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I haven't been here in a while....but...
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downinflames68
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Sep 23, 2009, 06:44 PM
 
HOLY ****. What the hell happened?

This places is SOOOOOOOOO slow now. Did the mods over moderate any shred of anything interesting, and nobody may disagree with each other on anything? What the **** happened?

PS: Anybody know of a forum like MacNN used to be, like a few years ago?
     
Big Mac
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Sep 23, 2009, 07:02 PM
 
Looking to get perma banned for the seventeenth billionth time, eh?
( Last edited by Big Mac; Sep 23, 2009 at 10:23 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
ghporter
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Sep 24, 2009, 09:01 AM
 
We do seem to be quiet lately. Part of that may be due to the economy-I think a lot of people dispense with what they might think of as luxuries when their pay evaporates, and I also think a lot of people are NOT going online and surfing forums because they're either working a lot more hours to keep their heads above water or can't afford their ISP's bills. I've been on a lot less lately because I've been working a LOT.

So that's what I think about "what the bleep happened." Not because we on staff tried to keep people from making threats or acting like blathering idiots-if anything, once we reduced the scary factor caused by some very hot-headed users who posted nothing but hatred and vitriol, traffic went UP, if only for a while until having to work or not being able to afford going online got in the way.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
turtle777
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Sep 24, 2009, 09:35 AM
 
I don't think the economy is the reason.

People who have lost their jobs have *more* time on their hands.
And many would rather cut out a lot of other things before they pull the plunge on internet access.

I think MacNN lost many users for various reasons.

-t
     
reader50
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:12 PM
 
Over time, people drift away. It isn't a conspiracy, just human nature - interests change. This is true of any watering hole, on the internet or off. To maintain participation levels, we need a steady flow of new faces jumping in. This used to happen here, and continues to happen on other boards.

Since our active numbers have fallen for several years, the most logical reason is our supply of new people vanished. We still get people finding us via Google, along with others who wander in. But Ca$h is right - our activity is a pale shadow of what it was 5 years ago. We used to have regular server problems caused by steady traffic increases, and the forums would go down outright during Apple events. This was despite steady hardware upgrades.



This has been posted before, it is most informative. A few years back, our participation abruptly went into a freefall, then stabilized to a slow decline. So what happened several years ago? And why hasn't it affected other Mac boards? Apple's sales have never been better.

Several years ago, a redesign caused our News articles to have self-contained comments. You have to visit the forums once to register, but never again after that. Before, people had to create threads in here to talk about news. Other Mac news sites still route their news traffic into their forums for commentary. And the people who comment often check out other topics. Many find things of interest and stick around.

We've suggested to management that the News comments be moved back here. The replies could be mirrored to the news articles to show reader interest on the front page. So long as interested surfers are sent into the forums to reply, it should solve our new-faces drought. I don't know if we've been persuasive enough - haven't heard back if they plan to make the change.

The main benefit we've gotten from the drought is server stability. Say what you want about the hamster, there have been way fewer problems than was typical 5 years ago. But I'd rather have the traffic problems and lobby for more hardware upgrades.

That's my analysis of the problem.
     
The Final Dakar
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:14 PM
 
What's odd is I don't remember server problems until after the redesign.
     
reader50
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:24 PM
 
If memory serves, the most common problem before was speed. Forums and threads were slow to load. Followed by the double/triple/quad/penta- post problems. And yes, I recall seeing at least one fiver. We congratulated the poor guy on his accomplishment. Today, it is rare to get a doublepost. Haven't seen a triple in a really long time.
     
The Final Dakar
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:26 PM
 
Let me rephrase, as I wasn't specific enough. I don't recall the forums going down (or being busy) aside from Apple Events pre-redesign.

Your double+ posting issue rings a semi-bell, though.
     
Chuckit
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Let me rephrase, as I wasn't specific enough. I don't recall the forums going down (or being busy) aside from Apple Events pre-redesign.

Your double+ posting issue rings a semi-bell, though.
Oh, they did — for no apparent reason whatsoever. If you search Feedback for "database error" or "mysql_connect" or something like that, I'm sure you'll find quite a good number of threads. That's where all the hampstor jokes came from.
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downinflames68  (op)
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Over time, people drift away. It isn't a conspiracy, just human nature - interests change. This is true of any watering hole, on the internet or off. To maintain participation levels, we need a steady flow of new faces jumping in. This used to happen here, and continues to happen on other boards.

Since our active numbers have fallen for several years, the most logical reason is our supply of new people vanished. We still get people finding us via Google, along with others who wander in. But Ca$h is right - our activity is a pale shadow of what it was 5 years ago. We used to have regular server problems caused by steady traffic increases, and the forums would go down outright during Apple events. This was despite steady hardware upgrades.



