Topics do not need to stay on topic

Redglyph

SasqWatch
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,318
Location
Good old Europe
But as far as current, shall we say relevant, RPG discussion goes, RPGwatch isn't doing so great. I think that is mostly because of the older user base. Most days the new posts are all in the sticky threads that aren't about RPGs. The music, films, things you don't need to know, what I just bought, etc.

The real existential threat is that old people die. RPGwatch is old and without new users eventually we'll all be gone. Maybe its silly to think so far ahead?

Since I used to post news, I was interested in numbers to see what people liked - even if I did a poor job at finding interesting news due to my peculiar tastes :p. And from what I saw, I'm pretty sure that there is more sustained interest in RPG-related topics.

But some off-topic discussions are concentrated into a very few sticky threads, and since we see them pop-up more often than others, they stand out. It's just that most RPG topics are only temporary and replaced by others; they come and go with the news and the game of the moment.

I like that we have those sticky threads, and I second what @bjon045; says about a community of like-minded individuals sharing other RL thoughts. It could even be shared by any individuals but in this case, it reinforces the "community" sense we have, or at least that's how I see it.

I also have the impression the average age is greater than the typical forums, but I think that's in part what makes it like-minded, so I for one am not looking to lure another category of people here just for the sake of numbers. There will be enough other people settling into the same mindset of experienced RPG gamers to join us in due time when others leave… for all we know it's been like that for years already. :)

Note that we only see the people who post here, they're only a fraction of people reading the forums and it doesn't look deserted. I'm sure we do well, but Myrthos must know better about that.
 
E

Eye

Guest
Deleted my post since I am not sure whether it is OK to publish these numbers. Spammers are reading as well, I guess.
 
Last edited:

Redglyph

SasqWatch
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,318
Location
Good old Europe
Deleted my post since I am not sure whether it is OK to publish this numbers. Spammers are reading as well, I guess.

That must be a hint whether the site has enough success or not. ;)

They are! I just had a spam PM this morning, for the first time. Probably mostly bot-gathered data though, but you never know.
 
E

Eye

Guest
Yes, that one has been banned now. I am afraid it may have done some damage. I haven't seen this way of spamming before. I hope it was a one-off.
 

wolfgrimdark

Follower of Fenris Wolf
Original Sin Donor
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
3,441
Location
NH
Thanks for all you do Eye, as well as the rest of the staff. It is all volunteer I know. We should all be a team as the site needs people to operate and manage it just as the site also needs users to to post and bring the site to life.
 

bkrueger

Nothing to see here.
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
1,269
On topic:
I believe there is a difference between going off topic with a few posts or completely derailing a thread. And the latter can happen very well already below the level of "hard" infractions like insults etc.

For example if two people start a fight about some completely irrelevant question (e.g. "This game is not even an RPG!!!" "Yes it is" "No it isn't" etc), this would be a reason for me to stop them, because it deters other users from posting on topic.

So the criterion for me would be: A few off-topic posts are ok, but if the thread is destroyed or hijacked by some egocentrics, action might be taken.

You can easily identify such situation if ten posts in a row are by the same two people arguing about some irrelevant question.
 

lackblogger

SasqWatch
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
4,398
On topic:
I believe there is a difference between going off topic with a few posts or completely derailing a thread. And the latter can happen very well already below the level of "hard" infractions like insults etc.

For example if two people start a fight about some completely irrelevant question (e.g. "This game is not even an RPG!!!" "Yes it is" "No it isn't" etc), this would be a reason for me to stop them, because it deters other users from posting on topic.

So the criterion for me would be: A few off-topic posts are ok, but if the thread is destroyed or hijacked by some egocentrics, action might be taken.

You can easily identify such situation if ten posts in a row are by the same two people arguing about some irrelevant question.

So you don't like it when people argue?

In threads that will be forgotten about within approximately 2 weeks and likely never ever read again?
 

forgottenlor

Font of Useless Knowledge
Staff member
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
2,595
Location
Vienna, Austria
On topic:
I believe there is a difference between going off topic with a few posts or completely derailing a thread. And the latter can happen very well already below the level of "hard" infractions like insults etc.

