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Re: rampant offtopic and offensive posts to debian-user

andreimpopescu@gmail.com (Andrei Popescu) writes:

> IMHO forcing people to take off-topic discussions out of the forum
> (read Debian community) is not good. Debian is based on volunteers
> and for some contributors (yes, answering questions is also a way of
> contributing, so you - the DDs - don't have to do this here) the
> community might be the thing that keeps them here rather then some
> other project or FOSS in general.

This ignores the repellent effect of allowing those rampant off-topic
threads to continue. There are an unknown number of possible
contributors that stay away precisely because of the noise level.

> As a side note I must say that I have been a member of a volunteer
> organization for 11 years and I have seen a bit of the dynamic
> involved in such a group. The best "contributors" were mostly the
> same persons participating in "off-topic" activities, but still
> organized within the "community".

In my experience, allowing noise anywhere near the level demonstrated
by Joey's initial post in this thread is far more harmful than losing
the few high-volume "contributors". The gain comes from people who
don't feel overwhelmed by the noise and see the direct benefit of
on-topic contributions.

 \     "If you ever teach a yodeling class, probably the hardest thing |
  `\      is to keep the students from just trying to yodel right off. |
_o__)                      You see, we build to that."  -- Jack Handey |
Ben Finney

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