisagedly less of a requirement than in the more-strictly-etiquette-dedicated majority of the board.

It baffles me a little – and has me wondering how it squares with people’s general ideas of etiquette.  In real life with real people interacting: if someone is caught in the midst of a conversation which they find boring, surely it would not be thought acceptable for them to say, “this stuff bores me – please change the subject”; or, “you lot please go off over into that corner of the room and discuss New Guinea long-beaked echidnas with each other;  I and those sensible people like me, who want to talk about something interesting, will stay right here.”  The real-life polite thing is, surely, to detach oneself from the boring conversation and either join a conversation elsewhere, which interests one; or just “muse” solo.

If there is stuff being discussed on a “Time For a...” thread, which a participant finds boring – is it so hard for said participant just to ignore and skip over the boring stuff;  or to post something in the thread, about another element of the thread, which does interest them, and may stimulate discussion which will interest them? (And / or, for them to think, “soon enough, the tedious topic which annoys me, will die off, of itself...”).  I’m ready to be persuaded that I am in error / out of step with etiquette / rude without realising it; but if I were to post, especially in a “Time For a...” thread, “Can Topic X be taken off to...?” – I’d feel that I was behaving in a rude and special-snowflakey way – and making myself liable to be told what I could do with my request. Please, if appropriate, correct me – tell me “no, this is not at all rude to do”; or, “rude or not, it’s part of the culture of this board; love it or leave it”.  I’m just curious, and a little bemused.
I agree with the majority of replies here but I wanted to add - I think the reason this is so often seen in the coffee break thread in particular is that by its nature that thread has more long-term topics than the etiquette boards. The sentence I bolded implies that the requirement to stay on topic is less important in the coffee break thread - I'd argue it's more important, because those threads are more often collections of stories and posts about a certain theme.
The only thing that makes it a coffee break theme is that it's not etiquette related or seeking advice, which in turn makes the threads longer term, because the "situation" never reaches a conclusion, similar situations pop up instead - they're just fun to read, not necessarily to add to unless you have something similar occur.
I don't think you can compare that to a real life conversation, for me it's more like reading a book of Garfield comics to find a treatise of echidna care and maintenance in the middle. Would I complain about that? You betcha.

In terms of etiquette, I would consider this the faux pas of the people who have taken the thread away from its intended purpose. Again, natural progression is one thing, but this is not the same as conversation because the progression of threads is slower and people aren't immediately in the space to bring the conversation that they haven't finished with back.

If you want to try and use a conversation example, this is a group of people talking about plant care until someone enters the conversation and won't stop talking about his clock collection. Other people might try to bean dip and get back to the conversation, people are getting irritated and showing signs of wanting to leave but he keeps dragging it back until someone says "Oh Uncle Albert, there's a clock convention in the other room, why don't you go show them? They'd be so interested."
I think we'd all agree that Uncle Albert was in the wrong, not the people who were interrupted.

This is the same thing - it is striking up a separate discussion within a larger one. If you are having a separate discussion, the polite thing to do is to move off to the side and let the others continue as they were not stand in the middle of the group talking about something else. It may be that everyone follows you anyway and your conversation becomes the conversation, but to assume that everyone is as interested in your topic rather than their own is a bit...egotistical maybe? seems too harsh but I can't think of a better word
It becomes more irritating on the internet because you have not just monopolised a conversation, your audience is a captive audience, they will get notifications and have to wade through off topic posts regardless of whether they're interested. That's not fair on them.

the second sentence I bolded because it goes back to the endless debate about asking a question. Uncle Albert goes "My clock collection snarf snarf snrf", you say "that's great uncle albert, but could you tell me later?"
Are you being rude? Is asking anyone to do anything rude in itself? If Uncle Albert were to reply "well you can shove it..." would he be being reasonable?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 06:08:59 AM by Another Sarah »

HorseFreak

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2015, 06:01:01 AM »
The reason I stay on EHell and hardly any other online boards IS the strict policing. I like it for the very reason that talking about echidnas in the Special Snowflake thread is discouraged and lightly policed by the mods and other members. I find it rude to redirect a discussion marked for one topic into an unrelated or vaguely related topic just because a few people find it interesting.