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Forum feels clogged

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by lordofpi, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Naive Jr.

    Naive Jr. Senior member

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    You know you neck of the woods quite well. I think these posters are your best friends and internal consultants. I would encourage them to help you solve the problems they see - put them on your payroll.
     
  2. Coburn

    Coburn Senior member

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    A clothing forum is primarily about visuals, the text is only a supplement.

    Most people here are interested in locating images of interest.

    Google has an image search function. Perhaps that could be adapted to SF.
     
  3. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    To people suggesting that threads are too long and should be locked and restarted periodically...why? This makes it harder to search as if you want to search the shoe care thread for info, now you have to search 10 different shoe threads. If the length just makes it seem too daunting, just go back 10 pages or 20 pages or whatever length does not daunt you and pretend the thread starts there, as that's what your proposed solution amounts to.
     
    4 people like this.
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Some of it is/was self-inflicted, in my opinion.

    How many times and ways can you say "outstanding!" or "fantastic!" or even "Well done" "Well said", or "Wise words, indeed" before such comments lose all meaning and become meaningless blather? Sit yourself down and repeat out loud the word "fantastic" over and over again. Within moment you lose any sense of it except as noise. How many people make such comments simply because they have nothing else...or nothing intelligent to say?

    How many wonderfully clever and endlessly amusing iterations of snarky contempt can rise to the surface without a discussion/forum becoming mired in cynicism and indifference for those very people who, by virtue of their intensity or real life experiences, are the ones who provide most of the substance and valuable information? How many people resort to snark because they are uncomfortable thinking...or thinking about certain subjects?

    How often do people deny a fundamental respect for others that they themselves demand...namely that their comments be read thoroughly and for understanding as opposed to weaknesses that can be exploited in argumentative response?

    In my opinion...and I have administered a web forum for almost 17 years now...it's not the software or its limitations; it's not the way a forum is structured; nor is it the mechanics of administration that causes a forum to lose its way. It's the people contributing. People have been railing against "group think" on Style forum since I've been here--if objectivity is thrown out the window in favour of consensus and mutual congratulation, any forum will degenerate into a "chat room."

    I don't have any answers, if there are any, at all. Just another opinion...
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. Naive Jr.

    Naive Jr. Senior member

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    It's indisputable that a clothing forum is about clothing, and a website is visual. To assert the text is only a supplement is underestimation of the role of thought. All the problems above getting this expanding information organised, and in such a way that certain values prevail, is not visual, but intellectual. The intellect is individualised in the visual, but to get order requires higher levels of reflection. That's why the US government employs philosophers and mathematicians to order data - it's thought in a sphere without clothing or pictures which develops the order of categories.
     
  6. Naive Jr.

    Naive Jr. Senior member

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    Some of it is/was self-inflicted, in my opinion.

    How many times and ways can you say "outstanding!" or "fantastic!" or even "Well done" "Well said", or "Wise words, indeed" before such comments lose all meaning and become meaningless blather? Sit yourself down and repeat out loud the word "fantastic" over and over again. Within moment you lose any sense of it except as noise. How many people make such comments simply because they have nothing else...or nothing intelligent to say?

    How many clever and endlessly amusing iterations of snarky contempt can rise to the surface without a discussion/forum becoming mired in cynicism and indifference for those very people who, by virtue of their intensity or real life experiences, are the ones who provide most of the substance and valuable information? How many people resort to snark because they are uncomfortable thinking...or thinking about certain subjects?

    How often do people deny a fundamental respect for others that they themselves demand...namely that their comments be read thoroughly and for understanding as opposed to weaknesses that can be exploited in argumentative response?

    In my opinion...and I have administered a web forum for almost 17 years now...it's not the software or its limitations; it's not the way a forum is structured; nor is it the mechanics of administration that causes a forum to lose its way. It's the people contributing. People have been railing against "group think" on Style forum since I've been here--if objectivity is thrown out the window in favour of consensus and mutual congratulation, any forum will degenerate into a "chat room." ]

    If you mean the thought should help the posters, and not enslave the posters, I acknowledge this. Thought is an instrument to be used to help the thinkers understand the world.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  7. althanis

    althanis Senior member

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    I agree with this. Doesn't it make the most sense that almost everything about AE shoes can be found in one thread? In fact, aren't most new posts about topics that are covered comprehensively in a main thread simply referred to that main thread?

