Funny. I am guilty of some thread derails from time to time, it just sort of happens I mean I can talk about paint forever even to the point of my wife's eyes glazing over but I also like the banter, so I personally try to balance it out. I have also noticed after a topic is discussed it will have a thread shift where the banter kind of goes full steam. Maybe us mods should snip them and move them to a new thread in the off topic section but a lot of times the topic will get back on track if it has not been beat to death.
After going on five years at PT I have made friends here and participate in the threads I want to and will also participate in threads I don't want to if I have to. So after all the years of participation I like to yuk it up sometimes, I am thinking of business all the time and it is a good place to be able to unwind with some banter with like minded people who have the same passion for paint related matters.
Often the fail of a thread is not the off topic banter that happens in the middle of a thread between friends but more from the insults from members who find a question beneath them. If more thought was put into a post to help the original poster we would probably see a spike in new member participation. So maybe we should try to keep the banter down to the off topic sections and try and be more patient to members questions.
I was thinking about this very thing a few days ago in the PDCA thread where the banter took over and thought that it may also not just be keeping new members intimidated but also vendors as well which can be a great resource to this little online community.
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