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  • #16
    Two ideas

    I may as well throw this out now, and see what the reaction is:

    We are thinking of ways to do two things:

    1 - Make the forums more useful for DEFCON related activities.
    2 - Make the forums, or another new forum, that is focused to the community. Does that mean people just entering the scene, or ninjas, or unix grey beards? I don't know. But I know I like shorter waiting periods for posting, and more discussion. If the existing forums are going to exist mostly just for DEFCON, then maybe a new forum should be created.

    Now, thecotman and Grifter and I have been talking about #1. I think the first new addition to the forums will be some sort of picture posting system that ties into the existing vbulletin system. It will let people upload pictures from the con, and people can rate them, group them, comment them, etc.

    The idea is to create a repository of people's photo memories of def con, a place that won't go away when their provider dies, etc.

    What is your reaction to ideas #1 and 2?

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Last edited by The Dark Tangent; June 17, 2006, 01:13.
    PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by TheCotMan
      Good. What if there was a "Social Forum" that wasn't /dev/null?
      Great idea. I only said /dev/null because I thought it was a bit ironic how that place seemed to jump in the post counts when you guys opened it up for anyone to put stuff in there.

      Originally posted by TheCotMan
      A forum for making comments about "life in general" (but still no Politics and Religion) ?
      For a "life in general" section, or should I say "Daily Crap". I would say something along the lines of letting people pretty much post what they want. Be it some randomness that's going on with one of their computers to some funny article they found on whatever website. Yea politics and religion should stay out, no question about that. But let the people have fun with it, and make it into whatever they want to (as long as it follows the rules, of course). It will help some 'loosen up', and others to not feel like they're walking on eggshell's around here all the time. It will also promote more 'community'.

      Another possible suggestion:

      People who come to these forums are interested in hacking. This is, after all, the forum based on the largest hacking convention in the world. I do agree that 'h4x0rs' are a joke. However, if we can have an adult talk about say, our experiences with disassembling -something-, or some in depth back-and-fourth on botnet's, how one would hide processes, etc. I don't think any of that stuff is illegal to talk about, and would give the new members a way to interact with the old timers around here on subjects were all interested in.

      Originally posted by TheCotMan
      What if it was not on the first page, but a subforum of Community Talk, and if it became popular, might be moved to the top? Would it better if that space existied, and was published, but only available to people that "subscribed" to it?
      Considering shrdlu's post earlier, this would be the ideal way to go about it. There's always going to be people who aren't interested in something, and that's fine. Those who are interested in something like this can go ahead and subscribe - no problems anywhere across the board.

      Originally posted by TheCotMan
      Could you suggest a modification to the rule 9 item to describe the kind of posting that would be fair-game in that space?
      9. Off-Topic Posting:
      These are the DEFCON Forums. They exist mainly for discussion, planning, questions and answers, for all things "DEFCON". Off-topic conversation is allowed in the "Daily Crap" Section. This is a place where "anything goes", as long as it stays within the boundaries of the rest of the defcon rules. Posts in poor taste or violating *any* of the DEFCON rules may be /dev/null-ed, or censored (for legal reasons).

      Religion is always off-topic. Political topics are mostly off-topic.
      Be safe, and avoid topics of Politics and/or Religion.
      When you draw first blood you can't stop this fight
      For my own piece of mind - I'm going to
      Tear your fucking eyes out
      Rip your fucking flesh off
      Beat you till you're just a fucking lifeless carcass
      Fuck you and your progress
      Watch me fucking regress
      You were meant to take the fall - now you're nothing
      Payback's a bitch motherfucker!

      Slayer - Payback

      Comment


      • #18
        You are rockin this thread with some awesome feedback and it is much appreciated. The only thing I feel compelled to mention is:

        Originally posted by IcEbLAze
        However, if we can have an adult talk about say, our experiences with disassembling -something-, or some in depth back-and-fourth on botnet's, how one would hide processes, etc. I don't think any of that stuff is illegal to talk about, and would give the new members a way to interact with the old timers around here on subjects were all interested in.
        This is actually something that, within the bounds of legality, we don't (and haven't sought to) discourage at all. There have been a handful of these discussions in recent past, the Buffer Overflows thread comes to mind for some reason. Something that has changed is that we redirected all of this into the Community Chat area. We're not trying to discourage the discussion, but clean up the front page by presuming that the 'Community' will naturally discuss these things.