This has been posted before, it is most informative. A few years back, our participation abruptly went into a freefall, then stabilized to a slow decline. So what happened several years ago? And why hasn't it affected other Mac boards? Apple's sales have never been better.

Several years ago, a redesign caused our News articles to have self-contained comments. You have to visit the forums once to register, but never again after that. Before, people had to create threads in here to talk about news. Other Mac news sites still route their news traffic into their forums for commentary. And the people who comment often check out other topics. Many find things of interest and stick around.

We've suggested to management that the News comments be moved back here. The replies could be mirrored to the news articles to show reader interest on the front page. So long as interested surfers are sent into the forums to reply, it should solve our new-faces drought. I don't know if we've been persuasive enough - haven't heard back if they plan to make the change.

The main benefit we've gotten from the drought is server stability. Say what you want about the hamster, there have been way fewer problems than was typical 5 years ago. But I'd rather have the traffic problems and lobby for more hardware upgrades.

That's my analysis of the problem.
Wow. Thanks! It answered a lot of questions I had.
     
downinflames68  (op)
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Oh, they did — for no apparent reason whatsoever. If you search Feedback for "database error" or "mysql_connect" or something like that, I'm sure you'll find quite a good number of threads. That's where all the hampstor jokes came from.
Also where my sig came from, years ago. Hamster with circuit boards= macnn server.
     
The Final Dakar
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Sep 24, 2009, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Oh, they did — for no apparent reason whatsoever. If you search Feedback for "database error" or "mysql_connect" or something like that, I'm sure you'll find quite a good number of threads. That's where all the hampstor jokes came from.
Here's an observation, unfounded. I've been around since late '04 I think. I remember in the old days, the forums were much more active after the (US) work day had ended.
     
mduell
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Sep 24, 2009, 04:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post


This has been posted before, it is most informative. A few years back, our participation abruptly went into a freefall, then stabilized to a slow decline. So what happened several years ago? And why hasn't it affected other Mac boards? Apple's sales have never been better.
Somewhat off-topic... why not enable proper quantcast user tracking?
     
Big Mac
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Sep 24, 2009, 04:16 PM
 
Oh yeah, server problems were common back in the day.

I do agree that things changed once inline comments came to news stories.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
reader50
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Sep 24, 2009, 04:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
What's odd is I don't remember server problems until after the redesign.
Some further recollections on that. The fun times around 2003 - users regularly got the error page. "We apologise for the inconvenience ... an email has been sent to [admin email box] detailing the error."

This was usually loss of connection to the DB server, because it didn't respond fast enough to all the traffic requests. I think this was a dedicated DB box serving just the fora. And that automatic error email? It was going to Demonhood's box. At one point after a couple weeks of errors, he reported 45K emails clogging the box - which calculates to 2+ per minute. DH needed to leave Mail open for two days to finish downloading them all, just to get them off the mail server.

I suggested putting in a forward rule, to send them to the News people. Since the forums being "down" was technically news. They threatened to kill us if we did that. Today, that error dialog sends the notification emails to the dev/null box.
     
The Final Dakar
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Sep 24, 2009, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Some further recollections on that. The fun times around 2003 - users regularly got the error page. "We apologise for the inconvenience ... an email has been sent to [admin email box] detailing the error."
I definitely remember those happening with relative frequency. That solves it.
     
turtle777
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Sep 24, 2009, 05:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
DH needed to leave Mail open for two days to finish downloading them all, just to get them off the mail server.

I suggested putting in a forward rule, to send them to the News people. Since the forums being "down" was technically news. They threatened to kill us if we did that. Today, that error dialog sends the notification emails to the dev/null box.


Good times.

-t
     
ghporter
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Sep 24, 2009, 10:06 PM
 
I personally think that the decline in new members is at least related to the impending economic turmoil. Less folks sitting around with the time to kill needed to surf and stay busy online because things were starting to go bad, so less folks joining and staying around. Were we a predictor of the collapse? Probably not. But I know a lot of people who used to bug me for free tech support that stopped doing that a couple years ago, and several of them have noted that they don't spend the hours online they used to because they need overtime and similar issues.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Peter
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Sep 25, 2009, 11:08 AM
 
so how come TUAW and MacRumors are still growing slowly?

MacNN is the only one in decline.
we don't have time to stop for gas
     
turtle777
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Sep 25, 2009, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
so how come TUAW and MacRumors are still growing slowly?

MacNN is the only one in decline.
Maybe they are cheaper ?

