Meta Question

Violet's avatar

What do you think makes fluther better than other Q&A sites?

Asked by Violet (6566 points ) December 24th, 2009

I am having a hard time decided on a Q&A site to stick too. I was banned from Yahoo Answers over a year ago, Answerbag drastically changed, and Blurtit seems very childish. I do like fluther more than the others now, because of the structure and look. The under-sea theme is really cute.
Have you tried any other Q&A sites? What did you think?
Is fluther your favorite?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

120 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

If I need a really good answer to a question I go to ask.mefi

I consider this a place to have fun.

Violet's avatar

@Fluthermucker um, could you elaborate?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The only sites I am active on other than this are YA and Cramster. I agree with you about the childishness of Blurtit. I’m beginning to get tired of YA also as the quality has dropped off drastically over the last few years. Cramster is totally serious but I don’t really like the mercenary aspect of it, I participate to help people and my points remain ignored and unredeemed (I hope they expire and go away like frequent flier miles, I’m getting tired of looking at them). Our former home site is no longer an option for me even if it was put back exactly the way it was, I burned my bridges leaving there. I find Fluther to be ideal for me. I had to upgrade the quality of my work back to the academic standard I was used to so many years ago. I like the fact that most of the “chit-chat” is confined to the chat room, since I can avoid it. The social aspect is what gets me into trouble anyway, so keeping them separate allows me to stay out of trouble more easily. I’ve found a home here. I just wish I had known about Fluther three years ago, I would gladly have joined at that point to get out of the “point wars” at the previous site. @Violet – You’re an extremely intelligent lady and I hope you grow to like it here. Fluther needs and deserves you, just a few cultural differences to iron out.

Violet's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land – I honestly tried to get nuked over at AB, I didn’t even make the PB. I was shocked. I’m still debating on deleting my account, but I have friends there who I don’t want to cut all contact with, and in a small way, I’m still hoping it will change back. People are still talking crap about the people who left, so all I do over there is be a brat to those people. You know who’s one of those people? Rosie!
I really want things to work out here on fluther for me. It’s difficult, because there are some rules I don’t like, but I am trying to adjust.
I had never heard of fluther until AB changed.
Also, what you said was incredibly sweet. What you said brought tears to my eyes.. but I am PMSing.. lol

faye's avatar

I appreciate needing to think and I’ve learned so much here about so many things. I’m not into competitions and, while the lurve makes me smile a lot, I’d still be here without.

XOIIO's avatar

How the hell do you get banned from yahoo?

Violet's avatar

@faye people here do seem very educated over here (compared to other Q&A sites). And I agree with you about the lurve.

Violet's avatar

@XOIIO – I asked questions about rabbit vibrators, after they told me not to.

XOIIO's avatar

WTF? nvm

Violet's avatar

@XOIIO you asked, I answered, and then you say “WTF? nvm” to my answer to YOUR question sounds kind of rude to me

XOIIO's avatar

I’ve just never heard of rabbit vibrators, and I don’t think I want to know.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Violet That really surprises me about Rosie. She was always such a “no conflict” person. Since that “lynch mob” incident, I no longer consider myself to have any online friends, only acquaintences. My interest in your field of expertise died on 6NOV, but your wit, charm and intelligence are a jewel in Fluther’s crown.

Violet's avatar

@XOIIO – thank you very much for explaining. (a rabbit vibrator is just a style of vibrator, nothing gross or complicated. http://www.amazon.com/Trinity-Deluxe-Rabbit-Vibator-Pink/dp/B001UFFWH0/ref=pd_sim_hpc_8 )

augustlan's avatar

The top-notch members. Not to mention that great moderation team. ;)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Violet Your answers were never “gross”. Just wonderfully intelligent and informative. I, for one, thank you for the kind of answers that got you bounced off of YA.

jerv's avatar

@Violet They didn’t nuke me either despite me specifically asking AB-Rich to do so. I did manage to get PB’d within minutes of the ne and fuck-proved AB going live after Lex seemed to take something I said literally and personally though.

1) The people here are, on average, more mature without being being suck-up enough to require a stick-ectomy.

2) The staff here actually gives a shit.

3) I haven’t burned my bridges here, so I’m a bit more welcome than I would be if I returned to where I spent the last six years.

