Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

Are we getting any moderators for this forum?


I don’t think so. Many threads have in-between off-topic posts. I don’t mind them, and they are part of the conversation. However, on-topic posts are “buried” in between; if I do not participate in such a conversation in real time, but revisit the forum e.g. once a day or every 2nd day, it makes it very difficult to follow. I agree with @tlammert 's comment here.

In fact, this off-topic-chats made me more or less stop contributing to this forum although I was very enthusiastic about it and our community in the first days. I was reading every blog comment and every forum thread for a while, and sometimes I wrote something. Not often, I am not so chatty in general (I prefered the blog format over the discourse system which does not really visualize breakout discussions.) But I liked it and felt part of it. However without an efficient way to see or filter which posts are actually on-topic and which post not makes reading the forum very hard. I feel a bit like an outsider now and I also hesitate to write new posts. Right now I just visit once in a while.

I think it would be helpful if there was something like an off-topic flag for each post; this flag should actually have no negative effect at all, but people could assign it to posts or also mark their own posts as off-topic. Those once-in-a-while visitors could have the option to highlight the non-flagged on-topic posts or display the off-topic ones in a visually different “faded out” style. Something like that. Maybe a discourse plugin exists which does something like that?

I also like the concept of community moderation instead of dedicated users with special rights. I prefer this way to a heavily moderated forum where threads are regularly cut and moved.


I would more prefer a plugin that shows all threads in the blog-comment-format. :slight_smile:

Are here any Discourse professionals/fans who can say what’s possible to improve the situation?

/edit: btw: Actually this discussion is off-topic. :slight_smile: (The question was if we are getting moderators. Now we are discussing the off-topic issue …)


It is. As I stated:

Somebody went off topic with the purpose of criticizing off topics. What does it mean, if not that a certain amount of digression is physiological in an healthy conversation? Topics evolve. Things change. That’s how things work.

Are we really discussing THIS? For 42 posts? Come on guys, this means we have no life, and we desperately need off topics to fill it up… :smiling_imp:

I don’t beeping care about search engines. I care about the people I like, the topics I like, and the off topics I like.
And I can find all of this, here.


I totally embrace your suggestions. I think they are very clever. It would be great if we had the chance to flag our messages as off topic. Considering also that Discourse has this great feature of summarizing threads selecting the most important messages (and excluding others). I wonder if @eviltrout has had a look here. Who knows, in the future… :slightly_smiling_face:


And everyone will do this consistently? :slight_smile:


Ha! There’s an answer to this, too! A maximum of four off-topic flags per thread for each user! :slight_smile:


Ah, you mean that others should flag the off-topic-posts? In that case: Why only four? And what happens if one of the users flag an on-topic post as off-topic? And what about posts that are on-topic and off-topic?


Oh my dear Ron, now I understand how you felt back in the days of the “make it an option” mood! :stuck_out_tongue:

One point at time:

No my dear mr. Someone, I meant that every user that posts in a thread has a maximum of four flags to put on his messages within that thread. Four because of the Fantastic Four, the four disciplines of ancient mathematics… I like the number four! :slight_smile:

This can’t happen unless the author (the only one that can flag his own post as off-topic together with moderators) is a masochist.

Well for those ones the author doesn’t flag them.
If the off-topic is consistent, this can lead the writer to write different posts: one on-topic, another off-topic.

I found your answers very on-topic! Thank you :stuck_out_tongue:

P. S. All this idea started from SimonSimon words is not to be intended as a system of rules, but as a chance for those who want to help to keep the threads clear for those who read them in the future.
(And now a question grows in my mind: have I ever wrote something that deserves such a great treatment of being kept for future readers? Probably not, but I’m selfless!)


In that case: Why should a user flag his own posts?

A user writes four posts with the off-topic flag. And then he writes just another off-topic post without the flag. And if he is a mean user, he won’t flag his off-topic posts at all. What happens in these cases?

And you think that he is doing this? Beside that, Disourse encourages the uses to put all his answers in one posts.

No, they are off-topic. The question was: “Are we getting any moderator for this forum”. And the discussion between us two hasn’t answered that question at all. :wink:

There is at least one user that will ignore these optional features. As a consequence nothing will change.


I could suggest to turn the entire forum into a chat and just forget about the whole moderation thing. :stuck_out_tongue:

Being always on track might be for sure boring, but taking extremes measures is not the only option, we might try to be mostly on topic, as you suggested with that “max x OT messages”.

I understand this, but we usually derail conversations regardless of their nature. We do this even in threads of people who are asking for support or hints. I still think that we go off-topic beyond the normal kind of OT that can be considered natural or inevitable.

