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Author Topic: Metaclub Feedback  (Read 14345 times)
S.Sprocket
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« on: June 16, 2010, 08:48:30 pm »

Ok Gogglers, we've run 6 more months since I last evaluated this experimental branch of the forum.

Since then the following things have happened:

1. The forum is amazingly popular. As such we've had to quell "chat style" posting.
2. Our method of quelling the chat style posting has been labeled by more than a few private posters as "inconsistant" and having a "double standard".  In actuality we've been having to deal with flame wars while we continue the moderator debate on how to handle this.
3. One of our more prolific writers had a now public argument with another poster over a private matter.  This caused a rather popular meta club to be locked. 
4. When we began the experiment it was due to rampant role playing which the people doing so felt as though they had grown beyond portrayal. 
5. It seems now people think that this is the "chat room" for brass goggles.  It is not.
6. Having completely morphed into something it is not, I've determined that the experiment needs either adjustment or cancellation.

Feel free to post feedback on the meta club experiment here.  My current thoughts are that we should close the meta club, direct role playing to protrayal, and direct chat to our IRC channel.  Thoughts? 
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CorneliaCarton
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 09:07:21 pm »

I for one love Meta Club.
Why not keep it open and just redirect roleplay to portrayal? As for IRC, well, I've only seen a few members of Brass Goggles there. Not everyone is on it.
I say keep Meta Clubs, and I hope others will back me up with that one.
Edit: Plus, IRC doesn't always work for me. Just saying.
(*is still mourning the loss of the Lonely Gear*)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 09:09:15 pm by CorneliaCarton » Logged

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arcwelder
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 09:18:23 pm »

Well, obviously there's interest and demand on the part of the community, but it also seems obvious that it's placing an undue burden on moderation staff. My concern is whether IRC will continue to fill that demand. I popped into the IRC room a few times...it was pretty darn empty.

  • How effectively could people be routed to IRC?
  • Would it be possible to host a web-based IRC client, and would this make it easier for less technically-oriented members to participate?
  • Is it possible to run an authentication doolywhicher so that IRC handles match forum handles and are password-protected? Or do you have to be running the IRC server to do that?
  • What are your thoughts regarding mapping multiple metaclub threads to IRC rooms?
  • What are your thoughts regarding the time falloff of IRC versus a forum thread? (The metaclubs don't appear to need more "memory" than a few days to a week, but IRC is much shorter assuming it's active enough that people will actually hang around in it.)
  • and so forth...

Directing RP to portrayal sounds harmless, but I may be misunderstanding something in your point four. In what way had they "grown beyond" it? Are there restrictions in place in that section which aren't in place in the metaclubs? If not, it sounds like they just need to suck it up and deal with a change of header. If so, maybe those also need to be reevaluated in order to effect such a move successfully.
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CorneliaCarton
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 09:21:34 pm »

Well, obviously there's interest and demand on the part of the community, but it also seems obvious that it's placing an undue burden on moderation staff. My concern is whether IRC will continue to fill that demand. I popped into the IRC room a few times...it was pretty darn empty.

  • How effectively could people be routed to IRC?
  • Would it be possible to host a web-based IRC client, and would this make it easier for less technically-oriented members to participate?
  • Is it possible to run an authentication doolywhicher so that IRC handles match forum handles and are password-protected? Or do you have to be running the IRC server to do that?
  • What are your thoughts regarding mapping multiple metaclub threads to IRC rooms?
  • What are your thoughts regarding the time falloff of IRC versus a forum thread? (The metaclubs don't appear to need more "memory" than a few days to a week, but IRC is much shorter assuming it's active enough that people will actually hang around in it.)
  • and so forth...

Directing RP to portrayal sounds harmless, but I may be misunderstanding something in your point four. In what way had they "grown beyond" it? Are there restrictions in place in that section which aren't in place in the metaclubs? If not, it sounds like they just need to suck it up and deal with a change of header. If so, maybe those also need to be reevaluated in order to effect such a move successfully.

I don't like the IRC as much as I like Meta Clubs. I'm not just saying that either. This is how I truly feel. I honestly prefer Meta Clubs to IRC, and going back to my point, IRC doesn't always work for me.
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 09:54:22 pm »

I would like to share my opinion a bit, for what it’s worth.  I’m a lurker, I don’t always get involved in a discussion but I do read them.  I’m not a big fan of IRC based communication mostly because I don’t like chatting.  If I have something to say, I like to take my time to compose it, edit it, and double check the spelling, this is why I’m a forum junky.

