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Off Topic Section?

Apr 20, 2012

    1. It seems as this hobby evolves and new artists experiment with new ideas and styles, more and more dolls have been deemed "Off Topic." I imagine it's difficult to be the one to determine where that fine line lays with so many new "BJD" dolls riding on the waves of new trendy styles.

      Would it be reasonable to have an Off Topic section perhaps where BJD collectors can continue to discuss and show pictures of their stylistically different Ball Jointed Dolls?

      Or would an Off Topic section just clutter the forums and distract from the actual focus of the forum?



      EDIT: Just to clarify, when I say "Off Topic Section" I don't mean a free for all for everything thing in the universe and beyond discussed. Nor, did I intend for it to be an all dolly section. What I did have in mind was more of a BJD inspired section for those "Off Topic" BJDs, like Minimee heads, or other dolls made by BJD companies that usually make "On Topic" BJDs but have evolved with the hobby and created new styles while still having the same basic BJD code. Of course, the more I think about it, the more complicated it's now beginning to sound because there's already such a fine line between "On Topic" BJDs and "Off Topic BJDs." I guess then the "Off Topic" BJDs would require some sort of regulation too and we'd be voting and discussing the on topicness of the off topic dolls..... ugh. LOL

      EDIT AGAIN... (So I guess, what I should have asked rather, but was afraid to... How can we limit and interfere with evolution of the BJD genre?) ... :sweat
    2. Hmm...to be honest, you could make a forum yourself about off-topic dolls if you wanted them to be showed off and discussed. It's like if a site talking about high heels had people complaining that nobody talks about tennis shoes. We made the space to talk about a certain kind of doll, y'know? It'd be easier to go to a different space than beg for one in an area where such things were established as undiscussable.
    3. Yes.

      Having a section for off-topic dolls would kind of totally defeat the purpose of determining a doll off-topic. Adding anything off-topic related would also lay an enormous burden on the mods by giving them one more HUGE thing they'd have to police and keep track of. They've got enough work just watching what we do have. Adding something like that would spread the focus so widely that I'm pretty sure they'd all go insane trying to keep everyone in line. It would get out of control very very quickly.

      I remember that they've said as much before.

      There are other forums for dolls that are off-topic here. There's plenty of room for them to be displayed, just...not here, where our focus is by necessity quite narrow. At any rate, the mods' decisions aren't really up for discussion or debate.
    4. I don't see how this is a debate... As stated, there are lots of 'Doll-based' forums out there, where you can talk and show pictures of any kind of doll. :)
      I think of DoA as more of a concentrated-information hub; rather than a social/chatty forum. If you opened the floodgates to have an Off Topic section, not only would it be a drain the servers but there would be no way to control it! It also kinda defeats the purpose of ruling a doll Off Topic.:sweat
    5. First of all, the thought had occurred to me, I originally wanted to put it in general discussions, but I felt that maybe there would be conflicting opinions better suited for a debate.

      Second of all, all the other forums I belong to have off topic sections (I'm a forum fiend!). Also, I see a lot of BJD companies who have been sculpting and selling "On Topic" dolls for many years, evolve and introduce new styles of BJDs. They're still BJDs, made by "On Topic" BJD makers, and yet, because their eyes are too narrow, their feet are too small, or whatever, they're off topic (I realize it's more complicated then that). And as a result, things like some Group Orders for Minimees are now being closed, due to the heads being "Off Topic." I suppose people could create a new forum just for running group orders, however, this forum has an extremely large member base and it's very difficult to spread the news of a brand spanking new forum. So, it's nice to be able to stay in this large community.

