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Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby snoqueen » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:47 pm

Same here.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby Steve Vokers » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:09 pm

snoqueen wrote: The last (unfinished) bit of drama, where a well-liked forum and community member and music fan, in the line of duty, ended up shooting a well-liked musician and community member under extremely tragic circumstances, was the last straw. Instead of extending sympathy, remembering the dead, and offering community support and understanding to the others in the drama, we wound up watching Meade shit all over another three or four topics people started with true concern and good hearts. Nothing would stop him. This is utterly unsupportable and I'm too disgusted to even read it over. I think if I did I would get sick.


Yep, this pretty much nails it. I can't bring myself to read some the threads because of this. Which is just really unfortunate.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby gargantua » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:41 pm

jjoyce wrote:We are in the content business and Meade provides a lot of content, for which we pay $0. Better yet, that content is consumed. There's a market for it. We serve advertising from local businesses on the pages where that content appears and that's what our business is all about.

So, in conclusion, we have someone providing content at no cost, attracting a decent-sized audience that is highly interactive with that content. Very smart people have been celebrated for writing business plans about such an arrangement. The big difference is, they actually pay for the content. We're not.


This looks like something that would be written by someone who worked for a Wall St. brokerage firm, or large international corporation. I personally don't care if Meade gets banned because I'm pretty good at ignoring him. But the philosophy as expressed above strikes me as soulless. I'd thought Isthmus was better than that. Another day, another illusion shattered.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:22 pm

I think of Meade as a silly old man who can't help himself.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby pjbogart » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:14 am

I feel like something has changed. We've crossed some invisible line.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby jammybastard » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:27 am

pjbogart wrote:I feel like something has changed. We've crossed some invisible line.


I think you've finally realized that you are a sucker for believing that
this forum is yours or that your heartfelt contributions here actually mean anything.
It's not and they don't.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby snoqueen » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:27 am

The forum administration and the forum's contributors (collectively) are not on the same page, but it doesn't mean everything anybody has written is meaningless. Instead it raises the question of how long we want to contribute free content to an enterprise based so heavily on profiting from one or a few people's inability or disinclination to understand and empathize with other human beings.

For me the bottom line is are we preying on someone's mental disorder, or simply trying to clean out deliberate meanness and cruelty? And I don't know.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby jjoyce » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:38 am

So people want me to ban a particular user, that's clear. The argument is that they are fed up with that user's approach, classified as trolling, which is to take be anti-community on TDPF.

But there is unmistakable evidence that people don't just consume this user's contributions and interact with them, they enjoy doing so. When this particular user is active, they log in more often and contribute more and better content themselves. When he is not active, they contribute less. When they call up the active topics page, they actually look for his username and pull up the topics where he's posting first. Does this describe your behavior? It definitely describes mine. I like to see how certain favorites respond to the jackassery.

TDPF is often compared to a bar, and I don't disagree with that. There's an obnoxious a-hole bellied up and the conventional wisdom is that he's bad for business because his behavior prompts the regulars to go elsewhere. But that's not happening here. What I've seen is that the regulars are actually sticking around longer and doing the equivalent of ordering doubles. If he's flame baiting, those who respond have decided to take that bait EVERY time, and seem to do so with enthusiasm.

I'll repeat my story from election night: Somebody I respect told me he couldn't wait to see how the Forons took Meade apart the next morning. When you're running a website and somebody tells you he "can't wait" to check your site for a particular type of content, that's powerful. And when the numbers back up the anecdotal evidence, then you really have to pay attention.

Personally, I'm part of the group that has no respect for flame baiting, but I still often take the bait. I think people who seem to make a hobby of flame baiting reveal themselves to be sort of pathetic. Their stance is often one of superiority over the environment where they spend all their time. So consider that for a second... I can't stand the reality TV show "The Bachelor," but do I tune in every week to snort at it? Do I log on to Bachelor message boards and troll the posters? I find the scene at many State Street bars to be ridiculous. Do I hang out there and insult the patrons? This particular guy's disdain for and superiority complex over Madison liberals runs so deep that he spends HOURS each day trying to get under their skin. He's shameless about it. I think the right perspective to take is to step back and be entertained rather than provoked. I wish I could be like that all the time. I should try harder.

But the thing is, when I am in the mode of seeking a fix here, it's more about seeing the reaction than the post itself. Research indicates that receiving a response in social media causes a dopamine release. It's literally addictive. Avoiding that requires some effort and often it's both easier and more fun to let it rip instead. Is that better for the community?

As many have pointed out, you're not required to point out ridiculous and pathetic behavior. You don't have to take the bait. You could just sign off. You could ignore the person. You could ACTIVELY ignore the person (They want to talk about how stupid liberals are? Change the topic to Notre Dame football.). You could deliberately decide to respond with no more than 10 words, which can be a fun and interesting exercise. You can deliberately work to model the behavior you admire.

I think those who want to talk about ad blockers are another kind of troll, by the way.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby massimo » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:48 am

jjoyce wrote:I think those who want to talk about ad blockers are another kind of troll, by the way.

The kind that AREN'T good for business, evidently.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:49 am

Jason--

I'm not in favor of banning anyone (at the moment) and I have strongly advocated for my fellow Forons to follow the lead of myself and many others who simply make a point of not responding to the trollish posts of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

That said, I sympathize with those who want to see admin take a more proactive role in policing -- and yes, I think that's the right term -- the forum.

But couldn't there be some sort of happy medium here? Can't you enforce the rules about contempt for the community by either locking threads where shit has really gone off the rails and/or removing individual posts which are clearly inappropriate based on the definition of contempt for the community which Isthmus itself has set?

And I ask these questions without claiming to know the answer, mind you. Perhaps that's not do-able, but it seems to me (and I assume others) that it is (or at least should be.)

Let the trolls stay, but make them follow the rules.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby jman111 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:51 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Let the trolls stay, but make them follow the rules.

seconded
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby rrnate » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:56 am

I'd agree that banning Meade seems pointless - it's not like he can't come back in some other fashion. (Banning anyone seems kind of doofy to me for that very reason - it's the internet, so where there's a will, there's a way.)

I certainly don't begrudge him his political point of view, though the way he communicates it is generally pretty aggravating. I DO think that the bullshit he posted in the shooting threads is totally reprehensible. A LOT of us know everyone involved and to have him show up to do his usual thing struck a very different, much more enraging chord.

End result - we now really and truly understand what a piece of shit Lawrence Meade is. The fact that he can't step back just a bit and see the situation for what it is (a terrible tragedy, not another check mark in his "Madison is so liberal and crazy" list) is pretty amazing.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby snoqueen » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:00 pm

re enforcement of existing rules:

If I were a full time professional troll, the next thing I'd do (once I found out what the rules are) woud be a) see how far I could bend them; or 2) find ways to technically obey them and keep on being as offensive as possible -- malicious overcompliance, if you will.

Fun, fun, fun! A whole new game.

I think the ten-word-reply idea has possibilities as a stopgap solution. It respects people's desire to do something while demanding creativity and cleverness. I can think of at least a dozen forum regulars who are definitely up to the challenge.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby gargantua » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:05 pm

Now that Jason has further explained his reasoning, I'd like to withdraw my "soulless" comment with respect to an earlier post. And I'd like to reiterate that I, for one, am not advocating that a certain poster be banned. I'll just do my part to deny him his dopamine fix.
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Re: Contempt For The Community Will Be Encouraged

Postby jjoyce » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:13 pm

Locking threads: People are cool with that?

Maybe we could democratize that decision.
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