4) A picture is worth a thousand words

scotsbloke's avatar

In my humble ( and frankly Daft ) opinion, which site you find favourite would depend on what question you want to ask, and whether you just want an answer or background opinions on the answer.
This place is grown up enough without being up itself, and has just enough fun to keep us coming back. The Lurve thing aside (I just dont gettit really) everyone here who contributes seem to be doing so genuinely and with a bit of thought behind thier answers.
And @jerv Mate, I havent heard the phrase Stick-ectomy since I was a college! that actually made me Laugh out loud. (how many times do we print LOL when our faces never change)
BB

SABOTEUR's avatar

Though I sense a bit of tongue-in-cheek in Sir Augustian’s response, I would have to concur. Upon arriving at Fluther, I carried over a habit I had at my a former site to simply submit my reply without reading anyone else’s (I didn’t want other people’s responses to influence my own). But after reading dalepetrie’s comment in another thread, I began to understand and appreciate the tireless effort by Fluther moderators to make this a quality site.

On the flip side, that quality control prevents me from expressing my more “whimsical moments” (they do seem a bit elitist where humor is concerned), but it’s not really a “deal breaker” for me.

The site is easy to navigate, well organized and the members are knowledgeable, helpful and tolerant (for the most part). I also look forward to the questions selected for me (despite not being knowledgeable enough to answer many of them), my lurve and awards. Above everything else, I’m delighted to have the ability to modify text to emphasize whatever it is I want to say.

I’m glad I didn’t piss off anybody too bad before learning enough to fully appreciate being a member here.

XOIIO's avatar

@jerv That is an epic fail.

@Violet OK I though it had to do with some wierd fetish or something. You know you could ask a question about that here, just put (NSFW) at the start of your question.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I find that my idea of humor fits better on Fluther than it does anywhere else. On previous sites it either went completely over their heads or the sarcasm was taken as personally offensive by some.

Jewel's avatar

@Violet Fluther is a good site, but I am having some problems feeling like I fit here. I will stay for now because I have no place else to go. I have checked out most of the other sites mentioned, but none of the others have anything nearing what we had all become used to, except fluther. Maybe I will become more comfortable here in time.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land: You know, you’re right. I forgot about that.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

answer deleted by user.

XOIIO's avatar

Quoting @Violet ”@XOIIO – thank you very much for explaining. (a rabbit vibrator is just a style of vibrator, nothing gross or complicated. http://www.amazon.com/Trinity-Deluxe-Rabbit-Vibator-Pink/dp/B001UFFWH0/ref=pd_sim_hpc_8 )”

I think we both understand that I just didn’t understand what she was talking about, and didn’t have the best reaction, but meant no harm.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@XOIIO I was composing my comment at the same time you were writing yours. My apology. I have deleted my remark.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

No ads?? Yessss….!!

Cotton101's avatar

@Freedom_Issues You would be correct…actually, had not thought of that!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Freedom_Issues, I agree with you. From a usability perspective, Fluther is very well-designed. The ads are on here, but they’re placed in an interesting way so they’re not intrusive, and are tagged to appear where they make the most sense for them to be seen.

XOIIO's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land No apology nescessary, It’s a perfectly understandable mistake.

Cotton101's avatar

Ok MsV, we been friends for a longtime on AB, and here is my take on Fluther. It is a site controled by writers. I’m no writer! Everyone knows that! Made average grades in college in English and writing. Feel that I’ve a lot of offer the site as I’ve have lots of experience. Have tried to ask, awww, about 10 questions. Everyone but one, was rejected. Don’t like that…so, it is their site, they make the rules… I have taken a long hard look at the situation and don’t think I will spend the majority of my time on this site. Will be looking for a more informal site. Another thing about Fluther, they told me that they would not accept anymore questions on Answerbag…well, that is censorship…don’t like that! But again, it is their site! I can either adjust or leave….will look for a more informal setting that allows freedom of the press. Actually, there are lots of questions I would like to ask, but I’m too damn scared to ask due to the fear of rejection….damn, I’m 63 years old, retired, and sassy…don’t want some person that not even “wet behind the ears” telling me my grammar is bad!!!

