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  #1  
Old 02-21-2008, 09:37 AM
Virginia Deacon Virginia Deacon is offline
 
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Default Off-Topic Doesn't Belong on This Forum

I joined this forum and have continued to use it, because it is TrailManor-specific. By that, I mean that the forum content has been FOR TrailManor owners, FROM TrailManor owners, and ABOUT TrailManor issues. I believe that is also why prospective buyers come to this forum - it is TrailManor-specific.

IMHO, "diversity" (whatever that means) and "inclusiveness" (ditto) and "political correctness" (ditto), etc. can - and should be - found elsewhere. VOTING to permit ANY off-topic discussion is foolishness. Thank you, moderators, for keeping us and the forum ON TOPIC. Don't quit, now; if you do, so will I (but I hope that's not necessary).
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Last edited by Virginia Deacon; 02-21-2008 at 09:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2008, 10:11 AM
jcjim4
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I agree 100% with Virginia. Keep it TM or rename the Forum!
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2008, 10:48 AM
Scott O
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One of the things I enjoy about the TM Forum is that I can get away from political discussions and other sorts of discussions which would be considered off-topic here. I read this and participate in the TrailManor Forum because it deals with issues relating to TMs. If this changes, I am gone!
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2008, 10:55 AM
PopBeavers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginia Deacon View Post
I joined this forum and have continued to use it, because it is TrailManor-specific. By that, I mean that the forum content has been FOR TrailManor owners, FROM TrailManor owners, and ABOUT TrailManor issues. I believe that is also why prospective buyers come to this forum - it is TrailManor-specific.

IMHO, "diversity" (whatever that means) and "inclusiveness" (ditto) and "political correctness" (ditto), etc. can - and should be - found elsewhere. VOTING to permit ANY off-topic discussion is foolishness. Thank you, moderators, for keeping us and the forum ON TOPIC. Don't quit, now; if you do, so will I (but I hope that's not necessary).
The problem is the definition of what is off topic.

If I ask for a recommendation for a campground at Lake Tahoe is that off topic because it is a park review?

If birding is on topic, then why is geocaching in a TM off topic? I can't figure this one out at all. You can go birding in your own back yard, but serious geocaching requires a trailer.

What started this whole mess is several people were discussing using their GPS to participate in an outdoor activity commonly called geocaching. It was not obscene, political, or religious. Some people thought it was off topic, for reasons that I have never comprehended. I thought it was at least loosely connected to camping because most people that geocache do so on camping trips.

I skipped over reading it because I have no interest in that particular hobby. However, I do have an interest in other hobbies that are frequently associated with camping. Someone around here has written about using his TM to attend radio controlled helicopter rallyes. No one complained about that hobby.

What is so bad about geocaching that it is a banned topic, but other hobbies for campers is permissible. That makes no sense to me.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2008, 07:13 PM
Scott O
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You made your points well, Wayne. When I think of TMing, I think of everything that goes along with the positive experience. Campground reviews, geocaching, bird watching, fishing, golf, or even frisbee tossing, can all be considered 'camping' activities. Granted, there are probably better forums for most of these than this one, but they are not out of place here (as long as the subject line is specific enough for folks not interested to skip it). What I do not expect to see are political discussions or religious discussions which at the very least can be very divisive and/or raise my blood pressure to unsafe levels.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2008, 12:50 AM
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tucsoncarol tucsoncarol is offline
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Default Of course, Wayne.

You are right. Even if an off topic thread doesn't interest you you can ignore it and it will fade away after a few days. I was never so surprised as at the violently negative response to a simple off topic thread that Texas Camper had to geocaching. I don't understand, but maybe I was missing something. A review of Off Topic thread titles for the last several months listed quite a few that don't seem any more/less off topic than a hobby you can participate in while camping. As my hubby just said "well, maybe you better not tell them what I do while camping". We each enjoy our TM differently so maybe a little distance and perspective are needed now.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2008, 08:41 AM
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Civil_War_Buff Civil_War_Buff is offline
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Just an observation.....I have been (and remain) a member of several forums for different things. My experience has been that when Moderators start acting as "moral police" and decide what is appropraite and what isn't, those forums are not long for this world. A header of "Off-Topic" as the tag line says "anything goes", should be just that. As long as personal attacks are not made, who is to decide what is and isn't appropriate? When Chris first started asking for "moderators" I immediately got nervous and voiced my concern at that time. I own the TrailManor Yahoo site, and I moderate it as well, if I find that a post is attacking someone, or is selling something (other than TM or camping related stuff), I remove the post and tell the poster why I did it. We have no spamming on that forum, and most people are very kind to each other.
I have no issue with the Off Topic category, if I don't want to look at something, I ignore it, but by definition the category allows for ANYTHING (within reason), but to have moderators lock threads for non specific reasons (other than they might not agree with the post) is censorship, and has no place here or on any other forum. The problem is there is NO training for moderators and Chris knows nothing about the people that moderate other than what he sees them post, so as they say "absolute power corrupts absolutely".

