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Bring back the unified lounge please!
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- - e r i k - -
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Feb 25, 2009, 12:33 AM
 
Religion is frequently treated with a double standard here. Can we discuss it or not? It seems that all too frequently religion will be injected into a topic or an original post as context, and then all further discussion beyond that is shut down.

Either ALL religious discussion is banned in the lounge, or we open it to debate.

For the record I still feel the same way about Politics/War. Banishing it to a ghetto is not a sensible way of dealing with the issue of "sensitive topics". Careful moderation IS.

Religion and politics are frequent modifiers to any social discussion, having to skirt around it in every thread for fear of it being moved to the nutter-ghetto is just plain inane. This arbitrary granulation has made MacNN as a forum for non-technical topics suffer for far too long. It got even worse at the last split when gaming got moved to a separate forum. It was all well meant, I am sure, but I think it's time to let it go and just admit fault.

I know it has been discussed a million times, but please consider unifying all non-Mac/tech topics into the lounge seriously this time. I say this as a long-time active member who have observed the decline in discussion here that can be traced back to splitting the lounge into subtopics.

I certainly know that I'm not the only one who feel the same way, and unfortunately many of those have already long left. So barring the obvious ones that will tell me to join them (like that would help any), please open this topic for debate once again.

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brassplayersrock²
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Feb 25, 2009, 01:15 AM
 
I rarely let others speak for me, but I agree with it, and so I'll link to it.

http://forums.macnn.com/89/macnn-lou...e/#post3807406
     
- - e r i k - -  (op)
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Feb 25, 2009, 01:20 AM
 
That post has what to do with what I just said exactly?

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Chuckit
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Feb 25, 2009, 01:57 AM
 
That would just result in the Lounge itself getting turned into the "nutter-ghetto." This is why the PL was created.
Chuck
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Feb 25, 2009, 02:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
That would just result in the Lounge itself getting turned into the "nutter-ghetto." This is why the PL was created.
Nutters would not go unchecked in a well regulated lounge. The PWL lounge now almost exist as an excuse for those people to run rampant there.

The best antidote to crazy is to meld them with normal people.

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turtle777
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Feb 25, 2009, 03:18 AM
 
I don't understand at all what Eric's problem is.

Religion belongs into the PWL. There.

Religious threads only get shut down in the Lounge, not the PWL.

-t
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 25, 2009, 03:31 AM
 
If the garbage that runs free in the Political Lounge is allowed free reign in the regular Lounge, I'll have to stop visiting the regular Lounge, too.
     
- - e r i k - -  (op)
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Feb 25, 2009, 03:47 AM
 
Exactly. The situation today is not desirable. PWL is full of unchecked idiocy, and the lounge hardly has activity at all.

I can leave for two weeks and come back and the same topics will still be at the bottom of the first page.

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Chuckit
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Feb 25, 2009, 04:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Nutters would not go unchecked in a well regulated lounge.
We have three options:
1. The Lounge gets general chat threads and the PL gets most highly controversial, "religious"-type threads.
2. The Lounge gets general chat threads as well as all the stuff that would have been in the PL.
3. The Lounge gets general chat threads and "religious" topics are verboten.

The Lounge would have exactly the same obnoxiousness as the PL in situation 2. Is number 3 what you're advocating here?
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CharlesS
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Feb 25, 2009, 04:45 AM
 
Please, please, no.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
Simon
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Feb 25, 2009, 05:46 AM
 
Bottom line is that there's way too much crap tolerated here. I never quite followed the arguments made in favor of the PWL. To me it always sounded like a feeble attempt at creating a barely moderated sub-area in order not to lose a single poster while at the same time not allowing the entire place to go down the crapper. So how's that been working out? IMHO it hasn't. Spillover is real.

If you want to merge the PWL into the Lounge moderation would have to kick into an unprecedented über mode just to keep the place from falling apart. I seriously doubt moderation is willing to do that.

Attracting as many posters as possible seems to be the name of the game. That requires getting new people and keeping all the idiots in the PWL. If you fold the PWL into the regular Lounge, the regular Lounge will become the new PWL. Are you sure that is what you want?
     
