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General Forge Forums => Site Discussion => Topic started by: Clinton R. Nixon on January 11, 2002, 03:40:47 PM



Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on January 11, 2002, 03:40:47 PM
Quote from: Eloran

I'm fine with the idea of donations. The questions about anonymity and potentials for elitism have got me thinking.  

How is acknowledging donators from non donators and different from listing how many posts each member has?

....

Not that I think this is a problem, but I don't see how things sudenly become touchy when money comes into it.


I thought this was important enough to make a new thread on it.

I completely see your point. I don't think it's the same, though. Donations (and buying t-shirts and the like) are one way you'll be able to contribute to the Forge (starting Monday, even.)

Posting to the forums is another way to contribute, and a better one to tell the truth. By posting to the forums, you increase content and provide a service to every member of the Forge. When I upgraded the forum software, one of the things I noticed was that where it used to say, "Our users have made x posts," it now says, "Our users have posted x articles." I dig that so much - the posts here are of such a high quality that they really are articles.

There is definitely elitism regarding the number of posts you've made here. It's not an insidious form of elitism, where people might ignore your posts if you don't have enough. What it seems to do is really make people stand up and listen to someone with a tremendous amount of posts. You've put effort into this place, and I, for one, consider you a co-author of the site. It helps new people know who to look to not only for good ideas and advice, but to see the etiquette and cordiality we expect here. (We've been exceptionally lucky - our highest posters are all the best examples of what a Forge poster should be like.)

Lastly, it does make people compete to have more posts somewhat. That's great. If people make more progress in their work on independent games because others on this site spur them on - great. If more content comes up daily because people are being spurred on - great.

I'm as happy as punch with the fact that we all know how much effort everyone has contributed to the site. I suppose the difference between posts and money are:

a) Anyone can put forth effort, not everyone can contribute financially.
b) I personally expect members to contribute by posts. We have a few lurkers, but if you look at the memberlist, there's very few people with no posts. This site is user-run and user-driven.
c) You can expect something for contribution by posting, unlike contribution by money. You can expect the respect of me and everyone else here.

Lastly, I want to say how proud I am that I'm only barely in the top ten posters here. The fact that the administrator of this board doesn't have the most posts on it is amazing, and shows how interested our users are.


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: hardcoremoose on January 11, 2002, 04:17:04 PM
I was probably the one Eloran was thinking of when he wrote about competitive posting.  I've made jokes about it - both among my friends who frequent The Forge, and on the forums themselves- about how I want to catch Josh, and then Jesse, in posts.

It's pure vanity you see.  When I look at those posts next to Mike Holmes' name, I think "Wow, he must know what he's talking about."  Then I realized after reading some his posts that anyone can look like they know what they're talking about, as long as they post alot.

In all seriousness, I wish I could generate as much valuable content as Mike or Paul or Josh or Jesse.  I love this place - I've learned new things and made new friends because of it - and when new people come here, I want them to know that I'm an established part of it.  The other thing I want them to know is that they can be too.  I don't know what GO was like in its heyday, but I doubt it was ever as much a community as this place is.

Anyway, just wanted to say that.

- Scott


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: James V. West on January 11, 2002, 10:48:09 PM
I love The Forge.

Not only does this forum allow me to think more critically about game design, it also spurs me on to be more selective in what I post, more accurate in what I say, and more willing to say it more often.

The fact that this is a free site is an important one. I don't pay the bills for The Forge, but I'd be willing to buy a tee shirt and other stuff to support it. Anything I could do to keep it free would be an honor.

Now, about elitism. I'm really bad for not reading everything on a page. I admit right now that I still have not actually read all the little buttons and information given on these forum pages and I've attempted to use very few of them too. So it should come as no big shock that I actually don't pay attention to the number of posts someone has made. It could be 1 or 1000 and it wouldn't matter. The most I would do is say "Hmm, don't recognize that name.".

However, I do see the point Clinton is making that by knowing the number of posts people have made you can quickly see which members have been most active and (likely) both interesting and thought-provoking.[/i]


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Le Joueur on January 11, 2002, 11:24:45 PM
Quote from: Clinton R Nixon
Quote from: Eloran
I'm fine with the idea of donations. The questions about anonymity and potentials for elitism have got me thinking.  

How is acknowledging donors from non-donors any different from listing how many posts each member has?

....

Not that I think this is a problem, but I don't see how things sudenly become touchy when money comes into it.


That's because there is a kind of integrity for having words to back up your, well...words, rather than expecting money to replace a genuine form of intellectual-quality cachet.

