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**Forum Revival: Official Discussion Thread**

bsh1
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9/11/2015 4:07:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Aloha, DDO!

Reviving the Forums was one of the most important priorities among DDO users according to the survey I recently conducted [http://www.debate.org...]. I am creating this thread to have a productive and constructive discourse on how best to go about reviving the forums.

Just to point out a few ground rules, personal attacks are not permitted in this (or any thread). Criticisms of myself, my programs, etc. is completely fine and welcomed, but only if that criticism is polite and has constructive components. Criticism that is solely derogatory is not helpful. And also, while I am open to hearing any suggestions whatsoever, I am particularly interested in ideas that I can implement on my own authority or with the aid of Airmax and the other moderators (i.e. ideas that don't require Juggle's assistance).

Currently, I am thinking of a program that would enroll prominent users and would involve them posting OPs of their own on a regular basis, but would also have them comment on other OPs throughout the site. Feedback here would be more than welcome. I would also take this opportunity to ask for constructive feedback on the biweekly topics program.

Feel free to comment with any thoughts, concerns, criticisms, ideas, or suggestions. Thank you!
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bsh1
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9/11/2015 4:46:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I will also be opening myself up to questions on this and related topics in the midterm update.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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ShabShoral
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9/11/2015 4:58:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
How will a "program" help? If members want discussion, they can post threads freely already. The only reason they don't is because they don't view it as worth the effort, which I doubt will change just because it's part of an official revitalization effort.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

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"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

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Romanii
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9/11/2015 5:58:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I second what Bossy said. Prefixing things with the word "official" doesn't make them more likely to succeed. There's no way to enforce the expectations of programs like this, "official" or not. All you can really do either way is plead with intelligent people to contribute stuff and hope they oblige.
mishapqueen
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9/11/2015 6:18:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Yeah, I'm not sure if forum revival can really happen as part of administration. I think we just need to have members who think up interesting topics.
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TBR
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9/11/2015 6:30:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There has been, since I joined, a slight "us them" between the forum and the polls. I think it surprises some members who frequent the forum that the polls have some of the better conversations going at any given time.

Natural ebb and flow? Perhaps. I know the reason I have less love for the forum is the interface. I have been making a effort to use the forum more, just forcing myself to deal with it, but I can say at this point, the polls have some of the better content on the site.
bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:18:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 4:58:27 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
How will a "program" help? If members want discussion, they can post threads freely already. The only reason they don't is because they don't view it as worth the effort, which I doubt will change just because it's part of an official revitalization effort.

I think that's a rather pessimistic outlook to take. Better to try and fail than to not try at all. Only if you try is there a chance of success.

That being said, the reason people don't post as much is because there is very little high quality discussion. It's similar to supply and demand, almost, where if you have a low supply of good forums, there is a low demand to post. So, by artificially raising the supply, we can hopefully spark some more interest, demand, and activity.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

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bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:20:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 5:58:26 PM, Romanii wrote:
I second what Bossy said. Prefixing things with the word "official" doesn't make them more likely to succeed. There's no way to enforce the expectations of programs like this, "official" or not. All you can really do either way is plead with intelligent people to contribute stuff and hope they oblige.

Again, you're being overly pessimistic. I make no claims that the idea will succeed, but I think that one should at least try. Nor did I suggest that prefacing things with the word official would have any particular effect. It's not what it's called, it's more what it does. And sure, I can't enforce something--I am not a mod. But, for better or worse, I am a community organizer of sorts, and so that is what I am doing: organizing.

I would appreciate, rather than a slew of pessimism, to have some positive suggestions as well.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:21:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 6:18:53 PM, mishapqueen wrote:
Yeah, I'm not sure if forum revival can really happen as part of administration. I think we just need to have members who think up interesting topics.

It would be my goal to try to organize members to put together some good topics.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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Open Debate Topics Project: http://www.debate.org...
bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:22:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 6:30:17 PM, TBR wrote:
There has been, since I joined, a slight "us them" between the forum and the polls. I think it surprises some members who frequent the forum that the polls have some of the better conversations going at any given time.

Interesting. If the us-them dynamic could be overcome, it would be interesting to get poll users engaged in the forums.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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OberHerr
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9/11/2015 7:24:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Similarly to what others are saying, I don't think a program like this would really help.

Some people, me for example, just aren't interested in certain things on the site. I don't really go to the politics forums anymore. I don't get in big forum discussions on forums I used to when I was active in the past.

It's just how it is. Some things that could be done to encourage it are maybe just posting controversial topics, but even then it's up the users if we want to post or not.

Another problem is often times major topics that used to be discussed to hell have been beaten to hell arguing-wise. And newer people posting them often get bombarded by one side or the other.
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bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:26:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Okay, let me ask this another way: why are the forum's not as active as they could be? Diagnose the problem.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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TBR
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9/11/2015 7:26:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:22:30 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/11/2015 6:30:17 PM, TBR wrote:
There has been, since I joined, a slight "us them" between the forum and the polls. I think it surprises some members who frequent the forum that the polls have some of the better conversations going at any given time.