    The majority of my time spent on SF is actually through subscriptions to about 10-20 threads, and rarely do I ever even get to the main page to read new topics. Not sure if it's a good or bad thing.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    how kind of you to say so, clags. obviously i am always happy to help in any way that i can.

    i guess i am probably not the best guy to chime in on this because i dont really have any issue with how the forum is running. i have the couple dozen threads i read, follow and participate in, and then every now and again i check the main pages to see if anything interesting catches my eye. i should probably do that more often.

    a few things though, obviously the forum should not be set up in such a way as to close off new people looking to be apart of SF, but it should also not bend over backwards to cater to the needs of new folk that just want/demand a quick few answers to whatever is on their mind, and then they disappear never to be heard from again. there should be a certain amount of effort required on a new forumite to understand SF, see what its about, and engage in the community.

    i think there needs to be that perfect balance of welcoming and ease of use to the new man, but without the cost of alienating/frustrating the exiting user base by tweaking the system too much in favor of the new folk wanting everything to be so easy for them. it kind of requires a bit of sacrifice on the part of both sides, and considering that SF is free and fun, i think everyone could stand from a little bit of not getting exactly what they want how they want it, for the greater good of the longevity of the forum.

    as far as the long threads, no one has to read the whole thread to partake. there are many very long and daily updated threads that i participate in. the WAYWRN/WAYWT threads, the watch thread, happy/pissing you off, rock your socks, some affiliate threads, some brand threads.... and i doubt i have read any of them from the beginning. because these threads are constantly moving and adapting to the times or whatever, i find anyone can read a few pages back and get enough of an idea to join in.

    and yes, even ask a question, and if it has been asked before, hopefully there will be enough people who notice that the inquiry is of a new poster, and have the common sense not to have expected him to read 100k posts just to answer his question. and sometimes rehashing old questions brings new life to a topic anyways. the whole fear/anger of ever having a question asked twice or even three or four times, is just silly to me.

    as far as why the fit battles and reviews didnt get more chatter, i wondered about that too. it seems almost like people dont want to be forced to talk about something, they want to generate it themselves. i think its too bad those things did not pick up more steam, i am just as much to blame as anyone else for not participating more. would be nice to find a way for those to get more action.

    lastly, i cant see any need to further split up the forum. there are so many ways to view the forum tailored to your needs. you can subscribe (and get notified or not), and just follow your subscriptions. you can view your profile page and follow only the threads yo have posted in. you can browse the main sub forum pages and even have them sorted in a number of ways. there are no shortage of ways to read and participate based on what you want to see and what you dont want to see. if you cant put in the effort to make that work for you, and need more personalization, i think you need to ask what you can do for SF a little more than what it can do for you. no offense.

    just my thoughts.
     
    4 people like this.
  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm glad that people are brainstorming how to make the forum better. Forum design and policy does affect content.

    But if you really want to get better content on the forum, the best way to do it is to create some of it yourself. Ask not what the forum can do for you. Ask what you can do for the forum. This is way more effective way of improving the forum than directing complaints and demands towards admin, affiliates, or other members. This is Festivus, so the airing of grievances is understandable, and sometimes productive. ButI think part of the reason some past members stopped posting is that they had nothing left to talk about, or no one left to talk to with anything original to say.

    Here's an idea for the taking: How about someone starts a book club? Assign some kind of book on style or somehow related to style (you can start with the list here if you want), give everyone a few weeks to read it, and then start a thread discussing it, with the price of admission being that all posters must read the book first. To share the load, maybe get a group of three or four people together to organize it, with the duty of book selection and discussion moderation rotating among the organizing committee.

    While I'm making suggestions...another way I think threads could be improved is if people made more use of the "thumbs up" button. There are still way too many posts that just amount to "+1" or "thanks". If you don't have anything original to contribute, just press the thumbs up button instead of cluttering up the thread.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
    7 people like this.
  10. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    :)
     
    2 people like this.
  11. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I appreciate your sentiment, Un. But here's the challenge the forum faces: Great posters -- the really great ones -- bring a spark of electricity to the forum. They're aren't just knowledgeable, and they aren't just prolific. They're more than charitable content providers. They're knowledgeable, but more importantly, they're passionate, and they have a specific personality and outlook. The best ones so far, IMO, had tastes that were not formed wholly or mostly by SF and the blogosphere. Guys like Manton, Vox, Foo or even FNB were willing to argue, and argue at length, that their opinions were correct and that others were wrong, or at least incomplete. Perhaps most importantly, they had others to spar with who could hold their own. That's exciting. Brings people back. Ups the numbers of clicks and page views and time spent on page. Without forceful personalities, with a forum population that draws primarily upon the forum as its inspiration, with a forum architecture engineered increasingly toward noobs, you get what we have now, and what Andy's has been for a long time. And that's OK. It's nice, even. People enjoy looking at nice things, and it's nice SF can provide direct access to so many vendors. It is what it is, and it seems to be working. I hope it continues to be successful. But I don't expect great conversation, of the old-school sort, to erupt suddenly. That's why it's so easy for people to follow a few favorite threads -- you know what to expect. (It's revealing, I think, that so much of the discussion in this thread has concerned "answers," as though it's that simple and they're all there in black-and-white in the threads of yesteryear.)

    I could go and start that book club thread, but I expect you'd end up with a book club thread. And soon it would be buried by the affiliate threads and appreciation posts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
    12 people like this.
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Bears repeating..
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
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  13. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Respectfully speaking, if people are complaining about reading 100 page threads, they're not going to read a 100 page book.

    I agree with both what Unbel and Doc are saying. I think there are just different types of posters here, though I'm not sure a revamp can bring the old type of poster back. I get the impression many of them (the one exception being Vox) left simply because they got bored of the conversation and moved on (though at least one got banned). I'm not entirely sure there were people to fill their place, forum change or not.

