PDA

View Full Version : Suggestion - MODERATOR



SwiminONandON
May 27th, 2005, 12:45 PM
I have a suggestion. It seems that several people are annoyed with the lack of swimming content in many of the threads (darn those thread hijackers). What if we created a section for Off Topic Questions and threads. It seems that would be an easy solution and make everyone happy.

Leonard Jansen
May 27th, 2005, 01:07 PM
I proposed this over a year ago and there seemed to be no real enthusiasm for seeting up such a forum. However, I second the motion.

-LBJ

Fishgrrl
May 27th, 2005, 01:11 PM
You've got my vote. There's a website called ParentsPlace, for example, that has this very type of thread in their discussion forum.

knelson
May 27th, 2005, 01:25 PM
How about just putting "NSR" (not swimming related) in the subject heading of these kinds of threads? Personally I don't mind them here. It's usually pretty obvious which ones aren't going to be about swimming much. The NSR will just make it that much easier for those who aren't interested to stay away.

Conniekat8
May 27th, 2005, 02:15 PM
General discussion is sort of an 'off topic' place, but one where most people wind up discussing just about everything, including swimming techniques.

If I recall correctly, one of main concerns with the group that moderates this forum is that it is all volunteer based, and typically very shorthanded to watch it all.

I think adding to the volume or the complexity of the bulletin board would be met with more enthusiasam if it came along with offers of additional manpower (volunteering) to monitor and moderate it all.

Personally, on my teams bulletin board, which I end up administering, we have a section called 'gutter chat' which is open for everyone, and intended for not so swimming related chatter. It was pretty lively foir a while, then some inside jokes end up looking pretty crude, even though people that went back and forth didn't mind at all, they forget that there's a larger audience reading it, the audience that is not privy to the inside meaning of what they're saying. Then we'd get complaints or comments how some of it comes across as very discouraging to other teammates.... After you delete a few posts, or ask people to tone it down, they sort of lose interest, or get litle bit mifed, and things die off, people stop posting.
So it's tricky...

When you're in the comfort bubble of being in front of your computer, sometimes it's hard to remember that what you're posting is in a public place, which is almost as conspicuous as standing in front of a large group of people and voicing your opinion. Lot of us tend to get lulled into thinking that having a new section or a new thread gives us some sort of seclusion or privacy. It doesn't. people weill find it, and they will read it, even if it's labeled off topic or spoilered for certain content. For some people, a spoiler like that onky serves as a big red "PICK ME" flashing neon sign, even though it may be spoilered for the type of the content they may find objectionable.
It can be like a car wreck, people don't want to see it, but can't seem to help looking.

What happens ultimately, the administrators or moderators just get more complaints that have to be dealt with, and when you're short handed to begin with, then you start questioning the value of it's existance all together.

Let's all remember that postinghere is a privilege, not a right or entitlement, and it's a priviledge that comes at cost of of several people who volunteer pretty large amounts of time to sift through all of the postings here for appropriate and acceptable comment, people whom also have full time jobs and families, and a few other responsibilities within USMS.

Anyway, to clarify, that's just my personal opinion based on seeing both sides of the coin. Not to be seen as any sort of an official USMS position or feedback.

poolmonkey
May 27th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Thanks for the insight Connie. Personally, I'd rather keep it like it is, because it seems to be a fun forum.

I've been swimming for a while ( and took a long time off ), so I'm not sure what people are looking for. I don't know if the people that are complaining are those that have been at it awhile or if they are just starting out.

Any time I've posted a question or been looking for information, I've always been overwhelmed with the response or stuff that I found that people posted, so I don't know why people would complain. There are a lot of knowledgeable people with some great sites that are really helpful.

To me, it's like tv. If you don't like the programming, don't tune in. Maybe that seems harsh, but I'd hate for a few people to ruin it for everybody.

conradical
May 27th, 2005, 04:13 PM
Or: Free Speech vs Controlled Content

Yep, this is a tricky issue.

Yep, messages boards are like TV.

Internet message boards and chat rooms are a relatively new and bizarre social event. I equate it to going to a shopping mall, stepping into a crowd of people, and just start yacking away. The difference here is that you are heavily insulated from anyone being able to see or touch you. Sometimes I find the resulting behavior (even my own) to be an interesting social study. Sometimes it bores me to tears.

For this message board, since it is what interests me most, what I'd like to see is a forum for Swimming Technique (as they do for Workouts, Coaching, and OW Swimming). I can certainly understand the issue of more work for volunteers vs less work, so I can see why there would be a lack of enthusiasm for new forums. I like the "Gutter Chat" forum idea, which I think is pretty clever.

I've been involved in some message board management, and one experience shocked me into realizing that any moderator involvement can lead to ignition of major censorship issues which can quickly landslide into a major quarry (vs can) of worms. Being a message board moderator can be a very un-fun, thankless job.

On the other hand, as a user, it is a bummer to have to wade through a lot of muck and mire when you want to be fed just quality (on topic) content. But this IS the "General Discussions" forum, which is defined as "Any swimming-related topics not covered in one of the other top level topics". Um, well, how do you determine what is swimming related then? Trying to answer that one will almost certainly heat up some censorship issues.

