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Did facebook kill off internet forums?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I don't get it....

    Don't get what...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Again get what?

    And it's an extract from George RR Martin
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Don't get what...

    The phrase "Comment is free killed internet forums". It doesn't make sense :S
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *ping*
    That's the sound of the penny dropping. You mean people being able to comment on newspaper articles e.t.c. means we don't need forums to vent on.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    *ping*
    That's the sound of the penny dropping. You mean people being able to comment on newspaper articles e.t.c. means we don't need forums to vent on.

    Yep. If you look at at even some of the least popular stories (and it's not just the Guardian, its the the Telegraph, the Mail,etc, etc) the number of people commenting drwarfs here even in its heyday. People are still commenting, but not on 'forums'

    That said there is something to be said for smaller forums, where regular posters come on and you can start to 'know' other posters and the conversations and arguments can flow better (eg if this was on Comment is free, chances are your post would be 40 or 50 posts above mine and everyone reading would have forgotten the context of the conversation and would only have seen the post I am specifically replying to, not the ones leading to this point)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Comments on news paper stories really piss me off, so many single minded and one track people who actually know very little about anything. I know Ive been mistaken in the past, but at least im open to consideration.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    Comments on news paper stories really piss me off, so many single minded and one track people who actually know very little about anything. I know Ive been mistaken in the past, but at least im open to consideration.

    Thats true here as well, as it is on every forum.

    But at least with CIF and the others there is plenty of differing comments, and amongst the chaff there is wheat. Some of the comments on the various articles often display better knowledge than the writer (and change 'often' to 'always' if the writer is Polly Toynbee) and often present differing information, which leads you to a differing conclusion than the writer has.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yep. If you look at at even some of the least popular stories (and it's not just the Guardian, its the the Telegraph, the Mail,etc, etc) the number of people commenting drwarfs here even in its heyday. People are still commenting, but not on 'forums'


    Maybe so, but they're always heavily moderated. You can't have a real conversation with anyone or even really answer their points. Hence it's why (especially on the Mail) they're a magnet for ill-informed morons with an opinion. At least on here you can have a decent debate with someone who usually has a measure of intelligence.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Maybe so, but they're always heavily moderated. You can't have a real conversation with anyone or even really answer their points. Hence it's why (especially on the Mail) they're a magnet for ill-informed morons with an opinion. At least on here you can have a decent debate with someone who usually has a measure of intelligence.

    The Guardian is heavily moderated (showing its committment to free speech, unless it doesn;t agree with it) Telegraph less so (and probably no more than here). And I could name a few ill-informed morons with an opinion on here as well (though for politeness sake I won't):D

    The benefits of here are that you can have a conversation with someone you know, but it does make it harder for new comers and whilst its small size makes it easy to get to know people, it also means there is neither the diversity of opinions nor, outside a few areas, anyone who has any real background knowledge or expertise. On Comment is free I've seen regular comments by barristers on the law, economists, people who work in various industries under discussion, etc, etc
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've not found the Grauniad's moderating to be too heavy handed, they generally tend to moderate only where you allude to Marina Hyde's relationship with Piers Moron or when you're being a racist or libellous halfwit.

    BBC's Have Your Say, surprisingly enough, is very heavily moderated. Unless you say you live in "Britianistan" and hate teh Muzlimz and ZaNuLieBore, in which case you're welcome to fill your boots.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Guardian is heavily moderated (showing its committment to free speech, unless it doesn;t agree with it) Telegraph less so (and probably no more than here). And I could name a few ill-informed morons with an opinion on here as well (though for politeness sake I won't):D

    When I say moderated, I mean pre-moderated. On this site you know that whatever you write will appear (although maybe not for long). The trouble with newspaper comment pages is they're so worried about libel (although you wouldn't think it from the articles) they vet whatever is posted first. Because of that and because it's not in semi-real time there isn't any flow.
    it also means there is neither the diversity of opinions nor, outside a few areas, anyone who has any real background knowledge or expertise. On Comment is free I've seen regular comments by barristers on the law, economists, people who work in various industries under discussion, etc, etc

    And this is the key problem. It's very difficult to vet people on this website, there are few people here with any specialist knowledge, which whilst it's good that everyone participates and chips in with their own opinion it can be a problem when someone is seeking advice for a particularly challenging problem. There are some people here with specialist knowledge wh choose to hide it, and there are some much as myself who are happy to admit what we do for a living but don't go into further details.
    As for vetting, noone here has any real evidence that I'm in the police, it's all based on trust, I'd have hoped that after being a consistent member here for 11 years and became a member here before I joined the force, people can trust me in some respects. Would people believe anything I had to say if I'd just joined and said I was a cop? Same goes for comments pages, anyone on a comments page who says they're a barrister or similar? How do we know, they're probably full of shit for all we know.

    And that's the advantage this site and others like it have over comments pages etc. We all know(ish) one another reasonably well, even those of us who choose to remain anonymous are fairly well known.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JUst not enough newbies to replace those who left forum out of boredom
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *bumps* I disagree.

    Have you been on The Student Room, IGN Teh Vestibule, Bodybuilding.com , specific forums related to popular items/games/activities? They are flooded with activity, you just refresh the page, and there's several new topics and replies.

    Some forums die over time, though for various reasons, lack of exposure, ageing members, various options which are sometimes better, age groups, etc

    One of the problems with forums is it's actually difficult to get to know anyone on them, the contacts aren't as 'live' and it's more drawn out. It's much easier with more 'live' communications like when playing online games, etc. to get to know people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There used to be a lot of mindless banter and chat on forums, now there's always got to be a specific point to the conversation. The mindless stuff, drama and gossip just tends to go to facebook and other places now.

