On Topic v. Off Topic v. Rest of Forums

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Forum users will note that we have roughly 75 subforums (this is how many forums we have, not necessarily how many you can see). There are two subforums in particular that are the most common sources of confusion: The Off-Topic and On-Topic forum. These two subforums have been around since January of 2008. If you look hard enough there are a handful of threads attemping to explain the difference. In light of recent SFM decisions; however, a fresh post addressing the distinction is now necessary.

What goes in Off-Topic as opposed to On-Topic does not depend on the subject. For example, a thread entitled "Hey guys I just bought a new car!" could go both in the Off-Topic forum and the On-Topic forum. The ONLY distinction is the OP (original poster's) willingness to have his or her thread derailed, side-tracked, or to some extent be razzed or teased.

If the OP wants to ensure that the discussion remains serious and on point, the thread should be placed in the ON TOPIC forum.

If the OP wants merely to get a conversation going, not necessarily staying on the original point of the thread, the thread should be placed in the OFF TOPIC forum.

Note: If you post threads that are not serious or intended to encourage off-topicish behavior your ON TOPIC thread will be moved to Off-Topic were it belongs.

Next, people get razzed, teased, mocked, [insert verb here] in off topic. People should not be personally attacked. The MadCast Code of Conduct still applies in the Off Topic forum. But if you are someone that gets offended easily or is hypersensitive, you are better off staying out. Unless something is an UNEQUIVOCAL violation of the CoC, you will be told to suck it up and stay out of the forum.

The ON TOPIC and OFF TOPIC distinction is a continuing compromise between the seriousness expected in the balance of our forums and allowing a release valve. Do not go OFF TOPIC in the ON TOPIC forum and do not get all ON TOPIC in the OFF TOPIC forum. OFF TOPIC is somewhere to let your hair down and just hang out. It is no accident that the OFF TOPIC forum is the busiest forum on this website.

Lastly, if it helps you, think of the two forums as Serious Off Topic (On Topic) and Non-Serious Off Topic (Off Topic). Most of the time, threads should be placed in one of those two forums ONLY IF THEY CANT BE BETTER categorized somewhere else. So if you have a thread that is based on League of Legends, it should go in the League of Legends forum, not in the OFF TOPIC or ON TOPIC forum.

Except for the subforum Off Topic all of our forums are "On Topic" and should follow the rules of no derailments, thread hijacks, etc. If a thread gives you an idea, great! POST A NEW THREAD! Nothing stops you from posting your own thread and deepening the content of the website.

We have a lot of users using this website. We have a lot of folks commonly searching for threads. I hope the above explanations (and moderation that will follow) increases everyone's enjoyment of the website.

Edited by MadCast Tort
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