• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Is an off-topic section good for a forum?

Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Likes
14
Location
India
#1
I heard that an off topic section is a way to control spam in forums. Members who want to post irrelevant materials may find this section suitable for their business. But there is also another view that some members become more active in off topic section which reduce activity in the main stream topics of the forum which can eventually kill the forum. Some people have even said that an off topic is an excellent way to attract more traffic to a forum.

Now I am quite confused about it. Is an off topic section really worthy in a forum?
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Likes
0
Location
Nairobi, Kenya
#2
I think an off-topic section can be useful in a forum in the sense that it allows members of the forum wander slightly and take a break from a topic that they may have been discussing for a long time. Without such a section, members may be forced to leave the forum to refresh their minds, where they might get distracted and not return. This is just my opinion though; there are no studies to prove it.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Likes
7
Location
Kerala, India
#3
I feel an Off topic section will help the members to relax for a while by giving an option to write about something different from the main sections of the forum. If there is any doubt that it will affect the main stream discussions, I suggest the member should allow posting only a limited number of posts per day in this section
 

jb23k

New Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Likes
0
Location
Maryland
#4
I think it is worth having in a forum. If a lot of people are posting in a off topic section there may be a subject there interested in. This can give you a idea what people are interested in. You can use this to start a new topic in your forum and keep visitors on your site. It could help control spam and give you new topics also.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Likes
7
Location
Nigeria
#5
A lot of people focus on off-topic because not everyone understands or grasp the full topics on the main sites, and off-topic usually generates a lot of traffic for forum sites.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Likes
29
Location
Philippines
#7
From my viewpoint, an off topic section is a catch basin where any other topic can be posted. Sometimes there are interesting topics like the sudden weather changes that is currently gripping half of the world or a scandal that erupted in the movie industry. In our office forum, spamming is not allowed and even the off topic board is being monitored for such. But chatting is allowed and some other nonsense posts except spamming and pornography.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Likes
11
Location
Nepal
#8
I don't think off topic section does any good to the forum. When you have an off topic section, people who do not have any idea about the topic of your forum come to your forum and begin posting on off topic. For example, your forum is about web hosting, and some members begin to post about entertainment on off topic, will it do good for your forum. Too many off topic posts are bad for a forum.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Likes
16
Location
The Concrete City
#9
If I own a forum, I will never want to see an Off topic area. I had been joining forums since I was 12 years old and I am already 30. If I own a Forum, I wanted the core sections of my forum to be the most successful. Off topic forums should never outshine the main forums. I had seen multiple off topic forums becoming more successful that the main ones. I don't want something like that.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Likes
14
Location
India
#10
I feel an Off topic section will help the members to relax for a while by giving an option to write about something different from the main sections of the forum. If there is any doubt that it will affect the main stream discussions, I suggest the member should allow posting only a limited number of posts per day in this section
I think that is a good suggestion. It is better to put some control over the use of an off-topic section. There should a limit on the number of posts to be made in an off-topic section. I think a forum Admin can even make the off-topic section more beneficial for the whole group by posting some good threads to discuss on. He can also depute somebody to do this. Members would be interested to take part in it while the group benefits out of it.

But there is no doubt that an off-topic section boosts traffic in-flow of a forum. But we need to put some check on its usage.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Likes
16
Location
The Concrete City
#11
Off topic section is only good if you already have a successful forum with lots of members and traffic. If you are someone that pays members to post on your Forum it won't be ideal because members will end up flooding that section and ignore the ones that matters the most. I just saw a Forum where everyone were in the general off topic while ignoring the major sections.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Likes
0
Location
India
#12
Yes its good for forum. There are broad lists of categories & you can't show all categories in your website. So, the user find off topic and post her query in to this section.
 

Teg

New Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Likes
1
Location
Georgia, USA
#13
Personally, I feel the best answer to this is yes. It will encourage users to join even if they are not into the niche of your forum. By participating in the off-topic area, they'll be getting to know your members and, in turn, they may join other projects similar to yours and participate throughout the forums as they learn.
 

MeowsePad

New Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Likes
0
Location
Argentina
#14
I think that an off-topic section is a great addition to any forum. For example, I participated in a forum a long time ago for a game. The game is very old and very few people play it anymore. However, the forum itself is still going due primarily to its off-topic section. The members joined to discuss the topic at hand (the game) but discovered that they liked the community as well. A community based on something very specific tends to attract people with some things in common, and they might wish to interact with other members of said community about other things as well.
 

Hissae2

New Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Likes
1
Location
Canada
#15
I believe the off topic section is very important. On many forums, people join to discuss the subject the forum is about, but what makes them stick around is the community. And you get to know the community the most in the off topic section, as that's where you would talk about your personal experiences and your personality shows the most. Some complain about the off topic section being too active but I believe a very active off topic section is really a great thing for the forum.
 

ray

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Likes
6
Location
India
#16
I think yes, because that is the forum that works as pressure release or safety valve. A member that has nothing to say in particular can say easily what he can't say otherwise. I know almost every forum has Off-Topic Forum and keeps it on top.
 

Binu

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Likes
2
Location
Nepal
#17
I think the forum should strictly allow on topic discussions. If off topic discussions are allowed there will be more contents on off topic than on topic. You cannot attract people with different kinds of interest in the same forum. You should give preference to attract members who are genuinely attracted to your topic.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Likes
3
Location
Mexico
#18
I believe that of topic sections are added in forums to attract more people because not everyone gets the main topics of every forum. It's good to have one that way different people will join. Besides many people like to get of topic just to take a little break from the main topics once in a while.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Likes
6
Location
Philippines
#19
Since every forum has its own category or topic presented for the users to submit their post or concern. Those topics or categories may be limited in coverage. Thus, off topic section is created to post a concern, a reaction or discussion which doesn't cover the existing categories in the forum. The point is for orderliness and organization. And of course, to avoid confusion, then off topic or section is needed.
 

ray

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Likes
6
Location
India
#20
As long the Off Topic section has worthwhile contribution it helps attract more members to a forum site. Make a particular forum niche based yu will see half the members losing their interest right away. All the members are not technical or have something on a particular topic.
 
Top Bottom