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Who are we and who do we want to be?

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Dave

Staff member
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414 146 1
#1
Note: This thread will follow a set list of rules that are different than other threads we have. Specifically, it will not be allowed to range off-topic and WILL stay civil. Any post I or the mods deem to be either off topic or uncivil will be removed - and this is up to our discretion as to which posts meet these criteria.

I've written and rewritten this post quite a few times both in the past and then today, but I'm finding it hard to articulate exactly what it is that I'm feeling. The whole Yoshi thread really brought it back for me, though, so I'm following through with it this time.

Who are we? What is Halforums? I know the history as well as anyone, but we lack a defining sense of self that most places have. I've tried several things to spice things up but nothing seems to have really taken hold. So I'm forced to make some hard choices and make some tough decisions.

Are forums as a whole dying like Gas thinks? Have we become the dinosaur thanks to short-term memory and social media? I think the answer to that is yes if we're speaking about a general forum like ours. Do I personally feel that Facebook and such are better for this sort of interaction? Hell no! I think forums have a value in continued discussion you don't get on Facebook. The issue with Facebook is that the control for content is based on the person on whose account the posts were made and dissenting opinions are rebuffed and removed, keeping only same-thinking people around. Forums allows for all viewpoints and either you stick by what you say, back it up, or you edit/delete it yourself - but you can't touch the posting of anyone else. Forums have value in my book.

But then, what value do we bring? Lately it seems that this place has become mean spirited. Well, maybe not entirely mean-spirited, but at least it feels more negative. And that's driving people away. I'm not going to start naming names, but there's a reason why some of these people have moved on. One name I will bring up in Calleja. Here's a guy who was with us from the old days and just got sick of the place. We tend to find a target and beat on it until it dies or runs away. To be here you need an unusually thick skin. And that's a problem.

Let's look at the whole Yoshimickster thing. Here's a guy who comes in, obviously knew us from lurking and did his damnedest to post things that were popular and brought conversation to the board. What happened? He got attacked. Attacked for a couple posts with less than perfect grammar, attacked for the amount of posts he made. Were the attacks something like, "You're a fucking idiot - stop posting!"? Nope. They were more offhanded than that. But stuff like that adds up. Do I get tired of the old jokes? Sometimes. But I'm almost impossible to offend if I know you're not being serious. Not everyone is like that. Some people, like Yoshi, decided he didn't have to put up with it! Let me say that again. He didn't have to put up with it. So he's not. And I don't blame him.

So what do we do? What can we do to put a stop to the dickish, passive aggressive bullshit that is driving people away and poisoning the place? (If you simply say, "Ban X!" your post will be removed.) I'm seriously thinking of stepping down and letting someone else see what they can do. No, the boards would not go away, but I am obviously not doing what I need to do to keep the place going on a long-term basis. Do I need to find a Joe Keating who will come in and lay down the ban hammer? Do I need to do board purges like they did? What do I need to do? Would my stepping down as Admin help? Do we need to find something like a specific game or topic and make the boards about that so that we have a direction instead of all just standing around shouting expletives into the wind?

This thread will stay on topic and will NOT call anyone out on their behaviors.

Now it's your turn. You can vent at what you see as the current atmosphere. But what I'm really looking for are solutions. Help me figure out what to do. I've tried and feel like I've failed.
 

BananaHands

Staff member
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#2
Are we sure Yosh left because of attacks?

EDIT: I'm really just asking because I don't want this to turn into a huge thing if it he had just gone on vacation or something.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#3
I've never been told specifically, but it's been pointed out from people that spoke with him that it had a hand in it.
 
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#4
I'd like to pose a question about the entire concept of this question. Do we need to try to be something specific? Is that something that we have to aspire to? I don't have direct access to our post stats and membership count, so I don't know how many people we're really losing and if the reason that we're losing a majority of those members is because of personal attacks or just because people are moving on with their lives or working jobs where they can't post at work and then when they get home they're exhausted or don't feel they have anything to say. I can only speak for myself when I say that my job leaves me plenty of time and opportunity to post all day long while at work, which is where I tend to put in all of my forum time. I pretty much never even read the forums from home, unless I'm watching a specific thread, let alone post to them.

Are we losing so many members that we're in danger of disappearing into thin air, or is the main concern that some of the old guard and a lot of potential new posters are going away? I know we've recently lost Yoshi and Charlie, and that we've been bleeding some of the die-hard old-guard members over a longer period of time; and I don't see any harm in trying to be a more inviting place to visit and chat, but I don't know that we need to change who we are as a board (even if we can't really define who we are now), or target some specific audience in order to add people to the flock.
 

