Eplaya Forums question

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Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:35 pm

I've been here for just a few weeks or less and I'm having fun getting into the conversations and getting to know people here and soaking up all the great technical info for camping comfy and smart.

Now just in case someone might take this wrong I'm not criticizing anything here nor do I think things should be different from how they are.

OK so I took a gander at the members list back for several months and there were a lot of people signing up but hardly any posting. O or 1 posts seems the average a few 10 or so but not much more. I'm wondering why you think that is? I'd really like to get to know as many people as possible and just wonder if you have any ideas as to if there is something that makes people sign up and then drop right out?

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby TT120 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:40 pm

A lot of those 1 or 2 post people are probably ticket seekers or sellers.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:55 pm

I considered that but the trend continues after the burn. Plus I notice a smallish core group doing a lot of the activity here. Maybe I've assumed incorrectly that with all the people interested in the Man worldwide there would be a larger community of active posters.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:01 pm

And the post-burn ones could be interested in the lost and found.
We seem to have a reputation as a place that will pulverize you for being a newby. I will pulverize people, but not for being a newby, but for being avoidably stupid. I understand that that can be a subtlety difficult to grasp as you suddenly realize that there are all sorts of conversations going on, and you don't know what's going on, and there are lots and lots of people making snarky remarks. Plus we're a lot more "fuck yer day" than "kumbaya". Typically, by the time someone's made five posts, I see them as at least part of the furniture, or maybe even the cool kid that I'm going to follow around for the next couple of weeks, trying to soak up their aura...
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:09 pm

OK thanks, Maybe they should have a "I'm stupid" sub forum for the vast majority then. It's a shame to waste all that fresh meat.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Elderberry » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:19 pm

There's about 1,100 pages of users. Almost 900 of those pages have made 4 posts or less. Of those 900 pages the majority are here either a) to ask a question about tickets or other ticket related question; b) before the burn they are usually hear to ask a specific question regarding the burn or ride share or other related per-burn stuff; c) after the burn, as has been mentioned already, they are hear either for the lost and found or they wanted to relay some story regarding their first burn.

There are many more people that visit the board just to research and lurk but never even bother to create an account.

For many, burning man is not a 365 day event and often a one time event and they have no further need for the board.

Then there are the rest of us.

This is not the result of any scientific study, I just clicked on the members link and sorted by number of posts. Then after getting buy all those that hadn't posted at all, I just clicked on several of those numbers randomly and the above is pretty much how it seemed to break out.

You might want to spend the time to do a more in depth analysis and report back on your findings.

You will probably enjoy the afterburner reports and the results of the census as well.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:29 pm

That all makes sense. I did glance at a few of the posts and will do some more. It's a shame from my perspective because with so many attending now there are lots of perspectives and experiences that I'm sure are worth hearing. That's what I want to believe anyway. I quickly became aware that most here that were active knew each other well and long and I'd just have to butt in and hope for the best. I've got thick skin when it comes to snark and can usually take it easily if there isn't serious malice behind it. I can actually handle that too. In the words of MLK. "I'm fearing no man" (women are another issue completely) :?

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:51 pm

kiboy
Once someone hits a double digit post count, they are fine. It's not really all that exclusive here.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Elderberry » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:53 pm

You'd be surprised how many people attend the event and never read the first timers and survival guides, let alone visit eplaya.

One of the things I like best, for me, is the eplaya Meet-n-Great. It helps to keep posts civil and real knowing I have a better than average chance of meeting many of those posting here, and since I only see most of them once a year at BM, it helps strengthen the friendships and keeping in touch between burns.

And the second most favorite thing I like here (to my partner's dismay) are all of the posts with ideas and how-tos on stuff to improve our camp and enhance the experience.

You fit right in here kiboy.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:13 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:kiboy
Once someone hits a double digit post count, they are fine. It's not really all that exclusive here.


