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  1. #1
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Derailing Threads??
    I enjoy reading Abestweb and other forums, but I must confess, I don't always get the "derailing thread" concept. Oh, I understand the most obvious like two people getting into a discussion about knitting when the thread is about how to put up links.

    A good example of what I don't get is in the recent -- Apathy, PMA -- discussion.

    In that thread people voiced that not contributing to PMA should not be construed as being apathethic to the ad-tax issue and then several went on to explain what their real issues were with PMA. That branch of the discussion was often called-out as "derailing the initial discussion" but what are discussions about if not about the "whys" behind someone's feelings and opinions on something?

    Without it, people should have just posted --

    - Yes, I am apathetic because it hasn't happened in my state.
    - No, I am not apathetic but I can't afford to show monetary support.
    - Yes, I am apathetic because nothing ever changes.
    - No, I am not apathetic but I do not trust those fighting the battle.

    Looks like a poll, doesn't it? If you don't want a real discussion, then why not just put up a poll?

    I guess I just need a better understanding of where the line is drawn on discussion and derailing a discussion.......

    It seems to me if a comment is attached somehow to the original thread title, then it isn't derailing -- it's discussion!?! And isn't that what this forum is about?

    If you cut off every branch of a tree, pretty soon you aren't going to have anything to look at but a dead tree trunk.

    I'm serious about my question. I really don't get all the splitting-off, derailing stuff... other than the most obvious.

    I do know it makes me feel very reluctant at times to post.
    Last edited by leeann; February 2nd, 2010 at 03:01 PM.
    leeann


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  2. #2
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    I was fine with it, sometimes it might go off on little tangents here and there but people were talking about issues, so it wasn't a biggie to me.

    There are times threads might get split if they really go off topic or maybe the thread starter makes a request or something.

  3. #3
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    I was fine with it, sometimes it might go off on little tangents here and there but people were talking about issues, so it wasn't a biggie to me.

    There are times threads might get split if they really go off topic or maybe the thread starter makes a request or something.
    I was fine with it to - even when people didn't agree with me. Isn't that how we learn? Reading opinions and seeing how our own is viewed? It's hard to do though if discussions get split apart and you hop all over the place. That doesn't happen in real life, so I guess sometimes I find it hard to understand why it happens online.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann
    I was fine with it to - even when people didn't agree with me. Isn't that how we learn? Reading opinions and seeing how our own is viewed?
    Yep. Nobody is dying in these threads or anything. In general I like letting threads be, let people talk whatever they want to talk about (within board rules of course) even if people disagree, sometimes might even fight a little bit. People are passionate about some subjects and there have been threads in the past where it looked like it was going down hill and it worked itself out. And threads I have no interest in for whatever reason, I just keep it moving and stay out of it.

  5. #5
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    In my humble opinion, it's up to the original poster to decide if the thread he/she started is derailing or not. It's really not that big a deal if there are some off topic discussions going on. I enjoy reading different opinions and join the discussion when I feel like it.

    I don't like to hop around and try to find the threads that have been splitted out either. Just very confusing especially when I'm not folloing a thread from the begining.

    Trust, I love your new Avatar. Oops, off topic. Sorry Leeann

  6. #6
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly
    Trust, I love your new Avatar. Opps, off topic. Sorry Leeann
    lolol -- go for it! I promise not to call you out as a derailer.. speaking of which, I like it too, Trust.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  7. #7
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Not that I would know anything about posting my controversial opinions in a thread and derailing the heck out of it -

    But I'll pitch in anyway!

    I understand why a mod would merge some threads, but it should be up to the OP if they want a mod to come in and split it.

    Lord knows I've had the mods NUKE many threads of mine in the past...

    But that's because I can be an opinionated idiot at times.

    Overall, they're doing a great job...

    I totally understand Mike's new "kinder and gentler" affiliate site and have no issues w/ the way he is trying to do it. :

    We just have be aware that there are mods out there that get a little trigger happy at times ( pointing at me? - ) and it's prolly a good thing to have a thread like this to point out feelings on the matter.

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  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
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    I apologize if I made anyone feel uncomfortable, that wasn't my intent. I saw the possibility of that thread going down a road that wasn't needed. I wasn't clear in my posts, and didn't want to restrict conversation, but I truly felt that the discussion of a new way to address the sales tax issue with a task force deserved a thread of it's own and not be tangled up in the us vs. them mentality. I also felt that AA being mixed in there wasn't entirely appropriate.

