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  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: Feedback for forums

    Yes, I am replying to an old thread and closing it:

    Originally posted by shrdlu
    I still find that anyone new to this is not going to be informed about things like the two week wait until *after* they've signed up. There's a FAQ, but some of the most basic things aren't in it, and that's number one of them. There is a nice explanation, buried way down, about the difference between moderators and contest organizers (and that they are not usually the same people), but the FAQ seems almost standard for just this particular forum software in some places. Nowhere in the FAQ are you pointed to, or reminded of, the "Forum Rules".
    Ok. I've added two sections to the FAQ to cover "rules" (links to rules) and Defcon FAQ vs Forums FAQ. An entry for waiting period has been added to two sections.

    The "Yet to be named Social Forum" has been named:
    "/dev/random The Social Forum"

    Here is how it works. For all existing members, it is "opt-in" -- meaning, you have to choose to join it, in order to see and participate in it.
    Visit HERE is https or HERE is http and add or remove the "social" group to see or not see the "/dev/random The Social Forum" and its posts.

    We will likely use this same technique (subscription based groups) to create or control other sections so people can select what kind of Defcon Forum content they wish to see.

    All NEW members are automagically enrolled (opt-in) to these usergroups, as they are created. They can leave that group at any time after their initial probation.

    Yes. We can eat our cake and have it too. ]:> (Existing users are not plagued with the social junk, while those wanting a less restrictive space, have it available as needed.)

    I will again open another thread on how to improve the forums in a month or so, and will be accepting comments, and suggestions again.

    Thanks to everyone for contributing ideas for us to test.

    Leave a comment:


  • IcEbLAze
    replied
    Re: Feedback for forums

    Originally posted by shrdlu
    I've got news, and this should come as no surprise. The people most likely to be interesting, and to be desirable as contributors, aren't going to join..
    Yes I do understand you can't win them all, but possibly a few :)

    Originally posted by shrdlu
    It's rather like where Usenet went, once it was destroyed by the September That Never Ended. It used to be that you'd ask a question on some tech list or other, and folk who knew more would answer. It was a nice little world, civilized for the most part, and everyone benefited (some more than others, of course).
    Yea but what if this can be something like how USENET was? Not saying it will be, at this point we dont know whats going to happen.

    Originally posted by shrdlu
    The tripe that showed up as time went on were all demanding little monsters, furious that no one was answering their questions, insistent on being helped, and in general, so rude and useless that most of the elders left. Now I know that is an extreme description, but it still is significant for this group. It isn't interesting for the skilled. It just isn't.
    Don't get me wrong here. I totally see your (and probably the majority's) issues with this here. (Unfortunately?) I see it their way as well. At this point we really don't know what this can/can not be. If it turns out to be a total failure, then we can remove the forum, and say "At least we tried!", and of course never speak of it again. If it does turn out to be a good thing, then all the better.

    Originally posted by shrdlu
    I'm relieved that I don't have to pay attention to it, then. This is the very reason I dumped it back when it first started. All that "social" stuff was just noise, as far as I was concerned. I'm sure that I'm on the extreme edge in what is or isn't interesting, but I'm absolutely happy that I'm not trapped in this experiment. I think that the portion about photographs would be okay, but I can't see joining it just to see that.

    Ah, well. I don't have to play; that's good enough for me.
    Yes. I'm totally glad that they are able to implement this experiment in this way. In no way would I want the defcon forums to turn into, say, the jinxhackwear forums. However, What you explained to me above with the USENET situation is an ideal that I don't think would hurt to shoot for. Overall I think this has been an awesome discussion. I just wish there were more people like yourself that would chime in with thier $00.02.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: Feedback for forums

    Originally posted by shrdlu
    The tripe that showed up as time went on were all demanding little monsters, furious that no one was answering their questions, insistent on being helped, and in general, so rude and useless that most of the elders left. Now I know that is an extreme description, but it still is significant for this group. It isn't interesting for the skilled. It just isn't.
    This is one of the reasons why the "No Tech Support" changed from an informal faux paux to actually being mentioned in the rules. (The other reason was to deal with tech support requests that could be answered with google, "tech support forums," or the vendor (Dell, IBM, etc.)

