Threads getting off topic

One thing I’ve noticed that I liked better about the old boards. With the new linear thread setup, when a thread gets off topic it’s hard to skip the posts I don’t care about and just read the ones I do care about. In the old tree setup, I could just ignore the branch that I didn’t want to read. Now I’ve got to hunt through all the off topic discussions to get to the real posts. (ie, what do I-bots floating around space have to do with Ken’s question of the week about the 2002 game?)

So if you want to start a discussion that’s off topic from the original thread, could you please start a new thread in the appropriate forum?

Mike

*Originally posted by Mike Soukup *
**
So if you want to start a discussion that’s off topic from the original thread, could you please start a new thread in the appropriate forum?

Mike **

or if you’ve found one thats started, thats totally off topic, report the post (the first off-topic one) to a moderator, and that whole discussion from then on can be broken off to a new thread, very easily.

What about the chit-chat forum?

he’s talking about regular threads, that mid-thread start to get off topic…

they were intended to have one topic, and then they turn into discussing something totally different about 8 posts down…

*Originally posted by EddieMcD *
**What about the chit-chat forum? **

thats prob where the off topic posts will be moved to. thats the whole point of that forum.

Ah. So it’s OK if we go off topic there?

…have been on th forum and not gotten off topic? In the last week or so it seems like there haven’t really been many people on the boards. Those of us who have been here have found a way to breat up the monotony, we’ve gotten some of the staleness out. I don’t really have much room to speak here, I’m one of the off topic posters, but come on. Much, not all, of the stuff with off topic conversations is in the mill or chit-chat. Where are you going to move the chit-chat threads to? If you look at the threads with most of the off topic posts, most of them haven’t been replied to by anyone but the few of us for days. I don’t mean to sound negative or whatever, but think about it before you start complaining.
C~ya,
Carolyn who posts off topic but because something in a thread has triggered an idea about something else.

*Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan *
**…have been on th forum and not gotten off topic? In the last week or so it seems like there haven’t really been many people on the boards. Those of us who have been here have found a way to breat up the monotony, we’ve gotten some of the staleness out. I don’t really have much room to speak here, I’m one of the off topic posters, but come on. Much, not all, of the stuff with off topic conversations is in the mill or chit-chat. Where are you going to move the chit-chat threads to? If you look at the threads with most of the off topic posts, most of them haven’t been replied to by anyone but the few of us for days. I don’t mean to sound negative or whatever, but think about it before you start complaining.
C~ya,
Carolyn who posts off topic but because something in a thread has triggered an idea about something else. **

Heh i also post off topic, but usually just in response.

That doesn’t make you any better than the rest of us. You are still posting off topic. Shame on us for doing this human thing. :frowning:

*Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan *
I don’t mean to sound negative or whatever, but think about it before you start complaining.

Call it complaining if you want, I don’t mind. I’m trying to get people to separate the chit-chat from the threads that deal with the competition.

People continuing chit-chat topics doesn’t bother me, but they don’t belong in threads that started out serious. It’s the threads that get off topic that bother me. Instead of completely changing the topic of a thread, start a new one in the proper place. That’s how linear forums are supposed to work.

If you look at the threads with most of the off topic posts, most of them haven’t been replied to by anyone but the few of us for days.

That’s one of my points actually. Since the threads have gotten so far off topic, it’s hard for someone to reply to the original topic.

And don’t get all defensive, I’m just trying to get the conversations to run smoother and make it easier for people to read the forums. If people would stay on topic (and spin off new conversations when appropriate) finding or skipping discussions would be much easier.

Mike

*Originally posted by Mike Soukup *
**

That’s one of my points actually. Since the threads have gotten so far off topic, it’s hard for someone to reply to the original topic.

And don’t get all defensive, I’m just trying to get the conversations to run smoother and make it easier for people to read the forums. If people would stay on topic (and spin off new conversations when appropriate) finding or skipping discussions would be much easier.

Mike **

It kinda happened that people were not posting that the off topic posts came about. It doesn’t mater how that goes though, the point is that it’s hard to keep track of the posts. Even if all of the posts in a thread are on topic this is tough. Some people might react to a post entirely different than someone else. If you want to reply to a post back a few it’s tough. I agree with you about the way theold forums were set up, it is easier to follow. Maybe a poll is in order.
Its not that I’m getting defensive about the whole deal, it just seemed like ou were really pumped up about the situation and wanted a change, NOW.
Truce. No hard feelings?

*Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan *
**
It kinda happened that people were not posting that the off topic posts came about. **

Just because a thread isn’t busy doesn’t mean that off topic stuff has to be posted in it.

i’m not trying to offend you or anything

*Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan *
**
Truce. No hard feelings? **

Of course there’s no hard feelings. I’m not upset, but the way I word my feelings in writing often makes it sound like I am.

