Is it just me or is PF dying?

  • Thread starter gravenewworld
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In summary: We've lost wildly popular and famous posters over the years. Why is this happening?It's not just PF. This is a general trend across the internet. There are just less people posting and reading online.Is it just me or does there seem to be less and less traffic on PF?I don't know, but I've found this place often times becoming too abrasive and too toxic.This can be caused by a number of things. One is disagreements turning into flame wars. Another is people using the platform to push their own personal political agendas rather than discussing the content.Sure noobs will come here often asking stupid questions or things that will annoy some users, but why is
  • #1
gravenewworld
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Go ahead and look at my profile, I've been around here for over 10+ years. Increasingly I find myself checking PF less and less. We've lost wildly popular and famous posters over the years. Why is this happening? Is it just me or does there seem to be less and less traffic on PF? I remember when the general forum (and many other subforums) used to have almost all new threads on the first page within a day or two, now there are still threads from Aug. on the 1st page and almost as many locked threads as ones still open.

I dunno, but personally I've found this place often times becoming too abrasive and too toxic. Sure noobs will come here often asking stupid questions or things that will annoy some users, but why is there the need to close threads and give a verbal smack down? How can PF continue to expect to compete with a site like Reddit or Stack Exchange, which have science sections that are much, much more hands off with posts, and have discussions that are pretty much on par in terms of quality? I mean if a thread or discussion annoys or bothers you, why not just ignore it instead of locking it? As a long time member, lurker, and poster here, I just feel like rule with the iron fist is backfiring (and this is where I expect the deluge of posts from the PF upper echelon members to start giving responses tantamount to something like 'rules are rules, if you don't like it you can leave or be banned'). I'm sure I've made bad, dumb, stupid, moronic, and immature posts over the years from when I was younger and less trained in science, but if I got some of the responses to some of my posts then as what I see posted now, I would definitely be rubbed the wrong way and would never return to this place ever again or would be discouraged from even making a new account if I were a lurker. What can be done to improve traffic, thread creation, and discussion volume and for more people to check this place more often? I don't want to sound like a hate or anything, but I mean come on, it only takes 2 seconds to check what the webtraffic and the global website ranking history has been over the years and it has steadily declined. My $.02.
 
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  • #2
gravenewworld said:
How can PF continue to expect to compete with a site like Reddit or Stack Exchange,
PF is trying to "compete" with Redditt??

gravenewworld said:
have discussions that are pretty much on par in terms of quality?
Redditt has discussions pretty much "on par" in terms of quality??

I think I'll need more than your 2c to believe that. In fact, you refute that with your own words, telling us that they are hands-off.I don't get your whole post. From where I stand you're looking in an apple cart, hoping for orange peels.

Do you read Nat Geo expecting it's trying to compete with Fox News?
 
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  • #3
Forum Statistics
Discussions:
586,779
Messages:
4,715,295
Members:
209,671
Message traffic is ~ 1k/d, which jibes with 10 + years.
 
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  • #4
You raise some actually very complex and difficult questions which on the surface may seem simple but they are not. These issues are also topics I/staff think/talk about and strategize for on a daily basis. But first off PF is not dying. In fact our Insights section is attracting a lot of new positive attention.

gravenewworld said:
Increasingly I find myself checking PF less and less.

How come?

gravenewworld said:
We've lost wildly popular and famous posters over the years. Why is this happening?

People come, people go. This is the nature of life. I've contacted a host of old favorites and they all told me they just moved on with their interests or lost free time. Not one told me anything negative about PF. Every year we lose some good members, but we always seem to replenish.

gravenewworld said:
Is it just me or does there seem to be less and less traffic on PF?

This is true, but it's not so simple. There are so many factors, many not in our control. For about the first 8 years we increased traffic year after year. Then in 2012 traffic absolutely exploded because Google suddenly favored us greatly. Then in 2013 traffic plummeted because Google put out a silent "User Generated Content" penalty along with Panda and Penguin penalties that PF got damaged by. I have worked literally thousands of hours to correct these problems that are mostly inherent in forum software. PF generates 70% of its traffic from Google. So whatever wind is blowing from Google which we have no control of, affects PF greatly.

