MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 43.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

TDP community manifesto

Comments on the paper, the website, the mobile site and all other Isthmus-generated products go here.

TDP community manifesto

Postby jjoyce » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:53 pm

Hello Foron:

Are you like me? Are you chagrined by the current state of TDPF? Are you disappointed to the point of malaise over the lack of intelligence, wit and humor demonstrated in the comments section of Blaska's Blog? Are you wondering why we've let Harris Lemberg back on the site?

Does the sight of Forum, in its present form and format, propel you back into your work, a polar opposite effect of what used to happen, when an entire Friday afternoon would fly by with amusing diversions right here on these boards?

When was the last time that happened, huh?

I kid myself thinking that Facebook and Twitter have taken over, but the truth is that the hard core community members here haven't really migrated to those places in a big way. Am I wrong about that? Please let me know if I am.

As we approach the tenth anniversary of TDPF, is it time for a facelift? Should we abandon this software in favor of a more Gawker-style, blog-initiated discussion community? Do some of you want the ability to create and sustain your own blogs?

What do you want to talk about? How do you want this place to function? What's TDP missing? How would this site -- not just Forum, but the whole thing -- look different if you ran the zoo?

Maybe it's the fact that I'm on the eve of my 41st birthday, but I look at some of what's going on here and I'm pretty unimpressed, to be honest. I find discussion of local talk radio to be irrelevant and stupid. As many of you who complain about the vapidity of other sections of the site, you refuse to engage with the in depth content we have for the local elections and food and arts criticism. What's the problem?

I believe it's past the time for TDP to turn the corner on traffic and quality. I've always taken cues from the readership and it's been awhile since I've gotten any. So now that most of you will be spending Wednesday home from work, sequestered at home and trying to avoid shoveling, let me know what you think. Answer any of the above questions or come up with some of your own and answer those, too.

I want to hear from everyone, old timers and new comers.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Some Guy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:34 am

jjoyce wrote:I want to hear from everyone, old timers and new comers.


Really?
Some Guy
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:35 am

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby jjoyce » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:50 am

Wanna make it about you, or do you have something productive to add?

Seriously sick of the prima donna acts, including yours, Blues.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Peanutbutter » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:46 am

It all started going downhill when we were denied avatars.

I knew then and there it was the beginning of the end.
Peanutbutter
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:54 am

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby wack wack » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:21 am

Isn't TDP forum just a reflection of life at large?

There are big problems in Wisconsin and America. There is a tremendous (and growing) philosophical divide between sides. It's happening on the radio, in the news, between acquaintances. Each side has heard everything the other side has to say, nobody is buying anything from the other side. Everyone is yelling while no one listens.

The quality of TDP forums have gone done as the quality of life in America has gone down. Frustration, helplessness and rage are common feelings now. I don't believe changing software, format or style is going to change the attitudes people bring here from the real world.

Soon as Scooter fixes everything, TDP will be back to reflecting blue skies and fine wine. Yep.
wack wack
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3192
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2003 5:32 pm

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:39 am

Hey, it's not all bad. Kurt W is back.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 20283
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby snoqueen » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:11 am

1) I think it's too early to comment on the race for county exec (I am still sorting out the liberal candidates, unfortunately).
I kid myself thinking that Facebook and Twitter have taken over, but the truth is that the hard core community members here haven't really migrated to those places in a big way. Am I wrong about that?


2) This might be the biggie, or might not. I can't make any sense out of Twitter because it's either links to things I might read (most of which I can find for myself thank you) or one-liners. I do not think a discussion consists of one-liners. So are one-liners replacing discussions? No, not if you look at blogs and read the comments. People still have a need to at least try discussing something in depth.

I can't help it, I think Facebook is generally boring. The reason is on most pages, the owner only permits friendly contributions so it's like too much vanilla ice cream after a while.

