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Author Topic: "Take to other thread" requests  (Read 12396 times)

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MariaE

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2015, 06:07:26 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.

Yup, same here :) EH is the only board I frequent on a regular basis and for exactly the same reason.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

cabbageweevil

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2015, 06:18:13 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.

Another Sarah: have read your whole post with interest, but am responding in particular to the part quoted above.  I wonder a little, whether my interpretation has been "off", re the sub-heading of the "Coffee Break" section: "A cozy folder for non-etiquette-related, get-to-know-you discussions."

Related to my observation in the last post but one in the thread (post by me), that eHell seems to be more formally run, and strictly disciplined from the top down, than the majority of message boards.  I've always had the impression -- reinforced by the above-quoted sub-heading -- that being a participant on eHell is a little bit like being in the army: one is held to strict standards, and likely to be promptly reined-in for getting out of line.  In that context, I've kind of seen "Time For a Coffee Break" as the equivalent of a club / bar to which off-duty soldiers can resort, and relax and have a drink or two, and within reasonable limits, do as they wish, and goof around a bit -- including a fair amount of random chatting, without needing to worry too much about being pulled up for going off-topic.

Perhaps here, re "Coffee Break", I'm wrong and you're right.  If that's so, then to be honest, I could feel a bit less inclined to take part in eHell: order is a good thing, but it can be taken to excess if it denies one the opportunity now and again, to relax and "kick back". In ancient-world terms, I'd take Athens over Sparta any day.

Have just read HorseFreak and MariaE's latest.  Oh, dear -- maybe I'm a bit of a loose cannon in these parts  :) . On the whole, I like eHell -- as it seems actually to operate -- fine: can happily live with it, and hopefully the converse applies too.

Another Sarah

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2015, 07:18:32 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.
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.

Another Sarah: have read your whole post with interest, but am responding in particular to the part quoted above.  I wonder a little, whether my interpretation has been "off", re the sub-heading of the "Coffee Break" section: "A cozy folder for non-etiquette-related, get-to-know-you discussions."

Related to my observation in the last post but one in the thread (post by me), that eHell seems to be more formally run, and strictly disciplined from the top down, than the majority of message boards.  I've always had the impression -- reinforced by the above-quoted sub-heading -- that being a participant on eHell is a little bit like being in the army: one is held to strict standards, and likely to be promptly reined-in for getting out of line.  In that context, I've kind of seen "Time For a Coffee Break" as the equivalent of a club / bar to which off-duty soldiers can resort, and relax and have a drink or two, and within reasonable limits, do as they wish, and goof around a bit -- including a fair amount of random chatting, without needing to worry too much about being pulled up for going off-topic.

Perhaps here, re "Coffee Break", I'm wrong and you're right.  If that's so, then to be honest, I could feel a bit less inclined to take part in eHell: order is a good thing, but it can be taken to excess if it denies one the opportunity now and again, to relax and "kick back". In ancient-world terms, I'd take Athens over Sparta any day.

Have just read HorseFreak and MariaE's latest.  Oh, dear -- maybe I'm a bit of a loose cannon in these parts  :) . On the whole, I like eHell -- as it seems actually to operate -- fine: can happily live with it, and hopefully the converse applies too.
I think we're talking at cross purposes here - I'm not talking about enforcing the rules. Rather that the threads in the coffee break folder run the gamut of types from general discussions that start at point A and end at point ZZ plural Z alpha, to the longstanding "post your story of SS/Cat shenanigans/dinner choices threads that stretch on for hundreds of pages.

In a thread that is a collection of stories, I wouldn't expect someone to start an alternative topic, because it's out of place. I compared it to reading a comic strip because I don't think those threads are discussions, more collections that might come with a running commentary. Quite often the examples of "Can we move this discussion" come from those threads, because that's not what that thread is for, but that doesn't mean that no one can ever discuss anything in a coffee break thread.

