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Adam Powell on the state of online community

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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby Adam Powell » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:41 am

Hi forons,

First off, thanks for reading the article.
http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/art ... icle=37252

A few responses:

"It's nice to know some people remember what the forum was like eight years ago, or even two years ago. We were good."
vs.
"The only difference I see in those eight years is the level administrative moderation."

Snoqueen, who has some aspects of this problem badly wrong but is nonetheless a vital contributor here, gets the TDPF section of the article. It is the community itself, not a crew of heavy-handed moderators, that make it all work. You can't ban or block or bludgeon your way into a better community through brute administrative force (MODERATOR SMASH!), the members have to do it. Otherwise all you get are enraged, sniveling trolls complaining about their "rights" and intent on making the administrator look bad through an endless series of base attacks, debilitating strikes, and sock puppets.

This is where volunteer hosts can help.

Henry Vilas may have been here too long marinating to realize how much the forum has changed -- that is truly a bizarre thing to say, in any context.

I see other threads here indicating that other members do get it, don't like it, and are trying to figure out how to reboot this thing. I also see Kenneth over there starting a thread of substance, music to my ears.

Good for them. This was a very exciting and entertaining place not all that long ago and it could be again.

Like mrak and probably others, I don't hang out here much anymore, but I am interested in rehabbing the joint if it looks feasible, and I am encouraged by what I see looking around today.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:19 pm

"The only difference I see in those eight years is the level administrative moderation."


OK, you don't agree. This is fine, because right now (as opposed to a week or so ago, when I wrote that) I am also seeing something different.

We're dealing with the drown-'em-out troll technique I mentioned, which is fairly new. Reason does nothing. And since moderators don't see fit to close the account of someone who posts totally nonsensical posts seven times running in one topic, and lord only knows how many per night on all topics, we've got to come up with new techniques of our own.

And we had one working just the other day thanks to cleverness and cooperation among people who still believe this place could be better. We simply derailed a bone-stupid topic (who seriously thinks unfulfilled campaign promises are the same thing as lies?) by wandering off into inane chitchat about the art fair and sports.

It took a bunch of people completely ignoring the troll and, well, drowning it out.

If we have to do this on three or four topics every single day, it'll once again raise the signal-to-noise ratio above critical and the benefit will be lost. But at least it worked once.

How many more creative team effort tactics can we come up with? I've got no idea, but you have to agree we do not have a passive readership here.

I disagree cancelling the accounts of major-league trolls is useless. Instead I think it should be one tool among many to keep the level of discussion high enough to draw and keep good commentators and readers. I am pleased to see one account has been cancelled today and I believe we've got one more to go. Cancelling shouldn't happen daily or even weekly, but I'd say cancelling a few now and then doesn't hurt and probably helps. The idea isn't to have everyone agree on everything -- that gets unbearably boring. The idea is to have something approaching a balanced exchange going on.

Throwing someone off occasionally illustrates the school bus principle. A friend of mine used to drive for Metro on the school bus routes, which can be notorious for discipline problems. He said the way to keep things under control was to throw someone off now and then. If they think you'll never do it, they'll run amok. If they know you will do it, they've got fair notice and most kids will stay within most of the lines most of the time, which is the best you can expect.

And with all due respect, I think the moderators have to grow a spine too. I don't know about actual blackmail, real threats, or an organized campaign to alienate advertisers (which is reprehensible -- they make it all possible and everybody realizes it). But if it's just a matter of deleting a mountain of nasty personal emails that mirrors the sewage canal of nasty public forum posts somebody's been sending for the last couple months, grit your teeth and do it. Go to your happy space or something.
Last edited by snoqueen on Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:57 pm

snoqueen wrote:
"The only difference I see in those eight years is the level administrative moderation."


OK, you don't agree. This is fine, because right now (as opposed to a week or so ago, when I wrote that) I am also seeing something different.