3) Go to a blog format? I'm a replyer not a blogger. What I think is an interesting topic rarely interests anybody else, so I'm better off letting other people set the topics. I'd keep on replying (if it stays anonymous) but I think there are relatively few people on here with the time and focus to maintain a good blog. If we wanted blogs, we'd already have them. Maybe some people do.

We definitely have lost the intellectual edge of, say, 2005 or 2006. In those days it was like a beatnik coffee house where people would stay up until all hours having real discussions or writing amazing little essays back and forth. Did we hit a technology shift, was it a one-time confluence of personalities and availability, did the hopelessly unoriginal militant Fox media watchers kill it, or what?

I think it was choices 2 and 3, with more emphasis on 2. But our lives change, and you can't rewind. What will work today? Depends on how you define "work," I guess. I know there are a lot of topics and contributors I just skip these days -- no sports, movies, or food, and I've got a private "ignore" list I'll keep to myself. Would tighter moderating fix it? Probably not.

Even The Well, a very early Internet discussion forum, gradually went from the highest-level discussions to routine boredom over a decade or two. Maybe it's time to maintain the forum until it poops out on its own, while simultaneously trying new formats and watching to see what takes off.

I don't think this is a sign of failure by the way. Change is ongoing.
Last edited by snoqueen on Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11848
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby jman111 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:30 am

As a relative newb, I can't compare to the good ol' days. I wish I had been here when forum discussion was actually stimulating (sno's beatnik coffee house days). For me, TDP is a mildly entertaining distraction at this point. I must admit, the music listings are what originally got me here and what continue to draw me. Thanks for that.
I relish the rare opportunities to interact with folks that truly want to discuss the issues. I wish I would just stop trying with Blaska. And I, like others, wish there were more snoqueens here.
Last edited by jman111 on Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3126
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby jman111 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:30 am

oh yeah, and I wonder why my posts occasionally disappear....
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3126
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Crockett » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:02 pm

I get more from the suggestions of restaurants, shopping, events than I do from the political banter. Honestly, my political banter meter is on 'full'. I've stopped watching the news and reading the papers. I like fiction these days. Ignorance is bliss.

As such, I'd say concentrate of the power of the local community for quality of life issues/themes. I even get much of my news on these boards. I'd say focus local and forget the petty politics.
Crockett
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:37 am

File Under 'Eh - What Can U Do?'

Postby Marvell » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:18 pm

snoqueen wrote:I think Facebook is generally boring. The reason is on most pages, the owner only permits friendly contributions so it's like too much vanilla ice cream after a while.


You and I are in total agreement on that.

snoqueen wrote:did the hopelessly unoriginal militant Fox media watchers kill it, or what?


Speaking for myself, that's pretty much it. It just got too exhausting constantly hurling bullshit back over the fence; in addition the tendency for certain posters to start stalking and harassing me personally in the most tediously puerile fashion grew increasingly distasteful.

And I guess I just trust that everyone understands that Ned Flanders has no factual credibility on any topic anywhere; that his endless laughable rhetorical gaffes have aptly demonstrated his lovable ineptitude as a writer and intellectual; and his frequent displays of truly wretched ethics render him loathsome to anyone with an ounce of compassion and integrity.

So fuck him. Let his fling his Ned Flanders monkey shit on the digital wall; anyone with any sense thinks he's a stupe already anyway. He's like white noise to me (and, I suspect, most of my fellow long-time Forons) or a planter's wart; occasionally uncomfortable, but not worth the time or effort to excise.

Plus I secretly kind of like the guy. Ned's alright.

snoqueen wrote:I know there are a lot of topics and contributors I just skip these days -- no sports, movies, or food, and I've got a private "ignore" list I'll keep to myself.


See, I'm the opposite; with rare exceptions I no longer post on politics; just music, sports and food, and whatever random shit catches my fancy. Occasionally movies, but I don't see as many as I used to - although my pal Erik dragged me to see Sweet Smell of Success at the Cinematheque last weekend, which got me thinking I should really get out to the flicks more.