        Many of the moderators (myself included) may have given of an unintentional message by trying to keep the discussions clean. Depending on the level of frustration induced by less-than tolerable posters may have dictated a more forceful reaction to accomplish resolution. Ultimately, we don't want a forum full of folks asking "What is a buffer overflow and where can I download the program to do one for me"; let alone a forum of folks asking it every other day because they were too lazy to type "buffer overflow" in the search box, or to even bother looking in the top of a forum to see 5 other threads labelled similarly. It creates an environment that limits member interest in the Forums because of the overwhelming noise.

        OTOH, we don't want to stifle discussion by making folks think they have to be THE expert on a subject to discuss something without getting flamed. Recent steps to limit a lot of the flaming that led to this apprehension appear to be working (for the moment), but also have led to the feeling of a less .. 'social' forum than previous. The trick is navigating things to find a middle ground between complete seriousness/silence and so much worthless noise/chatter (that often belongs left in irc). Ideas and discussion to further reconcile this notion are really helpful.

        I know the 'side-forum' idea you mentioned is something that has been brought up recently and something I'm about to chat with TheCotMan about right now... maybe there is a way to make this work without upsetting the balance of those that want no part in the mass of junk it would likely bring, maybe not. At this point we're exploring ALL ideas; because ultimately we want to craft and maintain a forum that is 1) useful and fun to you 2) useful and fun to the community 3) just plain cool to hang around and post at ... while remaining focused on Defcon and the community around it.

        This is a work in progress of >5 years, we just left out the construction page with yellow signs and animated stick figures. Feel free to grab a shovel.
        if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by shrdlu
          It's the *defcon* forums. That's why it's called the "DEFCON Forums", and I hope that it stays just that.
          This is what I like about the forums, it is how they can act as a tool to help with getting information out to people about Defcon. I've written before that I see the defcon forums purpose to exist as an amalgamation of 3 ideas, ordered in ranking:
          1) Provide information about Defcon, and to help with the planning and discussion of all things Defcon.
          2) Provide an environment for technical discussions, and ideas. (This is not just coding, or software or OS, but ideas of new things to try or new technology.)
          3) Provide a social space for people in the community.

          I really like the 1 & 2, and 3 is interesting when it includes people that I'd hang out with, but that does not mean I /dev/null all social discussions that don't include me. There is value in social content, but how can it be (mostly) compartmentalized in a space that does not ruin what I see as the primary role of the forums?

          Perhaps a dedicated forum to social content is a good idea. (?) Perhaps a separate forum for the community, a forum with a primary job being to *be* social is a good idea? Maybe it can be tested in a subforum here, and if popular become a completely different site, but still be related.

          Originally posted by Dark Tangen
          The idea is to create a repository of people's photo memories of def con, a place that won't go away when their provider dies, etc.
          The opportunity for forum members to post pictures with web-software could create opportunity for an increase in social discussion, perhaps a separate forum for discussing pictures, and events at defcon.
          I think this idea came up after a discussion between Grifter and DT. It is a good idea, especially when you consider how many Defcon photos are no longer on the web because people have decided to no longer serve them, or have changed their priorities. Photos bring social discussion, stories, events, and help maintain historical records.

          Originally posted by IcEbLAze
          I only said /dev/null because... reply chopped]
          Thanks for the ideas, and the suggestion for the rule modification. If you have more ideas on how to refine this, I'd like to read them.

          I'd rather try something new and see it fail, than never to try. We've tested many new ideas, and its no surprise that more ideas were tested and removed than were tested and remained.


          Threads like this exist because a community often steers itself.
          However, a new destination will never be selected if it's never suggested.
          Last edited by TheCotMan; June 17, 2006, 04:45. Reason: dang my typing sucks. fixed bad mistakes.

          Comment


          • #20
            I hope that I'm not a voice crying in the wilderness, but here goes.

            There are about a bajillion social networking sites out there. I've poked at a lot of them (I even joined some of them). There's only one defcon. I don't even particularly like the "forum" mechanism of communicating, but here I am, anyway. You can "subscribe" to threads if you're interested, but there's no way to "ignore" them. Thank goodness I was subscribed to this one. With the databases and system clock throwing things out of whack, I'd have never known that there were replies.

