Eplaya Forums question

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kiboy
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:46 am

yeah I remember, I haven't though of a slide rule in 30 years or more.

Don't believe everything you think.

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spacetime
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby spacetime » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:31 pm

BBadger wrote:
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?

If you focus only on this example, then ya it seems pretty silly that people would have trouble. But the OP's question was why people on these forums seem to drop off / don't become regular posters. If we can assume that it is not due to high levels of snark, and we see there is active participation welcoming new users and encouraging them to post then you have to at least consider whether the software user experience is not up to par.
I'm sure these people will not be missed.

This is a point of view. I think technology people felt the same way about iPhone users and macs up until late 2000s. Sort of, if you can't figure out how to work the tech, you don't belong. Wizards only.

Again, I think it comes down to friction to post and share content and the expected feedback loop from doing so.

Overall technology trends are unquestionably toward ease of use and low friction interaction. If BMORG's intent is to be underground and old school, it is succeeding.

However, if the only official online communication tools for the Burning Man community are Facebook comments on the official FB page (which many despise) or here in phpbb 3.0.7, perhaps there is room in between.

I'm not suggesting a ton of tech changes need to happen right away. But technology and expectations of software experiences have changed rapidly in the past 6 years. I think it makes sense to acknowledge that and think about what if any changes bmorg / eplaya would want to do to handle that. Quite frankly, I think this extends to how content is presented on Burningman.com.

Perhaps, this is also getting at a more deeper and more controversial question: how accessible should Burning Man be as a whole?

Let's say you could sign up for eplaya using your Facebook login and use it on your smart phone. And assume this resulted in 10x the number of people were signing up for the forums and posting questions and comments in threads (of similar quality overall), would this be a better place? Would eplaya be considered to be more successful at its intent?

Anyhow, perhaps this thread would be better in eplaya feedback.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Wrath » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:32 pm

spacetime wrote:would this be a better place?

no

spacetime wrote:how accessible should Burning Man be as a whole?

It should allow anyone to study easily from the comfort of their own home, prepare wisely, and hop on a bus.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby BBadger » Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:46 pm

spacetime wrote:If you focus only on this example, then ya it seems pretty silly that people would have trouble. But the OP's question was why people on these forums seem to drop off / don't become regular posters. If we can assume that it is not due to high levels of snark, and we see there is active participation welcoming new users and encouraging them to post then you have to at least consider whether the software user experience is not up to par.


I think the most likely reason is that most people are really not that interested in actually becoming involved with the forum in the first place. No amount of software, warm welcomes, easier post formatting, or push notifications will change that.

We see this level of involvement in other social network systems as well, no matter how advanced. It's the whole reason the "Like" concept was invented: the ability to acknowledge a passing interest in something without actually getting involved. It's the nod you give to someone when you walk down the street, or the empty "what's up?" Some people have proposed the same kind of thing for emails.

The only difference here is that people aren't already logged in via some other social network (like with Disqus), and we don't see any "likes" that would indicate that people actually stick around. People make accounts, say "hi" because the boilerplate tells them they should, ask their question (or not), and leave their account just in case they need to ask something in the future.

It looks like people just disappear, but that's what goes on in other social network systems too. Sure, there are "followers" for certain groups in systems like FB, but does the fact that they clicked "Follow" really mean anything? Are they involved? Do they even remember they clicked that link? Here, the only indicators are peoples' actual responses, but if there's nothing to say, there's nothing to record.

I'm sure these people will not be missed.

This is a point of view. I think technology people felt the same way about iPhone users and macs up until late 2000s. Sort of, if you can't figure out how to work the tech, you don't belong. Wizards only.


I think it was more that, prior to that point, the two groups were relatively separate. The lack of exposure to any "real" Mac users meant that the old jokes and stereotypes were still prevalent. After they became more mainstream, people understood the platform and its people.

Apple purposely sought to segregate the two camps in order to maintain an exclusive sphere of influence on its hardware platform. Only after Apple was forced to abandon its dying PPC platform for x86 (late 2000s), expose itself to more cross-platform penetration through cross-platform software, and dramatically lower its prices to attract more customers from the lower-priced spectrum, did Apple gain much traction among more consumers. With more exposure to Macs and their users, acceptance grew. I saw it in myself as well: I kept the stereotypes until I knew better.

Again, I think it comes down to friction to post and share content and the expected feedback loop from doing so.

Overall technology trends are unquestionably toward ease of use and low friction interaction. If BMORG's intent is to be underground and old school, it is succeeding.


Maybe it does tend towards that, but the content must also cater towards that style of information dispersion. A lot of push-based notifications is based on a single feed being subscribed to, and that information then being pushed out as it comes in. While this is fine for single topics, it breaks down when it comes to something like an entire subforum with many topics, and a lot of responses. Finding the topics of interest, and managing subscriptions becomes a pain and many people aren't used to that level of information bombardment. Some forums deal with this by collecting messages for the day and then sending them out, but that's usually counter to the interaction most people seek out.

