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Old 07-10-2006, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Why the TFP is so good...

I can't help but notice that traffic at the Tilted Forum Project has slowed down this year. For whatever reason, many of our members no longer frequent here and we're not getting many new ones. So, I decided to explore another message board. I thought the experience might be interesting and I guess it has been...

I'm currently also on another message board that is more than ten times bigger than this one, based on the number of users logged on. On their equivalent of Tilted Knowledge, there was a post on time travel. The original poster didn't understand why people thought that travelling faster than light could cause you to travel back in time. This is a subject I know quite a bit about and I was hoping to explain it but there was already more than a page of responses, which really wasn't that surprising considering how busy the board is. So, I read the responses and, to my surprise, no one understood a thing! I was surprised that no one on a board that large understood simple relativity. I assure you, if that question were posted here, I would not be the only knowledgable person to comment on it and we're just a fraction of their size. So, I then proceeded to explain the phenomena in no uncertain terms and then waited for any responses. I was sure there would be some posts asking to clarify some points considering how little they knew or understood. However, to my disapointment, no one responded to me. In fact, people seemed to have completely ignored my post and continued on with their ridiculous arguments. It's as if I have been killfiled. It's like being a ghost and watching blind people fumble over each other while my ethereal body is powerless to help anybody.

Why am I unanimously ignored? Why won't anyone read a single word I've typed? Well, perhaps this quote from their rules and guidelines thread will shed some light on the subject: the emphasis is the poster's and not mine...
Quote:
Please read this. It is an important guide to try to help you understand why people pay for subscriptions to browse here, because although it is not required ... it is one of the biggest decisions you will eventually have in browsing here.

Now, trust me, I know the feeling. I joined up on this site a year ago and my initial reaction was, "WHAT?! Pay for an avatar and signature? Are you JOKING?" and I looked around at all of the other members with avatars and I couldn't even begin to fathom that all of these people had actually paid money to browse here. I was literally in complete awe, I didn't know what to think.

After a few weeks of browsing though, I got tired of the site. I got tired of people calling me stupid and not reading my posts, and I genuinely wanted my opinion to mean something here. As you can see now, I've made over 17,000 posts on this site ... and I am appreciative to this community for reading a lot of them and responding to them. The difference of having an av here makes an astounding difference in who you are and what your place is.

... Anyhow, back on track, I wasn't posting much because I knew that no one would care about what I posted. I hardly participated in any threads at all.

One day I saw a topic by another member that read that the #___th poster would win a free avatar, so I participated and to my luck, I actually won. Having an avatar totally changed everything, I had been registered for a few weeks and all of a sudden people were actually replying to what I had to say and it made me feel as if I were an important part of this community. You may say to yourself, "So who cares? Why does it even matter?" Well, it obviously does matter, at least to me AND to you, because if you didn't care then you wouldn't have signed up here and you wouldn't be posting. It's not as if this forum is about specific hardware issues or anything, it is a forum that is 100% random, with no reason to be here except to post and to read threads that the community is offering. You care about what people think of your posts and you care about reading other posts, otherwise you wouldn't be posting or reading. Pretty simple concept, I think.

Now it seems shallow that having an avatar means that everything changes so much for you, but it's really not. I used to think it was too, and before I actually got an avatar ... I do indeed recall being rather anti-avatar, simply because I didn't understand. Since then I have come to understand why having that little title and picture under your name is so important. It IDENTIFIES you. A lot of the new members here make posts that have been posted before, covered a million times, or are just plain stupid / ignorant (hence the initiation forum, huh? It's here for a reason). When people see that 1) you have paid money to be here and 2) you are not just another new member with no avatar, you tend to get recognized. Not having an avatar generally puts you into the category of someone who is new, and a lot of new members just plain suck. It's the truth that many older members don't like all new members, just because it is a general rule that noob = stupid. A lot of times this is proved true, but with the chance that you aren't stupid and have stuff to contribute, a quick and easy way to get yourself out of the 'noob lump' is to buy an av. As long as you make good posts and have an av, you will probably be considered as OG as Fazle (well maybe not, but close!).

...
To be honest, I had read this post before posting to the time travel thread, so I wasn't entirely surprised that I was ignored but it did confirm this rather pessimistic viewpoint. Personally, with an attitude like this, I'm not sure the site deserves a membership fee...

Of course, you'll note that no such stigma exists here. Over all, I find this site to be much more mature and respectful than the other. Hell, I'd post this as a testimonial if it didn't include material from another board! So, I hope this post reminds everyone of why we're here and I hope it helps us to better appreciate what we have...

