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Chief Community Officer
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there Communities!

Many of you share with each other in lively off-topic areas, casual lounges, and general unrelated discussion categories across the broad network of forums. Being able to discuss with one another and relate on topics not expressly within the stated subject matter area of the site is part of what it is to have a culture unique to each community, and we acknowledge and respect that these areas are of significant value to members as a place to socialize. We're dedicated to protecting that important social aspect of the forums.

As part of a sequence of steps we're taking to protect the communities you are part of for the long haul and to ensure search engines don't unduly penalize these forums with new algorithms for simply being possessed of subject matter discussion that may not be directly relevant to the site's stated aim, we're moving many of these off-topic discussion areas to be accessible to only registered members.

This will help tremendously for unregistered visitors to communities looking for answers to their questions, but also in surfacing the best and most relevant content to the people who need it most. It should also have the added effect of increasing the value of registering as a member for special access to off-topic areas of discussion, not to mention helping moderators and administrators with gating some of the troublemakers who register just to stir the pot!

We're rolling this out steadily in phases this week and the following, and hope to have all completed by mid-August.

If you spot that a node has been inadvertently moved to registered member view only and shouldn't be, or bump into any issues with category access, do give us a heads-up and we'll take care of it pronto.
 

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Administrator
AVS Forum
Joined
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1,869 Posts
Good call! Our only permanent off topic area on AVS is not only for members, but premium members.

The only exceptions have been temporary member-only areas for major world events like 9/11 & now Covid19 where it's all anyone wanted to talk about and was invading on-topic discussions.

I was surprised when someone at VerticalScope asked me to make the Covid19 area visible to logged out readers. Later someone else said they shouldn't have done that so I locked it back down.
 
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