Maflynn
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Feb 25, 2009, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
I rarely let others speak for me, but I agree with it, and so I'll link to it.

http://forums.macnn.com/89/macnn-lou...e/#post3807406
Think that thread offers a poor example because we're offering advice given the OP's religious belief. RR was not trying to open up a dialog on religion, but help the OP. Erik jumped in and crapped on the thread with a couple of emoticons. I agree with Shif's assessment.

Its interesting that I respond to a thread that Shif started (cohabitation thread) I literally type the word Bible and people got up in arms. I just responded to shif saying that I know she's aware of what the Bible says with regards to relationships and her parents being religious. I wasn't quoting Bible passages or thumping the Bible.

Now that Shif responded to Erik to back off because his snide comment was unwarranted he comes here complaining? That seems more whiney then a double standard.
~Mike
     
vmarks
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Feb 25, 2009, 01:03 PM
 
Other folks have addressed the possible outcomes of such an action.

Instead, I want to question the premise.

Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
I... have observed the decline in discussion here that can be traced back to splitting the lounge into subtopics.
Are we sure that's the event that caused a perceived decline in discussion?

Is it separate from, or combined with other factors, such as:
(1) moderators staying on for far longer terms without turnover (avg. turnover used to be closer to 1 year or 2 years)
(2) less new blood due to fewer 'raids' from other forums (car people coming in to argue cars, PC advocates coming in to trash the forums due to TEAM/Seti/other distributed computing feuds)
(3) changes in the mac web space as the customer base changes (I have friends who have observed that the big names in the space no longer seem to be the luminaries they once were in terms of reputation (bob levitus, gene steinberg, ted landau, charles moore, etc.) we aren't immune to these changes either.)

I'd like to see more evidence that shows less discussion stems solely from a split in the lounges. Thank you!
     
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Feb 25, 2009, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Religion is frequently treated with a double standard here. Can we discuss it or not? It seems that all too frequently religion will be injected into a topic or an original post as context, and then all further discussion beyond that is shut down.

Either ALL religious discussion is banned in the lounge, or we open it to debate.

For the record I still feel the same way about Politics/War. Banishing it to a ghetto is not a sensible way of dealing with the issue of "sensitive topics". Careful moderation IS.

Religion and politics are frequent modifiers to any social discussion, having to skirt around it in every thread for fear of it being moved to the nutter-ghetto is just plain inane.
So what you're basically saying, Erik, is that you'd quite like the opportunity to hoist the "Dawkins is my god" placards and launch into a big anti-religion argument every time anyone in the Lounge even comes close to mentioning anything even slightly related to religion?

Decline in discussion? As far as I can tell, all anyone ever talked about before the split was badgers and cheese. Cheese and badgers. Can't you just start a couple of Edam-related threads or something?
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Maflynn
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Feb 25, 2009, 01:43 PM
 
Personally I'd like to keep the PL as is. I generally don't go in their and most of the topics covered and the manner in which people post are both that I don't care to see in the regular lounge.
~Mike
     
voodoo
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Feb 25, 2009, 01:59 PM
 
I'm ambivalent. I thought the old unified lounge worked well enough, but could have been better moderated. If the moderators don't feel they can contain the crowd with a unified lounge, then I'd support the current scheme.

I have seen a unified lounge work on far more populated forums than this one to this day. Through all the crap that has happened in the world. It is possible, but it is only possible if the moderators and community want this.

mmmmm Edam!
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Spheric Harlot
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Feb 25, 2009, 02:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
(3) changes in the mac web space as the customer base changes (I have friends who have observed that the big names in the space no longer seem to be the luminaries they once were in terms of reputation (bob levitus, gene steinberg, ted landau, charles moore, etc.) we aren't immune to these changes either.)
This.

The Mac community - which was very real, and fairly closely-knit - no longer really exists, and MacNN has somewhat reflected the shift in user demographic.

There's a couple of puerile single-rut running gag-ers, a couple of infights, and the occasional crackpot voyeurism session whenever abe shows up, but the people who used to just hang out because they enjoyed the company and the laughs among like-minded "in the know" Mac users have pretty much all dissoved into the ether (or found other places to hang out).
     