...and, if you have a website of any kind, perhaps it won't hurt to advertise this place on it! Just a thought...
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've also noticed the slowing down of posts around here... it seemed to start not long before the v4 upgrade, actually. It's sad, but I love it here and love the people and the discussions, so I'll keep coming back and keep telling people about it. The TFP is a wonderous place!
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've also frequented a few other forums that address topics not really discussed here, but TFP is hands-down the best forum I've seen in over a decade of internet use. The members, the staff, the way in which people express their views and even disagree with each other is the closest to a civilized gathering of people I've ever encountered. I might not respond much, but I am around, enjoying myself reading all of your thoughts and opinions and keeping out the riffraff.

This is not even the only forum I have moderated, but it is the one I am most proud of, that is to be certain. When people can come together and enjoy such a cultured discourse, it serves as an excellent example of what the internet should be.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A slow down is not the end of the world, forum activity comes and goes, but it takes a lot to kill a forum. A dedicated team at the top will keep it alive, along with dedicated and loyal members.

I co-own and co-run www.nzfortress.co.nz, which, in it's day (a bit before and during the beginning of my time) it was large for a New Zealand community. It has struggled in recent years due to a drop in the game that it was based around, but it survives, and since the new admin team has taken over, activity is the best it's been in several years.

No need to panic, i'm a new member, and i find myself loyal already. The board is very initimidating for new users, especially from smaller boards, and the best way for a good member to start is by being quiet, observing how things work and then beginning to contribute more and more, bit by bit.

There are also seasonal changes - people being on holiday or other such real world phenomena can boost up a forum's activity - thread:user ratios tend to go sky high during such times - what goes up must come down, and what may have happened is TFP is just coming off a really busy period, i can't say from being so outside of tfp though.

With your active member userbase and the amount of names presented as online, you've got nothing to worry about.
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Traffic will pick up again towards the end of August. We always go through a lull during the summer months. Perhaps it is the lack of college students and the fact that alot of people take their vacations during the summer.
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I was a happy member of "The Forum" for five years.
I felt good there. Then a moderator banned me from the forum. I took me months to figure that out! No notice. I learned to not expect to make friends online :-) I was quite hurt by the experience.

Then I found this forum. I try to participate but don't feel I have much in common with the people here. I don't often get a responce to anything I post in the "General" section. I probably get what I deserve :-)

I would like to find a forum that I can feel really good about but this is by far the best I've found so far...and people are very civil here. I like that. and I learn alot here too!

Edit: Good point Bill 'O Rights. I did say I learn alot :-)

BTW, I have avatares (sp?) turned off. I want to read your ideas not your ego. IMO they make the posts messy.

Last edited by flat5; 07-12-2006 at 01:43 AM..
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat5
I try to participate but don't feel I have much in common with the people here.
For me, at least...that's the point. In real life we tend to gravitate toward our own circles. Here...I get to hang with headbangers, bikers, science geeks, artists, goths, motorheads...you name it...we probably have it. I get to draw from thier experiences and viewpoints and hopefully get a better understanding of the whole. It helps me to understand facets of life that I would otherwise leave unexplored.
Besides...with the plethora of backgrounds here, you have to have something in common with someone...if that's what you're looking for.

Oh...and the traffic will pick back up. It always does. What we have is a case of real life taking precedence. As it should. Sit back, grab a soda and enjoy the antics of the "caretakers" that have remained. The rest will be back shortly.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I tend to participate in spurts. When I'm really busy, I may not visit TFP as often, but when I'm not I probably spend way too much time here. As for other forums, there is so much flaming that it's really hard to read a lot of times. Here a member can express himself/herself, if done in a proper manner, and expect to be treated with respect. That's what I like most.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I spurt, too. (Wait, is this the Tilted Sexuality forum?...)

Heh.

Like gucciluvr said, traffic waxes and wanes. Summer is always slow because student traffic dies down and people have competing activities. I actually don't mind the slow times - it tends to be the die hards who stick around, and it gives me a chance to get to know people I might otherwise miss in the crush of higher-traffic times.

One reason this place is so unfathomably awesome is the respectful, safe atmosphere created by the policies and the moderating here. It's still the internet, and who knows who people really are, but for the most part it's a safe yet challenging place to express yourself, which is rare to find in real life or online. People will call you on your bullshit, but never in a way that gets personal. I so appreciate that. And it's such a supportive community. I never would have made it through dealing with my brother's death without this place.
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Old 07-11-2006, 09:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There are other boards out there?? I may not post like I used to, but I fequent almost daily. This is, and always has been the best porn site I've ever seen, even though the porn is not the reason I've stayed so long
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Old 07-11-2006, 09:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I noticed the slowdown as well, but it's summer. It happens every summer, like clockwork. And even though I'm still set to college time...TFP is, and always will be, an important part of my life, because it is the only forum I've been on that is so well-moderated and enjoyable. It helps me to flex my intelligence on a regular basis.

