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Proposal - Non BC Related or Off Topic Chat


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As we move to the new boards, I wonder whether Eileen would consider a new category for off-topic, um, topics. It's not that I don't enjoy (or have used) the off topic stuff, but it can clog things up rather. If I'm not mistaken, the new format will allow certain "opt out" features (the invision boards I'm on now do this, anyway), and this might attract more people who aren't interested in the chat.

 

Any comments?

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I dunno,personally I rather enjoy the diversity of this paticular board, it moves from topic to topic at a good rate and generally draws peoples attention on a daily basis all the while incorperating a wealth of specific Border Collie information.

The OT threads that come about usually come at lulls between specific Border Collie threads and gives people a comfortable "lobby room".

 

Perhaps a "Border Collie Discussion only" category would better suit what your proposing?

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Well, I have to admit that I think it would be a little odd to have a topic labeled "Border Collie Discussion Only" on what is supposed to BE the Border Collie Boards already, lol.

 

You don't think it makes a bit more sense to have it the other way around? You're on the BC Boards, but here's a little section labeled for "Off-Topic". Most boards I'm on have a similiar section.

 

Handler's Tent meets a similiar function, but the name implies (as the presence of handlers at a real trial does) that it's only for handlers. Not strictly true, I don't think, in either case - except at trials where the Handler's Tent is labeled as a segregated area, like the Bluegrass some years, or the Finals sometimes.

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I personally don't care how the boards are divided up,I guess my point was why segregate the boards more then is nessesary? with close to 7000 registered users I think this paticular board really doesn't go OT all that much and I feel that many ppl who may not have BCs of their own feel comfortable with this forum as a place to post various semi OT dog related issues.

I think this forum draws more people to the BC boards in general and after all isn't that the reason? To get peoples attention?

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Originally posted by Jack & Co.:

What about "Miscellaneous" or "Odds and Ends?"

That sounds like a viable alternative

Just no reason in my opinion to change the flavor of this paticular forum.

The spread of forums now is quite diversified.

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Great idea Rebecca! I check the board all day to learn about b/cs and live vicariously through those of you who have farms. But I also really enjoy reading, gardening, family stuff, etc., and a separate off topic category would probably streamline those threads. Charlene

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I agree with Rebecca as well. Most days I just skim the subject lines in the general section and it seems there's more and more off topic discussion. Often I don't get past that to actually look at the border collie related stuff. I suspect, though, that whether an OT section is available or not, people will still post lots of stuff to the general section in an attempt to get more people to read. A shame in a sense because it works both ways--that is, while it may attract some folks, it also drives some people off. I joined this board for a discussion of the dogs (border collies)--I can find all the other stuff in other places.

 

JMO.

 

J.

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I'd like to hear maximum feedback on this. It's certainly something we could do.

 

My first reaction is that self-classification might be difficult. Some things are clearly O/T (global warming). But with some topics it's not so clear. Is the current thread on "Your Ideal Boarding Kennel" (designated "Semi O/T" by the OP) O/T or not? What if it's about some injury or problem re a JRT or a retriever -- not about a BC but might contain info relevant to BCs? What if it's about breed specific legislation? PAWS? Or (heaven forbid) a chain store selling dog fur? My concern isn't with answers to these specific questions, but with how much consistency there would be in the way different people would classify them. Besides Julie's concern that people would put O/T things in the General Section to get more readership (and probably not label them O/T, as they do now) there's also a concern that people might put subjects that most of us might consider topical in the O/T section, and they would be lost to everyone who doesn't look in that section (probably a lot of us).

 

If people are good about using the O/T label, I'm not sure why having O/T posts in the general section does any harm. As you browse, you get a warning that the topic is (or may be) O/T, and a subject line to give you a clue whether you might want to read it anyway. Doesn't take much time to breeze by the O/Ts. My impression is that most off-topic stuff on the Boards probably occurs in threads that were originally topical. But if a lot of you feel otherwise, and especially if you have had successful experience with O/T sections in other forums, that's the way we should go.

 

Very timely discussion. Carry on.

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I think it would be odd to have an O/T section.

 

So many things that we label O/T somehow drift back to either general dog-talk or even back to talking about BCs. With all members being dog lovers that is bound to happen a lot. :D Then you might end up with great BC info (or general dog owning info) in the wrong section.

 

The other thing to consider is if O/T posts have their own spot - I think you can expect to see a lot more of them. Is that good or bad? I don't know, but I think it is something else to think about, seeing as this is a BC board.

 

I think that posts are too unpredictable (so one that is on-topic drifts off, and one that is off-topic drifts on), and there is no clear definition of what is on, and what is off topic that is might just get more confusing - especially for people like myself with multiple breeds of dogs - do we need to always post about our other dogs in the O/T section? My head is already spinning! :rolleyes: I personally like it the way it is as long as posts are label O/T.

