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October 08, 2013

Change in Policy in Non-Political Threads

As regards Non-Political Threads, I'm going to try something new.

First, anytime someone posts a Non-Political Thread, and there is no politically-oriented post which has been posted recently (say, within the past hour), I'll ask the person posting the Non-Political Thread to also post an Open Thread just below. Just a blank thread, basically, which says "take all political comments or off-topic comments here."

Second, I'm going to ask people to respect the topic of a Non-Political Thread and not go off-topic simply because it's now (for the moment) the top post on the site.

The reasons for this are simple: While any week will have 100 political threads, there is only one Gaming Thread per week, one Book thread per week, one or maybe two of CAC's astronomy threads per week, and so on.

Using such threads to talk about the Hot Political Topics is understandable, given that people rush to the Top Thread looking for the "active conversation" thread. But this results in people not really being able to have a conversation about much besides politics. You can't really have much of a conversation about, say, some cooking technique CBD is discussing if there are two or three stray cooking comments among the first hundred comments, with the bulk of them about the shutdown.

That's why I'm asking for cobs and guest-bloggers to simultaneously post an Open Thread just beneath their actual thread. This will serve to give people a place to discuss politics -- which I know is the reason most people come to the site -- which is also a clearly designated "active conversation" thread, while leaving the Non-Political Thread alone, so that people can actually get that critical mass of comments necessary to have any kind of interesting discussion about the topic at hand.

So, three requests: First that cobs and Guest Bloggers post an empty Open Thread, to serve as a new "active conversation" thread for political talk;

that they end begin their post by noting an Open Thread is now directly below the current Top Thread, and that all off-topic comment should be directed there (Update: Include the directive at the beginning of the post, because someone not interested in the topic is not going to read anything in the post, but will just jump to the comments),

and that commenters respect this, and understand that some people, while of course interested in the Shutdown and all the rest, may sometimes want to take advantage of a thread dedicated to their niche interest, just to talk about the actual niche subject itself without the comments immediately being swamped by the general political discussion of the day.

I think this solution will both give people who want to talk just politics the Top Thread they want (even though it will be in the second position, not the first) and will also allow Non-Political Threads to serve the purpose for which they're intended, which is letting commenters drop politics for a while and discuss something which, while not political, still interests them as people.

Thanks for understanding.

I will bump this thread to both Saturday and Sunday so that people understand the basic idea.

By the way, as an example of this idea (let's see if it works), We Politely Request That All Off-Topic or Political Comments Be Directed to the Thread Directly Below This One, Which Will Serve Officially as the Current "Active Conversation" Thread for All Discussions Not Related To This Topic.

-- Sincerely, the Fascist MGMT

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posted by Ace at 01:13 PM

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