Dakar V
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Feb 25, 2009, 02:12 PM
 
I can't say with certainty, but it seems like people used to post interesting non-political news items (technology related or not) far more in the past. That was where a good amount of discussion came from.

Then again, some of the staples of the old Lounge, the HD-DVD v. Blu-Ray, PS3, XBOX or Wii, and Airbus thread have all seen a precipitous drop in participation (for various reasons).
     
subego
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Feb 25, 2009, 02:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
This.

The Mac community - which was very real, and fairly closely-knit - no longer really exists, and MacNN has somewhat reflected the shift in user demographic.

I also want to add that back in the day, there used to be a dozen apps for OSX, and this was the place come to find the 13th, or whether you needed to pound software update again for teh snappie.

Apple has never made such a big transition, before or since.

Likewise, it was at about this exact same time that usenet (which was already a mess) really began to fall to ****.
     
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Feb 25, 2009, 03:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
(or found other places to hang out).
PM me if you find that place

-t
     
besson3c
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Feb 25, 2009, 03:32 PM
 
I like the separation, but I don't understand why when a lounge topic that starts off in lounge subject matter territory strays into political or religious subject matter all of the armchair mods start breaking a sweat and insist on some sort of corrective action? The result is almost always much consternation and obsessing over the rules, and the outcome is usually the same.

If a thread meanders into politics or religion, so what? That's life... Why not just let it go? Why must discussion over non-technical issues be neatly and orderly partitioned? Why can't the rules be more general guideliney than biblical?
     
Laminar
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Feb 25, 2009, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I like the separation, but I don't understand why when a lounge topic that starts off in lounge subject matter territory strays into political or religious subject matter all of the armchair mods start breaking a sweat and insist on some sort of corrective action? The result is almost always much consternation and obsessing over the rules, and the outcome is usually the same.

If a thread meanders into politics or religion, so what? That's life... Why not just let it go? Why must discussion over non-technical issues be neatly and orderly partitioned? Why can't the rules be more general guideliney than biblical?
Where in this thread does that even happen? I feel like you complain about armchair mods more than armchair mods armchair mod. Does complaining about complainers make you any better than you believe they are?
     
besson3c
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Feb 25, 2009, 04:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Where in this thread does that even happen? I feel like you complain about armchair mods more than armchair mods armchair mod. Does complaining about complainers make you any better than you believe they are?
I'm making a general statement, but I think it's pretty clear that armchair modding happens *far* more than the frequency of my observations and complaints about it.
     
Laminar
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Feb 25, 2009, 05:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'm making a general statement, but I think it's pretty clear that armchair modding happens *far* more than the frequency of my observations and complaints about it.
What's clear is that you complain about armchair modding at every instance of armchair modding. Add to that what you're saying in this thread, and you have the armchair modders beat.

Also, it's nice to see a couple people using this thread to bring up their own tired points that don't actually correlate to the topic.<-hypocrite
     
besson3c
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Feb 25, 2009, 05:17 PM
 
Whatever Laminar, I'm not terribly interested in picking apart my tactics and motivation. If you can't get past what you perceive to be my hypocrisy enough to look at what I'm actually saying, there really isn't anything I can add to this conversation.
     
reader50
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Feb 25, 2009, 05:18 PM
 
Religious beliefs.
Political positions.
Opinions about wars.

These three topics are different from most. Participants have strong opinions, offend easily, and argue all night without any change of opinion. People have sometimes killed each other over these topics in the real world.

Most other topics are safer. Last I checked, opinions on hard drive brands can lead to endless discussion, but not the other consequences. People can change their opinions if convincing statistics / benchmarks turn up.

Ever since the PWL was spun off, I can testify that no members have killed each other in the regular Lounge. So the strategy is obviously a success.
     
- - e r i k - -  (op)
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Feb 25, 2009, 09:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
3. The Lounge gets general chat threads and "religious" topics are verboten.

The Lounge would have exactly the same obnoxiousness as the PL in situation 2. Is number 3 what you're advocating here?
Not verboten, regulated. Rules still apply: No personal attacks being the number one.

A unified well-regulated lounge would bring a lot more life and discussion to this place. Now everything is scattered, people are allowed to behave like douches in a ghetto and it occasionally spills over in the lounge.

