General Discussions (Abuse of this Category)

10
votes

Heidita and I have been monitoring this category for some time now and we have noticed a number of posts with no relevance to the learning of Spanish or English whatsoever. Celebration threads, 10k and the following 20k, 30k etc, which incidentally can be opened by anybody, are acceptable. Also as are serious occasions like the latest thread by Seith. As a general rule the discussions are meant to be about imparting information on the two languages applicable to this site and not about general chatting. Some examples of poor posts are as follows.

How are you today. Do I tell my friend I like her boyfriend. Is it cold where you are.

Posts of this type should be on the chat room and not on the main forum. We do not want to appear heavy handed by removing the “General Discussions” category so Heidita or I will in future delete any thread we consider to be irrelevant. Many Thanks.

Queridos amigos: Hemos visto que hay un cierto abuso en la categoria de "Hablemos..." en el foro. Debemos recordar que mientras hilos de felicitación tanto de cumpleaños como de 10k en posts (de 10k en 10k por favor), que por cierto puede abrir cualquier amigo del foro , u otros más serios como el último del amigo Seith, pueden tener cabida en esta categoría, pero no tanto otros, además repetitivos, como los mencionados arriba.

Rogamos no abusar de dicha categoría ya que hemos recibido alguna queja al respecto. Gracias.

Eddy & Heidita

5662 views
updated ENE 1, 2012
posted by Eddy

21 Answers

18
votes

I have to agree with Wendunce here.

The chat room is not something I would personally use, as it happens in "real time", and my Spanish, and indeed my general thought processes, are not always fast enough to keep up!

However, I do enjoy reading and joining in with some of the less serious threads on the forum - whether they turn into a discussion on American Baseball teams (of which I know nothing) or British television comedey (on which I am an expert!) I also enjoy interacting with the other members in this way, and getting to know them a little better.

I've mentioned before that I would like to see these on a seperate forum, where we could post them without feeling that we were cluttering up the serious answers forum, in this thread

Questions just for fun? and I do think that the idea of a seperate "lounge" for this would be a wonderful solution.

However, as webdunce says, even without this facility, this is still a marvellous site.

updated JUN 29, 2012
posted by sheila-foster
I just read the thread.
18
votes

Hmmm...may I suggest then a Coffee Room or Lounge category, because -- like it or not -- this is also a popular social site, which I imagine is very beneficial (income wise) to those that run the site. If suddenly this must be only about learning Spanish and English, then the forums will dwindle in popularity and fewer eyes will see the ads and fewer ads will be clicked. (Though I may be mistaken in how important it is to the site owners for ads to be clicked, they may barely care at all about them).

I, along with others, enjoy seeing our witicisms, celebrations, and sad moments, permanently recorded in the forums, which is not possible in the Chat Room. This allows us to go back later and read the funny or supportive comments again at some later date. Also, the Chat Room only works if many people are there at once,which is never the case, but the forums allow others to find and respond to your comments hours or even days later.

Almost every other forum out there has a Coffee Room or Lounge or whatnot where off-topic discussions can be held.

You could even make it so posts in the Lounge could not be voted on for reputation purposes, if it has become a problem that people are getting reputation points for saying funny or supportive things instead of instructive things. (Either the voting could be completely disabled in this category, or you could leave the voting but don´t let the votes from this category be added to reputation points).

On the other hand, if ad revenue is too little and if the off-topic, social-type posts are causing some extra costs to the site owners, then it may behoove them to nip this stuff in the bud. I mean, SpanishDict is free to us users, so it´s not like anyone owes us a social forum at SpanishDict and there´s plenty of other social forums out there.