Also, while I’m venting here, noticed that the old members here do not really like the AB people invading their terrirtory. If I’ve submitted an answer to a question and there are no AB people on the question, I never get “love points!” Loll..probably someone will say, “your answer is not worth a damn!” Well Hell, you have to answer one good occasionally. Since I’ve been here, what a month now, only ONE person welcomed me to Fluther! Heck, when I was a Senior member on AB and saw the person was in level one, always welcomed them to the site. Don’t feel much love here…sorry, just the way I feel…Feel kind of left out…Sure, as one person said, “you have to earn their respect!” Why Hell, people are people…this is the damn internet. Why should anyone be treated differently. I’m too damn old to earn anyone’s respect!

So Ms V, that is my true feeling about Fluther. At first, went along with their game….now, I’m being myself…so, “be true to thy ownself!” That is what I’m doing…love ya girl…

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Cotton101 My experience here has been quite different from yours, I can’t really explain why. I was warmly welcomed and have felt at home ever since. After a few days, I stopped participating in the AB questions and stayed out of the chatroom. I’ve only been modded twice; once over a question where the answer string took an unexpected turn that I was unable to control, the second time was an answer that I made to a trollish remark which I had also flagged (I also flagged my own response, asking that it be deleted when the trolls remark was taken down).

Perhaps my writing style makes me a better “fit” here, also perhaps my unpopularity on AB has worked to my advantage here, since I don’t actively seek out other ex-ABers. The phenomena of older members vs. “newbies” was also played out at AB, it’s no worse here and somewhat more polite as there is no wretched DR button to torment users with anonymously.

The people who seem to be fitting in best here are those who don’t constantly make comparisons between Fluther and other sites. I for one am incredibly grateful that Fluther exists exactly as it is. I may have a few suggestions for improvements but I will reserve them until I have enough seniority to show that I am a serious and dedicated member of the community, maybe six months or so.

Response moderated
stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Cotton101 No sucking intended. I genuinely prefer it here, even over the “old” AB. I only wish that I had known Fluther existed when I had left AB for the first time in ‘07, would never have returned there.

Cotton101's avatar

well, I’m looking…not comfortable with either as of today! Censorship is not my thing…

mrentropy's avatar

Fluther is my favorite but that’s because 1) I’ve never used another one and 2) I’m here.

Cotton101's avatar

@ mrentropy loll..Yes we are my friend…have a good one!

robaccus's avatar

I have only been here a week but my first impression is that I don’t think it is better. I was on wisdm for a while. There were no thought police (aka moderators) in the background on wisdm. Discussion was open, honest, uncensored, gritty. Freedom of speech prevailed.

Cotton101's avatar

@robaccus will check it out!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Cotton101, Lurve for calling @gailcalled “wet behind the ears”, as she is one of the keepers of grammatical standards on Fluther.

Cotton101's avatar

LOLL..good for you! On one of my post, left out an i in Republican..had spelled it correctly three or four other times..good grief, would have been much easier to have made the change and not send it back…that is taking it over the line…see a “little ego” and power play there!

Thank you PandoraBoxx!

Cotton101's avatar

Pearls, did you change your mind? Oh, there you are!

pearls's avatar

Since I have only been on one other site, I find that I feel that I am back in grade school. I will stick around a while and see if I can adapt. Like Cotton, it is their site and I can either like it or leave.

Cotton101's avatar

@pearls touche Pearls!!!

RareDenver's avatar

@Cotton101 yes, I make this site better than others just by being here, mind my head on your way out ;-)

HasntBeen's avatar

I’ve used almost all Q/A sites, and spent a lot of time on Answerbag and YA!. To me, the main draw of Fluther is that the average IQ in the conversation is an order of magnitude higher. My theory is that the moderation tends to discourage people who don’t have that much to say in the first place, and that skews the Bell curve. But maybe there are other factors, I dunno.

The main annoyance to me is that I’ve never liked fish in any form… :)

Cotton101's avatar

@HasntBeen loll..oh, gotcha…guess I don’t have much to say!

moonchild's avatar

@Cotton101…I feel the same way as you do sweet, I am still testing the waters :)

Cotton101's avatar

@moonchild awww..my day is complete…my friend MC…love ya girl!

moonchild's avatar

Love you too my sweet, have a wonderful Christmas :)

missyb's avatar

The only site I have to compare to Fluther is Answerbag. I’m going to compare it to the way AB was before the change, everyone knows it’s crap now. Fluther is more closely moderated, which is mostly a good thing. The format encourages group discussion, rather than having comment threads that usually become one-on-one discussions, often not even including the person who asked the question. The awards are cute, there is no down-rating, and there don’t seem to be any trolls (at least none I have noticed yet.)