BananaHands

Staff member
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74 4 0
#5
Maybe there could be more content added by some forumites?

I don't know. I got a new camera and a lighting kit coming in. I could film some short funny videos me and my friend Tim have been writing and post it on here?
 
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#6
The community is largely self regulating, and it's decided to reject people. It's old-fashioned shunning in the digital age.

It's not like people are following Charlie, Yoshi, and others around and commenting on every thing they post, but when they do run across their posts they can't help but deride them for no apparent reason.

We don't want to adopt a "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" policy, because shunning is effective for those truly cancerous-to-the-community people that show up once in awhile.

But I admit that I sat by and watched people attack yoshi and charlie without turning the tables around and saying, "Hey, we don't want you to go that far. lighten up."

We are allowing this to happen - whether we are ok with it or not is up to us as a community.

I don't think moderation is the answer because it's very, very subjective, and it would either hit one of the extremes or oscillate back and forth between super strict and super loose, and would simply cause more problems than it helps.

We have to decide how we react to new members, and how we react to existing members who may not be as welcoming as they ought to be.
 
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#7
Dave, I like you and I really do like how the forum runs in general. I honestly don't want you to step down as admin.

I feel like a lesser known member, but from what I see, a lot of where...things go awry is in how something is posted. It's hard to tell if someone is merely teasing you in a friendly way, or is outright attacking you. And I'm not really sure how anyone would police that. I think part of what needs to happen is policing yourself. You can be honest in how you feel, but you don't need to jump on someone's back until they break.

I want to say that maybe shooting off a message to those that the admins' feel have crossed a line would help, but, I'm not sure it really would.

Gosh, I wish I knew how to say what I'm thinking...

Sarcasm outweighs affection when it comes to the forums, which isn't always a terrible thing, but it's hard to feel welcome or important when that snarkiness hits you full force. I'm a full supporter of having people not be quiet about any genuine kind things that they have to say about another poster. Anytime someone does something remotely stupid or silly, everyone jumps on that. But when someone does something good or something exciting is happening for another member, it can fly under the radar.

I know I'll try to be better and let people know that I appreciate them.

All in all, I adore the forums and I love the people here. I don't go a day without checking this page and I enjoy it. I wish I had more...better advice.
 
S

Soliloquy

#8
Here's how I see it:

Every community has some purpose that they gather around. If there's nothing to gather around, and nothing to draw people back, a community will neither grow nor maintain its numbers. Everyone will eventually go their separate ways a la Hell in The Great Divorce, but without the constant influx of lost souls.

Most forums are attached to some sort of content (comic, humor stories, videos, etc.), but I don't see that working for Halforums because Halforums was a forum first. Any content that we add to it seems like content being made for the sake of Halforums, which is difficult for people to justify keeping up with. If the content came first and Halforums grew as an extension of that content, it'd be a different story -- but trying to grow content from a forum would be like trying to grow roots from a severed tree trunk.

There are forums that exist and maintain themselves without said content, but they usually revolve around some sort of idea or cause, such as a certain religion, or atheism, or the destruction of America, or pastry baking. We don't have that. We have a general idea that we're geeks, but there's already a place for that -- it's called the internet.

So what we need to do:

We need to ask ourselves: why do we come to Halforums? What subjects or ideas or causes or discussion topics bring us here?

After that, we need to figure out which one of these reasons is the most common among us, and we need to revamp the board to focus primarily on that, and that alone. Are we a political discussion board? A beacon of coexistence and idea-sharing? A Scott Kurtz hate club? A group of cosplay enthusiasts? A media discussion group? A fine-tune-your-ability-to-be-a-passive-aggressive-asshole community? Any of these will work. But it needs to be specific and focused.

Once we figure that out, We need to make that topic our main forum. All the other forums still exist, but they need to exist for the side benefit of all the people who gather around that one primary subject. Once we get that set up, the hot threads on the main topic need to be displayed prominently on the front page as stories. Links to comment on these stories should lead to the forum.

Then--we need to promote ourselves. Twitter, Facebook, ads, spam, SEO manipulation, whatever we want to and are willing to do, we do it. With any luck, this will grow a community of similarly-interested folks. Getting these people here will make the snarkiness that drives people away seem less egregious, since there are so many other people who might take the snark-recipients' side.

So, everyone, what subjects bring you to Halforums?
 
