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Should "Off Topic" Posts be listed in New Posts?

Discussion in 'Forum Discussion' started by ClassyOwl, Apr 13, 2020.

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  1. Hi everyone,

    As I'm sure you can tell, I'm ClassyOwl. During my time at Mineplex, my "first love," so to speak, has always been the forums; while I may not post much compared to my peers, I'm constantly reading the forums and keeping up with the Mineplex Network's running dialogue.

    During the last few years, I've consistently observed an increase in popularity from our network's "Off Topic" subforum. While I have no issues with the Off Topic subforum itself, lately the content being posted has strayed further and further from the network itself and increasingly flooded the "New Posts" column which, at times, can certainly make it seem more difficult to find community discussions actually pertinent to Mineplex-- which is the content I'm coming to the forums for in the first place. Furthermore, the more popular our Off Topic subforum becomes the more prevalent lower quality posts become on the forums which have become an issue plaguing nearly every thread. I don't think the Off Topic subforum should be removed because the content that people post there has to go somewhere, but I personally think that it should be taken out of the New Posts column in an effort to promote more Mineplex-centric discussions and higher quality posts.

    What do you all, the community, think? Should the Off Topic subforum stay in the New Posts column, or should it be taken out? Why or why not?

    Thanks so much for reading, and I'm looking forward to reading all of your responses.

    --

    EDIT [4/14/20, 08:10 EST]: It's been brought to my attention through various means that @Iscariot has already posted a thread on the matter that has been addressed by the Website Feedback and Website QA Senior Moderator, @Marzie. Please familiarize yourself with it here.

    I intend to leave this thread open since the intent of this thread isn't to ask Mineplex to remove Off Topic from the New Posts column, but rather to host an open dialogue about whether or not Off Topic posts should stay in the New Posts column (and why). Thanks!
     
    Posted Apr 13, 2020,
    Last edited Apr 14, 2020
  2. No.
     
    Posted Apr 13, 2020
  3. I've seen this suggestion thrown around the forums, but I think off-topic posts should still be on the recent posts as they still count as posts and most posts are actually in off-topic. Removing this feature would decrease the new posts, and it wouldn't make sense anymore.
     
    Posted Apr 13, 2020
  4. Hey ClassyOwl,

    So you might've known that the first original Mineplex website ran on Enjin, the website for Minecraft servers. It operated similar to the website Mineplex runs now, which is Xenforo. Xenforo's forum comes with the New Posts window as a feature you can enable/disable. Technically since the Off-Topic page is a forum, its posts automatically get added into the New Posts window just like all the other forum posts do.

    Personally I do not mind Off-Topic posts being put in the New Posts window. If I could say anything about it, maybe it's just a preference that the Mineplex staff have, and maybe they just do not want to remove it. As I said before, it is just a feature that Xenforo websites have, so there may be no way to disable specific forum posts from showing up in it.

    Hopefully this helped!
    - 6_figures (Jorden)
     
    Posted Apr 13, 2020
    chrvssy likes this.
  5. Agree 100%. It clogs up discussion and inhibits quality network based discussion- which should be the focus of the forums.
     
    Posted Apr 13, 2020
  6. Hey!

    Personally, I don't agree with this idea. I think one of the big factors of having a forums page is for community connection. It's a place for people to make new friends and connections outside of in-game. Thus, I think promoting off-topic posts on the forums is a great way to increase user activity. I also think of off-topic posts as more of gateway posts to creating/contributing to more serious threads. Some of my first activity on the forums was on off-topic threads, and after that, I moved into the more focused threads. I definitely think that off-topic posts should stay in the New Posts column -- if anyone wants to see more serious posts, they can go directly to the subforum they wish to check out.

    Interesting idea, but -1 from me. Nonetheless, you provided a cohesive idea that was easy to follow. Thanks so much!
     
    Posted Apr 13, 2020
    NoHaxJustCats_ and thebestvibes like this.
  7. Hi! So, I can see where you're coming from here. I think that the Off Topic posts can be a bit consuming, and especially if they're not pertinent to Mineplex-related content. However, the decision to remove it from the New Posts category is a little bit tricky. The Off Topic section is there for a reason: to allow players to talk about topics other than Mineplex, and to have fun with it along the way. As long as nothing is inappropriate, it's totally fine to have the section still there. I believe that it would be for the better to leave it there, considering that, as Chrissy said, the Off Topic posts can lead to a lot of critical threads in the future. In addition, the Off Topic posts generate a lot of publicity from the Mineplex forum users, and because of this large audience, it would be a bit crippling to take that away from the "New Posts" column. I think your idea is certainly important, and I commend you for posting, but I respectfully disagree.
     
