It seems to me that some people are feeling uneasy when we started the chatterbox. Suddenly it seems that people are feeling that I would be strict about casual conversation on the non-chat forums.
Let me tell you that there are really no hard and fast rules apart from the Rules that are found in the grey banner above all forum pages. Outside of those rules, I moderate on my gut level. I will at all times try to be fair and favour no one. I see that some of you are happy to live by my decisions and even feel awkward if I asked for your opinions. I thank you for your vote of confidence and I shall do that, ie make my own decisions. Not that I want to be tyranical but it takes the decision-making away from the forum members.
A "serious" discussion need not be like a scientific session or a corporate board meeting. What we mean by serious is that the issues discussed are of serious community interests such as the rates, environmental pollution, abuse of power, schools and so forth. In this way, it may be viewed that friendly banter on subjects of a personal nature such as what you ate last night to frivilous flirtations on the forum to be the chatty stuff.
If we lumped all the different flavours of threads in the main forum, someone coming to our community forum will first be overwhelmed by the vast bandwidth of topics. If someone finds small talk on the main forum, they could come to the conclusion that we are not a really "serious" community. However, if they found the chats in a Chatterbox sub-forum, they know what to expect just as they find the postings under the Jokes channel.
The simple guideline is to avoid chatting in the threads outside of Chatterbox.
We do acknowledge that in all discussions, there will be elements of conversational exchange on the Forum. These I do not define as chat if they are instrumental to the topic of discussion. It would, however, not fit if someone started a conversation about details of his date last night in a thread discussing about our mamak restuarants using public thoroughfares for their open-air dining setups.
Please keep to topic in the discussion threads. The occasional conversational mode is totally acceptible. However, do not prolong the conversation and go back to topic. Hence do not sidetrack the issues at hand. sidetracks will lead to hijacks...
When a topic of discussion is side-tracked to the point it becomes a new discussion altogether, it is hijacked. The later half of the thread no longer keep to the topic at hand. This I am sure is obvious.
Even in the Chatterbox, we should not allow for hijacks.
If you think a thread is spawning a new topic, please start a new thread on it. If you feel a thread was hijacked and would like the new line to be extracted to a new thread, please let the moderator know so that it may be split to a new thread.
What happens to hijackers?
I will try to advise the party concerned by PM or online if it was necessary to make it public. If it persists, I will send the offender to the plantation for 1 or a few days. Hence don't hijack threads anywhere in this website, Chatterbox included.