I never meant that as in anyone was trying to exclude anyone else. But you know the new kid on the block syndrome. You have to be willing to be take a risk and be that kid. You don't know the insider jokes or lingo and you step on your own toes a few times. I felt that moving in here. Burning Man means something to me so I had to talk myself into jumping in with my weird personality and hope that my style would be acceptable. I think that's a natural feeling in all but the most secure individuals if they even exist. I think a lot of people have trouble with that first step in.

I have a woman friend who just went through that on another forum. She finally posted after lurking for a long time and didn't get a response for a few days and really felt insecure about it. Finally people chimed in and she breathed that big sigh of relief.

I think it's a very primitive emotional/security thingy. In our prehistory not being acceptable meant certain death. Scary shit that!

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:40 pm

Yeah, been there.



So, who here has a personality that isn't weird?
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:42 pm

Point taken. But I think many of us think ours is especially strange. Like we say under our breath, if you only knew :wink:

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:10 pm

Yes, but it doesn't take long before EVERYBODY KNOWS!!!!!!!!!!!! :shock:
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby BBadger » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:44 am

You'll fit in, if only because you chose to stay. :)
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:27 am

I'm not sure I want to belong to a forum that would have me as a member. :P

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:48 am

You're not jewish, are you?
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby spacetime » Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:55 am

I believe the patterns you noticed are prevalent in any online forum. These types of internet communities are a bit out of step with modern web experiences, in that they have relatively primitive formatting controls and overall user experience.

If you were around using forums before Facebook pages and their commenting system, then this would seem normal. But I think a lot of people never were exposed to vBulletin, bbcode or any of that stuff. So when they end up here, they find it somewhat inaccessible just because the interface is kind of hokey and frankly out-dated.

What I mean to say is that Facebook comments and pages are much more accessible and have a lower friction to publishing content than these forums do. As a result, I think it keeps a lot of would-be participants from posting. I don't think this is exclusive to eplaya, but to all internet forums.

I operated a vBulletin forum in the 2000s that grew fairly popular, and although the community still limps along today, most folks have migrated on to Facebook and other social networks.

It is too bad because the long-form writing and the idea of building up an online forum identity over time do not fit into Facebook really. There wasn't really a good way for me to share either my story about experiencing the rainstorm or Burner Express this year, for example, on Facebook. It would have been buried amongst other crap and hidden by FB's content algorithm.

But I knew if I took the time to get my images uploaded and worked the bbcode long enough I would have something that would stand up for a long time here at eplaya. Along with this benefit, it also means this format of communication favors people who can string sentences together well. It favors people who enjoy writing.

When the other option for folks is posting your BRC photos to instagram, getting an immediate 10-15 likes or whatever and saying 'done' it is hard for crusty old forum software like this to compete. Case in-point, eplaya is not mobile friendly yet despite roughly 1/3 of internet browsing happening on mobile devices.

That said: Regarding snark, there is a fair bit of that embedded in BM culture. But the whole razzing of noobs thing goes across any forum. If you go to Toms Hardware and ask some silly question about a gaming computer without searching first, they will make fun of you.

The difference here is that if you purport some information that is seen as incorrect or potentially hazardous to BRC people it could have repercussions. I believe this is because 'bad ideas' will be saved, SEO'd and available for search and consideration by many birgins in the future. A good example of this was my question about whether it was really necessary to lock up your bike every time you are away from it. :)

I think if you are willing to take on the learning curve of internet forum software in general, are willing to do even basic google searches before posting new threads, and come across as authentic (even authentically nuts) people will reply and give you reasonable feedback.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Elderberry » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:26 pm

There is a lot less snark here than on the BM FB page. Frankly, I don't much like that page and I'm pretty heavy into FB.

