Recently, some very interesting discussions seem to have split up into other equally very interesting discussions.
E.g., this latest "Easy to forget" [started by dheun] started off on the topic of remembering figures but is currently engaged in why men quit.
"Watching 'Dance with Me' again" [started by jofjonesboro] ended up in the olympics.
I don't think the above were simply cases of veering off the topic: I think there are good reasons why the subtopic(s) appeared at some point. Nevertheless I have found all the above topics equally interesting (all the originals plus the spinoffs), and suggest that each receive a separate thread. What say you?
I started a thread about videos because almost every other thread - especially those polluted by Polished - involve that topic. The thread didn't go very far so the interest in dance videos per se is probably limited.
Folks need to remember that we're on a message board and that, people being what we are, discussions will wander.
I would hate to see the establishment of hard and fast rules trying to limit the topics that can be introduced in a thread. Other message boards have such restrictions which, I believe, discourage open and honest exchanges.
Jonathan does a good job of letting us post what we want and have at each other as we may. I suppose that extremely harsh or profane verbiage may warrant some interference but I believe that the board can be self-policing with regard to such material.
After all, considering the freedom which we're allowed, I think that we do a pretty good job of keeping threads on track; the "Dance with Me" thread did return to the movie.
Any conversation which begins in specifics will eventually spread to generalities. These, in turn, will encompass other specifics and the cycle continues.
jj. Definitely. I'm sure almost all of us would not like to be policed by others. Open and frank discussion is what I value highly on this Message Board. But, as you say, this often leads to specifics spreading to generalities. Nothing wrong with that at all. Except that when I use the "Newest On Top" I often read something that has nothing to do with the title of the thread.
I have a suggestion. Each new topic started by someone becomes the "root" of a "tree" structure. As an illustration, consider the current thread, which at the moment goes like this (each message ["node"] is identified by the person posting it):
Now, hypothetically, suppose someone replied to terence2 and got carried away with, say, acronyms (I assume Imao is an acronym), a subtopic is generated. That is an example of what I mean by a spinoff. This acronym subtree could easily branch off extensively.
Notice that every node is the root of everything below it: that is the structure of trees. What I am suggesting is this:
If posters could be able to name their node, in the same way New Topics are given a name, this could greatly clarify certain directions for anyone entering this discussion.
This naming of roots of subtrees does not have to be done at the time the message is posted, of course. One may later edit one's posts and, as I'm suggesting, give it a name if he/she suspects that it has led to a fruitful subdiscussion.
This way, if one uses the Newest On Top display option, one may see, for example, Bifurcating threads--Acronyms (perhaps) in the title, and have a clearer picture of where it is going, or how he/she got there.