For example if two people start a fight about some completely irrelevant question (e.g. "This game is not even an RPG!!!" "Yes it is" "No it isn't" etc), this would be a reason for me to stop them, because it deters other users from posting on topic.

So the criterion for me would be: A few off-topic posts are ok, but if the thread is destroyed or hijacked by some egocentrics, action might be taken.

You can easily identify such situation if ten posts in a row are by the same two people arguing about some irrelevant question.

I actually had a conversation like this with @Couchpotato; when I reviewed Battletech, and I think we both made our argument (for and against Battletech as a tactical or strategic rpg) and it was an enjoyable topic and other people chimed in. So for me its not off topic if both sides are putting forth interesting arguments while remaining civil.
 

Couchpotato

Burned Out Newsposter
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
29,283
Location
Spudlandia
Yeah I remember that dissuasion. As long as both parties keep it civil without attitude and smugness it's possible to debate topics like in the past. Not easy nowadays.

Back to statistics like eye shared we get more visitors coming here for the news it's just us old watchers who keep commenting. That hasn't changed since I was news-editor.
 

bkrueger

Nothing to see here.
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
1,269
@forgottenlor; and @lackblogger;: I agree to both of you that such discussion might be no problem and can be enjoyable in a situation, where new and interesting arguments come in. But often such dialogues end up in endless repetition of the same viewpoints only written in other words, without any real development.

In fact forgottenlor gave a good criterion: If the discussion is interesting enough that other people join in and add new thoughts into the discussion, then this is a good sign. But when other people start leaving the thread and only the two people discuss on and on in circles, that can destroy a thread.
 

lackblogger

SasqWatch
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
4,398
@forgottenlor; and @lackblogger;: I agree to both of you that such discussion might be no problem and can be enjoyable in a situation, where new and interesting arguments come in. But often such dialogues end up in endless repetition of the same viewpoints only written in other words, without any real development.

In fact forgottenlor gave a good criterion: If the discussion is interesting enough that other people join in and add new thoughts into the discussion, then this is a good sign. But when other people start leaving the thread and only the two people discuss on and on in circles, that can destroy a thread.

Can you provide an example of just such a scenario? I'm having trouble understanding how people are going to know whether the exchange is interesting if they've left the thread.
 

bkrueger

Nothing to see here.
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
1,269
Can you provide an example of just such a scenario? I'm having trouble understanding how people are going to know whether the exchange is interesting if they've left the thread.
I will have to think about that because giving an example means to accuse the people involved of trollish behavior. Since I believe that it can happen to everybody that he gets carried away and runs in such deadlock, I am not sure if I want to attack people by naming them. I have real examples here in mind, but I am not sure if it is wise to get more specific...
 
N

Nereida

Guest
I'm late to this and not interested in the conversation itself - I don't know what's too much or too little moderation, and whether offtopic should be shut down or not. That's for the moderators to decide, I'll just use the ruleset that is given to me in the same way I observe others using it and getting away with it.

The only thing I really want to make sure is that The Eye knows that I too value their work, and having had posts deleted, and been asked to tone down my posts by them, it was always done fairly. It's in general thankless job they do, but I do want to thank them for it.
 

Drithius

Magic & Loss
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
5,454
Location
Florida, USA
The problem around here is that when topics do go off-topic, it's usually because people (usually the same people) practically copy/paste some inner dialogue of theirs. It's not typically an insightful tangent to the original post - but moreso, some tired - usually cynical - post that doesn't serve the original discussion.

I kind of miss Dart in this respect. Although I could rarely stomach the guy, his posts tried to genuinely develop the topic at hand - though it did tend to get "off-topic- with the inevitable back and forth between himself and some other person.
 

Pladio

Guardian of Nonsense
Staff member
Moderator
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin Donor
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,146
Location
Manchester, United Kingdom
The problem around here is that when topics do go off-topic, it's usually because people (usually the same people) practically copy/paste some inner dialogue of theirs. It's not typically an insightful tangent to the original post - but moreso, some tired - usually cynical - post that doesn't serve the original discussion.