Another factor is that forums in general have peaked and are on the decline as a market. There are so many social media sites and competitors for visitors to choose. PF is not longer the only option or only good option.

If you look at Google trends you'll find that science topic searching is on the decline.

Mobile is also changing the game. Members don't power use the site as much because it's not so easy on a mobile phone. It's quick hit and runs.

Staff has worked very hard to make PF as attractive as can be for new and regular members. We are constantly planning for the future.

gravenewworld said:
I've found this place often times becoming too abrasive and too toxic.

Staff is aware of this perception and we are working on ways to soften this image.

gravenewworld said:
Sure noobs will come here often asking stupid questions or things that will annoy some users, but why is there the need to close threads and give a verbal smack down?

If you find an action by staff as problematic please report it, let us know. We want PF to have high quality standards but friendly at the same time. It's not always easy to achieve.

gravenewworld said:
How can PF continue to expect to compete with a site like Reddit or Stack Exchange

PF will never be able to compete with sites that have hundreds of millions of investor funds. Given our very limited budget it's absolutely amazing how well we've done. Reddit is not exactly a beacon of quality many times. SE is certainly a competitor we watch closely, but it's also Q&A whereas PF is a discussion community.

gravenewworld said:
which have science sections that are much, much more hands off with posts,

Reddit is free-for-all mostly, but SE is highly moderated and has strict quality guidelines.

gravenewworld said:
I mean if a thread or discussion annoys or bothers you, why not just ignore it instead of locking it?

We try not to act on personal bias unless it's supported by other's opinions. If someone is being disruptive and lowering discussion fun and quality then we should act. Content quality creates our community image. These discussions are not free-for-all anything goes. We want to be a place that people trust and respect. We have a duty to make sure our discussions are reasonably high quality.

gravenewworld said:
What can be done to improve traffic, thread creation, and discussion volume and for more people to check this place more often?

These are million dollar questions. Let's start with you. What would make you visit and participate more often?
 
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  • #5
gravenewworld said:
Go ahead and look at my profile, I've been around here for over 10+ years.
I looked. You're member no. 10355. There are older members here that don't get the perception that PF is dying. Well, me for one anyway.
 
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  • #6
I share somewhat similar opinion with the OP. I wouldn't say it is dying, but has definitely lost the mojo I felt few years back. It is possible that when I joined PF, I had lots of physics questions, and all of them got either answered, or realized that it needs much more physics/math background than I have. So I visit only the GD section now a days.

Couple things that I'm not happy about PF is that
1. The GD sections gets too US centric. I used to think it is very natural that way, since a majority of the GD participants are in the US. But I realized it is not true with some other forums with a very similar geographic distribution. I frequent some of the value investment forums where most members are from US and Canada. I felt those forums are more international and I liked it. Being a physics curious and passionalte about the universe, cosmic connections, I was expecting PF would be more global (like the Carl Sagan view), but I see more silly nationalistic bias with (some) moderators. A couple of my within-context posts were deleted anonimously without any reason, since it was not in favor of US international policies. I doubt the same action would be taken by the moderator if I made similar comments about Iran or North Korea.

2. The Politics section gets too heated for a supposed to be matured group.
 
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  • #7
jobyts said:
I share somewhat similar opinion with the OP. I wouldn't say it is dying, but has definitely lost the mojo I felt few years back. It is possible that when I joined PF, I had lots of physics questions, and all of them got either answered, or realized that it needs much more physics/math background than I have. So I visit only the GD section now a days.

Couple things that I'm not happy about PF is that
1. The GD sections gets too US centric. I used to think it is very natural that way, since a majority of the GD participants are in the US. But I realized it is not true with some other forums with a very similar geographic distribution. I frequent some of the value investment forums where most members are from US and Canada. I felt those forums are more international and I liked it. Being a physics curious and passionalte about the universe, cosmic connections, I was expecting PF would be more global (like the Carl Sagan view), but I see more silly nationalistic bias with (some) moderators. A couple of my within-context posts were deleted anonimously without any reason, since it was not in favor of US international policies. I doubt the same action would be taken by the moderator if I made similar comments about Iran or North Korea.

