Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Thoughts about TFT, and posting manners

  1. Top | #1
    Veteran Member Brian63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,066
    Archived
    8,911
    Total Posts
    9,977
    Rep Power
    70

    Thoughts about TFT, and posting manners

    What turns you on, and what turns you off?

    Regarding posts and threads, that is.

    Aside from the subject matter underlying them, what characteristics of a post, poster, and thread make you more or less inclined to lurk or participate in the discussion?

    A few, for example, that are more personally appealing---

    Write a thread title that is actually descriptive of what the thread is about. Do not make them vague, ambiguous, etc. If you want to make a quick joke on the subject matter, make it in the post itself. Or if it is very brief, it is okay to include in the title *in addition to* the real content. At the very minimum, the thread title should be descriptive. Anyone scanning down the forum should be able to easily determine what your thread is about, just by reading the title of it.

    Make posts that are written in paragraph forms. Make your points in full sentences. Do not quote-by-quote your opponent in a hostile exchange in a line-by-line fashion and then make a one-sentence snarky or sarcastic remark that does not fully elaborate on and advance your main point. Those exchanges are really, really, really tiring and uninteresting to read. Probably fun to write, but I couldn’t care less who makes better substanceless quick comebacks, and care more about which main points are more reasonable. One of the advantages of a forum like this, over other social media like Facebook and Twitter, is that we can explore topics more substantively and learn about them. Do not turn this forum into just another low quality Facebook or Twitter tit-for-tat argument, but with more characters added, please. Please. Please.

    Do not just write posts or threads consisting of just links to news articles, or at least do not make that predominantly what your posting style is. Offer your own opinions and your own thoughts. We do not get extra special bonus points for making posts and threads that are nothing more than headlines and links to other websites. Start a discussion yourself, instead of you just giving a bunch of links and having other people after you actually start the discussion.

    Limit your personal anecdotal stories. Please. As much as you may love talking about yourself, other people probably are not going to be as interested in listening to you talk so incessantly about yourself. If you have a personal experience of how some people behave in some context, do not mistake your anecdotes for data. You can tell them still, but limit how often you insert them into threads that are not intended to be about you specifically, and when you do say them just give a brief synopsis instead of a full-blown novel including every minutiae and detail.



    Over the next several weeks and maybe months I anticipate posting less frequently than I have been, partly for the above stated reasons, partly for other reasons not mentioned but still applicable to the forum environment, and partly for other unrelated real-life reasons requiring my attention. I just do not want to see this forum decrease in quality and quantity of worthwhile discussions, and trends like those above steer it in that direction. Overall, this forum used to be heavily about discussing issues pertaining to atheists, agnostics, skeptics, humanists, etc. In more recent times it is more talking about pop culture and politics, with the latter consisting of largely insulting each other among the same handful of posters. Occasionally a new discussion about secular/religious matters develops, but they are less and less of a focus. This discussion forum does not add much unique that other internet sites do not, either in the topics or qualities of conversation, and it does not seem to really fulfill much of a broader mission anymore, just the personal hostilities and egos of individual posters. So I am cutting back significantly for the short term at least, to take a break and to take care of other real-life priorities.

    What do the rest of you want this forum to be about? What did draw you here, what has kept you here, and what makes you think about leaving it? What changes would you like to see made in the setup of it, or in the culture of it? What kinds of discussions, posting habits, etc. do you like or dislike to see from others? How can you become a better poster yourself?
    Last edited by Brian63; 08-27-2019 at 04:45 PM.

  2. Top | #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    West Hollywood
    Posts
    3,812
    Rep Power
    21
    I believe that the platform (forums) are on the decline. I've been a member of a few forums that were vibrant to begin with but over a few years members just drift away and very few new members join to replace them. TFT doesn't seem to attract a lot of new members that are active and so it's the usual handful of posters that go back and forth over the same topics. I think Twitter will be the preferred platform for getting opinions seen/heard/discussed.

  3. Top | #3
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,199
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    18,713
    Rep Power
    46
    My main qualm is arguments that aren't made in good faith, or those made with an ulterior motive. I'm not here to make change or save the world, I'm here to learn from other people. So when, for instance, I talk the specifics of religion and those replying just want to take jabs at it, I have no interest in carrying on the conversation.

    Or good faith - when the person responding doesn't look like they're attempting to understand your post as a whole in order to advance the conversation, and just wants to pick out where you're wrong. No interest in that whatsoever.

    But I don't think any of the above is specific to Talk Freethought, and is rather just how people are. Intellectually honest exchange of information is more rare than it should be. And actually, even though this place seems to be on it's last legs, it does seem like we still have a core of pretty good posters.

  4. Top | #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    166
    Archived
    66
    Total Posts
    232
    Rep Power
    58
    I am in complete agreement with Brian63. I am here to learn and discuss, not read hit and run insults.

    When I answer a post in quote by quote format, it is only to be sure that the original poster is aware of what I am specifically discussing. I do try to not make a habit of doing that as I know it makes for a lengthy post that can be tedious to read, but in some cases it is necessary.

    I don't normally interact with posts which are only a link to another website. If the original poster does not have anything to say about it, why should I care enough to discuss it?

    I enjoy reading posts by members who offer substantive dialogue on the chosen subject and are courteous even when they don't agree with me. I always try to reply in kind. If someone starts insulting me then I try to just walk away from interacting with them; I will admit I am not always successful doing that, but I do try.