Quote from: Clinton R Nixon
Posting to the forums is another way to contribute, and a better one to tell the truth. By posting to the forums, you increase content and provide a service to every member of the Forge.

There is definitely elitism regarding the number of posts you've made here. It's not an insidious form of elitism, where people might ignore your posts if you don't have enough.

Then 'elitism' is the wrong word.  Perhaps you are comparing the integrity of having a body of work with the 'importance' of being a 'big spender,' thus differing kinds of cachet.

Quote from: Clinton R Nixon
What it seems to do is really make people stand up and listen to someone with a tremendous amount of posts.

I think that's because it's intuitive that no one would have such a large body of work here if their contributions were of usually poor value.

Quote from: Clinton R Nixon
You've put effort into this place, and I, for one, consider you a co-author of the site.

I suppose the difference between posts and money are:

a) Anyone can put forth effort, not everyone can contribute financially.

Quality material can come from either monied or no; the converse is also true.  Do you think that it is fair to 'add weight' to monied writings whether or not they 'add quality?'  Or is it better to let the material stand on its own merits?  (I am of the opinion that quality begets the support that creates a self-perpetuating cycle, noting donations could only 'water down' that cycle, not add to it.)

Fang Langford  (Still trying to 'add value' in his own way.)


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on January 12, 2002, 10:06:06 AM
Quote from: Le Joueur

Quote from: Clinton R Nixon
You've put effort into this place, and I, for one, consider you a co-author of the site.

I suppose the difference between posts and money are:

a) Anyone can put forth effort, not everyone can contribute financially.

Quality material can come from either monied or no; the converse is also true.  Do you think that it is fair to 'add weight' to monied writings whether or not they 'add quality?'  Or is it better to let the material stand on its own merits?  (I am of the opinion that quality begets the support that creates a self-perpetuating cycle, noting donations could only 'water down' that cycle, not add to it.)

Fang Langford  (Still trying to 'add value' in his own way.)


Fang,

I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I don't even understand the point of your post or its merit in any way. It seems you were trying to argue with me when we both agreed. I don't know. Please make yourself clear. I in no way made any comment that said anythng about adding weight to the posts of people who made donations. I've already made the decision to not publicly acknowledge any donations.

I have a feeling you are creating dissent for dissent's sake.


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Le Joueur on January 12, 2002, 10:27:36 AM
Quote from: Clinton R Nixon
Quote from: Le Joueur
Quote from: Clinton R Nixon
You've put effort into this place, and I, for one, consider you a co-author of the site.

I suppose the difference between posts and money are:

a) Anyone can put forth effort, not everyone can contribute financially.

Quality material can come from either monied or no; the converse is also true.  Do you think that it is fair to 'add weight' to monied writings whether or not they 'add quality?'  Or is it better to let the material stand on its own merits?  (I am of the opinion that quality begets the support that creates a self-perpetuating cycle, noting donations could only 'water down' that cycle, not add to it.)

I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I don't even understand the point of your post or its merit in any way. It seems you were trying to argue with me when we both agreed. I don't know. Please make yourself clear. I in no way made any comment that said anythng about adding weight to the posts of people who made donations. I've already made the decision to not publicly acknowledge any donations.

I have a feeling you are creating dissent for dissent's sake.

Whoops.  There I go trying to be clever again.  Sorry.  I was trying to support you idea.  Let me string it out (now that I am more awake).

[list=1]
  • Quality articles can come for both donors and non-donors.
  • Donations can come from both high quality writers and from poor quality writers.
  • Recognizing donations might 'add weight' to a writer's cachet (the 'I paid for this so you gotta listen to me' argument).
  • This 'weight' would be unrelated to the quality of the donor's writing.
  • Rhetorically, I asked if there were any point in 'adding weight' to the poor quality writing (because some of the donors would have to be so).
  • I also suggested rhetorically that the merits of articles (and the posters who write them) should speak for themselves.[/list:o]I also suggested that keeping the way it is reinforces how it already is.

    I am very sorry for the confusion.  I hope this clears up the confusion.  (I was only trying to say 'noting contirbutors, good; noting donors, bad.')

    Fang Langford


Title: Heyyyyy...
Post by: Mike Holmes on January 14, 2002, 09:06:30 AM
Quote from: hardcoremoose

It's pure vanity you see.  When I look at those posts next to Mike Holmes' name, I think "Wow, he must know what he's talking about."  Then I realized after reading some his posts that anyone can look like they know what they're talking about, as long as they post alot.


Hey! I resemble that remark!