            Originally posted by TheCotMan
            1) Provide information about Defcon, and to help with the planning and discussion of all things Defcon.
            2) Provide an environment for technical discussions, and ideas. (This is not just coding, or software or OS, but ideas of new things to try or new technology.)
            3) Provide a social space for people in the community.
            I can see that you all are suddenly excited about possibilities. Please consider that the forums are currently useful precisely because they only concern defcon. If you really and truly want to go off and make a social networking site that's an off shoot of this one, go for it. There must already be avenues for this, really. There's the forums over on packetstorm (http://www2.packetstormsecurity.org/...mc/forums.cgi). There are mailing lists and web forums everywhere.

            Can't this one stay unique? As defcon nears, I can see the noise level going up (nothing like it was when it started out, but still a bit much). Community is good, sure, but I just don't see it as necessary for this. Perhaps I'm wrong.

            As I said, if there was some way to see if there were new posts in *just* the things I was interested in, I probably wouldn't care. If I could keep track of the things that *did* interest me without having to subscribe to each and every thread, then it would be fine. Does this really have to be the hacker's equivalent of myspace or linkedin?

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by shrdlu
              As I said, if there was some way to see if there were new posts in *just* the things I was interested in, I probably wouldn't care.
              This is exactly what we are workking on. :-)
              (It may expand to allow for even more user-control on semi-personal forum listings. For now, the demo is for just one forum.)

              Converge has suggested most of the ideas on this, and I'vee been trying to implement them and provide a demo of them.

              I'm not sure how much I can discuss about the ideas we are testing, but I'll cover some ideas being tested right now to see what you think. If you (shrdlu) would like to see this demo, send me a PM, so you can see if it really will do what you want.

              I think it will. Here is what the demo seems to be doing:
              1) User can choose to join or not.
              2) If you are not joined, you don't see it. "New Posts" don't show up in it, searches don't reveal it. It is GONE if you don't join.
              3) If you are joined, it appears to you, New Posts include it, seraches include access to search it.

              I have asked iceblaze to test this, and have some useful feedback.

              I'd like to hear your (shrdlu) thoughts on this. I really do think that we can keep the forums working as they are now with the rules as they are now, and an exception to the rules for just a new social space.

              If I could keep track of the things that *did* interest me without having to subscribe to each and every thread, then it would be fine. Does this really have to be the hacker's equivalent of myspace or linkedin?
              I am personally not looking for a myspace. What has happened over the past 6 months, is we have really clamped down hard with policies, procedures and tools to cause the number of /dev/null-like posts to drop to the floor.

              Many people have mentioned the quality in content on the forums is probably the highest they have seen in a long time. Abuse seems gone, Off-Topic discussions have been minimized, and the forums are actually useful. Contests and event information is organized and easy to find, DT has a FAQ, the rules have been rewritten. I think many of the mods agree with you on the value of the forums today in helping with Defcon.

              I also see less of the "good" social content, where people had fun talking about things more than one degree separated from Defcon. Klepto caustioned us about the restrictive waiting period, and we have seen the benefits I projected, and the losses that he projected.

              I'd like to hear what you (shrdlu) think about the solution we are testing, as you are not alone in your opinion about where the forums are today.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by TheCotMan
                This is exactly what we are working on. :-)
                (It may expand to allow for even more user-control on semi-personal forum listings. For now, the demo is for just one forum.)
                If you're working on things, then I wish someone would fix the quoting system. When you use the reply function (as I just did to reply to you), any previous quotes are lost, and must be laboriously reconstructed. It really makes me miss email.

                Originally posted by TheCotMan
                If you (shrdlu) would like to see this demo, send me a PM, so you can see if it really will do what you want.
                I think from your description, that it's what I meant. If I don't see it when I look for new posts, then I don't care. I just don't want to see a return to the miasma of AOL Chat that it was for a while (and which drove me away).

                Originally posted by TheCotMan
                I'd like to hear your (shrdlu) thoughts on this. I really do think that we can keep the forums working as they are now with the rules as they are now, and an exception to the rules for just a new social space.
                So tell me again why you think that there needs to be a social space here. I had mentioned that it was very easy to find such things, and am still trying to understand why there needs to be one here. There's a defcon tribe, a defcon group on myspace, a defcon section over on orkut (does anyone still care about orkut?), a forum on packetstorm, and so on. They all have about the same amount of stuff, and the same kind of stuff, in varying amounts. Other than that this is your own backyard, so to speak, how will it be any different?

