TDP community manifesto

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fennel
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby fennel » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:37 pm

christopher_robin wrote:When people know your real name and everyone is paying to be a part of the community, some very powerful dynamics snap into play. Responsibility. Owning your words. Privacy.
I would add torpor.

I think what you're looking for is Facebook.

christopher_robin
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby christopher_robin » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:22 pm

Facebook does not require a real name, is it not gated, and it does not charge for admission.

So, no, that's not it at all.

Henry Vilas
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:26 pm

Are you the real Christopher Robin?

christopher_robin
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby christopher_robin » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:35 pm

Hell yes.

Created the longest running thread in TDPF history. Battles with "Sheppy." Perpetrator of weird photo montages to advertise gigs. Fan of Marvell, my favorite writer here unless we include the aforementioned snoqueen or staffers jjoyce and Kenneth Burns.

Go on, ask me anything, H.V.

(Good to see you are still here.)

Ducatista
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Ducatista » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:47 pm

christopher_robin wrote:Here on TDPF most of the posts tend to be, well, like the one you just made. Sneering. Vicious. Ugly. Insular. Defensive. Closed to any way but gradually increasing entropy. Lazy. Without ideas. Negative, not positive.

And it's funny, that's not how I remember you. Is that who you want to be? Is that what you want this community to be like?

Geez, man, where've you been hanging out, if my post struck you as vicious? You pictured a mugger's sneer, but I was wearing an annoyed eyeroll. Didn't mean to shake you up. (Though I kind of like being thought of as a tough. Me and the teachers...)

You were serious about gating, I'm serious about your moving back and carving out your own slice of neighborhood charm. My phrasing was snotty, but the suggestion was sincere. Which, to answer your question, is exactly consistent with who I've always chosen to be here on the forum. The other qualities you graciously listed—ugly, lazy, defensive lifer, and the rest—are just incidental.

Do you think a gated TDPF would attract the smart, funny, empathetic people you'd like to rub pixels with? Some, I suppose. Others might prefer to dice it up in a more inclusive setting. Are you hoping you'd make the cut, or would you be happy just knowing such a virtual Galt's Gulch exists?

Henry Vilas
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:54 pm

christopher_robin wrote:Hell yes.

Sorry, my semi-facetious question had to do with the A. A. Milne character. So how is Winnie-the-Pooh doing?

Do you really think a forum with only real names is viable?

Btw, I'm not the real Henry Vilas. He's been dead and buried for a long, long time.

gargantua
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby gargantua » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:11 pm

Well, hell, let's give it a try. I'm sure nothing is going to make the Forum livelier than to read posts from a former, or perhaps more appropriately semi-retired Foron. I just can't get enough of hearing how great it was in the old days, and how the Forons who posted then were so much more clever and wise than the pathetic Forons of the current day. And even better, to pre-emptively accuse us current inferior Forons of being vicious and defensive because we have the nerve to be offended by the condescension.

So do it. Round up the old-timers and you can all go on about how great you are.

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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby christopher_robin » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:50 pm

I am encouraged and heartened by Duca's post. Thank you for the reply.

There was never really any hope for "Gargantua." So no loss there.

As for "Do you really think a forum with only real names is viable?"

Um. Read around a bit.

Henry Vilas
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:02 pm

christopher_robin wrote:As for "Do you really think a forum with only real names is viable?"

Um. Read around a bit.

No doubt, some are. As for this forum transforming succcessfully into one, I have serious reservations. Comments on TDP articles require such. But that is a different kettle of fish from TDPF. I'd be gone if that happens. Sometimes (semi)anonymity is justified. People who know me in the real world have guessed my identity. I am an open book, except for my pen name.

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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby christopher_robin » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:23 pm

These are the questions to ask:

1. Is this an interesting, enlightening community where I learn things every day and am surprised into joy, laughter, wonder, and even furrowing of the brow over drafting a reply to someone I respect, but disagree with on a subject?

2. Am I making money on this operation?

Now, get out the calculator and do some projections on how many people at what monthly price point would equal the revenue brought in by ads on the forum.

You can do the noble thing, 1, if 2 is met. So if the numbers work, why not do the noble thing? I would bet there are lots of people who would pay a nominal fee for an ad-free, spam-free environment where everyone is using their real names and the system is protected from any random looky-loo espying your posts.

The quality of content would go way up, and Isthmus would make money.

If, as a user, you wouldn't pay, ask yourself, "why?"

Is the value of this forum zero?

If so, why is that the case? (Rhetorical question, obviously. No one would pay for the current state of affairs.)

But would you pay to be part of an experiment to make something better?

The fee would be nominal, on the order of supporting local radio.

So for Isthmus: if the truth is that no, a walled garden model isn't the better moneymaker, then all you can do is try to keep the level of discourse civilized and scintillating. But, you know, re-read post #1 in this topic, and then read the next few pages. Not pretty.

I think the Isthmus guys are plenty smart enough to work these numbers. If that's true, improving the quality of conversation may be a mostly hopeless task.

But it's not impossible, as evidenced by certain epochs of this board--and also by how much worse madison.com is--so I applaud jjoyce for trying. He could have said nothing.
Last edited by christopher_robin on Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fennel
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby fennel » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:30 pm

christopher_robin wrote:There was never really any hope for "Gargantua." So no loss there.
If this is any indication of the type of exchange you'd like to foster, well, I think you're having a conversation with your arm pit.

christopher_robin wrote:As for "Do you really think a forum with only real names is viable?"

Um. Read around a bit.

The question is, is it desirable? If this were a forum for experts in stem cell treatment, it might make sense to restrict access in order to reduce noise from those ideologically motivated participants who can't be bothered to master details.

But for a community forum? I don't think so. The threshold in this case is whether one is able to deal with a little mess. A Better Homes & Gardens Research laboratory of Chic, it's not.

christopher_robin
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby christopher_robin » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:32 pm

Fennel misses the point entirely. Imagine this entire thread conducted between people whose real names are displayed next to each post, on a page invisible to anyone not paying.

Ducatista
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Ducatista » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:44 pm

christopher_robin wrote:I am encouraged and heartened by Duca's post.

Then I didn't word it very well.

So far, you've exhibited none of the traits you claim to value in a poster. What gives? And what's your beef with gargantua?

christopher_robin
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby christopher_robin » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:58 pm

Would you pay for this forum, Ducatista?

If so, why?

If not, why?

Ducatista
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Re: TDP community manifesto

Postby Ducatista » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:07 pm

christopher_robin wrote:Would you pay for this forum, Ducatista?

If so, why?

If not, why?

If Isthmus asked for donations to support the forum, I'd happily pony up.

I would not subscribe if this were a paid forum, because a big part of TDPF's appeal for me is the open access. I love that people can browse without joining, join without paying, and drop in to read/post as much or as little as they like.


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