Off-Topic is Not a Fatality

Continuing the discussion from Important: We need Your Input on the Future of the SocialHub:

The good thing with “off-topic” here is that you can select posts and move them to a new topic where they will become “on topic”. Usually this is done in a natural way, as the moved sub-thread is mentioned in the original topic, so there’s no issue finding where things go, no disruption of the conversation flow whatsoever. Policing, on the other hand, is a nasty habit and, in my case, a painful one: I’d rather not have to do it, ever.

In a thriving community, off-topic messages quickly get away from the original topic to form new conversations. This is fine. A healthy conversation goes through many phases, and free association of ideas is how healthy brains work.


I agree…especially when the topic in question is a technical one, like this forum is made up of…if we don’t allow for conversations to flow naturally, then nothing will ever get done. And a community like this, is especially important to keep things moving…because there are so many projects out there; I, for one, will be aggregating as many of the projects as I can on one of my community’s web sites. I have this week off from work, so, I have time to actually do something with it and get something in the works.

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Would you please list missing projects in #software and/or #programming so we can reach out to them and bring them around?

This is both true and also expresses the problem we need to address.

How far should we force people to engage with “off topic” content directed at them, how do we politely ask people to stop this?

This looks like a good path, how technically do you do this in this forum? And suggestion for a polite wording/process, please.

I find this one a difficult question to answer; if it were me, I would forego the political correctness and politeness and simply tell the person that I’m moving a post to a different topic with a detailed (within reason) explanation as to why I’m doing it; I find that people are a lot more understanding and cooperative if they understand the reasoning behind a moderation action; I understand that in larger communities that can get hard, but see above; within reason. I can speak for myself and can clearly state that I’m more likely to take moderation at it’s meaning if I know why the issue was brought to my attention. A good example? I once on Mastodon reposted a pornographic image that didn’t have a caption; I couldn’t see the image (I’ve been blind since birth, and the little vision I do have sucks in most instances), and I was a fan of the user who posted it, and when the moderator brought it to my attention, I felt terrible that I would do such a thing and not even realize it. Either way, there ended up ensuing a conversation about blindness, and moderator and myself ended up educating each other. The post was taken down, of course. I didn’t mind. Either way, I hope that demonstrates my meaning as clearly as possible.


The thing about communities is that sometimes they just want to socialize or talk about things that are off-topic. That is a natural tendency of any community. At the same time, we also don’t want a lot of off-topic comments that make it hard to follow the discussions.

For most communities I’ve administered, I usually gave specific places for people to talk about off-topic stuff. And if people started getting off-topic within a thread, I would politely recommend that they start a new topic. Sometimes I would even start the new topic for them (in the correct section of the forum) if I thought it was interesting enough to participate in.

A community tends to stay more cohesive when they can talk about other things too. You just have to redirect them to the correct place to discuss it.

And this brings me back to something I mentioned before. Ideally, we federate our communities better, so that people can pick and choose which topics they are interested in. This would give people a choice in what they see and don’t see, all delivered via ActivityPub.

But, back to my main point. Communities are messy. Sometimes you just have to help people organize their discussions.

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What we need…a list of off topic forums in here so that off topic discussions can flourish, not be frowned upon. Nearly every community I run, too, has them, and it works out well; moderators can spend time in the community socializing with our flock rather than beating the off topic horse, so to speak.

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What is the #UX for splitting a thread on this forum? I can’t find this option in the #UX

It is “Select Posts…” from the top-right icon next to the thread. After selecting you get options to move.

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Thanks :slight_smile:

Was thinking more on the subject of “off topic”

“It can be difficult for more liberal people to understand the concept of pushing chaos in order to balance rigid structures and create a more equitable system. This idea is simply perceived as disruptive or unsettling, and is met with resistance. However, it is important to remember that the goal is to create balance and promote fairness, rather than causing chaos. It’s hard but important to communicate this clearly and effectively to help others understand the reasoning behind it.”

How do you add tags to the forum beyond the ones that are already in use?

You can type new tags as well as choose from existing ones. When typing a new tag you can create it at the same time.

Have tried a cuppal of ways but can’t work out how to add use tags, tied the tag feald and + wrighting tag then clicking on the tag, tryed just wrighting tags in text with #infrount etc.

If that is not possible, then it is restricted by privilege settings in the admin section of the forum.

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Let’s try a #hashtag , as far as I can see the is no way to add a user tag in the post reply.

Try to create this one #openweb on an original post, not working as far as i can PUSH

Maybe it’s the admin thing?

UPDATE hashtags adding now working