2. The Politics section gets too heated for a supposed to be matured group.

You do know that this is like complaining about a huge shopping mall because you don't like the sinks in the bathrooms, don't you?

Zz.
 
  • #8
jobyts said:
I share somewhat similar opinion with the OP. I wouldn't say it is dying, but has definitely lost the mojo I felt few years back. It is possible that when I joined PF, I had lots of physics questions, and all of them got either answered, or realized that it needs much more physics/math background than I have. So I visit only the GD section now a days.

Couple things that I'm not happy about PF is that
1. The GD sections gets too US centric. I used to think it is very natural that way, since a majority of the GD participants are in the US. But I realized it is not true with some other forums with a very similar geographic distribution. I frequent some of the value investment forums where most members are from US and Canada. I felt those forums are more international and I liked it. Being a physics curious and passionalte about the universe, cosmic connections, I was expecting PF would be more global (like the Carl Sagan view), but I see more silly nationalistic bias with (some) moderators. A couple of my within-context posts were deleted anonimously without any reason, since it was not in favor of US international policies. I doubt the same action would be taken by the moderator if I made similar comments about Iran or North Korea.

2. The Politics section gets too heated for a supposed to be matured group.

I think all of these are known problems, but they're tough to fix. For the same reasons as yours, I just stay out of politics.
 
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  • #9
ZapperZ said:
You do know that this is like complaining about a huge shopping mall because you don't like the sinks in the bathrooms, don't you?

Zz.

Ha ha, I liked the analogy. The reason why I limited my PF visit only to GD section was not mentioned as a complaint, it was an explanation for why my feedback is only specific about the GD section, not about the entire PF.

As a general comment about this thread,
Gravenworld was a 10+ year member here, and instead of silently disappearing as many did, he opted to express his opinion. I think PF should be thankful for that, for however incorrect he or she is. This is equivalent to the exit interview in the corporations. A good HR exit interviewer would not try to convince how the employee is wrong by giving him the statistics, they try to encourage the employee to speak up to collect as much feedback as possible.
 
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  • #10
jobyts said:
I think PF should be thankful for that

We are always thankful for feedback. For the past few years we've held a yearly survey where we encourage members to be honest about our problems. The staff is dedicated towards improving PF in all aspects. The changing dynamics of internet culture and technology make the future of PF a challenging task, but exciting as well!
 
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  • #11
jobyts said:
GD sections gets too US centric.
Greg is from Wisconsin, and a Badger fan. It ain't the UN.
jobyts said:
Politics section gets too heated for a supposed to be matured group.
micromass said:
I just stay out of politics.
"... and the kitchen."
jobyts said:
but I see more silly nationalistic bias with (some) moderators.
Greg's house --- Greg's rules, or those of his Mods --- there are things that just do not work in this forum --- they've been tried, some several times, and not been worth the headaches.

200k members, ~ 5M posts is 25 posts/member --- cater to "drive-by" posters and internet graffiti, or to the several thousands of regulars who're willing to accept a certain amount of impressed order to have a reasonably reliable resource for established information?
 
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  • #12
Bystander said:
Greg's house --- Greg's rules, or those of his Mods --- there are things that just do not work in this forum --- they've been tried, some several times, and not been worth the headaches.

In a very real way the rules have been developed through the years by staff and advisors using the existing PF culture as inspiration. So it's not as if it's one person from the start at the top of a mountain dictating rules like the ten commandments. It's been a never ending process of refinement with dozens off contributors over a span of 14+ years all with similar goals of civility, productivity and quality.
 
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  • #13
gravenewworld said:
Sure noobs will come here often asking stupid questions or things that will annoy some users, but why is there the need to close threads and give a verbal smack down?

Somewhat agree. I've seen many posts that were obvious ignorant questions smacked down pretty hard with something like "Utter nonsense. Thread locked." Are we afraid of trolls or something?
 