Interesting. If the us-them dynamic could be overcome, it would be interesting to get poll users engaged in the forums.

It was said by another user (not calling him out) that the forums are too insular. He thinks that the cliques have been defined in the forum, with little "room" for the outsider. I am not agreeing with that, but can understand his reasoning.
bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:26:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:24:52 PM, OberHerr wrote:
Similarly to what others are saying, I don't think a program like this would really help.

See my above comments.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:27:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:26:15 PM, TBR wrote:
At 9/11/2015 7:22:30 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/11/2015 6:30:17 PM, TBR wrote:
There has been, since I joined, a slight "us them" between the forum and the polls. I think it surprises some members who frequent the forum that the polls have some of the better conversations going at any given time.

Interesting. If the us-them dynamic could be overcome, it would be interesting to get poll users engaged in the forums.

It was said by another user (not calling him out) that the forums are too insular. He thinks that the cliques have been defined in the forum, with little "room" for the outsider. I am not agreeing with that, but can understand his reasoning.

Yeah, I wouldn't agree with that reasoning at all. Perhaps in the religion forum, but nowhere else really...
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:29:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I would also love any feedback re: the rest of the OP.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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Jonbonbon
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9/11/2015 7:29:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I disagree with the position that we need to just wait for someone to come up with interesting topics. There needs to be intentional action in order for this to happen. I agree with bsh1. The forums are kind of dying out, and having some sort of team of members who have the active goal of coming up with topics to discuss would be very beneficial. Of course, those aren't the only posts that get made, but if we have people puttin in an active effort to make this happen, it's more likely to succeed.

Besides, what do we gain by waiting around for someone to post something we personally find interesting?

If this thing becomes an actual thing, then I will personally volunteer to join and do my best to come up with something other than my usual forum topics (like troll posts and "hey I'm back again" posts).
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TBR
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9/11/2015 7:30:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Yeah, I wouldn't agree with that reasoning at all. Perhaps in the religion forum, but nowhere else really...

You may not agree, me neither, but I don't think he is alone in his perception.
bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:31:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:29:31 PM, Jonbonbon wrote:
I disagree with the position that we need to just wait for someone to come up with interesting topics. There needs to be intentional action in order for this to happen. I agree with bsh1. The forums are kind of dying out, and having some sort of team of members who have the active goal of coming up with topics to discuss would be very beneficial. Of course, those aren't the only posts that get made, but if we have people puttin in an active effort to make this happen, it's more likely to succeed.

Besides, what do we gain by waiting around for someone to post something we personally find interesting?

If this thing becomes an actual thing, then I will personally volunteer to join and do my best to come up with something other than my usual forum topics (like troll posts and "hey I'm back again" posts).

Thank you :) Agreed.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:31:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:30:38 PM, TBR wrote:
Yeah, I wouldn't agree with that reasoning at all. Perhaps in the religion forum, but nowhere else really...

You may not agree, me neither, but I don't think he is alone in his perception.

Any ideas on how to counter that perception?
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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ShabShoral
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9/11/2015 7:32:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:18:24 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/11/2015 4:58:27 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
How will a "program" help? If members want discussion, they can post threads freely already. The only reason they don't is because they don't view it as worth the effort, which I doubt will change just because it's part of an official revitalization effort.

I think that's a rather pessimistic outlook to take. Better to try and fail than to not try at all. Only if you try is there a chance of success.
I guess everyone should try alchemy then - who knows, you may succeed in getting gold from stone!
That being said, the reason people don't post as much is because there is very little high quality discussion. It's similar to supply and demand, almost, where if you have a low supply of good forums, there is a low demand to post. So, by artificially raising the supply, we can hopefully spark some more interest, demand, and activity.

Why hasn't anyone done this of their own accord then? You're literally saying that, by making threads, good discussion will follow. If that's the case, why is anyone discouraged from making threads because of "low demand", if demand would automatically rise in response to a thread?

The option of making threads has always been open. People aren't using it for a reason.
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ShabShoral
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9/11/2015 7:33:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:26:00 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Okay, let me ask this another way: why are the forum's not as active as they could be? Diagnose the problem.

Because the members don't want them to be active, no matter what they say - they're just not invested anymore, and nothing can change that but them.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz

"No aspect of your facial structure suggests Filipino descent."
~ YYW
OberHerr
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9/11/2015 7:34:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:26:00 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Okay, let me ask this another way: why are the forum's not as active as they could be? Diagnose the problem.

Some forums are pointless to have

Funny, Arts and Entertainment should just be the same. Or gotten rid of and have misc as their main.

Society, Economics, News, and Politics could be all combined.

Tech and Science could also be combined.

Even if the names were all just changed to things like "Tech and Science".

There are too many forums that are redundant or never used.

Heck, philosophy and religion could be combined into one thing probably.

Maybe not all those combinations would work, but there are many forums that are pointless to have as they rarely have any discussion and just serve to space out the posts too much. DDO doesn't get enough traffic for how many forums it has.
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TBR
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9/11/2015 7:35:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Okay, let me ask this another way: why are the forum's not as active as they could be? Diagnose the problem.