Probably the most daunting hurdle in people using ePlaya is actually signing up for an account versus using a linked system like Disqus. It prevents people from just "chiming in." Maybe this is the reason people set up accounts, and don't bother to actually use them much: they just wanted to ask that one question, or just keep the account for later.

However, if the only official online communication tools for the Burning Man community are Facebook comments on the official FB page (which many despise) or here in phpbb 3.0.7, perhaps there is room in between.


I've always thought that using a more advanced BB system would be better such as vBulletin. The cost isn't that much given the use this forum receives.

I'm not suggesting a ton of tech changes need to happen right away. But technology and expectations of software experiences have changed rapidly in the past 6 years. I think it makes sense to acknowledge that and think about what if any changes bmorg / eplaya would want to do to handle that. Quite frankly, I think this extends to how content is presented on Burningman.com.


I actually don't like the BM.com website at all. It's very hard to find information, and it seems that most of it is a year or two old.

Perhaps, this is also getting at a more deeper and more controversial question: how accessible should Burning Man be as a whole?

Let's say you could sign up for eplaya using your Facebook login and use it on your smart phone. And assume this resulted in 10x the number of people were signing up for the forums and posting questions and comments in threads (of similar quality overall), would this be a better place? Would eplaya be considered to be more successful at its intent?


That's what I wonder as well: do we gain much from having more "followers" that really aren't that interested in staying? And is there really a "purpose" to ePlaya much more than the playa is to Burning Man -- i.e. a blank slate that the users create something from? Maybe this forum's occupants intend the place to be esoteric. Then again, maybe the tools just aren't in place to make it more than that. Like an old Mac.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

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spacetime
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby spacetime » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:27 pm

I don't have immediate feedback, but thank you for the detailed and considered response, Badger. Ha, I guess this is a like on your post.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby goathead » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:18 pm

kiboy wrote: 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?


stage fright
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:45 pm

you are pretty intimidating. Image

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby goathead » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:50 pm

best not to hand feed us bacon
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby ^Rhino! » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:02 pm

goathead wrote:
kiboy wrote: 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?


stage fright


goathead, in your particular case, you might be pretty shy at first, but man, you are absolutely a good guy to be around once you've come out of your shell. Stage fright from you? Only if you're in front of ten thousand people as the center of attention.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby goathead » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:12 pm

bar just gets to noisy, makes it hard for me to hear anything, frustrating as hell for me.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby ^Rhino! » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:42 pm

goathead wrote:bar just gets to noisy, makes it hard for me to hear anything, frustrating as hell for me.



Ever tried a set of earplugs?

We ALL wore earplugs when we did a job next to Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. It tended to filter out the jet noises to where we could actually hear each other talk about important job-related issues. They may not work for you, but it's worth a shot. If you need some, I can bring them with me to the burn this year.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby trilobyte » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:27 pm

Just seeing this now, and moving it over to the site function board, since that's a better fit.

In answer to the question though, that's fairly typical usage on message boards in general - most site users are lurkers. Some create their accounts with the intention of starting to post someday, others just do it so they can log in and see attachments or send a private message response to someone who's posted something (I get dozens of PM's from people with zero posts on the board). The inherent nature of a growing knowledge-base/brain trust also means that over time it's easier to for people to get answers without posting. Ticket posters/seekers also account for a number of low post counts, though that tends to be seasonal. And of course, message boards are not a contest .. a user's post count isn't their player's score, it's not important that people post a lot.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:53 pm

trilobyte wrote:.. a user's post count isn't their player's score, it's not important that people post a lot.

Now you tell me.
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby kiboy » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:23 pm

trilobyte wrote:Just seeing this now, and moving it over to the site function board, since that's a better fit.

In answer to the question though, that's fairly typical usage on message boards in general - most site users are lurkers. Some create their accounts with the intention of starting to post someday, others just do it so they can log in and see attachments or send a private message response to someone who's posted something (I get dozens of PM's from people with zero posts on the board). The inherent nature of a growing knowledge-base/brain trust also means that over time it's easier to for people to get answers without posting. Ticket posters/seekers also account for a number of low post counts, though that tends to be seasonal. And of course, message boards are not a contest .. a user's post count isn't their player's score, it's not important that people post a lot.


All true yet without a vibrant base that is growing changing and active things get ossified. Plus I've gotten a PM or two that posited other reasons.
I've had time to observe whether they are true or not. I got my answers.
Last edited by kiboy on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Elderberry » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:39 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
trilobyte wrote:.. a user's post count isn't their player's score, it's not important that people post a lot.

Now you tell me.


Hahaha that's funny. I think you hold the record for the most posts, don't you?
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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:54 pm

Yup.

You are holding a party for me when I hit 40,000?
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Eplaya Forums question

Postby Elderberry » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:20 pm

You're getting close! Party in the Bar thread.
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