    And yes, I have seen forum usage (here and elsewhere) fall off considerably over the years I have participated in them. I think this is very sad; the world seems to be losing the desire and/or ability to have an actual conversation with more than just sound bite sized chunks.

    My participation here is erratic as my real life interferes with what I would actually like to be doing

    Ruth

  5. Top | #5
    Senior Member Tharmas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    517
    Archived
    184
    Total Posts
    701
    Rep Power
    68
    I too am here to learn and discuss, and enjoy the forum for those opportunities. I will say that I do enjoy reading personal stories and anecdotes as well. They make the place seem more human to me.

  6. Top | #6
    My Brane Hertz spikepipsqueak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    3,031
    Archived
    8,811
    Total Posts
    11,842
    Rep Power
    49
    I think we have all been guilty of reacting before thinking when the temperature on a thread gets elevated, but the atmosphere is starting to worry me.

    People here address the facts less often than we used to.

    When it is a matter of discussing opinions, I feel I see way too much abuse for holding opinions, and less explanation of why an opinion is unacceptable, or impractical in a civil society, or downright wrong.

    If we can't support our own opinions with argument how can we expect to persuade someone whose opinions we consider to be mistaken?

    I have been busy but also avoiding this place because of the level, not just of snark, but actual abuse. Comments that don't address the issue but apply pejoratives to other posters.

    In the past that sort of thing sometimes happened as part of a robust discussion and could be taken with a grain of salt. These days, and increasingly, it happens instead of discussion.

    I miss the days when we paid some attention to the points others were making and tried to understand the other's stance before jumping on the bandwagon. I see way too much reacting to keywords that might be in a post, regardless of which order they are in.


    ADD I was about to be kicked out of the library when I wrote that. I want to add that if we can't self monitor then we can't think of ourselves as a thinking community.

    Consider yourself kissed on both cheeks for starting this discussion, Brian63.
    Last edited by spikepipsqueak; 08-29-2019 at 08:10 AM.
    My Brane Hertz

  7. Top | #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Georgia, US
    Posts
    2,480
    Archived
    3,862
    Total Posts
    6,342
    Rep Power
    71
    I enjoy personal stories and anecdotes, as it does help us get to know each other on a more personal level. I really don't care how people title their threads. There are some posting styles that I don't like, but we are individuals so of course we all prefer different ways and styles of posting.

    The only thing that I find disturbing is the frequent attacks on each other.

    Why can't we simply disagree without making everything so personal? The political forum has always been the most active, but it seems as if the topics discussed lately are often petty and not even related to politics. I've been a political/news junkie for most of my adult life, but sometimes visiting that forum is very disheartening. I seriously doubt that anyone's opinion has ever been changed so why even bother? I'm trying to spend a lot less time there.

    I don't know if things will improve. Discussion boards seem to be on the way out, as other forms of social media have taken over. Or to put it another way, Twitter is destroying polite society. On second thought, it's already destroyed it.

  8. Top | #8
    Veteran Member Brian63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,066
    Archived
    8,911
    Total Posts
    9,977
    Rep Power
    70
    Personal anecdotes are fine when they are brief and to-the-point. When they are very frequent and excessively-wordy and used more as an opportunity for someone to talk about themselves yet again and again, they become tiresome and annoying to read. There is the ignore option on the forum, but that really should not have to be used except as a last resort. People themselves should first learn on the forum and in their life in general, to control their desires to steer other conversations into opportunities to talk about own self, when really they should remain about other matters. Do not be so self-oriented in your conversation habits, and try to talk about the other people around you to a greater degree and ask them questions about themselves, rather than steering the discussion towards being about yourself.

  9. Top | #9
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NOT laying back and thinking of England
    Posts
    8,603
    Archived
    3,655
    Total Posts
    12,258
    Rep Power
    43
    I'm guilty of personal anecdotes. I'm guilty of being wordy. I have no problem with people ignoring me.

    Generally speaking, I'm hesitant to ask other people about themselves because most of us do not know each other IRL and personally, I am careful about the personal information I share on an anonymous forum. I assume others are the same and carefully guard details that might identify them to the general forum public. I've known people who have had that happen, and not in a good way. One friend on another forum answered a knock on her door late at night and found a fellow poster to whom she had not provided her real life name, phone number or address. Whether this makes things better or worse: the intruding fellow board member was pretty drunk. She meant no harm but she was what one might call: boundary challenged. I know someone else whose board enemies decided to try to contact his place of work and who did contact his wife at home in a fairly unpleasant manner. People get upset from time to time and sometimes have more time than sense and think it's funny or a good idea or 'honest' to dox other people that they are angry with. So, I don't wish to intrude more than I do.

    Sometimes I read this forum a lot; sometimes not at all. Time is often a factor but not entirely. I only ever read a few sections of this whole board. That varies a bit depending on my time and mood.

    I have no problem not participating in this forum.

  10. Top | #10
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,199
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    18,713
    Rep Power
    46
    I enjoy lengthy personal anecdotes, and if they're a bit too long the option to skip over them is always there.

    If anything, the anecdotes that this forum generates are probably the most interesting thing about it. And that's because we have a real community here, and aren't a faceless board where everyone is truly anonymous. That and many members here are genuinely interesting people.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •