Poll

Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?

Yes
41 (40.6%)
No
44 (43.6%)
I don't care.
16 (15.8%)

Total Members Voted: 99

Author Topic: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?  (Read 10222 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« on: February 09, 2013, 11:20:17 am »
As the title says.
There has been an increase in off-topic posts recently. And I've been stopping these in their tracks.
But it was suggested that there should be an off-topic section (with the usual no personal attack rule of course).

I can see pros and cons both ways, but mostly cons IMO.
i.e. off-topic stuff showing up on the unread posts list.

What does everyone think?

Dave.
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 11:32:30 am »
People are always going to want to post something off topic - sometimes a little way off other times a long way off. There have been quite a lot of the latter recently (climate), but some would argue that some things (hybrid cars) had some relevance.

While I don't think I would read any, an area for off topic posts would at least put all the dross in one place, preferably with a "mark as read" button above the lot of them

Neil
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Offline Bloch

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 11:41:17 am »
Not needed.


But I do miss the chat window.


 

Offline firewalker

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 11:49:15 am »
If you could prevent it form "Show unread posts" go ahead. I don't think it is something essential though.

Alexander.
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Offline GeoffS

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 11:50:37 am »
 :--

As this is an electronics forum I think any topic posted should have some connection to electronics.

There are any number of forums devoted to politics, religion, perpetual motion and other types of snake oil. If you feel the need to post on the subject, join one of them.
 
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 12:01:28 pm »
:--

As this is an electronics forum I think any topic posted should have some connection to electronics.

There are any number of forums devoted to politics, religion, perpetual motion and other types of snake oil. If you feel the need to post on the subject, join one of them.

Agreed, but as someone will ignore this and post anyway - lets give them somewhere out of the way they can post and the rest of us can ignore. (unless we get a lot of audiofools - I do enjoy a laugh)
Neil
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 12:07:34 pm »
Agreed, but as someone will ignore this and post anyway - lets give them somewhere out of the way they can post and the rest of us can ignore.

I guess it should ultimately come down to either having an off-topic section, or banning off-topic stuff entirely  :-//
Up until now it's been a bit wishy-washy, with the "occasional off-topic post allowed".

Dave.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 12:08:18 pm »
:--

As this is an electronics forum I think any topic posted should have some connection to electronics.

There are any number of forums devoted to politics, religion, perpetual motion and other types of snake oil. If you feel the need to post on the subject, join one of them.

Agreed, but as someone will ignore this and post anyway - lets give them somewhere out of the way they can post and the rest of us can ignore. (unless we get a lot of audiofools - I do enjoy a laugh)
Neil

If we don't have a special area for them to post, perhaps they'll go elsewhere. We lose the loony posts and the loony posters, that's a win-win situation.
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 12:10:05 pm »
Nope, imo the current General section is enough, its just moderators should be more proactively move new created threads in this particular crowded section to each of their own respective sub-sections, like noob beginner electronic related question thread, should be moved to Beginner section, or like tear down thread, move it to Product Review section and so on.

Offline EEVblog

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 12:15:15 pm »
If we don't have a special area for them to post, perhaps they'll go elsewhere. We lose the loony posts and the loony posters, that's a win-win situation.

It's not just about the "loony" stuff though.
I've found it quite common that some people will only be active on one special interest forum, and they grow to trust people on that forum and respect their opinion etc, so often it's a natural place to ask off-topic questions like "which camera should I buy", or "does anyone know how to fix my plumbing problem" etc even though the odds are lower of someone knowing the answer.

Dave.
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 12:18:21 pm »
Nope, imo the current General section is enough, its just moderators should be more proactively move new created threads in this particular crowded section to each of their own respective sub-sections, like noob beginner electronic related question thread, should be moved to Beginner section, or like tear down thread, move it to Product Review section and so on.

This is just misplaced posts that, given notification, the moderators can take care of. What Dave is referring to is the completely off topic posts i.e no electronics content at all.
 

Offline Christe4nM

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 01:01:12 pm »
IMHO this is an electronics forum. So naturally we talk about and discuss electronics related topics. There are many general forums where about every other bit of topic can be discussed. I think the general chat section offers enough bandwith for "slightly-less-electronics-related" topics. It's up to our admin and moderators where the limits to "slightly less" are placed.

Apart from that I've experienced on another forum that an off topic section can turn into a place where a certain subset of forum users is very active, resulting (almost) in a "clan" with their own language, inside jokes etc. Almost even dictating the forum ethics (since they are long-term users and familiar with the moderators on personal level), and at least resulting in a polarization to those who belong to the clan and those who don't. This also flowed into the non-off-topic sections. Now I am not saying that this is sure to happen, it might have been just the culture of that particular forum. I just think that it should be taken into account.

