Science: Explanation versus obfuscation

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by DaveC426913, Mar 3, 2023.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    If I had to guess why SciForums’ traffic has been decreasing, other than the obvious point of other social media platforms drawing it away, it’s likely the lack of new content on a regular basis, and community conflict. For those who complain about the quality of threads and topics, why not post some new content that draws more members interested in science discussions?

    If somehow those two things improved, you’d see more genuine science discussions, an increase in new membership and maybe some former regulars come back to engage.

    Community conflict is probably accounting for 60% of the problem, and lack of new content 40% - just guessing.

    Maybe we should post a survey/poll and see if some past regulars are lurking but willing to chime in. That would give you some insight, anyway, but in a general sense, that’s usually why people abandon forums - lack of engaging new content and community conflict or both. (Other than leaving it for other forums like Reddit, a competitor or FB, IG, Twitter, etc)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I love the variety of content you take the time to post over there. That would probably solve 60% of this forum’s problem if there was that level of diverse content. The other thing too is - no one cares if MR goes off on a tangent about UFO’s. There’s a place for it, there. But, it could be that Scivillage is too hidden away(?), which is why it’s not growing.

    I feel it should be growing by now, considering the level of content that’s posted weekly, but it may just be a visibility issue. If stryder doesn’t care about growing, then carry on. But, it serves as an example at least for us here, of how SF could improve.

    Potentially.

    Edit to add- As an aside, I think Scivillage’s decision not to have a “reaction” feature (the ability to “like” member posts), is somewhat of a deterrent for newcomers. That may sound sophomoric, but studies have shown that having that feature can increase site traffic, on really any social media platform. I don’t personally care, but many people get a little dopamine hit when a stranger “likes” their posts. lol So take that to management, C C! lol

     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Even setting aside the strange phrasing, I honestly can't believe you need this part spelled out.

    To the other, you're also illustrative of the problem you complain about. The underlying point is simple, and its application straightforward, and what makes it complicated happens to be relevant to various stuff you've taken the time to complain about; naturally, your priority is that I explain to you how to create existential peril for Sciforums. The one thing we're not talking about in this, the other, or any thread, right now, is what the point was for, a known precedent regarding a question about site moderation. In its way, that part is unsurprising, but it does remind the question of what lends toward obfuscation↗.

    Because you constantly push it away, Dave. There's always something wrong, over and over and over, again, described with increasingly heroic, mythopoeic, even caricaturized narrative. It's not a difficult conclusion.

    Again, if you might suggest building based on strong principles, rather than letting it wither, why does it wither?
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Do you see any irony here in your own actions versus your perception of the actions of others?
    You are a huge fan of circumspection and coyness when talking about your issues, but you really dislike it when you think other people are doing it.

    Practice what you preach, bruh.
     
  8. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I’m a member of another forum non-science related, and healthy/spirited debate is allowed, but not endless sparring between members. No personal attacks, name calling etc is allowed. Not because members are too sensitive, but because it degrades the site and threads become polluted with stuff that has nothing to do with the topic.

    This might sound like it could become boring without all that drama, but it’s really a fun site that feels inviting and diverse. It’s not an echo chamber. And it’s constantly growing.

    Sciforums isn’t so much an echo chamber but if it keeps shrinking, it will become that, because that’s just human nature. Smaller groups tend to be hive minded.

    Anyway, just stuff to think on.
     
  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    It originally had one, and then got voted off for some reason. It is convenient or less awkward and cluttering than having to make a post performing that function. And even helps to avoid misunderstandings -- as in something being interpreted the opposite of what was intended.
    _
     
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  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Q-reeus is an interesting character because, apart from eccentric bees in his bonnet and some personality issues, he knows quite a bit of science and one can have a decent discussion with him about it.

    Some of our our more obnoxious characters have shown themselves able to exert some self control, on those forums where they know they will be chucked out if they misbehave. Paddoboy for instance, under the handle Beecee, was active on the .net site for a long time without getting moderated. It was only here where he became consumed with personal vendettas, which in the end became unbearable. I expect Q-reeus minds his Ps and Qs there, because he doesn't want to risk getting banned.

    Arfa brane, on the other hand, joined the .net site under the handle SuperSlim and was suspended within a month for rudeness. So it doesn't always apply.
     
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  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    On the .net site you can either up or down vote posts. It's interesting how they use both features quite sparingly. You only get an upvote for a contribution that is considered really noteworthy and similarly downvotes are only for egregiously rude, silly or trolling posts. Seems to work quite well though. It seems one has to get to know the site etiquette in each case - they are all a bit different.
     