M

makare

#9
I don’t like having a whole central purpose idea, because not everyone is going to agree on what that should be.

The main problem with the forum is so many people seem to confuse cruelty with humor. Requesting that people have a thick skin to be on the forum is really just a symptom of that problem. Why do they need a thick skin? Why is it so hard or unacceptable just to not be a dick to people? Why not just leave people alone OR use the ignore function? The fact that the ignore function is derided is also a symptom of a forum problem. That problem being, people who don’t just feel they have a right to an opinion but feel they have the right to torture other people with that opinion. It doesn’t matter so much when it is a political or something opinion, but often that opinion is about the other person. Why should anyone have to put up with that?

The forum also doesn’t take the time to get to know people before giving them the usual treatment. Not everyone finds the same things funny. If you are cornered by certain people on the forum and you don’t find what they do funny, you run the risk of not only being attacked by them, but also being ridiculed by the rest of the forum for “not having a sense of humor” or “can’t you take a joke”. I am not sure why on the forum it is different, but I was always of the opinion that jokes are meant to be funny. I don’t even know what to call jokes that hurt someone except maybe mean spirited. Is that what we want to be known as, mean spirited? That isn’t going to make people stay.

I wish I had solutions to these problems but by this time the people who act this way are not going to change. Public opinion and occasional action by mods doesn’t seem to affect them. If they aren’t willing to act decently there isn’t any way to make them do it.

There are so many people on the forum I like. I really enjoy their humor and their comments. There are people in other areas of the internet I have thought about bringing here, but I feel that I’d have to give them a really long list of things to do, not to do, and to watch for that it doesn’t seem worth it. I don’t know how to get people to stay when I would be to worried to recommend the place to anyone else.

I know when you write something like this you are supposed to have a solution but I don’t have one. Sorry.
 
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#10
I'm just going to be direct.

A few months ago I cut back the amount of time I spent here. There are a select group of members that are obnoxious assholes. They think they're being clever, they think they're awesome, but they're just a pack of dicks. I won't name names because that's not the point. The point is that some very mean-spirited people have a de facto free pass to shit all over other members of this board. Even though most of the venom wasn't directed my way, it was just tiresome seeing the same old bullshit.

I have no hope that this will change. I don't see the community doing anything to improve itself. It seems to be content to simply whittle itself away. And that's fine, really. Majority rules, and if the majority wants to go into self-destruct mode, so be it. Just don't act surprised when it happens. New people are treated like shit when they arrive. Old members who aren't part of the clique are mocked and sometimes bullied all the time. Until that changes, nothing about this forum will improve.

Now I can't wait to see the obligatory "we're just kidding around, don't be so sensitive" bullshit responses.
 
S

Soliloquy

#11
I agree with you about on pretty much all points, makare, but the thing is... we're not going to change people. No matter how many inspiring posts or heartfelt messages you send, people will remain who they are with very few exceptions. And if the people here is the only thing that draws people to the community... well, exactly what's been happening here is exactly what's going to happen.

Two things can fix this: 1) Having enough people here that have your back against people who disagree/oppose you, or 2) Having something besides the people that draws you here. Doing 2) successfully will cause 1) to happen.

Plus, I'm guessing the same people will be here if the site has a specific focus, so the reason most of us are drawn to the site (the people) won't go away.
 

BananaHands

Staff member
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74 4 0
#12
I'll say one thing...

There aren't going to be any new members if they look at the forums and see all these threads about how HalForums is imploding.
 
M

makare

#13
maybe they will come on and say "I can save you!" then everyone will come out of their caves, call them white knights, and throw rocks at them until they go away.
 
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#14
I come here for nerd culture and discussion. New game coming out? I know there will be a thread on it. New sci-fi series? Thread. I like having a place to discuss things that interest me, and this place isn't so big that everything is lost in the noise.

If anything, I think more things to celebrate nerd culture would bring in more like minded posters. As well as a better front page. Who here even looks at the front page? Having comics on it wasn't a bad idea, but it didn't work.

News on the front page would be better. Maybe a blurb about whatever hot topic is going on, with links to the various user blogs about said subject, which are woefully underused. A blueprint to allow new users to quickly find discussions that interest them, and join in.

Of course, if it were me, I'd have even less moderation about posting, but I'm weird and thrive in a hostile, lawless environment.
 
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#15
We have a front page? I have the first page of General bookmarked and set as the home page for my browser.
 