Okay, here’s where I talk about what ISN’T better. On AB almost every time I answered a question I received some sort of acknowledgement, usually points and a “Thanks.” A lot of the time the comments actually addressed what I had to say, and even when it was negative I enjoyed the interaction. Here I almost never get any acknowledgement. I just give my answer and the next person goes on like I didn’t say anything, and the conversation goes on without me. It’s as if I’m in a crowded room and I’m not nearly as interesting or important as everyone else, which very well may be true, but it really makes me feel as though I’m not a valuable member of the “collective.” As a result I spend much less time here, which I guess if I think about it is also a good thing. I’m getting a lot more sleep these days.

silky1's avatar

I’m new to Fluther but I’ve tried all the sites I can think of or know about. Have you tried Askville?

Cotton101's avatar

Welcome Silky..have no been here long myself…no, have not tried Asville, but have heard other mention it…will check it out!

gailcalled's avatar

(If I were indeed the person being referred to, I love being called “wet behind the ears.”* That subtracts at least four decades from my age. Keep those compliments coming.)

The founders of fluther are very good writers; that is why we understand their goals for this site. No one is asking for the Nobel prize in literature; simple clarity will do.

*Originally referred to a new-born baby and means, informally, naive, immature, ill-informed.

flameboi's avatar

we are very funny people :D

Polly_Math's avatar

This is my take: Compared to the site I came from (can I mention AB?), fluther has a more serious, even intellectual, tone to it (though not necessarily a bad thing in itself). It seems like one has to jump through hoops to ask a question, explaining it and so forth, but it also seems like many (or most) people answer just the main question, regardless of the explanation. I have had at least five questions rejected—questions that would have been fine on the other site. For me, it is too heavily moderated and takes too much control away from the members. I had one question that had about 180 answers and was still going strong, but it was yanked completely because it was “going off topic”—I’m used to a much more “hands-off” system. Also, I tend to ask questions more than answer them, so I find it particularly trying especially with the strict question limit. The point system definitely favors the answerers, as I have asked questions with 30+ answers, yet end up receiving points sparingly. So as one who prefers to ask questions, I find this site frustrating at times. On the positive side, I do enjoy interacting with such knowledgeable members and I think it’s a very well set-up, organized site that serves its purpose well. I do miss being able to ask flip questions at times and what seemed like a greater camaraderie. But, for the most part, I do enjoy it, and it should be taken into account that my comments reflect my just having come from a site where I sometimes asked up to 25 questions per day. I remain on both sites for now. They each have their strong and weak points. The site I really miss is the one that no longer exists.

Fluthermucker's avatar

Pretentious old timers who have done little if anything to make me or my friend feel the least bit welcome. My friend just said ‘fuck it’ when she asked a question and was just ripped by the “Old Guard”. She hasn’t been back. I’ve been here a few days and I can see what she meant. Elitist egg-heads everywhere.

I assume this will be removed by moderators.

phil196662's avatar

@Violet – So far Fluther is great but I miss AB’s system but have you been back??? It’s just cluttered but all seems to work Kinda the same BUT… It’s nice here!

TominLasVegas's avatar

Well the answers and the posts are much more mature and thought out then others (see Yahoo Answers). also if theres issues with the question they will give you the chance to edit it,Y!A just deletes it and then marks it against you.

wundayatta's avatar

I recommend you try Askville for another comparison. It used to be very good before it got watered down. There are still many smart people there, and I assume there are some good questions and good answers. It is probably more restrictive than you like, especially considering your interests. At least on fluther we can say “shit” and “fuck.” fluther treats people like adults, even those who aren’t adults.

Regarding welcome mats—I don’t know whether most sites have someone welcoming them or not. I know at Askville there was a self-appointed welcomer. Here a lot of people do it. But I don’t expect welcome. I expect to ear my welcome. But that’s just me. Another example of how I was brought up.

I like it when people do like what I have to say. I like it when people actually like me. If it doesn’t happen, though, it’s pretty much the way the world is, afaik.

CMaz's avatar

“What do you think makes fluther better than other Q&A sites?”

We are here.

Cotton101's avatar

Removed by Fluther moderators.

loll..thank you! know it could not have been very bad…

your honor, we rest our case!

moonchild's avatar

Hey Cotton, what has been removed here??....I see, your comment has been removed,lol…really can`t let you out alone can I, hehe!!