Heck, last night I even dreamed about TFP!
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Old 07-11-2006, 09:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeMissile
I can't help but notice that traffic at the Tilted Forum Project has slowed down this year. For whatever reason, many of our members no longer frequent here and we're not getting many new ones.
I brought this up a while back and was told by a few mods how wrong I was. Its still pretty apparent posting is down. I was out of country for a week, came back and not a whole lot of new posts to be found. A while ago recomended reopening the tittyboard as it is what brought a great many of us here (come for the vagina stay for the posting) and it was amusing how many seemed to have come here for the tittyboard but thought it wasn't important. Shame because diversity of thought seems to be diminishing on the board as well as numbers.

The mindset of people looking to waste their time on a discussion board is far narrower than the mindset looking for porn. Everyone likes porn, even those who claim its wrong like it, they just won't tell you thats what brought them here

Oh and don't give me this wax and wain idea with summer, it may wax and wain but the waxing is less and the waining is more than it used to be.
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
A while ago recomended reopening the tittyboard as it is what brought a great many of us here (come for the vagina stay for the posting) and it was amusing how many seemed to have come here for the tittyboard but thought it wasn't important.
I came here because of the titty board and got axed like 2 months after that, i think it was like 5 or 6 years ago. I really wasn't all that informed about what implied to be part of a forum, but i came back and learnt to value the TFP for what it really is. Nowadays, i hardly ever go into the titty board, even less since the rss was enabled.
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Oh and don't give me this wax and wain idea with summer, it may wax and wain but the waxing is less and the waining is more than it used to be.
I've heard that explanation offered several times too... I wonder how much of it is true though - I mean college students are probably wired at home nearly as much as they are at school.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubertuber
I've heard that explanation offered several times too... I wonder how much of it is true though - I mean college students are probably wired at home nearly as much as they are at school.
Not always. The first few summers I went home from college my computer only got used for playing games, because Mom and Dad only had dial-up. Then they got cable internet, but then they didn't have a router, and Dad wanted the Internet on his computer and not mine. Furthermore, I was working 40+ hours a week--that doesn't leave a lot of time for TFP, and that has happened every summer but this one and last summer (last summer I was in class or studying 40+ hours a week).

I know a LOT of people whose parents haven't moved beyond dial-up as far as ISPs go, and TFP isn't exactly dial-up friendly, either.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubertuber
I've heard that explanation offered several times too... I wonder how much of it is true though - I mean college students are probably wired at home nearly as much as they are at school.
I'm just going by my precieved traffic for the last 3 years or so, not just a 'oh its summer and posting is down' type of issue. It seemed down to me last winter from years past. Since it is all perception I could be wrong, but without the giant magnet that is the titty board (and yes 99% of those who came for the titty board didn't become posters, but a hell of a lot of us did, including a great many mods) there is nothing to seperate tfp from any other board. Sure it might be great, but you have to stick around long enough to figure it out.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:22 AM   #17 (permalink)
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It's rare that online summer traffic doesn't drop. Most people's routines change during the summer months, either work or school or just more offline activities. It always swings back.

Honestly though, I'd swear quite a few people wandered off at the start of 2006.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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For me it was touch and go getting to know the TFP. I started here at the philosophy board and did not realize until later that there was porn here. That was before the titty board was limited to members in good standing.
I've checked out a few other boards and there is a difference. From day One my posts were acknowledged and even discussed. Some were put down but that I believe is partly the because of where I started out - Philosophy. Once I started though I found I was addicted. The other boards are either full of flakes of snooty intellectuals. While we may have a few of those here, it seems to me that the majority of members here are here to learn and to share information.

I can tell that things tend to be a little slower in general but it is definately more pronounced around holidays and during the summer. Hubby and I stayed home over the 4th and it seemed like there was NO ONE here then.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Oh and don't give me this wax and wain idea with summer, it may wax and wain but the waxing is less and the waining is more than it used to be.
It depends on what you're "waxing"

Yeah...undeniably the TB is a terrific draw to the boards. But, speaking from "behind the curtain", open access to the TB invariably causes more trouble than what it's worth. For every "desirable" member comes 149 more that require a little "extra" attention.

I still stand by the "slow period" theory. While we may. or may not, have the volume of posts that we had three years ago...it's not always about the volume.
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The traffic is down because our main source of new blood was cut off. The link from Fark got taken down. Low traffic begets low traffic.

Its now up to you guys to help out.
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeMissile
Of course, you'll note that no such stigma exists here.
Sure it does. TFP is a society, and thus has different tiers of people. I'm sure I could make a chart of the different groups on here and whatnot. It's just not spelled out. But it's something that naturally happens with people, and I don't think it is "wrong".

