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Question: What is "Thread hijacking"?

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  • Doug Nelson
    started a topic Question: What is "Thread hijacking"?

    Question: What is "Thread hijacking"?

    Thread hijacking is a term I just found for an old problem: radical departure from the topic of a thread. I guess a lot of folks view a thread as a discussion between them and one or two others, like a little chat room. But it just ain't so.

    A lot of users join because they find a thread so compelling they feel they must get involved. Plus the vast majority of users sign on, hit "view new threads" and read the few of interest to them. But, if the thread is titled for one topic and changes a few posts in, chances are only a very few people are ever going to see it, however marvelous and useful it ends up being.

    Also, it isn't fair to the originator of the thread, since many are loath to interupt an ongoing conversation, even if it's just to return to the title topic.

    And you can hijack your own thread. I guess the thought process is something like "I started this thread, I'll discuss what I please". This is self-defeating, since once a thread is off-topic most will lose interest and never return, even if it drifts back.

  • Craig Walters
    replied
    Re: Question: What is "Thread hijacking"?

    a thread is like a paragraph in a book. it has a fairly specific topic. if you change topics you start a new paragraph. pretty simple.

    on the other hand, i've hijacked my share of threads, both here and on other forums. one gets insprired by something in a thread and just wants to comment. it's mostly non-sequitir to the current topic but doesnt really warrant a new thread. then, along come 10 more folks who comment on your off-topic comment and the thread is hijacked

    you could also liken it to a conversation within a group. there is a topic being discussed and someone else comes along and changes the topic or maybe just shifts it a bit. it's perfectly ok to bring the topic back on-topic. most folks generally will go 'oh, sorry' and let their topic drop.

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  • alicesmile
    replied
    Re: Question: What is "Thread hijacking"?

    While bumping in excess can defeat the purpose, if you find an older post and have something legitimate to add or ask it can sometimes lead to the thread finding a new life and being seen by many that wouldn't otherwise.

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  • Mike Needham
    replied
    Very true Doug, now if I can just point out that....

    Leave a comment:

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