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View Full Version : Changes to the off-topic forum...


sheldon
01-07-2010, 01:39 AM
Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to give you all a heads-up that we'll be retiring the OT forum and merging it into the General Knitting Forum. This was the way off topic threads used to be way back when, so we are just returning to our roots.

It seems the OT forum has become less and less active over the years and I think off topic threads will get more visibility and participation if they are posted in the General Knitting forum. In fact, the General Knitting often has a handful of active off topic threads. So in a few days the OT forum will vanish, but all the existing posts should be found in the General Knitting forum, and Amy, the Mods, and myself encourage you all to use the General Knitting forum to post off-topic discussions.

If you were around when we first started this forum in 2004, you'll be familiar with the convention used to denote an off topic thread. You'll want to prefix your title with OT: . For example,

OT: Happy Caturday Everyone! ;)

This is just to let folks know that this is an off topic thread so they can decided whether or not they want to view it.

I hope this doesn't come as an upset to any one. We are trying to find ways to trim our forum a little bit in an effort to help focus visitors and encourage more participation. KH is a close group and we want to keep that cozy feel.

If you have any questions, please do let me know.

Thank you.

Sheldon

OffJumpsJack
01-07-2010, 02:31 PM
Should we expect all these existing OT threads to magically appear with the OT: prefix when they get moved to the General forum? :shrug:

Just hoping you have a magic wand (or needle) that can do that. It might server to establish the desired pattern and be a gentile reminder to poster creating new, OT threads. ;)

suzeeq
01-07-2010, 03:20 PM
Yep, the mods (as well as Sheldon) have magic powers to do things like that.

sheldon
01-07-2010, 04:42 PM
It is our plan to mark some of the recent threads as OT so they will be distinguishable from other posts. There's a lot of threads in here that would need to be prefixed. If I can't do something programatically, then I'd probably just manually mark the last month or so of active threads at OT.

meowmeowmeow
01-07-2010, 07:30 PM
Sweet deal :)

It gets kind of boring in this here mystical land of the tangential posts O_O.

PS: Caturday is the best day of the week.

sheldon
01-07-2010, 11:52 PM
PS: Caturday is the best day of the week.

So true! I can't get enough LOLCATS. I wish everyday could be Caturday.

I think merging OT into General will be a lot of fun and will encourage more participation. I rarely stumble in here, but I find myself in General quite a bit and I've been finding that the occasional OT topic in there seems to be more active than topics in the dedicate OT forum. More eyes = more participation and a closer community.

Cheers!

catlvr
01-08-2010, 11:38 AM
Did I miss the date or day this is going to happen? LOL

suzeeq
01-08-2010, 11:52 AM
Not announced. Will happen when Sheldon gets it to work... ;)

OffJumpsJack
01-08-2010, 12:10 PM
Years of experience has taught me the following truth:

A: Any announced change will happen Only after ...

... as in "Only after one has forgotten the announcement stating what was going to happen."
:)

Similarly, one will remember this announcement Only after ...

... as in "Only after one asks 'what happened to it' in a post, PM, or email because one was not able to find it."
:doh:

Other than that I don't expect Sheldon has scheduled a deadline for the change to take place. But I'm not a mod nor a long time member here so I could be wrong.

Sheldon, I, unlike Suzee, only consider programmatic solutions to be 'magic wand' solutions. Anything else is simply muggle, erm, manual labor. ;) I would often spend x units of time to program a task that would manually take x + k units of time (where K is a positive number). And K didn't have to be positive (just smaller than x) if there were more than a few iterations of the task. :oops:

(For others) Yes, I just said any excuse to program was a good excuse. ;) I just wanted to use "programmatic" in my post.

suzeeq
01-08-2010, 12:25 PM
Jack, everyone knows that the things we do around here are 'mod magic' and Sheldon is truly a wizard.

OffJumpsJack
01-08-2010, 12:43 PM
Not announced. Will happen when Sheldon gets it to work... ;)

Jack, everyone knows that the things we do around here are 'mod magic' and Sheldon is truly a wizard.

Sue, Sorry, I was editing my post before you posted and didn't see it until now... of course that cross posting could be a result of your "mod magic." :) And I, in no way, meant to suggest that mods did not have magic.

Let me be the first to give a thumb to all the mods and especially to Wizard Sheldon for a job well done here on these forums.
:thumbsup: :yay: :yay: :thumbsup:

And courteous member help also to keep this a wonderful place in an otherwise wild and untamed Internet.

Jan in CA
01-08-2010, 02:40 PM
Maybe the tag under our names should say Mod Magicians. :roflhard::roflhard:

sheldon
01-08-2010, 02:49 PM
I don't have a deadline set. I am hoping to make the change soon. Probably some night next week. Amy and I have a lot of balls up in the air here at KH-HQ which are taking up our time.

How will you know when it's happened? The OT forum will simply be missing and all the posts from there will happily live out their existence among the happy posts in the General forum. I am not certain if we are going to move over all the posts, or prune them back to just the last 6 months or so. I don't want to introduce too much noise to the General forum.

As for being a wizard. I wish. More like a code monkey. :mrgreen:

gotta knit
01-08-2010, 03:07 PM
I understand the reason for deleting this off-topic section. I agree that the threads would be busier and can see that as community-building.

I can also see it being a problem though. I've been on other forums where OT threads overwhelm the on-topic threads, meaning general knitting topics will end up on the 3rd, 4th, and older pages quite quickly. I think there is a fair amount of repetition already, when people don't look past the first page or two. Some people won't bother looking very far with a bunch of OT threads thrown in the mix too. And the search engine is for the site, not topics or keywords from the forum threads.

Jan in CA
01-08-2010, 03:18 PM
I can also see it being a problem though. I've been on other forums where OT threads overwhelm the on-topic threads, meaning general knitting topics will end up on the 3rd, 4th, and older pages quite quickly.

We do have other forums for many of the questions asked in General so hopefully we can steer people in the right direction so that won't be such a problem. :thumbsup:

sheldon
01-08-2010, 04:07 PM
It is a good point about the General forum being crowded. But I think we will be okay. Currently the General forum shows about 3 days of threads. When we originally had the OT threads mingled in General it used to be so busy that the first page was always full of threads from the same day. If I recall, the OT topics didn't really push things down and were only a tiny percentage of the total posts.

I think the mingled OT threads helped liven the forum and increase it's stickiness (people stuck around and joined into the OT conversations). We are hoping the effect will be the same. If the OT threads get out of control (which I guess would be a good thing) we can always switch back.

suzeeq
01-08-2010, 05:22 PM
You can use advanced search to search individual forums, within a certain time frame, keywords, posted by, etc.

gotta knit
01-08-2010, 09:00 PM
I've never seen that other search button before! Wondered why a forum like this wouldn't have that option, turns out it already did.

I hope things work out as you envision Sheldon. Thanks for all that you (& the mods) do.

saracidaltendencies
01-10-2010, 05:14 PM
Is it possible to create subforums on here? That way the Off-Topic forum would still be in General Knitting, but, the truly off topic threads wouldn't be mixed with the general knitting threads, and, posters wouldn't have to worry about including OT in their post title.