The difference.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:50 pm

I read that and I was much gratified. Thanks to whoever flipped the switch.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby ilikebeans » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:06 pm

An amusing coincidence-- I just ran across this article:

Newest U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy: Trolling
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby bdog » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:42 pm

snoqueen wrote:

And we had one working just the other day thanks to cleverness and cooperation among people who still believe this place could be better. We simply derailed a bone-stupid topic (who seriously thinks unfulfilled campaign promises are the same thing as lies?) by wandering off into inane chitchat about the art fair and sports.

It took a bunch of people completely ignoring the troll and, well, drowning it out.

If we have to do this on three or four topics every single day, it'll once again raise the signal-to-noise ratio above critical and the benefit will be lost. But at least it worked once.

It didn't even work once. All it did was put a topic with a "bone stupid" thread title back at the top of the active queue, again and again. It had a very high "cute" factor, but face it - Corny won. You were responding to him whether or not it was a threadjack.

Take the advice pj once gave me - you don't have to swing at every pitch. It might take a few deep breaths and counting to 10 (sometimes higher) but it can be done.

If you feel the need to just post, go respond to c2gg; she's pretty cool. Or post something in the random thoughts thread.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby pjbogart » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:37 pm

bdog wrote:It didn't even work once. All it did was put a topic with a "bone stupid" thread title back at the top of the active queue, again and again. It had a very high "cute" factor, but face it - Corny won. You were responding to him whether or not it was a threadjack.


Are you operating under the assumption that people want Cornholio canned because he harms the "leftists" he criticizes? I think the general principle is more about pride in the board and the fact that he reduces our perceived collective IQ by about 30 points. I simply can't imagine some fence-sitting lurker popping in and reading a few threads and thinking, "Hey, I really relate to this Cornbread fellow. He seems pretty sharp, I think I'll vote Republican." Getting rid of Cornbread would be a win for TDPF, but bumping his blathering is a political win for Democrats.

Whether Cornbread is simply Meade's caricature of a right-wing redneck or he's an actual right-wing redneck is irrelevant. He makes Republicans look bad, which is why Stu was eager to invite him on his radio show. Cornbread is a fringe lunatic, just like the jokers who insist that George Bush blew up the World Trade Center. He appeals to the true believers while everyone else rolls their eyes.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby bdog » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:29 pm

Pj that's a good point. From a political perspective Corny is good for the Dems in the same way that all the oddballs at the Capitol were good for Walker in the recall.

But from a forum perspective, bumping his threads just puts more garbage right in front of our faces.

FWIW, the bdog collective would not protest if Corny was suspended. As Blaska used to quote, we can be bought but we can't be bored.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby Detritus » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:33 pm

bdog wrote:It didn't even work once. All it did was put a topic with a "bone stupid" thread title back at the top of the active queue, again and again. It had a very high "cute" factor, but face it - Corny won. You were responding to him whether or not it was a threadjack

I disagree, since I had PB (along with, now, six others) on ignore. So I ignored his posts. Never read them, in fact. I simply had another conversation in the same thread. I didn't care if the thread title is bone-stupid or not--I cared that PB knew he was being ignored.

It's called "ostracism," a Biblical punishment for Biblical sins.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby juanton » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:31 pm

Christopher Robin?
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby Mad Howler » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:49 pm

Thanks "commies" for making this thread interesting.

p.s.- in using the word above I am twisting a term and talking about the efforts, work, labor, we in this community make because in the end we are all interested in getting to the same place.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby Adam Powell » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:56 am

I really like the shift from blaming the moderator to taking some personal responsibility that I'm seeing around here in the last week. It's the right approach.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby Meade » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:08 pm

jjoyce wrote:Any of you noobs know Adam's Foron name?

Apparently it's "Adam Powell".
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby Meade » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:12 pm

bdog wrote:As Blaska used to quote, we can be bought but we can't be bored.

Blaska's genius is sorely missed around this place.
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Re: Adam Powell on the state of online community

Postby christopher_robin » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:35 pm

Blaska, you say. Blaska.

Kindly point me to some of his moments of genius here on the forum, "meade"?
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