Who are we and who do we want to be?

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Dave

Staff member
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Weird. I thought I had it so that you automatically joined. I ran a cron job and everything.
 
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Same, I just wanted to make sure no one would be inconvenienced by this. Minimum Drama.
 

Dave

Staff member
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Damn it. I may have to find a way to inject the group into the SQL. I hate that.

edit: Any SQL gurus here?
 
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Is it normal to still see new posts from the game threads forum with what;s new when you don't have a check mark in the game threads group?
 

Dave

Staff member
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Damn it! I thought I had it fixed! I'll have to work on it tonight as I'm about to leave work.
 

Dave

Staff member
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Seems I borked up some permissions. Zappit and Wahad were unable to connect and God knows who else.

And the solution I had for auto checking for new people? Won't work. If I try that it would add everyone when the cron job ran every 70 minutes or so. Crap.
 
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Been putting off responding because I knew it would take a while and I never had enough time to sit in front of the computer the required amount of time, but I know it'll never be good enough to make me happy, so I'm jumpin' in now. Dave, you asked for feedback, and the deal is that you get what you ask for, whether you want it or not. Also, whether *I* want it or not. I didn't know there was Forum-Wide Drama going on until this thread popped up, but I aim to say my piece.

Point 1: Dave, you resigning would be dumb. Don't resign. You haven't failed, you're just fretful. A long time ago, I seem to remember that you promised your method of rule would be mostly hands-off, because you felt that NOT ruling the boards with an iron fist would allow us to be more like ourselves, a thing you admitted you actually preferred. Guess what? You were right. Freedom means free, and even though one or another of our posters may have an occasional Westboro Baptist Church moment, the board itself is healthier for giving everyone else the ability to return fire and atomic drop that [joker] like he/she deserves. It's a board of the people, by the people, and for the people, and I'm pretty sure the people like having you in your current position. If they didn't, they would not have reformed around you these many years ago.

Point 2: As has been said before, we are a club. A family. A clique. A long time ago, we were more fluid as people drifted in and out. Over time, the state of the forum has solidified* into the group we have now. We have become more like a shear thinning fluid, where it takes more than a little pressure to loosen us up before we become receptive to new members, new ideas, or even new forum rules. The Yoshimickster situation is a good example. I'm in the "Gee I miss him" camp on this one. He showed up, took our jibes and ribbing and kept right on posting. In short, he wanted to join our club, we hazed him, and he was forcing it down and coming along just fine. And then something inexplicable happened, and now he's gone. I'll tell you right now, part of the reason I miss him is because he proved he could hang. Have you seen his post count? He doled out far more comments than he received. It's obvious (to me) that he was really workin' to be accepted, and from what I could see, he was definitely earning it.

Now it's no secret that we (the forumites in general) like each other (Just ask North Ranger). We're a tight group. Who wouldn't want to be part of such a tight group? I'll tell you who...someone who sees the initial hostility not as an obstacle to overcome (a test of worthiness, so to speak), but as genuine. Most of the time, what happens is that the new guy survives until another (bunch of) new guy(s) comes along, at which point the old new guy gets made The Offer: Join with us against this newest bunch of candidates and you will be respected (One of us! One of us!). Lately, what has been happening is that the influx has slowed enough to where the new guys get discouraged and leave before they either get to gang up on newer newbies or before they are discovered to have some sort of valuable talent/connection that earns them The Offer. I know Gas said everything is either expanding or contracting, but that's just not true. The forum is just evolving internally somehow, it's not dying quite yet. That may change in the future, but that is not where we are right now. Most of our new users ride some sort of discovery wave where we seem to get a blob of new people every now and again, and some of them stick.

Point 3: Passive aggression and other sarcasm are normal. Like two brothers who punch each other in the shoulder on long car trips, we are a community of intelligent and/or opinionated people who will still wrestle with each other, call each other names, and put thumbtacks on each other's chairs. This is how the pecking order is established. Why do we need a pecking order? Because we are a pack/herd and there will be jockeying to see where everyone falls in relation to everyone else. See my point 2 as regards how that jockeying has slowed/gelled as the discussions have toned down. When we get too comfortable with each other, or when the control rods get inserted too forcefully, the reaction slows way down, possibly to the point where it can no longer sustain itself. I get that we can stoke the forum with new blood, but we can also keep it hot and melt-y by allowing us to at least go back and forward among ourselves enough to keep flowing. We will never be nice to everyone. We should never try, either. It would be fatal.

Point 4: We have no clearly-defined point. We are not a branded department store, but neither do we try to cater to everything all at once. We are a mall with a buffet as one of our flagship anchors. We do not cater to a specific demographic, nor any particular designer. We exist merely as a place to allow the current whimsy to take root, bear fruit, and reseed. I will often come here and roll my eyes at a thread because I think to myself, "I just saw that same exact thread over at Reddit," but the reason I don't make a huge stink about it is because this forum is not a clone of Reddit, just like it isn't a clone of Fark, Digg, or even Yahoo! News. Instead, it's more like a huge Internet water cooler where reasonably like-minded individuals go to hang out to shoot the [interesting tidbits] among ourselves. We all work at the same job (Life!). Some of us work in crappier departments than others (again, e.g. North Ranger sorry buddy), but that water cooler is where we come to unload, commiserate, fence, argue, make weekend plans...whatever. Trying to force all that water cooler discussion to center around some specific theme is probably not going to work. If anything, I would propose that one of the front page features should be the top 10 hottest (publicly visible) threads trending in the last 24hrs, with the possibility of adding other categories (newest 5 threads created, top 5 all week, top 5 all month, etc). This would at least play up the forum's whimsy, and it would keep people checking back to see what keeps getting pushed to the front page.