If religion or politics is brought up in a lounge thread I say it's fair game for discussion - otherwise we should delete or move EVERY post even alluding to it. Is that a preferable option? I really don't think so.

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Feb 25, 2009, 09:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
So what you're basically saying, Erik, is that you'd quite like the opportunity to hoist the "Dawkins is my god" placards and launch into a big anti-religion argument every time anyone in the Lounge even comes close to mentioning anything even slightly related to religion?
Harr harr. Putting a at the end of a personal attack, doesn't make it less of one. Reported.

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Feb 25, 2009, 09:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
Now that Shif responded to Erik to back off because his snide comment was unwarranted he comes here complaining? That seems more whiney then a double standard.
Oh please. Number one: My comment was a statement of fact, not snide.
Number two: This is completely unrelated. While spurred by the double standards of the lounge (religion can be brought up in a positive context, but when it is put in a negative light it is shut down), this is part of a much larger problem: The fact that the quality of discussion here has gone down since the well meant split and the current NN environment is hostile and dull.

I am trying to help restore this sense of community by offering some real world advice on how to do that. But if you and your "club" want to keep attacking my persona go right ahead and prove my point!

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Feb 25, 2009, 09:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
Are we sure that's the event that caused a perceived decline in discussion?

Is it separate from, or combined with other factors, such as:
(1) moderators staying on for far longer terms without turnover (avg. turnover used to be closer to 1 year or 2 years)
(2) less new blood due to fewer 'raids' from other forums (car people coming in to argue cars, PC advocates coming in to trash the forums due to TEAM/Seti/other distributed computing feuds)
(3) changes in the mac web space as the customer base changes (I have friends who have observed that the big names in the space no longer seem to be the luminaries they once were in terms of reputation (bob levitus, gene steinberg, ted landau, charles moore, etc.) we aren't immune to these changes either.)

I'd like to see more evidence that shows less discussion stems solely from a split in the lounges. Thank you!
I never claimed it is solely from the split in lounges, but it sure isn't helping.

In addition to what you said traditional forum discussions such as sharing and discussion of interesting links have been spread among a now wider social web (Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc.)

There is no question that other is a major factor in forum death all over the internet. But with a smaller active user base it is better to put them into a single forum to encourage more discussion rather than splitting them into arbitrary topics. This was a good idea when the forums were growing and topics on a particular subject were so plenty that they deserved a separate area to keep the main lounge more manageable (Although I'd argue that while games never deserved a separate topic, Sports ought to have deserved one as well).

Let's not forget why people come to a forum: To participate in discussion and community.

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Maflynn
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Feb 25, 2009, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
I am trying to help restore this sense of community by offering some real world advice on how to do that. But if you and your "club" want to keep attacking my persona go right ahead and prove my point!
~Mike
     
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Feb 25, 2009, 10:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Harr harr. Putting a at the end of a personal attack, doesn't make it less of one. Reported.
Funny that. I thought it was a question. You've reported me for asking a question? Damn, there was another question... ...you're not going to report me for that too are you? Crap, I did it again.
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Maflynn
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Feb 25, 2009, 10:56 PM
 
perhaps he's part of the grammar nazis and he was deeply offended that you failed to put a ? at the end of your question
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Feb 25, 2009, 11:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Funny that. I thought it was a question. You've reported me for asking a question? Damn, there was another question... ...you're not going to report me for that too are you? Crap, I did it again.
Veiling an attack in form of a question is no less of an attack punctuated by a smiley. Stop pretending otherwise.

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Feb 25, 2009, 11:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
Exactly my point. THIS is what the once great NN forums have been reduced to. *sigh*

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Doofy
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Feb 25, 2009, 11:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Veiling an attack in form of a question is no less of an attack punctuated by a smiley. Stop pretending otherwise.
Dude, I don't need to veil my attacks. If it was an attack, you'd know it.
It was a question. Are you going to answer said question? It's relevant to your thinking with regard to the request that you've posed in this thread.
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Maflynn
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Feb 25, 2009, 11:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Exactly my point. THIS is what the once great NN forums have been reduced to. *sigh*
You know this is now the pot calling the kettle black. Do you know where I got that little emoticon? Your post after RR's post. You seem ok to post that in someone's thread but get a hair across your butt when someone does it to you.

