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Does Man Boobz need its own forum?

... and commenting on Man Boobz!

So comments kind of blew up this past week – hello, 673-comment thread! In one of the recent giant threads Holly suggested that maybe it’s time for Man Boobz to start its own forum, or set up some kind of real-time chatroom or IRC channel. I’m thinking she may be right, but I’m not sure the best way to proceed.

Here, as I see it, are the best options:

Regular Friday and Saturday night “open threads,” plus “open threads” during the week when it makes sense – say, when a thread gets really really long and/or people start chanting “open thread! Open thread!” in the comments. (That could be the batsignal, as it were, for me to post an open thread.)

An actual forum. It looks as though setting up a free forum through something like Invision or proboards or some other free forum host would be pretty easy – though I’d love to hear from people with experience doing this before I proceed. Would you guys be interested in this? What would be the best host to go with? Would it make more sense to host the forum myself? (If so, I would definitely need help.) I sort of love the idea of a forum, but I wouldn’t want it to siphon off too much energy from comments on the blog itself. I’m torn, and any thoughts/advice you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

I’m thinking at the moment that the best idea would be to start with open threads and see how they work before setting up a forum. But if enough of you want a forum that might be the way to go.

As for the other ideas from Holly – a chatroom or IRC channel – I have to admit I have no idea what would be the best option here, assuming there are enough of you interested in this to make it work. I’ve got plenty of experience as a forum-user but I’ve never used IRC or really participated in more than a tiny bit of chat. Not sure what the best options are for a real-time chatroom, or for IRC, so … advice, please!

In any case, I’m psyched about the possibilities here and want to do whatever will best facilitate conversation amongst you guys.  And if any of you want to volunteer your time and/or experience, let me know!

(The cartoon here is borrowed from the excellent Comically Vintage.)

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Simone Lovelace
9 years ago

I’m just casting a vote for “open threads.” It’s always good to start with the “least work” option, right? 🙂

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

I really like the idea of setting up a forum through one of the free forum thingies. It’s really easy, and it would be easier to keep track of all the separate conversations people want to have and stuff. The comments tend to move so fast that the thing thing I wanted to respond to is 20 posts ago and seems irrelevant.

Also, also. If we do make a forum I call dibs on making my username Sarah. I would be so tickled-pink to have my actual, unique username be my irl name.

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
9 years ago

My vote is for forum!

Also, if you set up a Groups page on FB, you automatically get a group chat feature. Of course, this means that people we might not want to see our RL handles will see it, but the idea is there.

Holly
9 years ago

I vote forum. Upon reflection, a real-time chatroom doesn’t keep a log of everything that’s said and encourages (even more) knee-jerk responses. And the thread comment system isn’t really made for the kind of meandering megathreads this blog seems to generate.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
9 years ago

Maybe start off w/ open threads and see how it goes? I don’t really know my way around a forum.

FC
FC
9 years ago

I vote forum. I’m more of a lurker than a poster here because I find comments to be less elegant a system than forums.

Nymeria
Nymeria
9 years ago

I vote IRC. Every user that connects would have a log of everything that happens, and you can set up bots and the like just in case.

A forum would be fine too.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

I vote for IRC, since its more fun to be able to chat in real-time. I know of at least one other blog (pharyngula) that uses open threads though, so that seems like a valid option too.

katz
9 years ago

I vote threads, but a forum would be fine. I don’t like the idea of a chatroom, partly because they seem like a thing of the past that’s been supplanted by message boards, but mostly because of what Holly said.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

I’m fine w/ the way it is actually b/c I like the way things kinda flow from what’s going on and you get the serious with the fun so nobody gets too bent out of shape about the e-debating 🙂 But otherwizzzeeee… open threads I guess xD I think splitting this up into too many places might end up being too much or end up being kinda cliquey for those that dun have time/dun want to go on IRC or a forum or feel pressured to have to keep up with all of that and the threads on this blog 🙁 (but purrrrhhaps I am wrong :3 ) Nebody who wants to talk to moi btw can just drop me a line on my blog and we can IM or FB or telepathically connect 😀

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

But I am concerned about ppl feeling like they have to keep up w/ many mediums or they get left out : esp if we start making references to the IRC/forum thingie in a regular comment thread here… and I rly do like the way things just flow here and you get the fun and serious arguing at the same time 🙂 is like cheesburger pizza! or something >_> there’s a radio ad about that btw where it says only girls eat 1 food at a time and real men would eat their cheesburger pizza xD i found that hilarious xD can’t wait for the evo psych explanation for that… back in the cave days, women ate mammoths and sabretooth tigers, and men ate sabremammotigers! xD

sarahejones
9 years ago

My vote(s) are for IRC and forum. I like being able to respond to posts quickly and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of conversations with the current format.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

