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The Forum > General Discussion > OLO forum rule No 1: Keep responses on topic.

OLO forum rule No 1: Keep responses on topic.

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I love this quote from Hasbeen:

<< I believe an original poster gives a thread air, but it is the other posters who give it life. I love those threads that develop a life of their own, with a number of posters taking them all over the place. They are the most fun. >>

( http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5205#141052 )

But where does that leave us in regard to the first OLO forum rule?:

Keep responses on topic.

( http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/rules.asp )

I see lots of posts that are off-topicÖ and Iím as guilty as anyone for doing it.

I was fastidious for a long time about not doing it, but then I loosened up and started to roll with the flow.

Iíve seen only a single example of a post being deleted because it was off-topic.

So it is generally allowed to happen, despite the rule. I mean, no one reports this sort of thing to Graham Young because they are not perturbed by it.

So I guess Iím inquiring as to whether this is a good rule for this forum or whether it needs to be redefined. And if so; how?
Posted by Ludwig, Friday, 22 June 2012 10:31:05 PM
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If half you old fuddy duddies took your meds before firing up your computer we'd be fine.

Redefine rules?

This is as loose as this place has ever been and Graham is trusting us not to balls it up. A little bit of self control and not rambling would be great. Some are just ridiculous with what they post. I've seen some people leave four or five MAMMOTH comments in a row. Have your say about the immediate relevant point and come back to see if the "discussion" has evolved.

I won't click links unless someone has posted the link as evidence of a statement and I'm thinking: 'Shenanigans'. Summarise your link. Don't be lazy. I won't click outside websites.
Posted by StG, Saturday, 23 June 2012 8:05:32 AM
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Ludwig,

I think the key word here is "discretion".

Sometimes, especially in the articles section, someone will drop in a post that goes no-where near the article topic, and is just an opportunity for the poster to bang on about their obsession. Those are the cases where Graham will intervene and remove a post.

Mostly though, if it's done discreetly, going a little off topic is overlooked. In the general section, we're more likely to see a thread meander all over the place, often starting out in Rome and ending up in Timbuktu. It's more or less up to the thread's author to call the shots at the beginning and most of us are usually more interested in the shape the thread takes and the evolving interest that accompanies it.
Posted by Poirot, Saturday, 23 June 2012 9:02:19 AM
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Keeping the responses within the topic is what causes our bureaucrats from being of no use to society. This narrow minded, tunnel visioned approach is what prevents people seeing the wider picture. Look at law for example how the lawyers drift off into all sorts of side alleys. That's why they win for the wrong side of society. If they stayed within the rails of law it'd be totally different & better of course.
When it comes to debate & exposing varied views we get a broader picture & this in turn builds wisdom. It's about learning from others like it or not. It's about learning from other's experiences, their wisdom or lack of it. Life, unlike Academia, is not a single straight line. It meanders like the minds it supports.
Posted by individual, Saturday, 23 June 2012 10:17:49 AM
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Off topic ramblings broadens the mind? I rest my case, your honour.
Posted by StG, Saturday, 23 June 2012 11:09:48 AM
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I think it also depends on the violence of the swerve away from the topic at hand. If we're discussing asylum seekers and I start to regale you all with a recipe for chocolate cake, well....

Most deviations from topic are linked by various associations so that it's a gradual effect - and yes it's the way we learn, in that one thing leads to another.
Posted by Poirot, Saturday, 23 June 2012 11:16:27 AM
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