    Many of the members of the forums with genuine skills came to the forums to get away from work; they participate in specialized forums, or lists of technical content.

    The rules we have today are as a result of finding ways to eliminate noise, and focus on Defcon.

    Sadly, this has marginalized people that took part in those social conversations of the past. It is an opportunity cost. If we did not have the capability of hiding this content from all but those that want to see it, I don't think we would have this experimental forum today.

    I'm relieved that I don't have to pay attention to it, then. This is the very reason I dumped it back when it first started. All that "social" stuff was just noise, as far as I was concerned. I'm sure that I'm on the extreme edge in what is or isn't interesting, but I'm absolutely happy that I'm not trapped in this experiment. I think that the portion about photographs would be okay, but I can't see joining it just to see that.
    This is a very cool feature that we hope works out. Converge suggested that we could create another group to allow people to ignore the "Fucktard Hall" and "/dev/null" once they become "full registered users." I am worried that users violating rules might not see /dev/null or Fucktard Hall when their posts are moved there, and then complain about censorship.

    These two forums are two sources of "noise" or "entertainment" or "education" depending on the user. Maybe it could be selected as a group to lleave (and not see /dev/null and "Fucktard Hall") after they have been "full users" for a while. (?)

    However, we could have a "Social Group" and a "Photograph Group" and several other groups to allow users to control the types of forums they want to see, and types of forums they don't.

    Ah, well. I don't have to play; that's good enough for me.
    Yes, but you seem to be one of the few users willing to express your opinion about these new areas, and you also seem to provide a summary of ideas *likely* shared by a silent majority.

    On the other hand, Iceblaze seems to provide ideas on content and new ideas from the perspective of a more recent member, or new/would-be Defcon attendee.

    I want to eat my cake and have it too, and so far, it looks like this may be possible. :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • shrdlu
    replied
    Re: Feedback for forums

    Originally posted by IcEbLAze
    ...how many of those include a base of serious/smart individuals that can all bring something to the table (if anything, ideas)? Granted, people choose to join certain forums/discussions/emailing lists/etc...
    I've got news, and this should come as no surprise. The people most likely to be interesting, and to be desirable as contributors, aren't going to join. It's rather like where Usenet went, once it was destroyed by the September That Never Ended. It used to be that you'd ask a question on some tech list or other, and folk who knew more would answer. It was a nice little world, civilized for the most part, and everyone benefited (some more than others, of course).

    The tripe that showed up as time went on were all demanding little monsters, furious that no one was answering their questions, insistent on being helped, and in general, so rude and useless that most of the elders left. Now I know that is an extreme description, but it still is significant for this group. It isn't interesting for the skilled. It just isn't.

    Originally posted by IcEbLAze
    The value to this section ... started with a couple of newer members explaining why they feel it's hard to post anything here (I remember this same feeling when I first joined a few years back, but it was more 'social' then).
    I'm relieved that I don't have to pay attention to it, then. This is the very reason I dumped it back when it first started. All that "social" stuff was just noise, as far as I was concerned. I'm sure that I'm on the extreme edge in what is or isn't interesting, but I'm absolutely happy that I'm not trapped in this experiment. I think that the portion about photographs would be okay, but I can't see joining it just to see that.

    Ah, well. I don't have to play; that's good enough for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • IcEbLAze
    replied
    Re: Feedback for forums

    Originally posted by skroo
    Fair point. However, I can see this repeating certain social issues that have happened here in the past.
    There is a very good chance this will happen again. I am still in-between on this idea myself, but the more and more I read this thread, the more I'm being sold on it (perhaps im gullible). This little social area could prove to be a real gem (if done correctly). Yes there is IRC/livejournal/a slew of other defcon-related outlets, but how many of those include a base of serious/smart individuals that can all bring something to the table (if anything, ideas)? Granted, people choose to join certain forums/discussions/emailing lists/etc; How many of these have already gone to crap because of thier core group of members being retarded? Why not add to what you've guys built, with an already existing base of people you know not to be asshats. (this assumes people that are already existant would join such a group). I see it as somewhat being similar to a 2600 mailing list (where there is for the most part a balance of goofy/seriousness).

