@mignondefleur I have a hard time labeling things “the best” as that’s such a subjective judgement. I spend time on Fluther and on Sodahead.com. I’m a veteran of the genre, having previously abandoned several other social Q&A sites in disgust, and having several additional ones closed down, thereby abandoning me. Currently, I spend far more time on Fluther than Sodahead.com, so I guess I like it more.
Why? Because the discussions are much more philosophical and reasoned here. Sodahead is dominated by RWNJs and the political and philosophical discourse often gets crude and moronic; with school-yard taunts and strings of off-topic insults substituting for meaningful discussion of ideas and exposition of facts. I post on Sodahead.com in hopes that receptive minds will read what I have to say. I rarely even check back for all the hateful hectoring my [posts get.
Here on FLuther, I fully engage; and thouroughly enjoy doing so. Sometimes I win, sometimes I learn I am wrong, and am able to correct an error, and occasionally we just have to agree to disagree. But in almost every case, the discourse is so much more useful than the silly name calling on Sodahead that I guess I can break with tradition and declare openly, Fluther is best. :-)
It’s a nice community and it’s not Yahoo with a shit ton of people with their heads shoved so far up their self righteous religious asses that they don’t even think it’s worth the time to discuss something with someone who is outside their religion (and in some cases denomination), because, “Deity [REDACTED] is always right even though it’s book written by man and Deity [REDACTED] is better than your Deity [REDACTED] because either a) it’s the “incorrect” version of Deity [REDACTED] or b) your Deity [REDACTED] is false. And if you’re an atheist you’re just wrong.”
The diversity of the conversations. I like that many subjects can be explored freely, and that I don’t get banned for writing essays about zombies on a site that isn’t about zombies. So yeah, as many said, the people and their community. Without them, there wouldn’t be a vast amount of topics to explore.
I think that fluther is a top notch site for philosophical discussions, decent writing standards and the lack of riff raff. Also even though politics are not the main topic of debating on here like they are on sodahead, the quality of political debates are still much better on here than they ever were on sodahead. A typical sodahead response to a well written political post was either countered by some stupid anti-Obama picture media or the typical anti-Obama echo chamber rhetoric on there.
I do some occasional blogging on a handful of other sites when I want to concentrate on a single topic. I like to use Scepcop for paranormal topics where I can get an equal amount of input from both sceptics and psi investigators. I also like Prescott’s blogs for posting about certain books and articles where I can get a decent discussion going about those things. I generally use fluther the most because I think that it is a good all around site.
@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard My god Yahoo Answers is horrible, about as bad as they come. I have an account on there but I havn’t logged in for several months now. My writing skills and spelling isn’t necessarily great but some of the users on these sites are pretty bad. It is also filled with trolls, like the type that brag about how they ‘beat someone to death and had gotten away with it’ variety. I did take a look at Answerbag recently though I’ve never had an account on there but it seems like another version of YA, filled with trolls and posts that I can’t even read, let alone understand.
@Symbeline I’m not saying that I disagree with you since you obviously know the site much better than I do. However I find it so hard to believe that AB was a quality site at one time from what I’ve recently seen of it. Geez the site is a troll’s haven, half of whom can’t even spell a word like when. If the day ever comes when I don’t want to post on fluther or sodahead anymore I wouldn’t even consider starting an account on AB. Those changes that everyone talks about on AB must have been extremely drastic.
@Paradox25 I can corroborate @Symbeline‘s testimony 100%. I was on Yahoo! Answers till I got fed up with completely false answers routinely getting voted up to top choice awards. I was loving making some cash answering questions on Google Answers, but Google suddenly just shut the operation down. I spent time on Propeller.com till AOL bought it and, as they seem so skilled at doing, destroyed it and had to shut it down. That is how I got to AnswerBag.com; so I already had a good bit of Social Q&A experience upon arrival there. Furthermore, my day job is developing Web sites. I am a Yahoo! Small Business Partner and build mostly Yahoo! Stores. I ‘ve been in the Web development business since 1998. So I think I know whether a site has a fun GUI or a gooey GUI. And I am here to tell you that AB was great fun till the site owners “improved” all the joy out of participating there.
It wasn’t just @Symbeline and me that felt that way. There were about 200 AB members that jumped ship and went through the painful series of operations required to transforms a homo sapiens into a Cnidaria. Medusa.
@Paradox25 Oh no, I can understand why you might question my saying that AB was decent, from what it is now. Now don’t get me wrong, it was decent, but nowhere near the level of a place like this, when it comes to intelligent discussions and exploration.
That’s not to say that there wasn’t any such things, or any cool people. There was, and some great people are still there.
Thing is, the site was big, so wanting it or not, there was a lot more fluff and crap going on…but it had its strong points. A small place like this can’t really suffer that fate, because the staff can control what goes on and keep the site on track. I don’t think big places like AB or YA can do it as easily. And unlike YA, AB at least_tries_ by trying to get members to have debates, and offer things to debate about…you can lead a camel to a can of beer, but like, you can’t make the beer drink…something. XD
What the change did though, in part, was make it even more available to even more people, so obviously you get more of the bad.
It would be arrogant of me to say that the few good people left. If you search around hard enough, you can find some good material. But having to swim through questions and questions of trollery, nonsense and fluff doesn’t make the worth. The change was drastic indeed. I’m not exactly sure of the technical factors that were used or why, besides what I may observe and then connect to my weak knowledge of web programming and understand of online communities, but just take my word for it, what you see now on AnswerBag was not what it was a few years ago. It’s like two totally different sites.
@Symbeline I really miss HasntBeen. He was a brilliant and articulate guy with a gift of incredible patience for stupidity of others in a debate. His gentle touch sometimes actually won over a right-wing ideologue. He came over here with the rest of us n the Great AB migration. He still has an account here, but hasn’t been active since 2010. He went back and is toughing it out on AB.
@Symbeline Don’t even get me started on all the great people we ended up leaving behind. But there are more than enough wonderful people here to compensate. Recalling what AB was during its glory, and contrasting it with what Fluther.com is today, I am glad I switched.