I like the meta clubs because it offers a place to share those quick little ideas that don’t quite need a whole thread, or for discussion of things that don’t quite fit into other sub forums.  Like talking about mixing occult with your mad science?  There’s an occult society with a thread full of people who are sharing and talking about it.

And so forth.

I do agree that the chat style posting has become a bit of a problem and kind of why my participation has fallen off.  I wouldn’t say it needs to be cancelled entirely but redesigned.  Some threads pruned perhaps.  To ease up on moderation issues, perhaps make them more self managed by the thread starters or something?  Way that might help things could be to do a restart of the Meta Clubs.  For each club, organizers could be asked to provide things such as club guidelines or other such requirements as the Moderation staff sees fit.  Club managers/organizers could then be more accountable for the management of the thread, easing the burden on the forum staff.

Does anyone else feel this idea could be discussed or expanded on?
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arcwelder
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 10:17:47 pm »

I don't like the IRC as much as I like Meta Clubs. I'm not just saying that either. This is how I truly feel.

I tend to assume that people mean what they say. It's not always correct, but if they choose to complicate their life by saying things which conflict with their true feelings, then that's their problem.

If I have something to say, I like to take my time to compose it, edit it, and double check the spelling, this is why I’m a forum junky.

Ditto.

I do agree that the chat style posting has become a bit of a problem and kind of why my participation has fallen off.

Similar here, although more a matter of coming in after it reached its present state and finding something which doesn't attract me. I like the "metatopic-related short topics" concept you expressed, and if that could be made to work it would be interesting.

I wouldn’t say it needs to be cancelled entirely but redesigned.

That's more or less my perspective, which I attempted to argue for above by detailing how IRC is unlikely to serve well as a drop-in replacement.

To ease up on moderation issues, perhaps make them more self managed by the thread starters or something?  Way that might help things could be to do a restart of the Meta Clubs.  For each club, organizers could be asked to provide things such as club guidelines or other such requirements as the Moderation staff sees fit.  Club managers/organizers could then be more accountable for the management of the thread, easing the burden on the forum staff.

I suspect that would blow up before long. You're mixing too many chefs with too many conflicting rule systems...it would end up looking a bit like Dali, Escher, and Picasso got together and did a representative painting of the United States Tax Code.

It might work if you kept it REALLY simple, i.e. if you limited it to "the thread has a specific topic, and off-topic discussion is strictly verboten"...but that might be going a tad too far. We don't want it degenerating into the midnight chat hour, but neither do we want to kill interesting discussion which consensually veers off on a tangent.
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Minjoltr
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 11:20:31 pm »

I think the Meta Clubs are important.  One of the things people often mention about steampunk is that it has a large following online but not that many people actually meet up in person.  There are some who are happy to take a leap of faith and organise a meeting with a bunch of virtual strangers but others prefer to get to know a bit more about people beforehand.  You can only find out so much about a person reading their opinions on haircuts, their designs for airships or their techniques for sewing really good buttonholes.  
The Meta Clubs give people the chance to talk about something which doesn't properly fit into any of the larger boards in a more informal style and might make them more inclined to actually take that leap and meet up in person, especially the newbies who don't know everyone so well from other threads.  

I think the forum could do with some sort of chat area - perhaps if the rules for Meta Clubs were changed to keep people more on-topic with their posts, but each club had its own separate IRC channel for all of the chatting, it might make the place tidier.  I don't think the Brass Goggles IRC channel alone could take the chat traffic of the Meta Clubs by itself - it's hard enough sometimes to follow what the ten or so regulars are saying, let alone the dozens who would come over from the Meta Clubs.  The individual IRC channels could be linked in the first post of each club, along with the thread rules and the warning that the IRC has the same basic terms of service as the forum and violation will result in a channel ban.  It also makes bandwidth someone else's problem.  

I would have suggested that repeated violations of the ToS in the IRC could result in a forum ban, should the moderators consider it sufficiently serious but it could be difficult to link the forum username to the chat handle.  My handle and mode of speech in the IRC are different to those used on the forum; a number of people have been surprised when I told them my forum username.  It appears that it would not be hard to give another's username or handle in the IRC, act deplorably and have a forum user wrongfully banned.  