Well, you are not going to like this one.

They are virtually unreadable. It is a tech problem. The interface that "worked" in the 90's has long since been replaced. I can't think of any other forum that looks like this. All the re-quoting, and "pages" make it impossible to read a thread that has any traction.

If you happen on a thread with say, 30 posts, it is near impossible to read comfortably, and impossible to jump in.

Changing the habit of replying with all previous text quoted would help, but it is a band-aid on a bigger problem.
OberHerr
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9/11/2015 7:36:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:33:47 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 9/11/2015 7:26:00 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Okay, let me ask this another way: why are the forum's not as active as they could be? Diagnose the problem.

Because the members don't want them to be active, no matter what they say - they're just not invested anymore, and nothing can change that but them.

And this. A lot of people used to constantly argue in the politics section. I was one of them.

There was always discussion there. Similarly with religion and other major forums. The problem is, people get bored. They don't want to talk about the same damn subject again. It just because beating a dead horse.

And as of now, we don't have many new users who feel they want to discuss. Thus, stagnation.
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bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:37:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:32:48 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 9/11/2015 7:18:24 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/11/2015 4:58:27 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
How will a "program" help? If members want discussion, they can post threads freely already. The only reason they don't is because they don't view it as worth the effort, which I doubt will change just because it's part of an official revitalization effort.

I think that's a rather pessimistic outlook to take. Better to try and fail than to not try at all. Only if you try is there a chance of success.
I guess everyone should try alchemy then - who knows, you may succeed in getting gold from stone!

Snarkiness is hardly productive, and the analogy is false anyway. Alchemy is provably wrong, but a program like this is not; only through trial can its effectiveness be assessed.

That being said, the reason people don't post as much is because there is very little high quality discussion. It's similar to supply and demand, almost, where if you have a low supply of good forums, there is a low demand to post. So, by artificially raising the supply, we can hopefully spark some more interest, demand, and activity.

Why hasn't anyone done this of their own accord then? You're literally saying that, by making threads, good discussion will follow. If that's the case, why is anyone discouraged from making threads because of "low demand", if demand would automatically rise in response to a thread?

Shab, a lot of users aren't interested in generating threads; they're more joiners. Others are discouraged by what they perceive as a drop in forum quality, and that perception becomes self-realizing. Whatever the reason (and I am not particularly interested in the "why" here), the basic notion of the program is sound enough to be worth a sincere try, even if you don't think it's likely to succeed. Sheer negative and refusal to act can get us nowhere.
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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

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mishapqueen
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9/11/2015 7:38:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:21:28 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/11/2015 6:18:53 PM, mishapqueen wrote:
Yeah, I'm not sure if forum revival can really happen as part of administration. I think we just need to have members who think up interesting topics.

It would be my goal to try to organize members to put together some good topics.

Just seems too forced. DDO is supposed to be for fun and it just seems a little like work rather than fun to me.
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Nunc aut Numquam
bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:38:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:34:22 PM, OberHerr wrote:
At 9/11/2015 7:26:00 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Okay, let me ask this another way: why are the forum's not as active as they could be? Diagnose the problem.

Some forums are pointless to have

Sure, and I'd have to be selective about those forums to try to revive, because it's not going to feasible for a handful of people to tackle them all at once. But, perhaps by trying in a few forums, we can test the idea.

Heck, philosophy and religion could be combined into one thing probably.

No.
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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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Jonbonbon
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9/11/2015 7:39:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:24:52 PM, OberHerr wrote:
Similarly to what others are saying, I don't think a program like this would really help.

Some people, me for example, just aren't interested in certain things on the site.

Implying that in some possible scenario, you would be interested in something on the forums (since you're in the forums right now and are talking on a forum, I'm going to remain confident that's a safe assumption). However, you're not going to find anything interesting on the forums unless someone's making an active effort to be interesting on the forums.

I don't really go to the politics forums anymore. I don't get in big forum discussions on forums I used to when I was active in the past.

That's not really a relevant comment since you can't necessarily apply it to a largely significant number of users.

It's just how it is. Some things that could be done to encourage it are maybe just posting controversial topics, but even then it's up the users if we want to post or not.

If it's a controversial topic, people will post.

Another problem is often times major topics that used to be discussed to hell have been beaten to hell arguing-wise. And newer people posting them often get bombarded by one side or the other.

That's a statement I actually agree with, which is why I think it's actually important for older members to post different topics to promote different discussions. For example, we have another presidential election coming up next year. I'm pretty sure Donald Trump is the only one who's been beaten to death, and that was definitely his fault.
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bsh1
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9/11/2015 7:39:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/11/2015 7:33:47 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 9/11/2015 7:26:00 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Okay, let me ask this another way: why are the forum's not as active as they could be? Diagnose the problem.

Because the members don't want them to be active, no matter what they say - they're just not invested anymore, and nothing can change that but them.

Sometimes you have to prompt people to take action, Shab. They may want something, but lack the impetus to act. It's human psychology here.

Look, I am really not interested in hearing you repeatedly tell me it's impossible. You've made your point known, but what I am looking for is constructive feedback.
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