Why is the SDMB membership declining, and what's the best way to add younger members?

Yeah, message boards are basically dinosaurs. Reddit has a group for…well…pretty much anything.

I assumed it was high, but since every discourse doc I’ve found says ‘x trust level multiplies likes by y amount’ I think the implication is that the base number can be manipulated. @codinghorror if you’re just lurking due to all the discomfort on the board right now, do you think you could post or perhaps PM? Otherwise, well, we’ll just have to find out another way.

According to Wikipedia, Ed’s 70, being born in 1951.

Quoting myself for context 4 days later.

Several folks followed up on my idea suggesting I try it and report back. Or that they would do the same.

So here’s my interim report 4 days later.

About an hour after that post I muted those 3 categories. Which quickly shrank Unread & New to about 40% of their former size. For the next day-ish the many, many GD, PE, Pit threads I’d recently posted to garnered replies or quotes which popped them into my Unread page. When that happened, I opened the offending thread, reset the status to normal, and closed the tab. Now 3 days later I’ve had just one such thread today.

How’s it feel?

The 'Dope is a lot smaller. But I’m much more able to be my charitable self, not my irritable self. My desire for nitpicks and one-liner responses is down. Net, net, I like it this way.

I’m still around. I’m glad the community is thinking about growth!

I had some time to read through the Modest proposal, and we are testing a plugin that allows communities to contribute toward their own hosting costs.


Surely there’s got to be enthusiasm for the fighting ignorance problem – I know we at Discourse are willing to contribute toward that goal. That’s kinda the whole point!

I don’t know if @Cecil_Adams is still interested, but we’ll contact him!

Nice! Thanks, codinghorror!

Great! Hopefully it will have both a one-time and automatic monthly contribution option. If we members can contribute enough to support 100% of the hosting fees, the Sun-Times can totally forget about us. If the accountants don’t have to send a check every month to Discourse, we may fall off the budget watch list completely.

I’m surprised there wasn’t more enthusiasm for the other core idea:

An advisory board advises; I’ll decide. That said, I see this as a collaborative process. The Straight Dope’s mission has evolved considerably since pre-Internet days. Today we don’t provide answers you can look up just as easily on Wikipedia. Rather, we’re sorting through competing explanations, some of which may be at least moderately illuminating while others are complete |-|0r535|-|17. I expect the SDSAB will be helpful in the filtering process. As has always been the case, I’ll be responsible for reviewing source material, doing offline research, making judgments, and writing the column.

There are entire businesses that do nothing but recycle popular Reddit topics in more readable format!

A good place to start with this is to get rid of the trollz r us thread in the pit. As far as I can tell, the main clue to being a troll is to be a new poster on the board. They just nominate anyone new, then give themselves high fives for the one out of a hundred they get right.

I’m not against like buttons if they are as described by @puzzlegal in one of these threads. However, they seem to be exactly the same as “me too” posts. I also don’t think we even have a lot of me too posts to minimize.

I agree. Whenever this comes up, I just think of people scrolling thru Facebook, liking everything in their feed because of who the person is, and the anticipation of getting likes in return, rather than what they think about the post.

Well, you need to advertise better, I thought it was a gizmo for duck hunting. It’s a dog used in duck hunting. I afraid I can’t “like” your post. :wink:

Can you rephrase this? One way, it looks like a hit on TubaDiva, and I have no idea what STM means in this context. Seize the moment?

My CT is much shorter, I think Ed was offered the job but he wanted the column too. They weren’t willing to put any money behind his effort but said if he could do it off the back of the SDMB, go ahead. As far as any of us know, he’s still in charge, so he could go with his plan if he wants. I think as far as his bosses are concerned it’s Ed’s job, why would they even be looking for someone else?

Did Ed leave? How is the role empty?

Since you’ve been answering all my “like” questions, here’s another. Let’s say 'likes" display as a star and a number appears next to the star as a counter. On my first post I get 2 likes, so I have a star with a 2 beside it. On each post I make from now on, it will always say 2 “likes”. Now I make my second post, which gets 5 “likes”. Does my display now have a star with a 5 by it or a 7 by it? I guess simpler, is it a running total of all your likes spread over the entire board? If I go back to my first post, will it have the running total displayed there or the original 2?

Sorry, the only place I use that has “likes” is Reddit, and in the subs I use there is no reason for me to use them, so I pay no attention to them at all.

