"Spend enough time in any community or social circle – whether online or in person – and you’ll inevitably hear people complaining about the group being too insular, too much of a circle jerk or just plain unwilling to listen to people who disagree with them. You may especially notice this when forums have active moderation or websites and YouTube accounts turn off the ability to post comments. Now, on occasion, you will find a group or community that is unwelcoming to divergent voices… but more often than not, the problem isn’t that people are unwilling to hear an opposing opinion, but rather a case of “we don’t like assholes in the clubhouse.”--How To Share Your Unpopular Opinion (Without Being An Asshole)
"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
The Problems of the 1st and 3rd Worlds have been well covered. And in 2011 we found out about 5th World Problems and 6th World Problems. But there are new worlds and new problems (and new ways to express them). Let's explore some shall we? [more inside]
Monstergeddon is an annual, one-night tournament of monsters competing in various categories -- Best Kill, Most Unnecessary Collateral Damage, Sexiest Victim -- with the top prize being the coveted Killer Cup. The objective of the tournament is killing humans.
Jeff Atwood (previously), co-founder of Stack Overflow, yesterday announced Discourse, which he and partner Robin Ward (previously) intend as "the WordPress of forums." [more inside]
"We need the rain." So I was looking for information on water conservation and usage systems, and I found some useful resources. Here's a forum. [more inside]
This youtube video explains VENGEANCE - The Story of Curmudgeon's Revenge: Members of a forum for Jeep JK Wrangler owners came together for one of their own in a quite extraordinary way. When it became clear that one of their original members was losing his battle with cancer several members flew from all around the country to his house, bought his jeep, drove it across the country, and then spent almost a year converting it from a Jeep into something they call VENGEANCE, "A Badass 2-Door Jeep JK Wrangler Worthy of its Name". Now they're auctioning it to raise money so his daughter can go to college.
The alphaDictionary Historical Dictionary of American Slang presents a unique way for studying slang. It contains over 2200 slang words with the centuries in which they were first printed. The dates were taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, the Online Etymological Dictionary, or the earliest occurrences the editors can remember. [more inside]
I’m about to tell you a story about videogames, kitchens, and internet forums that has a happy ending. Stop laughing, I’m serious. - A woman gamer declares Gaslamp Games's Dungeons of Dredmor forums awesome.
As Blizzard prepares for the next World of Warcraft expansion, they are updating their server system, BattleNet, to use a real-name identification system called RealID, allowing your friends -- and their friends -- to see your real name. Some like it, some hate it. The system is optional; but today, Blizzard announced that all posts on their official forums will be under the poster's real name. [more inside]
Guitar Noise is a free guitar lesson website with hundreds of articles, tips and reviews for students of this versatile instrument. Whether you are a beginner, a lefty, a bass player or a singer, Guitar Noise has lessons on nearly everything and anything to do with the guitar. There are many talented musicians out there. The artist profiles section includes interviews with dozens. The forums, blog and podcasts help you keep up with this thriving community.
FreelanceSwitch covers many of the topics freelancers need to know about with their daily articles and tips. They run a freelance job board and have regular podcasts so you can learn a little something while you work or commute. Check out the FreelanceSwitch forums for support and advice from other freelancers, or check out their resources section. [more inside]
The Auteurs is a new web site (in beta) for film lovers--and, for those film lovers, Criterion has relaunched their site. Now with the ability to watch (some of) their films online for $5 (good for a week's worth of watching one title). The viewing cost is also applicable to the cost of buying the same title on DVD.
I've thought a lot over the last couple years about the problem of trolls. It's an old one, as old as forums, but we're still just learning what the causes are and how to address them.
The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource is the place for songwriting tips, tools, interactivities and connecting with other songwriters around the world. See the section about musical instruments or get into the guitar player's guide. Start communicating with other musicians and songwriters in the forums and check out the music reviews. Lots to do, see, hear, learn, and most of all, enjoy.
Web discussion forums have some fantastic content. There is an excellent rank-ordered, categorized index of many of them, but the attempts to create a search engine for these forums, akin to that which already exists for the newsgroups, have generally failed. Let's wish Omgili some luck then. Maybe even do so in their forum.
The New York Times reports that community forum sites like Digital Point Solutions' have created a system whereby forum participants share in the Google AdSense revenue (Revenue sharing FAQ). Digital Point claims that no gaming of the system has occurred so far. A google search turns up at least a handful of other sites that are doing the same (but no major sites, it seems), and the latest drupal adsense module apparently makes it easy to set up. Curious. [Full disclosure: I know nothing about any of this. I mean, I barely know what a 'blog is (and I'm sticking to that leading apostrophe -- it's the only thing standing between us and Babelian anarchy and we're not even sure 'Babelian' is a legitimate word so now we're really mired in the hypocrisy, huh?).]
