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  1. #1
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Default Popularity contests, awards, dating polls.. a fluff too far?

    Hello all,

    This isn't a rant, but a genuine attempt to set out my thoughts on these sort of threads. There has been a thread discussing "fluff" with some... frank.. views on both sides as to what is and isn't healthy.

    Just seems to me, that once we start having the combination of post count titles, reputation based on sprinkling around "happy" comments, threads to celebrate who is at the social heart of the groupings, and dating polls etc we are in danger of overwhelming the forum. New members are likely to feel held back by the feeling of an existing "clique" (real or imagined)... awards distance those who don't win them, and in order to be popular encourage large scale posting and dispensing of reputation.

    All, in all, it just seems the character is changing... perhaps I am just turning into an old grumpy cynic.. maybe it is even a culture thing - we English don't like to celebrate ourselves to such an extent, and prefer an element of distance, I suspect..

    This is not me writing in any "official" capability, just personal opinion.

  2. #2
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Hello all,


    Just seems to me, that once we start having the combination of post count titles, reputation based on sprinkling around "happy" comments, threads to celebrate who is at the social heart of the groupings, and dating polls etc we are in danger of overwhelming the forum. New members are likely to feel held back by the feeling of an existing "clique" (real or imagined)... awards distance those who don't win them, and in order to be popular encourage large scale posting and dispensing of reputation.

    All, in all, it just seems the character is changing... perhaps I am just turning into an old grumpy cynic.. maybe it is even a culture thing - we English don't like to celebrate ourselves to such an extent, and prefer an element of distance, I suspect..

    This is not me writing in any "official" capability, just personal opinion.
    I find your enthusiasm towards a cultivating a level playing field refreshing. I think this mantra is especially useful when considering newer members.

    Yet, I suspect the establishment of a "quo" (such that an online forum permits) is less a matter of choice and more one of gradual inevitability. Those who post more tend to receive a greater distribution of "positive" accolades - the reputation element simply adds physical distinction to this otherwise invisible (yet ubiquitous, I'd wager) social tendency within people.

    This isn't to suggest that any direct merit be attached to winners of popularity contests; INTPc lets us highlight our names. I assure you that I've little vanity stapled to this allowance.

    Your insight is centered on creating an even-handed forum for everyone. Thank you for your precision.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nottaprettygal's Avatar
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    Geoff,

    I think I know how to solve this problem.

    Okay everybody, Geoff is feeling left out. I think a date would help! Who would like to date Geoff!?

  4. #4
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    Geoff,

    I think I know how to solve this problem.

    Okay everybody, Geoff is feeling left out. I think a date would help! Who would like to date Geoff!?
    Very funny! I'm not feeling left out though, and no date required, thanks

  5. #5
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    All, in all, it just seems the character is changing... perhaps I am just turning into an old grumpy cynic.. maybe it is even a culture thing - we English don't like to celebrate ourselves to such an extent, and prefer an element of distance, I suspect..
    The opinion doesn't follow from a stiff upper lip. I agree. The award activity was insipid. On the other hand, most fluff on this forum is blithe -- and pretty harmless.

  6. #6
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    As a person who has deep interest in group dynamics, I've never thought it was a good idea for a group to be in complete harmony, kind of like the Tower of Babel. Things start to become dangerous if everyone agrees and everyone loves each other. People stop thinking for themselves and are afraid to dissent.

  7. #7
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    As a person who has deep interest in group dynamics, I've never thought it was a good idea for a group to be in complete harmony, kind of like the Tower of Babel. Things start to become dangerous if everyone agrees and everyone loves each other. People stop thinking for themselves and are afraid to dissent.
    Do you mean, it is good that I am prepared to dissent, or good that only some people like those sort of threads, or something else? Or just all of them

  8. #8
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Do you mean, it is good that I am prepared to dissent, or good that only some people like those sort of threads, or something else? Or just all of them
    I don't view this topic as dissent, I view it as the beginnings of a mature conversation about what's happening on the forum. Hopefully whiny crybabies won't come in and start their usual moans of people being mean about the climate of the forum. I'm not an experienced forumer but I do understand that these places go through natural ebbs and flows and I don't understand why we can't intelligently discuss them. From my observation, only a handful of members have the capability of meta-foruming, which means that few will be able to take the OP and respond to it without getting their feelings involved or feeling like this is some personal attack against them and actually examine the dynamics of the forum and what the implications reputation points, popularity contests, etc. threads mean on the forum.

    So while I have high hopes for this thread, I fear that it's going to turn into another 100+ replies of nothing or it will be ignored because it requires too much thinking. Doesn't that sound weird coming from an EFJ?

  9. #9
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Maybe I've been on INTP boards too long, but not winning popularity contests, not having super high rep, etc just isn't on my radar of things that bother me. I enjoy the happy atmosphere of ambient banter between the members here, even when I don't feel compelled to join in. It's hard for me to get my head around people being bothered by that kind of thing. That, however, doesn't mean that I don't accept that people are bothered if they say they are. I'm not entirely sure what to do about it, though. I haven't observed that kind of thing not happening irl social groups, so I'm guessing it's human nature or something.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #10
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    Why not move the dating polls into the Relationships forum? (It does explicitly say Dating.)

    And I already said I want to go next...now I'm just hoping Aelan will have a change of heart...

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