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hey everybody - the basement blog is hosting this month's IndieWeb Carnival, this month's theme on "accessibility on the small web". Please go check it out and participate if you are so inclined!!!

general spending a month visiting other forums

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

this month i spent some time joining different communities and see what compels people to post there. here are my thoughts:

https://basementcommunity.bearblog.dev/one-month-in-web-one-point-oh/

posted 2/1/2023, 7:42 pm

joined jan 27, 2023

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Did You Get My Message?

joined jan 27, 2023

quoting partly_cloudy:

this month i spent some time joining different communities and see what compels people to post there. here are my thoughts:

https://basementcommunity.bearblog.dev/one-month-in-web-one-point-oh/

I also recently got into forums. I kinda messed up in my first one though... It was my fault. It's... weird. I made my site because I wanted to be more honest, transparent, authentic. To bring down my walls, to take off my armor, to sever the ties with my lies, to get some relief from all the stupid politics. And that's OK, on one's own turf. But as SOON as you enter another's, you abide by their rules. I got so swept up in me, I didn't think about anybody else. The rails are even MORE important in a public space like forums. It's not as bad as regular society, but it is quite similar. I was tripping on the freedom my site gave me; I projected on to the internet at large. "Most liberated place in existence: the World Wide Web!" I mean, yeah, but also no, you moron.

I want to be me. I want to interact with people as ME. I will not untether my site from this interactivity, but I WILL be as mindful of others in these spaces as I am in-person. If that's not enough: "Cool, no hard feelings, I understand. All the best."

I like it here. A bit... too quiet. Quite the chicken and the egg problem, this is. You... have my sympathies. I don't think it'll be a problem for long, though.

Don't prove me wrong, yeah?

P.S. Didn't know about agoraroad. Thank you! I'll be checking it out.

edited 2/1/2023, 9:13 pm

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting Eternity:

I like it here. A bit... too quiet. Quite the chicken and the egg problem, this is. You... have my sympathies. I don't think it'll be a problem for long, though.

Don't prove me wrong, yeah?

i'm working on it! haha

posted 2/2/2023, 9:55 pm

joined dec 5, 2022

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testing one two

joined dec 5, 2022

Oh hey, you fixed whatever it was that kept me from logging in.

First and foremost the obligatory "there is a frontpage?" joke. There.

I sniffed around a bit at the yesterweb forum you linked and I really like the vibe they've got going there. It reminds me my own forums experiences when I first got online back in the early 00s, and everything felt fresher.

posted 2/8/2023, 7:08 pm

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

@thatbirdguy oooo yeah i did change a bit of the authentication logic in the past month or so. basically, we'll keep your authentication token valid for a week, but also issue you a new token if you come back to the site 24 hours after being issued one. that and i'm also redirecting www traffic to non-www traffic which might also play a role?

but yeah, yesterweb is cool - it seems like there's a whole web 1.0 revival circle popping up - it's pretty cool to see

edited 2/9/2023, 3:07 am

joined feb 16, 2023

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joined feb 16, 2023

Was interesting to read your experiences here, and thanks for pointing out yesterweb!

posted 2/17/2023, 12:06 am

joined feb 17, 2023

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joined feb 17, 2023

Sup! First post so also hello.

Last year I moved onboard a canal boat in the UK to basically be a filthy ditch rat that lives in a steel coffin. Being in online communities has always been something I've done so I joined the 'only' forum (more on that later), the canal world discussion forum (CWDF). this forum has existed since I think around 2003, and while it's an absolute trove of useful information from people that have forgotten more about canals and narrowboats than I'll ever learn, due to its age it's succumbed to something I've seen in pretty much every forum I've been part of (with the exception of things like anonymous imageboards). There's a handful of users with thousands of posts and hundreds of grudges, lore, in-jokes, etc. Couple that with a quite elderly userbase, it's not a particularly welcoming community

Is this progression of a forum with users and (even informal) reputation inevitable? Of course presumably due to drama and stuff, there's also at least 2 offshoot forums, the thunderboat, where I saw one post of a guy very seriously threatening to kill another's dog (small community, people know each other and where they are on the canal network) and another that's invite only to keep said peticidal posts away (again, I assume)

So yeah that's my current experience with 'traditional' forums lmao

posted 2/17/2023, 3:18 pm

joined feb 17, 2023

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hmm....yes...hmm...