                Many people have mentioned the quality in content on the forums is probably the highest they have seen in a long time. Abuse seems gone, Off-Topic discussions have been minimized, and the forums are actually useful. Contests and event information is organized and easy to find, DT has a FAQ, the rules have been rewritten. I think many of the mods agree with you on the value of the forums today in helping with Defcon.
                I'm glad of this. I probably still find some things off topic that you wouldn't agree with me on, but that's just me. I currently have the time to look at things, so I don't mind that the "New Posts" function brings up so much that isn't all that interesting. I still say you need an "Ignore" function that matches the "Subscribe" function, but is opposite.

                I also see less of the "good" social content, where people had fun talking about things more than one degree separated from Defcon. Klepto caustioned us about the restrictive waiting period, and we have seen the benefits I projected, and the losses that he projected.
                I guess I think that people talking about biofuel is about as far away from defcon as you can get. There's others, that's just the first one that came to mind. I realize that you feel you've lost things that might have been fun, but wouldn't you find those things in the other areas that I'd mentioned? I suppose I just don't see why it all has to be here. One stop shopping creates Walmart, not Nordstrom's.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Feedback for forums

                  Originally posted by shrdlu
                  If you're working on things, then I wish someone would fix the quoting system. When you use the reply function (as I just did to reply to you), any previous quotes are lost, and must be laboriously reconstructed. It really makes me miss email.
                  Actually, I have noticed this lately and suspect some kind of alteration since the last vB upgrade? iirc this hasn't been the standard for nested quotes.. something has changed in the matrix.


                  Originally posted by shrdlu
                  So tell me again why you think that there needs to be a social space here.
                  ..well, personally I don't. To me the 'social' aspect of the forums is 'Community Talk' and that is as far as we need to stray. However, I alone am not necessarily representative of the forums community or defcon community. As TheCotMan mentioned, we have had a strong base of folks that are tuned to specific types of posting/reading habits and have formulated the forums peopl see today based on that interaction.

                  Over the past 5 years (especially with recent changes), we have crafted a forum that consistently moves toward a forum that we like to be a part of, based on things that we don't like to deal with and/or read through. This pleases the handful that enjoy the environment, but also discards all others that do not fit strictly within bounds. Not necessarily a cut and dry situation either, because it discourages those from posting things that fear scrutiny.. and the 'hostile' face (while sometimes a useful tool) is not entirely healthy. We're really just trying to form a forum that serves the community as best as possible, while enforcing the constructs we've built to do so.

                  So in a response with too many words, many of us agree that content limitations specific to Defcon are a good thing. I personally questioned some of the stats because to me, the forums feel much more like a place that I enjoy to read content, with much more community-related activity than most points in their history. Others have expressed concern over some of the decisions made to make this happen, and others like iceblare are clearly denoting that there is an entire segment of the community that we are brushing aside in the process. Not cool... and not something for us to ignore, although approachable with care because swinging to far in either direction will not be productive.

                  Originally posted by shrdlu
                  I still say you need an "Ignore" function that matches the "Subscribe" function, but is opposite.
                  .. yup, and this is what TheCotMan was referring to as the 'work in progress'. We're trying to come up with a system that will allow members to customize their experience; opting in and out of different groups that may contain content they don't want cluttering their perspective of the forums. By design we are trying to have a Social forum with highly relaxed rules where the most craptacular annoying posts and flaming occur.. but because you are not specifically joined to that section you do not even know that it exists. It gives us our cake, lets us eat it too, then lets us crap it out and inspect for future eating habit adjustment.

                  Along these lines we're thinking of other applications of this to allow members to further tailor the forum content they see; and it can be altered by the user so that if you get the hankering and want to dive down in the dirt for a week, you can enable that portion of the forums for yourself, then kill it back off later if its all you hoped it wouldn't be.
                  if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Feedback for forums

                    Perhaps what I was trying to explain in earlier postings needs to be clarified a little bit.

