Suggestion: An off topic post thread.

Lucy

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Fishlore is supposed to be fun. I don't think people should have to keep scrolling back to the OP's post to make sure they have not strayed off topic.
FishLore can be fun however, it should also run smoothly.

I don't know how many forums I've visited a to research a topic only to have people end up talking about Aunt Harriett's Fruit cake recipe instead of the original topic.
it's pretty darn frustrating.

If it's not the poster's responsibility to stay on topic than whose is it?

The moderators? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what most of the complaining is about?
The moderators trying to keep a thread on topic?

If people would show restraint, pay attention to the topic at hand, no would have to scroll back.
 

Meenu

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Fishlore is supposed to be fun. I don't think people should have to keep scrolling back to the OP's post to make sure they have not strayed off topic.
I have no clue if this is off-topic or not at this point, monmouth, so if it's off, I apologize to you.

Fishlore IS fun, at least for regular, long-time members. It's why we stay here, and keep coming back. For the most part, this is because of the moderation team and because we have members who want to enjoy being part of a well-run online community. But the primary purpose of FL is fishkeeping, and helping people keep successful tanks, not our enjoyment. So, in most threads, staying on-topic is important so that the OP's question can get answered.

People absolutely should at least attempt to stay on-topic, in my opinion. In "hot topic" or general discussion threads, that isn't always what happens, and I don't have a problem with that (although the mods do). But for most sections, I think it's important to stay on-topic as much as possible.

Sometimes, we do stray... and so that's when monmouth's suggestion comes in: some other way to handle things rather than just deletion that comes across as heavy-handed.

Lucy ninja'ed me.
 

Regal

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I just went back and read through the thread again.



The OP asked about the ASPCA and fish. The fact that I compared what the ASPCA does now with terrestrial pets and what they could or couldn't do with fish was not off topic. I don't know how else a discussion of the ASPCA and fish could have gone considering that terrestrial animals is what the ASPCA deals with. I'd like to point out to SDS that comparing the regulation of fishkeeping to tobacoo and illegal drugs was a much more off topic leap. SDS also informed us as to the history of the organization and their motivations and goals. Not as great a leap but still pretty far out there. He then gave us a lesson in communication. My point is that, with the exception of the text speak poster, we were all on topic and it was SDS that was off topic.

For me the irritation in that thread, aside from it being closed by a mod who was himself off topic, is that it is supposed to be a discussion and not one person informing the rest of us as to the facts.

I think it’s always good to have a touch of humility. Another example:


Check out post 19 and 22. I don’t think Treefork was looking for validation here. In my opinion he was saying that it’s frustrating to even try to have the discussion because a moderator can simply state their opinion in the last thread and close the thread. The response to his comment was used to twist his words around and imply that Treefork had admitted to some personality flaw.

And yes I realize I’m probably going to be done on Fishlore for this…
 

btate617

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And yes I realize I’m probably going to be done on Fishlore for this…

And wouldn't that be a shame for someone who has been here for a few years and actually has experience with more than 2 species of fish who gives good advise on a regular basis.


Brian
 
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JRDroid

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I am closing this thread. The mods know my suggestion and are apparently talking about it. This thread was not meant to dog on the mods, and I appologize to them for it becoming that and want them to know I appreciate their hard, often thankless work. Most of this discussion could be (and should be) happening in the other thread.
 

sirdarksol

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I apologize for the wait on this. Due to various things, the discussion took awhile.

Here is what we came up with:
First of all, we don't want to make a thread where we just dump off topic posts. It's not a matter of forum space (Mike has an amazing server for the forum... it's going to be a long time before it runs out of space or we run out of bandwidth). It's just that such a thread would be ridiculously cluttered. Finding a specific post in such a place would be nearly impossible.

Second of all, we don't want to have to PM the contents of a deleted post to the member who posted it. In cases where we're deleting numerous posts at once, this can turn a fifteen second process into a five minute process. We don't get paid for this job, and we would rather not waste our personal time on things like this if we can avoid it.

However, this doesn't mean that we just want to ignore the topic. We don't do a lot of deleting off topic posts until after we've made a "please stay on topic" statement anyway. Unless the off topic discussion has no place on Fishlore (such as a non-aquarium-related Hot Topics discussion), we usually include "If you would like to continue debating/discussing this topic, please start a new thread about it." We will likely be sticking with that model.

In the case of extremely off topic posts that have no place in the original thread, but are worthy of their own discussion, we will try to move them. However, "worthy of their own discussion" is a subjective concept, so there may be times where a post that you thought was so worthy disappears. We apologize, but such things happen.
Likewise, when we're splitting threads, there are times that we lose posts. I have lost my own posts in the past. In fact, I have lost a thread that was the effort of an hour's work, due to me trying to move it around the forum. Again, we're sorry, but it happens.

After a "please stay on topic" post, we are going to be less concerned about moving off-topic posts, and more likely to simply delete them.

In any case where we delete a post, we are most likely to do what is called a "soft delete." This will leave a little marker where the post was. The marker will say who deleted the post, and likely a reason (usually it will just say "off topic). If you had info in the post that you really, really want to retrieve, you may certainly request that the moderator do so. It's not a problem if we get a request like this now and then. Again, we don't make promises. Particularly if we get repeated requests for copies of posts that were made after a "stay on topic" post, we may just say "no."

Hopefully this will help people avoid losing important information.
Have a good day everyone.
 
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