Moderation for when things get off topic?

As much as I like these forums, it honestly gets kind of annoying when I go to a post and it is completely off topic and there’s no way to get back to the topic without someone derailing it again. Maybe we should have slightly stricter moderation on when things go really off the rails? I want to make it clear I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but again it gets really annoying.


And on that note, I feel like I bookend posts so I would like to politely demand that somebody always has to post after me


This is part of my beef with Discourse’s linear style. People will always go off-topic and start posting (for example) about their beef with the forum system itself in a topic intended to discuss a moderation issue. In a more obviously threaded forum, those branches are at least distinguishable from the trunk of the conversation, and can often be collapsed by default.


One of the flag options is for off-topicness.


I agree with you, but more importantly, who here likes bratwurst?


That’d be nice, I guess. But I haven’t really noticed a profusion of threads which start out with a title like, “Jumpsuit Designs” but then swerve into being 50 postcards from someone’s trip to Tibet. Are there really that many threads like that? :thinking:


I also wonder if I’m just not diving deep enough into the topics to see this digressions…


There are a few. The delightful Mundane Accomplishments thread (Show us your most recent mundane, stupid, non-MST3K accomplishment - #56 by Pearls_Mint) has kind of turned into a Deep Audiophile-Nerd Equipment thread.

Edit: to be clear the initial audio equipment post was totally on-topic, but then some people got REAL excited about audio hardware and ran with it. It’s nice that they’re excited about talking about it, anyway!


Lol. I guess that part could be spun off. Or I could just scroll to avoid the shame of relating how [own audio issues redacted for being too off-topic].


I haven’t seen that many threads swerve into just random discussion, but probably the only thing for it is to politely ask that the different conversation be taken to a new thread.

Or just preface your post with something along the lines of "dragging this back to the topic … " folks will usually get the hint.

Reality is, off topic-ness happens I say this after decades of experience moderating everything from boards (yes, children, I’m old) through forums, Yahoogroups, FB groups, you name it.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . so, do you all like mittens?

(I like @LadyShelley’s suggestion of a “dragging this back to the topic” preface if it has to come to that, something along those lines.

And at the same time, I’m also with @KHalleron’s below comment about most of the topics representing something like conversation starters.)


I see most of the topics as just conversation starters.

I wouldn’t ask the mod (which I think is just Lesley at this point) to herd cats.


Conversations evolve. They have natural progressions. They branch. They follow the whims of the people having the conversation. I can either go with the flow, try to bring it back around, or move on to another topic.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t need an Option D there.


So a brief excursus of a few posts about Mundane Accomplishments deserves its own thread? Although fitting the topic of the thread perfectly.

Perhaps one might consider being a bit more judicious in the attention one lavishes on clearly tangential micro-exchanges.

As one does in life.


It happens just in a regular conversation, too. Even if you start out talking to someone about your years in Tibet, you’ll end up sharing mutual experiences on eating M&Ms with no idea how you got there. :slight_smile:


You’re on notice, @optiMSTie.

The law is coming down on you!

Margaret Dumont is not happy with your tomfoolery, nor am I!

And, no, one does not “like” “mittens,” whether here or elsewhere.


Oh I don’t care, I just gloss over the audiophile posts. (Though given the number of posts on that subject I personally wouldn’t call it “brief” or “a few” or “micro”, but we can have different standards on what “a lot of posts” is.) Anyway, some people said they hadn’t seen any examples of a topic going off in a whole different direction, and that one came to mind.

It’s kinda cute when people really geek out.


I, for one, would be pleased to share a game of afterlife cards with the one and only Margaret. <3

[honk honk]


Not exactly, but I think I upset this woman back in April sometime by handling her Tarot cards without explicitly asking her. No, I think I said, “Oh, cool, you read cards?” And absent-mindedly started fingering one and then several of them, without disturbing their cleanliness. Didn’t seem to be a problem.

I mean, we were at her kitchen table drinking and chatting, so it wasn’t completely random, but I don’t think she cared for that. No, she didn’t say anything, but I think she was not impressed by my cavalier attitude.

Famous, famous people? No, I don’t think so. I guess most of them would have been academics, who probably didn’t even know what a business card is.


Looks like the community is providing a test case scenario for the original intent of this post.