The state of "discussion" forums and online communities

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NMprofessional

New Member
Bronze
Aug 1, 2007
45
0
0
Rochester NY
#1
I just have a comment on the "current state" online communities.

I have been a member of many online communities, for more than 18 years dating back to early bullentin board system days. Many of the currently active online communites have a common problem - they do not promote a free exchange of ideas without feeling of an outcast.

With recent events such as the iPhone price drop, iPhone credit from Apple Inc to early adopters, Handsprings dropping their loyal customer rewards program ( a few years back), etc...

Online communities are limiting the amount of threads on similar topics and are asking people to limit their comments to specific threads, within the by-laws of the site, etc.

Online communites should promote differing opinions and numerous threads (even is is about one topic)? Isn't that what RSS Feeds and the like are for... to help keep us up to date no matter how many threads are craeted?

It has really pressed me to ask myself the question, "What am I doing here?"

... A lot of posters complain when people have a different opinion.
... Online communities admins not wanting to "have numerous threads" on the same topic.

What are forums like these for if cannot be open enough to let us openly communicate about what we are passionate about?

Anyone else have any thoughts on the current state of online communites?
 

jbaraga

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
270
0
16
Pittsburgh, PA
www.baraga.me
#2
I just have a comment on the "current state" online communities.

I have been a member of many online communities, for more than 18 years dating back to early bullentin board system days. Many of the currently active online communites have a common problem - they do not promote a free exchange of ideas without feeling of an outcast.

With recent events such as the iPhone price drop, iPhone credit from Apple Inc to early adopters, Handsprings dropping their loyal customer rewards program ( a few years back), etc...

Online communities are limiting the amount of threads on similar topics and are asking people to limit their comments to specific threads, within the by-laws of the site, etc.

Online communites should promote differing opinions and numerous threads (even is is about one topic)? Isn't that what RSS Feeds and the like are for... to help keep us up to date no matter how many threads are craeted?

It has really pressed me to ask myself the question, "What am I doing here?"

... A lot of posters complain when people have a different opinion.
... Online communities admins not wanting to "have numerous threads" on the same topic.

What are forums like these for if cannot be open enough to let us openly communicate about what we are passionate about?

Anyone else have any thoughts on the current state of online communites?
In general, I find people around here to fall into the following categories:

1. Those who provide good, helpful information on a consistent basis, or ask thoughtful questions which encourage good discussion.

2. Those who are looking for information, but would be better served reading their owners manual. They clog up the forum with very basic questions that they should be figuring out on their own. The typical "How do I [insert something basic here]?" posters.

3. Those who sometimes provide good information, but enjoy antagonizing other people who have opinions contrary to their own. They'll find posts or posters they disagree with, and then manage to double the length of the thread by replying to everyone who holds an opinion they disagree with. Complete waste of space, completely unproductive, and the people I have the least amount of tolerance for. I'm all for debate and constructive criticizm, but they don't seem to be able to differentiate between that and arguing for the sake of argument.

4. Fluffers. These people provide little in the way of good information or solid discussion points, but instead like to chime in with their feel-good posts. "Can't we all just get along?" "I love my iPhone!" "It's nice when people can express their differences without being mean."

4. Spammers. "HDTVs, iPhones and Computers for sale"

5. Lurkers.

I agree with your sentiments to a point, but I do find it frustrating when there are multiple posts about the same topic. I think it's possible for multiple posts to provide unique commentary about the same issue, but if they aren't, then they're just confusing the issue and making the forum hard to navigate. I'm sure the mods are simply trying to keep this place streamlined and on point without preventing people from expressing their opinions.

These forums definitely have a great deal of value, though. If it weren't for forums like these, none of us would be getting a $100 credit...or at least not anywhere near as quickly as we apparently will be getting them. Being able to exchange thoughts & information quickly is what helps people ultimately get what they want.
 

ps49556n

New Member
Silver
Jun 21, 2007
545
1
0
NYC
#3
I just have a comment on the "current state" online communities.

I have been a member of many online communities, for more than 18 years dating back to early bullentin board system days. Many of the currently active online communites have a common problem - they do not promote a free exchange of ideas without feeling of an outcast.

With recent events such as the iPhone price drop, iPhone credit from Apple Inc to early adopters, Handsprings dropping their loyal customer rewards program ( a few years back), etc...

Online communities are limiting the amount of threads on similar topics and are asking people to limit their comments to specific threads, within the by-laws of the site, etc.

Online communites should promote differing opinions and numerous threads (even is is about one topic)? Isn't that what RSS Feeds and the like are for... to help keep us up to date no matter how many threads are craeted?

It has really pressed me to ask myself the question, "What am I doing here?"

... A lot of posters complain when people have a different opinion.
... Online communities admins not wanting to "have numerous threads" on the same topic.

What are forums like these for if cannot be open enough to let us openly communicate about what we are passionate about?