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#16
Lets be honest with ourselves here, we aren't changing no matter how many times we do this self evaluation thing. I don't have the energy anymore to push for a more civil forum and fight back against the attacks that follow and I have no expectations of anything really sticking because IT NEVER DOES.

Dave, I love ya buddy, but you're the mom the kids go to when dad says 'no'. You've undermined your mods in the past and all the old guard knows it. Whatever you do will probably be interesting for a little bit but it probably won't affect me all that much. I still wouldn't tell my friends to come here and I'd wager if we were truly honest with one another most of us wouldn't.
 
M

makare

#17
I go right to the forum when I come on here. I don't know what is on the front page.
 
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#18
I don't remember Dave undermining any mods. Not saying it didn't happen - there've been plenty of times I've taken breaks from the forums and it may have happened during one of those times, or it could have happened yesterday and I just didn't notice it. I don't think Dave stepping down is the answer. I don't think bringing someone in to swing the ban hammer is the answer - you're likely to drive away more people than you bring in, and very likely to drive away more than just the people who you've banned. I'd love to see more people, with more diverse opinions and more (meaning a higher quantity) interesting topics, but there are whole subforums that I don't currently find interesting enough to even read the posts in them, let alone contribute, so I couldn't really name any specific types of topics that I'd like to see discussed more - I mean, generally if there's a topic I want to discuss and it's not already being discussed, I just post a thread, you know?
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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864 170 3
#19
I think I should clarify that when I said that general internet forums are a dying medium, I didn't mean that they will cease to exist. Even IRC, a long "dead" internet medium, still has its adherents. There are only two states for any entity - growing, or dying. This forum is not growing. But does it really need to?

This forum is just the physical structure for a community of posters for whom their social interactions superceded the original purpose of the forum on which they met. That's why Kurtz shut off the lights - the PvP forums weren't about PVP any more, they were just us... cybersquatting in his back yard. When he chucked us out, Dave made a place for us. That was the day we dropped all pretense. That was the day we just became about us.

That definition is inherently limited. It's extremely difficult (though not impossible) to add more people to "us" - it has been done, but mostly through word of mouth to close friends/family of existing posters. We are the SOS brigade with no Haruhi. A club with no purpose other than seeking the entertainment that congregating brings us.

I say this forum is dying in the sense that we're all "dying," one day at a time. That's not tragic, that's life. That is inevitable. That is, dare I say, how it should be. Yes, people will get alienated or bored and wander off, yes the forum will "whittle" itself down over time. All things end. When the ride comes to a complete stop, all you're left with is memories.

I disagree that this place has been more acrimonious lately. I remember many times when it was much worse. I can think of people I'm pretty sure I had a hand in "driving off" going back years, starting with someone I think named "ShadowyDreamer" or some such way back on the PvP forums.

I'll say it. I didn't like Yoshi. Even more than I don't like most people. Every time I saw him posting, my thought was "aw jeez, it's THAT guy again." He rubbed me the wrong way in the same way that l33tn00b (another formerly active user we lost) did - too overeager, too manic, just trying too hard. I wasn't actively mean to him (though I wasn't any nicer to him than I am to the rest of you jerkoffs either), but it didn't matter. He probably ended up feeling like he didn't belong here. Because maybe he actually didn't.

See, that's the thing. Not everybody meshes well with everybody. We can't expect every new person who comes along to stay for the long haul. Not even most of them, I'd say. They can't all be a good fit.

What I HAVE noticed lately is an increase in cynical snark. People who think they're oh-too-fucking clever to do anything other than post a contemptuous, biting, sarcastic, flippant single sentence of disapproval. I'm not *edit* going to name names because Dave specifically wants me not too, but I'm sure people know who I mean. People joke (to varying degrees) about how "Fade doesn't like anything" but at least Fade tries to have a conversation about it other than trying to smother topics like a wet blanket. I know I'm a neverending cauldron of grouchy disapproval, but I like to think the way I do things invites a comeback. There's a difference between posting one's disagreement or dislike, and posting a thinly veiled "STFU and GTFO." I tried not to cross that line, though I probably did from time to time. I know I did by helping to perpetuate the "STFU Charlie" forum meme, but that was intentional.

Anyway I'm getting off track. What I'm trying to get across here, is that just because the forum isn't growing doesn't mean we should be upset about it, doing desperate soul-searching to try to figure out how we can get strangers to like us.

Dave, you say you feel like you failed. What were you trying to do? Make a forum that lasted forever and grew into the next 4chan? That would have been doomed from the start, a fool's errand.