For a while now, Warren Ellis has been doing web community stunts, such as the 12 hour forum, Scream talking, The Friday Stunt & probably a few things I missed, to which you can post links to remind everyone.
Recently he started The Engine.
Recently he started The Engine.
Creative COW (Communities Of the World) seems to be a one-stop... stop... for help with After Effects, Combustion, and other industry software of just about any type. While some (nevertheless incredible) tutorials are a bit difficult to decipher, they could also be much worse. The focus looks mostly to be on After Effects and other Motion Graphics software, but the forums are invaluable for just about anything you might need. Of particular note would be the Demo Reels forum, where anyone from Editors to Directors of Photography, and even Game Developers (former or otherwise) can post reels for criticism and even be approached for work. Some of them are incredible, even if you're not involved in the industry.
xixax is a film community/bulletin board. In addition to forums for new films (released and rumored), stuff on DVD, and tech goodies for filmmakers, they've got director forums for Wes and PT Anderson, Scorsese, Lynch, the Coens, Soderbergh and many others.
Gamegeezers A new forum for the mature gamer. As the site says "... the new community for the "not so young" gamer. The reason we're setting this forum up is to provide a home for the great many of us gamers out there who are old enough to remember the beginning of this phenomenon known as gaming and are still going to be at it for the rest of our days. You will find no whiney teenage flamers here. Just a good wholesome community of GameGeezers who wouldn't admit to knowing what "l33t" meant if their life depended on it. "
"We often do this, changing the subject or saying something really obnoxious, to take the wind out of trolls' sails." Apparently, some people get paid to report on the contents of web discussion boards. What a sweet gig. Especially for a "journalist" who has no ear for irony, and doesn't know what "trolling" is. Quoting an Epinions reviewer as supporting material is a new low point in "news" reporting. (more inside)
"The PRAVDA Forum" in English. Vlad Putin's homeboys serve up Colombian FARC manifestos, and grin- "Let's roll!" They invite you to mix it up with black blockers, American hawks, meglomaniac spymaster wannabes, Osama fans, Nazis and ethnic cleansers, irate Israelis, Pakstanis, Indians, hardcore feminists, peaceniks, dolphinsavers, conspiracy theorists, and the Chinese. Free speech in wartime, Russian Communist style. (Warning: Offensive content guaranteed.)
"Biggest flame war of all time: Danny Boy - sentimental Irish favorite, or stupid song decried by true Celts everywhere?" A link to a discussion in another forum about how one prevents the banal from driving out the profound in online public-participation forums. (Their conclusion: ruthless and efficient moderation.)
yahoogroups conversion of egroups is in full swing. I've been through the conversion from onelist to egroups, but now with this they're mandating a conversion to the Yahoo ID and killing off the old sign-in system - which was email address + password. Why *must* I have a Yahoo ID?
Censorship on a public Blog? - When someone posts a link to content that others find shocking to a public blog (in this case Flazoom.com) how should the blog-master handle it. This got me thinking about how we handle the content at MeFi - which is better? Removing the post a few layers, or bereating the poster with lots of mean comment posts?
Another online discussion forum experiences growing pains. Lance writes: "glassdog.CLUB is a good example of what can go wrong in an online community." And so he's pulling the plug. Perhaps killing something while it's still young is the only way to keep it from growing old and dying miserably?
Kottke offers a good critique of online discussions (like MeFi), and he makes some excellent suggestions on how to improve them. He quotes an unnamed source: "The problem with online forums is that those who have very little to contribute participate the most while those with valuable information to share participate the least." Now, let's try to keep the conversation cordial...
Children are funny.. as sad as it is for me, most of the time, to have 15yr old kids be the majority of the crowd there, it's entertaining none the less. i wish it was that easy to start your own "business".
Bloat!, which has historically been a site with scathing reviews of popular weblogs, has in recent weeks become a source of excellent opinion and well thought out suggestions. For the first time, MetaFilter gets into the top ten, and I have to say some of the comments are right on the money. I hate posting information about this site on the main page, and T. Radhuis picks up on that. I'll be adding a couple links to the navigation, one being "news' with MetaFilter-centric posts and comments (and yeah, I understand that I just turned this post into another one about MF, I swear this is the last). I don't know about splitting the comments into good and bad, especially since posters would choose which thread to add their comment (which could be abused).