The off-topic sections of online communities shouldn’t be feared or under-valued. They’re where the real community building takes place – people talk about what interests them (not necessarily you). The more conversations that start and develop there, the better.
Sometimes (particularly when a community is new) you will need to come up with new discussion topics yourself. For inspiration, you can turn to Facebook.
Scroll through your News Feed. What statements or questions are getting the most responses? Use the popular ones in your own community. Twitter can also be an effective source but it’s more difficult to track conversations.
Over time, you’ll see a pattern develop; you’ll instinctively know what questions or comments are likely to generate the most replies. Congratulations. You’ve just graduated from Facebook’s school of discussion inspiration.