Cotton101's avatar

don’t really know MC…been gone a few hours!

Cotton101's avatar

awww…remember now…they would be correct! not real bad, but a flaming comment!

pearls's avatar

@Cotton101 I saw where it was removed also, but was not surprised. Not that you made the comment, but that it was removed.

Cotton101's avatar

@gailcalled had no idea…but, do now!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have only tried wis.dm in the past and when it went poof, I came here – haven’t had the energy to look at other q&a sites…I don’t think I will ever find anything like wis.dm used to be for me but in some ways, that’s good…

Cotton101's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir thank you my friend…will check it out..hope you are okay…take care!

Zackyy's avatar

I can curse up a fucking storm, but there is one particular aspect of Fluther I think sucks, but I’ll try to keep that thought to myself.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cotton101 there is nothing to check out – wis.dm is no more

nebule's avatar

I feel respected here
I feel loved here
I feel part of a real community here
It’s not just about the questions and answers
It’s about what’s inbetween

Cotton101's avatar

@lynneblundell understood, as my grandfather said many times, “it so shall pass!” Not proper grammar, but he was right! Besides, he was a man amoung men, he was my mentor and best friend. Really miss him!

missyb's avatar

@Zackyy I’m so curious, can’t you give us a hint?

phillis's avatar

I like the moderation. It keeps the site well-oiled and moving smoothly along the tracks. I like being guided so that I can overcome my mistakes as quickly as possible. It gets them out of the way. I like the thought that goes into the questions, and how it encourages me to think in a more streamlined manner, something that is difficult for me. It helps cut the clutter in my head.

I LOVE never having to see another Am I pregnant? question as long as I live. I won’t miss them. There is no DR button. That means, if a troll wants to be a troll, they’ll have to speak up and own the action. Brilliant!

I love how the jellies and the mods rallied around me/us. They welcomed us and were genuinely interested in meeting my/our needs. I’ve been very impressed with the effort I’ve seen on my behalf in particular.

I love how organized fluther is. There are no intrusive ads or uncaring owners.

Fluthermucker's avatar

~Speaking of lurve…geez, get a room.

phillis's avatar

Well, okay…..but you’re paying for it :)

Violet's avatar

@XOIIO – lol, I guess if someone didn’t know what a rabbit vibrator was, it could sound very weird!

Cotton101's avatar

cool MsP…but, I’ve made up my mind…I’m still on AB and will give them a chance to change the system. This site is just not my “cup of tea!” Does not mean that it is not a good site, for some people, it is…just not me!

phillis's avatar

@Violet I didn’t know what one was either, until this thread! Sounds delicious, though :)

@Cotton101 I will miss you! I understand how you feel. It isn’t for everybody. I hope you will at least keep your account here so that I can find you when I need you! I won’t ever be on AB again.

gailcalled's avatar

Why not swap email addresses?

phillis's avatar

It’s a great idea, gailcalled, but there is a good reason I cannot do that right now. You had no way of knowing that, though.

Violet's avatar

@Cotton101 – HI! have you left AB?
@phillis it is my fav. I got one for $20 on Amazon, And was galicalled talking about us swapping e-mails? I’m confused

phillis's avatar

I suppose her comments would apply to anyone wanting to keep in touch offboard, Vi. But I got a virus several months ago that mailed out a bunch of crap to everybody in my address book, so I deleted everyone to protect them. Whenever I email someone, I have to dig for their addy which takes forever.

Violet's avatar

@phillis oh that sucks! Lonelydragon asked a question asking where you were: http://www.answerbag.com/a_view/8559087

Violet's avatar

@Zackyy I know! How great is that!
@lynneblundell that is very sweet : )
@ChazMaz could you please elaborate?
@daloon I didn’t know about the welcomers! That’s cute. I checked out askville, but didn’t wow me
@jerv those are very great reasons. I hated the pregnancy questions!
@SABOTEUR I have not tried emphasis yet. (that was my first time). I was frustrated
with the moderation here at first, but I’m over it.
@Cotton101 all of my questions were rejected, but one. You can also try blurtit, some ABers are there, but the site is so-so
@missyb I agree, there are rarely thank-you’s here.

Violet's avatar

@Jewel I feel like that too, but I’m going to give it some time.
@TominLasVegas oh don’t get me started on YA…
@Freedom_Issues it took me a while to even notice there were no ads!! But I love it
@gailcalled I had no idea! That is very impressive

dalepetrie's avatar

As @SABOTEUR pointed out, I have written about this on other questions, but let me try to succinctly say what I like about the site.

