Forum Software Feature Suggestion: "The Coffee Stop" - Off Topic Postings

I would like so suggest a forum software feature that would allow for off topic postings without annoying other readers. I call it “The Coffee Stop”. Imagine a group ride where you are not allowed to talk anything but bikes during the coffee break. Sounds terrible? Yep.

This feature would work as follows:

When the author of a reply feels his post is actually off topic, but still within the context of a thread (or not at all cycling related and thus an improbable choice for a new thread), he may voluntarily mark his post as a “Coffee Stop”.

The thread would have two different views - the “Shut Up and Keep Riding View” that does not include Coffee Stops - unless they are replies to the viewer’s own posts - and the more relaxed one with all posts.

There are two main use cases: Meandering banter / comic relief and shouting matches. While the first use case is very much what you expect from a coffee stop in real life, the second use case may come up when reacting to undesired behaviour / trolling. We all know that replying to trolling is counter productive, because the thread is not made better by bad vibrations, even if a sharp response may be justified. But sometimes the need to call a dick a dick in public may be just overwhelming.

While I’m not completely sure about the second case (meditation and peace of mind are far superior) I think there’s merrits in the first.

@Lyrebird_Cycles , @Raphael : Be my guests here :crazy_face: What was that Salon story?

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Nah, the moment has passed, it was only interesting in context.

That in itself should be taken as support for your idea: shifting part of the conversation to a different thread can work but in this case it wouldn’t. Keeping the comments in the conversation but flagging them as Coffee Shop worthy is a much better idea.

Yeah, so we can ignore the idiotic political drivel from 50% of the society who is simply ignorant and uneducated? (Pick your side). Naaaa…if I want ignorant people I will go and demand defunding police or mandating (useless) facemasks…I will stick to cycling.

100% agree on the idiotic political drivel part of your statement. I always appreciate that kind of real life irony. Made my day.

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Not sure I want to know the Salon story ^^

but the “Coffee stop” sounds like a good idea.

As has been pointed out in this thread just recently, the feature suggestion could also be named “take a piss break” - but “Coffee Stop” is just that little bit more appealing.

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I don’t see why I would post something not cycling related in a cycling related forum. If I want to talk about music, I go to a music place, if I was into knitting, I would look for a knitting community.
Shouldn’t it work that way?

That doesn’t mean we can have shorts asides in a topic but I don-t see the point to create a dedicated place for off topic things.

“Coffee Shop” or some such is usually a good idea–most sites have such a thing–but, the problem here is there are actually very few “regulars” on this site–the same folks, may 25 at most, seem to be in the thick of almost every thread, while a few outsiders come and go. So, I don’t think the present CT Forum user base warrants a coffee shop yet, and in fact not sure it’s going to fly as a user site at all–started out slow, and has slowed down from that…

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Off topic sections are often the most entertaining (& active) parts of forums. Additionally, if one enjoys the sense of community here they may prefer to discuss random topics with their online peers here.

I completely agree with you that starting a thread that is not cycling related on a CyclingTips forum is pretty counter-intuitive and will probably not happen at all.
But this being a rather international community with a number of interesting - and rather distinct - personalities, off-topic banter and side-stories easily develop. I personally like that - and I often have that little imp sitting on my shoulder forcing my typing hands. But I do also respect those who like it a bit more focused and who don’t come here for my sort of wicked humor.

I honestly don’t know how or if that kind of intertwined threads within a topic would work - but as it does work quite naturally in other communication scenarios I’d say it’s worth a try if it easily fits into the software architecture.

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