However, I think this site has accomplished a level of viewership that is difficult to attain, and I think part of that success stems from the socializing in the forum. I believe viewership would be negatively impacted by disallowing the social-type posts.

updated JUN 29, 2012
edited by webdunce
posted by webdunce
By the way, I see I actually misread the opening post a bit. They allow celebrations and serious threads. I thought they were displeased with such threads, too. But still...
15
votes

I kind've agree with webdunce. For example: I posted something the other day, saying, "what is the weather like where you are?". I posted it in Spanish however. And for me, that was Spanish practice, because I had to figure out how to say that in Spanish, and I had to figure out what everyone else was saying back to me in Spanish. So, I consider that beneficial. Yet, from what I understand ( now, this is just what I think you're saying here ) you would delete that post because it might be considered "chatting"? I do agree that there are some questions in this category that should be deleted, such as some of the ones you've mentioned, but I think that others are also helpful. smile

updated JUN 29, 2012
posted by hlsbookworm
11
votes

I think it would be a shame to lose the social category completely.

Really, it needs to be seperated entirely from the "answers", on another tab at the top, or under the "more" tab, so that the fun posts don't appear in amongst the serious posts at all.

This might even be beneficial in terms of advertising revenue, as it would allow potential adertisers to target their market more efficiently.

updated JUN 29, 2012
posted by sheila-foster
Oh, I agree, and there is a bit of cheekiness in my "just delete it post," but that is the logical outcome of restricting it to learning-type posts only. Suddenly, it actually isn´t even needed at all as the other categories are sufficient.
Or, to put it another way, the General Discussion category *is* the social category. Once the social posts are removed from it, it barely deserves existence.
But also, there is a bit of seriousness, too. If they truely want to put a stop to the social posts (which is totally their call), then closing the General Discussion category would actually be a good option. Because that is what is, the social category.
But your idea of separating it entirely from Answers also has merit.
You do feel quite strongly about this don't you? But then, so do I!
8
votes

Hi everybodygrin

The idea is not to stop the idea of interacting or socializing which is very much appreciated on this site and as I posted in another thread, helps learning and learners in my opinion.

The idea is to avoid repetetive threads on a completely personal basis.

Threads like:

I am bored

Do you think that it is a bad idea to date someone thirteen years older than you?

Who is the dumbest celebrity out there?

How can I get a boyfriend?

How can I say sexy words to my boyfriend?

( I was late to delete this thread, it had been posted by a 13 year old girl and the answers were very explicit:S)

Well, the idea of creating this category was precisely to combine the learning with the getting-to-know people idea. However, we do have to keep in mind this is a learning site and if we have everybody starting threads like the ones mentioned are completely off the idea of this site.

updated DIC 16, 2009
posted by 00494d19
Well said Heidita. If those are the criteria you will be using, I can see no problem there.
I'm just here for the Yo leonor. :)
jejejeejjejej
Nice attitude, seith:)
Hey i thought there was supposed to be another yo leonor on Saturday?
Closing the General Discussions wouldn't discourage the authors of these posts and t heir kind. They'll just post it somewhere else.
6
votes

I had no idea that the "General Discussions" category wasn't meant for general discussions. Color me baffled. That is mind blowing.

updated JUN 29, 2012
posted by jeezzle
:) Well said.
4
votes

Thanks Mortimer, this is exaclty it.

I think the title of this thread has been misread: Abuse is what we are talking about.

this category is for general discussions, even private matters like somebody's birthday, posts celebrations, asking for support on any kind of issue, talking about general topics...really anything has its place here.

However, we feel that this does not include repetetive posts like who are you and what is your name. Neither does it include if a member asks for help or support and opens another thread one day later, for some more support.

As I said before, this category was opened to facilitate socializing on this site, which was easier before, as it was a facebook-like site.

Socializing is one of the main things that differenciates this site from some others, like for example WR, where none of these threads would be allowed. And we wish to keep it that way.

We re not really worried about the new members posting the how are you today, what is your name, I am bored messages, like Sihara said, they will be posted anyway, but they will just as fast be deleted.

We are interested though that usual members of this site don't do the same. wink

updated DIC 16, 2009
posted by 00494d19
3
votes

Also, consider the description for the General Discussion category: Any topic you can think of can be discussed here.