1) You can say whatever you want, you just can’t attack anyone.

2) If someone gets out of line, the mods are available 24/7 to do whatever is necessary within minutes.

3) There is no expectation that lurve will ever be worth anything, nor is there a “leader board”, which means that no one competes, no one withholds lurve because then that person might get a better score, no one can take lurve away from a person to retaliate, no one is setting up fake accounts or colluding with others to artificially inflate their lurve score, and even if one tried to do this for whatever reason, you can only earn 100 lurve points from any other single user…as such no one here is trying to compete or game the system and lurve feels more genuine and real than points, because it is freely given as the spirit moves a person to do so.

4) Unlike other sites where I could go through dozens of pages of questions before I found one of any interest, every day questions of interest are posted, and even the questions in which I’m not interested are intelligently phrased, thoughtful and not rife with spelling and grammar errors, because the mods strive to create this type of experience for the users by eliminating chatty questions, poorly spelled or phrased questions, duplicate questions, stupid questions, joke questions, self promoting questions and rhetorical questions. The questions you see here are a legitimate attempt to start a discussion or to solve a problem.

5) Unlike other sites, the first few answers to any question are expected to be serious, in order to give the asker a chance to get his or her concerns addressed, before people start to crack jokes, but once a reasonable amount of time has passed and/or some good answers have been posted, then you’re open to use any sort of humor, language or whatever, no limits, you can have fun, it’s just that the mods recognize there is a time and a place for fun and games and a time and a place to be serious, and though that may seem like over-modding to some, it really creates a site where you can expect quality in every discussion.

6) If you’re politically liberal (as I am), you are in the vast majority on this site. If you’re atheist or agnostic (as I am), you are in the majority on this site . This site is full of people who think and believe the same way I do, with similar values and ideals. However, if you are not these things, you will also find that people here are open minded, and willing to hear you out. Everyone can find himself in the minority here on one issue or another, but no one tries to stifle dissent, dissent is actually cherished here, as an opportunity to explore other ways of thinking and to give fodder to conversations and intelligent discourse.

7) People will honestly and openly disagree with you, and will support their arguments for the most part with intelligent, fact based discourse. You do not find that this site attracts the type of person who just wants to win the argument at any cost, and if one stumbles on this site, they are usually driven away quickly, just by virtue of the fact that people here can sniff BS a mile away and know what to say to diffuse it.

8) Because unlike many sites, this one is not designed solely to make a profit, not only do you have a lack of advertising, but you have a lack of attitude on the part of moderators. Whereas mods on the other sites treat you like an annoyance if they need to step in to mediate a dispute and would rather let you hash it out yourself because time is money, here the mods make nothing save for a small commission if someone links to Amazon through here and actually buys something…they basically volunteer for the job and do it for the love of the site and what it represents.

9) The creators of the site actively solicit feedback from people here and genuinely care what you have to say.

I could go on. I love this site, and I think what it boils down to is this. There is no other place on the internet (or in real life for that matter), where I can attain this high a level of honest, intelligent and open discourse on this broad of a base of topics. I feel the advice and answers I am given are intelligent, well thought out and useful, and I get to see the world from a variety of points of view. I never feel that I’m arguing with a brick wall when I encounter someone who does not see eye to eye with me. I feel that I am a trusted and respected member of a community. Bottom line, for me, this feels like home…it’s some place I’m compelled to go several times a day. And I wasn’t wild about some of the moderation at first. I too asked my own “is this censorship” type question way back when I first came on board and was a bit taken aback by being moderated. But when I realized it’s all about quality, and that mods were always willing to listen to my concerns and discuss the issues until we found common ground, I felt a hell of a lot better about it, and I can honestly say I have no desire to check out any other Q&A site.

Fluthermucker's avatar

@dalepetrie That’s exactly what I was going to say. Word for word.