Lastly, there is a risk that in time the off-topic section will overshadow the electronics sections. By that I mean that the off-topic section becomes the hang-out place instead of the electronics-related sections. I think that's very undesirable. Again, that is just my experience elsewere and YMMW.

One of the great things of the EEVBlog Forum IMHO is that every user is welcomed, and long-term users and short-term users are considered equal. In due time some members rightfully got the reputation as very knowledgable, nothing wrong with that; they still keep sharing and helping the very beginners along. I've experienced this forum as a place where first and foremost our knowledge and experience in electronics is shared. I think it should be 'that', since that works.

So my vote is a big NO to an off topic section.
 

Offline SLJ

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 02:23:38 pm »
 :--  There's enough other forums out there to discuss things off topic.   Open topic forum discussions tend to get out of hand pretty quickly.

Offline David_AVD

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 02:29:33 pm »
To be honest I get sick of wading through all the politics, conspiracy, etc shit.  There are plenty of other forums where those posts are welcomed.
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 02:34:39 pm »
IMO off topic will add more negatives than positives. This forum seems to have a generally good camaraderie :-+  so why encourage a avenue that has a high potential to degrade that?

Offline andersm

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2013, 02:36:01 pm »
If it means all the crap Reddit threads can be put into one place where no-one ever has to see them, awesome.

alm

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2013, 03:31:13 pm »
I agree that an off-topic forum will probably require a lot of attention from the moderators. I don't really care either way, whichever way is more effective to keep them from clogging up the unread posts list. If there would be an off-topic forum, I would never visit it.

The advantage of having an off-topic forum is that the threshold for moving threads there will be lower than for closing threads all together.
 

Offline helloworld922

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2013, 03:38:57 pm »
My vote is no, I don't think the wild snake oil and random junk should be here.

However, there are some things I do think would be nice to have which aren't nicely covered by other current sections:

1. A site feedback section. Maybe split the feedback section into stuff dealing with blog and stuff dealing with the site/forum?

2. Perhaps a section dedicated to "identify this" (some electronics component/device)? A single thread with hundreds or thousands of post mixed together doesn't seem to work that well IMO

3. A place for "lighter" electronics-related stuff, such as jokes or funny finds. I guess this is kind of what I would like this off-topic/general chat section to be in the first place. I saw that Simon had proposed something similar.

Just my 2 cents.
 

HLA-27b

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2013, 04:28:57 pm »

3. A place for "lighter" electronics-related stuff, such as jokes or funny finds. I guess this is kind of what I would like this off-topic/general chat section to be in the first place. I saw that Simon had proposed something similar.


You've got a point.
General chat sounds exactly like "Dump it here if you don't know where else to put it"
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2013, 04:34:12 pm »
There seem to be some members here that use most of their time posting non-electronics subjects already. Giving them open permission will flood this place with more junk..... Please no.
 

Offline jaqie

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2013, 05:20:17 pm »
The lack of a "crap" section is actually one of the big reasons I really like this forum, it's only electronics, none of the braindead banter and crap that infests all the other forums out there.
 

Online MikeK

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2013, 05:25:48 pm »
The question is: If you create one to "try it and see" and then decide to shut it down, do you lose valuable members?...Or do you just lose the cranks?

Something else I'm wondering about: What if it was only available every other month, or every third month?  What happens to the cranks' behavior?  The Interwebs gives cranks 24/7 access.  Would they do something constructive if they couldn't vent all the time?
 

Offline IanB

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2013, 05:45:42 pm »
I don't think there is a need for a special off topic forum. It would dilute the forum and make extra work for the moderators.

I think off-topic posts are a matter of balance and common sense. I hope that if I occasionally happened to start an irreverent or non-electronics related thread in General Chat it would be tolerated, as long as I didn't make a habit of it, and that I balanced it with plenty of on topic threads.

If people really want to go mad we could direct them to www.crazyontap.com, where off-topic posts are the only posts that are on topic.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Sionyn

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2013, 08:01:44 pm »
its very simple

when you are considering any matter ask your self ONLY what are the facts
eecs guy
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: POLL: Should there be an Off-Topic Forum section?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2013, 08:16:07 pm »
I vote no.

General chat already has a charter that allows "slightly off topic" threads which should be enough (with appropriate moderation).

However, given the recent "test equipment obsession" thread I wonder whether a separate forum for discussion of test equipment might be useful.
 


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