I think I've expressed this opinion before, but, I'd like to have Off Topic all the time. I think that the reason things become so heated in the OT forum is that all of us think we have to get our opinions aired and our words written under pressure, due to the transitive nature of OT Days. Speaking from my own experience, it would be easier to be more thoughtful about responses if there wasn't the "ticking clock".
I administer another, topic based board, and we do have a permanent "anything within reason goes" area...it's pretty mundane, since there isn't the pressure to "speak now or hold your peace for an undetermined amount of time".
I was motivated to post this poll because I grew dismayed with various representations suggesting that most COTHers regard an OT Forum as a threat to COTH's core mission. I did and do regard that as spurious.
If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?
"Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein
I'm a bit torn. I think reading and posting in the OT is fun, and I am interested in what COTHers have to say about non-horse related things. However, I do think the horse related posts and discussions should remain the main focus and I don't know how much a permanent OT subforum would subtract from that.
Yes, OT days are nice to have and no, not all end up or even have ongoing political battles.
If they do, well, just as with any other we may not care for, don't open those threads!
Just look around at FB, how it took off when people had a place to just talk of any and all, even insane, superficial topics no one could possible be too interested in, like stories about how someone's three year old is trying to lick it's elbow.
There is SOME interest in any and all out there and OT day/s provide that little place for many on COTH.
I learn so much about people, so much I didn't even know people were thinking about, very interesting.
I would love to see the OT forum as at least a weekend thing. I like the perspective of other horsey people on non-horsey topics. As a single person without much family, it's so great to get input on many different things from people that I feel I know to some degree.
I like that it's not full-time. It gives everyone time to go to their corners and cool off and build up new post topics. If it were here all the time it would get more boring and fall into arguing, IMO.
OT day should remain a special occasion. It is already far more frequent than it used to be, and now has stretched to really being more like OT *week*. It's been a loooong time since it was actually open for only a single day. I like it and post on it, but I don't want it around all the time.
This is literally the only board I'm on that DOESN'T have a permanent off-topic forum. (FSUniverse goes so far as to have a second off-topic politics-only forum where anything political gets put, so people can engage or avoid at will.) It's bizarre not to have one as the assumption seems to be no one would be interested in talking about anything other than horses with people they met on a horse board, or that everyone already knows/sees everyone elsewhere when IME it's the board where that's LEAST likely to be the case.
Much better as a temporary/occasional thing, & not because it detracts from COTH. In fact, I don't even care for these more recent "week long" OT marathons.
It's just readily apparent that after 2-3 days, there's a serious proliferation of topics along the lines of "What's your favorite color?". Folks just seem to run out of steam & start posting ridiculous stuff just because.
The poll isn't exactly bias free, judging by the wording of the available responses. Not so sure how valuable those poll results are.
I generally stay out of OT and only read a few of the threads, post on even fewer, and mostly roll my eyes. I do think it is better in small doses, and not fond of the marathon OT "days" of late. But, I can just stay out of the forum, and anymore don't really notice it is open or closed as I rarely bother to open it (kind of like how I never look at hunting, or western, etc...). COTH has been kind of blah lately anyway, maybe too much repetition and piling on, so really, I don't much care anymore.
I think it's fine...if people want it, leave it. I don't look at stuff I don't have any interest in, but do like seeing others' opinions (people from the horse world) on things that I find interesting outside of actual horse stuff.