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Author Topic: Metaclub Feedback  (Read 13575 times)
jringling
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« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2010, 03:17:09 am »

2 minor points

-When we had "postwhorier than thou", most of the chatter was confined to 1 thread. By closing that one, the chatter has spread to how many others? Instead of an off topic section, how about 1 off topic thread for everyone to use...

-I do not frequent many other forums, but on the blacksmith forum, EVERY post is related to blacksmithing... on the horse forum, EVERY post is related to horses or horse related issues... are these forums out of the ordinary?
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2010, 03:43:12 am »

From what I've seen people here that are advocating for meta clubs are simply advocating for an off topic chat area. If all of your time is spent posting in off topic comments here at brass goggles, and the only reason you are here is for the off topic area,  Wouldn't this be better served by some Steampunk flavored version of MySpace?  The few on topic meta clubs I've seen could easily be rolled into portrayal.

Couldn't those who simply desire off topic conversations make a ning or another forum dedicated to singles and off topic chat?  Why should a forum who's focus is steampunk support these off topic areas?


Just playing devil's advocate here.


As for my own opinion, I believe the meta clubs experiment is over.

What? No! I want the light-hearted silly roleplaying that it was set up for! Pleeease, Mr. Sprocket, just tighten the rules! TT^TT
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HAC
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« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2010, 03:45:32 am »

-I do not frequent many other forums, but on the blacksmith forum, EVERY post is related to blacksmithing... on the horse forum, EVERY post is related to horses or horse related issues... are these forums out of the ordinary?
No, its like that on all of the watch forums I frequent. This place is the exception, possibly as a function of the demographics?

Cheers
Harold
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 04:08:07 am by HAC » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2010, 05:06:33 am »

-I do not frequent many other forums, but on the blacksmith forum, EVERY post is related to blacksmithing... on the horse forum, EVERY post is related to horses or horse related issues... are these forums out of the ordinary?
No, its like that on all of the watch forums I frequent. This place is the exception, possibly as a function of the demographics?

Cheers
Harold

Or the nature of the topic... unlike watches and blacksmithing, steampunk isn't such a tangible thing...
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darkshines
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« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2010, 08:12:05 am »

On the Muse forums I used to frequent, and other hobby forums, there are dedicated subject related parts, and then dedicated off topic parts, just like there is here. I would say on other forums, things like the metaclubs WOULD be in off topic, under the umbrella term of "role play" or "portrayal". The actual steampunk part of the forum would be for information, like meet ups, things people made, views on SP related issues etc, and then off topic would be for play. I think there is mudding of the terms when you say that role play is ok as long as its SP related. Thats a thorny issue, what consistutes as SP? Technically if an SP is typing it, its SP! So yeah, move the clubs to off topic. I also think the trading part should be in SP, it would get more traffic from people who want to buy or sell SP related items, especially if listed under Tactile, for example. I rarely see things on offer in there that aren't SP, but it doesn;t get a lot of traffic becomes its jammed down there under the forum structure discussions or whatever.

In summary:

Move Metaclubs down into off topic.

Move Trading up into SP.
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« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2010, 08:32:43 am »

Any forum of sufficient size will require off topic posting somewhere, for forums about more specific things like blacksmithing, clocks/watches or sewing, you may have a large membership but not as much active participation, because it is a limited topic in itself.

As Flynn MacCallister said, steampunk is a much more undefined topic, there are threads that have tried to answer the question of what steampunk is, and still it comes down to broad terms.  It also includes many different aspects, costuming, props, role playing etc.  Personally, I feel open discussion is also a part of steampunk.  I’ve seen disagreements on this forum end pleasantly for all parties involved without degrading into the mud slinging and internet drama that other forums deal with.

So here’s my view of things, I found this forum and it was wonderful.  A place I could learn, realize my own steampunk potential, become part of a community of people who share my love of creativity and technical problem solving.  People I can talk to pleasantly, discussions and debates handles respectfully.  People I enjoy spending my online time with, so why can’t we talk to each other about other things we might have in common as well?

So far as I can tell, nobody here has said anything about keeping the Meta Clubs exactly as they are.  There are problems, both with the technical issues and with the posting issues, we all know this.  This is why we have all been offering ideas to change things that doesn’t involve deleting the whole thing and telling everyone their “SOL” and to go somewhere else.

There has to be some way to make a compromise.
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« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2010, 09:07:49 am »

-I do not frequent many other forums, but on the blacksmith forum, EVERY post is related to blacksmithing... on the horse forum, EVERY post is related to horses or horse related issues... are these forums out of the ordinary?
No, its like that on all of the watch forums I frequent. This place is the exception, possibly as a function of the demographics?