Violet's avatar

@dalepetrie I enjoy some silly question, or pole-like questions. I do like that there is no down rating. I’d write more, but I am super tired. Thank you for your wonderful answer. I will try to make a better reply tomorrow. Have a great night!

dalepetrie's avatar

@Violet – I’ll be looking forward to it. And yes, I agree I have no problem with silly or poll like questions, but I think it’s a small sacrifice and I can definitely see how it would diminish the overall quality of the site if they were allowed. It can seem piddly when one gets removed, especially to the person who posted it, or the person who was having fun answering it, but it’s not about that one question, it’s about in total what this site would become if such strict quality control were not employed. I know someone here posted a real non sequitor question here and I thought it was hilarious and I responded with my own non sequitor answer, even got a few GAs out of it before it was taken down…I think that threat could have been a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t want 20 questions a day like that to be added to the fray, it would get old real quick. Same with poll questions, it might be nice to ask a simple question like “what color is your hair”, but again, you allow one, you have to allow them all and suddenly you have 20 questions a day which don’t lend themselves to discussion, just a simple yes or no, up or down, black or white one word response. I guess I see it this way, I like water, and I like wine…this site is like a fine wine, and though I wouldn’t mind having a glass of water AND a glass of wine, I’m not going to pour the water into my wine, it dilutes it. Everything about the wine that I loved is still present, it’s just that I can’t enjoy it as much, it’s been diminished by adding something to it.

andrew's avatar

Someone remind me to write a blog post about this sometime.

I (and of course Ben and Tim) created the culture of the site to be nearly exactly what @dalepetrie describes; a place that is, above all else, friendly and thoughtful. We modeled the culture after ask.mefi, but with the distinction that it would be accessible enough for my parents to use.

Every cultural decision we make is designed to balance quality and accessibility. It’d be a lot easier to “democratize” the moderation and let the community downvote/algorithmically remove/do whatever the hell they want. This doesn’t work. Madison understood that in Federalist 10.

Or it’d be easy to only accept helpful questions, with nothing off topic. It’d certainly be easier on the moderators.

The moderation level and experience has been an experiment on the fact that I believe that our userbase can and does understand nuance in terms of content; that many times “quality” can’t be solved in a specific set of distinct rules. We don’t have a code of laws.

The culture here is also set up to discourage the noise of the internet. You know, that drive that often comes from loneliness, and a need to be acknowledged. I get it. I’m a lonely person, myself. But ultimately, it’s misguided. It’s precious. It’s not thoughtful.

I get frustrated by the quality sometimes on the site. I get burned out. The moderators get burned out. I think we need to continually address chattiness and provide avenues for it that don’t detract from thoughtful conversation—that is, provide avenues for the individual to express him or herself without detracting from the group.

Because ultimately, Fluther is a business. But something that is useful, something that is thoughtful, something that is accessible—is valuable. Truly valuable. Of this I am sure.

I was going to write about how we, as founders, are uniquely capable to solve these problems—with a distinct array of knowledge from algorithms to semiology to belief in the power of the written word and the ability of a well-told story to shape culture. But I couldn’t get the words right.

All I can say is that we have put our blood into this project—and by we, I mean the collective. The moderators. The staff. The users.

And it shows.

HasntBeen's avatar

Well, @dalepetrie—- I think you said it quite thoroughly and accurately (in my limited experience)—and I was only able to see one error in that entire lengthy post! ( you said ‘diffuse’ when you meant ‘defuse’) :)

Cotton101's avatar

@Fluthermucker LMAO…that was a great comment! But, awww..shut up Cotton.(beep beep, calling the little men with white coats, Cot is losing it)..must keep my class and dignity! loll..but, do see where humor is needed!

Cotton101's avatar

@phillis i’m sure gailcalled meant that to be a positive comment, but my paranoid attitude makes me think differently. Loll..oh course, she is not “wet behind the ears!” Just kidding Gail..would like to apolgogize for my “semi-obtuse remark” said in an earlier post. After all, it is Christmas and if it was’nt Christmas, should not have said that!

gailcalled's avatar

Any community that is getting long in the shanks has a common law that becomes clearer and clearer.

For example, we use the GA and GQ method (and private PMS) instead of thanking everyone on a thread, on the thread. And we try (and I don’t always succeed) to keep the personal chitchat just that.

@Jonsblond and I will continue to annoy all and sundrey by our use of Finnish, and for that, I apologize in advance. Pahoittelen.

HasntBeen's avatar

Bod gless you!

Trissinger's avatar

@missyb I so hear you about speaking to people as if you’re in a huge room. If I get to a question after a few days, I don’t know if I should bother to read the whole damn string of conversation before posting one single comment or if I should simply go ahead and answer the initial question.