-t
     
Doofy
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Sep 25, 2009, 11:41 AM
 
Here's the reason, folks.

MacNN has a healthy complement of snarky little tossers. For example, you can't post anything in the lounge with a cacophony of {I would put a swear word here but I got infracted last time I did that so I won't} showing up, just for the fun of being snarky rather than for any valid debate-related reasons.

People get tired of that crap, so they leave. It's that simple. If anyone remembers the treatment of WDlove and Cody, you'll know what I mean.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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turtle777
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Sep 25, 2009, 12:55 PM
 
Doofy is right.

The mods moderated away some of the edgier members (like Rob), but allowed too much "snarky little tossing".
In their defense though, it's really hard to define where exactly the boundary should be. Some dose of snarkiness is necessary to keep the entertainment value. But I agree, some here at 'NN (me included) have gone to far at times.

-t
     
Timo
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Sep 25, 2009, 12:56 PM
 
There used to be more interesting people -- way, way back in 2001, and for awhile after that.

Then they left.

I'm also guessing people these days get their Lounge fix via social networking sites, where bad behavior is less likely to show up (as you've picked your audience.)
     
osiris
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Sep 26, 2009, 11:00 AM
 
Maybe we need a new gimmick to get people hooked. Maybe free cigs for all the newbies? Perhaps easing up on the censoring of foul language so that we may curse at each other more freely and more foully? Okay, not that....

But back in the day, when some of us weren't busy doing the work of 2 or 3 people, there was a lot more free time to let loose. Good times.
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Cold Warrior
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Sep 27, 2009, 11:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Several years ago, a redesign caused our News articles to have self-contained comments. You have to visit the forums once to register, but never again after that. Before, people had to create threads in here to talk about news. Other Mac news sites still route their news traffic into their forums for commentary. And the people who comment often check out other topics. Many find things of interest and stick around.

We've suggested to management that the News comments be moved back here. The replies could be mirrored to the news articles to show reader interest on the front page. So long as interested surfers are sent into the forums to reply, it should solve our new-faces drought. I don't know if we've been persuasive enough - haven't heard back if they plan to make the change.
I dreamt last night that article comments had been moved to the forums and we had this influx of article member junkies posting in the forums. It was very interesting.
     
Simon
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Sep 28, 2009, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
I dreamt last night that article comments had been moved to the forums and we had this influx of article member junkies posting in the forums. It was very interesting.
Testudo and his followers posting in here, too? Oh goodness, please no.
     
reader50
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Sep 28, 2009, 02:09 PM
 
We can handle stuff like that - the mod controls are way better in the forum than on the front page. Likewise our ability to spot spam - to my knowledge, there is no Report link on news comments.
     
Oisín
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Sep 28, 2009, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Testudo and his followers posting in here, too? Oh goodness, please no.
They’re already here, in disguise. Just consider that followers of Testudo could be called … Testudines!
     
Simon
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Sep 28, 2009, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
We can handle stuff like that - the mod controls are way better in the forum than on the front page.
I think the mods already have more than enough on their hands with the morons here.
     
besson3c
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Sep 28, 2009, 03:37 PM
 
I think that we should create our own sex tapes and sell them here.
     
The Final Dakar
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Sep 28, 2009, 03:40 PM
 
Right on cue.
     
besson3c
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Sep 28, 2009, 04:01 PM
 
I'm king moron and proud of it!
     
Railroader
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Sep 29, 2009, 07:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Right on cue.
Exactomundo!





NOTE: NOT Dakar
     
Phileas
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Sep 30, 2009, 07:02 AM
 
Very simple - the advent of services like Facebook and Twitter is taking slices of people's time they previously spent elsewhere, for example on message boards.

Social networking sites now soak up 17% of people's time spent online. That time has to come from somewhere.

One of the huge benefits of networks like Facebook and twitter is that using your real identity, which is something most users do, cuts out a lot of the bullshit that happens on boards, where people routinely hide behind handle to post stuff they would never post if they would be held personally responsible for it.
( Last edited by Phileas; Sep 30, 2009 at 07:08 AM. )
     
CharlesS
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Oct 4, 2009, 05:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Timo View Post
I'm also guessing people these days get their Lounge fix via social networking sites, where bad behavior is less likely to show up (as you've picked your audience.)
Who cares? The purpose of this place is technical discussions.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
turtle777
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Oct 4, 2009, 05:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Who cares? The purpose of this place is technical discussions.
Like this thread ?

-t
     
Randman
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Oct 4, 2009, 05:35 PM
 
I lurk more than Uber-post as I used to. The owners of the site may disagree but fewer people isn't that bad.