Cheers
Harold

The wargaming, martial arts, survivalist, and convention forums I visit all do.  The fetish and technology sites not always.

I actually have a hard time finding the singlesish threads because I forget they are in Meta.  I always assume they are in Off Topic, and have to either search or reply to old posts to find them.

I can't help but see this from another angle, too: the folks who tend a bit more towards the "lifestyle" understanding of steampunk seem generally more inclined to support the "off topic" threads; those who gravitate more towards a "fandom" interpretation appear to swing the other way.  If you'll accept that at least to some of us the social/political/intangible aspects of this culture are as important as the informational/technical/fictional/craft side, it seems the "off topic" threads should be at least as deserving of inclusion and support as the role playing threads.   I think these topics should be separate from the more reference and information oriented parts of the forum, but their exclusion from this forum would significantly lessen this place for me. 

I want to come here to share pictures of my latest mad creation (I do have quite a doozy in the testing-and-redesign phase) and then get all personal with the kinds of folks who enjoy this brassy brand of madness.
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CorneliaCarton
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« Reply #57 on: June 19, 2010, 03:57:39 pm »

From what I've seen people here that are advocating for meta clubs are simply advocating for an off topic chat area. If all of your time is spent posting in off topic comments here at brass goggles, and the only reason you are here is for the off topic area,  Wouldn't this be better served by some Steampunk flavored version of MySpace?  The few on topic meta clubs I've seen could easily be rolled into portrayal.

Couldn't those who simply desire off topic conversations make a ning or another forum dedicated to singles and off topic chat?  Why should a forum who's focus is steampunk support these off topic areas
I would say that’s an over-simplification.  Many of the people who post in Queer Gear also post in anatomical, tactile and so on.  We certainly can’t share our other common interests there, unless you count that Victorian cross-dressing thread.  We certainly aren’t here just for non steampunk talk.  You’re looking at it backwards, everyone who is on the forum is here because it’s a steampunk forum, but as I said, we have more in common with each other.  Talking to each other about things besides steampunk is a good thing.  That’s how friendships are made.

What you are saying comes off as “You can’t talk to each other about things that aren’t steampunk”  I know this isn’t what you mean, but it is what it sounds like.

You know what I think? I think the Steampunk Forum should have "Support" buttons, because I fully support everything that the good Doctor has said.
Here here!
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CorneliaCarton
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« Reply #58 on: June 19, 2010, 10:55:54 pm »

From what I've seen people here that are advocating for meta clubs are simply advocating for an off topic chat area. If all of your time is spent posting in off topic comments here at brass goggles, and the only reason you are here is for the off topic area,  Wouldn't this be better served by some Steampunk flavored version of MySpace?  The few on topic meta clubs I've seen could easily be rolled into portrayal.

Couldn't those who simply desire off topic conversations make a ning or another forum dedicated to singles and off topic chat?  Why should a forum who's focus is steampunk support these off topic areas?


Just playing devil's advocate here.


As for my own opinion, I believe the meta clubs experiment is over.

You know what I think, Sprocket?
I think that a forum should support these offtopic areas if it wants to survive. I don't just come here to go to offtopic areas, but Hell, I used to go to the Lonely Gear when I needed people to talk to and find a shoulder to cry on when things weren't going so well with my life. Had I done that in any other thread, my post would have been deleted and I would have been yelled at by the mods for "offtopic posting".
If you close the Meta Clubs, people will eventually get bored and Brass Goggles will die. People need more to talk about than just Steampunk.
The way I see this is that you either keep the Meta Clubs open or lose forum goers. You've already lost some. Why lose more?
Playing with fire I may be but I cannot stand by and let this happen when I promised to do my damnest to keep the Meta Clubs open.
And before you ask, yes, I have Moderated a forum before and yes I know how hard it is to keep things in check. We closed a lot of threads because of offtopic posting and our site died because people got bored.
That's all I have to say for now. It may get me into trouble, but Hell, if the Meta Clubs go, I'll probably be leaving anyway.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 10:59:10 pm by CorneliaCarton » Logged
HAC
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« Reply #59 on: June 19, 2010, 11:15:06 pm »

We lost more members when BG started to go "chatty" and OT became the largest forum, than I'd suspect we'd lose my killing the junk boards.. We had a large and vibrant "Maker" community. (remember crabfu, and his steam powered (yes, REAL steam power) creations, as well as a quite a few others. They got fed up and left. As SP became faddish, we lost the core folks that made it happen in the first place.

