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Old 07-01-2003, 07:36 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Exclamation Forum Changes - Good/Bad/New Suggestions?

It came to my attention that someone was very upset with our new forum changes that took place more than a month ago. Unfortunately, he did not bother to bring up his - in my opinion quite personal - issues in this forum, but instead posted it in ClieSource.

I invite you to read the ClieSource topic and to tell me whether you agree, disagree, or have other ideas how to improve things.

Thanks,

Alex
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Old 07-01-2003, 12:25 PM   #2
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I've just read the ClieSource thread and have come to the conclusion, my own personal conclusion of course, that the problem is "cultural". What I mean by this is that certain sets of people visit certain web sites or forums and eventually those sites and forums gradually develop a culture by accretion, certain types of people stick there and certain types eventually stop visiting or visit extremely irregularly. Yes, the site or forum policies can have a lot of impact on this, but sometimes they are not a factor at all. Certainly a change in policy can shake loose certain users or subcultures that had accreted. This, I believe, is what has happened at Turcic.com.

I was a lurker here prior to the change, I had not posted anything at all and had certainly reaped the benefits of the WCC and link postings. My initial reaction to the change was something resembling resentment. I had lost a resource that I had come to enjoy on a daily basis. Yes, the forums that were closed to me were the ones I wanted most, it would have been a tremendously stupid and ineffective policy otherwise.

I then engaged my brain. I couldn't provide loads of great links to the forum, but maybe there were some I could, so I did. I could also participate in other ways, so I did. I then could ask to be given access with a clear conscience... so I did.

I do agree with the ClieSource thread that such a policy could lead to ridiculous postings and subsequent requests for access. So what? The lack of such a policy certainly does not keep ClieSource or any other site or forum free from ridiculous postings.

The initial message posted about the changes uses the phrase "our community", and I believe that if you stop and think about it this is exactly the aim of the policy, to engender a spirit of community. I am certain it is not the only way, it may not be the best way, but it is *a* way to try to do so.

The policy may equate to cultural enforcement to some degree, but the beauty of it is that no one is holding a gun to your head and saying "You post on Turcic or I'm pulling the trigger!" You are free to leave, as apparently some folks have. Their loss or our loss? Who knows, and in the end, who cares? I think it is unfortunate that they chose to express their displeasure elsewhere where it is not much more than a rant. Certainly posting here could possibly have been more productive.

Okay, I've probably rambled more than enough... In conclusion I will say that I am not a huge fan of the policy, but I think I am a fan of the results. And I'm happy I posted (and not just once) and that I now think about things I can contribute. I hope the others that stay feel the same way. We'll find a lot of cool stuff that way.
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Old 07-01-2003, 02:59 PM   #3
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While I don't agree with the personal nature of the original post, he does make good points. Many of us inhabit many forums, and don't have time to frequent them all. It's your money and you can do what you want with the site, but both history and psychology show that negative reinforcement rarely achieves the desired result over the long term. You can ask the folks at PDABuzz about that, to mention a current example. They went from the #1PDA site in the country to barely 15 posts a day within six months. History can teach us some valuable lessons.
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Old 07-01-2003, 03:12 PM   #4
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You can ask the folks at PDABuzz about that, to mention a current example. They went from the #1PDA site in the country to barely 15 posts a day within six months. History can teach us some valuable lessons.
Wasn't the death of PDABuzz mostly about the ownership change, booting Wes out? Don't remember that they installed any sort of restriction or negative reinforcement (although the change was negative enough!!). Could be wrong on this, but...

Cheers,
Gary
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Old 07-01-2003, 07:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by gvtexas
Wasn't the death of PDABuzz mostly about the ownership change, booting Wes out? Don't remember that they installed any sort of restriction or negative reinforcement (although the change was negative enough!!). Could be wrong on this, but...

Cheers,
Gary
You are correct about Wes--and that was pretty negative. My point here was that changes were made that the users found unacceptable, so they left. The progression was about the same: opposition was voiced, users were ignored, site died. PalmGear is headed the same way right now.

The fact is that this site fills a very limited niche in the community. I believe most of us value this contribution to the community, or else concern wouldn't be voiced over the changes. However, this site won't become a broader community discussion group without more broadly appealling content. Limiting registered users' access to the core content will just cause folks to leave and new sites to spring up. By limiting such access, you greatly reduce the value of the site to the community. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
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Old 07-01-2003, 07:46 PM   #6
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However, this site won't become a broader community discussion group without more broadly appealling content. Limiting registered users' access to the core content will just cause folks to leave and new sites to spring up. By limiting such access, you greatly reduce the value of the site to the community. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
Well, your first part does!

I certainly see your point, and if we were hard or harsh on the limiting, I'd agree in toto. We are, however, pretty soft on the entry requirements. And, as Alex has said, it was an experiment. Whether he decides to keep the restriction going will remain to be seen.

We are, as you may have noticed, trying to expand the content to cover a broader range of things...the niche market's covered, but we feel like this forum could be a lot more (hey, maybe we're just bored and want the expansion!). Maybe the rightful place for turcic.com is just for the mobile content. Dunno the right answer. PDABuzz dominated the PDA forum scene for a long time (it's where I hung out most), then things changed. Don't know if there's room for another multi-topic site or not.

Thanks for your thoughts, and hope you post here more often.

Cheers,
Gary
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Old 07-01-2003, 08:14 PM   #7
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I would posit that others have already supplanted daBuzz. Most of us high posters went to PDA Avenue, where we have a vibrant community. Some PPCers went to PPCThoughts. A smattering went other places like PDALive, PIC, and Brighthand. You're almost exactly a year behind the competition in this goal.
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Old 07-01-2003, 11:24 PM   #8
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As one of the folks who posted at CS, I thought I'd pop in and see what was up over here.

Perhaps I should've PM'd a mod before I just gave up on this site, but frankly, I didn't care about it. I was able to download the collection, came back, found I couldn't get information I searched for and promptly said "screw this" and left.

I would imagine I am not alone in this thinking. Why stay in a place that requires you to post or PM a moderator to get the content you are looking for, seems too much a hassle to me and I would suspect most.

That said, I'll take a bit of time tonight and browse around the areas that were added, and add my input if I have something to say or offer on a topic.

I do believe the CS thread started a bit harshly, but I do understand the users frustration with the policy that was put into effect. Had I been as frustrated I would've PM'd a mod, or at least yelled over here about it, but I dod understand the comfort of yelling from your "home ground".
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Old 07-01-2003, 11:34 PM   #9
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I'll add two things to that. First, I too just gave up when I lost access and never gave it another thought until the CS thread today. Two, Alex did reinstate me today after I asked, just as he said he would do in the CS thread.
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Old 07-05-2003, 02:51 AM   #10
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Glad to see TB posting here. I appreciate his wisdom on this and other subjects.
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Old 07-05-2003, 02:59 AM   #11
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Re: Participation

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Originally posted by elveejay
Glad to see TB posting here. I appreciate his wisdom on this and other subjects.
Thank you. You're very kind.
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