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How do you feel about Off-Topic forums?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by slowreflex, May 25, 2012.

  1. slowreflex

    slowreflex Member

    Seems most forums nowadays have an Off-Topic or Random Chat forum. Do you think this is essential to the success of a forum? I guess it increases activity, but it's also distracting from the standard content on the forum. I'm debating whether to add one to my new site or not. What do you think?
  2. whynot

    whynot Well-Known Member

    Add it.
    Threads are going offtopic quickly, move those posts there.
  3. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Personally I see it as an essential component to building a community. An area where your community members can get to know each other on a more personal level, outside of the core topic of the site.

    Let's face it, after a couple of years of chatting about widgets it's quite nice to chat about pets, kids, work life, holidays, post funny videos, etc. (y)
    JVCode, Digital Doctor and Hyperion like this.
  4. Hyperion

    Hyperion Active Member

    An off-topic forum attached at the end of the forum listing does not need to be seen as a distraction. People are still going to your forum for its topic of focus, but an off-topic forum provides further opportunities for members to connect with each other without having to focus on the main topic all the time.

    Relatedly, even if you go to church or an art exhibit, there is still a lounge area where people digress into other matters, while eventually returning to the main topic, going back to the pews or moving on to more paintings.

    I see it as breathing room; a poet, say, might break a line where he anticipates its performer to take a deep breath.

    Finally, there is an excerpt I have often quoted when talking about this topic, though while I am at it I would like to quote the commentary I added to it ("The destruction of mom-and-pop communities"):

    CyclingTribe likes this.
  5. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    It reply depends on the moderators or members who self moderate..
    Off topic needs to have clear rules and those rules need to be enforced.
    Certain O/T topics probably should have their own forum.
    O/T is going to happen unless the forum rules are followed.
  6. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Some forums are just off topic ... nothing on topic !
  7. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    Hyperion quoted me?
  8. DBA

    DBA Well-Known Member

    Looks like that quote he posted from another forum has the same post ID as one of yours here.
  9. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I think it is needed. In most forums, two are needed - off-topic and political.

    But any that can avoid the politics one....like XF...should!
  10. Hyperion

    Hyperion Active Member

  11. slowreflex

    slowreflex Member

    Thanks for your help guys. I understand where you are coming from on this. Makes sense.
  12. CurveGotti

    CurveGotti Active Member

    I also feel like an off topic area serves as a good gauge for sections your site might be missing. If you deal with a primary subject and a lot of off topic posts are being made about a specific item of said topic, but don't actually fit into a section, it's an easy way to notice it's missing.
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  13. Gabby

    Gabby Well-Known Member

    It's generated over a third of the posts here. This either means the software is really good, we have no life or are just a bunch of blowhards. LOL I'm one and three. LOL

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