I don’t think that the objective should be to remove OT, I think that there are ways to reduce it to an level acceptable also for the people who feel alienated by this behavior.

Believe me, a lot of other forums minimized the OT phenomenon regardless of the software used. They didn’t need plugins or to change how posts were shown. It just required a tiny quantity of moderation.

OT are OK in this forum because this forum doesn’t have the goal of expanding the user base, but for forums that have that goal, limiting behaviors that can be annoying is part of the moderation process.

For whom? It’s funny for the people who like it, but we have no visibility of the quantity of people who left just because of this behavior.

Maybe for every fan who likes OT in threads and doesn’t care about creating a welcoming environment also for people who don’t like OT, two other fans got annoyed by that behavior and slowly left.

I understand your situation, I lost motivation to open new threads for a similar reason.


Then we’re all doomed!:reyes:

This is logically false.
Someone will ignore these optional features, then something will not change.


Does that mean that one of those flags has to be invisible, then?

My ears are burning!

If someone would step up to remove most of my goobledygoo, the traffic gain would have a postive impact on everyone, a win-win!

See, I can contribute absolutly nothing productive, I´m outta here…


I know some of such forums. They split threads or delete off-topic posts. The result is, that it is more difficult to follow these threads because either the thread begins somewhere in the middle of a discussion or parts within the thread are missing. Beside that in such forums the threads are like FAQs.

With the WordPress scheme you can hide the answers to a question (by default). This is working well, because you can just open these answers that you are interested in (and ignore all others). In mailing list archives this scheme works very well.

What is the goal of this forum?

You have never laughed about an off-topic post? And you have never made an off-topic post?

TWP is a funny adventure. And it’s sad to hear that in a forum about this game no funny things are allowed. There are a lot of threads that are on track. Just have a look at the “support” or “hints” category.

IMHO threads are going off-topic if there are new ideas coming up or if the question is answered or if you can’t say more. For example if I create a new thread with a link to another picture with fan art: How should the discussion go on? All forum members could say: “Great work”. And then? Or one could write: “This picture reminds me of …” and the discussion goes on. I don’t think that all threads are “taken over” by off-topic posts.


I’m not sure I’ve understood you here, but in general I like your humour, so I trust you :stuck_out_tongue:

To get back on topic, the question “Are we getting any moderators for this forums” seems to have been converted into “Discourse encourages general self-moderation, how could we improve that?”

Yes, this is a simpler and more natural solution. I promise to keep in mind.


And how many people will do this too? (Especially those who haven’t read this thread?)


I like the idea of tree structures similar to the dev blog. I think that Discourse is a very advanced platform, but - as every forum I’ve ever visited - it does not provide tree structures. It would have been nice, if the 16:9 aspect ratio was used in order to display any discussion like a branching tree.

But, if everything was a big tree, the branches would still not have an explicit topic. Hence the reader would still have to check whether a branch is on-topic or off-topic. This issue has been on the dev blog and on Discourse as well, though. And, I’m not sure whether off-topic flags would work.

By the way, I think that we have already discussed about so many things. For this reason, I personally tend to write fewer, whereas other members rather tend to go off the topic while writing as much as they always do.


I’m not sure that we are talking about the same kind of forums or the same kind of countermeasures that were taken to keep the OTs acceptable to most of the users. I was talking about a moderator that tries to teach some netiquette, so that users take the habit of replying to a new thread when possible and appropriate.

As far as I know it was created to give the fans on the blog a way to discuss in a more organized way (compared to the blog comments).

It’s not about me, it’s about people who don’t like it to the point that they get annoyed and leave or reduce their activity here.

I have just said that we don’t know how many people they are, we don’t know how many people were alienated by the OTs.

I suspect that you are trying to attribute to me some obvious unpleasant statement that I never made.


Seems so. :slight_smile: In the forums that I know where moderators try to “force” the users to something, the results are as described. The threads are boring to read.

But we also don’t know how many users will leave this forum if off-topics aren’t allowed anymore. :slight_smile:

Suggestion: Let’s start an experiment. :slight_smile: One month (for example the whole November) we all avoid off-topics. One of the moderators deletes or moves all new off-topic posts. After that month we will have a look at the results of the experiment and how this forum evolved.

(But if we do this, we also have to make sure that a) nobody is too “lazy” to create a new thread if he/she/it realize that he/she/it has a new topic for a new thread and b) that each thread is focused on one single topic, for example threads that are “collecting” news are forbidden. Such threads are “hiding” informations too…)

That wasn’t meant to be a reply to your post; I was generally speaking (to me). The both questions were the reply. Maybe I should have added a line or another paragraph or something …