A few years back I suggested that any forum that has an Off Topic board that;s larger than its main genre boards is as good as dead anyway..

Its time for back to core basics, I;d say..

Cheers
Harold
 

 
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Dr. Zedrich Heretic
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« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2010, 12:00:20 am »

Even as they are now, the Meta Clubs don’t outnumber the “Core” sections.  If they get pruned back, perhaps moved and were better regulated (Which is what most of us are advocating) then they would be even less so.  And again, it’s not like the people posting in most of the Meta Clubs aren’t posting elsewhere and contributing to the forum.

We still have a maker community, maybe some of the people there aren’t as advanced as others who have come before but where do you think the new people got their inspiration?

It’s unfair to say that people left because some of us felt like talking to each other about more than just steampunk.  If the community changed a bit and they didn’t like it, that’s there choice to make and nobody’s fault.  Forums have to change to suit the needs of their community, otherwise the community will leave.

I don’t see the forum as being “Faddish” it’s relatively unchanged from when I first joined, some of the “Meta Clubs” existed as threads in metaphysical before there was a specific meta club section.  I haven’t seen any changes in how people post in Tactile or Anatomical.  So far as non steampunk discussion goes, if you don’t want to talk about those things, don’t go into those sections.  People getting fed up and leaving over threads they don’t have to read is not the fault of the people who made the threads.
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HAC
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« Reply #61 on: June 20, 2010, 02:57:15 am »

Oh, I could live with tighter rules and pruning, my comments were as an individual, and not as part of the mod community. Let's not forget that one of my main issues is Board performance and stability. Our DB creaks and squeaks at times.
 
 There will be some very heavy debating of this topic in the mods area, rest assured. Eventually the decision will be by consensus, and not that  of any one individual. I'd be most upset as a mod, if we didn't listen to proposals and arguments.

As an aside , I have forum stats that show some interesting numbers from the time just before we started pruning OT.. The ratio of posts in OT was 2.05 times that of Tactile, and 1.95 that of Metaphysical. To me that indicates that you've lost focus. There was a time not so long ago all of the Top Ten posts, either by topic, or post count, were in Meta Clubs or OT.
I gave up on collecting stats  early this year, it simply became a pain, and at that time, no one was really interested.

Cheers
Harold
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 03:09:33 am by HAC » Logged
Dr. Zedrich Heretic
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« Reply #62 on: June 20, 2010, 04:27:43 am »

I think you may be over simplifying the numbers there HAC, sections that have specific topics like Tactile and Metaphysical won’t get the same amount of traffic not because of a lack of focus, but because there is only so much that can be said in those sections at a given time.  We can’t all be building a raygun or some such and making a thread about it every single day.  We can’t be starting new threads about a philosophical concept that relates to steampunk every day, but we still want to communicate with each other.

So we go into OT or Meta Clubs to stay in communication with each other, because we enjoy that communication.  That’s not a lack of focus, that’s using the internet’s ability to span the distances between us and enrich each other’s lives.  Granted some threads are less enriching than others.  But that is personal preference.

Aside from this, I appreciate your comments.  I feel much better knowing that you are listening to what we have to say.  I’m sorry if I may have come off strong, I sometimes get passionate about things like this.
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HAC
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« Reply #63 on: June 20, 2010, 06:09:31 am »

I think you may be over simplifying the numbers there HAC, sections that have specific topics like Tactile and Metaphysical won’t get the same amount of traffic not because of a lack of focus, but because there is only so much that can be said in those sections at a given time. 
I'm a stats sort of guy (heck I used to analyze mainframe and server logs to predict failure and performance trends), that will colour the interpretation for sure, your comments are valid, though..

.
Aside from this, I appreciate your comments.  I feel much better knowing that you are listening to what we have to say.  I’m sorry if I may have come off strong, I sometimes get passionate about things like this.
No worries, passion about something is good!

Cheers
Harold
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« Reply #64 on: June 20, 2010, 04:26:10 pm »

On Pruning: in the chatty threads, old news is dead news.  Unlike the maker threads (which are, as HAC pointed out, the reason many of us came here -- that's why I washed in) where history and background are important, the off topic stuff is more conversational, where it doesn't really matter what we were talking about last week.

In the previous discussion thread on this topic I suggested an auto-clear set up where after 30 days, the posts were deleted.  In the databases I support, this would be a total non-issue, but this one seems to be rather cludgy.  I was told, in effect, that an automatic (or even manual -- sort by date, delete everything a month old) would be hard to implement, an unacceptable burden on mods, and wouldn't really help things anyway.