    Originally posted by skroo
    Fine by me. I'm just still not seeing the value to this section.
    The value to this section has been described in so many words, and I think everyone is seeing it a little different. It started with a couple of newer members explaining why they feel it's hard to post anything here (I remember this same feeling when I first joined a few years back, but it was more 'social' then). I think converge explained it best here:

    Originally posted by converge
    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.
    The problem is: Finding a middle ground that 'everyone' can enjoy.

    A possible idea is: This thread that can be turned on and off by people who are or are not interested, lifts the pressure off the people a little bit, and let's them post things that are not strictly DEFCON related. While there are risks (and by no means am I saying to allow the 'h4x0r' related posts, or the spammers) I think it could be really good overall.

    [EDIT]
    All seriousness out of the way, it's only taken me 2 1/2 years to finally reach 100 posts, woot! ;)

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: Feedback for forums

    Originally posted by skroo
    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.
    We have gone a great distance to improve the quality of content. Potential future additions like the PhotoAlbum system mentioned by Dark Tangent will probably create demand for a space in which to discuss the pictures that were taken.

    We also have another thing we were going to try, and this will give us an idea what we should expect from users when it goes live.

    This social forum also lets us experiment with waiting periods, to see how a shorter period might impact forum use. Some have suggested longer periods, some have suggested shorter periods, and some like the periods where they are. An experimental forum like this should allow us to test many of these ideas instead of subjecting all of the forums to risk.

    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 agree that social content unrelated to hacking is often viewed as "noise" by hackers, with a few exceptions:

    Hackers socializing about hacking is often tolerated by hackers even if they don't participate.

    SE as a form of hacking may also be an exception to social discussions and hacking intersecting.

    In addition to organizers, the Defcon Community appears to be made of people who want to "hang out and socialize" , and/or "play/watch" and/or "present/learn"

    * We have "Defcon 14 Discussion" for people to talk about presentations if they wish. (A NoteExchange would be better on target for this.)
    * We have the Contests & Events forums for organizers and players of games.
    * We have nothing for the social group of people who mostly arrive to pay $100 to party. (Except this test forum, and specific events with subforums in the Contests & Events forum.)

    If there is a "core" group of Defcon people, it is the group of organizers, goons, speakers, leaders, and volunteers that actually make it work. This core seems to be what the forums are primarily targetted to include. Attendees benefit from this core group of people being here. As a result, our mission should primarily be to recruit, include and retain people in this primary group.

    A secondary group, includes attendees looking for information. They will at least lurk if the primary group is here.

    A tertiary group, includes those people that go to Defcon to party (even though some of these people may also be in the above 2 groups too.)

    A quaternary group, includes asshats, tards, and those unhappy people that want to ruin it for themselves or others.

    [People can be members of multiple groups as listed above.]

    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.
    This is a risk. "Social People" at Defcon have included people like "Pool 2 Girl" and "Pool 2 boy" and many other people that seem to only be interested in the social aspects of Defcon. (Examples risks.)

    What tihis may help to do though, is provide us with a real-life illustration of what you describe:
    Will techies and "real hackers" with "free time" choose to join this social forum group? What forum members will actually participate? will it be primarily clogged up with crap, and noise, and asshats? What percent of forum "vets" with knowledge and skill will actually join and participate in a more socially open forum? Will this provide us with a cautionary tale for others that suggest a similar path in the future, or will it have a positive effect to help generate interest *and* maintain quality?

    I have my suspicions, but I'd like to see what happens, so then we can say, "Look! See what happens when we try that?" be it positive or negative.

    Leave a comment:


  • skroo
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • skroo
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    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."

    Leave a comment:


  • converge
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • IcEbLAze
    replied
    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".

    Leave a comment:


  • converge
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • shrdlu
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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