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filmfann's avatar

What are your thoughts on the changes coming to Fluther?

Asked by filmfann (48083points) April 12th, 2010

In Monday Night’s Town Hall meeting, Andrew and Ben revealed the startling changes coming to Fluther!
This includes the introduction of RichardHenry, who is the new Social Czar. He will attempt to rein in off topic discussion, and unnecessary stuff. The Fluther Gods will also attempt to seperate the serious from the lighthearted questions, and will get rid of the seperation of “Start a Discussion” and “Solve a Problem”.
That is, if I remember correctly.
What do you think? What else was discussed?
this question is SO Meta!

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60 Answers

escapedone7's avatar

Unfortunately I had a family emergency that caused me to have to leave during most of the meeting. I was hoping someone could fill me in on what is going to happen. Do you know if there will be a transcript available or something so I could know what I missed??

filmfann's avatar

I assume Dog is preparing one. He seemed like that was his position there.

judochop's avatar

Change is a good thing, most of the time.

filmfann's avatar

It is if it’s your underwear. It’s not if it’s your favorite website.

Bernard's avatar

They’re planning for a trial period, I think I heard 2 weeks. That could be just a number randomly pulled out of someone’s head though.
Give it that trial period, then complain about change.

Everything needs to evolve. Perhaps this iteration they’re planning is not going to work out right, but that’s okay, they can revert.
Nothing is static.

I look forward to seeing their ideas put into action. I’m not afraid of them breaking anything. If they have a feature I dislike, I’ll rationally address it.

Cruiser's avatar

this will be interesting!

MayBear's avatar

Though i was not at the meeting, and i a newbie, from what i have heard of the changes i think they will be good. I was very confused on the whole Start a discussion and solve a problem because i think all questions are both solving a problem and starting a discussion. I think that tagging needs to be worked on more and maybe have more choices. But thats my own person opinion.

richardhenry's avatar

Hey guys, to clarify: I’ll be working with Fluther on the user interface design and on software development—I’m not a moderator or community manager. I’ll be working out of the Fluther office in San Francisco (eventually), which involves an international move!

Anyway, the title “Quality Csar” comes from the fact that I’m using my perspective as an ex-community manager to make changes that will improve the quality of content on the site by helping people to use it in a better way. (I also come from running a web development company myself, so all of my previous work has been in user experience and interaction design.)

The moderators will still be moderating, lead by community manager Lisa.

Hope this clears this up a bit.

richardhenry's avatar

Oh, and the changes we’re planning to make will be iterative, we’re not overhauling the entire site. We’ll take in your feedback along the way; but please be patient and know that we’re listening.

@MayBear A transcript of the meeting will be available soon.

chels's avatar

To be honest, I’m excited. I think it will be nice. There’s been a lot of crap going on lately, and I think that new changes will be something positive and something to look forward to! A lot of times people just don’t like ideas because they don’t understand them fully or just don’t like change period, or well for 100 other different reasons. Andrew, Ben, and Tim have never steered us wrong before or at least I don’t think so, so really.. What do we have to be afraid of?

Also, congrats @richardhenry! <3

thriftymaid's avatar

I missed it. I come here for fun. I don’t expect answers to life’s big questions from a site like this. It’s already a little too heavy and serious. So, yeah, I’m curious as to what the changes will be and to which direction they will take the forum.

Vunessuh's avatar

Everything is fine, except I don’t really care for the separating of serious questions from the light-hearted/funny questions. Who says that a light-hearted question can’t have a serious answer and that a serious question can’t have a light-hearted answer? Seems like they are trying to control how we answer questions which I don’t like. If something is completely irrelevant to the topic and/or rude/offensive then just flag it and move on. I don’t see the need for such separation. In my opinion, it discourages freedom of speech and it is also a matter of perspective. What I find helpful may not be helpful to someone else. What I find serious, may not be serious to someone else. What I find funny, may not be funny to someone else. (Unless of course, like I stated, the quip is offensive and/or attacking a member or completely irrelevant which would be considered off topic.) If not, we should answer how we want to.
Also, the asker can put in the description of the question that they are only looking for serious answers. Anyone who doesn’t comply can be moderated (as most already are.) There is no need for a separate category.
If this does happen, I’m curious to know what type of questions will be featured on the main page.

Also, congratulations @richardhenry.

Dog's avatar

I am really happy about the idea and am eager to see how it works. I love the fun side of Fluther and will be happy for a place to just kick back and hang. We have a great time in chat but not everyone likes the chat format.

I also equally like that if a person has a question that they really need a response to it will be addressed.

CONGRATS RH!

richardhenry's avatar

@Vunessuh Sorry if it wasn’t entirely clear; the goal here isn’t as clear cut as separating light hearted and serious questions into two sections. I think it’ll be a little unclear to a lot of people until we actually start to slowly make changes and you can really see where we’re going.

Just know that we’ll be listening to everyones feedback along the way, and will be making changes one-by-one, this isn’t a gigantic overhaul.

YARNLADY's avatar

It sounds great to me. I’ve always wondered why people insist on giving nonsense answers to legitimate questions. Example: Q: What are some good tips for losing weight?
A: Cut off your head. How is that the least bit helpful or funny?

MayBear's avatar

@richardhenry thank you and congrats :)

augustlan's avatar

I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to see it in action!

Vunessuh's avatar

@richardhenry Okay, thank you. :)
@Dog or @augustlan – does this mean that more ‘fun’ questions will be allowed that may be considered poll-like questions?
@YARNLADY Nope, not helpful, but I did chuckle. Humor is still a matter of perspective and since everyone’s sense of humor is unique, it’s a tough issue to dissect.

augustlan's avatar

@Vunessuh We haven’t worked out all the specifics yet, but I’d say it’s likely that some questions that don’t fit the guidelines as they are now will have a place in the social section.

jeanmay's avatar

I love Fluther and trust that the powers-that-be have based their decisions on careful thought and extensive feedback. I look forward to seeing the site evolve, and if it doesn’t work out as hoped the chief jellies will be the first to admit it!

@richardhenry Congrats to you.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I don’t know that these new measures are going to produce the intended effect.
We’ll see how it pans out.

bob_'s avatar

At first I thought they were going to separate the questions completely, but I see that they won’t, so I’m curious as to how it’ll work.

I’m also curious as to where the money to hire @richardhenry comes from.
* scratches head *

bob_'s avatar

@richardhenry Guess they call it venture capital for something. Good luck!

gemiwing's avatar

I tried to stay awake and failed miserably. So it looks like I’ll have to wait for the transcript to even have an idea of what the hell you guys are talking about. Separate sections? Hmmm. I need more details.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m not sure how things will get implemented and if they will work. But in almost three years of being here I have seen two things. Most ideas are well done, and second, they are willing to undo things if they fuck it up.

I have faith.

rangerr's avatar

I’d just like to chime in that Dog is not a he..

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Personally, I can’t wait to see the changes take effect.

Berserker's avatar

Wait and see I guess. As long as the changes don’t present any restrictions, should be fine I suppose.

also lol, czar

bob_'s avatar

@Symbeline I know, right? Hehe, “czar”...

Though here’s to hoping that he does better than the U.S. anti-drug czar.

ubersiren's avatar

I’m skeptical. I’m not thrilled about separating the different questions. I don’t think lighthearted questions (or answers) are what’s wrong with this site. In fact, I like the dynamic of them on the front page. But I’ll wait and see.

andrew's avatar

@ubersiren I agree, that’s not the whole problem, either. But in order to really crack down on moderation, we need more restrictive guidelines.

rangerr's avatar

In all honesty, I don’t think it’s the site as much as it’s the users.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@rangerr: Amen, my sister, amen.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

I’m all for making the site better but I guess I get a little weirded by Flutherites who want to see the site take “action” against comments that aren’t deemed to be serious. In reality, almost every question asked on this site has an answer somewhere on a search engine of some sort. Other than the “does he like me” questions. For that you can consult the 8 Ball. Fluther, in my opinion, is about a bunch of people from all walks commenting as they see fit. If you don’t want smart ass answers use Wiki. Oh, and thicken the skin.

YARNLADY's avatar

@TheLoneMonk I suggest the answers that say “Hi (other user) it’s so good to see you” or “Ho, Ho, I will make fun of this asker” are the ones I hate

ubersiren's avatar

@andrew Guideline clarification, yes. Separating questions… I dunno.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I’ve been gone for awhile and when I came back things were very different. If anything can be done to make it more fun and community oriented that is what I vote for. There are already a bunch of YA type sites out there. Of course I’m still a bit confused about what happened while I was gone and what is about to happen.

YARNLADY's avatar

@RedPowerLady Could you be a little more specific about “different” and “what happened”?—I agree, but they need examples.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@YARNLADY I could be more specific but not sure I can express it. I do know that it is harder for me to find a thread that I can really get into. And harder for me to connect with people like I used to. Not sure why but maybe the influx of “how-to” questions etc.. I don’t want to assume that is it though.

YARNLADY's avatar

@RedPowerLady If you can think of – or see- any questions or quips that fit what you are saying, please send the URL to me.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@YARNLADY Of the ones I like or the opposite of like ;) ?