But if I answer the Q without reading all that’s above (I read about ½ of what’s above, so who knows ~what~ I’ve missed?), its almost certain that I won’t get a response. Yeah, I don’t mind talking in a crowd, but I do miss the one-on-one discussion you can get on AB. (I’m mostly there now, though its pretty quiet… guess ‘quiet’ can be bearable, though, as long as one or two intelligent minds are still about.) I hate the ‘colour scheme’ there, but like that personal interaction—- I can’t live for long without that.

@Cotton101—- thanks for heading me to this question, Cotton. :) I hadn’t known that could be done. Would be great to see you ‘back over yonder’ (along with the rest o’ ya!) if you can stomach the site—- is improving by infinitesimally tiny increments, over time…

Violet's avatar

@daloon you are so right. It is only a small price to pay, not having silly or pole-like questions. I was so pissed the first 3 times questions sent back for editing. But after that, I made sure I asked a question properly.
I do like how there aren’t tons of pages of questions. That way, there are very few unanswered questions.
One thing that has really been bugging me, is that I still don’t know what the Atlantis awards are.

Cotton101's avatar

loll..oh, lots of experts here! geezzzzzzzz so much for being nice!

phillis's avatar

I hear you, Cotton.

Cotton101's avatar

Hey MsP, some get an apology in advance..loll

phillis's avatar

How…......thougtful? HAHAHAHAH!!

mattbrowne's avatar

The wonderful work of our moderators.

phillis's avatar

It’s true. We DO have some excellent mods here. Credit should always be given when it is due.

HungryGuy's avatar

What makes Fluther better is the notifications of new answers, not only answers to your questions, but new answers to others’ questions that you’ve answered. That’s what makes for lively discussions and makes people keep coming back to the discussion!
.
That other Q&A site has restored notifications of new answers and new comments to your questions, but not new comments to others’ answers that you’ve commented on, so there’s very little discussion going on over there. They said they’re going to fix it, but they’re sure dragging their feet doing so…

nebule's avatar

I love this place but I’m leaving for a bit..I love you all.. xxx take care in the meantime xxx

HungryGuy's avatar

@andrew – I’m curious about how you see Fluther as a business. When I think of a business site, I think of Amazon or Ebay or Network Solutions or even (can I say it?) Answerbag with all their *&#$ adverts everyhere. A business exists to make money. I see virtually no advertising on Fluther. You don’t charge a fee or even ask for donations. So how is Fluther a business?

augustlan's avatar

@HungryGuy There are actually ads, but not for members who are signed in.

@lynneblundell We’ll miss you, girlie.

HungryGuy's avatar

@augustlan – I like that idea, you have ads, but you can turn off ads by becoming a mamber. Cool! Still, you can’t be generating much income that way. The income you get from ads must barely offset your hosting costs.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Violet(drum roll please) ...and why do you want to make rabbits vibrate? :-p

andrew's avatar

@HungryGuy Actually, it’s a business decision. Members are much, much, much less likely to click on ads. We do pretty well right now.

HungryGuy's avatar

@andrew – I like that business decision! But you must have a lot of non-member lurkers for the site to make any kind of profit whatsoever from just advertising!

phillis's avatar

Whatever works best for you both, Andrew. I know you guys recently made quite a tidy sum with fluther. I’m pleased that you’ve experienced success with your site! It does seem to me that you and Ben work toward a balance that benefits both you AND the users of the site. Besides the fact that it’s rare, it’s also what maintains loyalty. That you guys are able to realize that and respect it is to your benefit. I am sure fluther will bring even better successes in your future. That is my hope for you, anyway.—

andrew's avatar

@phillis Well, if by “made quite a tidy sum” you mean “can now afford to pay yourselves non-profit salaries after supporting the site for two years,” then I’d agree with you. Of course, your congratulations mean the same. Thanks!

phillis's avatar

I know all about that! We opened our own business 7 years ago, and are still working on reacing that monetary comfort zone. Starting a business is incredibly taxing on your resources. It takes throwing everything you’ve got at it to make it work. I’m glad it is beginning to show a return for all you’ve had to invest into it :)

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

You can go back and comment on your own question. You can write as much as you want for a question, and I like that they demand you to put details. I just like Fluther better. People are more open on here. I still go on Y!A but they are a little more vicious, and they restrict you a little too much. I like how people can answer your question how many times they want

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