What you really set out to do, I think, was make a forum to enable those who you knew from the old boards to continue to interact with each other. And in that I think you succeeded and surpassed all reasonable expectations.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#20
When I said no names I mean it. You can talk about certain posters as you did with Fade, but everything else was not acceptable.
 
S

Soliloquy

#21
Lets be honest with ourselves here, we aren't changing no matter how many times we do this self evaluation thing. I don't have the energy anymore to push for a more civil forum and fight back against the attacks that follow and I have no expectations of anything really sticking because IT NEVER DOES.

Dave, I love ya buddy, but you're the mom the kids go to when dad says 'no'. You've undermined your mods in the past and all the old guard knows it. Whatever you do will probably be interesting for a little bit but it probably won't affect me all that much. I still wouldn't tell my friends to come here and I'd wager if we were truly honest with one another most of us wouldn't.
I agree that the people aren't going to change, so I'd say the focus of this thread needs to stay away from focusing on how people ought to change. It should focus on how the site should change so as to draw more people.
 
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#22
I like the suggestion of changing the front page to reflect more who we are, what we're about, maybe have a ticker that displays some of the more active topics. I checked the current front page just now and it's got a webcomic that hasn't been updated in months, links to other comics, the option to log out, an RSS feed option and a horrible, horrible taupe background. If I happened across the site while just surfing around, I wouldn't have the slightest idea of what the forums were about, other than I'd assume they might be about webcomics of some sort.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#23
When I said no names I mean it. You can talk about certain posters as you did with Fade, but everything else was not acceptable.
Alright, I edited out the other names I named. Though the elephant in the room doesn't go away if you pretend it isn't there.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
Reactions
864 170 3
#24
I like the suggestion of changing the front page to reflect more who we are, what we're about, maybe have a ticker that displays some of the more active topics. I checked the current front page just now and it's got a webcomic that hasn't been updated in months, links to other comics, the option to log out, an RSS feed option and a horrible, horrible taupe background. If I happened across the site while just surfing around, I wouldn't have the slightest idea of what the forums were about, other than I'd assume they might be about webcomics of some sort.
Maybe that'd help. "Halforums - where nerds go on the internet to be mean to each other."
 
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#26
I'd like to pose a question about the entire concept of this question. Do we need to try to be something specific? Is that something that we have to aspire to? I don't have direct access to our post stats and membership count, so I don't know how many people we're really losing and if the reason that we're losing a majority of those members is because of personal attacks or just because people are moving on with their lives or working jobs where they can't post at work and then when they get home they're exhausted or don't feel they have anything to say. I can only speak for myself when I say that my job leaves me plenty of time and opportunity to post all day long while at work, which is where I tend to put in all of my forum time. I pretty much never even read the forums from home, unless I'm watching a specific thread, let alone post to them.

Are we losing so many members that we're in danger of disappearing into thin air, or is the main concern that some of the old guard and a lot of potential new posters are going away? I know we've recently lost Yoshi and Charlie, and that we've been bleeding some of the die-hard old-guard members over a longer period of time; and I don't see any harm in trying to be a more inviting place to visit and chat, but I don't know that we need to change who we are as a board (even if we can't really define who we are now), or target some specific audience in order to add people to the flock.
There are a lot of offtopic forums so it would help if the forum had some sort of identity to draw new members.
 
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#28
I agree with a lot of Soliloquy's points, particularly that people aren't going to change. The members of this forum and the forum itself has an established personality that simply isn't a lot of people's cup of tea. There's no way that can change short of deciding what attitude we'd want the forum to portray and banning or censoring anyone who goes too far against that, or setting up a messy set of rules and protocols for dealing with new members.

We are a very loose community with no particular rallying point, but I'd argue that may be what compels me to keep coming back here rather than another forum. On many webcomics forums I've lurked, topics tend to die out if they're not about that particular webcomic. Here everybody has opinions on any number of wide-ranging topics and it keeps the place more interesting. If I recall correctly, this community's wide-rangedness contributed to Kurtz's decision to nuke the halfpixel forums; he complained in his blog post about threads not being PVP-centric. Forums like what he wanted tend to get boring for me.

So I feel the best thing we can do is get an influx of new members by acting as a hub for a wide range of topics. We could offer ourselves as a free forum service for any website that wants to outsource us for their communities instead of having to bother maintaining and moderating a forum themselves. We could redesign the front page as more of a newgrounds-esque portal to allow more members to contribute more content, maybe with an ad monetization system to reward good content that attracts lots of pageviews. This may cause some community-splintering with people sticking themselves exclusively into some subforums of a particular topic, but I think this would be healthier than our current state.
 