Perhaps you should look in the mirror before stating how NN forums have declined

~Mike
     
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Feb 25, 2009, 11:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
You know this is now the pot calling the kettle black. Do you know where I got that little emoticon? Your post after RR's post. You seem ok to post that in someone's thread but get a hair across your butt when someone does it to you.
Oh dear. I guess that my point was lost on you then so I'll spell it out:

I WANT people to discuss anything in the Lounge, be it religion, politics or boobies. I just don't want it to be a double standard where people can post anything related to religion and get away with it to then start whining when someone comments on it pointing to the rules.

As for my quality of posting my history speaks for itself so I don't feel I need to defend myself in that area.

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Feb 25, 2009, 11:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
So what you're basically saying, Erik, is that you'd quite like the opportunity to hoist the "Dawkins is my god" placards and launch into a big anti-religion argument every time anyone in the Lounge even comes close to mentioning anything even slightly related to religion?
No.

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turtle777
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Feb 26, 2009, 12:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
As for my quality of posting my history speaks for itself so I don't feel I need to defend myself in that area.


-t
     
Doofy
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Feb 26, 2009, 12:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
No.
Thank you.
Now we're getting somewhere.

I happen to agree with you with regard to this, but I'm pretty sure the rest of the lounge doesn't want me to infest the place with politics. I can and will relate absolutely everything to politics - and I understand how this could get a little boring for those with no interest in such matters.
So, it's a deep breath and suck it in.
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Feb 26, 2009, 01:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I can and will relate absolutely everything to politics - and I understand how this could get a little boring for those with no interest in such matters.
Actually that would be very welcome. Look at the PWL thread today, a few active threads that have become shouting matches for people with a ban-wish and then a handful of stale old threads.

There is nothing wrong with discussing heated topics as long as it is kept as discussion and not as poo-flinging. From a moderator standpoint, keeping track of just one central area would also be easier.

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reader50
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Feb 26, 2009, 03:59 AM
 
A healthy political discussion of the "this" party has been deleted as offtopic bickering, due to overenthusiastic moderation. It's a pity, because they were just getting tuned up. Dang those trigger-happy staff members.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 26, 2009, 04:33 AM
 
Oh the irony.
     
Simon
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Feb 26, 2009, 05:01 AM
 
I'd like to know why almost every single time somebody here dares to suggest a change be made to the forum, there are a handful of people who think it's appropriate to start attacking that person.
     
badidea
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Feb 26, 2009, 05:59 AM
 
Ok, I can't believe what I am going to write now but I kind of think it really has to do with the downfall of the Lounge...

...it all began, when Kevin was banned!

OMG, what did I just say??? Nooooooooooooo

Not that I really think that he made great contributions but this postwhore kept it going! Like a cardiac pacemaker. It's not good to have one but sometimes you'll just need it!
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Big Mac
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Feb 26, 2009, 06:02 AM
 
Unifying the Lounge again would be a bad idea.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 26, 2009, 06:03 AM
 
Kevin?

He also pretty much single-handedly drove away all the people who actually made the Lounge worthwhile, years ago.
     
Big Mac
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Feb 26, 2009, 06:10 AM
 
Why would that be so? How did Kevin drive anyone away?

Where did our stars go, btw?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
OreoCookie
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Feb 26, 2009, 06:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
There is nothing wrong with discussing heated topics as long as it is kept as discussion and not as poo-flinging. From a moderator standpoint, keeping track of just one central area would also be easier.
Well, both lounges are moderated differently. When you're dealing with `in-between threads', then it might not be clear what way of moderation you actually use.

Regarding dwindling traffic, I am not sure what the cause is. vmarks, I think, has a point when he's saying that the demographics of the Mac community is changing rapidly these days, from a small, tightly knit community. Most of the community was in a few niches of IT: publishing, education, etc.

Macrumors has grown much more steadily, but I think their site is getting a lot more traffic to begin with. Rumors are (apparently) more interesting than real news … IMO the traffic starts on the regular news page and then trickles down to the forum, not the other way around.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
 
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