I think this is a fun board too... sometimes. There are some very sharp, witty folks here and I've gotten quite a few good laughs from those seemingly OT posts for the threads they are attached to. But it is a casual place, and even if you created new forum topics the threads would inevitably become littered with chaff. I think it is just the nature of the beast.

I'd still like to see a forum dedicated to Swimming Technique though.

poolmonkey
May 27th, 2005, 04:27 PM
Boy, some really good points. I take back my previous comment of leaving it the way it is. I like it the way it is, but there have been some really good suggestions.

How do we go about suggesting things to the moderator? Is it by doing posts like this with moderator in the title?

How about setting up a poll for those things listed?
gutter chat, swimming technique, NSR, etc.

Gutter chat and swimming technique would get my vote for new forums.

LindsayNB
May 27th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by SwiminONandON
I have a suggestion. It seems that several people are annoyed with the lack of swimming content in many of the threads (darn those thread hijackers). What if we created a section for Off Topic Questions and threads. It seems that would be an easy solution and make everyone happy.

Personally I don't have a problem with the off topic threads, they are easy to ignore, but I do hate to see swimming threads hijacked.

I find it wierd that some people who aren't interested in the topic discussed in a thread seem to feel a need to stop other people from discussing something that is of interest to those people.

kaffrinn
May 27th, 2005, 07:46 PM
I would be very much in favor of a "gutter chat" section. Some days I am in the mood to read silly stuff and funny banter, but some days when I don't have a lot of time, I just want to read about swimming-related things. On those days it can be frustrating to wade through tons of chit-chat, sort of like what Lindsay is saying. If swimming-related threads start to go off-topic, one could say, "let's continue this discussion in the Gutter," and then the thread would remain more on-topic.

And it's hard to tell by the names of some posts whether they are actually swimming-related or not...(Paris Hilton, anyone? ;) )

Again, I love the happy and relaxed atmosphere that the camaraderie on this board brings, but I have noticed lately that it is getting more difficult to wade through everything.

Michael Heather
May 27th, 2005, 08:39 PM
If there is an Off Topic site, it will not solve the main problem that is currently plaguing this DF, idle chatter. In fact, an Off Topic site will inevitably create Flame Wars and damage the whole DF. There will be "I Love Spike Heels vs. I Loathe Spike Heels" and armies of posters and hackers who think it is great sport to crash the entire website. This is not speculation. It has happened many, many times, and is almost formulaic. If you love your sport, do not post or respond to the off topic threads. Let them die or go elsewhere.

We are far better off policing ourselves (which has not been too effective lately) and keeping the DF focused on swimming related topics EXCLUSIVELY, no matter how boring it becomes to the current batch of trolls and hijackers. They know who they are. The internet is a great big place with something for everyone. This website and DF is not the place to discuss Soap operas, American Idol, Car wrecks or Spike Heels, unless they all have entered LC Nationals in Mission Viejo, CA this August.

breastroker
May 28th, 2005, 12:02 AM
Michael,

formulaic ???

I agree, a seperate section of Swim Technique should be added. I think it would be very popular, and easier to moderate as posts would be specific to technique.

Perhaps this could be split into the 4 strokes so that new users could find information faster.

And nice mention of LC Nationals in Mission Viejo, CA this August.

Just ask Tall Paul how much he enjoyed our meet there last year. Nice dinner overlooking the nearby golf course with some great swimmers.

What amazed me was how many of these great swimmers from Colorado were happy to finally meet Conniekat:p

Connie was formerly the secret of SPMA, she shows up at last years convention and is suddenly a hot VIP.

ande
May 28th, 2005, 06:44 AM
part of being a swimmer is the social aspect
friendships develop because of swimming

all kinds of conversations between swimmers take place
on the wall betwen sets,
on easy kick sets,
in the weight room,
in the locker room after practice
at parties, bars, coffee shops and restaurants after practice,
in the stands at meets and
many other places and situations

some swimmers are chatty,
others show up for practice and don't talk to anyone

can't we all just get a long?

ande

conradical
May 28th, 2005, 10:20 AM
As The King once said: "Understanding solves all problems baby, that a-why I'm a-tellin' you...."

If you go to the home page of this forum you will see the link "Forum Leaders" that will list all the administrators and moderators. You can contact them from there. (You have to be "registered" and logged in to send one of them a message.)

As for: Why do people hijack threads? Good question. My best guess is that it is to fill a void of some kind. Though in the hectic hustle and bustle of our "modern" life it is hard to imagine that most folks have time to fritter away. Perhaps it is a desire to be noticed in our increasingly anonymous world. "Look at me, look at me, look at me." With just the push of a button you can broadcast your "self" (?) to the world. But with so many others doing the same thing, who will notice? As I said before, the Internet can present some interesting social studies (current company included).

Too often I find myself mulling over this quote by Don Juan from Carlos Castaneda's "Journey to Ixtlan":

"Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it - what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellow men (and women). Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone."

Oh, well.... Then there is always:

"Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time." - T. S. Elliot

Sometimes I find it hysterical that computers are heralded as time saving devices. I've spent way more time than I'd like to admit rebuilding/repairing/upgrading computers. Doing software and hardware installations and updates, reading help documentation, just trying to figure out how the thing works (so I can supposedly save time). And that does not even include time on the job or the Internet. Crikey, with the Internet you are additionally under constant attack from malware created by a whole army of nefarious people who REALLY must have nothing better to do. And then there is all the commercial sludge. Not to mention chat rooms, message boards, and web sites. Most times (these days anyway) I'd rather go to the pool, or read a good book.

