topic drift

topic drift

(messaging)
Term used on GEnie, Usenet and other electronic fora to describe the tendency of a thread to drift away from the original subject of discussion (and thus, from the Subject header of the originating message), or the results of that tendency.

Often used in gentle reminders that the discussion has strayed off any useful track. "I think we started with a question about Niven's last book, but we've ended up discussing the sexual habits of the common marmoset. Now *that's* topic drift!"
References in periodicals archive ?
However, if topic drift occurs, nodes must be retrained with
Online experiences can be frustrating and disappointing, however, when interaction with others in the group results in information overload, topic drift, or conversations that are just not all that valuable.
While sitting on a couch and having a non-chalant conversation with one of my acquaintances, the topic drifted to his daughter getting of marriage age and the gruelling process of groom selection that awaited him.
I was recently in conversation with a faculty member at a conservative Christian school, and the topic drifted briefly to medieval Christianity.
They might feel stymied in conversations with the CFO when the topic drifts to leadership, people skills and talent management.
The well-supported 5-2 favourite Kings Topic drifted to the stands' side in the final furlong, giving Formidable Guest the chance to get up to score by a nose.