So I'm occasionally more heat than light; you got a problem with that!?   :-)

I may post quite a bit, but I do think that there are others here who have a higher quality per post. And quality is what counts, don't equate volume with it. Even one post may be vastly important. I'd encourage some of the lurkers out there to dive in. I like to hear new ideas.

I hope that some of what I put out there is useful. But I enjoy posting, or I wouldn't do it so much. It is it's own reward. The more I post, the more interesting responses I get, and the more fun and informative it becomes for me.

Which reinforces the need to post. Yes, I may soon need a twelve step plan.

"Hi, everybody, my name is Mike and I'm a postaholic."

"Hi, Mike."
 

Mike


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 14, 2002, 09:35:59 AM
Hi there,

This may surprise some people, but I absolutely hate any public record of how much posting is done by individuals. Number, percent, whatever. If it were up to me, I'd eliminate all of it, and just the basics: threads, private messages. User profiles would be strictly informative regarding links and emails. As little "metaforum" as possible, would be my aim.

Best,
Ron


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Blake Hutchins on January 14, 2002, 10:09:15 AM
I'm in general agreement with Ron here, although I do occasionally enjoy seeing how many posts I have as a measure of my activity.  I don't take anything competitive from comparing posts, and I don't think anyone gives the stat any real weight, but I'd have no problem should it simply disappear.

Honestly, I don't care how many posts someone has made, and for what it's worth, I don't believe one's number of posts is proportional to the quality of one's content.  A lot of very high quality, thought-provoking material has been offered by people with only a handful of posts.

Best,

Blake


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Laurel on January 14, 2002, 10:18:41 AM
Truth be told, I don't usually notice the post # statistic unless I happen to be looking to see where someone is from.  Usually I glance at poster's name and mentally blend the rest into the background.  The Forge is an aberration: the people who consistently post have thoughtful, interesting, intelligent things to say.  The people who rarely post have thoughtful, interesting, intelligent things to say.   Its a freak of nature among gaming forums :)


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: hardcoremoose on January 14, 2002, 03:28:07 PM
I'm kind of interested in hearing from more of the newer members of The Forge on this matter.  When I first started posting at The Forge I was intimidated as hell.  I wasn't really familiar with any of the regulars, and the familiarity the posters had with each other gave me the impresion that the site was insular - a closed community of sorts for the highly privileged and elite.  But I had just written NightWatch for Jared, which I felt was an in for me, and I quickly found myself addicted (and with a new gaming group, and a whole new way to experience and enjoy games, and some new friendships that extend beyond rp'ing).

One of the things that made it easier for me when I first came to The Forge was the sort of "open arms" approach its elder members extended.  Paul didn't know me from Adam, but because my profile noted that I lived in Michigan he invited me to game with him, and since then it has been my honor to have Paul as a guest at both my wedding and a surprise birthday party my wife threw for me just last week (and Tom too, who I would never have met had it not been for Paul).  The same thing goes for Ron - I hadn't been active on The Forge for more than a month or two, and yet he let me give away ashcans of WYRD at his booth at GenCon.  Sean Wipfli is another...our common love of horror films has lead to some great conversation and a much larger video/DVD collection than I might otherwise have had.  I could go on and on.  That's all real-life stuff, perpetuated by the virtual reality of these forums.

Before I sign off on this rambly little post I need to give a shout out to Mr. Holmes.  Your posts are consistently of the highest quality.  You're sort of like the new member's best friend - whether you mean to be or not - as you manage to provide some kind of encouraging, productive commentary on nearly everything that gets posted around here.  You certainly made me feel welcome at this site, and it's a quality I try to emulate.

Take care,
Moose


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Trav on January 15, 2002, 07:23:18 AM
I'm a newer member, and I for one barely even notice the amount of posts number listed next to the name.  Just by going through a few of the forums, you can tell who posts a lot and who doesn't.  I'm not afraid to admit that I'm intimidated posting here.  There are a lot of people that post here that I respect immensely.


Title: RPG.NET
Post by: Mithras on February 03, 2002, 07:39:33 AM
Did anyone particpate in RPG.NET's posts during their forum change-overs? That was enlightening. Not only do the posts register the number of posts, but also grade posters on a scale 0-29 Initiate, 30-99 Adept, 100+ Enlightened One.

Straight away everyone was 0 post initiate. People who'd posted for years and had no life outside the forums were ranked equal to a newbie. It caused consternation amongst some people (who wanted posts in lieu of time/status/experience!).