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I do realize that an OT section might encourage more Off Topics (lol). But the question is whether we do want to encourage more personal insight and communication, or whether we just want to stick to "on topic" in general.

 

I'm on several dog boards that have an off topic area and it rarely gets any more heated than what I've seen here.

 

Honestly Eileen, the OT's are starting to overwhelm me a bit - as Julie said, I rarely look at "general" anymore. Do we want a chatty board or a board that has a chatty section or two?

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While initially I liked the idea of an O/T section, I think Eileen brings up very good points of defining what is O/T. I DO think that this community does a VERY good job of highlighting O/T posts in the subject line.

 

I think the reason folks bother to post O/T (many of which are animal related anyway) here is because we've come to know and trust each other and value the opinion of the folks who frequent here. It's having good friends.

 

I certainly would feel very weird about posting about getting a new kitty in the motorcycle forums I frequent - but here I know you are all animal lovers and could share in my joy. (No, haven't gotten a new kitty, just example).

 

I think making O/Ts in a separate section would not be the best solution and I think many folks would have a very difficult time distinguishing what is or isn't really O/T.

 

Perhaps a better solution for posts like Global Warming or gardening which are clearly not related and very likely not going to involve talking about animals is to have a section for general chat of some kind that while is considered O/T is more likely of little interest to most of the community here - but would still have a home amongst friends.

 

The key to creating a new section would be in what you name it.

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I like that we are free to make O/T posts, and I think that having them in this section does minimize them and keeps them streamlined.

 

Also, I like that we can really discuss anything dog related like boarding kennels or dogs of other breeds, on occasion.

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I'm pretty flexible so I don't really have a strong opinion one way or the other. There are days when the O/T subjects interest me and other O/T's that I don't bother with. I have noticed that what started as "on topic" discussion can move away from the original post. I've also noticed that there are times I've missed a very good discussion because the topic 'changed'

If I'm posting O/T, I try to be specific in the subject line and most people seem good about that.

I like these boards, I like the people I've met and I like to think of many as 'friends'.

So, whatever is decided, I'm comfortable with the decision. How's that for a great FENCE sitter :D:rolleyes:

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I would like the ability to avoid wading through O/T posts, not always but sometimes. A separate section would do that.

 

I would like to also propose, for discussion purposes, whether it might be worth having a section titled something like "New to Border Collies". There are days I feel like reading and maybe helping respond to those kinds of posts, and there are days when I just want to skim for new topics that haven't been addressed many times before but can hardly find them amongst all the repeat topics. Creating a section for "New To Border Collies" posts would not only allow some of us to skim that section lightly when we felt like it, but perhaps more important would make it easier for newbies to do focused searches for the answers to "basic" questions. At present, that sort of information is spread across at least 3-4 sections.

 

Of course anyone could still read and post in whatever section they wanted. I'm not suggesting that we should segregate into different communities, just that we create a place where newbie questions and the corresponding answers could concentrate.

 

Good idea? Bad idea?

 

While I'm at it, I don't want to miss this opportunity to thank Eileen and Heather for keeping this great board going through thick and thin. Thanks!

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Ooh, I like the new to Border collies idea! I'd haunt it because I never tire of certain questions, most questions really - but I know others get annoyed that the newbie can't or won't use the search function.

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I really don't care weather there's OT posts or not. I just look through most of the new posts every night anyway. I kind of enjoy reading some OT posts once in a while, but I probably wouldn't have the time if it was in a different section. Just my two cents

 

The only thing I see wrong with the "OT" section, and the "New to BC's" section is that people can't or wont go between both all the time, and it will split up the main section for questions people need answers for.

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I see a problem with the New to BCs - I fear that more people won't look there because you do just have to type a lot of the same thing over and over again. Some people would for sure, I know I would try to but would never get to it as much as usual.

 

When they are all together I find it easier to post the welcomes and "how to teach a dog its name" again and again, but if I had to go into a different section full of just those posts, I don't know....

I would just hate for "newbies" to get neglected and to feel strange having to post in their own section...

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Predictably, I like the current version with its bit of chaos. If you don't like chaos, think of it as diversity .

It would seem a little artificial to have strict rules about what you can or can't say in the general section.

Speaking strictly, many of the things discussed there could be moved into the "companion BCs" section (maybe we should try to use that more, so that the "serious folks" can have a break :rolleyes: ). And some could be moved to the working section (one day I'll feel real enough to post my h****ing questions there :D ), or the health section, etc.

I enjoy the fact that no one is too pedantic here, and I enjoy reading though all the various topics every morning. But maybe that's easy for me to say because I only read this one forum...

 

edit:

 

When they are all together I find it easier to post the welcomes and "how to teach a dog its name" again and again, but if I had to go into a different section full of just those posts, I don't know....
I feel the same way about this.
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