And having an avatar definitely helps people to recognize your posts. Without one, you are more likely to get lost in the shuffle.
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Old 07-11-2006, 09:10 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toaster126
Sure it does. TFP is a society, and thus has different tiers of people. I'm sure I could make a chart of the different groups on here and whatnot. It's just not spelled out. But it's something that naturally happens with people, and I don't think it is "wrong".

And having an avatar definitely helps people to recognize your posts. Without one, you are more likely to get lost in the shuffle.
Stigma's may exist on the TFP but a particular stigma of not having an avatar is noticeably absent, I would say.

For instance, I remember when I lacked an avatar. I didn't have one 'til quite recently, relatively speaking, and I haven't noticed anyone paying any more (or less) attention to my posts. Did you when you first got your avatar?

Oh, and if you can make a chart then please do so! I'm sure we'd all find it entertaining and, perhaps, enlightening...
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:18 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I think I'm the only person on TFP who usually doesn't have avatars turned on for this exact reason.
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:32 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeMissile
Stigma's may exist on the TFP but a particular stigma of not having an avatar is noticeably absent, I would say.

For instance, I remember when I lacked an avatar. I didn't have one 'til quite recently, relatively speaking, and I haven't noticed anyone paying any more (or less) attention to my posts. Did you when you first got your avatar?

Oh, and if you can make a chart then please do so! I'm sure we'd all find it entertaining and, perhaps, enlightening...
Wow, I'm sorry I didn't see this post until now.

I wasn't saying that people discriminate over people not having an avatar (although it is possible some do)... I was saying it is often much easier to make connections with which person is posting when you can have both a screen name and a picture to help remember them. Obviously once you get to know someone the avatar isn't needed to make the connection, but I definitely find them to help me remember who some people are.

...and I'm not really going to write down a chart of all the different social groups on tfp... use your brain.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:37 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Eh, I think every forum has this problem. Mostly when their content is centered around 'discussions'. Then you must further break down those discussions into importance, type, and reason.

Importance: Is this a serious topic? Is this a real problem someone needs help with? Has it been beaten to death before? (In which case someone says 'search the forums'....),

Type: Help, Fun, Exchange of ideas, Venting, etc

Reason: Just to add new content, For actual thoughts and opinions, For advice, For one time help, etc

I think content means everything. And when it gets old and repetitive, and recycled, and re-re-re recycled. You lose all interest and come at your own leisure. The perfect example? TV. I can hardly find a entertaining show with fresh jokes or new plots not just slightly alterted. I find them mundane. Lost, is a great example. I've never wanted to watch it or felt compelled to watch it. I could go on and on about the fakeness and complicatedness of that plot. It's too unrealistic even if it had a chance of occuring. It's like Gilligan's Island just really unstable. Just like movies, they started going downhill in '03. And now they're complete trash. Come on now? A wonderwoman movie? I'll leave it there for now.

But to me essentially forums always lose their interest. There's always a main attraction at first or something that's quirky yet attractive, but then it fades. Just like a fad.

For instance, I like using trunk nightly builds of Firefox to find problems. But I don't get uber geeky about it like some people. They have a forum to discuss problems, report bugs, and hash out solutions. But once the browser gets into the final stages and has most of the features I want? I'm gone. The project has reached its goal for me. Complete random jump to TV topic again: I mean honestly, does anybody care to watch CBS' Survior or Fear Factor anymore after so many series?

Boredness comes with age and repetiveness. You can only care for so long and only say the same things in different ways for so long. It's a fact of life. So I essentially think new, moving issues and topics are becoming harder to find. Just b/c we've 'heard it all'. And most of us have become automated thru the 'grapevine' to do the most suggested action and resolve the situation resulting in a less need to ask or tell b/c nothing worth telling happened.

That and Fark taking the link down.
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:33 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I am one of the ones who had left, things changed and so did I, so much so that I just sort of drifted away. I was very happy to be reminded about the site and think that I'll be back with bells on when time allows.
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:10 PM   #27 (permalink)
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There are few places one can feel comfortable expressing ones opinion with little fear of reprisal, and the TFP is one of them. There are always exceptions to the rule. The TFP doesn't sufferfools lightly, for too often, so they end up finding more fool friendly locations to haunt.

I'm glad Halx reminded me about this place. It was always inthe back of my mind, but Ihad forgotten just how cool this place was.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:42 AM   #28 (permalink)
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The populace is diverse and variety is the spice of life. The moderators only do so when they have to. It's a wonderful place to share your opinions, and I highly recommend it to (almost) everyone I know. Thank you, Tilted Forum!
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