    Posted Apr 13, 2020
  8. Hey,

    Banksy, or Iscariot, made a suggestion thread to this, and I think Off topic threads don't deserve to be in the "New Posts" list. Help section threads are not in the new posts list, so why not include something that doesn't contribute to the server, but rather off topic questions. There are some ideas that barely get any recognition, which could be due to the flood of threads that remove their ability to show off their idea. If someone wants to talk about off topic things, then they can always click in the Off Topic section or talk about off topic stuff in Lobby-1 on Mineplex. Removing off topic threads won't harm the popularity of the threads, nor will it kill the amount of responses for off topic posts. Off topic threads will always thrive to get responses especially since it is an easy way to get a post in your post count haha. Seriously though, I think that threads about the server and forums need more recognition than off topic threads. This idea will rather shed more light to the threads that are being made to actually improve the server, which is what we need to get constant updates. Props to Mineplex for pushing for recent updates, and I want to make sure the community is willing to show their ideas for a while. In short, I am definitely in favor of this idea because it will show new ideas often especially for new forum users. The Off topic section is one single section that can be navigated through one click, but it will take multiple clicks to navigate through multiple key sections of the forums. Nice idea.
     
    Posted Apr 14, 2020
  9. I am 50% on your suggestion. It is understandable that new ideas and other posts about Mineplex deserve more recognition than casual conversation, but the off topic section is one of the most popular. If the off topic section is removed, it becomes more tedious to find it threads, possibly causing an outrage within the community. To satisfy both parties, I believe we should make a separate tab beside the new posts for off topic. Players can now conveniently find each section as they wish. I think the same should be done for forums games too, another active subforum.

    Report a User | Report a Bug | Rules | My Profile | Applications
     
    Posted Apr 14, 2020
    Johnny Welamton and chrvssy like this.
  10. I feel like the off topic is a good place to look if you want to find something random to talk about, and I find that most threads I post or respond in tend to be off topic. I think that it should be in the new post because it’s always nice to see what people are talking about on the forums, whether it be about current situations or something funny they thought about. In the end, it’s not too much of a hassle to scroll through it and find something strictly server related Also, while the forums are about posting community related post, I feel like being able to talk about what comes on your mind, and being able to engage, will make the community stronger, which should be encouraged.
     
    Posted Apr 14, 2020
  11. I personally agree. The idea is to engage users with more thoughtful, and perhaps more pressing matters such as game balance and other suggestions rather than just miscellaneous questions. For the most part, the "Off-Topic" section consists of random daily questions, memes, and surveys. Posts such as these or new ideas are sometimes pushed under Off-Topic threads because they are more prevalent and easier to answer. Now, I do like to see my fair share of interesting questions on the sidebar, but I also don't want "What is your favorite country" sitting above "Should we remove smash crystals in Smash Mobs?", which may be a more important threat to view in general.
    I feel that removing Off-Topic would be a bit sad, but it would open up opportunities for more posts coming into actual ideas threads, which will ultimately help the server. My personal alternative to this is to just have a small sidebar with a "New in Off-Topic" section, where you can see 3-4 posts that are in that subforum, while the rest of our content sits in the original "New" section. Now, of course, this comes with work and some issues, like a more cluttered screen, but I feel that in retrospect, having important threads with actual game balance or help/feedback content appear on "New" is multiple times more useful than a flooded sidebar which asks us what type of Krispy Kreme donut we are, or if we prefer coffee to tea.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    Posted Apr 14, 2020
  12. My problem with this logic, though, is that I don't think removing Off Topic from New Posts would actually decrease the amount of posts being made. Off Topic would, obviously, still be there and I'm sure it would remain very popular. However, by removing Off Topic from the New Posts column, Mineplex would be promoting the posts being made that are actually pertinent to the network.

    People come to the Mineplex forums to have discussions about, well, Mineplex. However, the Off Topic section drowns out any of those discussions with content that I just don't care about. By removing Off Topic from New Posts, we would highlight and promote posts that are actually about Mineplex which is what the forums are all about.
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 14, 2020
    Wiz2K and SpitefulNick like this.
  13. I'm perfectly aware of the pre-Xenforo Enjin forums. Mineplex already controls which forums count towards your post count and which ones show up in the New Posts column, so to say that Off Topic shows up in New Posts is deeply flawed logic.