  • #14
Trolls, crackpots and endless discussions that help no one. See the rules about personal theories. Discussing them just does not help.
 
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  • #15
jobyts said:
I share somewhat similar opinion with the OP. I wouldn't say it is dying, but has definitely lost the mojo I felt few years back. It is possible that when I joined PF, I had lots of physics questions, and all of them got either answered, or realized that it needs much more physics/math background than I have. So I visit only the GD section now a days.

Couple things that I'm not happy about PF is that
1. The GD sections gets too US centric. I used to think it is very natural that way, since a majority of the GD participants are in the US. But I realized it is not true with some other forums with a very similar geographic distribution. I frequent some of the value investment forums where most members are from US and Canada. I felt those forums are more international and I liked it. Being a physics curious and passionalte about the universe, cosmic connections, I was expecting PF would be more global (like the Carl Sagan view), but I see more silly nationalistic bias with (some) moderators. A couple of my within-context posts were deleted anonimously without any reason, since it was not in favor of US international policies. I doubt the same action would be taken by the moderator if I made similar comments about Iran or North Korea.
In the past I faced a problem of post being/started topic topic being removed for being too speculative. (I was annoyed, but I understand reasons why mods dislike such speculative / soft sciences questions). However speaking, I regularly utter blasphemies against official American ideologies and haven't faced any problems because of it.

There is active topic about ME conflict, refugee crisis in the EU and Russian aggression on Ukraine, so the international character is more or less preserved.

2. The Politics section gets too heated for a supposed to be matured group.
Politics? Mature? ;) May you specify what exactly you request?
 
  • #16
[QUOTE = <Snip>

2. The Politics section gets too heated for a supposed to be matured group.[/QUOTE]

It is amazingly civil compared to any other site I have been to. And people who frequent it are smart, well-informed for the most part. My only complaint about PF is that it often makes the "Real World" boring by comparison, full of opinionated, poorly-informed big mouths. But yes, we can all, including myself can be more open-minded and willing to have our views challenged. Inst this true of anything?
 
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  • #17
tfr000 said:
Are we afraid of trolls or something?
Yes.
Well, not afraid per se, but they are very bad for business.
They are very prolific in their writing and clutter up forums.
They drive away quality posters.

PF had battled with them for many years. It was not until they got really tough with trolls and crackpots that PF returned to being taken seriously by professionals.
There are plenn-tee of fora out there that tolerate/cater to some of the more, shall we say, pseudo-scientific types. And inevitably, those fora are dominated by crack-pottery. It's a positive feedback loop.
 
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  • #18
Since finding PF, I never visit SE or others.

After 10+ years on any forum you should have seen it all. Not sure why anyone would think it should be as interesting after all that time.
 
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  • #19
Greg Bernhardt said:
If you find an action by staff as problematic please report it, let us know. We want PF to have high quality standards but friendly at the same time. It's not always easy to achieve.

That is often not possible when you are instantly and "permanently" banned as has happened to me a couple of times. I have left for extended periods, particularly when "banned" and I may well go again. I find PF to be way to PC!
 
  • #20
OldEngr63 said:
I find PF to be way to PC!
Then wouldn't it behoove you to go to a forum where they cater to your tastes?

Why do you come here? Is it perhaps because it has achieved a high quality of content? Do you not think these things are related?
 
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  • #21
I come here to help. I have something (actually a lot of something) to give, and I want to help others learn. I am an old man, and I have taught for many years, both formally in the university and informally in industrial settings.

I come here despite the PC foolishness. I come here because I see a lot of misunderstanding of fundamentals, even among the PF "experts."

PC is the enemy of truth and understanding. It would greatly improve the quality of this place to eliminate it, but I know that is asking too much.
 
  • #22
By PC do you mean political correctness? That is not what we're talking about here.

Political correctness is about avoiding uncomfortable subjects or hot button issues.

Squelching crackpottery has nothing to do with "political correctness". Condoning crackpottery is the polar opposite of education.
 
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  • #23
By PC I do mean political correctness.

Who determines exactly what is "crackpot"? Do you suppose that Einstein was ever called a crack pot?

