eplaya and you

All things outside of Burning Man.

eplaya and you

Postby technopatra » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:27 pm

Discuss how you can and are helping to shape the eplaya.
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Postby Don Muerto » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:35 pm

I am injecting stupid humor clothed in reasonably well-formed grammar. Don't misbehave; I will bust out the semicolon and elipsis on you...
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.
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Postby technopatra » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:36 pm

I'm starting this thread to continue a great conversation III started over on the "subscription" thread. We were talking about features, moved on to experiences and the overall feel of the eplaya. He stated that he feels the overall tone is more negative (I'm paraphrasing) now that it once was, and I've seen this opinion from others.

I responded that I don't feel the design of the eplaya itself can have such mood-enhancing power. I think the users set the tone for the boards, and wonder if or how we can promote more helpful, informative, supportive discussions.

I also stated a bit of history on how we got to where we are now, to provide context, which I'll post after this. It's kinda long and covers several points.

What does everyone think? How responsible are you, the individual eplayan, for the state of the eplaya?
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Postby technopatra » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:37 pm

Don Muerto, if you keep making me laugh until I pee my pants, I'm sending you a bill for laundry detergent and adult diapers.
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Postby technopatra » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:40 pm

ok here's the thread that prompted this discussion: viewtopic.php?t=1910
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Re: eplaya and you

Postby PJ » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:45 pm

technopatra wrote:Discuss how you can and are helping to shape the eplaya.


I made my comments early and reiterated them several times; I haven't got anything new to add to my first impressions which are archived in the threads that contained early users' impressions and suggestions.


technopatra wrote:I don't feel the design of the eplaya itself can have such mood-enhancing power.


I strongly disagree. The design of any graphical medium is an extremely important, powerful tool in the hands of those who possess a good feel for how to exploit the options available to them. If humans were indifferent to graphic design there wouldn't be billion-dollar industries devoted to paying attention to the details of automobile bodies and interiors, clothing, and blinky swooping effects during television news programs, ad infinitum.


technopatra wrote:The old eplaya was created and left alone. Emily was the sysop for years, but for the most part the community had free rein. This worked great for a very small community of some 30 or so core users, and sucked big time for everybody else. The core group was very tight, often helpful, and frequently vicious. The multitude of great conversations and information was, to anyone outside the inner circle, lost in a sea of flames and nonsense.


That paragraph gives me two impressions:
First, that the people empowered with replacing the e-playa weren't and might not be interested in being core users. And secondly, the committee of people producing the new e-playa believe that their job would be easier if the old core users simply went away.

The "small community of core users" consisted of at least 50% newbies who'd joined-up less than nine months before the 2003 event. Yes, some newcomers that ask outrageously stupid questions the FAQ covers, start pointless threads unrelated to the forum topic, or sound drunk+stoned+really keen to show up and see the pretty art and groove with all the groovy freaks in one big happy groove but want a line on a free ticket...yeah, they catch some hell. But even some of the most clueless people "got it" and enjoyed the atmosphere, and absorbed wisdom of a sort that won't be available if the collected experience disappears.
Last edited by PJ on Mon Oct 13, 2003 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Don Muerto » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:49 pm

technopatra wrote:Don Muerto, if you keep making me laugh until I pee my pants, I'm sending you a bill for laundry detergent and adult diapers.


It's just the avatar, -I can't be held responsible.

Go ahead and send the bill to me anyway at:

El Jefe Grande
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500


Make sure you write "Uric Acid Remediation" on the receipts.
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Postby RebA! » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:53 pm

technopatra wrote:What does everyone think? How responsible are you, the individual eplayan, for the state of the eplaya?


I am so going to try to write this with out getting angry. Please bare with me. Perhaps since we returned from the playa and wound ourselves on this new eplaya. I have been negative. But thats soley from my frustration with the navigation of this board.

I have found myself drifting further away from this board which is really sad to me because I found this board my home away from home. I always tried (on the old eplaya) to be pleasant and at times helpful. With that said. I do wish to continue where I left off, being that pleasant and somewhat helpful person. But i'm finding with this current navagation that is not the case. Ie last posts, getting lost in threads, etc etc etc.

So who knows there might have been questions out there that I could of answered, but could not do so. And that frustrates me. So, where does that leave me and the current state of the eplaya and how and what am I to do about it?

Not much really i can do about it. I will continue to be frustrated and that unfortunatly the tone winds it self into my posts.