S

Soliloquy

#29
Cosplay and Pop-Culture? Hell, I'll dress up like Nathan Drake more if it helps.
We do draw a lot of cosplay lurkers... but would everyone here be willing to be a part of a cosplay forum?

So I feel the best thing we can do is get an influx of new members by acting as a hub for a wide range of topics. We could offer ourselves as a free forum service for any website that wants to outsource us for their communities instead of having to bother maintaining and moderating a forum themselves.
We've tried that before with webcomics, and the general responses were either "No, we don't need a forum," or "No thanks, you guys are kind of jerks."

So while that's not necessarily a bad idea, I'd say we'd need to build ourselves up as larger a community first before we'd be able to get any takers.

We could redesign the front page as more of a newgrounds-esque portal to allow more members to contribute more content, maybe with an ad monetization system to reward good content that attracts lots of pageviews. This may cause some community-splintering with people sticking themselves exclusively into some sub-forums of a particular topic, but I think this would be healthier than our current state.
That might be effective, but we'll need regularly-updated stuff on the front page that's not user-generated as well, just to make sure it doesn't stay stagnant for months on end.
 
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#30
I've got to agree a lot with the crispy and delicious penguin. If this place were just about PvP, or just about cosplay, or just about politics, or just about video games, or just about any one thing really, I'd've left long ago and not come back. As it is though, I like talking about PvP, I don't really care one way or another about cosplay, I like to talk politics, I like hearing about what's going on in Wisconsin with Supreme Leader Walker, I like the information that I can glean from the various threads in the tech talk forum, and I really enjoyed my little discussion the other day with PatrThom about Pinochle. I don't come here for any one thing or for any one person, I come here because there are a lot of people whose opinions I value about a lot of topics. I posted that thread about needing to figure out how to come up with $7k in a short amount of time because I knew someone would chime in and I was looking forward to seeing what a few specific people could contribute. So far, only one of those people has failed to post in that thread, and he's a little busy right now so it's understandable. Hell, I even like reading the rant threads, because when people are having really bad days, I like to be able to give a word of encouragement now and then.
 

BananaHands

Staff member
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#31
I don't know. We're all sorts of things. Turn the front page around so it's "Cosplayer of the week!" "Artist of the week!" "Webcomic of the week!"

Shit like that. We have enough artists, webcomics and cosplayers that post on this forum.
 
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#32
We do have that, and there's almost always at least one art contest going on, and at least one person doing a "I'm going to produce art every day this month" thread. But I'd make that a starting point, and expand from there. If we just go with that, then again we're only drawing part of our potential audience.
 

BananaHands

Staff member
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#33
Frankly, I don't care what this forum stands for. I like the people here. Do what you wish, I'm jumping out of this thread before people get really mad at eachother.

Banana Hands... OUT.
 
S

Soliloquy

#34
I've got to agree a lot with the crispy and delicious penguin. If this place were just about PvP, or just about cosplay, or just about politics, or just about video games, or just about any one thing really, I'd've left long ago and not come back. As it is though, I like talking about PvP, I don't really care one way or another about cosplay, I like to talk politics, I like hearing about what's going on in Wisconsin with Supreme Leader Walker, I like the information that I can glean from the various threads in the tech talk forum, and I really enjoyed my little discussion the other day with PatrThom about Pinochle. I don't come here for any one thing or for any one person, I come here because there are a lot of people whose opinions I value about a lot of topics. I posted that thread about needing to figure out how to come up with $7k in a short amount of time because I knew someone would chime in and I was looking forward to seeing what a few specific people could contribute. So far, only one of those people has failed to post in that thread, and he's a little busy right now so it's understandable. Hell, I even like reading the rant threads, because when people are having really bad days, I like to be able to give a word of encouragement now and then.
Do you think these kinds of posts and topics would go away if we decided on a primary focus for the forum? I'm a bad example (I'm not as involved as everyone else) but I know that if this became a site for, say, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic (a show I've never seen an episode of), I'd still stick around and post what I always had in the same forums I've always posted in, barely changing anything about my posting habits. I think all the other posters would do the same thing since people who made up the community they love are still here.

I might be wrong, though. My personality is considered abnormal among most of my friends. So I guess there's another question that needs to be asked:

Halforumites: if we chose a specific subject to focus the forum around that most of us (but not necessarily you) agree on, would you still stick around and post on the same topics you always have?
 
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