Computers NEVER make mistakes, only the people who design and build them do. Computers are dumb as a box of rocks and only do exactly what they are told. Maybe my mistake is logging onto this forum. But the good news is that I have a choice about what I do and how I react to others. (There, did I hijack this thread enough to adequately show off my soapbox and get noticed?) :-p

So the next time you are looking to waste time with your computer, but decide you want something different, here is some suggested reading:
"The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder
"The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage" by Clifford Stoll
"The Hacker Crackdown: Law And Disorder On The Electronic Frontier" by Bruce Sterling
"Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" by Steven Levy
"Virtual Reality: The Revolutionary Technology of Computer-Generated Artificial Worlds - And How It Promises to Transform Society" by Howard Rheingold

Um, yeah, right. What does all this have to do with swimming? I mean this IS supposed to be a swimming related forum right? Well, I suppose you could use your computer to process information about swimming. Since you use the Internet and are on this forum you could spend a little more TIME COMMUNICATING your SELF-IMPORTANCE with a new post or thread here. Or you can search the web, or the archives here, for seemingly endless opportunities to waste yet more time. I just hope you enjoy it, so it won't be entirely wasted time. Or you could just go to the pool, or read a book. :">

Scansy
May 28th, 2005, 12:57 PM
Computers don't save time or paper.

The idea of a paperless office is a myth. Make a mistake in a document - change that one letter typo and re-print it. Also, we issue so much more documentation for everything because it is so easy to do.

As for time - ha. If the expectation at my work was that we did the same amount of work but used a computer.... we could save time. But now, we are expected to do more because we can do it more quickly.

That being said, I am adicted to the computer.:( I don't have a problem with the "off topic" threads. I think there are still plenty of "on topic" threads here too.

Seagurl51
May 28th, 2005, 07:16 PM
So maybe sometimes a thread get's highjacked. I think if someone said in a polite way could we please get back on topic, or could you please take it to another thread everyone would oblige. Out of the people I have met here I can't imagine anyone making a big stink about being asked NICELY to please take it somewhere else. I for one, have so much fun on these boards I would hate to see that disappear. I often find chatting here with friends a great stress reliever (aside from the pool of course:))

Having been on both sides of the issues, I can see where both sides are getting frusturated. The highjacking can sometimes be overwhelming and a mess to get through, but you also get an overwhelming response of on-topic respones from extremely knowledgable resources. And on the other hand, the people I have met here are some of the most, entertaing, fun, awesome people ever.

If we can't get a new forum made, why can't we just condense everything non-swimming related into one massive thread? I know that would be HUGE and would take a while to sift through, but I have so much fun with stuff here I would not mind digging through hundreds of posts if it keeps the general public and moderators happy, and I can still keep posting about who's sleeping with who, what island we're stuck on, and what new species is appearing next.

As far as people wasting time here posting I don't think that's anyone's business but the posters. If they feel they have the time to post things, that is their choice. If they feel they can work and post that is their decision. If you feel you need to work more than post that is also your respected decision.

I agree with Ande. One of the main purposes (I think) of these forums is to meet other swimmers and share information. But also to get to know other swimmers so that you have a support base that you can draw on for meets like Nationals and other things. I am always amazed by the overwhelming support that everyone here gives to a fellow swimmer in need.

mattson
May 29th, 2005, 07:40 AM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
Personally, on my teams bulletin board, which I end up administering, we have a section called 'gutter chat' which is open for everyone, and intended for not so swimming related chatter. It was pretty lively foir a while, then some inside jokes end up looking pretty crude, even though people that went back and forth didn't mind at all, they forget that there's a larger audience reading it, the audience that is not privy to the inside meaning of what they're saying. Then we'd get complaints or comments how some of it comes across as very discouraging to other teammates.... After you delete a few posts, or ask people to tone it down, they sort of lose interest, or get litle bit mifed, and things die off, people stop posting.
So it's tricky...

Connie, I've seen the process you've described happen (twice :) ) for my team's bboard. Especially the inside jokes part.

Conniekat8
May 30th, 2005, 01:47 AM
After reading all this, I have few more things to add...

Forst on the issue of free speech.
Free Speech doesn't mean I can say whatever I want wherever I want with no consequences.
Free speach means that you are in most cases protected from STATE, and STATE prosecution only. There are limits to that 'right' as well.
Free spech doesn't mean that if you use a privately or a volunteer run organizations' means of communication to say whatever you like that your 'speech' will not be censored, seen as inappropriate, mederatet or otherwise restricted if the organization finds it inappropriate. So, fundamentally, the 'free speech' argument doesn't really fly. EVEN IF USMS tries to keep the exchanges at this forum pretty liberal, they have the right to stop, moderate or censor them or create consequences when they see fit.
This *IS* a moderated site, and some semblance of a controled content is to be expected. If you prefer less controled content, try usenet, try rec.sport.swimming.

As for hijacked threads, I could care less except when they degenerate into bashing. Hopefully that won't happen as often, since one of the fire making ingredients is not here. Other hijacked thread, If you wqnt it back on topic, post a comment on topic, and the likelyhood is that people will follow suit.