I mean, everyone retained their old names so you knew who was new, who was an old timer - but there has definately been a scramble to get up that ladder. I must admit my posting has gone down now that I've reached Enlightened One (what a shallow egotistical bastard I am!).

Why did I post like crazy to get up there? Well, I felt like I was a real Art of Design Forum veteran, posting daily, trying hard not to start too many new threads but to contribute to others first and so on, for almost 2 years. Vanity made me want to 'appear' to be the veteran poster I was to any newbies who read through the forums.

Ah, human nature!


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Valamir on February 03, 2002, 11:44:41 AM
I find the number of posts listings to be very helpful in a number of ways.

first if there are people dropping down the list of most frequent posters...why?  Where did they go?  When regular posters like Seth Ben Ezra stop posting it may be time to drop him a line and see whats up.

Second, I don't have the time to read ALL of the forums.  But if I see someone has a lot of posts, but its a name I rarely see I know thats a person spending most of there time in a different forum than I.  If its a name who's posted stuff that's impressed me, I'll take the time to dig around till I find where the rest of their posts are.

third, I tend to use number of posts as a "slack-o-meter".  Everyone has a day when they spout of a bunch of nonsense.  I'm more likely to regulate such a post to the "troll-to-be-ignored-in-the-future" pile if its someone with just a handful of posts.  I'm more likely to cut them some slack and put it down to a bad day if its someone who posts alot.

Now all of these things are entirely possible for regular readers to do without needing a number of posts stats.  We just come to recognize who the frequent posters are -- especially on those days when every single thread's most recent response is from Mike Holmes ;-)  But when I was new and trying to get my hands around GNS and Indie-punk stuff, it was helpful for me to know when a comment was coming from a long time veteran and when it was coming from someone as wet behind the ears as I was.  

There is a certain authority that is granted through number of posts.  THis isn't true everywhere...where a high number of posts often just means a high amount of noise.  But here on the Forge where the signal-to-noise ratio is perhaps the highest I've ever seen in a non moderated forum new comers can generally assume that persons with a high volume of posts know what they're talking about.


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Balbinus on February 04, 2002, 08:56:57 AM
Until I saw this thread I hadn't really noticed that our number of posts was mentioned.  It is a matter of supreme indifference to me now I do know.

I'm not trying to create my own game, so mostly I lurk here (whereas I'm pretty active on rpg.net).  Having said that, I like the site a great deal and get a lot from it.  When I post I have never felt from any of the "regulars" like the stuff I say is discounted because I don't post so often nor have I ever felt excluded from any forum or discussion.

So, if some people find it useful, great.  I don't really care how often someone posts (although if I know the person my knowledge of their past posts influences me naturally enough) so I don't use it.  

FWIW, this is actually a very friendly, welcoming forum.  A first poster here gets a lot of slack, I would happily recommend this site to any newbie (although I would mention that it's not the place for "which fantasy game is best" type posts) who had an interest in creating their own work or thinking further about the creative process.


Title: Foolishness from the Fool
Post by: Jared A. Sorensen on February 04, 2002, 04:18:25 PM
Hey!  Here's an idea:

Once a person has started posting, they get a little blinky icon under their name instead of a number. The more posts they make, the faster the icon blinks!

Yeah!

And make it, like, black on yellow or something really bright.

- Jared

(I'm kidding.)


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Mytholder on February 05, 2002, 02:35:12 AM
Even better, tie the font color of posts to your number of posts. Newbies start with their text in *exactly* the same shade of grey as the background, so you've got to highlight their text to see it. As you post more, the colour automatically shifts towards something more visible.

And people who post a lot get something really visible. Jared's posts would be engraved on the reader's retinas 'cos they'd be written in nine foot-high letters of NUCLEAR FIRE that blasts ULTRA-HOT LASER DEATH GAME DESIGN PHOTONS out of the screen*.

*: and we'd have to put a little "Best viewed with a giant particle accelerator" gif on the front page. Hey, the web started at CERN...


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: erithromycin on February 05, 2002, 04:15:55 AM
I'm relatively new, but I lurked for a while. The number of posts is something I look at, but only for those who've made it onto my 'must read' list. I really hate it when I come back after a week doing other stuff and have to wade through pages of intelligent, witty discourse, on a subject I love because some of you seem to have decided that you're going to gun for a rounder number.

Grr.

Why can't you spend your time on something I can ignore, like trying to GNS mornington crescent [1].

drew

[1] Note: If you pull it off, I'll play...


Title: Elitism and number of posts
Post by: Tim Denee on February 05, 2002, 10:08:54 PM
We going to have a party or something when Ron breaks 2000 posts?