    I still like SF for what it is. As Doc said, different times, different faces, different place.

    Incidentally, I don't think this is what the original few posters were talking about. I think they were saying there are just too many people/ posts here. I could be wrong though, cause this thread is 4 pages long and I'm not reading all that ish ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
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  14. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I agree with you regarding what constitutes a great poster. Great posters are rare and they have to expend energy in order to make great posts. Everyone is fully within their rights not to post if they decide it's not worth it for them anymore. But I don't think it's due to the forum architecture. A concerted effort was made a year ago or so to recreate the atmosphere of old. That resulted in a number of threads started by Manton, with some good exchanges. Those threads had no trouble attracting attention. Yes, there were some distractions from newer posters upset with the premise of some threads. But it takes 5 seconds to delete those posts if you're a DH and want to.

    Personally I think it's more due to 1) independent of site architecture, influx of new members, so site doesn't feel as private anymore, and the corresponding increase (though certainly not from zero) of posters who just want to receive the wisdom of established members 2) almost all noobs who arrive and question the wisdom of the elders are unknowledgeable or unstylish or both. This has led to established members ostracizing heterodoxy in general. Since novelty is the heartbeat that keeps a good conversation alive, this strategy has led to atrophy 3) some of the limited number of knowledgeable people that wanted to keep talking finding other more private ways of continuing their discussions 4) increasing outlets for publishing thoughtful writing on style, which have pulled efforts away from free and quickly lost posts on SF. The increase of ads and affiliate threads may have contributed somewhat, but I think it's second order compared to these effects.

    This happens to all the "cool spots." First the cool kids start hanging out there. Then other kids start coming. Then the cool kids don't find it so cool anymore and find another place to hang out. This happens no matter where or what the "spot" is and what it does in response to its newfound popularity.

    Anyway, my point is not to guilt older posters into coming back and contributing again. They're free to do as they please. It's to try and encourage less prolific posters to, instead of complaining the that the forum sucks now, try and start a conversation. Something kind of interesting. Not another thread about what to wear to a job interview. Part of the reason I did SF 101 was to try and clear all that stuff out and make room for other stuff that's more interesting. If you do a book club, for the love of all that is holy, do not choose an Alan Flusser book.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
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  15. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The people who could be organized to read a 100 page book with be different from the people who blanche at a 100 page thread. That's kind of the point.
     
  16. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    this is maybe the best point so far. although i came to SF looking for a very specific answer to a very specific question, that is not why i stayed at all. as a matter of fact, after i got my answer i pretty much thought i was one and done.

    it was much more the conversation that was taking place around the forum that kept me engaged. the meat of SF never was, and in my opinion never should be, geared on giving concrete answers to very simple questions. do i wear a tux to the prom, is this a nice tie....

    sure, all that stuff has a place here, and it is useful and necessary, but the real value of the forum is in the conversations that do not end with a clear cut answer. the conversations rooted in ideas and theories, and ones that leave us with a variety of answers, all based on the opinions of knowledgable posters who have posited very clearly why they think their opinion is right. and that leaves the readers and participants to mull it over and try and work out what works best for them and what is most sensible to their way of dress.

    its nice to have a fairly easy way for newcomers to get answers, but that is not what the crux of the forum is imho.
     
    2 people like this.
  17. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I'd like the forum to be better and cater to my needs.

    Can someone succinctly answer how this can be done? (please no snark)

    X-posted in Ask a Question thread.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
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  18. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    Fantastic.

    +1
     
  19. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    i think this is also a very good point, and its one of the things that drives me mad, and almost weekly makes me want to leave WAYWRN for good.

    i dont expect a new member to arrive here and think they look like crap. most people who happen on SF are already into style/fashion in some way, and most people like that think they look good, and most of them dress better, or at least less schlubby, than their friends, and probably get compliments IRL.

    i know i fit right into that. and when i made my first WAYWRN fit pic post i thought i was teh best. but it took maybe a few days at most of reading the thread and seeing other peoples fits, people who had been here for a while, to realize i looked so bad.

    it amazes me how many people arrive here and insist for so long that they are right and and stylish, as if they are blind to everything that goes on around them. sure, there are people that get harsh feedback and try and learn, and they are the people that keep me wanting to stick around, along with the established members that always nice and enjoyable to interact with. but that first group have become almost unbearable.

    maybe this post deserves deleting, as there is no way to fix this phenomena, but i felt compelled to share.
     
  20. Naive Jr.

    Naive Jr. Senior member

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    You are a very idealistic person: "better content...create it yiurself", "ask what you can do for the forum". There are abilities everybody has, but not everybody has had the same possibility to develop. What you refer to as complaint, grievance etc. may need a better formulation. Some problems require training in a specialised discipline to recognize and then to try to solve. The reorganisation or architecture of this website as organism, in a sense living organism, needs thinking which is quite an exertion and presupposes knowledge beyond clothing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013

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