And yes, I agree with Doofy to a degree.

Also, Macrumours is pretty busy but it doesn't have the community feel that this site used to.

Maybe it was when Zimphire/Kevin imploded.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
turtle777
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Oct 4, 2009, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Randman View Post
Maybe it was when Zimphire/Kevin imploded.
Permabans are crap.

Kevin should be allowed back. Rob is a great example how people can change A LOT.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 4, 2009, 07:05 PM
 
… based on what, turtle, the knowledge you happen to have on hand?
Who says that unbanning Kevin* hasn't been considered? Rob, unlike Kevin, has shown that he can handle himself now.


* Just as a reminder: Kevin was permabanned because he spun out of control -- which culminated in a threat to launch a DDOS attack against MacNN.
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besson3c
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Oct 4, 2009, 07:20 PM
 
The secret of avoiding bans is being right on the constant brink of losing control, but not going over the edge.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to create a thread about clarinets and oompa loompas.
     
turtle777
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Oct 5, 2009, 01:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
… based on what, turtle, the knowledge you happen to have on hand?
Rob's track record here in the last months speaks for itself.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Who says that unbanning Kevin* hasn't been considered? Rob, unlike Kevin, has shown that he can handle himself now.
You are right, I don't have knowledge about that. I only know that he is *still* permabanned.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
* Just as a reminder: Kevin was permabanned because he spun out of control -- which culminated in a threat to launch a DDOS attack against MacNN.
I know. He did lose it completely.
But the DDOS threat was (IMO) more laughable than anything else.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 5, 2009, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
You are right, I don't have knowledge about that. I only know that he is *still* permabanned.
Yes, but you have jumped conclusions that this is unjustified. An `I kinda miss this place' alone is not good enough to lift a permaban.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I know. He did lose it completely.
But the DDOS threat was (IMO) more laughable than anything else.
We weren't concerned of any DDOS attack. But what was less laughable were the countless hours the staff has spent on him. I'm speaking less of myself since the Lounge mods and admins had to deal with the brunt of it. It's not our job to manage certain problematic members, but cater the community.
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turtle777
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Oct 5, 2009, 04:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yes, but you have jumped conclusions that this is unjustified.
Huh ? What jumped conclusion ?

All I said was that "Kevin should be allowed back." That was an opinion.
Am I allowed to have an opinion on that matter ?

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
... the Lounge mods and admins had to deal with the brunt of it. It's not our job to manage certain problematic members, but cater the community.
I'm not disputing this. A swift timeout, even extended, would have shut him up.
Then let him back in after weeks or months. If he continued his rampage, give him more timeouts.
I don't see how this is very involved from a staff side...

-t
     
reader50
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Oct 5, 2009, 05:27 PM
 
Kevin was given a 1-week tempban for the usual reasons. He came back the next day to derail a few threads and make threats. Hence the permaban.

More recently, he asked to be let back in. The staff voted, and came up very slightly negative. Kevin can ask again in the future if he wishes - opinions may shift.
     
turtle777
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Oct 5, 2009, 05:33 PM
 
Thanks, reader.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 5, 2009, 06:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Huh ? What jumped conclusion ?
I understood your initial comment (`Kevin should be allowed back. Rob is a great example how people can change A LOT.') as implying Kevin was treated unfairly. He too has requested to be allowed back and the staff voted not to. The two have received equal treatment.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
All I said was that "Kevin should be allowed back." That was an opinion.
Am I allowed to have an opinion on that matter ?
No need to be defensive. All I wanted to say was that the staff hasn't treated Kevin unfairly.
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Timo
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Oct 5, 2009, 06:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Originally Posted by Timo
I'm also guessing people these days get their Lounge fix via social networking sites, where bad behavior is less likely to show up (as you've picked your audience.)
Who cares? The purpose of this place is technical discussions.
I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not. For lots of people (more in the past than now, perhaps) the Lounge was 'NN, and I'm guessing a few people didn't even have a mac.
     
turtle777
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Oct 5, 2009, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I understood your initial comment (`Kevin should be allowed back. Rob is a great example how people can change A LOT.') as implying Kevin was treated unfairly. He too has requested to be allowed back and the staff voted not to. The two have received equal treatment.

No need to be defensive. All I wanted to say was that the staff hasn't treated Kevin unfairly.
Fair enough. I was not intending to give an opinion on the "fairness" part.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 5, 2009, 06:53 PM
 
Then I've misread that sentence, my apologies.
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turtle777
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Oct 5, 2009, 06:56 PM
 
No prob.

-t
     
 
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