      So I guess, what I should have asked rather, but was afraid to... How can we limit and interfere with evolution of the BJD genre?
    6. Hmmm... I think how much clutter it would cause would depend on how it was handled. If it was all off topic dolls out there it would be insanely huge -- there's just so many varieties of dolls. An off topic section that focused more on the doll related to abjds (maybe they are the same style but vinyl, they were produced by abjd companies but didn't quite meet with on topic criteria, maybe they have everything on topic dolls have but a few fewer joints, etc etc) it would be more manageable and make sense. I just can't see a total dolly free for all working well, since as other people have said, you could devote and entire forum to that alone -- it would have to be a smaller chunk of the doll population, which would also mean the mods would still need to approve the dolls.

      I think that is an interesting question. There are some dolls that are clearly so outside the realm of this hobby that it makes perfect sense to not include them, and I also understand the desire to keep the board focused. However, it does raise the question about who is in the driver's seat when it comes to the hobby -- clearly it's the companies and often times buyers (companies will be more likely to produce dolls there will be interest in) and that can deviate from criteria set down by a doll forum. I suppose the question to ask about a particular doll that seems to be stretching the limits of on topicness is whether or not they represent a growing trend (or evolution if you will) or if they seem to just be an exception to the norm.
    7. Yeah haha. This was what I was thinking too, I suppose I should have clarified. >.<:
    8. I'm also on the fence about it.

      If we gave off-topic dolls a place in the forum, they might as well be considered on-topic.
      And of course, as mentioned already, the absolute mass clutter there will be with the four million types of dolls out there.
      And if they limited what dolls could be considered "off topic but postable" they're still basically being approved. A doll could be "off topic but postable" or "just super off topic."

      I'm somewhat against the whole off-topic thing, but I understand for the sake of DoA.
    9. It seems much easier the way it is now. Otherwise, the question would be where do we draw the line with off-topic dolls? On-topic dolls follow a basic set of distinctions for the forum... but there are way more off-topic dolls than there are on-topic ones.

      So where would we extend out off-topicness? Can members talk about any doll that is not fit for the forum, or will there be a new set of criteria for how close an off-topic doll has to be before it's allowed? Like, are we going to be allowed to talk about Monster High Dolls, or just dolls from BJD companies that don't quite fit the standards, like Volks Dollfies? Deeming how far off-topicness can go is probably going to be a big headache, and probably wouldn't work out.
    10. If you look at the traffic on this website, and the number of posts per day, it's easy to see why this idea is a non-starter. The mods have their hands full -- more than full-- dealing with the plethora of dolls that are already on topic, as well as making decisions about newly created dolls. Creating even a limited subforum for a certain class of off-topic dolls would put things far past the tipping point.

      And even if you call a doll "off-topic" by allowing posts about it you are effectively making it on-topic, because you are allowing discussion/pictures of it.

      Beyond that I can only imagine the problems it would create-- people already complain when dolls are deemed off-topic, even though those rules are fairly straight forward. This would only add another subset of complaints, i.e., "Why is this off-topic doll allowed, but not that?"

      Again, as others have already stated, the web is a wide open place. There is plenty of room for other forums for off-topic dolls, and actually quite a few of them already exist. :)
    11. A limited offtopic area for dolls from companies that make on-topic dolls on a regular basis but have a few dolls that didn't make the criteria would be awesome, imo. I mean lately I've seen plenty of dolls in the news section that I would have thought (and think they should be) on topic, but aren't for whatever reason- as well as the reverse. There just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to on-topicness lately, and it'd be nice to have a place to talk about and show those dolls here.

      Then again I'm biased as I do own one of those dolls-that-didn't-quite-make-the-cut and I would really like to be able to show him off here because DoA is the only dolly place I go to to look at dolls. I don't like being a part of more forums than I need to. I still list him in my signature because he's still a resin abjd on all counts, just his face had an issue. It would be nice if I had a place here to talk about him.

      I think a small subsection for a place to talk about them and a maybe small gallery section specifically for them would be plenty fine. I'm not saying we should be able to sell them here though.
    12. That's a good point you made.

      It asks the question of whether if off-topic and on-topic mattered anymore.
    13. Maybe a section of 'nearly on-topic' dolls, with links to the company pages, or off-site discussion threads would be a way to limit the scope of possibilites.

