Is veering off topic really wrong?

When I get with my model railroad buddies the topic of conversation is
never always about trains or modeling. We talk about everything else
as well. The common interest and reason we get together is the hobby
of model railroading.
Are newsgroups like this more like a model railroad club where other
topics are discussed and the common interest is the hobby, or is this
newsgroup more like the editorial section of Model Railroader magazine
where the content is strictly on the topic of model railroading? At MR
they regulate the topics because they can and should but you know what
I mean. Obviously we go off topic all the time but is that so bad? I,
like all of you, have other interests and opinions beside model
railroading.
I guess the argument to staying on topic is that if I want to discuss
things that are off topic do it with my buddies but keep the topics
here limited to model railroading.
As in "real life" no one wants to hear someone go on and on about a
topic that has no common interest or topics that are very
controversial but I think keeping it generally on a model railroad
theme with the occasional larger discussion is alright and even
enlightening sometimes.
We are self regulated here. If I started posting FREE MARTHA or TRY
THIS LONG DISTANCE SERVICE every day everyone would agree these are
useless topics here. However, if I posted a message about, let's say,
trains in movies, and then the topic veered off to what you thought
was your favorite movies would that be so bad?
CBix
Reply to
Charles Bix
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yes, it is. I have many interests outside of model railroading. When I go to the Airshow board, I want to hear what is new about airshows or any other interest that I can focus on. I have political interests, which I feel are of no value expressing on this board. All of the blabber here tends to take away from that focus, model railroads, and becomes a waste of time. Now, that being said, I have struck several relationships with folks on this board, which continue to this day. We discuss many things; train related on this board, and other items away from this board..
Don Cardiff Model Railroad Design Kaneville, IL
Reply to
CBT2000
I suspect you'll get a lot of answers on both sides of that question. I also participate in rec.woodworking where about 1/3 to 1/2 of the posts (300-400 a day) are off-topic. Unless they get ridiculously long, nobody seems to mind much. We get about one post a month complaining about them.
A lot of your attitude depends on whether your newsreader allows you to easily filter out subjects and posters. If you're going to spend a lot of time in newsgroups, I strongly suggest a dedicated newsreader. I'm using Gravity, but a lot of folks swear by Agent.
Reply to
Larry Blanchard
Thread drift is fine for the most part. The problem with thread drift is when some start to use only certain four letter words. Donald
Reply to
Donald Kinney
I always picture this as sort of like a big lecture hall.
One by one we all get up and speak our piece. Thus starts a thread. The audience members start muttering amonst themselves, thus the thread fractures into many different directions, as audience members muttering in the lecture hall won't all be saying the same thing.
Just my analogy.
Jay CNS&M Wireheads of the world, unite!
Reply to
JCunington
What about 4 letter words like:
Geep, Dash, Jack, Frog, Tank, Kato or even Choo.
Reply to
Slingblade
I did say certain four letter words. The above words right now look okay to use in the proper context:-) Donald
Reply to
Donald Kinney
I don't mind folks posting off-topic threads (please include "OT" in the subject line). I can choose to ignore these if I like.
What I don't appreciate is when people hijack threads. I don't want to click on a thread with the subject "Wiring Turnouts" and see it devolve into a discussion of MR club politics, or worse, world politics. When the thread spawns these side discussions, usenet etiquette calls for a new thread, named something like: OT - Politics - (was Wiring Turnouts)
Hope this helps, John
Reply to
jross
No. it's not outright wrong, but it can become confusing. Wayward threads often start whole new discussions, often very interesting.
The problem is that, at any one time, there may be three or more discussions going on ALL under the SAME thread name. Thus the purpose of the original tread can be obscured. This is one cause of heated arguments. Best to avoid the practice.
It would be better to differentiate such mutations, as some do, with titles like "FORMERLY thread such-and-such", or just "OT (Off Topic) thread such-and-such". Such use would make identifying interesting (or otherwise) threads easier.
Dan Mitchell ==========
snipped-for-privacy@thep>
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
I've been saying that for years...
We have a place for everything else, it's called The Haggis :-)
Andy -----------------------------------------------------------
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Andy Harman
Everybody who supports veering off topic be sure and read the current 500-note extravaganza entitled "Bachmann Spectrum Building Molds destroyed?". The title is a yes or no question. Be sure and download all the notes and read them.
Reply to
Joe
We all saw how that went off topic. I asked a simple questions that only needed a simple answer and then MrRathburne complicates things by opening his big fat mouth with nonsense. I guess the word Troll would describe people like that best. I shouldn't be so hard on him though apparently according to another off topic post here he is having major personal problems and probably just needs to vent. But I wish he'd take up racquet ball or something instead of venting here.
CBix
Reply to
Charles Bix
I wish he'd take the racquet and stick it up his vent.
Reply to
Mark Newton

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