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Kayak8's avatar

Could one of the reasons we don't have more users be the users?

Asked by Kayak8 (16433points) February 5th, 2013

I figure since we had a great stab at the mods all around, perhaps a more apt question was the one I composed above (actually, I cut and pasted and changed the last word if I am telling the truth).

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45 Answers

janbb's avatar

(Love the topics!)

Mods? users? Probably both; we are a quirky little site.

Shippy's avatar

Yes, some are clearly bonkers (users) others are gems.

But what can we do? We can hardly shoot them? I think some need a public spanking!

ucme's avatar

This can only be answered on a personal level, wide sweeping analysis is nothing more than conjecture, so here’s my two penneth.
I don’t see my attendance here as being determined by the patrons or the establishment, i’m here because I want to be & by gum, ya stuck with me…for now :¬)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

It may be because there are a bunch of animals running amok on the site. We’ve got a lot of dogs and cats, a penguin, and let’s not forget all those damn jellyfish.

Sunny2's avatar

Of course. People may join hoping to find something specific and they may not find us their cup of tea. I don’t think we should change in order to attract everybody. From what I hear (I haven’t visited), there is a lot more negative confrontation on other sites which don’t have such strict moderation. That’s fine for them as want to live like that (sic). I prefer more polite company.

FutureMemory's avatar

I certainly hope so.

filmfann's avatar

I checked out the Fluther site 9 months before joining. I remember being very intimidated by the amount of Lurve most people had. If I could change Fluther, I would allow people to still get lurve, but it wouldn’t display it by peoples names on every question. It would only show on the jellies personal page.

Blondesjon's avatar

Not so much since the restraining order.

tinyfaery's avatar

Sure. I do my best to get rid of the annoying ones, but they persist.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

On a more serious note- could one of the reasons we don’t have more users be the zombies? I mean, really, they’re out of control.

marinelife's avatar

Overall, I like the range of personalities in the community.

josie's avatar

I think Fluther, in the end, is sort of like the Shakers.

Eventually, it will chase everybody away that does not agree with the Fluther notion of How The US Should Be, and/or Who Should Be The Ultimate Supreme Political Party Forever.

A few people like me hang on because we sort of like the action. But I know I will not linger forever.

And then, the ones left will grow old and die.

And after that, dead air.

glacial's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate But then membership would increase exponentially, no? Of course, most of the responses would be “GRAAAAGH”, but still…

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@glacial Don’t make me eat your face.

wundayatta's avatar

No, I don’t really think so. I think the tone of the site is the responsibility of the owners. They are the ones who implement the policies that make it what it is. I think the success and failure rests mostly on the owners.

However, I do think it rests on us to some extent. I know I try to encourage the kind of discussion I like to see. I am not in favor of officiousness, but I do like serious and humorous discussion. I’m not fussy about language and grammar. I think we are capable of understanding more than many of us like to pretend.

Having said that, I do like precision. I like people to make it as clear as they can what they are referring to, instead of using imprecise pronouns where it is unclear which he, she, or it they are referring to. Name names, I say.

I also like people to use a certain style of interaction and play. So when people are smart and respectful, I think they should get the benefit of the doubt even when they say things most people don’t approve of. But when they say stupid things, I think they are fair game for derision.

A lot of people don’t agree with me there. They think people who say stupid things should be given respect, too. Ah well. I know what they mean, to some degree. But I guess it makes a difference what you think is stupid.

Anyway, there are a lot of smart people around, and they do seem to stick around. It’s harder to break in when you are new and you don’t know the past history.

I would love to see a blog of strategies for handling various problems that people typically encounter here. Like what do I do if I believe in god and I want to say that without getting clobbered. Or what do I do if I don’t know how to spell very well? Or what’s the deal with lurve? What’s the deal with the mods? Who can read pms? Why is lurve so hard to get? What’s with the prizes? How do I write a good question? Etc etc. Love to see an assemblage of collected fluther lore and history and how to be a good jelly advice.

Seek's avatar

@filmfann That’s actually a really good idea.

Shippy's avatar

@filmfann agreed. Great idea. Stops things getting too personal.

hearkat's avatar

I’ve been on earth and the interwebz long enough to have realized that no one thing can appeal to everyone. When it comes to forming groups and communities, we do so based on a sense of commonality. Those who come to Fluther – or any site – and stay, do so because they “clicked” with the existing community in some way.

The greatest threat in keeping new folks who might fit in well is how the history that already exists between members of the community only serves to remind the newbies that they’re new. If current users can ease up on making inside jokes or interacting on very familiar terms with each other on public posts, it could help reduce the sense of “cliquishness” that new people often complain about when checking out a community – online or even in person.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Mama_Cakes What is annoying to some may not be annoying to others. It seems kind of mean to try to get people to leave just because you don’t like them.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@jonsblond Okay. I hear what you’re saying.

tinyfaery's avatar

Lighten up. It’s just the internet. Annoying ME is all I care about.