*Also misses the Lonely Gear*
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 11:22:38 pm by Minjoltr » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 11:37:07 pm »

I'd like to point out some things:

1. Meta club is not a chat room, is not meant to duplicate any function of IRC or of a normal forum.

2. Meta club was not meant to be a place for role playing.

3. Meta Club:  It's like a real club but rather than meeting in a brick and mortar location in the flesh, it's members are scattered about the world and meet here.

4. I don't see any of the current threads save 1 that is behaving as intended.

5. Aside from about 3 active threads I'd say meta clubs isn't being used.  We'd be better serviced moving the active threads and ditching the child board.

6. Meta Club has always been an experiment, and never a real part of the forum or promised functionality.
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 01:35:36 am »

Quote
1. Meta club is not a chat room, is not meant to duplicate any function of IRC or of a normal forum.

Personally, I'd like to see a definition of 'chatroom'; I can't think of a single forum, here or elsewhere online, that is not 'chatty' to some extent at least. If you're so dead-set against a conversational style of posting, seems to me you ought to erase the whole site, since almost every thread on every board is conversationally posted to by its members.

Quote
2. Meta club was not meant to be a place for role playing.

I'd also like to see a definition of 'roleplay' and a consistent effort made to regulate same. I've suggested in the past that fellow participants move storylines that I've been involved with into Portrayal ( I did not know at that time, and am still not sure now, how to do that, or whether I even have the authority to do so), but it didn't happen, and until now no one has really said anything negative about roleplay in Metaclubs beyond the stickied blurb -- or about the those specific roleplay threads.

"Collaborative novel" is just a semantically-different label for the same thing as "roleplay," and rather glaringly obviously so. I know that, so does everyone else involved with it, whether regulatorially or participatorially, and whether they admit it or not. Coming in and suddenly saying that we're not following the rules and are in danger of being locked/erased/what you will, when the rules against roleplay have not been enforced to any real extent, is really pretty unfair. I must, however, concede (reluctantly) that the rule was posted.

Quote
6. Meta Club has always been an experiment, and never a real part of the forum or promised functionality.
It would have been nice if that point had been raised in a thread like this before. It was obvious to me, but then I read much more than most people, and actually skim the guidelines posts, whether or not I read them closely. Most people just ignore the links, I'd wager, so the point was probably not made very strongly.

7. You did ask for feedback...
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 02:05:49 am by MWBailey » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2010, 01:57:06 am »

If losing the metaclub section will improve the overall forum performance, I say burn 'em...

If they are not causing any problems other than the occasional pissing contest... leave 'em be...
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2010, 02:08:45 am »

If losing the metaclub section will improve the overall forum performance, I say burn 'em...

If they are not causing any problems other than the occasional pissing contest... leave 'em be...

My previous post notwithstanding, I concur with Mr. Ringling. Fusspot though I may be... Wink
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 02:10:35 am by MWBailey » Logged
arcwelder
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2010, 02:31:07 am »

If losing the metaclub section will improve the overall forum performance, I say burn 'em...

If perf is the issue, and if the statements about falloff time indicate what's affecting perf, would a 1 month falloff (a) be appropriate and (b) fix the perf issues?
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Lord Wraste
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2010, 03:53:00 am »

1. The forum is amazingly popular. As such we've had to quell "chat style" posting.
I think you could take care of this a couple of ways. One of them being to lay out an actual rule making "chat" type posts forbidden and then actually defining what a "chat" type post is.
2. Our method of quelling the chat style posting has been labeled by more than a few private posters as "inconsistant" and having a "double standard".  In actuality we've been having to deal with flame wars while we continue the moderator debate on how to handle this.
I'm sorry, I've not seen any flame wars. As I only frequented two clubs, I missed out on anything outside of them.
3. One of our more prolific writers had a now public argument with another poster over a private matter.  This caused a rather popular meta club to be locked.
I'll address this at the bottom.
4. When we began the experiment it was due to rampant role playing which the people doing so felt as though they had grown beyond portrayal.
When the clubs got opened I had no idea that portrayal existed. That may be one of the bigger issues with some of the child boards. If you don't know where to look, and you don't get out of your usual areas (Tactile say) that how would you know other than your club that a portrayal section exists?
5. It seems now people think that this is the "chat room" for brass goggles.  It is not.
If it is not actually stated in the rules at the head of the clubs, then I can see how that would be an easy mistake to make.
Once again: I think that if you don't want "junk" posts on the board you should really talk to the perpetrators of said posts politely and via PM.
6. Having completely morphed into something it is not, I've determined that the experiment needs either adjustment or cancellation.
Keep it or kill it as you like, if you get rid of the clubs you will still have people chatting away in the sticky threads and anywhere else they decide to get chatty. How to avoid the Inevitable Heckling? Almost a page about beer, not heckling.
Feel free to post feedback on the meta club experiment here.  My current thoughts are that we should close the meta club, direct role playing to protrayal, and direct chat to our IRC channel.  Thoughts? 
On this point.
I'm not into IRC for the same reasons as the others here. I realize I may be the only person that reads the back-log, but you can't do that in IRC. You can miss a hell of a lot of conversation in a chat room. Here at least you can follow along and see how the subject got changed and why.