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  12. foghorn Valued Senior Member

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    Have Mods nothing to do with the site's atmosphere in encouraging 'discussion'?
    Mods allowing dishonesty and weasel worded members to go on and on creating threads and posting in others?
    Members encouraging dishonesty by 'liking' weasel worded posts.
    Do other site's waste so much time on navel-gazing?
    Metabunk and Naked Scientist seem healthy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2023
  13. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Q-reeus came to SV not long following being banned here, and after circa a year bizarrely "self-exiled" himself over there. The apathy he interpreted or projected upon the reactions (or non-reactions) to his conspiracies and (ersatz?) antisemitism seemed to perturb him more than any confrontations he had at SF with that stuff.

    It was an article about Tucker Carlson being fired at Fox News that sent him over the edge, provoking him to announce that he would never return. Utterly strange, considering that he presumably resides in Australia (or some place in Oceania), and hinted that up until then he had only even known of Carlson in an indirect manner.

    He may have visited here as a subtly mocking sock-puppet last year for some weeks, without being discovered. Certain "personal habits/interests" were still showing through, and he was still expressing fixations about SF at SV -- a sprinkling of "rage against the machine" moments.

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  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm. He may be going progressively nuts. We've seen it with others here. Pity. At one time I had some quite interesting discussions with him.
     
  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    He's still alright in the respect. Just seems to be overly sensitive that many things said/done or not said/done are some kind of slight against his political, ideological (or whatever classification for it) views.
    _
     
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  16. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I know that what you’re both discussing is all part of the overall conversation in this thread, but something I’ve noticed on sites that are still relatively thriving, is there exists a blatant rule against insulting/discussing members who are banned or making other members’ flaws the topic of discussion. SF is rife with that, and it really shouldn’t go on anymore. It’s not helpful or edifying at all, for improving SF.

    For forums in the past that are no longer, I’d say that was the key thing that ruined them, besides people opting for other social media platforms. Constantly putting down other people, it might draw a crowd in the beginning but when it’s happening daily, it slowly drives away members. And…it’s just mean.

    I’m not pointing fingers at anyone here, but just a general observation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2023
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  17. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Good reminder, Wegs. Can't blame some "SF atmosphere" for enticing one into a particular direction, either. It should be part of my regular protocol to slap myself intermittently to make sure I'm not mindlessly wandering off the road.
    _
     
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  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes but it requires enforcement to be meaningful.
     
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  19. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yep - that would require more moderation but it’s like speeding on the highway; after that first ticket, you’re likely more aware to pay attention to the speed limit. So, maybe after a ban for a few days for the first offense, the behavior will improve. Although, there will be those who will continuously push the envelope or “forget” the rule, then they’ll eventually be perma-banned.

    On a small site, that can be a tough rule to enforce but if the site is growing because of the rules not despite them, then it won’t matter to lose a few members who can’t play nice in the sandbox. I’m not really talking about heated debates but rather thread-jacks that meander into members name calling each other, completely departing from the thread topic.

    Anyway, these are general solutions that seem to work on other forums, and when the rules stop being enforced, and mayhem ensues, those forums die a slow, painful death.
     
  20. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    We’re all human, C C! You’ve always been proactively respectful, imo.
     
  21. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I think the key to that is that members need to be able to trust the moderation to be sufficiently strict and interventionist to regulate the discussion.

    For example, I have been fairly tough with Write4U, even to the point of speculating about his mental health. But that's because I can't rely on moderation to to shut the blighter down when he wrecks threads with his constant hijacking and meaningless contributions. If we were on the .net site, he would be shut down immediately for taking threads off-topic - and so I would be content to react only to the science content of posts, in accordance with their rules.

    Here, as a policy choice, the rules are more relaxed and the moderation only intermittent. So we can get infuriatingly irrelevant nonsense inserted into threads day after day. One cannot expect posters to accept that without demur. Either they will try to put a stop to it or they will give up and go elsewhere.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes and thats why this is not a member comportment issue; its squarely a moderation issue.

    If this were comparable to a prison cell, and one cellmate kept pissing in the drinking water, and the guards were indifferent, then they can't blame the rest of the cellmates if they take matters into their own hands - aggresively if necessary.
     
  23. foghorn Valued Senior Member

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    The cards dealt on this site Dave are lump it or leave. You can hear the mods in unison "Where's the locked cell door?"
     

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