I kinda agree with Ami about the forum thing. If conversations get split up, it will only make it more difficult for people to keep up. As it is, its almost like we’re a big family here. 😛

I think chatrooms are still workable, but I get the point that they may create more knee-jerk responses. The easiest thing to integrate would be an open thread, which has the benefit of showing up on the “latest comments” display thingy, and is closest to the types of conversations that have been going on already.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

As usual Kirbywarp is as wise as he is beautiful :3

katz
9 years ago

Also, I doubt our dearly beloved trolls would follow us to a forum (especially if registration is required), which would rob all the fun from it.

AbsintheDexterous
AbsintheDexterous
9 years ago

I vote forums. I think it would be kinda nifty to have that as well as a blog. I don’t think IRC would be good for the reasons others mentioned above.

Open threads are a good idea, too. The only thing I don’t like about the comments is the older/newer thing and having to find the place that I left off – especially since comments or pages of comments aren’t numbered. For posts with less comments, not such a big deal, but for the 200+ comment threads, that’s rather annoying.

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

I find myself agreeing with kirbywarp & ami. I vote open threads. I like the way topics come and go, and I like having One Big Conversation rather than a lot of separate ones. Listening to Holly try to talk MRAL off the ledge wouldn’t be the same without the interspersed references to hamster shows.

saoba
saoba
9 years ago

Speaking as a lurker I’d prefer open threads. Separate forums siphon off some of the conversational energy, in my experience.

Open threads allow for derailing and wandering and general tomfoolery without requiring readers to navigate away from the blog to Yet Another Place online. Forums feel more ‘clubhouse’ to me than blog posts, more like I have to know someone or be known already.

redlocker
redlocker
9 years ago

I vote for Fourms/chatroom. The former can be used for conversations where more structured conversation would help (like, for example, alerts on news and other stuff, not just what MRAs bitch about, since David handles that just fine with this blog.)

The latter can be used for more conversational fun, plus it would probably be fun to see an MRA pop in there once in a while.

Johnny Pez
9 years ago

Off topic: David, I’ve just noticed that your Pandagon account still links to the old blog.

ithiliana
9 years ago

My question would be do any of these alternatives have threaded discussions? I tend to hang out much more on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth and love the threaded discussions–I rarely participate in many discussions in blogs for just that reason.

If not, I’d vote for open threads.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

My PERSONAL opinion would be to go w/ the lowest common denominator 🙂

unless ppl rly object to open threads, I think we should stick w/ the sort of loose community we have now in the blog comments where ppl can lurk or just stumble in cuz of the topic du jour or w/e 🙂

cuz I rly worry that splintering it up would make it seem like we’re not all commenters but some are “members” and inside jokes and stuff and then it would make the comment sections more inaccessible and might hurt your own readership as well as turn off some of the lurkers… and also it’d mean more places ppl might feel they have to go to check for updates : But that’s just what I’m worried about 🙂

I just feel the most inclusive way to go would be the one most ppl would be OKAY w/ doing so we dun turn off the more casual ppls 🙂 But I am a giant ball of pink marshmallow as ppl know xD (until I get spiky >_> )

Spearhafoc, who is changing his nym
Spearhafoc, who is changing his nym
9 years ago

I like the open threads idea better.

sarahejones
9 years ago

Given a choice between forums and open threads I’d really prefer forums. Not a fan of open threads, honestly.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

Is “keeping things as they are” an option? 🙂

Owllizard
Owllizard
9 years ago

As a daily reader, mostly lurker, occasional commentor, I like the format. I like the free flow conversations. I would find a forum complicated and overwhelming. I think if this blog were not functioning as therapy for a few men, (a military fellow and a slave, specifically) the threads would be shorter. This is not a criticism as I find observing the evolution of these poor souls delightful. I see much hope of them losing hate and finding happiness. I like it the way it is and dont want it to change. So take that as a vote for open threads, I suppose.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

Another lurker here – I’m happy with either open threads or a forum. I lean more towards the open thread, because the therapy/hamster show mix was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the conspiracy/vampire thread. I don’t know much about forums, but if that’s the decision I’ll learn how to use them. 🙂

Laughing gull
Laughing gull
9 years ago

My six cents, I think forums would be fun but I’ll enjoy whatever you decide.

