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How to deal with off-topic posts on forums?

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  • How to deal with off-topic posts on forums?

    Hello there,

    We are the largest Pink Floyd forums on the Internet. We've always had quite a lot off-topic posts on several threads, but now it's getting to a point where every thread goes nowhere because users start discussing things that have absolutely nothing to do with the original topic. Pink Floyd seems to be one of the few subjects for most posts, and I'm starting to get annoyed at it, as I think it may drive visitors away from the site.

    I would really appreciate suggestions on how to deal with this and past experiences from fellow webmasters.

    Thanks a lot,
    Paulo
    All Pink Floyd Fan Network
    http://www.pinkfloydfan.net

  • #2
    Close the thread if off topic,
    Delete the off topic posts,
    Warn the users that off topic,
    ban users that off topic?
    Running vB since 4-14-2002

    Comment


    • #3
      Its going to be hard to go back and fix this since it seems you've let it gone on a while.

      Here are my thoughts:

      Do you have enough "off topic" forums for their use?

      If not, perhaps you could create some additional "chatter" forums for this kind of discussion. How many forum titles could you have on Pink Floyd? If PinkFLoyd brought them there, I'm sure the off-topic discussions could give you ideas on what else they are interested in discussing.....

      WHen a thread goes off topic, edit it, close it. Do whatever is needed to keep it on topic (if this is important to you)

      Move the thread to the proper forum. If its off-topic, move it to the right forum. I have a policy that we move threads to the appropriate forums...and they stay ontopic. Of course my forums aren't the same topic as yours and we've held to strict "topic" forums from the beginning. We usually email/PM the beginning of the thread to let them know we moved it and why. Its in our TOS, spelled out there...it is to benefit them personally and the community as a whole.

      If we find a new topic has begun on the middle of an existing thread, we split it and start a new one...in the right forum.

      I have a staff of about 35+ mods that watch the forums and split/move when needed. I think because we stayed on topic from the beginning, it helps the members remain on topic and understand when we move them, split them or close them.

      Just my two cents...
      Fan Club member for VBulletin Dev and Support Team ;)

      Hysterectomy - GirlsGetGoing.com - Fabulous Fifty

      I'm frequently asked about the skin designer for my forums. ForumSkin.com

      Comment


      • #4
        first off public sex forums suck

        too many people with too many bad throughts.

        second off. a good off topic forum with a smart moderator is a benefit to any site

        third and most importantly.
        unless you are charging users to access the forums where they post stuff oiff topic, then it should not really be an issue unless it was blatant against someone else or the board, malicious or with intent on causing damage.

        that said, it is good to see a conversation flow smoothly, but when it doesnt you have to remember that people are people and you cant control what they think just by making the discussion topic of a forum a certain topic. People are way too independant in their thoughts.

        I would however if I was brought to it, edit off topic posts with a nice little warning letting the user know that he had stumbled upon the incorrect forum for the discussion that he created.

        though, if the majority of post in the thread were off topic of the original post, I woudl consider moving it to the appropriate forum.

        beside, doesnt vBulletin give you the ability to split threads up selectively by post?

        -Dom

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        • #5
          If you don't want the off topic posts on your site at all, umm, I'll take them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi new here, so bumping...

            I just started a new board but am a member of several vbulletins...

            1) I agree with the others...make sure that you have "off topic" forums

            2) Make sure you have a "board rules" page that clearly states your expectation that off-topic posts belong in off-topic forums

            3) Once threads start to go off-topic, I agree with the others...either close 'em or move 'em to the off-topic forum. In my experience, if a new thread in an on-topic forum is inappropriate...quickly moving it to "off-topic" will train 'em where to post.

            Yes it is hard, because members of a community start to "bond" and want to chit-chat about other stuff, but it is not fair to new posters.

            Good luck!
            Talk about pets and post pictures at Talk Pets!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The Piper
              Hello there,

              We are the largest Pink Floyd forums on the Internet. We've always had quite a lot off-topic posts on several threads, but now it's getting to a point where every thread goes nowhere because users start discussing things that have absolutely nothing to do with the original topic. Pink Floyd seems to be one of the few subjects for most posts, and I'm starting to get annoyed at it, as I think it may drive visitors away from the site.

              I would really appreciate suggestions on how to deal with this and past experiences from fellow webmasters.

              Thanks a lot,
              Paulo
              Do what I did with my site.

              Allow a maximum of ten posts per day for your Off Topic forum.

              Comment

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