You know what forums need?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by alexschrod, May 11, 2012.

  1. A method of posting off-topic posts in a thread without it being against the rules. There are so many times when somebody says something that I'd like to reply to or correct them for, but where doing so would be way off-topic. So (most of the time) I refrain from posting it. This makes me sad, because it's often something I consider important/funny/useful/interesting, but as I don't want to break the rules or take away from the topic of the thread, I don't post it. So I had an idea. Well, two ideas, actually.

    My first one would be to have the reply form have a check box indicating "this is an off-topic post". These posts would be posted within the same thread, but be hidden by default. Viewers of threads could then opt-in to view these off-topic posts if they wanted to. There could be an indicator in the thread saying "this thread has X off-topic replies" or something like that. Also, a reply to one of these off-topic post would automatically check the "this is an off-topic post" indicator, so that the off-topic posts stayed in the out-of-band discussion channel.

    The other option I could think of would be to let someone reply to a post in a thread as a new thread, perhaps even automatically placing them in an "Off-Topic replies" category for that particular purpose. That way, the off-topic discussion could take place in its own thread, and by virtue of that not actually be off-topic any more. In the original post there could either be an automatic post created saying "An off topic reply to your post has been made in <link to new thread>", or if that would be too disruptive still, merely give the person in question an alert about it, and leave it at that. Others who are interested would probably find it on their own anyway.

    Now, I realize that this would take effort to do, and I don't expect it implemented here at EMC or anything, but I just wanted to get this off my chest as it's frustrating for me to keep all my off-topic replies in check. I feel like I could contribute quite a lot more if there was an acceptable and proper method or mechanism for replying off-topic.
    Yukon1200 and Hasorko like this.
  2. Nested threads.
  3. This is a great idea. I just come from the "Math Help Thread" and I didnt even reach the first post which was not offtopic, before I left the page...
    Yukon1200 likes this.
  4. That's because no one asked anything...