Carol et al.
Let me take a minute to present a slightly different spin on this issue codeTRUCKER has raised in light of your comments. And I shall do so by dragging somebody kicking and screaming into this thread, Urlwolf.
I share a common interest
with Jose, the Attention
Economy. To summarize the idea, our time, our attention, is very valuable, possibly *the* most valuable asset we have. Many many things fight for our attention and we should have control over what gets our attention.
Some of you have expressed your difficulty in finding some of the topics discussed in this thread as "offensive" while others have expressed their distaste for such topics. I would like to propose that we, for the moment, put aside the specifics of labeling some topic as "taboo" or "offensive" in terms of what is socially acceptable and simply throw them in the big bucket labeled "Off Topic".
(Now hear me out. I understand some have pointed to things which they feel are "on topic".)
People participate/lurk in various forums for various reasons. Most forums have a central "theme" (for lack of a better term) that draws the *attention* of people to it. That theme is something they all have a common interest in. In DonationCoder's case, that theme, that common interest is...
- .. the official home for tons of exclusive professional-quality freeware/donationware programs.
- .. the source of the most comprehensive reviews in the shareware industry.
- .. the best place to get the biggest discounts on the world's best programs.
- .. one of the most active forums on the internet for software connoisseurs.
- .. one of only a handfull of microdonation-enabled sites in the world, where you can request custom-made software.
- .. all funded by voluntary user donations.
But besides those explicitly stated topics, each of us has weaved between and around those topics other topics which we see as partially overlapping. As we get further and further from the core theme, members will start to disagree on what is "relevant" to the community. Some message boards choose to have a specific "off-topic" forum for those posts which are blatantly so, but some posts sit on both sides of the fence.
Let's take the Attention Economy and Information/Knowledge Management as two examples of topics I have personally interwoven with those topics explicitly stated as of interest to the DC community. When somebody posts a question about choosing a "more efficient RSS reader" it starts to cross into those two topics. However, there are other issues in "Academic Productivity" that don't involve software that I may be interested in and I'd be delighted to learn about them through a comment Jose makes on DC forums, especially because 1) Jose has already vetted it and found it interesting and 2) because he will most likely present it in a manner that shows how they interrelate in a manner I would agree with.
So, in this new light, try to simply consider sex/porn/vulgarity/cursing/etc. as just another "category", as just another topic that is sometimes interwoven with those explicitly focused upon by DC forums. And in this light I see this as "just another" Attention Economy issue. We all would like the tools to be able to find(or filter) nuggets of information that we *personally* feel is worthwhile (or worthless).
So, as has been stated here already by others, let's all try to put the specifics of the "off topic" item of your personal choosing aside, and concentrate on making DonationCoder forums more Attention Economy-friendly, thereby making DC even better for each and everyone of us by allowing us to easily share our common interests in the "city center" while allowing for discussion of our varied related topics in the "suburbs" of the forums without distracting those who choose to not participate in your particular shade of gray.
BTW, this "problem" isn't unique to DonationCoder by any stretch of the imagination. This is a fundamental issue at the core of all "online communities". This is a subject many great minds have attempted to conquer. If we can find some small way to make DC even more valuable to codeTRUCKER and Carol, as well as to Renegade and f0dder, then we, as a community, will have accomplished to make a perl from the grain of sand that is this thread. (intelligent design or evolution?