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago

Another (mostly) lurker here. I vote forums, but wouldn’t mind open threads.

katz
9 years ago

Listening to Holly try to talk MRAL off the ledge wouldn’t be the same without the interspersed references to hamster shows.

“Don’t do it! You have so much to live for!”

Darque
Darque
9 years ago

Forums are fun, but so are open threads.

Alex
9 years ago

I think starting with open threads first is a good idea.

Kave
Kave
9 years ago

I’ve thought of several books that could help MRAL with his social dysfunctions but haven’t posted them in the blog because they might just get lost in the shuffle. A forum could be just the place.

Perhaps this site could become a catalyst for mra’s, helping them out of their shells and into society.

OHSHIII
OHSHIII
9 years ago

Forum. Chatrooms and chats on subjects that generate a lot of arguments and strong emotions are far too easy a target if they don’t have active moderation pretty much all the time.

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

@Katz

I sent that picture to a friend of mine who is having love troubles. It made everything better!

Plymouth
Plymouth
9 years ago

Open threads. I would not follow you to another forum. Start out with one twice a week, increase as necessary. No more than one a day should be necessary.

Also, on the topic of, well, everything I would like to note that I am currently at a wedding of my fiance’s former roommate, who is shorter than his new wife. Happy people, awesome wedding, fire juggling 🙂

Holly
9 years ago

HAMSTER BOUQUET!!!

Actually, reading the arguments here, I’m going to change my vote to “open threads.” Forums that required registration wouldn’t attract MRAs and they’d also split our attentions.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago

I too vote for open threads – there aren’t that many of us and I think we would be split by the two venues. I also think there would be in jokes – which I enjoy when the jokes are made about previous threads but keeping track of the in jokes in two places? Not so much…

katz
9 years ago

Whyt? Whyt smurfing ynjykes are you smurfing abyt?

redlocker
redlocker
9 years ago

Gah, I guess Open Threads would be for the best then…I mean, perhaps we can use an Open Thread as a chance to REALLY help folks like MRAL (maybe through an indirect way, like chatting in one open thread about how awful the new Smurfs movie is going to be)?

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

So awful.

Pecunium
9 years ago

I hang out in a couple of other blogs with an active community (mostly Making Light, but also Slacktivist).

I’d say an OT is fine but a forum isn’t the same as a comment thread sort of interaction.

Tanahesi Coates (on the Atlantic) does a pretty good (and regular) OT and that seem so to work in a very active comment culture.

carswell
carswell
9 years ago

For what it’s worth I like the idea of forums – the comments section here is getting waaaay long and it’s becoming difficult to have a conversation about the topic at hand.

That’s a good thing – though – it means there’s a lot of traffic and interest.

For the purpose of directing conversation to a certain extent – each blog post could link to its own thread on a forum. I participate on another blog that does that and it works well for those interested in discussing the blog topic.

AbsintheDexterous
AbsintheDexterous
9 years ago

I really don’t think a forum would siphon off people from commenting on the blog. Several sites I read actually do a blog/forum format, and having a forum doesn’t effect the commenting on the blog. But it’s more set up where the blog is the main thing and the forums are just an extension of that.

I wouldn’t mind if the MRAs don’t follow to the forum, because sometimes it is nice to discuss things without them. But really, don’t think that they won’t, because they will – and they’ll cause the same problems. (I’m not talking specifically MRAL or NWOslave, but I’m sure there will be MRAs who will join.) Moderation might be tougher, but I’ve never actually run a forum, so I don’t know.

And as for inside jokes, I have very little familiarity of RPGs, so most of that goes over my head. I just don’t get it, and it sounds like the type of thing that would take forever to explain to me without guaranteeing that I’ll actually remember it the next time a joke is made. My point is, I don’t think that there would be enough of inside jokes so as to make the comments section unreadable, as there are always topics that some people know more about than other people. And inside jokes can happen with comment threads, too. I just don’t think that’s a concern, but YMMV.

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

Happy Memorial Day everyone! =D

Molly Ren
9 years ago

Super late to the party, but my vote is for open threads + forum. Why not test out two birds with one stone?

sarahejones
9 years ago

I’m with Carswell–the threads are just too lengthy right now. Open Threads don’t really solve this problem.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
9 years ago

Carswell’s idea is the best. By the way, I talked to a bunch of judges last week and one of the funnier things they mentioned was that male judges handling family court show the state of the male judges’ marriages with the decisions they make. I forgot to ask them the other question.