To me the fascination of Speakers Forum is the fact that one can occasionally sidetrack from the main topic and, assuming that the input is generally interesting, one is then allowed to go off on a tangent now and again, secure in the knowledge that the thread will “realign” itself if and when other forum members grow inpatient.
I quote the example, my contribution to "What have you always wanted to try" by WTM. This resulted in the Forum Editor and White Truck Man contributing their very interesting (to me anyway) slant on what I had written about i.e. Lancaster Bombers. One may say , if one is so interested in Lancaster Bombers, one should find forums that deal exclusively with World War II aircraft and get one’s fill there (sorry about all the ones !)
Not so, that to me would be too much; I have several books and DVDs which I can dip into whenever I wish to totally immerse myself in the subject.
When I lived in Lincolnshire, I used to live under the flight path which the returning BBMF Lancaster took to it’s base in Coningsby, so I have been fortunate in that I have had more than my fair share of visual and audible sightings of the Lancaster – there I go digressing again, I love it.
No, sometimes I find that often the sidetracks anecdotes and digressions are far more interesting to me than the original subject matter and in order to stumble upon these, one is spurred on to read posts which one might never have considered of interest earlier.
Being reasonably intelligent (not my description!) but not technically minded or particularly computer literate, I LURK in the helproom, but I definitely LOITER WITH INTENT in the Speakers Forum ;o)
OK, I am the first person to admit it is not "lively and thought-provoking debate with other forum members"
It should be classed under "In-depth observations" but hey, I really am not trying to turn the forum into a chat-room. This is the only forum I have ever visited so I wouldn't know a chatroom if it got up and bit me - it was meant as light relief, that's all.
I really can see where you are coming from, but there really is no fine line between "lively and thought-provoking debate with other forum members" and total stupidity and I think that is what the FE is trying to get accross