joined feb 17, 2023

Hmm. Forums, yes. (strokes beard thoughtfully) Slack, Twitter...Facebook. They're like some alternate reality. Things...move around. Chronology, causality, continuity, are obscured. Now a forum on the other hand... a forum stately, linear, symmetrical, even when in ruins. Now the things that happened in forums, in ancient times, in present times, were not so majestic. Humans being humans, they defecate, figuratively and literally, all over public spaces. But if it's going to happen, best that it happen in a forum. A stately ruin.

edited 2/17/2023, 6:31 pm

joined feb 16, 2023

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joined feb 16, 2023

quoting partly_cloudy:

i'm working on it! haha

Looks like dropping this on Hacker News did the trick. ;) I'm not saying there is a MASSIVE demand for forums return but there is definitely a sizable crowd that supports the idea and those that make it happen.

posted 2/17/2023, 8:04 pm

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting NovaVeles:

Looks like dropping this on Hacker News did the trick. ;) I'm not saying there is a MASSIVE demand for forums return but there is definitely a sizable crowd that supports the idea and those that make it happen.

lmao it was a surprise for sure. i need to get my site performance in better shape before i post another link somewhere

posted 2/17/2023, 8:11 pm

joined feb 17, 2023

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SO FRESH. SO KLEEN

joined feb 17, 2023

I reg'd my first SA account in 08-00 and, thanks to various offshoots, basically never left the comfort of forums while social media blossomed into the shit heap it is. I remember thinking in 2002 how GBS moved "too fast" lol [good guess: I do not Twitter much]. this space has a nice feel to it, definitely love the aesthetics and think the layout choices are all pretty sound. thanks for making it

quoting shi0Zo1u:

Humans being humans, they defecate, figuratively and literally, all over public spaces. But if it's going to happen, best that it happen in a forum. A stately ruin.

permission to steal?

posted 2/18/2023, 2:54 am

joined feb 17, 2023

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joined feb 17, 2023

How'd you find these places? Seems to me like finding anything other than the most popular websites is very hard these days.

posted 2/18/2023, 6:59 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting billllll:

How'd you find these places? Seems to me like finding anything other than the most popular websites is very hard these days.

i actually ended up exploring some webrings, found out about neocities and a sort of semi-cult around it, then found some forums through that.

clicking through webrings and finding all these crazy early-web revival sites is cool, but a lot of the sites are just utter shit. i recommend clicking the goon webring gif in my footer and just clicking around and see what you find

edited 2/18/2023, 10:26 am

joined feb 16, 2023

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joined feb 16, 2023

quoting shi0Zo1u:

Humans being humans, they defecate, figuratively and literally, all over public spaces. But if it's going to happen, best that it happen in a forum. A stately ruin.

Sorry to derail this a little, but this is a fear I have with things like ChatGPT, Bing Chat and Stable Diffusion/Dall-e. AI just dumping loads of crap onto the internet without a second though for the externalities of their output. Once that gets feed back in to the system it become a recursive function like a Fractal. Interesting to see but functionally useless. Databases pre 2022 are basically the only data sources that can be truly trusted as being human in that sense.

The confining things to the ruins is not such a bad idea, it doesn't strive to be the most engaging but that is what makes it more resilient.

posted 2/18/2023, 6:36 pm

joined mar 4, 2023

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joined mar 4, 2023

quoting orchids:

i actually ended up exploring some webrings, found out about neocities and a sort of semi-cult around it, then found some forums through that.

clicking through webrings and finding all these crazy early-web revival sites is cool, but a lot of the sites are just utter shit. i recommend clicking the goon webring gif in my footer and just clicking around and see what you find

You didn't end up in the Lainchan / DigDeeper ring did you?

posted 3/4/2023, 12:35 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting vonunov:

You didn't end up in the Lainchan / DigDeeper ring did you?

noooo what are those?

posted 3/4/2023, 8:22 pm

joined mar 20, 2023

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joined mar 20, 2023

Do you have any plans to add a markdown toolbar to the body? I could see that being useful for more casual users who don't know markdown. I've known some people who even using basic HTML like <b>hello</b> just blows their mind.

posted 3/20/2023, 5:51 pm

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting daffy:

Do you have any plans to add a markdown toolbar to the body? I could see that being useful for more casual users who don't know markdown. I've known some people who even using basic HTML like <b>hello</b> just blows their mind.

