• Hippyhead
    1.1k
    Refer to my post Against Excellence for the reasons.Garth

    If you'll link to that post for us I may make a visit, thanks.
  • five G
    37
    You know, forums have a serious brand problem with many people. This is a big challenge and I don't have a super clever solution to it.Hippyhead

    I don't know a single person IRL who uses this kind of forum. I guess most are happy with Facebook and Twitter. In the case of FB, they are happy maybe to only broadcast for their friends. In the case of Twitter, it's perhaps because they can measure their fame.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    Link seems to be working, thanks for that. Took a quick look, yea, some interesting ideas there, agreed. Seems to this self appointed authority :-) as an example of a post from an existing member which could qualify for my vision of an Article section, with perhaps just some modest formatting upgrade. See next post....
  • Garth
    101
    I also think people without actual avatar images shouldn't be allowed to post :razz:
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    So here's an attempt to further define my vision of what an Article section might look like. None of the following is proposed to be a "one true way", but is instead just an effort to begin crawling in the right direction, ie. get more specific.

    The goal of the following ideas is to 1) substantially raise the public image of the forum while 2) making the Article section accessible to some number of existing members who are willing and able to rise to the higher standards.

    Let's start with some simple changes. One change that would be easy to define is to require a uniform format for all threads within the Article section. Something like this..

    TITLE: Each thread should begin with a one sentence description of what the thread is about. This makes it easy for readers to quickly determine if the topic is of interest to them. It also helps the author clarify what it is exactly that they wish to discuss.

    SUMMARY: A one paragraph summary can expand a bit on the title. If the author is making an assertion, this would be the place to state that assertion concisely. Something like this...

    "It's my contention that X plus Y equals Z, for the following five reasons.

    ARGUMENTS: Here the author lays out the arguments which support their contention, one by one by one. Each argument should be numbered for easy reference by readers who wish to comment.

    CONCLUSION: Here the author wraps their contention and supporting arguments up in to a convenient package of paragraph or two for easy copy/pasting by readers so they can conveniently link to the thread elsewhere.

    ----------------------

    If every thread in the Articles section used some uniform format like this it would elevate the presentation to a more professional looking form. Many of the existing threads on the forum could qualify for inclusion if they were put in to this format and tightened up a bit.

    ----------------------

    As I imagine it, the thread author would be made responsible for moderating the comment section below their article. This would lift this burden off of the editor(s) and make the thread author responsible for the quality of the following conversation. The thread author would have the power to decide how much off topic elbow room they wish to allow within their thread. If the thread author failed to show up for this job then the editor may decide not to publish them in the Article section again.

    The editor(s) would have the final say on any decisions. As example, if a thread author was willing to accept comments containing phrases like "fucking nitwit" but the editor was not, the editor decides the question.

    ----------------------

    So, the price tag for being published above the fold (in the Articles section) would be something like the following:

    1) Write an article which is generally of higher quality than the average forum post, as defined and decided by the editor. Present an interesting idea, and put effort in to presenting that idea in an articulate manner.

    2) Agree to present the article in whatever format is being applied to all articles in the Article section.

    3) Agree to moderate any discussion below the article, and actually show up and do it.

    4) Agree not to take up the editor's time with complaints and questions if an article submission is not accepted in the Article section (but is instead placed within the Conversation area).
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    I also think people without actual avatar images shouldn't be allowed to postGarth

    My head is shaped like an H and I can't do anything about that. It's all my mom's fault!
  • Jack Cummins
    917

    I am sorry to say that your thread is making me feel really angry. You are making assumptions that everyone wants this forum to be article dominated. Someone made a really nice point that the whole presence of personalities is so important.

    If the changes you wish for are implemented I will stop using it because all the beauty of it would be lost entirely. But you have already said that I am a nobody although you have admitted that you are too. I am going to have to stop here because I am getting really wound up, because I feel that you are trying to destroy all freedom of expression and vitality.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    I am sorry to say that if your thread is making me feel really angry.Jack Cummins

    Then please know this. I've had this conversation quite a number of times on a number of different sites, and it never leads to much of anything other than a bunch of people yelling at me. So I doubt you have anything to worry about. So pop open another beer, kick back in your chair, and enjoy yelling at me. I'm here for you! :-)

    You are making assumptions that everyone wants this forum to be article dominated.Jack Cummins

    I'm sharing my own vision of what a philosophy forum can be. I'm entirely agreeable that others should do the same.

    If the changes you wish for are implemented I will stop using it because all the beauty of it would be lost entirely.Jack Cummins

    Many people would make this decision, as is their right. The good news is that there are already literally a million other forums which use the standard forum model, plus Twitter, Facebook and countless other platforms which allow pretty much anyone to say pretty much anything.

    There are other philosophy forums too, though in my judgment most of them have gone in to the crapper for just the reasons I'm articulating here.

    My argument is that EVERY SINGLE FORUM on the Internet doesn't necessarily have to be ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME. There could maybe be one or two forums out of a million which try something different. Or not.
  • Jack Cummins
    917

    The reason why your thread is making me extremely anxious is that I am so grateful for this site and fear it will cease to exist or be altered too much. I am not saying that changes should not be brought in at all, but it seems that you are wishing to overhaul the site completely, so I do wonder if you would be best to start your own rather than try to change one which may be working for many. I know you say that some people keep on writing their views but perhaps it is their only way of expressing their ideas. So, while you say about catching new members that should not be the only one, because surely the site should not just be part of the grab and go, quick fixes available on Google but also, a community of minds.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    The reason why your thread is making me extremely anxious is that I am so grateful for this site and fear it will cease to exist or be altered too much.Jack Cummins

    Ok, I hear you. And again, the chances of the site being altered, especially to my specifications, are most likely extremely low. This is likely just an intellectual exercise which will eternally remain only that.

