San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
Off-Topic Posts (message from the admin)
User Forum Topic
Submitted by Rich Toscano on July 5, 2007 - 11:06am
There has been some discussion in the forum about whether the off-topic posts should be allowed to continue.
I have to admit that I've grappled with this issue several times. The off-topic forum was intended as a place where the formerly friendly and like-minded Econo-Almanac community could talk about non-housing aspects of life (yes, there is such a thing).
"Where's a good running trail?"
"Who serves the best Dim Sum in SD?"
"Why has Battlestar totally gone to hell, what with the love triangles and the character drama and the general lack of stuff getting blowed up by robots?"
These are the types of topics I suppose I envisioned when I created the off-topic forum. I never imagined that it would lead to the kind of vitriolic political and religious flame wars that routinely arise there. Perhaps I was being too optimistic (something of which I'm rarely accused), but I just figured that there are so many places on The Internets that are expressly intended for these types of highly personal and controversial subject matters that it wouldn't make much sense to discuss them here.
That said, it's clear that at least some of you like talking and/or viciously laying into one another regarding these topics. And this forum is, you will recall, pretty much entirely unmoderated (until now, the only non-spambot participant ever to be banned was accorded this honor only after repeatedly libelling me). So in consideration of all that, I'm going to let the free-for-all nature of the topics discussed here continue for now.
However, there are going to be a couple rules (for new content starting now):
We (I and my lovely wife, who helps with site administration) have very little time and even less desire to police the forums. I don't even have time to read all the threads -- nowhere close -- let alone moderate them. So be warned that the application of the above rules will be completely arbitrary as we come across things. We won't catch nearly everything, and we aren't going to spend undue time figuring out whether something's off topic before deleting it (so when in doubt, keep it in the off-topic forum).
Spotty enforcement notwithstanding, hopefully these guidelines will make the forum a more enjoyable place for all, or at least most.
Incidentally, in response to a specific question, for technical reasons I am unable to exclude specific forums from the "Active Forum Topics" list. So if you don't like seeing the off-topic stuff, you can use the main forum page, or just let your gaze pass quickly over threads about [George Bush | Hillary Clinton] before your eyeballs begin to burn.
For what it's worth, I continue to find the forum an excellent source for (housing related) info and analysis. Some people have pointed out that the housing downturn's slow-moving nature, in addition to the fact that the mainstream has finally punched in, make for a quiet forum. I agree, and my reaction is: so what? If there's only one post per day, and it's interesting and insightful, then the forum has served its purpose as far as I am concerned.
For now, let's see how this new approach goes. I appreciate everyone's help in keeping the forum a valuable resource.
~Active forum topics~