                    I've been around for a little while, and what I've seen is a ever decreasing base of new people. You simply can't grow without 'fresh meat'. Some people of course like it this way, (the older timers that have already established their friends base here and like it that way!) and still some others like it this way for different reasons like:

                    1. If the forum stays the same, you're going to attract people that can "hang" with it, and the "fluff" will be discarded.

                    A: This is very true, and we've seen that it works (for the most part). What the problem is that this makes new people with some intelligence a little scared to post here. Say they've been lurking a while, may be knowledgable but not an expert in any one particular thing...and have seen that if the topic isn't very serious, or not being posted by someone who's been here since the beginning, they're going to get flamed to the ground and sent to fucktard hall. I think those opting for this "change" agree that there is a grey area of people out there that want to contribute here, but are a bit discouraged with the feeling their head is going to be put on a stick and sent to fucktard hall for all to see.

                    2. The community area is a perfect place for what you already describe, and it still holds some substance to it.

                    A: Right, but when was the last time you seen someone post there that's been here under a year and hasn't gotten digitally murdered for it (i know it cant be too many!). There's always going to be a crap ass spam post, or some retard asking how to hack, etc. Personally, I think questions like "I am very interested in <insert field here> but I'm having a little problem with putting all of this together, from the stuff I've read, and heres what i dont understand: <insert possibly technical questions here>" Aren't all that bad, and it helps everyone get to the same end (especially those that are afriad to ask the very same questions). Of course my above sentence can be rewritten in so many ways, and in some ways the base would disreguard this as a crap ass asking for technical help question.

                    Social interactions about technical things can help someone understand something better than flat text alot of times.

                    B: So someones been here for a little while, although he hasnt made too many friends yet, he still decides to post a funny column he found about <insert topic here>. This may be crap to you, but there might be anothers here that think stuff like this is interesting/fun when their bored. Should this kid be banned and/or sent to /dev/null when he's just trying to have some fun with his peers?

                    3. There are many, many other outlets for all things DEFCON other than the forums... Why here?

                    A: Yes, there is. However, this place is just attractive. We've got some really smart people here and others want to be part of that, but when reading a while they start to think "Well these guys sure do know alot of stuff, but at the same time they're a bunch of nazi's... I think ill go somewhere else..." or simply not post at all. It's a forum, with the main intentions of having people interact, and bring something new to the table. I believe cotman was saying something similar to this when he was describing ideas.

                    4. Well I don't want to see this place turn into an AOL chatroom.

                    I apologize if I explained it incorrectly, but this wasn't what I was getting at, at all.
                    The rules should still be enforced, spam, asking "how do you hack" questions with no background whatsoever. The social area will be for those who want to post something without fear that they will get scrutinized for it. The beauty of it all is that cotman and the others are devising a way to turn on/off this social area (and IIRC other areas of the defcon forums as well?) for those who simply aren't interested in a particular topic. This makes the forums more diverse and useful.

                    Alot of people are friends here, and still others come here to make friends, and learn something. I think the social area with minimal restrictions is overall a good place to "get it all out".
                    When you draw first blood you can't stop this fight
                    For my own piece of mind - I'm going to
                    Tear your fucking eyes out
                    Rip your fucking flesh off
                    Beat you till you're just a fucking lifeless carcass
                    Fuck you and your progress
                    Watch me fucking regress
                    You were meant to take the fall - now you're nothing
                    Payback's a bitch motherfucker!

                    Slayer - Payback

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Feedback for forums

                      Originally posted by shrdlu
                      If you're working on things, then I wish someone would fix the quoting system. When you use the reply function (as I just did to reply to you), any previous quotes are lost, and must be laboriously reconstructed. It really makes me miss email.
                      This is how it works with PM, but not with posts. We've tried to avoid changes to the actual php files, and this is the suggested solution to this from the vendor. I'll look to see if we can find a workaround that does not require editing files that get replaces on each upgrade.

                      I think from your description, that it's what I meant. If I don't see it when I look for new posts, then I don't care. I just don't want to see a return to the miasma of AOL Chat that it was for a while (and which drove me away).
                      Yes. Users don't see the content if they don't choose to. If you change your mind and want to see, the offer still stands.

                      So tell me again why you think that there needs to be a social space here. I had mentioned that it was very easy to find such things, and am still trying to understand why there needs to be one here. There's a defcon tribe, a defcon group on myspace, a defcon section over on orkut (does anyone still care about orkut?), a forum on packetstorm, and so on. They all have about the same amount of stuff, and the same kind of stuff, in varying amounts. Other than that this is your own backyard, so to speak, how will it be any different?
                      I can't mention all of the plans that have been proposed or are scheduled for testing, but there are ideas to provide new services for Defcon people.
                      One example is a photobook repository for users to post defcon pictures. An obvious result of letting people post pictures, is a desire to discuss pictures.

                      An old idea that was tried many years ago, was a "Forums Note Exchange" (NotEx) so Defcon people could take notes at presentations, events or contests and then post thier notes online to share with others. These other people also add t ot the notes.

                      Other ideas have been proposed, and some will tend to draw people to be more social with topics about content in the new services. Lack of a social space could stifle use of such resources.

                      ...
                      I'm glad of this. I probably still find some things off topic that you wouldn't agree with me on, but that's just me. I currently have the time to look at things, so I don't mind that the "New Posts" function brings up so much that isn't all that interesting. I still say you need an "Ignore" function that matches the "Subscribe" function, but is opposite.
                      This would be useful. If it can be added by altering table contents, I'd be all for it. I don't see how this could happen though. Perhaps having a dedicated "social" forum that is hidden from view unless you enable it will come close.

                      I guess I think that people talking about biofuel is about as far away from defcon as you can get. There's others, that's just the first one that came to mind. I realize that you feel you've lost things that might have been fun, but wouldn't you find those things in the other areas that I'd mentioned?
                      This can be more difficult to explain. Feats of engineering, where devices are made to do things that they were not designed to do, can be considered a kind of hacking. Not all defcon presentations have to do with computers, phone systems, OS, applications or security. There have been presentations on how to run a DCG. This is more about management than hacking.
                      I guess it comes down to how broadly hacking is defined. What does a competition to cool beer quickly have to do with Defcon? Well, it is beer, but other than that? It is a demonstration of engineering skills to try to solve a specific problem.
                      What about the Scavenger Hunt? Well, it could be said that it is one of the purist forms of a SE contest at Defcon.

                      What we have are two extremes:
                      1) Defcon-only content where only Defcon-specific content is discussed (and perhaps technical content too)
                      2) A Social-space, where people join and can be more social, and perhaps discuss what things they want to do in Las Vegas, pre-con-- something that really isn't about Defcon.

                      With a user-selected system, I think we can have both, in the same space and still keep the quality of content high (for public content) and involvement high for people seeking some fun and escape from their work/life on a help desk, or red-team or somewhere in between.

                      I suppose I just don't see why it all has to be here. One stop shopping creates Walmart, not Nordstrom's.
                      We have a Wallmart, and we had it running-- it was /dev/null when new thread posting was allowed, and existing threads were not closed, but left to fester like open sores.
                      Perhaps the forums (collection of categories where threads are created) is more like a mall? The can be a Nordstroms in the same mall as a "Hot Dog on a Stick."

                      There is something about malls: people visit not only to be serious and buy, but also to hang out with friends, meet people coming in from out of town, or to get some exerciser by walking around an enclosed structure, protected from the elements.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Feedback for forums

                        Originally posted by IcEbLAze
                        ... (the older timers that have already established their friends base here and like it that way!) ...
                        for all or nothing of value, this is quite interesting. Discussion with TheCotMan had me thinking about the members currently active on the forums.. and it isn't 100% forums old guard. Join date aside, a large number of members that posted between 2002 and 2003 no longer frequently post on the forums. A large amount of content generated today is from a 'newer old' group of posters (many of them running contests/events), or from those highly involved with Defcon planning.

                        I think a lot of the older posters (most still in touch through IRC, other cons, etc) were either set off by the noise that was being generated, or didn't care for the heavy-fisted handling of newer posters that didn't adhere to rules. I suspect a lot of the newer posters fear posting or get banned. Now that we've spent so much energy to evict what was previously deemed annoying, I think finding ways to bring both groups back is the task at hand; the key is finding a way that is amicable to the masses and existing members. I suspect that accomplishing this and adding additional function to the forums can result in gathering interest from those that otherwise would not even bothered with the forums at all.

