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General Chat Thread, THE NATURAL LIFE CYCLE OF A FORUM in General; THE NATURAL LIFE CYCLE OF A FORUM - where is Edugeek ? Every forum seems to go through the same ...
  1. #1

    mattx's Avatar
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    THE NATURAL LIFE CYCLE OF A FORUM

    THE NATURAL LIFE CYCLE OF A FORUM - where is Edugeek ?

    Every forum seems to go through the same cycle:

    1. Initial enthusiasm (people introduce themselves, and gush a lot about how wonderful it is to find kindred souls).

    2. Evangelism (people moan about how few folks are posting to the forum, and brainstorm recruitment strategies).

    3. Growth (more and more people join, more and more lengthy threads develop, occasional off-topic threads pop up).

    4. Community (lots of threads, some more relevant than others; lots of information and advice is exchanged; experts help other experts as well as less experienced colleagues; friendships develop; people tease each other; newcomers are welcomed with generosity and patience; everyone - newbie and expert alike - feels comfortable asking questions, suggesting answers, and sharing opinions).

    5. Discomfort with diversity (the number of messages increases dramatically; not every thread is fascinating to every reader; people start complaining about the signal-to-noise ratio; person 1 threatens to quit if *other* people don't limit discussion to person 1's pet topic; person 2 agrees with person 1; person 3 tells 1 & 2 to lighten up; more bandwidth is wasted complaining about off-topic threads than is used for the threads themselves; everyone gets annoyed).

    6a. Smug complacency and stagnation (the purists flame everyone who asks an 'old' question or responds with humor to a serious post; newbies are rebuffed; traffic drops to a doze-producing level of a few minor issues; all interesting discussions happen by private email and are limited to a few participants; the purists spend lots of time self-righteously congratulating each other on keeping off-topic threads off the forum).

    OR

    6b. Maturity (a few people quit in a huff; the rest of the participants stay near stage 4, with stage 5 popping up briefly every few weeks; many people wear out their second or third 'delete' key, but the forum lives contentedly ever after).

  2. #2

    bossman's Avatar
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    Awwwwhhhhh! and there was me thinking it was another educational wildlife video, pity never mind have a good weekend Mat.

    I totally agree with all what you have said but where does it leave us?
    Which direction would you like to see edugeek take?

  3. Thanks to bossman from:

    mattx (24th October 2008)

  4. #3

    mattx's Avatar
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    Awwwwhhhhh! and there was me thinking it was another educational wildlife video, pity never mind have a good weekend Mat.
    Sorry Bossman - not this time.
    You too have a good weekend - [ what a nice post to read just before I log off for the day !! ]

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    Which direction would you like to see edugeek take?
    cake and strippers. or i'm boycotting BETT!.

  6. #5

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    4 when I joined; 5 in the last couple of weeks and hopefully heading for 6b... we don't seem to be heading for 6a.

    Fingers crossed

  7. #6

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I'm happy wasting bandwidth complaining about off topic threads Little else to do during my last week (if you call rebuilding two servers little else to do).

  8. #7

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    6b, if 'certain people' will let it!

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    We seem to have had one or two short, sharp 5) periods....where there is that discomfort with diversity......one or two people get a bit carried away with this new fangled posting on a forum thingy, things get a little juvenile and a bit of colourful language comes out, before someone wields the big stick, and normal service is resumed.

    I'm certainly left with the impression that over the last few months there is a lot less in terms of indepth discussion [not that there was ever supposed to be much of that]. BSF threads seem to have tailed off, and there is less and less comment on the world around us [outside of IT and the school walls] and observations as such, where there is much humour to be found. Most of the off-topic stuff now is in FFS where it seems to have been lots of 'another numpty user p*$$ed me off today' threads. Which is great for letting off steam but it is getting a little bit predictable.

    Or maybe there's less of those type of posts because i'm not looking for them anymore ? I think it's getting back to the basics of exchanging ideas, gleaning info and solving problems.....which is good i think. People come on and grab the info they need. At we stage are we now ? I have no idea, would probably be past 5 heading for 6a or maybe 6b.....which is the good one again ?

    6b would be really boring....safe and boring......so maybe we are there already.
    Last edited by torledo; 24th October 2008 at 09:29 PM.

  10. #9

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    it's not just forums that are like this ... so many sports clubs are too.

    And you forgot 7 ... when veterans are sat back in the pub rehashing old threads (almost quoting word for word some fantastic point of reference they made or a witty play on words that only 4 people would understand!) and grumbling about how it was better in the olden days (6 months ago) and not even bothering to use a computer to talk to one another but actually meeting up in real life.

    But hey ... I was out with a bunch of friends from a forum I only lurk on ... RL is so much more fun at times!



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