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Is It Important To Stick To The Thread, And If So Then Why?

 
 
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:18 pm
Hi All!

It can be frustrating to have tangents opening up left, right and centre, in the middle of a thread. We all do it though. Is it important that we try harder not to, or do we just carry on regardless?

What are the most frustrating aspects of thread derailment, and is it sometimes helpful?

Thank you All! Have a great everything!
Mark...
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Type: Question • Score: 21 • Views: 6,328 • Replies: 83

 
DrDick
 
  3  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:35 pm
@mark noble,
Good question, it reminds me of the television show Flipper. How did that ever get pitched as a viable show? I mean who sat around and thought to themselves, "I know, we create a series of misadventures around a dolphin...yea, that should sell!" And then, what network execs actually allowed a pilot to be created and then it to be aired for # seasons? Obviously a successful show, but I just don't understand it. I guess that is why I am not a network exec.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:37 pm
@DrDick,
Ha Ha ha ha ha!!!

Nice one!

Kind regards!
Mark...
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:39 pm
@DrDick,
Hi DrD!

Tears streaming down my face!!!

Thankyou!
0 Replies
 
DrDick
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:48 pm
@mark noble,
Oops, sorry about that Smile

So I guess it really depends on why you are in the forum as to the expected ettiquette. It also depends on the type of question.

My personal preference is to:

(1) Read the OP's statement/question and try to decipher what they are really after.

(2) Spend a limited amount of time clarifying OP's premise and assumptions.

(3) Give my best thoughts/opinion.

If I find the thread becoming just another semantic argument with no real substance I move on. If after a few clarifying questions the OP is still going back and forth on what the meaning of the word is, is or if the OP is not able to commit to their assumptions then I move on.

As for other posters that attempt to sidetrack I will try to ask clarifying questions from them as well so that we can agree on a set of assumptions. If once again this becomes laborius with no commitment on definition then I give my thoughts and move on.

Have I ever been the bad person that sidetracks a thread...well unfortunately yes I have. For anyone who's thread I have ever hijacked I officially apologize. Oh, thats right, see above post.
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:53 pm
@mark noble,
I prefer that people stick to the OP if possible. I would however find it interesting if someone could design a friendly tree or spidergraph thread post presentation so that tangents could be visually monitored and only accessed if desired, because some tangents are very productive.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  0  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 06:59 pm
@mark noble,
Hi mark. A pleasure to meet you. (Nice dogs you've got there. Smile )

Quote:

It can be frustrating to have tangents opening up left, right and centre, in the middle of a thread. We all do it though. Is it important that we try harder not to, or do we just carry on regardless?

What are the most frustrating aspects of thread derailment, and is it sometimes helpful?


It can indeed be extremely frustrating (to those actually interested in the thread topic) to have to wade through constant derailments in the hope of following the intended discussion. But some diversions may actually add to the appeal of a thread. There are such instances, from time to time!

For the record, the digressions I find least welcome are those where the same old posters push their same old barrows on threads which often have little to do with the topic under discussion There are instances which come to mind which could be accurately be described as trolling.

Also, when a couple of posters engage in a personal online slanging match ... trading insult after insult, which no regard for others trying to participate in an otherwise interesting thread.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 07:14 pm
@msolga,
Hi Msolga!

Thanks! I love them to pieces!

I understand this completely. I have been attacked on........... most of my threads, probably because I don't restrict the variables enough, but, anyway - We have to try and make the attacker, in these instances, aware of their own actions, if abusive or antagonistic, etc, which in turn - lead us "me" to the odd art of derailing my own threads. I can't avoid this, Can I? Can any of us?

What do you think?

And, thank you Russ, by the way.

Kindest of regards to you both!
Mark...
0 Replies
 
sometime sun
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 08:03 pm
A thread connected to another thread connected to another make for the blanket.
And we all prefer to be warm and comforted so we all weave our own blanket from what ever thread we can sew with.

It's people who cut the thread that bug me.
And yes I am aware I have done this but very rarely and still leave the blanket behind.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 09:46 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

It can indeed be extremely frustrating (to those actually interested in the thread topic) to have to wade through constant derailments in the hope of following the intended discussion. But some diversions may actually add to the appeal of a thread. There are such instances, from time to time!


I don't mind, in fact, I welcome, them. It's a conversation and I love all input, however silly, irrelevant, or off-topic. But then, I'm not a proprietary person.
msolga wrote:

Also, when a couple of posters engage in a personal online slanging match ... trading insult after insult, which no regard for others trying to participate in an otherwise interesting thread.


Surely you jest - when does this ever happen?? Here?? on A2K???
Theaetetus
 
  4  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 12:28 am
Honestly, I think that whoever starts the thread sets the tone that the thread should take. Some threads are meant to be open-ended with diversions and tangents, and others in subjects such as philosophy are an in depth look into some concept with evidence to support the argument. These threads are intended by the OP to be a critical look at literature while also striving towards some sort of scholarly ideal. But of course, chuckleheads are chuckleheads and the Internet is not a place to ever be serious..right?
margo
 
  3  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 12:59 am
Those of us who are old-timers will remember with great fondness Dlowan's Digression threads - where sticking to the topic was frowned upon - and they brought great joy and pleasure to many. (I still have the Old Abuzz ones saved somewhere)

Good work on the Flipper yarn there, DrD....

Perhaps they are the basis for many of us rambling on now....or perhaps us old-timers are just becoming senile.

Maybe the new Philo-crowd - could put something like - no rambling - in the title of the thread!



dlowan
 
  4  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:12 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:

Honestly, I think that whoever starts the thread sets the tone that the thread should take. Some threads are meant to be open-ended with diversions and tangents, and others in subjects such as philosophy are an in depth look into some concept with evidence to support the argument. These threads are intended by the OP to be a critical look at literature while also striving towards some sort of scholarly ideal. But of course, chuckleheads are chuckleheads and the Internet is not a place to ever be serious..right?


Agreed. Except I think there have been lots of threads that have remained on topic and quite serious.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:14 am
@margo,
Quote:
Dlowan's Digression threads - where sticking to the topic was frowned upon - and they brought great joy and pleasure to many.


Gression war verboten!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:33 am
@Mame,
Quote:
I don't mind, in fact, I welcome, them. It's a conversation and I love all input, however silly, irrelevant, or off-topic. But then, I'm not a proprietary person.


It isn't necessarily about being "a proprietary person" at all.
It is more about respecting the nature of a particular discussion. Repeated irrelevant digressions can sometimes kill what might otherwise be a good discussion for those participating. Whereas some humorous topic-related relief from deep seriousness can sometimes be most welcome! (Hello, djjd! Wink Smile )

Quote:
Surely you jest - when does this ever happen?? Here?? on A2K???


Nay, I speak the truth!
Perhaps we have been frequenting different threads, Mame? Wink
dadpad
 
  3  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:38 am
Mark you have the option to control what digression you see simply by clicking the thumbs down.

There is no requirement to respond to any post. if you dont like it simply ignore it.

Btw Msolga Have you been to the titanic exhibition?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:56 am
@dadpad,
Quote:
Btw Msolga Have you been to the titanic exhibition?


No, but it might be best not to tell me about it here, dp! Wink Razz
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 07:21 am
@dlowan,
Yes, the Obama '08 thread for example stayed topical, serious and interesting for an amazingly long time. Then I stopped trying to steward anything after the election, and I barely even check on it anymore. (I gather it's much digressier now tho. ). But for about two years (?) And hundreds of posts, it was actually about Obama '08.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 07:22 am
@dadpad,
Hi Dad1

I'm not sure thumbing down my own posts is likely to aid me!
I wont know what I've written.

Thank you though.

Have a lovely day.
Mark...
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 07:29 am
@sozobe,
The Obama thread was a joy for a couple of years in no small part soz, because of your skill at herding cats.
Sadly, I don't visit it anymore and next week it is scheduled to be shut down in my computer.
0 Replies
 
 

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Mame's Digression Thread - Discussion by Mame
An "Ask Auntie Lowan" Digression. - Discussion by dlowan
 
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