    Also, a reminder, even if my scheme was adopted, the Conversation area would still allow members to do just what they are already doing.

    And, if my scheme were adopted and everyone left, they would simply set up a new site to replace this one, which apparently has already happened in the past.

    I'm not the forum owner, or a mod. I have no clout here at all, no rank, no power, no influence, no nothing. My best guess is that all the mods will reject all these ideas for the simple reason that they are not their ideas. The last time I tried this all the mods wound up yelling at me. This time, they can't be bothered. Nobody cares. Bored to tears. I'll be ignored until the thread dies and then we'll all go back to calling each other fucking nitwits. Nothing will change. Smile and be happy! :-)

    I'm sorry to disturb your peace, but really, don't worry too much about any of this.
  • Jack Cummins
    917

    I realise that you are only making suggestions and I am probably getting wound up not with you really but because life is so difficult with lockdown restrictions. Many of us are forced to stay at home and interact online instead of in real life.

    I have to admit that I get so intense reading these threads, and on several occasions I have woken up after dreams in which I have read and received comments on this site which have only been dreams. I am probably taking it too seriously, so I will try not to do so. But I think that we should bear in mind that others may also be struggling with a lack of outlets so this may impact on what they write too. I think we need a bit more fun because it is in short supply at the moment.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    I am probably taking it too seriously, so I will try not to do so.Jack Cummins

    Welcome to my world! I've been working on that for 20 years, a work still very much in progress.

    Don't know if this will be workable for you, but my sanity is preserved by the MANY visits I make to a nearby state park. The peace of nature can be a great antidote to taking human things too seriously. Without that remedy I'd probably be screaming FUCKING NITWITS!!! in every other post.
  • Jack Cummins
    917

    We are now shifting suggestions into the arena of life which is a new interesting take on your thread. I am not a big fan of parks but right now I would love to go to one. When the rules are a bit relaxed and weather a bit better I will take up your suggestion.
  • praxis
    3.1k
    ANY change is typically unwelcome.Hippyhead

    Moving the shoutbox to the registered section was an unwelcome change for many. It does not seem to have had the intended result of raising the quality of the forum.

    Moral of the story: be careful what you wish for.
  • Banno
    10.5k
    You would remodel the whole forum because youa re unhappy with one small section of it.

    It ain't broke. Don't try to fix it.

    In any case, there is already a section for forum suggestions. This thread should be moved.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    You would remodel the whole forum because youa re unhappy with one small section of it.Banno

    As seems normal, you apparently haven't bothered to read my suggestions, and thus appear not to understand them. But you still want to have a fixed opinion on the matter. You have nothing constructive to offer, just the usual lazy gotcha dance little bit of nothing.

    Given the number of posts across the forum of this nature, there's the evidence of the brokenness which these proposals attempt to address.
  • Banno
    10.5k
    Cutting to the chase, if you do not like this forum, set up one you do like.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    Cutting to the chase, if you do not like this forum, set up one you do like.Banno

    If you don't like this thread, find another one to read.
  • Jack Cummins
    917

    Actually, on this occasion I agree with you completely. It will just become another thread dominated mostly by people attacking one other, but it is bound to dominate above all else, just like the Leftist Forum.
  • Banno
    10.5k
    Neophytes.

    This forum is run by and for curmudgeons. Get off my grass.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    Actually, on this occasion I agree with you completely. It will just become another thread dominated mostly by people attacking one otherJack Cummins

    Yes, that's the usual pattern on this subject, and very many others. Given the popularity of that hobby there can be a place for it. My argument is that the appropriate location for such ego conflicts, which really have nothing to do with philosophy, is a section at the bottom of the forum which is viewable only by registered members. The very same high school antics can still exist. They just wouldn't get above the fold front page billing, that's all.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    This forum is run by and for curmudgeons.Banno

    And I too am being a curmudgeon by challenging the prominent placement of the kinds of lazy little posts which you like to clog threads with. There's a valid place for what you wish to do. It's called Facebook.
  • Banno
    10.5k
    So... are we doing the call-and-answer thing?

    Marco!
  • Jack Cummins
    917

    What the problem is though is that some people engage in meaningful political discussions and others just are attacking each other. But another problem which I see is that all these the political threads dominating the front pages are focused on America and this is an international site.

    The Leftist one is not but it did not have a question. I watched it appear on the site and the whole start of the thread was an angry tone. I think that is the thread which will be the downfall of site eventually. The political poll ones just emerged in response to this. But obviously I am a nobody and I will not say anymore because I may end up being banned instead of people who insult others or make offensive comments, and already the new politics one has included an insult about people with learning disabilities. Perhaps I am too sensitive and serious but it makes me feel so despondent.
  • Banno
    10.5k
    It would be a mistake to think that this makes those political posts the core of the forum.

    They are the froth; there are also patterns of interlinked threads on more interesting and intricate philosophical issues, which would be lost were these suggestions taken on board. And there are quite long threads on specific issues.

    Take a look, in contrast, at the PN forum. What do you see?
  • Jack Cummins
    917

    I do see that there are other threads and I am busy reading and writing on these. It just seems that in the last few days since the one particular one I mentioned appeared that so much anger has been unleashed. But do you see my point about the dominance of American politics, when we are all situated across the world?
  • Banno
    10.5k
    Most members are from the USA. It's a self-centred culture.

    Take a look, in contrast, at the PN forum. What do you see?
  • Jack Cummins
    917

    Okay, I will say no more and just log into the threads of interest to me.
  • Banno
    10.5k


    PN.

    It's closer to the style circuitously advocated in the OP, and yet its longest thread is less than a tenth of many of the threads here.
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