Alright, on to point 3 form above:
I know that it is wrong to assume, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that I'm the "Prolific poster" and that you're talking about the Lonely Gear.
I'd like to take this chance to publicly apologize for the fact that my real world drama spilled into this forum. I had no idea that things had gotten to the head that they did and choices I made have now hurt others in both large and small ways. My care-free attitude and disregard for the feelings of others is what caused this. I thought that I had the situation as I knew it handled, and obviously had not.
If you do decide to keep the Meta-clubs, please reopen the Lonely Gear. The people that enjoyed it should not be punished for my poor decision making.
Also, it wasn't an argument. It was one post that then got reported.
Unless you're not talking about me... Lips sealed We all know what happens when one assumes!!! Cheesy

Something else that effects the Meta-Clubs is a bit I brought up in the engine room that has sat now for 15 days and is still going unaddressed.
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,24203.msg550506.html#msg550506
Chatting doesn't JUST happen here, it happens all over the forum. It's just easy to see here because it's been gathered into a socially driven context. I still say, if you want the chatting to end, talk to the chatters directly.

Sorry for the long post... Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2010, 04:18:11 am »

What? No! Please...? I love my meta-clubs!

Also, IRC is rubbish. I hang out on forums for a reason.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 06:36:18 am by Flynn MacCallister » Logged
Thor
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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2010, 06:26:00 am »

I read this earlier before work, and coming back to reply I've really only skimmed back through the posts, so apologies if I repeat anyone's points:

(please note the numbering is my own, to clarify my own thoughts, not in direct reply to anyone else's)

1.  People like to talk around subjects.  They'll start off on the subject at hand, insert anecdotes about how said subject relates to them, and then mention something that links to the subject in their head.  Threads go off the rails constantly, with this many people it's going to happen, no matter where they're told to post.

2.  The lonely gear's stated intention was, and I quote:
Quote
...a place for single Steampunks to come and chat about whatever comes into their minds to chat about.
If this was not an acceptable topic, why not close it down right at the beginning?  Besides, after closing the Single Steampunks thread, I noticed that there was more in the way of advice and encouragement regarding relationships.  I myself asked for and took relationship advice in the thread, which was very helpful.  If the Lonely Gear had still been open, I could have further asked for advice with regards to ending the relationship.

3.  I don't like IRC, I can't keep up with it like I used to when I was 14 or 15.  I type in a conversationalist manner, I know this, and I like to put thought into my posts.  I would go so far as to say I find IRC to be fairly worthless to me, particularly since my time zone means that few people are online when I am.

4.  I have no interest in the portrayal or textual areas of the forum.  I'm not into role-playing and I don't have the time I'd like for serious writing.  I'm here to unwind with people of a similar mindset to myself, discover cool new things, and get some advice from time to time.  I'd like to think I'm making friends.  If my only choices to get to know people better are PMs or IRC, then forget it.  I'm not a confident enough person to PM other people without having a very good reason to, and I've already stated my point regarding IRC.

5. I did seriously consider making a generous donation to BG but it seemed there was no easy way to do this (I'm leery of bank transfers to strangers over the internet), which is a shame because I'm probably not the only one who'd paypal over some cash to get the board running all purty.
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2010, 08:05:31 am »

I'd say the queer Gear is pretty on topic.

Quote
This is a nice cozy place for LGBT forum goers and  our allies. Pull up a chair or a bean bag. chat about what you feel like. Flirting and bawdy stories are welcome.