                        note: In my previous post I refer to the Social thread as a likely generator of crap. By crap I mean crap, but really I mean 'noise to existing members'. I'm not trying to dismiss *all* other discussion than what presently happens, but am referring to the newfound ability for this unwanted content to be generated/allowed. At one point the forums had so much of this that even I stopped reading, outside of occasional speed glances. It is nice to have members that actually read through all/most new threads again.

                        Hopefully the ability to customize content per user will begin to strike a balance between both extremes.
                        if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          A Social Experiment gone mad!

                          Based on the feedback provided above on a desire to have a less restrictive, more social forum, AND a desire to not have personal forum views of the present, low-volume but higher-quality defcon-centered content, we are now testing a new "social" forum.

                          All 1st level users ("lurkers" or user that just confirmed e-mail) and 2nd level users (first automatic promotion that allow users to reply to threads in the rest of the forum) can see this forum, write new posts in the forum and create new threads. However, when they enter the next stage of "Registered user" (userrs that can create threas and reply to posts in all open forums) this new forum will disappear.

                          Any non-banned user that has had an account for over 2 weeks may not see this new forum, but can choose to if they desire:

                          How to join this forum

                          UserCP.
                          Left-hand-side: choose "Group Memberships" under "Miscellaneous"
                          Right-hand-side:
                          ## _Social_ ## Anyone is free to join this usergroup ## O-Join Group ##
                          ## .Social. ##
                          ##Usergroup ##

                          Select the "radio button" next to "join group" and then click the submit button called "Join Group."

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                          • #28
                            Re: Feedback for forums

                            Originally posted by TheCotMan
                            What if there was a "Social Forum" that wasn't /dev/null? A forum for making comments about "life in general" (but still no Politics and Religion) ?
                            Not keen on this idea. There's already myspace, livejournal, and a legion of other outlets for passive-aggressive narcissism that people can go to to whine on. I'm with converge that a 'social' forum would turn into a cesspit pretty rapidly, and this is pretty easily the direction I can see it heading.

                            My question is, what problem (if there is one) are we trying to solve here? Even after reading through the remainder of this thread, I'm not clear on what the actual issue is.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Feedback for forums

                              Originally posted by skroo
                              Not keen on this idea. We've already got myspace, livejournal, and a legion of other outlets for passive-aggressive narcissism. Don't need them here, and don't want to have to police for them either.
                              At this time, mods are not auto-subscribed to it. In my opinion, if a mod is not subscribed to it, there should be no expectation to have them police it. It may be more work, and I'm not going to ask mods to join the "Social Group."

                              Mods can join, and IIRC, there are at least 2 that have joined.

                              If this does not work, or causes problems the experiment can be labeled a failure, and tossed in the trash like other things we have tried that did not work.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Feedback for forums

                                Originally posted by TheCotMan
                                At this time, mods are not auto-subscribed to it. In my opinion, if a mod is not subscribed to it, there should be no expectation to have them police it. It may be more work, and I'm not going to ask mods to join the "Social Group."
                                Fair point. However, I can see this repeating certain social issues that have happened here in the past.

                                Mods can join, and IIRC, there are at least 2 that have joined.
                                Fine by me. I'm just still not seeing the value to this section. More:

                                If this does not work, or causes problems the experiment can be labeled a failure, and tossed in the trash like other things we have tried that did not work.
                                Not that I want to see it fail (in fact, in some ways it would be nice if people could use it in the spirit it's intended), but I can see it turning into an area about on a par with the average 'hacking' forum. There's a lot of historical precedent for this with forums in general, and part of the reason we haven't seen it happen here is that the moderators have been extremely straightforward about both setting and enforcing the expectation that what may be considered acceptable behaviour on other forums runs a good chance of being completely inappropriate here. My concern is that this opens the door to the same crap we see elsewhere.

                                Part of what bothers me about this are the concerns about the forum content that have been presented: on the one hand, we apparently don't have enough 'hacking-related' subjects; on the other hand, we need to be more 'social'. So which is it? The two seem somewhat mutually-exclusive, and not necessarily beneficial to each other.

                                I may end up being completely wrong on this, granted. But there are more than enough other outlets both online and in the real world to socialise in, and I don't see what the forums gain by either restricting content to computing-only subjects, nor by becoming a clone of IRC or n number of other forums already out there populated by people with nothing to say and all day to say it.

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