But that is not the real problem that I see. I see some of the mods who simply shut down discussion (locked threads) with no legitimate reason at all. I also have been personally banned several times with no reason, no idea how I may have offended, at all. I can only presume that I have stepped on somebody's toes, but I'd at least like to hear an "ouch."
 
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  • #24
OldEngr63 said:
Who determines exactly what is "crackpot"?
The body of mainstream physicists. And Greg, et al.
OldEngr63 said:
Do you suppose that Einstein was ever called a crack pot?
No.

He built his theories on top of mainstream physics and, where they deviated, he demonstrated - formally - how.

OldEngr63 said:
But that is not the real problem that I see. I see some of the mods who simply shut down discussion (locked threads) with no legitimate reason at all. I also have been personally banned several times with no reason, no idea how I may have offended, at all. I can only presume that I have stepped on somebody's toes, but I'd at least like to hear an "ouch."
I think that perhaps you could take that up with them.
I'm going to bet that they had very good reasons, but that you reject those reasons. That is not the same as "no legitimate reason".
 
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I got help today in PF on something I was having problems with:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...tors-of-symmetric-groups.832005/#post-5227362

Nice to have a place to go for help. I remember a time when things weren't so amazingly convenient and the only option was the Library. PF vastly improves the rate at which we learn things. That's the power of PF! If we die, humanity loses a valuable intellectual resource interrupting a web of connections affecting the progress of man in extraordinarily complex (non-linear) ways, the butterfly affect: Just that simple, seemingly innocuous comment about the smallest of detail regarding some topic of discussion here can cause a complex cascade of effects leading to the proof of the Riemann Hypothesis. But if there is no butterfly to flap the wings, nothing happens.

Thanks guys,
Jack
 
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  • #26
Greg Bernhardt said:
You raise some actually very complex and difficult questions which on the surface may seem simple but they are not. These issues are also topics I/staff think/talk about and strategize for on a daily basis. But first off PF is not dying. In fact our Insights section is attracting a lot of new positive attention.
How come?
People come, people go. This is the nature of life. I've contacted a host of old favorites and they all told me they just moved on with their interests or lost free time. Not one told me anything negative about PF. Every year we lose some good members, but we always seem to replenish.
This is true, but it's not so simple. There are so many factors, many not in our control. For about the first 8 years we increased traffic year after year. Then in 2012 traffic absolutely exploded because Google suddenly favored us greatly. Then in 2013 traffic plummeted because Google put out a silent "User Generated Content" penalty along with Panda and Penguin penalties that PF got damaged by. I have worked literally thousands of hours to correct these problems that are mostly inherent in forum software. PF generates 70% of its traffic from Google. So whatever wind is blowing from Google which we have no control of, affects PF greatly.

Another factor is that forums in general have peaked and are on the decline as a market. There are so many social media sites and competitors for visitors to choose. PF is not longer the only option or only good option.

If you look at Google trends you'll find that science topic searching is on the decline.

Mobile is also changing the game. Members don't power use the site as much because it's not so easy on a mobile phone. It's quick hit and runs.

Staff has worked very hard to make PF as attractive as can be for new and regular members. We are constantly planning for the future.
Staff is aware of this perception and we are working on ways to soften this image.
If you find an action by staff as problematic please report it, let us know. We want PF to have high quality standards but friendly at the same time. It's not always easy to achieve.
PF will never be able to compete with sites that have hundreds of millions of investor funds. Given our very limited budget it's absolutely amazing how well we've done. Reddit is not exactly a beacon of quality many times. SE is certainly a competitor we watch closely, but it's also Q&A whereas PF is a discussion community.
Reddit is free-for-all mostly, but SE is highly moderated and has strict quality guidelines.
We try not to act on personal bias unless it's supported by other's opinions. If someone is being disruptive and lowering discussion fun and quality then we should act. Content quality creates our community image. These discussions are not free-for-all anything goes. We want to be a place that people trust and respect. We have a duty to make sure our discussions are reasonably high quality.
These are million dollar questions. Let's start with you. What would make you visit and participate more often?
Thanks for this response Greg, if more posters posted with this same civility and politeness I think it would go a long way to re-establishing my faith in the forums. Why do I visit less often you ask? Well mostly it is because of lack of interesting topics being discussed (not PF's fault here since it is a PHYSICS forum) and then I finally started checking less often because of the often caustic responses from some of the higher ups or other well known posters. If the market is declining for forums in general due to other social media outlets then what good does it serve this place when senior members often times chastise newer posters, many of which are probably from a younger audience? This will be a wildly unpopular response, but I just feel likes are simply on too much of a power trip. I mean if some high school kid comes here posting a thread on 0.999...= 1 do we really have to give them a nasty response that will likely turn them away forever? What about just ignoring the thread if you don't like it? I understand there's a fine line between keeping the discussion high quality and not letting trolls/crackpots/and other crazy people take over, but fall too far on the other side and then you start to have a place that is ruled by an iron curtain that feels like it is completely impenetrable and very cliquish.
 
