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

Out of curiosity, what’s the issue with PDFs?

Also, i would have thought an animated gif within spoiler tags was obviously okay.

(Yes, i still feel new here.)

One thing I never understood: what the heck is up with the “Warning: PDF” thing, anyway? I never figured out why somebody would need to be warned over something as innocuous as a PDF.

Regarding the Pit: I like the Pit because of the loosening of language there. Sure, I’m some sort of barbarian, but I don’t mind expletives (as anybody who has spoken to me in person could tell you). It allows for a better discussion when folks aren’t self-censoring and can emphasize with the more colorful expressions in our repertoire.

ETA: Ha, I’m not the only one curious about the PDFs!

It is from a long time ago when people were using wooden computers powered by 12 mice to read the SDMB. No one has followed that dated request for about a decade now. But really it goes back to the earlier days. PDFs would crap out slow computers on modems.

It is OK to post animated gifs in a spoiler tag.

I think you’ve basically nailed it with this observation.

I like the fact that the discussions here are still more evolved than “YOU’RE A TOWEL!1!!” so you’re good :slight_smile:

I’ve been reading some old threads recently thanks to the handy Discourse feature “Here are some threads that are almost, but not quite, entirely unlike yours”, and they are a lot more fun.

I’m female. Serious sexism is bad, but so is heavy handed moderation. IMO the balance has shifted too far towards the latter.

If anyone thinks it would help I’d be willing if allowed to resurrect Contestant#3 and start some new UFO and Soccer Sucks threads…and argue regularly with DavidB(is that guy still around?)…nah nevermind, Slythe would never allow any of this.

Great idea!

Maybe we could have some GD threads where current Dopers draw names of famous banned posters from a hat then try to do their best imitation.

So we could watch, e.g. me or @Machine_Elf as SonOfSamuelA doing battle on some current events topic with e.g. @DrDeth or maybe @Magiver as ShodanSendingFreshRegards. Folks could bet lots of quatloos on the outcome. Ed could auction off the right in real $US to determine the winner after 50, 100, and 150 posts when the thread would be locked.

It could be epic! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Hilarious! :laughing:

Seriously, if this is the best AI can do, humanity has nothing to fear on that front; I’ve never once had a suggestion that was even remotely close to what my thread topic was! :laughing:

As a lefty, well center left anyway, this is my experience as well.

I don’t need or want validation from others who think like I do. I want respectful and honest discussion with those who think other than I do. I like being told I am wrong (not that my idea is dumb mind you) IF that claim is based on what I have actually said, not some fictionalized misrepresented version of it, and the claim is backed up with cogent facts and analysis, not just declaration of my wrongness as fact, my differing position a personal affront to other posters or even humanity, and attempted insults. I do not think I am alone in having had my POV changed in discussions here, learned and accepted that I was wrong and why, and enjoyed the process… but not recently.

Interactions like these are more the norm than the exception now and they are, as you say, not discussions.

Certainly exceptions happen. There are discussions every so often. There are insightful analyses shared and some good back and forth in which each party accepts the valid points made by the other. And as infrequent as they are here now there are few other places they occur either.

I don’t golf but it reminds of what a friend of mine who does golf says about why he golfs when so much of the time is so frustrating. He tells me that 99 out of 100 of his swings are wrong but that one time that it feels right with great follow through, and the ball goes where he wanted it to, the hope of the next swing maybe will also feel like that, keeps him golfing. One out of hundred threads maybe are those good discussions and the hope that the next one will be one of them keeps me coming back. But yeah I would be just fine I tried to sign on tomorrow and the site had been discontinued without warning.

Boy, howdy! This be truth.

I keep thinking about this. Nobody turns down money without a good reason. And TPTB here are turning down money Dopers keep trying to throw at them.

I believe Cecil was more or less directly questioned about this. Did he ever give an answer? Maybe someone has tried to say that without a proper board administrator no one can figure out how to do subscriptions or a way to take donations.

That would just be so weird, though. IT’S MONEY, which is always super-neato to have, even during the flushest of times and apparently, this operation is desperate for it. What’s the deal?

Everyone posting here and in Cecil’s Special Thread is so concerned and earnestly swapping home-fried ideas back and forth; bake sales and pancake breakfasts—going door-to-door with a little March of Dimes canister (perfect for the shuffleboard set here) “Won’t you please think of the Dopers?”

I keep thinking of that old movie (those old movies?) where they hope to put on a play to raise money to save the condemned rooster or gently euthanize the principal’s’ cancerous wife or something.

It’s like Judy Garland and the pudgy-faced famous child actor what’s-his-name or other interchangeable Golden Age stars…

There all like:

“And my great-aunt esther has an old barn she’s not using and Wilbur’s dad has two limelight spotlights.”

“Why, my brother Cyrus can make flesh-toned facial make-up from crushed Junebugs and vodka!”

“And my mother is a trained actress! She used to appear in filthy burlesque revues before she met my dad–plus a few years afterward–and Carl the mailman is my daddy”

I don’t think people should be banned for a collection of small offences. If each individual warning is not bad enough to ban someone, then the collection of low-level warnings should lead to suspension (max 1 year) at the most. Given the likelihood of someone changing their ways after a year and how easy it is to just reapply a suspension it’s much better than permanent banhammer for a collection of minor offences. Spammers and truly egregious incidences are different

No bannings for collections of minor cases is especially true with the somewhat “quirky” moderation that the SDMB has had, (and to some degree still has.)

:rofl: And they come up juuuuuust short of their goal and get that sad puppy look and then it’s a miracle! Old Man Gunderson gets his first, um, happiness in 57 years after watching Ma’s bit with the feather boa so he donates his old jalopy that turns out to be a vintage Pierce-Arrow in mint condition! The playground is saved! Then Cyrus and Mailman Carl kiss and it starts snowing and everyone applauds!

I MIGHT watch too many Hallmark movies!

Then have I got a thread for you: Hi, my name is BaldDude and I'm a Hallmark network Cheesy Christmas movie Addict

Someone needs to see A Christmas Prince.

What I’m seeing in this thread thus far is a lot of suggestions on how to improve the board experience. That’s all good and well, but that has little relevance to increasing board membership. To get more people to join, more people need to hear of, or see, the Dope board in the first place. The things suggested here - such as changing how moderation is done, or amending the Pit, etc., - are things that would only be noticed by someone who’s already been lurking or reading the board for a long time.

Tellin’ ya right now, banning all insults and personal attacks in any forum would be a good move.

Well, it’s not exactly true to say it has little relevance. You’re right in that awareness of the product is important and improving the experience is not advertising. But it’s of zero value to raise awareness if the reaction of a prospective member is to see the board and just bounce off when they see the place isn’t their cup of tea.

Suppose you wanted a Board member to spread awareness of the SDMB through word of mouth - let’s call this member NickJay, and just pretend he’s, I dunno, a baseball maniac from Canada who’s been on the board a long time. He’s not going to be inclined to do that if he thinks his friends will come here, see a place where everyone’s flaming one another, a core clique harangues and reports new posters for the slightest error, and the forums are weirdly organized, and say “Nick’s such a moron, screw this” and never join or log in again. What did that accomplish? Your conversion rate will be zero and your referral rate will, as a result, drop to zero.

Make the place welcoming and even a mild referral rate might make a huge difference.

Here’s a suggestion; create a forum just for new members to introduce themselves and be welcomed.