Chitchat and banter cointent, yea too much of it contributes to people losing interest. When there is a lot of personal back and forth betwen 2-3 or so, small circle of people, there is usually a lot of inside joking going on, and what happens, people outside inner circle reading it, even if they felt brave enough to jump in and try to have fun and not worry about possibly looking silly or intruding, probably don't catch on to a lot of it, and get discouraged.

Also, if you get a specific time on the DS, when several of the chitchatters are on, and a new person posts something more serious or swimming related, they can look and see there's a number of other people logged on, and talking amongst each other, but not paying a whole lot of attention to their swimming post. It's very easy that unintentionally, too much banter can make this place look very cliquish, and not very interested in swimming.

Also, I've seen instances of people talking about a 'get together' at a certain event, and when the organizer of the event offers to facilitate the get-together, it gets no response. It certainly does start looking rather cliquish.

As much as I like teasing some of my fellow swimmers with the male/female sterotypes and banter on occasion, I have absolutely no desire discussing soap operas, celebrities of the likes of Paris Hilton (she's everywhere else, no need to be here) Brad Pitt etc.. Between work and swimming, I have no time or interest to follow the world of celebrities. If I did, I probably wouldn't be here, I'd be on usenet in one of the newsgroups discussing celebrities.

Self importance?
I doubt it.
Usenet and bulletin boards have become a new form of socializing. Yea, in every social group there are a few individuals whose self importance (and other components of personality) are off center.
Rather than broadcasting one's self importance, this medium is means for networking and socializing with people having common interests. Much like there are local hobby groups and crqft groups and softball leagues and similar, where people interact with one another. Someone coming to, let's say a local harley riders club, introducing themselves, wanting to join the group and particiapte is hardly someone broadcasting one's self importance. It is filling a normal human need for social interaction.

If some people seem to sound more important, some people are more confident in their thought process and opinions then others and express themselves as such, and come across sounding more confident, which is often seen as important or authoritative.

Also, knowing some of the who is whom in the USMS, there are some important peole posting here.

Well, those are my thought for the moment.

Alex
May 30th, 2005, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by knelson
How about just putting "NSR" (not swimming related) in the subject heading of these kinds of threads? Personally I don't mind them here. It's usually pretty obvious which ones aren't going to be about swimming much. The NSR will just make it that much easier for those who aren't interested to stay away.

I agree with knelson, besides, when I put a swimming question on the announcement and question threads forum, nobody answer it, and when I did on the General Discussion one, I received a lot of feedback the same day.

thisgirl13
May 30th, 2005, 12:38 PM
It seems to me that people are getting bent out of shape over a "general topic discussion forum".

I think what a lot of people forget when they come here (no finger pointing or anything like that), is that this isn't a Q & A site. This site isn't like you direct a question to an administrator or swimming "expert" (excluding Wayne, of course!!) and they reply. It's a discussion!

There are real, every day, normal (well, normal for Mr. Moose, anyway :D ) people on this forum, who take a real delight in the social aspect of chatting with people who are just like them.

I have a lot of non-swimming friends, my sister included, and they just don't get it. They don't understand the inside stuff that fellow swimmers get. I'm also one of two or three women period who swim with my team, and the only regular female, so it's nice to come here, to these boards, and have Kari, Kyra, Heather, and everybody else to relate to.

Besides, how many conversations have you been to where everyone stayed on one specific topic and nobody got bored? My last one was at a botanist's convention. Not that botanists are all boring, but these people sure were! It was like a workshop for plants! I much prefer the personal stories and fun (if not slightly-ADD) conversations on these boards.

My opinion is this: If you don't like it, don't read it. If you're looking for answers, ask a question. If you want a strict Q & A, e-mail Eddie Reese. The wonderful administrators here have enough work to do besides handling complaints for people who want to treat the boards like a Q&A session instead of a human conversation.

Hope I didn't ruffle too many feathers, y'all.......

:D

LindsayNB
May 30th, 2005, 01:21 PM
On the other hand threads were invented for a reason. If one isn't interested in the topic going on in a particular thread one can go participate in some other thread rather than interupting that thread with off topic stuff.

Scansy
May 30th, 2005, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
....I much prefer the personal stories and fun (if not slightly-ADD) conversations on these boards.


Only SLIGHTLY ADD???:confused: :D

Seagurl51
May 30th, 2005, 02:53 PM
It seems to me that the main beef here isn't the number of off topic threads but rather when those threads make their way into other peoples discussions. I think the best way to solve that is, if it happens, to simply ask nicely to please return to the orginal topic. I would for one would have no problem taking my discussion somewhere else when asked politely to do so.

Michael Heather
May 30th, 2005, 03:05 PM
That is well and good, but what about the posters who cannot help but start off topic threads? How do we politely ask them to not do that? This is still a forum for swimming related issues, and if people want to tell swimming stories, that is welcome and informative. Qs get As, advice is given and solicited. Asking the users of this forum to ignore your chit chat postings is just rude.If you absolutely must make idle chatter, palaver elsewhere, please. Now you have been politely asked.

Seagurl51
May 30th, 2005, 03:19 PM
Maybe we should just take everything to e-mail and let these boards go back to strictly swimming. I know that several of us already have taken a lot to e-mail and PM's, maybe everyone interested should just start an e-mail ring. Or....Ande just bought a website, we can take it there. :D

And with all due respect, if all questions that have been asked are getting answered, and good advice is being given and recieved, I don't find it rude at all to ask someone to simply skip over a 10 word title. The title of a thread generally gives away immediately if the thread is going to be any use whatsoever to any swimming issues you may be having. If you choose to read the thread, that is a personal decision.

Tom Ellison
May 30th, 2005, 05:25 PM
I can only speak for myself and that is what I am going to do here. Many….and I mean many of the posters here know me…and know me well. During the past 2 ½ years I have endured much in my life. Some good and some not so good. I have found solace and peace in these forums and posts…I have felt a genuine relief from the mundane life that I have lived these past few years through this forum. Many here witnessed what I endured, shared and darn near lost in the past few years….and… I dare say, what may not have happened if Jerry Hidenrick had an outlet or means to express himself in humor and a non-confrontational manner as I have been greatly blessed with here these past few years….In short, Jerry may still be with us today.
Mr. Moose and Ralph do not exist…either in my mind or my reality, yet I have had the opportunity to bring humor and joy into my life in what still is a very, very dark time of my life…and I have done so through this forum, through Mr. Moose, Ralph and the obsurd banter granted to me within this forum.
Are my posts swimming related? No, in many cases they have not been swimming related, yet in many instances I have shared my swimming experience with all that care to read them in a forth right and positive manner. For the most part I have been positive…and yes, in some instances I have not been a poster boy for positive feedback. Yet, throughout it all, I have greatly benefited and been able to come here to heal and feel a part of something that I hold very, very dear and cherished to me.
While reading the posts here I often wonder what the outcome MAY have been had Jerry Hidenrick had the opportunity to share his pain in a forum not necessarily swimming related, but WITH fellow swimmers that he trusted and could relate to…..
Kindest regards,
Tom Ellison

Peter Cruise
May 30th, 2005, 05:40 PM
I second Tom's comments- the last few months of the forum have been great, whether diversionary or not (with the single exception of the whole personal best thread). It takes a village...

Tom Ellison
May 30th, 2005, 05:45 PM
And one last thing….
I have laughed myself to tears here these past few years on many occasions….and I hope that I have brought some sense of joy and humor to others here within this forum these past few years….
I have laughed at myself …..and…… I have laughed at others points of view and their points of laughter as well….and many, many, many times that was ALL the laughter and JOY I had in my life….at that time….
USMS Moderators….do what you wish, do what you think is right and in the best interests of the USMS Forum….but, do so knowing that the latitude given me here these past few years has tremendously helped me endure the journey we all call LIFE….and I am better for that….
Thank you...thank you all....

Seagurl51
May 30th, 2005, 07:51 PM
Very well put Tom, very well put.

2go+h20
May 30th, 2005, 11:43 PM
Tom,
I enjoy your posts, and I can identify so well with what you have said in the above posts.
To some of us, swimming has so many benefits. Fitness, setting new goals, challenging ourselves, the health spin offs for a lifestyle that encompasses a lifetime.
We can learn about the sport.
We can discuss with others about the sport.
We can learn a lot from others.
We can be enriched by the struggles, adversity, and strength of the human spirit.
We can be empathetic, motivated, inspired and educated by others.
Thank you for your great sense of humour, for educating, inspiring and motivating me to overcome and challenge myself so I will reach the swimming goals I have set.
Swimming is a part of my lifestyle.
I appreciate the forums here, and the ability to be able to discuss and read.
A year ago I didn't enjoy it as much, so I simply chose to either not read a post or if I did, then don't respond. It was peaceful for several months....
Hope you keep posting Tom!
Kiwi

Conniekat8
May 31st, 2005, 12:54 AM
Tom, your posts even when not swiming related are fall within a very tactful volume.
Noone is arguing that there should be no non-swimming posts. I think what a few people are little bit worn out with is that there has been a few individuals here lately with a rather high off-topic posting volume.
I think yours is a pretty good example of how to go about acting silly and friendlky and lighthearted at times, without annoying everyone around you with making it too much.

Seagurl51
May 31st, 2005, 09:38 AM
I have to polietly disagree with the high volume comment. I went back about 6 pages, and found only 40 threads that could be considered off topic. 40 out of over 200 threads. I would not consider that to be high volume. Granted the number of posts in these threads is high volume, but the posts are contained within the thread that is then voluntarily read.

mattson
May 31st, 2005, 09:59 AM
I think no discussion about Mooserators would be complete without the opening credits for "Monty Python & the Holy Grail".

Opening credits script (http://www.smouse.force9.co.uk/monty.htm)

(I can't hear you. What are you saying, "Off-topic?" :D )

Tom Ellison
May 31st, 2005, 10:08 AM
Mattson:
How heart warming it was to read the script and realize their are people out there hooking a left at Mars....and exiting the solar system....just like Mr. Moose, Ralph and Tom....er...ME...

some_girl
May 31st, 2005, 11:12 AM
I've just started posting here, so my opinion may carry less weight than old timers'. That said, I really enjoy the silly posts and, more to the point, those posts are part of the reason I finally felt comfortable posting here. They make the board feel like a real community of genuinely nice people--they make it welcoming. I'd be really sad to see it move to email; that would only reinforce cliqueishness without the broader benefit of the board seeming friendlier. Or so it seems to me.

sibleyclan
May 31st, 2005, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by some_girl
I've just started posting here, so my opinion may carry less weight than old timers'. That said, I really enjoy the silly posts and, more to the point, those posts are part of the reason I finally felt comfortable posting here. They make the board feel like a real community of genuinely nice people--they make it welcoming. I'd be really sad to see it move to email; that would only reinforce cliqueishness without the broader benefit of the board seeming friendlier. Or so it seems to me.

As a newbie myself, I second everything some_girl says! This seems an informal & entertaining way to get to know others that share a similar interest that you might actually get to meet some day. I can understand folks not wanting a serious thread hijacked but, if the thread itself is clearly off topic, it can be easily (& quickly) ignored by anyone who doesn't find it interesting.

Rob Copeland
May 31st, 2005, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by some_girl
I've just started posting here, so my opinion may carry less weight than old timers'. ...

Your opinion should carry as much weight as any other dues paying member of USMS, whose membership dollars are paying for this site, regardless of when you joined or stated posting. So please feel comfortable in sharing these opinions with the rest of us.

And I don’t see anyone advocating totally removing the fun from this forum and turning it into a discussion of biomechanics, pool measurements, and dare I say VO2. Call me old fashioned, but, I for one am more interested in what we can do to make Masters Swimming more valuable to our members than I am about what Paris Hilton is wearing or who I’d take with me on a desert island.

While these threads are at time quite entertaining they can make it more difficult to cull through the chaff to find the swimming. I don’t dispute Kyra’s report that 20% of the threads were non-swimming, but at times these threads accounted for over 80% of the new posts.

There have been some very good suggestions regarding what if anything should be done. My question back to the group is how much are you willing to pay for this service? All of our moderators are volunteers and our web master is overwhelmed with other priority projects. So how many USMS members would pay, say, $20/year for the privilege of posting to this forum? And what would be a viable rate for non-members?

Conniekat8
May 31st, 2005, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by sibleyclan
I can understand folks not wanting a serious thread hijacked but, if the thread itself is clearly off topic, it can be easily (& quickly) ignored by anyone who doesn't find it interesting.

Except for moderators and administrators who start receiving complaints, and then have to focus their limited resources to the off topic threads rather then, let's say, processing the nationals entries, or writing articles for swim magazine....

Yeah, the same volunteers that are involved in debating the off topic postings are also involved in the organization of the '05 nationals and the '06 world games, working on the online entries and providing you with the information you need, determiningthe quakifying times, keeping track of top 10 times, preparing the articles for the website and the magazine, organizing the swim meets, many of them running for the offices with this year being the election year, working on national sponsorship and the USMS PR, number of other projects.
And in addition, monitoring/moderating this forum.

When your resources are very limited, you have to prioritize things. I doubt that expanding the forum here, or having a lengthy debate over expanding it will take priority over, let say, making sure that the online entries for the nationals are functioning, verified and processed correctly. When it takes the effort of the same people to make things happen.

The bigger issues is not so much whether there shoukd or shouldn't be off topic postings, but the resources that get taken away when it starts going in excess.

I know Kyra says that 20% of off topic is not that much.. well, what if that 20% vs. 10% made a difference between her national meet entry being processed correctly, or getting delayed, or having an oversight on it. Which is more important, the fun banter, or the meet entry?

Back to my original assertion, if suggestions to expand the forum and allow more off topic postings and fun came along with the offer of additional man power (or money, so someoine can be hired), I bet it would recieve a lot more positive interest, rather than opposition.

If the resources weren't limited, I bet that most people overseeing the board would not be opposed to allowing as much fun as possible.

poolmonkey
May 31st, 2005, 01:32 PM
First thing I ask my kids when they get out of the pool, "Did you guys have fun?"

Tom Ellison
May 31st, 2005, 01:35 PM
Gosh, after reading Connie's last post, I feel guilty for posting some of the banter in this forum....

some_girl
May 31st, 2005, 01:50 PM
Wait, Connie, doesn't that make it the complainers fault? Seems to me a better argument for "just skip it."


Your opinion should carry as much weight as any other dues paying member of USMS, whose membership dollars are paying for this site, regardless of when you joined or stated posting. So please feel comfortable in sharing these opinions with the rest of us.

Well thanks. I guess I just feel like there are a lot of people who have been using this board for a while, and so maybe I don't have as good a grip on its essential character as someone who has been here a while. That is, my opinion may carry less weight because it is less informed. But thanks.

craiglll@yahoo.com
May 31st, 2005, 02:01 PM
I'm kind of surprised that this thread has gone on for so long

sibleyclan
May 31st, 2005, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by some_girl
Wait, Connie, doesn't that make it the complainers fault? Seems to me a better argument for "just skip it."

I agree it would be the fault of the complainers but I think that Connie's point is that, no matter who's at fault, it still takes up the moderators time because there will always be those that complain and, for whatever reason, won't "just skip it".

poolmonkey
May 31st, 2005, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
I'm kind of surprised that this thread has gone on for so long

Personally, I like to beat it into the ground. Then jump on it and kick it some more to make sure it's down for the count. Then I'll take a little break, get a drink and my truck. Drive back and forth over it and repeat...

I appreciate everyone's feedback, because a lot of people look at things way differently than I do. Mainly because I live in my own little world on a far away planet. Strange how it never gets dark or rains there....

Hopefully both sides have taken a little from this post and we can find a happy medium where it's tolerable for both.

I'd hate for this forum to get ruined by too many people complaining or over-run with too little swimming content, which may end up driving off many of our very knowledgeable swimmers. But I love a good off-topic convo every once in a while. Who can be serious all the time? I enjoy swimming and I enjoy this forum. It wouldn't be the same w/o all the personalities.

Who's up for ending the feud?

Is a little less off topic and a little more lightening up possible?

Fishgrrl
May 31st, 2005, 03:50 PM
Rudy...LOL! I live on a foreign planet too....;)

Seagurl51
May 31st, 2005, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by poolmonkey

Hopefully both sides have taken a little from this post and we can find a happy medium where it's tolerable for both.


Agreed. I think there have been a lot of viable points for both sides made, and now it's time to start talking compromise. For one reason or another, skipping over it doesn't seem to be working. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Conniekat8
May 31st, 2005, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by sibleyclan
I agree it would be the fault of the complainers but I think that Connie's point is that, no matter who's at fault, it still takes up the moderators time because there will always be those that complain and, for whatever reason, won't "just skip it".

True.
And, depending on the acceptable use policy which I don't recall in detail, but for the arguments sake, let's say that they don;t endorse off topic posts, but they aren't anal about enforcing that rule.
The fact that someone complains abot something that technically isn't supposed to be there to begin with, doesn;t make it the fault of the complainer.

Also, when it comes to just skip it, even if there's no complaints, with this being a moderated board, the moderators still have to scan through the OT posts. So it's not necessarily extra work 'only' in case of complaints.

Conniekat8
May 31st, 2005, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
Does anyone have any other ideas?

Stop drop and roll?
We could drown it...
I know, make it do breath sets, everyone, 4x25Y underwater breath sets on 1:00 before making another post! :p

mattson
May 31st, 2005, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by knelson
How about just putting "NSR" (not swimming related) in the subject heading of these kinds of threads? Personally I don't mind them here. It's usually pretty obvious which ones aren't going to be about swimming much. The NSR will just make it that much easier for those who aren't interested to stay away.

I think Kirk has the right idea. Just encourage people to start putting "NSR" or "OT" (off-topic) in the subject line, on a voluntary basis, and see if that helps.

On the other hand, I've noticed that Karen and Kirk are right behind me on the total posters list, so nobody do anything that will cause them to post (until I build up more of a lead ;) ).

Connie, I'm not sure that underwater swims will help. I've heard of a study, that steroid-using soap-opera watchers that use VaMoose (VO2Max shampoo for mooses) on a desert island will develop gills.

Fishgrrl
May 31st, 2005, 06:00 PM
......but only if the Moose is wearing high heels....

dorothyrde
May 31st, 2005, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
Stop drop and roll?
We could drown it...
I know, make it do breath sets, everyone, 4x25Y underwater breath sets on 1:00 before making another post! :p

Or Stop POP and roll as my son used to say when he was 3. Sorry, have not kept up on the thread, but could not resist.

Michael Heather
May 31st, 2005, 09:10 PM
......but only if the Moose is wearing high heels....

Another insightful helpful post.

Tom Ellison
June 1st, 2005, 08:45 AM
It's ok Mike, many thing will come to pass in this world, but this Moose wearing high heals is not one of them.....;)

Seagurl51
June 1st, 2005, 09:45 AM
How about something like Mattson said. There are several little smilies and icons that can be added in front of the title, maybe we should designate one to be the off topic icon. Then you don't even have to look at the words in the title. Simpy look for the icon in the margin and you're good to go.

SwiminONandON
June 1st, 2005, 10:26 AM
I can't believe how hostile people are getting. While I still don't understand why people can't just ignore threads that are clearly off topic (or why it bothers people so much) I think adding an icon to the beginning of the thread title (or somewhere in) is a great idea.

I suggest the :o smiley face ... just a thought.


I think we all enjoy coming here for different reasons. I love talking about swimming and getting great advice and hearing about what other people do at their workouts. I also think it's neat to hear about the likes and dislikes of other swimmers as well as being crazy with them. I am sorry that that has upset so many people. I am probably the queen of off topic posts so I am sure much anger is directed at me. I am sorry. I'll buy several pitchers at worlds next year and get you all so obliterated you won't care any more ;)

Tom Ellison
June 1st, 2005, 10:31 AM
I got back in the pool last night for the first time in a long, long time...and... swam 2000 M and actually lived to tell about it....so count me in at Worlds Heather....
Mr. Moose said he is NOT mad at you....and still wants a big Moose hug at Worlds....

poolmonkey
June 1st, 2005, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by Michael Heather
......but only if the Moose is wearing high heels....

Another insightful helpful post.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

Thanks for the life altering post Mikey. I mean before I didn't see it, but now it's so clear. Oh my gosh! My life will be forever changed.

Thanks again. :p

SwiminONandON
June 1st, 2005, 10:56 AM
Ohhh ... can I be the kettle?

