Personally I think a LITTLE bit of peripherally-topicced (!) traffic is quite
good for a group - i.e. when it's nominally on topic but would offend a pure
What offpisses me is the _quantity_ of political stuff which is of no
interest to anyone living in the civilized world. OK. the odd mention of
colonial tribal squabbling could be entertaining and even informative, but a
pure OT diatribe - and its inevitable stream of responses and bloody polemic
- shags up up the signal to noise ratio as much as the spammongerers
There are 75 gezillion newsgroups on this thing, and in the many categories
there are many many many where you could legitimately vent your spleen about
your issues with Michael Palin and Osama bin Laden racing neck and neck to
global pollution responsibility.. If I want to know, I'll go and look.
If it's desperately important that you discuss your politics, religion or
weird sexuality with those you consider friends because of a shared interest
in wood-sniffing, then by all means, put a btw pointer to your (other) post
in a different newsgroup in here. Similarly, a pointer to your amazing
discovery in alt.binaries.muslim-schoolgirls-latex-shaved-camels.custard may
well be interesting and something you'd like to tell those of us unlucky to
have missed it all about, so a _short_ mention may be appreciated by enough
on here to make it worthwhile. It's a judgment call. If you think the OT
content is little enough and will appeal to enough readers because of their
on-topic common interest, then it'd be a shame for folk to miss out on what
would be disallowed on an overly-controlled anally retentive moderators pet
group. With freedom, however, comes responsibility. If it were impossible for
spammers and OT posters to post, then the group really would be poorer for
it. It's the freedom to post, tempered by the posters good judgment, that
keeps a newsgroup alive and, ultimately, worthwhile. There again, just
because you _can_ piss in the pool doesn't mean that you _have_ to.
Think about the number of readers who DON"T live in, or care for, your LOCAL
interest matters. Its one thing to talk about the great deal you found in
your local tool store in Austin, or Blackburn or Edinburgh or Boston but yet
another to drone on about how the mayor of your village can't count up to
ten, is a lesbian and once quoted Chatlie Chaplin in a high school essay on
witch hunts. The internet - and usenet - actually extends beyond your
territorial boundaries, whatever they might be and it's arrogant and
agressive to presume and behave otherwise.
I love you all for being a diverse bunch, even if you - and I - display
moments of utter fuckwittedness from time to time. I've dropped a couple of
faux pas on the wire from time to time from misgauging the group mindset. All
of us have. All part of getting to know each other and trying to do something
positive for the whole thang.
No offence intended and I hope none taken.
Just my three farthings worth.