I made it to be a catch all dicussion area for LGBT forum members and allies, and I think it serves that purpose pretty with not too much crazy chat. Other meta clubs have done it to. It would be unfair to the metaclubs that were within their topic guide lines to get rid of it.
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2010, 10:08:49 am »

Okay, more opinions from me, just remember they are worth exactly what you paid for.

I’ve lurked a lot of forums for a lot of years, I recognize a healthy one and this one is one of the healthiest.  The one thing every healthy forum has is change or evolution if you will.  In any long standing thread, topics will deviate and change.  I’ve witnessed how a thread I started with one silly question changed, morphed and mutated into something that spontaneously generated a plot and has since been moved into a role play section for its third incarnation.  I’m not particularly sure if this is something I should be proud of.   The point is, is this strictly a bad thing? 

I feel that healthy discussion requires a bit of deviation.  I’ve seen it in forums and in family when we get together for things like Christmas or whatever.  We all sit around in a place that is comfortable to us and talk about shared interests.  There is no set topic but usually a theme.

After reading the comments of others, I feel that part of the problem is the difference between topic and theme.  The LGBT thread is a good example of a theme, because under it there could be any number of topics, from issues and advice to simple words of encouragement.

I’ve also seen the antithesis of this on other forums, where anything that doesn’t relate to the specific topic of the first post and the first post only, is labelled as “Off Topic” and split off or removed entirely.  I’m not saying this is a bad way to run the forum in question (A Mecha anime forum specifically).  It works for managing a forum of its size and type of poster.  What this means is a lot more active topics at once that will quickly end or be replaced with new topics talking about much the same thing.  Also keeping anime fans on topic and preventing flame wars requires constant vigilance from a much larger moderation staff.  They even made me a Mod, (heaven knows why).

That brings me to another possible suggestion, if managing the meta clubs is too much for the current staff to handle, is it possible to increase staff?  I’m not sure how the mods and admins are handled here but asking responsible forum members if they are willing to help manage things in threads they might already be posting in seems like a good idea.  This is really just another way to make the meta clubs more “Self managed” and easing the burden on the forum staff.

Now let’s look at the issue of “Chat” posts.  For the sake of discussion and because people have raised the point of “What is a ‘Chatty’” post, I’ll share what in my opinion a chatty post is.  Setting, lets say a “Lounge thread for people to relax in”

Poster A: “Hello poster B”
Poster B: “Hello poster A”
Poster A: “how is your day going?”
Poster B: “Alright, had a test at school today”
Etc…

From what people have said here, I can say that this is not the kind of posting we want.

It’s not specifically the length or the content, there’s just no effort made for meaningful conversation.

An alternative example…

Poster A: “Hello everyone, I hope the day finds you well.  I’ve had a bit of a rough day, but how it’s over and I can kick back”
Poster B: “Hello Poster A, I can sympathize with you, I had a test in school today.”

Still relatively short posts, the same sort of information exchanged but it is more of a real conversation, not a “Chat”

Adding something to the guidelines specifically dealing with posting style could help with this.  Perhaps not a specific rule about post length.  Sometimes a short response can be very poignant.  More of a request, “Be respectful of other posters, put some thought into your posts, don’t just leave short replies or strings of emotacons.  If they took the time to say something, take the time to say something back.”

This does work on the afore mentioned anime fan forum, but it took a bit of effort on the part of the staff and long standing members to get members in the habit of leaving more than one word posts.  I don’t see a request like that being a problem here, this is by far the most polite and civil forum I’ve ever been on.  Asking members nicely not to leave short chatty posts should quell the majority of such posts.  After the request is made to everyone, those who purposefully disregard the request can be recognized and firmer measures can be taken.

Lastly, the issue of threads becoming role plays, I agree that role pay isn’t what the meta clubs are for and that if a thread becomes mostly role play, it should be moved to the appropriate location.  But where is the line?  When does a thread move from a themed conversation with occasional actions like *Tips hat to the lady* to a full blown role play?

Having witnessed (and unintentionally starting) spontaneously self generated role play, I would say the line is crossed when elements are added that create a story or plot.

For example:  A thread with a tavern theme, posters having a conversation and writing actions for themselves.  If this is how it stays, it isn’t a role play.  If a poster adds an element like *Runs into the tavern shouting* “there’s an army of bandits heading this way!” (And the other posters play off of that) it has become a role play.