You're right about the forum not being mobile friendly, but I think Trilo said something in another thread that there might be something happening to address that. I've been hoping for that feature for awhile myself.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:32 pm

Good information. I'm old school only and won't go near facebook and post from home only. I've belonged to the Shroomery for about 9 years (mushroom focused psychedelic forum website) that has a huge amount of traffic and a huge active membership compared to here. I did a look through the membership posting and saw that while the difference wasn't huge it was significant; more first timers stayed and posted for awhile. Snark there is intense also depending on the particular forum you're posting in. 50 people have me on ignore (foe) for snark. I'm pretty proud of that. :D

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby spacetime » Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:32 pm

Elderberry wrote:There is a lot less snark here than on the BM FB page. Frankly, I don't much like that page and I'm pretty heavy into FB.

You're right about the forum not being mobile friendly, but I think Trilo said something in another thread that there might be something happening to address that. I've been hoping for that feature for awhile myself.

I haven't really tried to follow the Facebook page(s). I've joined and dipped into them, but they seem chaotic to me.

I didn't mean to hard push for a new mobile version, (though I'm typing this from an iPhone). I'll check the thread.

kiboy wrote:Good information. I'm old school only and won't go near facebook and post from home only.

Ya, I think a lot of folks are the opposite. The Internet became a useful thing when Facebook and mobile came around.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Wrath » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:47 pm

spacetime wrote:interface is kind of hokey and frankly out-dated

Really? How so?

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby BBadger » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:55 pm

If this forum's software is acting as such a filter, by all means let's keep it!
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby spacetime » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:12 pm

Wrath wrote:
spacetime wrote:interface is kind of hokey and frankly out-dated

Really? How so?

Modern interfaces like Facebook do a lot of updating of page elements in realtime. It feels more fluid, and because you're notified when something happens, giving you a quicker feedback loop than forums. Newer web apps use things like drag and drop file uploads, wysiwyg editors and other bells and whistles.

BBadger wrote:If this forum's software is acting as such a filter, by all means let's keep it!

It has its charm. On the other hand learning to edit bbcode maybe shouldn't be a required skill to quote and reply to folks.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:08 pm

spacetime wrote:... and because you're notified when something happens...

I really kinda hate that. I wonder how much energy--and by energy, I mean kilowatt hours--are wasted everyday on pointless updates on facebook. Oooh, someone "liked" your picture of a fallen souffle, here's an email! I don't often go for arguments that discourse should always be formal, but some of the endless circling around things--like poking? I never poke back, and that stops people from poking me, praise Cthulhu.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby spacetime » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:36 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
spacetime wrote:... and because you're notified when something happens...

...everyday on pointless updates on facebook...

I mean more basic stuff, like if someone replies to a thread while you're drafting a reply, you get a little note saying so without having to submit the page.
I'm not trying to break down online forums vs. facebook, but more just the feel of the web app.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Wrath » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:57 am

spacetime wrote:The Internet became a useful thing when Facebook and mobile came around.

Really? Usenet got me through high school!

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:49 am

Pot and LSD got me through. We didn't even have computers. :(

We did however have a newfangled gadget called a calculator. :shock:

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby BBadger » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:32 am

spacetime wrote:
BBadger wrote:If this forum's software is acting as such a filter, by all means let's keep it!

It has its charm. On the other hand learning to edit bbcode maybe shouldn't be a required skill to quote and reply to folks.


That amazing "skill" that enables people to click a "Quote" button and type text below the text that already appears? Or if that's too much, just hitting the "Reply" button and start typing?

I'm sure these people will not be missed.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby 666isMONEY » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:31 am

kiboy wrote:I've belonged to the Shroomery for about 9 years (mushroom focused psychedelic forum website) that has a huge amount of traffic and a huge active membership compared to here.


I posted a lot in the Bluelight forum, their benefactor dropped out (died) and they had to go with another format. I think the new format discouraged many users, including myself but the forum is indexed by bots and my website and other links (mostly photos) are still getting hits from Bluelight.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Elderberry » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:44 am

kiboy wrote:Pot and LSD got me through. We didn't even have computers. :(

We did however have a newfangled gadget called a calculator. :shock:


Haha we were still using a slide rule back in my day! :shock:
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