YARNLADY's avatar

@RedPowerLady don’t like – would prefer to not see. Unless you think the opposite would be an example of the do instead.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@YARNLADY Well I was going to PM you but just go to the front page and choose every other question.

RedPowerLady's avatar

okay that sounds a bit harsh and I don’t consider myself a fluther complainer b/c I really enjoy fluther, but things really have changed, and it is much harder to connect IMO

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

If it makes the site too confusing to use, I’m gone. As Fluther seems to be my last online refuge, I’ll have to pull the internet plug entirely. The Town Hall transcript was utterly confusing, I hope whatever action comes out of this is clear and comprehensible. As things stand, the “meta” thing is confusing and I can’t function in a chatroom environment. Anything more along those lines and there will be no point in my remaining here. I don’t attack people and rarely use any kind of humor. I see this whole thing as being punished for the wrongdoing of others. So be it; I have a shelf full of books to read and a thesis to write. I’ll give the trial period a chance, but am fully prepared to say au reviour, with sorrowful regrets.

I should add that having Aspergers Syndrome, I find any change from confortable surroundings threatening. Losing an autistic dinosaur is probably no great loss to the collective, I’m just a semi-newbie anyway.

bob_'s avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I think you’re an okay dude who adds to the discussions in which you participate. I hope you stay.

Now drop and give me 50.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@bob and another ten for the SF badge~

richardhenry's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land The changes we’re going to make will actually simplify the homepage quite a bit; this isn’t about adding more things. I look forward to your feedback when we start to make changes—we’re listening!

Sophief's avatar

I just hope it doesn’t change like Answerbag did.

Dog's avatar

@richardhenry When might we expect to see some of the new changes? :)

free_fallin's avatar

I read through the transcript and agreed with most of the problems that arose and with the solutions that are coming forth.

As a newer user, I’d like to say this: on questions I have mostly felt very welcomed by everyone. However, in the chatroom it’s been very easy to feel completely left out. It isn’t so much about the inside jokes as it is about people just ignoring you completely and not even saying hello. Now this was only true of a few of the so-called veteran users. I’ve found the moderators to be the most welcoming out of anyone on this site, which leaves me with big smiles. One such helped change my picture for St. Patrick’s Day. I see this same sort of cliquish behavior all over the site but not as much as I see it in the chatroom so I am able to ignore it mostly by just staying out of the chatroom, which I’ve done lately. The feature where we can now see who is chatting before entering is ideal for me since I choose to ignore certain veteran users who frequent the chatroom.

Other than that, I take fluther for what is: an internet site with the potential for becoming whatever the owners and users make of it.

Berserker's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I’m confused too. Hope you stick around though.

gemiwing's avatar

@free_fallin It’s not just new users who don’t get a hello in the chatroom. I have found the Fluther chat to be different than most chats I go to. The flow is quite a bit different as is the etiquette from most chats. It’s not just you.

I’ve read over the suggestions and I’m hopeful that this will help. I’m excited to have separate areas so those of us that like a dryer QA experience can have that, while those that enjoy a bit of fun can have an area as well. I do think this will tax the mods a bit and worry about that aspect, yet I trust you all know your own limitations best.

I hope that the changes can help restore some quality to answers, which I personally feel has taken a turn towards a more joking angle as of late. While I enjoy a good laugh, I do worry that answers aren’t getting the kind of responses that would keep enough of those disenfranchised from more snarky sites coming back for more. I’ve found myself itching to hit the flag button more lately. This isn’t a new thing for me, as I’m quite the fuddy duddy, yet it’s been happening with more frequency as of late. This could be due to personal situations on my part, I’m wiling to admit.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’m getting this creepy deja vu feeling. I’m hearing the same noises that were made just before the site I was formerly on made itself unusable and unrecognizable. I’ll give it a chance, but I’ve got my parachute handy. I waste too much time online as it is.

@Symbeline Do you know of any sites friendly to both Goths and classical music loving Aspies?

Berserker's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I have NOO idea lol, but one must exist somewhere. I’m sure it does.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Maybe a chainsaw collectors site?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@gemiwing I have no problem with Fluthers chatroom per se; I can’t function in any chatroom. Too confusing and fast-paced. Too much like conversing F2F, which I utterly suck at. I need structure and simple rules.

Fragmenting the site and creating multiple sets of rules depending on the nature of the question will utterly destroy any enjoyment I have. At least put all the rules in writing before implementing them. If I sign in and find something I can’t navigate, I’ll be gone, no second chances. And, damnit, leave the “delete account” button alone!!!

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