Basically, adding or portraying an antagonist or introducing some form of conflict or inciting incident creates a role play.  Not sure how this could be managed but again, I’d say a large number of the members of this forum are responsible enough to figure out the difference for themselves so long as the guidelines are made clear.

That was much longer than I originally intended, I will say this in closing.

We are Steampunks, a group/subculture/counter culture that generally avoids the “If something is broken you throw it out and buy a new one” mentality of our day and age.

For us when something is broken, we sit down and tinker with it until we either fix it of figure out how to turn it into something else.  Why should we treat our forums any differently?
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2010, 10:54:55 am »

The fact of the matter is that for some, Meta-Clubs has become the only reason for visiting the forum. If we've developed in such a way that some of the members treat BG as a rusty-brown version of Facebook, we've gone badly wrong, in my opinion.

Almost half of the topics are locked, in accordance with the original guidelines of the board. Most of the un-locked ones, like Shaun said, haven't been touched in ages.

There really doesn't seem to be any point to Meta-Clubs that can't be better served by Portrayal, the IRC, or, for those of you who like to compose your posts at leisure, Facebook or Myspace.
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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2010, 11:34:01 am »

Clearly then, I'm wasting my time trying to make friends and become part of the community; unless I want to discuss my music or mention the things that annoy me, obviously I'm better off elsewhere.

But then, if all we do is discuss weighty topics, where's the actual sense of community?  Communities are made by people having conversations, and getting to know each other better.  If every thread is "Check out my new raygun" or "Is brown really the new black?" then why bother to have a forum at all, instead just take more submissions for the blog.

I would have suggested a portrayal/off-topic split for the various clubs dependent on tone/content, but you didn't like the single steampunks thread either...
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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2010, 05:51:58 pm »


As Nik stated, our goal here is to promote steampunk as a culture.  As proteus has stated many times in the engine room we are a community of many thousands of people.  As such we always defer our bandwidth to discussion of steampunk over chatter.  Now I'll be the first to admit there's been some inconsistency rather than a total lock down.  This is because the moderators understand there are humans on the other side of this thing and we want to allow free flowing conversations. 

As you've noticed if you follow them.  This sometimes gets abused by people who make 3 word "me too" posts, or by people engaging in flame wars, airing dirty laundry for social-political gains.  It is these people who get conversational threads locked down. 

We can not be everything to everyone, and so we choose steampunk content over off-topic content.

Furthermore in reference to the rules our rules have changed yearly since we started.  I have never seen a forum bend this much to it's populace.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 05:59:47 pm by S.Sprocket » Logged
Dr. Zedrich Heretic
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« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2010, 07:10:36 pm »

I dislike the use of facebook or MySpace type places for finding common ground.  It simply doesn’t have that sense of community.  I would say that the vast majority of people on the forum are here because we are steampunks or just discovering steampunk, but we can have more in common with each other than just that.
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Utini420
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« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2010, 07:37:21 pm »

I'll have a longer, more thought out response when time permits (today is just being crazy) but I'd like to sum up my reaction to all this, and possibly tie it in with a few other times of friction:

For me, this (where this = the metaclub relationship chat stuff) IS the lighter side of steampunk. 
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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2010, 07:52:05 pm »

For me, this (where this = the metaclub relationship chat stuff) IS the lighter side of steampunk. 

Interesting point.
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arcwelder
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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2010, 07:56:24 pm »

It's not as if the majority of us can get together over tea, and neither can I say that "take it to myspace" is at all palatable.
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S.Sprocket
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« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2010, 09:36:52 pm »

It's not as if the majority of us can get together over tea, and neither can I say that "take it to myspace" is at all palatable.


However the counter to that is that we are first and foremost a steampunk forum.  Proteus has told us that the days we get slowness and crashing were days when the activity in off topic and meta clubs amounted to a denial of service attack on brass goggles as far as server performance was concerned.  This caused the moderation team to begin to try to pair down the chat room style off topic postings. Which is what began all this.  End counter.


Now for my opinion.  People who were at the very core of Steampunk, those who are often now interviewed by magazines and websites, originally were here to discuss steampunk and never engaged in off topic content at all.  Many of them told me privately they left due to the proliferation of those who never post about steampunk things.  

Some have openly said here that if we don't have off topic chatter than we are no longer a community.  I beg to differ.
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