Blondesjon's avatar

<— Annoying ME

blueiiznh's avatar

I think it’s because of the happy brownies.

Buttonstc's avatar

I would be curious to know if anyone here has found a participatory site where one who is a newcomer is NOT acutely aware of this for an initial period of time even tho it’s not the specific intent of the veteran participants.

I haven’t found one yet. That’s just the way it is on the net. But in most sites if you stick around and participate, mind your manners and don’t keep poking at people and accept whatever is THEIR way of doing things, then pretty soon before you know it, you’re an old timer.

I’ve found this to be the case on every site I’ve ever checked out but if you’ve found one that’s different, please be sure to let me know .

Seek's avatar

@Buttonstc Some fora that I enjoy have mandated ”lurking periods” in which a newcomer has to observe for a required number of log-in days before they are allowed to participate in discussion, and then, their first ten posts or so must be reviewed by a moderator before appearing in the thread.

No spam or trolling to be found there.

Kayak8's avatar

@Buttonstc I think you may be on to something, I only wish it could work that way in the virtual world.
@Seek_Kolinahr The mandatory lurking period with first posts moderated might be a suggestion that would actually work on Fluther . . .

Seek's avatar

Well, the review-before-post might work, but I think most first-time users are here to ask a question. So requiring they wait a week or more to ask a question might turn them away before they even get started.

Buttonstc's avatar

The review before post is not a bad idea at all (and I do remember seeing that at a few sites, now that you mention it). I just wonder if that might not add too much to already overburdened mods here. But if not, then I think that would-be a terrific idea to implement

But Seek is right about people not wanting to wait a whole week just to ask a Q. I remember reading comments from numerous members who’ve stated that they initially came here just to get the ans. to one Q and decided to stick around.

Seek's avatar

The lurking period thing is specifically useful for discussion fora that tend to attract flamers. A Q&A site is a different animal entirely.

Buttonstc's avatar


Talk about feeling like a newcomer ! Being forced to lurk would really do the trick on that score :)

But that does serve to illustrate my point more precisely. All these newbies who come here complaining about being newbies, are being more than just a tad disingenuous as if Flutter is the only site where they feel like that . Good grief.

The same thing happens in groups in real life too. It doesn’t necessarily mean people are being cliqueish and excluding you. It’s a pretty standard part of the process that when you, in fact, are a newcomer that you’ll inevitably feel like one for awhile. So what? Just get over yourself and participate as if you have every right to belong (which you do) and stop focusing upon what a newcomer you are. This ain’t rocket science here; it’s not a big esoteric mystery.

And if you’re constantly pissing and moaning because you’re not getting the recognition (points, lurve, whatever) that YOU think you deserved, then people are going to be far less likely to give them to you for no other reason than you’re being such an asshat about the subject

Seek's avatar

^ Bingo.

wundayatta's avatar

If there were an enforced lurking period, I seriously doubt we’d have any of our long time, verbose posters. They would have been off somewhere else where they could participate immediately. I know I wouldn’t be here. Of course, that’s probably the best argument for many of you about why we should have a lurking period. ;-)

Seek's avatar

Don’t make me tickle you.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I lurked here for months prior to posting, @wundayatta, so I seriously doubt you’re correct on your assumption. I was already participating in another forum. This one was/is so vastly different from the rest, I felt like lurking was the best way to dip my foot in.

SamandMax's avatar

@Shippy “Yes, some are clearly bonkers (users) others are gems.
But what can we do? We can hardly shoot them? I think some need a public spanking!”

Clearly you’ve read far too much of the ol’ Fifty Shades of Shite. Oh I mean Gray. Sorry. Gray. Yes.

Earthgirl's avatar

@Shippy Maybe I’m in the minority here but I think we need the users who are “bonkers”. I like that Fluther is like real life. A crazy stew. When conformity reigns, forcing those who don’t “fit in” to be banished, the life goes out of it all. But that’s just me, I love eccentricity.

wundayatta's avatar

@SpatzieLover You’re helping me make my case. You’re not really one of the more verbose posters. People who write a lot are generally impatient to have their say and wouldn’t wait a week. I think I asked my first question the day I joined. I don’t know how many answers I had that day. But I’m not a lurker. Never have been. Never will be. I participate or I’m out of there.

Out of curiosity, why did/do you lurk? How can you stand reading things that are demanding to be straightened out without straightening them out? It seems like more and more people are saying ridiculous things.

Earthgirl's avatar

@SpatzieLover I miss your voice. I enjoy what you have to say. You haven’t been posting much lately, or am I just missing your posts?

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree @Earthgirl. I have noticed you are less present @SpatzieLover and it’s good to see you here now.

Shippy's avatar

@Earthgirl Agreed. Nice bonkers is great. Nasty time wasting I hate everyone bonkers not so stimulating. Yes?

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