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 What is a "dedicated" thread and why do we need it?

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Lise
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Posts : 1412
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: What is a "dedicated" thread and why do we need it?   Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:39 pm

For the purposes of OBC Connect, a dedicated thread is one in which respondents' comments should directly address, and be limited to, the original poster's questions or issues.

The reason for creating dedicated threads is that each forum member has the right to talk with others who want to explore the same issues. By dedicating a thread we are "reserving a meeting room", to use a business term, with the idea that participants will only join a meeting if they have something productive to say that is directly related to the topic(s) at hand.

Tangential discussions, debate and dissent may be moved to other threads, or deleted outright, if they high-jack or derail a discussion to the point that the original poster's intent is no longer the focus.

The following posts were copied from a forum discussion and help illustrate the point:

Lise wrote:
Jack, Amalia and Diana -- you have all raised interesting
points in your responses. In order to help this thread stay on-topic
and relevant to the original poster's questions, though, I am going to
ask that you start another thread, outside this Category, where your
discussion can continue in parallel.

The express intent behind "Suggestions for the OBC" is to have a place for members "to discuss constructive ideas and solutions aimed at supporting positive change".
This makes it a little different from other forum Categories whose
purposes are not as clearly defined/delimited. Here, the idea is for
the focus to stay on constructive ideas rather than debate and
disagreement over OBC practices, history or other factors.

I
hope this does not come across as heavy-handed admin censorship. I
haven't tried to support a forum before, so am learning as I go along.
But I am commenting at this point because I feel it's important to have
balance here, and this is more likely to happen if members are allowed
to carve out some dedicated zones of discussion for clearly-defined
purposes.

We have been asking current OBC members to post. If we
want them to do this, and keep coming back, we need to be respectful of
their ability to discuss a topic among like-minded responders, and not
have it derailed by off-topic dissent.

I hope this makes sense -- if further clarification is needed, I'll shift this over to a new spot and we can carry on.

thanks,
Lise


Diana wrote:
Thanks Lise,

I do agree that we need to start
other threads more often as the forum is getting so big now that things
are getting lost! Some things I wanted to respond to are hidden in
other threads and I can't find them. So I guess some organization is
needed. We can start a thread on what I brought up so that it does not
take over this thread. Maybe when we start to go off on tangents,
whomever starts that tangent, should link a new thread? Sound okay?

:-)
Diana


amalia wrote:
So let me get this straight, Lise. You are deciding
alone as an admin who is "like-minded" enough to post on this thread?
That is really something. Are you actually going to delete this then?


Lise wrote:
@ Diana, yes, I think for threads in the "dedicated"
Categories it would be great to start a shadow or parallel thread
elsewhere and maybe title it "Response to [whatever the title was]". I
will start noting which Categories are "dedicated", to give people a
head's up.

Defining "tangential" is tricky. My best shot at that
is to give an example based on Ian's thread here: he is asking for
ideas and positive ways to address issues raised in the forum. If a
response doesn't contain any of that, it's probably off-topic and
doesn't belong in this thread. It can be posted anywhere else the
poster would like, and the discussion won't be curtailed in any way
(subject to the published forum rules of course) . It just needs to
happen apart from the original poster's thread, so that his/her
contribution is not obscured and therefore basically wasted.

@
Amalia -- yes, at some point the off-topic comments will be moved out
of Ian's thread so that it can continue to serve the function intended.
"Dedicated" threads will be handled differently than non-dedicated, in
order to provide balance to the forum and respect the original poster's
intent in starting a topic.

Yes, I think someone has to assess
whether posters are coming to a thread like Ian's because they want to
respond to the question asked, which makes them "like-minded", or do
they want to high-jack the thread. The latter is not good, most forums
discourage it, and I feel ok with doing that too.

So far we
don't have a large admin staff, just three including me, and I'm the
only one in the U.S. time zone. I'm trying to add more so that my
perspective does not rule the roost.

I hope this clarifies.

violet wrote:
Lise -- I think that starting new threads so often is
quite confusing. It's hard to keep track of who said what and which
posts I have read or have not read. I think the value of preserving the
original "intent" of a thread is not as important as the opportunity to
read what people say and how others respond without having to find a
new thread where the comments/responses are buried.

Also, I
like seeing the posts of people who are still active in the OBC mixed
in with the "anti's." Many of us are trying to sort out what happened
along the way of our spiritual path. It's helpful to have people with
different perspectives posting and replying to one another. I don't
like the idea that some people are "like-minded" and others are not. It
seems to set up an artificial duality.

That said, I want to thank you again for serving as admin on this forum. It's become more lively that anyone expected!

Kyogen wrote:
Hi Violet,

I don't think the intention is to
divide people based on pro or con vis a vis the OBC. Lise is just
trying to allow a thread to stay on its intended topic. I know I find
it frustrating when I raise a question and the conversation veers off
into a different but related topic. "Like minded" means letting those
who wish to stay on the original topic have a place to discuss it, like
moving to another room, or breaking into small groups at a conference.

I realize people have pent up feelings based on autocratic leadership, but that's not what Lise is doing. She's trying to allow conversation.
There is a place for bringing up old hurts and legitimate complaints.
There is also good reason to limit them when they drown out the
intended topic of conversation. Hence, separate threads.

In
order to have a high quality of discourse, we all have to give up a
little and show courtesy to others. Lise, thank you for managing this.
It can be a thankless task.

With bows,

Kyogen
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