  • #27
gravenewworld said:
... often caustic responses from some of the higher ups or other well known posters. If the market is declining for forums in general due to other social media outlets then what good does it serve this place when senior members often times chastise newer posters, many of which are probably from a younger audience? This will be a wildly unpopular response, but I just feel likes are simply on too much of a power trip...
gravenewworld does make a good point here.

WE know when a topic is naive or otherwise misguided, and - true - many posters know it when they post, but some (usually new) posters do not. I do find often that responses to naive posts seem to carry with them all the hostility of every post that has gone before it. Sometimes through no other indication than their curtness. We speak as experienced forum users, without thinking adequately about the effect on a user whose experience and thickness-of-skin we do not know.
 
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  • #28
gravenewworld said:
Thanks for this response Greg, if more posters posted with this same civility and politeness I think it would go a long way to re-establishing my faith in the forums. Why do I visit less often you ask? Well mostly it is because of lack of interesting topics being discussed (not PF's fault here since it is a PHYSICS forum) and then I finally started checking less often because of the often caustic responses from some of the higher ups or other well known posters. If the market is declining for forums in general due to other social media outlets then what good does it serve this place when senior members often times chastise newer posters, many of which are probably from a younger audience? This will be a wildly unpopular response, but I just feel likes are simply on too much of a power trip. I mean if some high school kid comes here posting a thread on 0.999...= 1 do we really have to give them a nasty response that will likely turn them away forever? What about just ignoring the thread if you don't like it? I understand there's a fine line between keeping the discussion high quality and not letting trolls/crackpots/and other crazy people take over, but fall too far on the other side and then you start to have a place that is ruled by an iron curtain that feels like it is completely impenetrable and very cliquish.

I don't know if it helps, but we have had a *lot* of discussions in the Mentor forums over the past couple of years (lead by Greg) to try to figure out how to be strong against crackpottery and still be softer and more friendly with young folks who are just asking innocent questions trying to learn. I've seen some good improvements in those directions by the Mentors... (both being more abrupt with nonsense, and being more gentle with honest misunderstandings)
 
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  • #29
gravenewworld said:
Well mostly it is because of lack of interesting topics being discussed

Please don't take this the wrong way, but do you know the phrase "If you're bored, you're boring"? :smile: The point of that phrase is, if there are no interesting threads, make some yourself :smile:

gravenewworld said:
senior members often times chastise newer posters

I won't argue your perspective, but just ask that you report posts you find troubling. Even if they are senior members, mentors, or me. We won't bite your head off. We all want to do what's best for the community. It's why we are here. I don't think anyone on staff is on a power trip. That is fairly easy to detect. Sometimes we can be short, especially me and I preach against it. I am confident we do our best, but we are human and we all have bad days. What you don't fully appreciate is the amount the staff deals with on a daily basis. You see the very tip of the iceberg. We even have a staff thread titled "Hate Mail". You'd be shocked at the abuse we receive on a regular basis. It wears you down sometimes. These are not excuses, but a little perspective when dealing with staff :smile:

gravenewworld said:
I mean if some high school kid comes here posting a thread on 0.999...= 1 do we really have to give them a nasty response

Of course not. But there is complication in what PF achieves to be. Something for everyone and every level. When PhD members see thread after thread of misguided or cliche posts it wears on them and turns them off. Two things we've tried to do to combat this are the level prefixes of B/I/A so members can figure out the level of the thread more quickly. Also we've added a lot of FAQs which should serve as a reasonable "point set match" for common questions and misconceptions.
 