yep i already have an issue for this created. TBH, it's pretty low on the priority list, but it will be completed at some point for sure

posted 3/20/2023, 10:07 pm

joined dec 29, 2022

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joined dec 29, 2022

I agree with you that the ability to "like" posts was a bad decision. I think that the inclusion of many types of reactions ruined online forums, because many users only post in this particular forum with the intention of farming reactions in order to get some dopamine or in some cases, some type of status. This also leads to many users preferring to react to a post rather than replying and also only posting some types of comments that they know that would get them reactions, resulting in creations of a high ammount of low effort threads that everybody would forget about it pretty quickly as soon they react to the threads, instead of creating a topic whose objective would be to get a good discussion between users. I know a lot of people that dont use a forum if its not xenforo

posted 4/1/2023, 7:32 pm

joined apr 6, 2023

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joined apr 6, 2023

i got into forums last year thanks to choosing to be active on the newgrounds forums to keep with what my friends were posting and future events people were holding up. i soon became fascinated with how they functioned and wanted to explore more variety when looking for more forum spaces. unfortunately there are only like a handful of them out there (at least from what i can tell.) and since yesterweb's forums are closing and newgrounds recently closed down their general and politic forums im now looking for new forums to fit my slots.

agoraroad is really not for me really. while the profile customization is great if you know what to do with it but vaporwave has never been my thing and the general crowd seems to just go really rowdy over there.

Melonland is not bad, its got a nice aesthetic and its normally chill. i just havent visited it much really.

one of the forum spaces I've been most active in recently is Knockout which is originally a refugee like camp for people who used Facepunch after it closed down. its gotten a life on its own now but the echoes of FP still remain. https://knockout.chat/

posted 4/6/2023, 2:50 am

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting OppositeKeith:

one of the forum spaces I've been most active in recently is Knockout which is originally a refugee like camp for people who used Facepunch after it closed down. its gotten a life on its own now but the echoes of FP still remain. https://knockout.chat/

woah this site is really nice to look at and uses it's space really efficiently

edited 4/6/2023, 6:42 am

joined jan 27, 2023

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joined jan 27, 2023

quoting Tired:

I agree with you that the ability to "like" posts was a bad decision. I think that the inclusion of many types of reactions ruined online forums, because many users only post in this particular forum with the intention of farming reactions in order to get some dopamine or in some cases, some type of status. This also leads to many users preferring to react to a post rather than replying and also only posting some types of comments that they know that would get them reactions, resulting in creations of a high ammount of low effort threads that everybody would forget about it pretty quickly as soon they react to the threads, instead of creating a topic whose objective would be to get a good discussion between users. I know a lot of people that dont use a forum if its not xenforo

I think "liking" has its pros and cons. Maybe I'm in the minority, but a lot of old forum posts were just

This or You beat me to it that basically just express agreement. The way I see it, cutting down on those "I agree" posts is a good thing. In a perfect world, a reaction lets you express your agreement with someone, without taking up space in the thread. Almost like a nonverbal nod in face-to-face communication.

The big drawback in my view is that if people start posting just with the intent of getting "likes" you could see a lot of short, low-effort, quippy posts, which I'm not really a fan of.

For the sites that do have reactions, I wonder if there's a noticeable difference in behavior between sites that record and display the total "like" score and those that don't. Maybe displaying the likes encourages "clout chasing" posts or something.

Either way, the biggest problem that "topicless" forums like this seem to face is just a lack of posts, so no reactions is probably the way to go.

posted 4/8/2023, 2:39 am

joined jan 27, 2023

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Did You Get My Message?

joined jan 27, 2023

quoting orchids:

woah this site is really nice to look at and uses it's space really efficiently

I agree, but did you see that crap about only being able to sign-up with Google / Twitter / Github / Steam?

B-L-E-H! Count me out, yo.

posted 4/8/2023, 2:04 pm

joined dec 4, 2022

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joined dec 4, 2022

quoting Eternity:

I agree, but did you see that crap about only being able to sign-up with Google / Twitter / Github / Steam?

B-L-E-H! Count me out, yo.

yeah i feel like some people don't want to deal with authorization and would rather just hand it off to another "trusted" company to do it.

but yeah kinda crazy considering the entire site is hand-coded and not using phpBB or xenforo or something.

posted 4/8/2023, 5:44 pm

joined dec 29, 2022

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joined dec 29, 2022

quoting Eternity:

I agree, but did you see that crap about only being able to sign-up with Google / Twitter / Github / Steam?

B-L-E-H! Count me out, yo.

Yeah, its very weird the way that they handle registration in there. I dont trust that website

posted 4/9/2023, 2:15 pm

general spending a month visiting other forums