Joined: June 30 2004
Location: United States
|Posted: August 13 2004 at 1:15am | IP Logged
Whim -- do you mean off-topic threads in and amongs the forums? Or do you mean a discussion forum for off-topic threads?
If you're talking about off-topic threads in general, I'll confess: I love them. I love it when a discussion takes a few turns. I'd gladly, with gusto, join into a discussion that started out on the topic of album art and finished on the merits of various mp3 players. Or a discussion that began with with favorite albums and ended up discussing Ween or Moxy Fruvous (one of them I love, one of them I hate -- can you guess which?).
Off-topic topics are, to me, essential to the spirit and soul of a bulletin board/discussion forum/newsgroup. Discussing only the chartered topic is like hospital food -- it will keep you alive but not interested. Besides, we are not necessarily here to discuss TMBG. We all have an interest in TMBG, and it's almost certain that we have other common interest and it's even more likely that we have things we disagree about. If we were to meet in a restaurant, we wouldn't stick to one topic (unless it was completely engrossing). We'd talk about so many things you'd have to write them down to remember them all. And the topics would whiz by like birds -- music, books, food, cars, school, work, women, men, swimming, cell phones, farting, cereal, hats, birds, alcohol, and so on. Why should it be different here?
If you're talking about an special forum dedicated to off-topic, I'll confess: I don't think it's a good idea. Off-topic stuff should just happen, arising from the ashes of foregoing discussions. Now, I'll grant you that an off-topic area might be good for discussions that have gone far and badly astray of the charter -- such threads could be "moved" when they exceed a certain dimension.