Anyone else have any thoughts on the current state of online communites?
+



OMG quit your **** complaining.....TWO days ago 97% of the new threads were people coming here to complain about the price drop.....what the hell do you expect the moderators to do? Just sit there and watch these people come and make this place look like a zoo? If you don't like it, why don't you take your so called 15 years of message board "Experience" and go to another forum. The last thing this place needs is more threads complaining about censoring complaints when there are already more than I can count on my hand.
 

petalmom

New Member
Silver
Jun 30, 2007
494
0
0
#4
+



OMG quit your **** complaining.....TWO days ago 97% of the new threads were people coming here to complain about the price drop.....what the hell do you expect the moderators to do? Just sit there and watch these people come and make this place look like a zoo? If you don't like it, why don't you take your so called 15 years of message board "Experience" and go to another forum. The last thing this place needs is more threads complaining about censoring complaints when there are already more than I can count on my hand.
I did not read the OP's post as a complaint and quite frankly, your post is much more frustrating to me. How old are you anyway?
 

ps49556n

New Member
Silver
Jun 21, 2007
545
1
0
NYC
#5
I did not read the OP's post as a complaint and quite frankly, your post is much more frustrating to me. How old are you anyway?
.




LOL, he is the one coming here, creating a new topic about moderators moving around complaint topics, when there are already way too many of these threads already created!



It has really pressed me to ask myself the question, "What am I doing here?"
What are you doing here?
 

iPaul

New Member
Bronze
Jun 25, 2007
176
0
0
Minneapolis
#6
+



OMG quit your **** complaining.....TWO days ago 97% of the new threads were people coming here to complain about the price drop.....what the hell do you expect the moderators to do? Just sit there and watch these people come and make this place look like a zoo? If you don't like it, why don't you take your so called 15 years of message board "Experience" and go to another forum. The last thing this place needs is more threads complaining about censoring complaints when there are already more than I can count on my hand.
LOL, Hillarious!


NMprofessional said:
+
3. Those who sometimes provide good information, but enjoy antagonizing other people who have opinions contrary to their own. They'll find posts or posters they disagree with, and then manage to double the length of the thread by replying to everyone who holds an opinion they disagree with. Complete waste of space, completely unproductive, and the people I have the least amount of tolerance for. I'm all for debate and constructive criticizm, but they don't seem to be able to differentiate between that and arguing for the sake of argument.
 

erroneous

New Member
Bronze
Jun 23, 2007
107
0
0
#7
I "hear 'ya".

On-Line communities are in a state of where they have always been.

"The street".

This forum, Everything iPhone is devoted to a "thing", a product,
a device.

From that, stems its "users" experiences... what ever they may be.

Balancing "things" with the human experience will never be
an exact science... because life has its complexities even the
well-learn-eth continue to discover.

My take on this place has been one along these lines:

Keep it focused on the product at hand.
Mention some facts relating to "your" experience.

Add a little conflict if you're daring.

And sit back and "read" the replies.

This place is the "street".

It is what it "is", and there's nothing anyone here
can add to it to make it anything other than "that".

Oh, and... "Pop" some Popcorn if it meets a delight.

That helps me along.

~~John~~~

Post script: And all of the above is written with the utmost respect
toward anyone reading it. (Punch in the arm... jab ya... Gotch 'cha!)

Take a chill pill... fire it up... just plain "relax".

~grinning~~~ because I know how.

and signed with my name too.

John
 

Kabeyun

Member
Silver
Jan 10, 2007
665
0
16
Northeast US
#8
Anyone else have any thoughts on the current state of online communites?
I'd add "Trollers" to jbaraga's list. :p

But yes, in this way, online communities are quite representative of the population cross section they are. If you're going to be part of an online community, you've got to be prepared to encounter chaff with the wheat. Sometimes the "chaff" is outright mean, hostile, or abusive, and that's where the Admin or Mod(s) step in.

Regarding trying to limit multiple threads on the same topic, we do this from an organizational standpoint. In fact, I submit that restricting the number of threads on a given topic increases the likelihood that all voices are heard. Otherwise, people's input is spread across several threads and one would have to read all of them to read everyone's posts. (Imagine trying to find a document on your computer if you had twelve folders titled "Documents.")

Remember, the following are your friends:
  • The search function
  • Patience & tolerance
  • The Report Post button
  • Other EI.com members until proven otherwise
Have a great day.

-K
 
Jul 15, 2007
24
0
0
www.submissiveophelia.com
#9
I just have a comment on the "current state" online communities.

I have been a member of many online communities, for more than 18 years dating back to early bullentin board system days. Many of the currently active online communites have a common problem - they do not promote a free exchange of ideas without feeling of an outcast.

With recent events such as the iPhone price drop, iPhone credit from Apple Inc to early adopters, Handsprings dropping their loyal customer rewards program ( a few years back), etc...

Online communities are limiting the amount of threads on similar topics and are asking people to limit their comments to specific threads, within the by-laws of the site, etc.

Online communites should promote differing opinions and numerous threads (even is is about one topic)? Isn't that what RSS Feeds and the like are for... to help keep us up to date no matter how many threads are craeted?

It has really pressed me to ask myself the question, "What am I doing here?"

... A lot of posters complain when people have a different opinion.
... Online communities admins not wanting to "have numerous threads" on the same topic.

What are forums like these for if cannot be open enough to let us openly communicate about what we are passionate about?

Anyone else have any thoughts on the current state of online communites?

Anywhere you have people speaking online,especially message boards, there are a lot of people who feel that their opinion is "it". That there can be no other opinion than theirs, and that theirs is the ultimately correct opinion.

I have struggled as an outcast for years on various online communities.
When I tried debating something, or had a different opinion, I would be attacked because of it.

I guess that old saying about everybody having an opinion is like everyone have behinds "everybody has one"