That and i always sense and underlying hatred of all the "oldtimers" from both the powers that be and all the new people. And me being a old timer. It just kind of rubs me the wrong way.

Gosh I hope that made some sense.
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Postby stuart » Mon Oct 13, 2003 6:23 pm

I am against censorship, for free expression, blah blah blah, but there has to be a way to limit peoples thread diarhea. If I come back to the board after, say, 16 hours away and go into general and see 23 new threads it is a huge hinderance. Some trolls are better than others at baiting people into these new threads as well so it is hard to tell what is legit. Without sounding like a fascist, is it possible to allow a new registered user 1 new thread and no more until certain criteria are met? Perhaps a combination of time registered (not post count for gawds sakes) and number of replies to the original thread.

I know it would be hard, but I would also like to see a way to limit people from changing names frequently.

Thanks for all your work, love the hat.

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Postby III » Mon Oct 13, 2003 6:38 pm

regardiing newbies being run through the wringer:

there are a couple of reasons this may happen. the time tested one, which holds true in meat space as well as cyber space, is that when joining with an existing commmunity, you'll get along better and experience less friction if you observe the interactions for a while, and model your own after those. newbies who don't observe first, and just jump in (such as, say those who create a lot of threads without actually putting any of their own content into them, or generate a lot of posts with little to no content aside from, say, complimenting people on their avatars) will find things a little bit tougher.

an additional reason is that, though it no longer seems to be really desired by the llc, is that a lot of oldbies value self sufficiency. if you read through the newbies thread, you'll find that people wondering whether camping with theme camps is required are treated a lot nicer than someone who asks a question that can be easily answered by following one link from the front page of the main site, or people who demand that services be provided for them.

finally, we've managed to develop a level of discourse here that seems to be much higher than many other places on the net. (one of the others i can think of was salon.com, before they went to a for pay model). new readers who expect respect, without taking the care to manage their spelling, grammar, and formatting to show that they actually care about what they write, are likely to be discounted and inferior contributers. this may be unfair, but i think it also prevents the dialogs from degenerating into something that reads as if it were the script for "dude, where's my car" rendered in single letter words.

(it may also be that my own playa experiences, being heavily involved with the dpw, had their own share of having to prove oneself before getting acceptance, and that taints my experience elsewhere.)
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Postby jbelson » Mon Oct 13, 2003 6:42 pm

I for one feel that the tone of the board is set solely by the posters.

I think there may be too many categories spread out which makes it hard to navigate.
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Postby III » Mon Oct 13, 2003 6:44 pm

no, i didn't tell him to say that...
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Postby Tiara » Mon Oct 13, 2003 6:49 pm

One thing I'd like to see a lot less of is the "us" vs "them" mentality that seems to have sprung up regarding the "old timers" on this board. The reality is (as has been stated elsewhere) that a majority of the core group that was posting so heavily before the event this year are people that came to the eplaya within the last year. Several of us celebrated our "first anniversary" at Decompression this weekend, since many of us met for the first time at last year's SF Decompression.

It's not a closed group. I'm often the point person for organizing face-to-face gatherings of eplayans. Most times when they are in public forums, the details are posted on this board with an invitation to anyone to come meet us and join in whatever we're going to be doing. . . in the past we've issued open invitations to beach burns at Ocean Beach, fizzball in public parks, and attendance at bunches of music and other performances in the Bay Area. Most gatherings that take place in people's private homes are open to newcomers too, but many people (wisely) don't feel comfortable posting their home addresses on the internet.

And our gatherings aren't limited to the Bay Area. . . people who know each other through this board also plan gatherings in LA, Seattle, Denver and other places whenever we/they are able to travel and meet up together.

While a big part of being connected for me personally is the ability to meet someone in person, it should be noted that there are people who most would consider part of that "core" group that very few of the eplaya regulars have ever met. This is a relatively anonymous place where people can be accepted based on their offerings of advice, humor, and well-thought out prose.

I think the great thing about this forum, is that anyone can be accepted if they follow some general guidelines. Exactly what those guidelines are is a bit hard to articulate, and I hope that no one interprets this as a rigid list. . .
--Lurk. By that I mean spend some time reading the board. Get a feel for what sort of discussion areas are available, and which are the most relevant areas for your interests and questions. When you've got some sense of that, dip your toes in the water and participate.
--Introduce yourself in one of the threads designed for doing that. Say something about your interests, your Burning man attendance/experience (or lack thereof), etc
--Try to make your posts comprehensible and coherent. Attempting to use proper grammar and spelling goes a long way in this regard. Nobody's perfect. But remember that all we know about you when you first post is what we see onscreen.
--follow general net/bbs protocol. . . Personal arguments should occur via private emails. Avoid cross posting. etc.
--Don't post just to add to your number of posts. Try to contribute something. Share your thoughts and reactions to things. Offer advice based on your knowledge and/or experience. Be helpful when you can.
--Before starting a thread or asking a question, do a search to see if the topic has already been brought up, or if that question has already been answered.

--and don't ramble on endlessly, like I just did (sorry!)
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Postby Don Muerto » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:03 pm

*sigh*

Ok, a serious thread. Here is my $.02, but all this seriousness is sure to touch off a Tourette's-like spate of juvenile humor from me as soon as I am done.

I find the new board more usable than the old. There, I said it. Forgive me and let's move on.

Here is my analysis of what is going on:

MECHANICS
OLD - I never customized my old eplaya experience, but I believe the people who did when they say it made it more usable. The rate at which threads disappeared from the old eplaya made it very 'snapshotty' to me, -I had trouble following issues and ended up logging on occasionally to see what I might find easter-egg style. Had I customized my view, and/or been a more frequent user I probably would have learned its ins and outs and been fine with it.
NEW - The only thing wrong with the new board from a purely mechanics point of view is the read/unread flag issue. The look is nicer, and I like most of the additional features. I am used to this format from other boards and don't have trouble navigating it. Oh, I am not super keen on the changing account name feature either.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SPIRIT
I don't think the new eplaya is any more mean-spirited than the old. There was plenty of flaming on the old and there is plenty on the new. What I think *has* happened is that the new format makes it easier for a broader cross-section of people to post. The old eplaya had a somewhat "clubby" feel to it sometimes, and I think that the club membership suddenly swelled and everybody is enjoying that uncomfortable moment when the room is full of strangers, the music has stopped and lots of feet are shuffling. I expect things to get mixing soon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CHANGES I THINK WOULD HELP

    1 - Read/Unread Flag - Not sure if its possible, but if its possible its not optional.
    2 - Too many 'categories' and 'forums'. IMO the problem is not people creating too many threads, it is simply there are too many containers for them. The heirarchy is fractured and difficult to track. After watching how stably this board ran, I downloaded the code and set up a much smaller forum for my camp at BM 04. Like the new eplaya, my first instinct was to make use of the granularity, but I found that it was too fractured when I had 3 categories of several forums each. I unwound all that and created 1 category with 3 forums and started off the discussions by making threads with the titles the forums used to have.
Was that hard to follow? Let's reorganize the new eplaya along the lines I am trying to discuss.

    CATEGORY - EPLAYA
    FORUMS - BM 04, BM 03, Tips n Tricks, Need n Have*, Yearround, ePlaya Feedback
    THREADS -
      (BM 04) About the Event, Newbie Info & ?'s
      (BM 03) 2003 Theme: Beyond Belief, Did Anyone Find My..., etc.


I think dropping that category level of organization would go a LONG way towards bridging the gap between the experienial old and new ePlaya. At the very least we won't have 2 PAGES of things to choose from at the top level. You will see there is new crap in BM 04, go there and have the freshest threads on top. Make sense?

Hope that makes some sense and helps you out. I am now retreating to quips and non-sequiters.

* I think this Forum should be made into a Thread in the Yearround Forum.
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Postby Kinetic II » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:27 pm

Don Muerto's post mirrors my thoughts. I would also suggest a few other tweaks if they are technically possible.
1: Similar ID's. Digiman, Digiman. , Digiman.., and names of that ilk are confusing and should be looked at. Names are easy to create, go to www.kabbalarians.com and find a whole slew of them to pick from. This is a creative community, come up with something different if you change names! (Please keep that feature though, some change is good even though it doesn't please everybody)

2: It might be a stupid idea but a short thread on basic netiquette would be nice, customized BM style. (this is a BBS but not quite like the others out there) I've had to learn the finer points of it via flames and PM's, I wish others didn't have my experience. Tiara covered the TMI issue...don't make my mistakes.

3: Stuart's idea on getting away from post count is my hot issue. So what if Kinetic had 864 posts? They were scattered all over the place. Excluding the TMI posts, there was some good stuff in there, I had others tell me that so it's not an ego thing. Dump that post count, go to time spent on the board. Or maybe a mix of the two...there are better minds that can work on that part as it's not my specialty.

4: Moderators. I'm not soliciting for the position here but having a few admins / moderators check out the board a bit more would help somewhat. And you might want to pick some regulars / non regulars for any moderator style duties. If outsiders are brought in they won't understand how the board flows along, and insiders get accused of favoritism. A balance might work best.

5: Censorship / Fuck Thread. Resist the urge to censor things. People hate the Fuck Thread, (edit: I happen to like it and use it) and there are over 800 of PJ's cow pix lurking around. Also make it perfectly clear that threads will not be deleted unless they meet certain criteria...and considering the nature of BM/BRC it has to be a very high bar. Swearing, nudity, we see that in BRC. Raise that bar!

I gotta throw a sucker punch....the timing of switching over to the new e-playa was one of the biggest miscalculations I have ever seen. Many of us came back and were shellshocked. It's the equivalent of driving home from BM and finding your house had burned down while you were gone. Everything that you counted on being there, the familiarity, was gone. If there are any major changes to be made in the future, do more to involve the end users before pulling the trigger on it. This is an online community, and I'd like to see community decisions if possible. BM is Larry's dream, but the e-playa is not like that. Thanks Technopatra for posting the thread and to everyone for hearing me out.

Shawn
aka Ailchinn and / or Kinetic
Last edited by Kinetic II on Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Don Muerto » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:28 pm

Don Muerto wrote:
    CATEGORY - EPLAYA
    FORUMS - BM 04, BM 03, Tips n Tricks, Need n Have*, Yearround, ePlaya Feedback
    THREADS -
      (BM 04) About the Event, Newbie Info & ?'s
      (BM 03) 2003 Theme: Beyond Belief, Did Anyone Find My..., etc.


This is a reorg of the ePlaya as it is now. Thinking about it a little more, I would make "Feedback" another Category altogether as it has to do with real life as opposed to Burning Man.

(Will quoting yourself make you go blind?)
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Postby alice » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:34 pm

no, it just makes you a bore.
bitch all you want - it won't change nothin.
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Postby PJ » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:34 pm

Ailchinn wrote:...5: Censorship...cow pix


That's art.
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Postby Don Muerto » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:35 pm

alice wrote:no, it just makes you a bore.


ouch!

*checks his ass to see if its swelling*
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Re: eplaya and you

Postby blyslv » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:54 pm

PJ wrote: newbies who'd joined-up less than nine months before the 2003 event.


<raise hand/>

I found that by observing basic netiquette, i.e., lurking for a few weeks and reading the background info, I was able to make posts that did not attract ridicule or viciousness. I've also found that the pattern of behavior on the old eplaya closely resembled behavior I've seen on other on-line forums. This can be a difficult medium.

I also think the graphics are important, but more important is the useability; the details of which are exhaustively discussed elsewhere. But one thing is telling, the fact that you (technopatra) had to start this thread by posting one from a different category. It seems like there are too many categories without enough active and substantive threads. This leads to sense of disjointedness, that "I'm missing something important", and makes it much harder to skim past threads of no personal interest.
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Re: eplaya and you

Postby PetsUntilEaten » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:59 pm

technopatra wrote:Discuss how you can and are helping to shape the eplaya.


answer : i'm trying not to post at all.


and i'm looking for new reading material.

i erased my detailed rant - because i think III covered most of it.

and because if you can't say something nice,

come sit next to me.

PS - OK - not posting after today. i did say "trying".
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Postby precipitate » Tue Oct 14, 2003 12:14 am

I am (briefly) back because I would like to contribute to the improvement of this resource.

Yes, this is long. Sorry. Please bear with me.

1. Format is extremely important to setting tone. No, it's not the sole
factor. But lots of visual clutter leads to cluttered discussion. And
personally, I find it difficult to read posts that span the entire screen
surrounded by icons. I realize that's maybe just me, but I also find that
forums that eschew this format tend to attract users who actually
*contribute* to discussions rather than just one-upping or posting me too!!!!!!

> there has to be a way to limit peoples thread diarhea.
2. Yeah. There are some really nice, simple models for this. Not
necessarily limiting it, but containing it so that the remainder of the
forums are usable. For example, see Salon's Table Talk community standards
(if that doesn't work, please go to salon.com, select Dialogue, then Table
Talk, then Help, the Community Standards). This does, by the way, not
allow people to register with free email addresses, and requests that they
not create multiple identities.