Technically from the sub-heading those collection posts wouldn't belong there either, that they do is a sign that the folder isn't as regimented in terms of content and formality, but I do think this comes back to general netiquette - to me those big threads are more like blog posts - generally we read the stories, we comment on them, discuss them a little then move on to the next. If we get sidetracked into newt worship as a result of the post, we don't take over the blog, we create a newt worship discussion board and link to the post. I don't think that's particularly officious, just a way for us to enjoy both things on the one forum. If everything became a discussion, they'd meander anywhere and we'd have no awesome 2000 odd page threads of snowflake stories. So we either protect them from going too far off track or we don't have them. That doesn't mean that other threads can't veer or that topics can only be discussed so far, it just means rather than have one thread going everywhere we have 20 threads that all do different things. I don't think that's locking down discussion, I think it makes it more interesting.

lowspark

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2015, 07:26:57 AM »
I think the fundamental difference between a message board and a live conversation is that the topic you are reading about is defined.  To me, it's more like going to a book club or bible study and someone starts turning the conversation to cooking.  In that case, it's appropriate to say can we stick to the topic at hand and then talk about your favorite bean dip recipes after the meeting. I don't think it's a commentary on how interesting or not the new topic is, merely that it is misplaced in the current thread.

There was a topic a while ago about food thieves at work that turned into cats taking food.  Both can be fun stories, but they are different topics and should be so labeled.

This is exactly what I was thinking. And the bolded is a perfect example. At book club, you don't expect to stay totally on topic of the book 100% of the time. Conversation will naturally drift to other topics and that's ok. But if it becomes all about cooking (for example) and nothing about the book, well then, it's not really book club anymore, it's cooking club. So maybe the cooks ought to start a cooking club and then the book club can go back to being about books again.

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.

And this. I am one of those people who doesn't want to say, "take it to another thread please" but I'm always glad when someone does. It can get really old reading post after post about something that is so completely off topic.

You know, sometimes I will hesitate to post to a particular topic for the sole reason that it means I will see it in my updated threads list for the life of the thread. Do I really want to keep reading this thread after I post to it? So when I do post, it can get annoying when the original topic gets totally ignored, page after page, for a discussion on a topic in which I have absolutely no interest.

So yeah, as long as it's said nicely, I don't see it as impolite to ask people to please start a new thread for this off-topic discussion.
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Redsoil

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2015, 07:49:35 AM »
I actually find it useful if a topic has generated enough discussion, for someone to suggest it have a thread dedicated to it!  It's not dismissive, nor chiding someone to ask politely for the thread to resume its original function and other topics that seem to be generating interest have their own thread.  I don't think the person/s requesting should feel the onus is on them to move the topic - I do feel that's better done by those participating in the spin-off discussion.  Give and take, as in real life, often smooths the way of interactions.
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Yvaine

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2015, 07:56:29 AM »
I just thought about this a bit more, and the only time the request bugs me is when the "tangent" really is on topic, it's just a particular aspect of the topic that the person doesn't like. So if Special Snowflakes has, say, several stories in a row about grocery store special snowflakes, and then somebody pops in and asks if the grocery store conversation can be moved. But they were still talking about special snowflakes! :) I think it's natural that if one person posts a grocery store story, it might remind someone of another, and maybe there'll be a few grocery store posts in a row, but they're all still about special snowflakes and I don't think they need their own thread.

lowspark

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2015, 08:16:34 AM »
Another thing I just thought of. In my book club/cooking club comment above, I might actually be one of the ones who wants to talk about cooking. But that doesn't mean I want to discontinue the book club either. In other words, I want to talk about books at book club but I'm also interested in cooking and therefore want both clubs (or in this case, conversations) to continue. I just don't want to give up books altogether for cooking.

So it not only behooves me if I'm not interested in the new topic, but also if I am, because it gives me an appropriate spot to talk about each.
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Lynn2000

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2015, 10:07:51 AM »
But sometimes the side topics really take over the thread.  A recent example is the fanfic discussion on the Craft Freebies thread.  Obviously this was a topic a lot of people felt strongly about, but it was really taking up a lot of space.  I'd see that the craft freebies thread had a new post and hop in, only to find 3 more contributions to the fanfic discussion.  Most of the topics on the thread went on for just a few posts, but fanfic took up a few pages.  That was one that I feel did deserve its own thread.