Hugh
June 3rd, 2005, 05:54 PM
First off, I feel obligated to mention that you can't hide from the moderators. I'm currently flying in an airplane, 35,000 feet over Canada, and catching up on the discussion forums.

There are currently 3425 members subscribed to the forums, plus many non-members who read the forums. As a moderator and member of the USMS Board of Directors, I want to see us increase our member benefits, without increasing costs. I also realize that use of the forums will likely continue to grow exponentially. So, how do we continue to support the forums without increasing USMS fees? I feel that a large part of the answer is improving content. I'd like to ask everyone to take a few seconds before making each post and answer the following questions:
Is this providing a useful contribution to the forums?
Do you want your post to be read by 4000 people?
Would email or PM be more appropriate?

newmastersswimmer
June 6th, 2005, 05:24 PM
Do you want your post to be read by 4000 people? originally posted by Hugh


Yikes........that question does make me feel a tad uneasy I must admit!


newmastersswimmer

mattson
June 6th, 2005, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by Hugh
I'd like to ask everyone to take a few seconds before making each post and answer the following questions:
Is this providing a useful contribution to the forums?
Do you want your post to be read by 4000 people?

You didn't say if posters should be able to answer "yes" or "no" to those questions. :p

newmastersswimmer
June 7th, 2005, 10:57 AM
See Ande's message on Seagurl's new thread about an NSR board....Apparently it's all set up now....so we can resurrect some ot these NSR threads over there that the MODS have now ended over here.

newmastersswimmer

Maryyyyyy
June 7th, 2005, 11:27 AM
I feel guilty of topix-hijacking with the spin-off to the Norwegian/Swedish thing in the drills topic.

I apologize to all. Won't happen again!

Mary

jswim
June 7th, 2005, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by some_girl
I've just started posting here, so my opinion may carry less weight than old timers'. That said, I really enjoy the silly posts and, more to the point, those posts are part of the reason I finally felt comfortable posting here. They make the board feel like a real community of genuinely nice people--they make it welcoming. I'd be really sad to see it move to email; that would only reinforce cliqueishness without the broader benefit of the board seeming friendlier. Or so it seems to me.

I realize this is a late response, but I agree with some girl..

I found it much more welcoming and easier to become a part of the swimming forums once I saw the fun banter on the boards. It's very nice to see that it's not all "super serious total badass individuals here on the boards." It can get intimidating when you're starting out and want to ask a question or post a response and the tone of all the threads is very serious, on topic discussions only. (though I very much appreciate all the advice I've received from others on swimming issues, as well as learning from others' questions)

I have noticed a couple of people who have specifically stated in their first posts that they joined the discussions (both swimming related) because everyone seemed very nice, helpful and fun etc... that's how I felt as well.

Anyway, I imagine there has got to be a happy medium here, and I'd hate to see ALL of the fun, light hearted, community feeling of this board just disappear.

just my two cents. :)

Frank Thompson
February 8th, 2007, 05:27 PM
jsmwbnc:

Jesse, I suggest you read this and see how people feel about non related swimming topics on this discussion forum.

Brian Stack
February 8th, 2007, 07:19 PM
I belong to an audio forum that uses this same software, vBulletin, and we have an "Off Topic" Forum. The forums on that site are divided up by topics that would be analagous to our "Workouts", "General Discussion", and the LMSC forums. Take a look at how it works:
http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/index.php?
I'd like to be able to get to the swimming discussions without having to sift through personal topics, but I'd like those members to have a place to interact too.
Separate forums would allow me to get my swimming fix, and the folks who feel they need to give spiritual advice, debate nicknames or pass on the news of the moment would have a forum here to do that, and everyone's happy.
OK, leaving on the top!

3degree
February 8th, 2007, 09:10 PM
Take a look out on the Runner's World Forums http://forums.runnersworld.com/eve and you'll see that there is a much more specific organization for training, equipment, types of runners, races, etc. AND a forum entitled:
Letters And Opinions
A general running forum for all topics. Not for the faint of heart. For mature or very immature audiences only.

Ok, not enough-- Look out on the Cool Running Forums http://www.coolrunning.com/cgi-bin/ubb/Ultimate.cgi and AGAIN :dedhorse: you can find a section:

Clubhouse
An anything-goes gathering place for discussion of all things: great thoughts, jokes, philosophical musings, silly questions and high-test camaraderie.
.

I had mentioned these two forums in another thread as examples of having an off topic category but I also thought that they had a good layout of topics and compartmentalization of specific areas related to their sport. So a blend of these 2 forums would be pretty cool with those types of areas for the users. :groovy:

The Fortress
February 9th, 2007, 06:51 PM
Your opinion should carry as much weight as any other dues paying member of USMS, whose membership dollars are paying for this site, regardless of when you joined or stated posting.


Apparently not.


I think this is the best summation of the frivolity debate I've read thus far:

part of being a swimmer is the social aspect
friendships develop because of swimming

all kinds of conversations between swimmers take place
on the wall betwen sets,
on easy kick sets,
in the weight room,
in the locker room after practice
at parties, bars, coffee shops and restaurants after practice,
in the stands at meets and
many other places and situations

some swimmers are chatty,
others show up for practice and don't talk to anyone

can't we all just get a long?