      I believe Bandersnatch had a great point-
      "I think of DoA as more of a concentrated-information hub; rather than a social/chatty forum. If you opened the floodgates to have an Off Topic section, not only would it be a drain the servers but there would be no way to control it! It also kinda defeats the purpose of ruling a doll Off Topic. "

      It there's an off-topic section, how long will it be before people start spilling over the OT discussions into the rest of DoA? Why can it be ok to discuss a doll in just one thread, and not to post pics of your repaints in the critique section for advice, or your photoshoot in the gallery, or suggest OT dolls in the Visual Concepts subforum? And who is going to scour DoA and scrape all these errant comments back into the OT section?

      People are on DoA to discuss the ABJD that this forum celebrates. No one is saying that you (generic 'you') can't have other interests, just discuss them at other venues. DoA is a huge forum, and I'm sure it just devours server space like Japanese people at a hotdog eating competition. It really must maintain a narrow focus to keep itself manageable. I'm willing to bet its not the only forum that has had to sacrifice a broad topicality for functionality.
    14. There are a lot more off-topic dolls than there are on-topic ones.

      Ukelala has a good idea. I think it would benefit people to have a page in the wiki, perhaps, where links to outside forums that deal with BJDs and off-topic dolls.
    15. What I think would be cool (this is just me) is if... say a company released a doll....but whether it's on topic or not, is up for debate....why not let users on the forums vote? Make a section for that perhaps? Allow a certain amount of time for voting, have voters include reasons why they believe the doll sculpt is on/off topic, then make a verdict at the end of the voting period.

      I've been to a lot of blogs and sites, and have read expressions of confusion and upset at how certain dolls were considered off topic...and seeing some of these sculpts, even I couldn't help but wonder why they were off topic.

      A voting system could help maybe?

      Though this really only benefits future dolls...unless the mods would be willing to let people request that a formerly off-topic doll be voted on.
    16. They actually do have one. It's the Auxiliary Drudgeon Project, and it's outlined in here. There's a link to the original thread at the bottom of that article, and it's got tidbits of information about the purpose, process, and goals of said group.
    17. I'd be okay with this. I wonder how well it'd work though. I know DoA supposedly tried something similar recently, but I don't really know what came of it. For all we know, something like this could make the "problem" (if you can call it that) worse.

      Either way, I'm certain there will still be people upset one way or the other come verdict time.
    18. Yeah, there's not going to be a solution that can make everyone happy. That would not be possible. There would still be disagreements, but whatever system is used people may still not agree. But yeah, there is still that chance that it could make things worse... open floodgates for crazy debates...unless there were strict rules that only votes and reasoning can be in posts and discussions and actual debating were barred.... if that could be done.

      But it was an idea... *shrug*
    19. DoA is also tastemaker and a driving force in the world of bjds. A doll that becomes extremely popular on this forum often becomes a fashion or fad outside of it, and most doll companies seem to be aware of this. They use the News forum to advertise their latest products, and sometimes join in the doll discussion forums for PR purposes. In some ways, this forum acts as a very general focus group, and doll companies often capitalize on the trends that often develop as a direct result of people interacting on this forum (e.g., fantasy dolls and colors).
    20. I really don't think it has any place on a forum like DoA. The amount of modwork necessary to run this forum as-is is astounding. Adding such a volatile section would easily tip the scales in favor of disorder.

      The information wealth of this forum owes to the fact that it is relatively organized and focused within a certain realm. While it SEEMS idealistic to have everything in one place at your supposed convenience, reality is an entirely different beast in practice. Off Topic dolls are NOT sub-par to any dolls on topic in any way. They are not doomed to be shut away and shunned. They will just have different sites for focus. And, while xinwang raises a good point, I believe that any of those in seats of responsibility intimately know and understand DoA's impact on the trajectory of a company. However, that does not mean that we should cater to absolutely every company's whims etc...