This is a great example, because the fanfic discussion wasn't a totally random spin-off--for several posts, it fit in well with the idea of "people trying to take advantage of others' creativity." But then it started to get too specific, to the point where it was probably hard to relate to if you didn't write/read fanfic. I think it was appropriate to redirect the thread at that point, though I was hoping there would be a spin-off thread for fanfic!  ;D
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Bexx27

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2015, 11:00:54 AM »
I just thought about this a bit more, and the only time the request bugs me is when the "tangent" really is on topic, it's just a particular aspect of the topic that the person doesn't like. So if Special Snowflakes has, say, several stories in a row about grocery store special snowflakes, and then somebody pops in and asks if the grocery store conversation can be moved. But they were still talking about special snowflakes! :) I think it's natural that if one person posts a grocery store story, it might remind someone of another, and maybe there'll be a few grocery store posts in a row, but they're all still about special snowflakes and I don't think they need their own thread.

Yes, I think this is it for me, too. People post a lot of driving/parking related special snowflake stories in the SS thread, which I think is a totally appropriate place for them, but I remember seeing requests to take the driving stories elsewhere because they're not "on topic." Well, they are on topic, but that particular subtopic isn't going to interest everyone. Same with the Crafts Freebies thread - graphic design and fan fiction are types of crafts and people discussing freebies related to those subtopics were posting there appropriately in my opinion.

It also bothers me mostly when someone jumps in after only a few off-topic posts. If the thread drift continues for multiple pages, that's different.
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rose red

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2015, 11:24:06 AM »
^ The fanfiction discussion stopped being about moochers requesting free fics and evolved into a general fic discussion, and that's why there was a request to start a new thread. Not because it was boring, but because it became off-topic.

But I agree that on-topic traffic SS stories and free graphic designs are fine in their respective threads and was puzzled when a graphic spin-off thread appeared.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 11:29:41 AM by rose red »

cabbageweevil

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2015, 12:10:47 PM »
Yes, I think this is it for me, too. People post a lot of driving/parking related special snowflake stories in the SS thread, which I think is a totally appropriate place for them, but I remember seeing requests to take the driving stories elsewhere because they're not "on topic." Well, they are on topic, but that particular subtopic isn't going to interest everyone.

Good heavens !  What are the objectors' mental processes, here?  With a First World-based board -- and with the private motor vehicle tending to bring humankind's less admirable traits to the fore -- of course a fair few Special Snowflake anecdotes will be about driving / parking.  I don't drive: so much of the driving / parking stuff lacks meaning / interest for me -- so I just skip over most of it, and maybe groan a little.  I've fantasised about making a "please take the automobilic material to its own thread" post: but people actually doing so, and calling it "not on topic" -- words fail one.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2015, 01:37:49 PM »
That was me, amd key wasn't them not being on topic, it was just they're the most common SS story and I thiht it made sense to me to collect them I'm one spot. There was a bit of personal investment in me for them as well, as in my country we drive on the left so they don't make a lot of sense. It wasn't about the, not being on topic.

cabbageweevil

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2015, 04:08:44 AM »
Katana_Geldar -- I feel that I wrote intemperately; no nastiness intended toward you -- sorry.  Do see your point, and take on board that you weren't implying that the driving / parking material was "off topic".

cabbageweevil

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2015, 10:29:13 AM »
So the consensus would seem to be, that "take to another thread" requests are perfectly OK and sense-making, and serve useful purposes -- though if one is tactful, one won't be too hair-trigger quick to make such a request, immediately upon its looking as though topic drift may be happening.  Thanks, everyone, for views; my wonderings answered, and curiosity satisfied.

I'm not very computer-savvy: and the angle of issues associated with this matter, involving material popping up in people's "unread posts" and "new replies", had absolutely not occurred to me.  I now see that these facilities are located immediately below the "Hello (poster)" which shows at the top of the screen when one is logged in; but I've never used them.

AngelicGamer

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Re: "Take to other thread" requests
« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2015, 10:38:17 AM »
I've been thinking about this and realize that I view it as helpful.  I agree that one should wait until there's been a bunch of posts - maybe around 10ish? - and then ask that it be taken to another thread.  I view it in the same category as "hey, guys, don't talk about medical issues because the thread could get locked".