    But other folks overrode my recommendations and that is what this place is all about. Sharing ideas, butting heads and in the end we all learn something... or not

    I'll most likely be staying out of that thread in particular because I think the points have all been made and anything new is... well new... and probably deserves the attention of a thread devoted to it.

    There times that I recommend a new thread, or Michael does, is when the new point deserves the attention of a discussion of it's own so it won't "get lost" in the discussion of something that some people choose not to read. So the discussion of forming a task force will get lost because now people saw a thread "go south" and they won't read it anymore.
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  9. #9
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    how about those chargers

  10. #10
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    I apologize if I made anyone feel uncomfortable, that wasn't my intent. I saw the possibility of that thread going down a road that wasn't needed.
    Loxly, I just used that thread as an example. Didn't mean to seem like I was pointing fingers. I meant for it to be more general and that thread was the most recent one to use as an example.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
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    It's a good example.

  12. #12
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    It's a good example.
    WE LOVE YOU DEB!

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbshouse
    how about those chargers
    Personally I like the Mustang better..............especially if we could get Teddy Roosevelt to ride in and derail the sales tax issue.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
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  14. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    leeann, thanks for starting this post. I thought that it was a free form conversation but there certainly were a battle of wits with several of the posters. Lots of past history and back channel drama came out on it.

    mayfly: In my humble opinion, it's up to the original poster to decide if the thread he/she started is derailing or not. It's really not that big a deal if there are some off topic discussions going on. I enjoy reading different opinions and join the discussion when I feel like it.
    IMHO a mod should offer to split and agree that the decision falls on the original poster.

    We don't need more rules or regulations. The forum has been changed to make people feel more comfortable posting their opinions and mods are there to keep the flamers and personal attacks at bay. Once a moderator gets involved in the conversation they relinquish their position as a moderator and become a poster. That is my personal opinion not a rule!

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witzer
    Personally I like the Mustang better..............especially if we could get Teddy Roosevelt to ride in and derail the sales tax issue.
    I like the color green.
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    "Trust, I love your new Avatar. Oops, off topic."

    ooooowww, Trust got all dressed up for LOST!

  17. #17
    Member vicjg's Avatar
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    Wait! We can discuss knitting

  18. #18
    Member dcangel13's Avatar
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    If we're going off topic, I like the color CLEAR. LOL

  19. #19
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    My favorite color is chrome.

  20. #20
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    When I left ABW - was it 2 years ago? - one of the reasons was the original PMA thread.

    We simply weren't allowed to discuss it - unless the post was tacit agreement with one person.

    The fact that it IS being discussed again - regardless of who agrees or disagrees - is in itself a major improvement.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Ho hum. I'm just a beige sort of guy.
    Generate more fake news.

  22. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I realize this thread is from last week, but I was out of town so I didn't get to chime in with my thoughts.

    I think a split, a move or a title change can make a lot of sense in many cases, but (especially in the case of a split), it has to be done fairly quickly. In the PMA thread, I think a couple of the tangents would have been good to split off, but once they got so many (intertwined) responses it just wasn't feasible any more.

    One thing we have to realize is that there are really three audiences for every thread, and all three need to be taken into consideration:

    1) The original poster. If a post or a series of posts derails the original topic, the original topic doesn't get the attention it deserves.
    2) Those participating as the thread is developing. It can be hard to follow when multiple topics are going on at once.
    3) Those browsing or searching later. A thread with 5+ pages of responses covering numerous topics, where some topics are buried deep within thread just isn't very helpful. When a thread is well titled and tightly focused, there's a much better chance that it'll be helpful.

    I know we like to focus on those first two groups (ourselves!), but that third group is a very important one, too. ABW is more than just a community. It's a very valuable repository for affiliate marketing information.

    Quote Originally Posted by leeann
    If you cut off every branch of a tree, pretty soon you aren't going to have anything to look at but a dead tree trunk.
    Taking that analogy to the opposite extreme, if you leave a garden to grow on its own without trimming, transplanting, weeding, and watering, you're going to have quite a mess. There's a balance somewhere in between, and I think we do a good job with our balance here.
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  23. #23
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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