Did the SDMB ever recover from charging to post?

For those who don’t know there was a time where the SDMB (this thing) charged a fee to be able to post (I do believe there was a grace period for new members). I paid a few years then left - I got a message from a SD member saying they missed me, and I came back but that was once again a free sight when I rejoined.

But I did seem to notice that the SDMD really seemed to lose some quality posters any never since regained their former glory from this experiment. I’m not saying that the SDMB is not worth it, quite the contrary, but it just seemed a lot more informative and much more timely before it started the paid model.

I don’t ever being charged to post. Did I miss that memo?

Are you referring to the paid subscription model, still in place?

At one time is was mandatory, and it also seemed to mark a point where the value of the board decreased through less quality replies.

Nm. Misread the post.

I’m not sure that pay-to-post is the singular cause of a “loss of glory”. I’d attribute it more to more rules, less of an untamed feeling, and bannings. When old zombie threads come up, it’s eye-opening sometimes how many quality posters whose usernames I remember are banned. There also wasn’t originally a ban on multiple user names, and people had fun with that.

i’d guess the pay-to-post contributed as well, but I see it as part of an over-arching theme as the board grew and aged.

clearsthroat am I chopped liver?


No, it really didn’t.

That’s one heck of a memory gap there Musicat! :slight_smile:

The board is better now than perhaps it ever was. The content used to be dominated by annoying wannabe class-clown types who used the board as their personal blogs. If I wanted to hear page after page of “creative” Tourette’s-like cursing, I’d watch a Tarantino film. It’s bad enough (but understandable) when teens post that way, but it’s truly annoying to hear it from adults who should know better

I’m afraid I just don’t see what you are referencing. Timely? I cannot offhand think of any major, mid-major or even relatively minor event in the world that does not soon have a thread in one or another of the forums (fora) here. I read the news stories and then come here to gauge people’s reactions. I am rarely disappointed in finding a thread relating to said event.

Informative? Look at some of the threads here. Converting to Judaism? Covered. Missing airplane? Covered ad nauseum. Small-breasted women’s nursing issues? Yes sir. (Just to pick a few from GQ)

Perhaps it’s not the SDMB that is becoming blasé and rather world-weary.

I can’t say I ever noticed that there was anything for the board to recover from to begin with.

I’ve been here 15 years. It goes in waves of really great content, and really weak content, in random cycles.

Right now it’s probably in a “decent content” stage, where it could go either way. But nothing specific is to blame or is responsible for that, it’s just when there’s something interesting going on to talk about, the mix of members are good, and the sense of fun is active.

As much as there have been many things happening behind the scenes with the SDMB, like the subscriptions and the adjustment of rules, etc, that are blips in the waveform of history, it evens out back to its regular rhythm quite quickly.

I don’t go back all that far. But this thread has reminded me that in addition to bannings and cheapos (of which I am one, I wouldn’t pay to post if the rule changed) that the ferryman has taken some of our most beloved across the Styx.

I’ve been here since 2001 (under my old username). I think the Dope was at its nastiest around 2005-2008 or so, right when the economy melted down. I up and left because I just couldn’t take the hair-trigger tempers and in-fighting. The attitude has improved a lot since then.

The place lost some good ones. I suspect a list would be frowned upon, so I’m not going there.

IIRC, one “Charter Member” - that is a strong giveaway of the poster’s having paid, paid the ante for those he liked.

We also had a nasty case of one bribing another to not post for xx months - tacky.

GD used to be God, Guns, and Gays - not that I miss those topics, but they did provoke meaty discussions.

Do zombies show post counts of banned members? If so, maybe search for posts from 2000 to whenever “Charter Memberships” began - you’ll find some great ones.

Actually, this board was best whenever you first discovered it. Just like your first love, you look back fondly on the good ol’ days and cherish the memories.
But then life goes on…and so does the Dope.

The real question is why there is no other site like us anywhere on the net. A post here gets answered within an hour. At the Giraffe boards, it takes a week. At Somethingawful, you get drowned out by the snarky clique, and most other sites have a much more limited range of topics.
So for good conversation, this is the place!
And like all conversations around the dinner table, sometimes the topic is more interesting , sometimes it stalls a bit.
When you sit down with friends, you don’t plan out in advance what you’re going to talk about–you just go with the flow.

The Board was pay-to-post from March 2004 to September 2008. There was a one-month grace period for new members; after that you had to pay.

While I don’t know for sure, I assume the number of active members was lower during PTP. However, I haven’t noted any drastic changes in the quality of the board due to that period.

Members come and members go. We probably have just as many, if not more, quality posters now than we did pre-2004.

That policy didn’t last long. It was in place when I joined in late 2000, so it was only for less than 2 years.

I don’t, although that may be the case for others.

If one happened to be interested, one could apply a measure, such as, as you suggest time to correct answer of a question. You did not actually specify correct, though. Checking Google would often be more effective, anyway. There could be many other measures, such as accounts or page views or income generated or user satisfaction polls.

If this really were the best place on the internet for good conversation, I’d think it would be more crowded. So maybe it’s the best place for certain conversations between certain people of a certain type.

Almost forgot why I left that “so does the dope” bit in there. Not necessarily. On any given day there’s a chance it will disappear. I don’t know what that chance is, but I wouldn’t be surprised to try to load the SDMB tomorrow and find it’s gone.

Yeah, but given the nature of large scale online commentary, if it were more crowded, wouldn’t it cease to become the best place on the Internet for good conversation fairly quickly?