So, yeah - I've grown tired of schooling morons and their endless blowhardery. I don't know if there's anything that can be done about them - they're kind of like zombies that way.

Plus I've got some bad memories to deal with. Mostly of my own making.
Marvell
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6989
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 11:28 pm
Location: At one with time and space

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby jjoyce » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:39 pm

I think this site is capable of much bigger production, both in terms of eyeballs and dollars. The potential is there for it being a true community gathering place, and I'm not just talking about Forum.

But I guess I'm sick of playing by the viewpoint of the previous generation that suggests controversy for the sake of controversy draws eyeballs. I don't believe that's true. In Madison, the segment of media that stresses this viewpoint is talk radio, and this site already draws more people than the highest rated talk show in town. Radio people will secretly admit that public radio crushes commercial talk in this town, but since it's not part of Arbitron, they don't have to account for it.

I agree that arguing is what we do, as a country and a city. Let's not move away from that, but let's have it be honest argument about issues and ideas instead of name calling and cultural superiority.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:08 pm

jjoyce wrote:Are you wondering why we've let Harris Lemberg back on the site?
I am sure am.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 9048
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Ducatista » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:14 pm

jjoyce wrote:Are you chagrined by the current state of TDPF?

Nah.

I loved the skweezer/Schick/early Sheppy/snazzy/4ON meet-up days, but TDPF could get pretty exhausting back then. It wasn't all high points.

Today's duller forum is easier to dabble in. And it still has its moments—I enjoyed the library, Edgewater, and train discussions. I like the food & arts content. The "Can anybody recommend..." threads are entertaining, and occasionally helpful. (Thanks for the internist recs, Ashley & Henry.)

jjoyce wrote:I kid myself thinking that Facebook and Twitter have taken over, but the truth is that the hard core community members here haven't really migrated to those places in a big way.

Facebook, what a dump. I limit my interaction with it to reading my email notifications.

Love Twitter, but even on my most prolific days that amounts to about 5 minutes of activity. It's definitely not siphoning off forum time.

jjoyce wrote:Should we abandon this software in favor of a more Gawker-style, blog-initiated discussion community? Do some of you want the ability to create and sustain your own blogs?

Sweet Christ, no! That'd kill it for me. Anybody with access to the internet already has the ability to create and sustain a blog. If someone's not motivated or savvy enough to figure that out, I sure as hell don't want to listen to his monologue.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4356
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Endo Rockstar » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:43 pm

I'm guilty of migrating to twitter and reddit. Its quicker and because of how its set up, I'm able to shift my focus to groups of people and current events I'm following easier.

I guess I would like to see a twitter feed of TDP forons similar to the "most popular articles" frame. Hell, I'd love to see a foron group on twitter in general.

I was staunchly anti twitter for a long time but once I figured it out, I fell in love with it. Example: I liked a article written by a New York Times Columnist, so I followed him on Twitter. through the people he follows I was able to find another group of writers who are awesome sources for current events. Its just multiplies exponentially from there.

The whole Egyptian Revolution is another great example. I was able to follow in real time (more or less after the government flipped the switch) as the protesters were moving and relaying police presence and movement. Its was heart wrenching and amazing how these people used technology to connect and plan a revolution because they had this medium to communicate. When google stepped up and collaborated with twitter to create the Twitter-voice system I nearly cheered at my desk.

So back to TDPF. Its a static place to argue. That's what it's become. The threads don't really shift based on news anymore. Its not as fluid. Plus, the fucking spammers and professional trolls have the forum over a barrel lately. At least with Reddit, a troll gets downvoted into oblivion and it doesn't affect the point and message of a thread.

These are just a jumble of thoughts but I'm too tired to make this coherent.

-Dan Motor
Endo Rockstar
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1266
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 11:16 pm
Location: Madison

Next

Return to Comments on Isthmus & isthmus.com

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar