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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Is the eventual disconnect from a Q&A site like Fluther inevitable?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38980points) May 8th, 2010

I’ve been feeling pretty disconnected from Fluther lately (I’d say in the last month) and it’s not so much because of all the negativity we’ve dealt with previously and now the changes that all of it has led up to. It’s more about (and Alex and I were just discussing this) how it is inevitable that once you know (for the most part) all the people on a site and what they will say and who will argue and who will not…well it all gets predictable and the influx of new/interesting users is simply not a constant (wouldn’t that be great)...and you don’t feel like you get much out of it anymore and you look back and try to see what it was that you did get out of it and the people with whom you’ve formed friendships with (and now you’re facebook friends or what have you)...it doesn’t feel like a break up, Fluther, but it feels stagnant…do you ever feel this way? Do you agree that this happens with every Q&A site that you’ve been on? Probably, I just need to ride this ‘chilling period’ out and eventually new people, new thoughts and all that will come up but how long does one have to wait?

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26 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It’s pretty much like any other community. Once you’ve been in it long enough, you know most of the members opinions on most subjects.

For someone who has a choice between real-life and internet community, the disconnect would be easier. For those of us who have no social life in the “real” world, it’s a different matter. Even the same things over and over are a social link we would otherwise be without.

NeroCorvo's avatar

I go through cycles. I have taken months off and returned.
Perhaps it is just boredom or a need to reconnect with other aspects of my life.
But I do think what you are talking about is entirely normal.

DominicX's avatar

Yeah, I feel like that sometimes and that has happened to all Q&A sites that I’ve been on. Sometimes I post a question knowing exactly who is going to respond what way and it happens just that way. It gets a little boring sometimes. Everyone already knows my views on everything, they know what I’m going to agree with and disagree with and it seems less interesting.

However, I still find questions to respond to all the time.

kevbo's avatar

I’ve been a heavy user for two going on three years now, and very nearly since the site’s inception. For me, I think the major milestones for me have been: 1) learning the art of taking adversarial perspectives in stride, 2) mapping the “universe” of what people think about and how they think, and 3) refining and distilling what I think about every important topic through seemingly infinite iterations of discourse. By no means have I reached the ends of those roads, but I’ve definitely passed the point of diminishing returns. (At least until I decide to dump out everything at start over.)

Lately, I’ve found the latest surge of new users (and the repition of questions I’ve seen many times before) to be daunting, but this is just my perspective and not something I resent or begrudge. I find too often that one facet of my participation is kind of toxic (for me and likely others), and I also am much less inclined to answer questions because I don’t want to deal with all the mouseclicks and decisions to follow or not follow.

I haven’t found the predictability of users to be that big of a deal. Generally, I appreciate the repetition, because it helps me internalize how they think and appreciate their perspectives. (Frequently, this takes time.)

So, yeah, I’m tired but still connected.

gemiwing's avatar

I go through phases. Everything sounds the same, same brilliant people, same idiots, same arguments. Then after about two months it changes. Well, two months was the longest. Sometimes it changes after a week or so. I usually chalk it up to needing a wee break.

filmfann's avatar

I think the disconnect will happen if you fail to adjust to the changes on the site.
I have been struggling with the recent ones, from the way the site works (like the general and social tabs) to the exiting contributers (like AstroChuck, dpworking, and Captain Fantasy).
In the end, this site is not AstroChuck and pals, it’s Fluther.
I will try to stay as long as it amuses me. And, yes, I am struggling with that.

kevbo's avatar

OMG- typos galore. Sorry.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I felt that way about my last site, and I left for a few months while I did my final exams for school. I went back though, because there are always new issues to discuss and new questions to ask. As I go about my day, there are usually about five questions that I really want to discuss, but they never make it to Fluther because I forget by the time I make it to my computer. I think it only stagnates if you aren’t engaging new ideas, and that is entirely in your hands.

casheroo's avatar

I think I’ll start a fight with you, you won’t expect that!

jrpowell's avatar

I have been hanging around ask.mefi for years and it never gets old (I learn tons of weird shit about spinning yarn and perl every day). I think the problems here is that answers are being attacked when the real problem is the low quality of questions.

I’m in the minority here and wish Fluther still wanted to be a place to solve real problems. I don’t care what you think about the new law in Arizona. I want to help you fix your toaster.

So I simply visit less. I have clicked on the meta section today a lot more than any of the others.

Lots of people don’t like me so they are probably like “Thank God!!”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@casheroo ha! that’s true
@filmfann didn’t know astrochuck left – was it because of the perception of no humor on the general questions?

filmfann's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir He said there were several reasons, and that was one of them.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I know you will stay here only so long and to the extent that fluther continues to meet your needs. As I see it, one of your needs is to open peoples eyes to diversity of ways of living and seeing the world and human relationships in particular.

Although you and I differ in many ways, I see value in what you contribute and I suspect you interest will ebb and flow as it does for most of us about many things.

On the other hand, this is a community of people, as disproportionate fraction of whom actually think and express their thoughts reasonably well.

In the “real world” far too few people we meet have the inclination or the ability to think beyond the level required to fulfil their most basic needs.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

A few days ago my finger was hovering over the “delete” button. I got over my anger and I’m glad I didn’t do it now.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence You have a point, my friend.

mattbrowne's avatar

Cycles are normal. But it doesn’t feel stagnant to me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne I am continuing to feel the disconnect that prompted me to ask this q. It has only gotten worse as I believe (and this is only my opinion) that content isn’t as good as it used to be.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – There seem to be more “juvenile questions” which have been asked and answered before in the past and fewer “deep questions” or unique questions. What can we do about this?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne Res (from wis.dm), Alex and I were (yet again) discussing this yesterday over dinner (in an AMAZING restaurant called Sahara Grill in Philly) and I think it’s all about burning out and becoming familiar to people and no one wants to hear anymore what you’ve got to say because they’ve heard it all before. New users show up thinking their questions (and they are, to them) are innnovative and we’ve seen it all before but this isn’t their fault.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – The question is how can we better connect these new people to existing answers. I’m not sure the “siblings” feature is used that much. And I’ll check out Sahara Grill next time I’m in Philly :-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne Is the burden on us to connect them?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – Well, the other day I was contemplating how an FAQ mapping functionality could be made smarter instead of just listing siblings. Most “juvenile questions” are asked 10 times or more. Perhaps they should be moved into a fifth category, so that the normal general and social section contains more unique and deeper questions.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne People will complain even more for having more categories and they’ll say stuff about ‘newbie discrimantion’ and all that bs.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – I guess there’s no silver bullet…

Tangent_J's avatar

Funny, to see these questions after disappearing for almost a year! Glad to see you still around Simone (if you remember my grin from Wis.dm). In answer to your question, unless things have drastically changed in my absence, I could see a stagnation over time.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Tangent_J Good to see you! Stick around, make it fun for me.

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