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andrew's avatar

How can we make Fluther better as we grow?

Asked by andrew (16358points) March 11th, 2008

From http://www.fluther.com/blog/index.php/2008/03/10/how-can-we-make-fluther-better-as-we-grow/

First, I want to give thanks to the community. When Ben and I started talking about Fluther in 2006, we never imagined that we’d have such a vibrant community so quickly. So, thank you to our amazing, intelligent, curious, and open-minded users for making Fluther such a wonderful, entertaining place.

I also want to apologize to everyone, both new and old users. When we made the iPhone app, we imagined it as a satellite to the main Fluther experience; we never expected it to be Apple’s featured social networking app for nearly two weeks. As such, we didn’t flesh out the story of Fluther on the iPhone… we assumed people would already know how to use the site. So, I apologize to our new users for not giving them enough tools to really understand how Fluther works before they ask a question.

While I was at SXSW, I followed the various threads, from how we should accommodate new users to how we should determine what questions are appropriate for Fluther. Throughout the conference, I’ve been in awe of how passionate the discussions were and how many wonderful ideas were being generated.

And my heart broke with how many people were frustrated by the site.

So, in that light, we’ve decided to rework the question and response guidelines and make them more accessible for new (and old) users. We’ve re-opened the Man o’ War campfire chat for discussion about the site (feel free to vent).

As we think about how we can maintain our community as we grow, keep this in mind:

It’s natural to be protective of the culture that we’ve created on Fluther, especially as we go through periods of growth. However, in order to protect the culture of Fluther, we cannot create a culture of exclusion. We can’t cross the line from good-natured snark to being rude, because then we not only alienate new users, but we also alienate existing users who become afraid to post because they’re worried that the community will tear them down for asking a “stupid” question.

I’m excited to hear your responses.

And remember, this community is truly awe-some.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

andrew's avatar

Please respond in Man o’ War for all Fluther-related meta-discussion.

andrew's avatar

[edit]:I have to go to bed since I’m shooting tomorrow and Ben is still at SXSW, but we’ll be in and out of the chatroom all day.

I’ve also recently signed up for this thing called the “Twitter”, so you can follow me @semiotomatic.

Spargett's avatar

I wish Fluther had something like Digg that would search your “submission” against things already submitted, and show you the related (and linked) results to weed out wave, after, wave, after wave, of the same question.

And if it’s still a unique question, just click “ask” to continue anyway.

klaas4's avatar

Like beneath the topics-field a text with “These topics returned X result(s) on Google/Fluther”. That would be handy and could help preventing double questions.

For the rest, I think that the quality still rocks!

sccrowell's avatar

I would truly like to read more intelligent question and since that’s not going to happen. Then, the least they could do, is add a SPELLCHECK!

sfgirl's avatar

I notice a lot of people ask “poll” type questions – would be kinda cool to see a polling option.

klaas4's avatar

@sccrowell: You have a spell- & grammar-checker in Word. No need for Ben & Andrew to implement this, I think.

robmandu's avatar

(half-baked rambling)

As the traffic ramps up, it’d be nice sometimes not to drink straight from the firehose.

Perhaps a way to interactively limit the questions that are visible for the user? Using tags obviously, but ideally with the ability to select multiple tags for the filter. The cloud concept (a lá del.icio.us) is useful for determining popularity, of course.

Ooohh… how about a watchlist for quips/questions from your favorite users? Or a blacklist (both tags and for questions from certain users)?

That said, I really don’t like coming up with ideas on how to limit the feed… even to use against trolls. To me, Fluther is all about new/interesting/unusual from all corners. Someone smarter than me can think about using those concepts to help the user find/discover what they know that they want… as well as cool stuff that they didn’t know that they wanted, if you catch my drift.

iSteve's avatar

I think Fluther rocks! Thanks!!!

mirza's avatar

A Podcast would be nice

@sccrowell: most modern browsers like Firefox and Safari have a built in spell checker . So unless you are on the iPhone, you should consider switching to a better browser.

andrew's avatar

(Just to be clear, throw your responses in Man o’ War, if we’re not there, leave amessage and we’ll see it).

Spargett's avatar

That’d be cool to have some sort of live chat window on the side in relation to the question’s subject. Naturally, this is a feature that would get more use as the user base grows.

chad's avatar

Maybe I’m just running into brief errors at the moment, but every time I attempt to visit the Man o’ War page you have linked to, it unsuccessfully loads. Is there any way to fix this?

andrew's avatar

Sorry, I posted a bum link! It’s edited now. No, I just tried it and it works. Comment me with your problems logging in.

jamms's avatar

people on the iPhone use the site like a mesage board. maybe an off topic area for those types, or a way to bury questions. I think organization is key, and right now the blog feel does not work. categories will help keep the site neat and on topic.

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