    Unlike Enjin, Xenforo allows our dutiful Web Developer to write to the website itself instead of using a website builder like Enjin. Mineplex can change literally anything about the New Posts column if it wants to, so I find it very hard to believe that Off Topic is still being displayed on New Posts for no reason other than that they can't make it stop.
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 14, 2020,
    Last edited Apr 14, 2020
  14. I strongly disagree. In fact, I'm posting less than ever simply because there's so little actual content for me to comment on. I do agree that the forums can be a great place for people to meet and make friends, but threads surveying how many Mineplex players like mayonnaise isn't the solution to promoting user activity. The Enjin forums weren't plagued (as badly) by Off Topic, and, in turn, there were so many legitimate discussions for users to participate in. These days, we just don't have that, and both the conversation topics and (especially) the posts themselves have deteriorated rapidly in quality because of it.

    Again, I strongly disagree. You say that the off-topic posts led you to more serious threads, but I fail to see how topics such as "Should Pineapple Be Put On Pizza?" would compel anyone to become more involved in more serious topics. Maybe I could understand and empathize with you saying that Off Topic makes the forums more approachable, but I have to admit I consider this argument pointless since nothing stops you-- or anyone-- from posting to on-topic threads to begin with.

    The whole point of the New Posts column is that it provides an overview of the discussions currently taking place on the forums. Your solution, to check each subforum individually, doesn't provide that same overview, and it doesn't solve me constantly seeing Off Topic threads on the bottom/right-hand side of my screen to begin with. This doesn't fix the problem, and it sounds like it would only make using the forums to find new and relevant discussions more difficult than just going through New Posts and skipping over threads from the Off Topic subforum.

    If you have any further feedback on the matter, I would love to hear it. For now, however, you've failed to provide any meaningful and compelling arguments for the Off Topic posts remaining in New Posts.
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 14, 2020,
    Last edited Apr 14, 2020
    Xukuwu and SpitefulNick like this.
  15. Honestly, I would prefer keeping 'Off Topic' posts listed as New Posts. I think having it there allows for there to be as much activity in the Off-Topic section as there is in any other section, and by removing it, I fear that the amount of posts made in that section will plummet. I definitely see where you're coming for, but I'd rather keep things as they are when it comes to Off Topic posts.
     
    Posted Apr 14, 2020
  16. You're absolutely right: The Off Topic section is there to allow players to talk about topics other than Mineplex and have fun in the process. I'm not saying to remove Off Topic, just arguing that it should be taken out of New Posts since it doesn't make sense (to me and others, at least) to promote content that has nothing to do with the network itself. Like I mentioned in my response to @ChrissyTheFish I have a very hard time believing that Off Topic classics, such as "Should I Shave my Hair?" would lead you to participate in more pertinent discussions and consider that argument voided.

    Could you possibly elaborate on how Off Topic posts "generate a lot of publicity from the Mineplex forum users"?
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 14, 2020
  17. I don't have any arguments since I agree wholeheartedly with what you're saying, but I wanted to make note that I was notified of the thread @Iscariot posted about the Off Topic section shortly after creating this thread. Since you've brought it to my attention again, I'll be citing it in my original post. Thanks!
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 14, 2020
  18. I'm not saying to remove Off Topic altogether, I'm arguing to take it out of the New Posts column. That said, I do agree that the Off Topic section is one of the most popular-- which is why I believe it would continue to be one of the most active subforums after being removed from the New Posts column. Off Topic is incredibly active, and while taking it out of New Posts would certainly lower the rate at which posts are made I don't believe it would completely kill it off and I'm confident that it would remain very active.

    I don't think the solution here is to create a new New Posts column specifically for Off Topic since that would be a permanent website fixture for every user and would send a very strong message that Mineplex actively supports and endorces the Off Topic subforum, which isn't what the forums site is meant for.
     
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 14, 2020
  19. But then again, it’s not really a simple task.... they can’t just turn off a single forum from showing up in the New Posts window whenever they want. You have to look at time, the cost, the opinions, and the possible outcomes.
     
    Posted Apr 14, 2020
  20. Heyo!

    Personally I would like to keep off topic posts to stay listed as new posts.

    Removing off topic posts from listing in new posts would make it harder to find new off topic threads to respond to because you would have to scroll down, click the off topic sub forum then click the thread you want to respond to, but right now you can just scroll down new posts and find an off topic thread you want to respond to.

    In conclusion I do not want off topic threads/posts to not list on new posts because it would make it more tedious to find off topic threads to respond to.

    Have a nice day!
     
    Posted Apr 14, 2020
    thebestvibes likes this.
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