3. Tiara, you rock. A lot.

4. Don Muerto, re: usability. Yes, this format is a lot more familiar than
WebX was. That has its pros and cons. On the old one you clearly missed
the one button which could have made your life easier, and which is the
bane of frequent users of this board: subscriptions. Some of the stuff on
WebX was clunky. But I never had to click in four fucking places and
browse backwards to figure out where I left off.

> There was plenty of flaming on the old and there is plenty on the new.
5. I beg to differ. There was very little flaming on the old eplaya. There
was the occasional fuckwit post. But flame wars? I can count them on one
hand. For the new eplaya, my old Intel processor is having floating point
errors counting them. And no, I didn't contribute to them.

> The old eplaya had a somewhat "clubby" feel to it sometimes,
6. Yeah. It did. Mea culpa. But it wasn't a "stay out" club. It was a "figure
out the secret handshake, of which there are as many as there are
members" club. Goes back to netiquette.

> a short thread on basic netiquette would be nice,
7. Oh bullshit. (K, not a personal attack; I like you a lot). Fine. In the FAQ
have a link to any fucking netiquette thread out there. It's not the job of
every fucking resource to hold the hand of every fucking twelve year old
to first wield a keyboard. Yeah, there will be newbies here. I've not yet
seen one who just hadn't read the FAQ and got more than a single
response saying RTFM. If you're clearly clueless, you're offered a clue. If
you're willfully clueless, it's not my job to train you. I dunno, maybe
that's Digiman's fundamental problem. K, will you please hold his hand?
Because I'm tempted to shit in it instead.

8. I firmly believe that moderators should both read the threads and not
be emotionally involved in them. I think moderators serve a valuable
function: keeping informational threads informational, chatty threads
chatty, and scanning for trolls so that should members complain there's
a trail to follow.

>and because if you can't say something nice,
>come sit next to me.
9. Doing anything this weekend?
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Postby Kinetic II » Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:58 am

Precip: Thanks for putting the clarification in brackets. Online intent can be easily misunderstood.

It is not our place to post an online FAQ, but I'm simply looking for ways to get more people posting on here. Out of 2503 users, my hunch is not all of them have been on other boards and this might be their first experience. I'm looking at taking one of the best things about BRC, the spirit of acceptance, education, and understanding and bring it here which will help make it easier for first timers to post and become involved. I'm for giving them a simple FAQ that is built around the BM experience and embellished with additions from the core group. I'm sure Bob gets tired of structure questions...post the link to his site. Stuff like that is what I have in mind. Mix in the best of the Salon stuff and other links and put our spin on it. We can do this.

Right now I'm working off my g/f's reax when she came on here without my knowledge and her first comments were: that's a rude bunch. And I can't find out what I'm looking for. Oh and if I posted, I'd be afraid of getting flamed because I made a mistake. She's not exactly stupid as she's working on her Ph.D. and has a very impressive background, yadda yadda. If she felt it sucks I can imagine what other's reactions are.

Before I shut up: I'll try and help with Digiman / De Facto before he comes under scatalogical attack, Tiara certainly rocks as does R-pod, and if we all had Pets's attitude, what a wonderful place this would be.

Now excuse me, I need caffeine now. This was too serious for this time of day for me. Whew.
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Postby jbelson » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:16 am

I believe the thread count needs to go. I post on another board with a thread count as well, and it cant be helped that your thread count is like a badge. We all like to see it rise. Maybe, instead, posters are given an icon that indicates the different levals of posting (might end up causing the same problem).

I don't think you can limit anyone's posting, wether new or not, it's just not right and none of us would like it to happen to us.

Responsibility- The quality of this board (other than technical) falls on all of us that are posting. Even in this thread there is a lot of negativity. If there is something that you don't like, than dont reply or read further. That is a sure fire way of not getting annoyed. We all have the power to ignore a thread and have it drop down the list.

Newbies=inevitability. They can't be, and shouldn't be limited or stopped. However, a simple disclaimer, or netiquette thread that is locked at the top of the board is a simple way to help things run smoother.

Threads- I think it would be helpful to have a distinct "non-playa" category for general discussion. I know we have the general discussion, but it's not defined well enough and gets a lot of topic mixture and confusion.