    I personally think they're worse off for it, because they feel like less of a community. Some forums are still alright, but I just find it difficult here to get stuck in. I think there was a stage when there were a lot of 'regs' on here with a balance between hippy types and no-bullshit types, and a few years ago the balance definitely shifted to no-bullshit types and a lot of people dropped off because most threads ended up being 'here's the advice. take it or leave it.' and it was less of a conversation and more like being told what to do by your schoolteacher. As well as that, the topics here moved from being a balance of all sorts and some that we could all get behind, to having a higher percentage of 'heavy' threads like self-harm, suicidal feelings, recovering from abuse etc.

    I drifted away for a long time, and now I kind of hover about but nowhere near as engaged I used to be. I honestly find it a bit difficult to know what to say a lot of the time.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Jo7 and I have been trying to decide whether or not we should reply to this thread and mainly we thought not - these are all valid personal perceptions and comments about the way forums have evolved and so our perspective probably isn't that relevant. Your thoughts have also sparked some interesting ideas for us...

    HOWEVER... Shyboy, your post led me to go on a walk down memory lane back to the good old days of 'gossip' and 'banter' and I genuinely laughed at this one...

    Enjoy.

    :heart::lol:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aww, BeckyBoo.

    She was exactly the same in real life as she was on here, you know. Quiet and reserved, mebbes a bit mousy even, but absolutely bloody HILARIOUS.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm sure there are far more hilarious posts I've made here and there.

    And I'll have everyone know I did make it down to thesite offices in the end, and got a free lunch out of it. Can't say fairer than that.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    I'm sure there are far more hilarious posts I've made here and there.

    I didn't say it was hilarious, just that it made me laugh...tis very cute. :d

    And I hear you might be making another visit to TheSite office, but this time the one's you haven't seen with very few of the same people. ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    . I honestly find it a bit difficult to know what to say a lot of the time.

    This ^

    I tend to stick to the law and politics topics. I don't know much about the "heavy" stuff and my relationship advice would consist of "don't cheat".

    I prefer to offer advice on things I know, but you're right, things are a lot less conversational.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The BBC had all kinds of moderation on their forums, and when we complained about private companies like Tempero taking decisions about what was and wasn't acceptable, they scrapped most of the boards, including everything for radio, telling us there were plenty of other forums on the net we could use for what we wanted to discuss. They also, along with a few of their pet posters, told us we could use their Facebook pages, but that's really not the same thing, for reasons that have already been outlined here.

    FB pages actually used to have discussion boards, but not anymore, it seems.

    Popular boards are rare, but the secret of maintaining one is balanced moderation (if you see what I mean), and giving apparent troublemakers at least three strikes, because on the net, first impressions tend to linger.

    I joined here, some may recall, as a result of 'Thanatos' trying to start a flame war between The Site and Urban75, and I've more or less hung around ever since. Being heavily involved with local matters has drawn me away for a while, but I think I'll be around more later in the summer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I dont like facebook at all. I rather use forums than facebook. Facebook is just well know and popular thats all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was trying not to post anything in here but I guess I'm gonna:

    The problem that this place will always have is getting people to engage with threads that aren't about their problems. The forum exists to help people but how many folk stick around after they get replies? Hell, how many people type up a thread to get stuff off their chest and never comeback?

    I've been here for awhile now and I've watched the sense of community drain from the boards. I don't know why it's happened, it just has (I do have some theories but I can't back them up). And so people have less reason to come back. Look at the amount of oldies that have vanished in the past 2 years. It's a vicious circle - no one posts threads because they get a handful or replies at most, no one posts replies because there are no interesting threads. Look at anything goes - it's dominated by the good news and rant thread, with the occasional chat reminder. If it's not a birthday thread, it's rare to get more than two replies.

    I'd also say that having 23 sub forums may be stretching an already reduced amount of users even further.

    Some constructive criticism - the boards almost seem an after thought on the main site. If I had stumbled onto thesite, the fact that every post in the 'from the community' side bar thingy is over a month old doesn't look good. Neither does every post of the week on the community page being from October of last year or older. Why would I bother going to a forum that seemingly hasn't produced any noteworthy content in nearly 8 months?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Anything goes and Politics and debate has fallen off, but the health and wellbeing boards look as good as ever.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To an extent, but only an extent. The health board is basically full of people telling the world about how they self harm, and once that's off their chest they're never to be seen again.

    Way of the world I guess. Bulletin boards have replaced Yahoo groups; Yahoo groups replaced newsgroups. Facebook and twitter have replaced Livejournal, with Google's Blogger doing the rest. The internet changes quickly, just ask Rupert Murdoch about spunking half a billion on MySpace...
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear

    Some constructive criticism - the boards almost seem an after thought on the main site. If I had stumbled onto thesite, the fact that every post in the 'from the community' side bar thingy is over a month old doesn't look good. Neither does every post of the week on the community page being from October of last year or older. Why would I bother going to a forum that seemingly hasn't produced any noteworthy content in nearly 8 months?

    Thanks infinite - really appreciate this post particularly because the criticism is constructive and specific.

    I'll come back later with some further thoughts on the specifics, but just wanted to get that in there. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This may not be a popular thought, but a healthy forum/board has its resident troll.

    No-one even going to talk about the boycotted Israeli theatre company, and how Maureen Lipman seems a lot less cool now than as the femme fatale in a mac from 70's era St Trinians?
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Just wanted to link to Mavis' thread in here - as seems opportune to get your views...while Jo7 and I have been reading this thread closely, the young people in the leaders would like to hear from you directly so that they can kick us into shape. :razz:

    http://vbulletin.thesite.org/showthread.php/151628-Share-your-thoughts-on-TheSite.org-Boards-here!
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