Indeed so. I've been involved with 'on-line' discussions since long before 'the Internet' (www) came into existence (e.g. on Compuserve forums in the early 80s), and it's been happening since 'day 1'. Essentially the same thing had been happening in pubs, coffee houses and other meeting places 'since the beginning of time', centuries or millenia before electronic communications existed. It's essentially a matter of 'human nature'. Forums vary, but in this one the mods make little, if any, attempt to deal with 'thread drift' (unless it 'drifts'into a slanging match!). As you say, the result is often to the detriment of OPs.wandering off topic into spin off discussions happens all the time (especially on here) and its a PITA for the mods to try to keep a thread on topic. It is this that is often the ruin of many a thread, that causes the OP to not re post because they look at what has started and want to steer well clear. Its always happen(ed)...
What will always happen is that one question/discussion will lead to some people being stimulated to think about wider issues, or to think about the primary issue in more detail than is required to answer the OP. However, that does not mean that 'thread drift' is inevitable and, as you will understand, that is the very reason I started this thread and explained what I (as a major culprit) am going to try to do about it. By hiving off such wider or more detailed discussions into separate threads, the original one remains unadulterated and straightforward, to the benefit of OPs. Of course, your solution would also work (for everyone to desist from, of be forbidden from, engaging in these wider discussions), but there clearly are some people who find such extended discussions to be interesting and/or helpful.... it will always happen and only "you" (the members that take part in the OT discussion) can prevent it happening (by not taking part).
Indeed - and, for all of us, the moment a discussion 'spins' onto a topic significantly different from the title of the thread, that seriously frustrates attempts to search for it in the future.I tend to find that the spin off discussions add to my (limited) knowledge of things-electric. But I do also get frustrated that they go markedly off the original topic.
Yes, I've already commented on the fact that the mods in this forum very rarely do anything thing about thread drift - whilst, as you say, in some forums they are much more active in that regards. I personally think that "self-management" is probably better if it can be made to work - since us contributors are probably in the best position to judge when and how a thread needs splitting'. In some forums I know, the mods completely mess up some discussions by splitting threads inappropriately.On another forum that I frequent, the mods are razor-sharp at splitting off-topic threads into new threads. Would be good to see the contributors here being able to "self-manage" but would be even better to see the mods being a wee bit more proactive on this.
If the forum software and mods would allow it, one could certainly add a # to the thread title, but I'm noit sure that it would be very useful. The whole reason for starting a new thread is that the discussion no longer relates to the subject of the original thread, and is therefore best separate, with it's own title. If you're suggesting actually including a link in the thread title, I doubt very much whether that is possible (although, admittedly, I have not tried).Would it be possible to use # (hash tag) to show a link to the original thread and at the same time indicating that the posting was a spin off discussion?
There is no way to insert a link into a thread title (and, I think, a fairly modest limit to the length of a title). I think that what I've been doing is probably an adequate way of cross-referring between 'original' and 'spin-off' threads.Yes, I was thinking of a link in the new thread e.g. under the subject title "Leak detecting & RCDs" there could be a line "# RCD nuisance tripping 24/7/99" so that readers could back track if useful. No, I haven't tried either.
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