Using This Forum > Forum agreement, guidelines, moderation & features

Should this site allow off-topic discussions (ie: not necessarily about local issues)

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Editor:
A year ago the moderators of this forum reviewed whether to continue with the ban on off-topic issues. We decided to continue to archive the off-topic section, but to be open to review the policy on a regular basis.

Over the past year I've had a couple of approaches from local residents wanting to raise everyday topics such as, for example, sharing/seeking advice on when to plant/prune etc. Such a topic could be categorised as being of local interest, however, under current rules it would not be allowed. So maybe the off-topic ban is limiting interesting and valuable debate? My view is that such topics would be fine.

The problem with allowing off-topic posts is that it could open the flood-gates for all sorts of opinions and rants not obviously relevant to those using a forum covering local issues and interests. That is why it was closed the last time; it was taking too much of the moderator's time monitoring some posts. However, we are always happy to review - hence this new poll.

So please, if you don't mind, take a moment to check the three options in the poll at the top of this thread so that we can get a better idea of what the majority of forum users (or at least those who take the time to vote) think.

David

trekbat:
As a non-BP resident I think it only appropriate that I abstain from the vote as this is primarily a local site (and for that reason - not because I am not interested / can't be bothered to vote).

Aqila:
Hi David

Sadly I think if we open up to off-topic subjects it will only be minutes before a small number of the community start again on political and sensitive issues.

I think though there are a few more local topics we could have.  You mention gardening.  Given the challenging soil we have here (stones, clay and more stones) and the tendency to a local/micro-climate (has anyone noticed it can be thick fog in the middle of the village and clear only a few yards outside!!), it would be really useful to have a Local Gardening thread.  I for one have spent a fortune over the years on new plants that failed to make it past the first season, and would realy like to exchange ideas on what does and doesn't work here.  It would also be nice for the more green-fingered among us to share photographs of some of their successes - individual plants/trees, borders or whole gardens!

Editor:

--- Quote from: Aqila on November 09, 2016, 06:00:44 pm ---Sadly I think if we open up to off-topic subjects it will only be minutes before a small number of the community start again on political and sensitive issues. I think though there are a few more local topics we could have.  You mention gardening.  ...  It would also be nice for the more green-fingered among us to share photographs of some of their successes - individual plants/trees, borders or whole gardens!

--- End quote ---

Hi Aquila,

Yes, that is the sort of approach I have had. Perhaps the solution is for me to create a new category where gardening tips could be included? I'd have to work on the wording, but it could be something like...

Lifestyle, tips, tricks, problems and solutions - a place where local residents can post about general issues that interest/concern them

I have a feeling that if we do open the off-topic again, some will want to post about regional, national and global issues, such as Brexit and Trump. The challenge for the moderators is ensuring the debate doesn't become offensive.

David

BrookyP:
I found the off topic section mirrored the experience of reading social media. Maybe its best left on those platforms. A lifehacks or similar section as suggested though is always useful. There will be less moderating needed too for the sites unpaid moderators. BP

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