Is that true and valid?  I'm not speaking to the social question of "is this the forum we want to be," just an engineering question: would thread pruning ease or solve the technical problems?
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« Reply #65 on: June 20, 2010, 11:21:59 pm »

Whatever is going on and which decision is made, I for one am very happy threads don't get randomly deleted and feedback is allowed Cheesy. Thank you for keeping the internet forum spirit up! I've seen it being done differently Sad.
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HAC
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« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2010, 02:38:18 am »

In the previous discussion thread on this topic I suggested an auto-clear set up where after 30 days, the posts were deleted.  In the databases I support, this would be a total non-issue, but this one seems to be rather cludgy.  I was told, in effect, that an automatic (or even manual -- sort by date, delete everything a month old) would be hard to implement, an unacceptable burden on mods, and wouldn't really help things anyway.

Oddly enough an auto-clear set for 30 days is really flaky, and causes a fair few problems. Setting it to 90 days, though does seem to work as advertised. Not 100% on why its that way,  that would take some digging. Suffice to say 90 days seems to work.

So,what I'm beginning to think we need to do is keep OT and Meta Clubs to a rolling 90 days of posts, and limit the number of posts in a thread, restarting the threads, if need be. Two 500 post threads are far less problematic than one 1000 post thread. The real solution would be to throw hardware at it, the virtual server space we have  is rather limited, and that is our major constraint, or so it seems.

   Don;t get me wrong, while I may not personally agree with this board or OT, if most users want to keep it alive, well, then I will try to work with the majority and our mod community come up with workable solutions.

Cheers
Harold
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 02:50:03 am by HAC » Logged
Utini420
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« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2010, 03:46:53 am »

HAC, 90 days is more than generous.  If that works better with the under-the-hood parts, so much the better.
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« Reply #68 on: June 21, 2010, 12:14:44 pm »

Agreed with Utini - I've had a look back over the few metaclub and OT threads I'm interested in and nothing more than 30 days old seemed useful anymore, so 90 days is very generous.

One other minor thing about separating out Meta Clubs into their own section is that the one liner description (like those under Anatomical etc) can be worded to make it obvious that this is the place for chatter and that the posts are time limited.
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« Reply #69 on: June 21, 2010, 03:35:47 pm »

Honestly the meta clubs are technically doubling up on other parts of the forum.


Some should be shifted to portrayal, other need to be moved to off topic. 


We should really move the topics where they belong and close the meta club section.   People still have their threads, and we remove the redundancy.
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« Reply #70 on: June 21, 2010, 07:47:31 pm »

If you want to shift the rules to allow metaclub-style threads in other sections, I don't think anyone would object strenuously to that.
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« Reply #71 on: June 21, 2010, 08:00:06 pm »

Out of curiosity, how come "portrayal" is seen as some how more valid than the singles/chat threads?  At least we're yacking pointlessly about real life.  Sorry if that comes across as judgmental, but I see that trash as every bit as useless as some seem to feel the more conversational threads are.

I've got another question, and I really hope this doesn't come across too negatively:  suppose the decision is made to shut down meta/chatty/whatever threads.  What happens then, when folks get chatty?  Its going to happen, and without its own place it will be a mess all over the site, unless you fancy running down everyone who drifts off-topic in a thread.
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« Reply #72 on: June 21, 2010, 08:12:53 pm »

Out of curiosity, how come "portrayal" is seen as some how more valid than the singles/chat threads?  At least we're yacking pointlessly about real life.  Sorry if that comes across as judgmental, but I see that trash as every bit as useless as some seem to feel the more conversational threads are.

Because somehow standing around chatting while pretending to be steampunk is more legitimate than standing around chatting while being steampunk.  Huh
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« Reply #73 on: June 21, 2010, 11:16:02 pm »

We lost more members when BG started to go "chatty" and OT became the largest forum, than I'd suspect we'd lose my killing the junk boards.. We had a large and vibrant "Maker" community. (remember crabfu, and his steam powered (yes, REAL steam power) creations, as well as a quite a few others. They got fed up and left. As SP became faddish, we lost the core folks that made it happen in the first place.

A few years back I suggested that any forum that has an Off Topic board that;s larger than its main genre boards is as good as dead anyway..

Its time for back to core basics, I;d say..

Cheers
Harold
 

 
Since the numbers of people going to Off Topic and Metaclub discussions - instead of posting in topic-specific sections - keeps coming up, I'd like to speak specifically about why I've become a frequent Off Topic/Metaclub poster.

My primary sections were Tactile and Anatomical when I first began visiting BG. Lately, I check in on them occasionally but rarely post on them, because of two issues.