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  • #30
DaveC426913 said:
gravenewworld does make a good point here.

WE know when a topic is naive or otherwise misguided, and - true - many posters know it when they post, but some (usually new) posters do not. I do find often that responses to naive posts seem to carry with them all the hostility of every post that has gone before it. Sometimes through no other indication than their curtness. We speak as experienced forum users, without thinking adequately about the effect on a user whose experience and thickness-of-skin we do not know.
So, what do you feel would be a good solution to this? Perhaps we should create more FAQs on the frequently asked questions on nonsense that have been answered so many times that it makes regular posters crazy. We have been creating more of these FAQs and I personally think closing nonsense posts and pointing them to the FAQ is a good solution. New members are very unlikely to actually read these FAQs or the guidelines before they post, so we would need to shut the thread/post down and link to them.
 
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  • #31
DaveC426913 said:
WE know when a topic is naive or otherwise misguided, and - true - many posters know it when they post, but some (usually new) posters do not. I do find often that responses to naive posts seem to carry with them all the hostility of every post that has gone before it. Sometimes through no other indication than their curtness. We speak as experienced forum users, without thinking adequately about the effect on a user whose experience and thickness-of-skin we do not know.

Are you speaking here about responses from the mentors, or from other long-established and experienced forum members?
 
  • #32
Nugatory said:
Are you speaking here about responses from the mentors, or from other long-established and experienced forum members?
Well, I was thinking mentors, but not by words, by curt actions. Then again, I have no idea what conversations go on between mentors and those members behind the scenes. For all I know, you guys explain the situation in PMs.
 
  • #33
A suggestion: may be worth for a trial run.

When a thread is locked by a moderator, it will have an anonymous accept/do not accept option that every member could click (only for the thread lock post, not for all the posts). The accept/do not accept statistics is visible only for the moderator who locked the thread and a few others with privilege. This way, the admins could get a bigger picture of what is causing displeasure for the majority members. Not many people are going to send PMs or start threads in the feedback section about the moderator's decision, especially if they are not actively participating in the thread.

Thoughts?
 
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  • #34
jobyts said:
A suggestion: may be worth for a trial run.

When a thread is locked by a moderator, it will have an anonymous accept/do not accept option that every member could click (only for the thread lock post, not for all the posts). The accept/do not accept statistics is visible only for the moderator who locked the thread and a few others with privilege. This way, the admins could get a bigger picture of what is causing displeasure for the majority members. Not many people are going to send PMs or start threads in the feedback section about the moderator's decision, especially if they are not actively participating in the thread.

Thoughts?
I can't speak for the hard sciences, but the threads that get locked in the lounge, the members that want to post to pointless threads want to post to them because they are pointless and require no knowledge. I do get plenty of feedback from them. They don't want to accept that the same rules that apply in the forum also apply to the lounge. The only difference in the lounge is that we also allow for fun, hobby, and non-science subjects, not posts that break the rules.

I have to say that I often get more "thank you" pms for locking these pointless threads than complaints. Complaints from members that want to break the rules is pointless, IMO.
 
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  • #35
jobyts said:
A suggestion: may be worth for a trial run.
When a thread is locked by a moderator, it will have an anonymous accept/do not accept option that every member could click (only for the thread lock post, not for all the posts). The accept/do not accept statistics is visible only for the moderator who locked the thread and a few others with privilege. This way, the admins could get a bigger picture of what is causing displeasure for the majority members. Not many people are going to send PMs or start threads in the feedback section about the moderator's decision, especially if they are not actively participating in the thread.

I don't know whether the forum software supports what you're describing... But whether it does or not, I would be interested in specific examples of threads in the technical forums that some people feel were locked prematurely.
 
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