Point 5: I like this place. A lot. I am active on exactly 3 forums on the Internet, this forum accounts for > 85% of my online social activity, and I don't see anything wrong with that at all. I only check my FaceBook approximately once every 3-4 weeks because it's all just a bunch of people reposting memes and discussing their relationship (or lack of one) in 2 sentence bites, and I'm actually related to many of those folks. I want to continue to come back here for a very long time to come, and I feel confident in saying that it would take some pretty significant effort to dislodge me by this point. I come here because I don't have to deal with all of that [treacle] and a discussion here instead can (and often does) go on for page after page of point/counterpoint/dodge/thrust/parry/spin with plenty of well-reasoned and thought-provoking content. Yes, there are dicks. Dicks everywhere. But y'know what? The world is full of dicks, so I suppose I should not be surprised to find some here. There are some dicks where I work, too. I don't agree with everything my coworkers say, and some of them have issue with some of the teeth-grindingly annoying things I take offense to as well. In spite of this, we consistently show up as being one of the highest-performing outfits in our region (on points, not in total number of first-place finishes) and occasionally place in top 10 in the company in one thing or another. Know why? It's because our leadership prefers to guide, not rule. They'll rule if they have to, but guidance is always better for morale. We usually manage to work it out among ourselves, and the huge variety in opinion, education, and attitude means we are really good at covering all the bases. I could go on here about The Best Way To Run A Business, but no doubt many of you are already involved with some facet of running a business, so I don't feel I need to go into that. I just don't want to have to fire you guys because y'all went and did something stupid that got in the way of your job...which is to be my entertainment and my refuge when I'm feeling bored and/or down.

And now too much time has gone by and not enough is left before I have to get back up and go to work, so I'ma leave anything else I feel like saying until later. Aren't you lucky.

Peace.

--Patrick
*See what I did there?
 
M

makare

My friends and family don't really do the whole cruel joke, jab but I love you anyway thing. We are just nice to each other. I guess I just don't have the experience that makes that kind of thing on here seem normal.
 
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80% of my familial communication is via sarcasm. 10% through a nonsense language everyone but my brother speaks, which is hilarious. 5% facial expressions indicating emotions no one will admit on any meaningful level. 5% on those emotions unhealthily boiling over.
 

Cajungal

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I keep coming back to one thing, and maybe it's not actually helpful at all... but it's buzzing around in my brain, and I ought to get it out of there:

I can't remember exactly, but I don't think HP had an Introduce Yourself section at all. I remember just posting one afternoon and blending in fairly easily just by posting a little bit more every day. It's a lot easier to get a feel for the place (IMO) if you just jump in with both feet into discussion than of you start a thread that's just "Hi, I'm from ______ and I like ________ and I came here because _________."

If you stay, people will find all that our more organically. Maybe it's people making threads strictly about being new that draw too much attention to these people who are still developing Hal-calluses. I dunno.
 

ElJuski

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My friends and family don't really do the whole cruel joke, jab but I love you anyway thing. We are just nice to each other. I guess I just don't have the experience that makes that kind of thing on here seem normal.
But does that mean that the rest of us have to stop if we understand that? Look, I understand toning down, but I'm never going to be the "AWWW POOR BOOBOO" and HUGS guy.
 
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Jax (Guest)

Dave, are the user groups active? If so, maybe make a seperate sticky for it, so everybody knows about it?

I have a slow day at work, so I went here and just happened to see this thread and read all (or at least most) of the currently 7 pages, but I probably would've stopped reading after the first two pages during my 'regular' Halforum time. Or even better, I hadn't even noticed the thread until now (I guess that'll teach me to ignore the [Important] prefix..)
 

Espy

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I keep coming back to one thing, and maybe it's not actually helpful at all... but it's buzzing around in my brain, and I ought to get it out of there:

I can't remember exactly, but I don't think HP had an Introduce Yourself section at all. I remember just posting one afternoon and blending in fairly easily just by posting a little bit more every day. It's a lot easier to get a feel for the place (IMO) if you just jump in with both feet into discussion than of you start a thread that's just "Hi, I'm from ______ and I like ________ and I came here because _________."

If you stay, people will find all that our more organically. Maybe it's people making threads strictly about being new that draw too much attention to these people who are still developing Hal-calluses. I dunno.
I actually think there is some real wisdom here.

Pay attention to this gal folks. She is going places.
 
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How about posting more cat pictures. That's always a winner.
I don't know where you come from or just who the Hell you think you are, but so help me Bob if you come in here denigrating cat pictures on the internet, I will hunt you down like a zombie catching a whiff of Stephen Hawking with a busted spoke.

Just kidding. Good to see you back, Jake.
 
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makare

But does that mean that the rest of us have to stop if we understand that? Look, I understand toning down, but I'm never going to be the "AWWW POOR BOOBOO" and HUGS guy.

Yeah I am not really like that either. However I will never find cruel jokes funny. Degrading other people for amusement isn't a joke anyway. It is just mean.

I get sick of seeing "it's a joke" used as "yeah I meant what I said but if I say 'it's a joke' I don't have to take responsibility for it"

So basically I am all for people toning it down. Way the hell down.
 
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