These forums for
were closed on 09 December 2014.
Appendectomy: Closing the forum
When Richard Goodness proposed the idea of a forum in 2013, I rejected it out-of-hand because I didn't think Electron Dance had a solid core of regular commenters who would keep a forum alive. I feared an Electron Dance forum would turn into a ghost town which is always a little sad to see - looking like some wannabe blogger that pretends he's got a "community".
Originally, Open Mike was the home of "off-topic" conversation but that proved to be unwieldy for multiple conversations and walls of text often pushed out contributions. So I moved to a forum, conversation dried up and the Appendix became a ghost town. It may not be a fault of the forum per se, as conversation in the official comments has also decreased over time.
So unless there's a darn good reason to keep the doors open, I'm going to remove the links from the main page in a couple of weeks time and close the Appendix to new contributions. The forum will remain, however, and nothing will be lost.
Resurrecting The Appendix in the future is not out of the question - the situation will dictate.
So, the biggest problem facing a forum with a small community is the difficulty in producing enough content to keep the community involved. It's an old problem, and ultimately the solution is a community that's eager to create and goes out of its way to support others' creations. There's no automatic solution, but there's long been a work-around, mostly in the way of forum games. I recognized the need for these, but made the conscious decision not to use them.
The effectivity of a forum game ("steal the diamond", "respond to the sig above you", "the name of last song you listened to is now your super power", creepypasta copypasta, etc.) is in its ability to derail: in-jokes are produced, personalities become apparent, commonly enjoyed shows and circumstances lead to PM'ing, brilliant trolls get remembered, and in all ways a common spirit is produced which binds members.
The reason I didn't do none-a-dis is that I could tell the community wouldn't go for it. This here's a busy bunch a' people, and I doubted their willingness to spend time on something so immature. I tried to do as much "srs gaming biz" as I could manage, but that was nothing more than a trickle.
Iunno, maybe there's a solution here somewhere.
Thanks for the response, mwm. I saw it shortly after you posted but I've had sooo much difficulty following up on response, email, life, watching television in recent weeks.
I just think Electron Dance doesn't have enough "hardcore" followers to make a forum successful, at least right now. I've been suspecting for a long time that part of the reason is that Electron Dance is all over the map - you're never sure what you will get from one week to the next. Whereas I always thought that was a plus, its more likely this is a negative in terms of building support. Thinking on this.
Anyway. It was fun for a while. But it is time for the curtains to close.
I don't know, ED attracts a fun bunch of people, but somehow none of us seem to be into "generic discussion" - we respond better to specific articles. So maybe you were right from the beginning.
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