The first is that these sections are practically a database at this point. They contain so much information now that any question I may have is usually quickly answered with a search. This actually causes me to wonder what stats look like in those sections if you look at page views rather than posts. Because there's such a wealth of info, there's little need to post a new thread in most cases.

The other reason I visit these sections less often is that many new threads that are of the "look what I made" or the "how would I steampunk this thing" variety gather negative criticism right away. Very early in a thread like that, someone posts that they don't like something or don't think it can be steampunk, and express this in a negative fashion. Others then come to the defense of the item/idea, and the thread turns into a philosophical debate on the topic of What is Steampunk - or possibly What is Badly Realized Steampunk.

This debate, by the way, is off topic every time it occurs in the types of posts I mentioned. Moderators often do get involved - but only after the debate has fully hijacked the thread and has derailed to the point of chasing off the original poster. This off topic bickering seems to get rid of newbies as well, which I suspect some people want, but in time will only cause the forum to stagnate and die.

I engaged in a few of these conversations, but eventually left off of it because I recognized that the same argument was happening over and over, and accomplishing nothing.

I wanted to stay active on the forum, so I turned to Metaclubs and Off Topic. They are friendlier areas for the most part.

I wouldn't want to lose the wealth of information that the on topic sections contain. I don't particularly like the tone of things over there these days, however, and I wonder at how many others have moved to Off Topic or left BG because of the same problem.

This turned into a much longer post than I intended, but my summary is this: the side that is in favor of removing off topic threads keeps saying people have left BG because of off topic discussion - are you sure it's because of off topic discussion that's happening in designated areas, and not the fault of off topic bickering in Steampunk-specific topics? Furthermore, have you considered the negative impact on the Brass Goggles community as a whole if Off Topic and Metaclubs are removed?
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« Reply #74 on: June 22, 2010, 12:29:45 am »

We lost more members when BG started to go "chatty" and OT became the largest forum, than I'd suspect we'd lose my killing the junk boards.. We had a large and vibrant "Maker" community. (remember crabfu, and his steam powered (yes, REAL steam power) creations, as well as a quite a few others. They got fed up and left. As SP became faddish, we lost the core folks that made it happen in the first place.

A few years back I suggested that any forum that has an Off Topic board that;s larger than its main genre boards is as good as dead anyway..

Its time for back to core basics, I;d say..

Cheers
Harold
 

 
Since the numbers of people going to Off Topic and Metaclub discussions - instead of posting in topic-specific sections - keeps coming up, I'd like to speak specifically about why I've become a frequent Off Topic/Metaclub poster.

My primary sections were Tactile and Anatomical when I first began visiting BG. Lately, I check in on them occasionally but rarely post on them, because of two issues.

The first is that these sections are practically a database at this point. They contain so much information now that any question I may have is usually quickly answered with a search. This actually causes me to wonder what stats look like in those sections if you look at page views rather than posts. Because there's such a wealth of info, there's little need to post a new thread in most cases.

The other reason I visit these sections less often is that many new threads that are of the "look what I made" or the "how would I steampunk this thing" variety gather negative criticism right away. Very early in a thread like that, someone posts that they don't like something or don't think it can be steampunk, and express this in a negative fashion. Others then come to the defense of the item/idea, and the thread turns into a philosophical debate on the topic of What is Steampunk - or possibly What is Badly Realized Steampunk.

This debate, by the way, is off topic every time it occurs in the types of posts I mentioned. Moderators often do get involved - but only after the debate has fully hijacked the thread and has derailed to the point of chasing off the original poster. This off topic bickering seems to get rid of newbies as well, which I suspect some people want, but in time will only cause the forum to stagnate and die.

I engaged in a few of these conversations, but eventually left off of it because I recognized that the same argument was happening over and over, and accomplishing nothing.

I wanted to stay active on the forum, so I turned to Metaclubs and Off Topic. They are friendlier areas for the most part.

I wouldn't want to lose the wealth of information that the on topic sections contain. I don't particularly like the tone of things over there these days, however, and I wonder at how many others have moved to Off Topic or left BG because of the same problem.

This turned into a much longer post than I intended, but my summary is this: the side that is in favor of removing off topic threads keeps saying people have left BG because of off topic discussion - are you sure it's because of off topic discussion that's happening in designated areas, and not the fault of off topic bickering in Steampunk-specific topics? Furthermore, have you considered the negative impact on the Brass Goggles community as a whole if Off Topic and Metaclubs are removed?





Excellent Post Ginny.  I want to thank you for providing very clear feedback that is extraordinarily useful in trying to get at the root of the problem.

This opens it up to all kinds of possibilities.  Thank you for posting.
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