Currently, as it´s worded, I would definitely take this category to be the counterpart to the Lounge or Coffee Room most other forums have.

So, you probably need to modify that description -- possibly even the category name. Maybe call it Translations and Fun Exercises and do just the Picture / Word of the Day posts there (which those are fun) and let people ask for translations of various phrases there.

Or, just close the category completely because, other than socializing, I can think of no real purpose for the General Discussion category as all the other categories do, in fact, cover everything we need -- if the forums are to be restricted purely to Spanish/English learning-type posts. People wanting translation help and The Picture / Word of the Day posts could be moved into the Vocabulary / Grammar category.

updated ENE 31, 2010
edited by webdunce
posted by webdunce
3
votes

I agree with hlsbookworm, I posted something about masoctas. But I did it both in English and Spanish. And then I read all the responses smile It helps improve my reading skills and vocabulary!! Would this be considered a "chatty" topic?

updated DIC 16, 2009
posted by sunshinzmommie
that was why I asked the question above
I really liked that thread.
2
votes

Good idea. I've only been a "forera" for about 6 weeks, so I was thinking that the "hablemos" category was supposed to be a combination of chat/vocabulary practice as well as "what is the meaning of life" sorts of questions.

Obviously, not everyone will be pleased no matter what happens, because we have varied expectations from the site.

Since it's "Spanishdict", it would seem that the main focus would be language instruction, be it through grammar or more free-flow discussions.

Personally, I think that Eddy and Heidita will be generous in their judgment, and would not delete general questions that would provide a forum for broadening of language skills.

Estas son mis cuatro palabras escritas corriendo...

updated NOV 23, 2009
posted by mountaingirl123
2
votes

I always thought the "general" discussion category was a place to practice your spanish discussing ... anything. I was about to try writing a short movie review in Spanish - am I to understand that would be inappropriate? I once wrote about my children in this category to practice ... was that inappropriate?

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by jaysprout
I connected to another site last night where writing about various topics with editing is expected.
I favorited it on my home computer. I can send the link later if you email me.
If you are writing a story in Spanish and want it checked then use the proof reading forum. There will be plenty of members prepared to correct any mistakes.
1
vote

If you notice, most of the people that post random blurbs are not here taking the learning course. By looking at their numbers, you can tell who is here for what. You can learn something from everyone but I am more likely to take Spanish advice from a native, or someone taking the course. The best way to deal with poor or irrelevant posts, is not respond to them.

updated NOV 25, 2009
posted by coma
1
vote

Coma makes a good point,

most of the people that post random blurbs are not here taking the learning course. By looking at their numbers, you can tell who is here for what. You can learn something from everyone but I am more likely to take Spanish advice from a native, or someone taking the course. The best way to deal with poor or irrelevant posts, is not respond to them.

If the no-score newcomers are creating too much static in to forum, perhaps instituting a minimum number of learning points for forum authority would solve the problem.

I would also heartily endorse webdunce's and shiela-forte's posts above and they both have my vote, as well as Heidita's 11/17 post.

This site is phenominal and a true inspiration to learining español. I have made significant progress from my prior independent study since joining SpanishDict. One of the most significant factors motivating my progress is the forums, particularly the 'General Discussion' topic. The casual and interactive nature of this category prompts, encourages, and motivates actual use of the language -- something that all of my prior study lacked. The benefits of this have been personally exciting and reinforce the commitment to perservering.

If the category requires some house keeping, perhaps the posts in the General Discussion category should expire and disappear after 90 days or so; or perhaps low vote posts should expire and disappear. This would allow the garbage posts to be eliminated without the affirmative action of the moderators, yet allow things to proceed more or less as is.

updated NOV 24, 2009
posted by BobK
1
vote

What if they are written completely in Spanish?

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by nizhoni1
1
vote

The comments we have made apply to both languages. It is not a chat page. It is extremely difficult to be specific but try to use the category for the purposes it was designed.

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by Eddy