To keep this TM related, I like some of the 25th Anniversary upgrades that TM has made, good work!
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2008, 09:41 AM
mgoblue911
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Default TM forum content and moderation

I completely agree with Scott O. Obviously (or maybe not so obviously) "Anything Goes..." is not a literal statement. If you enjoy camping in the buff, it is not acceptable to post your fireside pictures here, even if you did stay there in your TM. I am being a little obtuse just to try and emphasize my point. IMO, Off Topic is the place for discussing activities enjoyed while camping. But I don't think that this forum is the place for political discussions, money management advice, religious views, or telling jokes. All of these things are WAY too polarizing, and people's interpretation of "appropriate" or "within reason" is too wide ranging. Are any of us here on this forum specifically to discuss any of these topics? I don't think so.

As for "censorship", I guess I am not convinced that a private forum like this comes with some sort of guarantee of free speech rights.

Moderators are necessary and valuable. The goal a forum like this is to appeal to as broad a membership as possible. The role of moderation is to enhance the forum towards achieving that goal. I think the TMO forum needs it.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2008, 10:58 AM
LifeIsGood
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I agree with Civil War Buff - "absolute power will absolutely corrupt." I am still a trial member but one of my very first posts I made I was asking advice on what is a good deal for a TM and I had mentioned a TM dealership in NH in my post. The moderator (Bill) immediately knocked down this TM dealership because one of their salesman had tried spamming this forum a few years back (who btw is no longer there), and I had my post "edited" without asking me first just because I mentioned this TM dealership's name. I can understand his concern that perhaps he was trying to protect me from a dealership that "he felt" was unethical, but I'm the type of person who won't make assumptions until I know all the facts. When I asked for advice, I did not intend for any dealership to get a bad rap by something I said or the moderator said and I did ask the moderator to retract his statement because I did not feel it was fair to make judgments so quickly. When he replied to me, he said he had checked out their website that looked kind of "used-car garish" to him, which, again, one must be reminded that we can't always judge a book by its cover unless the book is pointing a gun in your face. After investigating this dealership, I found these folks to be good, honest people (yes, many people up north are more laid back but who cares? God bless them!) Perhaps that's what this world needs - a little more laid-backness (sp? - lol) and a little less uptightness. Hence, the reason for all this bickering. I do feel moderators are necessary and like Texas Camper said, they do a lot of work in the background (voluntarily!) but I think his whole point was who has the power to control whom. If there is a thread for "off topics" and someone wants to discuss politics or religion, big deal. If you're not interested in reading it, then don't. Some people may find it humorous and other's won't, so STOP READING IT! Don't click on it if you think there's something there that's going to offend you. There are plenty of other threads here that will keep you busy reading for hours on all the TM advice you can muster. It seems to me that many of these people have been sharing advice for years - a lot of which is the same advice for all the newbies and maybe they wanted to be able to talk about other topics, too, like this big presidential election coming up. Everyone has opinions and everyone should respect each other's opinions - it doesn't mean you have to agree with them. As long as the conversation is clean, there shouldn't be anyone controlling one's opinions. After all, we are all adults here - aren't we? Since my short time here, I have gained so much valuable information and have read so many other posts who have said the same thing. Let's not ruin a good thing - that's why wars are so prevalent in this world. Here I thought I found a place where people are generally respectable and good and willing to share their knowledge with others. I know throughout my life I will never stop learning and I'm sure that is why the majority of people continue to stay connected with this forum - to continually learn new things. Every time you come across something you don't like, do you run the other way or quit? How sad. No wonder history keeps repeating itself! No one ever learns from it.

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  #10  
Old 02-22-2008, 11:11 AM
cali camping cali camping is offline
 
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Location: Lake Oswego, OR (near Portland)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civil_War_Buff View Post
Just an observation.....I have been (and remain) a member of several forums for different things. My experience has been that when Moderators start acting as "moral police" and decide what is appropraite and what isn't, those forums are not long for this world. A header of "Off-Topic" as the tag line says "anything goes", should be just that. As long as personal attacks are not made, who is to decide what is and isn't appropriate? When Chris first started asking for "moderators" I immediately got nervous and voiced my concern at that time. I own the TrailManor Yahoo site, and I moderate it as well, if I find that a post is attacking someone, or is selling something (other than TM or camping related stuff), I remove the post and tell the poster why I did it. We have no spamming on that forum, and most people are very kind to each other.
I have no issue with the Off Topic category, if I don't want to look at something, I ignore it, but by definition the category allows for ANYTHING (within reason), but to have moderators lock threads for non specific reasons (other than they might not agree with the post) is censorship, and has no place here or on any other forum. The problem is there is NO training for moderators and Chris knows nothing about the people that moderate other than what he sees them post, so as they say "absolute power corrupts absolutely".

To keep this TM related, I like some of the 25th Anniversary upgrades that TM has made, good work!


I also want to let my opinion be known. I think censorship is a necessary "evil" on this board. If it wasn't for the moderators things could go south in a hurry. To those that think it is not required, compare how this forum has run to the present day, with their help, and then think about how it would look if unmonitored. Scary to even think about.

I say once again, if someone has an interest in a topic that probably is best not posted here, I virtually guarantee there is a forum somewhere out there on the WWW that would be an appropriate venue. By and large things go fairly well here, but every now and then there will be a rogue and that would be but one of the moderators functions.

OK..I'll step off my soapbox now...
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