As I said, my hope is to make the forums easier to navigate and make it easier to find the desired topics. I don’t expect people to change immediately, just to think before they post something off topic, and to think about starting a new thread. The thing I fear is that once we get closer to the season, people will have good questions and the thread will go off topic and the question will never get answered (ie, a question about the robot software, someone says they used vi to edit their program, then a 5 page religious war erupts between the vi & emacs camps without anyone addressing the question).

Mike

I wouldn’t be too worried about posts being off-topic. There isn’t all that much on-topic posting going on anyway. There isn’t precisely all that much to talk about at the moment anyway. I have a feeling that as the season gets closer, posts will get more on-topic. I agree a bit of the off-topic posting is annoying but there are worse things in the world.

Matt

I still like to think that this forum is still in a testing phase, and Brandon will have a chance to correct whatever bugs or issues this forum might have.

Off-season period is the perfect time for it. Since not much people really pay attention to this place, whatever we say right now really won’t have any effect once season start again. By then, everyone will be so busy talking about robotics it won’t matter anymore. So, let’s just put away our ego (if we have any) and think about this “off topic” issue.

Back in the days with threads, off topic wasn’t exactly too big of a problem because people can always start another thread under one topic. When people were discussing a certain problem, and mindlessly mentioned some side issues, suddenly someone caught up to that little side comment, and started a huge thread under the original message with off topic discussion. Trust me, that’s what made the old forum so much fun in the old days. You can never expect what will appear in any discussion.

But now, it is a problem, as we are not using threads anymore. When I was posting the QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!, I was always afraid some off topic message will lead people off of the original question, fortunately all thee QOTW are still some what within topic. But the problem still remain that, because everyone have to read all the message within a thread, people have to keep track of a lot more things in the discussion.

Unlike the old forum, we cannot ignore posts we aren’t interested in reading. Unlike the old forum, we cannot start off another thread within one thread. So, what we really need to think about is how we want the discussion happen in this place. Now, not everyone will read this message I am typing right now, because it’s off-season. So, we will need to establish some sort of order that’s easy for other people to understand… That’s why I am calling this time the testing period.

HERE is my suggestion:

Add a new button beside “post reply”, and the name of the button: “new side topic thread”

Whenever people have something they know that’s not going to be really related to the original message, they can click that button, and comment about the side topic.

What’s going to happen is that this button will create a new thread in whatever forum the poster want it to be in, and add a message (with the comments and a link to the new thread) under the original message.

Here is a demonstration:

A thread in “general” talking about the “design of a drive system”, a lot of people joining in that discussion expressing their different opinion. Then suddenly, say… Dr. Joe mentioned a little side comments about the drill motors in one of his message, and say… Raul caught that when he is reading through the whole thread. So Raul is going to click that “new side topic thread”, type whatever he want to say about the Dr. Joe’s side comment, then choose the option to make the new thread in “tech”. What that did is post a message in the “drive system” thread saying, by Raul, 'hey… Dr. Joe mentioned something about the drill motor…”, and there’s a link to the new thread.

So finally, someone else goes into the “drive system” and read through all the messages. Then he sees Raul’s drill motor message with a big title “STARTING ANOTHER DISCUSSION ABOUT DRILL MOTORS”, and click the link… A new window pop up showing the new thread in the “tech” forum… Problem solved! No off topic message in the original thread to lead people off, while side topics are still fully discussed as well.

What do you think? Not too hard to make happen, right?
:wink:

*Originally posted by Ken Leung *
**HERE is my suggestion:

Add a new button beside “post reply”, and the name of the button: “new side topic thread”**

Excellent suggestion Ken. A button like that would help people spawn off new topics when appropirate.

Mike who didn’t know this topic would turn into a big debate

Human conversation has a way of drifting from topic to topic.

If there is a particulary “serious” topic i think its one thing, if its just a casual off-season thread its completely different :slight_smile:

Im not saying its a good thing, but it just may be part of life.

I like Ken’s idea. This would be very helpful once the season rols around.
I also agree with Matt L.'s statement about the off topic posting.
I also think that through talking about this we have come up with a good solution. Kudos to us.

*Originally posted by Carolyn Duncan *
**I like Ken’s idea. This would be very helpful once the season rols around.
I also agree with Matt L.'s statement about the off topic posting.
I also think that through talking about this we have come up with a good solution. Kudos to us. **

Why must I always be referred to with a last name included? Didn’t we go over this in the old forum? :wink: Bah.

Matt who finds it ironic that he’s going offtopic on a thread about going off topic