STM is the company which owns and operates the SDMB. Tubadiva was an employee of STM, and part of her duties was our Admin.

HOWEVER, when she passed, someone had to take over her duties… but we never got a new admin. So that implies that TD was doing her admin job in addition to her real duties and that managing the SDMB asset has fallen through the corporate cracks and now no one has the responsibility of being site admin.

Example: we are a month past Charter Memberships expiring and yet they have yet to implement a payment system. Strongly implies an asset with no management or oversight.

Ah, I think of it as Chicago Sun-Times. Do we actually know that Jenny had another job there? From a thread that I will not link to, I was under the impression that the SDMB was what she did at the Sun-Times.

She could have. I’m just extrapolating from a piece of data here, something said there.

We have an Admin, he is Ed Zotti. He was nice enough to return to help the board out. He also put together the fundraiser for the tribute to Jenny (TubaDiva).

Above is official, the rest is just from me a mod.
He is trying to find ways to keep the SD & SDMB going.

What we do not have is a Tech Admin. It would in theory be a nominal position and one of the senior mods who would be given admin rights and could handle the Tech duty such as tweaking settings, merging users and etc.

The exact details are above my paygrade.

To the best of my knowledge, Jenny’s job for the Chicago Sun-Times was running the SDMB and the SD front page and thread-spotting. But I could also be off on the details.

They’re called “News websites” :grin:

More true than it should be!

Is it possible to find out who the admins are on this page? People have guessed that they helped with the migration, but I’m wondering if maybe one or some of them are also doing some maintenance. Might they be getting paid for that? If they are, then it might just be a matter of having a liaison to let the tech people know what to change. (I know it’s not this simple, but just as a hypothetical.)

Sure, happy to answer easy questions. :wink:

Yes, there’s a little heart with a 2 beside it underneath your first post. But the “likes” belong to the post, not to you generally. So when you make your second post there is a pale heart that someone can click if they want to “like” the post, with no number by it. As people “like” it, it shows 1, then 2, and so on up to 5, when the last person likes it.

One of those people might think, “hey, this MordacaiB is fun to read, i wonder what else he’s posted” and go back and “like” that first post of yours, too, which will now display a little “3” instead of the “2” it had sported.

Unless you turn off the notifications, you get told when someone likes one of your posts. In my settings, that only shows up when i click on the little icon of my avatar, when I’ll see that my stalker has liked my last three posts, and some other guy liked one of them, too. It’s possible that the default notifications are more intrusive. I toned down a lot of the Discourse notifications. (Why no, i DON’T want an email any time I’m mentioned, thank you very much.)

You can also hover over the little heart to see who liked the post. At least, i can if i am on a laptop that doesn’t have a touch screen. Maybe one can anyway, but I’m not certain how to. You can see that on your posts or on anyone else’s posts.

I don’t find the likes terribly intrusive.

Are any of the moderators capable or willing to do this? Are we talking about something someone could learn in a week, or is it months? I recall from the old boards that we had Jerry to pop over for major stuff, I can’t imagine he did name changes or merging. Wasn’t that part of what Tuba did? If something major was needed, is that part of the Discourse support provision?

Looks like andysuntimes had something to do with the board before the changeover. His join date is October 2019.

Great reply, thanks! You have slowly won me over with your explanations. Well almost. In size, are they more user icon size, or more smiley size? How many likes can a user give out in a day? I thought I saw you say somewhere you could limit it, or it has a limit. Correct answers from you and I promise to vote for a like button. I know that my vote, which I’m sure will be vital, has been worrying you.

I don’t feel strongly about whether or not we have “likes”. I miss them, because I’m used to using them. But it’s not a big deal to me one way or the other.

They don’t take any extra real estate, because they live on the same “row” as the reply arrow, the three dots, and the link icon – just to the left of the link icon, on the other forum I’m looking at, in whatever theme I’m using there. The little heart is just a tad smaller than :heart: but it plus the number next to it are wider than just an icon. The little heart is hollow (just an outline) unless YOU have liked that post, and it’s red if you have liked the post. Either way, it’s sort of faded-out, like the link icon.

Also, if you click on the hamburger menu and then on “about” at near the bottom of that menu, you can see who the admins and mods are. Tuba is still listed. :cry: