How about a "Parenting and Kid Stuff" forum?

We’re getting a lot of threads on parenting issues these days. It would be handy if they were all in one place. Seems like a forum dedicated to such threads would see more action than a couple of other recently-inaugurated fora.

Along those lines, O SDMB Powers That Be, is there a preferred (by you) approach for trying to convince you guys that a prospective new forum’s time has come? Or do I just toss the idea out and see whether you guys give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down?

We appreciate that you may have this interest but the situation appears to be well served by our current forum designations.

While we can certainly discuss most anything and everything on this site we have always held ourselves out to be specifically not child-centric or kid friendly, even, and I would think that any step in that direction would be unwelcome to most of the community.

Oh lord no, though it would be nice to stuff all the infertility and pregnant threads into one deep dark recess that never sees light.

Damn straight. I would absolutely love to have all those “We’re pregnant!” and “Are my kids unusual?” thread titles removed from my view the way the sports threads have been.

Why not make it a “Pregnancy, fertility, parenting, children, animals, and cooing and cutesy stuff of all kinds” forum? That would do the trick.

You mean a forum about mundane and pointless stuff people feel they just have to share for any or no reason?

Mmmmm, no. There are plenty of mundane and pointless things that aren’t related to those topics.

Can we have a forum for “TV shows MsWhatsit does not watch”? Because I feel like it would really improve my SDMB experience to not have to scroll past a bunch of threads for stupid shows that I have no interest in.

I wasn’t expecting that TPTB would instantly adopt my idea, but I was at least expecting a response with some coherence.

Numero uno, whether “the situation appears to be well served by our current forum designations” doesn’t seem to play a big role in your forum decisions, quite frankly.

For instance, the “Elections” forum, with its 162 threads in 10 months, has amply demonstrated that the previously existing forum designations were serving that need quite well. Yet there it is, a forum of its own, rather than being a collection of threads in GD.

And the only reason that the threads of The Barn House, with its 137 threads in two and a half years, aren’t comfortably ensconced in some combination of GQ and IMHO is that Ed runs the place, so he gets to have a forum related to his book.

Numero two-o, what’s this “we have always held ourselves out to be specifically not child-centric or kid friendly” stuff? Where and when have you expressed this sentiment? I’ve been posting here for just shy of a dozen years, but this is the first I’ve heard of this. Specifically not child-centric, I can understand; you don’t want to be anything-centric except perhaps Cecil-centric, which is quite reasonable. But being “specifically not…kid friendly” (other than in the sense of this not being a place for kids to post which I’m well aware of, but you know that’s not what we’re talking about here) - when the Sam Hell did y’all say that?

Numero three-o, that doesn’t even make sense. Does having the Game Room forum make you sports-centric? Of course not! But it acknowledges that a lot of people here want to talk about sports and games, and gives them a specific place to do so. It doesn’t mean the Dope revolves around sports, anymore than having a Marketplace forum means that the point of the Dope is to be a mini-Craigslist.

Numero four-o, what’s this “any step in that direction would be unwelcome to most of the community” stuff? I’m plainly not talking about restricting the Dope to kid-friendly topics or language; I’m talking about having a forum where we can talk about issues related to kids, and raising the little buggers. I’m not sure why you think that “would be unwelcome to most of the community,” is this just a hunch, or do you have tangible reasons to think this is so?

Remember, it isn’t 1999 anymore. People who hang around a message board aren’t anymore mostly geeks in their 20s and early 30s, a demographic that is heavily single and childless. Those of us who have been around since the beginning are of course 12 years older than we were then, and even many of the younger 99ers have married and had kids in the interim. And 99ers aside, pretty much everybody is on the Web these days, including parents of young children, and many different age groups are represented here on the Dope. We’ve had longtime Dopers die from old age related causes, fercryinoutloud.

Just like when the Game Room forum was inaugurated, and sports fans and gamers were glad to have a place to congregate, while people who weren’t fond of either were glad to no longer have those topics cluttering up other fora, the same thing would happen with a Parenting and Kid Stuff forum: parents would spend a lot of their Doping time there, and people with no interest in issues related to children or child-rearing would be glad to have those threads out of IMHO.

Really the only questions are:

  1. Would this set of topics generate enough interest to rate a forum of its own?
  2. Do TPTB want such a forum on their board?

The answer to (1), on the basis of multiple extant fora, is that it doesn’t take much traffic anymore to justify keeping a forum alive, and if fora like Elections, Marketplace, and the Barn House are any indication, this is an extremely low bar to hurdle. So it seems to come down to (2).

If TPTB don’t want such a forum sullying your board, hey, it’s your board; who am I to blow against the wind? Just say so, fergoshsakes.

But don’t try to justify what is fundamentally an issue of like, or rather, dislike, with all sorts of rationales that make no sense whatsoever. Remember, we’re about fighting ignorance here, not helping it be fruitful and multiply.

I meant what I said – parenting issues and kid stuff seem to be well served being handled as they are now in the various forum areas as appropriate to topic. If I may speak for the rest of the staff here, no one else thought this was worthwhile either.

And for those who would like a new forum for “Things I really don’t care about,” lordhavemercy, we all have those lists, I suppose. I suspect that’s how Elections got started – the hue and cry to make that forum happen was more for people who didn’t want to see those threads and who thought a forum devoted to this topic would make their browsing easier by giving them less to avoid. That’s really not a good reason to start a forum.

The solution should not be adding a parenting forum, it should be getting rid of the Elections forum.

But I spent all morning carefully making up a comprehensive list of TV shows I don’t watch! You’re telling me you guys didn’t even consider this?!


OK, in seriousness, I do think that if we were going to have more specific forum break-downs, “Kids & Parenting” would definitely rate its own forum. But one of the things I’ve always liked about this place is its relatively low number of forum categories. I think it leads to greater depth of discussion and less silliness like, “Oh, this topic started in the Cars forum but now it’s really a discussion about gas prices so I’m going to move it to the Current Events forum” or whatever. I will second the opinion that we should probably just get rid of the Elections forum at this point, and I wouldn’t cry to see the Barn House go either, although I know it won’t, and why.

I do not see any reason for a separate forum for kid stuff. I think it works fine the way it is.

I agree, it’s NOT a good reason to start a forum.

The reason I brought up that side of things was as rebuttal to the idea that people might somehow be upset about the creation of such a forum. No: they’re more likely to be happier that the stuff they don’t care for is out of their way. That’s not an argument FOR the forum; it’s killing off a bad argument AGAINST it, and returning us back to the question of whether the forum ought to exist aside from that secondary question.

So anyway, if you’ve got these zombie fora (Elections, etc.) that really weren’t good ideas, and you’re TPTB,

they’re a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill them?

With Elections, you even had the excuse that you’d said all along that you planned to sunset it at the end of 2010.

Makes sense to me. It’s just that if they’re going to pull out a yardstick of some sort and justify their decision on its basis, it does raise the question of why they use the yardstick in this case but not that similar one. If they’re gonna do that, don’t tell me it’s all about the yardstick, because it’s not.

There was considerable advocacy for the Elections forum by a wide range of posters, and a great deal of discussion about it. The forum was set up as something of an experiment in response to the apparent interest in it (or rather, negative interest by many people in seeing discussions of elections in Great Debates).

So far, there has been exactly one person seriously advocating the forum you propose; that is, you. (The others supporting it here seem to be doing so mostly facetiously.) Based on that yardstick, there’s really no reason to consider even setting it up, regardless of any argument that the Elections forum should be discontinued.

I put up a post suggesting the very same thing a few months ago.

The Elections forum is kind of seasonal. I’d expect it to gradually get busier in the next 20 months and then die down again.

Well, I was kinda figuring this was the beginning of the discussion, not the resolution point. That’s why I said “Along those lines, O SDMB Powers That Be, is there a preferred (by you) approach for trying to convince you guys that a prospective new forum’s time has come?” in the OP.

I wasn’t expecting Yes or No; I was expecting something more along the lines of, if you think people want such a forum, here’s what you should do.

Instead I got No, and a bunch of bullshit reasons for it as a cherry on top.

True, but how busy was it during its recent ‘busy’ period?

Glad to hear it - we’ve now doubled the support for a Parenting forum!