I think people forget why they are here. For me, it's to escape work with people that share something that I'm passionate about.


(If I've misspelled anything in this post, please get over it. Remember, don't sweat the small stuff)
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Postby Guest » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:18 am

I don't know that I have any answers, but I'll contribute some comments.

I do think the tone is pretty negative. Just look at the affirmations thread.

And I think that a lurker would expect that the way to participate is to be similarly negative.

Personally I think that if someone wanted to post a de-affirmation to be funny, they could post it in a de-affirmation thread so users looking for that kind of thing could find it.

I'm not against the de-affirming posts, just thinking that they could be better categorized.

I kind of went out on a limb in the Sexual Violence thread and actually suggested that people wanting to talk about violent sex could do so in another thread, so people who'd been traumatized by sexual violence wouldn't be re-traumatized by reading people's thoughts on how they get off on violent sex.

I had someone relate a story to me that they went looking on the web for info on sexual abuse and got a porn site that changed their home page to a XXX site. There is no reason for that kind of thing to occur here, other then (in my opinion) laziness.

I think that the bman spirit of acceptance and freedom and self-expression could be replaced over time by anarchy and denigration. It reminds me of the difference between woodstock 94 and rapestock.

Just as the lack of order in 94 drew participants who were looking for that lack of order to committ their crimes in the next one, so could the negative tone on the eplaya draw people who were just looking for a place to demean others.

For a while I kept trying to do affirmations (hopefully with a little creative humor), but eventually the overall thread got to me and I posted an obnoxious one. I don't like that, and I want to fix it.
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Postby Patience » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:58 am

Don Muerto wrote:(Will quoting yourself make you go blind?)


"I think it was me who said, anyone who quotes himself is an asshole."
-Patience
It's not that I hate you. It's just that I'm a much better person than you.
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Postby Don Muerto » Tue Oct 14, 2003 11:03 am

"I suck."
-Don Muerto
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.
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Postby alice » Tue Oct 14, 2003 11:19 am

when asked if i spit or swallow:

"jewish girls never spit."
bitch all you want - it won't change nothin.
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Postby TestesInSac » Tue Oct 14, 2003 12:31 pm

I'll also briefly chime in here. I've only been posting on any version of the eplaya for about a year, starting just after BM2k2. What I found so engrossing about the old eplaya was the following:

1. The level of discourse, in terms of <b>writing accuracy</b>, <b>originality</b> and <b>nutritional value</b> was higher than any other electronic medium I've encountered.

<i>Even a cursory examination of the content of this board, compared to the old eplaya or Harriet's work, should be enough to prompt <b>really listening</b> to the "cranky oldsters" if maintaining the level of discourse is any more than just lip service on the part of those responsible for this board.

Also, I believe that the complaints of exclusivity/clubbiness/elitism, thread drift and gratuitous cow/ass pics are <b>red herrings</b> created by and for those who were simply intimidated by the pressure to be articulate and just wanted a Yahoo! chat room.</i>

2. When two opposing points of view encountered one another, and both were well articulated, the tendency to 'flame' was restrained by the sense that 'flaming' doesn't engender respect, but expressing yourself well does.

<i>Note that this is a voluntary and healthy form of <b>self-management</b>; no moderator censorship or external intervention was ever required to maintain the flow of the board. Compare that now with the buzz about moderators and censorship that surfaces now with increasing frequency.</i>

3. When a poster came along that was clearly without clue, that poster either acquired a clue, or disappeared, and I think the former happened more often than the latter.

<i>Compare that to the situation now, where the "cranky oldsters" are leaving, and board management feels some need to externally control content and even membership.</i>

Finally, there seems to be some disagreement about whether it was the format change that created the problems here, or whether it was the "cranky oldsters" that were the problem. <b>If the "cranky oldsters" are gone, and you still have serious content and membership management issues, how can that be the "cranky oldsters" fault? How could you then ignore the impact of the format change and the influx of inexperienced posters on the problems the board management appears to acknowledge?</b>
I am my own sock puppet.
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Postby antron » Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:12 pm

on the phpbb website in the mods discussion there are several threads on read tracking. it appears that some promising candidates (that bring you to the first unread message in a thread, for example) are available beta.

this is not the only phpbb based bb that has this problem.

i am willing to bang on a sandbox version of this board...should the tech gods and goddesses (who i thank without measure) decide to put one up...
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