I kind of miss Dart in this respect. Although I could rarely stomach the guy, his posts tried to genuinely develop the topic at hand - though it did tend to get "off-topic- with the inevitable back and forth between himself and some other person.
Don't worry, a NewestDart is probably incoming soon :)
 

bjon045

SasqWatch
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
2,147
Location
Sigil
Can you provide an example of just such a scenario? I'm having trouble understanding how people are going to know whether the exchange is interesting if they've left the thread.

Got to agree here. If two people are actively talking for a couple of pages and it is somewhat related to the topic at hand then there is no problem. It's more likely to generate more discussion rather than less. When it becomes less than civil then there is a problem though. I get that someone people don't want to read a particular discussion though - it would be cool if the forum software supports sub threads kind of like how discord does them. In discord it creates a link and the discussion can be continued within the main thread. The seperate discussion can then we viewed as a single thread as well - which makes it more readable.

Starting a new thread rarely works in a traditional forum like this. Typically what happens is both threads just die and people don't know where to post OR the new thread dies very rapidly even though some other people may of been interested in the discussion.

I wouldn't say RPGWatch suffers from too many posts though!
 

Myrthos

Cave Canem
Administrator
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
11,190
This year we are averaging to about 750 posts a week, so a little over 100 a day. I would think it is enough for most people not to read all of them :)
 

Redglyph

SasqWatch
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,318
Location
Good old Europe
I kind of miss Dart in this respect. Although I could rarely stomach the guy, his posts tried to genuinely develop the topic at hand - though it did tend to get "off-topic- with the inevitable back and forth between himself and some other person.

Isn't he back again? I saw a post from him a few days ago. I agree that's someone whom it's possible to discuss and argue constructively with; there are quite a few others in the Watch, I'd say more than most places, which is nice.

--

On Discord they have this relatively new thread system that allows to start a thread from messages within a conversation to isolate a sub-topic. I don't know if you can get a thread within a thread and so on, but I would assume so. It shows that branching out is really a common issue. Perhaps the non-linear result is not ideal for everyone though.
 
E

Eye

Guest
For those of you who missed the edit of my original post where I added 'name-calling' as clarification:
Because yes, the TOS still applies, insults (name-calling) is not allowed.

In past and present we have given red cards for words like 'idiot', 'asshole', 'bastard', and the like. We will do so in future as well of course.

Anything else has been ignored by moderators, meaning red cards were not handed out - as far as I remember anyway. We expect some resilience from our members, at best we tried to reduce tension and hostility by stepping in.
One of my ways was to divert the discussion back to the topic.

As this thread has shown, some of you did not like that at all, some of you have talked about your own timing of when to step in.
And me, as you could have concluded from my postings #37 at page 2 and #49 at page 3 I have decided to just stick to the TOS, which is the easiest, most clear, and gives the least amount of nagging.

If someone is name calling, please report that person, because moderators do not read everything.

Edit.
Name-calling gets 1 infraction point. But of course this may be changed in to 2 (meaning a 24 hrs ban) in the future if the moderators think that would be better.

O and btw the amount of points of name-calling a moderator/administrator will be decided by the moderator if the situation arises.
 
Last edited:

Couchpotato

Burned Out Newsposter
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
29,283
Location
Spudlandia
For those of you who missed the edit of my original post where I added 'name-calling' as clarification:

In past and present we have given red cards for words like 'idiot', 'asshole', 'bastard', and the like. We will do so in future as well of course.

Anything else has been ignored by moderators, meaning red cards were not handed out - as far as I remember anyway. We expect some resilience from our members, at best we tried to reduce tension and hostility by stepping in.
One of my ways was to divert the discussion back to the topic.

As this thread has shown, some of you did not like that at all, some of you have talked about your own timing of when to step in.
And me, as you could have concluded from my postings #37 at page 2 and #49 at page 3 I have decided to just stick to the TOS, which is the easiest, most clear, and gives the least amount of nagging.

If someone is name calling, please report that person, because moderators do not read everything.
So in context I made a a general post using words like idiot and noob. I didn't target any member yet it still caused a stir. So whats your opinion on that matter Eye?

Also remember it was the first post of the thread.:)
 
Top Bottom